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New Zealand – unequal and rising

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, December 7th, 2011 - 62 comments
Categories: equality - Tags: , ,

The OECD has a report out – Divided We Stand – about the widening gap between rich and poor across the western world.

Launching the report in Paris, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said “The social contract is starting to unravel in many countries. This study dispels the assumptions that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that greater inequality fosters greater social mobility. Without a comprehensive strategy for inclusive growth, inequality will continue to rise.”

New Zealand stands out: we have the greatest increase in inequality between 1985 and 2008 from a GINI index of 0.27 to 0.33.  This despite inequality declining (slowly) between 2000 and 2008 under the Clark government (our GINI index peaked at 0.34 in 2000).

There are 3 main reasons for growing inequality according to the OECD, and the first two are certainly reflected here – benefits have been slashed, both in amount and in entitlement; and there have been massive tax cuts for the rich.

The third factor was massive increases in income for the most wealthy – there is now a 9:1 ratio between what the richest 10% and the poorest 10% earn across the OECD – 10:1 in New Zealand.  In 1985 this was 6:1 in Aotearoa.

Quite how we’ve done under Key is unclear: obviously there have been more large tax cuts for the rich, but the wealthy have also had a significant decrease in income with the Great Recession, and benefits haven’t been slashed – yet.

At any rate there is significant work to be done to ensure a fair New Zealand where we all get a slice of the wealth.

“There is nothing inevitable about high and growing inequalities,” said Mr Gurría. “Our report clearly indicates that upskilling of the workforce is by far the most powerful instrument to counter rising income inequality. The investment in people must begin in early childhood and be followed through into formal education and work.”

The OECD underlines the need for governments to review their tax systems to ensure that wealthier individuals contribute their fair share of the tax burden. This can be achieved by raising marginal tax rates on the rich but also improving tax compliance, eliminating tax deductions, and reassessing the role of taxes in all forms of property and wealth, the report says.

A higher top tax-rate for the top 2%, increasing compliance and a Capital Gains Tax, along with heavier investment in Early Childhood Education would seem to be pretty much along OECD guidelines then.  Fancy some used Labour policy Mr Key?

[Edit: Since I wrote this last night The Herald and Morning Report have gone big on this – I’ve been scooped!]

62 comments on “New Zealand – unequal and rising”

  1. Yeah, my north of 50 bucks went south for winter and hasn’t returned.

  2. Vivienne 2

    This is not new.

    Reading ‘The Spirit Level’ by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, in 2009, gives excellent explanation.

    As John Key and his side kick John Banks drive futher into the failed theories of the Chicago School of Economics the divide between those with too much money and those with a pitance will stretch further.

    Gives them someone to whip when it fails, of course.

    Labour needs to speak with those in the group of 1 million who did not vote and find out why.

    When the government changes in 2012 drastic moves will have to occur in the face of what will result from the current crop of repeated idealologues

    • Bunji 2.1

      What’s new is the OECD joining the IMF and pushing against inequality instead of their previous neo-liberal prescriptions. The world is waking up that theories of enrich the rich and everyone will be great don’t work. Why aren’t National?

      Even the Conservatives in Britain had in their 2010 campaign promises to reduce inequality…

      • Afewknowthetruth 2.1.1

        Bunji

        ‘Even the Conservatives in Britain had in their 2010 campaign promises to reduce inequality’

        You should know by now it’s all Orwellian.

        Macaroon and company also promised to be the ‘greenest government ever’

        Just look at what they’ve actually done.

      • Spratwax 2.1.2

        National aren’t waking up because a core of wealthy elite in NZ have a huge influence on National

        party policy and there is currently a race to ‘lock in’ their positions at the top for their future

        generations (not just in NZ either). Best way to do this is secure resources (Public Assets) and get

        systems in place (Charter schools, wipe out unions, cheap labour, no welfare), all at the expense

        of the plebs, before the pack of cards comes tumbling down. Expect to see more use of the Police

        to protect these systems and legislation to enforce this protection.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1

          +1

          The actions of the National Government over the last three years have been solely to protect and enhance the position of the already rich while also disenfranchising the poor.

  3. Blue 3

    Rising inequality can’t be that bad. NZ has just voted to increase it further over the next three years.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      Yeah how smart are we? Not very sadly.

    • uke 3.2

      It’s class war, just one side doesn’t know it, shoots itself in the foot, and then hands the gun to the other side.

      • Jimmy 3.2.1

        I do believe one side didn’t even bother turning up…

        • uke 3.2.1.1

          Increasingly, I get the sense that most NZers actually don’t care much about their country’s sovereignty. They aren’t really that patriotic – except in matters of sport – and seem quite willing to trade away public ownership and power over their society and economy for consumer baubles and pie-in-the-sky “aspirations”.
           
          Most, I suspect, wouldn’t really care if their country was “administered” by Canberra, Washington, or Beijing, which may well happen at some stage.
           
          How it has got to this, I don’t know. We used to be more patriotic, didn’t we? Then again, maybe not. We have never been invaded or warred with our close neighbours, hence don’t really have much fighting spirit when it comes to defending our land. Maori people, on the other hand, have had this experience and hence are much more staunch about self-determination. They know what it’s like to lose.

  4. Roy 4

    Trickle down, which I prefer to call piddle down, doesn’t work and never has worked. Why are we still forced to live with this ridiculous theory?

  5. Karl Sinclair 5

    Taken from a recent TED Talk by Richard Wilkinson:

    ‘We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.’

    http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html

    To change a phrase from the logical positivie movement, ‘unfortunately we could have had paradise but instead weve recreated the USA’…………

    To put it in context for NZ, is it fair to say that the present NZ Government is increasing the income gap between rich and poor (increase in GST, lower Top Tax rates). The problem, partly, is that the income and type of work is not empowering enough?

    Also Marmot’s Whitehall Study is a longitudinal study that has studied the effects of social status on health. He used as his sample a large number of well educated British Civil Servants – Hence “Whitehall”. A key finding has been the steep gradient in health outcomes that are formed by where you are in the power hierarchy. In short the less control and status you have – the more likely you are to be ill and even die early.

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/whitehallII/history

    So to put it bluntly, you are literally fighting for your life when you compete for jobs or even ask for a pay rise or promotion. Do you feel so respectful now of your managers etc etc…I’m starting to view them with allegator eyes………………………………………………………………..

  6. King Kong 6

    “New Zealand had the greatest increase in inequality in the Western World. So what are we going to do to fix it?”

    The one thing I am quite confident about is that no one who spends their days commenting on blog sites has the answer.

    • Karl Sinclair 6.1

      Like you

      • King Kong 6.1.1

        Absolutely

        • Karl Sinclair 6.1.1.1

          Actually, I do get your point….

          Mind you, 5 minutes bloggin is hardly a whole day now is it……you should change your name to Drama Queen…..

          Actions do speak louder than words dont they

          Go well

    • Blighty 6.2

      Actually, there are simple and proven answers.

      One of the last retreats of the Right is to say ‘yup, it’s unfair but that’s the way it is and there’s nothing that can be done about it, and we shouldn’t even discuss how to fix it’

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3

      That’s it is it? Confronted with the evidence that confounds your delusions, that’s the best you can do? Does it feel even a little bit uncomfortable to be confronted with the facts that expose your ignorance? I couldn’t care less one way or the other, I’m quite happy for morons to believe bullshit, since it creates a competitive advantage for me, but don’t you even get the vaguest niggling sense of self-doubt? Better allay it with another blog comment eh?

      • McFlock 6.3.1

        Look on the bright side. If KK klutz says there is an “answer”, then there must be a question worth asking. The point of the post is that inequality is a bad thing and leaves the question “how do we solve the problem of inequality?”
         
        Therefore, if KK’s comment is relevant to the post (okay, this is a long shot, but is theoretically possible), then one of the more rabid trolls here has come to the conclusion that income inequality is a bad thing. 
         
        I never thought I’d see the day…

    • vto 6.4

      “The one thing I am quite confident about is that no one who spends their days commenting on blog sites has the answer.”

      Well, given the quality of all your previous ramblings and confidences, I would therefore be confident that the opposite is in fact the case.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.5

      Still working on it but I will have an answer based upon democracy and cooperation. Unlike you who will continue to kiss your masters arse and declare that the rich are special.

  7. johnm 7

    The well-to-do who voted Key back in have pulled the ladder up on less fortunate kiwis:they don’t want to share rather they want more and to have their advantage protected by their man.
    Labour’s policies with Goff had he won would have helped to reduce inequality:
    1.A Capital gains tax though it was too small. I think it should be 50% backdated for 10 years. It’s scandalous our young families can’t afford to buy their first homes due to an overinflated market.We need to completely stop people buying important social assets to make capital gain from on the backs of the wage slaves who pay the mortgage! Banks must be stopped from lending for investment residential properties.
    2. Stop privatization of schools and look after all our children as does Sweden and eliminate child poverty:
    2a. Extend working for families to beneficiaries with children.
    2b. Take GST of food and veges.
    2c. Free health care for children up to 6
    2d. Do something about the substandard housing stock which is cold and damp.
    2e. Don’t privatize essential utilities such as water and power which will then have profit extracted from poorer people so shareholders and CEOs can smoke more cigars.
    2e Don’t sell off our Power company assets.
    Copy Sweden canteens and free food in all schools so all children eat properly. Have a travelling medical service to check up on all children.
    3.Reverse the last tax cut round and increase progressive taxation to levels we had in the 60s
    4.Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. This’ll help the working poor.
    5. Don’t privatize ACC
    6. Increase benefit levels.

    This government is following the U$$$$ model. Look what a disaster that unhappy now fascist state is now in:
    46,000,000 Americans existing on food stamps. 50,000 factories exported to Asia whose cheap labour profits Wall Street but leaves Americans homeless in the street. A totally corrupt Financial and Governmental system which worships money not human wellbeing. The American economy has been trashed. You have billionaires like Bloomberg saying the NYPD are his personal army to put down decent respectable mostly young Americans who legitimately protest.

    As Heinberg and AFKTT says all of this is getting worse as the rising tide that lifts all boats,growth is over due to resource depletion . This will make the inequalities in societies even more grotesque.

    As Mana says we need a huge redistributive action in New Zealand a “War on Poverty” otherwise we’re heading to be a little sh@t hole of social division lorded over by the rich and currency speculators with bolt holes in Hawaii under the reign of King Shonkey.

    Those that didn’t vote and if had we could have got rid of National. I know one of them, though he lives here he goes to Asia mostly where friends treat him with respect,while here he’s does not care or identify with NZ at all. When people are put down and marginalised enough they cease to participate in society: they’re too busy getting by day to day.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    There is a natural tendency for psychotic sociopaths to implement policies that benefit psychotic sociopaths. Psychotic sociopaths always over-rate their worth and their contribution organisations and to society, and once they get into positions where they are able to they set up criminal rorts which enable them to ‘loot the till’.

    Once the poor are driven to desperation there is open conflict The French Revolution, the Bolivar movement in South America, The Year of Revolution (1848), The Russian Revolution, The Chinese Civil War …… it just goes on and on.

    After each revolutionary period there is a period of greater equality, after which the cycle starts all over again.

    The most important lesson of history is that the lessons of history are not learned.

    I see that Olympus (camera manufacturer) is the latest organisation to be described as rotten to the core.

    By the way, it has been demonstrated time and time again that the most stable societies are those in which leaders [literally] share food with the lowest members.

    • King Kong 8.1

      I suspect that these stable societies that you refer to also had high rates of death by plague and mammoth wounds.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1

        KK

        I am unaware of the existence of mammoths in Tahiti in the nineteenth century or in the New Guinea highlands in the twentieth century but I bow to your greater knowledge of such things.

        When you refer to high death rates by plague are you referring to what happened shortly after white men arrived in places like America? Or are you using the term metaphorically, as in a ‘plague’ of Europeans wiped out the Caribs and very nearly wiped out the Maori?

      • Spratwax 8.1.2

        It is my understanding that stable societies of chimps did not live in 14th century Europe although they may have been hosts to the fleas which spread the disease. They would not have survived the cold climate of the mammoth habitat.

        Come to think of it- they wouldn’t be stable societies under King Kong!

      • mik e 8.1.3

        Gorillas have a more humane society aye king klutz

    • joe bloggs 8.2

      AFKTT, I just want to correct a popular misconception that your post reinforces:

      Psychopaths are rarely psychotic

      In contrast to people with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, who often lose contact with reality, psychopaths are almost always rational. They are well aware that their ill-advised or illegal actions are wrong in the eyes of society but shrug off these concerns. What’s more, they typically do so in aggressive or violent waqys.

      Psychopathy isn’t a product of Western culture either – it’s present in non-Western cultures as well, including those that have had minimal exposure to media portrayals of the condition.

      I rather suspect that the condition that you are thinking of is sociopathy (characterised by superficial charm, narcissism, and a lack of empathy) rather than the more problematic psychopathy (characterised by sociopathy, plus aggressive and predatory behaviour). To elaborate briefly, poor impulse control combined with inadequate self esteem or lower social standing is enough to create sociopathic behaviour. Whereas, the sociopath response is more grounded in reality of their social standing and past history the psychopath creates greater perceived threats through imagination – hence the greater violence.

      Unfortunately posts like yours serve as reminders that widespread common understandings of mental illness contain as much fiction as fact.

      [lprent: You still have two more days on your ban according to the file. I’ll let this through. ]

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.2.1

        jb

        I did not use the term psychopath. I wrote psychotic sociopaths.

        psychotic = disconnected from reality

        sociopath = person with personality disorder manifesting in extreme antisocial attitudes and behaviour.

        = Key, Banks, Dunne etc.

        • mike 8.2.1.1

          I guess it depends on your interpretation of ‘psychotic’. I myself associate the word with the more severe mental disorders such as those involving hallucinations and bizarre behaviour. Men in white coats coming to take you away territory.

          By ‘disconnected to reality’ I wonder if you mean their beliefs that they are smarter than the rest, that their con-job is impeccable, that they will never get caught, that they can bullshit their way out of anything, don’t care about raping the environment, that when the shit hits the fan they will still emerge winners, etc. These are all classic sociopath/psychopath beliefs. Their pathological self-confidence can be their undoing, but it can also get them a long way. People interpret confidence as competence and sincerity, it also makes them very good liars. (Psychopaths can often pass polygraph tests.)

          A sociopath who makes it in politics is like a kid in a candystore. Also don’t overlook narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), much more serious and nasty than just being a bit narcissistic, and often difficult to distinguish from sociopathy. I think Banks could be a candidate.

          Some believe that a sociopathic politician will often tag team with an NPD politician. It would be child’s play for a sociopathic manipulator to play on the all too obvious vanity/grandiosity/self-importance buttons of an NPD in order to get them to play ball.

          Oh look it’s John Key.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2

        Sociopathy and psychopathy are the same thing although some police jurisdictions in the US are starting to use sociopath to describe serial killers and psychopath for the corporate climber who lies and steals their way to the top.

        • mike 8.2.2.1

          There’s a lot of different opinions about definitions of sociopath vs psychopath. Everytime I read someone’s attempt they seem quite different. I’m not unsympathetic to the view that there is no meaningful difference, which I’ve heard before.

          One try is that sociopaths are largely a product of upbringing and environment, while psychopaths have an observable, physical, neurological difference to ‘normals’. The former don’t think they are different from normal people other than being smarter and superior, just looking out for number 1, they don’t think they are doing anything ‘wrong’, a very human denial. The later realise at a young age that they are different, still think they are smarter and superior, but don’t kid themselves about their amorality/immorality – they just don’t care.

          Any distinction is probably arbitrary, debatable, and have many shades of grey. So I think it could well come down to personal choice if you find one that you think meaningful or not.

          So I would take issue with the US jurisdictions you mention. I would say a serial killer is more likely to be a psychopath than sociopath (but a sociopath might not be above murder). And the corporate/political climber type could be a sociopath or a psychopath. But I guess a rose is a rose by any other name.

          As an aside, note that Dr Robert Hare, one of the foremost experts on psychopathy, estimates that 1% of the population are psychopaths, and that only about 1 in 20,000 – 30,000 psychopaths will be a serial killer.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.1.1

            Wikipedia to the Rescue

            And after that you should be thoroughly confused 😈

            Throw in this one as well:-

            Regrettably, the current (fourth, revised) edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), published in 2000, only reinforces the confusion between psychopathy and violence. It describes a condition termed antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), which is characterized by a longstanding history of criminal and often physically aggressive behavior, referring to it as synonymous with psychopathy. Yet research demonstrates that measures of psychopathy and ASPD overlap only moderately.

            • mike 8.2.2.1.1.1

              I’ve been researching the subject for the past year so you’ll have to do better than toss the wiki page at me if you want to confuse! From said wiki article, which I feel supports what I said:

              “Psychopathy vs. sociopathy

              Hare writes that the difference between sociopathy and psychopathy may “reflect the user’s views on the origins and determinates of the disorder.” The term sociopathy may be preferred by sociologists that see the causes as due to social factors. The term psychopathy may be preferred by psychologists who see the causes as due to a combination of psychological, genetic, and environmental factors.[99]

              David T. Lykken proposes psychopathy and sociopathy as two distinct kinds of antisocial personality disorder. He believes psychopaths are born with temperamental differences such as impulsivity, cortical underarousal, and fearlessness that lead them to risk-seeking behavior and an inability to internalize social norms. On the other hand, he claims sociopaths have relatively normal temperaments; their personality disorder being more an effect of negative sociological factors like parental neglect, delinquent peers, poverty, and extremely low or extremely high intelligence. Both personality disorders are the result of an interaction between genetic predispositions and environmental factors, but psychopathy leans towards the hereditary whereas sociopathy tends towards the environmental.[95]”

              You have hit upon a touchy point about the DSM-IV definition of ASPD in your quote though. It just lumps psychopathy in with ASPD, and the conditions for diagnosis are being seriously questioned by researchers. In particular the condition that there is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years, which disqualifies some who probably shouldn’t be disqualified. Also some claim the DSM-IV definition leans too heavily towards describing criminal behaviour, which neglects many other flavours of psychopath. This is a big area of debate right now. The feeling is that not all psychopaths have ASPD, and not all ASPDs are psychopaths. Or else the definition of ASPD needs to be quite seriously revised. Stay tuned for the DSM-V in 2013. What’s interesting to me is that definitions, understanding, and awareness of psychopathy and it’s impact on society are changing quickly, with some chilling implications.

              So I’ll see you, and raise you: Dr Robert Hare, probably the foremost expert on psychopathy, says it’s actually quite difficult to call psychopathy a mental illness under any meaningful definition of mental illness. He says a biologist might dispassionately call it a valid and often effective adaptation to an organisms environment, albeit a very selfish one. He even hints at calling them a different species!

  9. vto 9

    ffs, what do these people do with their hoardings of wealth? Don’t they get bored playing monopoly? And if they don’t, well it says something about them really. Or do they go on ever-longer and more-extensive overseas holidays? Lordy, how boring.

    In fact, it is becoming clear that obscene wealth is boring. And I suspect that those driving around in lambourghinis and ferraris and top-end trabants are viewed with less impression and more disdain as each day and week currently passes. In the streets of Fendalton, Remmers and that one in Wellington.

    Yet another sign of the moving of the times and sentiments…

    • King Kong 9.1

      I must say that the blokes I saw on Nikki beach, St Tropez earlier in the year who were pouring 500 euro bottles of champagne on scantilly clad hotties didn’t look too bored.

      Unfortunately as I live in impoverished old NZ I could only afford to waste a couple of the 200 euro bottles. This is the real outrage. New Zealanders deserve the right to spray champagne to an international standard.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.1.1

        KK

        From the attitudes you present on this forum we might conclude that you would have very much enjoyed being a slave master on a plantation or part of the administration of a Nazi death camp … such wonderful oportunities to exploit other people and enrich yourself.

      • Spratwax 9.1.2

        Ha ha ! Excellent. But if they got scantily clad hotties for 500 euros, what did you get for 200? A couple of chimps, maybe?

      • Karl Sinclair 9.1.3

        OMG Darrrrlinkkkk your vexations are of concern to me, you poor thing.

        To get you through your peril I will FEDEX immediately one Almas Caviar and a bottle of 1907 Heidsieck champagne.

        Just sprinkle delicately over said hotties and all will be made well again

        Happy quaffing…..

        On On Old Bean…

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.4

        You think an overt status symbol is interesting?

      • mik e 9.1.5

        king kong klueless klutz taking misogyny back to the middle ages

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.6

        So much class, are you sure it wasn’t Lindauer?

        • mik e 9.1.6.1

          KK to many wet dreams going back to basic instincts Neanderthal or maybe you are the missing link

      • mik e 9.1.7

        KK otherwise known as her-man cain

    • Jimmy 9.2

      Wealth is power, and sadly, power is something some try to obtain and increase.

      • vto 9.2.1

        Yes you’r right jimmy and I’ve always actually said that the pursuit of wealth usually falls away quickly, once on that track, to the pursuit of power and status.

        This very human trait is at the heart of it. It is unstoppable by means of argument. It is only stoppable by means of rules and regs re-setting, or by force.

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      Its not even like they put their wealth to anything useful to society. Most of it just sits in land or in Wall St accounts feeding the parasitic system.

      Certainly fuck all goes on ‘job creation’.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.3.1

        CV

        You forgot all the ‘job creation’ that comes from employing security guards to ensure there is no redistribution of their wealth, all the ‘job creation’ that comes from constructiing amd maiintaining super-yachts so the ultra-wealthy can keep themselves amused (Helen Clark was really keen on that one), and all the ‘job creation’ that comes from cleaning up oil spills because corporations cut maintenance in order to maximise return to shareholders and senior executives. (It would be shameful for a CEO to retire with a package of less than $300 million these days.)

        Then there is all the ‘job creation’ that comes from debt collection, foreclosure of homes, building and maintaining prisons, and building and maintianing hospitals that deal with the casualties of this toxic and dysfunctional system.

        Fortunately Peak Oil is going to bring it all to an end fairly soon.

        Then we will be able return to the days of feudalism, with a lord of the manor exploiting and abusing his serfs.

  10. Anthony 10

    Well we operate under an inherently unstable system that only gives the illusion of stability due to being constantly propped up by ever increasing levels of monetary, environmental and social costs.

    The mythic equilibrium of the free market will never happen, and until we realize that, the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer..

  11. What do do about this? Does Mana have the answer? Redistribution?
    Michael Roberts blog argue that this widening gap is a necessary aspect of capitalism and that no capitalist is going to give up on the class war because they are asked nicely by the David Shearers or the 99%. Capitalism has outlived is use-by date and is toxic. Time it was dumped.

    “…The OECD report finds that, in all the major capitalist economies, the rich getting richer just meant that they got further away from the rest of us and it did not matter if you lived in a so-called ‘free market’ Anglo Saxon country, such as the US and the UK, or supposedly in more egalitarian countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany. The pay gap between rich and poor just widened: from five to one in the 1980s to six to one today. In so-called BRICs ( Brazil, Russia, India and China), the ratio is an alarming 50 to one…”

    http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/inequality-poverty-and-riots/

  12. Peter 12

    NACT most likely cannot understand why inequality is an issue. After all this is the natural order of things and the way of the market. In their eyes everyone must strive to be part of the 1% and support those who make it! Simple really.

  13. Glenn 13

    I have 5 children. 3 voted and two couldn’t be bothered. In fact the daughter who didn’t vote isn’t even enrolled to vote at 38 years old..She has never voted.
    The son who didn’t vote has always voted before however in this election he just couldn’t be bothered. “It’ won’t make ant difference it’s only one vote.”
    The daughter is a beneficiery and the son is not on great wages.
    2 of the million non voters that we missed out on.

  14. Qualanqui 14

    Until a cure for greed and stupidity is found the world is just gona keep circling the drain with the greedy killing the stupid and getting stupidly wealthy

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  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    4 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    4 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    5 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    5 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago

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