web analytics
The Standard

Serious question: Treasury?

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, October 31st, 2013 - 86 comments
Categories: accountability, bill english, class war, democracy under attack, education, Hekia parata, john key, national, slippery, spin, workers' rights - Tags:

Why is Treasury providing the government with advice on spinning and disguising widespread changes to Education?

Treasury urged education minister to keep `ambitious agenda’ for schools low-key

Controversial changes to education should be kept as low-profile as possible, official advice to the Government says.

Documents obtained by the Herald cite Education Minister Hekia Parata’s “ambitious agenda for change in the schooling sector”.

Treasury officials informed Finance Minister Bill English on the scope of the changes and asked him to speak to Ms Parata about how they could be scaled back, and implemented with less attention. Their advice is outlined in a report to Mr English in July last year, obtained under the Official Information Act.

Would Treasury have been asked how to present the information?  Or have they become a branch of John Key’s spin machine?  How they claim sweeping changes to Education should be presented:

“Communicating change across a broad front is difficult,” Treasury officials warned. “Overseas experience in education reform suggests focusing on communicating a positively framed ‘crucial few’ at any one time.”

This can be done “while making smaller incremental changes in a less high profile manner across a range of fronts”.

Themes such as “supporting quality teaching” and “measuring performance to focus support” can be used to help communicate change, the Treasury suggested.

“More harder-edged changes could be pursued in parallel, incrementally and without significant profile.”

A spokeswoman from Ms Parata’s office yesterday distanced the minister from such advice: “It is important to reiterate that the paper contains Treasury advice or comment – this does not mean this advice was accepted, and in this case it was not.”

Averill Gordon, senior lecturer in public relations at AUT, said she was surprised by the approach suggested by the Treasury.

It bothers me that this approach is part of the MO of Key’s government: i.e. developing a raft of changes embedded within different parts of Bills and across several Bills that add up to a significant shift in policy. This way, seemingly small changes mask massive changes that will have significant impacts, as with employment laws.

In this way, NZ’s democracy is undermined, and changes are continually made that benefit the few and make life more difficult for the many.

Has Treasury become an enemy of the people?

86 comments on “Serious question: Treasury?”

  1. Paul 1

    So will the media ask some tough questions about this?
    Or talk about the Block?

    • Tat Loo (CV) 1.1

      The media is supposed to challenge the narrative and the facts of those in power. Our media just underlines and repeats.

  2. framu 2

    “Has Treasury become an enemy of the people?”

    become? – your too generous

    and wouldnt offering advice that has nothing to do with money be somewhat outside their mandate and therefore unsanctioned and technically a bit illegal?

    frankly – if any one in treasury wants to play politics they should get of their arse and run for office.

    I think it high time we label treasury for what they really are “the economic think tank of the people who bought you the act party” – yes the “bought” is intentional

    we need a treasury of course, but an apolitical one,that is required to think beyond narrow neolib style economics is sorely needed

    • richard 2.1

      +1

      I don’t think this is a new direction for the NZ Treasury. The NZ Treasury have been a law unto themselves for the last 30 years – ever since they persuaded the gullible fools of the Lange government that the abstract pseudo-science of neo-liberal economics can be applied to real life.

      From their narrow ideological base, they continually over-reach themselves – desperately believing that because they have learnt some economic theory, they are suddenly experts in anything that has a balance sheet involved.

      The tragic outcome for New Zealand is that virtually all of their endeavours have resulted in failure. The economic wizards run COMU (http://www.comu.govt.nz/) with this aim: “The Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit (COMU) seeks to ensure that the Crown’s balance sheet is fit-for-purpose and is managed in a way that protects value, enhances performance and contains risk.”. One of the shining examples of how well they have done this is Solid Energy – http://www.comu.govt.nz/portfolio-entities/sector/energy-utilities/solid-energy-new-zealand/

      • Will@Welly 2.1.1

        Richard, that is right on the money. Straight after New Zealand devalued, millions flowed back into the New Zealand economy, as the currency traders took hold, and Roger Douglas and Treasury began their game of fool the Kiwi. The game continues today.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      we need a treasury of course, but an apolitical one,that is required to think beyond narrow neolib style economics is sorely needed

      Won’t get one as the training at school and university effectively indoctrinates people into the narrow neo-liberal fold.

      • framu 2.2.1

        well chief clown joyce has been trying to get greater influence over unis – perhaps he should be careful what he wishes for?

      • Tim 2.2.2

        I’ve never really understood why Treasury has been elevated to such high status – i.e. over and above any other government department that deals with (say) social issues.
        Make it a branch of the Ministry of Economic Development (that is of course when that bugger’s muddle of MoBIE is dismantled) AND decorporatise the entire public service with their pathetic cost accounting/purchase agreement/KPI menatlity – all of which came to pass as part of the neo-liberal agenda.

        • karol 2.2.2.1

          Agree, Tim. And thanks for the views from others. I haven’t taken that much interest in the Treasury in the past, seeing them as provide information of financial issues. I knew they had a neoliberal bent, but getting into very political strategic and spin territory is beyond anything I would have expected.

          Needs fixing.

          And should be part of what the things Olwyn reported from the Bruce Jesson lecture last night:

          The key points he made about the toxic effects of neo-liberalism were: 1. The prioritising of economic over community values.

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    Treasury’s actions are outrageous, i could say what the hell is going on here but sadly we all know whats going on, treasury are trying to keep New Zealanders in the dark while Key feeds them bullshit.

  4. red blooded 4

    These policies (“performance” pay, bulk funding etc) have been put up and knocked back so many times it’s ridiculous for the gnats to keep pushing them. They haven’t made it do far because the arguments used to support them are threadbare and simplistic. They don’t work to raise student achievement (which is already strong in NZ): they do work to disempower and deprofessionalise teachers, lower the level of expertise and experience in the classroom, put the focus on cost rather than quality, narrow the curriculum and negatively impact the learning of students. Put frankly, they are educational sabotage.

    We need to do dump these idiots and hope (against hope) that they FINALLY listen to the experts and look at the research rather than blindly pushing their facile “competition is always best” agenda.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Put frankly, they are educational sabotage.

      You’re talking National here. Pretty much everything they do is some of sabotage and all so that they can lower taxes for the rich.

      that they FINALLY listen to the experts and look at the research rather than blindly pushing their facile “competition is always best” agenda.

      To complex, leaving it to the magic of the market is soooo much easier (and more profitable).

  5. ianmac 5

    That has been the way that this Government has operated all along. Hence the Joyce smirk. While we mortals protest about some “little stuff” the changes collectively are changing the NZ way of life. Tweaking a bit of Employment Law here and a bit over there, a planned distraction over there and presto, we are disadvantaged and poorer.

  6. red blooded 6

    Urgh! Phone predictions… I meant “DUMP these idiots”.

    Hey, Lynn, I clicked “edit” and it just took me back to the main menu.

    [karol: prediction error above fixed – though “do these idiots” is an interesting way to put it]

    [lprent: I’ll be sitting bored in Christchurch at conference as “media” from tomorrow and over the weekend. I’m intending to have a good look at some of the systems then. Lyn won’t be around to distract me (for my own good :) ). I want to have a good look at the re-edit to see if I can just strip out the bits that I’m interested in. ]

  7. Chooky 7

    @ Karol …great post

    Is policy being made by private ‘research’ PR companies?…..( advised by American business vested interests in Charter Schools and priivatising NZ education…using NZ taxpayer money?) .

    Are Treasury, the Ministry of Education and the Minister of Education , being CAPTURED….. by these hidden policy ‘research ‘ PR company infiltrators?

    ….Who are they? ….more probing questions and sunlight on this from the MSM please!

    Why is ‘MINNIE ME MOUSE’ Parata …. ignoring NZ experts in education ….Professors of Education and their advice AGAINST privatising NZ Education and Charter Schools ( initially setup with taxpayer money and assets) ………at the expense of NZ State Education?

    Are we going to end up with a MICKEY MOUSE Education System like USA?( which dumbs down the populous and indoctrinates…rather than teaches critical thinking and research excellence)

    ….and led by Messrs Mickey Mouses…..John Banks, Tony Ryall, and John Key? ….all of whom have no qualifications in Education but are puppets, making policy on the hoof to a right wing American policy directed agenda

  8. One Anonymous Knucklehead 8

    None of this is news. Treasury is a political party masquerading as a government department, and has been for years. It’s time to stop repeating the obvious and propose solutions. I would start by making them all re-apply for their jobs. It will be easy to see which ones are worth re-hiring: they’ll be the ones who can back up their theories with real-world examples of positive results.

    Alternatively, identify all those who have proposed policy based on market fundamentalism and sack them for incompetence.

    • Chooky 8.1

      ONK…+1…the fact that Treasury hired Goldman Sachs to evaluate Kiwibank says it all !

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      It will be easy to see which ones are worth re-hiring: they’ll be the ones who can back up their theories with real-world examples of positive results.

      Oh, goody, we’ll be able to fire all of them 😈

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.2.1

        Yeah nah, I bet some of them are smart enough to adapt. After all, there are lots of countries and economic situations to choose from, and getting out more might be good for them.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.3

      Correction: by “theories” I mean “notions”.

  9. tc 9

    How many contractor/consultants have the Nat’s installed into Treasury since taking office whilst slashing and burning through the rest of the public service.

    Blinglish was a career treasury official till he took the blue pill so this should come as no surprise.

    Look at Education with Parata’s sister and Health also with Blinglish’s bro getting a well paid gig too name a few, it’s what they do best this sucking off the taxpayer malarkey.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      Unfair. Let Connor English and Apryll Parata stand or fall on their own merits. Unless you have evidence of nepotism that is.

  10. Philgwellington Wellington 10

    Xox
    This is exactly the MO of the present facade of a ‘government’ – it’s simply corporate interest, mimicking the USA.
    It’s called death by a thousand cuts. Unless the political opposition can take back government control and start governing, we are in the collective cow pat.

  11. May Ross 11

    Being an American import, I am reminded of the Republican strategy. First they attacked the education and got control of the news agencies. The Republicans wanted the populous to be ignorant, uninformed and fearful. They wanted first to prime the US people by taking all access to higher education and then feed them up on propaganda from the news agencies (Turner, Fox News) so that the people would believe whatever scheme was put forth, like, “The Patriot Act,” “The Clean Air Act,” “Trickle down economics,” which all do the opposite of what is implied by their name.

    It seems to me that John Key and his buddies are trying to use the Republican Handbook here, in NZ. I’m hoping y’all are too smart for them to get away with it. Cunliffe with the Greens is a huge step in the right direction. It’s time for NZ to teach the US how to fix things. It is so important for us, with such a small population, to educate ourselves, so that we can be players in the world market without selling our precious land, farms, mining rights, and water to the big nasty monsters overseas. The small profit being made is going in to the pocket of the 1%. Let’s stand up, before it’s too late!

    • Saarbo 11.1

      Hear, hear.

      Just another disturbing case of right wing nutters trying to manipulate democracy for their own means.

  12. Tracey 12

    Funny how they will follow some treasury advice and not other.

  13. Huginn 13

    Go to: Philip Mirowski’s Thirteen Commandments of Neoliberalism
    here: http://www.the-utopian.org/post/53360513384/the-thirteen-commandments-of-neoliberalism

    Look up:

    [2] THOU SHALT ERASE DISTINCTIONS

    [4] THOU SHALT RETASK THE STATE TO THY NEEDS

  14. millsy 14

    This is the government’s intention all along.

    John Key has learned the lessons from Bolger’s government, which tried a rip, shit and bust approach, and almost got tossed out.

    Tony Ryall is showing us all how it is done, knocking away the last vestiges of the public health system bit by tiny bit, the hike in prescription charges for the poor to may for cancer nurses for the middle classes being one example.

    • thatguynz 14.1

      Very true. The “How to boil a frog” philosophy in action..

    • Rogue Trooper 14.2

      Soimon Says “we can’t have theater nurses taking tea-breaks in the middle of an operation”, don’t you know leaving un-sterile teaspoons everywhere, dunking their biscuits in the wrong vessel, slurping from syringes!

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Has Treasury become an enemy of the people?

    Yes.

  16. Rodel 16

    Had a ‘friend’- more of an acquaintance, in treasury who was proud of his T shirt with the big printed caption ‘Treasury Cares
    Down to the last cent’
    Not sure what he was trying to say.

  17. Natwest 17

    No Karol, the MSM won’t be covering this at the moment – as you know they are too busy covering Len Brown’s arse!

    • framu 17.1

      are you more worried about…

      a) something which isnt a crime and directly affects 2, maybe 3 or 4 people
      b) multiple instances of criminal behaviour that directly affects the biggest city in the country where a third of the population resides

      the two issues are separate you know – weve dealt with the affair, now were onto the political motivations and illegal acts of those who used this for their own personal gain

      Is that simple enough for you?

  18. Natwest 18

    Maybe it’s time for a closer look at our Education system – for goodness sake the system is currently failing at least 20% of our kids, who are leaving school illiterate. Stop covering up the obvious incompetence of some in the Education system – namely lame teachers and, stop protecting this union dominated sector.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 18.1

      If you were serious about child achievement, you would be looking at eradicating child poverty by immediately increasing benefit levels and the minimum wage by at least 10%.

      Of course, you are not. Just another shill for education privateers.

      • Puckish Rogue 18.1.1

        There is no child poverty, theres children living in poverty sure but to say child poverty is disingenious at best also what criteria is used to determine this poverty

        Sounds like the so-called living wage

        • framu 18.1.1.1

          “There is no child poverty, theres children living in poverty”

          semantics much?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1.2

          No child poverty eh? Really? Is there an increase in treatable infectious disease admissions to hospitals that is disproportionally affecting people from low income households? Is there a strong correlation between household income and education outcomes? Is there any evidence of overcrowded damp housing? Large prison population drawn mainly from low-income households? High recidivism rates?

          The answer to these questions is “yes”. What do you propose to call it if not “poverty”? My pick is you will make more feeble attempts at denial based on your existing bias.

          • Puckish Rogue 18.1.1.2.1

            Poor parenting for a start

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1.2.1.1

              Blame the victims. Then punish them, then feel superior, then get dragged screaming to the public square for a date with Madame Guillotine?

              We’ve tried your plan before. It was shit then and it’s shit now. A wingnut humping a zombie.

            • Rogue Trooper 18.1.1.2.1.2

              for an outcome

            • framu 18.1.1.2.1.3

              doesnt negate any actual poverty though does it

              you can still be a bad parent and live in poverty

              jesus mate – your leaving these doors wiiiiide open

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1.2.1.4

              PS: I note that you are arguing that poor parenting increases under a National-led government.

      • millsy 18.1.2

        Actually the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms have a part to play in leaving a lot of kids behind (not to mention the opening up of our education to international students) Due to the simple fact that school support was effectively privatised and schools cut adrift from any support (apart from a couple of extra bucks), and forced to compete, they pretty much couldnt be bothered with the bottom 20% and cut them adrift, using suspensions and exclusions or simply dumping them in the cabbage classes and hope they go away.

        It doesnt help that middle class types have been shunning their local school for the past 20 years, something that has been encouraged by governments on both sides.

    • framu 18.2

      “Stop covering up the obvious incompetence of some in the Education system”

      you mean parata dont you?

      look – this issue has been done to death and your very late to the party.

      We know why kids are failing, we know which kids are failing and we know what will help those particular kids to succeed. Oddly enough its those teachers you demonise who have been trying to tell us whats needed to fix these issues for years

      The 20% figure is bullshit because your lumping in the different reasons for failure and pinning it all on the teachers

      National standards and charter schools wont fix a single fucking thing, they arent designed to.

      Read up about G.E.R.M. – then ask yourself why the same supposed “fixes” are put forward regardless of what country its in an d what the problem is.

      In short stop being so mind bendingly ignorant, and do some basic fucking research before putting your dunce sized foot in your mouth for all to see

    • dv 18.3

      Natwest How do you justify the at least 20% number.
      Please point to the evidence.

      Oh Framu that was far too gentle.

      • framu 18.3.1

        well – i can get much more robust than that – but then thats letting nobs like natwest feel like theyve gotten a “win”

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.3.1.1

          Mr. Parrot and Mrs. Sponge got together, and they called their children Natwest, Chris73, BM, King Kong and Rich the other. All they’re good for is sucking up National Party talking points then repeating them ad nauseam.

          Not an original thought among them. Late to the party indeed.

          [lprent: If they do regurgitate “ad nauseam”, then eventually I ban them for trolling so I have a respite from unthinking fools == trolls. After all I get to scan almost all of the comments on the site. You wouldn’t believe how irritable I can get reading the same crap without any obvious individual intelligence appearing.

          Rich the other got one the other day for some meaningless waffle that was essentially a nice sounding wankfest displaying no actual understanding or thought. ]

    • Chooky 18.4

      Natwest….you are uneducated idiot

      Is it too much to ask you to listen to Education Professors and international academic research on the causes of educational under-achievement

      ……not lame teachers, nor union sector …….. but socio-economic underclass DEPRIVATION!

      ….stressed hungry children, malnourished children, unemployed stressed parents , poor housing or no housing, sick/unhealthy children

      Who is to blame?…the immoral National Party and Act Party , and neoliberal policies which create this underclass of deprivation

      …. and who undermine and underfund the state education system that NZ was set up on….a proud state education system which was free and of very high quality and offered remedial education where necessary.

    • dv 18.5

      AND Natwest
      Look at this

      Education NZ is 1st in the world
      And the systems the Nats are trying to copy, the US is 5th and England isn’t even in the top 10.

      http://www.prosperity.com/#!/analysis-education

      • chris73 18.5.1

        Well if we’re rated as number 5 in the world then Nationals obviously doing a good job

        • McFlock 18.5.1.1

          New Zealand has moved down two places since 2009 on overall Prosperity to 5th in 2013.

          Safety & Security has moved down by eight places to 15th, due to increases in demographic pressures, human emigration and group grievances.

          Governance has increased by one place to 2nd, mainly because of an improvement in regulation quality and a decrease in the perception of corruption.

          So not so good performance on prosperity, crap performance in safety and security, but they’ve managed to partially close the stable door after the finance company horse bolted.

          [slow clap at their good job].

    • peterlepaysan 18.6

      Statistics always fails whatever percentage a lobbyist wants to promote. That is the nature of statistics.

  19. captain hook 19

    treasury is filled with hand-picked prissy little pantywaists with too tight underpants cutting off the supply of blood to the head.
    furthermore they think they know everything and their own thoughts are facts.
    They should all be made to re-apply for their jobs.

    • Puckish Rogue 19.1

      Parliment is filled with hand-picked prissy little pantywaists with too tight underpants cutting off the supply of blood to the head.
      furthermore they think they know everything and their own thoughts are facts.
      They should all be made to re-apply for their jobs.

      – fixed it for you

      • Pascal's bookie 19.1.1

        If only we lived in a representative democracy where politicians had to reapply for their jobs eh Puck?

        • Puckish Rogue 19.1.1.1

          I mean a serious reapply not the sham we have now where you can get turfed out of an electorate but still get back in on the list…

          Maybe only be allowed to either go on the list or as an electorate MP…

          • Pascal's bookie 19.1.1.1.1

            You know how you get two votes under MMP? They both count.

            • vto 19.1.1.1.1.1

              ha ha, poor old puckish rogue – what a silly noo noo

              • Puckish Rogue

                Yes I know but it just bugs me is all that the people speak and say no we dont want that MP and then that same MP gets in on the list…

                • Pascal's bookie

                  What on earth are you talking about?

                  eg, the people of Tauranga voted Winston out as rep of Tauranga and replaced him with the Bob the builder idiot. And good luck to them. Winnie was no longer the MP for Tauranga. Instead, they were represented by the Bob chappie, who they elected to do that Job.

                  Winston got back into parliament because lots of people voted for Winston First, and he represented them. The people of tauranga don’t get a veto over that, and why on earth should they?

                  • vto

                    It astounds me that people like puckish rogue get to vote when they have pretty much no idea about the electoral system. Hate to think how much they don’t know about every other important matter…..

                    • felix

                      They don’t really need to know anything. They have a list of talking points and as each is rebutted they move on down the list, rinse and repeat.

                • framu

                  electorate vote is equivilant to local vote
                  list vote is equivilant to nationwide vote

                  and nthe list has to be published before the election

                  dont complain to anyone that you too thick to understand how your TWO votes work under mmp

                  to contine PBs analogy – tauranga said we dont want winston representing tauranga, but the rest of the country (well enough to get him into parliament) said yes to winston at a national level

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 19.1.1.1.2

            PR do you have a single original notion that doesn’t come straight out of the wingnut tr*ll playbook? Every topic, it’s like deja vue all over again. Are you trying to bore the Left to death or something?

            We need better wingnuts

  20. Tracey 20

    Wow. So rich = good parenting… thats a new one…

    When the children of the rich suffer its not from poverty but drugs… they get good lawyers tho. I recall paul holmes being lauded for his efforts with his daughter yet puckish must believe he was a bad parent for her to get ibto trouble in the first place.

    pretty sure post war rationing didnt result in the kind of poverty we are seeing in some places today.

    • Will@Welly 20.1

      No Tracey. Rich = choices. That’s why National sees it as imperative that the wealth be taken away from the middle classes so they have no choice but to comply with the wishes of the ruling elite.
      Morality – drugs and their like – do not come into the equation
      As for the post-war world, most people did not like the idea that rationing continued well beyond what was possibly necessary, but most accepted it. The irony was in 1951 the National Government set out to destroy the very foundations that so many fought for. Returned servicemen, working on the wharves, now found themselves “enemies of the state”. 60 years later the cycle continues.

  21. repateet 21

    Short memories. Don’t people remember Gabriel Makhlouf poking his nose in with political comments about education?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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… ...
    1 day 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.… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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… ...
    3 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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
    5 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    2 weeks 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

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere