Election 2017: the battle lines are drawn

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, July 17th, 2017 - 77 comments
Categories: class, climate change, don brash, Donald Trump, election 2017, greens, Jeremy Corbyn, labour, making shit up, marama fox, Media, national, nz first, Politics, polls, same old national, Shane Jones, winston peters - Tags:

What a weekend …

First there was the attempted splash on Labour suggesting that the latest UMR poll had seem its support drop significantly. While this may be true the Roy Morgan poll released at the same time showed a significant increase in support for Labour. And both polls suggested that National has shed 5% points of support in the last month and is now at 42-43%. The headline should have been that National’s support crumbles. Making it a Labour problem when the evidence was much less clear was weird.

Then the Greens had the opportunity to get their campaign running and boy did they take that opportunity. Saturday was all about climate change and New Zealand’s insipid response. The world has at most a decade to do something meaningful about climate change. New Zealand’s next Parliament has a huge job to do.

And Sunday was a revelation, possibly the most significant political event since Don Brash’s Orewa speech. The Greens came out with a brave policy to essentially reverse National’s benefit cuts imposed by the mother of all budgets in 1991. They also propose removal of financial penalties and excessive sanctions, ameliorating abatement rules and a reduction in the bottom tax rate. And the policy that will make National fume? A new top tax bracket of 40% on income over $150,000.

The aspect that has caught much of the media’s attention is Metiria Turei’s acknowledgment that in the 1990s she lied to WINZ so that she could receive sufficient to feed her child. This eptomises the importance of an adequate benefit. Our future lawyers and politicians may need help at a stage of their life to get through a hard time and this is why the benefit should be set at a liveable level.

The right have climbed in and demanded that she be prosecuted. There is an offence under the Social Security Act 1964 of making a false statement to continue to receive a benefit. There is a 12 month limitation period which starts after WINZ finds out about the alleged fraud.

There is also the Crimes Act offence of fraud for which charges can be filed at any time.

There are two problems with the right’s demand. Firstly the specific dates would have to be established and currently the dates are t0o vague. Secondly the allegation is far too old. I cannot imagine any court wanting to deal with any claim and would dismiss any prosecution because undue delay has occurred.  Besides we all have things in our past which we may not be proud of.

And the claim is extraordinarily facile. People should be respected when they front up and say that they have done something wrong. And Bill English received significant advantage by claiming an occupation allowance when he should not have and Todd Barclay’s refusal to cooperate with the police allegation into his alleged bugging of his staff suggests that National’s desire to cooperate with authorities into inquiries involving National MPs is low.

Good on Metiria and good on the Greens. They have presented brave principled policy that I am sure Jeremy Corbyn would agree with.

Meanwhile Winston Peters was also making a splash, while at the same time making the thought of a Labour-Green-New Zealand First Government very unlikely.

He has announced two bottom lines, binding referenda on reducing the size of Parliament to 100 and binding referenda on ending the Maori seats. He better talk to Shane Jones about the latter policy as Jones has very recently stated that the seats should be retained. Immigration would also be slashed.

Peters’ policy received a big tick from Don Brash and a big cross from Maori Party’s Marama Fox. The policy presents the possibility that the Maori Party may be prised away from the National Party if Peters holds the balance of power and follows through with the proposal. Interesting times …

If the Greens adopted the Jeremy Corbyn uplifting campaign style then Peters is clearly borrowing from Donald Trump. The trouble for National is that I suspect they will lose the most votes from Peter’s proposals whereas the Green’s welfare policy is likely to get more people voting which is exactly what Labour and the Greens need.

Whatever happens the 2017 election campaign has well and truly started. And it looks like Labour-Green verses National-NZ First.  We have just under 10 weeks to change the Government.

77 comments on “Election 2017: the battle lines are drawn”

  1. garibaldi 1

    I think this is the game breaker we have been waiting for. Metiria has stabbed neoliberalism with this policy and set this election alight. Go the Greens!!

  2. Irascible 2

    Our canvassing in The blue seat of Botany has revealed that there are more disillusioned National supporters drifting to NZF than there are Labour supporters considering such a move.

  3. Wayne 3

    In Meteria’s case as an MP she should expect to be under severe scrutiny for her past actions.

    As an example of the past criminal conduct of an MP affecting their current position recall David Garrett. More recently Todd Barclay effectively has had his political career terminated, though that was for actions while he was an MP.

    While I agree it is a long time ago, she could still repay the relevant sum of money. That would certainly help in public trust terms, and would be the morally ethical thing to do. It would be an appropriate rectification of a wrong.

    Whether you like it or not MP’s are held to a higher standard. And so they should be, they are deciding the laws that affect us all.

    • Ed 3.1

      Ignoring the actual policies, Wayne….

      You know these ones.
      ‘Benefit raise, tax cuts for poorest and hikes for wealthy in new Greens policy.’

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/94777073/benefit-raise-tax-cuts-for-poorest-and-hikes-for-wealthy-in-news-greens-policy

    • Carolyn_nth 3.2

      The more Turei’s circumstances are put under scrutiny, the more media attention will be given to the inadequate, punitive, damaging social security provisions we now have.

      A lot of difference between Turei’s actions – to better herself to get of benefit and support her family – and those of Garrett.

    • Reality 3.3

      Wayne, I would have liked to see you stating it would also be the morally ethical thing to do that Todd Barclay not receive his generous salary when he is not working at his job. He should have resigned if he does not want to show some moral fibre and turn up.

      Other people not turning up to their job do not get paid so why is he able to? (Guess a precedent was set with Alamein Kopu and is it a case of do as I say, not do as I do?)

    • mickysavage 3.4

      Differences are that Metiria has been up front about it and it is historical, unlike Barclay where it is recent. There is also the fact that she was open about it whereas Barclay refused to even talk to the police.

      Garrett’s offending was also pretty out there. Stealing the identity of a dead baby suggests a compromised morality system whereas lying to receive sufficient to feed your kid can be justified morally.

      • Ovid 3.4.1

        There is also the fact that she was open about it whereas Barclay refused to even talk to the police.

        I have no time for Barclay and I think he should quit immediately, but like anyone else he has a right to silence.

    • Karen 3.5

      You mean like the double dipper from Dipton?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2910957/Bill-English-buckles-over-housing-allowance

      The difference between Metiria Turei and Bill English is that Metiria lied in order to have enough to feed her child, while the already very wealthy Bill English lied in order to get more money out of the taxpayer than he was entitled to out of sheer greed.

      • Wayne 3.5.1

        Ed, Carolyn, reality, mickysavage, karen,

        Not one of you have argued that she should not pay it back. I would point out that I have not said she should leave parliament as David Garrett was required to do. Merely that she should pay the money back. She has said she knew what she was doing was against the law.

        The Green policies have nothing to do with that, even if she did make her statement at the time of the policy announcement.

        And reality and mickysavage, Barclay has had to effectively leave parliament as a result of what he did.

        • weka 3.5.1.1

          She’s already said she’d pay it back.

        • Reality 3.5.1.2

          Hmm, “effectively leave patliament” fudges the issue of why he is still being paid. So if he has “effectively left parliament” he should front up and say he has instead of hiding away or visiting a bar and looking at his bank balance growing.

        • OncewasTim 3.5.1.3

          I often watch your posts and responses @wayne out of what’s best described as a sociological interest.
          IMO You’re supposedly an intelligent man equipped with the skill of critical thought. If I checked your CV, NO DOUBT that would be confirmed on paper.
          But maaaaaate!, sometimes you really do come up with pompous, holier-than-thou, ideologically and ego-driven kaka, it just amazes me.
          In relation to MT (and like so many of your ummm ilk?/colleagues?/ spinners?) the double standards hang like a dog’s balls.
          I’ve been watching your contributions but I can’t seem to see (YET) that you’re the perfect specimen

        • DoublePlusGood 3.5.1.4

          I don’t think she should have to pay it back. She needed that money to live. Completely acceptable behaviour. The unacceptable behaviour is the welfare policies that forced her to do that.

      • Poission 3.5.2

        The Greens had their snouts in the trough at the same times as english.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2930184/Greens-pay-back-double-dip-rent-error

    • weka 3.6

      Turei has already said she will pay it back if WINZ asks for it. WINZ would have to do a formal assessment to see how much is owed.

      Looking forward to other MPs’ benefit histories being severely scrutinised too.

      • Wayne 3.6.1

        weka,

        That is a good thing. Of course Metiria could do the calculations of what she owes herself. She has plenty of people in the Green research unit who could help her do the detailed calculations.

        As an MP she is in a different situation to most other people. She has to be proactive in putting the issue behind her. Taking the initiative herself and paying it back will do that.

        • Carolyn_nth 3.6.1.1

          The bigger, more important issue, is that Turei is using her success to try to ensure that benefit provisions are adequate for all who need them.

          She lied by omission to support her child and get on a more productive life track. The underlying problem is that the benefit system is inadequate and increasingly punitive and life-damaging.

          Bad laws and regulations can be challenged through civil disobedience.

          Turei is not pulling up the ladder after herself. She is putting herself on the line to work for a better deal for others.

        • weka 3.6.1.2

          “Of course Metiria could do the calculations of what she owes herself. She has plenty of people in the Green research unit who could help her do the detailed calculations.”

          Sorry, did you just suggest that a political party use its funds and resources to sort out a historical personal issue of one of its MPs? I mean, I can understand why you would think that, coming from the National Party, but I doubt that the Greens would consider that either a good use of their resources or an ethically appropriate one.

          Turei might be able to figure out the amount herself (or pay someone to), but it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s not possible. WINZ rules and calculations are very complex especially historically. Better to let WINZ assess it, after all they’re have staff who are trained to exactly this kind of thing.

    • Stuart Munro 3.7

      If you had called for audits of Key’s and Brownlee’s financial ‘creativity’ it might be possible to take you seriously Wayne. But you are merely the pompous version of political opportunism.

    • As an example of the past criminal conduct of an MP affecting their current position recall David Garrett. More recently Todd Barclay effectively has had his political career terminated, though that was for actions while he was an MP.

      Both of those crimes came with significant maximum jail terms whereas Turei’s doesn’t. In fact, jail terms that automatically preclude them running as an MP ever.

      Whether you like it or not MP’s are held to a higher standard. And so they should be, they are deciding the laws that affect us all.

      Unless they’re National MPs right? Because if you meant all MPs should be held to that higher standard then you’d be demanding that Bill English and a few other National MPs should have their political career ended right next to Barclay’s.

    • It’s a hard life being an elder statestroll.

      Meyt has agreed that of course if WINZ assesses what she owes she will pay it back, so I’m not sure why you’re having a big grandstand about this.

    • Incognito 3.10

      Your comparison is skewed in that Metiria Turei at least made an honest attempt to come clean instead of ducking for cover or worse.

  4. Ad 4

    The small parties are going for margins and scraps.

    Sure hope National and Labour have kept their big election promises to the last two weeks out to go for the undecideds and shift larger percentages.

    Feels like the Greens have shot their bolt and gone for eating the left vote.

    • BM 4.1

      Do you think the Labour party would be particularly happy after this weekend? I don’t.

      MOU seems to be dead and the greens are doing their own thing.
      Unfortunately, the public perception is still that the Greens are married to Labour and what the Greens say is Labour policy no different if the Greens say it or Labour say it.

      I think Andrew Little has to come out soon and make some sort of statement distancing Labour from the Greens.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        It fits within the MOU. The new tax takes care of that. I am surprised at how cheap it is. And it will get more people voting and enthused.

        I respectfully disagree with Ad about eating the left vote, this has the possibility of increasing turnout which will work just fine.

      • weka 4.1.2

        “MOU seems to be dead and the greens are doing their own thing.”

        The MoU was designed precisely so that Labour and the Greens could do their own thing. That doesn’t preclude co-operation. Looks to me like they’re still cooperating.

        Beggars belief that it’s over a year old and politicised people still don’t understand what it was for, or even what it says.

        On the other hand you might just be deliberately misleading about the MoU in order to undermine the left.

      • Bearded Git 4.1.3

        The Right is desperate to portray the MOU as dead-Hooton was at it today on nine to noon. It follows:
        1. They are scared of the MOU
        2. It is not dead.
        Surely all the Greens are doing are setting out their policies which look excellent and are a little to the Left of Labour (d’oh), though we haven’t seen the full policy position from anybody yet. So nothing surprising has happened at all. And if Roy Morgan is right it’s all on for PM Little.

    • tc 4.2

      Serves labour right for not having such game changing policies just more bland centrist beltway focus groupthink chaff.

      Winnie needling the maori party and his member for jones simultaneously is priceless.

    • spikeyboy 4.3

      And you were probably one of those who thought Corbyn wss headed for the scrap heap…

    • swordfish 4.4

      Ad “Feels like the Greens have shot their bolt and gone for eating the left vote.”

      Yep.

      Useful to consider the Green’s tactics over the last 10 days from the viewpoint of National’s highly successful Coalition of Chaos / Rowing in different directions ad in the final weeks of the 2014 Election campaign.

      The whole point of the MOU was to close down that fruitful line of attack. Now we seem to have something approaching a Green sabotage of the Left’s / Oppo’s chances.

      Just look at the headlines swing-voters have been reading this week.

      There can be no Labour-led Govt without NZF.

      • swordfish 4.4.1

        Greens hit out at NZ First during campaign launch – Radio New Zealand

        NZ First, Greens lick wounds ahead of annual meetings | Radio New Zealand
        After a week of public squabbling, New Zealand First and the Green Party head to their annual conventions in Auckland this weekend

        Green Party’s Metiria Turei ‘racist’ call riles NZ First’s … – NZ Herald
        – NZ First leader Winston Peters has bailed up Green co-leader Metiria Turei for calling him “racist”, saying such attacks would have consequences …

        New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters: How the … – NZ Herald
        – When Winston Peters warned Green co-leader Metiria Turei that there would be consequences for her calling New Zealand First racist,

        Green MP’s comments on NZ First the ‘height of stupidity’ – Winston …
        NZ Herald

        Green MP threatens new election if Labour goes with NZ First | Newshub

        Greens won’t back Labour – NZ First government unless they’re in it – MP
        One News The Green Party won’t accept a Labour-New Zealand First coalition that doesn’t involve them and it’s a position that could force voters back to the polls, the party’s newest MP says.

        _____________________________________________________________________________

        Let’s see what the next round of polls make of this. I’m not overly optimistic.

        The tail-end of the UMR caught Turei’s attack on NZF … let’s hope the apparent Lab-to-NZF swing in that UMR wasn’t a consequence.

        • swordfish 4.4.1.1

          Jane Bowron pretty much hits the nail on the head.

          Green go nuclear and blow up hopes of a left-centre coalition

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/94742556/green-go-nuclear-and-blow-up-hopes-of-a-leftcentre-coalition

        • Carolyn_nth 4.4.1.2

          This seems a very Labour-centric view. I thought you guys were into political strategy and tactics?

          It’s very clear the medium sized parties are going to be needed for any left coalition – and NZF and the Greens are polling very close %age-wise.

          So, the Greens have made some strong statements recently to differentiate themselves from NZ First: on immigration (and immigrants are a sizeable sector of non-voters), the young (also under-represented in voters, and those struggling on benefits., those strongly left wing.

          Turei has basically said (on Nation or Q &A that this is (election) politics, and that they can work with NZ F.

          IMO, they are not trying to cannabalize Labour votes (Labour have long ignore many of the vote sectors the GP seem to be targeting), but to grow the GP vote – aiming at those wavering about voting at all (strongly left wing; or who haven’t voted much in recent years, many because they feel no party or pollies represent them).

          And the GP would want to have the numbers to be in a strong position to negotiate a left coalition vs NZF pushing its policies (i.e. long list of bottom lines)

  5. Karen 5

    I think this piece from Simon Wilson about the difference between the NZF and Greens conferences is very good:

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/17-07-2017/the-greens-roar-into-election-mode/#.WWu-T1L0i8A.twitter

    Metiria has been hinting all week that there was something bold coming, and I was hoping it would be something like this. It was both brave and clever to use her own story of lying to WINZ in order to get enough money to support her daughter. Brave because there would be a backlash from the right and clever because it highlights the need for increasing benefits as well as ensuring extensive media coverage.

  6. David Mac 6

    Could the Greens have made more of this? I feel there are large numbers that could vote Green that would subscribe to the saying: ‘It’s the making right that counts.’

    MT could of plucked many more emotional heartstrings. She could of explained how she wrestled with her personal matter and how she has gone about setting it right. Paid it back with interest.

    Her speech would then make greater non partisan in roads. ‘This is what I did and this is how I set it right. This is how the Greens are going to make it right for all of us.’

    We all make mistakes and questionable judgement calls, we are judged by what we do in response to those issues.

    We all tend to buy into the ‘Making Good’ thing. We all like to hear of a jailbird that finds a way to make a meaningful contribution. A concerted effort to make good wins hearts and support right across the political spectrum.

    • weka 6.1

      That’s the soft right argument. Turei is making a distinctly progressive argument, which is the system is broken, and it’s not just about personal bad luck or personal issues and personal responsibility, the system itself is designed to create these problems.

      I think you have missed her central point. Benefits aren’t liveable on. This is a far bigger issue than the personal responsibility one, and she’s speaking directly to the people who understand this in their bones.

      • David Mac 6.1.1

        Yes, I get that. People that are voting left anyway are delighted. Hopefully some of those that can’t be bothered voting will be bothered. I’m more referring to broadening appeal and growing the tick count from the soft right. Enough deck chairs to build a raft rather than swapping not enough between the left block.

        It’s just a thought weka, I’m delighted with the Green announcement, it’s a quality bold move towards a fairer NZ.

        • Explaining is losing, David. If you have to have the debate on soft-right terms, you’ve already lost. You convince as many people as you can in your own framing and then move on. You only ever use your opponents’ framing if you want to ridicule it or show it as logically invalid.

        • weka 6.1.1.2

          I’d add to what Matthew just said that the point is to shift the Overton Window. Helen Clark’s government showed us that a centre-left govt in NZ is possible but not sufficient. Bennett made things much worse, but welfare in NZ was still dysfunctional and often punitive and still not enough to live on during the Clark years and they did bugger all about that. They also enabled bene-bashing and individual responsibility memes that were then picked up by National and taken to new extremes. All that requires pushing back against, not co-operating with.

          Let’s not forget the only 1/3 of NZ voters voted National. So pushing back against that is possible.

          • greywarshark 6.1.1.2.1

            I like the cuts of your jibs Matthew W and weka. Lets not forget that only 1/3 voters vote National!

  7. He has announced two bottom lines, binding referenda on reducing the size of Parliament to 100 and binding referenda on ending the Maori seats. He better talk to Shane Jones about the latter policy as Jones has very recently stated that the seats should be retained. Immigration would also be slashed.

    Winston should probably get educated:

    And the proposal is even dafter now than when it was when mooted at the end of the 1990s. Parliament last had 99 MPs back in 1993, prior to MMP’s introduction. At that point New Zealand’s population was 3.6 million, meaning we had one MP for every 36,363 people.

    Today, our population is 4.8 million. If we want to use the apparently halcyon pre-MMP days as our baseline, today’s Parliament actually should have 132 MPs on a straight population growth basis.

    Labour and the Greens should be making a lot of noise about Winston and NZFirst wanting to reduce the amount of representation per population that we have and how much worse for democracy that will be

    • mikesh 7.1

      As these changes are constitutional changes they would require 75% support from parliament. Is a referendum which is binding on government also binding on parliament?

      • Right now, you have to pass a law to have a binding referendum that deals with what happens if there is a mandate from the public for change. This is how it is made binding on the government- Parliament votes for it.

        You may be right that it would require overcoming entrenchment to succeed, in which case, you just need to know, say, that National will vote against, and suddenly you’re perfectly secure in agreeing to vote for it. 😉

        (IIRC, only the 100 MPs proposal would possibly come up against entrenchment. The Māori seats definitely aren’t entrenched yet because the MP has been campaigning for it)

        The other possibility, of course, is that Labour and the Greens counter by saying instead of offering those two binding referenda, they’ll put a mechanism into law for binding referenda in general, and if people care about those issues, they’ll start a campaign for a referendum.

        • mikesh 7.1.1.1

          These still don’t get around the 75% requirement. I.e. if a referendum could lead to a constitutional change it a statute to allow such a referendum would presumably need a 75% majority.

      • Craig H 7.1.2

        Neither change is covered by the reserved provisions of the Electoral Act (available online here – http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM310495.html), although that depends on how the reduction of MPs is implemented – if the intention is to reduce the number of List MPs, no change is necessary, but if it is by reducing the number of electorates, that would require changing a reserved provision because either the minimum of 16 SI seats would need to be reworked, or how the NI seats are calculated.

        If the proposed changes are covered by the reserved provisions, they require either 75% of Parliament to vote in favour, or a majority of a referendum (poll of electors).

    • I made a similar point around electorate seats and how unsustainable the South Island quota is. It’s already headed to need to be adjusted in a matter of decades with 120 MPs and roughly 60ish electorates. If we lower the number of MPs to 100, we’d need to make sure electorates don’t exceed 50 if we want to make sure we don’t end up with National or Labour winning overhang seats while still getting at least a quarter of the vote. (which would be appalling political welfare much worse than ACT getting Epsom handed to them) This means repealing or replacing the current South Island quota, and making electorates bigger, therefore much bigger in the case of the South Island, where already we have to unite several communities of interest in order to form electorates with enough population to stay within the legally mandated limits to make electorate votes comparably important.

      Voting for 100 MPs means voting for worse local representation for rural and regional communities. It won’t just be Gore and Queenstown that end up glommed together to make viable electorates despite very disparate views. If anything, NZ First’s new focus on the regions should make this policy very unpopular with that part of their base, if they thought through its implications.

      NZ First will of course hide behind “people should have a democratic choice” for their excuse as to why they’re proposing such a stupid policy.

  8. Michael 8

    While the Greens have certainly announced principled policy, it is business as usual with Labour. Not only has the Labour hierarchy endorsed Winston’s xenophobia (more accurately, his appeal to the xenophobic prejudices of his political base and the rural rednecks he wants to entice away from Labour), its failure to endorse the Greens’ welfare policy speaks volumes for its commitment to social justice. It might be time for progressive lefties to abandon Labour and let it merge with the Nats, as the two neoliberal brands are practically indistinguishable.

    • McFlock 8.1

      Without Labour, the Greens won’t be in government come november.
      Without the Greens, Labour won’t be in government come november.

      If Labour is all that bad, it will wither on the vine and be supplanted by the Greens. Spitting bile won’t speed that process.

      • That isn’t spitting bile, McFlock. That’s disappointment talking.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          whatever it is, it would be foolish to talk national into a fourth term

          • In Vino 8.1.1.1.1

            I hope that Labour will indeed do/say something, but it probably won’t be so radical as the Greens are taking limelight with. I think it too early to write Labour off. I will wait to see what Labour comes up with – then maybe I will write them off. Too early at this stage.

          • Michael 8.1.1.1.2

            Not sure I’ve “talk[ed] national into a fourth term” there, McFlock. FWICS, the Labour hierarchy have done that all by themselves. But, there’s always Bill English’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory so perhaps we may see a change of political actors in the executive branch after 23 September. Just not a change of government, unless the Greens do really, really well.

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.2.1

              I hope the greens to really, really well, too. But this election they also need Labour to do well.

          • greywarshark 8.1.1.1.3

            Slogan for the next ? weeks McFlock for all of us.

      • Red 8.1.2

        You forgot without nzf, greens and labour won’t be in government, so it is highly likely labour and greens or what is left of their carcuses after election will be in opposition ( unless green have a cunning plan of which weka ensures me is not the case) The leadership challenged then will be a lot of fun, if and a big if that angry Andy makes the cut as part of the 23pc

  9. adam 9

    AS for the polls Mickysavage, the right have been playing that trick on the standard for months.

    I can probably say now the Ye ole ‘look how bad it is for labour!’ stunt.

    The bigger the lie. I suppose.

    But the press in this country don’t want to know, they don’t want to rock the boat, they never do. They don’t, nor have ever given a rats about working people. They want their mates in jobs, and stuff the little guy.

    As for Winston – it’s like the toe jam of Muldoon has finally reached the tipping point. Any chance someone could remind him it’s no longer the 1950’s?

    • In Vino 9.1

      Good expression of frustration that I also feel. But Winston knows his truth is eternal (yeah, right) much like most other oldies.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Brian Easton over at Pundit seems to think that TP2 will be necessary for our survival.
    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/when-the-water-runs-out

    That bodes ill for the future of the New Zealand economy. Admittedly, farm production is no longer the dominant foreign-exchange earner it was in the 1960s when it supplied 95 percent of our external funds that were not borrowed. Today the ratio is less than half but it is not obvious that our other export industries can carry the deficit that a broadly stagnant farm sector would generate.

    (Once upon a time we would make careful projections of our export potentials. Today we are much more casual; we borrow to make up any deficit – but that is not sustainable.)

    • Nic the NZer 10.1

      Easton is clearly an idiot. What happens when other countries stop lending us the money needed to buy their stuff? (Eg the non-sustainable bit of his argument) the country stops buying and therefore stops running a current account deficit at the same time, coincidentally.

      Otherwise the problem he is alluding to (a currency crisis) can no longer happen for NZ since the exchange rate got floated.

  11. Enough is Enough 11

    Lets hope Labour’s alternative budget tomorrow mirrors the greens announcements. Then we will be certain the battle lines are drawn

  12. patricia bremner 12

    I’m in Australia, up taking painkillers for my hip, and having a cuppa.
    I read the Granny, JOY JOY!!!!!
    Andrew Little has put the Multi nationals on notice.
    They are to pay tax, or will be pinged with a higher penalty tax if they move funds to avoid same..
    Plank by plank, GP and LP are building good sound people based policy.
    I thought “makes Key’s “planking” look what it was ….. juvenile.
    “Oh happy day”

  13. patricia bremner 13

    Then I read the Aussie news.
    Guess who is to get an Aussie gong? JK!!!!!
    Funny that it is for “services to Aus”
    Funny how “Kiwis are losing rights over here”.
    Funny how the latest “Aus workers law just cut penalty rates and brought in contracts”!!!!!
    1% working for the 1%???

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    Bill English’s comments that he doesn’t know why people are complaining about the blowout in the number of homeless families the government is putting up in motels just shows how tired and out of touch National is after nine years, ...
    5 hours ago
  • All Kiwis to have same standard of cancer care
    Labour is promising that all New Zealanders will have access to the same level of cancer care no matter where they live in the country, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “As someone who has survived cancer I ...
    1 day ago
  • Infrastructure announcement too long coming
    “What took you so long?” is Labour’s response to the Government’s announcement of a new infrastructure investment vehicle. Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says Labour announced its policy in 2015 to debt-finance infrastructure and service that debt with targeted ...
    1 day ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    National has no idea how to house the record number of people entering New Zealand, let alone cope with the pressure on health, education, and transport from this record population growth, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour to invest $4 billion in education
    Labour’s Education Manifesto will bring positive change across the education sector and is backed by a massive investment, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Labour’s plan will see an extra $4 billion invested over the next four years. It’s organised ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s shame: worst homelessness in the OECD
    National’s legacy is a housing crisis that has given New Zealand the worst homeless rate in the developed world, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour taking action on school donations
    Labour will end so-called voluntary school donations for the majority of parents across the country under its $4 billion plan to revitalise the education sector, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour has always been committed to a world-class free education ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour to work with Queenstown to build more houses
    Labour will work with Queenstown-Lakes District Council, iwi, and the Community Housing Trust to build the modern, affordable housing Queenstown desperately needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    4 days ago
  • Nats blow the Budget on motels after bowling state houses
    National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    4 days ago
  • New revelations in Joanne Harrison report
    The State Services Commission’s report into the treatment of whistle-blowers by Joanne Harrison has revealed new accusations against the convicted fraudster, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.  “The report found that four staff inside the Ministry of Transport who had raised ...
    4 days ago
  • Snafu at Princess Margaret
    Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “The Government must accept that Christchurch is still recovering ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s fiscal plan to build a fairer New Zealand
    Labour will re-build our housing, health and education while responsibly managing New Zealand’s finances, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “Under Labour’s Fiscal Plan we will deliver big investments in the services we all need and care about, invest ...
    5 days ago
  • Nats show they’re the tax dodgers’ best friends
    The government is taking the knife to IRD at a time when we need a highly skilled department to ensure that multinationals and speculators don’t get away with dodging tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour secures the future for NZ Super
    A Labour Government will secure the future for New Zealand Superannuation so we can continue to provide superannuation to those retiring at age 65, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “One of the first things a Labour-led Government will ...
    6 days ago
  • Multinationals must pay fair share of tax
    A Labour Government will crack down on multinational companies that are dodging paying their fair share of tax, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealanders are missing out by hundreds of millions according to the IRD because multinational companies can ...
    6 days ago
  • ACT’s approach to children backward and ill informed
    Act’s new deputy leader’s claim that Labour’s support for families could “extend the misery of child poverty and even child abuse” is ill informed and offensive, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury hatchet job a disgrace
    The Government’s glib acceptance of advice that the Canterbury District Health Board doesn’t need more money is a hatchet job and a disgrace, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “To claim that the DHB was using tactics to leverage more ...
    1 week ago
  • Quality for Kiwi kids at ECE
    After more than a decade of rapid growth in the number of children participating in Early Childhood Education (ECE), it’s time to take stock and map out a clear plan for the future, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to boost ECE quality
    Labour will ensure kids get the best start in life by boosting funding for Early Childhood Centres to employ 100 per cent qualified and registered teachers, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will stump up a million dollars for Maniototo Hospital
    A Labour led Government will make a million dollars available to rebuild the Maniototo Base hospital in Ranfurly, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “This will be a much needed boost for a long overdue rebuild that has ...
    1 week ago
  • No vision for the West Coast
    The West Coast welcomes any Government investment in our region but the lack of any real alternative vision for the West Coast’s economy is disappointing, says Damien O’Connor Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP.  “The establishment of a Mining Research Unit will ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s youth work scheme too little too late
    After nine years, National’s belated attempt to provide work opportunities for unemployed youth should be seen for what it is, a half-hearted, election gimmick from a party that’s ignored the problem till now, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis won’t fall for Joyce’s spin
    Steven Joyce’s embarrassingly obvious spin on Labour’s Families Package won’t fool anyone, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour prioritises families and public services
    Labour’s Families Package delivers a bigger income boost to more than 70 per cent of families with children than Budget 2017. By not spending $1.5 billion a year on tax cuts, Labour is able to do more for lower and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis can’t sleep in your ghost houses, Nick
    The Government’s housing infrastructure announcement is another Nick Smith special – over-promising with no detail on delivery, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour helps older New Zealanders and low income families with winter heating bills
    Labour will further boost its commitment to warm, healthy housing with a Winter Energy Payment for superannuitants and people receiving main benefits, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Everyone deserves a warm, healthy home to live in. But that’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must rule out retrospective override for Ruataniwha
    National must categorically rule out using retrospective legislation to override the Supreme Court’s decision that the land swap of conservation land flooded by the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was illegal, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney General David Parker. “Having not got their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s failure a win for Māori landowners
    The Māori Development Minister’s admission that his unpopular Ture Whenua Māori Bill won’t pass into law prior to the election is a victory for Māori landowners, but only a change of government will keep the Bill gone for good, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats confirm growing housing shortfall
    National’s failure to fix the housing shortage has been starkly illustrated by new statistics, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Systemic abuse of kids in state care
    After admitting there was systemic abuse of children in State care the Government must do the right thing and launch an independent inquiry, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Migrant worker exploitation needs sharper focus
    The astonishing number of employers found guilty of exploiting migrants shows that migrant exploitation is a serious problem in New Zealand, says Labour Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “A total of 53 companies have been banned from recruiting ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister faces questions over dam debacle
    Today’s Supreme Court ruling dismissing an appeal to allow a land swap for the controversial Ruataniwha Dam is a victory for our conservation estate and Hawke’s Bay ratepayers, but leaves the Conservation Minister with serious questions to answer, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Too little too late on Wellington housing
    The announcement today on social housing in Wellington by the National Government is a pitiful and cynical election ploy, says Labour’s Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson. “In 2012 Housing New Zealand emptied out the Gordon Wilson Flats, taking 130 places ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Foreign trusts wilt in the sunlight, but more transparency needed
    The fact that the numbers of foreign trusts registered in New Zealand has plummeted after the Government’s belated and reluctant imposition of a new reporting regime, in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal, shows the need for a transparent, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speech by Grant Robertson: The Future of Work and Labour’s Economic Vision
    At the election in September voters will face a choice between a government led by Andrew Little with a fresh approach to give every New Zealander a fair share in prosperity or the continuation of a tired government, out of ...
    3 weeks ago