web analytics

$3 Billion

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 pm, July 31st, 2012 - 21 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, disaster - Tags: ,

The government unveiled their blueprint for Christchurch last night – beautifully in time for the 6 o’clock news, making it difficult for the media to organise covering the protests outside as they covered the story inside.  3 land owners who were positive about the plan were put up earlier to brief the media – those less positive, like Richard Peebles were still taking it in.

But in the TV coverage they were able to reveal that the government still has $3 billion on standby to purchase large amounts of land around the CBD.  $3 billion left out of the $5.5 billion that had been allocated to the rebuild.

That’s more than half the money spent while 30,000 people are desperate for housing.

That’s half the $6 billion Bill English ‘guesses’ we’ll get for Asset Sales (we’ll see if we get that much, particularly after costs & incentives…).

Are we selling off the family silver to buy a green strip around Christchurch?

Realistically we’re a low government debt (high personal debt…) country, we could fund proper housing and a green strip around Christchurch through a little extra debt and fix the structural deficit with a CGT, but this sends a terrible message about this government’s priorities.

I’m all for taking advantage of the rebuild to make Christchurch the world’s most liveable city, but this just shows National’s ideology up.

Even more so when they’re already pushing Christchurch City Council to sell their assets to pay for their share of the government’s grand plan – convention centre and all.

And if Christchurch are getting a big convention centre without socially-disastrous pokies, surely we should scrap the Auckland one?  Unless they want us to compete: cutting each other’s throats and wages to foreign corporates’ advantage like we do with our ports…


21 comments on “$3 Billion”

  1. Herodotus 1

    Bunji – you like many others believe that a CGT is the savor of this country. “round Christchurch through a little extra debt and fix the structural deficit with a CGT” you are misguided at best. The CGT that Labour were promoting (without any details because Labour had None!!) at the last election had more holes than swiss cheese.
    How can so many here on one hand decry that housing is over price (Which I agree) and then on the other hand expect to gain so much extra tax from this over priced housing to increase even more (which I question how property can increase given the macro environment that underpin NZ) ??
    Or have I missed something on how a CGT could fund this ?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      (without any details because Labour had None!!)

      Actually, they did. If they didn’t you wouldn’t be able to say the next bit had more holes than swiss cheese.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        I was referring to that there was to be post election “An expert’s panel would advise on the final design of the system, ”
        Yet there were already exemptions specified e.g. those poor blue collar family trusts that hold a bach/crib “The family bach would be caught by the tax, but only if it was sold. If it was handed down, no CGT would be paid.” Thus giving anyone with some sense to sell the crib to a family member at inflated/market price then selling to a 3rd party exempting themselves from paying any tax.
        So even Labour promoting a policy it did not have the system worked out, yet were able to produce what tax was to be collected !!!
        So tell me how Bunji is to fund his commitments by following a 2011 election pledge and how he/NZ is to fund this whilst we wait to collect this windfall?

        • McFlock

          “Sold to a family member” doesn’t mean “sold”? How does Australia deal with this denotational conundrum?

          • Herodotus

            Just following from the comment that was linked. There are some very smart accountants and lawyers that are paid extremely well to “protect” their clients. That is partially why the super rich increase their wealth at a far greater rate than you or I.
            So why were such exemptions catered for in the release of the policy? And I agree totally with you in that your example does mean SOLD !!!!!
            But I am digressing- I was wondering how Bunji was to fund this idea of his?
            Also why the insurance boys are not paying up on those in need. Should you or I miss a payment or 2 on our insurance they do not pay up, yet when an event that we are insured for happens that it could take over 5 yrs to be paid out

            • McFlock

              So why were such exemptions catered for in the release of the policy? And I agree totally with you in that your example does mean SOLD !!!!!


              Actually, Australia has an exemption for death where the bequest is not taxed, but the property is valued at market rates at time of handover for if the inheritors subsequently sell (if I read my link correctly).
              Doesn’t seem to hurt them too much. But then the semantics would be sorted out by the expert panel mentioned in your link. And loopholes that are subsequently found could be addressed as and when they come to prominence. 
              Your protests of “full of holes” seem a bit highly strung. 
              Agree about insurance companies, though. Same breed as bankers and exchange dealers.

        • Lanthanide

          Better that a political party say they will get an expert panel to formulate their policy post-election, compared to National who just blunder on through with their financial plans that don’t make sense which have been roundly criticised by almost all financial commentators.

        • Frank Macskasy

          “Yet there were already exemptions specified e.g. those poor blue collar family trusts that hold a bach/crib “The family bach would be caught by the tax, but only if it was sold. If it was handed down, no CGT would be paid.” Thus giving anyone with some sense to sell the crib to a family member at inflated/market price then selling to a 3rd party exempting themselves from paying any tax.
          So even Labour promoting a policy it did not have the system worked out, yet were able to produce what tax was to be collected !!!”

          Herodotus – what you’re describing is a tax-dodge.

          What do you think governments do with tax dodges? They close them down.

          So your “swiss cheese” argument is, well… it’s full of holes.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I didn’t say that it was a good policy but they did have details.

  2. Augustus 2

    I’d been wondering how they were going to get around the $100k limit for land value from EQC for high value properties.
    Eureka! We buy them out for a green strip. Sheer genius.

    • Herodotus 2.1

      “Prices will be based on market values at the date the land is acquired rather than on rateable valuations, which was the formula used for residential red-zoned properties” Not sure how this can be manipulated to help those high value properties. Given past experiences when MOE acquired land I had some connection with. The added cost that had been incurred regarding obtaining consents were not taken into consideration as to the value attached to the land. SHould be a test for valuers to work out market value with no sales history !!!!

  3. fabregas4 3

    What ever happened to the donations (including my family and school community) made? I had imagined this would be used for folks in need. – not a convention centre and stadium for the rich.

  4. Steve 4

    yes it was…lovely…. the choreography on-top of the questionable geography…on-top of the still functioning geology. Warwick Issac the demolition guy has replaced the high vis vest and blue hard hat, for a sensible CERA (Ballentynes?)grey suit, he’s now putting it all back together. Like those blocks that roll backwards in the psychology experiment or the film run backwards as described in Slaughterhouse Five. Even more brilliant was good old Pete Townsend, who thinks we could have the best city in Australasia, although for a moment I thought I was back on old Manchester Street walking out of the new life church, incidentally, an old picture theatre, oh the rapture, he’s actually planning to live in the “new CDB” he’s so excited, by the new vision: the new vision…. a “blue print” that means “working drawings”, from a couple of centuries ago. Folks drew up boats, on blue paper in the 1800’s, but as with most things, now replaced by faster means and differing colours. The million dollar cost of the blue print included CGG as we flew overhead the new vision on the sex news with peter and psymon and blonde dolly, that’s not a blue print—that is a computer file. The covered stadium, looked like a Portuguese man of War, washed up on some hapless beach. Someone in the room piped up “who is going to keep that clean”…”how will the grass grow”..the shiny roof reflected sun rays thru and back, right to the CORE vision. Why, a blue print? We know it’s sad, but don’t you mean “Christchurch, Hard Disc Dreams”. We have all played Sim City, in that CGI world you make your own city with slim resources, pipes and water. You can even manage your emergency precinct. It was always not working when the fire, hospital, police and justice were all placed in the same precinct…hell yeah, when that CG earthquake rolled thru the game, all the roads broke, fires broke out and all services were caught in the Avon Loop. Terrible idea, look at Manukau, the cop station is right over the road from the Court, right beside Rainbows End.

  5. aerobubble 5

    weird radio interview, a business representative, in reply to the
    argument that productivity and wages are related so minimum
    wages should increase, counted that even the kids of the rich
    would get paid more when earning minimum wage. #!@#@@

    This when most managers argue they’ve
    earn their high bonuses despite not returning a stable national
    economy, without the necessary productivity growth!!!

    Is NZ business lobby deluded?? Do they continue to produce
    neo-liberal dogma, or what, off the cuff. Its a basic
    fact that higher wages nations increases demand and so grows
    the economy through multipliers, but lower wage nations where a
    few take huge bonuses
    actively reduces demand and the buying power of the masses.

    Chch new plan. Top down, super rushed committee, has put business
    before people. Sorry, but aren’t all great cities led by the people,
    how the people move through, how the people demand, builds the living
    city. That profit driven decisions are arse backwards, because
    say we over charge so much for seats in mega domes sport arenas, that
    somehow mega sports arenas ‘are’ us as a community. That because
    we are over charged, under paid, we somehow consent to our being
    over charged and under paid, and so consent to more of the same??

    Now don’t me wrong, I don’t want a top down socialist solution
    either, I would like a rational basis for ChCh rebuild. That
    ChCh re-building goes where the people are now, how the people
    are now, how the people demand now, how the people build the
    city now, despite all the calamity around them. That the central
    district should not be rewarded for producing so many shoddy
    buildings, that the same council processes that led to the CTV
    building collapse, even the same owners taking the cheapest
    design they could buy from the shameless building designers…

    ChCh rebuild plan, denies CHCh the opportunity to integrate
    the earthquake into itself. Do cities have rights like people,
    to grow organically and in response to their surroundings and
    their set backs?

    The Chch plan, is like the NZ plan, the reality of kiwis living
    in NZ is ignored, and a few get to play God, take charge.

    If the CBD wants the cash to rebuild, surely it should build
    cycleway, tram lines, light rail, to bring the passing trade
    and then, and only then has it justification for building
    and investing in public goods, like council and government
    under written stadiums. Its summed up for me, by a owner
    rebuilding of a heritage building only to find out it needs
    to be demolished as the high almighty have designed a new
    solution. where’s the invisible hand, where’s the market
    solutions (people demand), where’s the people’s city?

    This problem goes to the heart of the global crisis, a lot
    of balding fat men in committees seizing the invisible hand
    of the market as theirs, and then crushing that very hand.

    Markets are made from the masses of people, not some
    propaganda piece from a few media outlets choosing who gets
    to manufacture the consent. What’s wrong with CHCh becoming
    a number of towns for a few decades, and then growing a center,
    what’s the rush, I mean CHCh growth spread out over decades
    is better for all?
    i.e. should ChCh grow exponentially or organically?
    The plan on the table suggest a burst of activity that will create
    a ‘developer’ designed CBD while the people of CHCh have
    little say, since their collective effort, their habits, their
    needs, their demands, are dictated to them.

    And to another crisis of mismanagement, the housing sector,
    rewarding property speculators with tax free capital gains.
    Someone proposed a warranty for homes, why not, some
    naysayer suggested that home buyers did not have perfect knowledge
    about the homes they buy so would still be conned into taking
    the cheapest home package, and that builders like him who do
    a great job would not only be charging more for the warrenty
    but also be under cut by the cowboys. which is arse backwards,
    since it assumes that he isn’t a cowboy!! That NZ builders
    have perfect knowledge, leaky homes anyone!!! Like so many
    investment companies, big business elites who think bonuses
    work for the top end of town but not the bottom tail of society.
    when I buy a electronics device I get a instruction book.
    But when I buy a home, there’s nothing. How do you best care for
    your roof, or your timber framing home???? Sorry but our
    nation is designed by developers, for developers, and of developers
    only democracy, and why? because developers take their tax free
    representation to the bank, again and again, and then politicians
    declare that developers are making all the money despite decade
    on decade statistic showing we are failing to grow as much as
    we should, get the high wages our educated should be seeing…

    A CGT might won’t stop bubbles, or fraud, but at least when we
    do get bubbles they will be much much bigger, and when we do
    get fraud there will be masses more losses. Who said there
    wasn’t some silver lining in the low wage, damp leaky homes,
    poor investment opportunity economy, that it could have been
    so much worse, that we now are benefiting because we weren’t
    able to use neo-liberalism to decimate the NZ economy,
    despite all the trying of the business and media elites.
    There’s the core rub surely, that our home grown neo-liberals
    aren’t just stupid like all neo-liberals, they just more
    incapable than the average global neo-liberal. Stupid
    twats, they have to build a world class economy before they
    can trash it with their moronic economic visions.

    welcome to Nz, where bad governance is equally matched by its incapable
    weak uber neo-liberals. Is that why we accept Key’s far right policies,
    because he’s so damn pathetic it keeps us from harming ourselves
    overly. NZ the corp-pocracy.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    Screw the people . . . again.
    People need housing, not public monuments which can only be built by large construction companies (i.e., wealthy companies).
    The poor pay the taxes and live in the streets.  The wealthy take the tax money to build non-essential public monuments.
    People of Christchurch, take to the streets!  Block all downtown construction until the government provides you with homes.  Stand in front of the bulldozers.

  7. Carol 7

    And it seems that selling Christchurch assets are on the table for funding Gerry’s manic plan:



    The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister has been forced to concede he has received official advice on Christchurch City Council selling some of its assets to help pay for rebuilding the city.

    Gerry Brownlee has also indicated he supports the idea of selling the assets, saying the council has built up a strong set of books to provide for a rainy day.

    Mr Brownlee initially skirted around a parliamentary question from Green MP Eugenie Sage about whether he had received advice on the potential sale of council assets.

    But after being forced to concede he had, he then went on to suggest there would be discussions with the council about the matter.

    [SIGH] when will this nightmare of a government end?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      And it seems that selling Christchurch assets are on the table for funding Gerry’s manic plan:

      That was always going to be the case. The question that needs to be asked is Why aren’t the insurance companies paying for it? That is, after all, why insurance exists.

      The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister has been forced to concede he has received official advice on Christchurch City Council selling some of its assets to help pay for rebuilding the city.

      Those officials need to be fired for being too stupid to do their job with any competence.

      • ropata 7.1.1

        the earthquake was a bonanza for landlords with overvalued shitty old buildings in the CBD
        they don’t care about rebuilding; they took the money and pissed off to the GC
        (the skilled workforce was gravitating west towards the tech hub / university anyway)

        Bob Jones writes in the NZ Listener:

        Cities have many components – libraries, art galleries, council offices, theatres, halls and other public facilities. These comprise the indulgent element, paid for from the public purse. But they cannot exist in isolation and alone constitute a city. Rather, they emanate from the steady organic growth of a city centre’s commercial activities in the form of shops and offices. Christchurch’s retail heart was clearly in trouble, with empty shops abounding, while the remainder lived off office workers, who are now gone. The emergence of large suburban shopping centres killed off the CBD as a retail location, as has occurred in many cities throughout the Western world. New Zealand examples include Lower Hutt and, increasingly, Hamilton.

        For most CBD building owners, the devastation has proven a windfall. They have taken their insurance money and sensibly reinvested it in Auckland and Australia, as real-estate agents will readily confirm. Who can blame them?

        Furthermore, if the anecdotal evidence is accepted, most have received payouts based on replacement costs, which have been far in excess of their now-demolished buildings’ former market value. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee expressed concern at this capital flight in mid-April, but the owners are simply acting rationally. The rebuilding of Europe’s bomb destroyed cities after World War II took two decades, but even then it was only possible because those cities had sizeable populations, which meant an instant market for new offices and shops. That is not the case in Christchurch, aside from the financing and insuring difficulties.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    Are any of you from Christchurch?

    I am not and am not intimately acquainted with the details of this earthquake fiasco.

    Are there any community organizers working the streets of Christchurch? They would be the ones to help people organize protests for housing and the needs of the people (as opposed to the needs of the rich and their politicians).

    If you are from Christchurch and know of community leaders and organizers working with the citizens, please post here information about how we can help.

    It is one issue nationwide: Centralize decisions in the hands of the Parliamentary Dictatorship. Ignore the needs of the people but make sure the wealthy are secure. Raise regressive taxes on the masses. Cut taxes for the wealthy. Cut jobs, especially for workers and the middle class.

    Christchurch, your problems are the same as ours but the Dictatorship’s failure in your city is in the media spotlight and more graphic. If we can help you, you might start to turn the tide and thereby help all New Zealanders.

  9. Kevyn Miller 9

    If a catastrophic natural disaster of this scale (per capita) was to happen in Australia, USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, France or Germany their laws would compel federal/state governments to pay for almost the entire replacement cost for public buildings and infrastructure so that their would be a 50/50 cost split between taxpayers and ratepayers per capita. New Zealand law leaves it to the discretion of Cabinet whether to pay more than 60% of the costs. Since there are 20 taxpayers for Christchurch ratepayer that 60/40 split is costing ratepayers over $10,000 (GST inclusive), Canterburys insurers $4.5 in GST and costing non-Canterbury taxpayers just a few hundred dollars. Using that $3bn the way it would be in civilised countries would avoid sinking the City and its ratepayers in an ocean of debt at no cost to other taxpayers.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    10 hours ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    12 hours ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    1 day ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    1 day ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    2 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    2 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    2 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    3 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    3 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    4 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    4 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    4 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    5 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    1 week ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    1 week ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    1 week ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago