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Owning the agenda

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 am, July 7th, 2011 - 152 comments
Categories: economy, election 2011, labour, national, tax - Tags: ,

Notice how a single announcement (not even officially made) from the opposition Labour Party has generated more interest, excitement and reaction than the last (Sub-Zero) budget? More excitement, in fact, than anything the National government has done in the last three wasted years?

The Herald editorial heaps praise on Goff for a policy that is says is courageous and “not only would a capital gains tax be hugely beneficial to the economy but the time for its introduction is right.”

Press gallery leader Guyon Espiner says “most New Zealanders do not have an investment property and if Labour can argue this properly they should be able to carry this argument”.

Fellow press gallery heavyweight John Armstrong reckons that “Goff goes for broke with huge gamble”. Got that right. But – what – you thought Labour was just going to sleepwalk to defeat? Hell no.

Poor John Key reckons that a capital gains tax will send NZ “screaming backwards”. He’s quite the expert on that I guess. In the same piece Key predicts that the CGT will raise only “$700 million a year, after 15 years”. Unfortunately for the PM the recent Tax Working Group report put the figure at more than $4 billion a year (the 2009 report from the Victoria University of Wellington Tax Working Group agrees). Perhaps Nice Mr Key should check his sums. Or even wait a week and see precisely what form Labour’s policy will take.

Danyl at DimPost nails it with characteristic economy – “National wants to finance the rebuilding of Christchurch via asset sales; Labour via a tax on property speculation”.

Everybody’s favourite Tory mouthpiece DPF was strangely muted in his criticism at Kiwiblog. Perhaps that’s because he recalls saying, just last year that “… I think the time is right to now take a serious look at capital gains tax”.

For a take out of left field, Rob Carr at Political Dumpground argues that even if the CGT causes a property market implosion, that might be a Good Thing.

John Hartevelt at Stuff reckons that that this is “Labour’s big policy play”. Key’s good buddy Duncan Garner reckons the CGT is a “bold and courageous move”. And so on, and so on.

Labour have started setting out a bold, fair and plausible policy framework for the election. No asset sales. A tax system for the many not the few. $15 minimum wage. Children at the centre of social policy. R&D tax credits. Keep ACC and Pharmac. GST off fresh food. Strengthen KiwiSaver and the Cullen fund. All good stuff!

And the Nats? A budget almost universally panned as lacking in vision, they are simply recycling meaningless promises from one budget to the next. And news yesterday that the government’s “new” $17 billion infrastructure plan in fact contains no new plans at all, just re-announcements of old ones (which were mostly Labour’s anyway).

In short, Labour has a plan, National has a record of three wasted years. Labour have taken hold of the political agenda. Now they have to keep it for the next 5 months.

152 comments on “Owning the agenda”

  1. It’s not bold, yet. Labour have only dipped their toes in the water so far. If only we could have a decent debate over the merits and drawbacks.

    Unfortunately it’s likely to be overshadowed by electioneering. That’s a major problem, potential votes rule the debate, as does trying to win the media battle (claiming to win the media this early is a nonsense).

    Owning the agenda? That’s political pomposity. Stuff the people as long as you think you’re scoring political points.

    Common sense appraisal gets shoved to the side, as does considering what’s really best for most people and for the country. The mad scramble for power tramples everything.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      A CGT from Labour is not particularly bold, but it is twice as bold as anything National has thought of so far.

    • bbfloyd 1.2

      “the mad scramble for power tramples everything”. describes the national party’s political manifesto perfectly…

  2. It is interesting tactics the way the issue has been raised publicly. No doubt the debate will rage until later next week when the policy will be announced. It will be quite an achievement for Labour to dominate political discussion for so long.

    I am sure National will both continue to demonise the policy and try to divert attention. But it’s lack of a plan to address our economic problems is exceedingly obvious.

    • Danyl at DimPost nails it with characteristic economy – “National wants to finance the rebuilding of Christchurch via asset sales; Labour via a tax on property speculation”.

      Is it a good economic plan to put people off investing in property right now? Especially for Christchurch?

      • ropata 2.1.1

        Not sure how a rumour of potential opposition party policy becomes a “plan to put people off investing in property”.
        Big difference between speculative investments that cause bubbles, and long term investment in a place to live.

        Everyone was hoping that money man Key would pull $$$ out of thin air and make us all rich, but his plan for riches seems to require destroying the country’s critical infrastructure assets. Is that a good economic plan?

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        Why should it put people off buying rentals? All that would happen is that they share a bit of their capital gain when it is realized with the rest of us.

        • Pete George 2.1.2.1

          I hope the people in Labour who are proposing the additions to CGT have a bit more understanding than you of possible effects of a tax on investment properties.

          • Jim Nald 2.1.2.1.1

            Oh yes, CGT will kill off any and every investment. Just ask other CGT countries who have been doing better than us.

            • PeteG 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Calm down. Our current CGT hasn’t killed off all investment. Neither of course will any additions that Labour might try to implement. But it could quite possibly affect investments in property at a time that it’s most needed in Christchurch.

              Shouldn’t that at least be considered? Or does a campaign for votes in November matter more than considering houses for Christchurch?

              • ropata

                FUD
                A potential policy isn’t an attack on rebuilding CHC
                If anything a CGT will reduce ongoing speculation in AKL and free up capital for other things

              • lprent

                We have needed a CGT to plug the investment bias for all of my adult life. It stifles business investments in areas other than property. That is the reality of setting up new business in NZ. You are completely constrained by the lack of investment capital, because it is used to buy investment properties as profits from those are largely not taxed.

                The building in ChCh will happen regardless because people and businesses need to have somewhere to live and work. In other words there is a demand. Putting in a CGT do not change that economic imperative. So essentially you’re talking straw man crap again

                Anyway, you’d hold up implementing CGT because of a one off short term issue? You do sound like a politician of the right – short term thinker and kind of stupid.

                • PeteG

                  Before rushing in with claims of stupidity look at what I’ve said. I didn’t say it should be held up – the voters will decide that. I suggested all effects should be considered.

                  The rebuilding of Christchurch is not a short term issue. It’s very important to the South Island in particular. It’s hardly being stupid considering what effect it might have – to people outside ot Auckland and Wellington at least.

                  • lprent

                    All effects will be considered. What I was saying was the possible effect you were looking at was a short term one, that didn’t exist in reality, and that shouldn’t hold up doing a structural shift in the tax base that many of the business community like myself have been calling for over three decades.

                    Christchurch will almost entirely be rebuilt within the next 5 years and it will be rebuilt because the economics of the south island says that it needs to be there. The only major uninsured part is the infrastructure which will be paid and done by the government who are not subject to a CGT. So the major bulk of the funds to rebuild comes from insurance.

                    Since investors largely own their land (and therefore grandfathered), and most actually have the majority of their building asset in place (and therefore grandfathered), they will build on it or sell to someone who will. What did you think that they would do – walk away from the existing investment?

                    Quite simply your arguments were crap, short sighted, and a few moments thought would have been sufficient to figure out why it is a straw man argument.

                  • ropata

                    Yes the likely effect is that a CGT will be beneficial to Cantabrians.
                    It’s a fairer solution than National’s plan to sell our precious assets, ostensibly to help pay for CHC rebuilding.

                    Christchurch also has suffered low wages and high unemployment for a long time due to inequitable economic policies, and National’s solution is even MORE inequity.
                    There are other people in Christchurch than just property developers.

              • Domestic landlords do not build houses to rent.

          • mickysavage 2.1.2.1.2

            Que?

            Reread what I said.  I merely commented that a CGT should not put people buying rentals.  It may put some off but their greed and lack of understanding are not things that I can remedy.

            It was not meant to be an encyclopedic description of the effects of the policy.

            If it puts people of speculating on land then that is a good thing.

          • Lazy Susan 2.1.2.1.3

            Listen to the economics correspondent from the Syndey Morning Herald explain what happened in Australia when they introduced a CGT. Yeah they also had all the naysayers like Peter George predicting the sky would fall in – but guess what? It didn’t.

            The correspondent notes how New Zealand is considered to be a strange anomally in that it doesn’t have a CGT – Australia, UK, US all have CGT. Also some good points regarding the lack of a CGT being a loophole in the NZ tax system that enables people to convert taxable income to non-taxable capital gain. Therfore it’s not just what a CGT would raise directly but with the loophole gone it would be harder to use property speculation to shelter income and so more tax would be collected on earned income.

            • PeteG 2.1.2.1.3.1

              Susan, you’re being lazy, or deliberately misleading, or part of the Labour message machine.

              I haven’t naysayed CGT, I have yaysayed having a reasoned debate about it and suggested that possible affects be considered.

              • PeteG you are the one being deliberately misleading.  

                Lazy Susan’s very good comment does something you never seem to do, that is address the merits and state a position.

                You have this Peter Dunne ability to talk round and round  an issue without ever committing.  And you never seem to make your mind up.

                Are you Peter Dunne 

                • PeteG

                  that is address the merits and state a position.

                  Don’t you mean address the merits and drawbacks?

                  It’s true I don’t usually jump to conclusions – I prefer to take time to see what pros and cons are raised on blogs and in the media, to see what people think and how it might affect them. For a complex issue like a comprehensive chngne to our CGT that takes time, doesn’t it?

                  Unless you just want to jump on the “it might get us elected, don’t dissent” train.

                  And I notice that Labour are dribbling this out presumably to test the water and adjust their final proposal, even they haven’t committed yet by the look of things.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Are you Peter Dunne

                  Prob not. Fan club president perhaps?

                  • PeteG

                    Peter Dunne, on his own, has probably had more influence on government policy and has initiated more of his own party’s policy than all of the Labour MPs put together.

                    Maybe that’s the sort of “talk round and round an issue without ever committing” that Micky alludes to.

                    Having a decisive CGT policy – once Labour gets around to finalising and announceing it – is worth diddly squat if they are in Opposition.

                    • felix

                      “Peter Dunne, on his own, has probably had more influence on government policy and has initiated more of his own party’s policy than all of the Labour MPs put together.”

                      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

                      List them.

                    • PeteG

                      Too much to list, so see here: http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/successes/

                      List Labour successes this term.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      List Labour successes this term.

                      Whipping John Key’s sorry little ass back to his major shareholders in Hawaii.

                      Next.

                    • felix

                      Did you bother to read your own link Pete? It includes things like Winston Peters’ Gold Card for seniors FFS, and most of it amounts to “National will be nice to me, be my friend, and let me come to some of their clubhouse meetings, and let me claim responsibility for things they were doing anyway”.

                      ps why are you trying to shift the goalposts to “this term”? Is it because you just realised what an utterly stupid statement you made?

                  • Jim Nald

                    Re 26 Nov 2011:

                    John Key wanna sell our assets -

                    Kiss his ass or

                    Kick his ass?

              • Lazy Susan

                PeteG – I’m not being lazy, misleading and certainly not part of Labour’s mesage machine.

                On the contrary. I took the trouble to post a link to an Australian economics correspondent who suggested the Australian experience of a CGT did not lead to the sky falling in on the property market – refuting your earlier post. He also raised a good point that suggested the tax revenue generated by a CGT was more to do with the fact it meant people could no longer avoid paying income tax by converting income into capital gain so increased the revenue from income tax – refuting the position taken on your website regarding revenue.

                Sometimes issues can be hard to debate. Did you listen to the podcast or was that too hard as well?

                • PeteG

                  I’ve heard a range of opinions on CGT in Australia, ranging from “it works” to regrets they introduced it because it’s just shifted problems rather than solving them.

                  A number of people have also claimed that CGT just changes tax avoidance techniques.

                  And – I never suggested the sky would fall in, so your claim is off target.

                  Mickey claimed “You have this Peter Dunne ability to talk round and round an issue without ever committing. ”

                  You can’t both be right.

                  Doesn’t it seem a bit stupid to be making definitive statements of support or opposition when we won’t know all the details until next week? We’re debating on dribbled bits of information.

                • MrSmith

                  peteG is a Concern Troll Susan , it wouldn’t have read your link as it isn’t here for education, it’s only here to spread Doubt and confusion.

                  Concern Troll http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)#Concern_troll

                  • PeteG

                    Very funny. Read your link. You seem to use a pseudonym. I don’t.

                    [lprent: As Felix says no-one apart from the mods (mainly me) can tell who is using a pseudonym or not. we have had people on here with full blown names and detailed back stories, that the mods or I could tell were completely fictitious. We have also had people claiming to be someone that they are not (like a father of a missing kid). I usually investigate those when they arise.

                    I've been known to look back at peoples machines while they are online from the servers or see who else has used their IP's here previously or see who lives in the same IP neighborhood. If I am really pushed I will even go so far as to request cooperation of ISP's and people who I know. Neither you, nor any of the commentators can do that type of verification - you don't have the IP's, e-mails, logs, and other histories required. The best that can be done is if there is someone trusted here that actually knows the person and who will vouch for them - which sometimes happens.

                    But the rule is that all handles are to be treated as pseudonyms unless I can confirm that they are not. And I won't waste my time unless there is a pressing reason so it happens very rarely and I do not allow 20 questions. The converse is also true - you cannot try to use the 'I have a real name' argument. If you do and I haven't confirmed it, then I may get irritated reading the consequential comments and writing these explanations. It is not a wise tactic to use unless you are a deeply addicted gambler. ]

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.3

        PeteG you’re an idiot for not noticing that Government is going to have to lead the way in investing in Christchurch. In comparison the private sector (including the insurers/reinsurers) are chicken to do so.

        And Labour now owns the better plan for funding that rebuild.

      • bbfloyd 2.1.4

        if people are rebuilding their homes to live in, it’s not a factor.. if someone builds five houses, and then sells four of them, then the tax would accrue.

        the people attempting to criticize this policy need to understand the basic reality of what a capital gains tax actually is… i would have thought the title was self evident.. you don’t pay a cent in tax until you realise an actual capital gain. which is why it works so well everywhere else…

        get it? build a house, … no tax….. live in it,….. no tax,…. build it and sell it for profit immediately, pay tax on your profit… buy ten houses and rent them out,… pay the same taxes you always have… sell one of those investment properties,… pay cgt on the profits from the one sale…

        now you can explain to me how that will stop people from rebuilding their homes again..

  3. higherstandard 3

    I’m supportive of a capital gains tax but have reservations about the $4 billion per year that’s being tossed about in the media.

    At the suggested rate of 15% on investment properties doesn’t that amount to around to around $26 billion in capital gains that is supposedly being made in overall capital gain per annum in relation to investment property sales ?

    Is that realistic……. can any real estate agents comment ?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      $4B seems somewhat high to me, best thing to do would be to see how the tax working group, and the 2009 working group, came to that conclusion.

      Hopefully they didn’t just reuse each others’ results.

      Is that realistic……. can any real estate agents comment ?

      Playing with numbers, 500,000 investment properties gaining in value by $20,000 is a $10B capital gain. However, it doesn’t seem likely that all 500,000 investment properties would be sold in one year.

      • higherstandard 3.1.1

        Even if that was the case $10B at 15% doesn’t come anywhere near the $4B tax revenue that the media keeps quoting……. guess we’ll just have to await the details.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      The $4b is from the Tax Working Group, assuming a capital gains tax applied to all capital gains, not just investment properties.

      It has been clarified today that Labour’s policy will be covering all capital gains, not just investment properties. However I think the rate (15%) may not be as high as envisioned/calculated by the TWG.

      • higherstandard 3.2.1

        Hi Lath

        Have you got a link for the clarification of what the CGT is going to look like.

        Devil as always is in the detail.

      • Tangled up in blue 3.2.2

        Yep the $4b is from the Tax Working Group is based on a CGT applied on everything and a 30% tax rate on capital gains.

        I’m all for a CGT but MSM (and original poster) should be a lot more skeptical of that $4b figure as the gain could very well be a much smaller.

        Labour have been severely criticizing Nationals top tax cut so I think it’s likely that a claw back here will be factored into the wider package to give enough funds to sort things out without having to sell assets.

        • KJT 3.2.2.1

          4.5 billion with 30% and the family home exempted. 9 billion if family homes were included.

          http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/cagtr/twg/Publications/3-taxation-of-capital-gains-ird_treasury.pdf?

          I expect there will be some gains in income tax, also if the advantage of offsetting income into untaxed capital gains was removed. As in South Africa.

          I think Labour will be adding some more progressive tax rates and remove some of the tax dodges in the mix also.

          I do not think the family home or any other income earning assets should be exempted.
          It makes it too easy to rort.
          You will suddenly see all sorts of children of the wealthy owning family homes for a start.
          How do you deal with trust owned assets?

          All income should be treated equally so that tax evasion by income shifting becomes impossible.

          Why should investment on land be taxed on after inflation profits only, when share and investment income is taxed on nominal returns.

          Families could be compensated for the extra expense in other ways as I have suggested above.

          http://thestandard.org.nz/owning-the-agenda/#comment-349170

          Unfortunately NACT are stripping the cupboard, so Labour is not going to have too much space to move after the election.

          20 billion plus deficit by next year.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.2.1.1

            Unfortunately NACT are stripping the cupboard, so Labour is not going to have too much space to move after the election.

            20 billion plus deficit by next year.

            Thanks Bill and John, we’re lovin’ it.

      • lprent 3.2.3

        I think that they were considering 30% so that it was in the same order as personal and business income. It’d be more effective at that level. But I just want something put in to stop the drain of every effective tech business and their people offshore.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3.1

          Yeah, National are actually right when they said that having different tax levels causes more income shifting. Of course, they then did the wrong thing by dropping the top tax rate and the business rate causing a massive shortfall in taxes. What they should have done is found a way to sheet home all income onto the PAYE scale. Flat independent rates don’t cut it as people will look for ways not to pay the higher amounts causing a massive dead wieght loss.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.3.1.1

            And what kinds of persons can afford the professionals needed to help shift income around different ledgers and associated persons? No one earning $13/hr anyway.

    • felix 3.3

      Is that realistic……. can any real estate agents comment ?

      You want real estate agents to comment on reality?

      Ho ho. Have you never met one?

      • higherstandard 3.3.1

        Fair call – more on the issue of the number of houses and turnover aspect.

        • felix 3.3.1.1

          Don’t get me wrong, it was a good question. I’m just being a dick.

        • Puddleglum 3.3.1.2

          Hi higherstandard, try this. I generated it from the ‘market trends’ part of the real estate institute’s webpage. Not sure how exhaustive it is (I know it doesn’t include section sales – though you can put that in to the calculator too).

  4. wyndham 4

    Wow! Who poked a stick into the hornets nest?! In parliament this week, Key has been almost hysterical in fulminating against this proposal. Even English has managed comment other than to blame Labour for “nine years of economic mismanagement”. The usual suspects with an interest in the housing market are beside themselves. N.Z. as we know it appears to be doomed.

    Can one gauge from all this, that Labour has at last struck a telling political blow? And Labour hasn’t even officially announced the proposition yet !

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    Support the intent – its great to see the caucus finally get behind this idea, its been kicked around the workshops for a long time. However, I agree with some of the criticisms made by the some of the tax professionals that this will be possible to evade.

    A land tax would be preferable in my opinion, as it is much more difficult to evade, achieves very similar results, except that it generates a better cashflow, and on an annual and predictable basis. Concessions/relief from its unintended consequences can be much better targeted. Implement that, plus better use of the existing implicit CGT on non-real asset classes – would have a strong impact on high income tax evasion.

    Labour should be sticking to its guns on its rhetoric – that it truly wants to get at those who consider tax as something “only the little people pay”, and if that means the interests of some propertied caucus members suffer – well so be it.

    EDIT: 15% is really just clipping the ticket on evaders, and saying “well done, on your way”.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      Are you talking about the land as posited here.

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0910/S00067.htm

      • Policy Parrot 5.1.1

        It would be similar, but more highly skewed to target speculators. A blanket, undifferentiated land tax is obviously unfair.

        Alterations/relief from an undifferentiated land tax suggestions:
        - A tax-free threshold on total real value, available only to actual individual taxpayers, accounting and legal personalities do not qualify.
        - Use the lower of the most two recent GV’s for assessment.
        - Differing thresholds and rates for different land usages, urban residential, urban commercial, rural, industrial, Maori land etc.

        • Policy Parrot 5.1.1.1

          Note: regarding total real value – the tax-free threshold is analogous to the intention of the exemption of the family home. Basically, the total real value of an individual’s property holdings would have the tax-free threshold applied once.

          I note that in such a circumstance there is some room for structuring on a couple’s basis – so this proposal is more demanding on those who have “property empires” rather than those who own a single extra property – and as it should be.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          A blanket, undifferentiated land tax is obviously unfair.

          Nope, it’s what it should be but it shouldn’t be a proportion of income but an outright flat rate per hectare per year. Guestimate of somewhere between $100 to $1000 which would be well within affordability for all residential owners.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      EDIT: 15% is really just clipping the ticket on evaders, and saying “well done, on your way”.

      True; the rate should probably match the lowest income tax rate, at a minimum.

      • Chris 5.2.1

        The lowest income tax rate is 10.5%

      • Blighty 5.2.2

        of course, most capital gainers are going to be on one of the higher marginal tax rates but having the cgt rate set at a lower level allows for the fact that some capital gain is eaten up by inflation. In Aussie, cgt is half your marginal tax rate for that reason.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.1

          Adjust purchase price for inflation, minus from sale price, tax at full marginal tax rate. Not hard, the RBNZ even has an Inflation Calculator to do it for you. In fact, you’d probably want to legislate that that is the one used so that there’s no argument about the actual value.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      A land tax should applied as well.

  6. vto 6

    Such a policy will gave diddly-squat effect on property prices.

    People will pile into property again some time in the next few years (provided the entire world economy does not implode meantime) and this capital gains tax will have no impact on their decision to do that.

    But anything which broadens the tax base and relieves the tax on income earning is good.

    How about dropping all income tax?

    btw – Doesn’t Jacinda Adern come across superbly on breakfast telly? Sheesh, you lot should be getting her face to face with smile and wave. Expose the flab drab droopy snakes eyes of Key for what they are. If you think people will vote for Key because they just like him due to his friendly smile and waving then take a leaf out the same book and beat them at their own game. And on top of that Jacinda has intellect and principles as well so she beats Key hands down.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      People will pile into property again some time in the next few years (provided the entire world economy does not implode meantime

      Love your ‘sweet and sour’ approach in one sentence. Bang!

      An upfront 7.5% levy on all investment property mortgages would probably have the desired effect. I agree the CGT is a blunt instrument for holding back property speculation, but it is something.

      • vto 6.1.1

        It is rare that such fiddling by governments has the intended effect. It usually just complicates things and makes it worse.

        Is it speculation that is the problem? If so, then the probem is one of human nature and applies right across every sector. Good luck with controlling that. I dont think speculation is the problem.

        Or is it high housing costs that are in fact the real problem (it is imo)? If so, then there are other and better ways of helping bring housing costs down. Two examples – get local authorities to drop their countless fee, levies and taxes on new development (about 5-10% of land). Get government to drop GST on housing (15%). There is about $50,000 per average house right there.

        Go on, drop the GST on housing. You would see an immediate overnight drop in house prices.

        edit: another example – get some decent competition in NZ’s cement supply.

        edit edit: I suppose we could build houses out of fruit and vege.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          No. The problem is that having an ability to generate profits without being taxed on those profits distorts the investment pattern in NZ. It means that far too much money is put into property – with the consequences you describe.

          The real effect is that it slows NZ growing it’s real economy because small companies either don’t get created, or are unable to expand because of serious shortages of investment capital.

          • vto 6.1.1.1.1

            Well lprent, as I said above, I dont think a CGT will have that effect on investment patterns. Where are people going to put their money? In finance sector? In the sharemarket? Too many bad memories. People will continue to say that you cant beat bricks and mortar. And in many senses it is true. It doesn’t disappear overnight for a start (unless you’re in Chch). There is a very consistent demand for a roof over one’s head at night for another.

            I just do not think it will cause any discernable change to investment patterns. Happy to be proved wrong though.

          • jcuknz 6.1.1.1.2

            You would be correct if it just applied to housing but at this stage I have heard suggestions that it will apply to all gains, not just on housing, so it does seem a silly copy cat of what other mis-guided people have done in other countries … as Norman said “Even the [silly] Aussies.”

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2

          No GST gets paid on existing used houses which are sold right? As I understood it anyways.

          Also it is common to find house prices in Auckland which have gone from $300K to $400K in just a few years.

          There is no way that dropping rates etc will compensate for that.

          The most important understanding is this: higher house prices have been driven by banks willing to lend more and more money on mortgages for essentially the same house. (Including allowing 5% and 0% mortgages)

          If you limited that, you will effectively limit the rate of housing price increases.

          • vto 6.1.1.2.1

            “No GST gets paid on existing used houses which are sold right? As I understood it anyways.”

            Wrong in a subtle but very real way. GST is payable on new land and new houses.

            If new housing had GST dropped you would see new housing drop in price by 15%. Existing used houses would obviously respond instantly to the same level of 15%.

            Land supply is the other major bogey affecting new housing cost.

            New housing cost has one of the most dramatic impacts on existing housing values. (putting aside the extremes of bubbles and busts). Deal with new housing and you deal also with existing housing.

  7. Ha
     
    Landlords are confidently predicting a Labour win in November.
     
    The prospect of a CGT has really spooked them.  According to the article two of the poor dears are going to buy rental property in Australia and leave New Zealand.
     
    Do you think we should tell them that Australia already has a CGT?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Funny how they say that landlords are being spooked off by the CGT in one breath, and in the next breath they say that it will be dead simple to avoid the tax! lol

      John Shewan of PWC puts forward a good argument seemingly for a CGT. Everyone else they asked pretty much panned it.

      Including the guy who says that a CGT makes NZ less exciting (= less like a speculative circus I suppose!!!)

    • Blighty 7.2

      so, they’re going to go to Australia, which has a CGT?

  8. jcuknz 8

    Sounds like typical left wing class warfare by the no-hopers trying to get at those who deprive themselves today as they look to the future by saving and investing.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Yeah its class war alright buddy, except its being waged by the wealthy 5% against the rest of us, and has been for decades now.

      • big bruv 8.1.1

        Sigh….still pushing that class warfare bullshit Viper?

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          bb why don’t you go eat a cockroach and you can see what wartime rations are really like

          • big bruv 8.1.1.1.1

            Viper

            Anybody who says they have to eat cockroaches in NZ is a liar, there is NO reason at all for anybody to go hungry.

            Why do you keep insisting on pushing these lies?

  9. big bruv 9

    I cannot be bothered wading through Labour party spin (lies and bullshit), so, can anybody tell me if the planned CGT excludes the family home?

    And, would Labour use the extra income to lower personal taxes or just keep handing out money to parasites and DPB slappers with no conditions attached.

    If the family home is excluded from CGT then I think many Kiwis would support it, if not then it is another mind numbingly stupid move from Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      would Labour use the extra income to lower personal taxes

      Every dollar less that the Govt collects is a dollar more it has to borrow from China, or dollar removed from services that it provides to you and me.

      • big bruv 9.1.1

        Then cut the “services” they provide and let everybody look after themselves.

        Why the hell do you think that the government can do it better when all the evidence shows that they cannot?

    • vto 9.2

      It had better exclude the family home. Bloody governments and councils should leave our castles well alone lest a revolt explode. Councils already do enough damage under the out-of-date rating system on family homes.

      (and what about if your family housing situation includes more than one dwelling???)

    • Blighty 9.3

      “would Labour use the extra income to lower personal taxes”

      yes.

      Labour has a policy of making the first $5,000 tax-free.

    • Lanthanide 9.4

      “I cannot be bothered wading through Labour party spin (lies and bullshit), so, can anybody tell me if the planned CGT excludes the family home?”

      Yes. It is a broad/comprehensive CGT on everything that has a capital gain, not just investment properties. One of the exemptions is the family home.

      • grumpy 9.4.1

        Choice!!!

        So it means I can claim for capital losses associated with such investments as well???

        Will it tax both realised and unrealised gains or losses?

        • Colonial Viper 9.4.1.1

          Only realised, by the sounds of it.

          • grumpy 9.4.1.1.1

            So, they only pay the tax when the asset is sold? What about losses?

            • Lanthanide 9.4.1.1.1.1

              I don’t see why losses would be treated any differently.

              • A loss is a diminution of capital.  A gain is income.

                Sorry but if investors lose the state will not partially compensate them. 

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Provisional tax. It’s paid before you get the income so if you get a loss during the year you’ll get a refund from the taxes paid. Really stupid idea that came about because, I suspect, doing all the accounting on paper took a bloody long time and hasn’t yet been corrected to the present day.

    • bbfloyd 9.5

      you really are a lazy minded git aren’t you big bruv… you admit you havn’t the attention span to read any documentation relevant to the policy question, or the heralds speculations, yet still find it acceptable to waste space and time arguing against it..

      what a dickhead. typical right wing moron. critical of anything that isn’t national party propaganda simply because it isn’t national party propaganda… for no more reason than bigotry, stupidity, and utter laziness when it comes to adult discussion.

      READ THE INFO YOURSELF, and then shut the fuck up.

  10. ianmac 10

    There was discussion this morning that the CGT would be broader based than just rental properties. Include business, farms and land? Now that would be outstanding.

    • PeteG 10.1

      This was also suggested (no source given):

      the Labour Capital Gains Tax will be UNIVERSAL and comprehensive with exceptions only for the “first home” (for now and also note: not the “family home”)

      and

      Also that it will now be RETROSPECTIVE with Government deemed initial prices where no purchase records exist in order to start raising tax immediately.

      If that’s the case it will impact a lot more people than a few rich property investors.

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        I think that’s just bullshit.

        Russell Norman was on Morning Report talking about it. He says he hasn’t heard the detail from Labour (as they’re not telling anyone), but that any proposal by the Greens was that all existing capital is grandfathered in, and the tax only applies to new purchases after the date of enactment. This means that it’ll take up to a decade before the money really starts rolling in – you can bet National are going to trumpet this from the parapets (but at the same time, it means this isn’t a short-term bogeyman that’s going to trap everyone).

      • KJT 10.1.2

        At last Labour are showing some signs of offering real visionary alternatives.

        Good on them.

        Some thoughts.

        The reaction shows that sensible people have been waiting for alternatives from the present voodoo economics.

        CGT should be universal on any appreciating asset.
        Without a CGT PAYE payers are subsidising speculators .

        It expands the tax base in a way that also discourages unproductive speculation and borrowing.

        Capital gains income should be treated the same as any other personal income for tax purposes.
        Why should you pay up to 33% on your work income and a speculator or someone who does up a house for sale pay only 15%.

        It has to be retrospective to have any real affect.

        The family home will probably have to be exempt to make the policy politically palatable, but I see no real reason to complicate CGT by doing so.
        Like GST, I believe tax systems are much harder to rort if they are kept simple.
        I can see a lot of single children of wealthy people suddenly acquiring a family home.

        If it is there are several ways to make it less distortionate. )Suggestions only. There are more).
        1 The family home could be exempt up to say, twice the mean price.
        2 First homes only could be exempt from CGT.
        3 More State housing both to rent or buy keeps prices within reach of ordinary people and puts a further downward pressure on house prices.
        4 Only charge CGT on the gap between selling a house and buying the next one.
        5 Allow for inflation and normal maintenance.

        Now we need to look at the bonanza for banks and speculators and nightmare for manufacturers and workers. The reserve bank act.
        Considering FTT and exchange controls would be good too.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.1

          Labour has signalled it is going to target the RBA pretty hard so hope they come out with good courageous stuff.

        • RedLogix 10.1.2.2

          Capital gains income should be treated the same as any other personal income for tax purposes. Why should you pay up to 33% on your work income and a speculator or someone who does up a house for sale pay only 15%.

          Asset price rises have two identifiable portions; that due to general inflation, and that due to the action of the market. What the Australian system does is assume that over a period of time about 50% of capital gain is just due to inflation, while the balance is taxable as income. That is why individuals are given a 50% discount on the nominal price rise.

          What Labour is proposing assumes that most taxpayers liable will have a marginal tax rate of 30%… so their proposed 15% CGT is functionally equivalent.

          It’s not accurate… but it simplifies the calculations a lot and over time is probably near enough to be good enough.

      • lprent 10.1.3

        If that’s the case it will impact a lot more people than a few rich property investors.

        Sounds like the usual spinners astroturfing trying to push a meme out there. Boring really.

      • mickysavage 10.1.4

        PeteG 

        You are losing your Peter Dunne type independence and engaging in spin.  The only reputable comments are that the tax will not be retrospective and will apply to family homes and other areas.

        Spinner … 

  11. Adrian 11

    Wasn’t it nice of the PM to give the country all that free and quite technical advice on how to avoid the CGT in Parliament yesterday, this is almost certainly unprecedented in any parliamentary country. I have often said that this germ is a traitor to his country given his involvement in the Hi-fee and Andrew Kreiger episodes. The apoletic reaction of his and Englishs is because they can’t steal the policy, as to do so would cost them more votes ( to ACT? or not turning out ). Goff and Labour have to sell this well. I am taking the day off next Friday to deliver the explanatory leaflets to mailboxes, and if any here are as supportive as they claim it would be great if you could do the same.

    • big bruv 11.1

      Tell me Adrian, did you feel the same level of outrage at Helen Clark’s theft of 850k of tax payer money?

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        Please provide evidence that Helen Clark personally stole and kept $850k of tax payer money.

        • ianupnorth 11.1.1.1

          I am looking forward to that answer!!

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2

          “Please provide evidence”

          haha nice play mate

          • Adrian 11.1.1.2.1

            I can’t word for word it, but it went along the lines of trading assets through shell like companies etc. It was on a Natrad news broadcast, very hard to follow because it was in Authentic Keysian Gibberish.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      What was his advice?

  12. Matthew Hooton 12

    I guess I better start thinking about what to say about the CGT in tomorrow’s NBR …

    • Kaplan 12.1

      What’s to think about? If you want to write some honest facts on the subject then that’s pretty damn easy.
      Of course if you want to ignore the facts and spin it negatively then yeah you better get that thinking cap on…

    • Blighty 12.2

      well, you can’t argue against the economics of it. Your business readers will be loving the prospect of more capital directed at productive investment in business.

      You could call it tax and spend, except it won’t bring in much money at first and Labour’s big policies ($5K tax-tree, R&D trax credits, no GSt on fresh fruit and vegetables) are all tax cuts.

      I guess you could admit that it shows a hell of a lot more courage and vision than Key has managed in three years.

      • vto 12.2.1

        Yes, can someone outline what courageous vision Key has in fact shown since taking office?

        I don’t think there has been any has there? Anyone? Anything at all?

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1

          His greenstone wool fabric suit was nice.

        • felix 12.2.1.2

          I think he sat next to Obama once.

        • higherstandard 12.2.1.3

          Only one and that was pre taking office……. the removal of Helen Clark and Labour.

          Scrub and repeat, same thing will happen to him in 2014.

          • Lanthanide 12.2.1.3.1

            He’ll be leaving in late 2012 or mid-2013, assuming they win the election. Otherwise he’ll be leaving late 2011 or early 2012, like a spoilt child who didn’t get his way.

        • pollywog 12.2.1.4

          He minced his way down a runway.

      • Matthew Hooton 12.2.2

        You commos might be pleasantly surprised!

        • The Voice of Reason 12.2.2.1

          If we read the NBR, yeah, we might be. But $9.95 on paper and a paywall on the net, even us chardonnay socialists are priced out of access to your pearls of wisdom, Matthew.
           
          And the thought of not knowing what you are told to think keeps me awake at night.
           
           

  13. vto 13

    Again, what about if you have two family homes?

    • felix 13.1

      You’d have to define family. Maybe you have two families.

      • vto 13.1.1

        Many do have two families. Think split families. Step-families. Or even one family that simply lives in two places. Family set-ups have myriad forms.

        One of the many complications no doubt.

        • felix 13.1.1.1

          Yeah, I wasn’t being facetious ;)

        • mickysavage 13.1.1.2

          Well with one of the houses if you make a great big capital gain you will have to pay 1/6 of it to the state so that kids can be educated, citizens provided with health care, police wages paid and those unfortunate to be unemployed or recently single can get some support.  Sound fair enough?

  14. ianupnorth 14

    The hardly scientific poll on the Herald’s website is currently at 40% for, 60% against. As stated earlier property speculation is not a majority activity; it is crucial to spell out exactly what it means and how it is better.
    BTW on Radio NZ yesterday the total rental property holding is in the region of NZ$200 million, yet a staggering NZ$500 million of registered tax losses are claimed against that – that simply is not fair and is rorting the sytem.

    • indiana 14.1

      Which Govt introduced LAQC – the vehicle used to avoide tax by claiming depreciation on your assets?

      • ianupnorth 14.1.1

        That isn’t just depreciation; its the GST on the vehicle used for the inspection visits and much, much more. I had a neighbour who owned several investments, every trip to town was ‘replacing a lightbulb’, inspecting the lawns, etc.

      • lprent 14.1.2

        LAQC’s were introduced into Income Tax Act 2004, replaced and tinkered with in 2007, and changed to LTC’s in 2010.

        In other words a legislative idea that got used for purposes that were probably not intended. Pretty normal. You can find this type of act scattered around throughout previous acts of parliament from all parties. Especially where taxes are concerned as the IRD tinkers with those almost continuously closing loopholes and frequently opening them as well.

        I’m sure that you have a point. But apart from your limited understanding of the legislative process and it’s frequent failures, I have quite failed to see it.

      • Lanthanide 14.1.3

        Clearly you don’t understand the usefulness of LAQCs, because you can still claim depreciation of your assets against your income and reduce your tax liability.

        When you have a mortgage on an investment property, you can claim the mortgage interest (but not principal) against your income and reduce your tax liability.

        When the house is owned by a LAQC, the LAQC pays the entire mortgage payment as an expense. Rental income goes to the LAQC as a straight income stream. If the LAQC makes a loss overall, this can be claimed against your personal income tax.

        Example of what this let you do:
        Your rental mortgage costs $10,000 in interest and $10,000 in principal each year. You receive $15,000 in rental income from tenants. If the house is held personally, you claim $15k in income, and deduct $10k in interest, for a net income increase of $5k, on which you pay regular income tax.

        If you own the house under an LAQC, then the LAQC has mortgage expense of $20k, and rental income of $15k. Overall it makes a loss of $5k. You then transfer this loss of $5k to your personal income, and get a refund on the tax paid.

        So if your income from other sources (eg salary) was $50k, in the first scenario you pay income tax on $55k income, and in the second scenario you pay income tax on only $45k of income.

        The difference here is that with an LAQC, you get to claim your mortgage principal against your income, whereas without one you can’t.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    So the CGT is to apply to all asset classes.

    Does this mean I will also be able to claim for losses against personal assets that depreciate, such as the family car?

    • grumpy 15.1

      Losses that are covered in Australia include losses on investments, so if you lost money on Finance Companies you can claim against tax. If Labour get in, all those losses could be written off and the CGT would make a loss.

      Also, if you own a house in the Red Zone, then any loss can also be offset for tax purposes.

      CGT in Australia provides a whole new raft of tax avoidance opportunities and the ability to actually make money from Capital losses.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        I agree. It would be very unwise for any government to plan for income from a CGT. It could only really be considered on its merits for directing investment into more productive areas other than speculation. The tax itself might well make a loss more often than not.

        Also, how would the CGT affect Kiwisaver investments? Will the return reduce to investors because the underlying assets have increased in value and therefore become taxable?

        • grumpy 15.1.1.1

          That’s how it would appear, in Australia though, one of the great rorts is through “superannuation schemes”.

          My advice to anyone who has lost money to finance company collapse is to hold off writing off the loss as long as possible. You might at least get 15c in the dollar back, courtesy the Taxman.

          • Lanthanide 15.1.1.1.1

            The scheme is likely to have a grandfathered clause so all existing capital gains and losses are excluded from the tax.

            This means if you bought a house 30 years ago for $20k and sold it in 2014 for $350k after the tax is in place, you would NOT be paying tax on $330k. Whether you would pay any tax at all is not yet clear – they may have some way of working out the capital value of the property in 2012 and then taxing you on the difference between the 2014 and 2012 price.

            So any existing losses from investments you have are highly unlikely to get you a refund.

            • grumpy 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah, but losses on investments (such as finance companies) are only realised after the liquidator has finished disposing of assets and recovering debtors. Even then, there can be delays sorting out priority etc. If Labour get in, there are likely to be quite a few where the liquidator has not completed until into Labour’s term.

              • Lanthanide

                Timeline:
                * 2005: You invest $50k into a finance compan.
                * 2009, the finance company goes bellyup, and your investment is now worth maybe $2,500-$5,000 (what you can expect to get out of the liquidation)
                * 2012: CGT with grandfathered clause brought in.
                * 2012: Liquidation finally settled. You receive $3,250 from your investment.

                At the time when the CGT was brought in, your position with the finance company was estimated at between $2.5k and $5k. You eventually receive $3.25k, meaning you have either made a capital gain of $1.25k or a loss of $1.25k, or because it’s slap-bag in the middle of your investment’s expected value, you haven’t changed your capital position.

                Of course, this is speculation on how these losses would be treated, and the process could be broadly the same but with details that change the exact results. But the point is that if the grandfather clause protects you from having to pay CGT on the $330k “profit” you made from the house you bought 30 years ago, I don’t see why the grandfathered clause would work any differently for finance company investments that went bust prior to the CGT being brought in.

                • grumpy

                  That is assuming it is “grandfathered”. I’m not sure prior transactions will be – not if they are trying to raise $4b.

                  • KJT

                    It should not be grandfathered. Speculators have been bludging off the rest of us for long enough.

                    Why should I work 100 hours a week and pay 33% tax on my retirement savings. While someone sits on a house, shares, gold, farmland of other assets doing nothing and pays no tax on their income.

        • Lanthanide 15.1.1.2

          Unlikely to affect Kiwisaver investments negatively.

          My Kiwisaver provider is set up as a PIE investment entity. The returns are already classed as income and taxed at 28%. There’s no way they’d be introducing a double-whammy tax.

          If anything, Kiwisaver funds may be given special treatment and taxed at a 15% rate instead of the usual PIE rate. Or if the kiwisaver fund goes down, it might be eligible for 15% refund; not sure if you can get a tax refund if your PIE shrinks.

  16. mikesh 16

    “A loss is a diminution of capital. A gain is income.

    Sorry but if investors lose the state will not partially compensate them.”

    If you are going to regard a gain as income then a “diminution of capital” would have to be treated as a loss, and therefore would be deductible, for tax purposes, from other income.

    However CGT doesn’t require “gain” to be defined in this way.

  17. mikesh 17

    “Listen to the economics correspondent from the Syndey Morning Herald explain what happened in Australia when they introduced a CGT. Yeah they also had all the naysayers like Peter George predicting the sky would fall in – but guess what? It didn’t.

    The correspondent notes how New Zealand is considered to be a strange anomally in that it doesn’t have a CGT – Australia, UK, US all have CGT. Also some good points regarding the lack of a CGT being a loophole in the NZ tax system that enables people to convert taxable income to non-taxable capital gain. Therfore it’s not just what a CGT would raise directly but with the loophole gone it would be harder to use property speculation to shelter income and so more tax would be collected on earned income.”

    A CGT needs to judged on its merits. Even if every other country in the world has one, this does not in itself mean that we should adopt a CGT.
    The trouble is that CGT doesn’t address the main problem, which seems to be the deductibility of interest. Undercapitalised landlords pay large wads of cash to moneylenders, and as a result fail to make a profit and therefore they pay no tax. They then rely on some future capital gain to justify what they euphemistically refer to as an investment. Another landlord might invest his own capital, pay nothing to the moneylenders, make a healthy profit, and instead pay large wads of cash to the government in the form of income tax. Is it really fair that these latter landlords should pay CGT on the same basis as the former? Make interest non deductible and you would probably solve the problem.
    If a wouldbe landlord doesn’t have the capital to invest, one would have to ask, what the hell is doing in the landlord business.

  18. mikesh 18

    “If you own the house under an LAQC, then the LAQC has mortgage expense of $20k, and rental income of $15k. Overall it makes a loss of $5k. You then transfer this loss of $5k to your personal income, and get a refund on the tax paid.”

    Actually the LAQC is making a profit of $5,000. Only half of the $20,000 mortgage payment is an actual expense. The remaining $10,000 represents a reduction of liabilities.

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    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • The cost of tax cheats
    How much do corporate tax cheats cost? In the US, over US$180 billion a year:US taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Cats cavorting through capital – Morgan
    The capital’s cats are cavorting through Wellington properties at a rate of 49 million trespasses a year, according to a new study by anti-cat campaigner Gareth Morgan. Island Bay and the rest of the Southern Ward turned out to be...
    Gareth’s World | 16-04
  • “Stick to your knitting”…Gratuitous insult from Minister Groser to NZ...
    Climate Minister Groser continues to insult the New Zealand people – this time through our leading scientists. On Monday the IPCC released Working Group III’s section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Building on Group I (science) and II (impact), this...
    frogblog | 16-04
  • Needlessly shitty
    Parliament has been rejecting select committee submissions for not being written in English or Maori:The Health Select Committee is rejecting 60 submissions against plain packaging legislation because they were made in neither English nor Maori. [...] Committee chairman, National MP...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Fiji: Hoist by his own petard?
    Last year Fijian dictator Voreqe Bainimarama tried to ban political parties in an effort to limit opposition in the lead-up to promised elections. A key part of the crackdown was a ban on political campaigning by anyone who wasn't a...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • The first victim!
    It is well established that the first victim in war is truth. Mind you the dispatch of truth usually comes well before the shooting starts. I have a personal interest in Ukraine and the dispatch of truth occurred for me...
    Open Parachute | 16-04
  • Key makes it up on “fat tax”
    Today John Key rejected suggestions that a tax on sugary drinks could save dozens of lives a year. Why? Read on: The New Zealand Medical Journal reported in February that a 20 per cent tax on sugary soft drinks would...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 16-04
  • Labour focuses on minor transport issues
    Labour released a small part of their transport policy yesterday and frankly it’s absolute rubbish with it seemingly designed just to target a handful of complainers. You can get a good feel for what they’re aiming at when the policy...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible. “We’re disappointed... The post Lincoln cleaners outsourced appeared...
    TEU | 15-04
  • Gordon Campbell on the life and ACC work of Sir Owen Woodhouse
    With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. In its original incarnation in the early 1970s, ACC had been a...
    Gordon Campbell | 15-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming
    The draft decision by the Board of Inquiry (BOI) on the Tukituki Catchment proposal represents a significant win for freshwater management and the urgency of a transition to environmentally sustainable agriculture in New Zealand, says Fish & Game NZ....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • ACC reflects on passing of great Kiwi
    Today is a very sad day for ACC, as news of the passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse has become public knowledge....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
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