web analytics
The Standard

Shocking the people into submission

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, May 29th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: class war, democracy under attack, economy, human rights, International, john key, poverty, privatisation, same old national, slippery, spin, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The documentary The Shock Doctrine (2009)aired on Maori TV last night.   It is based on Naomi Klein’s book of the same name.  This presents a convincing and well-supported argument of the way “neoliberal” have been imposed on countries since the 1980s by capitalising on a range of natural and human-induced disasters and economic shocks.  She exposes the hypocrisy of the the Chicago School-based, “neoliberal” theory compared with the practice.  Milton Friedman’s theory claims that with economic liberalisation will come a more democratic and socially liberal society.

It is extremely important  to understand the way disasters, wars and economic shocks are used by the wealthy and powerful right wingers to further many of their policies. However, it is important to note that, this is not part of a carefully orchestrated, well-cordinated plan.  Rather, it shows how those with a mix of economic, financial and political power opportunistically capitalise on unexpected shocks, while focusing on their own self-serving interests.

As graphically shown in the documentary, the first attempts at imposing the Chicago School model was through the dictatorial regimes in Pinochet’s Chile and Argentina in the 1970s- brutal, murderous regimes that accepted no opposition, especially from the left.  The documentary is compelling viewing, using the style and format of Hollywood movies, with the sights and sounds of graphic explosions in war zones, and devastating images of the poverty that resulted from the “neoliberal” revolution.

And here lies the dilemma with an otherwise excellent documentary: it presents an important argument and evidence in a way that might likely get the attention of many beyond those already opposed to “neoliberal” capitalism.  However, it does tend to treat the “shock doctrine” as a carefully planned, well0orchestrated campaign, following a neatly unfolding narrative.

It is important to learn from the way shocks are opportunistically manipulated within the broader global setting.  Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine needs to be read in conjunction with David Harvey’s Brief History of Neoliberalism.  Harvey shows how there are massive inconsistencies with the way “neoliberal” policies are put into practice.  When necessary, the elites will use anti-democratic means, and practice market protectionist strategies that are anything but “free”.  The main thing that is consistent within “neoliberal” regimes, is that the wealth is shifted from the majority (including those with least power and wealth), to the few (most of whom are already pretty well off).

Throughout the Shock Doctrine documentary we see excerpts of speeches and comments from Naomi Klein, explaining how the doctrine works.  Klein’s most important statements come towards the end of the documentary, after it has traced the trail of shocks from Chile through Bush Jnr’s “war on terror”, to the shock of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.  Of the GFC Klein says (in the segment that begins around 1 hour 11 minutes), in spite of the rhetoric of taming the big banks:

We are witnessing a transfer of wealth of unfathomable size.  It is a transfer of wealth from the public hands, from the hands of government collected from regular people in the form of taxes, into the hands of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the world.  Needless to say the very individuals and corporations that created this crisis.

The documentary ends on a positive note.  Klein says that the shock doctrine depends on people not being aware of what is happening.   It works only because the people are immobilised, confused and disoriented by the chaos and impact of the shocks.  If people are aware of what is happening, they can resist. Along with this suggestion, I’d also look to David Harvey’s book which shows the imperfections, failures and inconsistencies of the “neoliberal” revolution.  “Neoliberalism” succeeds because the elites are single-mindedly focused on their aims, even if they don’t all agree on the means.

A week or so ago, I also felt somewhat immobilsed by the Key government’s latest blitzkrieg.  They seemed to be launching one attack after another on our democratic processes.  It was hard to know where to focus opposition.  Now they and their MSM cheer team are focusing on the (alleged) positives of the direction the country is taking us.  For instance, Tracy Watkins, while putting the boot into David Shearer’s leadership, claims:

The poll shows a sudden surge in people who think the country is on the right track – a combination of the wealth effect of a rise in house prices, particularly in Auckland, a drop in the number of jobless, better growth figures and a feeling that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the economy.

There are plenty of niggles with the Government but they are just that – niggles.

None has taken on the tsunami-like proportions of the nanny state backlash that swept Labour out of office.

And with optimism on the rebound, National’s message at the election in 2014 looks like an increasingly potent one – we’ve taken our medicine, done the hard yards, and we’re starting to reap the gains. Why put that all at risk?

However, such triumphalism ignores what has happened as a result of the NAct government’s relentless anti-democratic shocks.  Michael Field, also on Stuff this morning, reports on the rising inequalities in NZ:

New Zealanders might believe they live in an egalitarian nation but a worldwide “better life index” shows the quality of life here is being significantly harmed by the gap between the richest and poorest. ..

New Zealand’s average household net-adjusted disposable income is US$21,892 a year (NZ$27,077.34), less than the OECD average of US$23,047.

“But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20 per cent of the population earn five times as much as the bottom 20 per cent,” the report says.

People in New Zealand work slightly less than the OECD average while 13 per cent of employees “work very long hours”, more than the OECD average of 9 per cent.

Focusing on the broad employment statistics can be misleading.  What good is higher employment and less unemployment, if more jobs pay less than a living wage?  In its attacks on workers’ and beneficiaries’ rights, this government has been doing a good job of helping to shift the wealth upwards, and strengthening the power of the corporates, while weakening the power and finances of those on low incomes.

23 comments on “Shocking the people into submission”

  1. New Zealand’s average household net-adjusted disposable income is US$21,892 a year (NZ$27,077.34), less than the OECD average of US$23,047.

    International Monetary Fund (2012)

    […] 5 Australia 67,723 2012[…]
    14 Netherlands 46,142 2012
    15 Finland 46,098 2012
    16 Ireland 45,888 2012
    17 Kuwait 45,824 2012
    18 Belgium 43,686 2012
    19 Iceland 41,740 2012
    20 Brunei 41,703 2012
    21 Germany 41,513 2012
    22 France 41,141 2012
    23 United Kingdom 38,589 2012
    24 New Zealand 38,222 2012
    — Hong Kong 36,667 2012
    25 Italy 33,115 2012
    — European Union 32,518 2012
    26 Israel 31,296 2012
    27 Spain 29,289 2012[…]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita
    Despite the ‘financial crisis’ the government is still failing on the GDP front, so much for ending the income gap with Australia.

  2. Tim 2

    “And here lies the dilemma with an otherwise excellent documentary: it presents an important argument and evidence in a way that might likely get the attention of many beyond those already opposed to “neoliberal” capitalism.”

    If I recall, from the credits, it was made in 2009 – not too long after the 2008 ‘GFC’. I’m hoping that the consequences of the neo-liberal programme will have become a part of many more people’s life experience (i.e. they’ll have become more directly affected).

    • Tim 2.1

      I tried to edit – I see you’d already included the 2009 release date: read from the “I’m hoping….”

  3. johnm 3

    The current Neoliberal order has a horror of democracy and even the mixed economy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_economy

    We have The Corporate Welfare State http://www.monbiot.com/2011/11/21/the-corporate-welfare-state/

    ” areas forced to kneel before the dictates of the marketplace—to show what happens when unfettered corporate capitalism and ceaseless economic expansion no longer have external impediments. We wanted to illustrate what unrestrained corporate exploitation does to families, communities and the natural world. We wanted to challenge the reigning ideology of globalization and laissez-faire capitalism to illustrate what life becomes when human beings and the ecosystem are ruthlessly turned into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. And we wanted to expose as impotent the formal liberal and governmental institutions that once made reform possible, institutions no longer equipped with enough authority to check the assault of corporate power. ” http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/rise_up_or_die_20130519/

    We have two headed one party state.

    This subject is so big it’s hard to know where to begin. The invasion of Iraq and its prior siege to starve it out and the lies to justify the invasion are epic war crimes on a parallel with Nazi Germany and Japanese war crimes worthy of another Nuremburg trial.

    basically the rich and wealthy and the banks and corporations have a total abhorrence of democracy and the lumpen proles having any effective voice. Profit is the new tyranny.

    • johnm 3.1

      All the Privatisations are day light robbery from the common good of the people. The presstitute media comply with the dumbing down of the public most of whom now wouldn’t have a clue what the term “common good” means or that it’s the foundation of any decent society and that the term includes the natural world as well–no deep sea oil drilling. We have a wealth worship growth sickness that even the Planet itself is rebelling against in the form of climate change that could eventually be the demise of most of us.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        We have a wealth worship growth sickness that even the Planet itself is rebelling against in the form of climate change that could eventually be the demise of most of us.

        Yep and the way things are going it looks like we’re not going to learn that lesson until after the planet’s crushed our “civilisation”.

      • johnm 3.1.2

        On a lighter note here is an example of a shocking doctrine closer to home: Australia:

        “Conservative billionaire Gina Rinehart called for the sterilization of the poor today, arguing that the only way to alleviate poverty is to stop the “underclasses” from multiplying.

        In a video uploaded to her official YouTube account, the Australian mining heiress said that income inequality is caused by differences in intelligence, and eugenics is the only answer.

        “Our nation faces a grave economic crisis as the combination of a strong Australian dollar and falling commodity prices sap our ability to compete globally,” she explained. “The only logical solution to this crisis is to strengthen the quality of our most precious resource: human capital.”

        Bloody ell! :-) To think our governments really do listen to people like this.

        http://dailycurrant.com/2013/05/28/gina-rinehart-calls-for-sterilization-of-the-poor/

        She resembles someone here in NZ Paula B……

        “I believe that any couple making less than $100,000 a year should be forcibly sterilized through a vasectomy or fallopian tubal ligation. Those earning more than $100,000 a year should be encouraged to have as many as 10 or 12 children.” Holy Motherf@cker!!!

        “So I’m willing to pay a decent wage, as long as I’m getting the son of a doctor and not the son of a failed bartender on welfare. The problem is that the underclasses seem to be outbreeding the intelligent folks, and I can’t find a decent worker anywhere.” What Planet She live on!? OH yes the billionaire’s planet privilege

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          In a video uploaded to her official YouTube account, the Australian mining heiress said that income inequality is caused by differences in intelligence, and eugenics is the only answer.

          She should look in the fucking mirror before opening her mouth on eugenics again.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.2

          Everything I’ve seen of Gina Rinehart shows that she’s rather stupid. Having more of her running around is definitely what will kill this world.

          What Planet She live on!? OH yes the billionaire’s planet privilege

          Planet Key.

        • millsy 3.1.2.3

          I hope that’s satire….

          I really do.

  4. tracey 4

    Karol, if you get a chance, find a book called “from Good hands to Boxing Gloves” It outlines the impact of McKinsey on the USA’s largest insurer and how they moved from having policy holders at the centre of their business to shareholders, which saw years of higher premiums and significantly lower payouts while misleading customers as tot he extent of their coverage.

    I believe it outlines a similar modus operandi as you outline here.

    Could be important given the QBE and other insurance issues faced by Christchurch. It is likely to have implications for all kiwis as insurance companies try to claw back losses from all clients.

  5. tracey 5

    My brother often says what this country needs is a dictator. No stuffing around, decisions made action taken. He does vote National but he is no right-wing fanatic. he does constantly moan at all his wasted tax dollars… He’s no rich lister but he is very well off

    • lprent 5.1

      Dare him to say that down in Christchurch. Brownlee effectively has dictatorial powers down there. Somehow that hasn’t stopped the rebuild down there being a total clusterfuck according to *everyone* I have talked to from Christchurch over the last year. Doesn’t matter if they are left, right, or uninterested in politics – they are all freaking pissed off. Especially at Brownlee, CERA, EQC, and even the city council because bugger all of any significance to the residents has been happening despite all of the dictatorial powers.

      He could get a better idea about how useless dictatorial powers are.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      The problem with benign dictators is who replaces them.

  6. saarbo 6

    Thanks Karol, well summed up…I haven’t red the book but the doco was outstanding. Big thumbs up to Maori TV.

  7. Roger Douglas articulated the ‘shock doctrine’ in NZ with his statement to the effect that ‘reforms’ had to happen fast before people woke up. The urgency and ruthlessness which which the ruling class implemented their reforms at the time was not part of a conscious conspiracy, it flowed from the crisis of capital that broke out in the 1970s. This was caused by a fall in the rate of profit resulting from a rise in the organic composition of capital. As the cost of plant and machinery required to make labour more productive increased as a ratio of labour employed, labour had to generate higher profits to cover the total capital investment. This meant that the rate of exploitation needed to increase. At a certain point in the late 60’s, that rate (the willingness of workers to work harder or face cuts in living standards) could not keep pace with total capital invested, and profits began to fall. This is well documented, not only by Marxists. Capitalism needed to be restructured. So whatever the means used the ends were the same. Capital had to drive down its costs to restore its profits. In NZ this meant that industry had to be restructuring to cut costs and become internationally competitive. Rogernomics was the Labour Party’s answer. It was economic kiwi shock therapy.
    This was captured at the time by the Socialist Alliance in their “Rogercomic”. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1949769616850.2100256.1020893687&type=3
    The best account of the underlying forces at play is in the late Geoff Pearce’s PhD “Where is NZ Going”. http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/handle/10092/1024
    Brian Roper has summarised and updated this analysis in ‘State and Economy in NZ’ which as far as I know is not online.

    • Ennui 7.1

      Red, I had a quiet laugh clicking on your site and seeing Trotsky…..seemed very ironic considering that you quote Rogers statement to the effect that ‘reforms’ had to happen fast before people woke up”.

      This is directly out of the Lenin school of revolutionary practice, probably his greatest contribution to turning theory into reality. It amuses me that what was pioneered by the Reds got appropriated by the Neo Libs….not surprising that these two are mirror images, both practitioners of “rationalism” and “materialism”.

      Your guys should never have publicised the methodology nor proven it. Funny also your analysis of capital in crisis, looks very much like a rerun of what brought the Soviet Union to its knees to me.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Not online but in libraries.

  8. Paul 8

    Naomi Klein could easily use Christchuch as an example for her book.
    Earthquake, dodgy insurance companies, forced school changes, people living in broken houses for over 2 years, charter schools, removal of democracy with Ecan..
    Yup, that’s shock doctrine in action.

  9. TheContrarian 9

    Would have liked to have seen that but The Fly was on Prime.

  10. xtasy 10

    Karol, I am in agreement with your comment that what the Nats in government have been presenting us of recent, is nothing short of policy and legislative “blitzkrieg”. Yes, bringing in unconstitutional, undemocratic, the BORA and Human Rights Act breaching laws, some under urgency, and rushing them through select committee, some even not going through that stage, that is clearly a speedy or hasty attack on the democratic process that should actually be followed, upheld and applied.

    The main problem is, most people in the public have such a dim view of politicians, and are also so superficially and poorly informed, they take little interest in details, and they do not even know that their rights and entitlements are signed away with a stroke of a pen, when these new laws and amended laws get their assent.

    We know how practically “complicit” the leaders in the mainstream media are in supporting this government, and they keep their staff (the average reporter on rushed feet, the journalist not given time and pay to research details) at a tight lead, so they do not go astray and do what they actually would be supposed to do.

    I did not see that film, and I rely on your assessment.

    With the continued “neo-liberal” onslaught, I fear the NatACT government have just started to run the bulldozer over us. Wait and see how they will implement the welfare reforms soon, it will start in harmless fashion (see the “calming” info contained in brouchures at WINZ offices), but once the regime is in place, there will be thousands thrashed off the benefits, forced to work, whether actually signed off as sick and incapacitated by doctors, or not. They will simply circumvent or override medical decisions, as they have already tried increasingly over the last two years.

    The new “assessments”, separate to medical examinations, will be so constructed, that they will find many capable to work, even if it is for non existing, hypothetical jobs. The goal is cost cutting and sending the message to others: Do not even bother applying for benefits, as you will most likely not qualify anyway.

    We are in for an onslaught, for sure, at that and other levels. It is highly dismaying, that most out there do not get it, and simply shrug their shoulders and turn away, letting all this happen.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Karol, I am in agreement on your comment that what the Nats in government have been presenting us of recent, is nothing short of policy and legislative “blitzkrieg”.

      Lucky that we have our very own Red Army to defeat them. Maybe. Not.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government has no credible climate change plan
    Today’s announced climate change target falls short of the ambition required to meet even our existing targets, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “The target announced today amounts to a decrease of only 11 per cent from 1990 levels. This… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Auckland house prices now 10 times incomes
    Auckland house prices have risen so steeply the typical house in our biggest city now costs 10 times the median Auckland household income, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Barfoot and Thompson reports the median house sale price in June… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Time for economic spin is over
     Business confidence in the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion falling to its lowest level in three years is yet another warning of a staggering economy that cannot be ignored, says Labour's leader Andrew Little.   “This comes on the back of dairy prices falling… ...
    14 hours ago
  • 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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
    5 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,… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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
    6 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… ...
    6 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
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    7 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… ...
    7 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… ...
    7 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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 –… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    2 weeks 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

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere