web analytics

Happy Birthday National

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, May 14th, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: history, national - Tags: ,

Today is the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the National Party. So, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the founding principles of the National Party and ask that age old question ‘why are they called National anyway?’

The political background to the founding of the National party is the conflict between the three great political ideologies of the modern age fascism, liberal capitalism, and socialism – which would soon reach a bloody climax in World War 2. New Zealand had the fascist New Zealand Legion, which had up to 100,000 members drawn from the bourgeois, the professional classes, and the farmers. This movement had taken numbers away from the old liberal capitalist power blocks, the Urban (formerly Liberal) Party whose power base was the urban business class and the Reform Party, whose base was farmers. The rise of fascism in New Zealand, as elsewhere, was partially in response to the rise of socialism among the working class and its political vehicle, the Labour party. A party much more radical than today’s Labour, it was truely social democratic, with the goal of public control of the means of production, distribution, and exchange written into its constitution.

The working class and Labour were winning. United and Reform, once fierce rivals, had been forced into a coalition, which was called the National Coalition (so-called because it was nationalist and opposed socialism which is internationalist by nature), to block the political ascendancy of the working class. The 1931 election had delivered a Parliament split between the Reform/United coaltion and Labour, with Labour having the most votes (34%) and fewer seats (24 of 80) than the combined coalition.

But the inevitable could only be delayed. In 1935, New Zealand had just elected its first Labour Government. It would institute a true social wage, whereby people would have free healthcare and education, and guaranteed an income if they couldn’t get work. The State would own core industries employing hundreds of thousands and exercise strong controls over the rest of the economy. It was hugely popular with the massive working class and the small intelligentsia.

For the first time in New Zealand’s history, the capitalists were not in control of the Government, which was not a situation they could permit to continue. Realising that while they were divided Reform and the Liberals could not hope to defeat Labour, they decided to form a united National party to protect the interests of the wealthy and powerful by opposing social democracy. Its founding principles were: ‘To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry.”

Right from the start, National was reactionary and fundamentally hollow standing against ordinary working New Zealanders who want a fairer society.


History

54 comments on “Happy Birthday National”

  1. higherstandard 2

    “Right from the start, National was reactionary and fundamentally hollow standing against ordinary working New Zealanders who want a fairer society.”

    Do you actually believe the cak you write Steve

  2. Yeah, history, huh? What’s that all about?

  3. Jeez HS – you’re really putting up the strong arguments today…

  4. James Kearney 5

    Maw doesn’t like the fact that politics is about competing power interests. Much nicer to talk about freedom and entrepreneurialism than face up to the reality that National is the bosses’ party.

  5. vto 6

    National is the bosses’ party?

    I think it simply may appear that way when the labour party is the unions party and one is embedded unblinkingly within it.

  6. higherstandard 7

    Sod

    It’s hardly worth arguing with an ass but to compare today’s National party with that of over 50 years ago is as fatuous as comparing Helen Clark with Michael Savage or Peter Fraser.

    Both parties are vastly different from what they were even 30 years ago.

  7. Billy 8

    “To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry.’

    Now, that’s soemthing I could vote for. If only it looked like they meant it.

  8. Happy Birthday National!

    Thanks for sticking up for whats right and not whats popular.

  9. If you don’t think that parties represent different power blocks and that in New Zealand the power block Labour represents is the organised working class and Natioanl represents the wealthy capitialists, you’re distached from reality – you need to go along to a National party conference and a labour party conference and see the people who are there, see what they do and what their backgrounds are.

    Politics is not pepsi vs coke – it is power blocks competing, via political parties, for control of the State.

  10. James Kearney 11

    National is the bosses’ party?

    Yes. Look at their policies and the social base from which they draw their membership and their funding.

    I think it simply may appear that way when the labour party is the unions party and one is embedded unblinkingly within it.

    You really don’t know how the NZLP works do you? Here’s some free advice: try not to rely on Audrey Young David Farrar for your information about how Labour works.

  11. Yeah, Brett, all those times Key has chosen to stand up for your definition of what’s right over what’s popular: anti-nuclear, climate change, four weeks leave, student loans, anti-child beating,…. the list of flip-flops where he has gone for what is popular over what National’s base thinks is right is endless.

  12. James Kearney 13

    Thanks for sticking up for whats right and not whats popular.

    This would be the New Zealand National Party you’re talking about Brett?

    captcha- dire Representatives

  13. higherstandard 14

    Steve

    Perhaps you should post a copy of the Labour parties founding principles from the thirties so they can highlighted vs Nationals of the same time..

    [I mentioned Labour’s in the post. There’s noting atypical in them – social democrats want the means of production supply and exchange in the hands of the people, not capitialists. Reactionary parites want to protect the status quo. That was the same the world over and it was the same in New Zealand. The neoliberal revolution and third way politics has dulled the differences but the fundemental difference in objectives remains. SP]

  14. DS 15

    There was a bit of debate in 1936 over what to call the new party. The problem with calling it National was that it made it very easy for Labour to tie it to the unpopularity of the depression-era government. One alternative that was considered was Unionist (i.e. a union of United and Reform), but that would have given the ‘wrong idea’. In the end, they went with National because they liked the implication that it was supposedly in the interests of the ‘nation’. It also tied in with the National Government in Britain at the time, which was ostensibly a Coalition, but in reality basically a Conservative Government.

  15. National is about Honesty, Steve. They put facts over public emotion, and if new research comes out they will change thier policies according to the new data.

    That is what you want from a government.

    Unlike the bigoted Government we have now, who advertise themselves as the saviors of the little people over the big bad white businessmen.

    “Ohh, look, Mr Key has a house in Maui, he has money, he doesnt love you, like Aunty Helen, here have a house, paid for by the tax payer, you didnt work for it, in fact you have never worked for it, but have a house anyway”

    Its in Labour’s best interest, if people remain poor. Its also gotton to a stage where certain sectors of society believe they should just be given a house, even though they havent worked for it.

    [‘National is about Honesty’ is the most naive thing I’ve read all year. Parties are about the interests of the part of society they represent. That’s why John Key said he would love to see wages drop (and then lied about it) – it’s in National’s base’s interest for wages to drop, but it’s not in their interest for people not to vote National because they know it.

    Incomes are up under Labour, they stagnated under National. The Left wants wealth to be shared among the people, the Right wants wealth to remain with the wealthy. SP]

  16. Tane 17

    Brett you’re even more blindly partisan than some of the Helen-worshipping Labour hacks I know. It’s not healthy brother.

  17. Billy 18

    As I mentioned the other day, if 59% of taxpayers earn less than $30k, and National is polling over 50%, being “wealthy and powerful” obviously isn’t what it used to be.

  18. Tane:

    No, your wrong, like most New Zealanders I voted labour all my life, including the last election, where I split my vote, Labour/NZFirst.

    Im voting National this year for the first time, and like a lot of kiwis have changed my politics from being centre left to centre right.

  19. Billy 20

    “I split my vote, Labour/NZFirst…”

    Often wondered who it was who wanted that government.

  20. Tane 21

    Billy, if it were that simple there’d be no need for PR in politics, parties would simply release their policies and let the public judge for themselves. But you know as well as I that’s not how it works, especially in the National Party.

  21. Rocket Boy 22

    Steve it is interesting that you see politics in such black and white dimensions; National is for the bosses and Labour is for the workers.

    You would probably get on well with a certain George W, he sees the world as divided into ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

    Trouble with your views Steve is that I’m a boss, I own a business, I employ people yet have voted Labour for the last couple of elections, how does that fit your ‘National is for the bosses’ view?

  22. Rocketboy:

    I’m obviously presenting a simplified analysis of a complicated picture because these are blog posts not theses.

    If you’re a boss and you vote Left that’s awesome, I know there are many who do because they see a wider, longer-term interest in a society with decent public service and decent wages. Your short-term economic interests are best met by voting National (tax cuts) but you see the wider picture. Good on you, me too.

    There are many people who are high earning themselves but still have a social conscience and vote Left. There are many people on low incomes who vote Right because of conservative ‘values’ when their economic interests are best served by voting Left. When voting, the economic classes aren’t cleanly split because of a whole range of factors but the power bases are different and divided and the parties do act in the interests of those bases.

  23. Phil 24

    Steve,

    Like your writing style, your political views are monochromatic.

    Your capacity to move beyond classifying political actors as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is so miniscule and stunted by your narrow world view, that I’m starting to think you really do need some help to get over your bizzare little complex.

  24. Draco TB 25

    National hasn’t really changed in the last 60 years – they still support the status quo and resist change. The status quo that they support is a few people owning everything and everyone else being thankful to those owners that they have a job even if it is at starvation wages.

  25. j 26

    ” social democrats want the means of production supply and exchange in the hands of the people, not capitialists.”

    Would that be under the command of the revolutionary vanguard until the day the masses develop the appropreiate class consciousness?

    [not in the social democrat, as opposed to revolutionary, model. The Right have been trying to scare poeple into thinking that social democracy will mean no more elections since well-before the Dominion tried it on in 1938. Didn’t work then, either. SP]

  26. gobsmacked 27

    “Like most New Zealanders I voted labour all my life, including the last election, where I split my vote, Labour/NZFirst.”

    Putting aside your problems with arithmetic (have we had majority Labour governments lately, or ever?), was Labour your party vote?

    I actually voted for the National candidate in my electorate, but certainly would not call myself a “National voter” at all. I voted Labour. Did you?

  27. Tane 28

    Would that be under the command of the revolutionary vanguard until the day the masses develop the appropreiate class consciousness?

    You don’t understand social democracy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy

  28. higherstandard 29

    Draco aren’t your accusations regarding National exactly what Labour is doing with the nationalisation of Rail.

    captcha smart university – obviously not

  29. TomS 30

    National was founded by reactionaries in the Country and Reform parties primarily to oppose the program of the Labour Party. It doesn’t stand for anything, except maybe entrenching the privileges of private property. It only got elected after it accepted the new political landscape and adopted the welfare state, and until it was tossed out in 1972 then proceeded to run the country based on the red scare, access to British markets, and a do-nothing colonial complacency befitting a party that consisted mainly of representatives of the white settler squatocracy. National has never produced any great reformers or great leaders and has articulated a New Zealand based vision for the country. That’s been Labour’s preserve from Savage and Fraser through Kirk and Lange and now to Clark. Who have we had from National? Muldoon? Apart from three years from 1967-1984 Muldoon was minister of finance and he practically destroyed the economy. Nowadays National is little more than a collection of factions – a rump of 1990’s has-been ACT lite new right ideologues peddling populist conservatism; Power hungry members of the new elites with a screaming sense of self-entitlement and the remnants of left behind white settler class. But one strand has always been there – National is the party of people who see New Zealand primarily as a place to do business, Labour has always been the party of those who see New Zealand primarily as a place to live.

  30. Matthew Pilott 31

    HS – the “few people” Draco TB meant probably didn’t involve the state…

    And where does Labour’s railway buy-back call for starvation wages?

  31. higherstandard 32

    MP

    Yes I suspected that – his post however assumes that a government is a better employer and won’t look after their own at the high echelons of the company before they look after everyone else ….. incredibly naive

  32. j 33

    “You don’t understand social democracy.”

    I understand the language of class warfare though and this is what iprent is using. if lynn wants to be taken seriously as social democrat then quit sounding like a marxist.

  33. higherstandard 34

    J it’s not Lynn that’s putting in the comments it’s Steve

  34. Tane 35

    J, social democrats don’t deny there’s a class structure in society. It’s the reason they’re social democrats.

    Funny enough, it’s those who have the power and wealth who tend to get wound up whenever class is mentioned.

  35. Well, tane said what j’s quoting and I offered the definition of social democrat objectives.

    j. you need to realise that marxism is one train of broader socialist thought as is social democracy. Marxism differs from social dmeocratic thought in several important ways but not in the idea of social ownership of the means of production – people differ about means, forms of ownership or control and extent or depth of control/ownership but everyone who is a socialist (as opposed to a capitalist) believes that the means of production, distribution and exchange should, to some extent, be held under collective control, rather than in the hands of individual controllers of captial. That’s what socialism is.

  36. Billy 37

    It sounds so scary when you explain it like that, Steve.

  37. Ari 38

    HS- that would be different from the current employer who completely disregards their workers’ environment how? 😉

  38. higherstandard 39

    Sorry Ari you’ve lost me – problem with only looking at the thread while having a cup of tea you tend to loose track of what’s going on.

  39. Ari 40

    I should point out very quickly that there hasn’t really been a truly Marxist regime, in that they all got hijacked into authoritarian dictatorships during the revolutionary phase. (The closest thing to Marxism right now is Cuba. And they’re not there yet, either)

    I should also point out that as social democrats go, Labour is very invested in liberal capitalism. We don’t really have an extreme “leftist” party in New Zealand- just two different centre-left approaches from Labour and the Greens.

    Steve- I think “collective control” is confusing your audience, because they think that implies ownership all the time. Labour seems pretty clear that outside of infrastructure, this control is about regulatory interference in the market when it increases the welfare of the nation as a whole.

  40. Ari 41

    HS- sorry, hadn’t been a post between yours and mine while I was writing that. Heh.

    I was asking how the government promoting the interests of some workers over another would be any worse than a company that is actively hostile to the interests of all of its workers, not only shirking its own environmental responsibilities beyond the level of simple corporate opportunism, (ten years of subsidised emissions and grandfathering is not enough for them? Tough, that is so generous I’m surprised their eyes are still in their sockets) but also trying to open up the door for others to do so.

  41. higherstandard 42

    Ari

    Would you prefer a Troskyist version of Marxism in NZ rather than the centrist Labour or National government ?

  42. higherstandard 43

    Ari

    I think your view that there is no reason to believe the government is, or will be, a better employer than the private sector.

  43. Tim 44

    There is hardly any difference between National and Labour these days. It’s got to the point where National has said that if it gets into power it won’t make significant changes to the Employment Relations Act. The so-called bosses’ party isn’t going to significantly change the employment law of the so-called workers’ party. Both parties are equally lame in my opinion.

  44. different socialists differ on what level of intervention in the market is needed to ensure that the economy works in society’s interest – some would say you want regulation and little ownership, some would say you want ownership of key infrastructure, as we have now, some would say more, some would say own it all… the key is the idea that that society should collective benefit from the economy’s production of wealth, and ensure that production happens in a way that is compatible with society’s interests. Rather than having those decisions taken by indiviudals who happen to control capital based on their narrow self-interest.

    There are infinite shades between anarcho-communism and anarcho-capitialism with people arguing for various levels of state/social intervention in the economy.

  45. Ari 46

    HS- While I’d certainly agree with your assertion that I find both Labour and National inadequate in ways, I can’t agree that Marxism would be better in any form. While I essentially agree with Marxist principles, I think it’s a very unstable form of government and would require a very high level of economic efficiency or very low population (and therefore material excess) to stabilise. In short, it’s one of those utopian dreams that just won’t see the light in our lifetimes.

    I’d actually really like to see a coalition Government between the Green Party and a party of Social Liberals- (we currently don’t have any of those in New Zealand Parliament… think of what would happen if you took Act’s economic policy and spliced it with Labour’s social policy. Admittedly, Labour has been moving closer and closer to this position recently in its race to the centre) I think issues of social freedom are the one area where New Zealanders really agree in politics- we don’t like our governments authoritarian, and the backlash to Labour right now is mostly along those lines, which I find odd given that National has a much worse track record in that respect.

  46. Matthew Pilott 47

    …assumes that a government is a better employer and won’t look after their own at the high echelons of the company before they look after everyone else .. incredibly naive

    HS – you can’t have it both ways – aren’t public servants grossly overpaid for doing nothing but shuffle paper? (I doubt you’ve said that exclusively, but either the govt pays starvation wages, grossly overpays people, or perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle. I couldn’t comment about what Toll has paid as of late).

  47. Lew 48

    What Ari says is the irony of all this. In the wider swathe of conventional left-right political-philosophic thought, National and Labour are like siblings. It’s like arguing over whether Poison or Def Leppard sold out the worst, or whether Apocalypse Now or Platoon is the better Vietnam War movie. Genuinely extreme regimes have been tried on both sides – and generally been rejected. What’s left to argue over is mostly nuance and posturing.

    This is thrown into clear relief by the `race to the centre’ both parties are currently running. I study symbolic politics. The major trend in attracting voter support is not so much the advancement of bold, radical policy as it was in the 1980s, but the struggle by both parties to normalise their policies or philosophies as `good management’ or `common sense’: to introduce them into the political orthodoxy of the day. To an extent this has always been the case, but I’d argue this strategy has partly displaced others in the past decade or so. Labour’s major achievement in that time has been in introducing policies like the ETS, interest-free student loans, Working For Families, etc. into the political orthodoxy – making them so accepted that National simply can’t afford to repeal them and retain electoral credibility. Ironically this might be the Clark government’s undoing, because Key’s National might well win the coming election on what looks very much like a traditional Labour ticket.

    L

  48. Great post SP, and accutely observed comment TomS.

    National’s uninspiring but unwavering promotion of the interests of capital over the first forty years of its existence (even under Muldoon) is plain to see.

    However, it’s difficult to pin down *exactly* what National stands for now as it nears superannuation entitlement age. After its nadir in 1999, the big corporate capital/neoliberal right tried to use the hollowed out carcase to sneak into power, but that having failed the pragmatic tendency seems to have reasserted itself. Clearly the default is still to favour capital. But as Chris Trotter pointed out recently, there’s not a lot that National’s offering right now that would appeal corporate capital in particular. Somebody mentioned employment law — the most likely change there is a 90 day period without PG cover, and that’s really aimed at the SME sector.

    Raises some important questions… How did they get to where they are? I guess the slow realisation that NZers generally don’t want neoliberalism is, er, key, there. And how stable are the current National policy preferences? What would it take to see them revert to form?

    (election year?) capthcha: Manufacturing honey

  49. Lew 50

    Good questions, jafapete. This is where I was headed, but the post was long-winded enough already.

    L

  50. Thanks Lew,

    Missed your post because of a break in the middle of drafting mine. I’d agree with what you say, except that I don’t think I’d call National’s “Labour Lite” platform a “traditional labour ticket”. More “Third Way.”

    All other things being equal, over time the differences of the two third way options will emerge ineluctably, just as they did over the post-war period as National administered the welfare state without a great deal of enthusiasm, and the welfare state gradually sank into the capitalist swamp.

    But a proper analysis is needed, that takes into account the changing nature of capitalism in NZ over the past little while, and rise (and fall?) of neoliberalism, amongst other factors. If only Bruce Jesson were here.

  51. Of course this is just arguments about statism. The so called “public” or “collective” control is political control, control by politicians, with bureaucrats marching alongside. It isn’t about the citizens, who get their incomes pilfered for whatever is deemed to be “public”, and can’t demand a refund, or accountability if they don’t get what is promised. If you don’t get your operation in hospital, tough you suffer or pay twice. If your kid’s school hires a bad teacher and you can’t convince it otherwise, you suffer or take your kid out and pay twice. If the “publicly owned” business gives you poor service or constantly demands your taxes, you can’t sell your shares in it, or stop paying for its failure to perform.

    That’s the statism of social democracy, the consumer of “public services” has no power except the vote every three years. Those who are wealthy can always pay more to get out of the trap, but the vast masses in the middle get their taxes taken and have to trust that the centrally planned social services might deliver when they want them. When they don’t, all the social democrats say “need more money”, instead of thinking that centrally planned monopolies where consumers have absolute no power deliver precious few incentives to perform.

    National and Labour play the same game, the same status quo and the same scaremongering that anything other than they managing these enormously important sectors would be “disaster”. Politicians and bureaucrats are, under social democracy, playing with large amounts of other people’s money with precious little to hold them to account for not delivering. That’s social democracy!

  52. And the Standard draws another libertarian. Surely there’s some kind of software that can screen out these loons. I know I’ve said this before but I vote we round them all up and put them on some kind of an island where they can live in a market utopia. We’re just not good enough to share the same country as these ubermenchen. They should be set free to embrace their greatness. Please. An island. Far, far away…

    [lprent: ‘sod I exclude on behavior – not religious belief. You should know that better than anyone. Please don’t try to start flames.]

  53. redbus 54

    No candles to blow out. The flame in that party faded out under English.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


History

  • Crime states paint a dismal picture
    The crime statistics released today paint a picture of crime on the increase as Judith Collin’s promise of more front line cops fails to materialise, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “There were over 9500 more burglaries, almost 4,000 more ...
    7 hours ago
  • Nick Smith must urgently intervene to avoid housing delays
    National must urgently legislate to make the unitary plan operable while allowing a high court challenge against to make its way through the legal process, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland desperately needs this plan right away to ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis drowning in debt in out of control housing market
    New statistics reveal Kiwis are taking on record levels of debt in order to get into the housing market, as prices continue to outstrip incomes, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Stats NZ has today revealed real estate loans ...
    1 day ago
  • Planning reform report a turning point?
     A joint report from business and environmentalists on the Resource Management laws could be a turning point for both planning and environmental protection, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker.  “The four organisations, the Environmental Defence Society, the Property Council, the ...
    1 day ago
  • Privatisation and deregulation not the solution
    Deregulation, privatisation, and shifting more of the cost onto students isn’t the way to address inequality, lack of innovation and declining participation in tertiary education, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 days ago
  • Homeownership out of reach for middle income Aucklanders
    New figures show that even middle income Aucklanders are finding themselves unable to afford to buy a first home as National’s housing crisis rolls on, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New data released by interest.co.nz shows that the lower ...
    2 days ago
  • More toilet cleaners or more tradespeople?
    The Government is not doing enough to help the construction and trades sector meet its workforce demand, instead steering students towards cleaning toilets, says Labour’s Skills and Training spokesperson Jenny Salesa. ...
    2 days ago
  • More cracks appear in health funding
    News that the Waikato District Health Board could lose $2.7 million from its budget because it failed to make an elective target is downright disturbing, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “This is a DHB that has tried ...
    2 days ago
  • Student debt cracks the billion mark
    New figures showing that student loan defaulters have now clocked over $1 billion in debt highlights National's failure to combat spiralling student loan debt, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "Threatening to arrest returning student loan borrowers at the ...
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Students just a commodity to National
    National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has confirmed that his party sees international students as nothing more than a commodity, says Labour's Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. "Mr Bakshi’s appalling comparison of some students to 'faulty fridges' that should be returned to ...
    4 days ago
  • Tolley’s spin on Education spend doesn’t add up
    National’s spin about school funding won’t wash with parents who are paying more and more of the cost of their kids’ education every year, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “All the spin in the world can’t hide the fact ...
    4 days ago
  • National not facing up to export challenge
    “The latest export data from Statistics New Zealand paints a picture of an economy which is not paying its way in the world, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Exports fell 9% - led by milk powder exports falling to ...
    4 days ago
  • Correction over Talley’s statement
    Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway has been advised by AFFCO Ltd that AFFCO is not advertising for staff in the Manawatu through MSD as stated in a press statement released earlier today.  “I have been advised by AFFCO that ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister, cut your losses – withdraw this doomed Bill
    Local Government Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga’s request for a five month extension on the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) is an admission that the Bill is fundamentally flawed, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman’s cuts create crisis
    Mental health services in New Zealand are in a state of crisis with Youthline saying that calls for extreme depression doubled last year, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “About 150 young Kiwis are missing out on help ...
    1 week ago
  • Government helping Talley’s to break workers
    The Ministry for Social Development appears to be assisting Talley’s-Affco replace experienced workers effectively locked out by the company, say Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni and Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “MSD is advertising for meat processing workers for ...
    1 week ago
  • Electives lag due to $1.7 billion hole
    The lag in hip and knee replacements is a direct consequence of the Government’s $1.7 billion underfunding of health, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.  “A comprehensive study by the University of Otago says that the rate of ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Master Builders’ Constructive conference
    Today’s all about being Constructive. And that is good because I believe there is a hunger out there for positive solutions. We must be able to believe there can be a better future. ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Party housing plan complete failure
    The Māori Party’s housing plan to put more Māori into more homes has been a complete failure with fewer than five loans granted per year, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fund IRD better to go after tax avoiders
    National’s Tax Working Group used the following graph (p30) in 2010 as part of their justification to cut the top tax rate. The big peaks around the top tax threshold were evidence of a suspiciously high number of taxpayers ...
    GreensBy robert.ashe
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika youth ignored by the Government
    The Adolescent Health Research Group’s new report on the wellbeing of young Pacific people shines a spotlight on the Government’s failure  to deliver any “brighter future” for them, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Their research shows ...
    1 week ago
  • Police in the provinces are dissatisfied
    Police in the cities of Gisborne, Napier and Hastings are a lot more unhappy than their big city cousins says Labour’s Police Spokesman Stuart Nash.     “In fact the top four districts for enjoyable work within NZ Police are ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt action needed after Wheeler holds
    The Reserve Bank Governor’s warning that “excessive house price inflation” is posing a risk to financial stability puts the pressure back on the Government to take action to address the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister confirms – new ministry only about abuse
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Silver Ferns Farms decision a tragedy
    The rubber stamping by the Overseas Investment Office of the Shanghai Maling buyout of Silver Fern Farms is a sorry day for the once proud New Zealand meat sector, says Labour’s spokesperson for Primary Industries, Damien O’Connor.  “Generations of Kiwis ...
    1 week ago
  • Benching Nick Smith first step to Kermadec solution
    Side-lining Nick Smith must be the first step in sorting out the Government's Kermadec debacle, says Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Last week Labour called for Nick Smith to be removed from further negotiations with Te Ohu Kaimoana over the ...
    1 week ago
  • Parents, schools, teachers oppose bulk funding
    Overwhelming opposition to the National Government’s school bulk funding proposal is unsurprising and Hekia Parata should now unequivocally rule out proceeding with the idea, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Bulk funding could only lead to bigger class sizes or ...
    1 week ago
  • MBIE gives up on enforcing the law
      The Government must provide labour inspectors with the resources they need to enforce basic employment law after reports that MBIE is only prosecuting the worst cases, says Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Today’s news that MBIE ...
    1 week ago
  • West Coast population declines amid bleak economic forecast
    Despite the country experiencing record population growth, the number of people living in the West Coast fell, highlighting struggles in the region from low commodity prices and a poor economic forecast, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest ...
    1 week ago
  • Recovery roadblocks cause for concern
    Strong pressure on mental health services, a flagging local economy and widespread issues with dodgy earthquake repairs are all causes for concern for people in Canterbury according to a new survey, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Today the CDHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Motel purchase must not kick people onto the street
    The Government’s purchase of a South Auckland motel to house the homeless must come with a promise that the current long term tenants will not be kicked out onto the streets, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is bizarre ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not everyone singing along to so-called rock star economy
    The Westpac McDermott Miller Confidence Survey shows there is serious unease about the economy’s ability to deliver benefits to many New Zealanders, despite the Government trumpeting headline figures, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “According to this survey a significantly ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Youth no better off under National’s “guarantee”
    John Key’s Youth Guarantee is such a spectacular failure that those who undertake the programme are more likely to end up on a benefit and less likely to end up in full-time employment than those who don’t, Leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More low-skilled students becoming residents
    New figures showing international students now make up nearly 40 per cent of all principal applicants approved for New Zealand residency and that their skill level has fallen dramatically, are further evidence that National’s immigration system is broken, says Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 35% of offshore speculators paying no tax
    Offshore investors are aggressively exploiting tax breaks to pay no tax on their rental properties according to IRD data released by Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “35% of offshore investors are paying no tax on their properties, and are pocketing ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Friday fish dump stinks
    This government has dumped bad news on a Friday to try to avoid political scrutiny in Parliament, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OECD report card: National must try harder
    The OECD report on education shows there’s much more to be done for young Kiwis, Labour’s education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kermadec stoush shows Maori Party double-standards
    The Māori Party’s reaction to the trampled Treaty rights and the Government’s lack of consultation on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary reeks of the same arrogant mismanagement of the unpopular Maori land reforms, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flawed fish dumping calls
    The finding that MPI failed to properly enforce the law even when it had evidence of fish dumping seriously damages the trust and credibility of the Ministry, the industry and this Government, Labour's Fisheries Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sidestepping Smith should be side-lined
    Nick Smith's arrogance and disrespect towards Māori is putting the future of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary at risk and he needs to excuse himself from further negotiations with Te Ohu Kaimoana, Labour's Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must respond to cash for jobs scam
    Urgent Government action is required to halt  the emerging cash-for-jobs immigration scandal that is taking hold in New Zealand says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Stories of rogue immigration agents scamming thousands of dollars from migrant workers are just further ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government dragging its feet on surgical mesh
    Jonathan Coleman is dragging his feet over any action to protect New Zealanders from more disasters with surgical mesh, says Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The Government’s pathetic response is to claim all will be fixed by a new regime to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s baby number app goes gangbusters
    An interactive tool that celebrates Labour’s achievements in health over the decades has become an online hit, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Since the tool was launched last night, 18 thousand people have used it to find their baby ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Real disposable income falls in last three months
    Kiwis are working harder than ever but real disposable income per person fell in the last quarter thanks to record population increases, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said. ‘In Budget 2016 the National Government said that what mattered most for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Baby number app celebrates Labour achievements
    Labour has launched an interactive tool that allows New Zealanders to take a look back at our achievements in health over the decades, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Today is the 78th anniversary of the Social Security Act 1938, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal experts unpick Māori land reforms
    One of New Zealand’s top law firms has joined the chorus of legal experts heavily critical of the controversial Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill, adding more weight to the evidence that the reforms fall well beneath the robust legal standards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Industries most reliant on immigration worst offenders
    The industries most reliant on immigration are the worst offenders when it comes to meeting their most basic employment obligations, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “The industries that are most reliant on immigration are Hospitality, Administration, Agriculture, Forestry and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to remove law that discriminates against sole parents
    It’s time to repeal a harmful law that sanctions those who do not name the other parent of their child, Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Every week, 17,000 children are missing out because their sole parent is being ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government handling of Kermadecs threatens Treaty rights
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister should give Police Minister some backbone
    The Prime Minister should condemn the ridiculously light sentence given to Nikolas Delegat for seriously assaulting a police woman, Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago


History


History


History