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SkyCity’s convention centre would need $10m+ subsidies – MED

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 am, April 22nd, 2012 - 46 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, national - Tags: , , ,

Key’s selling our gambling law to SkyCity in return for a convention centre with no government capital contribution. But, according to the MED, we taxpayers would be subsidising that convention centre with $10m for starters. Plus marketing costs. And, then, ongoing subsidies both if convention numbers fall short and as a kickback when it does bring in conventions.

We know that an international convention centre will never generate a return on the capital invested in it. Which is why no private organisation will do it without the government chipping in money, or doing it legislative favours.

But, the convention centre will, at least, cover its own running costs, won’t it?

Nope. MED’s feasibility study says that an international convention centre would need $10 million of operating subsidies in its first 6 years. Remember, this isn’t about capital costs, which SkyCity is agreeing to pay in full as the price for buying our gambling law. Here’s what MED says:

“it is assumed that the centre’s operating costs will break even. However, in the pre-opening phase, and initial years while the centre is establishing itself, it is likely that operational subsidies will be required. These have been assumed as:
• $2.0 million per annum in each of the three years before opening, for setting up operations and initial
marketing
• $2.9 million in the first year after opening
• $1.4 million in the second year after opening
• $0.5 million in the third year after opening”

On top of that, Tourism New Zealand would be expected to pay for the centre’s marketing:

“Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Auckland and CINZ for example will undoubtedly be active convention marketers.”

Yay! More subsidies. [Important reminder: we can’t afford to extend paid parental leave]

And it gets worse.

See, the fundamental problem with building a great big fuck-off international convention centre in the most isolated country on Earth is that nobody’s going to want to host an international convention centre there. And the other fundamental problem is that there’s already lots of international convention centres, all of them competing for a decreasing number of international conventions.

MED recognises risks – potentially leading to bailouts on top of the subsidies already mentioned – for an international convention centre in the form of a weak global economy (amusingly it says this shouldn’t be a problem because the centre won’t be built until after 2011, by which time everything will be better), increased use of tele-presence, and environmental concerns about flying thousands of people around for what are, invariably, pretty pointless events.

What’s important to recognise is that, while those risks affect all convention centres, they would affect a new Auckland International Convention Centre more than any of its competitors in the rest of the world. This is handsomely illustrated by the fact that, while the number of international conventions worldwide fell 5% between 2008 and 2010, the number in New Zealand fell 40%.

Every year the convention centre doesn’t make the revenue expected, SkyCity will be wanting a handout to keep it going.

But really the crazy thing is this: MED sees SkyCity getting subsidies for hosting conventions too.

Say a few international convention centre organisers are batshit crazy enough to fly 3,500 people to the most isolated country on Earth when there are perfectly good, cheaper alternatives, to a city that doesn’t even have a rail link to its airport, or one to the site of the convention centre. Well, then, there’s insidious idea called ‘subvention’. It goes ‘we’ve got this crappy convention centre that sits empty most of the time but when people come from overseas for conventions here they also spend money on accommodation, gambling, food, hookers, and sometimes they do some tourist stuff too, we don’t provide all those services in our business, but we want the profits’. Or, in MED’s language, ‘subvention (incentive) policies recognise the economic value of conferences to host destinations.’

So, SkyCity would continually have its hand out for more public money as kickbacks.

Subvention works because the convention owner can always threaten to close up, leaving the government with massive empty halls and a whole lot of unneeded associated public infrastructure in the middle of a major city and deny the government some revenue from tourism. The convention centre owners internalise the wider economic benefits of convention centres into their own profits by holding a gun to the government’s head.

It’s interesting to reflect at this juncture on where the term ‘white elephant’ comes from. In Thailand and Burma, white elephants were considered possessions that brought great prestige to their owner (it’s all to do with Buddha). Of course, elephants eat a lot, which is expensive and prestige-bearing objects would require special care, meaning extra expense. Usually, an elephant paid its way doing heavy labour but it was illegal to make a white elephant work. So, the King would give enemies a white elephant. It denoted prestige, but it weakened them in the way that counted, by being an expensive burden.

Do we need or want to have a huge ‘prestige’ project in Auckland that we will have to continually subsidise because it can’t pay its way? And is it worth selling our gambling law, creating more gambling addicts, and inflicting more crime and social costs on our community to get it?

46 comments on “SkyCity’s convention centre would need $10m+ subsidies – MED”

  1. fender 1

    Key should be the patron who tops up any shortfall in revenue. Hes rich enough to practice philanthropy for a project he seems so passionate about.

    This blatent abuse of power has to end. Giving cronies another 500 money vacuum machines and a white elephant that the taxpayer has to feed is a step too far even for a gambling addict PM.

  2. hellonearthis 2

    John Key isn’t n idea’s man, first term was the cycle way and this term looks like it will be a convention centre. John, please stick to things you know, smiling and waving won’t cost NZ millions…

    • felix 2.1

      You could say his smiling and waving has cost us billions.

    • Fortran 2.2

      The Sydney Convention Centre in Darling Harbour is being demolished – great news !

      But, it being replaced by one four times the size, and will connect closer to the Casino.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2.1

        I think they are demolishing the Sydney Entertainment Center and its carpark which is to the south of the current Convention Centre and adjacent Exhibition Centre.
        Then the old building will be be demolished and sold for ‘private development’
        But much is still up in the air, depending on ‘who is paying off who’

        There is an old saying about ripping off the government by building something for them.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.2

        But, it being replaced by one four times the size, and will connect closer to the Casino.

        So the Sydney Convention Centre is going to quadruple its capacity? Sounds like there is going to be a glut of convention centre capacity in this part of the world.

        An apparently money losing proposition just got even worse.

      • mike e 2.2.3

        footrot NSW and corruption are one in the same.
        Shonkey insider trading NZ Rail how many shares does shonkey have in sky city

  3. taxicab 3

    since the land that this edifice is going to be built on belongs to skycity no doubt in a few years time when the subsidies become too much of a burden the govt of the day will extracate it’s self out of it’s interest in the whole fiasco and skycity will fill it with the 5oo gaming machines and extend it’s footprint at our expense and laugh all the way to the bank.

  4. locus 4

    Excellent post Eddie and great link to the statistics produced by the International Congress and Convention Association.

    It’s increasingly bizarre that many National supporters believe the forex trader and his casino promoting associates have a good grasp of business and economics. The stats you linked to show very clearly that not only are total conference numbers falling worldwide, but so is the average number of people attending. And this fall in demand for international conferences is a consistent 10 year trend – i.e. started before the global financial crisis.

    Interestingly, during the same period the top 7 conference cities (Vienna, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Madrid, Istanbul) held an increasing number of conferences, which reflects the ever increasing pressure on organisations worldwide to host international events in hub cities to reduce travel costs.

  5. Kevin Welsh 5

    It never fails to amaze me with all the intricate a bizarre ways they find to transfer wealth to corporations.

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Indeed. And also, not only is John Key selling our laws (they are not his to sell), he is gambling away our money.

  6. tc 6

    Top post full of those facts and numbers you never get from shonkey, like business are going to choose akl and it’s non existent infrastructure to a venue like Melbourne, a truly world class city, if they decide to come all the way down under.

    I hope this runs and runs burning the arrogance, public funds for the already wealthy and corruption into voters brains, hopefully they may even show up next time.

  7. John Dalley 7

    What do we then do with the likes of Vector Areana and the Town Hall?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      Vector Arena is a private ‘build operate’ contract.
      They had to wear the cost overuns

      The Town Hall has allways been publically owned.

      • Chris 7.1.1

        The council put a significant amount of money into Vector arena – it’s not all privately funded

  8. ak 8

    Cracker Eddie. The golden whale has hit the strand and not a host of his sychophant scribes can float him. As r0b noted, the media contrast with the hehenhate campaign could not be more stark nor grotesque: if Nactzi survives this, kiss goodbye to any last trace of this beautiful country’s reputation – and our mokopuna. The corrupted Disneyland of the South Pacific: bought to you by a calloused handful of jaded hacks in the thrall of mammon.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Key has never done an honest, useful day’s work in his life. That’s why he doesn’t KNOW how to create any value.

    Last week I came up with good idea that will reduce our costs by about $50,000 pa and costed about $600 in my time to implement. Done. Value added; just as do tens of thousands of other ordinary working Kiwis do every week.

    Key by contrast was only ever a shuffler of other people’s money, a ticket clipper and wearing the smiling shark-suit.

  10. marsman 10

    Auckland must say NO to an unnecessary convention centre.

  11. Janice 11

    A lot of the profits from any big convention will not stay in New Zealand anyway. The delegates will probably be staying in overseas owned hotes, playing at an overseas owned casino, if the conference is big enough there will even be some overseas hookers come as well, so there will only be crumbs for the locals.

    • Dan 11.1

      Yes, and the overseas owned hotel will pay NZ tax on their income and the overseas owned casino will also pay NZ tax on their income… as for the hookers, well who knows?

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Your defence would be sound but shame that corporate tax rates are so low then.

        Maybe we should nationalise the assets then we could keep it all. Just like our power stations. We currently keep 100% of the earnings for the people of NZ.

        Not that you’re interested in anything like that.

    • Fortran 11.2

      Janice – you are right

      I see that the Hilton Hotel on the waterfront in Auckland has been sold to a foreigner – a Singaporean family.

      They already own a number of hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

  12. Foreigh Waka 12

    If we are to contribute to this Center – direct or indirect – we are ENTITLED to see a business plan. So, where is it? Or are we in a bad movie?

  13. David 13

    Nice article in the Sunday Herald by Kathryn Powley.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10800577

    To sum up, it looks like this: Back the Auckland City/ Edge deal, Auckland gets a re-vamped St James Theatre and no more pokies. Back the SkYCity deal, Auckland loses a significant theatre space (so the pokies can go in asap!!), a theatre which had previously been a condition of the SkyCity license. Hmmm.

    • tc 13.1

      Yes yes yes the st James is an awesome venue for everything from movies to bands and it’s just tragic that it’s been dormant for years as it is part of akl heritage.

      Reclaim our heritage rather than embellish an already pus filled casino with as much soul as a McDonald outlet.

  14. Jim Nald 14

    Whaaa? The Herald on Sunday awaketh. Must buy a hard copy if the standard of editorial and journalism is improving:

    “Pokie deal is a devil’s bargain”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10800530

    “The liquor and gambling industries thrive at our well-documented social cost.

    “This social harm should, of course, be seen as intolerable even if we get a free convention centre in return, because we are trading human misery for putative economic prosperity – a devil’s bargain if ever there were one.

    ” More important, the evidence now coming to light makes it plain that Key’s behind-the-scenes discussions with SkyCity were at least extremely exceptionable and almost certainly entirely improper.

    “The whole matter could do with the disinfectant of a thorough airing. It is well beyond the point that the PM can smile and shrug off public concern.”

    (and lots more excellent points in the piece)

  15. Matthew Hooton 15

    Please stop writing posts that I agree with. It’s embarrassing for both of us. See http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/pokie-poll-wakeup-call-john-key-117207

    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.1

      Of course you are right Matthew.
      The classic National party deal should be to change the ‘policy only to create a level playing field ‘, which is all the bidders get to have 400-500 poker machines and 75 table games.

      So we could have a ‘casino choice’ in Auckland ?

      But somehow Key wants to ‘pick winners’ ( pun intended) in clear violation of long standing National policy

    • RedLogix 15.2

      The really embarrassing thing Matthew is that if any ordinary public servant, in central or local govt , were to conduct a tender so very badly…. they would either be disciplined, demoted, sacked, their organisation might well end up in Court, or any combination thereof.

    • Blue 15.3

      You’re embarrassing yourself just fine, Matthew. In the midst of an otherwise perfectly sensible article you suddenly go off on a bizarre tangent about how the EFA ‘made it illegal to effectively criticise the government in election year.’

      Even the most partisan hack should have some scruples.

  16. bad12 16

    There will only be one thing which can be described as ‘good’ which will come out of the shady dealings emanating from the 9th floor of the Beehive in Wellington,

    Blown away is the smoke and shattered are the mirrors behind which such corrupt little deals are stitched together,

    The public, including many of those who voted for National on the basis of its down home folksy leader, the poor Kiwi-kid who made good in the world of high finance and came home to little old New Zealand to fulfill His child-hood dream of leading the country into a better future,

    All a load of f**king bullshit of course, a public relations coup dreamed up to hide the venal shortcomings of a political leader carrying an empty suitcase of intellectual and moral rigour hiding behind the folksy down home Kiwi-kid facade with a carefully scripted fast paced smile’n’wave brand of politics,(akin to the weet-bix ads you see on the TV),

    Whats exposed,is what I and many others have from day one of the current Prime Ministers tenure always maintained to be the true Slippery nature of the real person behind that facade of smile,n,wave politics,

    A Slippery charlatan, someone who I and many others have maintained would sell you,me,and,this country down the road in a second if HE thought there was a buck in it for Him or any of His fellow traveling, card trick purveying, shyster mates…

  17. bbfloyd 17

    an update for you…. steven joyce was on the radio whining that the deal was “still in the negotiation stage”, and that it was possible the government could still back out…..

    well done ladies and gentlemen…. the cowards are getting ready to run away again….

    of course, you won’t be seeing, or hearing johnny “sparkles” making any public backdowns any time soon….. that’s being dumped into joyces lap…. seeing as how the sparkly one is far too busy rolling himself in glitter to take time out to actually be a leader….(the stuff just doesn’t seem to stick on as well as it did)….

    • Treetop 17.1

      “Still in the negotiation stage.” Joyce on Q & A this morning said the same thing.

      I am left asking why the tendering process was closed down and Sky City have been awarded the contract when the government are still in the negotiation stage?

      More like the REnegotiation stage to minimise the backlash from the public when it comes to the government not playing on a level playing field as one business entity is asking the government to change the law and others who tendered for the national convention centre were not given equivalent access to government. Even though the law was changed for the Hobbit movies this was inclusive of everyone in the film industry.

  18. yeshe 18

    Jim Anderton said on Q and A that the premier of South Australia has recently turned down Sky City on a very similar deal over there ? Implied they were sent packing …

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    When the greater economic benefits of building the trains here was mentioned the RWNJs poo-pooed the idea and now, all of a sudden, they’re used as justification to build a convention centre that will be a constant loss on the economy?

    Something tells me that the right are stealing the language of the left again.

  20. Steven Joyce struggled to effectively defend the Sky City convention centre decision on Q & A and revealed his complete disinterest in the issues of problem gambling. It’s all about the money!
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/national-hell-bent-on-selling-new.html

  21. Anne 21

    the fundamental problem with building a great big fuck-off international convention centre in the most isolated country on Earth is that nobody’s going to want to host an international convention centre there.

    That’s easily solved. Sell Air NZ to some filthy, rich middle-eastern sheik (Sultan of Brunei springs to mind) on the proviso they arrange for NZ to host a minimum of three international conventions of… 3000 delegates plus per annum. Deal done I reckon Johnny boy? (sarc)

    • Fortran 21.1

      Anne

      Since when has Brunei been in the Middle East. ?
      It’s an oil rich country in Borneo due east of Singapore-
      duh !
      Assume you are a teacher.

      • Anne 21.1.1

        Sell Air NZ to some filthy, rich middle-eastern sheik (Sultan of Brunei springs to mind)

        Should read (Sultan of Brunei also springs to mind).

        Happy now rwfw?

      • squirming 21.1.2

        No, more likely an ex politician.

  22. DH 22

    Thanks Eddie, that’s good work. It’s a shame our media aren’t up to the same standard, this interview by the obsequious Campbell is just embarrassing to watch;

    http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/Campbell-Live-Friday-April-20-2012/tabid/119/articleID/6262/MCat/73/Default.aspx

    To quote Key on the Crafar decision, at 1:03;

    “So, the government needs to follow the law…”

    In light of the Sky City deal that’s real foot in mouth stuff and Campbell didn’t even pounce on it. The law forbids Sky City to install more pokies and Key isn’t following the law there is he. The hypocrisy is quite galling.

  23. Observer 23

    Everyone knows you can earn big money by owning a low overhead, low maintenance Pokie Machine, but does a big Convention Centre earn the same day in and day out wealth?

    Or put another way, will SkyCity with expanded pokie capacity earn sure and large profit while the NZ Tax Payer props up and pays for a much less sure Convention Centre?

    I would rather be on SkyCity’s money train – than on a Convention Centre’s. Would you?

  24. Very interesting article in the ODT today regarding the proposed Dunedin Conference Centre upgrade. To be completed by 2016, they expect to host 36 conferences a year, up from 16 a year in 2008. Even if this unlikely number of conferences is achieved they will still be operating at an annual deficit of $4.5 million.

    Are these people insane?

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    "Certainly, The Impotent Are Pure": Gough Whitlam struggled to make the left of his party understand that purity at the expense of power is a poor bargain. “It is true that some parties can exist only as pressure groups… ...
    1 day ago
  • Target Tokyo – Docs Show NSA Targets Japan Over Trade Deal
    Press Release – Wikileaks Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes “Target Tokyo”, 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • K-pop’s loyal New Zealand fanbase
    Ahead of the Wellington K-Pop World Festival competition we talk to some of the stand out contestants.   K-pop is music at its pop-iest with ultra polished dance sequences, catchy melodies, and elaborate outfits. While it may be some… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Not just consumers, but patrons too
    Lydia Jenkin's New Zealand Herald feature on the paltry earnings of New Zealand musical artists in the age of streaming services is a story you should read if you care about having music made here. To say it's sobering is an… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ban junk food marketing to kids
    One in three Kiwi kids are overweight or obese. They face a life where they are 3-10 times more likely to be obese, and this weight will be harder for them to shift than it is for others. Long term,… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Tauranga Eastern Link complete
    Yesterday the Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges officially opened just the second Roads of National Significance to be completed – the $455 million Tauranga Eastern Link. All up the project is 21km long from Te Maunga… ...
    2 days ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week.31 July 2015 Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Guild interested to learn more about TPPA details
    Press Release – Pharmacy Guild The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) is keen to learn more about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will impact New Zealands health sector if it is accepted by the Government.Guild interested to… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Achieving Patient-Centred Care Or Floccinaucinihipilfication
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    2 days ago
  • A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade
    Press Release – Federated Farmers Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.31 July 2015 A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade Federated Farmers says the… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling our homes?
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses its clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labours Trade and… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a ProfitMore Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a Profit Finance… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government Tilts the Playing Fields
    The most shocking example of Government bias can be seen when comparing the treatment of the Problem Gambling Foundation and Relationships Aotearoa with how they bail out failing private and Charter Schools.Wanganui Collegiate is an elite Private School of around… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    While rapid change is always possible in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui won’t improve much beyond the “appallingly bad” level currently being… ...
    2 days ago

  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    5 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
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    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago

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