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Reaction on the end of conference

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 pm, November 18th, 2012 - 40 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david parker, david shearer, labour - Tags:

In my opinion, Robert Winter at idle thoughts of an idle fellow has probably the most accurate assessment of the effect of the David Shearer speech at the Labour conference.

My own post was stalled whilst writing because my head keeps shifting from prose to code, my back hurts (damn those conference chairs), and I keep reading the reaction of others in the feed. When I found his post I dumped what I’d written and I’m going to quote in full without permission because Robert hasn’t left an email on his site. Hopefully he won’t mind and if he does then I’ll probably hear about it – but I’ll get his email as well (hint hint).

Just remember that r&f = rank and file.


That speech

It was a good speech, cleverly introduced by Anuschka Meyer – strong on values and traditions, hard on National’s failures, with a powerful overview of where Labour differs from National across many policy areas, and some concrete housing stuff. More on that later.

It was also notable for its opening plea for unity against the real target (National) – a clear reference to what is now a complex internal debate for Labour. The r&f have demanded and won a more democratic process. This is good. Caucus is smarting, and now knows, I hope that it is not a question of who is above and below the salt.

Was it the speech to keep him in his job? This is now an interesting question. Mr Shearer will feel a little constrained, having called for unity if he is considering, first, gaining an immediate endorsement and, second, moving against Mr Cunliffe. The r&f would not take kindly to that. Equally, however, the sense that a pro-Cunliffe clique overplayed its hand in the conference is growing. The r&f call for a more democratic party is not fungible with r&f support for Mr Cunliffe. He is in notice, I think, that the party is more interested in winning in 2014, and profoundly less interested in internecine strife in the caucus. That warning has gone out to others too, such as Mr Jones.

So, as I see it now, the onus has been thrown back by the r&f to caucus to behave reasonably and in the interests of the party. This will, I think, serve Mr Shearer’s purpose well, at least in the short term.

The other obvious backroom discourse is that the two Davids – Parker and Cunliffe – make an excellent team in the economic portfolio – potentially a winning one. Anything that weakens that team is seen by many to be very wrong. So, again, we have a pressure for accommodation.

Such pressure may not be able withstand other, more fragmenting pressures, but what is clear is that the layers of complexity in the party have not been reduced by the advent of a a more democratic process.

It was, all in all, a damned good conference.

I almost agree completely with Robert and his assessment of the r&f. They were happy with the speech and most were happy with the conference outcomes. While there were the few moments of procedural and equipment comedy on the remit floor, Robert Gallagher and Jordan Carter and their helpers did a efficient job of getting the remits dealt with in good humour. It was a damn good conference.

I’d make that 3 David’s – add David Clark with his revenue shadow on to that as well. I had a talk to him on Friday. He pointed me to another infrastructural issue at the IRD that needs looking at. After I do some reading on current big iron systems, catch up on my paid employment, and get my coding fix – I’ll write on them.

I have to thank the working press for their toleration of my presence during the weekend. I will probably see you in other party conferences if I am able to attend. Also the NZLP for allowing me to attend in a media observer role.

And finally a booby prize for Cameron Slater. There were a few photos taken of me during the conference that may eventually wind up on the net. A conference that you were probably unable to attend because they’d looked at your previous behaviour that got you banned at a National party conference. So we didn’t meet. But if you can find them you’ll have something to photoshop in your usual considered editorial fashion. 😈

40 comments on “Reaction on the end of conference”

  1. xtasy 1

    Maybe bring into the picture “Anushka Meyer” now, since we had Key present his dear wife on occasions. So goes the US style Hollywood circus polly game. I hate it by the way, but it seems they are all getting into this now.

    It was a mixed bag to me this “conference”. Shearer sort of tried hard, did score a few points, but I am a critical person, looking at the real game changing aspects, which I missed.

    Also the housing plan sounds good on the surface, but it needs refining.

    The leadership is still in question, as Shearer on video is lacking, not the same as words read out of the speech text.

    Labour will continue to “struggle”, I am afraid, I wish it more gusto and power and success, but I am left wondering. So if that is going to carry into 2013, do we have to wait another 2 years for “salvation”??? NO I cannot bear anymore, I am close to EXPLODING already.

    More is expected, but I fear, other opposition offers the medicine I see more fitting.

    Good bye Labour, it was nice flirting, I cannot see us getting back together.

    • mike 1.1

      Good bye xstay. I have a feeling that your ‘flirting’ with ‘other opposition’ will end in the same disappointing way. You obviously carry the heavy burden of being smarter than the collective which, i understand, can be crippling.

      • xtasy 1.1.1

        mike: No, yesterday has proved to me and many others: Labour is DEAD, lost and offers no plan for the future of this society. It is led by a weak leader, who freaks out when another competent competitor just starts mentioning a few things. He is weak as, Mr Shearer, he is not leadership material, he has to go and start a witch hunt to get rid of a critic, to protect his turf.

        That to me is the END of LABOUR NZ.

        This party is NO option anymore, for anyone seriously thinking and wanting of left and progressive policies. He comes with his “sickness benefit roof painter story”, a bit a a dressed up, vague housing scheme, which will only support the middle class, but give crap to the real poor, so that is just more divisiveness and a scramble for the bizarre “centre” that is also falling apart anyway.

        Good Bye Shearer and Labour, you had your days and times!

  2. Jenny 2

    Another CCI event.

    • Jenny 2.1

      My reaction on the end of conference is that it was a conference of a party that has apparently deliberately decided to ignore Climate Change.

      I gently tried to point this out by showing that even in the US Climate Change gets a bigger mention.

      And further that this policy of ignoring climate change is not a vote winner even in the American coal belt.

      (A fact some may be uncomfortable with.)

      Imagine if you will, a Labour Party conference in 1938 that deliberately decided that rather than headline the threat of facism, went even further, decided to ignore completely all mention of the building global Nazi menace. If you can possibly imagine this, then you might realise how ridiculously forced the modern Labour Party’s decision to ignore Climate Change looks.

      From the absence of any released policy on this topic coming from conference and going on the last Labour government’s record on supporting coal mining and mineral exploration in the Seabed and Foreshore, the Labour Party under the current leadership is dead set on continuing to support deep sea drilling, and fracking, and a massive expansion of coal exporting as sick tactic for making money by subverting our Kyoto commitments by exporting our CO2 pollution.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        You should read the policy book of remits, then have a look at my post about the remits that were actually voted on. Out of the enormous piles of remits that went to regional conferences. I think that there were about a hundred remits that went to the workshops. There were maybe 8 ones that managed to make it to the remit floor and get voted on.

        The ones on climate change didn’t get enough support from groups of delegates. While there are quite a few greenies amongst Labour members, they aren’t particularly well organised compared to even a chaotic young labour group..

        If you want something to get through in Labour as policy, you have to organise cooperatively, own it, and push hard. Ummm looking at the gentle and benign history of the union movement I wonder where that came from?

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Was the gender/women’s remit as on here, passed? p24, I think.

        • Jenny 2.1.1.2

          This shows the importance leadership, any leader worth their salt and reasonably well informed should be able to form their own opinions and express them. They wouldn’t have to be dragged to it.

          This is why we call them leaders.

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        How did remit 26 go?

  3. Jenny 3

    President Obama on climate change:

    “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

    Barack Obama November 7, 2012

    David Shearer on climate change:

    “,

    * November 18, 2012

  4. Hilary 4

    Radio NZ news leading with headlines about an ‘acrimonious conference’. Not what I gathered from following twitter, Facebook and the Standard. No reporting in any media of the most significant policy from my perspective – to lower the voting age to 16.

    • Jim Nald - Once Was National 4.1

      The conference was open to media on Planet Earth.
      Media folks were seen physically present and so the question is which planet were they inhabiting mentally?

  5. karol 5

    As a non-Labour person (who sometimes votes Labour and would like a strongly left Labour-led government):  the weekend started out very hopeful on Saturday, and with the Sunday morning remits….. then somehow for me it turned less hopeful.  And it’s confusing and part of my hopeless feeling, that the Labour membership generally seems pretty happy with the conference.

    I am now feeling quite despondent about NZ left wing politics.  This is even though there were some very good remits, and a welcome shift to a more democratic membership participation at the conference.

    The MSM were dreadful – stirring up conflict and avoiding the substantial issues, except for the housing policy – at the latter was a a very big disappointment to me. I’m not sure how much Team Shearer fed that MSM obsession with drama and conflict & anti-Cunliffe stirring?

    I see that Shearer/Labour is touting the conference as a “new direction” for Labour – this is particularly upsetting as that is exactly the words I used in a couple of posts.  But this is not the “new direction” I was thinking of.

    The Labour Party’s “new direction” is kind of partly what I am looking for:

    a shift towards a more interventionist government; some good policies on asset sales, local government etc;
    and a bit of a shift away from neoliberalism. 

    But it is still pretty centrist (the housing policy is too focused on building houses for the private, home-buying market). And all the policies are focused on the middle-classes:  albeit the socially responsible, community minded (to a limit) middle-classes.  It is largely a view from a middle-class lifestyle, targetting the comfortable, but slightly insecure middle-classes.

    Yes, Shearer has stopped talking about the deserving and underserving poor/beneficiaries – now he’s just not talking about the poor or beneficiaries at all.  They seem to have totally disappeared from the Labour landscape.   

    And Shearer is now sounding so macho – I couldn’t even consider voting for a party he leads, with the kind of political values he represents. I can’t see how this leadership stoush can have a good outcome.

    I felt so despondent last night and this morning, that I was fantasing about giving up writing blog posts and moving to the country – a less expensive life-style. 

    But thank goodness we still have the Greens and Mana – the Labour conference has, ultimately confirmed for me that the choice is now between Mana and the Greens. 

    • felix 5.1

      I’m glad you articulated that karol, so I don’t need to. 😉 I tried, but all I came up with was “Meh”.

      ps you can move to the country and keep blogging…

      • karol 5.1.1

        Well, it’s reassuring my response is not totally unique.

        Actually, you’re right.  if I gave up working and retired to the country, I’d probably have more time for blogging – but then I couldn’t join the Green, Mana and anti-poverty demos. 

        • Macro 5.1.1.1

          Oh yes you can!! The Greens have a very strong presence here in Thames. And there is still need to preserve the Coromandel from ever more mining.
          You sentiments expressed above are mine as well. :)
          And we need more of you blogging Karol

    • just saying 5.2

      ditto what Felix said.

      What makes me saddest is that it seems Shearer is now out hunting with his pack of dogs to prove his Macho capacities. But the head of the slain beast he plans to hold aloft isn’t Cunliffe’s actually. It’s ours.

      • Greg Doolan 5.2.1

        Agreed. A pack of losers that will do anything to retain power. What Labour needs now, what the country needs now is transparent democracy. National are doing dodgy deals with Sky City and who knows who else behind the public’s back. But what alternative does Labour in its present form offer? We do not need a self interested, vision less cartel to be running Labour into the ground or to be running New Zealand. Shearer and his allies behave like members of the Chinese Communist Party, spreading disinformation, performing hatchet jobs on any perceived threat and conniving in the back room to retain central control of everything. Labour with its present leadership is unvotable, even for someone like myself who has NEVER voted for anyone else. If David Cunliffe does manage to wrestle control away from this bunch it will not be a moment too soon for both the party and New Zealand.

    • lprent 5.3

      Labour isn’t a particularly radical party because of the range of people it represents. It is also 96 years old as a organisation which often makes change seem glacial. But these changes made over the weekend and the ones still in the pipeline as part of the review are going to help a lot at breaking the internal stasis that the party has had since the 80’s.

      You can blog from the country. Just keep adding your voice to the discourse, it is worth having. I kept getting people pointing out over the weekend how useful TS was for reading mind-widening debate, and part of that was that we were providing a place for the whole of the labour and frequently the green movement to talk.

      If you move, just do what I did when I brought my apartment – first exclusion criteria was what the local exchange was equipped with (ie when was it upgraded) and how far away was I from it. I can work with just a good link and did so for many years. The only things that keep me pinned in the city are the engineers with their delightful toys and Lyn who has her own support ecosystem that she works in.

      • karol 5.3.1

        Thanks for your response, Lynn, and for providing a space for the expression of a wide variety of left wing views and discussions.  

        I guess the slow change in Labour is the reason why I’ll continue to vote for the more radical, smaller and newer parties.  Long live MMP!

        My early retirement fantasy this morning has passed.  I won’t be moving to the country just yet – it’s really my long term retirement plan, to live more cheaply.  But I am an Aucklander born and bred and will find it difficult to leave it for many reasons. 

    • Jenny 5.4

      Not all is lost karol. Phil Twyford gives us all a shining example of political behaviour that is completely non-sectarian, or self interested, handing over a space on Red Alert to Hone Harawira, as in celebration of Ngati Whatua’s recent settlement, Harawira recounts his time spent during the Bastion Point occupation.

      http://blog.labour.org.nz/2012/11/15/remember-bastion-point/

      All power to you Phil.

    • xtasy 5.5

      Shearer and his camp have “panicked” – frightened to death. They now want to demote Cunliffe, put him on the back bench and disencourage an admittedly not “easy” member, to play any sensible role in Labour in future.

      This is like a stab in the back to a third to half of Labour supporters.

      It is indeed such a short-sighted, panicy, dumb and ignorant move by Shearer, he will lose all credibility in the next months.

      Cunliffe will likely leave politics and Labour, and I would not blame him. We will end up with less than mediocre hangers on, idiots, wannabes and mainstream adherents, making NO difference at all on the political field in NZ.

      Key and his gang are laughing, highly up-spirited. The LEFT are disposed off by Labour, forced to seek an alternative.

      THIS is the time to start a new left of centre, major, appealing party right now, the time could never be better to unite the left and bring them under one umbrella, that is Greens, left Labour (disillusioned), Mana and who else may come on board.

      Wake up and get this started, someone. It is OVERDUE!

  6. Gawd it is now being reported that Shearer is considering disciplinary action against Cunliffe.

    WTF?  What has he done?  Supported a more democratic selection process for the party’s leader?  Suggested that he may or may not be involved in a process that is perfectly within Caucus’s rules?

    If Shearer wanted to discipline anyone there is a serial leaker that needs stern action and Shane Jones is busily trying to undermine relationships with the party’s most important coalition partner? 

    • Jim Nald - Once Was National 6.1

      Shearer and Robertson need to take a deep breath and pause to think more deeply.

      • mickysavage 6.1.1

        After Sunday’s speech Shearer should have sat down and tried to unite the Parliamentary party.  This macho swaggering stuff is not helpful.

        • Pissed-off Member 6.1.1.1

          Oh fuck off, Cunliffe fucked up the one showcase we get every year for his own petty political interests. (And you helped.)

          He should retire to the backbenches, for the sake of the party.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.1

            Ah no. The remits and amendments were all on the agenda. That was what was dealt with. It was also the distinct focus of the conference and they voted to make the caucus more responsible to the members.

            The current leadership wasn’t an issue, although it could be in the mandatory February leadership vote that got deferred from last year. Basically you’re so wrong that it was clear that you weren’t there.

    • karol 6.2

      Actually, for me, that might be a better outcome – especially if Cunliffe joined or lead another party.  Although, I do think Cunliffe is still pretty much centre-left.

      • lprent 6.2.1

        Yes he is. You’ll find that anyone who has been put in charge of finance and given full exposure to the trade offs on policies vs revenues always are regardless of their other political beliefs. Micheal Cullen being a good example.

        If they aren’t then make contingency plans to leave the country before they get real power.

    • Colonial Viper 6.3

      MS – lots of double standards are being applied here. Can’t Shearer lead his own caucus to achieve a 60% confidence vote by February any other way? Here’s a brilliant management idea – how about trying to work with ALL the people you lead, not just a favoured portion?

      • Raymond A Francis 6.3.1

        Yes, this was Miss Clark’s way, what did she do when asked to stand down, boot the enemy out, no she chose to hold them close and work with them to gain the Government benches

        • Jim Nald - Once Was National 6.3.1.1

          Quite.

          If Shearer demonstrate that he has broad shoulders and can work with all in caucus and the wider membership, then he shows that he can work with other parties under an MMP Government. Then he gains the wider support from general voters.

  7. Thank you for your comment. I concur with you about David Clark (though I always want to add “five” to his name – the generation to which I belong remembers the thumping “Bits and Pieces”). Another point that I should have made more clearly is that the successful demand for constitutional change – inevitable after the irritation in the r&f caused by last year’s election process – was the driver of the conference. The politicking by some – and the strange shifts in the affiliates – should not be allowed to marginalise the desire for a more open party structure that drives many delegates. And, to be fair to Mr Shearer, who co-sponsored the constitutional process, he’s done nothing but praise and support it. The decisions made are, of course, also a signal to the r&f that they too must now step up, Opening the party to more democratic processes also places greater responsibility on the r&f to create a party that can win elections and implement a social democratic programme. This must be positive.

  8. Rhinocrates 8

    Chris Trotter’s commentary on Morning Report today was good, pointing out first that the speech was a classic Labour speech, full of genuine Labour values… and then Shearer, the fool, starts muttering darkly about revenge and “me me me me me me.”

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    Claire Robinson was her usual ghastly, shallow self.

    • xtasy 8.1

      Rhino: That exposes exactly his WEAKNESS as a supposed “leader”!

      He cannot handle criticism and competition, so he is slowly becoming a little dictator within the ranks, and sadly the little underlings from front and half back row jump up and largely support him. They are mostly cowards and useless idiots. Labour is HISTORY! GONE, GONE, this party has NO FUTURE anymore. It is DEAD!

      Bring in a NEW force, a new, truly left party, with real plans and ideas, as Shearer and consorts are just a pale shade of what we have now, they are the funeral coffin carriers of left and progressive policies.

      It is ALL over with Shearer and Labour, gone, gone and surely gone for ever!

  9. Well everyone to their own bubble. Social Democracy just ties workers to the sinking capitalist ship.
    How fast you go down is outside your control. What you wear or what speeches you listen to are mild distractions. Capitalism is sinking and in other places in this world workers are refusing to go down without a fight. Marikana? What a lesson. The most advanced Social Democracy in the world is so crony capitalist that workers are now rebelling and getting shot by ‘socialists’. The Arab Spring is a big lesson that Israel is now learning. You cannot demand the freedom to oppress without stirring up revolution. When generations xyz finally realise they havnt anything to lose but their fear then you will get a real party of labour – one that rejects capitalist barbarism for rational collective ownership and control of the earth’s wealth.

  10. tracey 10

    How is it cunliffes fault that the media shadowed him and reported and reported and reported him. if he had said nothing how different the outcome??

  11. deemac 11

    the amendment that caused all the ructions was put on the agenda the day before conference, leaving no time for delegates to consult the people who’d sent them.
    It was NOT about making the leadership selection more democratic – that was already agreed by a huge majority – but about giving a MINORITY of the caucus a veto.
    And it was clear from some of the speeches in support of the amendment that many people had no idea of the hidden agenda behind it, ie to give Cunliffe a chance to roll Shearer.
    What should have been a great showcase for Labour’s plans was hijacked by Cunliffe.
    You may think Shearer should keep him on but I can’t think of any political party in the world that would tolerate disloyalty like this.

    • karol 11.1

      the amendment that caused all the ructions was put on the agenda the day before conference, leaving no time for delegates to consult the people who’d sent them.

      Eh?  I’m not in the Labour Party, but I’m pretty sure I’ve known about his amendment for months.  it’s been in the public arena for a long time. 

    • lprent 11.2

      Many amendments are only put in the final booklet. It is the nature of having meetings done on a periodic basis by branches and LEC’s considering amendments by others.

      That is why delegates trusted by their branches and LECs are sent to conference – to exercise judgement.

      It was pretty clear that judgement tended towards making caucus more accountable to members and affiliates. That in itself was probably in response to a caucus that is increasingly seen as being made up by ex-staffers building a comfortable cocoon.

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    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 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… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    2 days ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    2 days ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    2 days ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    2 days ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    2 days ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 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… ...
    10 hours 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.… ...
    11 hours 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… ...
    14 hours 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
    17 hours 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… ...
    2 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
    2 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… ...
    2 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
    2 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. ...
    2 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… ...
    2 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
    2 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… ...
    2 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… ...
    2 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… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    3 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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