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Rachel who?

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, July 1st, 2014 - 69 comments
Categories: election 2014, elections, labour - Tags:

Head and shoulders blue jacket

A guest post from Rachel Jones, who is number 25 of Labour’s list as well as the Labour candidate for the Tauranga seat.

Last Monday was a bit surreal. I was in a shop when I heard Duncan Garner asking on the radio “Who is Rachel Jones?” It’s a question many on the left were probably asking that day after my name appeared at number 25 on Labour’s list.

I am not a long-term party activist. I am not a political junkie. I am not a career politician.

I am an ordinary New Zealander who noticed that this country is changing alarmingly quickly for the worse. I used to sit on the couch and complain about things. Then a good friend (Cliff Allen, now Labour’s candidate for Hamilton East) challenged me to stop moaning and get involved with changing the government. So I did.

Always a left voter, I joined the Labour Party just over two years ago. It was the time when the draft policy platform was circulating and I saw my own values reflected in this document – freedom, opportunity, solidarity, equality and sustainability.

I never imagined I would become a candidate. I thought I would help behind the scenes, using my expertise from two PhDs and small business to help the party improve its structure and communications. But I had joined when the party was at a low ebb, when it needed people to step up and organize.

Between commutes to my research job in Finland, I started learning about how the Labour Party and campaigning worked. I went to every meeting and function I could, including campaign college. There, I was in the campaign managers’ stream when a woman came out of the candidates’ room, muttering about how typical it was that there were few women candidates. She said she thought it was because men look at a job and think “I can do 20% of that really well and I’ll learn the rest when I get the position,” whereas women look at a job and think “I can do 80% of that really well but not the rest so I won’t apply.” That really resonated with me.

So, after speaking to party members in my region, I put my hand up to be a candidate.

I had two goals. My first goal was to change the government. To do that I believed I had to make a difference to the Labour Party in the regions. I won a contested selection in Tauranga, a city that has not had a Labour list MP for over 10 years. My job was to revive the organization in Tauranga and the wider region and give those party stalwarts who had struggled along in isolation a sense of being part of a movement again. We are in the process of rebuilding the Bay of Plenty region; I hope we have done enough to significantly contribute to a change of government.

My second goal was to become an MP and use the skills acquired with my taxpayer-funded education to make positive changes in this country. It was a long-term goal, and I am humbled that it might happen much more quickly than I thought possible. I know I have leap-frogged over other talented people who have served their dues.

I hope I can earn their respect. I am a team player, I am not here for the edification of my own ego, I am not someone who seeks the limelight. I simply want to give back to our country and do it with integrity.

I want to be part of a government that restores to ordinary people the rights that have been eroded under the present government and recreate the kind of New Zealand that we all envisage – a New Zealand that values and ensures the right to work, the right to safe housing, the right to universal health care, and the right to a comprehensive social security net when needed. I want to make sure that our government is looking after the interests of the 90% of New Zealanders who earn below $72,000.

And I especially want to do that in Tauranga, where the voices of the left have gone unrepresented for too long.

Rachel Jones

rachel.jones@labour.org.nz

69 comments on “Rachel who?”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    OAB’s friendly advice to all new politicians: please read The Art of War.

    Good on you for putting your hand up Ms. Jones.

  2. dimebag russell 2

    nice to see a real person in Tauranga instead of the plastic facsimiles the tories keep putting up.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Thanks for the article. I am glad you will be there to fight for Labour and its principles.

    If Bridges is standing against you, make him fight for every vote and vanquish the arrogant git.

    How many households are in Tauranga and how many do you expect to personally door knock? Have you started yet? How many volunteers do you have to help you?

    Best wishes and Cheers!

    • Rachel Jones 3.1

      Thanks. We have a small but dedicated team here, trying to make contact with all 17,000 households. For the last few months we have mostly been phone calling but we have also been door knocking. We also plan to do lots of street corner meetings – something a bit different for Tauranga – that will hopefully allow us to reach more people. We want Simon to get nervous!

      • Clemgeopin 3.1.1

        Yes, it is hard to reach all 17,000 households. So many households, so little time!

        Street corner meetings are very effective, even if the crowd that gathers may be small, because people moving about do take notice of you and many will appreciate the hard work that goes into campaigning. I remember Jim Anderton doing that one year even in small towns. Do take a collection or have volunteers taking coin donations as part of the meeting to give people a sense of belonging and giving support.

      • Clemgeopin 3.1.2

        This part of an article I read today about Christchurch may be quite beneficial to you:

        “This month’s Fairfax Ipsos poll put Labour’s nationwide party vote at just 23.2 per cent (party sources have internal polling at 31 per cent). But Canterbury was the leading region for Labour, at 28 per cent, which could imply that a collapsed party vote is turning around.

        “I hear that we’re doing OK and our vote’s creeping up in Christchurch,” is all Tony Milne will say about the polling.

        Milne is Labour’s choice for Christchurch Central but in 2010, when he was campaign manager for Jim Anderton’s mayoral bid, he learnt the hard way that no campaign is over until it’s over. A Press poll put Anderton far ahead of Bob Parker before the first Canterbury earthquake hit. Anything can happen in three months.

        Milne has a reputation as a loyal party man and an adept organiser. He lost twice in the unwinnable seat of Rakaia but says proudly that “the Ashburton Guardian said I had run the best Labour campaign there in 20 years”. He was also a volunteer for Barack Obama in Pennsylvania in 2008.

        Monday was the day Milne’s campaign to win Christchurch Central became full-time. He took leave from his job as national manager of public health at the Problem Gambling Foundation the previous Friday, but he had already canvassed 8000 people in the electorate.

        “You have to earn it,” he says. “You have to be seen as someone who fights for the area. That’s the biggest piece of feedback I’ve had while doorknocking. They feel like they haven’t had a voice for the past three years.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10210924/Chch-political-landscape-set-for-shakeup

  4. karol 4

    Very good post.

    This:

    I want to be part of a government that restores to ordinary people the rights that have been eroded under the present government and recreate the kind of New Zealand that we all envisage – a New Zealand that values and ensures the right to work, the right to safe housing, the right to universal health care, and the right to a comprehensive social security net when needed.

    So pleased to see the “comprehensive social security” included.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      +1

      I saw my own values reflected in this document – freedom, opportunity, solidarity, equality and sustainability.

      The moral law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow [them] regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

  5. Shrubbery 5

    The only thing that worries me about your post is that having completed a PhD you were insane enough to do a second one!
    Otherwise, sounds good.

  6. alwyn 6

    You have obviously spent a great deal of time in the Academic world. Two PhDs would take at least 5 years I imagine.
    Have you ever had a job in a business? You mention some experience in a small business but can you tell us what it was and what did it do?

    • Rachel Jones 6.1

      Yes – far too long in the academic world! But also some time in the “real” world. I had a painful few years as a teacher in a corporate tertiary provider in Australia. I also spent five years as a small business owner between PhDs.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        Thank you for replying.
        Polticians who have no experience outside the Academic arena make me nervous.

        • Tracey 6.1.1.1

          you mean like career bureaucrats, with no real world experience?

        • dimebag russell 6.1.1.2

          @alwyn.
          why?
          speak up.

        • Yeah, I really mistrust academics. What do they even need all that specialised knowledge for, anyway?

          • alwyn 6.1.1.3.1

            Oh dear! If you feel that way I am afraid we will have to put it down to a deep-seated inferiority complex. Did you struggle at school?

        • KJT 6.1.1.4

          Politicians who have no experience outside of academic areas also make me nervous.
          But, not as nervous as politicians, who have had no experience of anything, but, being an over entitled example, of the Peter principle at work.

          Who have an overinflated view of their own abilities, after being paid way beyound their competence level, due to ‘brown nosing’, ‘toeing the line’ and working the old boy network, as a corporate cogwheel.

          • Clemgeopin 6.1.1.4.1

            A whole lot of these RWN jobs in National inherit their wealth, land, property and money from their parents and grandparents and go about telling the common struggling people how it is all about ‘personal responsibility’, ‘hard work’, ‘government should be hands off and limited’, ‘free market bonanza will trickle down your legs’ and such hypocritical two faced crap. The strangest enigma to me is that 50% of the voters seem to believe these capitalist crooks and fall for their BS.

          • alwyn 6.1.1.4.2

            That sounds like a description of David Cunliffe.
            I’m sure you don’t mean to be disparaging about him so I’ll ignore it.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.5

          Polticians who have no experience outside the Academic arena make me nervous.

          Doesn’t make me as nervous as politician who’s spent all their time in the corporate banking world (aka, Planet Key).

        • millsy 6.1.1.6

          Pol Pot also thought academic made him nervous…

          • alwyn 6.1.1.6.1

            Possibly. On the other hand the only New Zealand politician who ever had anything nice to say about him would appear to have been Keith Locke.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      My personal response to this feeble false narrative is this:

      Go get fucked, Alwyn.

      Business “values” as expressed by the National Party represent neither good business nor value. In New Zealand, in the real world, the evidence is in: businesses do better under Labour led governments, and your dimwit partisan bias is showing.

      • alwyn 6.2.1

        Crawl back under your rock.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1

          Not a radioactive glowing rock, nor yet a maggot-infested slimy rock, but a warm dry grounded rock, an anonymous rock, and that means comfort.

      • karol 6.2.2

        Agree. There’s plenty of jobs in the public sector that provide valuable experience for politicians – in health and education, for instance, workers get direct experience in interacting with and providing services for, a wide range of people and communities.

        The usual right wing false narrative is that business is “the real world” and every other sort of job is out of touch with “reality”.

        • Tracey 6.2.2.1

          and they then ignore their own non real world people…

          ACT has a philosopher
          minister of finance was a career bureaucrat

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2.1.1

            ouch

            😆

          • dimebag russell 6.2.2.1.2

            @tracey
            he aint a philosophers arsehole.’
            the stuff that he peddles is not philosophy.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2.1.2.1

              Pedant. 😉

            • Clemgeopin 6.2.2.1.2.2

              “he aint a philosophers arsehole.”

              Do they exist?though I have heard of the original ancient lapis philosophorum, connected with base stuff! Happy googling!

          • Nakiman 6.2.2.1.3

            No great surprise there Tracey all the minor parties are useless.

            • McFlock 6.2.2.1.3.1

              National might be a lightweight party, but they’re not a minor party.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2.1.3.2

              ..apart from ACT, who perform the ‘useful’ rôle of witless catspaw. They’re useful.

              Oh, no, wait, this just in: it turns out that the evidence is in: the National Party is the largest, most useless minority that ever built two bridges in the same place.

          • alwyn 6.2.2.1.4

            Very good Tracey. Is the philosopher a candidate or the Party President by the way. I haven’t really kept up with that organisation since Richard Prebble retired.

            English was at Treasury, as you say. He didn’t just stay at university did he? Got his first class honours and then went out and got a job. I, at least, have never considered public servants, with the possible exception of the staff of Women’s Affairs, as being “non real world people”. I was one myself once.
            I can’t be held responsible if that is your opinion though, can I?

        • alwyn 6.2.2.2

          Yes, of course. On the other hand Rachel never made any mention of having been a Public Servant and did say she had worked for a small business so I asked her about that.
          You did note that I said I was nervous of politicians who had never been anything other than an academic and that is really only people who never leave the quiet comfort of a University.

  7. Chooky 7

    Thanks Rachel Jones ….and very good Luck!…you would make a good MP

  8. feijoa 8

    We have only had one local councillor ever come up our long zigzag path to meet us
    We still vote for her, as we were impressed she made the effort.
    -Mind you, it helps that she’s green…

  9. ianmac 9

    Having a fresh face will be great for Labour and for NZ. Good LuckRachel.

    • and dont forget once was a member of the Cambridge Branch NZLP.The most active branch ever in a Tory stronghold. We have been in the forefront in flying the Labour Flag for 50 years .
      Racheal was the latest in a long list of top members whom have been in our small branch
      Im hoping she wins Tauranga she certainly would be a lot.lot beter than the present incompetent Tory.

  10. Brian 10

    As one of the 90% I wish you the very best. Don’t get lost amongst it.

  11. philj 11

    xox
    More informed MP s are required to lift the quality of our demokary, which is struggling under the present gang of corporate directed government. Kia kaha. Don’t bow to the righties in the party. Good luck.

  12. fisiani 12

    2 PhD’s and still supports Labour. Surely a mistake. How someone bright could stand for or vote Labour is a mystery that could generate a PhD. Has she not realised that Labour are platitudes and not practical. Also at number 25 she is just spending 3 months of her life as electoral fodder. On current polling number 17 would be lucky because 8 in winnable seats are not on the list. She is effectively number 33. She has as much chance as Trev has of cloning a moa.

    • dimebag russell 12.1

      thas okay fishyanis. you gonna evolve back into a slug shortly!

    • mickysavage 12.2

      Fisi you would be amazed at the intellectual firepower there is amongst Labour’s candidates and activists. And I do not know what current polling you are looking at but I am happy to bet with you that Rachel will be in Parliament after September 20.

      • Rodel 12.2.1

        F wouldn’t understand the word ‘intellect’ or ‘intellectual’ judging by his/her/its posts. Use little words.

    • Murray Olsen 12.3

      The real mystery is how someone reasonably human could ever vote NAct. No mystery why you do though, fizzy.
      Most of my close friends have PhDs these days, and none of them are right wingers. The right wing PhDs that I know all seem to have fairly debilitating psychological problems. I know correlation is not causation, but you gotta wonder.

      • vto 12.3.1

        now that is an interesting thing mr olsen…..

        people with big long thinking brains that consider in detail all of the possible outcomes ….

        that come to the same same conclusion

    • joe90 12.4

      Nactional – the party where a candidate who left school with no qualifications, had a tilt at tertiary with nothing to show for it and the only thing resembling a real job in his CV a sinecure as an electorate office toe sucker, is parachuted into safe a seat.
      /

    • Clemgeopin 12.6

      The author in the following interesting article about philosophy and socialism says :

      “I should like to advance the thesis that socialism and philosophy really are in a special relation­ship for there can he no realization of Philosophy without the reali­zation of socialism, nor can socialism be achieved without the help of philosophy. This relationship between philosophy and socialism has been partly anticipated by many philosophers and socialists and it was clearly expressed in the works of Marx and Engels.” (Both of whom were learned philosophers who have great influence on the ENTIRE world!)

      http://thecommune.co.uk/ideas/philosophy-and-socialism-by-gajo-petrovic/

      In this list you will find many well known philosophers with Socialist credentials:

      For list of ancient, medieval, early modern and modern, click the link below:
      {fisi as you read their names, google just a few and don’t forget to salute them in your mind)
      Here is the link:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_philosophers

    • Well fisiani
      You must be completely ignorant of the Labour Party history .
      Labour has always had a large membership of University people and thinkers . The Fabians were great founders of Democratic Socialism . The great Labour desire has always been to see that our children recieved good educations regardless of wealth . Just the opposite to Tories whe have always believed that higher education is only for the rich. Another bout of this National government would see our once proud education system returned to the priviledged .

    • KJT 12.8

      Not only is breeding an extinct species from DNA scientifically possible, but it has already occurred.

      Note the constant resurrection of parrotus rightwingnutus.

      The possibility of re-introducing moa, or other extinct species where we have a DNA record, is only a matter of time.

      • Clemgeopin 12.8.1

        “Not only is breeding an extinct species from DNA scientifically possible, but it has already occurred.”

        When? That is news to me. Do you have a link please?

        • McFlock 12.8.1.1

          here’s one.

          Early days yet, but plausible.

          Especially when we consider that there were people in the world who met the first human to pilot an airplane and the first human to walk on the moon.
          On the down side, most of the people who met both have probably died since the most recent moon-walk (MJ notwithstanding :) ).

          • Clemgeopin 12.8.1.1.1

            Thanks for the link.
            I found this extract from that link very interesting:

            The extinct frog in question is the Rheobatrachus silus, one of only two species of gastric-brooding frogs, or Platypus frogs, native to Queensland, Australia. Both species became extinct in the mid-1980s and were unique amongst frog species for the way in which they incubated their offspring. After the eggs were fertilized by the male, the female would then swallow the eggs until they hatched. The tadpoles would then develop in the female’s stomach for at least six weeks – during which time the female would not eat – before being regurgitated and raised in shallow water.

            With the aim of bringing the frog back from extinction, the Lazarus Project team took fresh donor eggs from the Great Barred Frog, another Australian ground-swelling frog that is distantly related to the gastric-brooding frog. The scientists inactivated the egg nuclei from the donor eggs and replaced them with dead nuclei from the extinct frog in a technique known as somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which was the basis for the cloning of Dolly the sheep and, more recently, 581 clones from one “donor” mouse.

            Although none of the embryos survived longer than a few days, the work is encouraging for others looking to clone a variety of currently-extinct animals, such as the woolly mammoth, dodo, Cuban red macaw and New Zealand’s giant moa.

            “We are watching Lazarus arise from the dead, step by exciting step,” says the leader of the Lazarus Project team, Professor Mike Archer, of the University of New South Wales, Sydney. “We’ve reactivated dead cells into living ones and revived the extinct frog’s genome in the process. Now we have fresh cryo-preserved cells of the extinct frog to use in future cloning experiments.

            “We’re increasingly confident that the hurdles ahead are technological and not biological and that we will succeed. Importantly, we’ve demonstrated already the great promise this technology has as a conservation tool when hundreds of the world’s amphibian species are in catastrophic decline.”

            Professor Archer spoke last week at the TEDx DeExtinction event in Washington, D.C., where he talked publicly about the Lazarus Project for the first time, as well as his ongoing interest in cloning the extinct Tasmanian tiger.

      • McFlock 12.8.2

        If we can farm alpaca…

        I wonder what they’d taste like? And could we get one at KFC? :)

  13. vto 13

    With your looks from the front page you should be a shoe-in, but what about the grunt? Have you got the grunt? And the hardness to take it to the braindead? expect the worst sister, get into it …

  14. dan1 14

    Go Rachel. Your background experience and potential for NZ’s future is great.
    I am so sorry that Janette Walker, the Kaikoura Labour candidate is not with you. NZ needs strong women and strong rural representatives. The list process has major weakneesses. Janette is way ahead of many of the tame NACT rural representatives.

  15. Rosie 15

    Excellent post Rachel! Lots of good points you make but this stood out:

    .”….And I especially want to do that in Tauranga, where the voices of the left have gone unrepresented for too long.”

    Ain’t that the truth! Your goal of re energising the Left in Tauranga is welcome news. Your mention of street corner meetings is novel too, for Tauranga. My memories of living there was that it was conservative and ORDINARY in the extreme. Your street corner meetings will shake things up and get people talking. Just what Tauranga needs!

    I have family there who are Nat voters but are so furious with Simon Bridges that they will not give him their vote this election. I have another family member, a committed non voter who is very hostile to politics, that I’ve managed to convince to come out and vote. I’m sure they’re not the only ones in your electorate who feel so disillusioned with the path the country is on.

    May this be a sign that the blue tide is on it’s way out and the red tide is on it’s way in – a tough call in a place such as Tauranga but it sounds like you’re the one to try and make it happen.

    Good luck and go hard!

  16. dimebag russell 16

    Rachel who?
    Rachel Jones, the next member of parliament for Tauranga.
    good luck Rachel.
    give them hell.
    you have already got alwyns t*ts in knot and she is squirming.
    she never did say whether she was resident in Tauranga either.
    funny that.

    • alwyn 16.1

      Yeah, well you never were very smart were you.

      I am not resident in Tauranga, but I doubt that many of the people who comment here are either.
      On the other hand I’m not female so your suppositions aren’t too accurate.
      I presume that you are a drug dealer, given your choice of pseudonym.
      $10 dollars worth of weed are you?

  17. dimebag russell 17

    no thats just a nom de guerre to piss the tories off.
    especially the ones with tight underpants.
    and it looks like you really have your manboobs in a tangle.
    so what do you have against RJ if you dont live in Tauranga.
    why are you here.
    why are you anywhere?

    • alwyn 17.1

      I have absolutely nothing against her.
      Please explain where you get any evidence to support that claim?
      After all, all I did was ask her a question, thank her for the reply and then make a general comment about some politician’s backgrounds which, based on her reply, did not apply to her.

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  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    3 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    3 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    3 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    3 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    3 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    3 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    4 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    4 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    6 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    7 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    7 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    7 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    7 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    7 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    7 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    7 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 week ago

  • Auditor-General’s inquiry terms of reference published
    The Auditor-General has decided to carry out an inquiry into how the Queenstown Lakes District Council and its chief executive, Mr Adam Feeley, have managed the chief executive’s interest in land owned by his family being considered by the Council… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back Legal Challenge
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing the Wellington Chamber of Commerce in its effort to seek formal legal advice on the Council’s decision to expand the ‘living wage’ to council controlled organisations and contractors. Taxpayers’ Union Executive ...
    1 hour ago
  • Wally Yovich denies chickens freedom of speech
    Today Wally Yovich will be called on by a group of friendly protesting chickens not to fund a cruel colony cage egg factory farm. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Schools Will Reject ‘Extreme’ Sex Ed Guidelines
    Family First NZ says that most schools along with the parents in the school community will rightly reject the extreme elements of the new sexuality education guidelines , and that resources should be targeted at parents to help them educate… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Taxpayers Union Welcome Remuneration Authority Determination
    Responding to the Remuneration Authority’s determination on the salaries for Members of Parliament, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams says: ...
    2 hours ago
  • Med student crisis wake-up call
    The national student NZUSA is putting its full weight behind the growing calls by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association, political parties, youth wings and professional associations for the Government to immediately reinstate access to the ...
    3 hours ago
  • EMA Supports Need to Get the Health and Safety Bill Right
    With New Zealand facing the biggest changes to health and safety laws in 20 years, the EMA supports the Governments delay of the Health and Safety Reform Bill if it means getting the right result for employers and workers. ...
    20 hours ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa meets with transition providers
    Relationships Aotearoa met this morning (Thursday, 28 May) with representatives of four of the five providers appointed by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to transition RA clients. ...
    21 hours ago
  • ‘Count human health in your climate calculations’
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. Doctors, nurses,… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Mccully Must Disclose Legal Advice
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, to publicly release the legal advice relating to the Saudi sheep deal. ...
    21 hours ago
  • ‘Count human health in your climate calculations’
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Salaries for Members of Parliament
    The Remuneration Authority has issued its determination on the salaries for Members of Parliament following amendments to the provisions in the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 earlier this year. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government must not abandon health and safety reform
    While resistance in the National Party caucus delays the passage of the Health and Safety Reform Bill, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid says there should be no health and safety law exceptions for small businesses and farmers. ...
    23 hours ago
  • MasSiVe Hikoi welcomed by Human Rights Commission
    The Human Rights Commission is welcoming this week’s MasSiVe hikoi led by Kiwi men who oppose sexual violence. ...
    1 day ago
  • Ongoing celebrations for Supreme Court ruling
    Recreational fishers are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that changed the fisheries management landscape in New Zealand. In a landmark decision in 2009 the Supreme Court confirmed the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, ...
    1 day ago
  • Banks investigation “not subject to political interference”
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority found that the Police investigation into John Banks’ return of expenses and donations at the conclusion of the 2010 Auckland Super City Mayoral election was thorough and robust and was… ...
    1 day ago
  • Using racism to win means you’ve already lost
    The Human Rights Commission is urging everyday New Zealanders to stand up to racist sports fans and players. ...
    1 day ago
  • Jim Butterworth
    Jim Butterworth was the elder statesman of our great union. He served to protect and advance the interests of New Zealand working people over many years of union organising and leadership. Jim led the northern region of the Engineers’ Union… ...
    1 day ago
  • Closure of Relationships Aotearoa
    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Three Years Since Villaggio Fire
    Jane and Martin Weekes, the parents of the two-year-old triplets, New Zealand citizens, who were killed in the Villaggio mall fire in Doha, Qatar, on 28 May 2012 will be reflecting on the short lives of Lillie, Jackson and Wilsher… ...
    1 day ago
  • Count human health in your climate calculations
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. ...
    1 day ago
  • PSA welcomes Hawke’s Bay DHB’s decision on food services
    The PSA welcomes Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s decision to reject Health Benefits Limited’s proposal to outsource food services to multi-national company Compass Group. ...
    2 days ago
  • Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices and Volumes)
    We are combining the Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices) and Overseas Trade Indexes (Volumes) into one release as of next week’s 2 June publication. ...
    2 days ago
  • Core government cap disappointing and disingenuous
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Government’s continued focus on capping the size of core government administration is counter to providing New Zealanders with the services they need and depend on. ...
    2 days ago
  • Saudi ‘Compensation’ Not in Full And Final Settlement
    The Taxpayers’ Union is has uncovered that despite building a $7.5 million ‘Agri-hub’ and paying $4 million to the Al Khalaf Group, no settlement agreement or liability waiver was secured in relation to the apparent claim the Government is using… ...
    2 days ago
  • SkyCity still holds winning hand
    SkyCity still holds winning hand despite having to pay more for Convention Centre The Problem Gambling Foundation says it is not surprising SkyCity was prepared to put more money into the Convention Centre considering the Casino has been granted ...
    2 days ago
  • Doctor, I’ve got a 7 year itch
    Young Labour supports the campaign by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association to have the 7 year lifetime limit on student loans scrapped. “This policy by the National Government makes no sense. It means that medical school students may be… ...
    2 days ago
  • Vulnerable people will be most affected by closure
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is concerned that vulnerable clients are being left in the lurch in the wake of the abrupt closure of Relationships Aotearoa. ...
    2 days ago
  • Young Nats call for Govt to back Med Students
    The Young Nats support the New Zealand Medical Students Association’s campaign to exempt medical students from the seven year equivalent full time study cap on borrowing for course costs, and want the cap extended to nine years for this group… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review of fire services a major opportunity for future
    Wellington, Wednesday 27 May 2015 - Rural and urban volunteer firefighters make up 80 percent of New Zealand’s fire services. Their representative organisation, the United Fire Brigade’s Association (UFBA), says the Minister for Internal Affairs, ...
    2 days ago
  • Fire Service review rules out fairest option
    Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton says “the Government has made a mockery of genuine consultation by ruling out the fairest, most cost effective and sustainable way of funding the Fire Service” in its release of the Fire Services review… ...
    2 days ago
  • NZMA supports students’ call on loans
    The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) supports the call by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) for the Government to urgently address the impact of time restrictions on the student loans of many medical students currently ...
    2 days ago
  • No Rights of Access to $11.5 Million Dollar Saudi Farm
    Exclusive: No Rights of Access to $11.5 Million Dollar Saudi Farm WEDNESDAY 27 MAY 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Taxpayers’ Union has uncovered that despite taxpayers forking out $11.5 million to build an ‘Agri-hub' in Saudi Arabia, officials failed ...
    2 days ago
  • Abduction attempt blamed on lax politicians
    Commenting after yesterday's attempted abduction of a five year old boy outside a Hastings school the Sensible Sentencing Trust has lashed out at politicians for “putting our kids at an undue and totally unacceptable risk”. ...
    2 days ago
  • Press Release from SuperGrans Aotearoa
    SuperGrans applaud the government for providing an extra $25 per week for low income families and further supporting Whanau Ora, Children’s Teams and CYF. These are all initiatives that will enhance collaborative effort to support our precious and ...
    2 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa welcomes discussion
    The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) advised by phone this afternoon (26 May) that five agencies have been selected to undertake the work Relationships Aotearoa (RA) had been contracted to provide for MSD. “Since 15 May, RA has been working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Human Rights Commission welcomes Rotorua partnership model
    Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy has welcomed news that Rotorua District Council has agreed to a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership model. ...
    2 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve
    Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve Christchurch City Council wants public input into a plan that could help make Banks Peninsula's Takapūneke Reserve a National Reserve. The Council is currently seeking written suggestions to help draft a Reserve ...
    3 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    What the Dickens is going on at SDHB? Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping ...
    3 days ago
  • Maori Party Labels One Man, One Vote Supporters as Racist
    The Maori Party’s approach of bullying and intimidation against those who have stood up for one person, one vote, in Rotorua, is a dishonourable act by Members of Parliament that should know better. Democracy Action, a pressure group which champions… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government proses weakening the Health and Safety law
    “The Government’s suggestion that the new workplace health and safety laws will be weakened is very disappointing”, says Hazel Armstrong health and safety lawyer and member of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel. ...
    3 days ago
  • Giving faces to the faceless
    Powerful films and unforgettable documentaries can highlight human rights in ways speeches and documents never will says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. ...
    3 days ago
  • Deaf Aotearoa applaud NZ On Air funding announcement
    Deaf Aotearoa are thrilled with the announcement that NZ On Air will be providing additional funding for captioning on TV One, TV2, TV3 and FOUR. Independent captioning and audio description service Able will receive $400,000 more in the coming year,… ...
    3 days ago
  • Scott Technology lays off Christchurch workers
    Thirteen workers at Scott Technology, which manufactures, services and installs equipment for the appliance industry, were informed last week that they have been made redundant. This announcement, which came as a shock to the workers, comes after ...
    3 days ago
  • Smaller Convention Centre Should Mean Less Pokies
    Family First NZ says that with the downsizing of the SkyCity Convention Centre, the legislative concession for allowing an increased number of pokie machines should be significantly reduced, if not scrapped. “As we said from the outset, this deal ...
    3 days ago
  • Parliament missing in action on RMA reform
    Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said recent indications of ‘no change’ to sections 6 and 7 of the Act means it is now clear that after six years Parliament is incapable of delivering anything more than the lowest common denominator –… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government wants safer workplaces… or does it?
    Government wants safer workplaces… or does it? Today a widow and a mother sit together in the High Court in Wellington fighting for justice for the men that were killed at work in the Pike River Mine disaster of 2010,… ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders reckon they’re doing pretty well
    The majority of New Zealanders say they’re highly satisfied with their lives, and slightly more rate their sense of purpose highly, Statistics New Zealand said today. These are the first results from Statistics New Zealand’s survey of nearly 9,000 ...
    3 days ago
  • Rural hospitals’ services vulnerable
    “The Southern District Health Board’s efforts to tighten its financial belt are clearly going to have very serious consequences for rural hospitals,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists ...
    3 days ago

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