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Open mike 03/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 3rd, 2013 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike, uncategorized - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

78 comments on “Open mike 03/01/2013”

  1. stever 1

    Does anyone in the National party agree with this:

    “the [National] vote doesn’t have to narrow down to rich people and those who think they will become rich. It can appeal to regular, modestly paid people, but only if it shows some awareness of the cost of living, and accepts that just because you’re claiming benefits – in or out of work – it doesn’t mean you’re scum.”

    Interested to know—because the govt drawn from that party does not seem to believe this.

    (The quote is from an interesting article:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/02/iain-duncan-smith-polemic-politics-cynical?CMP=twt_fd

    abut the UK Conservatives and the Blue Collar movement within it

    • Marty 1.1

      Why are you asking that question here? Not like a dozen National voters are going to come to answer your question. Or was it rhetorical?

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Minister’s comments on sole parent budget cut spark outrage as welfare is targeted across Australiasia.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10857049

    “Single mothers have reacted angrily to “appalling” and “degrading” comments by Australia’s Families Minister, Jenny Macklin, who said she could survive on the A$35 ($43.81) a day Newstart allowance.

    Macklin was commenting on government changes that replace single parents’ payments with lower Newstart payments once the children turn 8. Welfare groups estimate some families will be A$60 to A$100 a week worse off.

    Corinna Taylor, a 43-year-old Brisbane mother of two who expects to lose A$90 a week, said it would force her to seek charity help or family loans, and make many single mothers rort the system.

    “I would challenge anybody to live on A$35 a day and not in some way have to rort the system.”

    The Government’s changes would put those in different circumstances in the same basket, she said. Office manager Cate Flaherty agreed.

    “As a single mother who’s always worked part-time and raised polite, considerate children I’m now being treated as someone who adds no more value to society than a junkie sitting on the couch all day,” she said.

    Flaherty says her budget will now be cut by A$230 a fortnight, almost double the drop of a non-working single mother. “We’ve copped a bigger hit than non-working single mothers … It’s made it harder for me to work.”

    Terese Edwards, of the National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children, said Macklin’s comments were “salt in the wound for these mums who face such an uphill battle”.”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1

      The minister misses the point entirely when she states she could survive. Anyone on a low income knows there is a big difference between surviving and living.

      • rosy 2.1.1

        The minister misses the point entirely when she states she could survive.

        It’s also the time period she chooses to ‘survive’. Start in winter time with high electricity bills and last long enough for the washing machine to breakdown, the kids to grow out of their shoes and an unexpected root canal.

    • When I first heard this news I thought she must be a Minister in a Liberal State government, but I regret to say she is a Labor minister and former deputy leader of the Federal ALP.

      No doubt a focus group told her to say this …

    • bad12 2.3

      It would seem that Australian Labor see more votes to be gained from the ‘bash a bene brigade’ than what they would likely gain from beneficiaries themselves,

      Seems that the Aussies have taken a harder line than Paula Benefit has here, that should be said with a whisper as i am sure National will be looking at the changes across the Tasman with open admiration,

      Then again, after the roof-painting sickness beneficiary speech from Shearer, i wonder if there might be some admiring approval from many in the current Labour Caucus here…

    • Rogue Trooper 2.4

      The Man with the Blue Guitar

      (extract)

      The man bent over his guitar
      A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

      They said, “You have a blue guitar,
      You do not play things as they are.”

      The man replied, “Things as they are
      Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

      And they said then, “But play, you must,
      A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

      A tune upon the blue guitar
      Of things exactly as they are.”

      -Wallace (from the Blue Hotel)

      (We can’t see. But feel some awful thing)

      We had fed the heart on fantasies,
      The heart’s grown brutal from the fare;
      More substance in our enmities
      Than in our love…

      Yikes, oops, Yeats

      now on my way to the forum i was Way-laid; a brother from fellowship (well two actually, his father-in-law is Greco ;), and the childrens uncle’s, well, they’re padding around the ‘hood), anyway, we broke bread together over a cuppa tea before i cycled by my favourite second-hand bookshop and discussed The Sources with a socialist colleague, he’s a house painter too, since moving on from patching the bros’ through his Screen business, interestingly, another brother, same Father owns it now, anyway…make sure your’e connected, the writings on the wall. And thats the skinny 😉

  3. muzza 3

    Continuing with the* Who is David Shearer* theme, perhaps we can lobby Susan Rice for a personal reference!

    Remilitarizing Africa for Corporate Profit

    Africa: Carnage in the Congo
    Murder, Mayhem and the UN

    Warning – Both of the links are cut & paste to original articles, no offence, or propagation of violence/racism/stereotyping was intended!

    • bad12 3.1

      Those 2 links certainly put into context the previous ‘writings’ of one David Shearer and has me pondering whether or not His ‘aid work’ for the UN was not in fact a ‘front’ for intelligence gathering on behalf of one country or another’s intelligence service,

      The story, true or false???, told of Dave having an ‘idea’ while sitting on the back of a truck watching African kids scrabble in the dust for Dave’s tossed mango skins makes me also ponder whether Shearer has any empathy what-so-ever with those who find themselves living a life of less than what Dave manages…

      • Skinny 3.1.1

        Yes well it’s all very well sitting in comfort critiquing Shearer and his UN role. I found your post cynical to say the least. Give the guy a break after all he was out there making a difference in the third World. What are you doing? Sitting in your Y fronts at your comp with ya guts hanging out I bet lol.

        • bad12 3.1.1.1

          Was He really, making a difference that is???, it appears from here in front of the computer, wearing shorts and T, gut suitably overhung, that the same tribal wars are still occurring and each day the same amount of Africans die of starvation, disease, and, war-fare related injuries as they have done despite Dave’s best efforts,

          Then again if the diagnosis inherent in the articles linked to via the comment i previously made are in any way close to being ‘fact’ then there are plenty here in the ‘West’ who are putting one hell of an effort into ensuring that such remains the status quo…

          • Huginn 3.1.1.1.1

            Finding homes for orphans in Rwanda? That’s a difference made.
            I’m impressed with the way that the guy has morphed from ‘too nice’ into totally evil and Machiavellian in no time at all.

      • muzza 3.1.2

        Indeed B12, its a stretch to imagine that amongst the imperialist destabilisation/playing both sides, and UN complicity to genocide, including the awful crimes committed by so called UN peace-keppers in africa, corporate profiteering, private militarisation, monopolistic *racketeering*,that one David Shearer stands tall as a man of honesty/integrity, working for the benefits of the african people, against his own sponsors/employers!

        Thats is effectively what we are being *asked* to believe/accept!

        Edit: Skinny in case you were not being sarcastic, why should we give DS a break, we are being *asked* to believe that the new leader of the major opposition party in NZ, is something which he quite possibly is not, but should give him a *free pass*, so to speak!

        What sort of difference was DS making, and for whom exactly!

        • Skinny 3.1.2.1

          Muzza it was a bit of both. Shearer made a truck load of money at the UN. Few people know that 🙂

          He aren’t no Bill Rowling that’s for sure.

          • muzza 3.1.2.1.1

            Figured with the *hands down pants* comment you were not entirely serious, hard to tell over the virtual space eh.

            Yeah it would be a generous individual who would give DS the benefit of any doubt thats for sure, its blatant the way he was fast tracked, just as Key was, that this was/is a done deal, and he has very powerful backing, not talking about caucus, cos they are not the power, so much as the puppets!

            Hey but there is always Russel Norman waiting to pick up some votes eh, or when he get exposed, perhaps Kennedy Graham will be maneuvered (already) into position, and the greens turn out to the watermelons they obviously are!

            • marty mars 3.1.2.1.1.1

              well I’m going to ignore the stupid watermelon quip – so last year muzza – go for the upgrade mate.

              I’ve heard a couple of different end-games for these “powerful backers” of key – what’s your take on it muzza? Are they going to kill off most of us and leave the rest as slaves.

              • muzza

                Hi Marty, it my polite name for it, what would you prefer I used?

                So far as any end game, IMO, the power backers simply play all sides, like any outcome based criminal would do. I don’t pretend to know what may/may not happen, but whatever has gone before, is happining/coming, I can’t honestly see what is going to prevent/stop it at the moment. People can stop, but most will not acknowledge/can’t/won’t see the threat, which makes it difficult, while others want to blow off the political situations as ineptitude etc, while refusing to entertain the notion, that just perhaps these politicians with the *back stories*, and even those who are not as prominent, are operating under another guise, while pretending to be Kiwis working for NZ. Why is that not a possibility to most, because when I see a huge mess (repeated corruptions) that NZ became some time back, I go looking for different possible explanations, which may or may not be wide of the mark…

                All I would say Marty, is have a look at whats happening around the world with the wars, kinetic military actions etc in any part of the world where peoples are being killed off, resources stolen, look at the global debt, and related austerity based policies, the financial control over commodities which are killing people off, ans environmental destruction, then ask if its not already happening, the killing and the slavery I mean!

                • Hey muzza

                  yes, but is there a point to it?

                  you have done lots of research and are watching this stuff avidly – is there a point to it and what is it? Obviously more of the same is an answer but why.

                  • RedLogix

                    I guess muzza is asking a perfectly legitimate question; if democracy is such a good thing … why is it delivering such crap outcomes for most humans?

                    • McFliper

                      Which raises the question “is there a better system?”

                      Can’t think of one that’s sustainable past one or two generations.

                  • muzza

                    Marty, in the eyes of any sane human being, there is no point in the murderous, genocidal/kleptocratic policies and systems which dominate the worlds population & environment, no point or purpose!

                    So why does it all not just stop?

                    My POV, because there are too many interests which want it that way. The, why currently seems clear enough, that in chaos comes opportunity to control, of all kinds, via all systems. Efficiency, peace human/environmental well being, seem not to be a feature of the *decision makers* mind-set, because if it were, we would not have a fraction of the global/local suffering. Why is it not a feature of the mind-set, are they being blackmailed, gun to head, or are they actually *in on it*, whatever *it* might be, the choices are few, when it comes to why governments are actively working against those they are apparantly working for.

                    There are not that many explanations for the continued state of despair/suffering etc, or the political complicity in it, that’s what people need to start examining and trying to understand. If we ever got to a critical mass of threat awareness, then perhaps the point (if there is one) will actually have to reveal itself.
                    If it turned out there was no *point/agenda*, at least we would be better positioned to force/demand positive change, instead of hoping it might arrive via the ballot box. It requires people to actively start thinking about the treachery in our country, the damage its done, and the damage it will do, and consciously/actively not stand for it any longer.

        • bad12 3.1.2.2

          Indeed, strong,stable,democratic Countries are very hard to fleece of their mineral wealth for next to nothing in dividends for the Country concerned,

          With the glaring exception of course being us lot via the National Government who have the ingenious policy of paying ‘them’ to take it away…

  4. Skinny 4

    Kiwi workers ripped off with yet another wet summer holiday break. Change the official holiday period to the 1st 2 weeks of Feb I say! 

    This is something the Labour/ Green parties could explore as a campaign policy. It’s seems to be a constant issue every year ‘wet weather.’ usually hot summer days arrive as the poor old worker returns to work. Any one agree?

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Absolutely. I always work through Christmas/New Year (I’m fortunate to be in an essential service industry that doesn’t ‘shut down’) … and usually take leave in February sometime. There’s often a nice spot of weather early December, but frankly the weather around late December, early January is just too damn unreliable. It seems to have been like this for a decade or more.

      The stupid part is that many people are compelled to take leave in a short window of opportunity … and if the weather is crap then there’s every reason to feel ripped off. A lot more flexibility around annual leave is well overdue in many workplaces.

      Along the same lines I have a European work colleague whose pretty appalled at how understaffed most organisations are in this country. It means that people are constantly under pressure and stress to juggle unexpected changes of roster, health and family obligations.

      And too many people feel uncomfortable asking for leave outside of the normal Christmas period because they’re not all that confident that being away from the job (and all the office politics) for 2-3 weeks mid-year is all that smart.

      All just another symptom of the mean-spirited and narrow thinking of too many employers in this country.

      • Skinny 4.1.1

        Yes I agree many employee’s do feel compelled to take there summer holiday over the Xmas period.

         I think in Europe they take their summer break later than we do for the obvious reason of hotter more settled weather. Certainly would help seeing through the bleak winter months if we had a later official holiday period. I feel for the campers at the moment.

         The God botherer’s would have issues though.   

        • infused 4.1.1.1

          Always take my holidays in feb. Much nicer weather and less idiots on the roads.

          • felixviper 4.1.1.1.1

            Fewer idiots.

            • higherstandard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              You should read Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson, great fun for language pedants.

              • felixviper

                Oh I’m no pedant, but I do think that when calling other people idiots you should try not to appear too stupid yourself.

                Kinda ruins the effect.

      • Ennui in Requiem 4.1.2

        RL, should we not question the following? Absolutely. I always work through Christmas/New Year (I’m fortunate to be in an essential service industry that doesn’t ‘shut down’)

        Why the fekk is anything essential unless life and limb are threatened? Where do we draw the line on the commercial imperative and the human imperative on Christmas Day etc?

    • just saying 4.2

      It may well be that kiwi workers are ripped off with another wet Xmas/New Year, but I can’t see it changing because for many, maybe most families, the chance to join the gathering of the clan and visit friends and the chance to get away for a holiday are the same thing. And that almost inevitably happens at Christmas. When it happens at all*. Travel is expensive.

      *More than half of my street seem to have stayed home this Xmas. This working class suburb was a ghost town this time last year.

      • Skinny 4.2.1

        Yes but that will still happen but a month later when the weather is more likely to be better.

        • just saying 4.2.1.1

          Unfortunately, in my experience, people want to do Christmas at Christmas. Which is a pain really. But somehow it still seems valuable to me, that we have one festival that is shared by almost everyone at the same time. Just pity about the time.

          It rained every day while I was up in Auckland. Which is normal for Auckland. Still had a good time.

          • karol 4.2.1.1.1

            It seems to me that people are missing a crucial factor: the school year ends in December and starts at the beginning of February. And then a lot of workplaces close down because they figure e eryone is going on holiday…. and RNZ and all our news media think it’s time to slack off more than usual – cumulative effect.

            At my workplace, a lot of people choose to take their annual leave over this period because they have school age children. My workplace only closes for the statutory days.

            Hence, people like me, who work part time and have no young children, get called in to do some extra casual work over this period. I’m very happy with this, and to take some leave in February or March.

    • Bill 4.3

      Simple solution.

      If the legislation around annual leave was brought into line with stat days – where, if agreement can’t be reached, the employee determines when the day in lieu will be taken – then the current widespread compulsion to take annual leave in late Dec would end.

      So if workers wanted two weeks or whatever around Chinese NY or any other damned time they pleased in this multi-cultural country, they could.

      • Skinny 4.3.1

        Good point Bill certainly would get the NZ chinese votes closer to Chinese NY.

        Unfortunately far too many employee’s don’t have the guts to belong to a Union. Workers rights took a hit we have never recovered from since the introduction of voluntary Unionism. introduced.

        I doubt a Shearer led Labour will tamper with employment law in this regard?

    • Luva 4.4

      What exactly do you mean by official holiday period?

      What makes this time of year official?

      There are 4 stats but that doesn’t make those days in between any differnt from a working week in February?

      • Skinny 4.4.1

        Well the 2 weeks from Xmas is widely regarded as the ‘official summer holiday period.’ what planet are you from? Planet Key or something! You know what I mean smart arse lol

      • Bill 4.4.2

        Plenty of workplaces insist that annual leave is taken during this period and shut down completely.

  5. Dr Terry 5

    Will a Labour government in NZ “save us” from such woes? Politicians are, after all, politicians! So much hinges on influences the wider membership can (hopefully) bring to bear.

  6. lprent 6

    Bloody bingbot was slowing the site again this morning – I wish it would tell me what timezone it thinks I’m operating in. I have dialed back it’s entire time period.

  7. Morrissey 7

    URGENT REQUEST

    Could someone (or as many people as possible) please click on to the Media Lens site link…

    http://www.medialens.org/

    Could you please post up if you succeed in getting through to the page , or if the following message appears…

    Forbidden
    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.

    I suspect this site is under attack, but it could be just my computer.

    Thanks,

    Morrissey.

  8. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 8

    Tom Lehrer’s work and wit has been one of my interests for a long time. I was just reading his Wikipedia bio and thought this was an interesting quote.

    In 2003 he commented that his particular brand of political satire is more difficult in the modern world: “The real issues I don’t think most people touch. The Clinton jokes are all about Monica Lewinsky and all that stuff and not about the important things, like the fact that he wouldn’t ban land mines… I’m not tempted to write a song about George W. Bush. I couldn’t figure out what sort of song I would write. That’s the problem: I don’t want to satirise George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporize them.”[13]

    Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post interviewed Lehrer off the record in a February 2008 phone call. When Weingarten asked if there was anything he could print for the record, Lehrer responded, “Just tell the people that I am voting for Obama.”[23]

  9. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 9

    Morrissey 7
    I get the same Forbidden message you received.

  10. Bill 10

    About 8 days ago the ‘subscriptions’ that dropped comments into my email stopped working. Just been and had a look and I’m apparently still subscribed to…well, actually all posts now and not just the ones I’ve commented on. But nothing comes through (and no, they ain’t landing in spam or junk)

    Anyone else been experiencing this annoyance?

    • bad12 10.1

      One mans annoyance being another’s blessing, yeah the same happened in my email as well, but, seeing as i can’t ever remember asking to be notified every time a comment appeared in a post i had commented in i’m happy the emails stopped…

    • karol 10.2

      Yes, the same happened to me. Also, I lost the WYSIWYG from the reply boxes. It meant I was stimulated to learn that awkward long code for links. After a few wrong attempts, I think I have just about grasped it.

    • lprent 10.3

      Ah shit.. I forgot to do the mail server permissions to the gateway. Another task for today.

  11. Rogue Trooper 12

    The Messenger

    The messenger awaited a desperately long time
    the long-for herald of victory or annihilation
    was delayed-the tragedy was without any ending

    In the background the chorus scanned dark prophecies and curses
    the king-a dynastic fish-thrashed in an inconceivable net
    the second indispensable person was missing-fate

    The epilogue was probably known by an eagle an oak the wind
    a sea wave
    the spectators were half-dead breathing shallowly as stone
    The Gods slept A quiet night without lightning

    Finally the messenger arrived in a mask of blood dirt lamentation
    uttering incomprehensible shrieks pointing with his hands
    to the East
    this was worse than death because there would be no pity
    no fear at all
    and in the last moment everyone longs to be pardoned

    -Herbert.
    from Poland (translated by John et al;)

  12. Rogue Trooper 13

    This is the Stone

    it’s when you want to shrug it all off:
    the gross pap of warm anaesthetised brains
    hotels ringing with stale tongues
    the bland translations of headlines
    walls everywhere

    when money’s sensual brutality
    chats warmly in your veins
    when your possessions assert their tyranny
    mocking you from corners

    where is the moon’s still wash
    over uncluttered landscapes?
    where are your lovers’ mouths
    which stopped your mouth so neatly?
    in this dreamless city you put them away

    now you turn to a window
    which mimics you in ice
    your face a marble of loss
    your hair a curtain of dust:
    this is the stone you work on

    -Alison Croggan (from Blue Sky Mining Country; 2 Minutes To Midnight)

    • Ennui in Requiem 13.1

      Phase shift…..if I work all day in the Blue Sky mine there’ll be food on the table tonight……..if the Blue Sky mine wont come to my rescue who’s gonna save me…….

  13. Morrissey 14

    Sir Paul picks on a darkie in Florida

    Watch what happens when this pathetic old man—let’s call him “Sir Paul”—tries to harass a young black man in Florida.

    At 2:41 Sir Paul snarls at the young man: “A typical punk black. That’s all you are.” Sounds just like the language that used to be heard daily around the Television New Zealand studios until 2005.

    • fenderviper 14.1

      What a charming guy that Republican voter is. He’s not even fit to become bait on the hook of that fishing rod.

    • Ennui in Requiem 14.2

      Wots dis Sirs shit???????? Cheekie fekkin honkey!!!!!

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 14.3

      What a choice for a knighthood – Sir Paul Holmes. Paul Henry will be next for the honour no doubt.

  14. Rogue Trooper 15

    what follows is a wee awry sermon from the non MSM MSP (very funny :), i can take a roasting and laugh at myself for a while, yet it’s the future for people that makes me sad, particularly considering the climate and what follows; “roastings” becoming normal was one reason I stopped watching television comedy, life is funny enough without people clowning around at some “others” expense, and when discussing the Keiser’s “comedy” today the chap responding said one thing Max outlined Five years ago was that “They” intended to “nickle and dime” people…
    (find a penny pick it up, and all day you’ll have good “luck”, well todays “penny” is a 10 cent piece and I’ve picked up three in the last three weeks, as well as quite a few butts before I broke even, to “afford” a Holiday and then, eventually, gave up Finally, (Cold Turkey; Alan Carr, Quit Smoking, or don’t, it don’t bother me none) and what today in The West is not predominantly “vanity”?

    -Chatty Man

  15. lprent 16

    Testing re-edit yet again (bug in it when running wordpress 3.5 code)

    Ok – that seems to have disappeared

    Now completely quiescent. Sending the fix..

  16. Rogue Trooper 17

    Dom
    -student allowances cuts to go ahead, to be felt most by poorer students, lost potential
    despite higher loan repayments and fewer borrowing (not wasted on the young)

    -“Anarchy in Afghanistan”-Warlord holds the key to peace, more “civilized” than Nato?
    supports segregated education, not discrimination. ANA-“yanks” buy another Uniform made by “the hands of others”.
    Conclusion-Join Hands; Siouxsie
    (when the “Spirit” is weak, culture, flight and fear are willing)
    Aussie manufacturing land Downunder-“no manufacturing sub-sector recorded expansion activity”
    Grave implications for New Zealand Made to become less “appealing”. Has the Teflon Donkey seen the price of Margerine? It’s sliding out the door.

  17. Rogue Trooper 18

    RNZ-Enola Gay…it didn’t have to turn out this way…Could have waved goodbye to The House of The Rising Sun…;) (ahhh, the power of suggestion); We’re a Garage Band, in a garage land.

    Oh Well, Heaven, Time to Stop Making Sense. Thank You For Sending Me An Angel to beat these Slippery People Burning Down The House making Flippy Floppy in the Swamp like Casual Gods.well, What A Day That Was.

    -Genius Of Love (Tom Tom Club)(i’m going home now to listen to The Essential Ozzy bark at the
    Moon) Bye

  18. Rogue Trooper 20

    The Ford of Heaven
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/aug/04/china

    -Ford Madox Ford (The Good Soldier)

    Food For Thought
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/80202.Jesus_for_the_Non_Religious
    or
    Sister Morphine
    http://painkiller-addict.com/

    -Faithfull

  19. Rogue Trooper 21

    Inconceivably Small
    http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Nanocosm.html?id=u43EFWVbyyIC&redir_esc=y
    Big Changes
    outcome?
    Pray http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prey_%28novel%29

    -Michaelangelo (Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball)

    getta rythm…when you get the blues…getta rythm…but don’t step on my Blue sandal shoes
    (if I were a carpenter…Doin My Time…As Long As I Live…They Call Me The Breeze…That Old Wheel…(wish i had A Backstage Pass)…but is there something not “Right” about The Man They Love To Hate? I don’t think so Tim, maybe he could be an Architectural Clinical Psychologist;NOT

    -John (Angel And The Badman) who prays somebody sees his potential and knocks on his Caravan door. (yet “bums” are like families…everybody’s got one)

  20. Rogue Trooper 22

    quietly, just saying (testing)

  21. Rogue Trooper 23

    am i aloud to keep my smileys 🙂

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    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    2 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    2 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    2 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    2 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    2 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    4 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    7 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    1 week ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago

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