web analytics
The Standard

National Contributes to Africa’s Misery

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, July 12th, 2011 - 29 comments
Categories: aid - Tags:

National Contributes to Africa’s Misery

Written by The Jackal at 8:02 PM

Once again we’re witness to the horrendous images of starving people arriving at refugee camps in east Africa, with nearly 12 million people facing starvation across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

3 million of these are in dire need of clean water and food and are typically located in the poorest regions of the three countries. Many have walked for weeks to get to the camps, carrying children and a few possessions. In some cases, older people have been brought in wheelbarrows or in makeshift carts.

In May this year it was announced that Australia will spend an extra $A500 million on foreign aid in the coming financial year. Funding would also be increased for climate change and environment programmes, and an extra NZ$158.8 million would be spent over four years to boost education in the Pacific. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says Australia is on track to increase foreign aid spending to 0.5% of gross national income by 2015-16.

This is fantastic news considering that the global population is increasing and further expenditure will be required to avert food shortages and widespread starvation. However that’s where the good news ends…

The internationally agreed target for Government spending on aid is 0.7% of gross national income. In contributing just 0.23% to aid last year, New Zealand languished near the bottom of the developed world.

In march 2009, National’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully said that New Zealand’s foreign aid expenditure budget would not be reduced. I was hopeful that we could trust what he said, but unfortunately National then decided to cut foreign aid spending in the 2011 budget.

The 2011 Budget projects a drop in New Zealand’s overseas aid in the 2012/13 year to $570 million compared to $586 million. The National government is pushing out by two years its plan to increase foreign aid, now targeted for 2014, rather than 2012. Shameful!

What is worse is that yesterday, McCully announced that New Zealand will contribute only $1 million to the World Food Programme’s response to serious food shortages in the Sahel region of West Africa.

“Severe drought in West Africa has led to crop failures and stock losses which have put more than 10 million people at risk of malnutrition and starvation. The situation is accentuated by high food prices, and the fact that the affected countries are among the poorest in the world. New Zealand’s contribution will assist international efforts to provide life-saving emergency food aid in Niger, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania,” he said.

McCully does not care, he’s just another bean counter. After cutting foreign aid expenditure by $48 million, the best National can do is a miserly $1 million to help the nearly 12 million people facing starvation. That’s 0.083 cents for every starving person in this latest crisis.

It’s an insult to the impoverished African’s and the good people of New Zealand, who often personally donate well above the worldwide average to worthy humanitarian causes. Why is the National Government, that is meant to represent us, totally failing to do so in such a critical sector?

Such a contemptuous and pathetic token of $1 million shows just how heartless National is. McCully is paying lip service to a crises that National’s cuts in foreign aid expenditure has contributed to. McCully fails to understand just how pathetic his tokenism is.

According to the New Zealand Aid Program fact sheet:

New Zealand is a modest donor in Southern Africa. The New Zealand Aid Programme focuses on basic health and related aspects of livelihoods including: maternal and child health, nutrition, HIV and AIDS, and the associated livelihoods of vulnerable children, youth and women. As a modest donor, geographically distant from Africa, the New Zealand Aid Programme funds three non-government organisations (NGOs) and a United Nations organisation working in Zambia and Zimbabwe to deliver relevant programmes.

A modest donor in Southern Africa is a complete understatement. What is even worse is that National’s funding cuts follow McCully scrapping a previous funding mechanism for New Zealand-based NGOs working in international development back in April 2010.

He replaced them with a three-member panel comprising of National Party MP John Hayes, a National Party lawyer, Peter Kiely and the Chief Operating Officer for Rugby NZ 2011 Limited, Therese Walshe. None has worked in international development programmes but they certainly all appear to be closely associated with the Minister.

“It is ironic that the Minister scrapped a transparent, well-functioning scheme, saying he would put in place a programme with clear objectives and transparent administration. Instead, we now have three people making decisions as to how over $20 million in aid funding a year will be spent, but they have no understanding of how NGOs work with poor communities, or how to best measure this work,” said NZADDs spokesperson Jo Spratt.

New Zealand lags far behind the OECD member country average of 0.42% of gross national income on foreign aid. The government’s pitiful contribution is also out of step with the populace, who are generous when it comes to making donations from their own pockets.

All but six of the world’s most developed nations have set timeframes for increasing their overseas development aid levels to the 0.7 per cent target by 2015. New Zealand is one of the few that have not. This lack of foresight will result in more extreme starvation and increased impoverishment.

We should be outraged that National is only spending half as much as the OECD average on foreign aid, and is willing to cut that even further. Clearly the National Government is not listening to the many experts who have advocated for increasing foreign aid expenditure. They are also not listening to the good people of New Zealand.

“The poor did not ask to live in poverty, any more than we are responsible for living in affluence. The fact that we do is a blessing, and with it comes responsibilities,” Sir Edmund Hillary wrote in 2002.

29 comments on “National Contributes to Africa’s Misery”

  1. queenstfarmer 1

    With the unprecedented Christchurch earthquake disaster, I say well done to the Govt for showing fiscal restraint.

    • Rusty Shackleford 1.1

      Aid doesn’t really help in the long run. If we want to help them, we should be trading with them.

      • Maynard J 1.1.1

        Aid isn’t meant to help in the long run, apart from keeping people alive. Trading doesn’t really help in the long run at all. If we really want to help them we should dismantle the capitalist system that requires poverty somewhere to create wealth elsewhere. Western companies need tax havens and sheltered incomes to allow the Atlases their private jets and supercars. Decades of trade with Africa haven’t made a discernable difference. Aid is a short-term fix, trading under the current system is a long-term blight.

        • Gosman 1.1.1.1

          And of course the Soiet Union was a execellent example of how poverty was erradicated and people was able to achieve their maximum ability.

          • mik e 1.1.1.1.1

            yeah right what about Argentina when it put completely pure capitalism in place 1997 their economy collapsed.or we could go back to Russia before the totalitarian dictatorship theirs a balance between socialism and capitalism and countries who are pragmatic and democratic are where you will find less poverty and happier people. Knee jerk responses that are unresearched can only be called biggoted

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        Aid doesn’t really help in the long run. If we want to help them, we should be trading with them.

        Rusty is right.

        What we need is to find a place with no governmental control. Say like Somalia, but with diamonds.

        Then we can supply an ambitious local militia with weapons and money to grab and stay in power with the only condition being that we have free access to the diamonds (or gold, or oil, or little children, or whatever).

        You can get AK 47’s for less than US$50 on the open market. A couple of hundred of those and 50,000 rounds of 7.62 (cheap as chips) and you have the makings of a beautiful starting trade deal. As trade increases and business relationships build up, other light arms can be included as well as old Toyota pickups and other misc equipment.

        We’re happy, they’re happy. All good, exactly like free trade should be.

    • mik e 1.2

      82% of kiwis wouldn,t mind paying a little bit more tax to help our fellow kiwis in CHCH but no borrowing Bill English borrows heap more when the worlds finances are looking very shaky indeed.

  2. Peter Bains 2

    So what guys, feed your own first. I bet the leader of this tin pot country is a multi milliomaire, let him pay for aid.

    • Tangled up in blue 2.1

      feed your own first

      It’s the same people saying “feed your own first” that aren’t in fact, ‘feeding their own first’.

      I smell empty rhetoric.

  3. Anthony.blomfield 3

    Ok I have a responsibility to be angry now.

    Sorry NZ, lets lift our Game big Time. We can support Millions more hungry people. NOW.

    ••The least we can do is open the doors to 100,000 – 500,000 refugees.

    We live a life of luxury here and we can share it.
    We have ample food and land and water we can share lets make an entire city of poor people who can come and live of the land if they wish it would not cost the country much. A town say somewhere up North or near Hamilton where a million immigrants could establish a town and support themselves with a bit of help from us. I think it would be great for the country and actually help our economy also.

    • higherstandard 3.1

      Let’s not.

      • jackal 3.1.1

        New Zealand has a refugee obligation. Incorporating people into already established communities is preferable. What we need to do is increase our expenditure on foreign aid to at least the OECD average.

        What we don’t need is ministers of the crown saying they will not decrease foreign aid expenditure and then doing just that. What we don’t need is National replacing advisory committees with their supporters when they have no knowledge on what they’re advising.

        What we don’t need is John Key saying we will not look after refugees, even when they are not planning to come to New Zealand at all. Such politicking is somewhat similar to Act’s failed racial polarization. If we see Don and John in bed together, I’m joining the mass exodus.

        • higherstandard 3.1.1.1

          While Brash and Key in bed is the stuff of homoerotic nightmares, if that’s the price we have to pay for you to fuck right off out of the country it may be a price worth paying.

        • queenstfarmer 3.1.1.2

          What we need to do is increase our expenditure on foreign aid to at least the OECD average.
          No, we don’t.

          We can choose to, if we wish. But perhaps when we are recovering from NZ’s worst ever natural disaster, off the back of the worst recession for decades, is not the ideal time for largesse.

          • jackal 3.1.1.2.1

            Even if we double our contribution to the OECD member country average of 0.42% we are still well out of reach of the internationally agreed target for govt spending of 0.7% of gross national income by 2015. It’s not even 1%. If our economy and infrastructure was managed properly, we would have no trouble meeting obligations.

            • Gosman 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Foreign Aid is a joke. You just need to look at those countries that have constantly received the highest per capita aid for development purpose like Tanzania to see this. Sure short term aid to help with the effects of drought are beneficial in the short term but beyond this Aid causes more harm than good in many cases.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.2

            is not the ideal time for largesse.

            yes, because helping starving dying people is optional largesse, while buying a fleet of new 7 series limousines well optioned is appropriate 😈

  4. Terry 4

    We see words about our “moral duty”. In this respect the country is wanton, just as it is with compassion (concerning foreign aid, exactly as it is with compassion over boat people).

  5. Adders 5

    “Why is the National Government, that is meant to represent us, totally failing to do so in such a critical sector?”

    Answer, from the Horowhenua Mail 30 June 2011, on Bill English, addressing the Electra-Nature Coast business breakfast forum in Levin last month:

    ‘Food shortage is good news for the country [NZ], he said. “We’re good at [producing] it.” ’

    i.e. “The situation [malnutrition and starvation] . . . accentuated by high food prices” is good for business.

    • mik e 5.1

      Until we have a serious DROUGHT borrowing bill.south America and Africa are having serious weather catastrophies right now whats to say we aren,t going to have our own one.Especially as the sun is flaring at the moment combined with global warming!

  6. Hi Jackle,

    I don’t have time to double check the facts of the matter (so please feel free to correct me if my recollection is incorrect) but the state of our aid budget is not quite as you describe it.

    In this current financial year the aid budget actually increased from last financial year. Indeed the increase was more marked than expected (IIRC) because a bunch of multiyear allocations are set to come to their end this FYr and therefore need to be spent. The decrease in 2012/13 reflects that the multi-year allocations will have been spent by then meaning that the unusually high spend of the 2011/12 FYr will be out of the system. The aid spend in 2012/13 will still be higher than it was last FYr though, so it’s not really a cut per se.

    Aid spending is now being projected to increase more slowly under National than it did under the last Labour government. So in that sense National have been worse for aid.

    Above and beyond the value of the spend the main trouble with McCully is that he doesn’t know that much about aid while at the same time imagining that he does. He’s a very hard task master on his civil servants being derisive of their knowledge in the area and changing his mind a lot or being unclear in what he wants. This is likely why we’ve got a bulge in out multi-year aid allocations this FYr: because aid programme staffers have struggled to spend fully in previous FYr’s as they’ve dealt with unclear and untimely guidance from Minister M.

    He’s also been pretty awful to NZ NGOs.

    With regards to aid funding specifically devoted to Africa. It wouldn’t surprise me if it hasn’t gone down somewhat in absolute terms. A bi-product of the Minister’s desire to spend most of our aid in the Pacific.

    cheers

    Terence

    • jackal 6.1

      According to the OECD, National started to cut foreign aid as soon as they got into power.

      I agree that McCully is incompetent.

      • terence 6.1.1

        Same thing though: the cuts weren’t budget cuts. The money available to aid went up slightly in the budget. What it didn’t do was make it out the door of the aid programme in increased amounts. Why? My guess is that this would have something to do with the fact that McCully didn’t sign off the aid allocations (which provide reasonably high level guidance of how much aid should go where) until 6 months into the financial year. It’s hard to run an aid programme when your Minister proves unable to provide basic direction like this.

  7. Two objections have been made to New Zealand providing aid in this thread.

    1. It doesn’t work
    and
    2. Global poverty isn’t our problem as it’s all the bi-product of corrupt local leaders

    With regards to the aid doesn’t work argument, it is true that aid has not been able to transform globe’s poorest countries. It’s impacts haven’t been huge. But global aid flows have never been huge either. Just a few dollars per person per year. And tiny compared to other to global capital flows. The best empirical studies suggest that:

    * Aid probably has had a small (but positive) impact on economic growth in the typical aid recipient country (but that this impact varies from country to country).
    * Aid has likely had a notable positive impact (albeit not a massive one) on welfare more generally defined in developing countries (i.e health and education etc.)
    * Quality of aid matters. Particular aid programmes have had major successes, while others have faired very poorly.
    * Humanitarian aid (as opposed to development aid) which is what we’re talking about in the case of a famine in Africa does save lives. It never works perfectly (unsurprisingly disasters areas are hard places to work) but it does help.

    With regards to the “it’s not our problem” objection:

    First, whenever they’re surveyed the vast majority of New Zealanders believe it is our problem and support having an aid programme.

    Second, it is in part our problem because at least some of the issues experienced in the developing world today stem from the legacy of colonialism, and the institutions colonialism bequeathed to the countries it occupied.

    Also, corruption in poor countries is often facilitated by bribes paid by international firms. Something that we ought to shoulder at least some responsibility for.

    Terence

  8. jackal 8

    More evidence of McCully’s incompetence:

    Aid groups say criticism brings cuts to funding

    Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has been accused of acting vindictively towards overseas aid agencies which criticised his changes to the direction of the aid programme earlier this year.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    17 hours ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    2 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    2 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    2 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    2 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    2 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    2 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    3 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    3 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    3 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    3 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    4 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    4 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    5 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    5 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    5 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    7 days ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere