2013 – the policy year

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, January 5th, 2013 - 260 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

The word is that John Key to attempt to avoid a year like the last one by front-footing 2013 with a high-profile policy announcement. Some expect it to be about the economy and jobs, I think it’ll be a smaller more symbolic move like food in low decile schools. But whatever it is the plan will be to reestablish them as having a plan because their lack of vision is developing into a widely held narrative.

But, as our own Labour grandee Mike Smith has pointed out, 2013 is also the year Labour develops its policies and that makes the 2013 conference a very important one for members who want to help shape the future of New Zealand (and let’s face it – that’s why most members of political parties are indeed members).

Having been to a few conferences in my time, one of the things that strikes me is that there tends to be a core of organised policy that comes down from the top and then a mish-mash of often smaller, less coherent, policies that comes from the membership organisation. That’s partly the result of LEC’s working in isolation and partly due to the fact there’s only one opportunity for the nationwide membership to come together each year – the conference itself. The result is that the policies pushed up by members tend to have to focus on single issue matters – it’s hard, for example for members to advocate for significant economic policies because very few such policies can exist in isolation from the rest of the manifesto.

I think that’s where The Standard could be of some use in that it offers a platform for members to suggest and test policy at a national level any time they want. With this in mind I’d like to suggest that over the next few months we have those discussions and perhaps even provide a manifesto page on the site where generally agreed policies can be placed for LECs to use as a resource to inform remits. I’d imagine, given the skills of the people who post and comment here, that we could even cost policies out (in a back of the envelope kind of a way). I also imagine that other smaller parties may be interested in such a resource.

I figure there are a few things I’d like to see such as a policy of building state houses (perhaps making a quarter of the 100,000 new houses state rentals), some kind of industry bargaining law (ideally an award), and a shift to make kiwi-saver compulsory in conjuncture with the provision of a state-fund as the default fund and greater provision for employer contributions (stepped to line up with Australia’s provisions by 2020). Oh, and decriminalisation of marijuana.

What are your policy priorities?

*note – I certainly don’t mean membership driven policies aren’t coherent in terms of Labour vision, rather they are not generally well integrated with other policies at a nuts and bolts level.

260 comments on “2013 – the policy year ”

  1. the sprout 1

    Well said Irish.
    I’d like to see policy that reaffirms the 40hr working week as the standard, with penal rates for hours worked beyond that.
    That would show we had a genuinely Labour party, and not just a caucus of Mark II rogernomes as so many of us believe.

    • millsy 1.1

      I have a feeling that David S will refuse to commit to scrapping the 90-day trial period in an interview this year.

    • xtasy 1.2

      I totally second that! Also I suggest a review of retail business opening hours, to restrict openings on Sundays and more public holidays, as it is essential to enable social bonding and unity, to have workers – and all others – enabled to enjoy days off together, not as selected and granted by employers on a case by case scenario.

      I am yet to be convinced that even people working long and odd hours cannot manage to do their shopping and stock up a little for just one or two days in a row, while shops are opened liberally most – or presently virtually ALL days of the week.

      Having common, shared days off is strengthening the social fabric, enabling families, friends and all others, to enjoy time off together, which is high value time, rather than have many individuals have time off on all kinds of odd days, which is often just ending up in doing errands and shopping to get done what should be done anyway.

      Social welbeing and enjoyment is quality life, and it will also keep some from drifting more into anonymity and get up to perhaps silly behaviours, that may be socially undesirable. I do not want to restrict individual freedoms, but I see a real need to re-establish social bonding, which has been disabled and destroyed immensely by the working hours we nowadays have for most.

      Sunday makes sense, as it is traditionally considered a more leisurely day, also for those that may want to indulge in their bit of church going that is not what concerns me, but it would combine things nicely.

  2. millsy 2

    1) Expansion of Kiwibank
    2) Have all oil and gas and mining royalties go into a sovereign wealth fund
    3) Public/community ownership of ECE
    4) Foster more collectively owned co-operative enterprises, as opposed to NZX listed enterprises.
    5) Reverse the 1991 law change that forbids councils from operating public transport services
    6) Chop this ‘schools should compete model’, because I am tired of middle-class people whinging about not being able to afford to buy a house in the Auckland Grammar zone because they dont want their little darlings catching poor people germs
    7) Decent public broadcasting, merge TVNZ and RNZ (and start increaaing funding) and reinstate TVNZ 6 and 7, set up an educational TV network, as well as taking the 102FM frequency off Kiwi FM, and using it to create a national youth/Maori radio network (like the last Labour government was going to do, but didnt because the commercial broadcasters threw a big tantrum)
    8) Increase the state housing stock by 200-300 percent (should push down rents)
    9) Blanket ban on all mining on conservation land.
    10) Blanket ban on all commerical activites on DOC land (but grandparent existing operators)
    11) Restore DOC funding cuts
    12) End all outsourcing in the public sector (existing contracts will be honoured, but work to be taken back in house when they run out).

    To name a few.

    • weka 2.1

      “10) Blanket ban on all commerical activites on DOC land (but grandparent existing operators)”

      Including DOC commercial operations?

      • millsy 2.1.1

        Do DOC have commercial operations?

        • Colonial Viper

          Commercial operators use DoC land. Eg. helicopter services and ice cream stalls etc.

          • millsy

            Those were the ones I meant.

            • Wayne

              Yet another idea to drive down economic growth – whats your beef about help operators, ski fields, etc.

              • Colonial Viper

                Its an end to uneconomic growth. Economic growth which pays workers less and less at more and more cost to the environment is finished.

        • weka

          “Do DOC have commercial operations?”

          Yes. Many walking tracks now are user pays in a way that generates income for DOC. If you look at the development of the Great Walks tracks historically, you will see that DOC intentionally promoted these overseas as a way of increasing traffic and thus revenue. Circa late 80s I think, so I guess that was part of the Rogernomics Labour move to commercialisation of everything.

          DOC also have fee structures for camping places and huts, which makes them commercial. I’d don’t know if the information on whether those fees cover costs or generate extra revenue is in the public domain.

          You could argue that visitor centres are commercial operations as well. Many function as tourist centres for people who will pay for DOC services.

          DOC visitor centres also offer information that supports other commercial tourism operators in the DOC managed areas. Given that DOC control the concession process for those operators, there can be conflicts of interest. The whole thing is a mess and is the end process of the shift from DOC as a conservation department to a recreational and business one. Sorry, I’m digressing, that’s not really a response to your question, but it’s part of the bigger picture.

          I agree that DOC funding should be increased, but of equal concern is the shift in culture that has occurred in the last few decades, where the priorities of DOC have shifted significantly, to the point where DOC now routinely approve or decline to opposed activities that are anti-conservation.

          • Colonial Viper

            Hence the idiotic DoC punchline “Conservation for Prosperity”.

            • weka

              DOC, another classic example of what happens to a good organisation when you take it away from the people on the ground who hold the core values, and instead give it MBAs, consultants and PR firms.

              Starting to get angry, so walking away from the computer now. But I’ll be interested to see how many of the policies brought up in this thread are fixes of previous Labour Govt fuckups or refusals to make ammends. (All due credit to NACT as well, their evil fingerprints are all over DOC too).

          • millsy

            You are not wrong there. Another issue of concern is that DOC has been handing over responsibility for some huts to mountain and tramping clubs etc, the most recent being a whole lot of huts in the Tararua ranges from what I gather. Might sound like an OK thing in the short term, but these tramping club people can only do so much, being volunteers, and there is the real possibility that these clubs may go onto recess (membership of clubs, etc has declined in the last few years), leaving these huts to further decay.

            Also the outsourcing of track maintainance leaves me worried. A guy I work with did worked on the tracks up in one of our national parks, and he said that the contractor he worked for paid him under the table….

            • weka

              I didn’t know that about the huts being handed over. Interesting. I bet that’s a compromise given that DOC wanted to remove a whole bunch of back country huts they couldn’t afford to maintain (and liability-avoidance is their big motivator post-Cave Creek). Pretty straight forward funding issue.

            • RedLogix

              Being personally involved in this I think I can allay some of your concerns millsy.

              This is indeed a vexed issue for the clubs; and all of them are wary of making commitments beyond their ability to sustain. But there is no doubt that some of these arrangements have proven remarkably durable. Masterton TC for instance built Blue Range in 1954 and has successfully maintained it ever since. It put up about 30% of the cost for the Mitre Flats hut about a decade ago.

              The downside is that there are far more people using these facilities than there are club members, most of whom are of retirement age these days. (Which doesn’t mean they’re all slow!!) But any weekend like today there will be literally hundreds of people in the Waiohine, Totara Flats, Powell, Jumbo, Waignawa, Ruamahaunga front country. Most of the dozen or so huts in that area will be full and there will be dozens camping in the vicinity tonight.

              DoC staff have generally done a fantastic job in developing and maintaining much of the facilities necessary to make all this possible.

              The problem has been balancing bureaucratic constraints with needs and perceptions of the various communities of trampers, hunter, mountain-runners and fishers and day-walkers who all value and love this amazing, astounding and unique legacy we have.

              weka is perfectly correct; this is a funding issue, but there is a layer of complexity around the allocation of ‘capital expenditure’ and ‘operations expenditure’ and ‘depreciation’ that muddies the picture considerably. But the fact is that under this govt, DoC is grossly underfunded … most especially in the biodiversity protection area.

              What does seem to be evolving is a balance where DoC looks after the big jobs, the hut and bridge building, major track cuts or upgrades … while the clubs step up to look after the dozens of smaller tasks on the ‘to-do list’. Things like painting, maintenance, taking small items like log-books in, minor windfall clearance, scratching out small drains in boggy patches, fixing up vandalised signs and so-on.

              It’s a promising model that should with time allow both DoC and community volunteers to work together more effectively and most importantly … talk to each other more often..

              There’s a lot more I could say, except that right now from where I’m typing I can see the Northern Tararua’s are absolutely perfect, and I’m on call ….grrrr.

    • Foreign Waka 2.2

      Aim for Full employment and a decent minimum wage.
      Reinstate Apprenticeships and cap individual contribution to higher degrees.
      Have every youngster go through education until the age of 18 – compulsory.
      Increase seed capital for start-up companies with a viable business plan and mentor.

    • xtasy 2.3

      I am solidly impressed, millsy, I agree with most, if not all of what you list!

    • Saarbo 2.4

      These look good MILLSY!

      13)Re establish a more Progressive Tax system.
      14) Addition of a Land Tax.
      15) Increase min wage to a fixed percentage of the Average wage.



      And what really needs addressing is THE ECONOMY!

      No matter how much we all love to have fairness, social and health and education services, of course, and that is where NatACT will hit us, it MUST BE EARNED.

      So we are back in the larger, wider world out there, which is still ruled by the monetary and capitalist business system, yes indeed, so much, it is dream-land to believe you can click yourselves out of it.

      Hence it is ultimately important to bring back David Cunliffe, with his expertise, knowledge, insight and competency, to work out policies for how to attract investment from well-meaning investors, who may in some cases actually be corporate players, but who need to be bound, tied in, for reasonable equatable benefits and deals, to invest here, in infrastructure, manufacturing, IT, and much, much more, especially also alternative, public transport and better housing in the larger centres.

      There may be inevitable public private partnerships under strict conditions, that will be inevitable, as NZers have not enough cash and savings to raise money to invest. Also some borrowing can be done, but that depends on securities offered.

      So reality will hit us, but Cunliffe has enough clout and knowledge, as to how that can be done best for NZ!

      He spent time in Denmark and other places, and Labour’s Parker also met with top economists last year.

      We do not want a right wing agenda, but it is not needed, as the world is generally quite volatile, so investment in NZ would be much sought after. Surely Labour and the left can do better than NatACT who invest in Casinos offering “free” convention centres, cycleways, discounts for Hollywood studios, holiday highways, raw fish, logs and milk powder exports to earn a living.

      Value added production and services are a no brainer.

      I despair though, as so much depends on the top men in Labour now, to make a change.

      Have they the will, brain and insight, let alone spirit to get the good man back from the lonely back-bench sent??,

      Thanks Xtasy, I was wanting to write something along these lines but your thoughts were close enough to mine.

    • Ben 2.5

      Hi Millsy,

      I think your suggestion #12 would be very difficult, if not counter-productive, to implement as a blanket rule.

      Vested interest alert: I work for a NZ-owned consulting firm who do a lot of work for the Government (but not ONLY for the Government).

      The reason I think it would be difficult to implement as a blanket rule is that the nature of certain types of work (like the stuff I do) is not a good fit for permanent staff: The company I work for tends to be engaged on a project-by-project basis, and only for short bursts (several weeks at a time, generally, though occasionally longer-term engagements). I’m employed as a permanent employee by my work because they can shift me between different clients, and I end up with a 50 hour+ a week job. If I was working for one organisation, I might be utilised 10% of the time, and spend the rest of the time twiddling my thumbs. Getting paid to do nothing might sound great, but it really isn’t, and it tends to be a turn-off to those people at the tops of their fields: they want to do the work, not be paid to sit around until some work comes along.

      A counter-example to this was some work I did on a very large Government project a few years ago. My employment was essentially that of a permanent staff member (on-site 40+ hours a week for two-and-a-half years), but I was an external contractor, paid by the hour. There were dozens of other people employed in a similar way. In that situation I can see an argument for in-housing, although whether there would have been work at the end of the project is unknown so the department involved may have ended up with a whole bunch of extra staff they couldn’t assign, requiring redundancies or something, I’m not sure.

      I’m forever making fun of the “efficiencies of the private sector”, but sometimes it makes sense. I agree there are a lot of things which should be moved in-house in Government departments so we can stop paying millions a year to off-shore consulting firms, but I think the wording around any such policy would have to be carefully crafted so as not to hamstring project cycles and engagements which do work in an efficient way.

    • Well milsy no 4 needs debate and consideration,As child feed, clothed and enjoying the comfort of furniture from the CWS I am if course a Co-Operative fan. Fonterra is partly co-operative but does not include the farm and factory workers which a real co-op would. What I ask you (in good faith) is how do we start and where ? We woiul meet very tough opposition plus most working people would have no idea what we are talking about . I await intelligent and interesting discussions .

  3. just saying 3

    One thing I’m very interested in is policy around reestablishing the democratic rights and freedoms that have been lost or weakened in recent years, improving on them, and entrenching democracy in some all-but-impossible-to-break constitutional law.

    Unfortunatley, I know nothing about constitutional law. But I’d be prepared to learn if anyone could point me in the direction of laws other countries have enacted re the above.

    • xtasy 3.1

      just saying: Many countries have what is called a “Basic Law”, which outlines basic rights and responsibilities of citizens and residents. In NZ it is all found in bits in too many different Acts, and a constitution as such still needs to be worked out. It is actually planned to be worked on more, even under this government, and the Maori Party are keen to get their input. But we know what that means.

      It will be a tricky thing for NZ to resolve and achieve, as treaty matters will have to be considered and integrated. But surely it can be done. The NZ Bill of Rights Act is a very limited piece of legislation outlining basic rights, more is needed.

      There is also always common law and natural justice, but sadly too few know what that is all about. It needs to be read up and studied, and I highly recommend it, as it would enlighten most, making life easier, as you will see that you actually have some rights and power, that are not even covered by statute.

      It is really essential study to be a valued and respected citizen, as otherwise they walk all over you now!

  4. MeToo 4

    Teach civics in schools and real PSB. Only then will significant constitutional change be possible and sustainable.

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    1. Axe the 90 day trial period.
    2. Increase the minimum wage by $1.50 per year, every year.
    3. Sponsored jobs policy (6 month term) so that 90% of all tertiary trained people actually get jobs in the areas that they have trained, and help tackle the skill shortage of experience that has been allowed to develop by the private sector’s anaethma to upskilling and training tertiary graduates.
    4. All youth to be in education, training, or work until 20.
    5. Introduce a policy of local procurement for state-owned/controlled entities.
    6. Increase the top-tax rate back to 40c in the dollar.
    7. Reintroduce gift duty.
    8. Introduce a graduated land tax.
    9. Reintroduce student allowances for post-grads.
    10. Introduce low-interest debt consolidation loans for those in financial difficulty.

    • David H 5.1

      Add to that a Financial transaction tax and a CGT
      Put power stations and other ‘Family Treasures’ into a trust. That means the thieving Nats Can never sell them.
      Increase the Minimum wage to $17.00PH over 3 years so 2014 $15.00 2015 $16.00 2016 $17.00.
      Get the police to actually do Policing, and not running around after a spoilt politician who’s a legend in his own mind. Also give up the revenue collecting that is done by NZ police, and catch a burglar or 2.
      Like IB says Legalise marijuana, it’s a brilliant pain reliever, way better than Opiates, (which are addictive) for cronic nerve pain.
      Ban Deep sea oil drilling it’s just too dangerous to our wild life
      Ban fracking
      Have a look at our relationship with the US and ditch the TPP
      Tell Warner Bros and other film studios they Pay like everyone else no more free lunches.

      • millsy 5.1.1

        Merging the MOT traffic cops into the police (masterminded by one John Archibald Banks — probably with Ruth Richardson egging him on) was a stupid idea., more about cutting costs than law enforcement standards.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    I would really like to see state funding of political parties along the lines recently suggested by George Monboit –


    “…This, I think, is what a democratic funding system would look like. Each party would be able to charge the same, modest fee for membership (perhaps £50). It would then receive matching funding from the state, as a multiple of its membership receipts. There would be no other sources of income. (Membership-based funding would make brokerage by trade unions redundant)…”

    Fat chance though.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    – Remove income taxes from all benefits.
    – Increase minimum wage to $15/hour immediately and commit to a minimum of $17/hour by the end of Term 1.
    – Create 20,000 new training and public service employment positions targeted at those 24 and younger.
    – Introduce a 0.20% property wealth tax on all property with a ratings valuation of over $1M.
    – Reintroduce a wealthy estates tax on all estates over $2M in value.
    – Reduce the MMP threshold to 3.0% (time for Labour to prove that they really are the party of democracy).

  8. weka 8

    Replace Temporary Additional Support for WINZ beneficiaries with the previously existing Special Benefit. TAS is capped at a % of costs, irrespective of need, SpB was based on the individual circumstances of the applicant.

    Not only will this give back WINZ the ability to help people in extreme hardship, it will also signal that Labour is willing to support and help some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

    Background http://www.greens.org.nz/bills/social-security-special-benefit-restoration-amendment-bill

    • xtasy 8.1

      weka: I disagree in part!

      Increase BASE benefits substantially to do away with this nonsense of all these silly components beneficiaries have to apply for now, which are all needed to create the sum total to basically survive on. It is disgusting how WINZ beneficiaries are reviewed every 3 months for TAS or Special Benefit, as usually the Case Managers know full well, they need to regrant, as there is NO way the clients would be able to survive without it.

      Perhaps even intruduce a universal benefit for all not earning enough through wages or salaries, and have top ups to cover special needs, be this for disabilities, for housing costs or whatever. The system now in place is a bureaucratic nightmare, and it is not needed. The idea was years ago to put more checks and balances in, but in reality, beneficiaries need all the total of the components anyway, to it is just keeping beneficiaries and case managers running around to turn over lots of forms and paper, while nothing changes.

      • weka 8.1.1

        yes and no. Restoring SpB is a very simple act that a Lab/GP govt could do immediately without too much trouble. Bradford has already done the work on it. That would make an immediate improvement for many benes, and could be followed up by advocacy to inform other benes of their rights.

        The kinds of things you are proposing would need a lot of work to implement eg major legislation change, and policy development. Those things mean that it would be a long time before beneficiaries saw any change at their end. No reason why that can’t happen as well, but reinstating SpB is a no brainer. It also tells us a lot about where Labour’s priorities are at.

    • Treetop 8.2

      Campbell Roberts from the Salvation army has a thing or two to say about the desperate social housing in 2012.

      “supplement is not keeping up with rents”

      “finding cheaper accommodation is also fraught with problems, because it is often grossly inadequate.”


      People receiving the maximum accommodation supplement has almost doubled in the past 5 years from 45,000 to 85,000.

  9. bill-viper-browne 9

    The re-establishment of trade training:

    1) Re-establishing state funded polytechs
    2) Rolling back the “everyone needs a degree” culture
    3) State assisted private apprenticeships
    4) Apprenticeships in the public sector through:
    a) A nationalised electricity generation and transmission department
    b) An expansion of rail services
    c) A re-nationalisation of Chorus

    Focus roll back of competition in the provisioning of essential services, i.e. electricity generation and distribution

    Focus on roll back of competition in the provisioning of eduction

    Redirection of funding of private education to the state sector

    • xtasy 9.1


      Apprenticeships like they have in a number of Central European countries must be offered as a norm, as an alternative to tertiary study courses. Apprenticeships should combine on the job training, actual work experience, which also benefits the employer as having young staff ready to put their work in on projects and services delivered, and one or one and a half day a week should be put on a course offering the more theoretical skills.

      At the same time bonding schemes should be considered, to offer such training at great access and discounted costs, or with some longer employment guarantee, so the apprentices choose to stay on and in NZ.

      So many young people learn a trade, work in tech or service jobs, know stuff, and contribute to a better skilled, better paid prospective economy as a whole. The state should pay a balance, where an employer finds it tough to take on an apprentice. It is better than paying the dole for doing nothing.

      Other points are also very valid!

  10. Pete 10

    Applying employment standards to workers who are classed as contractors.
    Growth of our manufacturing sector to build on our primary production sector.
    Intellectual property law that ensures fair use rights and encourages innovation.
    A migration policy that encourages settlement beyond Auckland, encouraging growth elsewhere in the country and taking some pressure off Auckland’s limited resources (perhaps the points system could give bonus points for living in other areas).
    A transport policy that fosters public transport.
    Reversal of the student allowances policy changes introduced by the current government.
    Introduce more tiers on the structure for minimum student loan repayment obligations.
    Place more emphasis on the impact of policies on the Gini Coefficient, rather than just GDP.
    Introduce a stamp duty on all properties sold over $800k

  11. Bill 11

    A series of policies and initiatives intended to tackle the very serious matter of CO2e emission reduction. (The fraudulent book keeping nonsense associated with carbon trading can’t be allowed to continue masquerading as any kind of a solution.)

    I want to know how Labour intends to get us to zero CO2 and if they don’t intend to do so, then I want to know why.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Zero CO2 is a bad goal. A lot of people are going to be very cold if they can’t use their fires and if they can’t cook with gas.

      • Bill 11.1.1

        Zero energy related carbon emissions is simply a necessity. It’s got nothing to do with ‘good’ or ‘bad’. We’ve got 17 years to do it but need to make hard and fast cuts right now (40% by the end of 2015).

        The supply side of our energy network is already about 75% from renewables – although some of those means of power production also emit carbon. So do something about reducing the necessary base load capacity of our energy supply (ripple controls etc) so that non- renewable energy generating sources can be made redundant.

        40%+ of our carbon comes from road transport, so…time to legislate on engine efficiency and car occupancy rates….and place a hugh tax on petrol and increase it like is being done with tobacco… and use the funds to build a carbon free/neutral public transport network.

        Work towards doing a ‘job inventory’ where the idea is to abolish unecessary or frivolous economic activity. (40% of emissions come from the energy sector and the constructuon and manufacturing industries)

        Introduce a social wage that everyone recieves and that is ample to live on. Embark on a massive re-afforestation programme (I don’t mean plantations, I mean put the bush back.)

        At some point ground all domestic passenger air travel. Insist that any and all flights (domestic and international) use biomass. Same with shipping. Whatever other transport we need will have to be run on biomass or electrified or whatever too. (I don’t know what capacity there is, but we have no option).

        • Colonial Viper

          We have to be aware that what you are talking about is also the end of industrial agriculture i.e. the basis of the NZ economy.

          • Bill

            No. I’m only talking about energy, not agriculture – that’s a whole different kettle of fish. But yes, we are talking about an end to the market economy (unless somebody can demonstarte how we can reduce carbon while maintaining market driven economics)

            • Colonial Viper

              I’d argue that its all about “energy” for the economy, and not just the “energy sector”. As long as we realise that you can’t really cut hectares of grass and make baleage or do dozens of other basic activities on current farms without diesel powered machinery, you can’t topdress without planes, making fertiliser from phosphate rock takes massive amounts of (fossil fuel) heating, moving tens of thousands of litres of milk off individual farms needs big trucks, pastuerising the milk requires masses of natural gas or coal,…and of course, livestock generates tonnes of methane.

              • Bill

                Yep. Even if all agricultural plant and machnery was run on biomass (ie, was carbon neutral) then agriculture would be emitting warming gasses anyway. And there isn’t anything we can do about that fact. (Not saying improvements couldn’t be made, but emissions will always remain.) It’s only energy related emissions that can be eliminated.

                • weka

                  “Even if all agricultural plant and machnery was run on biomass (ie, was carbon neutral) then agriculture would be emitting warming gasses anyway. And there isn’t anything we can do about that fact. (Not saying improvements couldn’t be made, but emissions will always remain.)”

                  Technically true but not true. Carbon emissions aren’t a problem in and of themselves. Carbon is cycled in nature all the time. The problem is when emissions are done so far outside those natural cycles that nature can’t cope within the usual norms.

                  CV is talking about industrial agriculture as a mainstay of the economy. Of equal or more concern is tourism, which is almost impossible to make ‘carbon neutral’ within the capitalist economy. It’s also not possible to sustain the industrial agricultural model to grow biofuel crops to support the tourism industry, at the same time as reducing carbon emissions to near zero.

                  However CV is mixing things that IMO should be kept separate in this discussion. The ability of people to keep warm (and fed etc) is not dependent on the capitalist economy nor industrial agriculture, so the loss of those things isn’t necessarily a concern.

                  btw, there are models of food and other material production that are carbon neutral and if adopted on a large scale would cycle carbon within historically natural norms. In that sense I agree with Bill, that focussing on energy sector emissions is a good place to start. We already know we can grow food. It’s the industrial models needed to support an over-consuming society that are the problem.

                  Where does the zero carbon idea come from? I’m not sure I like it, because it misleads the role of carbon in nature, and I think that if more people actually understood carbon cycles we would have an easier transition. However I can see that ‘zero carbon’ is easy for the public to grasp. In reality we need ‘negative carbon’.

                  • Bill

                    The zero carbon comes from extrapolations from current energy use (essentially emissions from burning hydo-carbons) and the available global ‘carbon budget’…ie, the amount of carbon we can put into the atmosphere in the coming years and retain any chance of ducking under a 2 degree C increase in temperature.

                    Biomass fuel (even burning wood for heat) is seen as neutral in regards to the natural carbon cycle you refer to. It’s the extra carbon we are flinging out that’s the problem. And that extra carbon needs to be eliminated.

                    We can’t get ‘negative carbon’…that would involve Carbon Capture and Storage which is basically la-la territory at the moment (although enough reports and models assume CCS to be an actually existing techno-fix…the fact there are no major CCS projects and that any CCS plant would involve extracting even more cabon than at present due to inefficiences is a nicely ignored detail).

                    Kill energy related (mostly hydro-carbon) emissions and plant trees. Lots and lots of trees.

                  • just saying

                    Regarding pollution from dairy farms – cow manure could be used for nourishment in agriculture and home gardens. I think dairy farmers should be responsible for collecting a quantity of manure weekly, proprtional to herd numbers. This would of course, include all manure anywhere there is a possibility it could pollute waterways, with heavy fines for non-compliance and strict policing. The state could be responsible for the collection of the gathered product and composting it for sale at cost. There’d even be a few rural jobs in it.*

                    The same with manure from any other form of farming that endangers our waterways.

                    With peak oil, manure will again become an essential means of keeping our soils fertile. Most commercial fertilisers are, I understand, oil by-products.

                    *And we still need to regulate to reduce cow numbers.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Stocking rates could be drastically reduced and enforced – say by 30%, if farming debt was part of a wider debt jubilee.

      • Jenny 11.1.2

        The single greatest thing we can do to stop global warming is stop coal.

        The first step must be a complete ban on all coal exports. (CO2 knows no borders). The export of coal is an immoral way of subverting our commitments under Kyoto. Not being counted in our total of CO2 emissions.

        Notice must be given now, that this dirty and corrupt business will be completely shut down and in the next term of government.

        No ifs, buts, or maybes. No quibbling about loss of profit for foreign investors, no crying about lost jobs opportunities. We are talking about an existential danger to life on earth as we know it. Find your jobs and profits somewhere else.

        • Colonial Viper

          Throw 5,000 NZers out of work overnight?

          Is there even any evidence that banning NZ coal exports would reduce global coal consumption by even one tonne? Mind you I like the idea that NZ keeps its coal reserves for itself.

          • Bill

            Yeah, but we ain’t going to be doing too well at +4 degrees C.

            So, these issues need to be tackled. And the sooner the better. I’d be happy enough for any ex-miner to have their income paid by government while government gets together with people and help develop and place the local infrastructures that are going to be needed in coming years. Local infrastructures that will require time spent on tasks asscociated with them…ie, work. It’s within peoples’ living memory where I live that this small township had all the necessary services and what not right here. Now there’s pretty much nothing and most stuff is a good 20km away. Everything was abandoned or shut down with the ascendancy of the car and the centalisation and unfair competition from ‘economy’s of scale’ that followed. No time like the present to begin returning to that pre-car state of affairs.

            • Colonial Viper

              All of this is potentially workable, however the electoral and political will does not exist to do more than a small fraction of what has been suggested, and even that is without a backlash from powerful interest groups factored in.

              Edit – you do realise that the world is most likely going up 4 deg C – 6 deg C regardless of what NZ does right? A lot of effort has to go into getting our society ready for those potential negative eventualities.

              • Bill

                I know. But I don’t think we have any alternative. We’ve just got to do it. And if politicians won’t take the initiative, then we…anyone who understands the reality of AGW… need to come together, strategise and organise and essentially force their arm.

                Just saw your edit. Yes I know we are heading for 4 or 6 degrees and that it will take more action in more places than just NZ to give us a shit show. Meanwhile, all governments are preparing for 2 degrees C and mitigating for 4 – 6 degrees C. It’s fuckng fucked.

          • Jenny

            It looks likely that New Zealand’s first climate refugees will be coming from Australia.

            The ‘Lucky Country’ burns to death.

            Australia is the world’s biggest coal exporting nation.

            Australia is being hit particularly hard by climate change.

            Australia is New Zealand’s closest neighbor.

            This is why New Zealand needs to ban all coal exports.

            If we took this world shaking precedent Australia would be forced to follow.

            Who doubts it?

            • Colonial Viper

              “If we took this world shaking precedent Australia would be forced to follow.”

              Explain your logic of why this would be?

          • Jenny

            Throw 5,000 NZers out of work overnight?

            Colonial Viper

            No, throw them out of work before lunchtime.

            If they don’t like it, draft them into the army on their current wages and conditions and deploy them to Christchurch to help with the rebuild.

      • xtasy 11.1.3

        CO2 is now, according to a recent BBC report, considered a likely useful source of “energy” or “resource” to make new products from! I just heard this a couple of days ago, and science is working hard on this, whether in Europe or China, I forgot.

        Indeed, that presumed “waste” product, also harmful for climate change, could perhaps be used for some industrial production so far unimagined.

  12. McFlock 12

    Some really excellent policy ideas coming through.

    I’d also put in:
    return sold assets to public ownership at cheapest rate
    remove recent restrictions on student loans and allowances
    (reinstating free education would be nice, but it’s not really Labour)
    boost medical grad numbers
    forgive loans for doctors at $10k/pa for every year they work in NZ as doctors.

    • weka 12.1

      “(reinstating free education would be nice, but it’s not really Labour)”

      Why not?

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        Because they had nine years to do it and didn’t, for a start.

        • IrishBill

          If members put it in their policy it’s hard for them not to do it.

        • millsy

          I emailed Mallard (or was it Maharey?) back in ’03 about lowering tuition fees and he said words to the effect that it was never going to happen.

        • weka

          “Because they had nine years to do it and didn’t, for a start.”

          ??? Doesn’t that apply to most of the other things people are suggesting?

          • McFlock

            Some of them.

            I’m not sure that e.g. the FTT had quite gained traction for most of Lab5 and Labour had progressed along the path of some of the other ideas, albeit occasionally being dragged by their coalition parties.

            Whereas student loans were only a decade old when Labour came in, and still weren’t reversed.

  13. McFlock 13

    oh, and reverse the hobbit law, boost minimum wages, and stop freeloaders getting union-earned rates and conditions.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Close down corporate and trust tax loopholes. Institute a corporate super-profits tax of 39% on profits over $100M pa, and 49% on profits over $250M pa.

  15. IrishBill 15

    0.05% tax on all electronic transactions over $10,000

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Yep. The way I figure it, if I withdraw $60 from an ‘other bank’ ATM the banksters are quite happy to charge me $1 in fees. And that’s a transaction tax set at well over 1%, 30x higher than your suggestion.

      • IrishBill 15.1.1

        Welcome back, by the way. It’s good to see you posting again.

        • McFlock


        • Colonial Viper

          Thank you IB. The support I received from so many people associated with The Standard and also from throughout the wider party, made a very big difference to me. It’s really been a blessing in many, evolving, ways.

        • LynWiper


        • Rhinoviper

          Here’s the place to say it… I was looking for a good spot… so welcome back!

          (Nothing much to say on Labour policy… I should be more constructive, I know, but tonight I plead a deficiency in the sobriety department, so I’ll limit myself to sentiment.)

        • rosy

          + 3. I’ve really missed your perspective, CV.

          • Colonial Viper

            🙂 I really feel like I’ve been welcome back by old friends. Thank you rosy.

            • xtasy

              Welcome back from me also, CV.

              Never get scared, take a solid ground position, even if it may be shaking at times.

              It is all about “nerves” and anxiety is the biggest enemy of all of us.

              Courage and persistance are the essence of LIFE!

    • McFlock 15.2

      Why the cutoff?
      $15 on $30k annual income seems negligible. And almost all of it is computerised these days, so administration is not an issue.

  16. ak 16

    An FTT. And close tax loopholes. Immendiately and not over-analysed and detailed, just the basics.

    And as with all policies, take a tip from the Marketing Party and remember that Explaining is Losing.

    Think in election billboard phrases and work backwards. Rehearse 10-second soundbites on all policies, and 10-second rebuttals of all Nat policies.



    And SHOUT them with confidence. Over and over and over.

    • LynWiper 16.1

      +1 totally agree

    • David H 16.2

      The thing with Ryall is yes, he trumpeted his More operations Bullshit. BUT nothing was said about what was cut, to get his targets!

      • rosy 16.2.1

        Yes it’s interesting to note how he’s managed to change policy and funding with barely a discussion and no dissent.

        • David H

          And you are surprised??? Why ?? When you have NO opposition, then you can do as you like!

    • Anne 16.3

      Think in election billboard phrases and work backwards. Rehearse 10-second soundbites on all policies, and 10-second rebuttals of all Nat policies.

      You’ll be lucky mate!

      We’ve spent the last 3 decades trying to get that message through to the Labour Party. At least they’re down to one side of A4 size paper which is a vast improvement, but even that was a battle and a half. 😛

    • Akldnut 16.4

      And make a higher rate for transferring money from accounts within NZ to an international destination. To keep the money within the NZ system so the Banks or Mutinationals will pay to take profits/wealth out of our economy. A sliding scale starting from S1.00.

      or a 1 % FTT per dollar on each transaction irrespective of whether it’s a business or private account, and drop PAYE. There was a party who did the calculations about 6-7 years ago and handed me a pamphlet whilst walking through New Lynn. (Just can’t quite remember who they were)

      • Colonial Viper 16.4.1

        Interesting. You’re talking about capital controls. One of the things certain to piss off the big international banks and financiers. However, with ‘too big to fail’ a bigger problem than ever before, we need to be ready with a range of measures.

        There are some things to be learnt from the Malaysian response to the Asian Financial Crisis.


        • Akldnut

          Interesting read Thanks CV and welcome back, I’m waiting for someone to call me. lol

          It appears that by wresting control of their markets thru regulation and not immediately buying into more debt and loss of control to the IMF that the big system we’re in punished em and bought em back into line.

          It also points out how much at the mercy of overseas markets we’re in and I note that the bigger detractors of their actions were private companies.

  17. Bill 17

    Free education and free dental and eye care as well as free aged care… funded by increasing the higher rates of tax by whatever amount would be necessary.

    • xtasy 17.1

      The taxes available won’t cover that, I am afraid, but at least can reduce costs for education and health-care for all.

      What appals me is the abysmal treatment of dental care in NZ. It seems to be a “privilege” of better earners or rich to be able to see a dentist regularly and have healthy biters.

      Now there are many countries in Europe where dental care is treated the same as other health care, all included in insurance, or otherwise in government health spending. It is damned overdue. As it costs us all less to have kids learn and be treated from early years, to have healthy teeth, rather than suffer for decades later. That naturally applies to ALL healthcare!

      Where is the NZ that once existed, where nobody had to worry about growing up with ensured health care?

      Never under Key and GANG!

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        The tax issue is a matter of will, of course.

        The other thing about dental healthcare is that it isn’t optional. A certain amount of population prevention can be done, but in the end there are roughly 8000 admissions to hospital because of dental health issues in children and young people each year (page 362 of this pdf link), the bulk of which are for dental caries. Watching the pennies can end up costing more in the long run.

  18. Before we debate the above lets ignore the critics from the Right. Most of these ideas are excellent and show that the Political Left still has has a Socialist soul. So lets all get back to our branches and start debating and then submitting well worded distinct remits .Its up to us members to make sure our Party remains faithful to the Socialists wish for a decent future for all people. The ideas above give me hope .

  19. I’m seriously not on board with compulsory KiwiSaver, personally. For some people it simply isn’t affordable, and while there’s ways around it at the moment and encouraging savings (where feasible) is a generally good idea, compelling NZers to invest this way, with no guarantees a future NACT government won’t fuck it all up before you can enjoy the (sometimes dubious) benefits just doesn’t feel like good policy to me.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Plus in the heavily manipulated financial casino of the “world markets” how do you know that the ‘assets’ you are investing in have any real value at all. Pension funds around the world lost hundreds of billions of dollars in the subprime mortgage securities and interest swaps market.

      • QoTViper 19.1.1

        Exactly. See also the number of stories in the media about uncontrolled/not-clearly-spelled-out KiwiSaver provider fees basically eating into people’s initial savings, much less the returns those savings are meant to generate.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep. NZ employees are basically providing capital for Wall St and the Hedge Fund managers to gamble with.

    • IrishBill 19.2

      That’s why I think there should be a state provider option and it should be the default. I think that compulsory savings also needs to come with an award system of some kind so that people have the money to save. The key thing with a compulsory savings scheme is it could be used to provide another lever for control of the economy. In a boom the RB could alter savings rates – rather than trying to control bubbles by raising the exchange rate and sucking wealth out of the economy for good, the RB could push the savings rate up and cool spending that way.

      Cullen did much the same thing by paying down debt and building public savings during the last bubble and it worked to some extent but, as with so many of the policies of the last government, they exercised little similar control over the private sector – preferring instead to try to fix everything by using public money to apply market pressure.

      Which reminds me. I’d phase out working for families in tandem with phasing in stronger minimum employment standards focused on a living wage. It makes no sense that the way we try to stop working families from falling into poverty is to have the government subsidise employers with taxpayers’ money.

      • millsy 19.2.1

        A state KS provider should really be the only option (like the old NZ Superannuation Corporation). Though there will have to be a grandfathering option for existing KiwiSaver providers and their clients. And allowing people to withdraw their funds for emergencies (like if the family car needs fixing, or something like that) would be a good idea.

      • QoTViper 19.2.2

        All makes sense to me.

  20. alex 20

    Financial transaction tax.

  21. Tiresias 21

    The only thing that would matter would be a committment to have a modern debt jubilee a’la Steve Keen. Without that everything else is just re-arranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic.

    Nothing I’ve seen or heard from the Labour Party since the GFC broke in 2008 leads me to believe it has the courage or vision to do it but when we go under it might at least be with pale pink deck-chairs with touches of green instead of pale blue ones.

    I’d also like to see a committment to public-funding only of election campaigns.

  22. Peter 22

    Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna – there’s a blueprint for radical but fair change.

    • RedLogix 22.1

      I was hoping someone would mention this. While I’m sure Gareth Morgan is not every lefties cup of tea, nonetheless a good idea is a good idea … regardless of where it comes from.

      Can I really recommend the book to everyone? It’s actually a really interesting read, especially the first few chapters which traverse a potted history of the major outlines of economic thought and how they’ve impacted on government fiscal policy over the last few centuries.

      But essentially the book covers most of the ideas around fiscal policy reform that have been put forward here … combine this with Keen’s ideas around debt and asset price speculation … and you pretty much have my package wrapped up.

      And readable.

    • rosy 22.2

      Agree. Financial transactions tax and living wage in one package.

    • Rhinoviper 22.3

      Interesting fellow, Gareth Morgan – like Ross Meurant, he’s undergone quite a journey over the years.

  23. Ad 23

    Irish this a post that’s needed doing for a while.

    But a bunch of wish-lists off the top of the head wont cut it.

    Writing even draft policy is hard.

    Your idea needs themed posts, solid debate monitoring, and people prepared to write and stabilise drafts. This takes time, and effort and concentration.

    Why not propose a schedule of topics for the next month, see how it goes. Invite Laila Harre and whatever runs Labour’s policy entity to guest-post.

    You have issued a challenge. Now turn it into a project.

    • IrishBill 23.1

      I’m aware of what’s required but I thought it might be good to start with an open floor. Over the next few months I, and I suspect other authors, will be writing more specifically and hopefully, together with TS commenters, we can get some good solid, defensible, recommendations for anyone that wants to take them up as remits.

  24. handle 24

    Wasn’t a draft policy platform approved at the recent Labour Party conference? How do these suggestions fit into it so far?

    • Jenny Kirk 24.1

      Handle asked : “Wasn’t a draft policy platform approved at the recent Labour Party conference? How do these suggestions fit into it so far? ”

      The draft policy platform was NOT approved at the LP conference. It was just that – a draft.
      And it will be changed/added to via the policy committees, NZ Council, etc and the final version will be adopted at the 2013 conference to be held in Christchurch in November.

      So the discussion above is important, and it is also important for all those members interested in having good realistic and people-friendly policy take part – not only at their branches and LECs – but also at the actual Conference policy workshops, and on the floor of the Conference when it is finally debated. To do this you need to be an approved delegate to the Conference (ie voted/appointed by your LEC or branch and signed for by the LEC chair/secretary etc)

      To find out whether the suggestions made so far fit into the draft policy platform, go to the LP website and search for Labour Party Policy. The draft policy platform should come up somewhere by doing this.

      (It’ll be interesting to see how much the current draft differs from the final policy !)

      BTW, no-one seems to have yet mentioned GMOs as a No-no. Personally, I think that’s essential as a basic policy.

  25. David H 25

    “You have issued a challenge. Now turn it into a project” Why? because we all know that The Politicians don’t give a rats for us. If they did maybe we would have some of them trying to connect and work with us. Instead we get the Curren effect. Totally, Useless!

  26. asd 26

    The complete rejection of all Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and replacing them with Restricted Trade Agreements (RTAs) so we can foster and grow the preexisting manufacturing sector and incubate and protect new manufacturing startups from LETHAL global competition again.

    The Treasury/Reserve Bank moves economic policy toward a policy of FULL EMPLOYMENT for all. That is, a public right to a full-time 40 hour a week job with penal rates for all weekend and work done after 8 hours per day.

    A centralised wage fixing system that brings together EMPLOYERS, TRADE UNIONS and GOVERNMENT to award wages and wage rates across the economy. Just having a minimum wage alone is not good enough to stop incomes falling and poverty entrenching itself across NZ society.

    All government contracts given to LOCAL INDUSTRY. Procurement for the private sector needs to be pushed/encouraged and then legislated to do the same.

    Good start?

    • higherstandard 26.1

      How can you give government contracts only to local industry when there is no local supplier ?

      E.g. PHARMAC contracting for pharmaceuticals, medical supplies etc

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        Just invite Ranbaxy and Aurobindo to start up plants here.

        • higherstandard

          Apart from the fact they only manufacturer certain medicines and no medical devices/supplies…..Why would they be interested ?

  27. AmaKiwi 27

    Binding citizen initiated referendums.

    Parliamentary dictatorships never again.

    • IrishBill 27.1

      Two words: “death penalty”. Citizen juries are a much better idea.

      • weka 27.1.1

        Another three words: “Treaty of Waitangi”. Someone please explain how Maori would be treated fairly, as Treaty partners, with CIRs?

    • Visubversaviper 27.2

      Referenda are how the rich buy legislation unless there are very strict controls on advertising.

      • Colonial Viper 27.2.1

        A 7 day period before election day which is free of opinion polls. Makes politicians and the MSM focus on the issues, not on poll driven media pundit speculation.

        • mike

          “A 7 day period before election day which is free of opinion polls. Makes politicians and the MSM focus on the issues, not on poll driven media pundit speculation.”

          It would also disuade voters would thinking along the lines of ‘x party is going to win anyway, why should I bother voting?’ I’d like to see a longer period.

          Oh and welcome back CV, you have been sorely, sorely missed.

        • higherstandard

          7 months would useful.

      • AmaKiwi 27.2.2

        “Referenda are how the rich buy legislation”

        Utter nonsense.

        The rich can buy a few politicians. They can’t buy the entire electorate.

        Referendums are the ONLY defense against bribery.

        • Olwyn

          What about the referendum on crime and punishment, under Shipley’s watch,which involved a single compound question, “Do you think that criminals should face longer sentences, that hard labour should be reintroduced, and that victims should have more rights?” Or words to that effect. In order to agree to the last question you were forced to agree to the first two. This did not, to my knowledge, involve bribery, but it did involve framing the question so as to bring forth the desired answer, and allowing it to go ahead in that form.

    • millsy 27.3

      BCIRs are a good idea in that it enables to people to put their money where their mouth is. For example, all the rednecks who ring talkback wanting the bring back the death penalty, or those who want to ban collective bargaining, or recriminalise homosexuality.

      Get the signatures, and put it to the vote.

  28. Wayne 28

    This is all more suited to a Green Party agenda. If only half of these ideas were adopted you would have the most radical Labour platform since 1950.

    Most of it is about increasing taxes, more restrictions, and traditional Govt programmes. Probably would put the size of Govt over 45%, which I can’t see Labour doing. At least not with DS or for that matter DC.

    Where is the Growth and Innovation agenda (and I don’t meaning opposing FTA’s which Labour will not do). DS is interested in this – why not give him some interesting ideas?

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      Have you not noticed the slow, ongoing peak-debt and peak-energy driven global economic collapse happening all around you?

      They’ve printed and distributed US$5T over the last 4 years and still unemployment and debt throughout the developed world just climbs and climbs.

    • IrishBill 28.2

      You make a good point in terms of the r&d stuff. In terms of the other stuff, most of it isn’t particularly radical within an international or historical context.

    • millsy 28.3

      That Callaghan Innovation outfit that National’s setting up seems like a good idea, even if anything about it or how it works seems to be rather vague — perhaps DS should build on that. Perhaps even make up one for agriculture.

      Labour should also be encouraging businesses to collaborate in certain areas, Commerce Commission not withstanding, but I think businesses and exporters should club together to deal with things like freight operations, marketing, etc.

  29. rosy 29

    A clean water policy with all development assessed for the effect on combined water resources in a do no harm rather than maximum use measure.

    Workable plan to clean up existing filth in rivers. From a research, education and technology slant right up to the actual physical work on the ground.

  30. IrishBill 30

    Putting a decent carbon pricing mechanism in place and using it as part of a shift to a low-carbon economy – there’s money to be made in low carbon tech (particularly agricultural tech).

  31. Akldnut 31

    Mandatory enrollment by all students completing year 10, facilitated by High Schools and a fine of $500 executed by IRD at end of the financial year for anyone who doesn’t vote.

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      wait, you’re going to have the IRD enforce a $500 fine taken directly out of beneficiaries’ DPB and unemployment benefit payments?

      • Akldnut 31.1.1

        Call it a reverse credit or what you will, it would be the easiest way to make people spend 30 mins to go out and vote, and the ones that could least afford this fine would be the first to turn out at the polls. ie the largest group of non voters in NZ.

        For those who are working it could be just added or deducted from their tax return.

        The Aussies had a $50 fine in place but don’t enforce it rigidly, the fine is so low that no one cares about it. Once when I was young and went on a bender I received a fine in the mail but ignored it – it was never followed up on.

    • QoTViper 31.2

      Um … year 10 is old-time 4th Form. Unless I’m missing a simultaneous move to lower the voting age …

      • Akldnut 31.2.1

        No the voting age could remain the same but then when the time came very few could say they aren’t enrolled (there will always be some that fall thru the cracks) and would therefore be easier to pick up if they didn’t vote.

        Policy aim: Complete Kiwi vote!

        I thought year 10 would be the the ideal time to catch students before they start falling out of school.

        • Jenny

          I actually think that high school students should have franchise. And for a number of reasons. this is only some of them.

          1/ It would create an interest in politics, whereas at present young people are notorious non voters.

          2/ Standard intelligence tests show that young people are more clever and aware than any previous generation.

          3/ Those at high school now will be facing the consequences of political decisions being made now.

        • QoTViper

          … Sure, catch them before they “fall out” of school. And move cities at the age of 17/18 to go to university. At which point you have to enrol them all over again.

          If your policy aim is a “complete Kiwi vote” then (actually current Labour policy, I believe) civics education, a better awareness of how our democracy works, and a good range of options to choose from is probably going to be far more effective.

          • Colonial Viper

            Require each university and polytech to obtain completed electoral enrolment forms from each new student.

            • QoTViper

              Works much better. They could include them with the compulsory student union membership forms. 😛

              • Akldnut

                “And move cities at the age of 17/18 to go to university. At which point you have to enrol them all over again.”

                Not quite – an “Out of Area” Special vote would still be applicable ie: If you register from say Waitakere and go to University at Otago you could still vote in Waitakere.

                But if they had to I like the idea of including them with the compulsory student union membership forms.

        • felixviper

          I’m all for greater participation by the young, and I can see some merit in getting people enrolled early, but it’s no substitute for giving them something worth voting for.

    • millsy 31.3

      Speaking of which, I note that Queensland is looking into scrapping cumplorsory voting, and both left and right are screaming about how it will put radicals into power, etc.

  32. xtasy 32

    And what really needs addressing is THE ECONOMY!

    No matter how much we all love to have fairness, social and health and education services, of course, and that is where NatACT will hit us, it MUST BE EARNED.

    So we are back in the larger, wider world out there, which is still ruled by the monetary and capitalist business system, yes indeed, so much, it is dream-land to believe you can click yourselves out of it.

    Hence it is ultimately important to bring back David Cunliffe, with his expertise, knowledge, insight and competency, to work out policies for how to attract investment from well-meaning investors, who may in some cases actually be corporate players, but who need to be bound, tied in, for reasonable equatable benefits and deals, to invest here, in infrastructure, manufacturing, IT, and much, much more, especially also alternative, public transport and better housing in the larger centres.

    There may be inevitable public private partnerships under strict conditions, that will be inevitable, as NZers have not enough cash and savings to raise money to invest. Also some borrowing can be done, but that depends on securities offered.

    So reality will hit us, but Cunliffe has enough clout and knowledge, as to how that can be done best for NZ!

    He spent time in Denmark and other places, and Labour’s Parker also met with top economists last year.

    We do not want a right wing agenda, but it is not needed, as the world is generally quite volatile, so investment in NZ would be much sought after. Surely Labour and the left can do better than NatACT who invest in Casinos offering “free” convention centres, cycleways, discounts for Hollywood studios, holiday highways, raw fish, logs and milk powder exports to earn a living.

    Value added production and services are a no brainer.

    I despair though, as so much depends on the top men in Labour now, to make a change.

    Have they the will, brain and insight, let alone spirit to get the good man back from the lonely back-bench???

    • Ed 32.1

      I agree that some borrowing may be necessary, but I disagree on the public private partnerships – they have just been a means of transferring wealth to private corporations. For a start, the public sector can borrow at a lower rate than private companies – why should taxpayers pay a higher return on capital than they need?

      We did have enough cash and savings to invest, until the borrow and hope NAct government came along, but we do also need to rein in the banks with their overseas borrowing, which is starting to fuel yet another surge in property prices, particularly in Auckland. We can return to competent financial management which will ensure that money is available for worthwhile projects – think how much could be saved by stopping some of the roads of “National” significance, which must be showing poorer returns as traffic volumes are actually decreasing.

    • Jenny 32.2

      I agree that Cunliffe should be brought back. But as well as his expertise in economics he is also convinced of the need to take real action against climate change.

      As long as Cunliffe has the fossil fuel industry in his sights, Labour’s trade union backers will not have a bar of him.

  33. marsman 33

    A very uplifting post and comments, gives hope for a better future. Thank you IrishBill and all the above posters.
    Welcome back Colonial Viper!

  34. marsman 34

    Railway. An extensive countrywide fully electrified* rapid rail system with cheap fares for passengers and low rates for cargo. Get trucks off roads and have less reliance on fuel dependent air travel.
    *Solar energy/wind energy.

    • Jenny 34.1

      When I was younger there was actually legislation banning cargo trucks from making long journeys that could be handled by rail. Legislation that, preserved the road surfaces cut fatalities and provided thousands of secure jobs. (Saving the environment was not a big deal then). However affected by the neo liberal disease Labour abolished this legislation believing it was better to allow private freight companies to make a killing.

  35. ochocinco 35

    Labour needs to beat National at Defence and Police policy. Traditionally, Labour has actually been better for Police and the NZDF, but it needs to make this even more obvious publicly.

    Defence: Our policy has to remain focused on (a) defence of Australia, (b) SEA and Pacific, and (c) international peacekeeping. We need to focus on the provision of high-quality light infantry as well as long-duration naval patrol.

    To do so, we need to have the capacity to deploy a battalion group, or three company groups, permanently. This will require the expansion of the NZ Army to 3 battalions (1 deployed, one recovering, 1 training up). Costings – I would guess a few hundred million over several years. However it also employs 1000 more Kiwis so that can only be good.

    We need to also increase funding to the Navy and RNZAF so that our Orion flying hours, as well as our Canterbury, OPV, and IPV patrol hours are high. Right now they are so short of funds that they can’t provide the necessary time on deployment to get the job done. We will also need to recruit additional naval staff to man these boats.

    National has raped our defence force since 2009. Labour needs to step up and build it back up. The security of the nation is the first and most important job of any government.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 35.1

      Sounds like you have been watching and thinking about defence with practical suggestions and a constrained mission that doesn’t allow us to get pulled into any adventure big powers might desire. Have to watch Australia though in this heading.

      Have you been thinking about police policy. And better run criminal processes incuding gaols?

      • ochocinco 35.1.1

        Policing needs to be less “law and order” and less “focus on the frontline” (though that sounds counterproductive)
        The facts are this: more general patrol police actually have very little effect on crime rates. It reassures people, but that’s it.

        What you need to do is (a) collect more criminal intelligence, (b) deploy smartly, and (c) focus on organised crime and illegal commodity markets

        (Personally I favour drug decriminalisation, but they aren’t illegal now, which makes them drivers of other crimes).

        The problem with political policy here is that operations (for Police) are the Commissioner’s prerogative – not that it stopped Crusher Collins meddling.

        Labour needs to hold the Police more closely accountable for performance, not individual crises (people make mistakes – what matters is the broader performance). And it’s not just about overall crime rates, it’s things like burglaries in Auckland, or the availability of methamphetamine etc. Not just knee-jerk statistics but really useful information.

        Hopefully Labour can construct a sort of holistic, comprehensive approach to policing – it;’s about reducing key crimes (burglaries, rapes) – ignoring things beyond the control of police, like murder rates (seriously!), and ensuring that our Police force has the policy and analytical (intelligence) capability to ensure scarce resources are well deployed.

        Of course none of this could fly politically, where bobbies on the beat is what matters to the voters.

        • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

          Bobbies in the community as community police are good pr and also do brighten the tarnished image of police for me. Interaction with children encourages good attitudes.

          Also in inner city dark spots, working to make areas safer and lighter with police, and restricting drinking has made things safer in our town. A few years ago a young fellow not giving trouble was bottled by a young thug and he died.

          If police can help to keep the nasty violence down by being present in the area, it must be good. Of course what would be better is earlier closing times.

          I think Queenstown has brought theirs down to 4 a.m. But I may have details wrong. The idea of being able to stay open to such hours except for specially registered occasions is a totally irresponsible and lax attitude by authorities.

        • exkiwiforces


          “Defence: Our policy has to remain focused on (a) defence of Australia, (b) SEA and Pacific, and (c) international peacekeeping. We need to focus on the provision of high-quality light infantry as well as long-duration naval patrol.”

          I like your thinking but is Labour prepare to fund the NZDF to achieve these mission statements?

          “To do so, we need to have the capacity to deploy a battalion group, or three company groups, permanently. This will require the expansion of the NZ Army to 3 battalions (1 deployed, one recovering, 1 training up). Costings – I would guess a few hundred million over several years. However it also employs 1000 more Kiwis so that can only be good”.

          Again I like this, but the New Zealand is better off having 3 Light Infantry Battalion Groups with 2 RF Battalion grps and 1 high readiness TF Battalion grp and the Order of Battle (Orbat) should be:
          4 Rifle Companies (Coy), Support Coy, Admin/Log Coy and a Reinforced HQ Coy
          Supporting Arms
          1x Cavalry Sqn fully equip and maned
          1x Artillery Battery of Six Guns, but can be re-role for CMIT Coy if there is no need to deploy the guns
          1x Reinforced Engineer Sqn (2 Field Engineer Troops and 2 Support Engineer Troops),
          1x Medical Coy
          1x Reinforced Log Coy to support the above units.
          The High Readiness TF Battalion would minor the 2 RF Battalions with manning would a round 70% TF and 30% RF. Those TF member s that join the High Readiness Battalion would have to sign for 4yrs and do 18mths fulltime service.
          TF members on Band 1: Must do 180days of training as a minimum but they receive the following benefits: There pay is Tax Free also the end of year bonus is Tax Free if you meet the minimum standards, 1500 to 2000 off your education frees each yr, free medical and dental.

          The other 5 or 6 TF Battalions within Army no change but they must be able to maintain a least 2 Rifle Coys and a fully manned Support Coy. Other Supporting arms should and aim for a minimum Strength at Coy, Sqn or Bty on both Islands.
          Having a pay Band structure for the part timers encourages maximum attendance to training and its aim the Unemployed /Solo dad and mums and Students also it allows them to keep their benefits as well. This Force structure for the TF does work where I work the mustering I’m in is made up of 60% Permanent Airforce and 40% Part time. The RNZN and RNZAF do the same approach as is some areas such a Force Protection or the Airforce Deployed Support Sqns, Border Protection for the IPV’s for the Navy etc.

          “We need to also increase funding to the Navy and RNZAF so that our Orion flying hours, as well as our Canterbury, OPV, and IPV patrol hours are high. Right now they are so short of funds that they can’t provide the necessary time on deployment to get the job done. We will also need to recruit additional naval staff to man these boats.”

          This is an easy fix re instate the pay and conditions that to the Uniformed personal lost this year or was it last year.

          I would like to see the Canterbury and the 2 OPV’s to be forward base to a South Pacific with as Combined Task Group made of a Rifle Coy grp and with a small Air Group from RNZAF.

          A forward operation base on the Chatham Is for the Navy and RNZAF

          A replacement plan for the ANZAC’s something like the Danish Flex Ships (Ablsom Class) with aim to buy 4-5 ships

          A Joint Support Ship to Replace the Fleet Tanker and an addition LPD and both have a docking well for ship to shore duties

          New Naval Helo’s and increase Battle support Helo’s from 8 to 12

          A Fleet of 4 to 6 smaller Combat Ships for Navy i.e., Meko 140 class

          Greater use in UAV’s this is the way of the Future in ISR but you still need Manned Aircraft for some roles

          Rebuild the Airforce Transport Wing, we use to have 3 Fixed Wing Transport Sqns ie. 40Sqn with B757’s and 4-5 A400’s, 41Sqn with 8 C-130J’s through the FMS Scheme and 42Sqn with either C-295 or the C-27J as small Battlefield airlifter.

          Give the Orion’s a Surface and Sub Surface Combat Capability and buy or lease to buy 5-6 Short range Maritime Surveillance Aircraft like the C-295 from Airbus.

          Increase the Defence Cap Ex to at least 15-20 billion over 10 years, also Government and Treasury need to understand Defence is not a bloody business so stop this silly capital depreciation cost etc unless you want to turn the NZDF into a Mercenary Force for big Mutil- National Corporations.

          Regular Pay rises in line with what the Pollies get and remember you lot send us overseas to do your dirty business so we expect sometime in return like Tax free pay when on a 2-way range.

          My little wish has some items that could use alongside such nations United States but you must have faith in the parliament and it’s to you party and Joe public to keep the B*****d’s honesty.

          Remember New Zealand has one the longest Coastlines in the World, 5th largest EZZ in world something like 5.6 million sq km’s of water, may increase to just over 6.2 Million sq km’s and remember 80 to 90% of NZ ‘s commerce relies on secure Sea Lanes in other words if NZ can’t Import you can’t Export.

          • Colonial Viper

            We also need to be as self sufficient in maintenance, parts and munitions as we can be (this means strong local industries), with shitloads of spares/alternatives for things we can’t source locally. In a world of logistics vulnerability, depleting resources, etc we can’t afford to have large portions of our capability degraded just because we can’t get parts or repair technicians from across the world to us.

            remember 80 to 90% of NZ ‘s commerce relies on secure Sea Lanes in other words if NZ can’t Import you can’t Export.

            And of course this applies to military supplies as well. Having only enough munitions on hand for a one week shooting war is madness, for instance.

    • millsy 35.2

      National has always been stingy on defence. The closures of Shelly Bay, Fort Dorset and Wigram airfield have Ruth Richardson’s fingerprints all over them (Ironically, it being pressure on NZDF accomodation budgets that led to that helicopter flight that crashed a couple of years ago).

      • exkiwiforces 35.2.1


        The last Labour government was just as stingy on Defence just as is Tory Government for example:

        Failing to take up the option for 8 J Model C-130’s on the back of the Australia order in 1999/2000, would have been cheaper in the long term than upgrading the 5 50yr old aircraft with a new cockpit.

        Failing to listen to the Airforce Command that getting rid of the A Flight of 14Sqn (Advance Pilot training phases to get your wings). Would harm pilot training and flying standards throughout the RNZAF in the future. How many Aircraft crashes and deaths has the RNZAF had since 14Sqn was disbanded? And guess what RNZAF are look for a new advance trainer because of this and also a government report outside of the Airforce chain of command said this would happen as well but was muzzle by the Labour and not release to the public.

        Battlefield Support Sqn (3Sqn) has had its fleet chopped in half from 16 UH-1’s (Hueys) down to 8 Helos under Labour and you need a least a min of 6 helo’s to support a Battalion group on deployment. It’s a UN requirement to deploy a Battalion group plus for peacekeeping missions regardless of what Chapter it falls under a BIG fail there by Labour.

        Failing to listen to the Navy over the Canterbury LSL (MRV) and the 2 OPV’s. The Navy wanted the Dutch LPD which is a Military off the self-design and has been proven on Peacekeeping/ Combat missions instead the Navy got a half ass design ( as we say jack of all trades but master of none) . The Navy now has to spend 50 Million to bring it up to standard and even then the Ship won’t be to full spec.
        The Navy wanted the Meko 140 which has been used in Southern Ocean already by a South America Nation to good effect, but the Navy has 2 OPV’s which are 700 ton over weight but now have a limited scope for any systems /weapon upgrades because of the weight issues. No increase in Ship borne Helo fleet the 5 Seasprites that are on strength are stuff.

        Converting the 2 RF Battalion’s to heavy Infantry was never going to work, as anyone from the technical trades (RNZAC,RNZA RNZE &so on) said so as it was abandon in the late 60’s and those members who said it won’t work were muzzle by the Labour and Army (Infantry Officers in Army HQ). The labour government also ran down the TF Forces while Timor was ongoing, the Middle East etc.

        The best way to sum up the NZDF “they jack of all trades but master of none” no thanks to the public and the 120 pollies.

        • ochocinco

          The -130J decision was a mistake. Don’t know enough about the Protector fleet choices, but from what I understand there was a firm $500m envelope and possibly the Meko 140 and Dutch LPDs weren’t achievable inside that window?

          Move to NH90 from Hueys demands a reduction in fleet size. Again I’m not sure I agree with it but there is always a fiscal restriction and the NH90 fleet though smaller can move the same kilograms over the same distance as a larger number of Hueys. Of course more choppers has a quality all of its own.

          Not sure what you mean by converting to heavy infantry… do you mean the 98/99 papers on motorising the infantry (thus the concept of sufficient LAVs to move an entire BN)?

          Look, Labour hasn’t been perfect, but National was worse… and the numbers actually show that

          • Colonial Viper

            As resources deplete around the world and climate change worsens, we will need a signficantly upgraded maritime interception and resource protection capability.

            • exkiwiforces

              Here, here CV. But is Labour prepare do that and from my dealings with Labour Party when I was a member at a LEC and at a National level the answer is a big fat NO!!

          • exkiwiforces

            What I was trying to say you can’t do defence on the cheap and try and get away with it as it will costing more in equipment and personal to fix the problems in the future. Just look at the accident rate in RNZAF and RNZN for example: Fixing the Navy’s MRV/ OPV’s could balloon out to 100 Million plus, now makes the Dutch LPD and the German Meko 140’s a better option. The RNZAF has major problems like the oxy bottle saga and aircraft crashes which resulted in a number of deaths all come from the NZ public and the pollies want to do defence on the cheap.
            The NH 90’s contact actually started off with 12 NH’s plus spares and from my understanding from my Moles in the Party and the MOD/ NZDF that Phil Goff wanted to sign off on the contact but was stop by someone higher in cabinet/caucus because of the cost as a result of the 3 to 6mth bum fight over this the RNZAF ended up with 8 airframe’s and 1 airframe for spares.
            I’m ex RNZAC and I have some understanding on what on between the Infantry officers and the armoured officers and the resulting disaster that leaded to the 2 RF Infantry Battalions converting to motorised/mech infantry. At least we (RNZAC) had the last laugh on this; also it’s good to see the Army Chief and CDF having some balls to convert them back to light infantry. But at a cost to the Army, the greater Defence Force all because of some senior infantry officers and one useless defence minister.

  36. ochocinco 36

    Education: We need to increase quality, and yet somehow avoid it becoming too large a burden

    The best way to do this is to maintain funding at the same level, yet reduce the # of tertiary students at university. This will lower lecturer:student ratios, allowing more time for research, and improving the average quality. To do this, the government will need to legislate for harsh entry standards for all our major universities, as well as requiring the maintenance of a C- average for any subsidisation at all.

    With the money saved from reducing student #s, we could also increase the number of Masters and PhD scholarships, further improving research productivity.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 36.1

      re education – providing adequate scholarships plus bonding for uni study which is really needed by this country, with the bonding ensuring that they work for at least two years after, would be a good way of applying savings from fewer uni places.

      However you fail to say what the rejected would then do. Shorter tech institute courses would prepare for quick employment. There would be nothing to stop gaining further qualifications later on. The adult student with prior learning could be then assessed as to ability and get to uni later if that was the right path for that person.

      • ochocinco 36.1.1

        Yes, technical institutes would take up the slack – as would more apprenticeships. Too many people are pushed into 3 year degree courses rather than given what they need/prefer.

        I’d also look at massively expanding medical student #s without reducing quality (if possible). That then increases supply over demand, reducing healthcare costs on the backside (hopefully). Coupled with bonding… better health delivery for everyone.

    • onsos 36.2

      There’s no cheap fixes in tertiary education.

      Rather than looking first at where cuts can be made (like National has done, disastrously), focusing on where successful investments can be made would be useful.

      Restricting entry to university will have a knock on effect for communities that struggle in education. That is, students from low decile backgrounds will be excluded from higher quality university degrees. These students need additional preparation to succeed at university nonetheless–forming a good framework for bridging qualifications would be really helpful.

      There will also be the usual policies about increasing access to apprenticeships and vocational qualifications–these need to be encouraged. I would note that these will be more effective if students have stronger education before they begin–strong bridging programmes would be useful here, too.

      • Colonial Viper 36.2.1

        The societal purpose of universities in NZ needs to be fundamentally revisited. Hard questions need to be asked – like why so many of our best university graduates go offshore to find decent work, and why has our society devalued so much of the knowledge on offer – except for the bloody business and economics courses; and why are our academics so often forced to accept unfairly low pay and crappy budgetry conditions compared to overseas colleagues.

        Further, we have to ask: is each university effectively carrying out their role as the critics and the conscience of our nation.

        And finally – are our universities properly preparing our country for a global future of energy, economic and resource depletion.

  37. AmaKiwi 37

    From the lack of response to my proposal for binding referendums it is clear few of you are interested in structural changes.

    Do you enjoy fiddling around the edges and having the next Tory government undo everything you have done?

    Do you think this endless seesawing between right and left wing parliamentary dictators is efficient or fair?

    Do you believe in democracy? Democracy is when decisions are ultimately are approved by the people, not politicians.

    • Johnm 37.1

      Hi AmaKiwi

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 37.2

      Good points. Referendums would be binding and be monitored and reviewed after 5 years I think.
      Also there must be a big build up of information and discussion about notable referendum subjects
      so that the public would be making hopefully, informed decisions.

    • Bill 37.3

      The problem with referendums is that they don’t constitute a structural change at all and are very much located in the ‘fiddling around the edges’ field of play. But okay, that’s coming from someone who is focussed on substantive and participatory forms of democracy as opposed to representative forms of democracy.

      The other thing is that they get ‘gamed’. Just look at Switzerland. Everyone holds it up as a model or blueprint. Switzerland…where a referendum banned any building of minarets. Switzerland… where people voted against six weeks annual leave. Switzerland… where they voted to tighten restrictions on unsanctioned protests and to toughen fines for violations

      Whether you like it or not, the main flow of information will continue to be from monied and powerful interests…and they have agendas. People will not be any better informed than at present, but subjected to a wider array of smash as referendum topics come to the fore.

      Just went to the wiki to see what they had. It’s a list of referendums for 2012 with the results. It look like a lot of unbearable tosh gets thrown in the mix… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_referendums,_2012

      • McFlock 37.3.1


        A general election is simply a biding referendum o who gets to run the country for the next few years. Look how well that has held back the tories…

      • AmaKiwi 37.3.2

        @ Bill

        You are not supposed to like the outcome of a referendum. The referendum result is the decision of the majority of the voters, NOT the imposition of the Left on the Right or vice versa.
        “We, the people” not “we, the lefties who want to bash the Tories.”

        Some facts: Switzerland has no natural resources except water, has not been in a war for two centuries, has 70% higher per capita income than NZ.

        I have lived and worked in Switzerland and some of your ill-informed comments are offensive.

        • Bill

          The referendum result is the decision of the majority of the voters

          Well no. That’s your problem right there. The result is what whoever bothered to vote voted for, on the back of necessarily partial information. And those with the best media penetration in a market economy…those most able to manipulate opinion and emotions… are vested monied interests.

          As for offending you. Well, I’ve no idea why offence is taken seeing as how there was nothing in my previous comment bar facts.

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

            Strange how some people come to this site to discuss things and then they have a sensitivity in their thinking so that something quite everyday can’t be discussed. Good example as reason for not relying on referenda – I wouldn’t feel any more confident of good, reasoned responses from the mass of contributors here than I am from the politicians.

            I actually like the idea but when I see the cock-eyed lack of critical thought and reasoning that many come up with, well I can’t see referenda being okay for anything but small local issues. Pity. My feeling is that decision making and learning how to take the broad view and check sources of information being relied on etc are all basic things that every secondary school should be teaching. Take time off from other stuff and put it into learning how to think for the problems of the 21st century.

            • Colonial Viper

              I can’t see referenda being okay for anything but small local issues.

              And maybe this is where you start using referenda, it’ll act as a training phase involving more and more people understanding and participating in democratic processes.

        • QoTViper

          Another fact: Switzerland didn’t give women the vote until 1971. Hey, as long as the will of the all-male voters was considered, right?

      • Wayne 37.3.3

        Bill, the fact the people voted against 6 weeks annual leave shows that they looked at the pros and cons. For instance an increase of two weeks from 4 to 6 in NZ would probably lower GDP by around 2%. I am assuming that effectively only one weeks production would be lost. I guess the people of Switzerland thought that was too high a price (assuming they had a current 4 weeks) for the extra leave.

        • Bill

          According to the wiki link I placed on my original comment – “The Swiss Employers’ Association (SBA) and Economiesuisse opposed the holiday proposal on the grounds that it would not be cost effective and could lead to Switzerland losing its stature as a business destination with the consequent relocation of big business to other countries such Germany.”

          (retrieved from Al Jazeera)

          Big money + vieled threats and propaganda (sorry – selling a heartfelt message) = influencing decisions people may or may not make.

        • Colonial Viper

          For instance an increase of two weeks from 4 to 6 in NZ would probably lower GDP by around 2%.

          Nonsense. It would increase GDP as more people would need to be employed, and more in wages paid out, strengthening local economies.

          • TighyRighty

            Can you provide any proof of that? Any macro economic theory whatsoever?

            You are talking out your arse, no surprises your football team wanted you off the cheer leading squad.

            • fatty

              “Any macro economic theory whatsoever? ”

              Haha…classic. As if contemporary macro economic theories hold up. They are laughable at best.

              • TightyRighty

                Probably the same reason you discount the traditional theory of why people are fat. like Energy in vs energy out, macroeconomic theory doesn’t FIT with your views.

                Problem with your weak and pathetic contribution the discussion is that macroeconomic theory has everything to do with CV’s rather stupid pronouncement that encouraging people to work less leads to more employment. Who pays for the extra two weeks worth of holiday? no one who has ever had to run a staff budget would remotely agree that they are going to hire another staff member to cover those extra weeks holiday. trust a bludger to think it so simple.

                • fatty

                  Who pays for the extra two weeks worth of holiday?

                  Those who are leeching off the hard work of their workers, and getting rich while forcing others into poverty (management/owners)

                  no one who has ever had to run a staff budget would remotely agree that they are going to hire another staff member to cover those extra weeks holiday. trust a bludger to think it so simple.

                  Trust a greedy and selfish person to think that sharing resources is an impossibility. And you can make fun of my name if it makes you feel better. The irony is that I am not physically fat…however, your moral standing, self importance, political ideology and drive for greed is built on gluttony….pure selfish gluttony.
                  While others see their hopes and dreams shatter with unemployment, you tell yourself your fat-gut of immorality is justified.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    It’s absolutely crucial to differentiate between large corporate businesses and bankers who have a very profitable lock on monopoly aspects of our economy, and small businesses (1-10 employees) many of which are genuinely struggling in this harsh economic climate.

                    macroeconomic theory has everything to do with CV’s rather stupid pronouncement that encouraging people to work less leads to more employment. Who pays for the extra two weeks worth of holiday? no one who has ever had to run a staff budget would remotely agree that they are going to hire another staff member to cover those extra weeks holiday.

                    Bullshit mate. There is no need for some workers to be doing 60 hour weeks when they could be dropped back to 40 hours a week and someone else currently unemployed can take up a half time position for 20 hours a week.

                    Also “macroeconomic theory” is full of falsifiable neoclassical trash.

                    As for who pays for the extra two weeks worth of holiday: the employer does. Duh.

                    (by the way, loved your TighyRighy moniker!!!)

                    • TightyRighty

                      How many people out there work a sixty hour week? How many get paid for sixty hours when they do? how many are salaried and only get paid for forty?

                      How does the employer pay for the increased time off?

                      You can’t just sit there and think that because you have so much free time, everybody else should get as much. Ever run a small business? ever had to figure out staff rosters while balancing the budget to make sure that the business turns a profit (and therefore pays tax)? No? It’s very, very obvious.

                      Dismissing a whole branch of economics as falsifiable? not only that, neoclassical trash? how did those night golf, sing a long and basket weaving courses go under labour? don’t you want to continue funding to those social “sciences”? Serious delusions of grandeur between you and the fat fuck

                    • Colonial Viper

                      the whole edifice of neoclassical economics is incorrect. From price/demand curves through to the extension of microeconomic mechanisms into macroeconomics. And the evidence is all around you in the GFC, which 99.9% of economists failed to even see coming.

                      How does the employer pay for the increased time off?

                      By giving up profits to wages, or failing that, by going out of business so that a more successful enterprise can take their place.

                      It’s not rocket science mate.

                      Dismissing a whole branch of economics as falsifiable?

                      Yep. Theoretically goners; even Greenspan admitted it. Minsky was far closer to the mark.

                  • TightyRighty

                    Yes, so many rich managers and owners out there, how about those cafe owners who have just struggled through a miserable two weeks of sales if they aren’t in a tourist area? how about the small independent clothing chains struggling against the onslaught of the internet? they should increase their staff bill by 3-4% just because you think it’s resource sharing?

                    you can’t even formulate a feasible scenario where this preposterous scenario would work in real life! you wade in to be a hero of the left but have no cogent argument or relative studies to back up your agreement with CV’s theory. Fuck off back to the buffet and let those with real world experience talk big issues.

                    • fatty

                      Yes, so many rich managers and owners out there, how about those cafe owners who have just struggled through a miserable two weeks of sales if they aren’t in a tourist area? how about the small independent clothing chains struggling against the onslaught of the internet? they should increase their staff bill by 3-4% just because you think it’s resource sharing?

                      Nice one NeedyGreedy, you have just pointed out business owners who are experiencing a downturn from something that should be factored into their business plan. You have pointed out the morons. You have pointed out the idiots, well done.
                      Online shopping did not appear overnight, its only ignorant/stupid business owners who suffer from that…same goes for the stupid cafe owners who cannot account for the holiday season. That’s the problem we have in NZ, most business owners I’ve met have been lacking in intelligence.
                      No wonder NZ business owners are always going down the shitter…hows your business NeedyGreedy?

                      you can’t even formulate a feasible scenario where this preposterous scenario would work in real life!

                      I have no idea what you are referencing here (I’m guessing you are one of those ‘business owners’ who are surprised by online shopping or geographical populations during the holiday season?)
                      Do you mind running that sentence by me again, try to make it logical, please. Get someone with big pants on to help you with those big words like preposterous

                      Fuck off back to the buffet and let those with real world experience talk big issues.

                      Watch your language NeedyGreedy, anger will get you nowhere.
                      Here’s some basic reading for you, it talks about how people today do shopping on the internet, and another about holidays.
                      This is how the kids are shopping these days and that’s why nobody buys your overpriced shirts.
                      This is about holiday destinations in NZ and how populations move around during the New Year period.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      TR small businesses are under the gun in this crony corporate economy.

                      Is it a wonder that small NZ business struggle when they are being ripped off by corporate power bills, EFTPOS and credit card charges, bank fees, over the top insurance bills, Australian owned banks sucking a couple of billion a year out of local communities back to their shareholders in Oz.

      • Tiresias 37.3.4

        “The other thing is that they get ‘gamed’. Just look at Switzerland.”

        Or Ireland, where EU Treaties have to be confirmed by in a referendum. Twice, in 2001 and 2008, the Irish voted No to EU Treaties and were told to go back and get it right, which they obediently did in 2002 and 2009.

        And have we forgotten Winston Peters’ 1997 referendum on Super. Was that really a vote against compulsory Super contributions or a “I don’t like/trust Winston,” vote?

        Referenda are single-issue, black-and-white affairs. Most issues are not. Look at the ‘child smacking’ debate, where a quick clip around the ear to re-inforce a kid’s own fright – or not – when it did something dangerously stupid became conflated with taking to a child with a cricket-bat or swinging it head-first against a wall.

        We need to:

        a) get money out of elections,
        b) lobbying out of Parliament,
        c) accountability for MPs.
        d) improve the quality of politicians

        a) is easily done. b) could be done with a requirement that politician’s diaries be open and an OIA with teeth. c) needs a competent fourth estate, which is up to us. d) is probably impossible.

    • ochocinco 37.4

      If the next Tory government wins a majority then the next Tory government gets to do what it does – just as when we on the left win, we get to do what we want.

      Your suggestion is this (translated): “We suck at the game as it is played, so we want to change the rules to suit ourselves.” It’s a sort of gerrymandering, really.

      • AmaKiwi 37.4.1

        @ ochocinco

        People on The Standard want to fix economic and social ills using a political system which was designed when indentured servitude and slavery were considered best business practices.

        Parliamentary dictatorship should die. NZ Labour dictatorships have done some very stupid things, too.

        Democracy for NZ is long overdue.

        • Bill

          People on The Standard want to fix economic and social ills using a political system which was…

          *cough* Not me.

          Just as well I’m not a fragile wee petal taken to being offended I guess 😉

          • AmaKiwi

            @ Bill

            I have no idea what “*cough* Not me” means.

            The offense is at disapproving of referendum results on issues which you have little or no information about and, in particular, not knowing the Swiss cultural context.

            As for “partial information,” New Zealanders only have partial information about our parliamentary dictators when we elect them. I doubt National would have carried a single seat in greater Auckland if we had known about their secret plans for the Super City.

            The question is NOT information. The question is WHO DECIDES.

            Democracy is when the people decide.

            • Bill

              wow. So it’s a specific and (presumably) excusable cultural context that led to the ban on any minarets being built? Like…it wasn’t a dash of Islamaphobia? Course not. But look, putting that aside and also putting aside the fact that you have no idea on my knowledge and/or sources of knowledge for contemporary Switzerland whch just might be rather extensive for all you know…

              Making decisions without information is no decision at all. In those circumstances *your* decision is just the end result of other’s persuasions. And there is absolutely no point to that. Well, not if you desire democracy.

              • Tiresias

                The prevention of Parliamentary dictatorship was supposed to be one of the purposes of MMP and coalition government. For my part I believe this is something the system is still trying to accommodate and we, the people are still struggling with.

                Parliamentary dictatorship was the inevitable consequence of the two-party system that FPP encouraged. Getting away from that will require the re-shaping of the whole political scene to support three of four ‘major’ parties who have to somehow share power every time and that process is still underway.

              • Tiresias

                The vote was against minarets not mosques – minarets being the platform from where the faithful are called to prayer five times each day: dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and night. In most modern mosques, the adhan is called from the musallah, or prayer hall, via microphone to a loudspeaker system on the minaret.

                Most non-moslem Swiss didn’t want that intruding on their lives. Wasn’t that racist of them.

                • Bill

                  Oh, it was a noise issue was it? I see. 🙄

                  • Akldnut

                    Actually I think I would be a bit pissed if I lived next door to one and heard them calling and chanting 5 X’s a day, but if it were in a verly low intensity residential or an industrial area I don’t actually see a problem with them.

                    • karol

                      I’ve stayed in places with the prayer call going out. It’s no a problem. It’s no bigger noise issue than church bells.

                    • Bill

                      Apart from what Karol says about church bells – if it was a noise issue then zoning and/or a local bye-law dealing with noise levels would have sufficed. And anyway. It’s not the case that all minarets are used to call people to prayer.

                    • Akldnut

                      I live next door to a church so I was definitely mistaken on the noise they create, they sound so loud in documentaries I’ve heard calling out over the cities like Algiers.

                  • QoTViper

                    Let’s be fair, Bill. There are people in the suburb of Karori in Wellington who whinge about the noise from the birds in the nearby wildlife sanctuary. And people in incredibly expensive apartments in central Wellington who complain about the bells from a cathedral built well before their little palaces.

                    People can be incredibly petty when it comes to noise. The noise being from Terrifying Muslim People was probably a bonus.

                    (Oh, and Islamophobia may just have played the tiniest of roles.)

                • AmaKiwi

                  And the Swiss have always had very strict building requirements about the style of buildings one is allowed to construct. This is accepted by the Swiss and seen as the acceptable way of preserving the unique character of their towns and villages.

                  • Bill

                    Which is why ventilation towers are now being put up is it?…Strict building codes and all. Ventilation shafts/towers that are topped with Islamic symbols. ‘Cause they ain’t minarets, see?

                    In the case of the Islamic center in Frauenfeld, canton of Thurgau, there is a ventilation shaft that was adorned with a sheet metal cone topped with a crescent moon. The Frauenfeld city council has declined treating the structure as a “minaret”, saying that it had been officially declared a ventilation shaft, and that the added crescent moon had not been giving cause for comment during the six years since its installation.


              • AmaKiwi

                How do you propose to get democracy?

                • weka

                  How would you propose CIRs take into account the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori as treaty partners with the Crown?

    • onsos 37.5

      Binding referendums make no sense without a formal constitution.

      There is no framework for Parliament to pass an act (say, one supporting binding referendums) which they can’t simply undo with a simple majority.

      There is another, non-trivial human rights concern. Democracy has to extend beyond rule by majorities; individuals and minorities require and deserve protection. To a limited extent, our parliament has (perhaps intermittently) upheld this role. Binding referendums, outside an enforceable constitution, would have the capacity to unravel this.

      A constitution, and a binding bill of rights, may seem like pipe dreams in NZ, but without them binding referendums would be impossible and dangerous.

  38. AmaKiwi 38

    World War Three may have begun on Sept. 11, 2001.

    The present combatants are USA, Israel, and many Europeans versus Islamic states backed by China. It is not difficult to imagine Japan, Russia, India, and others entering into a “hot” war.

    A binding referendum is the ONLY hope we have to stay out of such a conflict.

  39. AmaKiwi 39

    @ Bill

    “2013 – the policy year” is the topic, not Switzerland.

    My view: The core of our problems is that we are working with an antiquated form of governance which is undemocratic. I believe we will have better and more democratic governance with referendums.

    Bill, your views, please.

    • Colonial Viper 39.1

      We have to bear in mind that the quality of a democracy depends solely on the quality and awareness of its citizens. Everything else, no matter how tasty looking, are just side dishes.

      • AmaKiwi 39.1.1

        Which means what?

        What was the importance of the “the quality and awareness of the citizens” of Stalinist Russia or Nazi occupied Europe?

        Is freedom just a “tasty looking side dish?”

        • Colonial Viper

          What was the importance of the “the quality and awareness of the citizens” of Stalinist Russia or Nazi occupied Europe?

          Absolutely critical. Many of the senior officers of the Wehrmacht refused to have anything to do with the Nazi concentration camps. They had to create the paramilitary SS to do most of his dirty work. As we now know, many senior officers (including Rommel) were involved in plans to to decaptitate the Nazi movement.

          Re: Stalinist USSR. Also absolutely critical. Remember, the Russians told both Napolean and the Nazi war machine where to shove it. More enlightened leadership eventually undertook perestroika and a massive de-Stalinisation of the F.USSR.

          Never doubt in the ability of a few committed citizens to change the course of a nation for the better.

          It is why I hold to the position that in a democracy, it is the quality and awareness of the citizens the nation produces which is absolutely vital.

          Is freedom just a “tasty looking side dish?”

          Like “freedom fries”? Not sure if this is where you are coming from, but I have a dislike of the American-style use of ‘freedom’ as a word pseudo-representing all that is good and wholesome and God-fearing in the world.

          In the end, I believe that binding referendums may have a place, but they are just another mechanism which can be subverted by the elite if the citizenry is not sufficiently aware and educated.

          • AmaKiwi

            @ CV

            I think you seriously underestimate the awesome power of a totalitarian dictatorship. You do NOT have choices when you are constantly spied on and can be imprisoned, tortured, and murdered at any second for no reason at all. The Germans who tried to overthrow Hitler hid until it was clear the war would be lost. It took three generations to oust Russian Communism and then because the system was financially collpasing. By all accounts (except Putin’s) Russia has not changed all that much.

            That aside, how would you rate the quality and awareness of NZ citizens? On a scale of 1 to 10, I might be generous and give Kiwis a 5. Instead of condemning Bennett and Collins they praise them as “strong leaders.” Then there is Ducky! Bullying is heartily admired by too many Kiwis.

            Tell me where and when a system of binding referendums has been subverted by an elite?

            Just because you may not like the outcome of a referendum does not mean it has been subverted by an elite. Democracy means I accept the decision of my fellow citizens, even if I do not agree with it. In time they may come to my views and reverse themselves. Or I might see their decision was not so bad after all.

            If you don’t know what “freedom” is, live in a totalitarian dictatorship for a while.

            • Colonial Viper

              If you rate the political awareness and quality of Kiwi citizens at a mediocre level (5/10) can you then expect that binding referendums will produce anything more than mediocre results?

              Tell me where and when a system of binding referendums has been subverted by an elite?

              They are subverted just as any other vote can be subverted. Through spin, PR, dis-information, preying on peoples fears and prejudices.

              Binding referendums could be useful, but it would be vital to institute thorough programmes of civics education etc first.

              • Colonial Viper

                If your goal is to improve democracy then examining the role that political parties play and how they operate is crucial. MPs don’t necessarily have to be organised into large, whipped, professional political parties.

              • AmaKiwi

                “If you rate the political awareness and quality of Kiwi citizens at a mediocre level (5/10) can you then expect that binding referendums will produce anything more than mediocre results?”

                Because I rate the quality of parliament at less than 1.

    • Bill 39.2

      I’ve explained why, in my opinion, referenda are not the panacea you believe them to be. And I agree that our forms of governance are not particularly democratic. And if you’d been around ‘the standard’ long enough you’d know I favour a participatory economy as opposed to a market one. And the corollary to a democratic economy is a democratic polity. And meaningful democracy can only be practiced in a situation where a person’s input is roughly in balance with the effect a particular decision could have on them…ie, a dynamic system of direct democracy.

      And obviously no parliamentary party can ever deliver such systems because they are in the business of representation. And since the post is about policies for representative parties…. anyway, here’s a link to a previous post I wrote on what options I think would exist for a parliamentary party with truly leftist aspirations


      • AmaKiwi 39.2.1

        @ Bill

        I have read your linked article twice. I understand the sentiment but not the specifics of how we get from here to there.

        I can understand what you want in terms of local government and I agree with you and Roger Douglas. He was opposed to the Super City because he said decisions should be made by the people closest to the situation. I.e., extreme local control.

        I am less clear about how your ideas apply to companies. The cooperative movement is virtually dead but that is a model I like. Is that what you have in mind?

        Are you aware that the Swiss are much closer to your model than NZ is? They have an extraordinary amount of local control which they jealously guard from central government intervention.

        The problem remains of how we get from where we are now to another model (yours). Since parliament is a dictatorship, we must somehow wrest power from parliament. There is no way in hell MP’s of either party will give up power easily. My plan is referendums. Do you have another SPECIFIC plan?

        • Colonial Viper

          There is no way in hell MP’s of either party will give up power easily. My plan is referendums. Do you have another SPECIFIC plan?

          But is this really an issue of individual MPs? Most MPs are individually very powerless, after all. This may be more of an issue of entrenched Political Parties not wanting to give up the power inherent in their machinery and hierarchies, and in some cases no longer even bothering to pretend to represent their constituencies.

          • AmaKiwi

            I have spoken to several MP’s who have a shot at eventually being leader. They want POWER. They have their own vision of how NZ should be and they have NO interest in letting ordinary people interfere with their schemes. There is a dictator lurking inside most of us.

            CV, do you have another SPECIFIC plan?

            • Colonial Viper

              Hey AK. You don’t think I took a month off just for a holiday did you 😈

  40. Education:
    * Restart and fund all the adult education programmes National shut down.
    * Put Post Graduate study back on the student loan scheme.
    * Boost funding to schools and universities.
    * Turn away from Nationals backward loan scheme and make it easier for students to get loans (rather than forcing students overseas or onto private bank loans for study).
    * Possible: Order a review of the student loan scheme and look for alternatives

    * Fund one or two new cables to speed up NZ internet, and ease the strain on the single old cable.
    * Provide stimilus measures (especially to small business and manufacturers) to create jobs.
    * Cut GST to fruit and vegetables (many families can’t afford good nutrition).
    * Long term: Eventually buy back the state assets National sells.
    * End austerity measures and boost govt funding i.e. Austerity never worked in the 1920s-1940s either.

    * End the war on the poor.
    * Boost the welfare budget and reverse National welfare cuts.

    * Order a review of the finance books, to find out how much National messed them up.
    * Make a long term debt strategy as opposed to Nationals ‘surplus at all costs’.
    * Give the Reserve Bank more tools and focus i.e. rather than only focussing on inflation.
    * Shift government banking to Kiwibank, rather than paying Westpac to run the books.
    * Close Corporate tax loopholes.
    * Increase mineral/gas royalties in line with other OECD countries i.e. 30% and above.

    Hope Labour adopts at least some of those.

    • karol 40.1

      Good list.

      Post graduate study and apprenticeships should be more easily available to all. However, I understand that it was the student allowance that was cut for postgraduates, not access to loans. The student allowances should not only be available to all – doesn’t add to students’ personal debts.

  41. bad12 41


    Housing, its at the heart of society,community and economy, the more people we have housed in an ‘affordable’ situation equals a ‘better society and more ‘cohesive communities’ along with an increaseor changes in ‘economic activity’ the more we create households where housing is affordable,


    Might go some way to educate us all of the ‘need’ for increased ‘affordable housing’, at it’s peak, what is now HousingNZ had a rental portfolio of some 75,000 houses, rented out at a rate of 25% of household income for a population of 3.3 million people,

    On a population basis alone this would suggest,(nay demand), that with a population of some 4.4 million people our country ‘needs’ at least 100,000 state owned houses, but that is only half the story,

    Lets rewind to the Sir(spit) Roger Douglas years where major changes occurred within the decile of tenants housed by HousingNZ took place, all the while remembering that such tenancies were at a rate of 25% of household income up to market rental rates depending upon earnings,

    Starting with the Muldoon era and grossly accelerated by the actions of Douglas there was a rapid change in the make-up of those who rented from the State, once the province of the working poor, those who push the heavy wheel daily for at or little more than the minimum wage were somewhat protected by ‘knowing’ that the rent would never be more than 25% of their income,such rental housing quickly became the province of the ‘beneficiary’ as mass unemployment and the negative effects of this became the norm,

    So, by dint of ‘need’ the beneficiaries became the majority of HousingNZ tenants, this simply left the previous decile of tenants, the working poor, to the mercies of the private rental market, and for them, the working poor, rent went from 25% of income to become on average 50% of that income,

    Of course this ‘change’ was one of generational nature so it wasn’t necessarily the redundant railway worker who felt the effects of this decile change, it effected instead the children of the redundant railway worker,

    The economics tho, of such a societal change in what after all is the most basic societal requirement, affordable housing, are relatively simple to explain, firstly internal economic activity from the decile of those who daily toil at or just above the minimum wage had to change negatively to accommodate the difference in disposable income across the decile of spending on average 50% of income on rent as opposed to the previous 25% of income,

    To accommodate the working poor in private rental accommodation created ‘demand’ and the middle classes piled into rental accommodation en masse, thus the difference in rents paid by the working poor became a direct transfer of 25% of that whole deciles earnings directly to the banking sector who held the mortgages over the private sector middle class landlords, the local economy was thus denied the ‘use’ of that 25% of such income,


    And how, are the 2 questions that go to the heart of ‘policy’, having said that i am as sure as night follows day that within Labour’s Parliamentary ‘leadership’ there is very little will to ‘do anything’, my belief is that Labour have all but abandoned ‘real’ representation of the ‘working poor’ except for such ‘tokenism’ as minimum wage rises which are quickly gobbled up by the middle class increasing rental costs or the 1%er’s bumping up the cost of food and other necessities,

    But, a boy has to try right, i would suggest that Labour have a policy of doubling the number of HousingNZ rental property’s in the next 10 years and tripling that number in 20 years, in doing so demand by the middle class for the safe investment of rental housing would become non existent and surplus income used by the middle class to secure such rental investments would have to be diverted to other investments,

    Housing costs would then be lowered for those in the middle class able to afford 300+ thousand dollar mortgages,

    Building such a mass of State owned housing would in itself create economic activity and those housed with a rental of 25% of income who previously would be paying 50% on average of income would create further ongoing economic activity via having more disposable income,

    Paying for such State owned housing is simply a matter of printing the monies needed and spending that money on a building program while taking into account the Reserve Bank’s Inflation Target,

    Doing so would expand the money supply which in turn would provide the NZdollar a reason to slide in value when measured against the US dollar and the Governments assets would be markedly increased in value,

    As HousingNZ is directly subsidised from taxation tripling the number of such rentals and offering the working poor access would reduce that subsidy where as 25% of income from a beneficiary is an average of $65, 25% of income from a worker at or near the minimum wage is likely to be $120, a simple cross subsidization,

    Have i missed something???, probably, feel free to fill in any blanks i have left, there is here a line of thought i am following which says that as an economy we have lost the ‘competition’ with the low waged economies of the world, if this is so, and we can hardly lower the meager minimum wage that is now paid then we must in this ‘competition’,if it is to continue, LOWER the COST of living for those who toil daily at or near that meager minimum wage, the best means Government can use to achieve this is of course to lower the cost of housing for the whole decile of low paid workers…

    • David H 41.1

      It’s not so much the money or the cost. What you have to do is to try and future proof the policies against the slash and burn thieves that are in power and when they get back in they will immediately turn their envious eyes onto what they can sell. So things like National Assets need to be protected against future thieving governments.

      • onsos 41.1.1

        That’s not directly possible. Future governments do what they like. The only defence against future thieving governments is producing a policy which garners broad, consensus support. The genius of the last Labour government was extending the benefits of WFF and interest-free student loans (and Kiwisaver) to the middle classes.

        There is significant, ill-informed bleating on the right that these policies are immoral and unsustainable, and yet a solidly Tory government can’t touch them. There’s just too many people involved.

        In approaching ‘affordable housing’, Labour needs to have the same understanding. Large scale production of quality, low cost housing on public transport routes is a fairly safe bet, as long as they are not ghettoised. A mix of state housing and owner-occupier accommodation, inside already existing communities.

        It’s quite achievable..

        • bad12

          I would take issue with your description of Labour extending the Working for Familes tax credits as far as occurred up into the upper echelons of the middle classes,

          The denial of access to these tax credits of beneficiary dependent families being the cost of such ‘genius’,

          Labour ‘bought’ itself another term of Government via that middle class with Working for Families, which National then ‘bought’ back from Labour with the tax cuts/GST raise swindle,

          Labour’s latest attempt to buy the votes of that middle class are it’s ‘flagship’ housing policy which in it’s announced guise would need middle class recipients to be able to service a 300+ thousand dollar mortgage,

          This would suggest that it is directly aimed at the children of the middle class whose parents have for the past decade been playing monopoly with New Zealand’s housing stock and driven the price of ownership past what the income of their children in that incomes ability to service a mortgage particularly in the major cities,

          What more do the middle class want??? they have trapped the working poor in their rental invesments while receiving a direct taxpayer subsidy in the form of accomodation supplements, feasted upon Working for Families, dined eloquently on Slippery’s tax switch, and are at this moment slavering over the thought of the sale to them of cheap as asset packages,

          Perhap’s Labour should offer the bloated middle class a Beamer each as a voting incentive…

          • Colonial Viper

            Perhap’s Labour should offer the bloated middle class a Beamer each as a voting incentive…

            Well, the Ministerial Limos must be due for another replacement in 2014…

        • Colonial Viper

          That’s not directly possible. Future governments do what they like.

          Actually it is possible, Tory-proofing simply takes guts and imagination. Note that National are expert at making changes that Labour can almost never reverse.

      • bad12 41.1.2

        My belief, Labour should be aiming directly for the vote of the low waged working poor, anything else such as working for families or housing for those who can afford a 300+ thousand dollar mortgage is a fight for the votes between them and National of a small percentage of the middle class,

        Once ‘bought’ such people who are all aglow at the thought of ‘being rich’ must continue to be bought…

      • bad12 41.1.3

        10 year leases at 25% of household income, 20 year leases at 25% of household income, life-time leases at 25% of household income???,

        I dare say that should it be asked, the Supreme Court would take a very dim view of a Government attempting to alter or cancel leases tenants had signed in good faith with a Government…

  42. bad12 42


    On subsidization, there are actually 2 forms of subsidization occurring within what could be broadly termed as ‘affordable housing’

    The first being a direct subsidy to the middle classes retirement investment in rental housing, the ‘accommodation supplement’, this has transpired to be not a very good form of subsidy as there has been shown to be a direct correlationship between rises in the amount of accommodation supplement paid and rises in the cost to the tenant of private rental accommodation, a direct taxpayer subsidy to the retirement funds of that section of society,

    The other form of subsidization i touched upon briefly above, where if housed by the State at 25% of income the low paid workers so housed would subsidize the overall cost to the taxpayer of the whole HousingNZ portfolio,

    Taken to it’s logical economic conclusion it is simple to envisage a point where if enough State owned housing were to be built there would in effect be NO need for the taxpayer to subsidize the HousingNZ portfolio at all,

    There is no logical economic reason why HousingNZ cannot be given enough housing stock to not only house all the beneficiaries that need such accommodation, in a situation of Housing NZ having enough rental accommodation available to house as a majority of tenants who are waged then the cross subsidy of all tenants paying 25% of income mean at X point of increasing the housing stock a direct taxpayer subsidy would not be required….

  43. shorts 43

    Labour should come out strongly in favour and funding for the Auckland Rail Loop/Link

    not really a policy, throw it into PT

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  • How to Factory Reset iPhone without Computer: A Comprehensive Guide to Restoring your Device
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #16 2024
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  • Where on a Computer is the Operating System Generally Stored? Delving into the Digital Home of your ...
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    4 days ago

  • Justice Minister to attend Human Rights Council
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  • Patterson reopens world’s largest wool scouring facility
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to the Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective Summit, 18 April 2024
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Humanitarian support for Ethiopia and Somalia
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    5 hours ago
  • Arts Minister congratulates Mataaho Collective
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    1 day ago
  • Supporting better financial outcomes for Kiwis
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  • Trade relationship with China remains strong
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  • PM’s South East Asia mission does the business
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    2 days ago
  • $41m to support clean energy in South East Asia
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    3 days ago
  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
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    3 days ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
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  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
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  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
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  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
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    3 days ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
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    4 days ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
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    4 days ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
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  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
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  • Government backing mussel spat project
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