web analytics
The Standard

NRT: “A wish, a target, and a dream”

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 pm, May 12th, 2014 - 58 comments
Categories: accountability, bill english, david cunliffe, Economy, employment, helen clark, john key, labour, national, Politics, same old national, unemployment - Tags:

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn shows that John Key has no real understanding of the economic and political history of this country. Probably because the last time another economic illiterate from National said that the prospect of reducing unemployment in NZ to below 6% was “a hoax”, John Key wasn’t here. He probably heard it from that illiterate, who once again is our minister of finance. Unemployment under Labour was as low as 3.3%

Back in 1999, when Labour promised to reduce unemployment below the prevailing 6% set by National, Bill English dismissed it as “a hoax”. But by changing the Reserve Bank’s Policy Targets Agreement and investing heavily in regional development, they ground unemployment down to 3.3% in 2007 – and delivered higher living standards for all into the bargain. Today, they promised to reduce unemployment to 4% by the end of their first term. The Prime Minister’s response? It’s “a wish, a target, and a dream”.

Again we see the constraints of National’s “hands off” thinking on the economy: they can’t imagine a better world than the miserable one Treasury predicts, because that would require the government to actually do something. Instead, their vision of “effective government” is apparently one where Ministers are paid a quarter of a million a year to sit on their arses and decry the possibility of ever doing anything. But we know that such a world can exist: we’ve lived there in the past, and we know that a government which actually decides to intervene can deliver it. All we have to do is vote for it.

58 comments on “NRT: “A wish, a target, and a dream””

  1. Philj 1

    xox
    This is a hands off, do little non government. Let big business and corporates have their way. The list is too long …..

    • Sacha 1.1

      It is not “hands-off”.

      Can we please retire that useless line which has done nobody any good over the last 5 years. This government has intervened an awful lot – in destructive ways. Pretty hard to hold them accountable for that if you’re denying they did anything.

      Money does not end up in the pockets of shareholders rather than workers all on its own.

      • Ergo Robertina 1.1.1

        +1

      • To be fair, they’ve also intervened in a few ways that haven’t so much sabotaged the economy as just improved it for the already-well-off. (Although I would definitely say the vast majority of their policy is either destructive of the economy in general or at least ignores the overall health of it in favour of the economic welfare of a few)

      • politikiwi 1.1.3

        “Money does not end up in the pockets of shareholders rather than workers all on its own.”

        I take your point, but Thomas Picketty would (I think) argue that this is achieved by the mechanism of capitalism, with or without government intervention as a cause. (National have accelerated the charge, though.)

  2. millsy 2

    4%? Should be zero IMO. Even if we have to pay people minimum wage to paint up the local hall.

    • Sacha 2.1

      4% during their first term is a good start.

    • Jagg 2.2

      And what of cyclical and frictional unemployment – or are you not familiar with such terms?

      In fact it is cyclicality that Cunliffe is very much dependent upon to deliver this “promise”. If he is to deliver on this prediction it will be very much dependent upon economic momentum built now and wider reaching global macro trends that look to be in his favour – almost a do nothing scenario if ever there was one… still open to accusations of over-promising though.

      Cyclicality was the same reason Labour was able to get employment down to 3.3% in their last term. High employment kind of is a symptom of cyclicality, especially when you happen to be in power during the biggest global asset bubble of, well, ALL TIME! Conveniently like to overlook these minor details don’t we.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Meh, “cyclicality” another one of those useless economic concepts from another one of those useless economists who has been promising a turn around in the global economy “next year” since about 2010.

        Wake up and smell the fish, mate. We are experiencing a secular change in economic dynamics world wide, largely (but not solely) because of chronic energy depletion.

        While minor economic cycles of minor ups and downs may remain, developed countries are caught in a permanent downdraft now where only the 5% do well and everyone else struggles worse and worse.

        It’s been a miserable economy for 5-6 years now, this is becoming NZ’s “lost decade” and it will not be the last.

        • Jagg 2.2.1.1

          Seriously?

          For Cunliffe, and by proxy the NZ left in general, to deliver on giving the world to everyone and us all living in a permanent state of Zen he is clearly relying on riding a global growth wave that all the “useless” economists are predicting.
          Well I’m at least glad you’re just as skeptical of Cunliffe’s 4% claim as I am – especially given your terminal pessimism. Speaking of terminal pessimism – honestly, mate, I’ve read a lot of what you write – is there anything (other than projecting your miserable view of the world) that gives you reason to smile?

          I digress – This may have escaped you but the credit expansion and resulting collapse that led to this whole 5-6 year mess was principally driven by over-exuberance in real estate speculation- not a sudden epiphany that the world was going to experience an energy apocalypse.

          If chronic energy depletion was such an issue then why did global renewable energy stocks crash? Why are none of the NZ Gentailers seriously interested in major projects… oh yeah, that’s right, we currently have a supply glut in New Zealand.

          If anything the recovery we’ve seen has come from the US realising that they are the Saudi Arabia of shale gas – hardly a lack of energy. Do you get out at all?

          • vto 2.2.1.1.1

            I have no idea if CV gets out at all, but you clearly don’t if you believe this was the root cause of the GFC … “This may have escaped you but the credit expansion and resulting collapse that led to this whole 5-6 year mess was principally driven by over-exuberance in real estate speculation”

            Dunce

            • Jagg 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Err… if not real estate, then what exactly do you think is the basis for people trading mortgage-backed securities??? Dreams of fairy dust?
              What was the asset backing that then flowed on to give people confidence to write billions of dollars in worthless credit default options… yep, real estate.

              Honestly?

              • framu

                “Err… if not real estate, then what exactly do you think is the basis for people trading mortgage-backed securities??? ”

                havent you got that backwards?

                mortgage backed securities was the product being traded – approving mortgages was just the mechanism which kept it all going

                ie: real estate was the symptom not the cause

              • Draco T Bastard

                What was the asset backing that then flowed on to give people confidence to write billions of dollars in worthless credit default options… yep, real estate.

                Nope. Interest rates and the ability to get a hell of a lot of money without actually doing anything. That’s the true driver of bubbles.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.2

            If anything the recovery we’ve seen has come from the US realising that they are the Saudi Arabia of shale gas – hardly a lack of energy.

            hahahahahahahaha

            Oh, wait, you were serious.

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Fucking funny seeing a right wing troll like this recycle Oil industry PR lines from across the Pacific

              The Shale industry is a crash and burn affair, 5 more years of altitude is all it has.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        In fact it is cyclicality that Cunliffe is very much dependent upon to deliver this “promise”.

        Nope because the business cycle can be removed from the economy if we drop the delusional neo-liberal paradigm. Well, actually, drop capitalism.

        • Jagg 2.2.2.1

          Haha – full unemployment and no capitalism, the dream… just the small dead rat to swallow of being a SERIOUSLY LOW wage economy.

          Oh, and if the “socialist paradises” of North Korea and Venezuela who also don’t need that pesky capitalism monster are anything to go by – widespread starvation and a lack of toilet paper.
          I. Can’t. Wait!!

          There’ll be no need to worry about inequality then.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1.1

            Hey shit for brains, the biggest socialist country in the world is the USA – a haven for corporate welfare and socialism of the 1%.

            Seriously, catch up, the rest of us saw through your charade a long time ago.

            BTW energy is the currency of the future, not keyboard printed USD. You really need to grow up and get onboard the train mate before it is too late, the 21st Century is the century of upheaval and civilisation decline.

            Haha – full unemployment and no capitalism, the dream… just the small dead rat to swallow of being a SERIOUSLY LOW wage economy.

            Oh fuck off according to your species, a ‘seriously low wage’ is good for corporate profits and for your big business paymasters, so what are you whining about.

            • Jagg 2.2.2.1.1.1

              “Hey shit for brains”… awfully personal don’t you think – I mean I can take being called names, but, given you’ve said it a couple of times, I’m starting to develop a complex that I might have shit for brains. I thought you guys on the left were a caring bunch? With my views on the world I can’t imagine I’d last long around here calling people names like that.

              “the 21st Century is the century of upheaval and civilisation decline” Honestly mate, I can’t understand how you have such unbounded optimism in the human race.

              My species haha… you mean us reptilian humaniods, man, you got me.

              Pretty hard to make corporate profits when:
              i) all your funding lines have fled the country so the price of borrowing becomes extortionate;
              ii) tariffs and border controls mean you can’t get supplies or if you do they kill your margins and your competitiveness if you want to export;
              iii) inflation starts to rip into your operating cost base but you can’t cover your costs through domestic sales; and/or
              iv) the state just summarily decides you make a living so seizes your assets.

              • Colonial Viper

                So you know how to recite the modus operandi of the bankster class Economic Hitmen.

                Big deal.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      4%? Should be zero IMO. Even if we have to pay people minimum wage to paint up the local hall.

      OR

      write up local histories
      produce plays set around nearby landmarks and events
      publish stories and news about local people and businesses
      create artworks with which to beautify local communities
      teach, support and counsel people in the neighbourhood who need an extra helping hand
      advocate on behalf of those vulnerable who cannot or don’t know how

      ETC

      Basically there is shitloads of undone work in society which if done would help grow peoples sense of self worth and mission

      BUT

      Oh we can’t have that “4% is a good start for the first term” what tripe (no offence intended Sacha) like having only 200,000 kids in poverty by the end of the first term instead of 300,000 yeah that’s not bad but think about it, that’s still 200,000 fucking wasted young NZ lives but let’s pat ourselves on the back shall we for a job well done break open a case of the methode traditionalle from Marlborough shall we and celebrate.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Sigh.

    In our current system of debt based money supply, you need accelerating levels of debt to achieve decreasing levels of unemployment.

    Steve Keen, the Australian economist, demonstrated this 5-6 years ago.

    Crediting Labour with having low unemployment during its recent term without crediting Labour for massively increasing levels of private/mortgage/farm debt during that term is tantamount to telling only half the story.

    PS Labour doesn’t believe in actual full employment (everyone who wants a full time job can get a full time job), but in the bullshit “full employment” as defined by neoliberal macroeconomics.

    • Jagg 3.1

      You mean the same “bullshit” concept of full employment in a “neoliberal” (whatever that meaningless term means) macroeconomic environment that results in increased inflationary pressures and hurting the most vulnerable in the economy in any case?

      I’m kind of glad that Labour believes in that. Actual full employment is a total myth anyway because frictional unemployment ALWAYS exists… unless you’re saying that people aren’t allowed to ever switch jobs.

      • vto 3.1.1

        Don’t you know what “neoliberal” means? Go do some homework on “liberal” and what resulted from that a while ago, you silly schoolboy. Then think about what the “neo” bit means, then further implication henceforth…

        • Jagg 3.1.1.1

          My point, which you have been so good to highlight, is that the term “neoliberal” is nothing more than that… a label. It actually has no grounding in economic theory. It’s just a dog-whistle term that the left uses to attach political meaning to their interpretation of classical and neoclassical economic theory (that’s actually the name of the theory not me trying to imply anything – look it up, you silly schoolboy you!).

          I don’t know what “neoliberal” means because it has no meaning in economics – it only has meaning for left-wing tragics… such as yourself 😉

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Hey shit for brains, everyone else here gets what neoliberal economics is about. It’s not the academic discipline, it is the socio-political force.

            Maybe it’s you who should get up to speed eh? Catch up with the Lefties who figured this out years ago. The fact though that you still kowtow to the mainstream economists and their private sector paymasters and sponsors who are supporting the destruction of our ecosystem and hence our civilisation, for the sake of their own careers and pay packets no less, demonstrates that you need to grow up and fast.

            Neoliberalism is a disease. You have it. Get fucked but don’t take us all with you.

            • Jagg 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Mate, this also might come as a surprise to you (don’t get out etc, etc, etc)… I’ll whisper it so no one else hears:

              The Standard is one big echo chamber, “everyone else here” just listens and agrees with “everyone else here”‘s view of the world – that includes the meaningless of the term “neoliberalism”.. which as I say only has real meaning to left wing tragics.. that meaning being:
              – Free markets = BAD
              – Globalisation = BAD
              – Private Sector growth = BAD
              – Small government = BAD
              – Corporations = EVIL & BAD

              I know that’s what the label means but it just has no real grounding in economic theory – so it’s kind of funny when you say neoliberal economics.

              • Colonial Viper

                All my mates know what neoliberal economics is. It’s not my problem if you pointy headed textbook types don’t.

                But you are already obsolete; too many people have seen through the charade of your neoliberal species now, we’ve been on to you for a long time as an overseer and obfuscator for the power elite.

                – Free markets = BAD
                – Globalisation = BAD
                – Private Sector = BAD
                – Corporations = EVIL & BAD
                – Big Government = GOOD

                Not merely “evil & bad” you loser; corporate systems of capitalism are systems of death and environmental collapse.

                Remember that while you pursue the all mighty dollar.

                Systems of death and environmental collapse.

                • Jagg

                  Sorry I did forget those claims:
                  – Corporations = EVIL & BAD & DEATH & ENVIRONMENTAL COLLAPSE.
                  Fixed now.

                  Don’t want to labour the point but I’m not surprised all your mates “know” what it means.

                  “Corporate systems of capitalism are systems of death and environmental collapse.”
                  …Because all the alternatives have clearly resulted in democratic utopias where everyone lives with unbounded wealth and human rights are held in the very highest esteem.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Who cares about the fucking alternatives (of which there are actually plenty – breaking up TBTF, localising the economy and democratising ownership of economic assets for instance), I am simply stating a fact, that corporate systems of capitalism are an unbounded revolutionary force which from a moral standpoint are systems of death and environmental collapse.

                    This are not fucking difficult concepts to grasp, look up a dictionary if that will help you, SYSTEMS OF DEATH and ENVIRONMENTAL COLLAPSE

                    PS you trying to imply that corporate systems embrace or support “democracy” is a fucking joke, why don’t you sing the star spangled banner for an encore

                    • Jagg

                      Well, I know there are a few alternatives out there but I actually would kind of care that at least one of them guaranteed me:
                      – Democratic freedoms;
                      – A life above the bread line (I mean bread and water would be nice);
                      – Opportunity for my children; and
                      – Some rudimentary human rights (even Magna Carta c.1215 would do)…

                      Is that too much to ask? I’m just not convinced that any of them have conclusively been proven to tick all the boxes.

                    • McFlock

                      Capitalism guarantees none of those things.

                      You’re a fool if you think it does.

                      Frankly, I think you’re confusing “capitalism” with “democracy”. And even democracy falls short.

                    • Jagg

                      I didn’t say it guarantees anything but it’s done a fair bit better than anything else that’s been put into practice.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Corporate capitalism is a highly organised and revolutionary system of death and environmental destruction.

                      Does that sound like it will deliver you with “democracy”, life “above the bread line”, “opportunities” for children, etc. Don’t be stupid. The kids of today’s primary school children are in line to inherit the ashes of today’s ecosystem from us.

                    • McFlock

                      :roll:

                      Try keynesianism of the 1950s-60s then.

                    • Jagg

                      Yep, Keynesianism, why not…. I mean:

                      When countries around the world were under intense scrutiny in 2008 for the level of sovereign debt they held the best thing we could have done was to borrow more to stimulate aggregate demand… except rating agencies would have called us out (rightly or wrongly) raising the cost of borrowing on our mountain of private and household debt.

                      Funny how the left has difficulty accepting people taking even the most educated positions in capital markets but is fine with their government taking speculative positions on the global macro environment… especially when their government is so small that any action or policy it takes is akin to pissing into the wind.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Another neoliberal idiot who thinks the GFC was caused by sovereign debt…newsflash moron…it wasn’t.

                      except rating agencies would have called us out (rightly or wrongly)

                      Ah yes, the ratings agencies, the bankster associates who were the ones who had the whole world including Spain, Italy, Greece and Lehman Brothers at an investment grade in early 2007.

                      What the fuck do those criminally corrupt Morans know. After all, they classed subprime mortgage debt as triple-A so that they could collect big fees even while they hung pension funds and municipalities out to dry.

                    • Tracey

                      lol @ capitalism guarantees you democracy….

                      and yet so many countries had capitalism way before indigenous people and women could even vote.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.2

            I don’t know what “neoliberal” means because it has no meaning in economics
            lol

            Do you know what “mother” means, or “human”, then?

            Fucking cultist. Try thinking for yourself rather than assuming Milton Freidman used all the words you will ever need.

            start here

            • Jagg 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Cultist – yeah, you’re right, worshiping at the alter of empirical research and peer reviewed academia is so irrational isn’t it?

              • McFlock

                Are you seriously arguing that economics is empirical?

                It relies on abstract mathematical models and real-world experience is retrofitted to suit those models. Nothing is repeatable, and if something unexpected happens they backsplain it to suit.

                Look at the stock market – they can’t predict daily fluctuations, and they can’t predict long term trends, and they can’t predict sudden cataclysms. Empirical research my arse.

                With peers like that, who needs review?

                • Jagg

                  How silly of me…

                  Well let’s rewrite the books then – put your prices up and pump up production everyone because supply has nothing to do with demand.

                  • McFlock

                    What’s silly is assuming that a two-factor linear chart can predict a complex system.

                    At best it can only tell you what happened yesterday. Try that with a real science like physics, you’d get laughed out of the room.

                  • miravox

                    “Well let’s rewrite the books then”

                    Funny you should say that

                  • framu

                    thats not even close to answering the question

                    it was this

                    “Are you seriously arguing that economics is empirical?”

                    do you dispute McFlocks statements? can you argue against his/her statement?

                    it would seem by your reply that you cant – oh well, no surprises there – economics isnt called the dismal ‘science’ for nothing is it now?

                    ive also noticed that the longer youve gone on this thread the more weird and out of context your ranting has gotten – odd

                • Phil

                  Are you seriously arguing that economics is empirical?

                  “Empirical research is a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience.”

                  It depends on the specifics of the economics but, generally, yes, it is empirical. The problem with your comment is you expect Economics (as a whole field) to then do something with its empirical research that it does not set out to do – predict the future with certainty.

                  If you look at pretty much any economics textbook today, or through a paper published in one of the major journals, you’ll see screeds and screeds of mathematical formula. There will be appendices showing the statistical results of a wide range of computations, and charts demonstrating the validity, or arguing the invalidity, or whatever premise or condition is being studied.

                  The questions economists are studying and answering are not “where will the stock market be in two years time?” but “why did the stock market grow rapidly over the last two years?” If we (either economists or others) then choose to draw conclusions about what policy prescriptions should be part of our future, then we need to remember that we’re not controlling for all external factors.

              • Dave

                Your logic has gone around in circles Jagg. You say you worship at the alter of empirical evidence and peer reviewed academia. But the statistics, in the long form, over the last 40 years has shown a decrease in the important statistics that matter to the 90%, I won’t go into the particulars. Everyone here should know the statistics, if you don’t, go away and read some of this academia you talk about.

              • Murray Olsen

                Thinking economics is a science, and
                worshipping at some weird altar
                are just wrong. Yeah, I’d go so far as to call you irrational. And dishonest.

                • Phil

                  Thinking economics is a science, and worshipping at some weird altar are just wrong.

                  Here’s a thought, by way of comparison:
                  ‘Cosmos’ is quite possibly the most artistically beautiful television show ever produced. It’s taking some incredibly difficult scientific concepts and presenting them in a way that’s communicable to the vast majority of the population. It necessarily leaves out the most complex mathematical elements and that can, at times, lead people to conclusions with that will be false. It walks a narrow path between art and science.

                  Economics as a field, while not nearly as pretty at ‘Cosmos’ and the dulcet tones of Dr deGrasse-Tyson, struggles with the same issues of presentation and the balance between science and art.

                  Discussion of homo-economicus is a perfect example. It’s easier to debate with non-economists the principles of rational markets and equilibrium if you start from ‘everyone is always rational’. The steps taken to get to an equilibrium state are easier to understand, but people get hung-up on the premise of rationality.

              • Tracey

                by alter dd you

                worship at the change of empirical research…

                you sir are worshipping at the alar of economic zealotry. it appears if it isnt in a textbook you like, it mustnot be considered.

                economists are a bigger scurge on society than lawyers…

  4. Philj 4

    xox
    Sacha. I take your point, that government has done some /plenty, devious and nasty stuff, by a thousand cuts. But they have also stood by when it comes to regulating forestry safety, water pollution, Sky tv regulation, worker safety, leaky buildings, weak mining inspectorate, TVNZ 7, prosecute Banksie, Christchurch earthquakes ( its up to the council to sort out )etc. But you are correct in your comment.

    • Macro 4.1

      “But they have also stood by when it comes to regulating forestry safety, water pollution, Sky tv regulation, worker safety, leaky buildings, weak mining inspectorate, TVNZ 7, prosecute Banksie, Christchurch earthquakes ”
      you have to be joking!
      Or do you mean “they have sat on their hands”?

  5. Jagg 5

    Where’s everyone gone?

    Must be bed time.

  6. Jim 6

    Labour is predicting 4% unemployment after 3 years, Shonky stated this morning that the budget predicts 4.5%. This would be about right given Labours history of having lower unemployment than national. Shonky also challenges labour to justify its predictions of going surpluses. National are also predicting on going surpluses and as labour have a better record of producing surpluses, labours predictions are about right. So all this is just name calling rather than a debate in my view.

    As for debating whether neoliberal is a valid term when discussing economics. My understanding is that it is a term that originally came out of Germany and has been given new meaning by the left. Left leaning economic faculties in Europe and England such as the London School of Economics will likely have economic definitions for economic neoliberalism.

  7. captain hook 7

    he was trying to pronounce appropriate last night on the teevee but it still came out appropeeit.
    well I think it would be appropeeit if he just resigned now and went back to where he came from before he gets his pink slip in September.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    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… ...
    9 hours 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… ...
    11 hours 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… ...
    11 hours 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… ...
    11 hours 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,… ...
    12 hours 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… ...
    14 hours 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… ...
    14 hours 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… ...
    16 hours 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
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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,… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    2 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… ...
    2 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… ...
    2 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… ...
    2 days 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 days 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… ...
    2 days 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… ...
    3 days 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 –… ...
    3 days 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    7 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… ...
    7 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
    7 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… ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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’… ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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.  ...
    1 week 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… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere