Metiria Turei and David Shearer have today given their State of the Planet and State of the Nation speeches respectively. There’s a lot of commonality, which is good. A critique of the government is solidifying and it’s centred on jobs, housing, and the environment. The Greens’ policy agenda looks heftier than Labour’s but both are heading the right way.
|E rere haere ana ōku mihi ki ngā tangata whenua o tēnēi rohe, ki Ngāti Whātua. He tino nui tō manaakitanga ki a mātou i tēnēi rā.Ki te maunga i tū mai nei, Maungawhau, tēna koe.E kī ana te korero, whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei|
Our challenge is to build a movement of like-minded New Zealanders who share our vision for a better future. And that work starts today. If we want to change the world we need to build the political machine to deliver it.He hari tō tātou ngākau ki te hui i roto i tēnēi rohe ataahua.I send my greetings to the people of this land, to Ngāti Whātua. You have shown great hospitality to us today.Greetings to the mountain that stands here, Maungawhau.
It is said, pursue that which is precious, and do not be deterred by anything less than a lofty mountain.
Our hearts are happy to meet in this beautiful region.
So how great is it to be here under the beautiful Maungawhau? I’ve spent a lot of time, climbing up and down this maunga, coming here to Tahaki for parties and picnics and late night frolicking.
This maunga has been welcome respite for generations of Māori and Pakeha alike.
Yet, beneath this cool, green surface lies a heart of fire, a powerful force for change waiting to be unleashed.
Today I want to issue a call to action to unleash the passion and the power of the new Aotearoa New Zealand, those who care for our children and their birthright.
There is much to do because our children face real challenges in this 21st century world.
The world faces the toughest challenges we have seen in a long time. The effects of the global financial crisis still echo around the world
Income inequality in OECD countries is at its highest level for the past 50 years.
The planet is suffering massive bio-diversity loss. Eco-systems are under more pressure than ever.
The hurt of climate change is biting. Extreme weather events, storms, cyclones, droughts and fires are getting worse.
I want to acknowledge the people of Samoa, Fiji and Australia who have suffered for extreme weather over this summer.
The people of the Pacific can realistically wonder if their islands will even exist in a few years; threatened by a problem they did not create.
But the tide is beginning to turn on the destructive thinking that has led to climate change.
Here in New Zealand the will of the people has turned it already.
Successes of 2012
When you elected a record 14 Green MPs into Parliament in 2011, it was the growing Green movement making its voice heard loud and very clear.
In 2012 our new and bigger team held the Government to account and delivered good green change.
We are still working with Government where we can. The home insulation scheme, a truly transformative legacy from Jeanette Fitzsimons, has insulated about 200,000 homes and we are working to continue it.
We have worked to clean up toxic sites throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and have secured $10 million dollars to clean up the old tui mine near Te Aroha.
And we continue to work on Ngā Haerenga, the Aotearoa New Zealand Cycle Trail, 18 Great Rides that will take cyclists through some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most iconic and picturesque country.
But you’ve also made it clear that the National Government’s business-as-usual, lazy thinking is facing extinction. You’ve made it clear you want us to tackle that old ostrich thinking head on and be a strong opposition to the Government’s destructive agenda.
Under National over 40,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost.
So we launched a manufacturing inquiry, with the Labour, New Zealand First and Mana parties. It will report on solutions for working people in Aotearoa this year.
Finding ways to get New Zealanders, especially young New Zealanders, back into work is a critical priority for us this year and unlike the Government we are looking at new ideas to do something about it.
We put child poverty on the political agenda while National blames everyone else but their own indifference for the 270,000 kids trapped in poverty.
We have pressured the New Zealand Superannuation Fund into higher ethical standards. We had the Fund drop mining company Freeport-McMoRan Copper&Gold after Amnesty International reported torture and killings in West Papua by the mining company’s security as thousands of mine workers were striking over their wage of less than NZ$2.50 an hour.
We asked the Auditor-General to investigate National’s dirty deal with Sky City for a convention centre. It’s just plain wrong for John Key to get a convention centre paid for with the crime and misery driven by problem gambling.
We held the Government to account over the privacy debacle at ACC, and forced the authorities to investigate the breaches.
We have made Parliament more accessible for those with disabilities and continue to fight for a genuinely accessible Parliament for all citizens.
The Greens belong to what’s been called the ‘new majority’ – the new consciousness of environmental issues, human rights, fairness and the need for good change.
Green is good, and it’s getting bigger and better every day.
The future Aotearoa New Zealand
The future Aotearoa New Zealand will look and feel different to the New Zealand of today.
It will be more ethnically diverse with growing Māori, Pacifica and Asian communities.
It will be older, with more opportunities for older people and more innovative, better educated young New Zealanders than ever.
Our ways of living are changing too.
Women who marry do it later. We work more, parent older, and demand safe homes and relationships.
We are becoming a more tolerant society. While a majority support marriage equality, young New Zealanders do so overwhelmingly. To them the notion that their gay friends and family should be denied their equal rights is unthinkable.
The future Aotearoa New Zealand does not fear diversity – it embraces it.
The future Aotearoa New Zealand values service to our communities and allows everyone to find decent work that pays a living wage.
The future Aotearoa New Zealand doesn’t see one person’s human rights as a threat to another’s.
The environmental challenges and the economic uncertainties that we all face generates a new appreciation of two ideals lost in the last three decades:
• Solidarity – we are all in this together
• Democracy – governing under shared values and through dialogue
These are weft and weave of the fabric of a fair society.
Together they have given us a great school system, fine tertiary institutions, hospitals and community health care, hydropower, roads and trains, communications: the platform for individual achievements, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The political question is; who speaks to this future Aotearoa New Zealand?
To this new, tolerant, diverse majority, to this recognition that we are in this together?
What party speaks to the aspirations of the Aotearoa New Zealand of tomorrow?
The Green Party is an agent of hope for a new Aotearoa New Zealand.
An Aotearoa New Zealand whose smart economy is built from our clean green brand and natural advantages.
An Aotearoa New Zealand that is inclusive and progressive.
An Aotearoa New Zealand where we are environmental champions at home and abroad.
But being just an agent for hope is not enough. We need to back our hope and aspiration with action.
The Greens have always been a thought leader, ahead of the curve on the critical issues of our time. And as a political force we have become better at turning our ideas into action.
At Ratana this week, I announced our Home for Life plan to help families achieve the Kiwi dream of owning their own home, and being more secure in a rental home.
We have offered to New Zealanders a progressive ownership scheme that will get young families on the ladder to home ownership through a deposit and mortgage free rent to own system – affordable and accessible to young families.
We have offered better tenancy security and a warrant of fitness so that those who rent can stay in their homes longer, have greater certainty over rent increases, and know that the homes they pay good money to live in are warm and dry and won’t make their kids sick.
We have made the dream of home ownership into a plan of action for whānau, for families.
But no New Zealander will receive the benefits of this housing plan if we don’t build community support for it and if we don’t get elected.
The challenge I set out today is to redouble our efforts, to make our movement the most effective on the ground political force in Aotearoa New Zealand.
I’m in. Are you?
I’m in – for the future
Today I’m launching our plan to give all Kiwis who care about tomorrow the chance to shape political outcomes today.
Called “I’m in – for the future”, the Green Party will offer anyone who wants to, the opportunity to be part of our campaigns to change Aotearoa New Zealand for the better.
Our challenge is to build a movement of like-minded New Zealanders who share our vision for a better future. And that work starts today.
If we want to change the world we need to build the political machine to deliver it.
We will back ideas with action to make them a reality. Just go to www.greens.org.nz and signup. I’m in and I hope you will join me.
Last year 3264 New Zealanders signed up to be Green Party Asset Keepers in the Keep Our Assets campaign. That is 3264 volunteers around the country working to stop asset sales.
Of those, around two thirds were not our members.
This new model of organising, of giving everyone a political voice and the opportunity to support our campaigns is working.
I am proud to say that the Greens have collected over 185,000 Keep Our Assets signatures – more than half of the coalition total despite being the smallest of the coalition partners.
“Im in – for the future” extends this opportunity across all of our campaigns. In 2013 we will back our ideals with our actions.
I’m in. I hope you are too.
In 2013 more people will have a chance to win on the things they care about and that are important to our country.
Our first priority in 2013 is to stop asset sales.
The Keep Our Assets petition is close to completion. We want to collect the remaining signatures by the end of February.
I am asking every Green member and every New Zealander who supports public ownership of our profitable and strategically important power companies to sign up now for one final push to force an asset sales referendum.
Throughout February we have collection events planned around the country. We need more volunteers and helpers.
I’m in, and I need you to join me in getting those last signatures now.
New Zealanders oppose asset sales. The Government is in a mad rush to get rid of two power companies this year. We can build an even stronger public campaign to force a referendum and we will deliver a stinging rebuke to this policy when we vote in a referendum.
But we need your help. The signatures won’t magically appear on the petition, the leaflets won’t just arrive in letter boxes, the phone calls to coordinate volunteers won’t be made unless we are all in together.
And once we stop the Government selling our assets we need to turn our energy to building new ones.
In 2013 another priority will be our campaign to get the CBD rail link in Auckland built.
Yes, we need a Mayor and a council elected in Auckland committed to building the rail link.
But we have that already and the link isn’t getting built. We need to build pressure on the Government in Wellington to deliver the public transport Aucklanders want and need.
In 2013 we will campaign for the survival of our public schools. Schools are the hubs of our communities, where the bodies and minds of future New Zealanders are nurtured and set on a path to realise their full potential.
Make no mistake, our schools have never felt so unsupported, so threatened as they do under this Government and this Minister. If the Government keeps attacking schools and kids, they’ve got a fight on their hands.
2014 is election year.
And the Government is going to fight the 2014 election with fear and money.
They will scare monger about the Greens and they will throw every cent from their very deep pockets so they can stay in power to deliver more of the same failures.
And we will fight their fear and money with people and passion.
What we lack in dollars we will make up for with action.
Our coalition of supporters, dedicated to building a modern and progressive Aotearoa New Zealand will be unstoppable because we will be on the right side of history and represent the best of our country.
The Green Party will offer New Zealanders policies full of opportunities to build a better Aotearoa New Zealand, to give everyone a decent start in life, a good job with a living wage and an abundant environment to be proud of.
Together we are powerful and passionate.
Together, we will build a caring country that honours our past, makes good green change in the present and has our gaze set firmly on the opportunities of the future.
This is a rally cry for a new year, crisp with fresh promise.
So, I’m in – are you?
|Tēnā koutou katoa.Greetings everyone and thank you for being here together on a Sunday. It’s great to see so many friendly faces.It’s wonderful to see so many of you prepared to give up some of your summer break to talk about the future of our country.There is nothing more important. And nothing more urgent. I can tell you that today I’m refreshed, I’m fired up, and I’m raring to go.This year will be a big year for Labour – a year where we not only hold the government to account, but also show there’s a better way.A way of hope, where there is a place for everyone and where we fight for a world class NZ that we can all be proud of.|
Today I want to lay out the challenges before us, the need for change and our focus for the year.
NEW ZEALANDERS WHO INSPIRE US ALL
A book I was given for Christmas tells the stories of 50 inspiring New Zealanders – artists, scientists, musicians, business people, some well-known, some less so.
Reading about their lives, they share the same passion and pride in their work and in their country. The ambition to be world class.
As scientist Ray Avery says: ‘we have no respect for the status quo’.
These people never say it’s too hard – we’re not big enough, we’re too isolated, we don’t have enough money. Instead they say, “To hell with it, I’m going to do it anyway”.
New Zealanders have always achieved what wasn’t supposed to be possible. Sir Edmund Hillary’s idea of what was possible took him to the very top of the world. Kate Sheppard’s idea of what was possible made New Zealand the first country to give women the vote. Alan MacDiarmid’s idea of what was possible took him from Masterton to winning the Nobel Prize.
We’ve always dreamed big and succeeded.
I see that same attitude in families and schools, businesses and sports teams as I travel up and down the country.
People overcoming adversity, dreaming of something better. When I see a single mum put herself through polytech to build a better future for her kids, I’m inspired. When I meet New Zealanders well into their retirement, who after a lifetime of service are the first to volunteer come Daffodil Day, I’m inspired.
When a kid, who the stats say should fail, becomes the first member of their family to graduate from university, I’m inspired. It’s inspiring because Kiwis don’t lie down.
From the most famous to the most humble, courage and determination is the common bond. They deserve a Government that backs their hopes and inspires them to succeed.
A Government that says: you do your bit, we’ll do ours. That’s what a Labour Government will do. That’s what a government I lead will do.
NATIONAL’S EXCUSES ARE HOLDING US BACK
But this Government’s low expectations are holding us back.
For 4 years we’ve been fed skilfully spun excuses for why we can’t get ahead.
It’s the Global Financial Crisis, the Canterbury earthquakes, the global outlook that is the problem.
We are told we have to accept second best.
There is always an excuse for why we can’t get ahead. For why we can’t be a leader in this field or that.
For example, the National government aspires to being a fast follower when it comes to climate change.
Hold that thought. What is a fast follower exactly?
Does it mean that if we follow too fast we become … what…an accidental leader?
But a leader with no clue about where they’re going.
That’s not good enough with an issue that is so important to our planet, and our country.
We deserve better than that.
I refuse to accept that for New Zealand.
And so do the Kiwis I meet.
FORGOTTEN NEW ZEALANDERS
But this Government has forgotten the hard-working and inspiring people I come across every day.
In a pub in Napier, a guy came up and said to me “I’m working harder than ever, I pay my taxes, we’re trying to bring up our kids the best we can, but we simply can’t seem to get ahead”.
He went on to say: “I just feel nobody is standing up for me”.
So many others I have met feel the same.
They’re busy helping organise school galas, donating their time to charities, running the sausage sizzle to fundraise for local sports clubs.
They are at the heart of our communities helping make our country the great one it is.
I’ve run into that spirit amongst many small business owners.
They’re the kind of people who pay themselves for 40 hours but work 80 just to keep the doors open.
They’re not asking for an easy ride or a hand-out.
But like thousands of others across this country, they’ve been taken for granted.
They feel the Government has forgotten them.
Kiwis across the country are working harder than ever.
They’re doing their fair share. Playing their part.
We all have that responsibility.
But they feel let down.
My promise to you as Prime Minister is that I will always stand up for the hardworking, forgotten New Zealanders.
You’re doing your bit, it’s time you had a Government that did its bit too.
NEW ERA – HANDS ON GOVERNMENT
We desperately need real leadership now more than ever.
The Global Financial Crisis has exposed the frailties of the old economic wisdom.
The National Party believes the financial crisis is just a blip to get over. Their solution is to apply their failed ideas of the past over and over.
They are wrong.
The hands-off, simply leave it to the market approach has failed all over the world.
We are on the cusp of a new era – when new thinking and leadership is needed to build wealth we can all share in.
The world has changed. National hasn’t. It’s stuck in the past.
We need a government that recognises times have changed.
We need a Government that finds the courage to act, not better excuses for why we can’t.
We need a government prepared to stand up for hardworking forgotten Kiwis.
We need a smart, hands-on Government.
A government that is prepared to be a player, not a spectator.
That will be a Labour Government, and the Government I will lead.
It’s about getting our priorities right, being thrifty about our economy.
Bringing our debt under control.
But being smart about how we tackle the massive challenges ahead.
Above all, this country needs a government that chooses to act.
Let me tell you what I mean.
When a young couple is putting off having kids until they buy a house, and yet despite saving hard, prices always slip beyond their reach, it’s time to act.
That’s why I’m committed to putting 100,000 families into new homes.
It’s ambitious, but New Zealanders can see right through the Government’s hands off approach that leaves it to the market.
They see through the tinkering with the RMA.
They see through the latest excuse – to blame the local Council.
It’s just not credible.
It’s also why Labour will introduce a Capital Gains Tax to move investment into business and away from property speculation that is pushing house prices through the roof.
When a student graduating from university faces 7.3% unemployment and little chance of getting a job, it’s time to act.
They’ve done their bit, we need to do ours.
It’s heart-breaking watching parents waving goodbye to their kids at our airports.
People want to work – they just need the jobs.
Two days ago, John Key had an epiphany: We have a youth unemployment problem – we need apprentices.
Good on him. I thank the focus group that brought that to his attention.
There are now 20 per cent fewer apprentices today than when he took office. We are now importing foreign labour to meet skills shortages in the biggest rebuild in our history in Christchurch.
Is he just waking up to this now? Is this government asleep at the wheel, completely out of touch?
You don’t need to answer that. The answer is obvious.
I have been serious about youth unemployment from the day I was elected leader.
Labour’s plans are out there. I’d be delighted if this government picked them up and ran with them.
We’ll pay employers the equivalent of the dole to take on apprentices.
We’ll back Kiwi businesses to get their slice of the $30 billion dollars the Government contracts out every year – but we will require them to take on apprentices and trainees in return.
We’ll give tax breaks to companies doing world-leading research and development, so the innovations – and the jobs – they create stay right here in New Zealand.
When I see talented people forced to leave their home town because there’s nothing on offer for them, it’s time to act.
That’s why we’ll work with councils on projects that support their provinces. Projects like the Gisborne to Napier rail link to boost economic development and create jobs.
When I hear of high value manufacturers shedding jobs because our high dollar cuts them off at the knees, it’s time to act.
We’ll make changes to monetary policy so that our job-creating businesses aren’t undermined by our exchange rate.
When a 5 year old girl falls asleep in class because she had no breakfast before she left home, it’s time to act.
Labour will put food in schools, to make sure all our kids get the same chance to learn.
When a mum and dad work long hours but still can’t afford healthy food for their kids, it’s time to act.
We’ll lift the minimum wage and champion a living wage to make sure hard work can provide a decent living.
This is what I mean when I say we need a smart Government prepared to act.
A Government that says we will back you if you’re prepared to do your best.
Yes, we face huge challenges, but by being hands on we can turn our biggest challenges into opportunities for the future.
Since we announced KiwiBuild last year, excitement is growing. Architects, construction companies and designers around NZ have been in touch.
They see an opportunity to build affordable, energy-efficient – even energy generating – houses.
Houses that use home grown sustainable materials.
Houses that families will be proud to call home.
This is an idea the country is embracing.
More than 70 per cent of Kiwis support our KiwiBuild programme to build 100,000 first homes.
New Zealanders are also behind our other new ideas and those numbers are growing.
Most people see the need for a Capital Gains Tax on investment properties.
Nearly six in every ten New Zealanders support our idea to make KiwiSaver universal.
And nearly two-thirds of you back our pledge to protect universal superannuation for future generations by gradually lifting the age of eligibility.
The forces of conservatism said that reforming Super wasn’t the right thing to do.
It wouldn’t be popular – so we shouldn’t do it. They were wrong.
New Zealanders are forward thinking and are prepared to do what it takes to create a better future.
National has a big idea of course – it’s to sell our best assets.
And, with them, goes another chunk of our future.
That is their plan.
Most Kiwis hate it. And we are behind them fighting that idea all the way.
HANDS ON – A GLOBAL TREND
Labour isn’t alone in knowing the time has come for active government.
A movement of leaders and people across the world have realised the old hands-off solutions take us nowhere.
It’s a new way of thinking and it’s evolving.
New Zealanders are looking to a government that will roll up its sleeves and back them.
You do your part, and we the government will do ours.
In 2014 that’s the Government I will lead.
AGENDA FOR 2013
Kiwis won’t have to wait until the election to find out what I stand for and what I’ll do about the issues that matter to them.
I’ve already put clear stakes in the ground on housing affordability, quality education, growing jobs and the economy.
There’s more to come.
For Labour, this year is about preparing for Government.
We want New Zealanders to know that we’re ready to govern.
That’s why today I’m setting out my agenda for the year.
Number one is jobs. It is our most urgent priority and cuts across everything we do.
Labour’s plan to build new affordable homes will create thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships.
A job is more than a weekly wage, it’s gives people a purpose and pride in themselves.
That’s why I’m focussed on jobs.
Our housing proposals are at the cutting edge of urban design and energy efficiency.
This year we will bring together the best ideas of architects, designers, urban planners and others to a housing conference.
I want KiwiBuild ready to roll on Day 1 when we take office.
First-home buyers shouldn’t have to wait.
Jacinda Ardern, my Social Development spokesperson, will produce an alternative white paper this year, setting out our direction to help lift kids out of poverty.
There are 270,000 children in hardship in this country, and the government is failing them.
Kids deserve the best chance in life regardless of their parents’ wealth, and with Labour they will get that.
Their best opportunity is from a world-class education system.
We’ve already set out our plan to put food in schools and extend reading recovery so our kids aren’t destined to be drop outs from their first day at school.
This year I’m asking my education team to look at ways to improve transitions from school to further training and high-skill jobs.
85,000 young New Zealanders are not in work, education or training.
It’s a flaw in our system.
I want to see our schools seamlessly connect to further training opportunities.
I want every child to go through school with a purpose and plan of where they’ll end up.
Because every young Kiwi deserves a shot at a career that excites and motivates them.
Without this we’ll continue to see kids, without the right skills to get a job, falling through the cracks.
And our employers will continue to struggle to find the skills they need.
That’s not a future I want for my kids or yours.
I’ve spoken of a clean, green, clever economy many times.
We need our environment to drive our economic success and our economy to keep our environment clean.
The reality is we will not create more better paying jobs by simply exporting more milk powder.
We’ve been talking about it since Mike Moore invented lamb burgers.
Our future prosperity will be carved out by backing the talent of businesses working in high tech, or the innovations of those adding value to our natural resources.
It will be built by those that see the promise and opportunity of a clean, green future.
Great ideas are emerging from organisations like Pure Advantage, and from thousands of innovative can-do Kiwis.
A thriving manufacturing sector is at the heart of my vision. That’s why our manufacturing inquiry that starts tomorrow is an important first step.
But the commitment is lacking from government.
Well I am committed to this future.
There is simply no other option.
That is why I have asked my colleagues to develop a clear plan to diversify our economy.
A plan we can put in front of New Zealanders, not airy fairy concepts.
All of these areas – jobs, education, housing and building a new economy – are critical to rebuilding our second largest city.
I am committed to rebuilding Christchurch from the grassroots up, not the Beehive down.
That’s why I’ll be talking to Cantabrians about how they see their future.
To ensure their voices are heard.
That’s what we’ll work on in the coming months.
These ideas will make a difference.
These are ideas National simply can’t see.
The difference between the forces of conservatism and the need for change has never been wider.
Come 2014, New Zealanders will face a choice more stark than any in a generation.
A choice in the direction of their country.
A choice between staying as we are and managing our decline, or being part of a hands-on Government that’s backing hardworking New Zealanders.
A government that chooses action over excuses.
A government that understands the world is entering a new era and we need to change with it.
One that shares the determination and passion of those Kiwis who inspire us most.
That’s the Labour Government I will lead.
But I can’t do it alone.
Today, I am asking for your help.
I want you to be part of my team and play a part in the next government.
I want to hear your hopes for this country and your ideas of how we get there.
I want each of you to take the Labour message out to your neighbours, your co-workers, your congregation, and your friends.
Tell them yes, we in the Labour Party are committed to making a real difference in people’s lives.
We will not accept the status quo.
A tide for change is building.
Change that guarantees everyone gets ahead, not just those at the top.
Change so we once again stand tall as a country.
A country where we strive to be a leader – not a follower.
A country where the Government is hands-on and backs its people.
A country we can be proud of.
Friends, join with me to build that future.
Because, together, that’s what we will do in 2014.
It’s interesting to see the Greens looking to leverage the contacts they’ve gained through the asset sales CIR into a wider movement. Having collected over half the signatures, they’re well placed. If I were to nitpick, I find it strange that Shearer doesn’t even mention the referendum, which will be held this year. And the bit about being a climate change fast follower confuses me. The problem with National on climate is that they’re not even a fast follower, they’re a farce.
While both parties talk about jobs and the need for more government action on the issue, they haven’t really elucidated the bounds of the action that they’re talking about. It’s not that I expect them to give policy detail, but I would like more of a feel for how much they’re prepared to increase the government’s intervention in the economy to create jobs – will they have the government itself do the work that the private sector fails to do, or will they stick to trying to incentivise action from the private sector?
What about investment in upgrading the capital that the Crown already owns – schools, hospitals, state houses, public transport and rail, even roads – surely there’s a lot of work that can be done making that stuff more cost-effective, which will actually save the government money. Or are we just talking tax credits? Again, Shearer seems reticent to actually put any government money behind his words but the Greens, too, have yet to show whether they still think jobs is a ‘market knows best’ thing at the end of the day or whether full employment should be a goal and government investment should be used to achieve it.