Good ideas in Gisborne

Written By: - Date published: 1:28 pm, February 17th, 2017 - 97 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, business, Economy, employment, housing, infrastructure, jobs, labour, manufacturing - Tags:

Andrew Little’s announcement yesterday in Gisborne of Labour’s pledge of up to $20million to build a prefabricated timber plant there is a much-needed boost to the area and a sign that Labour’s 100,000 new house pledge first made by David Shearer in 2012 has legs.

The Gisborne Herald says:

The factory would transform raw logs into building timber and framing to build houses for New Zealand, and infrastructure could include upgrades to the district’s transport systems. It would complement the existing Wood Engineering Technology plant constructed on the Prime Sawmill site by Eastland Community Trust, which this week launched a national search for a mill operator.

It was the move back to the Bay of Plenty that eventually made her want to get back into politics.Allan saw homelessness everywhere and a new sector in society – the working poor. There was also the influx and impacts of pseudoephedrine into the communities and home ownership rates had dropped massively.

“People were really just struggling to survive on the daily. The first time I ever saw a homeless person, I would have been about 13 on K Road. Now you see it everywhere. This isn’t actually the country I grew up in.

“I didn’t sign up to these values. You know, I grew up in a community where people were struggling and you would give them a hand up. Through giving them a hand up, you have also created an environment regionally, nationally, where once they get on their feet, they should be able to flourish and survive.”

Allan is determined to make the Bay a place that she wants to raise her children. She is in it for the long term. For that long term to be prosperous, she wants to help the Bay create an economic environment where as many people as possible can get jobs and take care of their needs.

The electorate needs bold thinking, she says. Which Allan believes she is up to.

Good to see bold thinking from the Labour Party and its candidate.

97 comments on “Good ideas in Gisborne”

  1. Was the announcement yesterday??

  2. Ad 2

    Good red meat.
    Ticks all kinds of boxes at once.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    One of the biggest strengths of the Gisborne region’s economy is timber, yet too many logs are being shipped straight offshore without jobs and value being created for locals.

    And that’s the problem right there.

    It’s easier and cheaper to simply export raw logs which still returns a reasonable profit to the owners but does nothing to develop the economy leaving the country dependent upon crude commodity exports.

    There’s a simple way to address this: Ban exports of raw resources.

    Do that and the economy will have to develop ways to process and utilise the resources that we have and our trade would become high value added products instead of low cost/low price commodities.

    • McFlock 3.1

      aaaaand we end up in a trade war before we have substitute production up and running.

      Sometimes policies should be more nuanced than “ban it”.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        A market system, is by definition, a trade war.

        • McFlock

          more a trade police action

          • Draco T Bastard

            The basic assumption of free-trade is: Willing buyer, willing seller

            If we’re not willing to sell our, and they are ours, resources under some conditions then that is within the bounds of free-trade.

            China was quite entitled to reduce its export of rare-earth metals. It was the EU and the US going to the WTO to force them to continue those exports that was wrong.

            • McFlock

              Thing is, we’re not China. we don’t have a market supremacy in raw logs. But if we decided to ban exports in raw logs, maybe someone will be pissed at that and ban exports to us. Or our kiwifruit gets delayed for a month at a major overseas port. Or “contamination” is detected in our wine and it’s turned back from the border, or whatever. And kiss goodbye to any cabinetry or house framing exports to that region.

              People out of work. We don’t have anywhere to sell the logs or whatever we make from them.

              Not because there was a cabal creating an artificial shortage to damage its foreign policy competitors and therefore they went to international adjudication, but simply because Draco decided he didn’t like log exports one day.

              • Draco T Bastard

                But if we decided to ban exports in raw logs, maybe someone will be pissed at that and ban exports to us.

                I’m all for other nations putting in place bans on export of raw resources. Obviously, if it’s good for us then it’s good for them as well.

                Just think of how great it will be if all those cocoa exporting countries had to develop chocolate factories to export their cocoa.

                People out of work. We don’t have anywhere to sell the logs or whatever we make from them.

                That’s not really a problem. We educate them and develop other industries.

                That, too, is free-market.

                • McFlock

                  So you’ve just fucked the Tiwai smelter workers, our food exporters, anyone who works with imported raw materials, bloody marvellous.

                  And in the lag time as the entire economy pivots – well, we just enjoy the great leap forward, I guess.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    1. There’s a fairly large deposit of bauxite in the far north but it would require open cast mining to get. That said, Tiwai smelter has always been uneconomic which is why it’s always been subsidised. Most of the bauxite that the smelter uses comes from Australia so I’m pretty sure that they’ve got the capability to build a smelter. Probably already have one or two.
                    2. Our food exports are causing massive damage to the environment and are thus unsustainable. Although, proper re-use of the resources would minimise if not totally eliminate the need for those resources.
                    3. Those countries that are presently exporting those raw resources would have to develop the industry instead which would be good for them producing more jobs and, in many cases, actually developing their economy. Are you really sure that you only want NZers to have good, well paying jobs and not other nations?
                    4. I would, of course, phase the ban in over a period of time of around ten years.

                    As I’ve been saying for years: Any nation that’s capable of producing a product will not import that product indefinitely. They will develop that capability themselves if they want what’s best for their people.

                    Trade, in its present format, doesn’t bring wealth and happiness – it brings the exact opposite.

                    • McFlock

                      Ten years? How generous.

                      Why do you think successive governments chose to subsidize it? Jobs.

                      Why don’t we currently mine the northland bauxite? Because it’s cheaper to mine and ship it from Australia.

                      Some of our food exports cause massive environmental damage. Others not so much.

                      Your little vision of self sufficient countries completely ignores geological, climactic and practical differences between nations, not to mention economies of scale. Those are why we need trade.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why do you think successive governments chose to subsidize it? Jobs.

                      But is that actually a good enough reason?

                      Why don’t we currently mine the northland bauxite? Because it’s cheaper to mine and ship it from Australia.

                      Is it though?

                      I’d say that strip mining in NZ is probably ‘cheaper’ as we have those marvellously lower wages that Blinglish was crowing on about.

                      Of course, the tech is the same, the skills are the same and the people doing it need the same care, food and housing.

                      So, is it really actually cheaper?

                      Some of our food exports cause massive environmental damage. Others not so much.

                      So, if we stopped all of the ones that caused environmental damage and started investing in cleaning up our land and waterways, how much farming would be left?

                      Your little vision of self sufficient countries completely ignores geological, climactic and practical differences between nations, not to mention economies of scale. Those are why we need trade.

                      And in that statement you ignore the similarities that minimises trade.

                      1. Every nation can grow cows for dairy and meat.
                      2. Every nation has the resources available to produce their own high tech.
                      3. Every nation has the people available to develop their own economy and culture.

                      Over the last few days people have been upset about the Cadbury closure while I’ve been wondering why we even make chocolate here. We don’t grow cocoa here after all (although we probably could do if we set up the correct artificial environment for it).

                      Would it really be so bad if we imported our chocolate already produced from the country that grew the cocoa?

                      On the other hand, would it really be so bad if we did grow the cocoa here for here?

                    • McFlock

                      Jobs are a bloody good reason at the moment. We haven’t yet reached the golden age where robots do all the work and we all just sit around looking pretty.

                      I’m not overly familiar with the specific geological comparison between the different bauxite deposits, either in projected size or yield per cubic metre, but I do know enough to know that even strip mining has very different difficulties and costs from location to location. Indeed, I would be almost astonished if there were two mines anywhere in the globe that had identical geology, accessibility, and weather conditions so that they had the same cost profiles.

                      So every nation can grow cows. Yay. Well, the desert ones have a much lower yield per acre, but ok. Would cocoa grow in NZ? Interesting idea. The reason we have a wine industry is because people looked at Central Otago and it reminded them of some good grape areas. We might even be able to grow olives. Tobacco grows fine in Dunedin. Watermelons, not so much. But why should I buy local watermelons grown in an expensive artificial environment, when they can be shipped here from up north or aus and still be cheaper?

    • inspider 3.2

      But if people overseas don’t want those exports you are going to have even more unemployment…. Id suggest that There is more chance of building a successful trade in manufactured products on the back of an existing raw material one, than doing so in a vacuum.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        But if people overseas don’t want those exports you are going to have even more unemployment

        We manage to export the raw resources. How about we just export the products that the raw resources are used to produce?

        • inspider

          Because successful exports require markets where people want to buy stuff from nz. You can’t just wave your magic wand and chant “exportiamus”. Nz is sadly not price competitive in sawn timber. We are not even competitive within nz when sawn timber costs 50% -75% more than Australia

          • Draco T Bastard

            Because successful exports require markets where people want to buy stuff from nz.

            They’re already buying it from NZ.

            Nz is sadly not price competitive in sawn timber.

            If we used the same tech then we must be because all the inputs would be the same.

            Here’s the thing: Many of those countries that are ‘price competitive’ actually use lesser tech and therefore cost more because they use more labour.

            Their price competitiveness doesn’t come from being better – it comes from exchange rates that are way out of wack and lack of worker and environmental protections.

            Lesson: We cannot have ‘free-trade’ when things are so imbalanced.

            • BM

              Pine is a fairly low-grade timber product, hard to add value to it.

              Boxing timber and pulp seem to be it’s main usage

              • Draco T Bastard

                What are we exporting it for?

                I mean, if it’s such a low quality product then obviously no one wants it or the products made from it right?

                Products like tables and chairs. Kitset houses and garages.

                Obviously no one wants those things.

              • Muttonbird

                Idiot. All framing timber is pine, no?

          • KJT

            It is the same timber. Milled in New Zealand costing less in Australia.

  4. Leftie 4

    Excellent!! This is a very good plan from Labour.

    • Sure is, Starting to interlock and tie in, with benefits, provincial NZ gets to put into labours housing crisis solution. Methinks double dipper and his mates are in for a busy year fighting more fires than the present Christchurch one. Pressure, pressure . Great tactics and logic employed here.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    I’m in favour of the general policy here. They should be doing similar for other regions and other industries. And one thing that they should be doing is addressing our dependence upon raw commodity exports.

    • red-blooded 5.1

      Draco, they ARE announcing similar plans for other regions and industries. The announcement of the support for a digital games hub in Dunedin is an obvious example. Different industries in different areas to suit their different strengths. This is strong thinking from Labour.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Winner policy.

    • inspider 6.1

      Really? More than 40 sawmills have closed in the last decade and in the last couple of years significant prefab house makers have collapsed including eHomes and ABT.

      You really think Labour knows best?

      A recent BIFNZ report said scale, transport costs and high start up costs are big barriers in NZ. Can’t see a plant in Gisborne solving two of those.

      • BM 6.1.1

        Yep more policy dreamed up by desk jockeys.

        The people writing Labour policy need to get away from the keyboard and actually talk to the people who are at the coal face.

        (Saw your warning Blog Mum, will try harder.)

      • McFlock 6.1.2

        If you insist on viewing every policy decision in a vaccum, you’d be right.

        But scale? Well, decent housing policy would change that.

        Transport? Something otherthan holiday highways might be useful.

        Maybe you’d better expand your perspective.

        • BM

          If Labour can come up with innovative policy around getting more tradespeople on deck I’d swing in behind them, because that’s is the key to getting houses built.

          You can have the land, the materials, but if you’ve got no one to put it together, you’re going nowhere.

          That’s the key to the housing shortage in NZ, I’d like to see what Labours come up with for that because everything else is window dressing.

          • McFlock

            And if they’d just announced a plan to get the people via apprenticeships/fast track training, we’d still need the material.

            • BM

              What about in the short term?, apprentices aren’t worth shit for at least a 2-3 years.

              • McFlock


                Oh, I’m sorry, you reckon there’s an overnight fix for a housing problem that’s grown over decades?

                Not that I have any idea about the specifics of what policies Labour has yet to announce, anyway.

                ISTR last election’s kiwibuild policy had projected minimal impact for the first couple of years, too. Even if they’d announced that they would import builders, there’d still be a delay while we ensured they were actually competent builders.

                But either way, my point was that you took an announcement about a policy project to built materials, and criticised it because it didn’t address levels of trained staff. Well, if they’d just announced a plan to address the levels of trained staff, that wouldn’t address the materials problem.

                And if they do both, there’s still the land issue thta you’ll no doubt helpfully focus on.

                I mean, I know you’re desperate for the details so you can get your mates to copy the policy in a weak and vapid way and pretend it’s a massive announcement and all your own work, but you’ll just have to wait like the rest of us.

                That’s what happens when a party and its likely coalition partners have an integrated policy manifesto, rather than a hurried collection of stand-alone crisis mitigation announcements cobbled together by the week’s focus group.

                • BM

                  Oh, I’m sorry, you reckon there’s an overnight fix for a housing problem that’s grown over decades?

                  That’s the way the left’s been pitching it, obviously full of shit then and trying to pull a swifty on the voting public.

                  • lprent

                    Yep. It is pretty frigging easy.

                    Cut migration until we catch up on housing and infrastructure. Then throw state money at building lower end housing stock as social housing. It pays for itself in the reduced social costs in everything from health to prisons. At the same time put a capital gains tax in place that is actually effective. Not like the piece of crap that Muldoon stuck in as wallpaper back in the 1980s.

                    Of course the first would fracture the unsustainable ‘recovery’ that is a figment of National’s short term thinking.

                  • McFlock

                    Oh, bullshit.

                    Obviously you failed at shitting on the policy, so now you’re churning out a tone argument?

                    All they’ve been pitching is that they’ll actually try to fix the various problems NZ faces (the ones the nats have ignored for nine years and counting) as fast as possible.

                    Labour were quite clear about their timeframe last time, even though you bastards said the schedule was impossible (right up until the nats announced a diluted version of the same policy that seems to have had little to no action).

                    Bring kellyanne conway over here, she can bullshit better than you.

          • Draco T Bastard

            If Labour can come up with innovative policy around getting more tradespeople on deck I’d swing in behind them, because that’s is the key to getting houses built.

            No it’s not.

            The key to getting more houses built is better technology.

            You can have the land, the materials, but if you’ve got no one to put it together, you’re going nowhere.

            That’s what R&D is for – so that you don’t need people to put these things together.

            That’s the key to the housing shortage in NZ

            Nope. As above, they key is better technology.

          • Craig H

            One relevant Labour policy is that employers who take on apprentices will be eligible for subsidies of the same amount as the dole would have cost.

          • gsays

            hi bm,
            “If Labour can come up with innovative policy around getting more tradespeople on deck I’d swing in behind them, because that’s is the key to getting houses built.”

            like if an earthquake struck a big city, causing major damage, needing a rebuild,
            you could use that oppurtunity to employ lots of aotearoa youth and train them up…
            or just award the rebuild contract to one company and have them get temporary staff from overseas coz that is what is good for the bottom line.

            tory scum.

            • RedBaronCV

              Totally agree – Nact missed the opportunity big time in Christchurch. They should have set up a large apprentice cohort with Fletcher’s or some one administering them and then sent them out for practical experience with all the experienced builders and other tradies that went to Christchurch. We would now 6-7 years later have trained tradesmen to cover the retiring boomers.
              We still have a small window open as the boomer tradesmen are starting to wear out _ but they still have a voice – so they could train up a new cohort .
              Love to see this type of scheme attached to the house building plant & other regional development initiatives

              • gsays

                to do this^, we need a reigime that put people before profits.

                • RedBaronCV

                  Actually this sort of stuff makes good economic sense as well, if one takes a wider view, for a country because it gives locals jobs & training cuts back unemployment etc etc. and can be budgeted for as a fairly limited output stopping a lot of downstream costs.

                  The RW economic model is totally individually based “me me me ” not a community based one.

  7. McFlock 7

    Fine idea.
    These regional development announcements are showing that Labour’s done some solid work and has a genuine interest outside auckland and wellington.

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 8

    This just in from the office of the Prime Dipper.

    But, but, the market says that building enough houses is impossible, and if you expose the market’s failure, the market will be angry, and fall on our heads! Stop it! In any case I have announced a much better version of the policy early next week.

  9. Ethica 9

    Did the announcement include fixing the railway line? Would cost only a fraction of road development. Just imagine also having a passenger train service up to there again.

  10. Antoine 10

    Is he going to go round all the provinces and announce $20M of pork in each one??

    Sounds like corporate welfare to me, Stephen Joyce would be proud.


    • Leftie 10.1

      Sour grapes, A?

      • Antoine 10.1.1

        I will wait till I see what bribe my province gets before I form a view.

        Some bridges might be nice!



        • red-blooded

          So, if giving support to industries in the regions and employers who train people is a “bribe”, what was the Holiday Highway?

          Labour’s announcing plans to help give NZers decent lives. That includes encouraging employment and developing basic infrastructure like our housing stock. That sounds pretty good to me.

          • Antoine

            > what was the Holiday Highway?

            A really big bribe!


            • Leftie

              Did you get the point of Red-Blooded’s post though?

              • Antoine

                Broadly yes. If Labour’s plans are to his liking then I am happy for him 🙂


                • red-blooded

                  Hey, Antoine, two points:
                  a) If you got the point of my comment, then you now realise that a workable regional development and employment strategy is not a bribe – it’s one of the responsibilities of a competent government, and
                  b) We’re not all males, you know. (Just thought I’d mention it.)

                  • Antoine

                    (a) I got the point of the comment but did not agree, This is a bribe in my book
                    (b) Sorry, no offense intended

  11. lloyd 11

    If money is invested in activities that generate wealth across the whole community, is it pork barrel economics or is it common sense?

    • Antoine 11.1

      If the sawmill invest their own money, it’s common sense. If they get Government money, it’s pork barrel.


      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        The problem is that the private capital isn’t investing – it’s lobbying government for lower wages and lower working conditions so that they can compete with (apparently) cheaper offshore labour rather than building up a better technological edge.

        Labour are actually promising to do what put the US ahead technologically – they’re going to build the infrastructure and even some industrial plant that will boost productivity.

        Now we need the massive boost in R&D to go with it.

  12. Michael 12

    Is Labour’s burst of generosity to the people (and business owners) of Gisborne conditional on the money getting handed over, “over time” and “as conditions allow”, as it is with its public health policy?

  13. Antoine 13

    Hey, this is a bit like Think Big except the amounts of money involved are a lot smaller. Can we call it Think Little?


  14. Cinny 14

    I’d rather tax payer money be spent on a ‘good idea for Gisborne’ than bailing out a failing private company.

    I think it’s a fantastic idea, for a part of NZ with huge potential.
    Employment opportunities, training and learning new skills, utilising local resources. And, if there is talk of fixing the rail line, what a bonus for the region.

    What has Anne Tolley done for the East Coast? Something? Anything?
    She’s been the MP there for over ten years.

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    Or the sodding great amounts we spend on unemployment benefit or housing supplements.
    See it as seed capital to help the region help itself. It’s tiny
    The left also need a plan to stop the successful outcome being flogged off to private enterprise by some other right wing government.

    • Antoine 15.1

      > The left also need a plan to stop the successful outcome being flogged off to private enterprise

      It would be private enterprise from the get go won’t it? I thought the Government was simply gifting the $20M to the wood processor.


      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1

        If your other “contributions” are anything to go by, you arrived at that conclusion by thinking it.

        Perhaps a dictionary might help. Pay particular attention to the meaning of the word “investment”, and how it differs from the meaning of the word “gift”.

        • Antoine

          I think they are using the word ‘investment’ in the general sense of ‘something that does good to the local economy in the long term’ rather than suggesting that the Government will retain a stake. Does anyone else know which is meant?


          • McFlock

            On what do you base that thought?

            • Antoine

              (a) this seems analogous to the Dunedin games hub ( which seemed to be an outright gift
              (b) there is nothing in the article about what rate of return the Crown would expect, leading me to think that it wouldn’t expect any
              (c) there is nothing in the article about how the Crown would manage any ongoing interest in the plant, leading me to think that it wouldn’t have any.

              … does some more research …

              On the other hand, when Cunliffe originally announced the Regional Development Fund (which is the vehicle intended to fund both projects as well as the hypothetical Palmerston North inland port), he did say that “The Regional Development Fund won’t need to make a commercial rate of return on its investments and will be able to take into account a wider array of benefits and operate with a longer-term perspective than a purely commercial investor can”. This statement does suggest that some returns would be expected so maybe I was wrong in thinking the money would be an outright gift.

              Anyway, happy to be corrected if anyone has actual facts about Little’s intention in this regard.

              FWIW I would prefer the money was simply gifted (in return for the construction of the plant) rather than the Govt retaining equity, as holding equity would presumably make the Govt liable for any ongoing operating losses. Whatever involvement the Govt had in the management of the plant would also be a distraction from the core business of governing the country.

              (A bit like charter schools, which seem to be taking up the Natl Govt’s attention, much out of proportion to their actual value. It is a black eye for the Natl Govt when a charter school fails, just as it would be for the Labour-led govt if the proposed furniture plant went under…)


              • McFlock

                Ok, so B and C give you no basis for your belief, and A is you assuming that a university chair and a business incubator are the same as investing in a wood framing plant. Where the wood framing thing is called an “investment”, the word “investment” does not even appear in the link you gave to the Dunedin announcement, so why would you assume they are the same sort of thing?

                Anyway, it’s a wood framing plant, not a furniture plant.

                You might prefer an outright gift, but I figure the core business of government is the welfare of the people. You might disagree.

                • Antoine

                  On the balance of probabilities I think you are right that there would be some expectation of returns. We are both speculating though.

                  > I figure the core business of government is the welfare of the people

                  An incoming Labour-led Cabinet would be inexperienced, would have limited time and energy, and would only be able to get a limited number of things done. I’d rather they spent their time trying to fix NZ’s education and welfare systems, than trying to figure out how to manage their share of a small wood framing plant in the wop wops.


                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Your “speculation” is that the word “investment” has no meaning. As I said, spotting the pattern in your comments is child’s play.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    An incoming Labour-led Cabinet would be inexperienced, would have limited time and energy, and would only be able to get a limited number of things done.

                    Not as inexperienced as some of the business manager out there – and I’m including ones that have been in business for decades.

                    The problem with business is that its focus is far too narrow and thus they’re incapable of doing anything that is good for the country.

                    I’d rather they spent their time trying to fix NZ’s education and welfare systems, than trying to figure out how to manage their share of a small wood framing plant in the wop wops.

                    I’d say that it’s the same thing.

                    And why do you insult those that live outside of a main centre?

                  • McFlock

                    Even an incoming Labour government would know the difference between being a shareholder and being a manager.

                    If that is the structure of the investment. Which is pure conjecture at this stage, apparently…

              • red-blooded

                Antoine, how is setting up a Chair in digital gaming at Otago University (a public institution) a “gift” to any private company or individual(s)? The public institution retains control over the investment. Yes, it will benefit anyone who wants to set up or run a gaming company here in Dunedin, but I sure as hell don’t have a problem with that!

                • Antoine

                  I was using ‘gift’ in the sense of giving money and expecting no return, as opposed to ‘investment’ in the sense where a commercial return to the giver is expected. Clearly the Chair is the former of these.


                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    …expecting no return…

                    The expectation is that investment in education leads to a significant return: a more highly skilled workforce.

                    These are very simple concepts that have been around for many centuries. Are you new to politics?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2

      Nationalise two going concerns for every privatisation; make it clear that theft and greed will be punished. They’ll soon learn.

      • Antoine 15.2.1

        Buzz off back to Soviet Russia


        • McFlock

          Fair enough. Nationalise everything then

          • Antoine

            Good luck with that

            What has Little ever said to suggest he has any appetite for nationalisation?


            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Pouring cold water on the bonfire of right wing politics, on the other hand, he probably has an appetite for that.

              Peters has previously threatened to re-acquire our stolen goods at cost. You can describe Winston as many things: “Communist” isn’t one of them. You’re missing the punitive aspect of the idea.

              Basically, if you make a deal with the National Party at New Zealand’s expense, you get what’s coming to you.

              • Antoine

                > if you make a deal with the National Party at New Zealand’s expense, you get what’s coming to you.

                I see you like that idea, but I don’t see the connection with reality.

                Has any previous Labour Government punished anyone for making deals with the National party? Has Little ever said he would do that?

                Peters will say anything of course


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  • Green Party will repeal solar tax
    It’s ridiculous for an electricity distribution monopoly to apply a charge on solar panels but worse than that, it’s harming our effort to tackle climate change. Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison last year announced a new solar charge for their ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • English fails the character test over Barclay
    Bill English is hoping this scandal will go away, but he is still dodging important questions over his role in covering up for Todd Barclay, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government must apologise for Christchurch schools stuff-up
    The Ombudsman’s findings that the Ministry of Education botched the reorganisation of Christchurch schools after the 2011 earthquake are damning for an under-fire National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “The Ombudsman has found the reorganisation of schools in ...
    3 days ago
  • Government’s multinational tax measures weak
    The Government’s proposals to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, by its own admission only recovering one third of the missing money, means hardworking Kiwis will bear more of the tax burden, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “The Government ...
    4 days ago
  • World Refugee Day – we can do our bit
    I’m really proud that yesterday, on World Refugee Day, the Greens launched an ambitious plan to increase the refugee quota to 5000 over the next six years. Of those places, 4,000 will be directly resettled by the government and another ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • PM’s leadership in question over Barclay affair
    The Prime Minister must belatedly show some leadership and compel Todd Barclay to front up to the Police, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Twice today Bill English has been found wanting in this matter. ...
    4 days ago
  • Another memory lapse by Coleman?
    The Minister of Health ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered his resignation over the Budget funding fiasco involving the country’s District Health Boards, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “In the House today Jonathan Coleman ...
    4 days ago
  • Bill English needs to come clean over Barclay
    Bill English needs to explain why he failed to be upfront with the public over the actions of Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, following revelations that he knew about the secretly recorded conversations in the MP’s electorate office, says Labour Leader ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister, show some backbone and front up and debate
    Rather than accusing critics of his Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill of telling ‘lies’, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone and front up to a debate on the issue, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “Te ...
    5 days ago
  • Equal pay for mental health workers
    Today, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim through their unions. Mental health support workers do important and difficult work in our communities. But because the workforce is largely female, they are not paid enough. It’s wrong for ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Nats’ HAM-fisted housing crisis denial
    National’s decision to knowingly release a flawed Housing Affordability Measure that underestimates the cost of housing is the latest evidence of their housing crisis denial, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    6 days ago
  • New Pike footage builds compelling case for mine re-entry
    New footage of the Pike River Mine deep inside the operation, revealing no fire damage or signs of an inferno, provides a compelling reason to grant the families of Pike River’s victims their wish to re-enter the drift, says Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses
    The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living ...
    7 days ago
  • Green Party tribute to Dame Nganeko Minhinnick
    Haere ngā mate ki tua o paerau; te moenga roa o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere. It was with a huge sense of loss that we learned of the death of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick yesterday. The Green Party acknowledges ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Urgent answers needed on DHB funding
      Jonathan Coleman must come clean and answer questions about what actual funding DHBs received in Budget 2017, says Labour Health Spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury puts Māori Land Service on red alert
    A damning Treasury report raises serious questions about the delivery of Te Ururoa Flavell’s proposed Māori Land Service, giving it a ‘red’ rating which indicates major issues with the project, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Treasury’s Interim Major Projects Monitoring ...
    1 week ago
  • Economy stalling after nine years of National’s complacency
    The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwi kids deserve much more
    All Kiwi kids deserve so much more than the impoverished picture painted by the shameful rankings provided by the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, says Labour’s children spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Zone a precursor to a total nuclear weapon ban
    New Zealand’s nuclear-free zone, legislated by Parliament in 1987, is something we all take pride in. It’s important, however, that we don’t let it thwart its own ultimate purpose – a world free of nuclear weapons. That goal must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • English must confirm we still stand by our principles on UN resolution
    Bill English must tell New Zealand whether we remain in support of the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “After Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee’s evasive answers to repeated questions on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori party drop the poi on Māori health
    The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure
    Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parihaka: an apology
    An apology only works for healing if it is sincere and if it is accepted. We teach our children to apologise and to be genuine if they want to be forgiven. On Friday, June 9 at Parihaka, the Crown apologised ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Survey shows many international students plan to stay in NZ after study
    Most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) who have a plan for themselves after study intend to stay in New Zealand to work. This shows how low-level education has become a backdoor immigration route under National, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Councils step up as Nats drop the ball on housing crisis
    Phil Goff’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce is another positive example of councils stepping up where National has failed on housing, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealand is a country built on immigration. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inaction puts Māui dolphins at risk
    Conservation Minister Maggie Barry was at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York last week, trying to convince the world that the New Zealand Government is doing a good job at protecting our marine environment.  Yet last week after ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • National unprepared as immigration runs four times faster than forecast
    National has been caught asleep at the wheel by record immigration that has outstripped Budget forecasts, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • First home buyers shouldn’t carry the can for National’s failed policies
    The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Nine years of denial and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Motel bill blows out as Nats fail to deliver emergency housing
    Minister Amy Adams has admitted at select committee that National has now spent $22m on putting homeless families in motels as it fails to deliver the emergency housing places it promised, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, how out of touch are you?
    What was going through Jonathan Coleman’s head in the Health Select Committee this morning when he claimed he was unaware that an estimated 533,000 people have missed out on a GP’s visit in the last 12 months due to cost, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Divided we fall
    I’m getting pretty sick of the politics of division in this country.  The latest example was yesterday’s comments from NZ First leader Winston Peters having a good go in the House at driving up fear and loathing towards people of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Electoral Amendment Bill to enhance democracy
    Democracy will be enhanced under Labour’s Private Member’s Bill which will have its First Reading today, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Police underfunded despite rise in crime
    As crime continues to rise dairy owners are scared for their lives and communities reel under a record increase in burglary numbers, it has now been revealed that Police received less than three quarters of their bid in this year’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Road pricing years off, public transport investment needed now
    With road pricing still years away, Labour will step up with investment in public transport to ease Auckland’s congestion woes, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Call to protect Easter Sunday in Auckland
    Auckland’s Labour MPs are backing the community to protect Easter Sunday by retaining current trading restrictions in the city, says Labour MPs Aupito William Sio and Michael Wood.  “The Government’s weak and confusing decision to delegate the decision over Easter ...
    3 weeks ago
  • $2.3 billion shortfall in health
    The funding needed for health to be restored to the level it was seven years ago to keep pace with cost pressures has widened to a massive $2.3 billion, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.  “We used to have a health ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Catherine Delahunty: My Mataura River visit
    On June 1st the Greens swimmable rivers tour visited the Mataura river and communities connected to it. All we need now is a Government willing to set clear strong rules and support the new conversation about measuring our success by ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 weeks ago