And what have they done anyway?

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, February 2nd, 2022 - 107 comments
Categories: climate change, covid-19, education, Environment, health, housing, jacinda ardern, labour, law and "order", poverty, uncategorized, Unions - Tags:

With Ardern getting a good-old media beat-down, remember here’s how to change a country for good like no one else but Labour can.

In justice, their strategy for reduction has worked: offending rates among young people have dropped by 63%. Over 10,000 fewer children and young people offending over 10 years. And all prisoners serving 3 years or less can now vote again. The prison population is down 24% to 8,000 since 2017. That’s 1,000 fewer Maori not in prison.

Total crime overall has fallen through the floor.

All counter-terrorism laws are significantly strengthened. Some* guns must be registered. 60,000 guns have been bought back and destroyed. Semiautomatics nearly eliminated.

As to health, the Labour government has defeated 3 strains of a global pandemic that has killed millions in other countries and maimed tens of millions more – we have less than 60 deaths total and a globally insignificant infection rate for over 2 years. Every single public health measure has worked. They rolled out vaccines to 4 million people, and counting.

Cannabis use is down to 8.5% using it once a month, and smoking cigarettes is finally down to 9.4% of adults smoking daily and just 1% youth.

They are on track to recentralise the health system, establish a standalone Maori health authority, and spend tens of billions ensuring the same good level of care for every person no matter whether you are in Bluff or Auckland.

In housing, they banned foreigners buying existing houses. Investors cannot sell any investment property inside 10 years without heavy taxes. They have set high standards for every single rental property, and given tenants much stronger rights including highly restrictive reasons to ever get evicted. You can only ever increase rents once a year. – and while re-regulating it still ensured home owners weren’t hurt at all. They have stopped state housing sales and built 6,000 more, with a further 18,000 public and transitional houses being built by 2024.

Every single rough sleeper in cities was housed during the pandemic – never been done before.

Kainga Ora now masterplans whole city suburbs into strong and sustainable urban communities.

In education, apprenticeships are now free. Over 200,000 people have been trained. Removed all school donations and NCEA fees. Made the first university degree free. Nurses and mental health workers permanently in schools.

For the environment, they’ve passed the Zero Carbon plan supported by all in Parliament except Act. A target of net zero emissions by 2050, and a plan for it across every single Department, state entity and local government.

They’ve eliminated plastic bags and most food and drink packaging.  Got the Department of Conservation its largest funding boost since 2002.

Stopped all new oil and gas permits. Far more freight and daily commuters now choose to go by rail than at any time this century.

Delivered the strongest-ever protections to clean up our rivers and lakes, and built a permanent place for Maori managing our water systems.

Opened hundreds of kilometres of city and rural cycleways.

In poverty reduction, it’s all been about the practical things. 215,000 children now get free lunches. All 9 measures of poverty show improvement. Benefits are up. Minimum wage is up. 109,000 families with children are on average better off by $175 per week. Free period products in schools and kura. Made going to the doctor $30 cheaper for 540,000 people on low incomes. Abatements levels for working and on a benefit are up.

Over 850,000 older people are now warmer in winter. Read that number again slowly.

Parents now get 26 weeks leave as of right. The tax credit of $60 per week has assisted over 100,000 newborns. Free doctor visits up to age 13.

As to workers, the government gave almost $20 billion in wage subsidies and resurgence payments to businesses. As a result, business was stable and we have the lowest unemployment rate and under-employment rate we’ve had this century.

They protected 1.8 million people in jobs putting food on the table: that is, Labour saved the entire economy. The lowest-paying and lowest-productivity parts of the economy (such as hospitality, tourism and foreign language schools) have shrunk and higher productivity sectors have boomed.

Wages are up. Worker protections to unionise are up. Conditions are up as businesses compete for workers. Crap jobs are down. Cheap immigrant workers suppressing wages are way down. More flexibility to work from home for massive working sectors. And a minimum of 10 sick days a year.

Everyone gets a new public holiday this year – focused on the way Maori celebrate the future year.

They are on track to spend $53.7 billion on infrastructure renewals, and for the first time in decades there is a clear plan for improving roads, schools and hospitals from one end of the country to the other.

I didn’t even get halfway through. And we haven’t got to Budget 2022.

See:  Our Achievements – NZ Labour Party for nearly all of the references.

So to state the obvious: None of this would have happened under National or Act, the Maori Party can’t deliver anything, and the Greens have two very small portfolios outside cabinet.

None of the above would have happened if Labour didn’t run the country.

And on this clear record, none of it will improve unless Labour are running the country next time.

* Corrected the statement “Every gun must be registered” to “Some guns must be registered”. Category “A” guns unfortunately do not have to be registered. This includes sporting configuration rifles and shotguns. Wikipedia

Registration is not required under the law but the police carry out a regime similar to registration for all but “A Category” firearms. Firearms in any other category require a “permit to procure” before they are transferred.

107 comments on “And what have they done anyway? ”

  1. dv 1

    Thanks Ad. A damned got summary.

    Needed to be said.

    • Agreed DV…great post Ad…smiley

      Really this post needs to be tightly summarized/refined in manner where it is available to be sent to the media and other people as soon as they say (as they keep saying) "Ardern has led an all-talk do-nothing government."

  2. But . . . but, all very true Ad, and worth celebrating, but . . . but such achievements don't make the headlines like the moaning of the small but very loud number of right whingers!

    I heard the NZ Gold Open has been cancelled for – horror upon horror – the second year in a row, and John Hart, who has something to do with it, blames the government.

    This small but very vocal privileged elite get right up my nose.

    • Blade 2.1

      I'm not going to comment on this thread apart from saying this. I think the left wing media is remiss in not mentioning these supposed victories for Labour's policies.

      Of course, if the defence calls the defendant into the witness box, that leaves them open to questioning by the prosecution.

      I would love to see the PM debate these wins with Mike Hosking.

      The post about justice reads like fantasy to me. However, I'm open to being proven wrong. Law and Order is one thing I'm passionate about.

  3. tc 3

    Nice post and timely as context given the constant negativity from the msm on behalf of nact.

    They suck at promoting the good work done which needs to improve to overcome the media.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    No Labour politician has made a case for Labour as comprehensively as yours. So, faced with a slide in the polls, they have a lesson in practical politics onsite here. Informing the electorate of accomplishments seems a straightforward task yet it often fails to feature on the agenda of parliamentarians for some strange reason.

    As someone inclined to being more critical of Labour recently, I agree it's worthwhile accentuating the positive side of their performance in govt. One must give credit where it's due. Then, of course, focus on good stuff happening can blind one to awareness of bad stuff happening. Those who fall victim to that end up doing pollyanna politics.

    • Patricia Bremner 4.1

      Well who could do "Pollyanna Politics" during Key's time?

      You are very good at the dissing game Dennis. Was there any area you had in mind? That was a rather inclusive brush. What bad has been hidden by the glare of the good?

      “Focus on good things happening can blind one to awareness of bad things happening..”

      Let us look at that. I would have welcomed a little of that blindness during the Key years, but with "small Government" comes "small public good" and increasing private advantage, so getting blinded by the Rock Star Economy was rather hard work.

      I recognise the internet cables as a success begun in the Key era. Few of their other changes have survived the pandemic, being too reliant on bringing in cheap labour and selling access to our natural beauty. All the fat had been trimmed down to selling off public housing and other assets.

      When a Government implements their programme in the face of a Pandemic they must be doing more right than wrong, and the "critics" need to examine their motivations.

      I am thrilled we are leading the discourse again, as we were elected as the major Party in Parliament. Some, because of Pandemic pressures appear to have lost faith.

      Ad is doing a sterling job in bringing to our attention work in portfolios which has been eclipsed but not extinguished by the Pandemic. Work which is improving lives.

      The press follows the sensations which earn clicks for advertisers.

      Good News needs to be more word of mouth and real experience. If that is being "Pollyanna" Great.. we need optimism as enough bad things are happening which Large Government is going to have to counter.

      The Pandemic Climate Change and now the balancing act of the super spending world wide leading to inflation, the pandemic leading to supply shortages. To lay that at this government's feet would be cynical in the extreme. They will mitigate what they can, and by world standards they are doing well.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        I made an effort to support Ad's focus on the bright side. I was just trying to inject a cautious prudent note into that – the pollyanna thing is a natural consequence of partisan politics & National has their equivalent of that.

        Your spin for Labour is fair enough but I'd caution you to compare it to their poll slide. I agree it's unfair when achievements don't get sufficiently credited in the public mind but unless voters give credit on election day positive spin is unrealistic.

        That said, polls are ephemeral indicators of an ephemeral public mood, and resenting confinement may turn out to be a passing phase…

  5. Sabine 5

    As to workers, the government gave almost $20 billion in wage subsidies and resurgence payments to businesses. As a result, business was stable and we have the lowest unemployment rate and under-employment rate we’ve had this century.

    that money went to the workers, in full, and was only received by businesses that have had a down turn of 30%.

    The businesses were offered a loan with no interest for 2 years, the wage subsidy to themselves if they were employed by their business, and the resurgance payments.

    The other side was businesses closing their doors for the duration of lockdowns and closing fully after that, and then our unemployment numbers would look really bad.

    So essentially the government rolled the unemployment benefits of people over to be distributed by Employers rather then by WINZ as WINZ would have not coped with the onslought of people needing help during lockdown without income.

    I am sure Mickey Savage here would agree with me that if his business would have needed that wage subsidy that it would have fully been paid out to his staff. And that was it for 90+% of the businesses in this country. And ditto for Tamati Coffey who has two tourist businesses in town that also relied on the wage subsidy during the times that his businesses were closed to pay for his staff. The other option was to tell people to go on the dole.

  6. arkie 6

    Every gun must be registered.

    No it doesn't, we do not have a gun registry. There are continued calls for one but it is not law.

    In poverty reduction, it’s all been about the practical things

    In practice: An additional 18,000 New Zealand children were pushed into poverty in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research, despite child welfare being one of prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s main concerns. (from the Guardian)

    Wages are up. Worker protections to unionise are up. Conditions are up as businesses compete for workers. Crap jobs are down.

    Wages aren't up enough to meet inflation for 73% of wage earners:

    "We're not seeing wage increases delivering," Craig Renney, CTU economist and director of policy, told Newshub.

    "What we're also not seeing is increases in base wages. If we look at increases in wages across the economy, we can see that 73 percent of Kiwis got a pay rise lower than inflation. (from Newshub)

    So while I applaud Labour for the good that they have done, I need to point out it is insufficient in many ways too. This isn't to say National would have been better but it is to say if we want a bolder response on climate, inequality and housing, we need a sizeable Green party to make the future Government as left as possible.

    [lprent: good catch on the guns – I fact corrected the post for Advantage ]

    • arkie 6.1

      Every single rough sleeper in cities was housed during the pandemic – never been done before.

      And never again it seems:

      There will not be a repeat of the massive push in 2020 to get all homeless people off the streets before the coming Omicron outbreak. (from RNZ)

    • Ad 6.2

      LPrent has corrected my enthusiasm for the all-gun registry.

      We have a sizeable Green party in Parliament right now, and they agree between them that they have done fuck all and aren't sure they should be in government in the first place, or even if they really are in government at all.

      We have the highest-spending, most activist, most interventionist state since the 1970s, brought to you by Labour. Not anyone else.

      • Belladonna 6.2.1

        Just on the gun issue.

        What people are actually seeing is a huge increase in gun-crime (either deliberate shootings in drive-by execution style) or criminals carrying guns while committing other forms of crime (and then resorting to them when things go wrong).

        Now, I'm not arguing that this is the fault of the Labour government – much of it seems to be driven by the 501 deportees from Australia – which is not something that the government has any control over.

        However, what most people see is: Labour claims to be tough on guns; gun-crime has gone up; Labour has failed.

        • Ad

          Agree fully.

          Our suburbs in the last half of last year were awash with gun deaths at about 1 a month. Commissioner Coster better demonstrate more big wins. Minister Poto Williams needs reshuffling out fast.

        • lprent

          It is and was predictable. People have weapons that they don't particularly need or have a use for. The requirements and enforcement for holding those weapons goes up. Effectively the costs of gun ownership.

          So they sell them or even give them away to whoever wants them the most. Right now that is in gangs.

          It doesn't mean that the policy of depriving nut bars from being able to kill people in quantity has failed. It just means that we wound up with a society that has far too many weapons floating around.

          So long as the police keep destroying weapons that wind up in their possession, that problem will eventually go away. The problem would go away faster if all weapons had to be registered on a annual basis like cars.

          We should also tax weapons and ammunition at the border at a higher rate and steadily increase it to reduce the incoming flow. This won't particularly affect the legitimate use of weapons – it will just change the cost structure. It will just tend to make it more expensive to have weapons sitting around unused.

          That is viable on a ACC levy basis alone, let alone the costs of combating the downstream costs of criminal activity. But basically firearms are dangerous tools, they need to have a cost of ownership to ensure that they are used and not misused.

    • mosa 6.3

      " we need a sizeable Green party to make the future Government as left as possible.

      Not going to happen while LINO hold a majority. Getting back to minority government where LINO needs votes to get their programme through only then would a strong left wing party be in a position to advance a left wing agenda.

      The Greens are to busy with identity politics to do anything meaningful for the people they used to campaign for.

      • arkie 6.3.1

        The Greens are to busy with identity politics to do anything meaningful for the people they used to campaign for.


        I guess that attitude helps ‘LINO’, as you call it, maintain it’s majority, all while passing the ‘identity politics’ bill that somehow the Greens are responsible for despite the bill’s sponsor being Jan Tinetti, an MP for the Labour party.

        The Greens will continue to advocate for more action on the important issues and the ‘LINO’ party will tell you to just be happy with what has happened and be glad NACT aren’t in charge. We get what we vote for it seems.

  7. Ross 7

    Yeah nah that is less than convincing. You might ponder why many people won’t be voting Labour at the next election.

    The OECD are saying we need to means test Super given our high level of debt. But the PM refuses to see sense. It’s never a good sign when politicians paint themselves into a corner and refuse to admit their mistakes.

    The Charlotte Bellis debacle is another good example of Ministers failing to apologise. Any number of Ministers could have publicly apologised to Bellis, but none did. That is weak and shows a lack of compassion.

    What’s been the Government’s three biggest mistakes and when did it admit making those mistakes? Feel free to have a stab at an answer.

    • Christopher Randal 7.1

      Why do they need to apologise.

      She, like every other New Zealander, was told by the Government time and time again that if they left the country they may have difficulty getting back.

      She didn't listen and then used her contacts in the media to cause trouble

      • Ross 7.1.1

        Why do they need to apologise.

        There’s the problem right there. No Government gets to govern for four years without making mistakes. That you cannot think of one mistake this Government has made is telling. Voters don’t like arrogance.

        If we focus on the Bellis debacle, the Government released information about her situation that they had no right to release (ie, when she returned to Afghanistan, consular assistance, both of which she says the Government got wrong and which was private to her).

        We were told that her application to MIQ couldn’t be accommodated as it was more than 14 days before she was intending to travel. But she has now been offered and accepted a spot in MIQ in early March. That is considerably outside the 14 days. That suggests that there was flexibility. It’s a shame that such flexibility only became evident after some media attention. It won’t necessarily help other pregnant women wanting to return home.

        So yeah, I think an apology to Bellis is in order. But saying sorry can be the hardest word.

      • Belladonna 7.1.2

        She's been working overseas since 2015, and based in Doha since 2017.
        I don't think even the most predictive of crystal-ball gazers were predicting a global pandemic in 2022, at that stage.

        The current policy settings for MIQ access are simply not fit for purpose for pregnant women. The only option they have for any priority treatment is the Emergency category – and they are continually knocked back over this because 'not an emergency' Classic catch 22.

        That's what the government should be A: Remedying for all pregnant women (not just the ones who take a court case or have media clout); and B: Apologising to all of the pregnant women who've been shut out (not just to Bellis).

        Apologising to Bellis for releasing information about her to the media, should also be top of the agenda. We condemned Paula Bennett for this, we should hold the Labour ministers to the same standard.

      • Blazer 7.1.3

        Dead right…

        'She said her application was not granted on the medical needs of her pregnancy, but on the safety of her situation.'-Stuff

        She deliberately went back to Afghanistan,a premeditated dilemma.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      Crown debt is way lower than for other other western nations. How many times to we need to say this?

      As for Bellis to put this very gently the claims that she has made do not accord with reality.

    • Jedi 7.3

      Apologize to Bellis? You've got to be kidding! Even after ensuring she was accomadated and able to return, be it only on her terms, she still lambasts the government and threatens legal action. Oh, and she hastily ran to Fox news and other RW propaganda outlets and obliterated our country and people, to the world. She absolutely reeks of privelage, entitlement and self promotion. If anyone was to apologize, it should be her, to the great people of our nation!

  8. Christopher Randal 8

    And, again, nothing for the superannuitants

    • roy cartland 8.1

      "Nothing" you say?

    • Ad 8.2

      Hold my beer.

      • 850,000 older people get up to $700 per year for heating bills
      • 500,000 people with Community Services cards get cheaper doctor visits
      • National bowel cancer screening programme rolled out
      • Required all landlords to heat every rental home
      • Stop old people being evicted
      • Prioritised older people in the vaccine rollout – and over-65s are over 90% vaccianted
      • Massive increase in SuperGoldCard discounts
      • More drugs available through Pharmac getting a huge funding boost
      • Resumed payments to NZSuperfund
      • Kept your children employed, your grandchildren in daycare, and your entire country safe
      • Christopher Randal 8.2.1

        But no increase, apart from that mandated by law, to the weekly payment. The things you mention are only of use if you need them. And now with inflation at nearly 6% and food and utility prices increasing it is becoming very difficult to manage.

        • 500,000 people with Community Services cards get cheaper doctor visits
        • National bowel cancer screening programme rolled out
        • Required all landlords to heat every rental home
        • Stop old people being evicted
        • Prioritised older people in the vaccine rollout – and over-65s are over 90% vaccianted
        • Massive increase in SuperGoldCard discounts
        • More drugs available through Pharmac getting a huge funding boost
        • Resumed payments to NZSuperfund
        • Kept your children employed, your grandchildren in daycare, and your entire country safe
        • Ad

          NZSuper, along with Jobseeker Support, Supported Living Payment, Sole Parent Support, Veteran’s Pension and other main benefits rose 3.1% in line with increases in the average wage.

          NZSuper is adjusted annually. It's not means tested. Unlike most pensions in the world, it's available to everyone who meets the residency criteria.

          And it costs us about $17 billion a year. In 1996 it was $5.1 billion.

          You're welcome.

          • dv

            Not means tested, but it is taxed. So if have the income the tax on it will be higher.

            • Ad

              Could you make that second sentence a bit clearer?

              Are you proposing some different tax treatment for NZSuper?

            • lprent

              Progressive taxation is the case for all income. Offhand I don't know of any legitimate tax-free income in NZ apart from a few exceptions like the personal sale of second hand goods that are too hard to police.

              Why should superannuation be any different?

              If you want to argue for that, then the best idea is to argue for lower income tax in the bottom band for everyone, and offset by a more progressive taxation on higher income bands.

              Adding complexity to taxation systems is just a morass that encourages evasion and avoidance and reduces the ability to pay for things like superannuation.

              • JO

                …the best idea is to argue for lower income tax in the bottom band for everyone, and offset by a more progressive taxation on higher income bands.

                yes Together with, even if it doesn't please the avaricious lords of the banking sector and those who prefer to travel first class with them, a financial transactions tax!

              • alwyn

                Superannuation paid to former Public Servants, and to the more elderly former MPs doesn't have to be declared, and tax paid on it when the pensioner receives it.

                • Craig H

                  That's because, like Kiwisaver, tax was paid on the money that went into it and the investment returns (as income) in it (generally speaking). Kiwisaver is also distributed without being taxed.

                  • alwyn

                    If that was the case would you say that since I paid tax on the money I put into a Term Deposit when I first received it then the interest I get paid on the TD should be tax free in my hands when they pay it out?

                    Alternatively should all the money that is paid out by the fund have to be money, and the after tax returns from that money? Well is it?

                    Of course it isn't. The returns the fund makes only covers 24.2% of the money it pays out. All the rest comes directly from the Crown, ie the taxpayer. It is nothing like what you claim that it comes from the taxpaid money and tax paid returns of the fund. Three quarters of the money paid out comes from the taxpayer,

                    Look at the bottom of this link and then admit that the tale told by recipients of this largesse really out to pay tax on it.


                    • lprent

                      The key word here is 'income'.

                      ….then the interest I get paid on the TD should be tax free in my hands when they pay it out?

                      Nope you pay tax on income.

                      GFSA – well sure that was a rort – however it was a consolidated fund rather than an individual accounts, and it was a contractual arrangement based on employee and employer contributions. It was also not earning any money at any point during most of the funds history.

                      The GSF Schemes were closed to new members from 1 July 1992, except for persons who were eligible for membership through their employment with certain Pacific Island governments. Membership was closed to these persons in 1995.

                      However it was a contractual arrangement which the government of the time legally failed to perform to their part.

                      This shortfall was caused primarily by previous governments deciding not to make employer contributions to the Fund during the term of contributors’ government service. As a result the investment returns on the smaller asset base of the Fund, combined with contributions from members and non-government employers, are not sufficient to meet the annual cost of entitlements to members. The annual shortfall in the cost of entitlements is met by a ‘top up’ from the government each year.

                      So your solution is the the recipients should pay tax on the employer contributions? Of that the government should welch on a contract.

                      The government is paying on it because welching on it would be very expensive.

                      There doesn’t any profit to the organisation so they can’t profit. Sounds like they are technically insolvent. It doesn’t sound like it was individual accounts.

                      sigh You really should go and read your links. I know I keep saying that – perhaps you should listen sometime.

                    • alwyn

                      So. As you say "The annual shortfall in the cost of entitlements is met by a ‘top up’ from the government each year.". You realise that sounds just like the way New Zealand Super works, except there the shortfall is 100%. On that basis perhaps our NZ Super should be tax-free?

                      "Or that the government should welch on a contract". Governments routinely welch on contracts. We all had a contract offered by the Muldoon Government. Super would be paid at a level of 80% of the average wage starting at age 60 (At least I think it was that). Our contract was amended, or welched on, a number of times, The age went to 65. The percentage was lowered. A penalty tax was placed on the Super. So what?

                      " It doesn’t sound like it was individual accounts.". Of course it wasn't individual accounts. Such funds never are. You don't think the money in your KiwiSaver is kept in little piles with peoples names on them? If a KiwiSaver provider goes broke everyone who has contributed to the fund will suffer equally, just as they do if the investments don't do very well in some year

                    • lprent

                      Ummm. That was the contract that National made with National Super in (?) 1976.

                      Again we as individuals pay directly for the consolidated superannuation payments via taxes throughout our lifetime.

                      It isn't hard to argue that to tax it is in fact double taxation, and that was what was argued back in the 1970s. However National refused to see it that way. So we're stuck with double taxation of National's superannuation because that was part of the contract.

                      Can I suggest raising Robert Muldoon's ghost and tormenting it?

                      You don't think the money in your KiwiSaver is kept in little piles with peoples names on them?

                      FFS: You don't think that individual accounts in banks are any different? Ir sounds like you expect the banks to hold the money that you have in a bank account in its own little vault.

                      An individual account in kiwisaver account or a bank account is invested and ideally grown. That is because as an individual you get a choice about what type of account you want, the level of risk you want to assume and there is a contractual arrangement involved in each of those choices between you and your provider.

                      However it is a completely different contractual arrangement to a consolidated fund with no individual control over your account. It just pays you out on the basis of the original contract.

                      I detect in your statements that you don't believe in the parties abiding by contractual arrangements.

                      Maybe some time in your astral discussions with Robert Muldoon should concentrate on that point – because he was pretty good at breaking contracts. Ask anyone who got rorted by his wholesale grab on the previous pension plans which were on a pay forward basis back in the 1970s.

                    • alwyn

                      "It isn't hard to argue that to tax it is in fact double taxation".

                      I would be very interested in any rational argument for that. I don't think I could make one that would stand up to scrutiny.

                      "Ask anyone who got rorted by his wholesale grab on the previous pension plans".

                      If by this you mean the short lived, Roger Douglas created baby, that was the New Zealand Super scheme that started in 1975 you are wrong. The Muldoon Government paid out all the money in the accounts to the holders when they closed the scheme. The new Government did not grab it in a rort.

                      If you are talking about something else what is it?

                  • lprent

                    Distributed yes. As you say it was already taxed.

                    I pay PIR on the profits from Kiwisaver investments each year. The rest of the money was earned from my salary and had already been taxed.

                    About the only income that I know of that isn't taxed are profits from selling a private house.

          • Ross

            NZSuper is adjusted annually.

            When and by how much did it go up in 2021?

            [lprent: Don’t be a lazy dickhead aristocrat. I am sure that you have fingers and access to a search engine. People aren’t here to be your servant. Look it up yourself. Ask politely ask if you have problems figuring out a search phrase. ]

        • Craig H

          The increase mandated by law is CPI for the previous year to 31 December (which as noted is 5.9%), and the legally mandated rate for a couple is between 66% and 72.5% of the average wage as measured by Stats NZ at 1 March.

          Accordingly, the rate will be increased by 5.9% on 1 April 2022 as that will not set the new rate outside the range set by those percentages of the average wage.

    • Anne 8.3

      Really? From the post. Read it yet again very slowly:

      "Over 850,000 older people are now warmer in winter. Read that number again slowly."

      Services for the more vulnerable among the elderly – particularly in the area of health and housing – seem to have improved markedly in the last few years. I know of several people who have been assisted into healthy, well equipped units and who are now thriving. There's more to be done but – to quote the old cliché – Rome wasn't built in a day.

      Edit: I note Ad has responded in more detail.

      • DukeEll 8.3.1

        Warmer is a relative concept. They might have been hypothermic before and are now only freezing. They could have already been warm enough, and are perhaps now overheated.

      • Gypsy 8.3.2

        ""Over 850,000 older people are now warmer in winter. Read that number again slowly.""
        Do you have any actual evidence for that? It seems to me that all the government did was hand a hell of a lot of money to a lot of people who didn't need it. Pretty poor targeting of our money I'd say.

      • swordfish 8.3.3


        Spiffing, absolutely Spiffing.

        And how about those Elderly (like my 90 / 91 yo) Parents) who have lived in their own home for close to 60 years & have been forced to endure a 4 year Nightmare of violent intimidation, severe stress & extreme sleep deprivation ? … not least thanks to this Govt's tacit No Eviction policy (which Ad seems to applaud) … along with the equally sadistic decision by Kainga Ora (under both National & Labour Administrations) to allocate social housing almost exclusively to extreme anti-socials (often gang-affiliated with criminal records for violence) to whom no sane landlord would contemplate renting.

        A form of legalised terrorism, bordering on torture … an outrage very difficult to square with all the ostentatious Woke moral posturing.

        Then we might look at the CRT-influenced move towards Race-based Health "Equity" … whereby lower income Pakeha & other non-Maori (particularly the late middle-aged & elderly) will be pushed to the back of the queue & won't be able to afford either private medical insurance or large one-off payments for major procedures within the private sector. Once again, the wonderfully "moral" middle / upper-middle Woke will be enduring precisely zero sacrifice or suffering.

        What we're seeing is the systematic scapegoating of lower-income "outgroups" (in Critical Theory terms) … particularly poorer Pakeha & Asians … overseen by an affluent Woke Establishment that, of course, disproportionately inherited the wealth from Colonisation.

        Pretty disgusting & highlights the blatant hypocrisy & self-interest of the new 'elite'.

        • Anne

          I am on the side of your parents swordfish .The treatment meted out to them has been appalling. I think of my Mum and Dad and how I would feel if something like that had happened to them.

          I couldn't agree more with the "affluent Woke Establishment" but that is not entirely the work of a government. It is often the attitude of the establishment itself – or bits of it – and its been around for decades in one form or another. I would love to talk about what the establishment did to me three plus decades ago. But I dare not because of the possible consequences – even now.

          Do you know a politician or some influential journalist you can approach? Its amazing how quick they move when a story like that gets into the open. I know this because a part of my story did get published a long time ago. Boy oh boy, did the ‘powers that be’ of the day move!

          It might be worth a try if you find the right person willing to go in and bat for your parents.

        • Ad

          Finally looks like the Associate Minister of Housing has heard your plea about evictions:

          Associate Minister of Housing Poto Williams steps in to change Kāinga Ora complaints process for unruly tenants | Newshub

    • Patricia Bremner 8.4

      $1400 a year for couples on Super… nothing… are you on Planet Key?

  9. ianmac 9

    Thanks for the update Ad. I have passed it on to those who ask. Note that people like Arkie have closed minds. Imagine where the "18,000 pushed into poverty" would be without the Government progress made so far.

    • mac1 9.1

      Actually arkie is taking liberties with what his "according to new research" actually said-"and our modelling suggests around 18,000 more children may have been pushed into poverty."

      Arkie said "An additional 18,000 New Zealand children were pushed into poverty." It's not clear whether Arkie is quoting from The Guardian.

      There is a difference. The report had two qualifiers- 'suggests' and 'may'. Arkie is definite.

      The other question for me was why I checked the source. What does 'pushed into poverty' mean? Who did the 'pushing'?

      Now, arkie and the report may well be right and government will need to address that. But the debate must be made with clarity, evidence and explanations where needed.

      • arkie 9.1.1

        I would have though the colon and bracketed link to the quoted Guardian article was clear enough but yet you have chosen to assign to me their words and the research of the the Child Poverty Action Group.

        Now it may be Ad is correct in all the listing of achievements of Labour but I would note I provided more evidence for the claims I was disputing than Ad has in the entire OP unless we want to entirely rely on Labour’s own promotional press release.

        I would prefer it, that if you have a problem with what I have posted that you address it to me directly in future, also, no capital letter, ngā mihi thank you.

        • mac1

          "but yet you have chosen to assign to me their words and the research of the the Child Poverty Action Group." You quoted from the 6 month old Guardian article. The Guardian cited the Action group research. Conventionally, quoting from an article without commentary and therefore any critique means you are agreeing with it, and using it to support your criticism of the original post.

          You correctly discovered an incorrect statement, as lprent acknowledged. My point is that the Guardian also was wrong and using it as a support for an argument weakens your argument.

          The Guardian was wrong in its way it asserted as factual what the research itself was careful to qualify as the use of words 'modelling', 'suggests' and 'may' indicated.

          arkie, I acknowledge your point about addressing you directly. Is it a convention even to use lower case when beginning a sentence with a pseudonym? Ngā mihi hoki.

          • arkie

            I do not believe that the careful journalistic language used in an article by the Guardian is ‘wrong’ nor is it asserting fact, it is common place to use such language when writing news about other parties reports.

            I do believe in the reporting of CPAG as they aren’t seeking election, and have been critical of successive governments since 1994.

            I don’t know regarding convention, but all lowercase is how I render my name.

    • arkie 9.2

      Closed mind? I am praising Labour for the good work they have done, but are noting they have much more to do, how that is closed minded I have no idea. Surely it's silly to think that because some progress is made we cannot demand more, they government is supposed to work for us, as an employer I can both praise and criticise their work.

  10. Reality 10

    Superannuitants get the extra allowance in winter, so is that "nothing"?

    The Bellis drama highlights some MIQ problems but her diva behaviour accusing New Zealand of treating her worse than the Taliban was manipulative, wrong and self-serving – as a journalist she should know the cruel and appalling treatment of women by the Taliban.

    As for Luxon saying MIQ should be got rid of – where is the media questioning what happens to all the hundreds/thousands of people who return and go straight into the community. He shows zero concern for the health risk of the rest of New Zealanders having to deal with that.

    Labour needs to do some heavy-hitting responses to highlight all they have achieved, particularly while dealing as well as they have with the pandemic and to rebut Luxon's claims. Luxon is getting an easy ride by the media.

    • Christopher Randal 10.1

      "Superannuitants get the extra allowance in winter, so is that "nothing"?"

      It barely covers the cost

      • Anne 10.1.1

        I'm a superannuitant and eternally grateful for the assistance. It was not expected to fully cover the cost of heating – that would have cost the govt. an arm and a leg and they don't have a bottomless money pit.

      • mac1 10.1.2

        $31.82 for couples and $$20.46 for singles, weekly. $695 for 153 days for couples, $447 for singles.

        This weekly sum provides 106 (68 for singles) units of power at 30c per unit. That is 11 (9.5) units of power daily for heating, for 21 weeks.

        If the heating source is a heat pump, then greater heating is provided for the money.

        Those over 50 can also apply, as Grey Power members, to join Grey Power electricity. My savings, upon joining, were about $400 annually.

        Both my brothers living in single accommodation with heat pumps know the benefit of this payment.

        Further, Superannuation rates are annually reviewed and adjusted to take into account any increases in the cost of living (inflation) and average wages.

        The after-tax NZ Super rate for couples (who both qualify) is based on 66% of the ‘average ordinary time wage’ after tax. For single people, the after-tax NZ superannuation rate is around 40% of that average wage.

  11. coge 11

    While I don't expect my view to be popular or well received. It pays to look at the trends overseas. Labour would benefit to soon start rolling back Covid restrictions. Mandates, vax passes etc. Before this becomes the opposition's idea. Because right now it is not.

    • Ad 11.1

      Agree. Thursday speech coming up.

    • Anne 11.2

      They have been in the process of sorting changes since late last year and the first of them are about to be announced.

      It would have happened sooner but the holiday season intervened and since the Ministers and MPs and their staff have to work horrendous hours – especially with the pandemic still raging – they are deserving of a holiday to recharge their batteries.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.3

      Yes Coge If the spit test is used the rest is history, as we are now in the endemic world. I expect they will allow home isolation, as all cases can not be separated anymore.

      Original dates for that was Feb? So in all probability delayed a month to allow boosters. Let us hope people comply, as the spike is coming.

  12. dv 12

    AND now introduced insurance to pay 80% of pay if made unemployed. Paid with 1.39% tax.

    • Ad 12.1

      More properly it's a levy paid by employers and employees, not a tax

      Under the scheme, someone who loses their job will be given payments worth 80 per cent of their former income (capped at salaries of $130,911), for up to seven months after they lose their job.

      Unemployment insurance: Government unveils plan to offer billions in coverage for workers who lose job – NZ Herald

      This is a pretty big expansion of ACC.

      Brought to you by Labour.

      • dv 12.1.1

        Yeah fair enough re tax/levy.

      • Jimmy 12.1.2

        When is a tax, not a tax? When it's a levy.

        • Craig H

          Can certainly be a distinction without a difference. In this particular case, the levy is intended to offset a cost and build up a fund for a specific purpose, while tax usually goes into the consolidated fund to be spent as set out in the Budget. At some point in the future, the established fund will know whether that levy is too high or low, and it can be adjusted.

        • Ad

          When only those getting the benefit of it are being charged.

          Ie the other 3million NZers who aren't employees or employers don't get charged.

        • aom

          The distinction is that levies aren't paid into the consolidated fund, as are taxes. Presumably, like ACC payments, they will be income generating – that is until a National Government decides the investment needs to be privatized for the benefit of its mates.

      • Patricia Bremner 12.1.3

        This scheme should apply to the chronically ill and dying as well imo.

  13. Ad 13

    Unemployment at 3.2% is now the lowest since modern records began in 1986.

    Unemployment lowest since 1986 – falls to 3.2 per cent – NZ Herald

    And yep, Labour did that.

    • Jimmy 13.1

      Makes you wonder why we would need the unemployment insurance with unemployment being so low. Its an employees market and anyone made redundant can normally find another job very quickly in this market.

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Best time to do it.

        Watch people join the Great Resignation and force up wages, salaries and conditions.

        It's a big implied squeeze on the business ownership class.

    • higherstandard 13.2

      Are those on jobseekers benefit included in the unemployment numbers ?

      • Craig H 13.2.1

        Some of them are – being on the benefit is not automatic inclusion because the sickness benefit was merged with the unemployment into the jobseeker support payments. Now if someone is sick and on the benefit, the obligations to look for work are deferred until they aren't sick. As the definition of unemployed includes actively looking for work, sick beneficiaries would not be included.

    • Dennis Frank 13.3

      Just a technical query on that. Legendary low unemployment happened in this country in the 1950s – one often hears the claim that the minister of labour knew all their names. I vaguely recall that the Rogernomes finagled the stats on a few things to make themselves look good but I could be confusing them with National – who were more inclined to do so. Why did the Lange govt change the stat reporting system??

  14. Corey Humm 14

    This government has done sfa and everyone knows it more than ever my generation are locked out of the housing market and now even renting a home by yourself when you earn the average wage is becoming an unachievable dream.

    Weed use down. Lol sure. Imagine a progressive govt with a supermajority in the 2020s being too cowardly to be in favor of drug reform.

    The only time this govt ever uses it's political capital is to rule out stuff people who vote for it want.

    Labour deserves every beat up it gets in the press, it's answer to it's drop in popularity will be to become even more cautious and conservative despite the fact many are more angry about lack of action on housing and inequality and most people support the govts COVID response.

    Supporters can throw all the statistics and numbers around they want at the end of the day what will kill this government is that grocery bills are skyrocketing, rents are disgustingly high and people are constantly stressing out about whether they'll have to move and if they'll be able to find a house to rent, my generation has been completely locked out of ownership and is now being locked out renting because of decades of neoliberal govts like this one's short sightedness on housing.

    We have a pm who says be kind while turning a blind eye to the savagery the landed gentry inflict on people, her political capital is only used to rule out doing anything. Her legacy will be that she got everyone's hopes up for change and then changed nothing.

    This govt sucks quite frankly and prior to COVID it was going to be a one term govt and thanks to it's arrogance and insane belief that it could capture the center for forever has no plan and no intention of addressing the issues that are losing them support. It's also not giving the 2017/2020 classes of mps leadership roles as the people who were utterly useless in opposition have been rewarded with cabinet positions so they can be utterly useless ministers captured by their ministries and when the election loss finally comes all the older mps will retire leaving a labour party with no leadership experience.

    Labour has so disappointed me , I won't even be voting and I usually am one of those annoying people who door knocks and enrolls everyone he knows to vote and takes them to vote , I usually do comedy gigs and enroll the audience after the show …. Not this time…. Not if THIS is the best we can get…can't vote national or act won't vote green because despite being gay and from a mixed race family I find middle class identity politics offensive and right wing af , top is a wasted vote … So unless this year is the year of delivery, not interested and that's the vibe of alot of us in our 20s. We listened we voted nothing happened we voted again nothing happened, in fact everything got worse…

    Bugger that for a joke.

    • Patricia Bremner 14.1

      Corey, you did a good thing mate rallying the vote, otherwise many could be dead as they are in other countries.
      Remember there is a budget to come. Hold on a bit longer.
      About the Ministers. I see quite a few like Kiri Allen growing into their brief.
      Did you have some members you would like to see doing more?
      What do you think could be done to help in the Housing brief. Just tell us 4 or 5 things you feel Government should do now to help with buying a home or getting a Public Housing home? Seriously Corey we have a gay son, and yes there are even more hurdles. Hope you realise this is meant sincerely.

      • arkie 14.1.1

        Rent Control

        Capital Gains Tax

        Wealth Tax

        Raise benefits to rates recommended by the WEAG

        Significantly raise the pre-tax income threshold.

        • Craig H

          In theory the WEAG rates will largely be implemented from 1 April, but it must be time for a review and potential reset of the calculation basis.

          Probably don't need both CGT and Wealth tax but one of them would be nice (I'd go land or wealth rather than CGT given the choice).

        • Ad

          You won't get closer to a Capital Gains Tax than the 10 Year Bright Line test which Labour has implemented.

          If the Greens want a "Wealth Tax" they can put it to the electorate like last time. Labour have already raised taxes on the rich.

          Very hard to see big tax bracket drops when the government needs the income so much. Who knows what Budget 2022 will bring.

    • weka 14.2

      Labour deserves every beat up it gets in the press, it's answer to it's drop in popularity will be to become even more cautious and conservative despite the fact many are more angry about lack of action on housing and inequality and most people support the govts COVID response.

      True, but it's still the middle that determines the election and they apparently like to give the other lot a go. So not a lot of commitment to ending inequality or fixing housing. Will be interested to see if the non-vote increases significantly. If we're still in the pandemic (likely unless they can come up with a steralising vaccine), it's a different ball game again.

      • weka 14.2.1

        I'm not convinced that Labour are in danger of losing the next election (yet), I assume the poll drop is just settling back from the pandemic high. It would take National getting their shit together. But not impossible either.

  15. Adrian 15

    At least you don't have Long Covid and are alive Corey, but if that's not enough for you I'm sure if you had a word to Luxon or Seymour something could be arranged, you might even get a deal through your Perennial Whingers Club.

    • Belladonna 15.1

      And, you know, that's the attitude that makes people walk away from Labour.

      If you want to be in government, then you need to attract centrist voters. And they are always going to hold the government to account for their promises.

      Refusing to admit that this government could do better in some areas – and needs a plan to actually make the changes they were elected to implement – is one sure-fire way to make those people walk. Whether they walk to another party, or just don't vote – they're wasted votes from the Labour/Green perspective.

  16. fender 16

    I'm keen to know where the cannabis statistics come from. Couldn't find them on the link provided (and no I haven't consumed any yet today). Seems an odd thing to include in your post out of the many achievements listed on the website, especially considering it's an area nearly half of voters wanted reform around.

    What are the meth and alcohol stats looking like?

  17. Tabletennis 17

    'Stopped all new oil and gas permits.' Did you forget to finish this sentence?

    Wednesday, January 12, 2022 Undermining the offshore exploration ban

    Back in 2018, in what they trumpeted as a victory for the environment, the government banned new offshore oil exploration permits. But the victory was short-lived: two-faced Labour immediately started to undermine it, extending permits and changing conditions to try and keep the industry they had "banned" alive. And there's been another prime example of this two-faced behaviour already this year.

  18. Tiger Moutain 18

    As one of this majority Labour Government’s most trenchant critics–particularly over not fully implementing the 2019 WEAG report, or doing a state house mega build–Labour’s timidity in celebrating its achievements is also frustrating.

    The Govt. has also reinstated funding to various NGOs that Sirkey withdrew including Community Education. If you are on the Labour Party media list you do get detailed information regularly–if not, you likely might not know of the hundreds of small and large changes they have made.

  19. Rupert 19

    Taken extreme liberties to paint Labour a success.

    • Blazer 19.1

      Its a stellar success compared to the last Natz admin that tortured Kiwi's for…9 years.

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    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
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