David Shearer’s second e-newsletter

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, August 18th, 2012 - 47 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

This week our MPs have been back in Parliament, holding National to account on the issues that matter to New Zealanders.

Education is top of our agenda. National is running down our public education system. They’re not ruling out increasing class sizes in future. And John Key says parents shouldn’t get ‘hung up’ on the fact their children may be taught by unqualified teachers in charter schools. The Prime Minister was out of the country this week, so I tackled Bill English on the issue in the House. It is incredible that the Minister and his colleagues think parents shouldn’t be worried about their children getting a quality education. Education is a priority for Labour. It’s the only way to make sure our children get the best start in life.

The Social Development Minster’s flippant attitude to the well-being of our children was exposed this week when she refused to quantify the problem of child poverty under questioning from Jacinda Ardern, Labour’s social development spokesperson. Paula Bennett simply doesn’t want to admit how bad the situation is or to expose her failure to deal with the issue. She has released submissions to her paper on vulnerable children but it shows she is ignoring key issues like poverty and poor housing.

Parliament will get a chance to debate child poverty after a bill was drawn from the members’ ballot to extend the universal in-work tax credit. Labour will support the bill through to select committee because we are committed to reducing child poverty and this is a useful opportunity to debate new ideas about how to help the 20% of children living in poverty in New Zealand. Extending the in-work tax credit was our policy at the last election. We are looking at a range of ways to address the issue but in the meantime we support all attempts to highlight the issue and the Government’s failure to do so.

We also took the Social Development Minister to task this week over her disgraceful attitude to privacy. Paula Bennett breached the privacy of a woman when she made details of her benefit payments public while trying to score political points. She’s refused to apologise and says she may do it again in future. Bill English has chipped in too saying that if people challenge the Government they can’t expect to have their privacy respected. That’s appalling and well below the standard I would apply to any of my Ministers. Clearly, your private information is not safe with this Government.

I’ve been getting plenty of feedback on my newsletter last week, so please keep it coming. As this week’s newsletter shows, we’ve renewed our focus on working as a team to highlight National’s dead-end approach for New Zealand and to say what Labour would do differently.

Thank you for your help too in getting the Labour message out to New Zealanders.

Warm regards,

David.

NEWS IN BRIEF

Congrats to our Olympians! They did a fantastic job bringing home 13 medals – six of them Gold. Our athletes have really done us proud. Click here to watch my speech about their tremendous efforts.

We’ve continued fighting for the issues that matter to our regions, focusing on transport. Phil Twyford has led the charge against the Government’s stripping of funding for local roads to spend on big city motorways that aren’t a priority. One Mayor has told us that tar-sealed back roads in his community are being returned to gravel because they don’t have the funding to maintain them. That’s just not on. The regions make a massive contribution to our economy and it’s not fair that residents miss out on decent roads and other services.

David Parker and David Cunliffe have had the Government on the ropes over its so-called ‘comprehensive exports plan’ which boils down to story-telling, branding and photo opportunities. In contrast, Labour has a strong plan to deliver real growth in exports by increasing our investment pool through boosting savings and pro-growth tax reform. You can see more of our ideas in David Parker’s speech to the EPMU here.

Darien Fenton is calling for a high-level inquiry into the exploitation of migrant workers. TVNZ’s One News has exposed cases of migrant workers being blatantly ripped-off. Some were being offered pay rates of just $8 an hour. That’s disgusting.

Our Women’s Affairs Spokesperson Sue Moroney confronted the Government over its lack of commitment to reducing violence against women. She grilled the Women’s Affairs Minister in the House about news that Rape Crisis has had to cut back its services in Wellington because of a funding cut.

Last week, I attended the memorial service for our two fallen soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan. Labour joins with their family and friends in mourning the loss of two dedicated young New Zealanders. I passed on our sincere condolences in Parliament.

47 comments on “David Shearer’s second e-newsletter”

  1. xtasy 1

    “The Prime Minister was out of the country this week, so I tackled Bill English on the issue in the House.”

    I heard this question when watching the repeat of question time on Parliament TV. That question re unqualified teachers in planned charter schools was answered by English in his usual, dismissive and distracting manner, but I had the impression he felt hardly “tackled” by the challenge.

    Also Nationals argument is that those “teachers” or other experts simply do not need to be “registered”, which is a bit different to “unqualified”.

    And that is the only question from David Shearer that I actually remember having been asked in the House last week.

    Good for attacking the government, where it happened, but I feel, that many readers and commenters here, same as in the traditional and prospective Labour voter base, and certainly also the wider public, would like to hear a bit more about the alternatives that a Labour led government could and would offer.

    And for: “Darien Fenton is calling for a high-level inquiry into the exploitation of migrant workers.”

    This is certainly NOT a new problem. It must be addressed, but a high level inquiry will not solve much. I know through wider associates that it is more widespread than many may think, and for a young, trendy and aspiring journalist from TVNZ to suddely “discover” this is absolut bull-shit journalism.

    There are stories I raised with MSM journos, but they were never interested before!

    • David H 1.1

      If s thats a good week then why am I so unimpressed. Where was Cunliffe ripping English a new one ? No, all we got was a luke warm utterance from Parker, a light weight compared to Cunliffe. And, hey Shearer! 2 questions DO NOT make a good week!

    • Karl Marx 1.2

      If parents don’t want their children to be taught by unqualified teachers, then they don’t have to send them there.

      A tertiary qualification does not instantly grant somebody the ability to perform. The fact of the matter is that many teachers who are qualified are complete shite. Another by-product of the 9 dark years and comrade Helen’s rule.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    This has been done before, better …

    http://www.compulink.co.uk/~stevemann/albion.htm

  3. QoT 3

    and to say what Labour would do differently.

    Except … he doesn’t. “Education is a priority”, “we’ll support a bill at first reading only” .. the closest he gets is “I would hold my Ministers to basic ethical standards”. Even given a plum opportunity to commit to funding Rape Crisis, he doesn’t, just says “Sue Moroney confronted the government” and leaves “what Labour would do differently” hanging.

    It’s all framed with such a boring set of basic madlibs (the opening sentence should theoretically apply to any week when the House is sitting, for starters). I guess it works if you assume the readership are already Labour supporters, but are they the people Shearer needs to be talking to right now?

  4. Sunny 4

    This email news letter is another epic fail and a sure and certain sign that nothing is changing over at the bats in the attic caucus. It’s dull, predictable, insincere, cringe making (soldiers aren’t ‘the fallen’. That romantic claptrap is designed to keep sending young men to their deaths for access to oil and gas) It’s stupid, out of touch and wouldn’t inspire me to follow the ‘leadership’ out of a wet paper bag. Get someone who can do the job or get the hell out! Now!

  5. Clashman 5

    If this weeks performance in Parliament by Labour is considered to be “tackling” and “taking to task” the Govt., then it looks like the Nats are gonna have two more easy years and another win at the next election.

  6. This newsletter is a lot sharper and more pointed than the first.  IMHO it is a significant improvement.  I think the Goffice (or is that now the Shoffice?) is listening.

    • seeker 6.1

      I agree mickey s.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        They are listening ms and seeker!

        I think that might be one of the reasons why a certain husband and wife team are currently very upset with The Standard. Mind you, I agree with IrishBill. A few commenters here have gone a bit over the top with their criticism. (ms not included.)

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Yep there was more of an edge to this email and I quite liked it. I had read it originally thinking it was going to be more soft PR cheese but it managed to be more substantial. As Carol suggests below, a pass grade.

  7. Carol 8

    Uninspiring summary of the week. C+

    Some of the general aims seem OK. But who’d want to read it other than the Labour faithful.

  8. cron 9

    This government is crazy. One minute they want to increase the quality of teaching (cut costs through raising class sizes) and next bring in untrained teachers. The underlining motive for National is to have an uneducated cheap labour force while cutting the overall expense of Public Education. Wait for it though- more money for Private Schools. Come on David you need to be even more vocal for the future of our children!

  9. Honestly, Labour should be writing for general audiences on their website regularly and just link to their articles via their newsletter, it works well for the Greens.

    • xtasy 10.1

      What Shearer should have done long ago is:
      Challenge TVNZ to give him a spot on Breakfast after the Prime Minister’s weekly chattery to the drivel hungry public. Also he should phone Radio Live and offer himself to do an hour a month free talk back with listeners. Maybe put a bit of pressure on by stating, that Labour may look at broadcasting standards and a boost for quality public broadcasting in the future, and if they do not offer him the same “privilege” as Key, they may be facing a new standards regime, that could cause major losses in listeners and viewers for them.

      And of course, it is due to hammer out a bit more of a plan now, it will soon be a year since the last election, heading for mid term of this government. So get cracking, Labour, ideally with a more charismatic, more aggressive and convincing leader. But that is for Labour members and caucus to sort, right?

  10. BM 11

    I like the way Labour are heading, finally back on track with David Shearer at the helm.

    Even I, some one who has never voted Labour may give the party some consideration at the next election.

    • Anne 11.1

      Oh dear…

      • Salsy 11.1.1

        Exactly Anne…

        • BM 11.1.1.1

          Why?, I prefer a more moderate, centre orientated Labour party.
          Hell of a lot more voters out there like me than there are of the type that’s found on here.

          • dancerwaitakere 11.1.1.1.1

            Because the Labour Party was not started to be a party of the center.

            It is the party of the workers and disenfranchised, for the workers and disenfranchised.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              And last seen acting as such around Kirk’s time…

            • BM 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Times change, have to move with them.
              National was started initially to represent farmers they’re now a hell of a lot broader that, you would be stunned how many blue collar/no collar workers vote National.

              • Colonial Viper

                But you notice how National has never abandoned its traditional farmer base? And in fact still goes out of its way to look after them, despite ongoing criticism of irrigation schemes etc.

                The Nats are smart – they know how to protect and enhance their core support.

                Times change, have to move with them.

                Stick with the tried and true, not the flavour of the month.

                • BM

                  The Nats are smart – they know how to protect and enhance their core support.

                  Do you think going hardcore socialist is going to enhance the core support of Labour.
                  I don’t.

  11. gobsmacked 12

    A suggestion for David Shearer:

    In the next newsletter, please give specific details for your diary (private/family matters aside).

    “On Monday I did ABC, on Tuesday I did XYZ”, etc.

    What the general public see is: Shearer asks a question in the House (that’s 5 minutes). Plus some regular media slots.

    But the news doesn’t stop. The media keep reporting the news – and the Labour leader isn’t there. Sometimes I do a search for “David Shearer” on Google News and … “Your search found no results.”

    Where are you? OK, maybe the MSM are all meanies and don’t report your many activities and statements (though they seem able to tell us what the Greens or Winston or Hone are up to). Well, this newsletter can directly by-pass the media.

    I am a politics junkie and I have no idea what the Leader of the Opposition (sic) did this week on Thursday, Friday, Saturday … and if politics junkies don’t, you can be damn sure those “swing voters” you’re after won’t have a clue.

    So, please tell us. Thanks.

    • xtasy 12.1

      gobsmacked:

      Shearer asked 2 questions during question time this week just gone. That is as far as I can count. It was question 1 on the 14th (to which he refers in his e newsletter), and a question 3 on the 15th. Correct me if I am wrong.

      Both were addressed within not that much time, as far as I can recall. See the parliamentary notes:

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/Default.htm?search=378174212

      Yes, I am a little bit of a “political junkie” too, I admit, and I tend to follow the news and more regularly, in NZ and overseas.

      So it is right, Shearer has his good moments and scores, but few bother to follow Parliament TV or radio, only some listen and watch the news, but most the media is regrettably “main stream”. They are manipulative, but as you say, they do at least now and then report on what certain pollies say or do, and they also have some interviews.

      Shearer could do well with some more media training and exposure, even though he likes to be just the ordinary nice guy from around the corner.

      Peters is good, and the Greens have also worked out how to use msm. I am sure that more can be done by Labour.

    • just saying 12.2

      On Monday I did ABC…
      Had to laugh.

  12. “Confronted the government”
    “Hold the nats to account”
    “On the ropes”
    “Took the minister to task”

    Is the above a desire or a reality?

    I watch parliament tv and have never seen any strong opposition
    appart from adern,cunliffe,robertson at times.
    At the time when there needs to be a statement to media on the
    absolute hypocrisy and absolute affront by the nats to the section
    of the community that labour are meant to look out for,there is
    nothing, we wait and wait and wait,still nothing.
    This newsletter i suspect has had more than one hand on it,
    more than one brain,more than one idelogical viewpoint and
    i am not buying in to labour’s attempt to appease those who
    have their hands on their own keyboard and can reply to such
    drivel.

    • xtasy 13.1

      To be honest, at present, I see Robertson as the best bet for a leader, NOT Shearer, and Cunliffe must improve his team and social skills, then we can talk! Ardern needs a few more years to grow into the role, she has potential though, same as too timid Hipkins, although he is trying and doing well at times. There is also some other hidden potential, but they ALL need LEADERSHIP and thus motivation.

      • Rhinocrates 13.1.1

        I wish you were right, but Robertson is my electorate MP and my impression of him is that of someone who is a competent party apparatchik who is a useful manager, but not leadership material. On a number of issues, he’s talked big and failed to follow through. That’s the kindest thing I could say about him and I think that ultimately, he’s more a part of the problem, not the solution. Keep him on maybe, but not as leader.

        • xtasy 13.1.1.1

          thanks for front line feedback! May need a bit more before further judgment!

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1

            So, what’s the poison of the evening? 😛

            • blue leopard 13.1.1.1.1.1

              @ cv

              …oh gee! did you HAVE to say that CV?…I sense another batch of hysteria from Snake Oil blog spot welling…. 🙂

            • xtasy 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Poison should be: Palace Revolt! I am waiting for it! I t is there in abundance, just needs to be spilled!

  13. AmaKiwi 14

    “Paula Bennett breached the privacy of a woman . . . Bill English has chipped in too saying that if people challenge the Government they can’t expect to have their privacy respected. That’s appalling and well below the standard I would apply to any of my Ministers. Clearly, your private information is not safe with this Government.”

    NO! It’s not appalling, it’s criminal. They have declared war on our right to privacy. If I complain, they will publish my tax returns, health records, psychological evaluations, military record, school reports, police reports . . . anything and everything!

    Labour was mistaken to not DEMAND Paula Bennett be removed from office.

    This is a brazen criminal mentality.

    “National is the party of law and order. Yeah right!”

    Labour should also demand that EVERY government file on Paula Bennett be made public immediately.

    • blue leopard 14.1

      @ AmaKiwi

      agree

      Would it come under false advertising that this is found on the WINZ website:

      Listed under “what you can expect from us”

      You have the right to:
      be treated with courtesy and respect [FAILED]
      cultural sensitivity
      use any of our services
      be given information about the services we offer
      be given correct information and entitlements
      be listened to
      be given fair, non-judgemental service [FAILED]
      have your information kept private and confidential [FAILED]
      have any decisions we make explained to you
      have a support person there whenever you deal with us
      make a complaint or ask for a review if you disagree with us. [FAILED]

      http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/your-rights-and-responsibilities/our-service-charter.html

      What is the point of having service charters when they are not followed by the head of MSD?

    • xtasy 14.2

      National: “National is the party of law and order. Yeah right!”

      Yeah, it is the party of ORDER for some, for the privileged and who have their OWN kind of order. Law is dispensable, because everyone has a different interpretation of law and justice. So they just laugh about it. They are quite experienced at laughing about it, since they cut legal aid to make it so unattractive for lawyers, hardly any are left to work for that kind of pittance.

    • Murray Olsen 14.3

      It’s totalitarian mentality, where the government is not bound by the law. All opposition parties should be all over it. To my mind, it’s the most dangerous thing this regime has done. Bennett has no place in a decent society, let alone in parliament.

  14. xtasy 15

    Shearer for Minister of Education, full power, but NOT for Prime Minister, I am sorry!

  15. Gawd i watched a n—i programme on tv last night,it was hard watching but
    bought up how a certain power can target one section of a community and
    destroy it totally in the eyes of others,while retaining the premis that they
    deserved it and no-one stood up and said ‘thats wrong,its needs to stop’
    persecution of a certain section of nz’ers is under underway of being
    totally destroyed by a dictatorship here and those followers on the right
    and left, say’go ahead, make my day’
    Just what the hell has happened to nz when even the left and shearer can’t
    standup and protect those on sickness and invalids benefits? and publicly
    denounces them,doctors evaluations don’t count anymore either,just
    politicians views.
    No amount of e-newsletters will correct the feeling that labour has
    deserted the core vorters,it started in clark’s time and continues on
    in earnest.

  16. Tim 17

    at the time of trawling through all this, I was watching Dateline London on BBC World News. A commentary on the Mit and his mates. Some toff commented that Romney has now done the ultimate, and outsourced his brain.
    Shudda cudda wudda taken a look at NZ politics! Key outsourced his a long time ago and chose to live on persnil krisma, smiling and waving, and the esprayshnull hope (and knowledge) of a knighthood.
    I hope Shearer hasn’t done likewise though – just about now I suspect he may well have done – to a pair of “thoroughly nice Chardonay-drinking, sheep-raising, (and probably olive-picking) gorgeous people whose primary concerns seem to be a good surname (in the case of Josie), and that bloody awful traffic they have to encounter when negotiating some SUV type vehicle onto a perfectly adequate highway – presumably to deliver the offspring to unaffordable daycare-to most, or to (let’s slum it shall we? – some Kapiti Coast state skool)

    God I’m disappointed (so far) in Robertson – just for a start!
    I’ve been wondering how I could possibly vote for Labour ever again!. Adhern, Hipkins, Robertson and one or two others were BEGINNING to turn me around. But as is generally the case with Labour who have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot, they’ve so far FUCKED it royally!
    Get a fucking GRIP people!
    Why newter the very people that provide you with half a chance?
    I know – it must be the cheep wine and gorgeous little soirees and all that feigned concern for the underdog. Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing Shearer harp on about the benefits of philanthropy by the well-off ffs! And this cnut was supposedly in the UN in African territories?
    GIVE ME A FCKIN BREAK. I could give the guy stories about refugees here in NZ who have been separated from kith and kin travelling Ethiopian and Sudanese zomes whilst living on snakes and monkeys in order to survive and who NOW get regularly ripped off by empoyers DESPITE promises of a better life.

    GET WITH THE FUKN PROGRAM David! Jacinta, Chris, Grant (and quite a few others). As IF there wasn;’t enough evidence in order to embarrass this gubbamint into ekshun. Either that or go get a real job if its all too hard – I’m sure there’s a Pulla Bent (being a ploimint sultint) that could advoise

  17. AmaKiwi 18

    Here is what Shearer should have asked about privacy during question time:

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/norman-reveals-threats-to-privacy-and.html

  18. bad12 19

    Dear Dave,

    I find i am a little short this week what with bills and stuff to pay, do you think you might be able to manage to sweep a couple of extra Mango skins off of the table in my direction,

    Thanks,
    A sicknes bene…

    • Craig Glen Eden 19.1

      Yup theickness Beneficiary comment was the first sign that the illness is indeed terminal.The question becomes how long will it take to kill the Patient.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    3 hours ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    3 hours ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    9 hours ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    2 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    1 week ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More beneficiaries heading to jail, fewer to study
    The latest quarterly benefit figures show a rising number of beneficiaries have left the benefit because they have gone to prison, while fewer are going into study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “According to recent figures, in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Analyst charts failure of National’s housing policy
    Respected analyst Rodney Dickens has published a devastating critique of National’s housing policy, and says Labour’s policies give more hope, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Mr Dickens shows since the signing of the Auckland Housing Accord in 2013 the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Cost of Living increases hit those with least the hardest
    Beneficiaries, superannuitants and people on the lowest incomes continue to bear the brunt of higher inflation, according to the latest data from Statistics NZ, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to office (December 2008) inflation for those ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Pike River Mine families deserve more
    The Government must be more open and honest about the Pike River Mine says Dunedin South’s  Labour MP Clare Curran.   “It’s just wrong that the Commerce Select Committee has refused a Labour Party request to re-open its investigation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government goalposts taken off the field
    The Government’s decision to dump the Better Public Service (BPS) Target to Reduce Reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017 shows when it comes to measuring their progress the National Government hasn’t just shifted the goalposts, but has taken the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Last call of the kea?
    Last weekend, I attended the first ever Kea Konvention jointly organised by the Kea Conservation Trust and Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand. It was a power-packed weekend full of presentations by scientists, volunteers and NGOS working to raise awareness of this ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 weeks ago