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A clear choice for voters

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, July 14th, 2017 - 62 comments
Categories: class war, election 2017, labour, poverty, socialism - Tags: , , , , , ,

Support for Labour’s policy from an anonymous Herald editorial:

Labour could spend all National’s tax cut on the needy

Credit where it is due. It takes courage to say that if elected, you will cancel a tax cut.

Yes.

That is what the Labour Party has announced with its promise to direct the money instead to additional spending, particularly on assistance for low income families.

In doing so it has presented the voters with a clear choice which, for those without young families or earning above the income limits, will mean deciding whether to take the tax cut or give the benefit to children of the less well off.

For the well off the tax cut is a meaningless increase. The decision to help those in need should be an easy one.

Most people would gladly donate $10 or $20 a week to a fund that would alleviate child poverty, a subject we hear so much about.

Herald editorial writers “hear so much” about it, a significant proportion of our population experience it, the hard way.

They might wish Labour intended to direct all of that money to poor households rather than retain so much for largely unspecified “public services and infrastructure”.

Indeed they might. We should have a discussion about how to allow that to happen, and raise further revenue for infrastructure. How about a capital gains tax?

Anyway, good to see the message getting out. Enough with the nonsense that there is no difference between National and Labour. Voters are being offered a clear and important choice.

62 comments on “A clear choice for voters”

  1. Keith 1

    It is, I hope, the beginning of a clear choice.

    Thus far Labour have been timid, vague and utterly camouflaged in Nationals policy shadow. And missing in action lately too. They need to fight for their survival.

  2. red-blooded 2

    A commitment to build state houses and help low-middle income earners by providing (more) affordable homes; scrapping tax cuts and promising support for all babies, plus targeted child support; winter heating payments for beneficiaries and superannuitants; increased spending on public health and education; clear policies on rebalancing workplace relations… Labour’s being pretty bold, Keith, and absolutely sticking to their principals. I think most people would see this as a clear choice.

  3. patricia bremner 3

    Andrew is old Labour, he believes in a “fair go” He is honest and straight forward.
    He is also a negotiator and a thinker as well as a “DOer” GO LABOUR!!!!!

    • So Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr English
      If You Think We’re On The Run?
      We Are The Voters Who Will Stop Your Little Game
      We Are The Voters Who Will Make You Think Again
      ‘Cause Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr English
      If You Think New Zealand’s Done?

      Mr Brown Goes Off To Town
      On The Waitemata Boat
      But He Comes Home Each Evening
      And He’s Ready With His Vote

      (So Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr English
      If You Think New Zealand’s Done?)

      So Watch Out Mr English
      You Have Met Your Match In Us
      If You Think You Can Crush Us
      We’re Afraid You’ve Missed The Bus
      ‘Cause Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr English
      If You Think New Zealand’s Done?

  4. Cancelling an unnecessary tax cut isn’t courage when polls of voters consistently suggest they’d rather government spending was at an appropriate level than receive a tax cut. It’s literally just sensible policy, and the least you could do. If they want to be brave, they can announce that they’re amending the BRR and are going to raise taxes if they win to spend on critical priorities like building houses and making sure nobody else dies this year because they’re homeless.

    • Louis 4.1

      I thought this was a self defeating comment. raise taxes? Labour doesn’t need to say that. if they win to spend on critical priorities like building houses and making sure nobody else dies? which is exactly what Labour’s policies announced thus far, no doubt with more to come, is wanting to address. This year? Got a magic wand Matthew?

    • Rob 4.2

      I don’t see a tax cut yet
      Isn’t that a bribe to vote for the Natz then hope they give you the goodies after they have been devalued by increasing costs over the next nine months.

  5. Cinny 5

    This morning Jacinda and Judith were discussing this on the AM show.

    Jacinda totally owned Judith, Judith tried and failed, Jacinda you made me feel so proud this morning, keep up the good work.

    Here’s the clip…. they start off discussing the Barry gossip and then move on to the tax cuts for the rich v’s help for those struggling.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/07/high-earners-don-t-want-tax-cuts-ardern.html

    • Warren Doney 5.1

      Jacinda has gone well against Paula in interviews too. One of my big fears was that she couldn’t cut it, but she has learned a lot, and gained confidence.

    • Norfolk Traveller 5.2

      Cinny I watched the clip and came away with a very different impression. Jacinda constantly talked over Judith (something that never works well with the public), and was weak in her responses to questioning on the Barry Coates issue.

      • WILD KATIPO 5.2.1

        Well give her time – after all… do you remember the sniggering , guffawing and insecure Stephen Joyce not just speaking over Grant Robertson but yelling over him?

        And that was his election tactic?

        To diffuse the fatal truths about the incompetency’s of the National govt by putting on such a puerile display ?

        I will never forget that interview. Joyce came out deserving the nickname of the Dildo guy well and truly.

        • Norfolk Traveller 5.2.1.1

          Yes it is an unfortunate characteristic of far too many politicians. But the ineptitude of the media has a lot to do with this. A competent interviewer would shut that nonsense down, whoever is doing it.

  6. Ross 6

    “Most people would gladly donate $10 or $20 a week…”

    Alas I’m not sure that’s true. Just recently Wayne Mapp was praising Muldoon’s Superannuation folly which of course was popular with many voters. Some voters can’t see past their noses. And some well off think that those living in poverty are doing so out of choice or due to their lack of personal responsibility. I would love, however, to be proved wrong.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    “Enough with the nonsense that there is no difference between National and Labour. “Voters are being offered a clear and important choice.”

    Yep – its becoming clearer and clearer – and there’s still a way to go. Labour IS different from National and its good to see someone at the Herald finally acknowledging it.

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      Really?

      The targeting from both parties appears to be “look how much money we will return to your back pocket”. It is asking every voter to ask themselves how they will individually be better off.

      For some people they will be better off with Labour’s bribes, with others they will be better off with National’s bribes. That is what this election is shaping up as.

      The framing is identical. With neither of the major parties looking like they intend to offer any vision or to campaign on how New Zealand as a whole will be better off.

      Party Vote Green

      • Siobhan 7.1.1

        You could argue that the payments for poorer families will ultimately not leave them better off with no vision to radically reset the economy that takes their money.. all their money.
        Its an extension of the Accommodation Allowance. Money straight to the pockets of landlords to prop up their flawed business plan. Same with house insulation. Great and vital…but ultimately Just an excuse to put up rents.
        Show me a party that will save the average life time renter from the mercies of the landlord class and houses that are just tradable commodities and they’ll get my vote.

        • red-blooded 7.1.1.1

          Siobhan, Labour has committed to building more state houses – that’s the only way to ensure private landlords don’t profit from things like the accommodation allowance. The fact is, though, that most rental properties are privately owned, and you’re not going to find a political party that promises to nationalise them, if that’s what you want.

          Besides, this latest set of announcements from Labour was about supporting families and giving extra funding to superannuitants and beneficiaries over winter to help with heating costs. Nothing to do with landlords.

          • Enough is Enough 7.1.1.1.1

            Since where were ALL superannuitants, in need of of this kind of assistance?

            My rich parents certainly won’t even notice it landing in their bank accounts.

        • Enough is Enough 7.1.1.2

          Exactly

          Extra cash in the hand is a waste of time, if the fundamental reason for them requiring that extra assistance is not addressed.

          I am not saying Labour’s policies are all bad. It is just disappointing that it appears the fight is going to be over convincing the punters that the red or blue team will deliver you more lollies

  8. Chris 8

    But the baby and electricity money isn’t going to just the needy

    It’s going to everyone, including the very rich, which is what they are arguing against

    Unless I’m missing something glaringly obvious, which admittedly, wouldn’t be a first

  9. mary_a 9

    Tax cuts for the already well off, or look after our own, particularly the vulnerable and those living in impoverishment?

    The election choice I hope will be the latter. Because that’s what a responsible government will do. I’d like to see Labour come out now with more of the same.

    Come on Labour, we’re listening.

    • While they still have a remnant neo liberal caucus , it is a delicate walk for anyone wishing to advance a ‘ Corbynite’ type return to original Labour party principles. It is going to happen however ,…

      NZ politics is in a state of flux, .. and it takes times for that to work its way through,.. small population , thousands of miles from trading partners, surrounded by ocean , and easily fed bullshit by a a small insular newsmedia…

      But rest assured,.. we are influenced by what happens in England whether we like to admit it or not.

      We all want it yesterday but the facts are this : its going to happen. Maybe not for this generation but certainly for our children’s generation. There are good times ahead. NZ has a great future . It is up to us to get motivated and fall in behind these early attempts at breaking free from globalism and neo liberalism.

      And Labour has that historic mandate to lead the way.

  10. Michael 10

    Labour’s policy is necessary, but not sufficient, to establish its credibility with the people. It really needs to dmeonstrate its repudiation of neoliberalism, not by destroying capitalism but by disciplining it and restraining its unregulated excesses. I’d like to see some evidence from Labour that it will tax rentier capitalism, as both Guy Standing and Robert Reich recommend.

  11. Penny Bright 11

    UPDATE FROM HER WARSHIP – THE HAGUE 14 July 2017
    5.27 am

    (I know – I should still be sleep:(

    I ended up handing out 80 copies of my following ACTION PLAN to fellow attendees, (on the other side being the recent article by Damien Grant Sunday Star Times 9 July 2017).

    (It has been well-received.

    I have had feedback from a number of attendees that they had no idea that was the situation in New Zealand.)

    This, in my view, is the alternative to a corruption measure bring based upon ‘perception’ (ie: largely the subjective opinions of anonymous business people).

    These are objective yardsticks / milestones that can be used, in my view, to measure corruption REALITY.

    There are actually hundreds of hours of work that have gone into this ONE A4 page.)

    The question is – if New Zealand was truly ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ – wouldn’t we be the MOST transparent?

    So why doesn’t New Zealand already have the following?

    ACTION PLAN TO ENSURE ‘OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND DEMOCRATICALLY ACCOUNTABLE’ NZ GOVERNMENT AND JUDICIARY:

    1) Make ALL ‘facilitation payments’ (BRIBES) illegal.

    2) Legislate to create an NZ independent anti-corruption body, tasked with educating the public and preventing corruption.

    3) Legislate for NZ members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else) to have a legally enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’.

    4) Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002, for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    5) Make it lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government elected representatives to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    6) Make it a lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government staff, responsible for property or procurement, to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    7) Make it lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) Directors and staff, responsible for property or procurement, to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    8) Fully implement and enforce the Public Records Act 2005, to ensure public records are available for public scrutiny.

    9) Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of NZ Central Government and Local Government public finances must be undertaken, to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in house’ is cost-effective for the public majority of tax payers and rate payers.

    10) Legislate for a legally enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure that they are not ‘above the law’.

    11) Legislate to provide a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    12) Ensure ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, with audio records available to parties who request them.

    13) Legislate for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists, and ‘Code of Conduct’ for lobbyists.

    14) Legislate for a ‘post-separation employment’ (‘revolving door’ ) quarantine period from the time officials leave the public service, to take up a similar role in the private sector.

    15) Legislate to make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ central or local government are sold, or long-term leased via Public Private Partnerships.

    16) Legislate to make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to central or local government elections.

    17) Legislate to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations, who are ‘whistle-blowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and and alleged corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    18) Legislate to prevent ‘State Capture’ – where vested interests get what they want, at the ‘policy’ level, before laws are passed which serve their vested interests.

    ……
    _____________________________

    Which political parties in NZ
    have such an ACTION PLAN?

    What I would like to see is AS MANY political parties/ groups / organisations and individuals ‘pick up the ball’ here and ‘help themselves’ to as many of these ‘demands’ as possible – so we get AS MANY people as possible calling for genuine transparency and accountability in New Zealand.

    “Where the people lead – the politicians will follow …”

    Politically – we need to CLEAN our country up!

    On the NZ anti- corruption front – this ACTION PLAN gives a clear path forward.

    Please folks – all I ask you to do is read carefully and consider these ACTION PLAN points, and if you agree – please SHARE?

    THANKS!

    Penny Bright

    • Sacha 11.1

      “8) Fully implement and enforce the Public Records Act 2005, to ensure public records are available for public scrutiny”

      Yet again, that is not what that law does. And now you’re embarrassing yourself on a world stage with fundamental and repeated ignorance.

      • Stunned Mullet 11.1.1

        “Yet again, that is not what that law does. And now you’re embarrassing yourself on a world stage with fundamental and repeated ignorance.”

        To be fair, it is one of Penny’s cure competencies.

      • Andre 11.1.2

        Penny actually experiences embarrassment?

      • Stuart Munro 11.1.3

        The purposes of this Act are—
        (c) to enable the Government to be held accountable by—
        (i) ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are created and maintained; and
        (ii) providing for the preservation of, and public access to, records of long-term value; and
        (d) to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public records and local authority records;

        Penny doesn’t seem to have missed the point at all.

        • Sacha 11.1.3.1

          Sheesh, haven’t you seen this point here in the last year or so? The PRA is about retaining and preserving records, that is all.

          Access is overwhelmingly controlled by our OIA and LGOIMA laws, not by the PRA. The exception is long-term archives as in (c)(ii) you cited. That is not what Penny is talking about, as she has been told many times. She is an obstinate fool and an embarrassment to progressive activists.

          • Stuart Munro 11.1.3.1.1

            So you would say the purpose of the act is not that “government be held accountable” – which seems to be Penny’s objective.

          • WILD KATIPO 11.1.3.1.2

            Rather harsh , – what have you done to advance so called progressive politics, – furthermore – what exactly is your definition of ‘ progressive’ ?

            Not everyone may share your perspectives btw , – what Penny Bright does is not only get out there and challenge the TINA narrative but offer some things akin to traditional Labour core values and principles… what have you done in this regard?

  12. Sanctuary 12

    This is what happens when for a decade your caucus is full of bourgeoise show ponies, talentless and valueless careerists, and useless stuffed shirts selected because of identity and not talent.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/07/labour-s-confidential-polling-leaked.html

    Labour is on track to catastrophe. If they are lucky, they’ll still be the biggest party after the election. If they tank, they may well be reduced to third place. That is what happens when you have not guts, no fight, no passion and no belief in anything beyond arse kissing the vaunted “centre” and hanging on to your fat salary.

    Timid policies from visionless managerialists, tinkering policies indistinguishable in spirit from National, and a useless, complacent PLP full of no-hopers.

    What a way to go for the party of Savage, Frazer, and Kirk.

    • Ed 12.1

      They need to tack rapidly and adopt UK Labour’s policies.

      • Norfolk Traveller 12.1.1

        UK Labour has moved left. In NZ Labour is losing support to the Centre (NZF). How will adopting UK Labour policies stem that tide?

        • Ed 12.1.1.1

          He got the young to turn up and vote.

          • Norfolk Traveller 12.1.1.1.1

            You assume the young will vote left. That doesn’t necessarily follow.

            • Ed 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I realise that.
              If there is no socialist vision then the young will look at other alternatives to neoliberalism.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                That’s the point – you don’t know that. How do you know the ‘young’ favour an alternative to current policy direction?

    • RedLogix 12.2

      Well NZ1 usually pick up during the run up to an election; but those numbers strongly suggest they’ve come directly off Labour. It is of course just one poll, subject to all the usual caveats around noise etc.

      But as usual I totally agree with your sentiments; if Labour were on a roll to do well in the election, the polling ‘noise’ shouldn’t be negative like this.

      Also the makeup of the NZ electorate has permanently swung in Nationals favour over the past ten years. All the analysis I’ve seen strongly suggests that new immigrants strongly favour voting conservatively.

      • Pete George 12.2.1

        It’s not just one poll, they include a chart of results for the year.

        The Newshub report exaggerates Labour’s drop, they compared to 4 polls ago which looks like an outlier on 34%.

        The TV report didn’t mention National but they are on 42% which is at least as newsworthy – but UMR has had them in the low forties since March which is out of step with other polls which have fluctuated a lot more.

        – National 42% (previous 6 results 43, 43, 42, 44, 42, 43)
        – Labour 26% (previous 6 results 28, 28, 34, 30, 32, 29)
        – NZ First 14% (previous 6 results 12, 12, 9, 9, 9, 11)
        – Greens 13% (previous 6 results 13, 12, 13, 13, 13, 12)

        • WILD KATIPO 12.2.1.1

          Labour 26%
          – NZ First 14%
          – Greens 13%
          ————————

          53%

          Pike River seems more and more likely to be re – entered, Pete George.

      • Sanctuary 12.2.2

        “…Also the makeup of the NZ electorate has permanently swung in Nationals favour over the past ten years. All the analysis I’ve seen strongly suggests that new immigrants strongly favour voting conservatively…”

        I totally disagree with this. For a start, only the bourgeoise see the rest as a monolithic, undifferentiated mass. There are plenty of suffering migrants, working in third world conditions and treated as badly by their own kind as surely as any imagined white oppressor could manage. Perhaps you need to take a reality check, to check those fires of socialism havn’t dimmed to a dull glow peaking out from the ashes of conformism?

        What has happened is the ruling class and it’s organs of control have become more frankly and intensely ideological than ever, and this doubling down of control of thought and limits of debate are both a conscious political and unconscious cultural reaction to the failure of capitalism and the cruel logic of class politics. The media nowadays more or less completely eschews coverage of poverty, unemployment, suicide etc etc except when these may intrude into the bubble of the ruling class talking to itself.

        And this has occurred precisely at the moment the supposed standard bearer of resistance to capitalism – the Labour party – has completed capitulated to the establishment, becoming a right wing party whose MPs are timid, law abiding members of the bourgeoise and who have zero stomach for the hard yards required to fight capitalism. Can anyone here imagine Jacinda Ardern spending a year in jail for opposing legislation, like Peter Frazer did? Hah! She’d miss Coco’s Cantina to much! Can anyone here imagine Andrew Little, on being told the unemployed had used union furniture as weapons in a riot down Queen street saying that he couldn’t imagine a better use of union property?

        None of Labour’s betrayal and move to the right would matter to tribal supporters, though, if they at least had had the fucking wit to see the centre has collapsed and the left is back in fashion, that socialism can again be spoken of proudly in the halls of power. Utimately, Labour’s imminent death won’t be because the electorate has become more right wing – it will be because when the electorate came looking for something new from the traditional party of radical change, all it found was a bunch of navel gazing fools bickering amongst themselves about sexuality, gender, identity and the nuances of tinkering with the status quo.

    • Anne 12.3

      This is what happens when for a decade your caucus is full of bourgeoise show ponies, talentless and valueless careerists, and useless stuffed shirts selected because of identity and not talent.

      Yes, there’s some truth in ‘them thar’ comments. Labour has gone too far down the identity politics road. Plenty of people have tried to tell them over the years – including me – but it’s been a case of banging one’s head against a brick wall.

      When the “man ban” policy was raging a few years back, I tried to tell one of the women involved (not an MP) it was a mistake. My argument was based on the easily foreseeable response from Labour’s enemies (including the MSM) and I suggested it was something you got on with doing quietly and without publicity. My copybook was permanently blotted and I was forthwith dumped from any position of influence within that section of the party anyway.

      When you add the PC nature of much of their rhetoric, then it isn’t surprising they are not making headway in the popularity stakes. I’m also on record telling them to “for god’s sake get a bit mongrel” and that never went down very well either. 🙁

      • RedLogix 12.3.1

        Your sounding like ‘him of Asian descent whose name shall not be mentioned around here anymore’. 🙂

        • Anne 12.3.1.1

          Well ‘him whose name shall not be mentioned around here anymore’ actually had a good point there, but the problem with ‘him whose name shall not be mentioned around here anymore’ is: he took his anti-Labourism down a long, dark and dangerous road which eventually lead to Trumpism.

          • Zeroque 12.3.1.1.1

            I’m unsure what is happening re the immigrant vote intentions. And of course that covers new and well established immigrants who may be better called NZ’ders, as could some recent arrivals if that makes sense. For some landing here I’m sure more of the same policies would look much better than what they have had and depending upon where they have come from, more government maybe instinctively good in such times but for some, less government might be viewed as desirable. Whatever the case politically it’s taking NZ from a Pakeha/Maori/polynesion society to a truly international flavour which I really think we need to get used to. But the challenge as always is to ensure a decent standard of living for all.

            • Anne 12.3.1.1.1.1

              There is one common factor especially among Chinese immigrants and that is their tendency to vote for the incumbents in power. From their perspective its better to stay on side with the governing party. Hence it is not surprising National may be the party of choice for many of them. In the event of a change of government then they would probably change their vote. It might take a generation for them to comprehend its not the way we do it in European style democracies.

              • You’re onto it.

                And cynically – this is EXACTLY why the National party are loathe to cut that lifeline to power off. And the price for that ?

                A fractured NZ society with a monied landlord class that parasites on the rest of us.

                • And btw – I support the ‘him whose name shall not be mentioned around here anymore’ ..

                  He spoke more wisdom than a whole bunch of you Clinton Foundation supporting ‘ arms to ISIS ‘ wannabe leftists ever did.

                  You only select what fits in with your globalist brainwashed agendas – which is sad because you sell out to globalist media narratives while saying you oppose it.

                  You are the type to turn on a dime against any long term servers against fascist hierarchy dissenters who oppose your agendas- such as Wikileaks , Julian Assange , and worst of all – John Pilger.

                  Hang your heads in shame.

                  • McFlock

                    He also had a weird fixation with democrats eating cheese pizza.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I didn’t mind most of his eccentricities – but embracing Putin is a bridge too far.

                    I think he caught the wrong edge of the fake news phenomenon and will be wiser in years to come.

              • Gabby

                Labour should add a bit of gold to their logo to attract good fortune at the polls.

    • Norfolk Traveller 12.4

      Those numbers explain the Greens outbursts about NZ First in recent days. And they indicate that Labour is losing votes not to the left but to the centre.

    • @ SANCTUARY.

      You may not like ‘ incrementalism ‘ , however , …

      Labours policy to introduce a Living wage first with the public sector will put pressure on the private sector to follow suit. This will strengthen the hand of Trade Unions.

      And we know this is true by the squawking and squeals of the NZ Initiative and the MBIE recently . They , … the surreptitious motivators of the National party deemed it right to emerge from the shadows and issue a public statement opposing Labour’s policy’s.

      And if they feel so motivated to do so , – I am even more motivated to vote against what they want just to fuck them up. They are the biggest cancers to ever lobby the corridors of Parliament in NZ.

      The more the NZ Initiative feels pain the greater my joy.

  13. Sanctuary 13

    “…You may not like ‘ incrementalism ‘ , however , …

    Labours policy to introduce a Living wage first…”

    I guess what I am looking for is ONE signature policy that really sets the cat amongst the pigeons. A policy that sends a shiver down the back of the boss class. Here is a (for me) topical one, since I suffered through yet another powercut yesterday.

    NZ electricity generation and production is a mess. A dozen or so companies provide generation, distribution and retail in a forced experiment in competition that is an idiotic ideological triumph over common sense. We have gone from having some of the cheapest power in the world to some of the most expensive. The companies are laws unto themselves.

    A signature, bold, Corbyn like policy would be to announce deregulation has failed the people of New Zealand and they will all be re-nationalised, and re-tasked with new goals like sustainable production and lowest possible price. Promise to introduce winter billing caps for large families and the elderly. Have huge billboards saying that under Labour, your power bill need no longer keep you cold in winter or awake at night. That is socialism in action – freedom from worry, and freedom from want. A policy that keeps the many warm at the expense of the few. Electricity is a basic human right, and no one should fear their power bill simply because they want to keep warm. Defend it in those terms.

    THAT is a bold, left wing policy. And the neolibs would hate it.

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    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
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    1 day ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
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    2 days ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
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    2 days ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
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    3 days ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
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    3 days ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
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    3 days ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
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    4 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
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    4 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
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    4 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
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    4 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
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    4 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
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    4 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
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    5 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
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    5 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
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    6 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
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    7 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
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    7 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
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    7 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
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    7 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
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    7 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
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    1 week ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
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    1 week ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
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    1 week ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
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    1 week ago