How Can Labour Win in 2023?

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, July 7th, 2022 - 213 comments
Categories: election 2023, jacinda ardern, kiwisaver, labour, public transport, uncategorized - Tags:

Right now Labour is preparing the ground for its run at 2023’s election with new policy. New policy must be wildly popular.

Labour are in a steep polling decline. Unlike the 2020 election in which they coasted home on crisis management, they are actually going to have to stand for something.

What could make Labour popular enough to them back leading a third term in government?

Like the Efeso Collins candidacy for Auckland mayor, you only need a few memorable policy planks to build a clear electoral pathway.

Some may argue that dumping or significantly revising the 3 Waters policy programme would bring back rural voters and 50+ male voters. But those voters are gone and aren’t coming back, so there is nothing to be gained in ditching or gutting 3 Waters.

Others may argue that really it can be left to the Greens and the Maori Party to propose specific strong policy, as a start to coalition negotiations. But neither small party has anywhere else to go. I would simply respond that specific policies introduced quite late into the 2006 election won the day for Labour, so strong Labour policy is a sound third term election tool.

They need to be popular, progressive, and specific.

So here’s three to start off the debate, in no particular order.

  1. Free public transport for the first 4 stages. This supports national carbon goals, while not subsidising urban sprawl. It sustains that core Auckland and Wellington voter.
  2. Pull GST back to 5%. This responds to inflation in food prices, as well as rolling back regressive taxation. It is an exceedingly expensive policy but a powerful one.
  3. An extra $1,000 for every Kiwisaver. This supports stronger savings across the country.

While the government wraps up the remainder of its term with the RMA legislation, the 3 Waters programme, structural health reforms, and keeping more public health crises at bay, the Party needs pointy heads to make it attractive again.

What popular, progressive, specific policies will get Labour back for another term?

213 comments on “How Can Labour Win in 2023? ”

  1. James Simpson 1

    I think by the end of next year we will will have passed the probable recession, inflation will be largely under control, and the Reserve Bank will have softened their hawkish outlook.

    It will be a post COVID/recession rebuild type environment.

    Rather than make public transport free, I feel a massive investment in public transport infrastructure would be better. Propose ways to get people from Botany to the North Shore on public transport without having to swap busses 17 times. Get a second habour crossing planned for light rail and cycles.

    Complete a Hamilton CBD to Auckland CBD rail that takes less than 2 hours.

    • weka 1.1

      Public transport subsidies can be done immediately and make a different directly into people's lives = votes. PT infrastructure has to be redesigned and upgraded anyway because of climate, but outside of Auckland it's probably not a big vote gain.

      • James Simpson 1.1.1

        A PT subsidy is good for nothing if I can't get to where I need to be via PT.

        • weka

          Ok, so they do both I think. Free PT because it's more immediate, with a big push to improve infrastructure over the next term and beyond.

      • Belladonna 1.1.2

        Free PT sounds great, but I don't think it's a significant vote winner for 3 reasons:

        1. It's pretty much irrelevant outside the big cities – there is virtually no public transport. People drive, because they have to.

        2. PT is already cost-effective over driving and parking in big cities. The problem is that it's not fast, and effective (it doesn't go where you want to go, and get you there when you need to be there).

        3. Covid. I'm not picking that it's going away any time soon – and most people (given any other choice at all) don't want to be stuck in an enclosed box with a whole crowd of strangers and their germs. Parents I know are even re-considering their kids using school buses – especially for kids with exams coming up – the infection risk is high…

        • Craig H

          PT isn't necessarily cost effective in Christchurch or Dunedin compared to parking and driving, especially not for a family. Half-price helps a lot in that regard, but free would be even better.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    • Basic Income of a few grand to all NZ citizens via IRD (clawback via tax as income rises over say $20,000), retire WINZ/MSD for good. Super Gold payments are actually benefits! Dole bludger one day, heroic pensioner the next.

    • Fare Free Public Transport, and significant subsidies on EVs and charging networks

    • Free Dental care

    • State House and Apartment mega build using flat packs to circumvent local suppliers and developers. Life long tenancies and transferable tenancies for work, study and vacation.

    • Institute a full legalised Cannabis industry, and strategically wind down industrial dairying while promoting plant based agriculture

    • All public sector chiefs to reapply for their jobs…

    but, but, that’s like s-s-s-socialism…likely won’t happen till boomers die and the new gens get organised as well as getting tattoos…

    • Chris 2.1

      Sure, the boomers might have to die for those things to become attractive, but it's equally important for the next bunch coming through to be prepared. At the moment the right in New Zealand has the monopoly on the climate of opinion. Yes, wait for the last of the boomers to leave the scene, but things won't improve if they're replaced by similar-thinking souls.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1

        That is an old argument–that proportionally tory values and world view will stay roughly similar for new gens as if hardwired and inherited.

        The challenge is obviously to overcome such a deterministic view. Under 40s I talk to are nothing like the NZ greybeard pundits online. Maybe I mix in odd circles!–the thing is to get them participating.

    • RosieLee 2.2
      • Ban all property sales to foreigners and increase rates on empty houses.

      * CGT on all but the family home and bach

      * Clear country of origin food labeling.

      * Remove GST from all fresh healthy foods and double it on junk.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.2.1


      • Chris 2.2.2

        "CGT on all but the family home and bach"

        A more palatable response might be to target those with multiple rentals, rather than run the risk of being labelled "anti-mum and dad investor preparing for retirement". The recent changes to interest payments as deductible costs for tax purposes is an example of how blunt-instrument reform can capture the wrong situations.

        • RosieLee

          It's not about "mum and dad investors". I'm so sick of hearing that, and about "the property market". It's about people owning their own home by the time they retire and therefore being secure.

          By all means target those with multiple rentals.

          • Chris

            But the so-called targeting misses the worst offenders, which are those with multiple properties. I don't have a problem with someone owning an extra property, maybe even two extra properties, if they're responsible landlords receiving fair rents. But the recent changes just don't touch those with the real wealth – for example this group doesn’t care about the removal of interest write-offs because they either own everything outright, have enough cash it doesn't matter or can hock one of their many properties if they feel it's necessary. It's further up the property-owning food chain you'll find where the real damage is being done.

    • weka 2.3

      • Basic Income of a few grand to all NZ citizens via IRD (clawback via tax as income rises over say $20,000), retire WINZ/MSD for good. Super Gold payments are actually benefits! Dole bludger one day, heroic pensioner the next.

      If you retire WINZ who manages benefits?

      • Tiger Mountain 2.3.1

        IRD is who. Apply–get direct credited. No more War on the Poor.

        Stop the value judgements on those alienated and discarded since 1984, and their later family members.

        • Belladonna

          Might be a good policy platform for other Left parties – but I can't see it getting Labour to win in 2023.

        • weka

          who decides how much disability allowance a disabled person gets? Or TAS?

          tl;da (too long, didn't argue). Upshot is that benefits are in part based on the individual beneficiary's circumstances. Many benefits are highly individualised. eg someone with a chronic illness needs specific things that someone with a different disability doesn't. Someone has to approve the rates and things that people get paid for.

          WINZ are bad at this. MoH would be worse, we'll see about the new Disability ministry. IRD are out of the question for the decisions.

          There are solutions to this, but UBI and dismantling WINZ isn't one of them, and it plays straight into the hands of NACT who would love to dismantle welfare. What we need is a UBI with welfare bolted on.

          • weka

            I'm fairly sick of explaining this. I get that people hate WINZ, but it's really not ok to advocate for the dismantling of WINZ without having a good replacement plan. It puts beneficiaries at worse risk than they are now.

            • Tiger Mountain

              Don’t write novellas, mainly short posts on The Standard, so not every base is covered every time!

              I too have covered this before weka–retire WINZ/MSD because the culture is irredeemable and punitive, and institute a new special needs agency for disabled, long term conditions etc. along side a Basic Income.

    • "Super Gold payments are actually benefits! Dole bludger one day, heroic pensioner the next."

      Thank you Mr Seymour!

    • theotherpat 2.5

      i'm a boomer and i like those ideas!!

      • Tiger Mountain 2.5.1

        Boomer also, there is always the danger of stereotyping–am in the minority that is still politically active, and know a number of cash strapped boomers too as elder poverty bites. Certainly not all boomers are well off at all.

        I opposed Rogernomics from the outset in the unions I was involved in etc. And supported a national strike over the ECA in ’91 that the NZCTU affiliates voted down–or more accurately the National Seccies did from Engineers, PSA, etc. while many of their members were at rallies and marches calling for a stoppage!

        • theotherpat

          yeah it wasn't a good time….was a delegate for 18 years and eventually the lack of giving a shit from the membership just helped me give it a miss….everyone all too comfortable it appears…..go union!!

  3. Ngairengaire 3

    Bring dental care in along with other health care. Trip to dentist same as doc. Then subsidised treatment costs.

  4. Ed1 4

    Bring back child benefit – and the ability to capitalise it to pay a deposit on a home. Bring back State Advances loans at slightly lower than market rates, but with a payment commitment of a percentage of income. There could also be rent to buy arrangements where capital gains get shared with the state. Done right, it may be able to increase home ownership without competing with banks, and also put downward pressure on rents.

    Start phasing in penalties for polluted water, and make 3 Waters optional, but with set dates a few years apart for opting in – we don't have the ability to fix everything in just a few years anyway, but start with the Councils that are prepared to look long term. That may be sub-optimal where regional schemes are needed, and Canterbury has special problems, but perhaps some communities deserve to find out how much more rates should have been, and areas with good water systems may not need to do anything for some time anyway.

  5. weka 5

    Public transport, dental care, probably GST (seems a way better option than a tax cut, but there's still how it would all be paid for).

    • Belladonna 5.1

      Theoretically, I love the idea of free dental care. However, I don't see it as practical ATM. Not from the cost side, but from the staffing side.

      The current school dental system is pretty much broken. It was straining under the load pre-Covid – and things have only got worse.

      Many dentists won't even take teens (part subsidised) as patients – and some areas quite simply don't have any dental service at all.

      We have the same critical lack of dentists and dental support workers, as we do in the rest of the health system.

      Making dental services 'free' would simply expose the glaring deficiencies in our current infrastructure – and Labour would cop the blame for promising something they couldn't deliver on (yes, it's free if you can get an appointment – and the waiting list is 2 years)

      • weka 5.1.1

        why are there not enough dentists?

        • Belladonna

          Just like doctors. We haven't been training enough over the last 20 years.

          Only one school of dentistry in NZ – Otago Uni. Takes 300 per year.

          Not even training the replacements needed in NZ – setting aside the graduates desire to travel and make significant money overseas to pay off the student loans.

          Dentists – like GPs – have been telling the government for at least the last 15 years – that there is a looming crisis – as older professionals retire and there are no younger ones to take their places.

          Many small towns no longer have dentistry services at all – Wairoa hit the headlines a few years ago – as it's a 1.5 hour trip one way to get to a dentist in Gisborne or Napier. That means a day off work (assuming you can get leave) and either a car ride or a $30 busfare.

          They've got a temporary fix in place – with locums from HawkesBay DHB – but it's acknowledged by everyone as a stop-gap solution.

          • weka

            fuck, that's appalling. For the people, and for the government who end up paying at the other end when people have flow on health problems from no dental treatment. That's insane. Who controls how many dentists we train?

            • Belladonna

              Government decides how many places to fund each year.

              • weka

                any idea why they haven't increased it enough?

                • Belladonna

                  No. And, as Incognito points out, this situation is much worse for Doctors – and the government (both the current one with the crisis floodwaters lapping around their toes, and the previous ones for the last 20 years) have done nothing to improve the intake of medical specialists into universities.

          • RedLogix

            Dentists – like GPs – have been telling the government for at least the last 15 years – that there is a looming crisis – as older professionals retire and there are no younger ones to take their places.

            This is true across the entire workforce. And as you say was highly predictable:

            Most of the skilled technical people in this country are over the age of 55. Most of us are going to retire within 10-15 years and that’s going the leave a huge deficit in our economic productivity.

            Well that comment was back in 2012. All of those 55yr olds are now over 65.

            • Muttonbird

              And yet, older professionals have been in charge in government over the last 15 years and they have done fuck all to encourage younger ones to take the place of GPs and dentists.

              All they have done is make it harder by insisting on paying for training.

              Once 55year olds, now 65year olds have made a real mess of things!

              • RedLogix

                In most developed parts of the world the boomers are the largest post-war generation. It was the advent of reliable contraception and rapid urbanisaton in the 60s that has driven this astonishing demographic inversion. The peak of human population growth rate occurred way back in 1968.

                Blaming the generation who were just kids at the time for this is hardly reasonable.

                On the other hand we do agree on the failure of successive govts for decades to properly understand the importance of trade, technical and professional training. The withdrawal of the major govt depts like NZ Post, MoW, NZED from workplace training, in the 80s and as you say the imposition of tertiary fees certainly made matters worse.

                But again the boomers were just in their 20's when this was happening.

      • Incognito 5.1.2

        We have the same critical lack of dentists and dental support workers, as we do in the rest of the health system.

        Do you have a link to support this claim? The demand for dentists is not at all like that for GPs, for example. I think you're making up things and believing it too.

        • pat

          maybe not as acute but anecdotally finding a dentist taking new registrations is looking like GPs a few years ago, and has been for a while, certainly in the provinces.

          • Incognito

            Provinces have been a problem in many sectors, but that doesn’t really support the claims made about critical shortages of dentists, etc.

            • pat

              Surely you are not suggesting that a problem in the provinces is not a problem?

              • Incognito

                Surely, you can read the first part of my sentece:

                Provinces have been a problem in many sectors…

        • Belladonna

          Did you see the link above about Wairoa?

          Just been trying to get my teen onto a dentist's books (inner Auckland suburban area) – almost impossible…..

          A simple google search will find you any number of news articles. It's not as bad as GPs (yet) – largely because dental care for adults is not subsidised. The suggestion was being made that it should be subsidised, and I was pointing out the inevitable PR disaster.

          Please note that I didn't say the crisis level was the same, I said the cause was the same (not training enough). And, I do think that the level of shortage for GPs and Dentists is pretty equivalent in provincial areas.

          Article from 2002 – talking about the existing shortage then (things have not got better)

          Recent article about dentists in Southland working overtime and burning out (just like many health professionals), because of clinic shortages (i.e. not enough dentists)

          Article about the number of kids who've missed routine dental check ups hitting a new high.

          Is that a sufficient set of links for you?

          • Incognito

            You’ve made several comparisons to doctors, GPs, and the rest of the health system. Indeed, there are several occupations in the Health sector that are on the critical shortages list, but dentists is not one of them (but GPs are on the list) and hasn’t been since 2017. Links provided upon request.

            There are many similarities between GPs, for example, and dentists, especially when filling vacancies in the provinces. However, the urgency and crisis levels are not the same for dentistry in NZ or it is not seen as and/or given as much priority. I’d agree with the NZDA that more dentistry services are required in NZ and that current levels are sub-optimal, but that still doesn’t mean there’s a pending or ‘looming’ crisis.

            Lastly, the MSM have a habit of magnifying newsworthy items, often based on limited reporting and anecdotal evidence. This tends to skew our perception of reality in most cases 🙂

            • SPC

              There would be plenty of data, if the government was to move to make dental visits free/cheaper.

    • GST cut benefits Luxon as much as it does me.

      Make the first $25k tax free and tax the rest at 35%

      Make Superannuation and Benefits tax free – and there is the Winston vote

      • weka 5.2.1

        GST cut benefits Luxon as much as it does me.

        that's why it wins swing votes.

      • Craig H 5.2.2

        Benefits are effectively tax free already – benefit rates are published as net rates, and MSD and IRD agree the tax to be added for filing purposes. A lower tax rate would have to be specifically passed onto beneficiaries by the government as the Social Security Act would not do it automatically.

  6. Peter 6

    What will get back the rural vote around my district which went Labour last time?

    They could give all the farmers a free tractor and free diesel for a year to start off with. The gleeful farmers would accept that manna from heaven.

    They'd be most grateful of course but then vote for Luxon/Seymour because the letter informing them of the gift/'subsidy' started with the words "kia ora."

    • As someone said about NZ farmers: (It might have been Peter Fraser.)

      "They walked to the polling booths to vote us in in 1935, and drove to the booths to vote us out in 1949."

      Don't expect gratitude from NZ farmers.

  7. Graeme 7

    Free public transport should be easy, funding comes from the money that would have to be spent to increase capacity in the urban roading networks. It stacked up in Queenstown ($2 fares, but only because legislation didn’t allow $0.00). Also get Regional Councils right out of PT, they only make it harder.

    With dental care, bring back the school dental service but expand it to become a wide ranging student health service, provided at school.

    GST to 10% would be bloody expensive, and taking it off “good” food would do nothing positive for the grocery bill, compliance costs would be horrendous, also it’s still regressive. A better bet would be a negative tax bracket (rebate) at the bottom,

    • weka 7.1

      A better bet would be a negative tax bracket (rebate) at the bottom,

      how would that work for beneficiaries who pay bugger all tax? They'd end up getting a credit?

      • Graeme 7.1.1

        Yeah, a credit or rebate. We used to have a standard rebate in our income tax returns back in the day. It makes the income tax more progressive.

        • Craig H

          Beneficiaries wouldn't get anything out of it unless the government specifically provided for that (which they might) – benefits are net rates with tax added by agreement between MSD and IRD, so if taxes are lowered or even made 0, beneficiaries only see a benefit if the government increases benefit rates accordingly.

  8. Re-finance Kiwi Bank, give it the Government accounts, and get tough on the Aussie banks – appoint a banking commissioner (if there isn't already one).

    Apart from that, all of the above suggestions.

  9. Belladonna 9

    Dropping GST is pretty much going to have to be accompanied by an increase in taxes – money has to come from somewhere (ignoring the people who just say 'print more')

    I'd accompany an increase in medium higher tax levels with shifting the tax brackets (should have been done years ago) and linking them to average income for the future. Bracket creep is a real issue – and bitterly resented.

    Takes a big policy platform out of the hands of the Right.

    And it's the fair thing to do.

  10. Belladonna 10

    I know I've said this before. But massive investment in training in medical and allied fields here in NZ.

    Subsidised fees, and a bond scheme which forgives a % of student loan for as long as you work in NZ. NB: Student fees are nuts. Based on the cost to deliver the course, not on the need that NZ has for the qualification.

    Get the barriers out of the way for overseas medical staff to work in NZ. If you're so desperately worried that they'll just get residency and then go and work in Oz – then change the rules so that they have to work in NZ for 10 years (surely a reasonable time to recoup the costs of integrating them into the NZ system).

    [Actually, I don't like the Permanent Resident scheme, at all – I think that you should become a citizen, if you want to call NZ home – otherwise, just carry on with your temporary special purpose visa]

    This would show that Labour actually has a plan for practically redressing the decades of underinvestment in health.

    I'd like to see something practical and effective done about primary care (GPs and local clinics) as well. But you need the staff – at least nurse practitioners – to be able to deliver on the promises.

    • Craig H 10.1

      It takes 5 years as a resident to get citizenship which is required to move to Australia without applying for visas, but to be honest, if the Australians want to attract medical practitioners (or whoever else), there's nothing we can do to stop them just giving visas and residency. Also, Labour streamlined work visas and residency for many medical occupations in the new system which opened fully this week.

      • Belladonna 10.1.1

        Yeah, I agree. This was in response to the thinking behind shunting nurses off the critical skills list, onto the one where you have to stay in the job for 2 years. Ardern defended this in Parliament on the grounds that nurses were more likely to move to Oz (or stop working as nurses) [Yeah, it didn't convince me at the time… I thought it was a poor quality immigration decision]

        • Incognito

          Registered Nurse (Aged Care) is on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

          For a considered opinion on the immigration path for overseas nurses:

          • Craig H

            Being on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) doesn't really do anything in the new system – nurses are on the Green List so job advertising is not required anyway (which was one of the old benefits of the LTSSL), and nurses qualify for a similar simplified residence pathway to the old one enabled by the LTSSL.

            That said, once the Skilled Migrant Category is revamped and reopened, nurses will be able to go back to applying for residence under that without any particular regard to time in NZ (unless that's made a requirement). Nurses (registered and enrolled) readily qualified for SMC in the past – hopefully that continues after the revamp.

            • Incognito

              Thanks for that useful comment.

              As I see it, being on the LTSSL can help speed up the overall process of getting somebody from overseas here and hitting the ground, so to speak.

              If you are offered a job on the LTSSL and meet the list requirements, you may be granted an Essential Skills work visa without your employer needing to show that there are no New Zealanders available to fill the job vacancy. An Essential Skills work visa allows you to work in New Zealand temporarily.


              This is different from the process of application for residency. As far as I can tell, all nursing-related occupations are eligible for work to residence (i.e. after 2 years of having worked here).


              • Tricledrown

                bringing in workers fixes one problem but the housing crisis gets worse

                • Incognito

                  First we were talking dentists, then nurses, now workers!?

                  The skilled labour shortages are more than simply a number’s game but few manage to understand this logic 🙁

          • Belladonna

            All nurses are on the 2-year to residency list – not just aged care.

            Perhaps you can explain why losing nurses to Australia is a risk (so the 2 year pathway), but losing GPs, Vets, Builders and Quantity surveyors isn't.
            After all, they too can earn a heck of a lot more in Australia.

            I don't buy the opinion you quote. A qualified nurse from India can apply and be accepted for residency on the fast track model in Australia just as easily as in NZ. Why do the 2-step if Australia is the goal? Especially as direct entry sets the family up for Australian citizenship (so long-term education & health support), unlike the second class Kiwi residency visa.

            Now, that *does* makes sense for the low-level student immigration that NZ used to be touting: come study in NZ for a patsy qualification, then get a job with an inflated title ('manager') with an inflated salary (most of which is paid back), until you qualify for residency – then off to Oz.

            I'm very glad that pathway looks like being closed for good.

  11. Anker 11

    Housing, cost of living, crime and health, I think are the biggies.Labour will need to produce tangible results in these three areas to win peoples votes. The new Health Authority isn't going to cut it. A very good plan for increasing our health work force is needed with targets and goals. Train more nurses, Drs etc. Encourage people to train in these areas eg the old bonding system used for teacher training in the 70's. Increase wages for health professionals, recruit from overseas. Spell out what exactly they are going to do. I would say scrap the health restructure, but it is too late. Stop wasting money on consultants and more bureacracy.

    Housing…….??? why were they unable to built those 100000 Kiwi builds and how come they didn't know this? I think most NZders don't like the idea of so much money being spent on motels, from both the finacial point of view but also the social costs of these ghettos. It may be late for Labour to do anything.

    The 501's. Well maybe come to some arrangement that the worst of these people don't come to NZ, but go to Manus Island. I know this wont’ be popular with some progressives, but these people are poisonous.

    Cost of living? reduce GST but really a tax cut on the first 20,000 is likely fairer. Get on top of inflation fast. ?Rent freeze? I don't know what they could do, but they have to do it fast. Somehow NZders need to have a much better standard of living, but I fear it is all too late.

    Probably if they put a line under co-governance, He Puapua and three waters it might help a little

    Just my thoughts, I am not an expert

    • DavidJ 11.1

      For someone who 'may not be an expert' you've pretty much hit the nail on the head in my view.

      "a tax cut on the first 20,000 is likely fairer"

      I like the idea of a tax free threshold, but the calculation of where to set that threshold is complicated by welfare payment such as Working for Families, Independent Earner tax credits and so on. Treasury's figures show that a $30,000 tax free threshold would cost around $3.2b but benefit 48% of all tax payers. Unfortunately that data doesn't include WFF and IETC, so it's not the full picture.

      This article may shed more light, although it’s from 2019. (,to%20attract%20them%20given%20they%20are%20net%20contributors.)

      “A small group pay the vast majority of all income tax. A large group pay very little and in fact are paid through transfers.”

      • KJT 11.1.1

        Like so many of these articles, they lie by omission by using income tax, not total tax.

        "A small group pay the vast majority of all income tax".

        To give the false impression that a small group of high income earners are the most taxed.

        In reality those just above median incomes pay 60% of the total tax take. Not rich enough to salt income away as capital gains or savings, but in a high enough bracket to pay net income taxes. While still spending almost all their income on GST taxed items.

  12. Jenny how to get there 12

    Abolish GST on food. Impose FTT on banks.

    Gotta love it!

    Committed neo-liberals, trickle-down economists, and banksters, not so much.

    Working families, beneficiaries, and voters, yes please.

  13. Corey Humm 13

    Agree completely.

    We should just get rid of gst altogether, it's a disgusting right wing consumption tax. It's truly despicable. Dropping it by 5% is good enough but getting rid of it altogether would be a 15% tax cut to all.

    Failing that, yes keep half price busses.

    Labour brought student votes last time and they'll need to again. I think bringing back the fees free year and extending it to three years (and allowing former or existing students to write off a year of their student loan ) would be popular/flexible student loan payment rates.

    I think letting nurses,doctors, mental health workers etc train for free if they stay here for five years would be a fantastic way to encourage people into those jobs, they aren't so low paid if you don't have a student loan to pay off.

    First $25 k tax free would be hugely popular.

    Or a tak cut to under 70 k

    increase state house stock to 7%

    Steal Alps homeloan policy

    Free dental (and free training for dentists)

    $50 extra to students (this is what made them come out in 2017 and 2005) and beneficiaries (we desperately need them coming out so we need to talk about them in an election campaign for a change)

    It's gotta be bold and almost populist left.

    I don't know if Ardern can do it. I think she's a bit too conservative to promise anything that would be popular, and quite frankly, I don't know if anyone would be believe if she just does what she's been doing since 2020 til 2023.

    And yes. Three waters should be scrapped and changed into a law banning privatization of water and creating a central govt agency that funds and helps fix ailing infrastructure it should have nothing to do with IWI, the left really misread the room on this noone likes it, not even labour members.

    Also drop the hate speech and shred whatever document Willie brings in.

    As a gay mixed raced kiwi I'd rather a third term of Labour than pass a bunch of unpopular laws that will cost us the election and be overturned as soon as we lose.

    And just finally. Everyone needs to stop acting like Maori party are going to work with labour. They said they woildnt do a deal with act.

    That doesn't mean they won't go with national.

    Did the greens have a deal with NZ first? No they had one with labour.

    Minor parties never have deals with each other only with the larger party.

    Maori party, as a party that first and foremost hates Labour from it's founding, could absolutely go with national or labour.

    Stop relying on a party whose worked three times with national and wanted to work with brash.

    Start treating the Maori party like NZ first or uninted future (centerists who hate act but could and would go with labour or national)

    • weka 13.1

      TPM have never been kingmaker to National though, so the question is if they have the choice, why would they choose Nat over Lab? It's the same for TOP. Under what conditions would they choose Nat, and if they wouldn't then why say they might? They should say before the election what they will do.

      If I thought TPM might go into some kind of kingmaker arrangement with NACT, I wouldn't even consider voting for them. I also wouldn't vote for them if they were happy with a non-kingmaker arrangement, I'd want the GP to have my vote.

      My understanding was that TPM have new leadership since being with Nat cost them their place in parliament, and that they had said no to National, but we will see what they say before the election.

    • DavidJ 13.2

      "We should just get rid of gst altogether"

      GST raises around 31% of the governments total tax take, or about $26bn. How are you proposing we replace that?

      • Hunter Thompson II 13.2.1

        Good point. GST brought a lot of people into the tax net who had previously been hiding from the tax collector. That was one of its benefits.

        It was also accepted by the population, unlike Maggie Thatcher's poll tax.

  14. roblogic 14

    Nationalise the entire FIRE sector (aside from nonprofits & mutual societies)

    Give real teeth to regulators… ComCom, MAF, SFO. More convictions and harsher penalties on fraud & exploitative business practices

    Make it easier to deport scumbags back to their country of origin. Cut back on the rights of recent residents. Citizenship is a privilege and if you're making NZ worse then bugger off.

    Nationalise the supermarkets, remove the profit motive. Reward management for finding big discounts.

    Nationalise all land, then return 50% to tangata whenua. Introduce land value taxes on the rest. Implement a 75% capital gains tax (with no exceptions).

    No more landlords, only ethical nonprofits or public providers may provide rental accommodation from now on.

    Speculators and monopolists are thieves and should be regulated to hell and back.

    • Belladonna 14.1

      Gosh. I'd say that that policy platform would give Labour around 10% of the vote in 2023.

      The brief was to give them suggestions for a platform which could win – not one that would make them tank off the bottom of the charts.

  15. SPC 15

    Labour was re-elected in 2005, by winning more votes than National, and was thus chosen by NZF (its stated condition) as its coalition partner. WFF tax credits won a lot of votes in south Auckland as did tertiary debt free of interest from Gen X (and early millennials) working here.

  16. swordfish 16


    Some may argue that dumping or significantly revising the 3 Waters policy programme would bring back rural voters and 50+ male voters. But those voters are gone and aren’t coming back, so there is nothing to be gained in ditching or gutting 3 Waters.

    Polling from One News-Kantar, Newshub-Reid Research and Curia all suggest opposition to Three Waters encompasses a much wider cross-section of society than simply older males & rural voters.

    • Ad 16.1

      But even if true, would any further vote change as a result of changing the policy?

    • Muttonbird 16.2

      Indeed, it encompasses all who are fearful of some shadowy Maori agenda which unfortunately doesn’t stop at older males and rural folk.

      • Joe90 16.2.1

        Morgan makes the point that it's good policy….but them beastly Maaris

        • pat

          Be careful what you wish for….councils may well have been incompetent, but they may have been incompetent because the populous made them so…what will happen if the required investment happens despite the populous wishes?

          • joe90

            Been there, done that. We didn't want to but the required investment happened because we had to clean up our awa and then pay to remediate the stinking mess made by the incompetents running the shop.

            Whanganui has undertaken a long and interesting journey with wastewater treatment. From 1984, screened wastewater was discharged to a long ocean outfall; subsequently in 2007, the first Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) was commissioned. This design was based on a deep aerated lagoon, which combined liquid stream treatment with in-pond storage and digestion of sludge, followed by the use of a smaller settling pond for additional solids removal, and finally UV disinfection. Significant odour events in 2013, along with ongoing resource consent compliance issues, initiated an investigation process culminating in the design and construction of a new treatment plant.


        • RedLogix

          That is exactly the argument I have been making – rationalisation yes. Privatisation into the hands of a brown aristocracy – no.

          • joe90

            For years the Whanganui was renowned for it's filth. Wet industry, a tannery, a fellmongery, an enormous meat works, a regional abattoir, a small goods factory, and a large fish processing plant poured effluent in as they pleased and right up until the early nineties a goodly proportion of the city's raw sewage went in, too.

            Tidal surges pushed the putrid soup tens of kilometres up-stream, poisoning inanga and tuna fisheries and kai moana gathered in the lower reaches of the awa and at sea was polluted.

            Tide and wind changes turned beaches and surf spots into toilet bowls swimming with industrial and human waste, animal blood, fur, tissue, skin, great clumps of fat, sanitary products, toilet paper, etc, etc, and visiting surfers were greeted by salvos of intact faeces. The summertime stench of the awa was vile.

            Post-surf, I wasn't even allowed in the house unless I'd hosed myself off outside in a kid's paddling pool before showering. It was fucking awful.

            The clean up was driven by a coalition that included the brown aristocracy folk seem intent on demonising and if the cost of cleaning up the squatocracy's putrid legacy is including our new brown overlords, then I reckon it's cheap at half the price.

            • RedLogix

              Yeah – I saw much of that filthy era for myself. But by the mid-90s either most of those industries were closed down or they were now in a position to install the technology to clean up their waste streams. I was there selling it to them.

              The biggest issue with the meat industry is that for decades it was dominated by British interests like Borthwicks who really were terrible, exploitative owners. By contrast the dairy industry was locally owned and typically invested in looking after their environment. Raw milk for instance was rarely if ever dumped into the waterways.

              It was a complex mix of factors that eventually drive the cleanup. A mix of locals pushing for stronger regulation, shifts in ownership and industry presence, and the commercial availability of better tech all contributed.

              • joe90

                . Talleys have stepped up. A few years ago they were holding the city to ransom over waste water – we dump up to 20,000 kg of our waste a day into your scheme at our price, or we take our 800 or so jobs and go. Illegal spills are still a regular occurrence yet they routinely avoid prosecution by a toothless farmer-dominated regional council. The tannery did much the same, screwed the community over capital cost contributions with threats to relocate jobs and now we have a problem disposing septage with excess chromium concentrations from an under sized plant.

                A national body would go a long way to ease an ongoing waste water saga that's burdening a small city.

                • RedLogix

                  Again totally. My support for this is based on 8 years experience working at a senior tech level for one of the major cities. I have written to this many times, but perhaps the best comparison I could make is that there were no fewer than 14 different bodies dealing with water in our region of about 650,000 people, while the entire United Kingdom had 14 for a population over 70m.

                  Since then there has been significant regional amalgamation and for the most part I understand this to be a step in the correct direction.

                  There is of course already a nationwide body regulatory body that sets the NZ Drinking Water Standards – and expanding their scope to include environmental water would be very doable and as you say – desirable.

    • SPC 16.3

      The old Kiwi or Iwi trick – wonder if they'll do a dancing cossacks reprise as well?

      • roblogic 16.3.1

        The anti-3 waters fearmongering is repulsive Don Brash divisiveness. It's all over talkback radio as well. It's a load of fearmongering resentful bollocks by malevolent (yt) conservatives who want to keep their imagined privilege even if it means our water supplies are fscked for the next 100 years.

        While claiming to speak for "one nation" these troglodytes conveniently ignore the deep injustice of the status quo. Guys like Luxon mouths
        the words of Te Reo but their policies are always destructive of Māori wellbeing and social outcomes.

        This thread should be read by everyone who resents "brown privilege"…

  17. Jenny how to get there 17

    How Can Labour Win in 2023?

    Expel Georgii Zuev

    A measure with support from both sides of the house, and probably the voting public as well.

    Russian embassy's Ukraine posts spark call for ambassador's expulsion

    John Anthony 09:15, Mar 17 2022

    ….The Russian embassy in New Zealand is using social media posts to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reigniting a call for Russia’s ambassador to be expelled…..

    …National’s foreign affairs spokesman, Gerry Brownlee, two weeks ago called for the Government to expel the Russian ambassador to New Zealand.

    On Tuesday he told Stuff the Russian embassy was using social media to disseminate Vladimir Putin’s justification of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and New Zealand should not tolerate that.

    “It raises the question of why we would have a representative of Mr Putin’s regime here in New Zealand, using social media platforms to spread their propaganda,” Brownlee said.

    “He should be asked to leave the country.”

    Brownlee said the embassy’s posts were playing to “the gullible and stupid”.

    …..A Facebook post by the embassy on March 10 claims a Russian strike on a maternity and children’s hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol was evacuated and being used by Ukrainian forces as a firing site….
    New Zealand Ukrainian Anton Ognyev said the Russian embassy’s propaganda was dangerous and had the potential to make Russians in New Zealand turn on Ukrainians in New Zealand….

    Not only Russians are being turned against Ukraine nationals, but some impressionable New Zealanders are also susceptible to Zuev's 'dangerous' war propaganda.

    In the wake of the terrorist attack on Muslims by an Australian neo-nazi in Christchurch, Russian propaganda depicting Ukrainians as harbouring neo-nazis, is especially dangerous.

    Sending this pro-war creep packing would win wide acclaim and not just in this country, but globally as well.

  18. SPC 18

    Buy up housing for the 25,000 on the state house waiting list on the private market and end the exorbitant cost of motel stays (in particular housing for those with mobility issues).

    Each house is an income earning government owned asset.

    Declare the target of 100, 000 state houses – the rest by building over 3 years (2023-2026).

    And these as well.

    1. End TD repayment by medical staff working here – the TD written off to zero over 10 years.
    2. Organise a central resource locum support for rural/provincial practices (to enable holidays and days off during the week)
    3. An online school (year 1 to 13) all subjects (best teachers and teaching – this covers specialist shortages maths science and Maori) and covers sickness and rolling lockdowns. It would support those working to support families pay rent (home study out of school hours) and those who want to learn more quickly. In school big screen rooms would allow teachers to become facilitators/tutors.
    4. Masters students get student allowances and doctorate students get a big increase in financial support.
    5. Free PT for tertiary students.
    6. Disability benefits to super rate for singles and to the JS level if with a partner
    7. ACC cover those with terminal medical conditions, and those who cannot work because of cancer treatment.
    8. Free PT for those with CSC's in off peak hours/half price at peak use times. Otherwise half price for all while there is spare capacity.
    9. Revenue neutral changes to income tax. Any reduction in income taxation being dependent on revenues from wealth taxation and a mortgage surcharge.
    • Belladonna 18.1

      Can you unpack your no. 3 a bit.

      Are you proposing that all schools should move to online only? This is likely to be heavily opposed by both parents and teachers (the people who know what an inferior learning model it is for most students).

      Or are you proposing some form of supplementary schooling method – inside and outside current hours – which is pretty much what the current correspondence school does (not claiming that it does it very well – see above comment about in-person schooling being best)

      • SPC 18.1.1


        Correspondence school has its criteria, we need something to cover everyone/others – available to individuals (as an extra) or schools (as a resource to manage specialist teacher shortages etc). This should have been part of pandemic preparation.

        • Belladonna

          Unless you're looking at pre-packaged education 'units' (e.g. maths teacher at yr 10 is away, schedule is to teach ratios, pull the ratios online tutorial for the substitute teacher to supervise) – it's really not practical. [NB: the online education units already exist]
          Teachers don't all teach the same topic on the same day – let alone at the same time. Online teachers can't just remote into a classroom and know where the kids are at in terms of the subject matter.

          If there is no teacher available to supervise the class, then the school has to send them home. So you have home-based learning, with the consequent numbers of children not-learning (for a whole variety of reasons).

          Basically, unless you are a highly-motivated self-starter (and you'd learn regardless of the environment), online education is a very, very poor second choice. Why would you want to sink huge resources into a poor-return model.

          I'd much rather see the time and money going into training and hiring more teachers; and into upskilling existing teachers (especially primary ones) into being able to teach subjects like maths and science in ways that excite and motivate the kids in front of them. In ensuring that school holidays include mandatory block courses for upskilling teachers. In easing out of the profession, those teachers who shouldn't be there (and every kid and parent and principal will know exactly who they are).

          Into changing the teacher training to bring back block experience courses (most cancelled over Covid – and, in any case, nothing like long enough). In mandating that just qualified teachers need to co-teach under supervision (of an experienced teacher) for a year

          Into re-thinking this capture that open learning environments (even larger germ petri dishes for cross-infection) have on the Ministry of Education (I think I'm right in saying that every education new build and re-fit in the last 10 years has been into 'modern learning environments' aka super-size open plan classrooms.)

          Into actually doing something about the leaky building crisis that makes some of our schools an actual health hazard, and a disgrace to the NZ education system. As well as providing effective air-conditioning systems for both summer and winter (no, opening a window is often not an effective solution)

          This is just once-over-lightly – there's a huge amount more that needs to be fixed within the current education system.

          • SPC

            Yes, it would/should be online (ondemand) videos covering a years teaching for each subject.

            That would allow for example all children to learn Maori from year 1 to 13 (despite there not being enough teachers). A (Maori) big video screen learning room – and they could have do over that evening at home if they wished.

            • Belladonna

              Thus ensuring that all of the kids hate the subject with a passion. Online videos have pretty close to zero in the way of the strategies that actually engage kids learning.

      • SPC 18.2.1

        1600 in 5 years 2016-2021. Not much. No wonder we are housing people in motels.

      • Mac1 18.2.2

        National criticise the spending of $1.09 billion to buy over 1600 houses saying they would stop first home buyers.

        Two things. The house buying began in 2016, according to the above Herald article, under National. So, criticising their own policy.

        Second, National sold over 2000 houses in their tenure.This from 2020.

        "National’s new housing spokesperson has admitted the party was wrong to sell and convert more state houses than it built when it was last in office.

        Nicola Willis, who took the housing portfolio in a recent reshuffle, told RNZ the net reduction in state houses under the last National government showed that governments needed to continue increasing the number of state houses.

        Willis said National sold or converted “a couple of thousand” state homes."

        • pat

          That there is a shortage of public housing is not in dispute…..the notion that the government can seek re-election through the purchase of existing housing to supplement it could be.

          • Mac1

            Is it a question of seeking re-election? I know this is the topic of the post, but some things that need to be done should just go and get done.

            Finding adequate housing for 16,000 people is one of these.

            Even Nicola Willis agrees! She just wants them to be built by the state. Which is happening, but not enough to meet the demand.

            • pat

              It was the rationale for the suggestion….however as you note , if housing the unhoused is the priority then it could be pursued (it will make no difference to election results at this late stage), but id suggest not without consequence….I expect the reasons 'only' 1600 have been purchased to date is due to the potential impact on the market and the availability of suitable properties….there may be coming an opportunity for those numbers to increase significantly.

              • Mac1

                Ten per cent of NZ houses were unoccupied at the last census.

                In Barcelona in Spain the local government is compulsorily buying unoccupied houses, at a fair price, and housing the unhoused in them.

                How would that go as an election policy?

                • Belladonna

                  I'd think it would pretty much guarantee a National win…..

                  • SPC

                    Which sort of explains why we have no CGT, no wealth taxation and no estate taxation – and limited funds for health and education.

                    Enzed the way those with health insurance and private schools want it.

          • SPC

            Yeah a government with 25,000 on the state housing list (and still growing) is so worthy of re-election.

            There is no way we will build them fast enough (5 going on 6 M people and we have no more state houses than when we were at 3M – and we have more and more aged without home ownership).

            And it’s not as if house prices would rise, they will decline 10% regardless because of affordability at higher interest rates. And the increasing numbers of unsold (and empty) homes while others are barely housed in motels (or worse) is a tragedy.

            • pat

              going on 6 mil is somewhat of an (unnecessary) exaggeration…and yes we have only marginally more than when we had a population of 3.5 million and considerably more affordable private housing and rents….successive governments have ignored the problem (like many others) because public provision demands higher taxation…..and we know how the voting public feels about that.

            • Craig H

              Bear in mind that Labour directed MSD to put everyone on the waiting list who met the criteria, which can include low-paid workers, while National directed MSD to only put people on the list who were likely to actually get a house. The former gives an accurate representation of how many houses NZ should have, while the latter gives an accurate representation of how many people can be placed in the houses NZ owns.

              • SPC

                National's one was meaningless – it was more of a direction to limit the waiting list to the capacity National was planning to provide. And given they were leaving "P used" in homes idle …

                We would find out, if Kainga Ora bought 10,000 homes, as to whether it would end need for emergency housing or not.

                • Craig H

                  In theory the list is everyone who meets the criteria who has dealt with MSD in some capacity, so if 25,000 additional houses were funded and appeared in the social housing system (whether Kainga Ora, council housing or other providers), presumably some more people would come out of the woodwork and the list would expand again.

          • Poission

            What we can afford for public housing is the problem with a 1b$ blowout and huge interest rate increases at Kainga ora

            Total borrowings were $202.6 billion, $8.6 billion higher than forecast. The increase is largely owing to the variance in gross debt mentioned above, an increase in the value of derivatives in loss held outside of the core Crown ($2.5 billion), Kāinga Ora borrowing being $1.0 billion greater than forecast

            (treasury may update)

            • SPC

              Well the positive with borrowing to buy houses is there is an immediate rent income return.

              The constraint would be where debt cost was above the rent income return (a positive is that most homes on the market won’t need much maintenance/renovation for awhile) and how this cost could be managed by Kainga Ora.

              That said there would be a large saving in moving the from the motel era. It’s about $250M per annum to house around 4000.

              • SPC

                And the saving in AS to those moved in from private rentals.

                • Poission

                  They funded 300m with an inflation bond (coupon 2.5%) the new bonds are around 4.2%,and around 1.2 b maturing next year .

                  Not all the billion was in capital purchasing,it is in emergency housing,cost overuns,high repairs,staffing costs …..

  19. Stuart Munro 19

    As things stand, the Gnats are not remotely fit to govern. The only reason this is not more widely known is the wretched state of the media in NZ. I'm sure I don't know why my taxes are supporting the unprofessional wankers and morons that comprise TV1.

    Enough is enough – sack the lot of them and start afresh – with supervision by a board of media schools that teach and enforce journalistic standards.

    • Patricia Bremner 19.1

      I visited Kiwi blog yesterday Yuck!! Talking to "him indoors' I reported most of it.

      " Jax? not Christopher then?

      Says it all. They don't really believe.!!"

      Keep up the good work Jacinda and team.

  20. SPC 20

    Once upon a time a RBG called Bollard was so tired of managing inflation with only one tool, raising the OCR, he suggested a mortgage surcharge.

    It would work as an alternative to a OCR rise.

    Thus instead of say increasing the OCR from 2 to 4% as Orr has proposed, it would go to only 3%, but there would be a 1% mortgage surcharge.

    I'll leave it to GR to salivate on how much money that involves.

    • Craig H 20.1

      In 2011, a Labour policy was to allow the Reserve Bank to increase (or decrease) Kiwisaver contributions to manage inflation, rather than just OCR. An interesting concept.

  21. Sanctuary 21

    A golden handcuffs scheme where for the first ten years after you graduate the government will match your student loan repayments dollar for dollar, as long as you remain working in NZ.

  22. Belladonna 22

    In terms of Crime, there may be some good news on the horizon; if Ardern can persuade Albanese that 501 criminals, who are only very technically Kiwis (e.g. left at the age of 2), should not be deported.

    This, of course, depends entirely on the local politics in Australia – which Albanese cares about a good deal more than he cares about NZ public opinion.

    Apart from that – I don't see any significant policy platforms that Labour can adopt (it's a very complex area) – but what they can do is stop handing the opposition ammunition to shoot them with.

    New police minister and justice minister is a good start.

    I'd quietly ditch the repeal of the 3-strikes legislation.
    Yes, I know that repeal is dear to the heart of many lefties – but it plays hob with any chance of being perceived as tough on crime.
    And opinion in NZ is hardening against criminals (we can argue about why that might be a bad attitude – but you have to work with reality)

    The vast majority of these guys (and it is pretty much all guys) are seriously bad people who should be in jail. Introducing the legislation will give the media (well-prompted by the opposition) license to feature the worst of the second 'strikers' and claim that Labour is soft on crime.
    Bad PR all the way to the election – especially if one of them does commit another crime.

    Make your changes to the criminal justice system at the beginning of the process – where there is a real chance of rehabilitating people. Show people that it can work. Rather than releasing serious criminals back into the community – with little support, and few realistic options.

    • Jenny how to get there 22.1

      "…if Ardern can persuade Albanese that 501 criminals, who are only very technically Kiwis (e.g. left at the age of 2), should not be deported." Belladonna

      Persuasion is good. Even better if it works. If it doesn't, regulation is better.

      It is all a matter of leadership and political will.

      Because it is not up to Albanese whether 501s are allowed or not allowed into New Zealand.

      It is up to us.

      Australia can't make or impose their rules on us unless we agree to let them impose their rule on us.

      We're a sovereign country.

      If our government regulated that every air carrier that flies into this country that allows a flight with any 501s on board being sent to this country against their will, that, that flight will not be allowed to disembark, or unload in this country, not until that said airline agrees to fly any 501s on board, back home, at that said airlines expense.

      If the Australian government tries to put forced 501s onto ships, the same applies.

      End of the matter.

      (It goes without saying that Air New Zealand partly owned by the government will not be allowed enforced 501s on board any New Zealand planes to begin with.)

      Any threats of retaliation from Australia for us refusing to take 501s need to be met with the disdain it deserves.

      Taking a strong leadership stand on this issue is a vote winner. The more the Aussies shrieked and complained the more votes in it for our government.

      • BAW 22.1.1

        Massive Bill of Rights problems here – can not refuse a Kiwi Citizen entry.

        And an even bigger push back from Australia – they can simply refuse to issue visas to Kiwis wanting to go to Australia.

        • Jenny how to get there

          "Massive Bill of Rights problems here – can not refuse a Kiwi Citizen entry…." BAW

          Sure. But what if the 501 detainees ‘entry’ into NZ is being forced against their will?

          If the 501s are being sent here against their will, their human rights don't count?

          Can their rights as human beings to fair and just treatment be ignored?

          I would like to see that one argued out in a court of law.

          I might add here; Lawyers for the Australian government arguing this case on the Bill Of Rights, over the right of entry of citizens, in any recognised international tribunal, wouldn't have leg to stand on. This is because Australia can and has denied that very same right to Australian citizens.

          Australian citizenship may be revoked by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in the circumstances set out in section 34 of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.

          Right to freedom of movement | Attorney-General's Department

          "….they can simply refuse to issue visas to Kiwis wanting to go to Australia." BAW

          Yeah. But I can't see Albanese doing that.

          That would be to escalate the 501 issue into a major international diplomatic incident. (between two, supposedly friendly, governments).

          The only reason the 501 issue is not a major international diplomatic incident right now, is because up to now, we have quietly acquiesced to Australia's will.

          The thing about bullies, if you acquiesce to one, you become a target for other bullies.

          If the Albanese administration did escalate the 501 issue into a major diplomatic incident by threatening to stop issuing visas to Kiwis just to twist us to their will, and we gave in to it, what would that say about us?

          What would even bigger powers than Australia, like the US or China, who can exert even greater diplomatic and trade pressure against us, make of how easily Australia got us to us bend to their will?

          So much for us having a "fierce independent foreign strategy" if we fall over at the first challenge to it from a foreign power. (and a relatively minor one at that).

          • Belladonna

            If the 501s are being sent here against their will, their human rights don't count?

            Technically, they're not being sent to NZ – they're being deported from Australia, as their visas have been cancelled (so no right to remain in that country).

            They could choose to go anywhere; unfortunately for NZ, nowhere else wants them – so they have to 'return' to NZ – the place that *has* to admit them.

            It's been tested multiple times in the Australian courts – and passed the legal challenge every time.

            Criminals are routinely deported back to their country of origin – at the end of their sentences (yes, in NZ, too – we've just sent one guy back to Samoa, though he's been resident in NZ since he was a child).

            Australian citizenship may be revoked by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in the circumstances set out in section 34 of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.

            As, I'm sure you know, this refers only to citizenship which has been conferred (i.e. immigrants applied for citizenship) not 'born' Australians. And can only apply if the soon-to-be-ex-citizen is a citizen of another country (usually by birth). They can't (by international law) create 'stateless persons'.

            They're saying, you're a dual citizen – but have breached the requirements of Australian citizenship, so we're withdrawing it, and you can return to your other country.

            You may not think it's 'fair' but it's absolutely legal.

          • Incognito

            So much for us having a “fierce independent foreign strategy” if we fall over at the first challenge to it from a foreign power. (and a relatively minor one at that).

            Bit of binary thinking there [pardon the pun].

            Oz has been deporting (many) 501s since 2015, so this is nothing new.

            NZ has extremely close ties with Oz, so it is not just another ‘foreign power’, and definitely not like the US or China.

            I don’t think Oz exerted “diplomatic and trade pressure against” NZ in order to deport 501s. In any case, this argument is flawed because it goes the wrong way.

            PS Nothing of this will help Labour win in 2023!

            • Jenny how to get there

              I dunno, a 'fiercely held independent foreign policy' might turn out to be very popular considering that the world is on the verge of global conflict between the superpowers. And New Zealand most definitely will be asked/pressured to choose sides.

              20 hours ago:




              • Jenny how to get there

                What if they threw a war and nobody came?

                • Mike the Lefty

                  If you haven't heard it before listen to the track "Zor and Zam" by the Monkees, sung by Micky.

            • Jenny how to get there

              PS Nothing of this will help Labour win in 2023!

              I disagree

              In my opinion, standing up to Australia to stop the hated 501 forced deportations into this country. Which have added to our gang and crime problems would be good vote catcher.

              And I am not the only one. This thread was started by Belladonna, If persuasion fails, I just suggested to Belladonna a way to stop the 501s being sent to this country over Australia's wishes. By refusing to let any 501s who don't want to be here, being forced through the entry gate. (sure if they want to come here, no probs.)

              Belladonna has raised a number of legalistic objections to this idea.

              And sure, they have some validity. But let us see them be argued out in a court of law.

              The UK for instance also has, on the face of it, every legal right to deport illegal immigrants, who are not UK citizens, just as the 501s are not Aussie citizens, to Rwanda. (Somewhere that, just like the 501s, they are being sent to go against their will.)

              Much to the embarrassment of Boris Johnson, the plane with the deportees on board is stuck on the tarmac, due to a legal challenge.

              UK deportations to Rwanda stalled as European Court steps in

              The first chartered flight removing asylum seekers from the UK was due to depart for Rwanda on Tuesday.


              14 Jun 2022

              The UK government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda on Tuesday had been heavily criticised by opponents, charities, and religious leaders who said the deportations were inhumane, and the government was forced to fight a series of legal challenges in London courts aimed at stopping the flight departing….


              Now I am all for 'persuasion' as Belladonna suggested.

              As US President Roosevelt said on how to conduct international relations, "Speak quietly and carry a big stick".

              In our PM's quiet talks with Aussie PM Albanese, over 501s

              "Respectfully Prime Minister Albanese, our government are not pushovers, and we cannot be seen to be pushovers by our voters or our foreign competitors. If you will continue down this path against our country's wishes. We do have options. If we choose to exercise them, you may find yourself embarrassed on the world stage, in the same way that Boris Johnson has been embarrassed.

              I would like to strongly urge you as a friend and ally against continuing with the last Liberal administration's forced 501 policy. If you persist, we don't want to consider further options, but we may have to."

              And if Albanese reconsiders and abolishes the Liberals 501 policy. Another feather in our PM's hat.

              That's gotta be good for some votes.

            • Tricledrown

              Incognito as JFK was asked how his policies would affect his voting support he retorted its the economy stupid! The economy is not going to be markedly better before the next election the World is an economic,climate, food and security crisis.Incumbent govts are facing voter backlash.Labour will struggle against the constant anti govt sentiment in the mainly right wing media.ieMusic Radio stations that push the herald as independent ,constantly criticising Labour but letting National have a free ride. This breaks down the swing voters.

      • Belladonna 22.1.2

        Not only NZ Bill of Rights – but International Law. ICCPR Article 12
        Citizens of the country have the right to return to the country.

        Australia has no legal requirement to retain foreign citizens within it's borders (either in International Law, or Domestic Law).

        They are perfectly within their rights (as is every country) to require non-citizens to leave. Technically this can be at any time – your visa is only good as long as it's not revoked. But practically and pragmatically, it's only revoked when you've broken the explicit or implicit conditions of the visa.

        In the real world, this is never going to happen. But if it did, it would be the immediate end to visa-free travel and right to work in Australia for Kiwis.

        Which would be massively unpopular – and a big vote loser.

        • Jenny how to get there

          ICCPR Article 12
          Citizens of the country have the right to return to the country.

          A right Australia has openly flouted on more than one occasion.

          • Incognito

            NZ ≠ Oz

          • Belladonna

            Really? When has Australia refused to let it's own citizens return? (Apart from Covid lockdowns, when NZ was equally culpable)

        • Jenny how to get there

          <i>….it would be the immediate end to visa-free travel and right to work in Australia for Kiwis.</i>


          Personally I can't see the link, except as a nasty piece of retaliation for us daring to stand up to Australia.

          Do you really think that if New Zealand turned away forced 501 detainees at the border, that Australia would end visa-free travel between our two countries? (Remember this is a two way street).

          It would require a decision by the Albanese government to escalate the 501 dispute into a major diplomatic incident.

          In what real world would Albanese ever decide to go to that highly unlikely extreme measure, to keep in place a previous Liberal administration's arguably unjust and unfair 501 policy?

          In the highly unlikely event that Albanese did decide to escalate the 501 issue into a major hostile act of retaliation against New Zealand, what would that say about our mutual so called ''Special Relationship'?

          In that highly unlikely event, what would it say about the Ardern administration if we backed down to a hostile act of retaliation over a relatively minor disagreement?

          What if a dispute in the Pacific broke out between the US and China, (as is quite likely) and China demanded we side with them against the US or they would stop all New Zealand imports into China currently worth $20.1 billion a year to the New Zealand economy.

          Would we acquiesce to their demands?

          Personally speaking, I doubt that too.

          • Belladonna

            So all NZ has to do is breach our own and international law. And refuse to let NZ citizens land at our ports or borders.

            Not going to happen. But, if it did – lets examine some of the consequences.

            What happens to the rejected 501s then? Do they occupy Auckland airport as stateless persons?

            If you think that airlines could be instructed not to board them – how would the airlines know that Kiwi passport A was a 501, and Kiwi passport B was not?),

            If they're held in Oz, does Australia keep them locked up (Manus Island, perhaps) as they no longer have any visa to live and work in Australia?

            Under those circumstances, I'd think that most would very quickly be pleading to come to NZ.

            I think you underestimate how popular the 501 deportions are in Australia. They're portrayed as hardened criminals (and some of them are), and the ordinary-Australian-in-the-street doesn't want them there. Albanese will be reading the room, but I doubt that he's going to waste any political capital on fighting this minor battle – solely for the benefit of NZ – he's got much bigger fish to fry.

            I don't think that the Aussies would hit travel visas – but I do think they'd reconsider working arrangements. There are a heck of a lot more Kiwis working in Oz than the other way around. And Australia has always had a bit of a perception of Kiwis working there as a bit dodgy (Bondi dole bludgers, etc.). Putting limits on general work visas, would probably play well domestically for them – and, of course, they'd still have the door wide open of nurses, builders, plumbers, etc..

            From their perception (and, indeed from the rest of the world's perception) any Australian reaction would be in response to a totally illegal NZ act – so I don't think there would be much international condemnation…..

            The answer to your China question is 'it depends' – remember Lange caved to the French after the Rainbow Warrior – with exactly that threat.

        • Jenny how to get there


          8 July 2022 at 1:35 pm

          Not only NZ Bill of Rights – but International Law. ICCPR Article 12
          Citizens of the country have the right to return to the country…..

          Nowhere in those laws is a requirement for any country to accept people who don't want to be there.

          To accept people forcibly sent from one country to another against their will, requires the agreement and collaboration of the authorities of both countries.

          And we see that Here.

          For instance to get the Rwanda government to accept deported illegals from Britain, the UK government, in a deal signed in April, paid the Rwanda government 120 million pounds ($150 million) up front for the deal.

          As far as I know the Australian government has paid us nothing for our agreement to take the 501s. Just dumping them on our shores with no support. Making us carry the full burden and cost of dealing with people with no contacts or family supports or networks in this country, at high risk of reoffending because of alienation and isolation from their support networks and families.

          And we simply caved in.

          Maybe a compromise deal could be to ask Albanese to help pay for some of the cost of the upkeep and support of the deported 501s.

          That could be a vote winner.

          What do you think Belladonna?

          • Belladonna

            Your argument is predicated on a false assumption. These are NZ citizens, not Australians.

            Until you can find a legal ruling that says that Kiwis have the right to remain in Australia, after their visa is cancelled, you don't have a leg to stand on.

      • Jenny how to get there 22.1.3

        Do we have a "fiercely independent foreign policy" as the Prime Minister claimed when she was in Europe, or not. If we can't stand up to Australia on the enforced 501s, how can we possibly stand up to even bigger powers?

        • Belladonna

          I don't know what you actually think the PM can do (apart from breaching local and international law and treaties – which no sane politician is going to do).

          The legal position is really clear and unambiguous. The 501s are not Australian citizens, they are NZ citizens (even if they've never been here since they were children). They have NZ passports. They are entitled to 'return' to NZ. If they are kicked out of another country (any other country) NZ has to take them back.

          Now, there's a strong argument that Australia *should* have made a pathway to residency for Kiwis who are well established there (and, therefore for their children) – but, reality is, they haven't. And show no signs of doing so.

          All Ardern can do at this point, is to try and work with the Australian PM to see if it is possible to persuade them to reverse their internal policy (to cancel visas). Australia is a sovereign country. We don't get to dictate their internal political decisions (even where they affect us).

          • Jenny how to get there


            8 July 2022 at 4:00 pm

            I don't know what you actually think the PM can do (apart from breaching local and international law and treaties – which no sane politician is going to do)…..

            Citation needed:

            What local and international law and treaties would New Zealand be breaching if the Ardern administration turned away 501 detainees who don't want to be here?


            8 July 2022 at 4:00 pm

            …..Australia is a sovereign country. We don't get to dictate their internal political decisions (even where they affect us).

            New Zealand is a sovereign country. Australia don't get to inflict their internal political decisions on us.

            There is no such thing as an international rules based order. What there is, is an international force based order. Big countries prey on small countries, which prey on even smaller countries.

            For instance when the PM called on Russia to obey the mythical rules based international order at the Nato conference she politely forgot to mention the fact that US feels it is not bound by any international rules based order at all.

            If the US had believed in a rules based international order instead of a force based international order, the US would have agreed to be party to the International Criminal Court and ratified the Rome Statute.

            Of course the US wouldn't do that because they would have been tried over the CIA program of Extraordinary Rendition where US outsourced torture to their good friend Bashar Assad.


            Australia needs to be told where to get off. And every other big country that tries to strong arm us.

            If we really want to live up to the claim that New Zealand has a fiercely independent foreign policy.
            Standing up to Australia over the 501s would be a good place to start.

            If you wanna be with me. Well Baby, there's a price to pay…


            • Belladonna

              Citation needed:

              What local and international law and treaties would New Zealand be breaching if the Ardern administration turned away 501 detainees who don't want to be here?

              Citations already given. NZ Bill of Rights Act & ICCPR Article 12

              You seem to be under the misapprehension that what the individuals *want* matters. It doesn't. I can *want* to live and work in the US, but unless I have a valid visa, it's not legal for me to do so.

              It's the exact same situation for the 501s. Once their visa is withdrawn they have zero right to remain in Australia. None. It doesn't matter how long they have lived there, they are not Australian citizens.

              Really, there's no point in debating this any further. You seem to have a very skewed view of international law, and seem immune to actually paying attention to any of the points which are being raised.

              • Jenny how to get there

                "You seem to have a very skewed view of international law, and seem immune to actually paying attention to any of the points which are being raised." Belladonna

                I paid attention to the points you raised, Belladonna and my opinion is, I think that your points are debatable. I notice that you asked me to show you examples of Australia denying entry to Australia of Australian citizens. Which I did, but you must not have been paying attention because you asked me again.

                You even supplied me with examples of both NZ and Australia denying entry to citizens at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

                So it can be done.

              • Jenny how to get there

                "You seem to be under the misapprehension that what the individuals want matters. It doesn't. I can want to live and work in the US, but unless I have a valid visa, it's not legal for me to do so." Belladonna

                It is my opinion that what individuals want does matter.

                Taking your example, you might want to live and work in the US, but you shouldn't be forced to go there against your will.

                For instance Julien Assange, (like the 501s don't want to come here), doesn't want to go to the US. But the US (and UK) wants to force him to go.

                In my opinion, to force people to go somewhere they don't want to go, is a very authoritarian, (right wing), way of looking at human rights. In fact it requires a disregard of human rights.

                A point the International Bar Association agrees with me on.


                P.S. See, I do pay attention to the points you raise.

                "You seem to have a very skewed view of international law, and seem immune to actually paying attention to any of the points which are being raised." Belladonna

                In your opinion, I may have a skewed view of international relations. But that is just that, 'your opinion'. We are all allowed to have different views and different opinions. We debate our differences to try and find solutions to problems.

                You raised the problem of 501s being sent to this country by the Australian government inferring that there is nothing our government can do about it.

                I disagree. There is lots we can do about it. If we chose to.

                We could for instance refuse to collaborate, and simply not let them off the plane, and see where it goes.

                • pat

                  Question….do you consider yourself an anarchist?

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    No. I consider myself to be a materialist/realist.


                    The so called rules base system of international relations is a myth.

                    In my opinion. International relations are not legal relations, they are power relations.

                    If small countries are not prepared to stand up for themselves, they will get steam rollered by bigger countries.

                    • pat

                      If you are as you say a realist, and if international relations (or possibly all relationships) are power relations then why do you not consider the fate of the less powerful?

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    "….why do you not consider the fate of the less powerful?" Pat

                    I thought I was considering the fate of the less powerful.

                    I couldn't think of a less powerful person than a 501 separated from their family and support networks forced to go to country they may have no memories of.

                    I thought I was considering the fate of the less powerful, a small country, being forced by a bigger more powerful country to accept 501s against our will.

                    Maybe Pat you could be a bit more explicit; Who do you consider are the less powerful whose fate I am not considering

                    Tell me.

                    • pat

                      If you wish to blithley ignore international convention /law because 'we have the political will' to do so then be prepared for the consequences. What you are advocating essentially boils down to might is right..we do what we wish because we can.

                      When the Australians (in this instance) apply the same standard who is going to fare better do you imagine?….that is the realpolitik.

                      Shades of Vladimir in this line of thinking I fear.

                • Jenny how to get there


                  "We could for instance refuse to collaborate, and simply not let them off the plane, and see where it goes."

                  My apologies that's not very diplomatic.

                  As Winston Churchill said, "Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way, that they look forward to the trip."

                  Our government quietly inform the airlines that after a certain agreed notice period, (say three months), the New Zealand authorities will no longer be collaborating with the Australian authorities in processing or accepting 501 arrivals by any air carrier, and that any planes carryng 501s will not be allowed up to the arrival gate. At the same time, diplomatically and quietly informing the Albanese administration of an impending fait accompli.

                  Let's see who blinks first.

                  • Belladonna

                    Given that Ardern's diplomacy (the real thing, not the 'I've got a bigger gun than you' version that you seem to by advocating) – seems to have made a crack in the current situation; and Albanese is considering the 501s and giving resident Kiwis a pathway to Australian residency; I'd say that she's found a better solution AND one which is more likely to garner votes without resulting in adverse outcomes.

                    • Incognito

                      Diplomacy, as in conflict resolution, requires acknowledging complexity, finding common ground, accepting compromise and having a real feel for nuance and context, be it historical, cultural, social, and/or religious, for example. In my experience, the process is part of the outcome, which is very different from the old-school ‘the end justifies the means’ that is often practiced by bullies and populists, because it is simple and reflexive and requires very little to no intellectual rigor. The hardliners can be easily spotted by their B & W views on almost anything.

                    • Jenny how to get there

                      (the real thing, not the 'I've got a bigger gun than you' version that you seem to by advocating)

                      Foreign relations in a nutshell.

                      By Golly, I think you're getting it.

                      It's called, Realpolitik

                      It's why the US feels it is not bound by any rules based order.

                      The United States of America maintains the strongest Air Force in the world by an impressive margin. As of late 2021, the United States Air Force (USAF) is composed of 5217 active aircraft, making it the largest, the most technologically advanced, and the most powerful air fleet in the world.

                      Largest Air Forces in the World 2022 – World Population Review

                      Realpolitik is why Australia thinks it can dictate to us.

                      Or for that matter the smaller Pacific Island nations.


                • Belladonna

                  It is my opinion that what individuals want does matter.

                  And there's the problem. In law, what you *want* has zero impact on what your rights are.

                  Extradition is a completely different set of laws than expulsion after cancelling a visa. NZ is not extraditing the 501s. They face no legal penalties when they 'return' to NZ (well, unless they offend again, here).

                  How about you find a legal example that is actually relevant?

  23. Mike the Lefty 23

    A couple of suggestions and comments.

    Free public transport means well but won't get Labour many votes because, as many others have pointed out, many people drive because public transport simply does not work for them or their lifestyle.

    Perhaps drop GST to 10%, and/or drop GST on fresh fruit and veges. I know the financial experts always tell us how hard it is to do that but honestly how hard is it to tell the difference between fresh and processed food?

    A capital gains tax also would be a great move fiscally, but electorally would sink Labour because the rich would be very very upset and would have the money to make everyone else feel very very upset.

    Scrap the RWT on kids' bank accounts. This mean nasty Roger Douglas exercise in making kids pay tax should have been scrapped years ago. THIS would get votes for Labour.

    Build more roads! – always works for National.

    • Belladonna 23.1

      Perhaps drop GST to 10%, and/or drop GST on fresh fruit and veges. I know the financial experts always tell us how hard it is to do that but honestly how hard is it to tell the difference between fresh and processed food?

      It's not so much telling the difference between them (although it's not as straightforward as you think), as it is being perceived as unfair.
      Why should Ms 100K+ pa not pay GST on her imported out-of-season strawberries, asparagus and limes; while the family eking out the pennies has to pay GST on their Wheetbix and supermarket own-brand white bread (and can't afford fresh produce at all)?

      Wealthy people can afford a heck of a lot more in the way of fresh produce (or even fruit and veges only) as a proportion of their food shop – they benefit more from a cut of GST, if it's limited to fresh produce only.

      An across the board cut on GST – benefits all.

  24. kejo 24

    Small nimble 12 to 20 seat busses {cheaper to build/import and operate ]and lots of them on more diverse routes to make public transport much more viable and convenient. I,m sure that the skills training programme can also be simplified and made more attractive. A bonus for job seekers and a reduction on reliance on immigration

  25. Sanctuary 25

    I actually think that come 2023 the government can run on it’s record. We are building more houses than ever, the housing market has come off the boil and rents are set to drop. Unemployment is almost zero, benefits have had considerable adjustment and FPA’s are poised to give workers considerable benefits, while the middle class are getting a nice income insurance scheme. However, it does always need some tasty morsels to go up against the tired tax cuts, austerity, mass immigration and a property ponzi that National and our media tireless tout as the true indicators of economic success so here is another one…

    In terms of GST, removing it from fresh fruit and vegetables would be very popular (and books! A tax on knowledge if there ever was one!!!!!) and instantly provide relief to hard working ordinary Kiwis.

    The objections around ease of administration made have been valid in 1984 but simply don't hold water in the age of computerised stock keeping. Any revenue lost could be offset with an increase in GST to 20% on luxury items like wine and spirits, swimming pools or, if red tape makes putting in a swimming pool too challenging, on things like a Ferrari.

    • Peter 25.1

      The trouble with 'running on it's record' are the numbers who think the record is one of destroying the country. Gerry Brownlee said in comments about the Russian ambassador "playing to the gullible and stupid".

      The gullible and stupid are plenty and they are there to be used. For God's sake they thought that Labour started a housing crisis by getting into power in 2017. They don't believe in vaccines, they think everything's hunky dory with all facets of water in the country and nothing needs to be done. They believe Steven Joyce (MICKYSAVAGE wrote of yesterday) as some sort of economic genius and Boy Wonder David Seymour is actually Superman.

      The scenario which is being painted is a worst case one about everything that is happening in the country and everything that is going to happen.

      Labour running on its record is fine but the record that's being played infinitum so that it's a tune stuck in heads is of woe, doom and no hope. And its Labour's fault.

    • Peter 25.2

      The trouble with 'running on it's record' are the numbers who think the record is one of destroying the country. Gerry Brownlee said in comments about the Russian ambassador "playing to the gullible and stupid".

      The gullible and stupid are plenty and they are there to be used. For God's sake they thought that Labour started a housing crisis by getting into power in 2017. They don't believe in vaccines, they think everything's hunky dory with all facets of water in the country and nothing needs to be done. They believe Steven Joyce (MICKYSAVAGE wrote of yesterday) as some sort of economic genius and Boy Wonder David Seymour is actually Superman.

      The scenario which is being painted is a worst case one about everything that is happening in the country and everything that is going to happen.

      Labour running on its record is fine but the record that's being played infinitum so that the tune stuck in heads is of woe, doom and no hope. And it's Labour's fault.

    • swordfish 25.3


      That's the Spirit ! . If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through

      General Melchett, Blackadder Goes Forth.

  26. Poission 26

    Wholesale market pricing greater then .75 point rise in OCR review next week.

    South sea bubble shows evidence of correction with national value loss of around 50k per dwelling unit.

    This would mean a decrease in value of the housing estate of 100b$ this year.Wealth destruction of unproductive assets being the primary goal of central bankers to pour icy water to curb animal spirits.

    • pat 26.1

      Think you may have posted in the wrong thread….the 'reasons Labour wont win in 2023' thread is over there.

      • Poission 26.1.1

        It will make the housing market cheaper by 2023,just means the bourgeois on demand generation (under 50) will be in for a more secular lifestyle (like the good old days)

        • pat

          lol…not the stuff of populism however

          • Poission

            The central bankers job is to ensure a sustainable economy (a neutral position) where one asset class does not dominate.When one exhibits an irrational position such as housing values,it is required to dampen expectations due to the contagion of inflation across the economy.

            It is not to be popular,it is to remove all doubts that inflation will be contained overnight with talks of tax cuts in the UK,The BOE said there will be another .5 increase,and the US fed said .75.

            When political policy starts to exceed the monetary conditions and fuels inflation,then some constraint is necessary in some areas,as we move to lower economy settings.

            • pat

              Dont disagree (though whether they have been doing their job is open to debate) however the timing works against the reelection of the incumbent (irrespective of who that may be)…id suggest that by election time next year we will be well into the consequences.

              • Poission

                Banks are trying to downplay risk,and are now discounting (reducing margins) in the housing sector,on the other hand the banks are increasing lending to business (mostly small) as usury must persist.The RBNZ August 2021 rise was delayed by covid,so difficult position.

                Labour can also move to a neutral position,and reduce the demands of the sophists,and move to a maintenance position,rather then big noting as we do not know how we can pay for the big ideas.An offsetting the rhs by saying their policy's will be inflationary,and unsustainable.

                • pat

                  And the voting public will not listen to 'cake tomorrow' when they cannot afford bread today….as it ever was.

                  • Poission

                    When you have too many policy announcements,rather then efficiency,it becomes cost plus,and the public will only remember the policy they dislike.

                    Even so called recessionary risks,are different with high employment,high enforced household savings,expectations in the US are they can exhibit recessionary signs,without layoffs in the productive sectors,

                    • pat

                      The illusory soft landing?…..I guess hope springs eternal, but Id suggest its not likely to be selected as a campaign strategy, nor be a successful one if it was.

                    • Poission

                      The US has an expansion in manufacturing in progress by onshoring,more automated (less angst when you idle a robot) There are substantive gaps in the US workforce any downturn will see unfilled positions unfilled.

                      Europe is the cot case,due to poor policy decisions,a central bank that sows confusions and promulgates sophist policy (fragmentation) that no one understands.The european peso will probably hit parity with the US$ tomorrow,and Europe is facing the real possibility of electricity becoming a luxury good.

                    • pat

                      The Fed has a choice (as do the rest of CBs) …tighten until unemployment or accept inflation….neither are voter friendly

  27. swordfish 27


    Latest (June) Roy Morgan:

    • DavidJ 27.1

      The pairing of the Maori Party with the centre right is based on a broad government v opposition paradigm, but it's misleading IMHO. A more accurate picture is he centre left with 43.5%, the centre right with 48.5%, and the Maori Party with 1.5%. This is the way it is presented in the narrative on the RM website, along with stating that the poll “shows support for a potential National/Act NZ coalition down by 1.5% points to 48.5% in June. ”

      That still gives the CR a clear lead, however. The other telling number is the right/wrong direction and the government confidence rating. Both are heading in the wrong direction for the government.

      • swordfish 27.1.1

        The pairing of the Maori Party with the centre right is based on a broad government v opposition paradigm, but it's misleading IMHO. A more accurate picture is he centre left with 43.5%, the centre right with 48.5%

        Entirely agree … MP, NZF, TOP & (possibly) New Cons each listed separately with ratings … then the aggregate for all other parties under 'Other'.

      • Belladonna 27.1.2

        Entirely agree that adding TPM to the National/ACT total is misleading – it's a …. highly … unlikely scenario.

        My understanding is that this polling period incorporated much of the 'good news' around Ardern's international diplomacy – including the Free Trade deal.

        Given that that hasn't budged the dial much (if at all – 1.5% is within the margin of error) – and the wrong direction of 50% – this is not looking good.

        The good news for Labour is that Ardern continues to rate highly in the preferred prime minister result. Which implies that the public like her, but not her government's policies. [I'm open to an alternative interpretation, if someone wants to give it] – making the point of this post very topical 🙂

        Apart from the Talbot Mills polls (which are well out-of-sync with all of the other polling) – this continues the downward trend for Labour. And it does seem to be for Labour, the Green poll results are holding steady (aside from minor fluctuations)

        • DavidJ

          "My understanding is that this polling period incorporated much of the 'good news' around Ardern's international diplomacy – including the Free Trade deal."

          …and the US Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade?

          "The good news for Labour is that Ardern continues to rate highly in the preferred prime minister result. "

          The most recent preferred PM poll (excluding the Talbot Mills) is the 1News kantar, which had JA on 33%, CL on 25%. The nearest comparable poll in the same time of the electoral cycle of the last national government (2013) had Key on 65%, Shearer on 12%. The trend line for JA is self explanatory.

          Jacinda Ardern remains Labour's outstanding political asset. She is a remarkable communicator, and has been very good on the international stage. At home, covid, some notable policy failures, and some poor political management around some key issues, are all leading to voter fatigue. In the cold light of election year, Ardern's experience and political skill may see her pick up lost ground. It will be fascinating.

  28. Hunter Thompson II 28

    IMO no number of popular, progressive, specific policies will get Labour re-elected while issues surrounding co-governance, Three Waters and the questionable granting of lucrative government contracts to ministers' relatives hang around Labour's neck like putrescent albatrosses.

    I may well be wrong of course; the PM has political capital for guiding NZ thru' the Covid crisis so that may offset the damage done.

    But it is more than a year to the next election – it is likely that other embarrassing matters exist about which we have not been told and the independent media will dig them out.

  29. adam 29

    A good does of fear about the economic shitfuckery that a act/national government will produce.

    We looking at Sir Lanka type collapse if act/nat economic policies are enacted. A total collapse of the economy. We are seeing the effect of neoliberalism economic shitfuckery slowly collapse across the globe.

    Colombia even voted in a center left government and soften it's neoliberal hard line because the place was falling apart.

    Time to point out to people how bad it can get, and how their lives will be absolute shit if we get back onto the ideological pure nut bar train which is neoliberlism – that act/nats want to push.

    Act/nats are puritanical economic extremists.

    • Stuart Munro 29.1


      Rebutting the neoliberal fairytales though, might productively begin with sensible local longterm reversals of a number of their more egregious stupidities.

      An obvious and popular move would be to resume paid local nurse training, with accommodation provided, as we did in the days before Roger Douglas wrecked our country and economy. Upskilling our own people, and putting them to work in above median wage jobs is a no-brainer for responsible Left governments. It is popular at the local level. It moves away from unpopular mass immigration policies, and it would go some way to address chronic staffing issues in health brought about by frankly atrociously fallacious neoliberal presumptions.

      • gsays 29.1.1

        "as we did in the days before Roger Douglas wrecked our country and economy. Upskilling our own people, and putting them to work in above median wage jobs is a no-brainer for responsible Left governments."

        While we are at it, Labour's health reforms should bring all the ancillary roles in our hospitals 'in-house'.

        Show some of the more cynical amongst us, they can shed some of the uglier, crueler aspects of neo-liberalism.

  30. Populuxe1 30

    It's less about "how they can win" than it is about "how they can lose" and forcing through deeply unpopular legislation will do it. At the moment Labour is dealing with more boredom than hostility. Worst case scenario Labour will get back in by the skin of its teeth in coalition with the Greens and NZ First again.

    • Belladonna 30.1

      While one should never say never when it comes to Winston Peters – I really do think it would take an Act of God for NZF to sneak back into Parliament.

      • Populuxe1 30.1.1

        We'll see. If NZF can get some attention there is likely a substantial pool of voters who might be tempted back. At any rate, some sort of counterbalance party is needed to keep the fringier elements of the Greens and Labour in check.
        I'd also be keeping my eye on a rejuvenated TOP party now that they have some real talent in charge. Raf Manji brings real political experience, charisma and people skills which the lack of has held them back.

        • Incognito

          My thesis: TOP is a fringe party.


          • Tricledrown

            Incognito as JFK was asked how his policies would affect his voting support he retorted its the economy stupid! The economy is not going to be markedly better before the next election the World is an economic,climate, food and security crisis.Incumbent govts are facing voter backlash.Labour will struggle against the constant anti govt sentiment in the mainly right wing media.ieMusic Radio stations that push the herald as independent ,constantly criticising Labour but letting National have a free ride. This breaks down the swing voters.

            [No duplicate comments under the same Post, thanks – Incognito]

          • Populuxe1

            It was definitely a fringe party, but had some good ideas. It's problem was mainly the horror show of its leadership. Raf has charisma and understands how to communicate with people so it may well be a party to watch.

  31. roblogic 31

    I don't know if "feel good" policy campaigns are going to cut through the relentless MSM negativity.

    Maybe it is time to go negative on the gNats. There is plenty of awfulness there to be exposed. Luxon basically hates "bottom feeders", he doesn't care for women's rights, he doesn't want workers to get a pay rise. He DGAF about the future of our water supplies or health system, wanting to keep these clearly dysfunctional systems in place to rot and (probably) be privatised to his rich mates.

    He doesn't work for the NZ people, he's a tool of the one percenters.

  32. peter sim 32

    "A week is a long time in politics."

    When is the next general election going to happen?

  33. Patricia Bremner 33

    Keep talking Mr. Luxon. By their actions we will know them!! What a drip.angry

  34. tsmithfield 34

    This is a bit of a humorous take on Labour's problems. Obviously oversimplified for effect:

    However, it does make the point that Labour has manage to shoot itself in the foot on numerous occasions when it didn't really need to. That along with the deteriorating economic conditions has sealed Labour's fate I think.

  35. Poission 35

    US unemployment comes in at 50yr low (an important indicator on how central banks will manage inflation) Higher sustained wages for blue collar workers (increased interest charges for leveraged speculators) the redistribution by wealth destruction.

    Release here.

  36. Maurice 36

    It is often said that elections are not "won" in New Zealand … they are LOST

    It appears from ongoing polling that the Left is on its way to losing rather than winning.

    Increasingly portrayed as bunglers – not “winners” with their only hope being that the right are being seen as just as bad – or increasingly “Labour Lite”

  37. DS 37

    I'd like to see some action on the tertiary education front, to reverse the damage of the Key Government. Specifically:

    • Restoring universal membership to Students' Associations.
    • Restoring postgraduate access to Student Allowances (actually Labour election policy in 2017. We're still waiting).
    • Abolish the 7 Year EFTS limit on accessing Student Loans, so that people can actually re-train if necessary.

    This isn't some utopian dream. It's just a request that Labour take tertiary education back to the halcyon days of 2008.

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