web analytics

From “Cost-based to Value-based”

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, October 10th, 2013 - 8 comments
Categories: benefits, david cunliffe, employment, greens, housing, labour, mana, poverty, sustainability, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: ,

As Eddie posted, Cunliffe made a very important speech to the CTU conference yesterday, re-committing parliamentary Labour’s to unions and to strengthening workers’ rights.

There was a bit of a discussion, started by Mary, last night on The Standard, about whether Cunliffe’s Labour would continue to marginalise beneficiaries while promoting the work ethic.  I’m withholding judgement for now, and will continue to party vote Green to ensure Labour doesn’t cave to powerful right wing pressures, as well as keeping Labour left on social security issues.

Nevertheless, it was a significant, rousing and inspiring speech by Cunliffe, not just for the policy pledges as outlined by Eddie, but for the underlying philosophy expressed by Cunliffe – and in this he indicated a significant shift for parliamentary Labour: “from a cost-based to a values-based” strategy.

That is, Cunliffe is focusing on an inclusive society and one that provides a good life for “all” Kiwis, with opportunities for all. This is where his policies begin, and from that the financial based practicalities will be worked out.  This is the reversal of the “neoliberal” agenda, that always focuses on economic matters first, while the social set-up follows and many struggle.  This bankrupt, bankster serving, money-and-profits-above-all, “neoliberalism” benefits the few over the many, and at the expense of the less swell-off.  The whole of society suffers.

Cunliffe is pointing to a different kind of society and policy platform.

He did not separate the deserving from the undeserving poor, and he did not just talk about the good life for all “workers”, but several times repeated that it was for “all New Zealanders”.  Cunliffe began his speech talking about the plight of New Zealands precariat, and the unacceptable situation that unemployed people are living with: for instance, families with nowhere affordable to live, crowded into garages.

Main points from Cuniffe’s speech are reported here alongside videos and audios of the speech.  I still will be waiting to see what Team Cunliffe will offer beneficiaries.  A fair, livable and sustainable New Zealand needs a reformed social security system that works for ALL Kiwis.

A strengthening of worker rights and provisions is needed to turn life around for too many struggling Kiwis, and as part of a caring and inclusive society.  However, I prefer values that don’t reinforce the punitive protestant work ethic.  I prefer values that recognise not all Kiwis can participate in paid work, while many make a positive contribution through various kinds of unpaid work.  Unpaid work is not necessarily done daily, weekly, or between set hours.  But it is an important part of a well-functioning society.

Meanwhile, here is Cunliffe’s CTU speech – it is a significant one.  And not “strident”, as claimed by Michael Fox on Stuff.  But rousing, inspiring, and hopeful.

TVNZ report

3 News report

NZ Herald report.

[Update] Gordon Campbell also touches on some of the same themes as in my above post.  Extracts:

Dutifully though, the Dom-Post served its political masters by calling the speech ”strident” – you know, as in “strident” feminist – while the NZ Herald pressed much the same buttons via its headline “Labour Re-affirms Support For Unions’ Agenda.” Get the point: it’s the unions agenda, and he’s in their pocket. For a relevant contrast, try imagining the Herald headlining a John Key speech as “National Re-Affirms Support For Plutocrats’ Agenda.” Wouldn’t happen. In fact, responding to the needs of workplaces in strife is fairly familiar territory for Cunliffe.

[…]

The aspirational context of the speech though is likely to prove more important on the campaign trail next year than the policy details. What Cunliffe was outlining was a society where people and their families no longer get treated as disposable commodities. The speech envisioned a society governed by the value of people and the potential of their children, and not simply by the cost of their labour. If Cunliffe can marry this kind of feelgood vision with enough fiscal responsibility to be credible, National will have a fight on its hands next year.

[Update 2] Turei’s speech to the CTU – on Living Wage, asset sales, and insecure work and more.

8 comments on “From “Cost-based to Value-based” ”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    Very Good.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Outstanding synopsis karol. FYI I’ve communicated to Cunliffe once in the last couple of months with regards to the subject of ensuring beneficiaries are not sidelined by exclusive languaging and a focus on “workers”, and in the last few days he has made reference to the accomplishments of the “Kurow Three” so I know that the topic of ‘social security’ is not far from his mind.

  3. Chooky 3

    thanks Karol….Go Cunliffe

  4. aerobubble 4

    A fight on their hands? Really, do you think Labour have it in them?

    Just listening to the pod of Dr Grimes, where he starts off saying everyone agrees that inflation targetting works, despite the policy being introduced after the middle east glut of cheap high density fuel and leading up to the present day with huge global indebtedness. I ask you, what does a religion look like, well economics is a religion when men like Dr Grimes can not cite one instance where inflation targeting doesn’t work. The essence of the argument is, politician can read, they see that a glut of high density fuels is on the way, this will produce a driven economy that has nothing to do with how well the rent seekers sponge up the wealth (which they have done very very well) or how effective the role of a central bank is in bring down inflation when seriously it wasn’t them, it was simple the force drive of cheaper and cheaper oil. Driven economies like war time economies) are very stable and very predictable, lower inflation was inevitable with monetry easing.

    So its not about being entirely defensively coming across as fiscally responsible, its about attacking the lies of the last thirty year that have improvised our society, turning middle classes into beggars and beggars into untouchables, while strip mining wealth to a 1%.

  5. Chris 5

    That has to be one of the most outstanding speeches from the left for a very long time.

    As an aside we finally have a Prime Minister in the making who can articulate his message clearly and concisely.

    I look forward to hearing more about New Zealand and seeing Nu Zillind dispatched with haste to the nearest trash bin.

  6. xtasy 6

    This was a pretty strong and good speech by Cunliffe, the first such speech I heard from a Labour leader since Helen’s best times! Especially towards the end he sends home the message and makes a strong commitment.

    But as Mary, and I agree a lot with her, as a beneficiary at present, for mostly health reasons, I have suffered immensely under this present government, even having been driven close to suicide a few times, I will wait for what Labour has for us in store!

    I want to be treated fairly, respectfully and be included in my journey towards work or treatment, not by some demagoguery, ideological government that relies on pseudo science and manipulations by a Dr David Bratt as Principal Health Advisor for MSD and WINZ.

    Labour will have to throw out this crap that they present us, and the biased, largely insufficiently, or even unproved, ideas by one Mansel Aylward from the UK, paid for his “research” by a basically corrupt US insurance giant by the name of Unum Provident, who also were involved in designing work capability tests and welfare reforms in the UK, where thousands died, either through suicide, or early death, for not coping with expectations by DWP.

    I last read this submission, which gives me more concerns about what comes next in NZ:

    http://www.nzma.org.nz/sites/all/files/sub-WorkAbilityAssessments-Providers.pdf

    MSD’s Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt and his team seem to be preparing new ways of outsourcing Work Capability Assessments, to be done by selected professionals, some not even with medical qualifications! This affects ALL sick and disabled on BENEFITS: THERE are major changes happening, yet again, and it is highly worrying stuff!

    Hence until I hear a clear commitment by Labour that satisfies me, I will at least party vote Greens or even Mana, simply for this reason!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago