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Clear choices in Labour’s mini-Manifesto

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 pm, July 8th, 2014 - 35 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2014, labour, national - Tags:

Kiwi voters are going to be offered clear election choices across a wide range of policies that matter. This is clear from Labour’s mini-Manifesto, released at the weekend Congress. As promised, Labour’s offerings are  positive and forward-looking.  Besides education, there are policies on work, economy, schools, children, jobs, homes, environment, democracy, health, living costs and budget – put the commitments together and it’s a recipe for positive change.

Over the next little while we will spell out the differences between positive 21st century  Labour and old hat more-of-the-same 1960’s National. They haven’t noticed the world has changed.

In the meantime, here’s the conclusion from Rod Oram’s July 6 Sunday Star-Times column headed “Clear choices ahead.” (Not on-line)

when voters weigh up National and Labour’s claims on economic management, they will need to consider the big differences between them on fiscal policy, monetary policy and economic transformation.

On monetary policy, National is steadfast against change, while Labour is advocating significant change to resist pressure on interest rates and the dollar. With both those rising, perhaps voters will engage on the issues.

Likewise on economic transformation, falling prices for dairy, forestry and other commodities are challenging both parties to articulate credible strategies. For example, National’s goal of doubling exports by 2025 requires them tot grow by between 5.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent a year. But Treasury is forecasting annual growth of only 2.2 per cent over the next four years.

Thus, this is an election with very clear choices for voters about new Zealand’s economic future.

I’ll post the whole article when it appears on-line. It’s worth a read.


35 comments on “Clear choices in Labour’s mini-Manifesto”

  1. dimebag russell 1

    read Rod Orams commentary in last weeks SST.
    Labour should win on that alone.

  2. Sacha 2

    Rod’s column is here:

    The differences in Labour and National’s approaches to superannuation pre-funding are striking, as are Key’s shifty lines on it. And the level of detailed costing is impressive.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The front page Labour graphic with the hashtag #forabetterNZ…uh what’s that about? Why is it not #votepositive, to carry on the meme which was started in the weekend?


    • Nordy 3.1

      Because that is the chosen hash tag – check out the material on Labour’s web site.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        So after featuring prominently at Congress, “Vote Positive” the brand new catch phrase introduced 72 hours ago is now orphaned?

        • You can use both hashtags (I have seen lots of people do so already). One slogan is going to be more prominent in online media and one will be more prominent in real-life media because there are different audiences, different approaches, different levels of effectiveness.

          • Colonial Viper

            I personally would have gone for consistency in brand messaging across all market segments and media channels in order to maximise repetition, recognition and cut through. But as long as someone has thought about it and decided gthis was optimum, that’s fine.

            • infused

              Pretty much.

            • Tom Gould

              If you run them together you get … vote positive … for a better New Zealand … which is and improvement on … team Key … working for New Zealand.

    • Nick K 3.2

      It’s actually #Labour2041.

  4. Bill 4

    Thus, this is an election with very clear choices for voters about new Zealand’s economic future.

    Pity then, that there is no economic future. Being positive would see a global peak in fossil fuel use by 2025 (realistically, not happening) and reducing our usage at a rate beyond what economists say the economy can withstand. Like I say, that’s the positive spin….unless you find impossible futures for today’s children appealing and something to continue striving for.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Even if we do not plan for and transition off peak fossil fuel in a structured, deliberate and orderly way, peak fossil fuel use is going to happen a few years after that anyway. But if we go down that chaotic and disorderly path, life is going to be way way harder than it needs to be, and there will be casualties of our short sightedness.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        I haven’t heard any mention of ‘structured, deliberate and orderly’ transitions. Fact is, that window closed at least 5 years back. We now get the effects of warming wiping out our infrastructure and economy somewhere not very far down the track, or we take a punt at saving our infrastructure by crashing the economy. Either way is chaotic as hell, and neither way guarantees against much worse to come by way of ‘tipping points’ kicking over.

  5. dimebag russell 5

    thats why they are busy grabbing everything they can now!

    • Bill 5.1

      The monkey’s hand was clenched around the berries inside the coconut shell that had been drilled to only accept an open hand. Monkey wouldn’t unclench and let go. Not when the hunters emerged from the undergrowth. And not even as they drew up their sticks for the lethal coshes to the head. Dead stupid monkey.

  6. Mary 6

    Of course no mention of social security benefits. Are we surprised? Totally sick of the lying pricks. It’s time to tell Labour to fuck off.

    • xtasy 6.1

      Exactly, what a “mini manifesto”, I noticed that one rather crucial policy area missing as well!

      It’s NO surprise to me, and it was no surprise hearing Jacinda Ardern on Morning Report yesterday, steadfastly refusing to answer to questions, whether a Labour led government would increase benefits, to alleviate poverty. All she mentioned was “Best Start”, but without reversing welfare “reforms” that the Nats brought in, that extra paid top up income for new mothers or parents, would probably lead to other benefit components being abated. And sole parents will still face having to look for jobs, so once the youngest child is five years old, and once a child is one year old, should they have one while being in receipt of a benefit.

      Also in 2007 Labour did in government create the positions of Principal Health Advisor and Principal Disability Advisor, and MSD hired Dr David Bratt, to present stuff like the following:
      (see pages 13, 20, 21 and 35 for his likening of benefit dependence to “drug dependence”)

      Bratt has been “training” the Regional Health and Disability Advisors AND WINZ’s “designated doctors”, and he oversees, mentors and consults them regularly. See some info here:

      Bratt is highly influenced by controversial UK professor Aylward, former Chief Medical Officer of the DWP, and “scientist” who delivered his bizarre “research” funded by Unum Provident, having written reports and made claims on the “health benefits of work”, and that most illness is nothing but “illness belief”.



      The total silence of Labour on all this, and the evasive “criticism” of the welfare reforms by the Nats, only going on about lack of jobs, income gaps and child poverty, but not addressing the suffering and problems others on benefits have, raises high suspicion, and generates little trust. It rather seems, that to some degree Labour does agree with the “relentless focus on work”, that Paula Bennett has preached so often, no matter how ill and disabled people may be.

      Persons on benefits are given little motivation to vote for Labour, yet again, and they will be advised to place their votes somewhere else, I am afraid.

      • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1

        It is chilling stuff xtasy, doctors that buy into this psychological bennie bashing are no more than medical “sell swords”.

        Two tasks are apparent;
        • organising a big enough left bloc vote to deny Dear Leader, ACT, Hairdo and Māori Parti a third term
        • a big enough Green and IMP vote to put pressure on Labour in govt. to drop ‘super at 67’ and various other toadying plans

        • Mary

          I do agree with your two tasks in relation to preventing the harm that a third term will inevitably bring to citizens. The problem, though, is that we also need to eliminate the neo-liberal rot within Labour. For this reason I wouldn’t be too upset if Labour were hammered on 20 September worse than national was in 2002. Labour needs to understand that it can’t keep spinning the sort of shit Ardern et al think is a good thing to keep spinning. Relying on the party-faithful who are too scared to even have a look at let alone try to understand the detail behind what Labour did to the poor since 1999 and will keep doing to the poor, whether in government or not (because now Labour when in opposition in fact supports nact-driven welfare “reform”) does not make a Left political party. Labour needs to stop lying.

        • xtasy

          Yes ‘Tiger Mountain’ –

          Also an interesting read to consider in this context:

          “What works and what doesn’t: How a job affects mental health”
          ‘The Wireless’, Friday 7th March 2014:

          I have in all honesty given up on politicians to firmly commit themselves to helping sick and disabled on benefits, as NONE have made clear commitments to reverse the hideous welfare reforms of the last 2 years. Instead I recommend ALL that are capable to do so, to challenge ANY future government on aspects of the present welfare system on LEGAL and SCIENTIFIC terms.

          Here is also some useful advice for those facing medical and work ability assessments:

          “What to do if you are required to see a WINZ designated doctor”, started by “redsquare..” on 10 July 2012, on ACC Forum:

          I suppose there will be more advice to come, as I know of a few people working in this area, but they are not reported on by a damned rotten, despicable, useless and dishonest mainstream media.

      • Michael 6.1.2

        Great post, xtasy, and all of it absolutely correct. The real scandal is Labour’s role in dismantling the welfare system its heroes created (and National maintained until Labour struck the first blows against it). Right wing value judgements masquerading as objective medical evidence have ruined the lives of 000s of New Zealanders who trusted Labour to look after them. So far this campaign, and during Labour’s time in opposition, there has never been so much as a word of contrition uttered for its role in these abuses of power, much less credible promises to improve the running of our welfare system (I include ACC in that description, as that is what the Woodhouse Report recommended). Labour needs to grow some balls and decide, once and for all, who it represents.

        • Mary

          “Labour needs to grow some balls and decide, once and for all, who it represents.”

          Labour’s well and truly past having the remotest desire to do that. It’s time Labour was relegated to minor party status to allow room for a true Left government to emerge and develop. On the positive side, Labour’s doing a pretty good job of helping that happen already. Go Labour!

        • Mary

          “Labour needs to grow some balls and decide, once and for all, who it represents.”

          Labour’s well and truly past having the remotest desire to do that. It’s time Labour was relegated to minor party status to allow room for a true Left government to emerge and develop. On the positive side, Labour’s doing a pretty good job of helping that happen already. Go Labour!

    • Kaye 6.2

      “Of course no mention of social security benefits. Are we surprised? Totally sick of the lying pricks. It’s time to tell Labour to fuck off.”

      Only just got a chance to read this with the site being down yesterday. And this was the first thing I was looking for, and also not surprised it wasn’t there. So in conjunction with every other “omission” and “spin” and “evasion” and all out refusal to even mention the subject it’s pretty obvious that the state of the welfare system and the many NZers suffering because of it is no concern of Labour’s meaning that they obviously aren’t interested in our vote. (Hey, any Labour Party candidates/staff reading this- WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND WE DO!!!)

      Labour supporters and apologists here- I’m very interested in your views- do you think it’s acceptable for Labour, traditionally the party of the people, to completely ignore, so in effect be complicit with, the consequences of welfare “reform”?? It’s obvious Labour agree with what National have done to us, plus Labour caused their own share of grief during their last reign. So do you also agree with them??

      Do tell.

      • Mary 6.2.1

        Labour will never engage in that discussion. Ardern’s performance on RNZ epitomised its position. Labour will instead continue to crap on beneficiaries. The only difference is that now we know they will do it whether in government or not.

        • dimebag russell

          the NZLP needs people who are willing to work for and make a contribution to the party and policy.
          at the moment you are just sitting on the sideline making a horrible noise and not contributing anything except bile.

          • Mary

            Have a read of what you’ve written here then see if you can work out why it’s completely nonsensical.

          • Kaye

            Dimebag- do you really believe that if Mary (and the rest of us who feel the way she does) were to take up your offer of contributing to the Labour party it would really change their position on welfare?

            The “bile” as you put it started as frustration, now anger. There’s a lot of long-term beneficiaries around, mostly those of us with long-term disabilities who CAN’T work, even if full employment existed. That means we’re totally dependent on a benefit, often for the rest of our lives, not by choice and not a pleasant prospect. Untill the 2000s we were Labour supporters, when they began to show their true colours towards us. MMP has given us other left alternatives, our vote has mostly gone to the Greens (a big reason their support has increased), and this time around possibly IMP. For anyone on a benefit, a left wing govt is the lesser of the 2 evils and now, thank God Labour couldn’t lead alone, they would continue what National started for us, so a coalition left is our only hope of being treated as human beings again since Labour has now made it crystal clear they don’t consider us as said humans.

            I’ve been following Labour’s policies all year to see what they say about welfare, in the hope they would give me a reason to party vote them. Since they refuse to even talk about the topic then I obviously can’t vote for them. I really don’t get why they want to alienate such a big traditional voting bloc, and who decided to change their ideology??

        • dimebag russell

          the NZLP needs people who are willing to work for and make a contribution to the party and policy.
          at the moment you are just sitting on the sideline making a horrible noise and not contributing anything except bile.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Over the next little while we will spell out the differences between positive 21st century Labour and old hat more-of-the-same 1960′s National. They haven’t noticed the world has changed.

    Oh, they’ve noticed that the world has changed and now they want to change it back – to the 15th century.

  8. Michael 8

    The promises (if that is what they are) in the “mini-Manifesto” are too vague, open-ended, and surrounded by weasel words to be credible to a justifiably skeptical electorate. Labour is not communicating effectively with its base: if, in fact, it wants lower-income people to vote at all (something I’m not convinced of). For example: tablets and fancy gadgets in schools are all very nice, but how about first making sure kids are well-nourished and warm? Aren’t they more likely to learn if they are? OTOH, if the objective is to dangle a few baubles in front of middle class parents, satiated as they are with consumer consumption, I suppose it might just get enough of them to tick “Labour”. Social justice, it ain’t though.

  9. Mike Bond 9

    Good to show the Labour policies in a good light. Now just how are we going to pay for all these “lovely” additional things promised? It is a pity the left supporters do not ask the appropriate questions. Anyone can make massive promises and then not deliver, or are we going to see increased taxes to pay for all the promises. Increases I might add, that will trickle down to those that can least afford to pay them. Poor policies from a party that is lost.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      New Zealand always generates more per-capita GDP under Labour. Yes, it does, the evidence is in. That means more revenue. The CGT will help, and so will the top tax rate going up a little.

      Now off you trot to rote-learn some more talking points.

  10. red blooded 10

    That’s such a predictable swipe from the right wing: they cut taxes to the wealthy; allow private producers to dump the costs of their environmental destructiveness onto the public purse and others to systematically underpay their workers safe in the knowledge that the state is there to prop things up, in extreme cases; increase public funding of private schools… etc. All of this is seen as fiscally prudent, but if a vaguely leftish policy comes along it’s “Show me the money”.

    Look at the whole package – there are policies to generate more income. This may not be a revolutionary package of policies, but it is a transformative one. It would be great to be heading in the right (as opposed to Right) direction again.

  11. Jesus 11

    Mike, I refer you to page 14, ‘budget’, which lays out exactly how labour will pay for it. There’s also a handy link to the page on their website that has all costings detailed down to the last dollar. Do keep up.

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