web analytics
The Standard

Polity: X more thoughts on poll bias

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, February 26th, 2014 - 26 comments
Categories: national, nz first, polls - Tags: , ,

Rob Salmond at Polity has some changing thoughts on the subject of poll bias.

Whenever the media report on polls, they get accused of all manner of biases by the blinkered commentariat. Most of it is nonsense, of course. But some criticism of the polling methods themselves may have more merit that I first thought.

I have been keeping track of the polls in New Zealand for a few years now, mainly trying to get the rightindustry average level of support for each party, and figuring out ways to account for the biases in individual pollsters’ methods. Polity’s Poll of Polls is part of this work, as was the academic work I did uncovering bias in the old version of the Colmar Brunton poll.

But both Danyl at the Dim-Post and Gavin White at UMR have been looking at something more fundamental – is the polling industry biased as a whole? There is certainly a small enough number of competing firms in the market, and enough limitations on their work (e.g. the cost of calling mobiles) for bias to conceivably sneak in. For example, the best information I have seen suggests that the New Zealand population with access to a landline skew about 1.7% more towards National than the population as a whole. Calling a random selection of landlines, even if you do some weighting by demographics, can easily give you a result reflecting this bias.

Is this what is happening in New Zealand? Using quite different methods (but the same raw data), Danyl and Gavin both come to the conclusion that the New Zealand polling industry overstates National, modestly overstates the Greens, understates New Zealand First, and gets Labour about right.

I can see reasons other than poll bias why election results for the Greens may not reflect their polling. It could easily be that the young people who make up a lot of the Greens’ support base are just not very reliable when it comes to turning out in elections.

And the mechanism most people give for poll bias – the non-representative subset of the people who have landlines, should lead pollsters to overestimate New Zealand First with its older support base, not underestimate them. The underestimate of New Zealand First does not seem to fit the causal story people are telling.

But the fairly consistent results on National are harder to dismiss. In each of the last three elections we have been left staring at the chicken bones trying to explain how National’s support seemed to fall away in the dying days. A delayed Brethren effect? Collective panic at the thought of one party government? Maybe. Or maybe these are just the stories we tell ourselves in order to feel comfortable with the polls.

(Having said that, the polls in 2008 and 2011 did actually show a late-term decline for National, just not one big enough to account for the actual result. So the pollsters were not at all surprised in either case that National’s support was lower than its early campaign peak, but they were surprised just how far National had fallen.)

I was caught short in 2011 relying on the polling industry average by falsely projecting that National would get enough votes to govern alone, and that New Zealand First would not break 5%. I was wrong on both counts, and in exactly the direction that Danyl and Gavin would predict. Some might say that is all the evidence you need of bias.

Ultimately, however, I am not sold just yet on the notion of industry-level bias.

The studies Danyl and Gavin have done here can claim as many poll-level observations as they like, but in an important sense the number of elections is the number of observations, because that is the number of times you observe the true value of the things we are busy estimating. Which means right now we are operating on N equals three. Making conclusions on an N this small is risky.

While I’m not yelling “fire” at this stage, I do think there may be smoke. I did not think that three years ago.

If later this year we have to wave our hands at yet another inexplicable final week decline for National, and again marvel at Winston’s ability to sneak up on everyone at the last second, then that will substantially strengthen the claim of industry-wide bias.

If we find there is this bias down the track, then we will have to look very carefully at the way in which a slanted perception of the political reality today impacts on voters’ minds, usually through the journalistic filter. Do they unfairly nurture the reputations of over-estimated parties like National and the Greens, and unfairly tarnish New Zealand First. Does it have real consequences for those parties at the ballot box in an MMP environment? And, of so, is that political speech that should be protected, or protected against?

26 comments on “Polity: X more thoughts on poll bias”

  1. Blue 1

    Do they unfairly nurture the reputations of over-estimated parties like National and the Greens, and unfairly tarnish New Zealand First.

    The media don’t really care what the poll results are when it comes to how they represent certain parties. Witness two pieces in the Herald today focused on the 0% wonder.

    Their beef with NZ First is mostly journos having personal feuds with Winston Peters.

    If anything, the poll results which overestimate National simply give the media more of an excuse to downplay Labour, which they do anyway.

    • Crunchtime 1.1

      That doesn’t necessarily hold true when you are talking about a party with a large support base. If it looks (falsely) like a foregone conclusion that a party will win a majority vote, or close to, then it’s likely to demoralise and demotivate those who might vote against them.

      I’m not saying this is entirely to blame for the record-breaking 800,000 who didn’t vote last election, but I would suggest it’s one of many contributing factors.

    • Crunchtime 1.2

      …in addition, isn’t there the type of person who tends to vote with who seems to be the “winner” in order to give a “stable government”?

      If so then polls that show National as reasonably far ahead will have a gravitational effect, as it were, on future poll results favouring National, including the ultimate poll results of the election.

      Furthermore isn’t this a big reason why Labour has been polling so poorly for the past half decade, because it has been well publicised as being “divided” and therefore “unstable”? To be fair, Labour haven’t really done enough to dispel that notion.

  2. McFlock 2

    It also seems to me that there seems to be a bit of a bias towards the government of the day. No real data to back it up, though

    • Tracey 2.1

      I agree and think it is probably related tot he amoun to fmedia exposure a PM gets, compared to a LofO. Understandably the PM is a go to on many many things.

      I wonder, what would change, if anything, if published polls were outlawed in an election year?

    • Pasupial 2.2

      McFlock

      Polls do generally favour the incumbent. Most of the research on this is from a US setting, which I can’t be bothered churning through right now. This is the closest that I’ve been able to find to a NZ example thus far:

      http://www.digipoll.com/library/election-polling

      You can see the higher digipoll numbers than votes achieved on election night for the incumbent National in 2011 (51% vs 47%) and Labour in 2005 (45% vs 41%). The transition years contradict this however; in 1999 Labour was favoured in the poll (40% vs 39%), in 2008 National (48% vs 45%). Plus in 2002 National was favoured in the digipoll (23% vs 21%).

      I really need to get more NZ data on this though. The digipoll numbers seem to be averaged across the election year. Online; Roy Morgan only goes back to January 2012, and; Colmar Brunton to February 2011.

    • JK 2.3

      that didn’t happen with Helen Clark in her final term ….. media were very biased against her.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    “And the mechanism most people give for poll bias – the non-representative subset of the people who have landlines, should lead pollsters to overestimate New Zealand First with its older support base, not underestimate them. The underestimate of New Zealand First does not seem to fit the causal story people are telling.”

    Do elderly living in rest homes have their own individual phone lines? I’d suggest not all of them would.

    • Tracey 3.1

      If it is like other types of residential care there is a main line with a voice message allowing you to input the extension you require or else wait to get the reception?

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Right, in which case there would only be 1 number in the phone book which would cover all residents, rather than 1 line per resident.

        So that would help to explain some of why NZ1st is under-represented.

  4. Ant 4

    How many people have their numbers listed these days anyway?

    • Pasupial 4.1

      Ant

      They don’t need a phone listing – they’ve got computers configured to generate random 7 digit numbers (plus area prefix). Or in Colmer Brunton speak; “Nationwide random digit dialling of landline telephones using stratified random probability sampling”.

      • Ant 4.1.1

        Cheers for that, for some reason I had it in my head that calling like that was legislated against and they had to use public information.

      • jaymam 4.1.2

        The random phone numbers are driven by a table for each telephone exchange that shows the telephone numbers actually in use. If those tables have not been updated since the program was supplied (by me!) to the pollster, the newly added numbers and new exchanges will not be polled. Those will tend to be in the outer cheaper suburbs where they are more likely to be lefties.

        • Pasupial 4.1.2.1

          Cheers for that info jaymam. Any idea how often those number tables are updated in the company you’ve had dealings with? [to remained unnamed obviously]

          • jaymam 4.1.2.1.1

            The director that I gave the program to ended up suing the programmer for a lot of money, for a different program. So I doubt that the tables have ever been updated. It is very possible they use a different program now, but they possibly think that nobody would notice if they don’t call all the new numbers.That director has now fallen out with the company that bears her name and now does some polling on her own, which has been widely criticised.

  5. fambo 5

    I wonder how difficult it would be for external agencies to manipulate polls to destabilise a government. They could, for instance, pump large sums of money into setting up their own polling company. Or ferret their operatives into positions of importance in extant polling companies.

  6. rain33 6

    Polls Shmolls, who can forget the embarrassing fail of the right wing, namely Dick Morris and Dean Chambers who had Romney winning the 2012 US election right up until the night of the election? Their methods of ‘unskewing’ the polls sounded quite justified, by re-weighting the sample to match what they believed the electorate would look like in terms of party identification, but as history has proven were completely off the mark.

    I would highly recommend the book The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t – by Nate Silver the ‘god of polling’ and American statistician, who in the 2012 US Presidential election correctly predicted the outcome of all 50 States and the District of Columbia, that same year his U.S. Senate race predictions were correct in 31 of 33 States, in 2008 he got 35/35

    Individual polls are an indication of a moment in time. However, when polls start to indicate a trend, that is worth paying attention to. That should be of a concern to Labour. The debate regarding cellphones versus landlines etc was discussed ad-nauseum in the US but became a mute point. For all we know people who have landlines are more likely to turn up and vote at the election booth than people who don’t have landlines. You will get giddy trying to work out all the variables. Instead Labour should be focusing on getting a cohesive message out to the voting public.

  7. Whatever next 7

    Do our polls use the same polling techniques as Nate Silver?

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Nate Silver didn’t perform any polling himself, he just aggregated and number-crunched the polls that others did.

      In the process he uncovered statistical proof that one of the polling companies was deliberately biasing their polls towards the republicans – they shut up shop after that IIRC.

    • Tamati 7.2

      As said above, Silver doesn’t poll. Silver uses what’s called Bayesian statistics. It’s a totally different way of looking at sampling and prediction and is very trendy ATM.

      Unfortunately it would be very hard to replicate here because we too few polls and under MMP you don’t have an absolute ‘winner’ like you do in FPP,

  8. swordfish 8

    Here are the Poll averages from previous Election years for both (1) February (to help anticipate 2014 Election result from current (February) polling) and (2) the 4-week period immediately before the particular Election (with Election Result comparisons):

    2011

    Nat (Feb average) 53% / Election 47% (minus 6 points)
    Nat (Final 4-weeks average) 52% / Election 47% (minus 5 points)

    Lab (Feb average) 33% / Election 27% (minus 6 points)
    Lab (Final 4-weeks average) 28% / Election 27% (minus 1 point)

    Green (Feb average) 8% / Election 11% (plus 3 points)
    Green (Final 4-weeks average) 12% / Election 11% (minus 1 point)

    NZF (Feb average) 3% / Election 7% (plus 4 points)
    NZF (Final 4-weeks average) 3% / Election 7% (plus 4 points)

    2008

    Nat (Feb average) 53% / Election 45% (minus 8 points)
    Nat (Final 4-weeks average) 47% / Election 45% (minus 2 points)

    Lab (Feb average) 34% / Election 34% (Equal)
    Lab (Final 4-weeks average) 35% / Election 34% (minus 1 point)

    Green (Feb average) 6% / Election 7% (plus 1 point)
    Green (Final 4-week average) 8% / Election 7% (minus 1 point)

    NZF (Feb average) 3% / Election 4% (plus 1 point)
    NZF (Final 4-weeks average) 3% / Election 4% (plus 1 point)

    2005

    Nat (Feb average) 37% / Election 39% (plus 2 points)
    Nat (Final 4-weeks average) 40% / Election 39% (minus 1 point)

    Lab (Feb average) 45% / Election 41% (minus 4 points)
    Lab (Final 4-weeks average) 40% / Election 41% (plus 1 point)

    Green (Feb average) 5% / Election 5% (Equal)
    Green (Final 4-weeks average) 6% / Election 5% (minus 1 point)

    NZF (Feb average) 5% / Election 6% (plus 1 point)
    NZF (Final 4-weeks average) 6% / Election 6% (Equal)

    Need I say more ? (I need not).

  9. Crunchtime 9

    I was trying to find some info about opinion polls prior to the 2002 election but can’t seem to find any on the internet. There’s a lot of info on opinion polls for 2005 but not the previous…

    All I could find was this story about how polls were pointing to an outright majority, but people “withdrew their support” to deny them this. Clearly, National didn’t benefit from this either, nearly slipping below 20% support, which I believe is far lower than Labour’s support has ever fallen.

    I also found some interesting food for thought: the “Electoral (Public Opinion Polls) Amendment Bill” 2002. This is to outlaw any publicity whatsoever 28 days prior to the election. Because OPINION POLLS INFLUENCE RESULTS. Interesting huh… As if banning them for 28 days is going to make any difference!

    Election results 2002:

    Labour 41.3%

    National 20.9%

    NZ First 10.4%

    Act 7.1%

    Green 7%

    United Future 6.7%

    Progressive 1.7%

    Possibly the most even spread of votes in NZ election history?

    It would be interesting to see what opinion polls were doing leading up to this result.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    2 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    3 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    3 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    3 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    3 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    3 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    4 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    4 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    4 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    5 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    5 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    6 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere