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The anti-democrats NZ tea party

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, October 30th, 2013 - 82 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, democracy under attack, tax, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

So, the same people who were so incensed by the democratic capabilities of MMP, that they launched an (entirely unsuccessful) campaign against it, are now launching a “union” for the greedy and self interested taxpayers.  Such people who most usually are anti-trade union, must surely be taking the piss to call their dodgy initiative a “union”

Remember when David Farrar and Jordan Williams were part of this effort in 2011, along with Simon Lusk and the oily one that wallows in “dirty, disgusting, and despicable” politics?

Jordan Williams and Simon Lusk

Jordan Williams and Simon Lusk

A group of National and Act Party activists is preparing to launch a campaign against MMP.

Details of the campaign, to be launched soon in the lead-up to the referendum on MMP on election day in November, have been leaked to the Sunday Star-Times.

Among the campaign’s key players is Simon Lusk, who played a major role in Don Brash’s leadership coup against Act leader Rodney Hide.

Jordan Williams, the young Wellington lawyer who accompanied Brash on the day he deposed Hide, is being considered for the role of frontman of the campaign.

David Farrar, National’s pollster and a well-known right-wing blogger and columnist, is providing strategic advice.

An NBR article by Farrar now announces a union for the selfish and greedy “taxpayers” to try to stop government providing things necessary for all Kiwis to live a reasonable, secure, useful, satisfying and healthy life.

Today is the launch day for the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

[…]

Setting up a union for hardworking New Zealand taxpayers has been an aim of mine for over seven years. There are thousands of lobby groups out there who demand more spending by taxpayers on their pet causes, and there hasn’t been a voice dedicated to representing the interests of those who have to fund all the spending – taxpayers and ratepayers. It has been my belief that the political environment in New Zealand will be better by having a lobby group that can contribute to the debate on what should and should not be funded by taxpayers.

We are ambitious for the Taxpayers’ Union. Our aim is to become the largest union in New Zealand, achieving over 50,000 members and supporters.

And speaking of “lobby groups”, which Farrar claims are dominated by those seeking to spend taxpayer money, let’s not forget who the really powerful political lobbyists are.  Last year, these lobbyists were named in 2012:

THE LIST

Nicholas Albrecht – government relations manager for infrastructure company Vector.

Tim Clarke – law firm Russell McVeagh

Peter Conway – Council of Trade Unions

Helen Kelly – CTU

Daniel Fielding – law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

Charles Finny – lobbyists Saunders Unsworth

Barrie Saunders – Saunders Unsworth

Mark Unsworth – Saunders Unsworth

Tony O’Brien – Sky TV

Phil O’Reilly – BusinessNZ

Leigh Pearson – former TVNZ journalist turned lobbyist

Jordan Williams – law firm Franks & Ogilvie

Rasik Ranchord – Parliamentary Breakfast Group

Philippa Falloon – former MP’s widow

Lady Jane Kidd – former MP’s spouse

And here Holly Walker lists those added in June 2013:

Additions in 2013:

  • Scott Campbell (SenateSHJ)
  • John Collyns (Retirement Villages Association)
  • Phil de Joux (Air New Zealand)
  • Connor English (Federated Farmers)
  • Anita Ferguson (Anadarko)
  • James McDonald (Japanz Consulting Services)
  • Ryan Malone (Dart Government Relations)
  • Alice Patrick (Arahia Associates)
  • Andy Rigg (Dart Government Relations)
  • James Sleep (Food and Service Workers’ Union)
  • Mike Smith (Independent contractor)
  • Martin Taylor (NZ Aged Care Association)
  • Nicola Willis (Fonterra)

Yep, there’s some trad unionists, but those representing corporate interests dominate.

But, given the track record of the this tea party piss take of a “union”, I’m not expecting them to get a big membership, but just to add to the ranks and PR of lobbyists for the already wealthy and powerful.

This piss-take “union”, is as much about spin and propaganda, as it is about “lobbying”.  It’s brought to us by people at the forefront of right wing spin, smears and anti-democratic diversions.

82 comments on “The anti-democrats NZ tea party”

  1. Sable 1

    Hang on, haven’t we already had a referendum on MMP. Sorry if I’m missing something here….

    • karol 1.1

      Yes, that article about campaigning against MMP was from 2011. It was related to the MMP review. The reason for mentioning it is that it was the same people involved in the anti-MMP campaign as in this “Union of taxpayers” announced today. I’ll add the 2011 date to that part of the post to avoid confusion.

  2. wyndham 2

    I thought we currently have the Association of Consumers and TAXPAYERS. Have they now become a “Union”?

  3. vto 3

    It’s just Act again isn’t it? Wasn’t that political party also called similar “Association of Consumers and Taxpayers”?

    What a bunch of silly billys

  4. Tat Loo (CV) 4

    I think we might be going about this the wrong way, Karol. Let’s all join up and take over the bloody thing.

    Let’s get 10,000 CTU affiliate members onboard.

    If its a union then its got a democratic constitution, right?

    So let’s see it! :-)

    • Chris 4.1

      I would imagine the fees set to belong to this unholy union will be exorbitant, shutting out 95% of taxpayers and ratepayers.

    • karol 4.2

      Heh. Good point, Tat. Looking at their website “about” pages – looks more like a corporate entity which is governed by a “Board”., with executive director etc. Nothing about them having been democratically elected to these positions – very top down. Modeled on the UK taxpayers alliance and that is modeled on campaign in the US and elsewhere.

      Basically they are more lobbyists than a “union”.

    • SpaceMonkey 4.3

      Ah!… ye olde culture hack… nice idea CV! I reckon this “union” is going to get quite a bit of MSM coverage as though it is talking for the people… we can see it’s the ACT party on steroids. They fooled me once… never again!

  5. FYI

    The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union (and any other group / organisation / political party) is welcome to help help themselves to any of the following:

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ANTI-CORRUPTION-WHITE-COLLAR-CRIME-CORPORATE-WELFARE-ACTION-PLAN-Ak-Mayoral-campaign-19-July-2013-2.pdf

    Some of us have been ‘blowing the whistle’ long and hard for some time on these issues.

    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz
    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com
    http://www.stopthesupercity.org.nz

    I guess that the Auckland Council Mayoral result has proved that increasing numbers of the voting public are ‘getting it’, regarding the lack of transparency and democratic accountability, particularly in the Auckland region?

    In my considered opinion, in some cases the legislation is already there, but it is simply not being implemented.

    eg: the Public Records Act 2005

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345729.html

    Part 2
    Recordkeeping requirements
    Subpart 1—Key duties

    17 Requirement to create and maintain records

    (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

    (2) Every public office must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all public records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act or required by or under another Act.

    (3) Every local authority must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all protected records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345536.html

    3 Purposes of Act
    The purposes of this Act are—

    (a) to provide for the continuation of the repository of public archives called the National Archives with the name Archives New Zealand (Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga); and

    (b) to provide for the role of the Chief Archivist in developing and supporting government recordkeeping, including making independent determinations on the disposal of public records and certain local authority archives; and

    (c) to enable the Government to be held accountable by—

    (i)ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are created
    and maintained; and
    (ii)providing for the preservation of, and public access to, records of long-term value; and

    (d) to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public records and local authority records; and

    (e) to provide an appropriate framework within which public offices and local authorities create and maintain public records and local authority records, as the case may be; and

    (f) through the systematic creation and preservation of public archives and local authority archives, to enhance the accessibility of records that are relevant to the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand and to New Zealanders’ sense of their national identity; and

    (g) to encourage the spirit of partnership and goodwill envisaged by the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi), as provided for by section 7; and

    (h)to support the safekeeping of private records.
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345537.html

    public office—

    (a) means the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Government of New Zealand; and
    (b) means the agencies or instruments of those branches of government; and
    (c) includes (without limiting the agencies or instruments)—

    (i) departments as defined in section 2 of the State Sector Act 1988; and
    (ii) Offices of Parliament as defined in section 2(1) of the Public Finance Act 1989; and
    (iii) State enterprises as defined in section 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986; and
    (iv) Crown entities as defined in section 7(1) of the Crown Entities Act 2004; and
    (v ) the Parliamentary Counsel Office; and
    (vi) the Parliamentary Service; and
    (vii) the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives; and
    (viii) the New Zealand Police; and
    (ix) the New Zealand Defence Force; and
    (x) the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service; and
    (xi) any person or class of persons declared by an Order in Council made under section 5(1)(a)(i) to
    be a public office for the purposes of this Act

    public record—

    (a) means a record or a class of records, in any form, in whole or in part, created or received (whether before or after the commencement of this Act) by a public office in the conduct of its affairs; and

    (b) includes—

    (i) a record or a class of records declared under section 5(1)(a)(ii) to be a public record for the
    purposes of this Act; and
    (ii)estray records; but

    (c)does not include—
    (i) a special collection; or
    (ii) records created by the academic staff or students of a tertiary education institution, unless the
    records have become part of the records of that institution

    record means information, whether in its original form or otherwise, including (without limitation) a document, a signature, a seal, text, images, sound, speech, or data compiled, recorded, or stored, as the case may be,—

    (a)in written form on any material; or
    (b)on film, negative, tape, or other medium so as to be capable of being reproduced; or
    (c)by means of any recording device or process, computer, or other electronic device or process

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    How can you have transparency without proper written records?

    Why aren’t citizens and ratepayers, and taxpayers being given the ‘devilish detail’ and been shown EXACTLY where public monies are being spent on consultants and private contractors?

    ie: The NAMES of the consultants/contractors; the SCOPE; TERM and VALUE of these private contracts?

    (The next issue is the ‘cost-effectiveness’ of the privatisation of public services which were once provided ‘in-house’ at central and local government….. )

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation campaigner’

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • karol 5.1

      Why aren’t citizens and ratepayers, and taxpayers being given the ‘devilish detail’ and been shown EXACTLY where public monies are being spent on consultants and private contractors?

      Penny, I think you are doing good work providing relevant details. But for “citizens and ratepayers” to be informed about it, it needs to be in a more accessible format.

  6. Sosoo 6

    Looks like the Village Idiots’ Union to me.

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    “An NBR article by Farrar now announces a union for the selfish and greedy ”taxpayers” …”

    Careful, these are the people providing all the free stuff you are demanding. I know it is not within you to be grateful, but perhaps being openly hostile is not in your best interests.

    • karol 7.1

      these are the people providing all the free stuff you are demanding.

      Say what? Citations needed.

    • Sosoo 7.2

      This country gave them the opportunities they have in return for paying tax if they made it good. If they don’t like that, they are free to leave, but they never do.

      Farrar is nothing more than a buffoon and a shill.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.3

      ACT, the margin of error party? What worth have they ever added to anything with their ideology addled bullshit? The Anti-Midas couldn’t destroy more wealth.

    • miravox 7.4

      “Careful, these are the people providing all the free stuff you are demanding”
      Some big assumptions in there, Gormless:

      1. that Lusk, Farrar and co pay any tax at all
      2. that Karol doesn’t pay tax
      3. that taxpayers, in a sort of group think, prefer people to be ‘grateful’ rather than civic-minded.

      Of course you wouldn’t be using any of this ‘free stuff’ at all, would you?

    • Sosoo 7.5

      Farrar earns much more than someone who wipes old people’s bums for a living, but guess who creates more social utility…

      Go on, guess…

    • captain hook 7.6

      tripe.
      we are all in this together.
      no one group or cabal has any greater claim to everything than anyone else.
      get over yourself.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.6.1

        If we are all in this together, maybe we shouldn’t go around calling the people who provide all the largesse “selfish and greedy”.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.6.1.1

          But that’s just it, they don’t provide anything – just take from the rest of us.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.7

      Careful, these are the people providing all the free stuff you are demanding.

      No it’s not. The people who provide these things are the underpaid workers. What this group represents is the greedy, overpaid, bludging rich.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.7.1

        By definition, all of the benefits are paid out of money received from taxpayers. Yet you rarely thank them, Draco.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.7.1.1

          Nonsense.

          Some of it is paid from dividends from SOE’s, just by way of example.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.7.1.1.1

            You advocating more indirect revenue gathering, PB? Colour me surprised.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.7.1.1.1.1

              But you are right of course. Only 91.2% of Crown income comes from taxation. I looked it up.

              I’ll take 91.2% gratitude.

              • chris73

                “Gratitude”

                – You won’t get gratitude from here, you might get told to pay more though

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Or on the other hand you might get told to stop being such a minging cry-baby, quit complaining about having to pay your taxes and drop the idiotic notion that doing so is the exclusive preserve of wingnut fuckwits like you.

                  But whatever you get told, you won’t be able to muster a substantive argument in response, and will simply regurgitate more feeble shite.

            • Pascal's bookie 7.7.1.1.1.2

              Nope, just saying it’s not ‘by definition’.

    • You_Fool 7.8

      Gormless I am grateful to myself for all the taxes I pay to ensure that NZ society has what it needs to function.

      Now Since I am a taxpayer, and thus this new “union” represents me and since it is a union I don’t need to join to get the benefit then I demand that certain spending by the government gets stopped.

      1) Spending money on selling assets (esp those which provide a high rate of return)
      2) Less spending on spying on NZ citizens and residents
      3) Less spending on sending armed forces overseas for pointless “wars”
      4) increase upper tax rate (my tax rate) to ensure revenue is increased – less borrowing -> less costs

      • Francis 7.8.1

        Add to that stop paying the top management in the public sector ridiculously large amounts of money. I find it incredibly wasteful that management in the public sector are being paid in excess of $200,000 a year, when that money could be going into more useful areas.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.9

      well, it’s a challenge to imagine that the suspects likely to join this union have the interests of those receiving income support in mind.

  8. Rosie 8

    Dear oh dear!

    Just saw the article on Scoop earlier and thought oh wow, a NZ Tea Party, that is some crazy craze, then popped over here to see if anyone was talking about it. So thanks for the additional info karol, as always. You’ve truly exposed the nutbars for who they are.

    Someone needs to remind these er, people, that they are in fact citizens and benefit everyday from the taxes they pay, the taxes they feel so deeply attached too. So deeply attached and misguided about the purpose of tax that it’s verging on the pathological. Ugh!

    Seriously for a moment though, their use of the term union is hugely offensive and an insult to the history of the Trade Union movement in NZ, and to the ongoing struggles for Union members now. And yes, although the term union broadly refers to a collective of people with a common goal, I reckon they’ve used the term to take the piss and steal the evocative image of what a Union can represent, at the same time.

  9. Pete 9

    I had a look on the societies register. The society was incorporated on 11 March, so it’s been in the works for a while, which is interesting in itself. Its address for service is Stephen Franks’ law firm.

  10. Magnus McManus 10

    Karol, you can’t be serious?
    Williams is a buffoon with the behavioral characteristics of Peter Griffins brain damaged Horse. No one, takes this moron seriously, least of all his own side.
    James Sleep? Please, the kid hasn’t has an original thought since the age of four

  11. phil 11

    What about a union for the non, or very, low almost non existant taxpayers? Oh forgot that’s Fed Farmers, and Big Business. It’s the low paid and salaried that get walloped by tax. It’s paradoxical that bizness always bleats for lower wages and taxes. Never fear, latest report rates NZ as third easiest to start a bizness. What’s the problem then JK?

  12. emergency mike 12

    This reminds me of the Koch brother’s “Citizens United”. Same kind of spin.

    • Murray Olsen 12.1

      That’s the thing about the right in Aotearoa – they never have an original idea. It’s all a pile of imported festering crap. With Key, the leader is imported as well.

  13. captain hook 13

    the tea party is just a whole lot of creeps who have an overwhelming need to control others and are using the sexual instinct to shame people and confuse them.
    open brethren, seventh day adventists, bar-hi’s.
    I would hate to see what some of them get up to when no one is looking.
    Golden showers anyone?
    The so-called christains have a bad record wehn it comes to personal behaviour.
    they have two sets of rules.
    one for themselves and another for the people who they enlist by spurious promise to reform the world.
    they should start with themselves.

  14. RRM 14

    “Someone needs to remind these er, people, that they are in fact citizens and benefit everyday from the taxes they pay, the taxes they feel so deeply attached too. So deeply attached and misguided about the purpose of tax that it’s verging on the pathological. Ugh!”

    If their attachment to their own money is so “misguided” as you say, how about a poll tax?

    Take the cost of running the government for one year, divide it by the number of New Zealanders aged 18 and over, and send everyone a bill for that amount. Your own tax burden may well increase as a result, but hey, remember you benefit from it every day.

    Surely those on lower incomes equally need to be “reminded that they are in fact citizens and benefit everyday from the taxes they pay, the taxes they feel so deeply attached too.”… whaddya reckon?

    Or are you “pathologically attached to” the taxes YOU pay too, Rosie?

    • Rosie 14.1

      No, not a poll tax silly, that won’t do anything to educate these NZ Tea Party folks(or as has been pointed out, ACT on steroids) about their responsibilities in an equitable and fair society.

      What makes you think I’d be attached to the taxes I pay, after what I’ve just said? I see paying income tax as part of life, and don’t give it a thought. Unlike these Tea baggers that fret and whinge about “their” money. It’s just so brat like. I think they think they’re living in feudal England or something, they’re that far off the mark.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    union for the selfish and greedy ”taxpayers”

    IMO, One thing that will come out of such a “union” will be lobbying for only “net taxpayers” to be able to vote.

  16. Mary 16

    Well, that’s a formidable team of “frontman” Jordan Williams with “strategist” David Farrar. I think we all need to start seriously thinking about filling our pants.

  17. Mary 17

    Jordie Boy is on The Panel this afternoon. Perhaps we could get Hardball Jim to ask him what it’s all about?

    • karol 17.1

      I’m sure he will tell people anyway – can’t be a coincidence that he’s on the panel the day this initiative is launched.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17.1.1

        Probably not. So what?

      • Paul 17.1.2

        Doesn’t Mora invite the nicest people to his show?
        Doesn’t Williams work for that ACT lawyer Stephen Franks, who also gets invited regularly onto that awful show the Panel?

        • Mary 17.1.2.1

          Yes. Williams really is quite a git. I love the way he tries to use standard phrases that a lot of lawyers like to use that’ve come out of court decisions, phrases like “I’ve never turned my mind to it” and “there’s no bright line”. He just ain’t got the credibility or sincerity to be able to pull talking like this off. It’s really funny. He’s so obviously full of ideology and bereft of analysis. I always make sure I tune in when he’s on. He’s fantastic to listen to.

        • Mary 17.1.2.2

          I really like the photo above, too, with Lusk. It says to me that Williams feels he needs to be into hunting and killing animals because doing that is embracing the law of the jungle that it’s all about survival of the fittest, like the economy and society, “that’s me, too, just like those guys I love so much like Cam and Si!”. Just a pity he’s wearing black and blue coloured clothing – probably the most visible colours in the bush you can wear. And it’s not about safety, just look at what Lusk’s wearing. Williams strikes me as someone who’s easily led, doesn’t really know himself, a bit lost, a bit empty, craves fame but has never had an original thought in his life. Poor bugger.

  18. richard 18

    And so the misinformation begins…
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1310/S00286/taxi-chits-probably-cheaper-than-marlborough-council-website.htm

    For a microsoft based site, it isn’t too bad – as is usual for a microsoft site, it fails WCAG (accessibility guidelines) but it they have done a nice responsive layout (should work in phones, tablets). It is on the high side for a website but I’ve no idea what they started with and what is included in the price – and I’d reckon that would be the same case for the idiots who wrote the press release.

  19. mickysavage 19

    Guess who is on Jim Mora’s afternoon show talking about the Taxpayer’s Union and being the recipient of all sorts of free advertising …

    None other than Jordan Williams …

    And guess who was on yesterday …

    None other than chair John Bishop …

    And the Standard got a mention but Williams never reads it …

    What I would like to know is what do you have to do to be the recipient of such advertising and institutional largesse.

  20. Lou 20

    Jim Mora’s daily panels are getting more and more right-wing orientated as time passes, IMO. I personally can’t stand listening to David Farrar, so turn it off. I used to be a regular listener to the Panel, but find it less and less appealing.

    • tc 20.1

      Mora is a twat, I gave up on RNZ years ago after way too many patsy interviews on morning report.
      Kim is good if shes interested, mary wilson is great but the likes of Ryan, and that god awful Noele pretty much show how nice a job Griffin is doing for his mates.

      • Paul 20.1.1

        Far more right wingers on the Panel nowadays
        Boag
        Farrar
        Silo
        Williams
        Franks
        + many more

      • Paul 20.1.2

        Far more right wingers on the Panel nowadays
        Boag
        Farrar
        Williams
        Franks
        Bishop
        Bell
        Anderson
        Gibson
        + many more

      • framu 20.1.3

        sorry – but i think mary wilson is one of the worst interviewers theyve got.

        even when its someone im happy to see put on the spot i end up screaming “youve already asked that question 10 times mary” at the radio

        9 times out of 10 her interviews go absolutely nowhere

  21. PI 21

    The Rules of New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union Incorporated make for interesting reading.

    Cl 6.7 “Only the Board has the power to appoint new and reappoint members of the Board”.

    • karol 21.1

      Heh. Yes, hardly a democratic structure. It’s politics corporate style. And the focus on “taxpayers” identifies people totally in financial terms. A heartless approach to arrangements impacting on the lives of human beings.

      • PI 21.1.1

        To be fair, even corporates provide for shareholder democracy – with 1 vote per share. An entrenched Board with no member input on governance is something else altogether.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 21.1.1.1

          Pay no mind to that, it’s just a tacit acknowledgement that they’re unelectable.

          • You_Fool 21.1.1.1.1

            That rule is probably there to ensure that actual tax payers can’t take over the union so that these completely representative and civic minded individuals who are representing tax payers are able to enact their vision for the future

  22. lolita bother 22

    I see that taxpayers are ‘selfish and greedy’.
    You people just can’t help yourselves can you.
    So lets get better people and stop paying tax shall we .

    • karol 22.1

      Eh? I’m happy to be a taxpayer. Who isn’t a tax payer?

      It’s the people who think they can exist without contributing to the infrastructure – the infrastructure that enables us all to survive and participate in society – that are greedy & selfish i.e. it’s the people who DON’T want to pay their fair share of taxes who are greedy & selfish – won’t more for themselves and no sense of social responsibility or caring.

      Stop paying taxes and see what sort of society you end up living in.

      “Taxpayers’ Union”? Don’t make me laugh – it’s an undemocratic entity for those who want to siphon off as much of society’s wealth for themselves as possible and pay as little tax as they can get away with.

      • Rhinocrates 22.1.1

        Who isn’t a tax payer?

        A tax evader of course; someone who hires amoral lawyers and accountants to find loopholes – though they like to call it “tax avoidance”. It’s all fair if you can get away with it, you see.

    • QoT 22.2

      So lets get better people and stop paying tax shall we .

      The kinds of people who would start a “taxpayers’ union” already have, LB, that’s the point. If you look about 50-60 metres behind you, you may find where it landed after sailing over your head.

    • millsy 22.3

      Well they are selfish and greedy. Quite a few of them it would seem. They seem to be quite happy to wreck our health system so they could pay less tax. Would love you to go to a hospital ward and complain about your tax burden.

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    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    4 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    4 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    4 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    4 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    5 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    5 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    5 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    6 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    6 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    6 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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