Chris Hipkins – Values Matter

Written By: - Date published: 3:59 pm, March 24th, 2024 - 94 comments
Categories: chris hipkins, labour - Tags:

Text of his speech delivered today in Auckland.

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e rau rangatira ma. 

Tena koutou tēnā koutou tēnā koutou katoa. 

Mālō e lelei

Kia Orana

Talofa Lava

Fakaalofa lahi atu,

Mālō Ni

Ni sa bula.

Namaste

As-salamu alaykum

Ni hao

Warm pacific greetings to you all.

Five months ago I gave one of the hardest speeches of my political career, conceding that we had lost the general election.

After six years of turmoil marked by natural disasters, a terrorist attack, rising crime, a global pandemic and an international cost of living crisis, New Zealanders voted for change.

The incoming National government promised voters that all the good things that happened under Labour would continue, the cost of living would come down, crime would stop, incomes would grow, climate change would be addressed, and we would all be better off.

But five months on, Kiwis are getting something quite different. 

Did New Zealanders voting for change vote to wind back our world-leading smoke-free laws to fund tax cuts?

Did they vote for billions in tax breaks for landlords while threatening to cut free school lunches?

Did they vote for National’s new drivers tax and higher fuel prices while winding back almost every measure our Labour government put in place to tackle climate emissions?

Did they vote to suspend work upgrading our schools and hospitals and to stop the building of new state houses?

I’m pretty certain they didn’t vote for the Prime Minister to talk about tough love for others whilst claiming a $1,000 a week housing allowance he doesn’t need.

Before the election just about every economist in New Zealand said the National Party’s numbers didn’t add up, but Christopher Luxon and Nicola Willis assured everyone their numbers were rock solid.

Day after day it becomes abundantly clear – the economists were right, National said whatever they thought Kiwis wanted to hear and now they can’t deliver.

Let me be absolutely clear. The financial crisis the current government claim to have inherited is one they have created for themselves.

National told New Zealanders that their promises were affordable and they could balance the books just by cutting back supposed ‘wasteful spending’.

Increasing the number of teachers, nurses, doctors, and police we employ and the amount we pay them is not wasteful spending.

It’s certainly not wasteful spending to rebuild our schools and hospitals, our roads and water infrastructure, and to invest in public transport.

Properly supporting those with disabilities and those who care for them is not wasteful spending.

Vital preventative healthcare like free prescriptions and cheaper doctors visits is not wasteful spending.

I could go on but let me just cut to the chase. National’s plan to slash spending on the public services New Zealanders rely on to fund tax cuts will leave us all worse off.

The ruthless attack on Government workers has been heartless and cruel. It is so easy to brand public servants as faceless bureaucrats, but they are people.

They are people with families, mortgages and they work tirelessly. National is rewarding that hard work with redundancy and an uncertain future.

It’s easy to diminish the work many of our public servants do. Five years ago if we had known we had a team in the Ministry of Health dedicated to planning what we might do in the event of a global pandemic some might have questioned the value of spending money planning for something that might never happen.

But then it did happen, and if anything, the question people were asking was why we hadn’t done more to plan and prepare.

When we became the government in 2017 Mycoplasma Bovis was wreaking havoc on our dairy farms. We made the decision to invest in elimination, and to strengthen our border defences so biosecurity incursions like M Bovis are less likely in the future.

National’s cuts to Customs and the Ministry for Primary Industries shows they have learned nothing from their own past failings.

This Government’s lower spending goal simply means they take from the many to give to the few – and life will only get worse for most people. This National-led government believes its role is to do things to people rather than with them.

It is a government of entrenched privilege and entitlement.   

Our country is not a company, and it shouldn’t be governed as if it is. Slavery and child labour weren’t abolished because of a cost benefit analysis. They were abolished because it was the right thing to do.

Not every government decision comes down to what is best for the bottom line.

Kiwis deserve a government that puts people first. We deserve a government that backs Kiwis to come together to support and help each other to thrive.

I accept that New Zealanders voted for change at the last election, but Kiwis are quite right to be asking whether the change they are getting is the change they voted for.

There is a better way.

Throughout our history, Labour has been the party of positive change. The party that moves New Zealand forward, and the party that ensures everyone has a stake in the future of this amazing country.

From our founding, Labour has been guided by a clear set of principles and values.

We believe in equality and the notion that all those who work hard should be able to get ahead, enjoy the fruits of their labour, and create a better life for themselves and their families. It’s in our name.

Labour was founded on the idea that hard work should pay off and that those who help to generate wealth should enjoy their fair share of it.

We believe in the common good, that we are stronger together, and that when we all look out for each other we are all better off.

We value equality, opportunity, responsibility and a fair go for everyone.

I recall in my first term as an MP meeting with an organisation called Roots of Empathy. They run programmes in schools where they bring babies into classrooms to teach kids about the importance of loving and caring for those more vulnerable than ourselves. I remember two main things from that meeting.

The first was a book of photos of babies’ common emotions, laughing, smiling, sleeping, and crying. They explained how when they showed those photos to babies of the same age, a lot of the babies would lean forward and kiss the photo of the baby that was crying.

We all have the capacity to care and show empathy, it’s one of the features that defines us as human beings.

But the second story from that meeting is the most powerful. The founder of Roots of Empathy told me about one of their early experiences taking a baby into a classroom. A teacher on maternity leave had taken her newborn into a primary school aged class and the kids took turns holding the baby and asking questions.

One child held back. Once all the other kids had left the class for morning tea, he approached the mother and asked if he could hold the baby. He then sat in the corner of the room cuddling and cradling the baby as the precious little human life that it was.

As he handed the baby back he asked the mother “do you think it is possible for someone who has never been loved to be a loving Dad?”. That boy had been one of the roughest toughest kids in the school. Always in trouble, destined for a life of trouble. The founder of the programme then showed me a photo of that same boy as an adult, with his beautiful young family.

When we treat each other with respect, when we create moments filled with genuine humanity, when we foster empathy, we can change lives.

In today’s world we are all encouraged to look out for number one, to place our own self interest above the interests of those around us.

Competition and individualism have been society’s backing track for the past 40 years and yet never have so many felt so dissatisfied, disempowered, and left behind.

But it hasn’t always been this way and it doesn’t have to be in the future.

Every year at ANZAC Day we remember those who sacrificed for the freedoms we so often take for granted today. I reflect on my own grandparent’s generation, whose sacrifice and contribution didn’t end when they returned home.

I reflect on how the perils of war drew them together, and how that collective spirit shaped the peace that followed. After the fighting stopped, their toil continued as they built schools, hospitals, roads, power plants, and houses.

They found comfort in each other through RSAs and bowling clubs, on the sports field, and in the large workplaces that were so much more common in those times. They viewed the taxes they paid as their contribution to the type of society that they wanted to live in.

They strove for a society free from oppression, not just political oppression but economic and social oppression too.

The world is a very different place these days, and the things that worked for my grandparent’s generation won’t necessarily be the right answers to today’s challenges. But what they achieved does show how collective effort and contribution can benefit everyone, and how when government action brings us together, our whole society can thrive.

It’s not hard to contrast the commitment of my grandparent’s generation with the aggressive drive towards individualism and dog-eat-dog competition that has prevailed since the 1980s.

Later this year we will mark a significant, and challenging, milestone in Labour’s history, the 40-year anniversary of the election of the 4th Labour government.

We will remember with pride the early steps that government took to stamp our proudly Nuclear Free mark on our foreign policy, the work of that government to advance human rights, including homosexual law reform, and to bring conservation and environmental issues much more to the fore.

But we will also look back with much more mixed feelings on the economic reforms of that and subsequent governments, and the four decades of growing inequality and societal decay that has followed.

Forty years on it is long since time we acknowledged that a rising economic tide does not lift all boats.

The majority find themselves constantly bailing water just to stay afloat, while far too many are left to just sink.

Our current economic model celebrates those who live off wealth over those who live off work. In the modern economy, contribution and reward aren’t as linked as they used to be.

Hard work is no longer the ticket to getting ahead it should be. While some earn a lot more than they are worth, the majority are worth a lot more than they earn. Success and aspiration should be celebrated. But when hard work no longer pays off, it’s time for a rethink of the system.

Around the world, a populist backlash against so-called elites demonstrates that people have had enough of being told that if they just work harder the benefits will flow, when they clearly experience the opposite. They work hard, but they can’t get ahead.

Younger working Kiwis struggle to get onto the home ownership ladder, something the current government’s prioritisation of the economic interest of landlords will only make worse.

Worldwide we are seeing increasing concern that the next generation could be the first to be worse off than their parents.

Increasingly numbers of self-employed Kiwis find themselves driving down their own pay to compete in a race to the bottom, and economic insecurity touches the lives of more and more Kiwis every day.

The world around us continues to change and evolve at an ever-increasing pace. Globalisation, automation, the rise of digital technology, the increase in self-employment, and increasing life expectancy are all realities.  

Those who long for a return to a bygone golden era where none of these things were happening are hankering for a world that no longer exists. Our great challenge today is to shape and craft an alternative that speaks to the future, not the past.  

Technology makes the free flow of creativity and ideas borderless. People are more mobile than ever before. Protectionist rhetoric is safe, comfortable and easy. Embracing the harsh reality that the world will never be the way it used to be is hard, but it’s vital.

We don’t need to accept that the corporatized, dehumanized approach that has dominated the globe for the past three or four decades is the only way.

A new approach that democratizes, empowers, and ensures that the benefits of success are shared amongst the many, not hoarded by the few, is possible.  

Labour’s mission is that of the fairer society, where everyone has the chance to get ahead, inequality is confronted head on and faith in the role of government is restored.

Labour’s challenge in the modern world is to define what the new collectivism looks like. It won’t be the same as it was when mass industrialisation and working-class solidarity were dominant features of the workplace.

Today’s workplaces are less secure, that’s a fact. Technology makes jobs redundant at a faster rate than ever before. The rapacious rise of AI will make it faster still.

The investment we make in our people has never been more important. The work we did over the past six years to modernise our education system was vital.

We should also remember that today’s generation of school leavers, the ones our current Prime Minister likes to spread anxiety about, did almost all of their primary school education during the era of national standards. Slogans are not solutions.

I passionately believe in the power of education to transform lives. Reverting to a 20th century model of educational delivery is not going to cut it in the 21st century.

During the election campaign I visited a small film and TV production house in Gisborne. They’re running a training programme for their largely younger staff. I spoke to one of the workers there who was turning her life around.

She’d got a job there after being in trouble, big trouble, for dealing drugs. Her job had given her a reason to get out of bed and something to get excited about. Her learning was giving her hope for the future. Her job, and her learning, were supported by a range of programmes put in place by our Labour Government.

We need more on-job learning, more apprenticeships, and an ongoing focus on the skills that our people will need to thrive in the 21st century.

I’ve heard people say they think Labour is soft on crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. But a race to outbid each other on longer sentences won’t address the underlying problem of why we have so much crime in the first place. If we want safer communities, we need to tackle the causes of crime.

When I speak to dairy owners who have been the victims of ram raids they are at the end of their tether. Their businesses aren’t just where they work, they’re also often their homes too. They work so hard and they shouldn’t have to endure the fear and insecurity they currently experience.

But when I talk to them, they also express concern for the future of the kids who are doing the ram raiding. They often know the kids’ families, they know their backgrounds, and they want to know we are going to do something to give these kids a better future, not one where they spend a lifetime in and out of prison. It’s expensive, it doesn’t work, and it’s such a waste of human potential.

Investments in our people are investments in the future prosperity of all of us.

If we really want to be tough on crime, we should spend a lot more time and energy breaking the cycle before people offend.

We also need to recognise and celebrate the contribution of those who put the interests of others ahead of their own.

A few days after becoming Prime Minister I flew to Auckland to inspect the damage caused by extensive flash flooding. A few weeks after that I was in the Hawkes Bay and Tairāwhiti seeing first hand the devastation wrought by Cyclone Gabrielle.

The power mother nature has to destroy was overwhelming. But within the destruction and devastation I also found inspiration. I saw Kiwis doing what we do best, coming together to support each other in times of adversity.

In a small rural pub I spoke to a nurse who was part of a makeshift health clinic that the local community had set up to support those affected by the cyclone. We talked about the types of issues they were helping people with, and then I asked her how she was going. She cried as she told me how she had lost everything in the flooding the cyclone had caused, but didn’t have time to think about it. She was too busy helping others.

I will never forget that conversation, or countless others like it that I had during that time. When we are tested to our limits, we see the true nature of the human spirit, and what I saw during those disasters was a solidarity and a compassion for each other that gave me huge hope.

In the face of the havoc this Government is wreaking, Labour must provide New Zealanders with hope. To do that we all need to be on the same page.

As a united and focused team we will define the policies and ideas that will drive Kiwi prosperity into the next generation.

Our country is not a company and our citizens are not just consumers. More people smoking might be good for the government’s bottom line, but it won’t make for a healthier society.  Cutting school lunches and support for those with disabilities might help Nicola Willis balance the budget, but at what cost to those who will miss out?

We need to make sure that hard work does pay off and that we tackle inequality head on. Kiwis shouldn’t have to work multiple jobs just to keep their heads above water. Those who help to create the nation’s wealth should enjoy their fair share of it.

Rising wages, improved working conditions, closing the gender pay gap, and creating the right conditions so that our businesses can thrive and their workers can share in the rewards will be key goals for our next government.

For the first time in my life, we currently have a government that is taking us backwards when it comes to outcomes for Māori, ignoring and in some cases reversing the huge progress we have made as a nation to right the wrongs of the past. That’s not just bad for Māori, it’s bad for all of us.

Labour will stand alongside our indigenous people as they face this disgusting barrage, then when we are in Government, we will again continue the work that we were doing to lift outcomes for Māori.

We need to keep investing in all our people. We need health and education systems that meet the needs of our people in the 21st century. We need a welfare system that recognises that kicking people when they are down is no way to help them back onto their feet.

We need to keep rebuilding our public services and institutions, and not just their buildings. The digital world is here, and the way we deliver our public services needs to embrace that.

We need to place sustainability at the core of all that we do. We have one planet and one chance. I don’t want my kids, grandkids and great grandkids to find that the legacy we leave them is one of a planet that they cannot live on, swim on, plant on and explore like we do today.

When we say climate change is the preeminent challenge of our generation we need to match those words with action.

Climate change isn’t just a challenge, it’s a massive opportunity if we’re willing to grasp it. New Zealand can be a world leader in sustainable food production, renewable energy, and science and innovation. There is money in our brand and we mustn’t squander it.

And, yes, we need to talk about tax.

Our current tax system is inequitable, and it’s unsustainable. We have one of the least diversified tax systems in the world, meaning public investment into things like health, education, welfare, housing and infrastructure is more reliant on income tax than most other countries we compare ourselves to.

In other words, those who earn their living through their salary and wages are contributing a greater share than those who earn income through wealth. Under this government, those with multiple investment properties are getting huge tax breaks while those on salary and wages pay tax on every dollar they earn.

When even the IMF is saying our tax system is broken it really is time to do something.

As the way we live and work continues to change, with a smaller proportion of the workforce earning taxable salary and wages, reform of our tax system won’t just be a matter for the idealists, it will be an economic necessity.

Now is the time to have that debate. After the election I said that all options around changes to the tax system were back on the table and I meant it.

Shortly our Labour Party Policy Council will release a series of discussion documents on key issues we will be working on over the next two years. One of those will be on tax. It will set out some of our options for future tax policy. It’s intended to help inform the debate, but how we shape it will be up to us.

Our work on future policy will take some time, as it should, because none of the issues I just mentioned can be considered in isolation. We will use our time in opposition to listen, to build relationships, to research and to develop new ideas and new policies.

When the 2026 general election rolls around we will be more prepared for government than any opposition in our country’s history.

In my maiden speech I said we need to reignite the fire of our collective spirit. We need to rediscover what it means to live as part of a community. And I spoke of values. My values, Labour’s values, and values that I believe have defined New Zealand society in the past and need to do so again into the future.

Compassion, respect, fairness, friendship, love, and forgiveness.

In politics, values matter, and we should talk about them a lot more. When I look at the actions of this new government, I see very different values in play to the ones that I hold and that I believe define and motivate our Labour movement.

They’re putting landlords ahead of hungry kids, smoking revenue ahead of people’s health, and tax cuts ahead of supporting the most vulnerable among us like people living with disabilities.

We are a better country than that.

New Zealand is a country that abounds with opportunity. Together our job is to ensure everyone can benefit from that.

Our mission is to create a prosperous, inclusive New Zealand where everyone has a role to play, and nobody gets left behind.

Let’s make that happen together.

94 comments on “Chris Hipkins – Values Matter ”

  1. Michael 1

    A good speech but I don't believe either Hipkins or Labour will convince anyone except the already-faithful.

    • Rose 1.1

      The fact he was about to make a speech had bigger headlines than the speech itself across all three MSM websites. Nothing new to say. Opportunity lost.

  2. Chess Player 2

    Man who held powerful portfolios for several years tells us all about what he should have put in place.

    Will be interesting to see whether kiwis are prepared to give him yet another chance.

  3. Darien Fenton 3

    Geez don't some people read? This was a powerful speech and significant in many ways, especially in signalling a big shift in the thing many people here grizzle about ; neo liberal economics. Quotes :

    "We will remember with pride the early steps that government took to stamp our proudly Nuclear Free mark on our foreign policy, the work of that government to advance human rights, including homosexual law reform, and to bring conservation and environmental issues much more to the fore.

    But we will also look back with much more mixed feelings on the economic reforms of that and subsequent governments, and the four decades of growing inequality and societal decay that has followed. Forty years on it is long since time we acknowledged that a rising economic tide does not lift all boats.
    The majority find themselves constantly bailing water just to stay afloat, while far too many are left to just sink.

    “Our current economic model celebrates those who live off wealth over those who live off work. In the modern economy, contribution and reward aren’t as linked as they used to be.

    “Hard work is no longer the ticket to getting ahead it should be. While some earn a lot more than they are worth, the majority are worth a lot more than they earn. Success and aspiration should be celebrated. But when hard work no longer pays off, it’s time for a rethink of the system.”

    • Cricklewood 3.1

      Thing is he had the opportunity and instead had a policy bonfire. That and the cold shoulder given to David Parker who has actually done work on and advocated for the changes needed speakes volumes.

      Basically I think Hipkins is full of shit.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.1

        Basically I think Hipkins is full of shit.

        Imho, Hipkins makes some interesting points about our CoC govt shitting on Kiwis.

        They’re putting landlords ahead of hungry kids, …

        Won't someone please think of the landLords! *

        smoking revenue ahead of people’s health, …

        Bishop and Luxon seem "deeply committed" ** – best of luck Reti.

        and tax cuts ahead of supporting the most vulnerable among us like people living with disabilities.

        Tax cuts? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

        * TV presenter’s foodbank cuts 500 families as times get tough
        [14 March 2024]
        Letele is also aghast at suggestions from Act's leader, David Seymour, that cuts could be made to free school meal provision, saying BBM saw a huge spike in demand during school holidays because families struggled to feed their children.

        ** Smokefree laws: Govt to repeal legislation under urgency
        [27 Feb 2024]
        The [ACT] party's health spokesman Todd Stephenson called Labour's legislation a "dopey experiment in prohibition".

        Another Todd! So dopey.

        Sunak’s smoke-free generation: spare a thought for the tobacco industry [12 Dec 2023]
        Proposed legislation aims to phase out smoking, but we must prevent it being blocked, diluted, or delayed through industry interference

      • Darien Fenton 3.1.2

        What an intelligent comment,

      • Chess Player 3.1.3

        Someone like David Parker who actually did something successfully before he got into politics will always get more airtime from some like me, even if I don’t necessarily agree with him at any given time.

        All around the world people are getting sick of the political careerists and NZ is no different.

      • newsense 3.1.4

        And his response is let’s talk about maybe doing something that I ruled out a month or two back. Back the words with action, otherwise they’re wasted words, and more than likely require someone who can be credible announcing it.

      • Michael P 3.1.5

        100% Cricklewood.

        Hipkins is a leading, shining light for the status quo (with tinkering on social issues which arguably have alienated more than they have gathered)

    • I agree Darien. It remains to be seen if the left and others interested in a "fairer society" work and plan together. It has rekindled my enthusiasm.

    • Phillip ure 3.3

      So it only took forty years for this revelation for labour..?

      What took them so long…?

      • Darien Fenton 3.3.1

        Are you the same Phillip Ure who said I needed a makeover when I was in Parliament?

        • Phillip ure 3.3.1.1

          I don't recall saying that..if I did I belatedly apologise..

          (I must have been desperately grabbing for punchlines..)

          Do you remember the context..?

          You are one of the labour mps I respected..

          • Darien Fenton 3.3.1.1.1

            It was on your whoar blog during q time when as a backbencher, I asked a question. I got enough shite to last me a lifetime from Whaleoil et al who loved critiquing my appearance. These things stick. So thank you for the apology. It means a lot.

            • Phillip ure 3.3.1.1.1.1

              I am horrified that I said that…there is/I have no excuse..

              As you say it was when you asked a question..I am guessing it was in a question time commentary…where I pretty much indiscriminately fired from the hip..

              But as I say…no excuse…

    • Grey Area 3.4

      I suppose the section you highlighted is as close to an apology as we're going to get for the betrayal of New Zealand by Labour through the release of neoliberalism.

      I take it the tax options being put back on the table will include the ones Hipkins took off the table pre-election. And the policies Labour will work on could well replace the ones he threw into his policy bonfire.

      Nice words in his speech but I don't trust the man. Those saying how great "Chippy" now is seem to have short memories.

      Good start though even if it's six months after the election. The election for which he hasn't admitted his own part in losing.

      • Darien Fenton 3.4.1

        I think there have been other "apologies" from Labour about the 1980s. I hated it too. and I have a very long memory. But neo-liberalism is a world wide thing, invented in the 1970s. Tell me one country that hasn't embraced the global free market, or one country that has rejected it successfully. Also worth remembering that National had three terms in the 1990s and another three from 2008 and entrenched and worsened the doctrine – ie with labour law changes and benefit cuts. Now they are back again, so my thinking is rather than dwelling on something from 40 years ago, we build a bridge and look ahead. I don't care if you trust Chippy or not. He is one person in a wider labour movement. I prefer not to live in grievance mode for the rest of my life. The fights we have right now are too important.

        • Grey Area 3.4.1.1

          Thanks for your reply. Paul Kelly has a song called "I'll forgive, but I won't forget." Maybe mine has been "I won't forgive, and I won't forget". 🙂 I'll think on that.

          I agree the fight we have now is critical for our future on many levels, including our very survival with the climate in crisis and wreckers and deniers in control.

          I hope Labour will be part of solution along with the Greens and Te Pati Maori. I am an older person living rurally but I am not sitting back living in grievance mode. I recently re-joined the Green Party and will attend a branch AGM soon and try and make some connections and see what energy there is for fighting back locally. Chloe Swarbrick is attending a regional meeting next month and I hope to get the chance to ask her for her perspective on how we can fight back as individuals, locally and regionally.

          I also hope to ask her whether there have been/will be discussions between Labour, GP and TPM about providing a united opposition to the three-headed taniwha.

    • James Simpson 3.5

      This would be powerful if it was from a guy who wasn't a senior minister for the past 6 years (including 6 months as PM) and failed to do anything like he is now saying he will.

      I am all for it, but he has a credibility problem that won't be fixed with words.

      He has to work very hard to convince those who voted right (the 400,000 ACT NZ First and National voters that we need back on our side to win), that he is now capable of delivering, when he failed to deliver last time he was given the chance.

  4. UncookedSelachimorpha 4

    Not a bad speech.

    He gives a nod to the 'deserving / undeserving poor' belief and repeats one of the big neoliberal lies that hard work is (or should be) the main cause of wealth and quality of life, when the power of capital is the main driver in our current system. We are a wealthy enough country that even those who just work a bit (and those who can't work at all), should be able to have a reasonable life. The "go getters" are not always doing good for society.

    " We believe in equality and the notion that all those who work hard should be able to get ahead, enjoy the fruits of their labour, and create a better life for themselves and their families." [my emphasis]

    • Darien Fenton 4.1

      This is not a neoliberal doctrine. It is an old saying from Labour and is even implicit in the song Solidarity. Obama also said it as did Martin Luther-King. Work includes those who work for our families, who volunteer in the local community, who help feed others in need, who look after our seniors, who raise our babies, who share their food. This is all working hard and speaks to the redistribution of wealth and power.

    • Gareth Wilson 4.2

      What's the name of his political party again?

  5. I am in two minds about Hipkins' speech. On one hand a lot of it made sense, but on the other this Government is like an out of control scrub fire at the moment, with no obvious fire service to bring it under control. Are we going to have to watch vast tracts of all that is good and proper about this country go up in socio-economic flames – a bit like Napier following the earthquake in 1931 where the water mains were destroyed, and fire spread unchecked for some time?

    • Rose 5.1

      To carry on the analogy, watching Hipkins at question time and his speech this afternoon, he’s certainly lost his fire. Queue the leadership speculation – IMO that will be Labours headline over coming months … but who?

      • Grey area 5.1.1

        I think you are a right wing troll and should go away. I am definitely no Hipkins fan but to say he has lost his lost his fire is bullshit. So no, the leadership speculation is not being queued, sorry, and will not be Labour's headline over coming months, much as you would like it to be.

      • weka 5.1.2

        You look like a troll to me too. Eventually that will get boring and one of the mods will step in, so you can consider this a pre-warning.

        Meanwhile, here's Hipkins if people want to watch the video.

        https://www.youtube.com/live/tXAic-CapAw?si=i4i4C3SlC-noNc6V

      • weka 5.1.3

        I see I already gave you a warning the other day, so ball is in your court now.

        https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-21-03-2024/#comment-1993370

      • Obtrectator 5.1.4

        Queue Cue.

      • Corey 5.1.5

        Kieren Mcanulty is the only person in the Labour party the public actually likes, he has charisma, he's funny, young and his down to earth bogan personality appeals to everyone but most importantly, males under 40 which the left has lost globally desperately needs to win over or we’ll never win anywhere ever again.

        I show Kierens videos to males who voted Labour or greens in 2017 and 2020 but voted tory, nzf act in 2023 and they LOVE him.

        Him and his ute up against captain limo will get Labour up 10% in the next election as long as Labour doesn't ruin what we like about him by changing the way he talks, the way he dresses and the things he talks about….

        He’s the most likeable person in nz politics and his bloke next door personality is endearing and if Labour doesn’t ruin him by trying to turn him into another personality free academic robot, he’d bolt in.

        • weka 5.1.5.1

          this is heartening. How would you compare him to Andrew Little, who there were also hopes for? Or even Cunliffe?

          Seems like there is the additional issue of substantial resistance to more socialist policies. Where would McAnulty fit into that?

        • Michael P 5.1.5.2

          "Kieren Mcanulty…."

          Yea….Nah

          "Labour has confirmed it would keep the new Government’s tax deductibility for landlords… Housing spokesman Kieran McAnulty clarified this when speaking to property developers last week"

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/political-roundup-is-hipkins-to-be-trusted-on-tax-reform-bryce-edwards/LRQJZFBPK5CABEK23FWJ7NE4EQ/

          • weka 5.1.5.2.1

            You missed a bit. The whole quote,

            2) Labour has confirmed it would keep the new Government’s tax deductibility for landlords unless the tax cut proves to cause a big boom in housing prices. Housing spokesman Kieran McAnulty clarified this when speaking to property developers last week, being reported as committing to retain National’s $2.9b tax cut for landlords if it isn’t seen to cause another house price boom – see Rob Stock’s (paywalled) “Kieran McAnulty courts property developers”.

            And from the Stock piece Edwards refers to but doesn't link,

            “We saw there was competition between investors and speculators on existing stock, and not enough investment going into new housing,” he said.

            If restoring interest deductibility for investors fuelled a house price boom, Labour might well go into the next election pledging to remove it again, McAnulty said.

            But if it did not fuel a price boom, he said Labour would not be so arrogant as to ignore the fact.

            McAnulty said he hoped the restoration of interest deductibility didn’t result in less money flowing into new builds.

            Labour retained interest deductibility on investors in new builds as an incentive to stimulate house-building.

            “The settings as they were were to encourage investment in new-builds, as opposed to competition over existing stock,” McAnulty said.

            “I’ve seen first hand in my own local community what happens when there isn’t enough housing,” he said.

            But, he said: “I don’t see my role as opposition spokesperson just to oppose. I think opposing just for the sake of it has contributed to some degree to the issues we face now.

            “If the Government raises something we think will work, we will say so. If they propose something that misses the mark, will will propose an improvement,” he said.

            Archived version of the Post article, from behind the paywall,

            https://archive.is/DjYJn#selection-1041.0-1053.163

            I have quoted at length because I think Edwards was misleading, and so were you.

            To me that reads as a warning to landlords and investors to build new houses rather than competing and pushing the property prices up, and if they don't Labour will intervene more strongly next time they are in government.

  6. AB 6

    OK, but when they announce policy it had better:

    • not be timid because it will seem weak and inadequate
    • be redistributive, because undeservedly wealthy people are as bad for society, democracy and the economy as poor ones.
    • not hit moderately affluent families who have a house and some savings, because this will kill its popularity by being seen as punishing reasonable ambition
    • look at the regressive GST – perhaps lower it, while acknowledging its advantages (e.g. tourists pay it, as they should, for the public infrastructure they use).
    • use it to make residential landlordism increasingly unattractive and lower house prices
    • be accompanied by a willingness to fight the RW media backlash, abuse and ridicule with clear, plain messages, repeated endlessly.

    I'm not totally confident these will be the case.

    • Labour and the left generally are in a difficult position with tax policy.

      They have made a commitment to electrify the country by 2050 which is estimated to cost 500 billion.

      Superannuation costs remain unaddressed. We used to have 8 workers to tax for each superannuitant. Today we have 2 and falling.

      There are more people on welfare and they are staying on it longer. From the time welfare was introduced in 1938 until the 1970's the percentage of working age people on a benefit never exceeded 2%. Today it is 12% and growing.

      The final issue is that wealth taxes are deeply unpopular to the majority of voters.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1.1

        Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.” – Einstein

        The final issue is that wealth taxes are deeply unpopular to the majority of voters.

        Might you be projecting? "Wealth taxes are deeply unpopular to" some voters, notably many of the few who would be adversely affected in their all-important hip pocket.

        But that's not a majority of Kiwis.

        Newshub-Reid Research poll: Kiwis support the Government introducing wealth tax [17 June 2023]

        Poll: Do Kiwis want wealth tax for universal free dental care? [22 Aug 2023]

        POLL FINDINGS: NZers want the wealthy to pay more tax [22 Sept 2023]

        I wonder, will Kiwis be polled again about their views on a wealth tax any time soon?

        There will always be very wealthy individuals who oppose being parted with any more of their precious wealth with every fibre of their being. Some are opposed to disclosing even the magnitude of their wealth to the IRD – can't think why.

        The big money up against Parker [27 April 2023]
        Nearly 12 per cent (41) of the 352 families [each] with an estimated net worth of at least $20 million did not agree to respond even though the Tax Administration Act makes such surveys compulsory.

        The survey started in November 2021, and the questioning was over by May last year.

        As early as November 2021, there were reports that high-net-worth individuals were seeking legal advice to avoid having to participate.

        At about the same time, substantial donations from some of the country’s wealthiest individuals began to flow to the National Party.

        Inevitably it pitches the ordinary taxpayer against the very wealthy and National leader Christopher Luxon yesterday defended the ultra-wealthy. “It’s not the wealthy that are the problem here,” he said.

        The IRD study found that the 311 high net-worth families had paid, on average, 8.9 per cent of their economic income (as distinct from their wages and salaries income) in tax.

        • Michael Scott 6.1.1.1

          Drowsy I wrote that wealth taxes are deeply unpopular in NZ because I'm sure I remember Jacinda saying that. But can't find any link.

          I find as I have more time now that I enjoy reading political blogs and thinking about what I would do if I was running the show.

          Often I want to respond to a comment but don't because I rely on my memory for comments and I'm not good at finding link proof.

          I personally don't like wealth taxes because they don't work. Most european countries that tried them have abandoned them.

          The top 10% of earners pay 25% of all tax collected in NZ and the lowest 50% pay no net tax at all according to the Treasury (2021) So the rich are pulling their weight if this is correct.

          In economic terms we need more net contributors.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1.1.1.1

            The top 10% of earners pay 25% of all tax collected in NZ and the lowest 50% pay no net tax at all …

            The 'top' 10%, who own more than 50% of NZ's wealth, pull some of their weight. The poorest 50% have done a very poor job of bleeding the wealthy dry.

            Our CoC govt is implementing welfare for the wealthy, while the ‘plebs’ face austerity – NAct MPs are waging war on the poor, rather than on poverty.

            LESS? Unacceptable!UNPALATABLE – – – – – UNTENABLE

            https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/16-08-2022/the-side-eyes-two-new-zealands-the-table

          • KJT 6.1.1.1.2

            In fact those in the middle pay 60% of all taxes.

            The wealthy pay nowhere near what the should, compared with the proportion of the National wealth, built up by tax payers, that they have benefited from.

            Which is why National canned anyone looking at real rates of tax.

            Almost all countries in Europe have Capital gains and inheritance taxes. Wealth taxes. Because they help even up the tax people pay.

            NZ is an outlier in that almost all taxes are on workers incomes and sales taxes.

            And polls show that between 60 and 80% of New Zealanders support CGT.

            • alwyn 6.1.1.1.2.1

              "Almost all countries in Europe have Capital gains and inheritance taxes. Wealth taxes"

              The majority of EU countries do NOT have wealth taxes. There are, in the EU and OECD European countries, only 3 which charge a net wealth tax. Another 4 charge some form of selective tax.

              The remaining 25 countries do not levy any form of wealth tax. Your statement is misleading.

              https://taxfoundation.org/data/all/eu/wealth-taxes-europe-2024/#:~:text=As%20today's%20map%20shows%2C%20only,individual's%20net%20wealth%20per%20se.

              • KJT

                Yours is.

                Your link uses a very narrow definition of wealth taxes.

                If you define wealth taxes as any tax on wealth.

                Capital Gains Tax by Country 2024 (worldpopulationreview.com)

                List of countries by inheritance tax rates – Wikipedia

                Of course there are also other taxes on wealth. Even NZ has progressive local body rates.

                • alwyn

                  A Capital Gains tax is NOT a wealth tax.

                  If you don't have any gain then you don't pay a CGT. That would be if you followed the old joke about airlines.

                  How do make a small fortune? Start with a large fortune and buy an airline.

                  If you list 3 types of taxes , as you did, preceded by "almost every country" then you are claiming that all the taxes apply to all the countries. If you had said "Almost every country in Europe have a CGT. Some have inheritance and a few have wealth taxes" you would have been OK.

                  However almost nobody has a wealth tax. They are terrible thing to administer or apply fairly. They are almost impossible to administer fairly. If you own a home can we charge you a wealth tax on the CV? It is nothing like what you could sell a property for today, is it? That is one of the major problems with our rates system.

              • SPC

                24 of 36 nations in the OECD have an estate tax,

                Switzerland is cited as the other nation in the OECD without a CGT, it has a wealth tax.

                Some of the nations with a CGT, include the family home where it is way above the norm (top few percentile) as a form of wealth tax.

                2/3rd of the OECD have a combination of CGT and estate tax.

                Oz does not have an estate tax, they do have stamp duty and land taxes.

                The IMF thinks we should have a CGT and a land tax – presumably to further increase government revenue off other than worker income and discourage land banking and encourage investment in other areas.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.3

            The top 10% of earners pay 25% of all tax collected in NZ and the lowest 50% pay no net tax at all according to the Treasury (2021) So the rich are pulling their weight if this is correct

            That is only if you are very selective about considering what taxes and rebates that you count.

            You only get there if you are stupid enough to have a very narrow view of what is a tax (ie only consider income tax, company tax, and taxes on dividends) and forget about about the ubiquitous consumption taxes like GST (15% on most things apart from second hand property like housing), taxes for things like cars, petrol, booze, tobacco, other custom and excise taxes, ACC, etc – all of which wind up on the end-user.

            If you have a lower income, like the lowest 50% on incomer earners, then the majority of your taxes are consumption taxes. They pay close to double the tax as a percentage of all income than the the top 10% do on all their income (because the wealthy usually earn most of their income from property – most of which is largely untaxed).

            Looks like you're also numerically and economically illiterate – what we need are fewer parasites making unearned income of unproductive wealth with pyramid property price schemes.

          • Michael P 6.1.1.1.4

            This sort of argument is disingenuous in my opinion.

            For a start we're talking about income tax. not net tax whatever that is.

            If the top 10% of earners pay 25% of all of the income tax that is because they have by far the largest proportion of all of the income. So a pointless figure.

            But the very wealthy aren't captured in any of those sorts of data and they pay the equivalent of only 8.5% income tax. This isn't fair.

            I think most people would be happy if the tax system was fair, which it isn't. It massively benefits those who gain income from wealth as opposed to those who's only income is from work

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.1.2

        There are more people on welfare and they are staying on it longer. From the time welfare was introduced in 1938 until the 1970's the percentage of working age people on a benefit never exceeded 2%. Today it is 12% and growing.

        Because the welfare system until the mid-80's for most was a job in the public service. This included the compulsory taking on of the excess school leavers that the private sector could not take on, who then never got a chance to languish on benefit. Wives did not need to work or get a benefit because husbands got tax rebates.

        It also wasn't government policy back then to have structural unemployment of around 6% and sole parent benefits only came in relatively recently because teenage mums were forced to give up their kids for adoption, and 60 to 64 year olds and underage partners got a pension.

        According to MSD fact sheets there are now 77,000 people on benefit aged 55-64. At least half of those would have been on an old age pension (at which point they metamorphasise from bludgers to beautiful "paid taxes all my life" deserved citizens.

        It is really dumb to compare the way you have.

      • lprent 6.1.3

        Superannuation costs remain unaddressed. We used to have 8 workers to tax for each superannuitant. Today we have 2 and falling.

        Sure and that was completely obvious to me back in 1977 when National Superannuation was instigated by Muldoon. The basic demographics of a falling birthrate on a superannuation system was obvious even before I first went to uni.

        But clearly you are an monumental historical idiot about it being 'unaddressed'.

        Have you never heard of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund that was started in 2001 and gets regular larger top-ups whenever we don't have the short-term stupidity of a of yet another National-led government. That was started 23 years ago. That was intended to provide pre-saved income for dealing with the economic hump.

        The sovereign fund posted a record 25.8% return in the twelve months till 30 June 2013.[9] In the 2009 New Zealand budget the National Government suspended payments to the fund.[10] Contributions were proposed to resume in 2020/21 when the Government's net debt to GDP was forecast to fall below 20% again.[11] Instead, the new Labour-led government started payments into the superfund again in December 2017.[12] The New Zealand Government had contributed $21.8 b to the fund as at 31 March 2022.[13]

        and

        Total assets Increase NZ$58 billion (March 2022)[2]

        Or Kiwisaver that was instituted in 2007 as a supplement to help people save for their own retirement.

        As at 31 March 2021, the Financial Markets Authority (NZ) reports $81.6 billion in assets is managed by KiwiSaver providers.[1]

        You really are a bit of dumbarse. Not to mention this pile of lying shit

        The final issue is that wealth taxes are deeply unpopular to the majority of voters.

        Yeah?

        New survey shows widespread support for taxes on capital gains and windfall profits

        Newshub-Reid Research poll finds majority Kiwis back Government revisiting Capital Gains Tax

        Poll: Slim majority of voters want capital gains tax on rentals

        More Kiwis support capital gains tax than oppose in new poll

        In fact when I look at polls and analysis on capital gains tax the only ones that don't seem to support it are those commissioned by the people who have something to lose from it and who usually think only of themselves and have no thought for the good of the economy. Like Business NZ, 'Taxpayers Union' (a property owners lobby group),

        You really need to get out and start listening to actual people. I'd suggest talking to people under the age of 35 who have virtually no chance of buying property unless thier parents are affluent enough to leverage up a large deposit.

        • Michael Scott 6.1.3.1

          Lprent why are you so uncivil? I didn't know that the sovereign fund was set up to cover the superannuation shortfall. Now that I do I will check it out to see how it will do that.

          On the CGT I do not understand why Jacinda categorically ruled it out if most people support it. It would be far better than a wealth tax which seems to be about taxing savings upon which tax has already been paid.

          And rich people would pay tax at the highest rate on the annual income those savings earn.

          I agree with you about the difficulty young people have in saving a deposit for a home and believe this is the biggest problem for us to solve as a nation.

          • Michael P 6.1.3.1.1

            "…taxing savings upon which tax has already been paid."

            Not if the savings come from unearned income….

            “And rich people would pay tax at the highest rate on the annual income those savings earn…”

            Except the very wealthy only pay around 8.5% income tax…

            “…this is the biggest problem for us to solve as a nation.”

            I would say the price of housing relative to income is the problem. Young people’s inability to save a deposit is a symptom of that. (IMO)

  7. Ad 7

    No, I don't trust this guy for a second.

    He trashed most of the progressive policies of the last Labour government, strangled tax and worker-protection policies despite years of preparation, and led us to crushing electoral defeat without apology.

    One of the clearest signals he's sent on tax is hiring a shadow Minister of Finance who simply doesn't believe in substantial tax reform.

    On a very, very slow news day he had nothing clear to say about any policy field other than 'all options are on the table'. It's like he's now unable to speak clearly other than in a set of poorly connected abstract nouns.

  8. mickysavage 8

    No mention of Trade Unions or Pacifica.

    He has to do better than this.

    • Michael P 8.1

      And the term 'working class' mentioned only once by my count.

      From a leader of the Labor Party… unbelievable!

    • James Simpson 8.2

      To me it sounded like he ignored what Labour actually is and went for the sound bite of Tax reform.

  9. Res Publica 9

    There's nothing more Labour than halfheartedly trying to fight the previous election 6 months to a year too late.

  10. Tony Veitch 10

    Too late!

    I've already joined the Greens!

  11. Tiger Mountain 11

    After 40 years of the legacy of “Roger’n’Ruth” NZ Labour owes the working class of this country a grovelling apology at the very least for all those redundancies of the 80s/90s, market rents, State Sector Act, creation of an ongoing underclass which was never retrained etc. etc.

    The way forward for Parliamentary left politics is a broad agreement with TPM, Greens and Labour on Tax and Capital gains and major infrastructure being run and owned by the people again–including disbanding the power market and retiring WINZ/MSD in favour of a Basic Income administered by IRD.

    Chris Hipkins is a place holder and significantly helped lose the election with his “Cap’n’s Calls”. Robbo and David Parker are credible people but he managed to alienate them. Credit to him for saying what he did, but…lets move on.

  12. All those thinking that Hipkins sounded good like I did, might like to reflect that according to Plunket & others , yes I know, Shaneel Lal is working in as an executive asst to either Labour party or a Labour MP. Hipkins didn't know what a woman was, Lal was most emphatic that people should go to Albert Park to attempt a thug's veto on Posie Parker who most definitely knows what a women is and wanted to provide a place where women could have their say.

    The optics are hopeless

    https://x.com/KatrinaBiggs2/status/1771984792357323142?s=20

    https://x.com/SeanPlunket/status/1772031086018900299?s=20

    • Shanreagh 12.1

      Further to this Katrina Biggs comments below:

      https://open.substack.com/pub/aboldwoman/p/the-man-who-was-instrumental-in-whipping?r=wthj9&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&comments=true

      A quote

      Besides being employed as an executive assistant for an MP, Lal is also said to be employed by Labour as a policy researcher. That is a much bigger worry, in my opinion, even without Labour currently being in government. I would put money on it that he will be researching ways to take the word ‘sex’ out of any policy (or piece of legislation, as well, perhaps) he possibly can, and replacing it with the word ‘gender’. The word ‘gender’ may have been used narrowly once as a polite euphemism for ‘sex’, but there’s no limit to how it can be used now. It’s wide open to be interpreted any way a person chooses. Potentially, any man with a self-described gender-identity of any sort, that has no male words in it, gets a free pass into all women’s and girls’ spaces if he so desires.

      and

      In the event that we need reminding, after the aborted Let Women Speak rally, Labour’s leader, Chris Hipkins, said he would have been proud to support the protest against Posie Parker (Kellie-Jay Keen). He may have found it politic to change his stance a bit since then, but when Labour then goes and employs a man like Lal, it makes me very nervous.

      I am hopeful but not starry eyed about the possibility that this GI stuff will be rolled back as Weka has suggested. I am hoping that this will be by left leaning parties and not the right. Otherwise there will be possibly be some dead rat gulping around NZ.

      It is not lost on me that the date that this became public marks a year since the LWS gathering was subjected to a thug’s veto at Albert Park in Auckland.

  13. Phillip ure 13

    Labour's main problem is still the reason they were unceremoniously thrown out of office..six years of non-delivery on the promises they made..to get elected..

    If labour had done what they promised then…they would still be in office..

    So now…5 mins after their ejection ..they are expecting voters to believe what they are saying now..?

    Good luck with that one..eh..?

    And this will last up to the next election..

    The only hope that labour have to regain any credence..is to go into the election pledging/arguing for policies agreed by labour/grns/

    tmp…

    Labour must acknowledge this change in the power dynamic..

    That they are no longer the dominant force on the left..

    They have to settle under the credibility-wings of grns/tmp..as an equal partner with them..

    Everyone knows they mean what they say..

    ..whereas nobody believes a word labour says..

    And labour standing out there on their own..will just be viewed as posturing/hot-air..

  14. Mike the Lefty 14

    After reading this I even more rue Labour's decision making in the last 2-3 years of their government. It is a basic admission that Labour knew what they should have done, but lacked the guts to do it.

    And unfortunately Jacinda Adern has to take a large amount of the blame for that. Notwithstanding her fine leadership qualities, Jacinda's emphatic rule out of a wealth tax/CGT/ whatever effectively scuppered any real progress that the Labour government could have made in tax reform and made them look impotent. The first party winning power with an overall majority in MMP elections. They could have done anything they wanted, but in the end didn't want to do anything.

    It is like they knew deep down what they needed to do, but their insistence of being "defender of the faith" to corporate NZ ensured they could never do it.

    They were loathe to break the promise. That is not something that National would have had any qualms about doing had they been in a parallel situation.

    But on the brighter side we must remember that this coalition of chaos exists on a fragile frame of the ostensibly fatherly Luxon trying to control the two spoilt brats Seymour and Peters. At the moment they are all gung-ho and drunk with success. When reality kicks in down the line the more conservative element of National are going to start asking their leadership what the hell have we got ourselves into?

    Labour's message must be direct and uncompromising. The public need to be shown the pork barrels and conspiracy theories of NZ First, plus the reverse Robin Hoods of the ACT party. No more playing the respectful nice guy opposition. The NACTZ don't deserve it.

  15. observer 15

    I quite like Chippy, more human than most politicians. If he had never been PM he would be a good leader of the opposition now. He constantly gets the better of Luxon in the House (although that's a pretty low bar, outwitting Luxon is like outrunning a snail).

    But he had his chance, and he pursued a defeatist, foolish strategy (not hindsight, many of us said so at the time: you don't get elected by promising not to do things).

    It's good that Labour are promoting these policy reviews, and it may well be that Labour have a more positive platform next time. Unfortunately the message is only as strong as the messenger, and Hipkins would spend the entire campaign on the defensive, no matter how good the policies.

  16. Phillip ure 16

    Memo to labour:(an ongoing series)

    Talk to millennials/gen z…ask them what they want from a political party to gain their support..

    Main reason being they are a large demographic bulge…lots of potential votes..

    And they are also perhaps the worst affected by the shit storm these decades of neoliberal-incrementalism has wrought…

    Hard for them to have much hope about their futures..as things stand..

    If labour/the left parties can present solutions to what is ailing them…they will gain their support for the foreseeable future..

    And…ignore them at your electoral-peril..

  17. Corey 17

    Words are pretty but actions are what matter and Hipkins and post 84 Labour's actions when in positions of power have always protected, upheld and reinforced the status quo and wealthy.

    Ardern said things like this all the time in the 2017 campaign and during the first 100 days "globalism has failed" and when push came to shove she ruled out any major economic reforms and upheld the status quo.

    Same with Clark who with the alliance/progressives, the greens and later the Maori party had 9 years where there was a progressive majority to reform taxation and plan for the future, she never did

    Labour can make all the pretty speeches they want they have NO CREDIBILITY , with a sole majority and an international crisis they could have used to justify changes and unprecedented public support they always protected the interests of the capital and asset class.

    from housing reforms, tax reforms to even something as enormously popular as breaking up the supermarket duopoly, they always take the cowards way out, they didn't even have a party position on the weed Referendum which 49.6% supported and even neoliberals like Trudeau and US dems favor.

    Labour are cowards.

    Forget socialism or even bloody social democracy, anyone wants even basic liberal regulation of capitalism in this country has to go to the Greens or TPM and have them literally force Labour who will to do it.

    A Labour party that is too cowardly to reform capitalism so it works for everyone is a Labour that is not worth existing.

    The sole majority along with all the many captains calls (along with Clark's 9 years) showed us all what Labour would do if it "had the votes" and that is protect capital at all costs.

    All United, sorry Labour will ever offer us are pretty speeches, greenwashed environmental policy, eye wateringly expensive public funded private developer built infrastructure and housing, tut tutting duopolies, a few crumbs for the poor, a new public holiday and going all in on bilingualism and corporate rainbow politics (the last two they go all in on cos they are progressive without threatening capital)

    Hipkins failed worse than Cunliffe, why is he still even there? Outside the beltway he's detested left right and center, bye Felicia go and stand for mayor somewhere or get on the reserve Bank board which is our retirement home for politicians.

    • Phillip ure 17.1

      Wot corey said…

    • Vivie 17.2

      Corey: speak for yourself. Chris Hipkins gave a great speech yesterday. He has reflected on Labour's election loss and acknowledges that changes to tax policies are necessary, to address NZ's societal inequities.

      Evidently most people weren't voting for a wealth tax, or a tax exemption up to $30,000 of income, because more would have voted for Te Pāti Māori or the Green Party if these were the main policies concerning most people. Labour didn't lose the election because of their tax policies.

      Critics on the Left should remember that the Right's $12 million plus relentless attack campaign against Labour played a large part in their election loss.

      "If we subtract negative posts from positive posts, about 63 percent more Labour posts included positive self-presentation than negative attacks. In comparison, when we do the same for National, it had a net positivity score of just 5.5 percent". https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/news/2023/10/negative-campaiging-in-the-2023-new-zealand-election

      To people who claim this did not have much impact on the result, can they explain why the donors would contribute so much if this was unlikely to be effective?

      People have short memories. Prior to the election The Right encouraged feelings of resentment against Maori, by claiming that Labour's policies advantaged Maori at the expense of other NZers. Also, people expressed anger about being expected to comply with Labour's COVID 19 minimisation strategies. Media repeatedly gave entitled individuals opportunities to complain about their specific circumstances, which built up more feelings of anger, as regularly reported by the media.

      Chris Hipkins is the best person to lead Labour into the next election. His affable, practical manner and his ability to respond quickly and pragmatically to the media and in Parliament, is reflected in his popularity polling exceeding that of Christopher Luxon.

      • Michael P 17.2.1

        " Prior to the election The Right encouraged feelings of resentment….."

        BooHoo.

        It's up to a strong leadership team to present a great policy platform that makes people sit up and take notice.

        "Chris Hipkins is the best person to lead Labour into the next election"

        Not if Labor wants to win.. (IMO)

      • Darien Fenton 17.2.2
        • 1
      • Chris76 17.2.3

        Well said Vivie.

    • SPC 17.3

      The Clark government was in coalition with United 2002-2005 and NZF 2005-2008.

  18. That_guy 18

    It's a fine speech. I'm still politically homeless.

    Labour is a story of missed opportunities and political cowardice and they've just hired a misogynistic bully. Perhaps Hipkins will turn this around: I'll believe it when he unequivocally backs a CGT.

    National/ACT are economic incompetents who think that the limits of what will happen with climate change are set by what they are comfortable with (or possibly by baby jeebus).

    The Greens have never really backed up their claim to be "science-based" and have done basically nothing to disassociate themselves from a massive medical scandal with Green fingerprints all over it. But at least they get that the climate crisis is just that.

    Winston is Winston.

    At this point I guess I'll have to vote for the misogynistic homophobic Greens, because even though most of the people on the planet are women, all of the people on the planet are on the planet. Dead rat: it's what's for dinner.

    • weka 18.1

      it's going to take some time but the GI stuff will roll back eventually. I just hope the GP aren't so stupid as to follow the UK Greens' example (I don't think they are).

      How have Labour just hired?

      • Tabletennis 18.1.1

        from the mouth of Chris Hipkins: a Labour MP (Hon Jenny Salesa ?) has hired misogynist and radical activist Shaneen Lal as Executive Assistant.
        It is all about the ‘T’ in Labour, Grant Robinson, past minister for sport, couldn’t help himself to hide his misogyny in his very last speech in parliament.

        A real shame as I thought he knew his stuff on his other portfolio economics but a really, really disappointment on women's and girl's issues and stubbornly refused to discuss it, as he knew he is wrong on the facts: men are not women.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          It is all about the ‘T’ in Labour

          Lol.

          Looks like their researchers still haven't discovered Terf Island. FFS. Being ambushed by Plunkett over 'what is a woman?' should have been a wake up call. To be clear, hiring a trans person is none of our business. Hiring Lal given his politics towards women and his involvement in the Albert Park violence is just wilful fucking stupidity.

        • weka 18.1.1.2

          Hipkins spoke to Plunket today, on the Let Women Speak anniversary. Audio link here

          https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-25-03-2024/#comment-1993948

          • Tabletennis 18.1.1.2.1

            Yet Hipkins couldn't resit the myth of 'both sides' : @7.30min
            "There were people on either side who were aggravating the situation to the point that it became impossible for people to exercise their right to free speech.”
            Really Mr Hipkins show me the both sides ….
            But if you do as a women, exercise your right to free speech, you are a radical feminist – good to know Mr Hipkins.

            Still poking the bear

            • weka 18.1.1.2.1.1

              I'm guessing he's asked what TERF stands for, and thinks the GC movements are run by radical feminists. Still come catching up to do.

        • Obtrectator 18.1.1.3

          I've held aloof from the GI debate so far, mainly because of a personal conflict. On the one hand I want to be tolerant of non-binary people, but on the other I'm unconditionally supportive of cis-women's right to be unmolested by male-bodied bullies of whatever self-identified status.

          In the end, though, if forced to choose, then there can't be any question of where I stand. Now and for ever, it's with the cis-women.

          And having done some reading-up about [insert own choice of honorific] Lal, I don't feel I can stay silent any longer. If he oh all right they side with the people waving "Suck my lady-dick" signs at Albert Park, and the sort of thug who repeatedly punches a woman old enough to be his grandmother, then they are an absolute no-no as far as I'm concerned, and no politician of any stripe should be daft enough to have anything to do with them. And before I get piled-on: it's nothing to do with their gender-identity. In my book, siding with mysogs and thugs is in itself more than enough to condemn anyone.

          I predict this hire – if what TT says is true – will be short and unhappy, quite possibly for more than one person.

          • weka 18.1.1.3.1

            thanks for taking this position.

            Hipkins confirmed that Lal was hired to Sean Plunket (but didn't say which MP had take him on).

            For me too it's not Lal's transness, nor even his politics. It's his nastiness and intolerance, and basically inciting violence against women. That someone in Labour hired him shows seriously poor judgement, both for a workplace, but also for the politics of the situation. A TRA would be bad enough, but this particular TRA? Nah.

            There's a fair bit of tweeting using Lal's name with photos of his involvement in the Albert Park mob.

            We can also look to the UK to see what happens to political parties that have this degree of ideological blindness. The UK Green Party and SNP have both shot themselves in the foot (the Greens multiple times). Labour came to its senses and has started to make some position changes, which suggests they want to win the next election and recognise they need women to do that.

        • SPC 18.1.1.4

          At least no one claims that GR's position is informed by homophobia.

          His comments as per sport, are of a person with some personal affinity with the portfolio and interest in the development of women's sport.

          • weka 18.1.1.4.1

            it's structural lesbophobia if an MP believes that male people can be lesbians and this impacts on legislation and policy.

            Likewise, it's sexist if a male MP believes that male people have no unfair advantage over women in sports.

            Good people can be bigots too. Liberals can be bigots. At what point that becomes wilful is less clear, but NZ Labour have had plenty of opportunity to get their heads around the conflict of rights issues and start to listen to women.

            • SPC 18.1.1.4.1.1

              Has GR ever said that a male born person can be a lesbian?

              Has GR ever denied that a male born person has an advantage over women in sport?

              Where does the term structural lesbophobia term come from?

              • weka

                He has been an influential minister in a government that chose trans rights over women's rights and repeatedly refused to address women's concerns about the impact on women of self-ID.

                This is GR throwing women under the bus,

                We still have some way to go to ensure people can grow up to be who they are and are supported to live fulfilling lives. I am particularly concerned at the way our trans community have been the subject of increasing hatred, bigotry, and lies as part of the ongoing culture wars. I saw this especially in the sports portfolio. People with absolutely no care for women's sport suddenly became warriors for safety in pursuit of an imagined enemy. The "othering" of trans people is despicable. We have to support people to live the lives that they want to live, and to show them some respect.

                Then he has the gall to say "There is still a long way to go to achieve the equity that women in sport deserve".

                If GR meant that there are bigots on the fight, he could have said that there are safety and fairness issues for women as well as trans people. Let me know if you see anything like this.

                Tbf, I think he is being clueless, but as I said in OM today, Labour have had a long time to get their heads around this issue, and at some point the ignorance has to be seen as wilful.

                I made up the term structural lesbophobia but google is telling me, unsurprisingly, that others have used the term too. Do I need to explain what it means?

    • SPC 18.2

      The "medical practice" was developing during the 2008-2017 period (some of the early gender ID developments occurred under that government – and NACT voted for the later self ID changes here under the last Labour government).

      And worldwide little influenced by Green political parties.

      A notable amount of revisionism on this since it became a culture war issue.

  19. thinker 19

    "Labour was founded on the idea that hard work should pay off and that those who help to generate wealth should enjoy their fair share of it."

    So, good. Capital Gains tax I welcome, but wealth tax will send the richest NZers offshore with their wealth and leave the middle to pay the taxes again. IMHO.

    • Michael P 19.1

      "…wealth tax will send the richest NZers offshore with their wealth…"

      Rubbish (IMO)

      The thing a about a well thought through and effective wealth tax is that it doesn't have to be huge in order to gain significant revenue.

      Regardless if people disappear (where too I'm not sure) then there will always be others who step up to take their place.

    • SPC 19.2

      If they take the wealth to Oz, all of the investment is subject to a CGT.

      IF one applies a CGT here first (and backdate it to date of purchase for those who leave the country), one can take a clip of it before they go.

  20. Michael P 20

    "Our current economic model celebrates those who live off wealth over those who live off work. In the modern economy, contribution and reward aren’t as linked as they used to be."

    "I’m confirming today that under a Government I lead there will be no wealth or capital gains tax. End of story."

    Note – the second quote may not be 100% as it's from memory but I'm pretty sure is close to what he said.

    The point is the disconnect between the two statements, both from the leader of the Labor party and both within the last 6 months.

    I can 100% guarantee (in my opinion..hehe) Labor will not win or be in a position to form a government at the next election if Hipkins is still leader.

    • SPC 20.1

      Hipkins did the left of the party the favour in 2023 of not losing with a CGT or wealth tax policy.

      Whether he would have won with it is unknown. A way ahead is good.

      A major problem was state house tenancy management and the related impact on public support for the Kainga Ora building programme in their areas.

      But the big one was rising rents – a rent freeze, or the Greens 3% pa rent increase cap, would have made a difference.

      Highlighting Labour's MW increase record and FPA development when combined with lower rents was the way …

      • Phillip ure 20.1.1

        I don't think labour taking a cgt policy into 2023 would have won them the election .

        They were kicked out 'cos of non-delivery on the policies/promises made that got them elected..

        It’s as simple/straightforward as that..

        Cgt/wealth taxes are just part of the policies they have to take into the next election..

  21. DS 21

    "Mixed feelings"?

    The 1984-1993 economic reforms were evil. No mixed feelings about that.

    Quite apart from the obvious point: Hipkins has no values.

  22. Banana republic 22

    Values do indeed matter, which is why I wont ever vote mainstream in New Zealand.

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