web analytics
The Standard

Retro

Written By: - Date published: 4:09 pm, November 17th, 2008 - 46 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags:

It seems 80’s retro has finally moved from being manifest only as the return of skinny jeans and naff facial hair and is now rearing its ugly big-haired head in parliament. Of course I’m talking not just about 80’s rock legend Roger Douglas but also this clause in the National/ACT confidence and supply agreement:

Establishing a series of Task Forces that include private sector representatives and private sector chairs to undertake fundamental reviews of all base government spending in identified sectors, and to report findings progressively to the cabinet control expenditure committee and relevant ministers.

In the 80’s the use of private sector representatives became highly fashionable. The argument was that successful businessmen (and they were nearly all men, and nearly all members of the BRT) would be able to do their magic on the public sector and thus do what was best for the country.

The reality was they did what all successful businessmen should do: what was best for them.

Back then it resulted in a series of privatisations that coincidentally enriched many of the business representatives who had been offering the advice. This time around? Who knows, perhaps the further contracting out of public services to the private sector or perhaps recommendations to fully privatize some areas that will be deemed to run more efficiently by the private sector and increase PPPs in education and health (and Rodney is already talking about bulk funding).

Have no doubt these recommendations will sound a lot like BRT reports and also have no doubt that the similar review of “Productivity” will result in a series of reports highlighting the need for greater labour market “flexibility”.

I don’t expect the blitzkrieg approach favoured by Douglas though. What will happen is that as findings are “progressively” reported changes will be made incrementally. When I first realised our kids were repeating our dreadful fashion crimes of the eighties I was a little depressed by it. Imagine how I feel knowing we’ll soon be wearing that decade’s policies too.

But in the meantime here’s some 80’s goodness to make you “smile” (it wasn’t all bad!):

46 comments on “Retro”

  1. The approach by national is the more amazing given that many of the people who initiated the atrocities in the 1990s are still there in the National caucus.

    It’s incredible to think they learned nothing from that experience.

    Absoluletly incredible.

  2. Geoff 2

    Hey – where exactly is Alan Gibbs at present ? Wasn’t he in Detroit developing an amphibious car ?? With the bottom falling out of the US auto industry right now, perhaps he’s back in Auckland with his old ACT mate Roger Douglas…. PS : No Xmas for John Quay …as our new PM’s mates used to say…he of course hates The Fall xxx

  3. keith 3

    Couldn’t agree with you more IrishBill; even about the fashion stuff, can’t believe people are wearing stove-pipes again!

  4. ak 4

    Bit off-topic, but anyone have a good read of the “Confidentiality” and “Cabinet Responsibility” sections in the agreement with the MP?

    Tari and Pita bound to slavishly toe the NACT line on Health, Education, Welfare (not to mention Corrections and Employment)?

    Masterstroke by Joyce and the end of the MP?

    Nup. Ink not dry and Tari’s already broken the Treaty of Whitecandy. As she must. Her turn I guess.

    Plenty more fireworks on the way when the Razor Gang discovers Labour’s sub-radar gaps-closing measures scattered throughout these portfolios……keep them fingers limber, Standardistas, the tinder is dry and the fuse is lit…..

  5. Ianmac 5

    Didn’t Fay/Ritchwite do the research as independent review on NZ rail, then buy up large and make millions?

  6. IrishBill 6

    Ian, yes.

    Geoff, I wanted no xmas but couldn’t find it on youtube. I have grand memories of driving an old van around the South Island thrashing the Fall.

  7. Ag 7

    “It’s incredible to think they learned nothing from that experience.”

    They learned (with apologies to Mario Puzo) that a wealthy man with a politician in his pocket can steal more in an hour than a hundred men with guns. That lot were our version of the Russian “oligarchs”.

    I don’t doubt a few of them actually believe the nonsense they spew, but I guess the prospect of financial gain makes it easier to believe.

    Don’t blame them, blame the dopes who voted for them.

  8. randal 8

    hey you tawkin’ about da little peeple
    da salt of da earth
    the loud mouth know alls in every pub and club in noo zillun
    the creeps in twiedmeonions
    kiwiblag
    whalemeat
    two bob tinpot tories
    the slime in the cesspit
    the infantilised adults with no mufflers on their riceboxes
    fat tony amosh
    blerrrky
    lateon smiff
    gayone epsinner
    someone callow
    those guys?

  9. gingercrush 9

    Don’t blame them, blame the dopes who voted for them.

    From the heart of Northland through the cities down to Invercargill and Bluff. They voted for National. Every province north to south voted National. Only cities beside Hamilton went to Labour. And in Auckland there was a clear shift to the right. Wellington stayed Labour. Christchurch won the popular vote in Ilam and Port Hills and Dunedin went to Labour. That is most of the country

    [lprent: I see that you’re still stuck in FPP thinking. Perhaps moving your mind to an MMP framework might be appropiate – it has been the electoral framework for about 15 years now. Mind you there are a *lot* of politicians from both sides who still haven’t. It is rare to find an electorate where the left/green vote went down to the below 25 percent. I’ll have a look when the specials get counted in]

  10. Janet 10

    They certainly didn’t vote for ACT or for ACT to control the policy agenda.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    “That is most of the country”

    No it isn’t. If we elected parliament by hectares then maybe, but as we don’t you only got 45 percent plus change (of those that voted).

  12. Anita 12

    randal writes,

    the infantilised adults with no mufflers on their riceboxes

    Huh?

    (I suspect I will regret this, although the possibility of finding out that randal is inspired by They Might Be Giants makes it worth the risk :) )

  13. Janet 13

    GC
    Nobody under 18 got a vote.
    So 45 % of the 77% who voted of the 90+% of the eligible population on the roll over 18 years old voted National. Way short of a majority of the population, sorry.

    More people voted for the Greens than voted for the Maori Party and Act combined. Yet Act is now running the government.

    It will be interesting to see the opinion polls as the implications of the National/Act government become more apparent.

  14. gingercrush 14

    I’m not sure why under 18s are relevant. But to address them. We know from some data and statistics that many are Green votes but I’d be interested to see if there isn’t some shift in the young vote. And if more aren’t actually voting centre-right.

    Iprent yes I know what you’re saying. But I like to look at electorates as voting blocs. Some electorates will nearly always go Blue, others will go red and others tend to swing. Thus for example, an electorate like Clutha-Southland is interesting because its an area that always votes Centre-right but its an area that keeps reaching Northwards. This year that mean’t Queenstown was part of its electorate. While if we look at Mangere. We know it votes Red. But its an interesting electorate because some years much of its population won’t go out and vote. And then there is places like Rangitata where Timaru still votes red but other places vote Blue.

  15. lprent 15

    I tend to leave that kind of analysis until after I get the specials. They’ve often between 5% and 10% of the votes in recent elections.

    I made the point on another thread – you could look at the results of the 2002 election and say equally vehemently that the whole of the country was going red. This result to labour wasn’t as devastating as that election was for the blues.

    Swings and round-abouts. The voters of the left are a bit lackadaisical about voting, so everytime that Labour gets voted out, there is a major drop in people voting. They usually live to regret the decision and vote quite strongly in subsequent elections.

  16. Janet 16

    GC
    People under 18 aren’t relevant? Not relevant to political policy? What about section 59 – it was all about whether to hit them or not.
    While we disenfranchise a large portion of our population you cannot claim a mandate for any political party.
    I’ve advocated lowering the voting age to 12 before and will keep doing so.

  17. gingercrush 17

    2002 was probably the most strangest election we’ll ever see in MMP. Remember how the mass hysteria in the media were asking the question. “Is this the end of National”. That clearly didn’t work out.

    Yes I’ll be interested in the specials as well. I think one will see a slight increase in Centre-left but I really don’t think by much and won’t change any electorate MPs or the party vote in any electorate. Well maybe party vote in Palmerston North.

    Janet I wasn’t being rude. Just that we really don’t know how Under 18s think and what political spectrums they are. When I was child during the 1993 election. Most of our class voted National, that also happened in 1996 where I would have been 12. Statistics seem to point to more centre-left supporters in that age-group. And I assume a number would be Green supporters. But we really don’t know. Interesting about taking voting age back to 12. Interesting idea, can’t say I would be in favour of it. I think there is a case for 16 year olds. But 18 is a pretty fair number.

  18. Dean 18

    LP:

    “And then there is places like Rangitata where Timaru still votes red but other places vote Blue.”

    I lived in Timaru for 25 years, and can remember Sir Basil Arthur holding the seat, then McTigue taking it after the byelection.

    If you think that Timaru didn’t swing to National the last two times around because of the absolutely appaling way Clark handled the speeding motorcade affair – including leaving local cops hanging out to dry – and the closure of so many schools, which Sutton quietly paid the price for – then you’re sorely out of touch.

  19. the sprout 19

    “…people who initiated the atrocities in the 1990s are still there in the National caucus… It’s incredible to think they learned nothing from that experience”

    On the contrary, they learnt it was very very profitable for a very very few.
    National aren’t risking being that unpopular again for nothing.

  20. Dean 20

    Janet:

    “I’ve advocated lowering the voting age to 12 before and will keep doing so.”

    Any guarantees they wouldn’t vote for the Pokemon on TV 24/7 party?

    Yeah, I thought not.

    IrishBill: or that plonker from dancing with the stars?

  21. lprent 21

    Oh well, one more observation, as much to annoy people as anything else.

    From my playing with electoral canvassing data for a long time, I’d observe the following for the purposes of discussion.

    The most consistently conservative group in the entire population over long periods of time are the 20-25 age range males. I have no idea about why this is, but it is definitely there. They are usually between 1 and 3 standard deviations away from mean in canvassing. The 30-35 age range males are less deviant, and by the time males are in their 40’s they are back on the norm.

    The other curious thing about 20-25 year old males (from canvassers anecdotes) is that they tend to be the most indignant that anyone could have a different opinion than theirs. Incidentally you usually find the males in the late 40’s and their 50’s tend to be both the most rigid in their voting behaviour, and also the source of most of the swing voters. They seem to fall into one or the other pattern of behavior.

    Females tend to be far less volatile in their voting behavior.

    I’m sure that there must have been studies done on this type of age/gender pattern in NZ. But this just from doing an awful lot of canvassing and targeting over the years during campaigns.

  22. the sprout 22

    sounds about right to me.

  23. lprent 23

    Dean: It’d be interesting to see what the party vote did in that electorate say from 1996 to 2008 (when the latter figure is finalised). However I suspect that if you did a booth analysis and dropped the effects of the 2001 and 2006 census causing boundary changes, that you’d see far more moderate changes.

    I tend not to look at electorate results simply because the boundary changes tend to swamp the effects. I see that every census update in my ‘home’ electorate. Getting whole suburbs (or towns) dropped on or off has a major effect on results in the short-term to medium-term. Usually far more than the effects of sitting MP’s.

    Longer term changes are usually due to major changes in the population, its affluence, and degree of education than anything else.

    Besides that quote (about Timaru) wasn’t me – it was someone else…

    Bugger it I’m never going to get anything done tonight. These damn blogs are addictive. (umm and that makes me a pusher?)

  24. gingercrush 24

    Dean no disrespect, but I did the numbers for Rangitata for this year and Aoraki for 2005.

    2005 Aoraki

    Timaru Labour 6755 National 5524

    2008 Rangitata

    Timaru Labour 5934 National 5572

    Can’t explain the drop in votes whether its specials not yet voted or lower turnout. But it does show that for Timaru at least Labour received more votes.

  25. Shaneo 25

    Irish. You really think the govt sector can do it better?

    From today’s DomPost:

    Government Shared Network to be axed?
    The State Services Commission says it is reviewing the future of the Government Shared Network, amid speculation it has already decided to abandon the under-used network and write off the $24 million it has so far invested.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4763662a28.html

    What a waste of public money, all because they thought the private was ripping them off.

  26. randal 26

    anita..enjoy life while you can under a natoinal gvernment
    a “rice box” is a cheap automobile manufactured somewhere in”Asia” where the rings and the rest of engine is nearly shot and some rugged individual thinks it is funny to pretend that their car exhaust system has had the catalytic converter stolen (for the platinum) and thereby has a legitimate excuse to drive round with no baffles in their exhaust. Of course in New Zealand it is not mandatory to havea catalytic converter but it is mandatory to be a noo noo head and drive around with no exhaust baffles to prove that that you are an infantilised buffooon in your cheap crappy ricebox!

  27. Quoth the Raven 27

    Gingercrush – You keep talking centre right. Politics is not just left and right, so centre right seems a useless definition to me. Can you define what you think centre right is. I’m sure it would be defined 10 different ways if I asked 10 different people. I’m interested what other people think. It seems very ill-defined to me. I personally think in regards to National it’s just spin surrounding how they’re supposed to be more moderate, how they’ve changed.

  28. randal 28

    qtr
    you should know by now they never define anything
    think slippery

  29. gingercrush 29

    When I’m mentioning centre-right or centre-left. I’m typically talking about the party blocs. Centre-right is National, Act, United Future and for this term at least the Maori party. The Centre-left is Labour, Progressives and the Green party.

    National by itself generally is a Centre-right party. Though in 2005 it clearly campaigned as a Right party. Likewise, Labour is a centre-left party but on occasions is a left party. Act is clearly a right wing party. While the greens are a left wing party. Jim Anderton could also be seen as being on the left. United Future, New Zealand First and Maori I would call centrist parties.

    Centre-right means its basis is in the centre but it also has a right ideology while a centre-left also has its basis in the centre but its ideology is leftish.

    I do have a habit of using on some occasions National and Labour by themselves and other times saying centre-right and centre-left.

    I know you lot on the left are not seeing National as a centre-right party you’re seeing a right wing party. But I don’t share that view and mass-media are calling it a centre-right party.

  30. Ag 30

    “That is most of the country”

    Call me picky, but I don’t see how this means they aren’t dopes or aren’t to blame.

  31. randal 31

    gingacruch
    99 people out of 100 saying 1+1=3 does not make it right
    take your lame arguments back to where they came from please

  32. gingercrush 32

    randal you are truly are one of the most pathetic beings ever to exist online.

  33. randal 33

    thanks for the sympathy gingacrush
    that and swingeing arguments justifying hogging everything is about all you are good for

  34. Quoth the Raven 34

    Gingercrush – So National was a “right party” in 2005 but now with Act in their government they’re centre right. With bulk funding, TABOR, more tax cuts for the rich on the cards, Rodney as the minsiter for local government and all the insantiy that comes with, 90 days no works rights and it’s centre right this time, but was just right in 2005. Tell me as you’ve espoused to be centre right does that mean you didn’t support National in 2005 or is it just that the spin is better this time?

  35. Dean 35

    “Can’t explain the drop in votes whether its specials not yet voted or lower turnout. But it does show that for Timaru at least Labour received more votes.”

    Sure. But Labour consistently stand wet fishes up as electoral candidates in that electorate. Plus the motorcade and school closures, and you’ve got an electorate that was once a solid red seat turning blue, at least for the electoral representative.

    Perhaps it’s because the Labour candidates, post Basil Arthur, have all been utterly useless?

  36. That’s Sir Basil Arthur to you.

  37. Dean 37

    “That’s Sir Basil Arthur to you.”

    Indeed. And he was an excellent local MP. He helped my mother – a solo mother and DPB recpient – get a mortgage for a house after a messy divorce. Initially the banks refused but after one meeting with him the banks were a lot more receptive.

    He even became speaker, back in the day when Labour didn’t railroad a partisan person into that position.

    Shame Labour haven’t been able to rely on blind, class based voting there for the local MP since isn’t it?

  38. randal 38

    dean you are an ungrateful brat

  39. Timaru went right as they got wealthy under Labour. Like Savage said…

  40. Dean 40

    “dean you are an ungrateful brat”

    Actually randal, I’m extremely grateful that Sir Basil Arthur did what he did for my mother. Without his efforts and hers I may very well have turned out to be a different person.

    That doesn’t change the fact that times have changed though. Perhaps you’d prefer to have a class war than discuss the realities of what local MPs were like back then, but I’d rather give praise where it is due.

  41. Dean 41

    “Timaru went right as they got wealthy under Labour. Like Savage said ”

    Actually, that doesn’t explain why they still get more party votes under MMP, does it?

    Sorry ‘sod but your argument isn’t exactly stacking up here. If Labour were to stand an electorate MP who actually cared convoncingly in Timaru they’d have a bloody good chance at winning it back. Sadly, the motorcade and school closures have put paid to that for another few years. Perhaps they can try again in 2011.

  42. randal 42

    dean
    a week is a long time in politics dude
    and my only regret is that Helen Clark didnt give them all the finger as she swept past in the ltd
    lookout
    it might be sooner than that

  43. Dean 43

    “dean
    a week is a long time in politics dude
    and my only regret is that Helen Clark didnt give them all the finger as she swept past in the ltd
    lookout
    it might be sooner than that”

    It’s just a shame that you’re not recognising that Labour has lost the battle for previously solid Labour local electorate seats, and not realising that calling me an ungrateful brat for not blindly voting Labour even though I think Sir Basil was an excellent local MP was stupid, blind rhetoric on your behalf.

    It’s also a shame that you can’t admit to the disgusting way Clark treated the police involved in the motorcade affair, but I guess that’s why Labour find it so very hard to win an electorate seat in a constituency that gives them more party votes than anyone else. Perhaps Sutton ought to have given everyone in that electorate the finger and he might have retained such a strong Labour seat? Perhaps you ought to volunteer your services helping Labour out down there in 2011. I’m sure you’ll go over really, really well.

    I’m sure the difference will dawn on you one day, but until then feel free to incite a class struggle a la Clinton Smith and try not to remember that the world and the country has moved along since then. I’m sure it’ll make you feel happier.

  44. gingercrush 44

    Quoth – I like the terms Centre-left and centre-right rather than saying left/right. But if you wish to be pedantic shall I use left/right? Because if you think Labour can continue to be called centre-left and National has to be called a right party. You’re smoking crack. And both Labour and National when it comes to coalitions need support typically from a right or left wing party but also support from the centre. Really I think you like to take things I say and chew them out. Its getting quite annoying.

    Um what are you people talking about. Timaru is part of the electorate Rangitata. The boundaries in the South Island are seeing significant change.

    This year Rangitata holds both Timaru and Ashburton. Those two large-towns use to be in different electorates.

    All the small towns vote National. Ashburton also votes National. Labour does well in Temuka and Timaru and any likely gains for Labour in this electorate will be seen in those two towns. But its likely due for even more boundary changes in 2011.

  45. Quoth the Raven 45

    Ginger – Liking a term does not justify its use. So you’re telling me I’m smoking crack if I think that Labour in coalition with NZ first and United Future wasn’t a centre left party. I think it was and furthermore I think it was one of the most centrist governments we’ve ever had. I was just trying to chew your words out, you’re right there. I do know what you mean by centre right, but I disagree that the current government is centre right for the reasons expounded above. I think our beliefs need bearing out sometimes, so don’t get so uptight. Using the terms centre this and centre that isn’t that descriptive because there is also liberal and authoritarian to contend with. I think Labour is usually more liberal than National (they were in there first couple terms this decade anyway) and National is more authoritarian. I think progressive is a better way to describe a Labour government than centre-left (though that term means different things to different people as well). You’ve yet to answer my question about whether you supported National in 2005. If you’re such an ardent centre-right supporter did you support them?

  46. gingercrush 46

    Yes I did support National in 2005. I’m a National supporter. My big reason in 2005 to keep voting National (voted National 2002 first time eligible to vote) was that I liked the tax cuts Brash had promised and I wasn’t a fan of Labour getting a third term. I never saw what was wonderful abut Helen Clark’s government and while National had certain strange areas such as market rents for public housing I still felt they deserved my vote. I am not a huge fan of the hard-right and this might mean that my choice in voting National in 2005 is contary to that. But ever since I watched the 1993 election and throughout my child and teenage years and now in my 20s, I’ve had a strong belief that New Zealand led by the National party is best for New Zealand. I am very loyal to the party and while I won’t always agree with how John Key is handling things I truly believe John Key can deliver some wonderful stuff for this country. Really I can’t see a scenario where I wouldn’t vote National. Though I nearly gave the Labour candidate in Christchurch Central my vote because Nicky Wagner is horrid.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    3 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    3 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    4 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    5 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    5 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    5 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    5 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    5 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    5 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    6 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    7 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    7 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    7 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere