web analytics

Australia – Labor’s unwinnable election

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 pm, September 7th, 2013 - 73 comments
Categories: australian politics - Tags: , ,

Tony Abbott billboard

Australia heads to the polling booths today.  The polls suggest that a change in Government is not only inevitable but that many Labor MPs may lose their seats.  There is even the suggestion that Kevin Rudd may not make it back into Parliament.

Late polls suggests that after distribution of preferences the Liberal Coalition will have 54% of votes and Labor 46% of votes.  This could result in the ALP having as few as 50 seats in the 150 seat House of Representatives.  Labor is polling as low at 33% of the primary vote but with the Greens at a respectable 10% and most of their preferences expected to head Labor’s way Labour’s preferential vote should be in the mid to high 40s.  But given the nature of Australia’s election system this could result in a landslide victory to the Liberal National Coalition.

Labor stalwarts will be hoping that Kevin Rudd can repeat the success of Paul Keating in 1993 when he won the unwinnable election. Despite Labor being written off at the time Keating somehow overcame what appeared to be hopeless odds to win.  A six percent deficit two weeks out was turned into a narrow majority for Labor after all the votes were counted.

Keating’s election night speech is one for the ages.  He put the win down to Labor’s appeal to the decency in Australians, their refusal for Australia to be divided and to the hard work of the party and described the win as “the sweetest victory of all”.

Keating’s success was helped by the good will extended by progressives to a leader who was brave and willing to speak his mind.  In his Redfern Speech the year before he said this about the plight of Australia’s Aboriginal people:

… [T]he starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians.  It begins, I think, with that act of recognition.  Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing.  We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol.  We committed the murders.  We took the children from their mothers.  We practised discrimination and exclusion.  It was our ignorance and our prejudice.  And our failure to imagine these things being done to us.  With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds.

Unlike Kevin Rudd, Keating has also been scathing about the way that the refugee issue has been handled.  He is reported as saying last year that there were “racial undertones” to the debate.

I often used to say as prime minister, when they were handing out continents, not many people got one, but we did and there’s only 20 million of us.  And yet we’re complaining about 6000 people coming by boat and we want to push all of them away.

Mr Keating also said Australians demonstrated no “generosity of spirit” when it came to asylum-seekers.

His attitude should be contrasted to that of Kevin Rudd’s who recently advocated a policy about refugees that was so bad that Tony Abbott thought it was promising.  Keating’s bravery, at least concerning issues of race is in stark contrast to Rudd’s focus group inspired cowardice.  Because there is nothing to enthuse progressives in Australia I doubt that Rudd will be able to emulate Keating’s accomplishment.

If Rudd is bad however then Tony Abbott will be absolutely appalling.  He is already up to his Crosby Textor designed tricks.  Yesterday, the day before the election, the Coalition released its budget costings and promised what in real terms are wafer thing cuts.  This reminded me of a description of National’s campaign in Aotearoa in 2008 where their campaign was described as “not answering questions and not debating policy except when it suits them; and now, mid-election campaign, releasing “policy” that is little more than publicity stunts and too late for proper scrutiny”.  I wonder if National and the Coalition have the same advisors?

For all of Rudd’s faults he is not in the same league of terror inducing as Tony Abbott.  The coalition will cause a great deal of damage.  For instance their climate change policies are a joke.  As described by George Monbiot:

His views have changed, but don’t expect Tony Abbott to acknowledge this, let alone apologise to Australians for misleading them. In 2009 he maintained that manmade climate change is “absolute crap”. Now he says “I think that climate change is real, humanity makes a contribution.” But he has merely switched from denying global warming to denying the need to act on it.

Abbott is following a familiar script – the 4 Ds of climate change inaction promoted by fossil fuel lovers the world over. Deny, then defer, then delay, then despair.

His Direct Action program for reducing emissions is incapable of delivering the cuts it promises, absurdly underfunded and surrounded by a swarm of unanswered questions. Were it to become big enough to meet its promises, it would be far more expensive than a comparable carbon trading scheme, which Abbott has falsely claimed would incur “almost unimaginable” costs. But it won’t be big enough, because he refuses to set aside the money it requires. Direct Action is a program designed to create a semblance of policy, in the certain knowledge that it will fail to achieve its objectives.

I seem to recall that John Key also denied the existence of climate change but then accepted that it was occurring but effectively gutted the ETS so that nothing significant is happening about New Zealand’s output of greenhouse gasses.  As Monbiot says there does seem to be a similar script used by conservatives throughout the world.

After the election and presuming things go the way they appear to be going then the Labor Party will need to have good think about things and work out what went wrong.  And it will need to work out how to respect its proud history while remaining relevant to voters and at the same time adhering to its core values and refusing to travel along the dead ends that focus group politics entails. [Edit did a quick tidy up of this]

73 comments on “Australia – Labor’s unwinnable election”

  1. Forget the polls and the votes, what are the trends saying?

  2. Ad 2

    A grand set of lines from Keating there.

    Australia is marching quickly into the quarry-enclave economy New Zealand had from the 1870s to the 1920s. Except this time made worse with its dominance by just a handful of listed multinational mining conglomerates. Has New Zealand chosen a comparatively more sustainable path?

  3. BM 3

    Expect big changes in the lucky country once Abbot gets in.
    The place is being choked to death by union interference so expect Abbot to cut a few union throats within a very short period.

    It’s desperately needed if OZ is going to get back on track.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, as the Tory poison prescription takes hold.

      • srylands 3.1.1

        Yes that evil John Howard prescribed that poison and it made Australia the richest country in the world. It only went off the rails when he lowered the quality of spending like a maniac, a trend continued by Rudd and Julia. Lucky there is no party in NZ that would take us down that destructive track again. Oh bugger, wait..

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Australia shipped real physical resources offshore for electronically generated credits, as well as creating masses of money by acquiring huge amounts of private debt.

          It’s sorta stupid strategy, and is coming to an end now.

          edit – do you really think Abbott is another John Howard? You’re fucking dreaming.

          • Poem 3.1.1.1.1

            Would say, puppet Abbott is the Australian version of Mitt Romney.

          • KJT 3.1.1.1.2

            We had the same commodities boom as Australia. In dairying not mining.

            In fact ours earned more per capita than Australia’s.

            Due to the fact they still have union power in Australia, however, the income from their commodities boom was spread throughout the economy.

            Most of ours went offshore for Hawaii holidays and offshore corporate profits, particularly to the Australian(US) banks.

            Note: Sweden has gone downhill by all indicators since they swallowed the poison pill recently.

      • Poem 3.1.2

        “Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, as the Tory poison prescription takes hold.”

        +1 Colonial Viper

      • Green machine UpandComer 3.1.3

        Viper, at least you’re consistent in your off the scale parallel universe-isms. Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, if OZLabour’s present poison prescription isn’t remedied by Mr Abbot.

    • tricledrown 3.2

      what unions the unions have been decimated in Australia just like NZ

  4. amirite 4

    I was listening to one Aussie voter yesterday who said he’ll vote for the Pirate Party because both Labour and Libs are as bad as each other and both have failed to address the fact that the whole Aussie economy relies on mining and the housing market.
    Hear, hear.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Clue for the NZLP: Labor and Rudd fucked up by trying to position themselves as Liberal Lite. The PNG boat people policy, crowing about ditching steps to reduce climate change, etc.

    People vote RED when the Red Team shows true bright red values, not when it tries to hide them.

    Oh yeah, the endless division in caucus and with the leadership was the finishing touch.

    • srylands 5.1

      Oh that must explain why the Hawke/Keating governments won 5 terms opening up Australia with long lasting economic reforms that you would obviously hate.

      I suggest Colonial Viper that you take a break from your obsession with posting to the Standard and come back when you know something about economics and Australian economic history.

      There is ZERO chance of Australia EVER electing a left wing government. The last one left office in 1975.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Don’t get nervous mate, just watch the Oz economy crash and burn over the next 12 months under the Coalition.

        • infused 5.1.1.1

          It would crash and burn anyway because of the stupid policies introduced over the last 5 years.

          It’s the same shit here when you say Labour left the govt in best fiscal shape ever… What a load of shit.

          • muzza 5.1.1.1.1

            So you’re good with how the current government are working things?

            Do you feel like we’re all heading in the best direction, or is it a case of you don’t really care for anything other than petty point scoring, trying to make yourself feel like a winner!

          • tricledrown 5.1.1.1.2

            con fused the stupid policies that the labor govt introduced like the A$200 million stimulus package kept Australia out of recession the only OECD country to do so!
            Australia has the lowest govt debt of any country!
            The mining tax +carbon tax allows Australia to keep valuable minerals in the ground !
            under Abbott those will be dug up quickly leaving within 50 years no mining income!
            Labour reduced the child subsidy that Howard introduced!

      • KJT 5.1.2

        Talk about re-writing history.

        Comparing the Hawk/Keating reforms with Douglas’s Richardsons is like comparing a few drone strikes to carpet bombing. In very many ways they have done the diametric opposite to New Zealand.

        I can only assume that Srylands was too young to remember.

        Just a few differences of the top of my head.

        Douglas de-regulated the financial sector leading to a crash only two years later, 1987.
        Keating strengthened regulation. A large part of the reason why Australia’s, and our banking systems did not join the GFC.

        Ricahardson cut benefits to below subsistence level. Australia never has.

        Douglas unilaterally removed almost all tariffs, leaving us nothing to bargain with for free trade agreements and decimating local industry and employment. Like the embarrassing spectacle of the prime minister trading on our dead soldiers to get trade concessions from Korea. Douglas left us nothing to bargain with.

        Australia kept steeply progressive taxes and liveable minimum wages.

        We have been borrowing for tax cuts we could not afford since 1986.

        Australian unions rejected their equivalent of the ECA. Meaning Australians actually have enough money to invest in buying their own assets back, and there wasn’t the same hemorrhage of money to offshore banking and profit taking, and massive transfer of wealth to the parasitic sectors..

        Australia has been more successful than us very obviously because they did not buy into the neo-liberal poison to the same extent.

        To say otherwise shows a profound cognitive dissonance.

      • tricledrown 5.1.3

        Schrillglands Hawk Keating Govt took measured steps of change and didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
        Your understanding of Australian economic history is far removed from reality!

  6. Sosoo 6

    This result makes me glad we have MMP. It means we don’t have the stupidity of pretending that there is a massive change in public opinion (a landslide) when the vote changes by only a few percentage points.

    I’m also proud to say that someone like Tony Abbott could never be elected Prime Minister of New Zealand. John Banks is perhaps the worst we’ve got, and he voted to legalise gay marriage. We’re not a particularly sophisticated or liberal people here in NZ, but compared to the small minded, bigoted Neanderthals who live across the Tasman we look just great.

    There will be lots of mealy mouthed press about this election, but the truth should be told: the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.

    • Richard Christie 6.1

      the truth should be told: the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.

      I’m glad I’m not you.

    • Jimmie 6.2

      Pots and Kettles are a darker shade of gray lol

    • Murray Olsen 6.3

      I’m not sure the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot, but enough of them are that Rudd thought it was worth rolling out his travesty of a policy on refugees.

      My prediction is that they’re in for a shocking recession, with total mismanagement by Abbott and Hockey, but as in all recessions, a small number of the very rich will do well. And SSLands will cheer on the policies as he goes to the wall, believing all the time that they just needed to be applied a bit more fervently for him to become one of the super rich.

    • karol 6.4

      And the number of Kiwi guys in the NZ media cheerleading Shane Jones, shows misogyny can be a winner for some Kiwi guys.

      Add Matt MCCarten to that list of people, showing NZ does not have a lot to gloat about.

      • LynWiper 6.4.1

        My thoughts exactly karol. I really thought that Matt would have a different take on the SJ debacle. I am extremely disappointed in SJ’s apparent popularity. While I can understand the entertainment value, hearing that NZ’rs (most likely kiwi guys) are seriously considering voting him for Labour Leader is very disheartening.

      • Murray Olsen 6.4.2

        I’ve always considered McCarten one of the blokish Waitakere man types on the left. That he admires Jones doesn’t surprise me at all. I’m appalled that Jones is even in the Labour Party. Even if we don’t consider his neanderthal-like misogyny, his attitudes on the environment and industrial relations could come straight from Tony Abbott and Gina Stoneheart.

    • tricledrown 6.5

      Sosoo anger is not going to help hate filled rants either !
      Australia has an upper house called the senate its proportionally elected it will moderate the rampant right!
      They also have state govts which usually vote opposite to the federal elctorate !
      NZ is where we have to focus on getting the 800,000 that didn’t vote out at the next election!
      Frustration can be good motivation we need a change here and in recent times we have voted the opposite of Australia thats a good Omen!

      • Murray Olsen 6.5.1

        All the things Sosoo mentions do exist in Australia, but happily they are not all the things that exist in Australia. There are some signs of hope.

  7. Richard Christie 7

    “I seem to recall that John Key also denied the existence of climate change but then accepted that it was occurring …”

    Funny, I recall Key saying that he considered man made climate change an issue of global importance – but this was a year or two before he became PM. I’ve long since added the remarks to the list of BS he delivered as part of his sheep’s clothing.

  8. Richard Christie 8

    Oh, and my condolences to Australian readers on the election of a full blown science-denier to their highest political office.
    Your future regret will prove to be painful.

    • Steve Wrathall 8.1

      Yes, the lack of an Australian carbon tax will make the world 0.000005 degrees warmer in 100 years than it would have been…painful!

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        What is painful is your condemnation of billions of people, just so you can keep business as usual burning for another 10-20 years.

        What a fucking dick.

      • tricledrown 8.1.2

        SW Doing nothing laissez faire why not we all increase our carbon footprint and stuff the planet quickly is what your saying!
        Good leadership is leading by example, we lead the the world on nuclear free legislation and now even the right wing claim that policy .

  9. big bruv 9

    What a great result for the people of Aussie. This is a comprehensive thrashing of the Labour/Green party.

    Now Aussie can start to repair the damage done by the socialists in six long years.

  10. big bruv 10

    “the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.”

    A lot like Hone Harawira really.

    • Sosoo 10.1

      See, in New Zealand the hate parties (like Christian Heritage) characteristically garner about 1-2% of the vote.

      In Australia hate is mainstream.

      • tricledrown 10.1.1

        SoSo In Australia hate is not mainstream.
        Its the the Murdocracy that dictates the debate!
        their was only a 3.5% percent swing against labor with a lot of marginal seats lost have given the coalition a land slide.
        NSW has had a state government mired in corruption,Labor mired in leadership wrangles have handed Abbott a clear majority but like Howard before Abbott will have to run inclusive policies because if he pushes unpopular policies he will only last 1 term!
        I have lived and worked in Australia nearly half of my extended family are Australian !
        Australians are well educated and love a good debate.
        No more hateful than Kiwis!

    • JonL 10.2

      Unlike you, of course……..

  11. tc 11

    It’s all academic, the senate passes laws so depends who controls that, only half the senate is elected tonight. Unlike here gov’t can’t run riot unless it controls the senate.

    An awful campaign. Rudd overrode his campaign advice and made many bad calls, Abbott is driven by CT with neither addressing any serious issues.

    Hawke/keating did the hard yards 25years ago and now the reality of a fading minerals boom, 7 governments and many other non productive entities, a high dollar etc will catch Oz.

    As keating noted there’s an uneasy racial tone and a mean spirit about the place now just wait till Tony, Joe, Malcolm and co get busy.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Thanks TC. I am just watching Rudd’s concession speech and I am wondering WTF? He is happy? He is trying to make it sound like he almost won?

      Some politics is far too choreographed and the injection of a bit of honest emotion would be a good thing.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        He’s probably planning to stay on as Labor Leader. Seriously.

      • Murray Olsen 11.1.2

        Rudd was in a room full of people who adore him. That’s enough to make him happy. Sadly, I’m serious.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1

          He probably did salvage up to 10-15 seats that would have been lost under Gillard. Kept most of QLD intact when just 24 hours ago predictions were that Labor would be wiped out.

          So a loss, some of it seriously self inflicted, but with a few bright spots. However for Australia over the next (4?) years. It’s going to be frakkin horrible.

  12. tc 12

    Yes the mining boom fades, a high dollar and neither party addressed the elephant in the room…..tax reform. States arent getting enough from federal and Gillard screwed the big revenue fixer, mining tax. Universities and the massive public service will be hit like the retail sector has been and will continue to be.

    What goes up….it will not be pretty.
    I’m unsure Gillard would’ve done any worse, those that backed Kevin will hold the line she was leading them to slaughter but she had abbotts number and you tolerate kev or you don’t not really a warm character.

  13. muzza 13

    That’s Australia done and dusted then, as if it wasn’t already.

    The experiment continues, oz and nz destined to become the vassels of neoliberal exploitation.

    Our largest trading partner is going to have major impacts on nz, unlikely to be positive!

    Australians all let us rejoice…

  14. Wensleydale 14

    So, hands up who thinks Gina Rinehart’s going to be soiling her over-sized panties in glee?

    • tc 14.1

      Yes allowing gina to have her way is going to fix all oz’s issues…..and packer, murdoch, palmer, stokes, qantas, telstra etc etc

      • KJT 14.1.1

        Yeah. How well are the countries with no welfare, low or no taxation and little Government regulation doing, again?

        Rienharts and Murdochs unfettered capitalism do exist, in Somalia and similar examples of “success”.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    It gets worse, it loks like Pauline Hanson may win a seat in the senate.

  16. Sanctuary 16

    And how about old Murdoch’s tweet, eh?

    Rupert Murdoch@rupertmurdoch

    Aust election public sick of public sector workers and phony welfare scroungers sucking life out of economy.Others nations to follow in time

    • muzza 16.1

      Murdoch is a tool of the system, it created him, which is why he is untouchable.

      They workship at the alter, his task being the head of swaths of the global psy op known as the entertainment industry, of which the so called msm news media is part of!

      Another who sold his soul, and who is responsible for the deaths of many innocent souls, which is always the intent, physically or psychologically!

      Yes Rupert, its the workers and beneficiaries who have wrecked the planet, and who have a destroyed nations such as Australia, its financial stability etc, nothing at all to do with neoliberalism!

    • Wensleydale 16.2

      If this nation “follows in time”, I shall spend my retirement years living in a shack in the bush.

      • tricledrown 16.2.1

        Wensleydale there are 1 to 2 million people in the US living rough now under tarps and in tents its a complete disgrace that the richest country in the world can’t look after their own.

  17. millsya 17

    No point in saving the furniture when the house has burned to the ground.

    This is an absolute thrashing. Lowest primary vote since 190-whatever, votes lost in every state, Coalition inroads into safe ALP seats, saying “it could have been worse” and “at least we still have our cabinet ministers” is not good enough. There are no such things as “moral victories” or whatever the cuss they are, the winner on the day is the one that has the bigger number on the scoreboard than the rest that is a fact. It doesnt matter if a side wins by 30 seats or 3.

    Australia moved (further) to the right last night. That is a fact. Even the Greens took a hit, though their core vote still held, and the seat of Melbourne looks like it will be a green fortress.

    Labor have only themselves to blame really, I need not go into the details of the past 3 years.

    I cannot see them getting back into power this side of 2020.

    So, plenty of time to drill, mine, sell and slash.

  18. KJT 18

    This must be extremely frightening for National.

    The days of hiding their unemployment figures in Australia may be over.

    And the effect of Australian Labor’s stimulus policies, on hiding National’s recession, will became shockingly apparent.

    • s y d 18.1

      It’s frightening for the hundreds of thousands on New Zealanders who currently live and work in Australia, but who have absolutely no access into their social security system – they must be fearful for the future. I foresee an application of ‘targetted austerity’ by Mr Abott. And when and if the jobs for New Zealanders (the wife be damned) go, I’m guesing the only viable option will be a return to NZ. What are WE going to do when the 50,000 a year from the last 10 years all come back at once? Treat them like boat people? Set up refugee camps? Our very own Pacific solution?
      How could we cope? can we? It’s nice to have the family back for christmas, but I suspect the love runs a bit thin by June.

      This could be a defining issue for our near future.

    • JonL 18.2

      “This is an absolute thrashing. Lowest primary vote since 190-whatever, votes lost in every state” – 1996 was worse.
      Labour self destructed – as usual, it was voting a party out, not a party in, for most people., but the example of the Nat-Lib state gov. in Queensland may have swayed many voters back to Labour, there.
      For all the tories rhetoric, I don’t see how they could have done any better than Labour – and the next 3 yrs are going to be frightening, to all except the rich, those who would aspire to be, and the terminally stupid – which covers a large chunk of the Australian landscape unfortunately. Then they’ll turn around and blame labour’s “mismanagement”!
      There are some truly creepy people in the higher echelons of the nat-Libs!

  19. Macro 19

    As Einstein once said:

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”.

    And as Joseph de Maistre said:

    “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.” Not that Rudd is any better than Abbott.

    Australians only had to look across the ditch at the disaster that is the NZ “economy” to realise that 4 years of austerity, union bashing, and laissez faire government is the road to ruination.

    But then we live in the Age of Stupid – and I fear the “lucky country” is just about to get very unlucky..

  20. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 20

    It’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen it up close and personal over years and years, but Rudd is insane. I disagree with almost everything Tony Abbott holds dear, but I would rather have him as PM than Kevin Rudd.

  21. Core_Labour_Voter 21

    Sad day in Australian history.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • RCEP trade deal risks repeating TPPA mistakes
    The lesson from the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) should have been that it is time to re-think this type of so-called trade agreement. But despite warnings from internationally-recognised experts, there are more secretive “trade” negotiations happening this ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    5 hours ago
  • Education for All?
    This year I have been focused on getting a better deal for kids and families with learning needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum. We had a Select Committee inquiry into the issues faced, but the Government was too ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 hours ago
  • Economy must deliver a fair go for New Zealanders
    The latest Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) provides further evidence that the economy that the National Government and Bill English have is sitting on shifting sands and leaves many people behind, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says today. ...
    1 day ago
  • A Billion Better Things
    Earlier this week I posed some questions to Finance Minister Bill English about his support for the government’s plan to spend a billion dollars on a new prison. I was pretty disappointed in his answers, all of which flew in the face of his own ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 day ago
  • Govt already in ‘holiday mode’ on $2.3b owed to Kiwi workers
    The Government is dragging its feet while working New Zealanders are still missing up to $2.3 billion collectively owed to them through underpaid holiday pay entitlements, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “The cover was blown on this issue ...
    1 day ago
  • Why is New Zealand still the exception on deposit protection?
    I took the opportunity to question the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, about New Zealand’s lack of deposit protection in front of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in Parliament yesterday. Why does the Reserve Bank continue to oppose protecting ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 day ago
  • Statement on proposed United Nations role
    “There has been a high degree of media interest in New Zealand about a possible post with the United Nations. “My name has been proposed to the United Nations Secretary General to be his Special Representative in South Sudan. ...
    1 day ago
  • David Shearer proposed for UN peacekeeping role
    Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “David has kept me fully informed about this opportunity and we are ...
    1 day ago
  • Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten must be saved
    The Minister of Education needs to show some leadership and secure the future of two not-for-profit early childhood education centres that could be faced with closure as the land they sit on is up for sale, Grant Robertson Labour MP ...
    1 day ago
  • Ministry reveals shocking charter school results
    NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated with documents revealing many students leaving school without basic NCEA level two qualifications despite this being a main educational target for the Government, says Labour Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Documents obtained ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister must protect MSD staff
      The Minister of Social Development should immediately implement safer work practices to ensure tragedies such as the Ashburton killings don’t happen again, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.   ...
    2 days ago
  • A vote for the Māori Party is a vote for National
    Comments made by the Māori Party leadership in the wake of John Key’s surprise resignation make one thing clear: a vote for them is a vote for a fourth term National Government, and the increasing inequality and poverty for Māori ...
    2 days ago
  • Collins and English split over police funding
    The bloodletting has already begun with splits and divisions emerging after the Police Minister knifed the Finance Minister via the media, says Labour Police spokesman Stuart Nash. ...
    2 days ago
  • Next Prime Minister must tackle foreign speculators
    The public rightly puts much of the blame for the housing bubble at the feet of foreign speculators, and the next Prime Minister must listen to their concerns, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ student performance slips in international study – again
    The continuing fall in Kiwi kids’ performance in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows the damage being inflicted by National’s cuts to education and one-size-fits-all approach, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “For years, National has ...
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms dangerous backward step
    Child protection has taken a massive step backwards today with the Government passing a Bill that will give significant powers to unspecified ‘professionals’ or contract holders, says Labour’s Acting Children’s spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 days ago
  • Improve workplaces, and address domestic violence
    Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Palm oil industry implicated in human rights abuses
    The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions. ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • Syphilis on the rise in NZ
    Cases of syphilis are increasing in Auckland. You read that right, syphilis!  RNZ reported today that rates of syphilis have increased by 71 percent (between 2013-2015). We have known about the increase in syphilis figures for a while, but nothing ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • We need to work smarter not longer
    The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Statement on John Key’s resignation
    Labour Party Leader Andrew Little has acknowledged John Key’s contribution to Government.  “John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. Although we may have had our policy differences over the years, I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to ...
    4 days ago
  • Positive plan secures victory
    The victory of Labour’s newest MP, Michael Wood, in Mt Roskill is the result of a well-organised campaign run with honesty and integrity, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “I congratulate Michael Wood on his great victory. He will be a ...
    6 days ago
  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    1 week ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    1 week ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    1 week ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    1 week ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    1 week ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    1 week ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    1 week ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    1 week ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    1 week ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 weeks ago