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Tell Key to keep Pharmac

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, June 2nd, 2011 - 35 comments
Categories: capitalism, john key, leadership, overseas investment, us politics - Tags: , ,

Like the ACC, Pharmac is a Kiwi institution that delivers benefits to everyone at a lower cost than other countries. National has got ACC on the butcher’s block. We must make sure that Pharmac doesn’t follow.

The problem is that the government is trying to negotiate a free trade agreement with America (the TPP). Pharmac pisses of the American drug companies, so (via their puppet politicians) they’re applying pressure to the government to ditch Pharmac as the price of the deal. We’d have to be mad to agree. Here’s Gareth Morgan’s take:

Pharmac bashers need a dose of reality

Despite being the chief advocate for free trade, the United States has a reputation for negotiating trade deals that turn out to have more fish hooks in them than a Japanese long-liner. Could the Trans Pacific Partnership deal be shaping up to be another example?

Behind the scenes, drug companies are spreading misinformation to undermine our state monopoly drug purchaser Pharmac. …

Pharmac’s job is to get the best value for the budget it manages, and it does this job very well. It does this by buying the medicines that add the most years of healthy life for the money spent, and striking the best deal with the pharmaceutical giants. …

But of course the drug oligopoly wishes it could control our drug budget, and will no doubt be seeking the backing of US government negotiators.

Tough. Leave Pharmac alone, America, just buy our butter and wool and we’ll buy your Harley-Davidsons. Or get lost and we’ll deal with China instead.

This anonymous Herald editorial gets it: “Pharmac more important than US deal”. The Labour Party get it. Phil Goff says we won’t weaken Pharmac for the TPP — this is “an absolute bottom line”. But do the Nats get it? Key is dithering:

Prime Minister John Key says the New Zealand Government would take “a fair bit of convincing” that Pharmac wasn’t the best model to keep under the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement under negotiation.

He made his comment after 28 United States senators wrote to President Barack Obama expressing concerns about intellectual property aspects of the TPP, alluding to without naming Pharmac.

“A fair bit of convincing”? Not good enough. Pharmac is a proven asset to our country. Key needs to grow a pair and tell America it is not negotiable. And if that sinks the TPP, so much the better. The TPP is a poisoned chalice that requires us to surrender far too much of our soverignty. If we can get an acceptable free trade agreement with America, well and good. But the TPP isn’t it.

35 comments on “Tell Key to keep Pharmac”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Is there a petition (online or hard copy) that folks can sign up to?

  2. M 2

    First our drugs, next our socialised health care and if that’s the case we can look forward to twelve year-olds dying from abscessed teeth like they do in America.

  3. JS 3

    I’ve heard that there is a clause in the TPP that says you can’t go back on a decision made. So once gone or privatised there is no chance to re-nationalise.

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      Oh, so no chance of Kiwi Treaty settlements in a hundred years from now?

      How come this new wave of “partnership” bullshit agreement is starting to look like Colonisation 2.0 ?

      And what might the new glass beads and blankets look like this time round to entice us?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Because it is Colonisation 2.0. Although, considering how much of our wealth already flows offshore from previous FTA and neo-liberal policies, that may be more like 3.0 or 4.0.

  4. PeteG 4

    I don’t think it should be non-negotiable, minor changes that don’t affect the strengths of Pharmac wouldn’t matter – and an agreeement that improved our drug access/pricing would be good (albeit unlikely).

    But I agree that we should make it clear we don’t want Pharmac adversely affected by any trade agreement, and best to make it clear now.

    • Blighty 4.1

      what minor changes that will satisfy US Big Pharma but not hurt Pharmac are you suggesting?

      This sounds like you’re going for the fallacy of the middle ground because you instinctively don’t like government agencies, even hugely successful ones like Pharmac.

      • PeteG 4.1.1

        Wrong – I instinctively like Pharmac. I think it should be retained as it is.

        I just don’t think it’s wise to absolutely rule out any negotiation. It’s possible, and I’d say preferable, to go in to negotiations with no change to Pharmac as a bottom line without openly revealing that.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          If the negotiation doesn’t bring any benefit, which the TPPA won’t, then it’s wise to put forward that which we won’t move upon.

      • Jim Nald 4.1.2

        The RWNJs’ economic vandalism and policy terrorism agenda is simple: smash or sell

      • Lanthanide 4.1.3

        Well I agree with PeteG in principal. I think it’s possible that there could be some small tweaks around the edges for Pharmac that won’t damage it unduly, and we shouldn’t chuck out the whole deal if small concessions can be made.
         
        But I take your point that it seems unlikely there would be much room to move in that arena – most changes acceptable to the US companies would be bad for us.

  5. prism 5

    The health allocation is one of the biggest costs to the government budget. There is an uneasy alliance between the sick person and the drug company with mutual need and ambivalent attitudes.
    They need to make a profit and pay for their research, that no doubt is often unsuccessful. We need to be not impoverished after buying their product.

    The drug companies are so big that they can buy politicians, flatter them, treat them, offer inducements, holidays, etc. I remember a story about the top judiciary of one or more USA states having a paid golfing weekend by some company, which might not have been a drug company. It would seem dangerous from the point of affecting their objectivity overall but worse because the company sponsor was in court before one or more of the judges at the time.

    So we need to watch that our ongoing NZ government system doesn’t get screwed for ever because of decisions made in a short period of governance by pleasure seekers and austere followers of the distorted sect of neo liberalism.

  6. stever 6

    It’s not just the politicians that get the treatment—GPs and specialists too get inducements to look kindly on drugs, and while they have little choice here in NZ than to go with Pharmac (for many people), the pressure must be worth applying or the companies would not indulge in it.

  7. William Joyce 7

    I wondered about the late November date to the election until I heard that the next milestone in the TPP (I think) is a preliminary signing in November. Did Johnny boy want to be around to do this on behalf of his handlers or am I seeing a conspiracy where one doesn’t exist?
    Someone better informed than me could answer this?

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      There are a whole myriad of reasons for announcing the election so early in the year. TPP could certainly be one of them, but I think the biggest two factors are the rubber wool cup and Key wanting to appear as principled and above petty brinkmanship.
       
      Possibly the Sept 4th earthquake also played into it – by November there should have been some good momentum going (was apparently going to crack into gear in late Feb-March anyway). Of course the announcement was made before the Feb 22nd quake, and it is in some ways remarkable that he didn’t pull the election in to late April or early May, with the excuse that the budget would be all about a response to Chch and therefore required a fresh mandate.

  8. ianmac 8

    Would Mr Key allow a short term gain in exchange for a long term loss? Surely not.
    But wait. Sell electricity companies to get a short term gain but a long term loss. Umm yes.
    There’s therefore more. Trade off Pharmac’s independence for short term US approval but long term loss for the patients of NZ.
    Would Key do that? He made a non-scientific Herceptin decision by over-ruling Pharmac for political gain. So yes.
    Would he do it again?

    • PeteG 8.1

      What if a trade agreement was reached that would end up costing Pharmac $500m more a year, but would virtually guarantee additional trade and business to the country that would generate an additional $1b in taxes? Including extra jobs.

      I don’t think “going for the middle ground” is anything like “considering all options and possibilities”.

      • prism 8.1.1

        Oh PeteG you little cheer germ. What if? dreams are so lovely and bright. The USA doesn’t even care about its own people and businesses, but they do have the ability to lobby and get protection from overseas competition.

        Australia has been putting up barriers to our apples with fascinating side trips into paranoid stories such as that a NZ scientist himself ‘planted’ some fireblight-contaminated plant which he had found in a park he was strolling in. The USA can do much better than that.

        Some years ago we were happily exporting beef or lamb to them under a ‘gentlemens’ quota which also applied to Oz. But they had a drought and got rid of the resultant excess of meat by exceeding the quota. The USA farmers were indignant and a swingeing tax was put on not only Australia but also NZ and we had been complying up to that point. Only then did we up our exports to take advantage of the window before the new tariff which remained for some time.

        The USA will give us little of worth and take much of what our little country has achieved for our successful advantage. We will be the losers. The Aussies didn’t get much out of their free trade agreement with the USA. Our pollies are just playing ‘me too, me too’.

        • PeteG 8.1.1.1

          I’m not cheerful about the chances of the US going subsidy free and trading freely. No harm in trying as part of a wider deal but there are easier, more fair trading partners.

          I was only positing the complexities of making absolute non negotiable stands. Everything ends up being a compromise with trade offs – but I’m sure that Kiwis as a whole would be very annoyed if Pharmac is compromised.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          Last time I looked, the Australian FTA with the US was costing them $700m with no benefits.

      • William Joyce 8.1.2

        Bird in the hand, PeteG. If you think that a back door access will be opened for our goods then you underestimate the farming lobby of the US and the level of appeasement that congress members will accept in order to get re-elected.
        There are sooooo many subsidies, federal programmes, and protectionist practices that have been granted to farmers from pork-barrel politics.
        That back door access will be slammed shut despite the TPP. They will find another way to continue their protected, subsidised farming by leaning on the local pollies.
        To surrender what we already have (Pharmac) for the promise of free trade from the TPP is stupid and irresponsible.
        And to think that we should amounts to brown-nosing the US bully-boy corporates!

        • Lanthanide 8.1.2.1

          I’ve heard that many farmers in rural US knew that the corn ethanol programme was a huge scam, but they voted for Bush because he put money (tens of thousands/year) into their back pockets because of it.
           
          The US is the only country in the world that uses High Fructose Corn Syrup as a general sweetener for food products, to the point that Coca Cola made with cane sugar is called “Mexican coke” and is actually imported from Mexico. This is only feasible because of the ridiculous subsidies given to corn farmers and tariffs applied to imported sugar to protect the farmers. It is believed that the use of HFCS is a factor underlying much of American obesity.
           
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup

          • William Joyce 8.1.2.1.1

            I think that it was Nixon that instituted subsidies on corn and that made corn syrup so cheap. So cheap that it, as you say, is over used as a sweetener.
            Also so cheap that it is a main food in their factory, in door, disease breeding, overcrowded cattle barns. Cheaper than raising beef on grass!
            Grass farmers are selling up to factory corporates because they can not raise grass-fed beef cheaper than corn-fed.
            The problem is that cattle can’t digest corn properly. You have to stick a hose down their throats to get the accumulated gas out else they die.
            Then of course comes the ethanol requirements for fuel and the subsidies, that you mention, for farmers to grow more corn.
            With over US$20 billion already in US “income stability” subsidies for farmers, with the TPP, all I see is another “income stability” subsidy going to US farmers that will make US dairy and meat cheaper than the imported, grass-fed, relatively humanely raised NZ beef and dairy.
            So even if we get our product in they will have to promote an  edge (ie. taste, animal welfare, etc) other than price.

            • prism 8.1.2.1.1.1

              W Joyce that is interesting stuff. Sounds as if you know your subject. How often would the gas release treatment have to be given to the USA cows? Here farmers have to watch cows that eat too much new grass growth. That’s where the bloat arises isn’t it.? Then I’ve heard of kids chasing the cow around the paddock to release the gas or a knife being put into the stomach somewhere to release it or else the cow can swell, is it with fermentation, and die.

              • lprent

                I have done the latter

              • William Joyce

                Prism, I’m just a case of urban boy listening to a US NPR doco on the wireless/internet.
                Not sure how often grass fed cows burp but they are prone to bloat if they eat certain food in certain seasons.
                The inability to process corn or soy properly makes them more prone to bloat so I guess the methane producing bacteria produce more gas. It could also be made worse by the factory barns where they can not “walk it off”.

  9. johnm 9

    I can’t understand why anyone would want to have a free trade agreement with the U$: A third World (Heading rapidly that way) Banana Republic of incredible wealth disparities that people only acknowledge because they have the biggest arsenal of bombs and bullets the World will ever know.

    Oh I forgot! Shonkey has a house there: he’s almost an American citizen!

    • johnm 9.1

      He also worked for Merrill Lynch, a crooked wall street money manipulator outfit where he made a financial killing sitting at a computer monitor!

  10. johnm 10

    Yes Shonkey has worked and continues to work for The Wall Street asset stripper club( NZ affiliated branch!). NZers in love with their tax cut sweeties still support him! Sick!

    “Most Americans it is clear are as powerless as the rest of the world to detain this Washington chainsaw massacre that is as predictable as a Peckinpah orgy unfolding before those of us that have bothered to read the Mein Kampf script. It is seen and understood for what it is but unfortunately power is out of our hands; we cannot influence the impending crash under the present circumstances where all power is concentrated in the few. The whited sepulchre of a Congress that meekly rubber stamps the corpocracy’s global death grip, only adds insult to injury by upholding the illusion of a functioning democracy for anyone that still might give a damn about right and wrong.
    The elite of this crumbling, has been “republic” are evil and debauched to the core while Joe and Smo Crackpipe are oblivious to the global stench of dead bodies wafting across a planet that utterly despises everything that America stands for. The good thing about the drug addled, suited thugs and banksters running riot in the sewer that is Washington and Wall St is that the empire is decomposing just as quickly at home as on the rim of its fetid outer colonies. Today where history moves with the speed of light the NSA CIA geeks with their gadgets and remote controlled Predators and Reapers just don’t seem to grasp the reality down here on the ground : that the gangrene is beyond stopping. When a government has so much fear of its own citizens that dancing becomes a threat and must be suppressed at all costs then that is indeed a despotic society that is not far from opening up the much ballyhooed Fema Concentration Camps. ”

    Would you do a deal with this to get rid of PHARMAC?

  11. thatguynz 11

    Does anybody honestly think that there will be ANY benefit to NZ signing on to the TPPA? I can see tremendous benefit to US corporations but for the NZ populace, not 1. In fact I would be so bold as to suggest that signing this would be every bit as bad/silly/naive as the asset sales that are being proposed. That being said, it completely aligns with the NACT ideology so I would expect nothing else but for them to advocate this as a good idea. The fact that Labour haven’t come out and categorically stated that they would remove NZ from these “negotiations” concerns me…

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Actually, Labour have come out and said that they support the negotiations but have said that they don’t support dumping Pharmac for them.

    • ianmac 11.2

      The benefit for a TPPA is largely a political “coup” for John Key’s election prospects. Politically pragmatic? Or straight out unscrupulous?

  12. johnm 12

    Another example of Shonkey’s Wall Street asset strippers club in action: not ACC, Pharmac or SOEs but old people being ripped of by a Wall Street suited criminal in the UK:

    Sharks who made a killing out of ‘care': How City predators destroyed firm caring for 31,000 old people
    Care-home bailout could cost £600m
    Second biggest care company also in trouble
    Shark: Stephen Schwarzman’s U.S. private equity firm Blackstone bought out Southern Cross Healthcare in 2004 before selling them three years later
    The U.S. private equity firm Blackstone, led by Stephen Schwarzman, bought Southern Cross in 2004 for £162million and sold it three years later. It is believed to have quadrupled its investment.
    Old People were ripped off for a return of pounds 648 million. Great American Business!

    Refer link:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393294/Southern-Cross-Healthcare-destroyed-Stephen-Schwarzmans-private-equity-firm-Blackstone.html

  13. johnm 13

    This Wall Street Crim Schwarzman had a great 60th birthday attended by amongst others the War Criminal Colin Powell who last year was giving tips to Paula Bennett on “corporate responsibility” Like the case in point here where 30,000 old folks get ripped off for profit!

    “He was certainly the king of conspicuous consumption. While other private equity moguls tend to be shy of publicity, Schwarzman – a graduate of Yale University, where he was a member of its exclusive Skull and Bones Society – liked to advertise his self-indulgence at every opportunity.

    In 2007, he paid Rod Stewart a reported $1million to perform at his extravagant 60th birthday party at which Patti LaBelle led the Abyssinian Baptist Choir singing He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands in his honour. Guests included Colin Powell and the New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

    Refer link above

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  • 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… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Kick Out The Jams: Beatcomber
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  • Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web
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  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago
  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: Halfway there
    In 1992 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change committed the world to preventing "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". This is generally interpreted as limiting climate change to an increase of no more than 2 degrees Celsius… ...
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  • Climate change: Halfway there
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  • Climate change: Halfway there
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    2 days 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… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    18 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    18 hours 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
    18 hours 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.… ...
    19 hours 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… ...
    22 hours 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
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    GreensBy David Clendon MP
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  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
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    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
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  • 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… ...
    4 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
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    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… ...
    7 days 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… ...
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  • 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
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    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
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    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
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

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