web analytics

The neoliberal power game: cities for sale

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, May 4th, 2014 - 27 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, business, capitalism, democracy under attack, housing, infrastructure, manufacturing, poverty, public transport - Tags:

I haven’t seen Mai Chen’s new book on Auckland and Wellington.  But the NZ Herald integrated review, promo, and interview with Mai Chen, make it all seem like it supports neoliberal capitalist values of big business, competition between powerful entities, and cheerleading for Rodney Hide’s corporate-favouring supercity structure.

skycity auckland

There’s no mention of thos in big Auckland struggling with income, transport and housing poverty.

Early in the NZ Herald article, ,A tale of two strong cities“, author Robin Blackstocksets up a power struggle between Auckland and Wellington:

It tells how Australasia’s biggest council organisation, which has a $3 billion annual budget and around 8,000 staff, was formed from the perspective of the key people who created and ran it during its first term, in 2010.

Chen makes no apologies that her book is likely to re-ignite age-old rivalries between Auckland and Wellington.

She believes politicians in the capital do not fully understand the needs of the country’s largest, most prosperous city. She thinks a small tail is wagging a big dog.

He seems to follow Chen in his awe of the sheer size of Auckland Council,

The amalgamated Auckland Council oversees a population of more than 1.5 million and accounts for just over 37 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP. It is predicted the city will have 2.5 million people by 2040, with more than half hailing from a steadily growing melting pot of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

and the big money that is gravitating towards it:

In recent years, however, the capital has seen a number of major banks and businesses, such as BNZ and ANZ, relocate their main offices to Auckland.

In December, oil giant BP announced it would join the corporate drift north and close its Wellington base of six decades.

The article then turns to Wellington, with a focus on the celebrities, movie industry, music gigs, and tourism that it attracts.  It makes an attenpt to suggest that Wellington should go the supercity route, and that Auckland and Wellington would benefit form working together.  But the article ends returning to talking up Auckland. It makes bold claims to be speaking for all Aucklanders, while ignoring those who are struggling to survive in the big city.

Back in her high-rise Auckland boardroom, Mai Chen presses her case for Beehive bureaucrats to start considering Auckland’s unique needs. But she stops short of sparking calls to shift the capital to the nation’s economic powerhouse.

Auckland was the capital until the 1860s, when parliament was moved to Wellington to be closer to the then most powerful economic and population bases, Dunedin and Christchurch.

“Aucklanders don’t like it when Government undermines the Auckland mayor, even if the mayor was Tweedledee or Tweedledum,” Chen explains. “But Auckland cannot fund its infrastructure, despite its wealth, without Central Government,” she says. “We need them. … Aucklanders just want to get on with it and could well do without dealing with another 30,000 officials in town.”

But the economic activities featured in the article do not include the production of material needs and wants fr all Kiwis. Chen’s book is called, Transforming Auckland: the Creation of Auckland Council.

We need another book: one that looks in depth about the Hide model supercity and how it enables the flow of big money, while the lives of the precariat continue to be one long struggle with higher prices, relatively little gains in incomes, less affordable housing, more transport and energy poverty.  Maybe a book called Transforming Auckland and Christchurch: the undermining of the lives of the struggling precariat ?

occupy-auckland

 

 

27 comments on “The neoliberal power game: cities for sale”

  1. barry 1

    So they are saying that in 26 years time Auckland will have half NZ’s people and will have added more than a million people?

    40000 people per year is more than the average growth rate for NZ as a whole

    Does this sound possible? If it were possible how could it be desirable?

    • Tamati 1.1

      Nobody has seriously questioned these pie in the sky population projections. I’m skeptical that there are waves of people arriving in Auckland every day…

    • Molly 1.2

      I attended the Auckland Conversations on the population expectation of 1 million, and realised they rely very heavily on statisticians – and so the projected figure was (and is) achieved by the usual methods.

      Was I convinced? Did start getting the giggles when the statistician started referring to retired nurses as “girls” and advised that when working in the UK, he and he fellow statistician misjudged the projected population statistics by underestimating the effect of the release of the contraceptive pill.
      Wondered for a while if I was watching a stand up comedian rather than a consultant. You may be interested to know that I seem to recall his company is used by the National government as well.

      That said – the million extra growth figure was fairly in the middle of top and bottom growth projections using different criteria.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Chen forgets that big chunks of the Auckland Council are carved off into mostly independent fiefs.
    Auckland Transport and Watercare largely run their own budget and activities with very little oversight from the elected representatives.

    • andrew murray 2.1

      What makes you think Chen forgets this..

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Yep, it’s quite likely that her law firm has done significant work relating to it one way or another.

    • Ad 2.2

      Not true there are endless goddamn workshops, which are continuing this week for all CCOs – particularly Transport and Watercare – with the Council.

  3. Philj 3

    xox
    Thanks for this information. The very core of the nation is at stake. The influence of Auckland is unbalanced to the detriment of the whole country.A monster has been created. What to do?

  4. adam 4

    I think the west and the south are not impressed with the super city. Hell in the west it feels like we are the forgotten child who should shut up and do as they are told.

    One thing I always loved about neo-liberalism is that it get’s more and more wasteful, as the projects it champions gets bigger and bigger.

    Bugger the super city, it is a failure of democracy, it is a failure financially, and it is the same old white boys club spooning the cream off for themselves.

    Local government should be just that – local. Smaller is better, more cost effective and more democratic.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      One thing I always loved about neo-liberalism is that it get’s more and more wasteful, as the projects it champions gets bigger and bigger.

      Creativity, innovation, nuance and artistic endeavour always give way at the very peaking of empire in favour of an ego driven, self aggrandising, bigger, bolder, brasher.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Local government should be just that – local. Smaller is better, more cost effective and more democratic.

      +1

      The evidence is in. There is no alternative.

  5. Will@Welly 5

    One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Mai Chen’s commentary’s is she is very approachable and down to earth. I suspect she has written this as much as an article to kick-start a discussion as to inform.
    Realistically it is probably too soon to pass judgement on the merits or otherwise whether or not the SuperCity is a pass or a fail. Most did not want it, most still do not want it.
    In Wellington, that seems to be the similar viewpoint, although many of the local politicians appear to be pushing for a similar amalgamation.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Realistically it is probably too soon to pass judgement on the merits or otherwise whether or not the SuperCity is a pass or a fail

      I’d ask a more simple question. Has it been a pass or fail for the democratic interests of local communities within Auckland.

      In Wellington, that seems to be the similar viewpoint, although many of the local politicians appear to be pushing for a similar amalgamation.

      It’s similar to what senior management does when they are out of ideas and serving the interests of their customers has become a low ranked priority. Acquire, merge, diversify, etc. Plenty of money to be made by the consultants and IT contractors.

    • Molly 5.2

      Well there is a local precedent and a published research paper from 2005 Local government amalgamation policy: A highway maintenance evaluation that might give some indication:

      “Abstract

      Evaluating the effects of a change in public policy setting is a critical element in the chain of accountability. Factors such as effectiveness and efficiency in government operations are often difficult to measure. In this study of efficiency outcomes, we follow events before and after significant structural change arising from local authority amalgamation. The study focuses on highway maintenance and uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to evaluate whether greater efficiency was achieved. Results(confined to highway management activities) show no evidence that amalgamation was justified in terms of diseconomies arising from smallness (i.e. increasing returns to scale). While new governance practices introduced contemporaneously lifted the level of performance of local authorities in terms of higher technical efficiency, there is no evidence that the amalgamation policy contributed to this improvement.

      The policy impact evaluation methodology developed in this paper has potential for application to other local government service activities.”

  6. Ad 6

    One subtle shift in how Auckland Council and central government engage is in changes to the Land Transport Management Act 2013.

    Auckland Transport alone is now responsible for reconciling the transport strategies and priorities of Auckland Council and the Government Policy Statement for Transport. This accounts for about 35% of the whole rates take, and about 33% of government’s transport fund.

    Auckland Transport must now prioritise the momentum of needs from its $14 billion of assets under management, and stay within the 2.5% rates increases that the Mayor and Council have forecast, and carefully deploy the depleting National Land Transport Fund.

    Consider that impact: with little input, and with the best technical prioritisation skills in the country, Auckland Transport must broker central and local government together permanently. And do so in a manner that enables the entire network to function and improve, every hour of every day.

    • Molly 6.1

      Spoke to a roading engineer from AT at a Generation Zero presentation.

      I mentioned that the division of AT from Auckland Council made it hard to get access to AT regarding issues regarding community planning. When I suggested that it seemed more effective to include how people move with how people live when planning, and the separate organisations (and outcomes) made this unlikely, he replied in the negative.

      When I asked him why – his response was:”It’s much easier to get the job done if we don’t have to take anything else into account”.

      His definition of effective and mine were completely different.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Auckland Transport are required to take into account the growth of Auckland and the consequent infrastructure needs of that growth.

        • Molly 6.1.1.1

          Yes, but as defined by those further up the hierachy, and with little consideration of how people live in communities. That is why to AT it is reasonable to consider bisecting communities with roads, and only backtrack after public outcry. Silo mentality.

  7. Chooky 7

    karol +100 …Great Post…and thought provoking..

    This may be of interest in regard to under- the- radar surreptitious planning for supercities in New Zealand and huge population immigration ..imo feelers are being put out to test the NZ public reaction to super cities…Shanghai anyone?

    Kathryn Ryan interviews Richard Ogden on Friday May 2 :

    09:35 Richard Ogden is the chairman and founder of the UK organisation Buildoffsite. He is visiting New Zealand to help set up an Australasian chapter and Bruce Coubray is the general manager of Howick Engineering, who is spearheading efforts to set up a functioning offsite construction industry here.

    Certainly it will have implications for building super motorways

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2594458/plans-to-set-up-an-off-site-construction-industry-in-nz

    • Not Petey 7.1

      “This may be of interest in regard to under- the- radar surreptitious planning for supercities in New Zealand and huge population immigration ..imo feelers are being put out to test the NZ public reaction to super cities…Shanghai anyone?”

      Eh ? Even Winston would make this kind of outlandish claim.

  8. Ennui 8

    Chen makes her statements in the context of the very immediate past, the here and now. She obviously is adrift in the sea of time..she has no idea of why cities are as they are, or the economy as it is. She is the perfect cypher of todays mega citizen lording over the wage slave classes and mindless masses. Her business partner Palmer, ditto, a supposedly large intellect that could not connect to a wider reality, concentrating on the narrow goals of efficiency and professionalism etc, but for what?

    So where does this narrow focus of our “intellectual” and “political” elite leave us? Out of context I think, believing that what is now is always going to be. That bigger is better and more efficient despite any evidence.

    If you want to understand cities as they are today, and the urbanisation of the last 150 years the obvious question needs asking. Why has nothing on this scale happened before? The answer is very simple: fossil energy applied to technology applied to economic growth. We see this as “progress”, an unchallenged continuum. Fossil energy has (if you had not noticed) peaked, its finite and going down, and there are no replacements. Before you say “technofix” consider that technology uses energy, it is not in itself energy.

    Maybe we need to envisage cities in the light of decline, places such as Detroit. They don’t need super city status, they need localized “development” to suit current and real future requirements. Asking simple questions like, how are we going to get food in? Or supply water? And maybe is a million person city even sustainable and desirable?

    The Chen Palmer classes are yet to awake to this new reality. We need to before they “take charge”.

  9. The Real Matthew 9

    You’ve got Auckland striving further ahead of the rest of the country courtesy of it’s economic development.

    Meanwhile Wellington has elected a Green council and is based on Arts and other socialist BS industry.

    The people are voting with their feet and are migrating to Auckland in ever increasing numbers. Wellington is dying.

    Yet the contributors to this website want to turn New Zealand into Wellington.

    Go Figure.

    • karol 9.1

      It’s not the people voting with their feet – it’s big business moving to a corporate-friendly context, and people following where the jobs are.

    • Chooky 9.2

      @ the real matthew

      Is that really true? …I know John Key has said Wellington is dying….and then later regretted it

      It is not the impression one gets from the new tech and software development companies ( who are en route to beating the dairy industry as NZ’s biggest earner)….their directors say that Wellington is the perfect size and has the perfect structure to lead this nascent high tech industry into the future and become the lead city for computer software tech devt in the South Pacific…some have moved their companies to Wellington from overseas….USA?

      Maybe it is you and John Key who are not up with the play here?

  10. ropata 10

    Some recommendations of the Royal Commission which have not been adopted or implemented:

    6A The Auckland Council should include a vision for the region in its spatial plan.

    6B The Mayor of Auckland's annual "State of the Region" address should describe progress towards the attainment of the vision.

    21D: Auckland Council CCOs and their statements of intent should be subject to performance review by the proposed Auckland Services Performance Auditor.

    22A Two Māori members should be elected to the Auckland Council by voters who are on the parliamentary Māori Electoral Roll.

    22B There should be a Mana Whenua Forum, the members of which will be appointed by mana whenua from the district of the Auckland Council.

    22D The Auckland Council should ensure that each local council has adequate structures in place to enable proper engagement with Māori and consideration of their views in the local councils’ decision-making processes. Where appropriate, current structures and/or memoranda of understanding should be transferred to local councils.

    24F Auckland Council should consider creating an Urban Development Agency, to operate at the direction of the Auckland Council, with compulsory acquisition powers.

    The Auckland Council should determine the extent to which responsibilities for the delivery of stormwater services are shared between local councils and Watercare Services Limited.

    26I Watercare Services Limited should be required by legislation to promote demand management.

    26M Watercare Services Limited should be required to prepare a stormwater action plan.

    27D The Auckland Council should prepare an e-government strategy as an intrinsic part of its proposed unified service delivery and information systems plan.

    28A The Auckland Council should work closely with consumers, the industry, and central government agencies to develop a climate change and energy strategy for the region, including monitoring and reviewing electricity security of supply performance, and industry planning and regulation impacting the Auckland region.

    30A The Auckland Council should develop a Regional Waste Management Strategy, including strategies for management of organic waste and integration of waste management with other environmental programmes.

    32G A statutory position of an independent Auckland Services Performance Auditor (to be appointed by the elected Auckland Council on the joint recommendation of the Chair of the Commerce Commission and the Auditor-General) should be created to provide assurance to the council and the public that the Auckland Council is providing high-quality services in a cost-effective way.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auckland_Council#Unimplemented_recommendations

    • ropata 10.1

      Rodney Hide was allowed to rampage over the orderly transition process recommended by the Royal Commission and ram through a bunch of anti democratic, corporate friendly measures with a view to flogging off precious Council assets which previous generations (Bruce Jesson) had fought long and hard to retain in public ownership. Of cource Mai Chen and her corporate cronies are salivating at the thought of juicy public utilities that can be monopolised (like Telecom) and then squeezed at the expense of the average Joe.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Revolutionary art in Palmerston North
    Last night I was a judge at the May Day Cup, an annual theatrical event which celebrates International Workers Day. The event was organised by stalwart unionist Dion Martin and included a range of performers competing for the Cup. This year… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    18 hours ago
  • Revolutionary art in Palmerston North
    Last night I was a judge at the May Day Cup, an annual theatrical event which celebrates International Workers Day. The event was organised by stalwart unionist Dion Martin and included a range of performers competing for the Cup. This year… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    18 hours ago
  • Andrew Little visits Zaatari refugee camp
    Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little, has visited the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, Zaatari in Jordan, a day after seeing New Zealand troops at Camp Taji in Iraq. Mr Little spent several hours in the camp, meeting… ...
    2 days ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    3 days ago
  • OIO must explain Argentine pollution prosecutions
    The Overseas Investment Office (OIO)has questions to answer about how it safeguarded our sensitive land by allowing foreign investors with criminal prosecutions to purchase Onetai Station in Taranaki, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe.   “Rafael and Federico Grozovsky… ...
    3 days ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    3 days ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    3 days ago
  • Murray McCully needs to come clean over Tokelau ferry debacle
    Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to come clean on why a New Zealand aid-funded vessel intended to service the Tokelau Islands is delayed, over budget and failed its sea trials, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The new ship… ...
    3 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Andrew Little visits NZ troops in Iraq and refugees in Jordan
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has visited New Zealand troops at Camp Taji, Iraq. Mr Little also met with Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled Al-Obedih and senior military officials from the Coalition forces in Iraq. He now heads to Jordan to see… ...
    4 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    4 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister must come clean on implications of landmark settlement
    Gerry Brownlee has urgent and serious questions to answer in the wake of today’s landmark EQC settlement, which potentially has major implications for thousands of Cantabrians, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. ...
    4 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dam not out of doldrums yet
    Ruataniwha Dam promoters Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) still has hurdles to clear and a lot of work to do before ratepayers and taxpayers will have confidence in the scheme, says Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri.“We need sustainable… ...
    4 days ago
  • New study shows Smith’s insulation fails Kiwi kids
    A new Otago University study shows Nick Smith’s inadequate insulation standards will see hundreds of children unnecessarily hospitalised for housing-related illnesses every year, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    5 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    5 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    5 days ago
  • John Key’s land tax could push up rents
    A land tax proposed by John Key as the answer to the housing crisis could push up rents and risks having no effect on skyrocketing prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Government needs to explain why the thousands… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government should ban foreign speculators
    The Prime Minister’s musings about a land tax on non-resident buyers is just more tinkering, and the Government should just ban foreign speculators as the Australian Government has done, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is classic John Key.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must protect Pharmac as promised
    John Key must tell New Zealanders that he will not bow to pressure from wealthy drug companies or their US negotiators and put Kiwi lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.   “News reports today have the drug… ...
    6 days ago
  • Action not words, needed on housing speculation
    John Key should be taking action to crack down on speculation in our overheated housing market, instead of random musings on land tax, Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said.  "John Key suggested today on TVNZ's Q and A programme that… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tertiary education cost rising 7x faster than inflation
    New figures show the cost of tertiary education is rising seven times faster than inflation, putting post-school education out of the reach of many, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.  “Figures release this week show how much more students or their… ...
    1 week ago
  • Buying Lotto is not an arts funding strategy
    The Government must rethink the way the arts are funded after falling Lotto sales has left the sector with declining resources and increasingly vulnerable, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.  “Our arts sector is in a sorry… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parents hit in pocket by Government under-funding
    Parents and families are left forking out more and more for their kids’ education as a direct result of Government under-funding, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “The latest data shows that the cost to families of primary and secondary… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scientists ‘gasping for oxygen’ under National
     Steven Joyce's claims to be creating a science and innovation hub in New Zealand are a sham based on PR fluff, says Labour's Science and Innovation Spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “A damning critique of the science funding model by the New… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scientists ‘gasping for oxygen’ under National
     Steven Joyce's claims to be creating a science and innovation hub in New Zealand are a sham based on PR fluff, says Labour's Science and Innovation Spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “A damning critique of the science funding model by the New… ...
    1 week ago
  • Water for grass
    Last Saturday, my colleague Eugenie Sage took me for a drive across the Canterbury Plains. I had seen from the air the landuse changes across the plains in recent times; a patchwork of crops and stock raising has been transformed… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Water for grass
    Last Saturday, my colleague Eugenie Sage took me for a drive across the Canterbury Plains. I had seen from the air the landuse changes across the plains in recent times; a patchwork of crops and stock raising has been transformed… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Thousands of invalid votes likely after National refuses to change rules
    National’s refusal to make it easier to enrol and vote could result in tens of thousands of votes continuing to be ruled invalid at general elections, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The Justice and Electoral select committee today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Social Development stats don’t add up
    Today’s figures released by the Ministry of Social Development show that despite a drop in the number of beneficiaries, fewer people are going into paid employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fonterra sticks with high pollution goal of increasing milk supply
    This week’s reported comments by Fonterra chair John Wilson that dairy “volumes were only going to keep increasing”  are troubling. Mr Wilson was supporting a potential renegotiation of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Under the FTA dairy products such… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman’s ‘efficiencies’ strangling health
    New Zealand’s district health boards have made ‘efficiencies’ of more than $672 million over the past five years at the expense of everything from new drugs to elective surgery, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is a body blow for… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere