web analytics
The Standard

Networks of influence: Lobbyists

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, June 19th, 2013 - 22 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, democracy under attack, internet, Parliament, same old national, telecommunications, Unions - Tags: ,

The Speaker of Parliament has issued an updated lists of Lobbyists given a swipe pass into Parliament. As Audrey Young reports, this list has doubled in the last year.  This elite group of lobbyists gives a clue as to who is engaged with some elite networks of influence over political decision making and activities.  The group includes powerful corporate representatives, people with links to political parties (especially the National Party), dominant voices within the MSM and public relations.

For the “left” some trade union representatives get the elite swipe cards, providing a counter to the dominant “neoliberal” lobbyists.  This does not fully balance the list, in which “neoliberal” elites hold the balance of power.  More importantly, there is no one there on behalf of beneficiaries, the young and those disconnected, disengaged and marginalised from parliamentary politics. And over twice as many men as women (38:15).

Recent blog posts by Chris Trotter and Jane Kelsey point to the underlying networks of capitalist elites. They have long been operating to manage democracy in their own interests, most often deliberately masking the operations of their networks of influence.

Networks are perfectly suited to the digital context of multiple platforms and systems of immediate digital communications. Networks are much more powerful than rigidly managed, well-planned and organised conspiracies.  They are lines of communication and connection that include a range of overlapping and intersecting networks.  They enable those with power and influence to build relationships that can be drawn on at crucial moments.  Their biggest strength is that networks are flexible and adaptable: able to change with the unpredictable developments in the political, economic and social landscape.  It makes them very hard to counter.

For those of us wanting a more open democracy where the least powerful can also talk back to power, it is good that this list is now being made public, but as Green MP Holly Walker says,

If our parliament is really as open and accessible as everyone says, there should be no need for particular individuals to have swipe card access.

This list didn’t used to be public – former Speaker Lockwood Smith decided to disclose the list last year at the time that my lobbying disclosure bill passed its first reading in parliament.

It’s great for transparency’s sake that new Speaker David Carter has decided to continue with this disclosure, but it does again raise the question about why some people get privileged access to parliament and decision makers, and why we don’t have broader public disclosure of lobbying activity in New Zealand.

In her recent post on “What went wrong in Iceland”, Jane Kelsey point s to the way such networks of influence participated in the “neoliberal” revolution of the 1980s:

There are many unnerving commonalities for New Zealand in the background to the crisis, but that is a much longer story than can be written here. In particular, stories about how the intimate network of well placed businessmen and politicians reminded me of the 1980s, as well as recent back room deals, the way the executive is bypassing and binding the hands of future of Parliaments, and the scrutiny of parliamentary officials and judicial review is being removed. Iceland shows how easy it is for the conditions for crisis to be created through these networks and be shielded from public view until it is too late.

A recent post by Chris Trotter indicates that such networked elite influence have their roots in developments much earlier in the 20th century.  Trotter refers to Walter Lippmann, the US journalist and Presidential adviser, who (as outlined on Wikipedia) thought the masses were incapable of understanding and participating in democracy. He believed that “pictures in their heads”, as part of complex ideas condensed into symbols, prevented the masses from engaging in critical thinking. Thus journalists needed to mediate between the politicians and the public, in order to educate citizens who,

 were too self-centered to care about public policy except as pertaining to pressing local issues.

Lippmann saw the purpose of journalism as “intelligence work”. Within this role, journalists are a link between policymakers and the public. A journalist seeks facts from policymakers which he then transmits to citizens who form a public opinion. In this model, the information may be used to hold policymakers accountable to citizens.

Trotter refers to Lippmann’s theory and legacy in order to make sense of a small group of right wing Labour MPs accepting SkyCity corporate hospitality at an All Blacks match.

Under the modern democratic system which Lippmann envisaged (and which, through his weekly syndicated newspaper column and his many books, he largely defined and systematised) elected politicians, journalists and “specialists” of every kind constitute a permanent, self-sustaining matrix of governing “elites”, whose purpose is to justify the ways of the democratic capitalist system, both to itself and to the volatile and ill-informed citizens who keep it running.

However, Trotter also argues that digital communications (including social media) provide alternative networks through which a wider public can expose and critique the operations of elite networks. No wonder that powerful, US-dominated agencies have surveillance systems that aim to monitor and restrain these more publicly accessible networks.

Holly Walker’s post at the above link shows the 2012 list, plus the 2013 additions to the list of Parliamentary lobbyists.  Audrey Young’s article (linked above) adds:

Several other frequent visitors, such as political party presidents and officials, have also been issued cards, as have pollsters David Farrar, Curia Market Research and David Talbot of UMR Research. Two former members of the Press Gallery are approved, former TVNZ reporter Leigh Pearson and former TV3 reporter Scott Campbell.

The full current list if the Speaker’s Approved Visitor List to Parliament, is available on the parliament website.

[UPDATE] Bunji provides important examples of the ways some lobbyists, with previous connections to John Key and Steven Joyce, seem to be benefiting from the system (citing an NRT post) : relating to lobbyists for Air NZ, Anadarko & Fonterra.

22 comments on “Networks of influence: Lobbyists”

  1. Bunji 1

    Excellent – I’ve been meaning to post on this, glad you have!

    particularly concerning is this:

    Three former ministerial advisers are among those give easy-access cards in the past year: Air New Zealand’s Phil de Joux, who used to be John Key’s deputy chief of staff; Anadarko’s Anita Ferguson, who was Steven Joyce’s press secretary, and Fonterra’s Nicola Willis, who was an adviser and speech-writer for Mr Key.

    As NoRightTurn says “All three of these people are leveraging relationships built in government service for private gain … and raises the question of whether the advice they gave in their previous position was affected by their desire to gain outside employment”

    And if you look at Anadarko’s special no protest at sea bill, or even the strong support for government funded irrigation for dairy farmers, questions have to be raised.

    Other countries have proper registers of lobbyists (and their gifts), and you aren’t allowed to be a lobbyist for a period after being a public servant / politician. It seems right to have that wall in place.

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks, Bunji. Yes, those are important examples of how the Lobbyists operate. I should have linked to those egs, especially NRT’s post in my post. Will link to your commen.

      I was aiming to add a slightly different angle to the issue from the likes of NRT.

  2. felix 2

    Why shouldn’t the neoliberal corporate elites have unfettered access to the government?

    They bought and paid for it after all.

    • tracey 2.1

      Yup, user pays

    • Winston Smith 2.2

      so how about leftie lobbyists or don’t they count?

      • karol 2.2.1

        WS, did you read the post on the overall balance of lobbyists?

        • Winston Smith 2.2.1.1

          Yes, it was so biased and one-eyed towards right-leaning lobbyists that I wondered why even mention the left-leaning lobbyists

          Lobbyists, whether they’re left or right are a blight on the system but the left don’t like the right-wing lobbyists because the right-wing lobbyists are so much better then the left

          • felix 2.2.1.1.1

            “Yes, it was so biased and one-eyed towards right-leaning lobbyists that I wondered why even mention the left-leaning lobbyists”

            As is the reality of the situation.

          • karol 2.2.1.1.2

            Because I was focusing on the make up of the list as it is. And because, even though the neoliberals have done their best to undermine them, it shows there is still some power in a union.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    The problem for the left is that their ‘networks’ are really just echo-chambers filled with negative energy and rage. Which is why the are always on the losing end.

  4. Ad 4

    It would be worse to form policy about the economy without input from those who represent actors in the economy. Ministers make far too many ignorant decisions already – we need real access not less.

    Remember Helen Clark had to put much of her caucus through a major business charm exercise in her first term because they managed to get so far offside with them.

    She also formed the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board comprising some of New Zealand’s most powerful CE’s for direct advice on policy matters. They met monthly with substantial agendas, with senior Ministers. One of them was the head of the trade unions.

    Does it make any difference to the argument if the “lobbyists” are private or just in-house corporate affairs? If so why?

    While we don’t have to have as many courtiers as the Sun King, political governance in this country is so centralised, and after the sustained gutting of local government so narrow, that getting your face into Ministers and Deputy Secretaries is critical for doing business in this country.

    These vast networks are only a bad thing if you are either not in them or not able to work them. Otherwise they are utterly necessary.

    • karol 4.1

      Remember Helen Clark had to put much of her caucus through a major business charm exercise in her first term because they managed to get so far offside with them

      Right there you touch on the main problem, Ad. This was the result of the corporates having so much power, the Labour Party courted them at the expense of the traditional Labour Party constituency.

      What part of democracy do you not understand? And why do you have so much faith that the business elites are acting in the interests of all?

      We all operate within networks. Some provide more access to elite power than others.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        What I have seen of democracy is so many sham and cynical efforts at consultation that it is hardly surprising that people seek to circumvent public routes. Consider the cultural of consultation engendered through the original RMA and and 1989 Local Government reforms. Anyone disagree here?

        We were all sold a culture of communitarial decision-making. The sum total of it was that it left anyone trying to oppose anything even more burnt out and damanged than they would have been without the whole reform mess.

        Same in Select Committees. These are now a joke in which groups take the time and expese to fly in from all over the coutnry to try and make changes to stupid legislation, which are almost universally ignored, their public forum grandstanded over by the self-serving politicians, their dignity shredded in front of tv news cameras for all to see.

        So New Zealanders understand the version of democracy operating in New Zealand very well indeed.

        Other than business, the best lobbyists in this last two terms of government have been Maori seeking redress from Treaty of Waitangi violations.

        So cheers Karol your joyous ideals about democracy straight out of the West Wing bear no relation to New Zealand reality.

        If you don’t like the access that Sky City or Fonterra can get, go and knock on the door of Tanui or Ngati Whatua or Tuhoe. Figure it out.

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          Show me evidence that the RMA is as bad as you say. It is flawed. Does that mean it should be made weaker so that it can serve the elites more adequately?

          Show me evidence that the government’s abuse of consultation works better for all Kiwis than select committee processes as originally intended.

          I am saying we are a long way from a real democracy. But this government is making things far worse.

          So, you’re saying, because we have a flawed democracy we should just give up and let the elites organisie things the way they want?

          • Ad 4.1.1.1.1

            The intention of either the Local Government reforms, or RMA reforms, or the Select Committee reforms, is utterly irrelevant. If someone wants to reform them all and turn the entire ship of state to rights, go for it.

            Meantime, we’ve had this situation since 1989. That’s a generation: 24 years. Sunlight is always touted as the best disinfectant, but in fact public exposure is only best for public humiliation by media – with politicians using them as blood-seeking dogs.

            If you want to engage politicians and change their minds, since you seem incapable of taking hints, you will need at least one of these:

            – Have something they want. Either power, or your own network of influence, or a really solid media lead from a tv station, or campaign funding, or rarely, stunning research-based policy ideas that will crush all others.

            – Have a track record of trust with them, preferably personally. Deep and over a long time.

            Failing that;
            – Have a credible threat. Be able to block the roads with trucks, march on parliament in the thousands, pull cheques. Own a barrel of ink.

    • tracey 4.2

      Key cld never be accused of putting his caucus through an employee charm.

  5. fambo 5

    And then there are the simple phone calls – no swipe card needed.

  6. Huginn 6

    Hi Karol

    Sorry about the tangential relationship to the topic, but I thought you might be interested in this, from Turkey:

    In an emergency ruling, an Ankara court issued on Saturday a blanket ban on media reports covering claims that Turkey’s intelligence agency was sanctioned to troll massive amount of Turkish citizens’ personal data, including children’s school report cards.

    http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=318449

  7. unicus 7

    If “Information is the currency of democracy” (Thomas Jefferson ) Key’s gang is clearly skint

  8. MC 8

    It is indeed deeply concerning to see this government so blatantly favouring their friends – largely male, white anglo-saxons I could add – rather than opening the door to some very prominent people. I can think of one who regularly has her views sought by major daily newspapers, and who is sought out by Ambassadors and High Commissioners who is not on this list.

  9. Matthew Hooton 9

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think these cards are “swipe cards”. I think they just give you the same access as senior officials – that you show them to the receptionist and get let through to the public areas without having to sign in. And, if you have a client with you, you still have to get the client signed in. When my former boss Lockwood Smith became Speaker, I asked for one and he approved it, but I never got round to picking it up because it never seemed important enough. So I think the main benefit of these cards, and the publicity given to them, is that people get to use them to promote themselves to their clients (if a consultant) or to their employers (if an employee).

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere