web analytics
The Standard

The cancer-mongers’ new ads

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, September 23rd, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: health, spin - Tags:

I reckon my theory that the tobacco industry’s stupid ‘agree/disagree’ ad campaign is actually just a way of chucking millions at cash-strapped media outlets to buy their silence (and even backing from Granny) has been confirmed. By one simple fact. The new TV ad, which appeals to crass nationalism to argue that we shouldn’t adopt the Aussie plain-packaging law, is voiced by an Aussie.

Just shows they’re not even giving a token effort to make their ads remotely convincing.

43 comments on “The cancer-mongers’ new ads”

  1. blue leopard 1

    The biggest concern re the tobacco companies/consortium’s behavior over this issue is the manner in which they are stating that they will take the government to court over this; which has been conveyed with great confidence and no shame.

    This statement involves private interests suing democratically elected interests
    This is a giant leap against democracy
    This is what will occur with greater frequency when the TPPA is finalized.

    • insider 1.1

      As a point of principle, Making sure a government follows its own rules and agreements is not against democracy. Our government is regularly taken to court. It’s a vital part of democracy that we can do so.

      • blue leopard 1.1.1

        Yeah fair point, yet when the legal system solely works for those with access to huge amounts of money, then the bringing in of an agreement where its open slather for foreign companies to sue our government is only going to leave our governments with less money for the people it is supposed to be working for.

        A corporation can afford to pay its lawyers more and the higher a lawyer is paid the more prepared, it seems, they are of making laughable arguments that go against the spirit of the law, yet win in court.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        Making sure a government follows its own rules and agreements is not against democracy.

        But what if those rules and agreements are ones which disadvantage or even harm the citizens of the nation, in favour of foreign parties and overseas capital?

        Shall we still make sure that the Government follows those rules and agreements?

        • insider 1.1.2.1

          Vote For someone who will change it. That’s democracy.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            No you don’t get it. Once you’re signed up to something like the TPP it’s extremely costly – in every sense of the word – to withdraw. That’s how these agreements are designed.

            Voting in a bunch of new faces makes no difference. That’s why it undermines democracy.

            • insider 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Are there penalty clauses?

              • blue leopard

                @ Insider
                I suggest you ask a large international corporation for any information on TPP; as you should know by now, ordinary NZers are not privy to the details of this agreement-but the corporations are.

                If you are really interested there is a link I left on comment 3.1 which goes into some of the details. Auckland University has an informative site on the subject too.

                • insider

                  It would be surprising if there were any. There are none I know of say in nafta or cer. And referred to in any of the leaks. So I’m surprised to see it described as extremely costly to withdraw.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Naive trusting babe in the woods. What are you, a (global trade) virgin?

                    • insider

                      For someone who seems very confident in your own knowledge of international trade agreements and the extreme costs of withrawing, you seem very shy about providing details of the hows and whys.

                    • blue leopard

                      Insider,

                      I’m unclear how you expect Colonial Viper or anyone else to know the details of the TPPA agreement because the very public criticism of this deal is the unprecedented secrecy that surrounds it.

                      Any detailed information that is available about this deal has been LEAKED.

                      I have left some informative links previously and here are a couple more in the off-chance that you aren’t simply into a shallow argument for arguments sake.

                      “…Many in Congress are understandably concerned about the undemocratic nature of an agreement negotiated in secret being implemented without even the most basic protection – Congressional approval…

                      http://fairdeal.net.nz/2012/07/iitp-time-to-walk-away-from-tppa

                      “‘Trade’ agreement is a misnomer. The TPPA is not primarily about imports and exports. Its obligations will intrude into core areas of government policy and Parliamentary responsibilities. If the US lobby has its way, the rules will restrict how drug-buying agencies Pharmac (in New Zealand) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (in Australia) can operate, and the
                      kind of food standards and intellectual property laws we can have. Foreign investors will be able to sue the government for reducing their profits. The TPPA will govern how we regulate the finance industry or other services, along with our capacity to create jobs at home.”

                      http://tppdigest.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=245&Itemid=64

                    • insider

                      Thanks blue. I was talking about these kind of agreements in general as I understand the TPPA is not known. Thanks for posting the links; I have read a couple.

                      CV was quite clear that “Once you’re signed up to something like the TPP it’s extremely costly – in every sense of the word – to withdraw. That’s how these agreements are designed.” I’ve seen no costs of withdrawal as part of an international agreement of this type. If anything the costs are in membership due to the need to limit your sovereignty. Though that;s not always a bad thing for some countries.

                    • blue leopard

                      Cheers Insider :)

                      I assumed CV was employing a general understanding of contract law. I understand a contract isn’t made without certain obligations from both sides to keep to it and an there is an assumption in my mind that costs are involved in the event that one party wishes to withdraw from it. This is not to take into account the costs of the activity required to set up new arrangements. It may be that a deal such as TPPA doesn’t fall under “contract” law, yet it stands to reason that similar such requirements are involved in any agreement, particularly one cultivating as much legal activity as this one appears to be. I fully acknowledge these to be assumptions however based on a little, but not a whole lot of knowledge on the subject of law.

                      I think it advantageous for all of us to have more transparency in this process, it doesn’t appear to be fair or reasonable that multinational corporations have access to a process that will effect the inner workings of government while the people of each country are being left in the dark.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      TPPA is to be enforced by a system of scouts honour between countries.

                    • blue leopard

                      CV
                      With the implicit knowledge of all members being that there is absolutely no scouts or honour involved you mean?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well you are absolutely right of course. Therefore by deduction, the TPPA uses a system of enforcement considerably sterner than just ‘Scouts Honour’.

                      I was just trying to spell it out for the literal and unimaginative amongst us (insider).

              • Colonial Viper

                How old are you?

  2. tc 2

    I crack up at the line ‘dangers of untested packaging…’ like it’s going to explode or derail and kill people FFS. The packaging is the least harmful part of the deal.

    That would be the same packaging oz would have been using so hardly untested also and the line ‘ we know it’s harmful.. ‘ don’t expect much from our big business rollover gov’t.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Greedy corporations rising to challenge sovereign nations rights to protect their own citizens.

    • blue leopard 3.1

      Precisely CV

      Here is more info for those interested (my emphasis):

      “… The TPP would require the use of the International Centre for Settlement of Investor Disputes (ICSID) — an arbitration board that is an arm of, and controlled by, the World Bank. Cases that go before one of the Centre’s tribunals are decided by a panel of three judges that are selected from a roster. The judges are appointed by the national governments that have signed on to ICSID, which are most of the world’s countries.

      Eight of the judges have been appointed by the United States. EACH IS A LAWYER WHOSE CAREER HAS BEEN SPENT IN THE SERVICE OF LARGE CORPORATIONS. Six are currently partners in some of the world’s most formidable corporate law firms, one is an academic who formerly was a corporate lawyer and one is a lobbyist for a business group that seeks to codify pro-corporate trade rules under law. Five of the eight U.S.-named lawyers have been counsel to various Republican Party administrations and several of the eight specialize in representing corporations before international arbitration boards.”

      http://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/trans-pacific-partnership-trade-pact-more-draconian-than-nafta/

      And here is an open letter from lawyers to the negotiators of the trans-pacific partnership urging the rejection of investor-state dispute settlement

      http://tpplegal.wordpress.com/open-letter/

  4. Lanthanide 4

    They say they agree that tobacco is harmful.

    It seems that the discussion should end right there. If they know tobacco is harmful, they should be working in co-operation with health groups and governments to phase it out. The fact that they’re not, just shows they’re in it to make money and nothing else. So why should we listen to anything they have to say?

    • blue leopard 4.1

      I agree that tobacco companies should cooperate with health groups and governments, as opposed to hindering them with their vast profits

      However I would prefer that stress was acknowledged as a major cause of health issues and was taken as seriously as tobacco smoking is now.

      This way governments might see new reason to cut working hours down and have earning hours shared between all New Zealanders, and encouraging better working conditions in the acknowledgement that both overworking and unemployment is bad for stress levels.

      This move would have a remarkable “side-effect” of benefits to our economy too. :)

      http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/

      • Jokerman 4.1.1

        ironic? that that tory government-lackey Dr advising welfare reform work argued that Not Working was equivalent to smoking 200 packets of cigarettes over 6 months or so.
        What a clown.
        Convalescence from work-slavery is an excellent way to reduce stress and concomitant health implications

        • blue leopard 4.1.1.1

          Convalescence wouldn’t be required if our system ensured the sharing out of labour-not some people over-working and others having no work at all.

          • fatty 4.1.1.1.1

            Yip…in addition to other employment policies, any work over 40 hours per week should be triple time with no exceptions. This will decrease unemployment, increase equality and bring address work/life imbalance.

            • Jenny 4.1.1.1.1.1

              What about shift work. New Scientist published statistics showing that it is at least as dangerous as smoking. Taking an estimated 7 years off the average shift workers life.

              Having done more than my fair share of it. As a joke I once told my employer that I wouldn’t mind so much if they would pay me for those lost 7 years!

              Needless to say he didn’t crack a smile.

              • Colonial Viper

                No one should stay in shift work for longer than 5-10 years. Unless it really appeals to them personally, of course. There needs to be other employment options.

                Also shift work can usually be far more intelligently organised to cause less stress on health, than many places use it now.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Reading their website, they actually make a schizophrenic argument (emphasis mine):
      “The Government’s plain packaging proposal would require tobacco manufacturers to sell their products in packs that are virtually identical. The manufacturer would no longer have the right to use the intellectual property it has created and in which it has invested.
      “We have invested in our brands over many years and have a responsibility to our shareholders to do everything we can to defend our right to use them.”
      As there is no proof that plain packaging will work to reduce smoking rates, we believe its introduction is a risky experiment at the expense of New Zealand intellectual property and brand owners, as well as those of our trading partners.”

      So it sounds like plain packaging will be advantageous to them. They won’t have to “invest” in their brand any more, and smoking rates aren’t going to change. Sounds like they’ll have fewer costs with the same revenue stream = more profit.

      They also say:
      “It could force the industry to compete on price, making cigarettes more affordable, frustrating the stated aim of plain packaging. Even the Australian Department of Health and Ageing acknowledged that this is a risk inherent in plain packaging.”

      Good thing we have this thing called “excise tax” would could be used to compensate.

      • blue leopard 4.2.1

        These are all legalistic arguments i.e they will use any and as many arguments as they can to confuse the opposition and argument and thus fudge a point…and win.

        I assume branding works out of a deduction that it is unlikely companies would persist in spending oodles on it if it didn’t. (…and also being aware that such companies do plenty of research to ensure that any activity they invest in has positive effects. I acknowledge my arguments are left unresearched; I can’t be bothered to do research of my own on the subject!).

        I believe plain packaging won’t stop people smoking, it may slow the trend down.

        I believe that the banning of displays of the product to be very useful. When I was trying to give up I found that staring at the products whenever I was making any small purchase at a dairy or groceries at a supermarket made it very assessable and wasn’t helpful at all. (I was unsuccessful at giving up, by the way :( )

        I don’t think it is cool to ban a substance completely, yet good to ban the marketing and advertising of an addictive product.

    • Richard Christie 4.3

      @Lanthanide
      They say they agree that tobacco is harmful.

      It seems that the discussion should end right there. If they know tobacco is harmful, they should be working in co-operation with health groups and governments to phase it out. The fact that they’re not, just shows they’re in it to make money and nothing else. So why should we listen to anything they have to say?

      My attitude exactly, you must be reading my mail.

  5. Jokerman 5

    btw, NICOTINE is one of the most ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES in the pharmocopaeia

    • tc 5.1

      ‘The Insider’ Russll Crowe character said the were know as ‘nicotine delivery devices ‘ within the tobacco company he worked in.

      Note that Jack Larsen and the Laramie cigarette company disappeared from the Simpsons after the big settlements in the States and doesn’t appear on the wikipedia page describing all the other simpsons fictional products aside from it’s use in the Tomacco episode.

      They nailed the behaviour in the few swipes they got in ” federal gov’t regulations prohibit us from…..but we are are allowed to sponsor beauty pagents for 8 year old girls “

      • BernyD 5.1.1

        “sponsor beauty pagents for 8 year old girls“
        One place in society where anonymity would be a good thing.

  6. Richard Christie 6

    “We agree that tobacco is harmful…..”

    Only once they were forced to.
    Anyone who gives them the time of day is a fool in mine eyes.

  7. Jenny 7

    The new TV ad, which appeals to crass nationalism to argue that we shouldn’t adopt the Aussie plain-packaging law, is voiced by an Aussie.

    ZETETIC

    Patriotism, the last refuge of a scoundrel.

    Oscar Wilde

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      Zet was pointing out the irony of using an Aussie to voice the ad; nothing to do with patriotism. And the patriotism quote is from Samuel Johnson, not Oscar Wilde.

  8. mike e 8

    I thought tobacco advertising was prohibited this is a sneaky attempt by the tobacco companies to get around the legislation if this were an illegal drug cartel they would be locked up and the Key thrown away!

  9. felix 9

    I see a market opening up for branded or personalised tobacco tins and re-usable pouches…

  10. Anton 10

    I’m enjoying following BAT_NZ on twitter. Today they compared apples, not with oranges, but with cigarettes. On the agree2disagree.co.nz some (I suspect) astroturfing compared plainpacks with the holocaust.

    Its entertainingly daft. If it weren’t killing quite so many people.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
    Julie-Anne Genter, the Transport spokesperson of the Green Party has put out the following press release on the Mill Rd project that we have written about here, and here: Take 5 minutes and make a submission on Mill Road Auckland Transport is… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    10 hours ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    10 hours ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    10 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    10 hours ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    11 hours ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    11 hours ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    12 hours ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    12 hours ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    12 hours ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    13 hours ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    14 hours ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    14 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    15 hours ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    15 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    16 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    16 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    18 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    18 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    20 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    21 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    21 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    10 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    11 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    14 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    14 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    16 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere