web analytics
The Standard

Return of the Hollow Men

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, September 26th, 2013 - 48 comments
Categories: accountability, brand key, david cunliffe, don brash, election 2014, Ethics, john key, Judith Collins, news, same old national, slippery, spin - Tags:

John Key and his handlers have tried so hard to distance himself from the underhand dirty tricks employed by National Party people to undermine opposition parties.  They were used relentlessly to undermine Helen Clark, but, once in power and having achieved dominance in the popularity polls, the government has focused more on it’s positive public image.  Now that Cunliffe’s Labour is in the ascendance, and a Labour-Green government is a real possibility next year, once more we are seeing the NAct and/supporters pull out their bag of dirty tricks.

john-key-snake-oil

The kinds of strategies used, with significant input from expensive political advisers like those at Crosby Textor, are exposed exposed in Nicky Hagar’s book The Hollow Men (2006).

In his review of the book, Wayne Hope, associate professor in communication studies at Auckland University of Technology, said this:

Hager’s general thesis can be outlined as follows: With the replacement of Bill English by Don Brash, National became an anti-democratic political party which set out to deceive the voting public. Wealthy corporate elites associated with the Business Round Table, the far right ACT party, the Centre for Independent Studies and various public relations firms supported Brash’s seizure of power and anonymously donated substantial sums to National’s campaign war chest. They wanted a new government with the power to institute market driven policies in the areas of labour relations, state owned enterprises, education, transport, accident compensation and local body government tax cut package.

Throughout 2004 and 2005, Brash’s strategists (Murray McCully, Gerry Brownlee, Steven Joyce, Richard Long, Matthew Hooton, Peter Keenan and Bryan Sinclair) employed market research companies, advertising specialists, public relations firms, media managers and television trainers to sell the National brand.

My bold: Scarily, while John Key was not centrally implicated in the underhand tactics of the Hollow Men, the pro-corporate, anti-democratic, market-driven policies favoured by the Hollow Men’s backers have steadily been brought in by Key’s government.

John_key_pokies

Now we have a new smear campaign launched against Cunliffe, lead pretty clumsily by Hollowman Matthew Hooton, with Judith Collins joining forces with a dodgy right wing blogger to cheer-lead Hooton’s efforts. Collins has previously been implicated with Brash’s Hollow Men, as indicated in Danyl Mclauchlan’s post about the book, and in a Fran O’Sullivan article of 2009, about Brash’s attempts to get the police to pursue enquiries into how Hagar got access to his emails:

Collins was Brash’s close political chum during the dying days of his leadership when it seemed as if he might just survive.

For an outsider like myself, it’s hard to know who is involved in the latest dirty tactics in which Hooton has been involved.  But there are some intriguing connections on the public record.

In the Hollow Men, Hagar pointed to Crosby Textor as being the main overseas consultants used by Brash, and later it became known that John Key was also using this company for strategic advice. Wayne Hope again:

… Hager details compellingly how the Australian based market researchers Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor translated the insecurities of uncommitted voters into loaded messages; politically correct Labour—mainstream National.

In a 2008 blog post, Hagar identifies Mark Textor as being John Key’s main CT adviser.  Curiously, this post is also pretty damning about Hollow Man Matthew Hooton:

Anyone who wonders what to make of Matthew Hooton’s public contributions to New Zealand politics really should read what he writes in private. His advice is sometimes clever, but it is also cynical. It is very revealing.

[…]

For this sort of PR person, the answer when faced with a crisis is to attack the messenger, deny everything and claim that they themselves are the victims in the affair. Like an octopus squirting ink into the water, the hope is that these diversions will allow them to escape unscathed. In this world of spin, words, arguments and personal attacks are all just means to an end, tools to advance their and their clients’ objectives.

A Stuff, Fairfax news article of 2008, also outlines some of the strategies of Crosby Textor (and there are probably more that we have yet to see in the lead up to NZ’s 2014 elections). It claims Key has continued to use the same adviser as Brash, Mark Textor., but that it has been kept secret from the public.  The reason for secrecy is that, if their tactics and manipulations become widely known, they will be less effective.

It also shows how the NAct parties aim to benefit from having access to wealthier backers than is the case for more left leaning parties.

Specialised Crosby/Textor researchers visit New Zealand to conduct the research (costing about $10,000 per visit) and Textor flies to New Zealand, as required, to provide “high-level strategic advice” to Key and his staff on what Key should be saying and doing in public (also about $10,000 per visit). He also advises by phone and email. Key’s parliamentary staff saw Textor visiting his office around April 27, 2007, for instance, and it has all continued up to the present, including a visit in recent weeks.

The article points to ways that Crosby-Textors’ dirty, “and ruthless attack politics” tactics, “using subtle appeals to fear and prejudice” have been controversial in Australia.  This includes push polling, and the kind of tactics used when working for the UK Conservative Party and for the London mayoral campaigns of Boris Johnson.

Awareness of the kinds of strategies used by Crosby-Textor will be helpful in countering Nact’s dirty tricks in the run up to next year’s NZ election.  The 2008, Stuff article point to 3 main ones used in Boris Johnson’s campaigns.

First, Crosby and Textor realised there was a high risk of Johnson tripping up and making mistakes compared with his experienced opponent. Their answer was to tightly control and script all Johnson’s public appearances

[..]

The second strand of the London mayoralty strategy was relentlessly attacking Livingstone’s reputation. He had introduced some innovative and popular policies, so they concentrated on personal attacks.

[…]

The third strand was “issue management”. They found Livingstone had support on environment, social services and other issues. So instead they ran a narrowly focussed campaign on the rising cost of living and public safety even where these were the result of forces beyond Livingstone’s control.

The indications are that John Key will be getting advice from Mark Textor in the run up to the 2014 elections.  Intriguing that Key was cosily photo oped with Textor’s high profile client in his recent visit to England.

Brighter future for key and pals

Knowledge is power.

 

48 comments on “Return of the Hollow Men”

  1. Tracey 1

    Crosby’s connected to… Cameron, Abbott, Key.

    I do wonder why political strategeists were at a function for Key to meet British MPs.

    The Nats have more money (together with ACT) to polish up their poo. It’s hard to see through the shine.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      And the Exclusive Brethren connection too, lest we forget, an organisation that eschews voting for adherents but ponied up significant funds during Brashes time and were outed, and the 2007 Australian elections too attempting to secretly fund John Howards re-election campaign.

  2. Bill 2

    Nice piece (again) Karol. On a positive note, if the idea is to carbon copy the strategy employed in Boris Johnson’s campaign, then there is deep shit rising up around the neck of the right.

    True, they can tightly script and manage. But then, that should be expected to some degree or other for any politician depending on the caliber of the person behind the political facade.

    On the second point, since Cunliffe hasn’t been in any position to have policies sniped at, then that only leaves them ‘reputation’. And vitriol at spelling mistake level inconsistencies in a CV just ain’t gonna go very far.

    And the third point of small issue focus – that they have used previously – just doesn’t appear to be an option since it it they who are in power and when they have created are so many big issues they can be buried under.

    There’s also the potential for scrutiny and successful counter argument being quick off the blocks as illustrated by commenters and authors on ‘the standard’ delivering Hooten his bloody nose 😉

    • just saying 2.1

      There’s also the potential for scrutiny and successful counter argument being quick off the blocks as illustrated by commenters and authors on ‘the standard’ delivering Hooten his bloody nose 😉

      Ah people power. Warms the cockles of my heart.

      Great work everyone:-)

  3. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3

    Excellent article Karol.

    The photo – op with Boris Johnson can be viewed as product placement.

    This is a technique that works on an subconscious level, giving viewers little option of free choice.

    This article lists some of the effects of product placement: [click link for full list]

    Key findings from this research show that Product Placement:

    ~Can dramatically shift TV viewers perception of a brand
    ~Implicitly forges brand association with TV content on a subconscious level, unlike more explicit forms of advertising
    ~Normalises brands through association with trusted TV content
    ~Produces a halo effect with brands associated with popular TV shows
    ~Can significantly increase consumer purchase intent and behaviour in terms of brand knowledge, likeability, talkability and advocacy in viewers exposed to the placement

    And this article concludes

    “Embedded marketing today is no longer an innovation – it has already proven to be arguably the most powerful marketing tool existing today that is not only practically 100% efficient, but also often works as a hidden, espionage tool of which the consumers become victims. When properly launched, such product placement campaigns are even hard to prove to be real, since any association and word-game usually tend to be considered critically subjective. No law and no act can prohibit embedded marketing since it is so difficult to identify and even harder to prove. This, and the fact that embedded marketing mainly affects the consumers’ brains on the subconscious level, makes it both an unethical and extremely dangerous marketing tool.”

    • Rodel 3.1

      I’m waiting to see photo ops of the PM with the Emirates Team New Zealand crew.
      Somehow I don’t think it will happen.

  4. marsman 4

    Great work once again Karol! As you say ‘knowledge is power’. I’ll share your Post on Facebook.

  5. Athena 5

    The exclusive brethren are about to get 9 million to integrate their schools, is someone trying to sweeten them up again?

    • Delia 5.1

      Exclusive about other New Zealanders, except when it comes to tax payer dollars which are not exclusive. They should fund themselves, anti social outfit, that claims only they are the special ones.

      • mike e 5.1.1

        exclusive bretheren have high alcoholism and pedophelia rate more than double the general population rates.
        They are also connected to extreme far right birther gun lobby and neo nazi’s etc etc !

    • Jenny Kirk 5.2

      Where is this information, please, Athena – that Exclusive Breth are to get $9m for their schools ?

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    “The Great Way is quite even,
    yet people prefer byways.
    When courts are extremely fastidious
    the fields are seriously neglected
    and the granaries are very empty.
    They wear colourful clothing
    and carry sharp swords,
    eat and drink to their fill
    and possess more than enough.
    This is called the vanity of thieves.”

  7. gobsmacked 7

    On his recent trip to the UK (when he was supposed to be working for us, the NZ public, not the National party) John Key attended a caucus retreat for British Conservative MPs, in rural Oxfordshire.

    The guest speaker was one Lynton Crosby.

    The NZ media have largely ignored this, although it was reported in Britain.

  8. wyndham 8

    Nobody has yet mentioned the evil machinations of one Simon Lusk ! My understanding is that he still moves about in the shadowy world of NAct propaganda.

    Great article karol. TS is indeed fortunate to have your expertise in ferreting out some great exposes of NAct.

    • karol 8.1

      Yes, I came across mention of Lusk in my research for this post. It’ll keep. The post is long enough.

  9. red blooded 9

    If Exclusive Bretheren folk want to exclude their kids from a balanced, open education; exclude aspects of the NZ curriculum they don’t like (bye bye Darwin);exclude girls from freedom of choice and equality within their church and their relationships and exclude people whose sexuality they don’t approve of then they can damn well exclude themselves from the receipt of public funding. My tax dollars should be going to State schools (and while the EB might be an extreme example, I don’t actually believe that state funds should go to any religious school – teaching religious belief as revealed fact does kids a disservice).

    • Chooky 9.1

      The New Zealand education system was set up as on the principles of a high quality, egalitarian, secular state run education, with equality of opportunity for all children
      ( see: Colin McGeorge, “Schools and socialisation in New Zealand 1890-1914′

      ….it has been eroded in recent years and State Schools have been run down, class sizes increased, and school fees expected

      …. private and charter schools should NOT be receiving any New Zealanders’ tax dollars.

      …..if special interest groups want to indoctrinate their kids into religious beliefs (and often sexist, homophobic, racist , anti – science and anti equality of opportunity for girls…values ) as in religious, special character or charter schools …..they should pay for them themselves ….and preferably after normal school hours.

      ….any special privileges/finance/buildings /small class sizes/special tuition must go to the Public State Schools first….

      I also strongly object to propping up the Exclusive Brethren…especially as they are already fat from lack of taxation for their businesses and they denied a friend of mine a university education because she was an Exclusive Brethren girl….She would have loved to have studied science.

      • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1

        nooooooooooo, not science. 😉

        • Chooky 9.1.1.1

          @RT…she was very good at biology and chemistry in the large state secondary school I attended ….but she was not allowed to eat ( with us sinners) …let alone go to university. I guess she was destined for Exclusive Brethren motherhood….

          • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1.1.1

            I understand sects Very well Chooky; studied with at least four in the last eight years. Christ wept.

  10. Skinny 10

    What Labour doesn’t need is the loss of support through a private members Bill intended to lower the drink limit in half. It will have a backlash effect on Labour. It will be a huge resentful turn off to hundreds of thousands of responsible drinkers who enjoy a few drinks at pubs & clubs around the Country. I’ve had a number of mates that say if Labour get this Bill approved they will not get their vote. Campaigning for Labour will be tougher having to defend this Bill should it pass.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Nah.
      If you’re going to drive, don’t drink.

    • karol 10.2

      Amazing to see what some people’s priorities are. Being a danger on the roads? Wanting life easier no matter the risks to others? Voting out a government that is damaging lives and the country’s future?

      • Skinny 10.2.1

        The point is if Labour want to win in 2014 trying to push this bill will only succeed in allowing Key to trot out a line something like “responsible Kiwis in general behave sensibly drinking and we are not going to punish them with ‘nanny state’ laws, this is what your voting for if you vote Labour.”
        Hmm a fair few of those 800,000 previous non voters are hardly going to be infused with a Bill like this, a vote attracting policy I think not.

    • Rogue Trooper 10.3

      Mate, I was a mechanic for a Southland rural trucking company (towards the end of a 23-year career working with machinery and it’s operators). The amount of intoxicated driving and subsequent domestic unrest that arises from your anecdotal reality is beyond a couple of pale ales. Time for a change! F#ck The Piss! The level of booze consumption in NZ is one of a number of structural realities holding the nation back.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    12 hours ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    4 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    5 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    5 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    5 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    5 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    6 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    6 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    6 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    7 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere