David Cunliffe Speech to 2013 Labour Party Conference – Building a future for all

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 pm, November 2nd, 2013 - 142 comments
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Cunliffe Labour save our future


E nga mana o tenei rohe

Ngai Tahu Tatou katoa te whanau o te reipa

Tena koutou katoa

It’s great to be here with you today, with Christchurch’s new Mayor Lianne, our wonderful President Moira, our fantastic candidate for Christchurch East, Poto Williams, and to be part of the Labour team that is going to win the 2014 election.

I acknowledge our New Zealand Council, Te Kaunihera Maori, our affiliates, sector councils and my caucus colleagues.

I want to especially acknowledge our previous leader David Shearer, leadership candidates Grant Robertson and Shane Jones, and my Deputy David Parker.

Mostly, I want to acknowledge you – every member of this, New Zealand’s greatest political party, whose membership has exploded by 75% this year!

We are here with good reason in this great city.

To show our solidarity and determination to help get the rebuild moving. And to return a new Labour MP, Poto Williams, in Christchurch East. Thank you all for being here.

Christchurch, we admire your resilience and your strength.

Your compassion for one another, and your determination to rise above adversity are an inspiration to the rest of the country and to this Party.

We are here today united and ready to win.

Not for ourselves, but for every New Zealander who needs a new beginning and wants their country back.

We need to reimagine the future.

To rebuild it.

To reclaim the Kiwi dream for all New Zealanders.

The New Zealand we will build together is one most Kiwis can today only dream about.

Let me tell you a local story.

There ‘s a small road on the northern outskirts of Christchurch, just beyond the Styx railway over the bridge.

It is called Cunliffe Road.

My grandfather, a railwayman all of his life, and my gran retired there.

They milked a cow; they kept chooks; grew their own veges; and fished for eels in the Styx river at the bottom garden.

Like I did.

The house was a stone’s throw from the railway tracks, tracks on which my father’s family worked and which much of the early history of this country was built – with hard labour, with high hopes and fervent dreams of a more prosperous future.

Portraits of King Dick Seddon and Mickey Savage hung in the kitchen.

I grew up the son of a Vicar.

We didn’t have much, but we never went without.

There was a good state school for me to go to, healthcare when my dad desperately needed it, and opportunities for me to work hard and get ahead.

We have all heard about our current prime minister’s own humble beginnings, his overseas success and his money trader’s fortune.

But in aspiration and core beliefs John Key and I could not be more different.

John Key and his colleagues grew up in same New Zealand I’ve just been talking about.

They personally benefited from these opportunities but now deny them to all but an elite few.

They are pulling the ladder up behind them. – and that’s just wrong.

I got into politics because I believe that all New Zealanders, regardless of background or circumstance, should have the same opportunities.

Only when we all do, will we unlock the boundless potential of this country and its people, creating a better, fairer, more inclusive society that works for all New Zealanders, not just a privileged few.

This weekend, our Party sets out together on a challenging but exciting new path.

The stakes could not be higher: for the very future of this country and all who live in it.

I am enlisting your support and commitment to help this Party return to government in 2014.

Helping to create a fairer, more equitable future for all New Zealanders.

A Tale of two countries I grew up in a New Zealand where if you worked hard and played by the rules anyone could get ahead.

It was a country in which Kiwis could trust that government worked more or less in the interests of all its citizens.

Sadly, those days are gone.

We are confronted by a government clearly ruling in the interests of a few at the expense of the many, and creating two New Zealands.

One for the rich and powerful, who don’t pay their fair share of tax because they have smart accountants to ensure they avoid it.

And there’s the other New Zealand. Where people struggle to put food on the table for their families.

Where children go to school hungry, and senior citizens shiver in their homes.

Families who pay tax on every dollar they earn, pick up the slack for the mega-rich and the foreign corporations who don’t.

Middle New Zealand is working harder than ever.

And what do they have to show for it?

A dying dream.

Middle-income Kiwi families can’t afford the rent or mortgage because of National’s housing crisis; They can’t afford power bills from the profiteering companies National is determined to sell; Many families can’t afford clothes or a treat for the kids, because under National their wages just haven’t kept up.

Now for the first time, a generation of hardworking parents are faced with the shocking prospect their children will do worse than them.

That’s why our best and brightest young people are leaving.

All this did not happen by accident. National deliberately chose this for New Zealand, because they still believe in outdated policies that reinforce privilege.

Some call it “trickle down”.

It’s the idea that if the rich get richer, the poor get lucky.

Such neo-liberal policies are fundamentally outdated and the Global Financial Crisis proved they don’t work.

Top economists around the world are casting aside these outdated theories, but National has not caught up.

Five years ago, John Key told New Zealanders, “wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones’’.

But he only meant it for the privileged few.

He gave massive tax cuts to the rich that they did not need while he put up GST on everyone.

Since that promise, 200,000 Kiwis have voted no confidence, and left.

We’re told we can’t afford the ‘social goods’ that since the time of Michael Joseph Savage have been our Kiwi heritage.

A good government stands alongside New Zealanders in case of disaster, ill health or bad luck.

Good government in partnership with people helps build industries and regions; dams, railways and ports, and plants vast forests.

Those birth-right assets belong to all New Zealanders.

National – they are not yours to sell! But not content with laissez-faire neoliberalism, National has tilted the playing field even further.

Its Hall of Shame involves those shabby deals with Warner Brothers; Sky City; Rio Tinto and Chorus.

Business people are telling me they want no part of that.

They want a level playing field that’s fair and transparent, not one set of rules for National’s mates and another for everyone else.

They also say John Key is a map without a compass; that National has no strategy for the underlying problems of our economy.

Mark my words, John Key’s answer will be to invite the royal family to bring its newest and cutest member here for a long series of photo ops in an election year.

They should come.

But will John Key dare take the Duke and Duchess back to McGehan Close?

Will he take them to a closed sawmill in Rotorua or a boarded up tannery in Shannon?

You can be sure he’ll bring them to Parliament.

But will they meet the nightshift cleaners he won’t pay a Living Wage?

The contrasts between National and Labour, between their New Zealand and ours, could not be greater.

This government is tired, arrogant and out of touch. It is off-Key and out of tune.

Labour is fresh, energized, true to its founding ideals and full of new ideas.

It is a Party ready to govern on behalf of – and most importantly, alongside – all New Zealanders.

Building a Future for All 3.1

An economy that works for all New Zealanders In the last few weeks my team and I have visited families in Rotorua and Shannon whose lives have been shattered by the closure of their sawmill and their tannery.

They need an economy that works for all New Zealanders.

One that creates more value from every tree we fell, every litre of milk we produce and every fruit we pick.

When National thinks about growth, they think about growing volume.

Milking more cows, digging more mines or drilling more holes.

They haven’t got a fracking clue.

There’s only so many cows we can milk without polluting our waterways.

There is no limit to the ingenuiety of our Kiwi scientisits in making more high value products from the proteins in our milk.

We will reward innovation.

National scrapped Labour’s R&D tax incentive.

So our best and brightest took their ideas offshore.

The journey we need to be on is one from thinking about volume to thinking about creating value.

By contrast, National thinks it makes sense to truck New Zealand logs to a port, ship them to Asia for processing, and then import the timber back here to Christchurch for the rebuild.

How dumb is that?

Our Labour Government will give preference to Kiwi-made timber for the Christchurch rebuild.

When we create value we need more of it to stay in New Zealand so we can share it.

Our economy is being hollowed out because we don’t have enough capital.

Our banking, finance and insurance industries are almost all foreign-owned, which is why we always run an external deficit and build up international debt.

A Labour Government will address this fundamental problem.

By strengthening KiwiSaver.

By building up KiwiBank.

By restarting contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

All of these things will help build an economy we own.

Of course we will balance the books, as we did every year in the fifth Labour Government.

But that is not enough to turn around long term economic decline.

Our pro-growth will help local Kiwi businesses access the investment they need to thrive.

And today, in this very brave city, I am announcing that Labour will confront the challenges of an insurance industry that is no longer Kiwi-owned.

One we know from painful experience has not met Canterbury’s needs.

Just as KiwiBank gave us a customer-focused, low cost Kiwi-owned bank, KiwiAssure will give everyone a choice for better service, competititive premiums and local ownership that keeps profits here.

KiwiAssure will be a sister company to KiwiBank, within the NZ Post Group.

And like KiwiBank, it will offer customers an alternative and raise the bar across the insurance industry.

We will build an economy that works for all New Zealanders, by helping create more value and keep more of it onshore.

And having kept more wealth in New Zeaaland, that wealth needs to be shared fairly.

The economy we build will provide secure, well-paid jobs. We will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour – immediately.

We will promote a Living Wage.

We will protect vulnerable workers.

We will develop a new employment framework built on mutual respect.

We will scrap the unfair 90-day trials and restore fairness in the workplace.

We will train young Kiwis to rebuild Christchurch.

We won’t give priority to overseas labour which just happens to keep locals out and wages down, We will invest more in our people and their skills and training.

Everyone will contribute their fair share.

We will raise the top tax rate for high earners but not middle income families.

We will target those who speculate on capital gains and avoid tax using trusts.

We want a level playing field.

National wants special deals for its mates.

National gave $30 million to Rio Tinto to keep the smelter’s closure off the TV until after the election.

Labour will have a plan for an energy-rich Southland beyond the smelter.

National bent the rules to sell our laws to Sky City.

Labour will regulate to address gambling harm.

National is about to hand over $400 million of your dollars to Chorus.

Labour will deliver faster, cheaper braodband without subsidising foreign telcos.

So Labour’s economic plan means creating more value, retaining more value onshore and sharing more value across our community.

A fair and just society

That’s because Labour believes in a fair and just society where all citizens live in dignity.

• Warm in their homes through a Labour power policy that stops profiteering on electricity;

• Secure because when the worst happens there’s a safety net to catch them and give them a hand up;

• Safe with a world class health system that promotes wellness.

• Secure with Super that means they won’t be living in poverty when they’re old.

A fair society means having a shot at the Kiwi dream, incluiding home ownership.

That’s a dream increasingly out of reach for a great many of our young men and woman beaten down by stagnant wages and skyrocketing house prices.

Labour will build 100,000 affordable homes over over ten years.

We will help first home buyers, not punish them with harsh lending rules.

And unlike National, we won’t let offshore speculators rort our housing market.

A just society gives a great start in life for all our kids.

Labour will extend Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks.

We won’t tolerate child poverty.

We won’t let kids go to school hungry.

We will scrap the National standards, there will be no charter schools.

Instead we will build on New Zealand’s first calss public education system, that is led by some of the best educators in the entire world.

An environment we protect

Like so many Kiwis, I love our natural environment.

Last weekend I tramped the Routeburn track with my son (until snow turned us back).

As a kid I fished for salmon and trout in Canterbury’s rivers.

I might not look like a pig hunter, but my dad was and as a kid I loved following him through the bush.

We need to protect our forests and rivers and mountains.

Labour will protect our environment.

We will reverse National’s gutting of the Resource Management Act.

We will rebuild our Conservation Department to protect our world-class conservation estate.

We won’t, for example, build a monorail through a world heritage park.

We are not opposed to responsible mining, but we won’t approve new mines on high value conservation land.

We will insist on best practice environment and cleanup standards before we approve any more deep sea oil drilling.

We recognise climate change is a fact, not a philosophy.

We will restore an effective emissions trading scheme.

We will not walk away from our responsibities to the planet, its climate or future generations.

We want a high value, low carbon, renewable energy, smart, clean tech future.

A nation we can all be proud of

We will will give our children a nation to be proud of, including a principled and independent foreign policy.

Labour calls for an informed debate about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

National says it cannot release the negotiating text – that is a cop out.

We expect proper briefings to the public, just as Labour did in government with the China FTA.

While we recognise the potential trade benefits, until there is a full and open debate we are not prepared to sign over a blank cheque on our national sovereignty.

A Labour Government will never spy on our own citizens without a judge’s warrant.

That’s why we will repeal the GCSB Act and replace it with legislation that upholds Kiwis’ rights and freedoms.

We will honour the Treaty of Waitangi, and support the development of a vibrant post settlement Maori renaissance based on mutual respect and partnership.

We will invite New Zealanders to participate in a constitutional conversation to help us towards a mature, stable constitutional form.

We will celebrate our unique identity by supporting our vibrant arts and culture sectors; including a renewed commitment to public broadcasting as one of the most important guardians of our democracy.

Labour will help New Zealanders look to the future with confidence, in who we are, where we stand, where we are going.

Creating the future Our mission is to Build a Future for All, including an economy that works for everyone, a fair and just society, an environment we protect, and a nation we can be proud of.

Our Party, alongside all New Zealanders, can deliver this vision together.

But first we must win the election in 2014.

I know we can win; my colleagues in caucus know it.

We need you to know it and believe in it too.

Let’s build on the momentum we have gained.

Here’s what we have to do, caucus and members and supporters, acting as one.

We have to organize.

Last election, nearly a million New Zealanders didn’t vote and we didn’t inspire them enough to do so.

With one quarter of that missing million, National’s days in government are over. Some of them are in Labour’s heartland.

They’ve voted for us in the past. We need to persuade them that we will make a real, positive difference in their lives.

Many of the missing million are in the regions.

We’re going to crisscross this country until every town knows we are on their side.

We must listen to young people, because everything we do is ultimately for them.

Each of you has the power to help us reach the missing million.

They are your neighbours, your co-workers, your friends.

Talk about our Labour vision.

Every phone call you make, every piece of mail you deliver, finds us more new supporters.

With our caucus , our members and our supporters working together we are unstoppable.


So together, we are on a mission to win the 2014 election.

We are ambitious, not for ourselves, but to serve the people of New Zealand.

Together, we will build a future for the children in this country who live in poverty, who go to school with empty stomachs, whose parents can’t afford to take them to the doctor when they are ill, who contract Third-World diseases through overcrowding in sub- standard housing.

We will build a future for the young people who leave school directionless without support, guidance or prospects.

We will build a future with our young people who come out of university with huge loans, fight their way into poorly paid jobs., and who can’t afford to buy a home of their own.

We will build a future with our businesses and exporters held back by the inflexible Reserve Bank Act that sets inflation as its primary target while ignoring the devastating effects of a high exchange rate.

We will build a future with our scientists who, are forced to look overseas for meaningful work.

We will build a future with our public servants – our wonderful policewomen and men, our teachers, our nurses and doctors – whose work and worth has been so undermined and demoralized by this destructive Government.

We will build a future with our artists, authors, musicians and performers – who help us to understand not only where we stand in the world, but to feel comfortable in our own skins – and proud of who we are.

Creative, diverse, compassionate, innovative, generous, determined people happy at home in Aotearoa but punching well above our weight on whatever world stage we appear.

Together, we will build a future for all New Zealanders, with an economy that works for all of us, a fair and just society, an environment we protect, and a nation we can all be proud of.

We are a Party on the march.

We are a winning team.

We have an important job to do for all New Zealanders.

We must work.

We must win.

And we must serve.

I ask you now to join with me in becoming the Sixth Labour Government.

Thank you.

142 comments on “David Cunliffe Speech to 2013 Labour Party Conference – Building a future for all ”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    A speech is as much about delivery as content, and judging by the media reaction (and the grumpy righties!) Cunliffe has nailed this one.

    Well done, great platform for next year.

  2. Ad 2

    Best speech from a Labour Party leader that I have ever heard.

  3. Philgwellington Wellington 3

    Talk is cheap, action is what is costly.

  4. Bruce 4

    I think it was No Right Turn that said the $15 minimum wage is an outdated goal. I agree with this and I think we should be aiming to be on par with Australia’s current minimum wage if we’re serious about retaining Kiwis in NZ:


    Otherwise a very nice speech.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      There has to be a major uplift in voting to get a Labour/Green government even elected to be in a position to be able to implement the “outdated” $15 min.wage let alone the living wage goal of $18.41 per hour.

      KiwiAssure sounds good too.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Labour’s policy at the 2011 election was to raise the minimum wage up to $15 gradually. It appears their new policy is to raise it in one lump, probably at the start of 2015.

      So for all that it’s now a miserly target, they aren’t going to be tardy about hitting it.

    • Francis 4.3

      I’m not sure whether it passed, but there was a proposal to set the minimum wage to 2/3 of the average wage. Such a policy is what we really should be looking into, rather than setting the minimum wage to dollar values and incrementing it every year (letting governments like National decide not to increase it).

      • Lanthanide 4.3.1

        Latest 2013 stats: http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/Income/NZIncomeSurvey_HOTPJun13qtr.aspx

        Interestingly, the median hourly earnings are $21.58, and 66% of that is $14.24, so $15 is already higher than that.

        The average hourly figure (apparently available in the excel spreadsheet only) is $26, so 66% of that would be $17.16.

        Also such a policy needs to consider it’s own impacts. If you put the minimum wage up, necessarily you will be increasing the average wage, and by quite a tangible amount, too. That in turn would result in the minimum wage needing to be increased to keep up with the increasing average, rinse, repeat.

        • Macro

          Now don’t those stats tell you something! ie the high renemeration of a few pull the mean up substantially while half of the employed earn less than $21.58

          • Lanthanide

            Yes, which is why it’s terrible that Key uses “average wage” of ~50k/year as his talking point when saying how much tax cuts or whatever will save people.

            To be fair, the median is dragged down by a lot of part timers. I’d like to see a median and average that only looked at full time (35+ hours/week) workers.

    • Chooky 4.4

      To NZ youth…”I found a reason”….( for voting Labour or Green)


      Here is to hoping for a great future under a Labour /Green coalition Government 2014!

  5. Jim Nald 5

    Heartening to read that.

    For KiwiAssure, I would be happy to pledge to be one of the first to sign up. Just as I had with KiwiBank.

  6. Anne 6

    It feels like the early 1970s all over again. The Norman Kirk years. It was Norman Kirk who inspired me and many of our most senior Labour politicians to join the Labour Party. Included are Helen Clark, Phil Goff and David Lange. We were young, idealistic and he seemed to be speaking for us. In reality he spoke for everyone just as Cunliffe is doing today.

    KiwiAssure? Inspired.

    • Paul 6.1

      Perfect location to announce new Insurance plan.. given the way Christchurch has been abandoned by the government kowtowing to the interests of private insurance companies, who have screwed the people.

  7. karol 7

    Inspiring speech – much that is excellent – but it’s still about affordable homes for 1st time home buyers.

    Great stuff about work, TPP, spying regulations, anti-cronyism, anti-neoliberalism, combating climate change, KiwiAssure, anti-overseas ownership of key enterprises, etc.

    But it’s still only the Greens & Mana campaigning for more state houses, and standing strongly for a strengthening of social security.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Frankly I’m quite happy for those areas to be the stronghold of Greens and Mana, since Labour are the bedrock that would form the basis of a left-wing government. If de-emphasizing those policies makes Labour more palatable to centrist voters and lets them get into government, then great.

      I truly believe that once the Greens are in the government, they’re going to surprise a lot of people with how competent they are.

      • Sacha 7.1.1

        Yes. I really want to see what the talented Green MPs can achieve as Ministers in a strong coalition government.

      • Anne 7.1.2

        I truly believe that once the Greens are in the government, they’re going to surprise a lot of people with how competent they are.

        If more people listened or watched parliament – even if its only Question Time – they would know there is some formidable talent in the Green caucus.

  8. Pete 8

    David Cunliffe gets it. People are looking for security. At the moment it’s a risk even to change jobs if you might end up getting sacked in three months for no reason. Government should be dependable, a bulwark against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Not a vector for the unpredictable.

  9. Anne 9

    Btw, how did the delegates respond to Cunliffe’s speech? Were they inspired? The words certainly are uplifting.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      It was bloody good. Five or six busloads of activists then went on to help Poto door knock, and we were totally inspired.

      • mickysavage 9.1.1

        Yep. A number of us went out to door knock. I personally felt the urge to do something to improve Labour’s chances.

        And the response was really good. In the area I door knocked support was running at about 75%.

  10. Saarbo 10

    Great speech…

    This to me is Labour:

    “To reclaim the Kiwi dream for all New Zealanders.”


    “Creative, diverse, compassionate, innovative, generous, determined people happy at home in Aotearoa but punching well above our weight on whatever world stage we appear.”

    • Chooky 10.1

      +1….fantastic speech!…..GO LABOUR and GO Cunliffe..(great NZ grassroots native leader!)

      ….the next 2014 New Zealand Government for many years….in coalition with the GREENS!…This is the answer to our hopes and dreams

      ( and maybe Mana and Winston NZFirst as optional extras)

  11. Bill 11

    Okay – I didn’t expect an overt statement acknowledging that the Kiwi dream is dead and that it’s time to wake up and get real (resource depletion, AGW…).

    But to read statements to the effect that Labour wants to attempt some type of resuscitation … Nope, not for me.

    But then, I’m not a New Zealander (never mind a working one) and have never had any inclination or ambition to own a house or to own any 2.5 acres or whatever. So the speech wasn’t even addressed to me or the thousands of other people who live here who aren’t New Zealanders.

    But good luck to one and all on that ‘dreaming of the dream’ stuff.

  12. karol 12

    Gower repeating his lie that last year Cunliffe staged a leadership challenge. And repeating his own mythology around Cunliffe’s ambition.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      He can’t report on reality as it proves him, and the rest of the RWNJs, wrong and so he makes shit up.

      • Anne 12.1.1


        At Cunliffe’s victory celebration after he was elected leader, Gower was wandering around the periphery saying “good party… good party” to anyone who would listen. Those of us standing nearby just stared at him. Nobody bothered to answer…

      • karol 12.1.2

        Yes. An appalling piece on the Conference tonight from Gower – and he was frowning and stumbling over his words – can’t admit his campaign against Cunliffe didn’t work, and he keeps spinning a deeper and deeper hole for himself.

        • Rodel

          Awful journalism from PG. John Key won’t thank him either for the embarrassing attempt at link….but he’s a bit better than wotsisname ? slater? isn’t he?

    • Rodel 12.2

      On PG at the conference. He seemed to have nothing to report.Was that because nobody would talk to him? I hope so… best to ignore. At least TV1 reported something that happened. Can’t wait for the Paul and Paddy show on 3….not.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    National scrapped Labour’s R&D tax incentive.

    One of the points mentioned in The Entrepreneurial State is that such R&D tax credits don’t work. They just become a tax cut with no new R&D happening.

    What I’d really like to see is a lot more basic research being done by the government. In some cases it would need to be from basic through to applied. A case in point would be semi-conductor manufacturing.

    Everyone will contribute their fair share.
    We will raise the top tax rate for high earners but not middle income families.
    We will target those who speculate on capital gains and avoid tax using trusts.

    I hope that he’s talking about a new tax system from the ground up rather than amending the ballsup we presently have as a tax system.

    Labour will deliver faster, cheaper braodband without subsidising foreign telcos.

    The only way that’s going to happen is re-nationalisation.

    Secure because when the worst happens there’s a safety net to catch them and give them a hand up;

    Could be interesting, will have to see what he actually means. The present system, with it’s focus on getting a job where there aren’t any, actually keeps people and thus wages down.

    Labour will build 100,000 affordable homes over over ten years.

    And with those we also need 100,000 state homes on top of the ones we have now.

    We will scrap the National standards, there will be no charter schools.


    • karol 13.1

      I like the bit about getting rid of Charter Schools.

      • Rodel 13.1.1

        Karol- me too…Charter schools – a clear unequivocal warning from Cunliffe to potential investors who see education as just another NZ asset for sale.Charter schools could be seen as dodgy an investment as Kiwis saw through Meridian.

    • Lanthanide 13.2

      “One of the points mentioned in The Entrepreneurial State is that such R&D tax credits don’t work. They just become a tax cut with no new R&D happening.”

      My work was going to be a decent recipient of the tax credits. I’d have expected it would have allowed us to hire 1 or 2 more staff, which would have increased R & D.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1

        Yeah, the research that she cited said that some had been well designed and did, more or less, do what the government had wanted. Most had been badly designed though which resulted in no change to the amount of R&D while the governments involved dished out millions in subsidies.

        There’s no way to tell which way the R&D tax credits that Labour put in place was going to go as it got cut too soon to make a statistical analysis. She thinks, and I agree, that it’s much better for the government to directly fund the R&D itself rather than relying on tax credits. Yes, that means the government picking winners but, then, governments around the world have been doing that for centuries and are actually quite good at it especially in the basic research stuff that takes decades to come to fruition which the private sector doesn’t fund at all.

    • bodab 13.3

      Mr Draco,
      I’m with with you on the general approach. However I don’t think a semiconductor fab is a good idea. We’re talking >$1bn for a decent fab, and its not like there is a shortage of capacity globally for semi manufacturing capacity. (The $2bn for fibre-to-the-home is bad enough – and how long and for how much are we going to be shaken down by Chorus for that?) Taiwan has done well in this sphere – Altera and Xilinx get their stuff built at TSMC and UMC, but we really can’t afford the government investment to get a legion of chemists, physicists and process engineers up to scratch (especially considering our lamentable efforts getting secondary school students into science or engineering of any type!) This sort of industry feeds upon a base of skills and capabilities we just don’t have.
      I think we have to go for the less embodied (read: capital intensity) stuff. Telogis (100+ engineers), Orion Health, there are currently jobs for thousands of software engineers, and our nascent computer games industry should exceed $50m next year. The sweet spot for us is in transdisciplinary R&D focused on customer value, building on our strengths. We don’t have a major surplus of capital to compete with countries which have invested the tens of billions / hundreds of billions to create semiconductor competitive advantage at the high end of the value chain. What we do have is (i) a pioneering-culture derived can-do attitude (2) a history of attacking cutting-edge non-capital-intensive industries without an appropriate level of nervousness, and (3) an unsophisticated international marketing approach, characteristic of NZ’s management skill weakness, which undermines (1) and (2). So I say pour investment into (3), send the kids to uni to learn the right stuff, and let’s build upon those things we have proven good at.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.3.1

        and its not like there is a shortage of capacity globally for semi manufacturing capacity.

        It’s not just a question of having the capability but also being better at it.

        This sort of industry feeds upon a base of skills and capabilities we just don’t have.

        Then we need to build up that capability and not say that we just can’t do it.

        Think about it, before anyone had those capabilities they didn’t have them They built them up and they did it through government funding and investment. The first fab plants in the US were built by the government and then made available so that anyone could develop ICs. Doing this broadens the development base and so we get even more ideas put into practical reality.

        We need to be doing the same thing.

        I think we have to go for the less embodied (read: capital intensity) stuff.

        As long as we keep that sort of defeatist attitude then we will keep losing our best and brightest.

        The sweet spot for us is in transdisciplinary R&D focused on customer value, building on our strengths.

        This is outright BS. A few people have those strengths, a few others have different strengths. A society does not specialise. Within itself it has the capabilities and resources needed to maintain itself.

        • bodab

          Dear Mr Draco,
          I love your can-do attitude. And for sure semiconductor capability was built up through government investment – in the US initially through defence investment, in Japan through industry development investment, and in Korea (gotta spend those US subsidies somewhere.)
          My point is really about bang for buck – and I think semi industries aren’t going to deliver the best bang for buck. You label my prescription of non-capital-intensive end-user focused R&D defeatist – but I would argue that (1) if we’re going to invest in industries then we’d better avoid competing against those where our competitors enjoy cheap capital provided by states with very deep pockets (e.g. my Chinese Android tablet has an ‘Allwinner’ brand processor), (2) we need to pick growing industries for investment where the formula has yet to be settled, and innovation can deliver competitive advantage (a better long term return on investment), and (3) we do actually have cultural archetypes for success.
          Perhaps a society does not specialise – however our successful innovators draw on common societal characteristics. Angus Tait, Dennis Chapman – a democratic attitude by the founders in the firms of these individuals led to innovation led growth. Bill Buckley – well, his firm manufactures over 80% of the world’s ion implant magnets for the semiconductor industry. Buckley and Tait had the skills and gave it a crack. Chapman had industry leading skills and parlayed this through the Telecom privatisation back in the 80’s to a hundred million dollar company. On Orion Health, they pursued leadership of the health information integration market and are now world leaders.
          Diverse industries, but at least in the case of Buckley and Orion Health, they aimed at and succeeded at dominating a global segment. In both cases they succeeded by just being better than the competition, which is easier in a growing market than an established market. Consistent results starting from the 80’s suggest that dominating a segment is much more profitable than just being a small player in a global market.
          Don’t get me wrong – I support us getting it together to collectively support industrial growth. My concern is bang for the buck. I reject your claim that it is defeatist to reject an industrial growth strategy consisting of pouring our scarce capital into mature industries that suffer global oversupply of capacity. I think we can do it effectively, but I believe bang for the buck is to be found in attacking emerging industries based on our demonstrated cultural strengths.

          • Draco T Bastard

            My point is really about bang for buck – and I think semi industries aren’t going to deliver the best bang for buck.

            Did you know that studies at Canterbury University have developed means to manipulate individual atoms? Throw in the progress that’s happening with 3d printing and semis aren’t something we’re lacking but are, as a matter of fact, leading the bloody way. You won’t be seeing fab plants that cost billions but ones that cost thousands, can easily fit on your table and can produce molecular circuitry.

            Are you sure that there’s no “bang for buck” in that?

            (1) if we’re going to invest in industries then we’d better avoid competing against those where our competitors enjoy cheap capital provided by states with very deep pockets

            Contrary to what some think, our pockets are just as deep. We really do have the resources needed in people, materials and skills.

            Here’s the thing, in the mid term we won’t be exporting or importing as it will be more expensive than making stuff here for our own use. That’s inevitable as oil gets ever more expensive. Kinda takes the heat of the competition off and lets us think about how we’re going to maintain a high-tech society by ourselves.

            Perhaps a society does not specialise – however our successful innovators draw on common societal characteristics.

            The biggest problem I see for our innovators is that the majority of them aren’t supported because a few people grab all the wealth for themselves. We really, really, can’t afford the rich.

        • Colonial Viper

          We’ve had this discussion before DTB, And its a stupid idea for us to ignore what we are already good at, and where the critical capabilities and niches for us actually lie.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I’ve never said to ignore what we already do, only that we need to expand what we do. That’s why I want to see self-drive buses and trains. Once we have those we can move thousands of people into training to produce something else. Expand and develop but we also get to kill the growth fairy that’s presently destroying our environment.

    • RedBaronCV 13.4

      Not sure I entirely agree re the R & D tax breaks. Anything has to be better than the NAct picking winners strategy.
      It probably needs to be capped, available to to NZ shareholder coys, overseas owned – approach with care, and possibly some clawback depending on the tax regimes around share sales. I’ve seen some of the claims and they came from NZ owned software star up and were fairly modest < $30000. Not the size that picking winners strategies even see.

      • Lanthanide 13.4.1

        My work is overseas owned but employs ~150 NZers. R&D tax credits would let us hire another 1 or 2.

    • Ron 13.5

      Maybe what we need is a resurrected DSIR one department focussed on developing and improving NZ Scientific Research

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 13.6

      “I hope that he’s talking about a new tax system from the ground up rather than amending the ballsup we presently have as a tax system.”

      Even though I seem to be the only person promoting taxation for business at a gross amount I firmly believe that this would work and be simple and fair to administer. 5% say on gross income for all businesses and a willingness to slowly bring down the employee gross taxation rates to match. Simply solves a whole lot of issues with the current system.

      “Seriously though I still think that taxing at gross solves many of the issues around manipulation of the tax system. This would also mean overseas esales could also be taxed at source so companies like iTunes would now pay tax on sales by NZers and rorts like the non-interest but claim interest as an expense one IRD has just ruled on would become irrelevant and pointless.”

      “Another good reason to tax businesses at a gross rate. Remove the perverse incentive to have a continuous flow of interest via buying more properties to reduce your tax bill here and elsewhere by offsetting the losses.”

      “Here’s an earlier post where it was debated a little more:


      I’d like to find a figure for the total gross (before expenses) income for all businesses to do a rough calculation but can’t find this anywhere. I asked IRD but they didn’t know either.

      It would seem to me to be quite simple to simply tax at say 5% of total income across every business in NZ. Every business would be on the same footing tax wise as every other business.”

  14. North 14

    What a ridiculously conceited little punk is Potty Gower. Like a spoilt school kid………can’t let go.

    Watched his spiel on TV3 News. “Last year…….last year…….last year.” So I guess it’s all about him, still.

    Then the howler that ShonKey Python’ll be strutting round feeling “flattered” because of “building a future” or equivalent ??? This is mature commentary from TV3’s political editor ?

    Pity Potty ain’t got the facility to understand that particular call to arms as a subtle reference to the “brighter future” being but a fraud on ordinary New Zealand.

  15. newsense 15

    Haven’t seen the news but it is top on TVNZ, 3rd on the Herald, but at TV3 we’ve got “Unions lay out demands for Labour” and “Pressure on Labour at Conference”, perhaps still playing catch up but the TVNZ story has been up for 2 hours. Second on Stuff.

    Not in the top stories on TV3.

  16. Tamati 16

    Seriously another Kiwi-prefix idea? It might be a good idea, but come on where is the creativity?

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      Sometimes, in fact most of the time, you don’t need creativity in the name. You just need for it to say what it is. This is one of those times.

      • Tamati 16.1.1

        I might go and copyright a few other Kiwi-prefix policies. Sadly they’ve already booked the Kiwi assure domain name. I wonder why they went with NZ power instead or Kiwi power?

    • Lanthanide 16.2

      Yeah, the whole “Kiwi-X” thing is pretty twee.

      Also they went with NZ Power because KiwiPower was already registered by some organisation so they couldn’t use it. Otherwise they would’ve.

      • Tamati 16.2.1

        I guess they’re trying to build on Kiwibank’s strong brand name and recognition. They risk diluting the brands goodwill if they continue to use it on everything.

        • QoT

          Yes, people are too stupid to notice the difference between “bank” and “assure”. In related news, ever noticed the huge numbers of people who walk into ANZ branches trying to access their BNZ accounts? Because I haven’t.

      • Francis 16.2.2

        They face the opposite dilemma with the insurance wing. NZ Insurance is already taken, so is State Insurance (which was the former government-owned insurance provider). And in terms of banking, NZ Bank would probably be too close to BNZ to be used. I guess they chose “KiwiRail” instead of “NZ Rail” because that was the former name of the railways, and they wanted to differentiate it…

  17. Sosoo 17

    Well that’s a barn burner.

    Can anyone imagine Shearer giving such a speech?

  18. just saying 18

    Other than platitudes, the poorest million have been promised:
    – cheaper power,
    -slightly better labour legislation
    -and a living wage (if they can score a job as a government cleaner)

    The middle class have been promised:
    -a new insurance company to keep their premiums down,
    -cheaper, faster broadband,
    -more kulcha
    -more public service jobs
    -R and D incentives
    -26 weeks paid parental leave
    -less worry about the conservation estate and better tramps
    -less likelihood of being spied on (as long as they take no part in protest action of any kind)
    -and cheaper power
    edit – forgot to mention their kids getting $40,000 off their first, brand spanking new homes to kick-off their rental portfolios

    yep, the missing million willing be beating the freaking doors down to sign up with Labour.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      Other than platitudes, the poorest million have been promised:
      – $15 minimum wage
      – A fairer tax system with those at the top paying what they ought
      – A policy platform that should help grow small business more than National’s lazy hands-off approach, that will create more jobs
      – 26 weeks paid parental leave (because ‘poor’ people have children too, you know).

      Very strange list you came up with.

      • just saying 18.1.1

        Sorry, forget the sub-living-wage increase.

        All the rest on your list have very little to with the lives of the poorest.

        • weka

          Depends where you live. There are poor people living in places like rural Southland where the rivers are now making kids sick from swimming in them. That includes kids from poor families who are probably more dependent on the rivers for food and recreation than the wealthy ones. Ideas like that protecting the environment only serves the well-off is pretty outdated js. I also think that groups like beneficiaries will be most likely to be the next level of those targeted by the surveillance state if it’s not stopped.

          Your criticism isn’t without merit though. Sometimes Cunliffe’s vision seems quite stereotypical to me, and I wonder how many people will fall through the holes in that vision. I liked hearing his story about how he grew up, but I don’t believe that the policies he is talking about will restore that NZ to us. What I’m not clear about yet is if they’re being pragmatic but heading in the right direction, or if they’re simply not getting it yet. Like with the GP, who I believe mostly have a deeper understanding of the reality than comes across in their PR-shiny, modern approach to politics, I am willing to give Cunliffe and Labour the benefit of the doubt for now. But keeping an eye out as well.

          • just saying

            You seriously think beneficiaries are less likely to be surveilled under Labour than under National?

            • weka

              Depends on what you mean by surveilled in your question.

              What I meant, was that I can see a possible future for NZ where the govt uses the kind of surveillance the GCSB allows to spy on beneficiaries for WINZ related issues. Repealing the GCSB etc makes that less likely. Much less. It’s not about now, it’s about the direction NZ could go in from this point on. I would have thought this self-evident, given Paula Bennett’s current approach.

              Where Cunliffe says “replace it with legislation that upholds Kiwis’ rights and freedoms” I think there is more likelihood of that being extended to beneficiaries under a L/GP govt than a NACT one.

              I still think Labour are far too light on welfare. I’m waiting to see if that’s pragmatic politics, or if Labour are going to leave benes on the scrapheap when they realise that their vision of full employment is not realistic.

              • Lanthanide

                I recently had a business card from a fraud investigator who works at ministry of social development left in my mailbox, asking if I knew anything about people who lived in or vehicles parked at a house across the street.

                So seems they don’t need GCSB to gather information on investigation targets.

                • weka

                  “So seems they don’t need GCSB to gather information on investigation targets.”

                  You don’t see a difference between how the MSD currently handles fraud cases via investigators, and being able to just look at every phone call, text and email a beneficiary has made and received in the last five years? Really?

                  • Lanthanide

                    Seems like the investigation is going to happen one way or another. Being able to read all communications sounds like it’d be a more efficient way to sort out those who are defrauding the system and those who aren’t.

                    Not saying I agree with it, mind you.

              • bad12

                Go on Weka, you really think that Labour doesn’t KNOW that full employment in a market economy is simply Bullshit, David Parker would snigger up His sleeve at the very notion of full employment,

                Look at what National did with benefits, Labour planned it during the Clark years, just how vindictive and victimizing the changes Labour planned were going to be we will never know, but plan it they did,

                Look at the abysmal tinkering around the edges of the States housing stock National have been busily doing, Labour planned it, along with the ‘inclusion’ of the ‘social sector’ and with no plan of any sort to increase the number of State houses,

                At it’s core the neo-liberal philosophy has the ‘protection of the middle class’, i believe Obama even made reference to ‘protecting that middle class’ in His second inauguration speech,

                Do i see Labour stepping away from the neo-liberal template in David Cunliffe’s speech, well no, not unless such a ‘stepping away’ has a benefit for the middle class…

                • weka

                  “Go on Weka, you really think that Labour doesn’t KNOW that full employment in a market economy is simply Bullshit”

                  You misunderstood Bad. I didn’t say it was whether DC believed in full employment or not. I meant it was whether DC would promote full employment as a solution to a bene-hating culture as part of pragmatic politics but still be good to benes, or whether they already intend to leave the benes on the scrap heap once the full-employment bit stops being a useful ploy (although to be fair, has DC actually talked about full-employment? I was being a bit loose with how I described his approach).

                  You seem sure that the future Cunliffe govt is the same as the Clark govt. I don’t see how you can know that yet.

                  “Look at what National did with benefits, Labour planned it during the Clark years, just how vindictive and victimizing the changes Labour planned were going to be we will never know, but plan it they did,”

                  [citation needed]

                  In my experience, life on a benefit has always been easier under a Labour govt than a NACT one. Labour have done some pretty shit things to be sure, but don’t make out that they are the same as NACT, they’re not.

      • bad12 18.1.2

        A fairer tax system, not likely, my income tax will remain the same and i will still be paying the increased GST…

        • Lanthanide

          Yes, but increased taxes on the wealthy and traditional tax-avoiders means the government debt can be paid back sooner than otherwise, or that provision of services can be increased.

          Since there are many government programmes that can have high rates of return (like home insulation returning $6 in health costs for every $1 spent), the more money that can be spent on those services ultimately reduces the future tax burden, which means less tax rises in the future or potential tax cuts in the future.

          Sure, all medium-long term benefits there and largely just hand-waving, but an impact none-the-less.

          • bad12

            I feel that your latest comment should be backed with a violin solo, in other words the poorest can keep on paying the most as a % of their income and hope for a few crumbs swept their way at some point in the far far future,

            No wonder the million stay home on voting day, they don’t feel like being a part of Labour’s middle class protection racket…

            • Lanthanide

              I’m simply replying to your comment where you said “A fairer tax system, not likely”.

              It will be *fairer* than it is now. That doesn’t mean it will meet whatever your ideal taxation system is.

              • bad12

                So fairer for whom may i ask, beneficiary families, single beneficiaries, nah wait, i got it, all the ‘fairness’ will be accrued by the middle class right,

                Labour tax the rich to feed the middle class while keep the boot swinging in the direction of the poor, a truly RED Labour Party…

    • Tamati 18.2

      You forget the biggest one of all. A massive tax break to those wealthy enough to own a family home. The bigger a house you can afford the larger tax break you get. Meanwhile those who can’t afford a home are taxed on their investments. Upper-middle class welfare.

      • just saying 18.2.1

        Didn’t even see that one. I guess it’s a form of bean blindness.

      • Colonial Viper 18.2.2

        What the heck are you smoking, mate?

        • just saying

          I take it you’ve never picked beans for a living?

        • Tamati

          I was hoping you and your cabal would have put a policy remit up eliminating, or at least capping, the “family home” CGT exemption.

      • Mary 18.2.3

        Can you explain just a little bit more what you mean?

        • Tamati

          I’m talking about the exemption of the family home in the capital gains tax. Basically it’s a regressive tax break which favors those who can afford houses, the bigger your house, the bigger your tax break.

          • Lanthanide

            Yes, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

            • Tamati

              That’s a bit of a cop out! How is a regressive taxation scheme a “step in the right direction”?

              • Lanthanide

                How is *adding* a capital gains tax that affects those wealthy enough to own multiple houses and shares, but doesn’t affect those who own a family home, regressive?

                • Tamati

                  Because the benefits of those exempted from the tax will disproportionately favour those with greater assets. Specifically,

                  -Those with houses will get significant portion of their capital gains tax free, those who can’t afford a house will be fully taxed on any capital gains.

                  -Those with bigger homes get a larger tax break than those with smaller homes.

                  -The “family home” will be implicitly favoured as investment over all other investments. Doing up the kitchen will be tax free but starting a new business will not be. End result, home improvement become the leading growth sector in the economy.

                  -Finally how ambiguous is the term “family home” ? In this day and age it’s difficult to define what a family is, let alone what a family home is. Lawyers and accountants will find creative loopholes, benefiting those who can afford their services. (And of course the lawyers and accountants!)

                  -I’m sure the “family business” exemption will be even more ambiguous.

                  I’m all for a comprehensive capital gains tax, just get rid of these stupid exemptions.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Next you’ll be saying taking GST off fresh fruit and vegetables is regressive.

                  • locus

                    Tamati, it’s misguided – and imo classist – to say “Because the benefits of those exempted from the tax will disproportionately favour those with greater assets.”

                    Yes there is an obvious urgency for building more State homes, but we must do whatever else we can to discourage the rentier class from buying 2nd, 3rd, 4th… homes. This is the target of the CGT.

                    I take your point about lawyers and accountants, which is why we must take special care in setting up the CGT so that there are no means of tax avoidance, clever loopholes, trusts etc…

                    However I strongly disagree with CGT on the family home. And even more so with the argument that you should not exempt CGT on the family home on the grounds that this would “disproportionately favour” those with more valuable assets.

                    The purpose of exempting CGT on the family home is to ensure people (rich or poor) aren’t unfairly penalised when they have to move.

                    When you move, you sell your home and then buy another one at the same going market rate. Irrespective of whether your home is worth 200k or 900k, you are already up for the costs of buying/ selling/ mortgage/ removals.

                    If someone has worked hard all their life and bought a family home over many years, why should they have to pay CGT just because they have to move to another town for work?

                    For many NZers at whatever level, having a mortgage free family home by retirement is their dream.

                    Let’s not forget it’s the rentier class who are the target for CGT because their ‘business’ is what pushes up prices and makes homes less available for first buyers. They cynically and/or happily exploit tax breaks for the running costs on their additional properties. Meanwhile government rent assistance for the poor ultimately trickles upwards into the landlords’ pockets

                    I have no idea why you think that “doing up the kitchen will be tax free”. I haven’t heard anyone say that a CGT exemption on selling your only home will include tax exemption on doing it up.

                    btw most people want to do up their home to make it a nicer place to live in – and ultimately to add value. What’s wrong with that?!

                    • tamati

                      I’m not sure why you are calling me ‘classist’ for saying I think all investments should be treated equally. I’m currently in the process for saving for a deposit and just think it’s unfair that I’ll be taxed on my investments while those who can afford a home largely will not be. If that is “classism” then guilty as charged.

                    • tamati

                      -Unfortunately taking “special care” when writing the legislation won’t be enough to prevent entirely legal exploitation of this exemption. Tax law is immensely complex, and this just adds another layer of confusion.

                      -My point is why should we favor houses over other capital investments? I’ve worked hard (but not yet long) and invested my savings in shares. I want to buy a house eventually but don’t yet have enough for a deposit.

                      -The problem with the exemption is it favors the “upper middle” much more than the “lower middle” and provides precisely nothing to the bottom of the heap. We should be flipping this on it’s head.

                      -Re-doing the kitchen will absolutely be a tax free investment. Any gains in house value as a result will not be taxed, but backing more productive investments will be taxed. If we want to grow our economy we need people to invest outside housing, this tax system will only encourage it.

                      -Encouraging people to renovate will only increase the spread of “McMansions”, houses will become more expensive. (I do concede that fewer people owning rentals may offset this.)

                      -Far better would be have a CGT exemption window that could be accrued over time. You get $10,000 of tax free gain from any source per person per year. This will allow those with modest houses to avoid moderate capital gains when they move.

                  • QoT

                    Finally how ambiguous is the term “family home”

                    I understand this is actually not that ambiguous at all, since similar definitions are already being applied to Kiwisaver withdrawals.

                    • tamati

                      My understanding is that the Kiwisaver withdrawals apply to the “first home” not the family home.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Actually QoT is correct.

                      There are two separate aspects of KiwiSaver help for home buyers, which are usually confused together.

                      1. Deposit subsidy, of $1,000 per person per year when they’ve been contributing to KS for at least 3 years, with a maximum cap of $5k per person. So a couple can get $10k this way.

                      In order to be eligible for the deposit subsidy there are several extra conditions that must be met, such as the value of the house you are purchasing and your combined taxable income.

                      2. Fund withdrawal. If you are purchasing your first home, or in a financial situation substantially similar to a person who is purchasing their first home, then you are able to withdraw a good portion of all of your kiwisaver contributions: I believe it is employee + employer + voluntary contributions + returns, but not the government tax subsidy or $1,000 kickstart.

                      You are able to do both 1 and 2 if you meet the eligibility criteria and conditions. One of the conditions applied to both options is that it must be your principal place of residence and cannot be an investment property. This is relevant for option #2 where if you’re in a “financial situation substantially similar to a person who is purchasing their first home” you can still qualify for the fund withdrawal, even though the house you’re buying isn’t your *first* house. The actual definition of “financial situation substantially…” more or less boils down to the same income-testing as applied to the eligibility criteria for #1.

    • bad12 18.3

      Lolz you say it better than what i could…

  19. just saying 19

    From wiki
    Habituation is a decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated presentations.[1] As a procedure, habituation is the repeated presentation of an eliciting stimulus that results in the decline of the elicited behavior (the process of habituation). This can be rooted from one becoming accustomed to a stimulus to such an extent, that one is simply less responsive or reactive to the stimulus. This process is gradual and is caused after prolonged exposure to the said stimulus.

    After a period of picking beans, which are the same colour as the leaves of the plant, your brain stops “seeing” them. You have keep refocussing your mind which is thorughly sick of looking at beans.

    The analogy is that I’m very habituated to Labour’s incessant middle-class bribes. It may mean I miss some. Sorry a bit obtuse.

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    David and Karen have joined us at a nice restaurant in Merivale. Awesome feeling here. Patrons at the restaurant asking to have photos taken with him.

    • just saying 20.1

      Please ask him what he intends to do for the poorest million.
      There is still time to announce a massive state housing build and the removal of gst.

      • bad12 20.1.1

        i second that…

      • Lanthanide 20.1.2

        GST might be regressive but it is a tax in the appropriate place – consumption.

        You’ll find very few tax jurisdictions that don’t have some form of consumption tax.

        • bad12

          What were you saying about a fairer tax system again, tax the hell out of the poorest as a % of their income and add a couple of cents to the top eaners tax rate and hey presto the poorest pay the same % on their income as the richest do,

          Then??? bribe the middle class to vote for you with it…

          • Lanthanide

            Adding taxes that apply to high-income earners and those who dodge taxes, while not touching the rest of the tax system, is making it fairer.

            Removing GST would also be fairer.

            But it is not incorrect to say the tax system will be fairer when it is broadened at the expense of those who should be paying more, and not changed at all for those who are already paying what they should.

            • Tamati

              Agreed. An implicit tax break for those with mansions in Parnell or Herne Bay would only shift the burden down the ladder.

              • Lanthanide

                Except they already have an “implicit tax break” right now, but not just on their mansions, on all of their property.

                • tamati

                  But that applies universally to all investors. You’re advocating removing this exemption from those too poor to buy their own home.

                    • tamati

                      See my other posts. Basically adding a capital gain tax is good, but providing an exemption on the basis of the value of your home is unfair.

                    • Lanthanide

                      The exemption doesn’t apply on the basis of the value of your home. It applies on the basis of it being the home you live in, regardless of the home’s value.

  21. bad12 21

    An insurance company, now that’s really really RED, thank god i chucked my membership in long ago,

    As just saying has been saying, if it’s socialism, it’s the socialism of ,for, and by the middle class…

    • Lanthanide 21.1

      TV1 news says it’s almost an identical policy to one NZFirst announced 2 weeks ago.

      • bad12 21.1.1

        Yeah i mention that down at (22), might be a radical lurch to the left from an old Tory like Winston, but the flagship announcement at the first conference of the new Leader of Labour, hardly RED looks more washed out pink from here,

        Thank god i wasn’t sucked into renewing my membership…

  22. peterlepaysan 22

    This is the first time I have been able to take the NZLP seriously since 1987, (I gave them the benefit of doubt post 1984).

    There is a whiff of Norman Kirk about this guy.

    Just hope the FWITS at the conference do not derail everything (again!).

    • bad12 22.1

      There’s a whiff of something about that guy, and it certainly aint Norm Kirk, the same old platitudes that Slippery trots out and an idea for an insurance company half inched of Winston Peters,

      That old Tory Peters coming up with the idea of the state owning an insurance company might be pretty left wing considering where Winston comes from, but pffft…

  23. bad12 23

    Dear Dave, after you have finished your fine dinner do you think you could brush a few crumbs our way,
    Yours, some sickness Bene’s…

  24. MrSmith 24

    Go you good thing Cunliffe, love the insurance idea after a 70% increase in the last 2 years.

  25. xtasy 25

    That was a very good speech indeed by David Cunliffe, truly gripping and inspiring!

    I worry a bit about him going a bit over the top, as expectations by some may be a bit disappointed later on. This speech has a totally different tone to that what Cunliffe said in an interview on focus on politics on Radio NZ National today.


    But as many need to be “excited” out of their slumber of years of mainstream media brainwashing (or “infestation”), that Key is a such a great “golden boy” and has the sun shine out of all kinds of peculiar body parts, I sense there is a justified need to whip up the political “lingo” a bit.

    I will nevertheless party vote Greens or even Mana next year, possibly even an electorate candidate from the Greens (if they put one up), simply to keep Labour “in check”, to not forget their social policy heritage and modern, overdue, effective environmental policies that protect this country from yet more senseless exploitation.

  26. QoT 26

    I can’t believe I’m going to beat Tat to congratulating Cunliffe on the “fracking clue” line.

    … wait, what do you mean it wasn’t a Battlestar reference? 😛

  27. Venezia 27

    That speech is a breath of fresh air which gives me hope. As for Patrick Gower – his effort on the 6 pm news was a disgrace. He should be sacked.

    • tc 27.1

      That is what Gower is paid to do, get used to it and much more from this so called ‘media’ who are actually mediums for their masters message rather than reporters of fact with intelligent context added.

      The more intelligent MSM nactiods are more subtle and normally never push their mug on camera like smellstrong in his granny ivory tower and farrer pushing the lines from behind his website etc.

  28. ak 28

    Time off.

    Solid start from the kiwis. Played out their set of six soundly, assuring kick pinning the tories at their own end.

    More of the same needed for the rest of this half, particularly from the workmen. Hard hit-ups.

    Defence a priority. MUST lead into the break.

    Never underestimate Silent Shon, line speed essential in the doorknocking/leafletting area from now until half time (only six more weeks on the clock).

    Save razzle-dazzle for the second half: Christmas bonus to compensate for Ruth lass cuts/Special Benefit lunacy will seal it.

    Above all, maintain discipline. No room for the slightest swipe. Video ref Paddy Hitler. Keep line at all costs.

    And for Christ’s sake, take your Greens.

    Now get out there and show them what kiwis are!

  29. Peter Revell 29

    No greens, no pudding

  30. Tracey 30

    House insurance is one of the first things to go, along with the mythical health insurance when you are low income. However just cos the press choose kiwiassure as labours flagship policy doesnt make it so.

    A different choice in copy and paste and minimum and living wage could be flagship policies from that speech.

    I would have preferred the focus stayed on fairness rather than building…. it was always going to draw a comparison to brighter future…

  31. Grunty 31

    “will nevertheless party vote Greens or even Mana next year, possibly even an electorate candidate from the Greens (if they put one up), simply to keep Labour “in check”,”
    Labour has to win first – I hope voters of your persuasion dont mind another 3 years of NACT because of your wasted votes ….

    • weka 31.1

      Where is the wasted vote?

    • xtasy 31.2

      Grunty – NO “wasted” vote at all, it is called smart, strategic voting, for the most likely “natural” government partner that Labour will need.

      I am open to vote Labour again, provided they also cover policies that are crucial and very dear to me. I will not bend over for those still partly blinkered and “bene-hating” “centrists” in some vague “middle class”, to give me yet more lashes on my bare bottom, as the convenient “beneficiary whipping boy”!

      Sorry to disappoint you, go out and make sure Labour will win then, it is your call, if you wish to take it personally. I am with Labour as leading future government party, but they do from my view need to be kept “honest” and in check, to actually stick to and also honour the nice lingo of a New Zealand for ALL!

  32. bad12 32

    Well wasn’t that a grand Labour Party Conference, the new RED Labour, ditcher of neo-liberalism and all that made the grand announcement,

    Yes an insurance company, have the heralds blow the trumpets long and loud, send out the message to the lost tribe of voters Labour is here to save them with an insurance company, now that’s what i call a grand vision,

    Could it tho, this insurance company, be a cunning signal to NZFirst who came up with the very same policy befor the light went on in David Cunliffe’s cavity,

    Then again could it be imagined that as ‘He’ thought up such a stunning strategem, this insurance company, to fire up the activist, turn out the million non-voters, sweep all opposition befor Him, that David Cunliffe had a funny feeling in the back of His mind ‘that He had heard this idea befor’, but, couldn’t quite pin down where it came from, Ghandi perhaps, Nelson Mandela maybe,

    They say the best form of flattery is mimicry and Winston Peters must be sitting ome place right now laughing fit to bust over the ‘Labour Party idea’ to have a Government insurance company,

    Did anything of any import other than the ‘insurance company’ come out of the Labour Conference, i would love to hear about it if there was, build half a dozen State Houses perhaps,

    Child poverty got a mention from Dave, so He knows it exists, maybe there’s no need to seriously address this child poverty after all it aint like it’s killing anyone, is it???…

  33. Grunty 33

    If National win another term all this hope will be wasted – watch the destruction that will follow

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    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
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    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
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  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
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    1 week ago

  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
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    23 hours ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
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    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
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    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
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    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
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    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
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    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
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  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
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    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
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  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
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    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
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    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
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    3 weeks ago
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    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Step Closer for European Union Free Trade Agreement
    New Zealand has moved closer to ratifying the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the First Reading of legislation to bring the Agreement into force being held in Parliament today.   “Almost a decade after preparatory talks first began on an FTA with the European Union, I’m pleased to ...
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    3 weeks ago

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