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Gear change Labour

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, August 21st, 2012 - 55 comments
Categories: activism, david parker, david shearer, Economy - Tags:

It was standing room only in Auckland last night to hear David Parker, introduced by David Shearer, on Labour’s economic policy. Over 200 people packed the Polish society clubrooms in Morningside, and gave Parker’s ideas a warm reception, with plenty of good questions and answers afterwards.

Parker’s message was very positive. He stated firmly that Labour believes government has levers that it can use to rebuild the economy, a refreshing change from the National’s hands-off “nothing we can do”  mantras. He restated Labour’s goal of full employment, the “key to economic equality”. Labour would use government purchasing to support New Zealand industry – he made particular reference to the ICT sector. Another refreshing change from National’s “Buy cheap overseas crap” policy. Labour, said Parker, is committed to a “living wage.”

You can read the full speech here.

All in all heartening evening. Labour’s organisation in Auckland, with fresh energy imparted by Paul Chalmers and others, is getting into good shape. And there is more to come. As Mike Williams would say, “watch this space.”


55 comments on “Gear change Labour”

  1. Olwyn 1

    I was unable to go to that, since it clashed with a family event, and may not even have gone had things been otherwise, since I am still angry and deeply suspicious of the Labour caucus. The last thing I want to see at the moment are MPs who have not responded to severe criticism “working a room.” I do see promise in support for NZ industry and full employment, assuming that they are serious and unequivocal about it, rather than trying another angle. And assuming also that by “full employment” they mean jobs, as opposed to hounding the unemployed on grounds that they think will be more palatable. In short, I watch with interest, but have yet to be convinced.

  2. David H 2

    Until I see Cunliffe being allowed to speak freely as well, then I may change my mind. But I too DO NOT trust Robertson, Parker and co.

    • old timer 2.1

      Rising the pension age is a no brainier . Only the wealthy want to do this .
      Labour core vote don’t want this.
      Why should the rich be subsidized by the working poor ? Even Roger Douglas would not have suggested this .
      The Davids view was far from accepted that night . What brand of coffee was Mike drinking or what was he smoking on Monday night?

  3. Dr Terry 3

    Thoroughly agree with above comments from Olwyn and David H. Do not get all carried away and excited just yet – caution wanted, plus return of Cunliffe.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      David Parker got some decently skeptical heckling from one or two members there, who expressed discontent. Can someone who was present explain what was said in the exchange?

      IMO we can’t afford a party which is simply compliant with whatever caucus presents. We need opportunities to question and question hard. I would’ve asked what is meant by “full employment” – is it the neoliberal definition that Labour follows ie. you’re always going to have a medium sized city full of unemployed in this country.

  4. Bored 4

    Given the speech was on the “economy I thought it might pay to frame the policy and direction questions to Parker and crew with reference to the (economy related) Guiding Principles of Labour.

    The Labour Party accepts the following democratic socialist principles –

    • The natural resources of New Zealand belong to all the people and these resources, and in particular non-renewable resources, should be managed for the benefit of all, including future generations.

    • All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres, regardless of wealth or social position, and continuing participation in the democratic process.

    • Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in order that a greater amount and a just distribution of wealth can be ensured.

    • All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work.

    • All people, either individually or in groups, may own wealth or property for their own use, but in any conflict of interest people are always more important than property and the state must ensure a just distribution of wealth.

    All Labour have to do is fill in the gaps with a coherent policy, I dont see much space for hands off market clap trap in this. I would ask Pagani to do it (and earn hios pay) but I fear he is too tainted by neo-lib rhetoric to understand.

    • aerobubble 4.1

      Energy drives our economy, as energy sources dwindle and decline, we need to replace them. Ain’t going to happen. Petroleum took millions of years to accumulate. Now sure, we can replace some of the fuels, since the sun still does shine and we do have technology to find quicker ways to make the stuff. But that requires land, water, it requires investment, it still creates pollution, it will still require change as it won’t be sufficient, aka 15 billion people when finally if they start now…

      This is the problem with Labour, sure we like the above values, and when in power Labour should have introduced a world class Human Rights protection net and so we would not be wishing we had one now. When the MSD minister is caught breaching privacy, and the ACC minister has a zero tolerance for privacy breaches, you have to wonder why we are no longer a nation of law when our parliament feels no shame. The minister obviously is misleading parliament by her hypocrisy.

      So as National continue to breach human right conventions, Labour have only itself to blame, when it had the chance it produce an ineffective Human Rights Act.

      • Bored 4.1.1

        My thinking re Labours economic policy is that it should be totally driven by the need to transition our current energy dependent infrastructure and production to a low energy sustainable yield model BEFORE we are forced to by known future circumstance.

        The Guiding Principles lean toward a very citizen centric model in which this could exist: it is not the lack of ability or capital that can prevent our society surviving the transition, it will be a lack of will and direction. Provide the will, examine the direction and Labour might just get us there: National certainly wont, NOR Labour as NACTlite.

        • aerobubble

          Its real simple, make the private motor vehicle prohibitively expensive for one individual per four seated vehicle. The right is always harping on about government getting in the way,
          well getting in the way can be used for good as well as evil. Use the force.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Labour would use government purchasing to support New Zealand industry – he made particular reference to the ICT sector.

    How about we please move away from Microsoft and go to Open Source for all Government ICT. There are huge opportunities available here for the taking.


    He restated Labour’s goal of full employment,

    Were the words “full employment” actually used? What in the speech gave evidence to the approach which might be used to achieve “full employment”.

    This is very interesting if backed up with substantial (billion dollar) initiatives.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “How about we please move away from Microsoft and go to Open Source for all Government ICT. There are huge opportunities available here for the taking.”

      Because sometimes, Microsoft has a lower total cost of ownership than Open Source.

      • Peter 5.1.1

        Sometimes, yes, but not all the time, and the advantages in flexibility and adaptation would outweigh some of the maintenance costs. Then there’s also the advantages of using the purchasing power of the state to improve on the existing open source software.

        I’d start with beefing up the open source division of the State Services Commission.

        • Bored

          I have run teams of Open Source developers, the real issue I see is the cost and availability of ongoing support for bespoke applications. Its always the part of the cost justification that becomes difficult with Open Source, although most major “open” apps do have support systems available for “pay”. Otherwise you need to “own” the team.

          Technically the other thing you can get with Microsoft and the big players is some degree of known and tested interoperability with such infrastructural elements as Active Directory, APIs etc etc etc. Open Source whilst less restrictive often lacks or requires development of key components, hence more cost.

          I reckon beefing up the Open Source part of the State agencies would be a good start, Open Office everywhere, lots of Licensing $s saved there.

        • infused

          Since I’m involved in this I can tell you MS solutions are tried and tested. Normally cheaper with better support. Tried open source support?

          Tried large scale open source deployments?

          It doesn’t work [without huge cost]

          Also, One.Govt has been signed off, so that won’t happen for along time. One.Govt looks to finally bring IaaS under one structure.

      • Stephen 5.1.2

        As revealed in studies funded by Microsoft…

        It would be interesting to model TCO for FOSS once a government standardises on it — that would rather change the picture.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.3


        By his (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) back-of-the-envelope calculation, this study really seems to suggest that Microsoft cost the world economy somewhere in the range of $500 billion:


        In Office 2013, Microsoft was compelled to support the true ODF format as well as the PDF format. Here’s how open source won

        It would be simpler and cheaper if we just went to Open Source and open, non-proprietary standards rather than reinforcing the restricted view of a company that’s only in it to maximise the dead weight loss of profit.

        • infused

          Office 2010 had Save As PDF support.

          “It would be simpler and cheaper if we just went to Open Source and open, non-proprietary standards”

          Where did you get that from? For any decent PDF editing functionality, you need to pay for it. It’s not open source.

          What standards do you speak of? Office 2010 can save in XML, that’s open and available to anyone.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Where did you get that from?

            Go read the links.

            For any decent PDF editing functionality, you need to pay for it.

            And yet OpenOffice has had it for years. Is it the best? Probably not but it’s more than enough for basic office use.

            What standards do you speak of? Office 2010 can save in XML, that’s open and available to anyone.

            The second link specifically talks about that:

            That second issue was the bane of all users of office tools, so Sun took the initiative to go to the OASIS standards organization and propose a solution: a standardized file format for office productivity. I was involved in that activity and know for a fact that Sun approached other OASIS members to collaborate on the project. However, Microsoft declined, calling the proposal “redundant.”

            OASIS agreed to the proposal, and the result was the OpenDocument standard, ODF. Despite a slow start, ODF adoption snowballed; today, it is an ISO standard and an approved national standard worldwide. The resulting pressure on Microsoft became huge, and the company responded by manipulating the international standards world to create a competing XML file format standard based closely on the formats used in Microsoft Office. It was finally ratified by ISO in 2008.

            The history of MS is littered with it bitching about everyone else and then, finally, supporting the standards that have been around for years.

    • alex 5.2

      Full employment, if that is really the goal of Parker, would be the sort of policy that could really save the country. Auckland Labourites especially, you need to be telling your MPs and policy committees that you want Labour to follow through on this and campaign on it in 2014.

      • Carol 5.2.1

        Full employment with a living wage for all.

        • Colonial Viper

          Full employment is a hugely important goal and one that I believe we should aim for. The last Labour government helped achieve the lowest unemployment in the world, and we can do it again.

          This is what Parker said.

          Its his personal opinion, not a party position or party policy.

          Also in neoliberal circles, ~3% unemployment is regarded as “full employment” because they don’t believe that any better is achievable for any length of time.

    • Carol 5.3

      Parker said this in his speech:

      We will require all government agencies to purchase New Zealand manufactured goods and services when appropriate. We all know what happened with our trains, which led to the loss of jobs and skills at Hillside, but did you know the ICT sector recently requested the National Government to give them a look in with government department ICT software and hardware purchasing? They were rebuffed. How stupid.

      • infused 5.3.1

        Because of One.Govt. Try looking at One.Govt and see who is involved. A whole bunch of NZ companies.

  6. Polish Pride 6

    If only we could move away from the system of people HAVING to be ’employed’ to survive. Whilst we have that society will never reach it’s full potential.

  7. Carol 7

    The full speech by Parker is here:


    I’m not keen on talk of growing the economy. I like the focus on developing NZ’s manufacturing sector. I also like is thumbs up for Cunliffe’s recent trip to Denmark.

    I like this:

    I want to talk about wage growth because it is implicit in the previous discussion on building a dynamic economy with high value jobs that we intend to lift wages.

    Labour wants to make it clear that we will not only raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour but we stand for a living wage. The UN Declaration of Human Rights gives prominence to freedom of association – the right of workers to join unions and the right of unions to better negotiate their share through collective bargaining. We, together with unions, will ensure workers get their fair share.

    I am a little uncertain about the continued strong focus on exports, and on the ETS with respect to climate change.

    I don’t know enough to comment on monetary policy.

    • Bored 7.1

      Parker still believes in growth as an aggregate: he talks of wage growth. The point is that we are not growing and wont.

      Parker also talks about workers getting their fair share: he needs to mean a greater share of the existing available wages, NOT capture of a share of growth in the total aggregate wages base.

      Is there some share available….yes, the CEOs salaries have a large chunk as do the senior corporate management. I would phrase the issue as shared pain (at the top) for shared gain (overall).

  8. tc 8

    What so Parker’s found how to make Neutral sound like a gear change….beware the term ‘step change’ is coming.

    Agree with others….the Mallarfia shaped caucus is not to be trusted.

  9. bad12 9

    Take a point in the debate :Labour, as a differentiation between itself and National ‘a fully employed economy’ is a good starting point,

    What’s needed now of course is the out-lining of such a plan giving some detail of the meat and bones where Labour sees intervention will produce the required jobs,

    I suspect tho that what we will get in the end is some form of ‘the market’ will come to the party rhetoric when it is now more than glaringly obvious that ‘the market’ has more than a vested interest in having a large pool (2-6%) of unemployed and with National opening up the Welfare and Education budgets to ‘the market’ ticket clippers ‘they’ have no need for major industrial or manufacturing investment or expansion as the ‘new’ capitalist enterprise inherent in the growing ‘ticket clipper’ sector need only rented space as the plunder of the welfare system becomes entrenched,

    However, as a point of discourse between the electorate and the Labour Parliamentary team the current message of ‘a fully employed economy’ is way above the previous bit of bene-bashing in the previous speech to Grey Power and Labour deserve the point for the quick change in the rhetoric,

    I will happily say this again and repeat it as oft as necessary, it is not the Benefit system that need reforming, the benefit system does exactly what it was established to do,

    It is the system of economics which DOES NOT provide the employment in the economy to employ all those able to work,

    Provide the employment in that economy where ALL those able to work have employment and the system of benefits requires NO ‘reform’,

    The numbers of those accessing the benefit system are in fact the ‘scorecard’ of any particular Governments economic policies…

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      it is not the Benefit system that need reforming,

      Well, actually, it does but it shouldn’t become punitive as this government is making it.

      • bad12 9.1.1

        OK then, i will bite, what part of the benefit system do you see as needing ‘reform’, how and why???…

        • Draco T Bastard

          Well, we still have poverty in the country and so it’s obvious that the targeted system that we presently have isn’t working. This could easily be remedied through a Universal Income with some added support for those who need it.

          Present system is far too complex resulting in lots of people missing out on entitlements and some people, with more knowledge, rorting the system. This could be addressed through a Universal Income.

          Present system discourages people from finding their own niche both through the requirement of finding paid work (reinforcing the idea that you need to be hired by someone) and then also the high marginal tax rates when other income starts coming through. This could also be addressed by a Universal Income.

          • bad12

            I can’t disagree with any of that, take form the top and upper middle class that which they do not ‘need’ and bring the bottom level of income up to meet the middle,

            Build enough State Housing to be able to rent to “all-comers” at 25% of household income a home starting with the most in need gets housed first,

            Sounds like the recipe for a fairer society where poverty would effect very few, however, barring the resignation of 90% of the present Parliament not possible as the present economic/political paradigm is hardly conducive to it’s implementation…

  10. captain hook 10

    National say they are the party of business so where are the jobs?

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Our economic pie simply has to grow in order for us to be able to deliver the kind of society where our children and grandchildren want to stay, work, and play, and contribute to our society, not Australia’s.

    Still in the delusional growth meme of capitalism.

    So how do we go about growing the pie?

    It’s about distribution and use of the limited resources we have, not the growing the use of those limited resources beyond sustainable limits.

    Rebuilding our manufacturing sector – no western country can be prosperous without a vibrant and innovative manufacturing and processing sector, pushing towards higher value products.

    Well, at least he got that bit right but…

    Some work at the investor level, others at the enterprise, regional, or the sectoral level.

    …still looking to capitalism to fix capitalism.

    We need to save and Labour proposes to progressively build a Universal KiwiSaver scheme of the type which has so clearly benefited Australia and their workers.

    The only saving that makes any sense is to limit the use of our resources instead these idiots are planning to use them all up so that our great grand children have nothing. Saving money is delusional and is predicated on infinite exponential growth – growth that will destroy the economy.

    Superannuation – if we don’t change the current age of entitlement, future governments will cut the pension, because it will become a choice between young and old.

    Superannuation is only a problem because a few keep taking all the wealth. A Universal Income allows people to ‘retire’ when they feel like it while maintaining fairness if people continue to work and thus have an income.

    But asset inequality is increasing.

    Exactly as planned and it’s this plan that this governments selling off of our infrastructure is perpetuating.

    Overseas ownership will not increase NZ’s output, but will reduce social mobility and stop sharemilkers from graduating to being farm owners.

    Last time I looked, we still don’t have infinite amounts of land. As a society it’s time to can the farming except that which provides for us.

    I have outlined the important blocks for rebuilding a dynamic, outward focused economy, delivering a fairer more prosperous society.

    No he hasn’t, he’s outlined more of the same.

  12. Mike I enjoy your reports .but how the hell do we get them out to the general public where its needed? Im an active member and office holder but its only through people like you that I recieve such news. Admittedly my branch is a small country town one but we have voters here too. There is no chance of the media giving out such information ,so how?

  13. Carol 13

    And today there’s a joint announcement from David Shearer & David Cunliffe criticising National’s lack of innovation – it’s part of Cunliffe’s attack on National being all gloss and no substance.


    David Shearer says the Government is rolling out a new business growth report each week but they are merely buffed-up pamphlets of old announcements.

    David Cunliffe says innovation in both the public and private sector is struggling under National.

    “National has set a low target but they won’t even meet that with the recycled announcements in this report. To have no original ideas in an innovation report is staggering. The Patents Office would turn down every concept in the report – there’s nothing new here.

    “The only useful idea is a small advanced economies group. But our low target makes an even bigger mockery of joining that club than Gerry Brownlee’s insults to Finland.

    “Innovation has floundered under National. With science and innovation officials joining their third ministry in three years and always wondering who their new boss is, it’s no surprise.

    David Shearer and David Cunliffe say: “The choice is clear. Labour’s vision is of a clean, clever and modern economy.

    “National want us to remain a low-wage farming economy with our brightest minds working in innovative countries.

    Mending fences?

    • bad12 13.1

      A bit of a double intendre there in the last 3 lines???,depends of course if you choose to believe the Garner beat up about the ‘lazy’ Cunliffe, i don’t,

      Although i gave Labour a point above for changing the discourse to where it should be, economic reform other than benefit reform i fear that what we have brewing within the Labour Party is another bout of Roger(spit)nomics right down to the initial devaluation to really put the peasants in their places,

      The question that has to be asked here of Labour, considering that Cunliffe is giving National a deserved slapping for not having a clue as far as anything new goes is that how long does it take for this ‘smarter economy’ to deliver,

      ‘Smarter’ is just another word for ‘knowledge’ and we had plenty of years waiting for the ‘knowledge economy’ to deliver and what we got was nothing except the dairy and housing booms,

      What needs addressing and i doubt Labour has the will to do so considering how far right that organization has allowed itself to drift are such assumptions as ”The Government has no business being in business”,

      The Chinese Government has ‘proved” beyond a doubt that Governments do have a roll in business on all levels of economy right down to the ownership of the factories that could conceivably be opened in the far North creating such goods as the humble tee-shirt and providing sufficient employment so as to bolster that areas local economy,

      The fact that one of the Dave’s is off to the US to gain some (new) ideas of economy should alarm us all as nothing good for this country has ever emerged from that one…

      • Olwyn 13.1.1

        Which Dave is off to the US?

        I took note of your point in your earlier post that “…with National opening up the Welfare and Education budgets to ‘the market’ ticket clippers ‘they’ have no need for major industrial or manufacturing investment or expansion..” That is a reason why I am still not over Labour choosing a “face” rather than a leader. The people who are now winning are happier to be rich than productive, on a mixture of management jobs, property, ticket clipping and the like. They are not up for embarking on risky productive enterprises. Tackling that problem requires courage, conviction and aptly directed cunning, along with intelligence and imagination, not window dressing.

        • bad12

          The Dave off to the US??? Parker,although i havn’t got the details of the when or of more import, who that particular Dave is off to get an education off of,

          Yeah i agree with your point also, and,unfortunately as i have said befor i see the ‘modern’ Labour Party as being one that is of,for,and, by the middle class hardly representing anything which i could vote ‘for’,

          Consolation is to be found tho in the MMP system where my vote may count elsewhere in helping to hopefully install a left ‘thinking’ Government…

      • Populuxe1 13.1.2

        It’s been obvious govt has a role to play in business since Japan set up the MITI and rapidly became one of the richest countries in the world for several decades.

        • Colonial Viper

          Not to mention the reforms of Deng Xiao Peng and party involvement in the Chinese economy…

    • Tracey 13.2


      I also agree that we have to get away from this ridiculous narrow focused idea that the only way for this nation to thrive and people to achieve living wages is through oil and mining.

      We are not a vast red desert.

      For that I am pleased.

      We need innovation and innovators. The Govt yesterday called on businesses to double their R & D yet they removed the R & D incentive Labour brought in. And everyone says Labour is anti business. Pah.

      We have to box clever. We procude more than just sports achievers punching above their weight, we are rich in thinkers, scientists, educators, artists, photographers and so on.

      Was at an 18th birthday party on the weekend. Of the 7 people in the room at university, all were doing law and/or commerce. All of them. Isn’t that great news!?!

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Was at an 18th birthday party on the weekend. Of the 7 people in the room at university, all were doing law and/or commerce. All of them. Isn’t that great news!?!

        They’re going to be in for a rude surprise, unfortunately. Give me an apprentice diesel mechanic or sparky any day.

        • Tracey

          I agree. It’s scary though that they all are from upper middle class families, bright, and they are already chasing the money. BUT people change. They may yet learn that following your passion is far more satisfying than following the money. It’s a comment on focus though.

  14. Whether or not nact like it nz is one step away from recession,like the 1930’s
    we should be looking at building warm houses,keeping and entrenching our
    rail system,looking at solar power as a way into the future,the days of hydro
    power will become a thing of the past,if all of the above are a top priority
    then there will be jobs for the younger generation to learn and find a trade
    that suits them.
    To get rid of workers out of crucial govt departments then hire ceo’s at
    a substantial cost to the tax payers is incredulous.
    The nact govt continue to attack those who can least afford such a loss
    of dignity and financial wellbeing.
    I sincerely hope labour can find its way back to the core and the reason
    why the labour party exsists,history books could enlighten those mp’s
    who are confused as to the labour philosophy.
    Good to see cunliffe in parliament today being able to stand up and speak.
    When are politicians going to take a pay-cut in the tough economic times ?

    • bad12 14.1

      I could flesh that out into some actual basic form of economy,

      *Provide State Housing at low rental,(Auckland alone is short 11,000 homes),via a ‘new’ Ministry of Works tasked with building the houses needed and training the workers at the same time,

      *Print the monies needed to build the homes,suburbs.schools,parks,shops etc, by doing such the required homes are produced, the value of the New Zealand dollar gradually reduces thus giving both our exporters and those who manufacture for New Zealand consumption a small advantage and negating a need to devalue that dollar by other means creating harsh internal inflation,

      *Put the required funds into the research and development necessary to develop a standard New Zealand solar powered system to fit all New Zealand homes and able to direct excess energy into the national grid,

      *Build as an SOE the capability to manufacture such standardized solar power generation and look for export opportunities

      Seems relatively simple on paper, perhaps those we borrow off have as an agreement that we remain as a client slave economy to them as they tax our exports and send such taxation back to us as debt…

  15. There was nearly $1billion profit made by anz national bank, this profit will end up in
    australia,there is $20 billion profit going off-shore every year,overseas companies
    should be made to pay a tax on that profit, a cgt would harness this if it was bought
    in,that would be an economic windfall for nz which would allow infrastructure
    spending on what matters to nz’ers.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      There was nearly $1billion profit made by anz national bank

      Not quite. The figure you saw was for 9 months operating. ANZ’s full year profit will be clear over $1B…sucked out of the pockets of NZ workers and businesses, back to Australia.

  16. Carol 16

    I see that TV3 is using content from the joint David Shearer/David Cunliffe press release on National’s “Inoovation” plan, but has expunged Cunliffe and presents it as all Shearer’s comments:


    Labour says it’s a “buffed up pamphlet of old announcements” and is even weaker than last week’s economic growth report.

    “National’s ultimate goal is to see New Zealand business innovation at just one percent of GDP,” leader David Shearer says.

    “Other small countries have innovation rates three times that target – we need to set our sights higher.”

    The Green Party says the innovation report ignores the “critical role” of clean technology.

    “National has gone from promising a `brighter future’ to producing brighter booklets,” co-leader Russel Norman says.

    “Four years in office and the Government is failing to lead the innovation step change the economy needs.”

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Opposition-slams-innovation-report/tabid/1607/articleID/266293/Default.aspx#ixzz24DHUcOP9

  17. Michael 17

    Until Labour commits to overhauling the machinery of government (aka the executive branch, the bureaucracy) from its New Right settings, all its words are worthless. For a start, the State Sector Act 1988 (a prime Rogernomics creation) must be repealed, so the public service actually serves the people, rather than itself. ACC must be replaced with a state welfare agency (no need for a board of troughers), while WINZ must be returned to its pre-2007 iteration. The Department of Labour (responsible for such stunning successes as OSH, NZ Immigration Service, and Mine Safety) must be purged of all Treasury rejects (or B-grade clones). Only then, can people have confidence that a Labour government might actually achieve a few steps towards social justice. I see no evidence, whatsoever, that the current Labour caucus has any intentions along these lines.

  18. xtasy 18

    Sadly I have come to the sad conclusion (which is nothing “new” really), that most NZers will not be “moved” by common sense, logic and appeals for a better society, economy and so forth.

    Key sadly proves, you have to appeal to the lower instincts, the gut feeling, the emotions and re-invoke some pseudo “common”, even “national” union, goal and so forth, to get things changing.

    Most voters cannot even understand logical economics, they cannot even grasp what the real global situation is like, they do not even want to know much, they want “Leadership” and “inspiration”, simply a “feel good” movement. So Labour will be stuck with that challenge in not being able to deliver. Media misreports and misleads as usual. I just had another experince yesterday, with some dumbo new journo thinking she knows what is facts, but falling for trivial, sideline info and “upping” an article with nonsensical crap, thus influencing readers that they are supposedly fed “the truth”.

    Idiots abound, sadly, and that needs to be addressed. Shearer will not be up to the game, but Cunliffe or another may be.

    Get out of the clean suit and start the “movement”, to get people “excited” about something, like a “common cause”, about being “NZ” or whatever, it is not happening, hence we have two fronts at loggerheads and not much moving.

    I really hate having to state this, but I find more and more, intelligence, knowledge, common sense and the truth do NOT matter for the wider public, hence Key has been getting so too much political “sex appeal” and getting away with all kinds of shit.

  19. There are many excellent ideas in this speech. Take government purchasing for example. We regularly spend millions on overseas consultants, buy trains and rolling stock, software for education payrolls and many other examples of IT, from overseas, worsening the balance of payments, but more importantly, reducing cash flow for NZ based companies and employment opportunities for our people.

    Kiwis are smart. We have lots of bright students graduating from our universities and polys who find interesting work hard to find. We might not always be able to compete on price and size with overseas concerns, but given a little time and opportunity, we will do better than the overseas provider. And what is important, we will continue to be around to adapt the work to new circumstances. Smaller companies will become large enough to contest in the tradeable sector, so our balance of payments improves two ways.

    Intelligent government purchasing, given a desire to buttress NZ’s long term competitive advantages and employment opportunities, and not just hook up with the cheapest provider from no matter where, is just one of the good ideas in this speech.

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  • A charge on plastic bags – debunking some myths
    The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • National’s $1trillion property sandcastle
    The National government's failure to fix the housing crisis has seen the ballooning and unsustainable property market touch the $1 trillion mark, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. "Labour wants an economy that creates high wage work that is based ...
    2 days ago
  • Government failure on housing crisis drives Reserve Bank to add tools
    If the Government was delivering a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, it is unlikely that the Reserve Bank would be continuing to pursue debt to income limits for lending for housing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    3 days ago
  • International embarrassment for NZ likely over National’s failure to protect Maui dolphin
    New Zealanders who care about Maui dolphin should prepare to feel embarrassed: the Government is about to be put to shame on the international stage for its lack of action to protect Maui’s dolphin. The International Whaling Commissions’ 66th Biennial ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • Why don’t we spend $1b to keep people out of jail, rather than spending it on keeping them in?
    Earlier this week, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the government’s ‘solution’ to our burgeoning prison population. It seems that most, if not all, of Bill English’s hard-won surplus is going to disappear into another round of prison-building.  That must be ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    7 days ago
  • PKE Ship Sent Packing – Not Too Soon
    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    7 days ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    7 days ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    7 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    7 days ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    7 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    1 week ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    1 week ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    1 week ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    1 week ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    1 week ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 weeks ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago