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Nats hollow excuses on poverty

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, August 30th, 2012 - 90 comments
Categories: jobs, poverty - Tags:

National has a line on child poverty to allow them to oppose actually doing anything: ‘Jobs! Jobs are the solution to poverty, not more assistance for poor kids. National is about jobs, not handouts! And we’ll get more jobs with mining!’ But their record doesn’t match the rhetoric … There are 65,000 more unemployed under National and hundreds of mining jobs are being lost.

90 comments on “Nats hollow excuses on poverty”

  1. Tracey 1

    “OOOPS, mining isnt the job Panacea, Steven, let’s get some oil rigs in here”

    • Bill 1.1

      Or mine the ore and ship it abroad via a multi-billion road network and casualised ports, where the ore can be extracted and oil rigs fabricated and delivered back via the same casualised ports and multi billion dollar road network…into private hands of course. Who can import their own skilled up labour to operate the things and export any resulting resources and monies back over the horizon again. Thousands of jobs will thus be created, as NZ has an abundance of over-qualified ticket clipping parking attendants whose ticket clipping skills could surely be utilised in such a brave, new and innovative NZ.

    • David H 1.2

      but how many rigs would you need to hire just 10% of the unemployed? How many people work on a rig???

      • Tracey 1.2.1

        Suddenly windfarms wouldnt look so “visually offensive”

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          We can feed the world, its a distribution problem that means billions move in and out of starvation. Clearly neo-liberalist concerned solely on the delivering the supply side (and so
          dictating demand by cheapening limited resources and undervaluing oil) is not working.
          Its a total game, build sprawl, push demand up for oil, exploit even more expensive
          hard to get oil, create more pollution, less sustainability, and not even deliver on the
          basics of health, poverty abatement, even feeding the world. We know sparwl is
          expensive, oil is best left in the ground, and the world needs food certainty, yet we
          continue to have this dig it, sell it cheap, activity for activity sake economy.

  2. Poission 2

    The only responsive industry that can increase wealth for NZ at present ( read jobs) is the agriculture sector in the short term.

    The formidable constraint is the exchange rate,mostly fueled by the cash and carry trade,and the AK property bubble.

    Agriculture and its downstream industries situated in the heartland,do not have the transport or high cost housing problems that are driving the asymmetry in the NZ economy (wish lists) and have readily available underutilized capacity.

    The overemphasis on the so called high value jobs in both training and education have led to the increased disparity in wealth distribution.

    The schools,hospitals all still exist in the provinces as do ports,railheads etc,as do the infrastructure support services such as small engineering.

    Grow the heartland and it will feed the economy,

    • mike e 2.1

      poison agriculture is on a downward slide

      • Poission 2.1.1

        Dairy is up on volume and slightly on price in july (being a record value in 2011-2012

        Meats down on value ,average on volume,

        Fruits up on value as is wine.

        Logs up on volume down in value.

        The values are sensitive to the exchange rate.

        • mike e 2.1.1.1

          poison no one wants to live in isolated rural hick towns wages are are poor employment conditions are poor workers are forced to work long hours with no pay for ovetime.
          Until a real leap foward in adding value to these products.
          Farmers will just carry on taking advantage of workers who are isolated under paid and abused in ther work place.
          read bellow!

          • Poission 2.1.1.1.1

            A 10% decrease in the exchange rate would inject 5 billion into the NZ economy.The increased profits would increase the job supply,reduce debt and increase import substitution.

            The positive feedbacks would then entrain ( modelock) the economy in a sustainable system

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The increased profits would increase the job supply,reduce debt and increase import substitution.

              No, they won’t. In fact, they’re likely to do the exact opposite.

              The positive feedbacks would then entrain ( modelock) the economy in a sustainable system

              Yeah, that’s what we’ve been told for the last century or so – hasn’t happened yet.

              Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

            • mike e 2.1.1.1.1.2

              poison the price of fuel, fertilizer other inputs will undo your dream. before it starts.
              A giant leap forward is required and with national fucking up research by cutting and partially reinstating 3 years later it has undone years of good research .
              ie wool research at Lincoln university was completely undermined by National. South Africa Snapped up these researchers a developing country smart investment.
              National Dumb And Dumber.

    • rosy 2.2

      I heard there were a few jobs going in Christchurch, but instead of training people up, they imported them (bar 25, or something).

  3. tc 3

    Hollow excuses from the Hollowmen.

  4. Carol 4

    I was quite disgusted at the use of the term bleeding hearts used by one or two Nat speakers in the general debate yesterday to describe people who wanted something done about child poverty.

    Part of the Orwelian NAct universe where people who care about others and want a relatively even and secure playing field for all children are denigrated.

    http://hubpages.com/u/25200_f260.jpg

    http://theintelhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/2011-09-30_2323.png

    • Dr Terry 4.1

      Carol. Unfortunately such a phrase from the National Government is no surprise, only to be expected.
      That is how low they stoop. People who use such words are themselves in poverty, that is, poverty of sensitivity, ethic, spirit, and soul. They are the most damnable human beings in existence.

      • mike 4.1.1

        “Help us NAct spin doctors, this child poverty report doesn’t look good what can we do?”
        Bleeding hearts
        “Yep. That’s good. That’ll work.”

        The word is sociopath.

    • Roy 4.2

      Some of us take ‘bleeding heart’ as a compliment. Hearts are supposed to have blood in them, after all. Better a bleeding heart than a heart of stone, or no heart at all.

    • Tracey 4.3

      Yes, fancy wanting to help folks like this?

      ” Living in one of the poorest parts of Porirua, Mrs Masoe and her husband are both cleaners earning just above the minimum wage at $13.85 an hour, supporting their youngest son in his final year of high school and four grandchildren under 5.

      The family does not own a refrigerator because the electricity bill to run it would be too expensive.

      Lunch has been laid out on the table: sandwiches of white bread stuffed with cold tinned spaghetti and meat balls. She feeds the entire family of seven on just over $3 a day per person.

      Their pay-as-you-go power account often runs out before the next pay day rolls around, so they have no choice but to spend a day without any electricity.

      Mrs Masoe, 52, begins to cry as she speaks about how she cleans up other people’s vomit and scrubs human waste from toilet bowls for her meagre living.

      She spends her weekends working two 12-hour shifts. “:

      • Carol 4.3.1

        Ah, but Chancellor Gerry explained it all on behalf of the PM today. His Lordship Gerry praised the family for being so hard working and working hard to improve their lives. He said it was unfortunate for them that they had been picked up by unscrupulous politicians like Turei, who were just using the family for political ends. He also said that Turei would be better to give the family advice on how they can supplement their family with the government’s generous benefits.

        See, there’s always a perfectly good explanation. No family in NZ need be in poverty.

        PS: I think the family in question is the one Micky refers to below.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2

        Just work hard we’re told and you to can be rich. It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.

        As I was told when in Amway, working hard will never make you rich, to become rich you need to have lots of other people working for you. In other words, to become rich you need to be a ticket clipper. There is no other way and those having their ticket clipped, like those cleaners, are always poor.

        • TheContrarian 4.3.2.1

          “It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.”

          Not quite a lie. I came from a once middle class broken family (which made things financially difficult), flunked out of school and worked in hospitality until I decided to do something else
          I worked damned hard and am now relatively comfortable with a pretty good future ahead of me if I keep it up.

          Doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t call it a lie. 

          • Carol 4.3.2.1.1

            Statistics I saw a while back in the UK showed that children of mothers who had been middle-class, but dropped down the socioeconomic ladder, were most likely to rise from the lower class/es to the middle-class.

            I guess it has a lot to do with cultural capital, and/or personal connections and/or knowing how to work with the system, and/or having the support at home and know-how re-being successful in the education system.

            But I think, with fewer jobs around these days, it maybe harder for even those once-were-middle-class children.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.1.2

            Thing is, it doesn’t work for the majority. It also doesn’t apply to the top ~1% who don’t have to work at all having inherited their wealth. A few people might make it through but they’re a distinct minority.

            • TheContrarian 4.3.2.1.2.1

              “Thing is, it doesn’t work for the majority.”

               That isn’t necessarily true either – when NZ did have a robust middle class working hard still got you somewhere. maybe not is much anymore, but a good work ethic and some ambition can work to ones advantage. If I hadn’t have worked to get where I am today I know I wouldn’t be as happy and comfortable as I am today.
              McFlock once tried to convince me it was all done to luck but if I had sat around and waited for luck I wouldn’t be the successful person I am now.

              Besides which, what is the better lesson to teach “Work hard for what you want” or “don’t bother because it’s a lie”?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I’m not that keen on prying into poster’s backgrounds, TC, but seeing as you raised it, just how comfortable are you? I seem to recall from an earlier comment of yours that you have no significant assets and that you rent your home. If that is the case, then you are just like the majority; only a payday or two away from financial catastrophe.

                • “no significant assets and that you rent your home.  If that is the case, then you are just like the majority; only a payday or two away from financial catastrophe.”

                  While I have no house or car I have no debt – absolutely no debt, credit card, HP’s, loans, nothing.
                  My wife and I have significant savings and if either one of us lost our job for whatever reason there wouldn’t be cause for concern.
                  Plus I have youth and am on a great career path.
                  My wife and I could buy house tomorrow if we wanted but we are happy where we are.

                  It isn’t luck that we decided to save and pay off debt instead of buying assets like a house or car. It was a lifestyle choice which has paid off fortunately.

                  But it take many years of living hand to mouth to get here and there were several instances where I nearly collapsed financially.
                   

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Cheers, and good luck to you and your missus. If you genuinely have a few hundred grand in the bank, then, yes, that would be my definition of comfortable. Still not sure how paying money to a landlord fits in with your ‘no debt’ philosophy. Surely the rent is a debt you’d be better off without?

                    • Yes we are comfortable but once a house has been bought and child is on the way the savings will be eaten up rather quickly! As I said it is lifestyle decision that paid off.

                      As to rent, well that’s a cost of living and a lifestyle choice as opposed to a debt as far as I see it. And unlike a debt it is something I could stop paying at anytime of my choosing by moving out.
                      I also get something from it, it pays the rates and maintenance. My rent is actually really really cheap for where I live. My landlord is a very lovely person who wants someone to take care of the place while she is overseas as opposed to being in it for profit.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Any financial advisor will tell you that you do not sink a huge sum of capital and get into major debt to purchase a house to live in, if financial advantage is your main goal. You go ahead and do it for family and emotional reasons.

                    • I have a good adviser who has given us many things to think about.

                      I am trying not to rush into anything. I take personal finance seriously. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not more seriously than I.

              • fnjckg

                “work hard etc..” Reformation distortion

              • McFlock

                Touched you remember.
                   
                Pity your recollection is warped – I never suggested your success was all down to luck, just that a major part of anyone’s success is due to luck.
                      
                Which only the most obtuse egotist would disagree with.
                 

          • felix 4.3.2.1.3

            “Doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t call it a lie. “

            Ah but the lie is that it does apply to everyone, which is absurd as soon as you look beyond any individual case.

            • McFlock 4.3.2.1.3.1

              Actually, I’d say that any individual case shows the effect of luck, if you look closely. Whether the individual recognises this, on the other hand, is a different matter.

        • Plastic Tolstoy 4.3.2.2

          “Just work hard we’re told and you to can be rich. It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.”

          I’ve often wondered if people who use that line really do believe that the person working three jobs just to make ends meet simply isn’t working hard enough. I came to the conclusion that a lot of very wealthy people must have a different definition of “hard work” than what it means to most of us.

          I’ve also often wondered if those same people touting that line have any idea about ecology, as they seem to believe there are enough natural resources in existence that everyone could get as rich as them if they just worked hard enough. They just can’t seem to comprehend that their gain will almost always be someone else’s loss.

  5. If you want to read something really chilling this Stuff article describes a typical week for Peniata Endermann who not only attends school full time but works 25 hours a week as a cleaner to keep his family afloat.  His mother and him both work as cleaners to provide for his three siblings.

    And if you want to read something really disgusting then have a look at the comments.  There is an overwhelming stench of beneficiary bashing amongst the comments and a clear sense that they see themselves as superiors over the less fortunate amongst us.  Paula Bennett would be proud.

    • just saying 5.1

      Some people I know in the faux-food franchises bizz (in low socio-economic areas) tell me that the young people who work for them always ask when there is a (rare and meagre) payrise be given the extra in cash because their entire paypackets go toward supporting their families, and they wish for a little pocket-money for themselves.

    • Roy 5.2

      I am particularly contemptuous of the commenters who say “Oh well I did the same thing when I was a teenager!” What is it with some people that if they had a rough time they think everyone else should suffer as they did? The same ugly thinking comes to the fore when there is any talk of increasing maternity leave, a whole lot of mean older women start saying “I didn’t have maternity leave when I had my kids so why should they?”

      • bbfloyd 5.2.1

        Are these the generation of women who had their families before it became impossible to raise a family on one income adequately?

        • Roy 5.2.1.1

          Probably!

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            Those who set themselves up through the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s had the opportunity to do so in a NZ very different to now, during times of constant economic growth and energy availability.

      • Carol 5.2.2

        Kind of similar to the the proxy minister’s response to the question as to whether Paula Benefit had asked her cleaner what it was like living on the minimum wage. The reply was that Ms Benefit had been a single mother on a low income and and knew what it was like.

    • tc 5.3

      ‘There is an overwhelming stench of beneficiary bashing amongst the comments and a clear sense that they see themselves as superiors over the less fortunate amongst us.’

      It is Stuff mickey, just another NACT friendly MSM outlet under direction of it’s masters, ensuring the bene bashing tone is maintained. Fairfax is stuffed (probably in no small part to amounts paid by capt kirk for TradeMe) and under siege to become a formal voice of big business, Gine reinhart styles.

      Love the pinup picture in Stuff of Kaye on the alcohol bill piece when it probably should be the memorial notice for that Kings College student who drank himself to death…bias , move along people.

    • Tracey 5.4

      bloody bleeding hearts

  6. Mr Burns 6

    When are you $ocialists going to realise that the wealthy do not give a damn about poverty. The only thing the right is interested in is making sure that enough ordinary voters are fooled into supporting the right even though it is against their interests. If the right campaigned honestly they would never win an election and then where would the world be?
     
    It would resemble Sweeden with all of its fancy ideas of universal health and social welfare benefits. The place would be an absolute mess.

  7. Dr Terry 7

    Mr Burns, in a strange kind of way, I think you make a point here. What I question is your scoffing at Sweden on account of universal health and social welfare benefits, describing something highly desirable as “fancy ideas” (which appears to put you in company of people like Brownlie and co). Are these only “ideas”, or are they actualities?

  8. kiwi_prometheus 8

    Well another mine is retrenching. The workers will probably head to Aussie – though things are on the turn there as well – iron ore price is a massive bubble, China’s stratopheric gdp phase is over.

    So no chance of mining saving the country any more than gay ‘marriage’.

  9. Roy 9

    Child poverty solved by mining? So they are going to send the kids down the mines? It has been done before…

  10. What did you expect?

    They are the hollow men.

  11. Olwyn 11

    The difficulty with addressing poverty is that our system actively demands it. We are effectively a vassal state in which wealth is not produced beyond farming, but is instead sucked upwards and and outwards. The rich get to clip the tickets of the infrastructure as it disappears, and the middle class get to manage the wealth outflow, along with the chance to cling to overpriced domestic property. While the poor subsist on resources that are seen as a cost to the rest, to be kept as low as possible.

    Given our lack of industry, the middle class hate the poor because under the circumstances, to take the poor seriously is to risk ceasing to be middle class. Then there are people like tradies, who are traditionally middle class but can no longer rely on getting a foothold in that group, who feel the need to blame someone.

    That is why I put this question to Labour on Open Mike, 27/08/12: “If push comes to shove, how far are you willing to go to defend your constituency against the system? Are you willing to employ your imagination, you wiles and your courage on behalf of ordinary people? Or are you more likely to employ PR people so as to get away with shafting them on the system’s behalf?” There is no point in putting such a question to National. They are incapable of hearing it, let alone answering it.

    • Bored 11.1

      Olwyn, your last paragraph sums the whole thing up vis a vis Labour. The whole issue is systemic.

      On a personal basis I have managed corporate operations (it is a bit like a form of schizophrenia being part of something that you fundamentally disagree with, however there were children to house, clothe, feed). I now manage smaller concerns but the same issue occurs. I have people asking for pay rises, the market is deeply in recession and the ledger running very close to the wind. Some roles will get retrenched, there is no money for rises. The bosses / owners make cash out of profit, there is little of that so nothing to glean there. In my experience business owners are not scrooges per se, they don’t like hungry children anymore than joe average (note the schools doing breakfasts get major support from local businesses). And prices for all go up.

      So the scenario is a deeply squeezed small business community, costs at home rising rapidly whilst income is static and falling. People can only cut back so far, then they are forced to make choices: who goes hungry?

      The system is so close to insolvent that it has to be considered cancerous at best…I note however that death notices for capitalism are somewhat premature (much as we would like to attend the funeral), it has some resilience that expresses itself in the form of hungry children.

      As I have said the Labour guiding principles if stuck to form a good framework, what is lacking is any stated direction to address the mess. And that is because labour like National are committed to resuscitation of the current mess rather than posing a viable alternative that starts by feeding the children first.

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        The small business owners I know wrestle with the possibility of laying off workers and do everything they can to avoid it. To be frank I believe the problem is in the bigger, more faceless businesses where everything is driven by shareholder (read dividend) demand and justification and rationalisation of unethical behaviour is rife. I include banking in this.

    • Tracey 11.2

      Olwyn – I believe one of Labour’s fundamental problems is that they believe everyone in the “middle” who they seem to want to pander to, are self interested, self absorbed money-hungry idiots. They’r e not. Some of them actually want to live in a society where children are safe and fed and sheltered at night… bene bashing, faux law and order etc etc is just grist to the mill…

  12. Olwyn 12

    Bored and Tracey: I am not blaming anyone for responding to their own needs, nor am I claiming that the people in the middle are defined by the exasperations that some of them have. I am saying that you cannot really make a dent in poverty without tackling the system that produces it. And it can probably be tackled to a limited degree. However you can choose your targets carefully and put up a fight. You can see what needs to be done and do it, rather than meekly do what you are told.

    The British Empire run into difficulties when they put a mixture of lard and beef tallow on bullets, and then expected Muslim and Hindu soldiers to bite them. They found it unthinkable to bite those bullets, despite the great empire’s assumptions. When we are able to defend our core values with similar conviction, then maybe we can make the system accommodate us to some extent, including our desire not to have hungry children in damp, crowded, insecure housing. The squeeze will go on until we say “enough.”

    • Bored 12.1

      Olwyn, I am saying that you cannot really make a dent in poverty without tackling the system that produces it. And it can probably be tackled to a limited degree. 100% correct.

      Cant fault the diagnosis, my problem is what to replace it with, have been reading Schumacker (Small Is Beautiful) for some inspiration on solid state economics (i.e resource constrained and non growth orientated). Its going to happen and it needs Labour to embrace (if they dont they will be a totally historic irrelevance). In between times we find a way to feed the children first. Top priority.

      • Olwyn 12.1.1

        If I have read Small is Beautiful, it is a long time ago. But I agree with you as to feeding the children first. We need to have such priorities, and structure things, or pressure existing structures, with a view to actually achieving them. We presently seem to treat obedience to international financial structures as necessary and the viability of our people contingent, which we need to reverse. While I do not think we can ignore international financial structures, we can have our own set of “musts” to bring to the table, as opposed slavish obedience in exchange for career opportunities for those at the top.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        A resource based, democratic economy is the only option but one that both Labour and National will oppose as it goes against the economic theory that they believe.

  13. Fortran 13

    I have just heard that BHP has shelved a multi billion dollar operation in South Australia, and other projects elsewhere, and it was been suggested that anybody from New Zealand being tempted (forced) to got to Australia may find short pickings.
    In recent days the mining boom of Australia has come to a sudden halt – this was however predicted some time ago, but not expected so suddenly.
    BHP say they are looking for cheaper labour in the SE Asia mining facilities there. There appear to be many countries worthy of new exploration in mining eg Myanmar (Burma) was mentioned.

  14. captain hook 14

    hey bugger the kids.
    we need highways of national significance so we can drive around looking at nothing.

    • starlight 14.1

      I agree with you,its incredible that $14 billion is going to be spent on roads
      when the books are climbing to 72b in debt,children are living in poverty and
      the nacts use the gfc and ch ch to mask their economic incompetence,they
      have turfed people out of jobs and that continues,then legislate drug testing
      for beneficiaries,at least the nact supporters will have another chardonnay
      and salmon on a cracker while they click their glasses together with glee
      at nacts actions,while in the real nz, children suffer because the top 20%
      are the ‘prefered’ section of the community.
      At least labour has a ‘planet’ the nacts have a space craft and are still
      searching for a resting place.

  15. tracey 15

    Olwyn, i was agreeing with your post

    • Olwyn 15.1

      Sorry Tracey: I did not mean to sound combative, but I thought I may have given the impression that I was decrying the middle class in my previous post, and wanted to make it clear that I was not.

      • Bored 15.1.1

        Lots of us might get categorised as “middle class” now…most of us did not come from there (much as we might pretend otherwise). As they say about the wonderful Rachel Hunter, you can take the girl out of Glenfield but you cant take …etc. There is something comforting in being aware of your origins.

        • tracey 15.1.1.1

          I am not attacking the middle class i am attacking the tactic of pandering to a stereotype of the middle class

          • Olwyn 15.1.1.1.1

            Yes I got that and I agree with you. The roof painter was a classic example of pandering to prejudices that are attributed to the “struggling middle class” stereo type.

  16. tracey 16

    I chuckle at slater going to town on the lie of the roofer while bennett and others constantly create strawmen

  17. xtasy 17

    Poverty in NZ is pre programmed and WANTED! There is NO doubt about it, because any country that has the level of natural resources as NZ has, that has an abundance of milk, dairy products, meat, cereals, vegetables and fruit grown locally, that has NO excuse to have 20 or more per cent of children live in poverty. NZ is on a lying and losing streak, that is the truth. What we have is the bloody result of corporate decisions, and that involves the dairy giant Fonterra, same as the Turners and Growers and others.

    They are all focussed to export, and they admittedly have a struggle ahead to beat the high currency level, but they still manage.

    Now how can a country, rich in dairy, sundry food production allow that about a fifth of children, and I dare say, also adults, to live in poverty, especially food poverty?

    It is a human CRIME. It is disgusting as such, and I would expect a bit more from MPs I expect more of. But it is NOT happening. We have tit for tat little battles in Parliament every day. What about the personalities to take to heart what really matters to people? I see NONE, which includes ALL parties. So maybe the Standard thinks things will change, I cannot see it, keep me informed, thanks.

    • Roy 17.1

      I agree that poverty is pre-programmed and wanted, so that people will accept jobs with rotten pay and rotten working conditions. Teenagers too exhausted from work to learn at school are also wanted, because it is easier to deceive the ill-educated.

  18. xtasy 18

    Not only the Nats have excuses, so did Labour for years and employed a “Principal Advisor” to WiNZ thinking this:

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments too – June 2012.pdf

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Dr+David+Bratt+ppt&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CE0QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rgpn.org.nz%2FNetwork%2Fmedia%2Fdocuments%2FConference2011%2FD-Bratt.ppt&ei=pOMqUNyqF–QiQee4oGgBQ&usg=AFQjCNFEdYN_dDW9BAZvZo_cQpC2rFyelg&cad=rja

    Poverty is based on “benefit dependency”, right? Or is it “benefit dependency” that is the same as “drug dependency”? I think something along the lines goes his argument.

    Anyway, it is all fine, all right, we are in good hands, our leader is looking after us, hail our leader , blessed be him – so Hone Key, we love ya, we are there for ja, and we will follow thee unto death! Hail!

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    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    6 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    6 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    6 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    6 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    6 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    6 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    7 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    7 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    7 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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 –… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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’… ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks ago

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