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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    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    5 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    5 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    6 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    6 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    6 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    6 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    3 weeks ago