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The optics of the thing

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, August 18th, 2012 - 39 comments
Categories: Steven Joyce - Tags:

When he was Don Brash’s campaign manager, Steven Joyce used to talk about the ‘optics’ being what matters. Well, let’s consider the optics of a fat, bald old man personally insulting three good-looking young journalists every time they ask him sensible questions. If I were Joyce’s media minder, I would have had my head in my hands throughout Joyce’s appearance on The Nation this morning.

Beyond the optics, here’s some interesting facts that have come out:

The tradeable sector (that’s our exporters and our domestic companies that compete against importers), which National used to slam Labour on because it went into recession in 2005, has stayed in recession under National. Our high dollar means our exporters can’t compete overseas and our domestic businesses get undercut by importers. Joyce dismissed every option to fix the exchange rate.

Joyce thinks we need to import more capital to grow. Does he realise that we export more capital each year than we import? Our $10 billion of profits flows overseas each year. We import about $8 billion a year to finance our current account deficit. It’s often said that we ‘live beyond our means’ but, in truth, we earn more from exports than we spend on imports – the current account deficit isn’t caused by a trade imbalance, it’s caused by all the profits flowing offshore.

Our Economic Development Minister thinks there’s no over-investment in housing, no speculative housing bubble, in New Zealand. Madness. It’s like spending all your time tuning up your car’s engine (or, in Joyce’s case, talking about how the car’s engine needs to be tuned) and then driving with the handbrake on.

The one new idea Joyce has mentioned is a piece of spin. Replacing the ‘100% Pure’ brand with a much vaguer ‘New Zealand story’ brand. Yeah, that’ll fix the problem – which is what again? Oh yeah, too much foreign ownership of high profit New Zealand assets.

No wonder unemployment is at an 18-year high under these clowns.

39 comments on “The optics of the thing”

  1. alex 1

    I’m no fan of Joyce, but you diminish yourself significantly with your first paragraph. Shameful stuff.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Eddie was merely turning the light of Joyce’s own logic upon himself. Yes that often turns out to be less flattering than hoped for. … optically that is.

    • Eddie 1.2

      I’m not saying it’s bad to be fat, old, or bald. I’m saying that the contrast between him and his questioners and his behaviour made for bad optics

      • OneTrack 1.2.1

        “I’m not saying it’s bad to be fat, old, or bald” – Dont use those words then.

    • Murray Olsen 1.3

      I was fat and I’m oldish. I’m not bald, but I have never had a problem with being called fat and old. I think sometimes we can get a bit precious about these things.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        Nor do I particularly. The old and balding is less of an issue than the damn weight. I hate carting around the extra kg’s. They make stairs look like mountains. But the mostly white beard peppered with grey and black looks a damn sight distinguished then the older versions in black. But how in the hell do I get Lyn to stop tugging on it?

  2. vto 2

    .
    If we New Zealanders owned everything in New Zealand the nation would be so much more wealthy. Sort of like National Party and right wing types in general like to own everything – because it leads to wealth.

    This is what National Party and right wing types like to call a no-brainer.

    So …… how do we do that? Pretty easy actually ….

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      If we New Zealanders owned everything in New Zealand the nation would be so much more wealthy. Sort of like National Party and right wing types in general like to own everything – because it leads to wealth.

      QFT

      And that is why this government is selling state assets. It makes NZ worse off while enriching the already rich. I truly am amazed that some people can’t seem to see that.

      So …… how do we do that? Pretty easy actually ….

      Have to drop the capitalist meme, have to show that, as a society, we’re not dependent for our wealth upon the capitalists. To show that the capitalists are the reason that we, as a country, are poor.

      • blue leopard 2.1.1

        DTB

        “Have to drop the capitalist meme, have to show that, as a society, we’re not dependent for our wealth upon the capitalists.”

        I think you would make a stronger argument if you put “unfettered” in front of “capitalist”.
        Unfettered capitalism leads to wealth amassing in fewer and fewer hands. Capitalism with “tempering” activities could work quite well.

        Numerous rules and regulations re finances and redistribution of wealth to the less fortunate tempered the negative effects of “pure” capitalism. What a pity such have been eroded by neo-liberalist/unfettered capitalists/etc.

        Democracy, also, is one of the ways of tempering the unhelpful consequences of pure capitalism, this requires informed voters. What a pity unfettered capitalists are capturing the main media outlets.

        In the way the direction that capitalism is going at present I agree the consequences are as you say, however still consider that putting qualifiers on words such as capitalism makes for a stronger argument.

        Perhaps its more relevant to say it makes for a CLEARER argument.

        I would be interested to hear your views on this.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          Capitalism with “tempering” activities could work quite well.

          No because it always leads to the unfettered kind.

          Capitalism always goes for maximum production which results in falling prices and thus profits. When this happens the capitalists demand that government do something about it. In the 1970s we saw increasing subsidies to the farmers and then, once that proved that it wouldn’t work, the free-market got put in place with all the deregulation that comes with it.

          The drive for profit also results in an unsustainable economy. Due to falling prices as production ramps up in the local economy exports are pushed to keep up demand and thus maintain prices. This focus on exports will increase production which of course uses up more resources but it’s also a plan that is destined to fail as the places being exported to can always produce their own* and they can do it cheaper than by importing and will eventually do so. But, most importantly, we will run out of resources to maintain those exports and at that point we won’t be able to support ourselves at all.

          No, the only thing to do is to drop capitalism and go to a sustainable, stable state economy. There really is no other choice.

          * Food is a special case as not everywhere can produce enough food to feed their population. Egypt is a good example of this – they can only feed ~60% of their population. All the rest is imported. But exporting food is still not viable as it uses up more resources than we actually have available which means we need to import (feed for dairy and fertilisers for crops) and those imports will eventually dry up as well.

          • blue leopard 2.1.1.1.1

            DTB

            Very interesting, thank you.

            I can see that the drive toward the unfettered kind of capitalism is the most likely consequence, especially having had it explained in the way that you have.

            I still question whether this has to be the inevitable direction.
            I thought the tension between a central government, working with the intention toward the wellbeing of all, and capitalists, working for their own interests created an effective balance, yet this certainly is not what is occurring at present…..where the government players are more interested in “getting in” with the big boys.

            Clearly access to funds is a central issue of this phenomenon.

            I will have to read up more on the subject I guess.

            Any good links would be most appreciated.

              • blue leopard

                Cheers CV

                I would just like to see people with intelligent views spending more time offering positive alternatives, rather than solely criticising what we’ve got.

                I state this while totally acknowledging that criticising (leading to understanding of the problem) is a very important part of the process.

                It is, however, necessary for people to feel hopeful, that there is a positive way forward.

                Sadly I guess this is way “a brighter future” was so successful. (How sad that people look no further than misspelt slogans; it was really meant to be “blighted” wasn’t it?)

                Thanks for the links (although unable to watch youtube)

                • Colonial Viper

                  I would just like to see people with intelligent views spending more time offering positive alternatives, rather than solely criticising what we’ve got.

                  I reckon it starts with understanding what is good/bad with where things are currently going, and deciding what kind of future they want for NZ.

                  Alternative actions and policies will naturally flow from there.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ CV

                    “Alternative actions and policies will naturally flow from there.”

                    Yes, I sincerely hope so.

                    This is the way I was feeling, however, when one moves in relatively informed circles, and/or are informed, such as many on this website appear, it is perhaps difficult to see what level of information (or more pertinently lack of information) ordinary New Zealanders are exposed to.

                    I believe this is the challenge for politicians.

                    The dearth of information in the majority of lives here, leads to voters being horribly vulnerable to spin/PR tactics (such as “optics” mentioned on this thread).

                    This is the quick and easy method of getting votes and has a very poor effect on the general populations level of awareness.

                    I feel a great deal of concern over this.

                    I feel a great deal of concern over how every enlightened, promising piece of research or movement keeps getting twisted by those with interest opposed to genuine progress and that is all that gets shown in our main media outlets.

                    (Including what just happened with your comment and the Selling Snake Oil site…such hysteria wouldn’t be possible amongst more informed citizens…)

    • blue leopard 2.2

      @vto

      +1 well said

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      +1

  3. BillODrees 3

    I saw Joyce grandstaning and trying to bully the younger journos. He is an ignorameous.  I switched the telly off.  It is a nice day outside and I didn’t want Joyce to spoil it! 

  4. Kotahi Tāne Huna 4

    Looks like somebody else was watching The Nation this morning. Great to see such a swift response from the Labour leadership team.

    • OneTrack 4.1

      Is he part of the labour leadership team?

    • xtasy 4.2

      Like him or not, he is at least doing something and responding as it should be done by the opposition! The more we see this happen, the better, and it will surely show in the polls. NO rewards without work and effort!

    • Carol 4.3

      And Cunliffe shows how to clearly and sharply articulate the issues, in an interesting and engaging way.

      Note also Cunliffe’s use of the word glossy.

      “Lifting exports as a share of GDP from 30 to 40 per cent would be a massive and admirable achievement,” David Cunliffe said. “The problem is that there is nothing in the Government’s thin ‘glossy’ issued this week, or today’s interview that would get us there.
      ..
      “Other than glossy PR, Steven Joyce’s only contribution was to exhort regions to ‘dig it and mine it’, despite the proper processes of local democracy and environmental protections.

      In Question Time this week, Lockwood-Smith disallowed that word as being negative and not objective:

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/2/4/8/50HansQ_20120816_00000001-1-Economy-Growth.htm

      Hon David Cunliffe: Given that ratings agencies Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings have all criticised New Zealand’s lack of export diversification and high-value exports, why does the export public relations glossy that he issued yesterday contain no quantitative target for export growth until the year 2025?

      Mr SPEAKER: Order! And, indeed, I would have responded directly myself, had I not listened to the question carefully and heard derogatory comment in the question. So if members include—well, the member referred to a publication that the Government put out yesterday as some glossy.

      Rt Hon Winston Peters: That’s not derogatory.

      Mr SPEAKER: It is not objective language. If members want Ministers to stick to objective language, questions should contain objective language.

      Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Referring to a glossy publication as glossy is hardly subjective.

      Mr SPEAKER: The language was intentionally—[Interruption] Order! The Speaker might look stupid, but he is not that stupid. The language was intentionally derogatory about a publication. It is common language to refer to something as a glossy when it is considered not to have much content. The Minister therefore is at liberty to respond to that. And that is the end of the matter. I will not entertain any further points of order on that issue. Let me be very clear about that.

      Hon David Cunliffe: I seek leave to re-ask the supplementary question, omitting the word.

      Mr SPEAKER: Order! No, the member asked his question. The Minister is answering it.

      Good on Cunliffe on sticking to his language in the press release.

      Glossy (NAct & Joyce) is as Glossy does.

  5. OneTrack 5

    Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing.

    Watching the Nation this morning, I saw a professional politician reasonably explaining the issues the country is facing and the approach the government is taking and why. You can easily argue that they are taking the wrong approach but that is, surely, different ideologies.

    Those three young and pretty journolists (vto started it) seem to be coming with a biased viewpoint (all green and labour party gold members maybe?) but dont seem to be unsettling Joyce at all. Some of the questions were even getting a bit shrill. I do understand they want to win a pulizter prize but…. They quietened down towards the end ie maybe he boggled them with logic. And at the whistle, Joyce – 1, journolists – 0.

  6. aj 6

    Disregarding the looks, the message he was promoting, and what I thought was a very defensive tone shown by Joyce, what leapt out at me was the competence in language and strength of delivery.

    On Message.

    This led me to compare with Shearer, or Cunliffe.

    Shearer’s promotion to leadership is, regrettably, a mistake.

    • xtasy 6.1

      Sorry, I did think the same and made it known from the beginning, but so many disliked the realistic assessment and criticism. Now we can only hope for some wise realisations at Labour’s top, and the logical steps to be taken.

  7. georgecom 7

    The simple truth is that National, Joyce, English, Key etc are out of ideas to do anything about the economy. Their thinking is still 1990s and early-mid 2000s, with various levels of intensity of implementation. All they have left to play with is simply waiting to see what unfolds and try and react with tired out dated thinking.

    There is no ‘brighter future’ with National unless it somehow arrives under its own steam. There is no bright thinking within National, no future thinking within National.

    That is what Joyce is reflecting.

    • lprent 7.1

      Agreed. They really do seem to slowly rehashing every failed idea from the 90’s

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Their thinking is still 1990s and early-mid 2000s,

      Nope, closer to 1890s through to mid 1920s thinking. The end result will be the same.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        I was going to say pre 1890’s…from 1893 the Liberal government under Richard Seddon (aka King Dick) actually did big things like land reform, to break up the concentration of wealth which had built up, and also introduced a system of old age pensions which greatly relieved poverty amongst the elderly.

  8. xtasy 8

    Sorry, but I disagree with the lead story above:

    Actually Joyce was in his element and at his best on the Nation this morning.

    I strongly dislike his ideas, his absolutely uncompromising laissez faire free market ideology, his arrogance and so forth, but he is a smart and dangerous operator. He is actually more of a handful to deal with than Key, English and others. Key and English may lead the bunch, but the organiser and schemer in main politics, which includes economics and business and education, that is Joyce.

    I was disappointed with the two young journos, who have been much better during other testing interviews. But today they again looked like school-boys.

    They were appalling when Phil Heatley was on the Nation two weeks or so ago, who was allowed to rant on endlessly about his great ideas for oil drilling, mining and so forth, even claiming deep sea drilling had been proved low risk internationally, but referring to the North Sea (shallow waters all over!) in Europe as an example.

    Then he rolled out his absurd, unsocial agenda on Housing NZ and so forth. He talked about “rorting” Housing NZ tenants having boarders claiming the accomodation supplement from WINZ and so forth, all being total nonsense, as Housing NZ tenants are NOT even allowed to sublet rooms to boarders.

    The two same journalists were just not asking any real questions then. They did not have a clue about housing policies and law either. It was embarrassing.

    Labour will do well to target and attack Joyce whereever they can. He is a hard nut to crack, but it can be done (remember his stupid comments re the admitted drink drive alcohol limits and so).

  9. rob 9

    Joyce needs intense scrutiny because he is so uncompromising
    He is quite evil because he thinks success comes with trading or buying and selling rather than growing the wealth of our nation and giving our community security

    • seeker 9.1

      Agreed . Joyce’s laconic persona epitomises National’s lazy, one dimensional, non creative, arrogant, incompetent approach to the economic and social needs of this country. In fact Joyce, along with the National leadership, appears almost indifferent to the country’s needs.
      That is why I am glad that David Cunliffe is Joyce’s opposite number. He is the one person who is rigorous and canny enough to be able to keep Joyce under intense scrutiny. I hope David Cunliffe will stalk the hell out of Joyce and prove to be his nemesis.

    • Lebleaux 9.2

      Please explain how you grow the wealth of anything without buying and/or selling and /or trading

  10. captain hook 10

    Joyces rationale for broadband internet was so that dweebs could download stuff faster nudge nudge wink wink.
    thats his style.

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    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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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,… ...
    2 days 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
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    17 hours 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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… ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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. ...
    2 days 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… ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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… ...
    2 days 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… ...
    2 days 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… ...
    2 days 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… ...
    2 days 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… ...
    3 days 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… ...
    3 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
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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
    4 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… ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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
    6 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… ...
    7 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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

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