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To intervene or not to intervene, that is the question…

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, February 9th, 2013 - 27 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, national - Tags: ,

Frank Macskasy at Frankly Speaking writes


To intervene, or not to intervene, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in this government’s mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous recessionary fortune,
Or to take arms against a global sea of economic troubles,
And by opposing end them? To be hands on, and interventionist…
(With apologies to The Bard…)

.

Farmers get it…

.

'Well-deserved' $80m for irrigation

Full story

.

Rich families get it…

.

Richlisters up for Govt bailout

Full story

.

Kids from rich families  get it…

.

$43 million should be saved from private school subsidy

Full story

.

Insurance companies get it…

.

Government announces $500m bailout for insurer AMI

Full story

.

Even cute, furry-footed Hobbits get it…

.

OECD knocks 'Rings' films' multimillion tax subsidies

Full story

.

And more for the Precious

.

Hobbit tax rebate swells to $67.1m in second year of production

Full story

.

Hell, practically everyone can get it…

.

business.govt.nz Grants & incentives

Source

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Subsidies for everything and everyone…

But not, it seems, to assist struggling construction companies until the Christchurch re-build kicks in, in earnest, and they can trade their way out of difficulties,

.

Mainzeal collapse 'tip of iceberg'

Full story

.

In a brutally frank analysis of the industry,  NZ Herald journalist Anne Gibson wrote this piece about other failed construction companies and the effect it was having throughout the country – see: Recession hammered building firms, say chiefs

Greg O’Sullivan, of  Takapuna-based building consultants Prendos, said,

The recession has hammered the industry to the ground.  It becomes a very acrimonious environment. Builders are having to watch every penny to survive.”

Source: IBID

And it was all so unnecessary.

No government could  not have prevented the recessionary effects of the Global Finance Crisis. But a more proactive government could have mitigated the harshest effects of the international recession with careful stimulation of the economy.

And by “stimulation” I do not refer to the wasteful, blunt-instrument-style tax cuts of 2009 and 2010. Those tax cuts added nothing to economic growth and only served to cut government revenue (see: Outlook slashes tax-take by $8b).

Thousands of jobs could have been saved. Thousands more jobs created.

A proactive government, with Ministers able to look ahead, would have immediatly implemented strategies to counter damaging recessionary effects;

  • a dynamic building programme post-2009′s “Job Summit” (and I don’t mean Key’s wretched cycleway idea – see:  Cycleway jobs fall short)
  • increased investment, incentives, and  subsidies for apprenticeships and other training/education for young people and other unemployed New Zealanders
  • reform of tax laws which see inefficient investment in speculative house-buying/selling less attractive, and re-direct investment into productive industry

National should never have allowed our economy to get where it is now.

This is a government that is derelict in it’s duty, and for Steven Joyce and his cronies to carp on about  “overseas investment” is a moronic cargo-cult mentality that simply defies understanding.

If New Zealand businesses leaders and Captains of  Commerce still believe that National is a “prudent manager of the economy” – then going by the last four years and events in the 1990s –I promise you that you will get what you richly deserve if they are re-elected in 2014 (or earlier).

This isn’t governance. This is economic decline by a thousand cuts.

Expect things to get worse.

27 comments on “To intervene or not to intervene, that is the question…”

  1. If New Zealand businesses leaders and Captains of Commerce still believe that National is a “prudent manager of the economy” – then going by the last four years and events in the 1990s –I promise you that you will get what you richly deserve if they are re-elected in 2014 (or earlier).

    Should probably read,

    If New Zealand businesses leaders and Captains of Commerce still believe that National is a “prudent manager of the economy” – then going by the last four years and events in the 1990s –I promise THEM that THEY will get what THEY richly deserve if they are re-elected in 2014 (or earlier).

    Makes better sense.

    My bad.

  2. Tiresias 2

    Joyce on ‘Morning Report’ yesterday only had “foreign investment” as a solution to all New Zealand’s woes – and in order to get “foreign investment” we are supposed to change our minds about the undesireability of mining and oil extraction etc, and embrace ‘flexibility’ which is shorthand for ‘put up with being exploited for a handful of beans’.

    Unfortunately for Joyce though, however seductively New Zealand lies on her back with her legs apart wiggling her bum, foreign investors are going to take one look her grossly over-valued currency and decide, quite sensibly, to put their money where it’s not going to lose 10 – 15% of its value in short order when the GFC eases and the inevitable currency re-aligments occur.

  3. AmaKiwi 3

    Too often we treat politics as if it is a rugby test: us against them, be a team player, etc.

    In 1949, post-war Japan was nearly in the stone age. It created MITI, a powerful government ministry to plan what the country needed to do to recover. In one generation Japan was the envy of the world. Its GDP was second only to the USA, despite having one third the population of the USA.

    Our government bailouts have no long term rhyme or reason. As a result they steadily impoverish the country. Here’s how some small countries have done long range planning to economically triumph:

    Scandinavian Economic Development Speech: Fast Forward – Growing Good Jobs by David Cunliffe | Sunday, September 30, 2012 – 15:00, Speech to Laingholm District Citizens Association, Laingholm, 30 September 2012

    Footnote: This is the speech that brought down the wrath of Shearer and the ABC gang. Tall poppy syndrome. Rugby politics. Brut force instead of brains.

    How bad does our economy have to get before we ALL take a broader perspective and decide we HAVE TO work together or we will all sink together?

  4. @ Frank Macskasy,

    Great article. You have managed to focus on the crux of the debate re Government proactivity and the pathetic approach of this current government.

    An additional thought: If we have a government who give tax-cuts to wealthy and gains revenue through taxes such as GST & petrol, and selling off assets there appears to be no real motivation for the said government to be wanting people to be in better circumstances. There is a moral hazard evident with this approach.

    If the system is set up so that a government benefits when its people are prosperous, then there is a motivation for that system, the government, to ensure this is the case. This is clearly missing from this current government. Who are they working for? Who is benefiting? Not a hell of a lot of people in my view.

    Who the heck are voting for these people? Where are their heads “at”?

    • An additional thought: If we have a government who give tax-cuts to wealthy and gains revenue through taxes such as GST & petrol, and selling off assets there appears to be no real motivation for the said government to be wanting people to be in better circumstances.

      Spot on, Blue Leopard.

      An economics commentator (name escapes me at the moment) recently pointed out that National is desperate for any signs of economic recovery. It doesn’t matter if it’s short term; environmentally damaging; economically/fiscally damaging, or a false recovery – any sign will do.

      Just enough to get them re-elected in 2014 (or earlier).

    • Indeed, Amakiwi. I re-posted Cunliffe’s speech on my blog soon after it was released (as I did with Shearer’s recently).

      Cunliffe’s points can be beautifully summed up with this statement he made.

      Denmark doesn’t tell its businesspeople what to do. Instead, Denmark sees its businesspeople as partners. The Danish government sits down with its key business groups. The two sides plan a workable strategy. After listening to its voters, workers and business partners, the Danish government doesn’t muck around. Incentives, sector plans, skills training, research and development, industry investment, targets and timetables are all actively used to get the economy moving and to keep it moving.

      There is real symbiosis; it’s a win-win partnership, and the whole country benefits.

      Hell yes!

      By contrast, Key’s “Job Summit” in February 2009 was supposedly (we were told) of a similar nature. But instead it turned out to be window dressing and little more. (Kinda like the old Soviet shops pre-1991, where window-displays were full of consumer goods – but the shops inside were mostly empty. That was the nature of John Key’s “Jobs Summit”.)

      The “trick” now is to get the rest of the country to understand this.

      • “The “trick” now is to get the rest of the country to understand this. ~F Macskasy

        You can say that again….and again…and again….in fact keep saying it until the rest of the country do understand.

      • Afewknowthetruth 5.1.2

        Frank, like most other people, you just don’t get it.

        Global oil extraction peaked over 2005 al to 2008 (much as predicted years beforehand) and all oil-dependent economies are screwed long term, with those most dependent on oil imports falling first, i.e. Spain.

        Nothing is going to change that geological reality, though desperation attempts to prop things up by fracking and deep-sea drilling will work in the very short term, at horrendous environmental cost.

        Death by a thousand cuts is the order of the day, the month, the year, the decade for the ‘proles’, with covert fascism morphing into overt fascism and an ever greater wealth gap until revolution breaks out.

  5. Coronial Typer 6

    I like Cunliffe. But New Zealanders are notoriously non-patriotic when it comes to being organised into sustained cooperation between business and the state. (Exception: the managed war economy from 1940 to 1947).

    Labour will have to be subtler than that, and the New Zealand state is now far far weaker than Denmark’s. So any organising will need to be targeted, organised, and led by the industries themselves. Sutch is dead.

    As Mackasey’s above examples show, Key’s government has taken the mantle of interventionism off Labour. they are ‘hands on’ with industry to a far greater degree than Clark’s. Sure, it’s light. Sure, it’s not always in the most value-added sectors. But Labour and Greens will need to show that their version of ‘hands on’ is superior to National’s. and their sectoral choices superior.

    So Mackasey’s post is a false binary. Why not argue for specific sectors, for example those that:
    – are export focused
    – are rich in high income jobs
    – are committed to research and development in their products and services
    – are located here, using our land and resources, and committed to staying
    – want the help

    None of the above applies to construction.

    • bad12 6.1

      That all works ‘oh so fine’ if the rest of the world wants to buy what you produce, if the rest of that world don’t want to then it’s all a bit 10,000 spoons when all’s you need is a knife,

      Housing construction tho has the beauty of being an industry that can be ongoing using NZ labour and NZ materials while along with that the pace and size of the build would not be reliant upon what occurs in the global realm,

      According to Bill’s figures,(English that is), it takes 8 years after an immigrant has settled in NZ for the market to produce a home for that particular person/family,

      That’s the wrong way round in my opinion, we should be producing the houses befor the immigrants come here…

  6. Fortran 7

    What about the Swedes buying nine farms in the Waikato ?
    Ok, I suppose they are not Chinese.

    • Saarbo 7.1

      Im dead set against Foreigners buying our farms. But maybe one of the reasons people are not complaining about the Swedes is that they have purchased 9 farms developed by Graeme Hart. Hart converted pine forestry into dairy farms, they are on pumice soil and are actually quite marginal farms. I still dont agree that they should have been sold to the swedes but these farms are not in the same league as the Crafer farms. They have been on the market since 2009.

  7. Murray Olsen 8

    The government intervenes in the economy on a daily basis. The problem is that it intervenes on behalf of speculators, foreign banks, and the already rich. That the taxpayer should be bailing out the Spencers is obscene. If they’ve made a mess, they should have enough toilet paper lying around to clean it up.
    I am also incredibly suspicious about Mainzeal. I doubt if they wanted help. From what I’ve seen, the parent company let a subsidiary go down the drain to escape the leaky buildings mess. The Serious Fraud Office should probably be called in, but I won’t be holding my breath.

  8. ChrisH 9

    But if the government had invested in housing construction, that would have prevented house prices and rents rising as fast as they have done, and everyone knows that National governs by, for, and of the private-sector property ‘investor’. Which, in this country, is not to be confused with housing construction.

  9. Zaphod Beeblebrox 10

    Forgot to mention the bankers, lawyers, brokers and accountants who will be receiving the proceeds of the sale of the taxpayers SOEs.

  10. karol 11

    Excellent post, Frank. And really exposes Labour’s “hands on government” slogan as playing with myths. Real Labour would have a slogan about inclusiveness and working for those on low incomes, whether they are beneficiaries, paid or unpaid workers: a slogan that challenges the NAct government for the powerful, wealthy & elite few.

    • Excuse me if this is also a myth, I suspect it might be, yet hasn’t it been proven that people simply don’t vote for the benefit of those on low incomes? I thought if there ever was a time that people would come out in numbers for such a purpose it would have been in the middle of a Global Financial Crisis, but no, they stayed at home and enough voted for wealthy interests that they got into power.

      Perhaps Labour screwed up by the Superannuation stunt? I don’t know, yet I am of the impression that people, not even low income people, appear to care about working issues in this country. Mana; how many voted for them?

      It appears that there is an attitude that if we keep being generous to our “superiors” interests, then one day they are going to benevolently turn around to us and address the pressing problems that require addressing NOW! It ain’t happening folks.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        It appears that there is an attitude that if we keep being generous to our “superiors” interests, then one day they are going to benevolently turn around to us and address the pressing problems that require addressing NOW!

        This is a very common traditional belief amongst working class National voters. You vote for National because they look after your bosses, and then your bosses will look after you.

  11. vto 12

    Yep, again, more bludging freeloading business and subsidies by the taxpayer.

    Enough.

    Bloody pay your way you bludging freeloading businesses and employers. I am sick to death of subdising you with my taxes. Pay for yourself you bludgers.

    Piss off.

    Not to mention the nasty hypocrisy that distorts your faces.

  12. Mike 13

    Yep, $2 billion bailing out failed finance companies. Yet thanks to the political collusion of the MSM, most of the general public are seething and moaning about the comparatively relatively paltry $30 odd million in welfare fraud. Wake up people!

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  • Microbeads: How did companies respond?
    Remember THIS video?Back in July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads – the tiny terrors that are often found in shower gels and facial scrubs, ...
    4 days ago
  • Does your cafeteria serve ocean destruction?
    Every time you eat in a restaurant, hospital, airport, a university cafeteria, or at even at a rock concert, it is likely that you are eating food provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress, a brand new Greenpeace ...
    4 days ago
  • My Arctic Home
    I live in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) in the Canadian Arctic. Most people have never heard of my town. It's 450km north of the Arctic Circle with a population of roughly 1,000. We are isolated from much of the world, but ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • One less objection to Skypath
    Some great news yesterday that the main objector to Skypath, the Northcote Residents Association (NRA), has withdrawn their appeal against the project. That leaves just the Northcote Point Historic Preservation Society (NPHPS) – made up of many of the same people ...
    4 days ago
  • A Political King.
    Birds Of A Feather: If Edward VIII had been a less enamoured sex-slave to Wallis Simpson and a more convinced fascist, it is entirely possible that he could have completely upended the British constitution. Royal words, and deeds, still matter ...
    4 days ago
  • Polity: Key peddles cynical “interest rate avenger” fantasy
    This week in Parliament, John Key repeated one of the lines that looks to be central to its election campaign in 2017. As we’ll see, that word “lines” probably has one too many n’s in it. Anyway, here it is:Rt ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Gaffer Departs
    My friend Simon Grigg this week announced something I've known for a while – that he's stepping down from his role as creative director at Audioculture. It is, literally, to spend more time with his family: Simon and his wife ...
    4 days ago
  • Places to go, people to be
    Nothing from me today - I'm off to Christchurch for Phoenix, their annual larp convention. Normal bloggage will resume Monday, once I've caught up. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is There Something Wrong With Aussie Sport?
    Is There Something Wrong with Aussie Sport? The news that Australian Olympians returning from Rio have been given a hard time by the Australian media and public for the alleged paucity of their medal haul will, sadly, have come as ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Pencilsword: I can’t draw horses
    ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
    . . “…We should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.” – John Key, 7 September 2008 . . ref . In September 2008, one month before the general election, National’s leader addressed the party’s “Bluegreen* Forum“, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Housing is popular
    I’ve written several blog posts talking about challenges facing local democracy and consultation processes. This is an important issue. Harvard economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson make a convincing argument that inclusive political institutions, such as broad electoral franchises and ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    4 days ago
  • Increasing cycling and walking in New Zealand cities
    This is a post from Caroline Shaw and Marie Russell who are researchers at the University of Otago Wellington Having high levels of walking and cycling for transport in our urban centres is a crucial component of having a sustainable, people-oriented, 21st century transport ...
    4 days ago
  • Movement or Moment.
    Barring some disaster, Hillary Clinton will win the US presidential election in November. That poses an interesting question for the US Left, because the defensive support for her offered by Sanders supporters and other progressives in the face of the ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Global warming is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, fast
    A new study measures the loss of ice from one of world’s largest ice sheets. They find an ice loss that has accelerated in the past few years, and their measurements confirm prior estimates. As humans emit heat-trapping gases, we ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Reading: White rappers, Gawker and the Uber killer
    Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.   G-Eazy. Photo: AFP White Rappers, Clear of a Black Planet – by Jon Caramanica, The NY Times “But now we have arrived in the ...
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    frogblogBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • An improved design for the Tamaki/Ngapipi mess
    My post yesterday about the hot mess that is the proposed Tamaki-Ngapipi intersection resulted in a lot of discussion, especially around the design and the role consultants play. Reader George who is also an engineer decided he could come up ...
    5 days ago
  • Electrons!
    Earlier this year Key is said to have asked his Ministers to come up with some new policy ideas, to deflect the criticism that they were a tired, exhausted, intellectually bankrupt government spinning its wheels and going nowhere. Maggie Barry’s ‘Predator ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    5 days ago
  • Rally in the rain shows love for humanities
    Tertiary Update Vol 19 No 30 Hundreds of people who work and study at the University of Otago rallied under umbrellas yesterday to say they love humanities. The university is planning to cut staff from five humanities departments Local TEU ...
    5 days ago

  • Disability sector is in a ‘slow burning crisis’
    Disability advocates say the sector is in crisis and broken, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “A roundtable at Parliament organised by the Labour Party, heard today how National has left disability services chronically underfunded. ...
    15 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    15 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    16 hours ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    3 days ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    5 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    6 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    6 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    6 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

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