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Phil Goff: Contemporary China Research Centre

Written By: - Date published: 6:25 pm, July 2nd, 2014 - 9 comments
Categories: China, Economy, Environment, exports, farming, farming, food, International, labour, phil goff, Politics, trade - Tags: , ,

phil goffReposted from Labour’s website.

Speech by Hon Phil Goff MP, Labour Trade Spokesperson, Victoria University, 2 July 2014

The Central Committee of China’s Communist Party’s decisions at a Plenary meeting would, two decades ago, have been of limited interest to New Zealand.

The situation today is very different.

China’s importance in the global economy and the size of its trade with New Zealand means that reforms to its economy are now very relevant to us.

China two years ago became our largest trading partner and the largest export market for our goods.

Just last week, two-way trade between our countries passed the $20 billion per annum benchmark.  By 2020, it could easily exceed $30 billion on present growth projections.

Growth in demand for high quality, safe and protein rich food by China’s growing middle class has been phenomenal.

Last year, the sale of NZ dairy products soared from $2 billion to $4 billion in one year.

Trade in New Zealand logs peaked at $1.7 billion though that is reducing sharply as the infrastructure boom in China is wound back.

Sheep meat exports moved from 1 per cent of NZ’s lamb exports in 2009 to 35 per cent last year valued at $670 million.  Beef exports jumped 271 per cent to $190 million.  An astounding $240 million worth of live crayfish, almost all of our exports, went to China last year.

Growth of trade in services has been similarly spectacular.  China has remained our largest source of international students at 24,000.   Tourism leapt to 250,000 a year making China our second biggest source of tourists.

That growth has been incredibly valuable to us.  When Europe and the US markets during the GFC were shrinking, growth in demand from China stopped New Zealand from facing the same depth in economic crisis as other western economies.

The increasing level of dependence by New Zealand on a narrow range of primary sector commodities and one market has at the same time caused some concern.  Having too many eggs in one basket creates risks.

China takes nearly 23 per cent of our total exports, up from 6 per cent in 2010.  That is still a long way from the level of dependence we had on the United Kingdom in the 1950s and 1960s.

However, within 10 years our exports to China could be around 30 per cent of our exports, a similar level to what we had with the UK at the time it entered the EEC in 1974.

Indirectly we are even more dependent on China because of its high level of trade with other important trading partners like Australia.  China is the largest trading partner for some 124 other countries.  If the Chinese economy were to collapse, the direct and indirect effects on New Zealand’s trade and economy would be dire.

The catalyst for the growth in trade was the high quality, comprehensive Free Trade Agreement I signed in the Great Hall of the People with Chen Deming in 2008.

The timing was perfect.

It coincided with the cumulative impact of decades of consistently high growth in the Chinese economy.  That produced an urban middle income group of over 300 million who had disposable income and a hunger for high protein and high quality food.

That demand is likely to be sustained into the future.  While demand for hard commodities like iron ore and coal is diminishing as the boom in infrastructure promoted by the Chinese Government to counter the effects of the GFC is wound back, demand for soft commodities like dairy is continuing to increase.

China is not able to meet this demand internally, with the current state of its agriculture and constraints on water and agricultural land.

When prices are high, however, other competitors are drawn into the market.  It is unlikely that dairy prices will be sustained at their current level.  As recent events have shown, nor can we be complacent about our reputation for high quality safe food.

Real damage was done to our reputation by the DCD and botulism scares.  It could have been even worse.  The New Zealand Government through its restructuring, cost-cutting and understaffing of MFAT and MPI must bear some responsibility for that.  Likewise Fonterra whose communication strategy and quality safeguards fell well short of the mark.

Aside from these issues, what are the risks of an economic crisis or downturn in the Chinese economy that might damage New Zealand given our growing dependence on it?  And will the reforms foreshadowed at the Third Plenum mitigate these risks?

Pessimists point to the slowing rate of growth in the Chinese economy.  They point out that China is no longer increasing its share of the US and European import markets.

They highlight growing debt levels, an appreciating currency where the RMB is 35 per cent up against the US dollar compared to 2005, and that China’s low cost advantage has been blunted by rising wages which have tripled in the past decade.  Internal inefficiencies, bureaucracy and corruption undermine China’s performance.

However, these things should be seen in context.  After 30 years of double digit growth, it is entirely predictable that the rate of growth will slow.  It is also worth pointing out that while growth in 2009 was 9.2 per cent, it produced increased value of 2.7 trillion RMB.  In 2013 growth was lower at 7.7 per cent but because it came from a much higher base, added value was in fact five trillion RMB.

China’s debt has gone up but as a percentage of GDP it is still lower than Germany’s, the least indebted of the G7 countries.

The NZ Treasury last year concluded that there are cyclical risks to China’s economic performance in the medium term but the risks were manageable.

The Reserve Bank in May of this year warned of the build-up of fragilities in the financial sector.  The so-called shadow banking sector runs higher risks than the more regulated and supervised banking sector.

Local government financing vehicles face significant funding and liquidity risks.  There is a risk of a sharp decline in property prices which could reduce household wealth and trigger more widespread asset losses in the financial sector.

The Reserve Bank warned that a contraction in Chinese demand could have a major impact on New Zealand’s exports.

However it reported that reforms in the Third Plenum aimed at liberalising interest rates, reforming local government finances and improving transparency and regulation in the shadow banking sector addressed these risks.

The central government in China holds extensive assets and foreign reserves.  External debts are minimal and central government debt low.  The Chinese Government, it said, therefore has the capacity to intervene to stabilise financial markets and manage the risks.

The Third Plenum and the leadership of Xi Jinping mark a clear commitment by the new Administration in China to address the need for economic, social and environmental reform in China.

Comparing it with the land mark reforms of Deng Xiaoping at the Third Plenum of 1978 may be an exaggeration.

The 1978 reforms marked the abandonment of Mao’s disastrous economic policies and political management and a platform to launch China’s opening up and reform.

The 2013 reforms build on preceding changes and mark an intensification of efforts to address outstanding problems.

The most significant change will be to allow the market to play a more decisive role in the allocation of resources, and to price those resources accordingly.  The power of SOEs will be curbed and new areas opened up for private sector investment and competition.  Unnecessary red tape and regulation will be cut.  Financial markets will be liberalised and improved and the tax system further reformed.

Social reforms are also significant.  Most families will be allowed to have a second child if they choose.  The hukou or household registration system will be reformed to give rural migrants equal access to public services.  Re-education via labour systems will be abolished.

The crackdown on corruption has already seen over 31,000 officials convicted in 2013 and has reached up to the highest levels of the Party.  Importantly the crackdown has been sustained and appears likely to continue to apply pressure to change an entrenched culture.

There is a renewed commitment to addressing the air, water and soil pollution caused by decades of subordinating the environment to rapid economic development.

The reforms, however, don’t embrace political liberalisation.  Media censorship has tightened and the pervasive and dominant role of the Party entrenched.

It remains to be seen whether the intent of reforms can be realised without the accountability that the rule of law, an independent judiciary and free media and upholding of human rights provides in a democratic society.

To conclude, it is too early to judge conclusively what impact the Third Plenum reforms will have on China’s economy and society and on us and the region.  The need for reform is undoubted, the commitment to reform and leadership of it apparently strong and the general direction of the reform positive.

The ability to implement it and whether the extent of necessary reform goes far enough are both less certain.

New Zealand will benefit economically from the successful implementation of reform because of the high level of interaction between our economy and China’s.  So too will the region.

New Zealand should seize the opportunities China offers us as a trading partner and make changes to ensure we are best able to realise the full potential it offers.

At the same time we would be wise to make strenuous efforts to diversify our export markets and the narrow export base our country relies on.

That is a common sense safeguard against the risks that dependency on any one market or narrow range of products involves.

With reform and continuing economic success, China’s influence over us, the region and the world will grow commensurately.  Political and military power grows with economic power.

Our engagement with China and the balancing of our relationships with China and the other super power in our region, the United States, will more and more become front and centre of New Zealand’s foreign and trade policy.

9 comments on “Phil Goff: Contemporary China Research Centre”

  1. ianmac 1

    And of course much bigger countries can up their milk production and out bid NZ. Not sure if this Government will bail out the farmers should there be a significant fall in income.
    And value added of other products like timber might help broaden our base.

  2. AmaKiwi 2

    Thank you, Phil, for a very comprehensive and timely analysis.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Basically, the above covers why the US decided to move an extra carrier group into the Pacific, and why it is supporting the remilitarisation of Japan above and beyond its self-defence mandate (and directly against the will of ordinary Japanese citizens).

    NZ needs a sovereign, independent foreign policy or we will be caught up in the BS of inevitable superpower wrangling in the Pacific over the next 10 years.

  4. greywarbler 4

    I put this in Open Mike earlier but I think it should be noted here too.

    RadioNZ 8:12 am Sunday 6 July: Insight: NZ’s tiptoe relationship with the US and China

    The Prime Minister, John Key’recent trip to New York was focused on lobbying permanent ambassadors at the United Nations to support New Zealand’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council in 2015/1.New Zealand has been selling itself as a sensible and moderate nation that prides itself on taking an independent view.

    But the main reason for John Key’s visit to the United States was to spend time with the President , Barack Obama, reinforcing Wellington’s warming relationship with Washington.
    America’s so-called “rebalance” towards the Asia-Pacific region, a policy thought to be prompted by the rising presence of China in the region. But could that also put NZ in a difficult position as it tries to balance its important relationships with both the US and China?

    Radio New Zealand Political reporter, Chris Bramwell, travelled with Mr Key to the US and explores how difficult that balancing act might be.

  5. geoff 5

    Here’s the tldr….China is important

    The most interesting part for me was the language that Goff used in this paragraph:

    The most significant change will be to allow the market to play a more decisive role in the allocation of resources, and to price those resources accordingly. The power of SOEs will be curbed and new areas opened up for private sector investment and competition. Unnecessary red tape and regulation will be cut. Financial markets will be liberalised and improved and the tax system further reformed.

    Yes that’s what China really needs, liberalised financial markets.
    I don’t suppose Phil looked too closely at why the GFC occurred…

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    In Goff’s universe it seems these deals are a triumph. Oddly enough, NZ seems a much poorer and more desperate place, triumphs notwithstanding. Some analysis of costs and benefits of trade deals is overdue – the more so with the TPP looming. I’m not quite sure that Goff is sufficiently detached to do that analysis either.

  7. greywarbler 7

    This morning Kathryn Ryan RadioNZ 9.20ish Thurs 3/7.

    Professor David Shambaugh is an internationally acclaimed commentator on contemporary China. He is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, and the Director of the China Policy Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

    Professor Shambaugh was the keynote speaker at a conference hosted by Victoria University of Wellington’s New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre on Wednesday 2 July, which contemplated the radical policy reforms that were proposed by the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee at the 2013 Third Plenum.

    His talk is titled: “New policies – has China done enough to secure its future? China at the crossroads.”

  8. DH 8

    I’ve read this a couple of times & still end with the same question. What’s his point?

    • Olwyn 8.1

      I took it as an attempt to soften people’s attitudes toward the TPP, but I may well be reading too much into it. The obvious things I find worrying about it are those expressed by geoff and Stuart Munro: his continued enthusiasm for “financial liberalisation” and his delight in “triumphs” that tend to involve the clobbering of the very section of the population he is supposed to represent.

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    Remember THIS video?Back in July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads – the tiny terrors that are often found in shower gels and facial scrubs, ...
    4 days ago
  • Does your cafeteria serve ocean destruction?
    Every time you eat in a restaurant, hospital, airport, a university cafeteria, or at even at a rock concert, it is likely that you are eating food provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress, a brand new Greenpeace ...
    4 days ago
  • My Arctic Home
    I live in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) in the Canadian Arctic. Most people have never heard of my town. It's 450km north of the Arctic Circle with a population of roughly 1,000. We are isolated from much of the world, but ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • One less objection to Skypath
    Some great news yesterday that the main objector to Skypath, the Northcote Residents Association (NRA), has withdrawn their appeal against the project. That leaves just the Northcote Point Historic Preservation Society (NPHPS) – made up of many of the same people ...
    4 days ago
  • A Political King.
    Birds Of A Feather: If Edward VIII had been a less enamoured sex-slave to Wallis Simpson and a more convinced fascist, it is entirely possible that he could have completely upended the British constitution. Royal words, and deeds, still matter ...
    4 days ago
  • Polity: Key peddles cynical “interest rate avenger” fantasy
    This week in Parliament, John Key repeated one of the lines that looks to be central to its election campaign in 2017. As we’ll see, that word “lines” probably has one too many n’s in it. Anyway, here it is:Rt ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Gaffer Departs
    My friend Simon Grigg this week announced something I've known for a while – that he's stepping down from his role as creative director at Audioculture. It is, literally, to spend more time with his family: Simon and his wife ...
    4 days ago
  • Places to go, people to be
    Nothing from me today - I'm off to Christchurch for Phoenix, their annual larp convention. Normal bloggage will resume Monday, once I've caught up. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is There Something Wrong With Aussie Sport?
    Is There Something Wrong with Aussie Sport? The news that Australian Olympians returning from Rio have been given a hard time by the Australian media and public for the alleged paucity of their medal haul will, sadly, have come as ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Pencilsword: I can’t draw horses
    ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
    . . “…We should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.” – John Key, 7 September 2008 . . ref . In September 2008, one month before the general election, National’s leader addressed the party’s “Bluegreen* Forum“, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago

  • Disability sector is in a ‘slow burning crisis’
    Disability advocates say the sector is in crisis and broken, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “A roundtable at Parliament organised by the Labour Party, heard today how National has left disability services chronically underfunded. ...
    18 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    19 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    3 days ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    5 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    6 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    6 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    6 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

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