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David Cunliffe on the State of the Nation

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, January 22nd, 2014 - 185 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour - Tags: ,

I’d just like to say thanks for all of the feedback The Standard’s community gave in the recent post about my upcoming state of the nation. Many of the comments reflect my own thoughts, and also gave me new insight into New Zealanders’ concerns. More than a couple made me laugh out loud. It’s great to see such an enthusiastic progressively-minded group of people in action.

2014 marks an opportunity to do things differently. Over the last thirty years New Zealand has been stuck in an ideological rut, and John Key’s government has made things worse for everyone but the wealthiest few.

Like you, I want a government that ensures opportunity for all Kiwis, one that reduces the gap between the haves and the have-nots. That means supporting a high-value economy, where we learn from the lessons of the GFC and deliver better jobs and higher wages for all New Zealanders.

Today I have taken a necessary step toward putting these values to work, and have dropped two policies from our manifesto – GST off fresh fruit and vegetables and the first $5000 tax-free policy.

While the aims of these policies were admirable, dropping them frees up around $1.5 billion per annum which can be used more effectively to help Kiwi families when it is targeted better to deliver help where needed.

This is a part of a comprehensive economic and social package that we will be announcing in the lead up to the election. I’ll be outlining the first of these policies at my State of the Nation speech on Monday.

I’d like to invite you to that speech. So far we’ve had such a great response we’ve had to switch to a larger venue. If you’ve already signed up for a ticket you’ll get an update, if you haven’t then you can sign up here

We’ll also be live-streaming the speech. Hopefully you can join me online if you can’t make it in person.

The new details are:

Venue: Kelston Girls’ College Auditorium (corner of Great North Road and West Coast Road)

Time/Date: 1pm on Monday the 27th of January

Register now

We need a government that works with everyone for the social and economic benefit of everyone.

This Monday I’ll be outlining my vision for that government.


185 comments on “David Cunliffe on the State of the Nation”

  1. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1

    Great to hear that the next Prime Minister of NZ is reading The Standard and giving positive feedback to comments here.

  2. MaxFletcher 2

    “Today I have taken a necessary step toward putting these values to work, and have dropped two policies from our manifesto – GST off fresh fruit and vegetables and the first $5000 tax-free policy.”

    Isn’t this the third time these policies have been dropped?

    • Grumpy 2.1

      Don’t forget backing out on the “Living Wage”.

      • karol 2.1.1

        Don’t forget backing out on the “Living Wage”.

        How many times do we need to say this on TS today?

        There is no back down on the living wage. The policy remains the same. The living wage is not the same as the minimum wage.

        The living wage policy was in 2013, and still remains, to introduce it in the public service as soon as practical, then include it in a requirement for companies doing contracts for the state, then encourage businesses to adopt it.

        • Not a PS Staffer

          Hi Karol

          Two though that come to mind when I see the likes of Grumpy exposing themselves.

          “Don’t argue with idiots: they’ll drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.”

          “Don’t argue with idiots: onlookers might not be able to tell the difference.”

          Dont give Grumpy et al the oxygen of a response.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.2

        Don’t forget that you’re dealing with a lying sack of shit, Karol.

        • Rob

          Thats a harsh call on David, geez.

          • McFlock

            indeed. But not a bad description for the rent-a-tories commenting here today.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            Oh, ha-ha Rob, I see what you did there. Nice one, well played. I was referring to Grumpy’s mindless repetition of a recently deceased zombie argument, but you knew that.

      • Tracey 2.1.3


      • tricledrown 2.1.4

        GRRumpy the last time the living wage happened was in the 80s
        feeling hungry
        having a paul henry moment!

    • QoT 2.2

      Nah, the problem is that they were election promises, then Shearer never quite got around to saying whether or not they were still on the table, but they were still in the manifesto so some argued this meant they were technically still policy until explicitly refuted …

      I’m frankly thankful for some clarity on the issue.

      • MaxFletcher 2.2.1

        OK, makes sense.

      • It’s also nice that the reason they’re being dropped is to put a better targetted policy in instead. I liked the thought behind the veggies and fruit reduction, but didn’t think it would be enough to help people who don’t already eat fresh produce.

        Hope to hear that you’ve got some good new ideas on how to better help people get good food while still better targetting the policy than just a GST exemption.

  3. ecossemaid 3

    Yes David …It is time the average man woman and child in this country is able to share in the wealth the country generates.I have had enough of that smug bastard who looks after himself and his mates while ignoring the far greater number of people here that struggle along trying to make ends meet.
    The attitude that only his opinion matters.That the Pike River Families aren’t worth his attention or care.The man who placed a doberman in charge of social welfare.A woman that availed herself of the system when it suited her yet finds it unbearable to think others might need the same assistance.How the hell that ever got elected twice is beyond my understanding.
    So I wish you the greatest success in this election.

  4. George D 4

    Dietary-related factors are 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th among the causes of disease in NZ.

    Together, they impose a huge cost on the people of New Zealand, a cost which is borne disproportionately by the poor – the very people who cannot afford to eat the things that would do them good.

    When you are poor you buy calories, you don’t buy courgettes. There is very strong international evidence that reducing the price of these items increases their consumption, and that removing taxes has little negative spillover (whereas increasing the costs of sugar and fats decreases both their consumption and the consumption of other healthier foods, as food budgets are relatively inelastic among the poor).


    This was a policy that was absolutely worth supporting. Just a few weeks ago this site published an opinion piece looking at how GST increases had disproportionately hurt the poor. Where that GST is applied to the basic necessities of health and life, that injustice is doubly felt.

    • greywarbler 4.1

      The effect of dropping what would be a complex tax to administer on fruit and vegs, should be made up by supplying fruit to schools which they eat at lunchtime or morning tea when they are sitting down. Then they won’t be used as missiles at each other etc. The value would be large in health benefits. And it would be applied equally and direct to the recipients. I see this as ensuring that food and health are delivered in the most effective way.

      • George D 4.1.1

        You know what would be even simpler? A flat tax of 25% for everyone.

        There is a little complexity associated with this. But just a little, and it is a cost that Australia seems to get along with just fine. It’s worth sacrificing simplicity for health and justice.

        • McFlock

          so if I go to aus the only tax I will pay is 25%?


        • Murray Olsen

          The Australian Tax Office doesn’t seem to have been informed of this 25% flat tax of yours. Back to ACT with you, George D.

    • Bill 4.2

      I dunno George. I don’t entirely disagree with you, but I think there’s more than price has to be taken into account. I’m piss poor but eat a diet comprised of fresh and dried food – ie, fairly healthy by any standard. But then, I’m lucky enough to have lived in the same house for long enough that I’ve been able to establish a veggie garden. As some-one else has pointed out previously, since gardening involves a fair bit of up front cost, those of us on entitlements can’t always afford to get started down that route.

      Then there is the habit of diet. Many people have been trained or taught to buy so-called cheap, pre-packed, stuff in the microwave, throw in the pan chemical…well, it passes as food after a fashion, I guess. Anecdotally, a few times I’ve passed through supermarket checkouts and been asked what *that* – a beetroot – is by the checkout operator. Now sure, they’ve been young people, but even so – to not know a beetroot by sight is kind of scary in my book.

      And then there is the cooking which isn’t unrelated to the above. Many people just can’t. I know of instances where food banks have ‘gratefully’ given away ‘bucket loads’ of basic foodstuff (baking ingredients) to people because they’ve been recognised as belonging to a minority who actually know what to do with the stuff.

      One good thing HC’s Labour led government did was introduce decent food to schools. That would have taken time to filter through and alter eating habits across a proportion of the populace, but them’s the breaks. Then along comes National and stomps it in the name of ‘less government interference and free choice’ with absolutely no thought given to the profit margin or market share of food corporations, of course.

    • Granted, it’s too expensive, especially for those in poverty or below middle income, to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

      But keep in mind that exempting them from GST can “waste” a lot of money in making fruit and veges cheaper for people who can already afford them. If there’s some good targetted policy on poverty reduction and increasing people’s ability to eat unprocessed food, then that’s good. So I’d say wait and see what the “more targetted approach” is.

  5. Te Reo Putake 5

    A bigger venue? But, David, I just heard John Key say on the radio that you were under pressure from your caucus and the splits in the Labour Party were now obvious. Surely if that was the case, you’d need a smaller venue? Something doesn’t add up. It’s not like DunnoKeyo is a desperate, dissembling doofus … oh, wait.

    • bad12 5.1

      Another Slippery lie for Blip to add to the ever lengthening list He is compiling from the utterances of our soon to be ex-PM ???…

    • David H 5.2

      Oh look here’s an own goal by Cunliffe on the Drilling FFS they are just giving the NON voters yet another reason to just say “Fuck it” Roll over and go back to sleep on that Saturday!

      • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1

        Nah, it’s a non issue for non voters. As most things are. A perfectly sensible position from Cunliffe; if we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it safely and with NZers getting a fair cut, as they do in Norway. Should be a vote winner in Taranaki, Otago etc.

        • Colonial Viper

          The Norwegians don’t just “get a cut.” They maintain significant ownership of the resource and the extraction company. You may have heard of it? Statoil. We’ve just handed them a whole bunch of exploration rights for fuck all in return. The Norwegians have the formula right, we do not.

          • Te Reo Putake

            You talking to me?

          • Mongoose

            So CV are you in favour of what Cunliffe said?

            • Colonial Viper

              In terms of fossil fuel deposits, I’m in favour of a high degree of resource nationalism.

          • Skinny

            Well said CV, this is a great opportunity for DC to take not only the National stage but also the World stage. The NZLP ‘the soon to be Government of New Zealand’ can announce that as a progress Country New Zealand will be introducing regulations that will bring about change to a more equal society. The Banks, the corporates and the mega wealthy ‘can not be allowed’ to continue to dominate at the price of a just society.

            The time is right to steam the tide. Go for it David we have everything to loose if you don’t!

        • The first question is what Labour consideres “safely”. Because I would have thought any reasonable definition of that word would rule out all current deep-sea drilling.

          The second question is why would we want even more oil when we already have more than enough fossil fuels extracted to dramatically alter the climate into something that probably isn’t habitable by civilisation as we know it? Isn’t the oil business already a rogue agent?

      • newsense 5.2.2


        Honour the current agreements. Not sign up to a whole lot of new agreements?

        Take the wind out of the sails of Joyce.

  6. greywarbler 6

    As for the speech David – We look forward to it whether we can attend or not. Cheers.

  7. One Anonymous Knucklehead 7

    The devil is in the detail. I’m looking forward to seeing how (and how much) we’re going to get out of the ideological rut.

    National’s abuse of urgency means a lot of corruption to undo. There are whole acts to repeal and replace more-or-less in toto.

    Will Labour be honest enough to acknowledge that the SOE model has failed, for example?

    Looking forward to the speech.

  8. just saying 8

    We are not stupid David. We’ll notice if the new policies primarily support the comfortable middle class like the ghastly policy of providing subsidies on brand-spanking new homes for the children of the aforesaid comfy middle – even if such policies might see a few working class people might get some benefit too.

    We are watching with interest. I’d love to be able to feel able to support Labour again.

    • Tracey 8.1


      We need a leader and partners who have the guts to tackle the long term stuff, otherwise it’s just tinkering at the edges.

      We need a society where people give a shit about their neighbor instead of constantly judging people they never see or meet.

  9. karol 9

    I’m not so bothered about dropping the GST on veges – depends on what replaces it.

    Not so keen on dropping the $5000 tax free zone – but also depends on what replaces it.

    However, I’m not keen at all on keeping of the policy to raise the super age to 67yrs.

    • bad12 9.1

      Definitely second that on the superannuation policy…

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 9.1.1

        Yep +1 to that

        • Arfamo

          +1. Greens get both my votes if the 67 entitlement policy is still a goer for Labour at election time. Figure out a better alternative David.

          • Arfamo

            And sell your fucking mansion. Why not start leading by example? Think about the impact that would have.

    • Bill 9.2

      Short and to the point there Karol, and probably echoing the thoughts of many.

      • McFlock 9.2.1


        • greywarbler

          +2 right.
          Nuts to 67, 65 is right – jobs for the younger, who commit suicide out of depression over not having a job or a future to plan for.
          Advantages for the working over-65s, medical etc. but not super for the individual but spouses can receive half married rate.
          Volunteer work of all sorts to be done part time – contributions by oldsters.
          Right to die at will, after proceeding through various procedures, such as having a will, establishing state of mind.
          Earlier old age pension for the worn-out and invalids and sickness benes. Stop harrassing them.

    • bad12 9.3

      Karol i just asked myself the question, would i trade a move of the superannuation age to 67 for some extremely robust policy which attacks child poverty and bad housing outcomes at the lowest levels of income, my short answer is yes,

      Having said that tho i still remain firm in the belief that raising the age of superannuation coupled with compulsory Kiwisaver contributions is simply Treasury driven neo-liberalism at work,

      In ten years time i am willing to bet that there will be along with a raise in the amount of what is contributed to individuals kiwisavers another push with another TINA attached to again raise the age for super entitlement,

      Such policy i ‘see’ as culminating in very few or no-one getting superannuation, in other words a phase out of the pension by incremental steps…

    • @ karol..+ 1..

      phillip ure..

    • Naki Man 9.5

      People that do manual work will really struggle at age 67.
      I really do feel sorry for people trapped in this type of work.

      • Tracey 9.5.1

        of course you do, that’s why you vote National! :rollseyes:

        • Naki Man

          Well done
          National won’t make people work until age 67
          Vote National, retire at 65.
          Are you still struggling with that now?

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            I do believe that the only thing Tracey was ‘struggling with’ was achieving this: 🙄

            [It is ‘roll’ not rolleyes Tracey 😉 ]

          • Paul

            Vote Green so you keep you retirement and your grandkids can still enjoy NZ’s environment.

    • felix 9.6

      + another 1 karol

    • Crunchtime 9.7

      Lower the Superannuation age to 18 or so, replace virtually all benefits with it.

      (in other words, Universal Basic Income)

  10. Will@Welly 10

    Thanks David for fronting up. Won’t be there, but will be watching. Obviously you’ve got more to you than someone else has, you’ve hardly said a word and already he’s squealing like a wounded rat. Ah, the life of a money trader, unless you’re rolling in it, life’s just one big fizzer. Go well, David.

  11. bad12 11

    Great to hear you enjoying yourself at Slippery the Prime Ministers expense this morning on RadioNZ National and it’s good to see you have found the Standard to be ‘useful’ as a platform of ideas,

    My belief is it is the ‘real time’ debates here by mainly those of us from ‘the left’ with the odd ‘wing-nut’ thrown in that allows any and every issue to be examined from all angles which makes this site a good read,

    ‘Nail it’ with your speech on Monday Mr Cunliffe….

  12. Karen 12

    Just heard David Cunliffe on Checkpoint saying Labour will not oppose deep-sea oil drilling. This is crazy on so many levels. Was thinking of going along on Monday but I don’t think I’ll bother.

    • karol 12.1

      I prefer the Greens’ policy on deep-sea oil drilling, and am still looking to vote Green Party ths year. But I don’t see it as a reason not to go to the meeting. I intend to go (Cunliffe is my electorate MP right now – who knows come the election as I’m in the new Kelston electorate?).

      I’m going because I want to hear the details of what will repace the dropped policies, and more. And because I want to see the audience reactions, and how Cunliffe performs live – and I can easily get to the venue.

    • chris73 12.2

      Sensible ideas are now spouting forth, you have to aim for the middle ground and Cunliffes now doing that…good on him

      You want to pay the unemployed more and implement living wage malarky well you have to pay for it and drillings one way

      • Tracey 12.2.1

        If chris is praising DC, then Labour are in BIG trouble. he wont vote Labour even when it reduced debt and ran decent surplus. he didnt trust Clark. Hasnt seen anything to suggest Key cant be trusted.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.3

      Not quite:

      “…a Labour government would change the law to ensure that all permits meet world best standards.
      Mr Cunliffe says a Labour government would not prohibit deep sea drilling, as proposed by the Greens.

      Labour is considering a model similar to Norway, where the government receives royalties from the proceeds of drilling operations, he says, but no decisions have been made.”

      • Tracey 12.3.1


        • Colonial Viper

          Doesn’t the NZ govt already receive royalties from drilling ops? Thats just the status quo, surely.

          • Tracey

            I am not talking about 1-5% royalties CV…and I don’t support such a pittance so easily got around by clever book-keepers BUT I support a higher return than now in return for the risk that “we” not the drilling companies are taking.

    • Crunchtime 12.4

      My feeling is that a sensible deep-sea drilling policy would be not to oppose it directly – but to immediately change the law so that companies drilling here are:

      1. required to take adequate safety precautions
      2. responsible for ALL costs incurred in the event of any spill
      3. required to pay a fair share of the profits.

      If this causes the venture to suddenly be too expensive for Anadarko and Shell et al and they then have to pack up and go home, that will say something about the procedure of deep sea oil drilling in the first place.

      New Zealand for New Zealanders first, foreign companies last.

      • George D 12.4.1

        Oil drilling is insane.

        Either we keep it under the ocean, or we destroy our climate and our ecosystems, and lose most of north Waikato. We don’t get to do both. Mr Cunliffe and Mr Key seem to think we can, and they are wrong.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Not quite, George. Mainstream climatologists pretty much assume we’re going to burn all the oil we can get our hands on. They are far more concerned about the coal: there’s so much more of it.

          • George D

            The climatologists I read are concerned about the burning of carbon. Oil, as you know, is mostly made from carbon and hydrogen. There are some nice graphics near the top of this page illustrating our current situation – I’m sure some Labour members are invested in not destroying s habitable future for a quick buck.

            Continuing to fossick for fossil fuels is sure way to destroy our future and wed us to our past.

    • Not a PS Staffer 12.5

      What is wrong with New Zealand having an income from oil?
      If it can be produced safely and the right royalty regime is in place them I’m all for it. Go Cunliffe!

      The workers of NZ have bee screwed for ages: this might be a chance to fund significant improvement in housing, education and care for the aged. An oil income might stop the worrying talk of extending pension age to 67.

      It is disappointing to see those who rightly criticize climate deniers for ignoring science on matters of global warming then ignoring science themselves when it come to drilling.

  13. @ david cunnliffe..

    ..cheered to hear you took note of the feedback in that thread..

    ..i felt the ‘there is an alternative’-meme/idea is one with some potency..

    ..as a commenter pointed out..it both appeals to the young/gen xers..(raised on t.i.n.a..)

    ..and it repudiates that rightwing lie/justification..

    ..that has echoed down the decades..for those older..

    ..you could wrap that around almost anything..

    ..i look forward to yr speech next mon..

    ..i will be there..quills sharpened..

    ..leaning forward in anticipation..

    (btw..it would help burnish/flesh-out yr ‘human/person’-image..

    ..were you to tell us which comments in that mega-thread made you laugh out loud..and for why..?

    ..and with..?..or at..?..)

    ..phillip ure..

    • David H 13.1

      And then ignores everything said on the Deep sea oil drilling. And says that labour support it. Great, start a war with the Greens. No wonder Shonky is Pissing hi’sself laughing at Amateur hour.

      • phillip ure 13.1.1

        of course..david h..such oil/drill-pimping from labour..(yoo-hoo..!..c.v..!..in-step with leader there..eh..?..)

        ..will be good for the green vote..

        ..as green labourites..will be able to give the greens their party vote..

        ..knowing it won’t be wasted..

        ..and that the more green mp’s..the greener this progressive coalition will be..

        ..the greens should be morris-dancing in celebration..

        ..phillip ure..

        • karol

          don’t know about morris dancing, but they are yweting about it – gives them a distinction from Labour.

          I see Glower is caiming it’s a mistake as it shows a rift between Labour and Greens – if that’s how it works, it’s worse for Key because NZ First disagreees with the Nats on a key policy platform – assett sales.

          But Glower just makes things up anyway.

          • George D

            It’s a huge rift. The anger expressed within the Greens privately today has been immense and heartfelt. People are talking about voting down a coalition agreement with Labour over this issue – such a coalition has become significantly less likely, and should not be taken for granted.

            It is about equivalent to how I imagine most here would feel if the party they depended on said it was going to abolish unions.

            • Zorr

              I don’t know your credentials here George D but I would be *very* surprised if anyone in the Greens actually got upset over Labour policy. When Labour says dick things, telling the Greens how to act without any quid quo pro then get upset.

              I mean, isn’t that why you vote Green – so that they represent your interests in Parliament and not Labour? There is always a degree of horse trading in any coalition.

            • weka

              It’s a huge rift. The anger expressed within the Greens privately today has been immense and heartfelt. People are talking about voting down a coalition agreement with Labour over this issue – such a coalition has become significantly less likely, and should not be taken for granted.

              It is about equivalent to how I imagine most here would feel if the party they depended on said it was going to abolish unions.

              That’s all pretty curious. For one, what Cunliffe has said isn’t too different from what Labour have been saying all along, is it (in comparison to the GP policy)? So it’s not like this is new or news. Secondly, it’s possible that this is Labour’s way of limiting oil exploration without being seen to be anti-jobs. If the new laws set the bar so high that companies choose not to drill, isn’t that good? And if this means that Labour gets to form the next govt, is that not also good?

              I’d like to see Labour form a govt this year, for bloody obvious reasons, not least to stop NACT giving the go ahead on ripping out more resources. If the GP don’t go into coalition, are you suggesting that they let NACT form govt, or are you suggesting that they stay out of govt but support Labour as a minority govt?

              • George D

                Until this point there had been contradictory messages, with Labour taking a populist stance against ‘risky drilling’ on the one hand, and Shane (“drill it, mine it, burn it”) Jones talking boldly about the need to facilitate the extraction of oil. I and others were not sure how that would be resolved.

                I am saying that the Alliance experience is instructive – it is hard to imagine the Green Party giving confidence and supply to a Government that allows off-shore oil drilling.

                I’d like to see Labour form a govt this year, for bloody obvious reasons, not least to stop NACT giving the go ahead on ripping out more resources.

                I’m curious as to how (apart from the nationalisation of a share of the profits) KiwiDrill is any different to NACTdrill. Labour still support the expansion of the coal industry, and during the last Government were strong supporters of new coal mines, even on highly important conservation land.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Here’s why I think you’re wrong. In government, the Green Party will be in a position to implement a whole raft of policies, including direct input into new offshore drilling regulations.

                  That’s as good as it gets barring a massive (like 20%) rise in the party’s polling. Personally I’d like to see a ban on new coal exploration and extraction, and if I had to agree to the toughest set of offshore drilling regulations in the world to get it, I’d be in with a grimace.

                • weka

                  “I am saying that the Alliance experience is instructive – it is hard to imagine the Green Party giving confidence and supply to a Government that allows off-shore oil drilling.”

                  You haven’t answered my question. Do you think that the GP will let National form a govt rather than support Labour? Or, if the GP won’t give Labour confidence and supply or a coalition agreement, what are the alternatives?

                  I’m curious as to how (apart from the nationalisation of a share of the profits) KiwiDrill is any different to NACTdrill. Labour still support the expansion of the coal industry, and during the last Government were strong supporters of new coal mines, even on highly important conservation land.

                  We’re all waiting to see if Labour are actually moving away for neoliberalism or not. Have Labour specified what KiwiDrill is? If not, then I still don’t get your comment at 10:14pm last night, where you say that people in the GP are reacting strongly against what Cunliffe has said, to the point of wanting to refuse a coalition. Why are you reacting as if this (Labour on drilling) is all set in stone, or is substantially different than before yesterday?

                  I’d also like to know where the conversations are happening amongst the Greens, where people are talking about refusing a coalition because of Labour’s policy on drilling.

                  • KJT

                    Not hearing much about refusing co-operation with Labour. More on how we can work together. Including around the differences.

                    Greens are discussing the same moral conflict as Labour, between jobs and the environment.

                    And trying to find a way ahead that looks after both.

      • Naki Man 13.1.2

        DC is showing that he will not be pushed around by the Greens
        He has to appeal to the centre left voters

      • Skinny 13.1.3

        You only heard what you wanted to hear chap. To my ears DC said “sure deep sea drill under tough regulations, f**** up and you’ll have a clean up plan in place to our satisfaction, and the compensation costs are going to wound the crap out of ya” It’s called regulation, yes get use to that word as it is going to be in place every which way the mega wealthy look in this country under Labour.

  14. Tracey 14


    Dunne on Peters: ‘Can we trust him? No, we can’t!’

  15. freedom 15

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts Mr Cunliffe.
    Hopefully more politicians take the opportunity to experience the interactive political environment that is developing in Aotearoa.

    I understand 1.5 Billion is not chicken feed, but after seeing the 5K policy was to be dropped, I read this, “which can be used more effectively to help Kiwi families when it is targeted better to deliver help where needed.”

    I do hope this isn’t polispeak for a political party yet again overlooking the growing number of single adult low income people who populate this land. To whom 5 thousand dollars is certainly not chicken feed.

    • it’s the tax on five grand..freedom..not five grand..

      ..and it should be first 15 grand tax-free..(for those up to a certain income..)

      phillip ure..

      • freedom 15.1.1

        thanks for that phillip, mistakes matter. I will doubleproofread more carefully in future.

        ‘To whom the tax on 5 thousand .. ‘ was what I obviously meant to write

      • Crunchtime 15.1.2

        Flat-ish tax for low incomes with a UBI is how I’d do it – making sure all those currently earning between the median wage and zero are better off, and removing disincentives to work.

        • phillip ure

          @ crunchtime..

          ..the beauty of a sweeping ending-poverty-for-all measure..

          ..is that this will mean we will be able to do away with that revenue-gulping behemoth..

          ..the work and income dept..

          ..there will be no longer a need for them..

          ..what’s not to love about that..?

          ..for leftwingers and rightwingers..?

          ..(even the libertarians should be nodding along..)

          ..and there is one guaranteed-economic-fact from such a measure..

          ..and that is that any/all monies funnelled into ending poverty..

          ..provide an immediate and ongoing economic fillip..

          ..as of course all that money goes straight back into retailers’ tills..

          ..spent on the basics of life..

          ..what’s not to love about all that..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • phillip ure

            and what to do with all those monuments to themselves they have built for themselves in every town..?

            ..that’s easy..!

            ..a very large number of them will make ideal community/arts-centres..

            ..(whatever it is deemed each area needs most.)

            ..give them back to the people..

            ..after all..they paid for them..


            ..phillip ure..

  16. gem 16

    Thanks David; it’s refreshing to hear the country’s ”ideological rut” malaise acknowledged
    While premature until we hear more detail on Monday, I am wary of dropping universal policies in favour of more targeted support for people raising children, when it’s at the expense of the aforesaid universal policies. Depending on how it’s configured, such targeted assistance may not reduce inequality, and can become a wage subsidy for employers.
    In Australia, individual income is tax free up to $18,200AU!
    While you have signalled there will be a tax increase for those at the top, the low-end tax break would make a huge difference to people struggling at the bottom.

    • Rodel 16.1

      In Australia, individual income is tax free up to $18,200AU!
      Is that true?

      • karol 16.1.1

        Yep – easy to find. Aus tax free threshold.

      • gem 16.1.2

        Yes, that’s right Rodel; thanks for the link Karol. Australia has done a better job of softening the effects of neoliberalism. It’s due in my view to the cultural primacy of the good old Aussie battler, for which we don’t really have an equivalent here.

        • Bill

          It’s due in my view to the cultural primacy of the good old Aussie battler…

          Got some vague notion that it had to do with their two tier governance structure. Harder to ram shit through two accountable layers than it is one….too much to hi-jack?

        • George D

          It’s one reason Kiwis leave and never come back (I know it’s not fashionable to talk about things that Australia does better). Having a tax free threshold means much more money in the pocket for the working poor. (Though we have WFF, which achieves some of the same things for parents with children under 18).

        • George D

          It’s one reason Kiwis leave and never come back (I know it’s not fashionable to talk about things that Australia does better). Having a tax free threshold means much more money in the pocket for the working poor. (Though we have WFF, which achieves some of the same things for parents with children under 18).

        • millsy

          “softening the effects of neo-liberalism”?


          You have Victoria’s Labor leader promising to sell the port of Melbourne (quickly), as well as Hawke and Keating openly boasting of cutting government spending and calling for the Coalition to cut, cut cut. — not to mention Labor premiers flogging stuff off like it was going out of fashion.

          The ALP is probably more right wing than our Labour party.

          • gem

            Millsy, what you have raised does not alter the fact that in terms of taxation, the average Aussie has received more protection from the market economy than the average Kiwi.

          • phillip ure

            but back when our union leaders dropped their trousers..bent over..and said ‘please be gentle..!’..

            ..and then went and whimpered in the corner..while waiting for knighthoods/seats on boards etc..

            ..the australian union leaders kept their pants firmly buckled..

            ..and told the tumescent neo-lib/randites..

            ..to just ‘fuck off!’..

            ..i think this is the ‘difference’ being referred to..

            phillip ure..

            • gem

              yep … essentially we kiwis have a more defeatest mindset.

              • Colonial Viper

                Some types will even sell out for just half a dozen pieces of silver.

                • tricledrown

                  kiwis were to poor to take time off work to protest and pay unions.
                  and some unions were over the top like the perennial strikes on the inter island ferries which stuffed up huge numbers of poorer peoples holidays .
                  the rich flew in those days.
                  those strikes had a flow on effect because of delivery of products food excetera put others jobs at risk.
                  the unions run mainly by poms just flexed their muscles for the sake of it.
                  tactics were nieve and when push came to shove people deserted the unions because they went to far .
                  those unions now are gone.
                  we need unions to keep the work place safe and pay living wages.
                  now we have only 17% or less of the Workforce unionized its gone to far the other way

                  • KJT

                    A few unions did that, most didn’t.

                    No mention of the rail ferry employers deliberately spinning out the dispute until the holidays. Or the fact that the seaman’s union would always offer to take passengers and cars for no pay, only to be locked out by the employers. “No rail, no sail” it was called.

                    Wasn’t sorry to see the cooks and stewards union go. But if you know the history, of how English shipowners treated seamen during WW2, it was not surprising they were bloody minded.

                    We have no shortage of militant and greedy employers unions, and employers. No one suggests removing them, however.

                    • greywarbler

                      That was good stuff. I didn’t remember about all of the proceedings of the unions and employers. It isn’t surprising to find that both sides could have done better. The unions were pretty well off in the end so there was no excuse for bloodymindedness because of the war, which was long over.

                      The Cooks and Stewards were another story. And I feel that their shenanigans were the basis for the determined anti-union stance becoming rock hard and so destructive right to today.

                      All unions have to think on about their demands. I was looking at Ansett in NZ the other day. The pilots went on a prolonged strike because the airline wanted a change. The pilots apparently had been working 11 hours a week, 15 were wanted, and their holiday time was 9 weeks a year plus 11 statutory days and the idea was to push those extra days into the 9 week period.

                      No wonder Ansett went down in Oz and here, and unfortunately the string of our kite was tied to it. Reading about it is a sad tale.

      • tricledrown 16.1.3

        not completely
        work cover in most states taxed separately
        compulsory health care taxed separately
        compulsory super 9%

        • gem

          Fair enough; Australia also has lower GST (10%, compared with our 15%, plus no GST on fresh food, healthcare, approved education courses, and some basic services).

  17. millsy 17

    The tax free threshold and taking GST of F and G were very expensive polices that delivered few tangible benefits (or spread them too thinly).

    I look forward to DC’s speech. He has the golden oppurtunity to make it his “Orewa”. Im not going to speculate on what could be in it, but the the sign that his party is thinking about an SWF is promising. That would really cause a lot of panic in the 9th floor, and would make quite a few people think about voting Labour. as they would see some tangible benefits from drilling.

  18. Jenny 18

    I think the preliminary statements coming from David Cunliffe preceding his speech on the 27th raise more questions than answers.

    Maybe this is his intent.

    So it will be good to see if some of these questions are answered in his speech on the 27th.

    On climate change:

    Gareth Hughes and Jeanette Fitzsimmons of the Green Party have both said that Deep Sea Oil must be opposed on climate change grounds.

    So I was distressed to see that David Cunliffe has given conditional approval to deep sea oil drilling, this is in contradiction of the views on the danger of climate change that he expressed in his famous Dolphin and Dole queue speech.

    This leads me to wonder where David Cunliffe stands on that other Green Party bottom line policy, of No New Coal Mines?

    Will David Cunliffe say anything about the huge proposed expansion of new coal mining on the Denniston Plateau?

    Will David Cunliffe say anything at all about climate change?

    I think that if the Labour leader takes up Greg Presland’s suggestion to make some vague promise to bring agriculture into the ETS, this will signal that Labour have given up on winning the next election, as this policy would only serve to alienate rural voters and will leave city dwellers unmoved. Whereas everyone wants to see deep sea oil drilling stopped.

    Also by not siding with the Greens over Deep Sea Oil and No New Coal mines David Cunliffe is leaving the door open for John Key to attack the Greens as extremists for promoting these policies.

    On tax cuts:

    As well as David Cunliffes support for deep sea oil drilling which will cost Labour votes.

    David Cunliffe says he will reverse Labour’s ‘promised’ tax cuts on the poor, But has said nothing about whether he will reverse National’s ‘actual’ tax cuts on the rich.

    I was also a bit disturbed by David Cunliffe’s announced removal of two of the Labour Party’s proposed tax cuts on the poor, ie the promise to cut the GST tax off fresh fruit and vegetables, and the promise to cut the tax for the first $5,000 dollars of income. David Cunliffe says this is necessary because of the $1.5billion these tax cuts will cost the public accounts.

    Though of course this policy too, will cost Laobur votes, I am prepared to keep an open mind on these reversals in Labour poverty mitigation, awaiting the release of Labour’s “comprehensive economic and social package” of which David Cunliffe said, “I’ll be outlining the first of these policies at my State of the Nation speech on Monday.”

    Hopefully we will be hearing that as well as reversing Labour’s two proposed tax cuts on the poor, David Cunliffe will be removing the whole raft of actual tax cuts on the rich, which will return many more $billions back into the public accounts, way more than will be saved in reversing Labour’s proposed, two, $1.5million tax cuts on the poor.

    On Superannuation:

    David Cunliffe has said nothing on reversing Labour’s manifesto policy on raising the age of retirement to 67.

    If David Cunliffe retains this policy, this is another election loser.
    Everyone knows the older section of the population vote in larger numbers than the younger section of the population. Not only this, but younger voters will be annoyed that they will be kept out of jobs by older people working on longer. This is a definite vote killer for Labour, especially in light of the fact that John Key has vowed not to raise the age of retirement. So if David Cunliffe does not reverse this policy, as well as costing Labour votes, he will also be handing Winston Peters the perfect excuse to go with National. Matt McCarten has forecast that NZFirst will bring in 6 MPs next year. On current polling this will guarantee a National led government.

    The ABC will be rubbing their hands in glee, when Labour loses they will be able to shift the blame to Cunliffe and continue on their hard Right neo-liberal course.

    As Chris Trotter likes to say, “They would rather keep control of the losing side than lose control of the winning side.”

    • karol 18.1

      Cunliffe has said he’ll retasin the 67 yrs super policy, with some manipulations for “social and gedner equity”

      So, no longer the Cunliffe cheerleader, Jenny?

      • the pigman 18.1.1

        Ehm, I don’t think Jenny ever was (you’re not confusing her with Jenny Michie?). IIRC she has always been a million miles left of (post-Rogernome) Labour.

        • karol

          Nope. No confusion. Jenny (not Michie) comment many times, very critical of the Greens, and claiming only Cunliffe among the current “left” MPs understood the importance of combating climate change. Major cheerleader for Cunliffe she was.

      • Jenny 18.1.2

        “Confident that the unstated threat of Labour MPs’ exposing the fragility of Cunliffe’s caucus authority will protect dissidents from the wrath of both the Leader’s and the party’s Head Office, the Old Guard are slowly but surely imprisoning Cunliffe in a right-wing policy framework designed to damage his left-wing credentials in the eyes of trade union affiliates, Labour’s rank-and-file and, eventually, the voters.”
        Chris Trotter


        I have always said David Cunliffe could be great. It is still his choice.

        He knows what needs to be done.

        He has the skills, he has the experience, he has the intelligence, he has the knowledge, despite not having the backing of the caucus, he has the backing of his party. Some have suggested he needs to take a pruning hook to his caucus, (possibly releasing a round of internecine warfare) I don’t necessarily think so, I think Cunliffe just has to go over the heads of the neo-liberal wormtongues and talk straight to the membership and the public.

        I have met the man and I was impressed and I have met a lot of politicians.

        But as I said, “I am prepared to keep an open mind”. So far most projections point to a Labour/Green electoral loss especially if the non-voters continue to stay away. Who knows? Maybe David Cunliffe will announce that reversing Labour’s promised tax cuts on the poor will be balanced out, by also reversing National’s (and Labour’s) tax cuts on the rich, to pay for a massive expansion in social services to, as David Cunliffe says, “more effectively to help Kiwi families when it is targeted better to deliver help where needed.”[sic]

        There is no reason at all, that all childhood poverty in particular, if it was properly “targeted”, could not be eliminated in this country within three years. Full free universal medical and dental and prescriptions for all dependent children could be a start. The extension of working for families extended to all families. The reversal of the benefit cuts.

        Maybe we could have a fully funded and staffed garden-to-table program in every school as outlined by David Shearer HERE providing luncheon and breakfast and teaching kitchen and garden skills.

        To alleviate the effects of poverty on families, we could have rent controls like they have in the US. A badly needed policy at a time when the State provision of housing has been run into the sand, and since high rents are used to set real estate value, high rents have lent to unaffordable home ownership. As well as lessening the burden of poverty on families, rent control would cool the overheated property market. Not only this but it would cost the government nothing.

        • greywarbler

          Jenny was up late writing wisdom, or before the birds getting the worms, in this summary of David Cunliffe’s route to making the Beehive a place of happy production of honey as well as milk, and take its persona away of being the Castle on the Hill, remote and full of unpleasant secrets and people.
          Cunliffe just has to go over the heads of the neo-liberal wormtongues and talk straight to the membership and the public.

          • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

            Cunliffe just has to go over the heads of the neo-liberal wormtongues and talk straight to the membership and the public.

            The thing is, the membership and the public want different messages. The membership need to be told “neoliberal agenda, thousand years of darkness, dogs and cats living together, but we avoid that if we all work together”. The public will laugh if they hear that.

            The public need to be told “yes things are great, yes the economy’s doing well and unemployment’s down and confidence is up… but Labour can do it even better”. The membership will laugh if they hear that. Because to not laugh is to agree that National is doing a fantastic job of running the country.

            Then Cunliffe gets slammed for “talking out both sides of his mouth”.

            • Crunchtime

              Disagree. Unemployment is still somewhat high, the poverty gap has never been wider, the underclass of poor (not to mention novoting) public wants to hear that Labour will make things better for everyone, wants to hear how Labour will make the country a “fairer” place to live. That’s also what the membership want to hear, I am sure.

    • Puckish Rogue 18.2

      “Whereas everyone wants to see deep sea oil drilling stopped.”

      – Well no, a large proportion of people want to see drilling and mining encouraged

  19. adam 19

    I think I said in the other blog, ( http://thestandard.org.nz/what-should-david-cunliffes-say-in-his-state-of-the-nation-speech/ ) Labour has no spine. I’m feeling that – Hooton (or should we really be calling him – Putin) and co – Have won the “freak out the social democrats debate”.

  20. Ad 20

    Pretty amazing to hear people say this morning that David Cunliffe “has no spine” or roughly ‘I don’t trust him’.

    For people like Chris Trotter who are worried about the ‘old guard’, it’s worth reminding that Labour’s caucus numbers are at their lowest in many generations. Unless a whole bunch more come in in the next election, that’s how it will remain for a bit as well. Most of caucus do know that Labour members have far greater power over them than previously.

    Also it’s worth remembering that he’s not the leader of the Green Party. Mr Russell is, and he can do his own speech whenever he likes for people to project their own idealism onto. David Cunliffe is the leader of the Labour Party.

    Why not turn up on Monday and see what he stands for? It’s going to be one of Those Events. Then comment afterwards.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 20.1

      Huh? DC encourages our commentary and you respond by telling us to shut up? That’ll fly. No, really. Why don’t you believe me?

      • Ad 20.1.1

        Come along and check it out.
        Compare to Keys text today.
        See which version of New Zealand you prefer.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Um, no contest for me. I’ll watch the speech with interest, but I think Labour/Green will be the worst possible coalition apart from all the other ones.

          • Crunchtime

            “Um, no contest for me. I’ll watch the speech with interest, but I think Labour/Green will be the worst possible coalition apart from all the other ones.”

            Excellent summary sir, thoroughly agree.

            • phillip ure

              @ oak..


              ..(tho’ i wd add a strong mana presence..to stiffen both labour and green spines..)

              ..forget peters now..key has reached out and touched him..

              ..and thus permanently tainted any nz first vote..

              ..he can’t be trusted..

              ..yr vote wd not be ‘safe’..

              ..you cd vote for economic-nationalist peters..

              ..and end up with supporting tory-toads peters..

              ..and that wouldn’t do..

              ..phillip ure..

    • karol 20.2

      Russel is also not THE leader if the Greens – he’s co-leader. The other co-leader is much stronger on combatting poverty and for a more egalitarian society.

  21. natwest 21

    I just hope for Messiah’s sake that he crunches his numbers before Monday’s “lolly” speach to the nation.

    Because if he hasn’t John Key will take him apart – limb by limb!

    Somehow, given past experience – I doubt very much that he will have, as most of his policy releases have been of the cuff and on the hoof.

    Looking forward to the comedy show come Monday.

    • framu 21.1

      strangely enough, the same isnt demanded from “back of a napkin” key is it

    • greywarbler 21.2

      Trouble is with politics about your country, are you a NZ? whether it is funny, ridiculous, unbelievable, it is always serious. The more funny it is, the more serious you should be. So look and listen you might find some laughs but you can run from the serious stuff, but you can’t hide.

  22. Ron 22

    I hope that someone will be at The Kelston School to redirect any people that have not got the change of venue. After spending some time this week advising members of where the speech is being given the last minute change could cause a lot of confusion on Monday.
    Here’s hoping that we fill new venue to overflowing.

    • LynWiper 22.1

      I’ve just had a phone call to ensure I know of the change. I had registered I was going. Someone is onto it! 🙂

  23. Yey, David Cunliffe listened to us!

    He announced that fracking, asset sales and low tax for the rich would be off the table and that low and middle class incomes would get reprieve with the exemption of fruit and veggies of GST and the first $ 5000 of income free (something which was the norm in for example Holland) and to top it up he proposes to Nationalize the already looted assets and to start investigations into banking products such as the Derivatives sold to farmers in New Zealand in order to make sure that nobody will be the victim of less than honorable intentions of the international banking elite.

    Ummm…. Well I guess I have my answer about the two heads of the same dragon!

  24. Papa Tuanuku 24

    Is Norway riddled with active earthquake faults like we are?

    All I see is permits being given in locations that are also having a heap of eathquakes (off Whakaari in the BoP), and around Seddon. What sort of nutcase society sees any logic in this? THis makes me want a Green – led coalition, if we dream it, we can make it happen.

  25. Ad 25

    Isn’t it time we got the leader, any leader, of the Green Party to front up on this site?
    Great time for it.

  26. floyd 26

    Can the permits already granted by the national *know nots* be rescinded when Labour gets into power? Or do they have to be honoured anyway? Curious to know.

    • That depends whom you ask. The international holders of the assets will tell you the earth will open and you will go to hell if you Nationalize. People and countries on the receiving end of corporate lawsuits will tell you to go tell those international holders of these asset to go to hell themselves

  27. Rhinocrates 27

    The best thing about this is that David Cunliffe, contra Mumblefuck and Iagreewithmatthew Williams, is that he knows the importance of new media instead of pretending that computers are a fad.

    • Chooky 27.1

      Rhino….imo …. you got rid of Mumblefuck…you wouldnt let up!…and the poor bastard was beached, breached ,blinded, blindsided and blitheringly mumblefucked by the brilliance of your slashing swordsmanship verbosity….

      …just as well imo

      …next target? (Possum is in hiding) ….so how about Steven Joyce?… or John Key?

      • Chooky 27.1.1

        actually that is a silly comment…Mumblefuck got rid of himself by mumblefucking….but where is Possum?….us Chooks want some more fun

  28. As an oldie on just the pension I manage quite well ,however a better coverage of the “gold card ‘ would be welcome. But it is the young who are having a raw deal.Unemployment, bad eating habits and the working poor. These issues need seeing too.So meals in schools including fresh fruit and milk. School uniforms to be standardized each school identified by then badge ,This would enable uniforms to be mass produced and sold at cost price.
    Firms subsidized to take apprentices plus trade training for unemployed but with a livable benefit. All employees to be encouraged to join their union . Firms that have a bad work accident record will be required to enforce compulsory unionism.
    Let us remember that under this Act/National government we have a new class of people “The working poor. ” I hope you will remind the public of this David , Unable to get to the meeting but best wishes and give those bloody Tories hell.

  29. greywarbler 29

    I thought that the venue had been changed from Kelston school? Am I right? Is the address at the top in the post, the right one?

  30. Clemgeopin 30

    I was HIGHLY impressed with the last two minutes of Cunliffe’s talk with the journalists today. Towards the end I felt a glimpse of the real Mr Cunliffe, PM and leader, when he spoke with real passion and conviction. Watch this link.


    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 30.1

      That would be a link to the website of the organisation that is helping set up Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party, yeah?

      • Clemgeopin 30.1.1

        What is that to do with the point of my post? Did you watch the last two minutes?

      • Colonial Viper 30.1.2

        It’s a small country with not many people. Occasionally, conflicts of interest arise and are dealt with.

      • Crunchtime 30.1.3

        You are sadly misinformed.

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

          You are sadly misinformed.

          domain_name: internetparty.co.nz
          query_status: 200 Active
          domain_dateregistered: 2013-12-18T08:24:04+13:00
          registrant_contact_name: Scoop Media Limited

  31. newsense 31

    ” I don’t think this policy will be enough for a coalition between National and Labour” lolz

  32. fear all 32

    Key wants us to be slaves to the protectionist crap that suits American and European corporate interests and an open door to any another outfit that has more money to pay their way into controlling the resources of this country and eventually replacing the responsibilities we have in the pacific by trading our democracy to the control of the these aforesaid groups

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    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 week ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago