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I don’t think I’ll be taking his advice

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, November 2nd, 2012 - 132 comments
Categories: climate change, dpf, labour, spin - Tags:

On the back of Duncan Garner’s scathing piece on David Shearer, David Farrar endorses Grant Robertson for leader. Yeah, because his last recommendation’s worked out so well. Call me cynical, but I just don’t think National’s pollster has the Left’s interests at heart. No, I don’t think people will be looking to the Right for advice on who should lead Labour again.

On a related note, Farrar endorses one nation taking it on themselves to pump the air full of sulfur dioxide or partially block the sun to reduce climate change. Then we can go right on burning fossil fuels, no worries! (which is why Farrar’s so in favour of course, that is justifies the larger status quo, not because it solves climate change)

But, whoops, he forgot about ocean acidification, which would continue under either of those schemes and decimate the foundation of the marine food-chain. And, I’m not sure that countries would feel comfortable with another country controlling how much sunlight their land gets. As for increasing sulfur dioxide levels, it’s the source of acid rain and would also acidify the ocean. There may be geo-engineering techniques that could work but, because climate change isn’t the only serious consequence of changing the atmosphere’s composition, they would have to actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (hint: the easiest way to do that is plant more trees)

I guess the lesson is: when it comes to solving hard problems, don’t be sucked in by the Right’s ‘easy’ solutions.

132 comments on “I don’t think I’ll be taking his advice”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Maybe the Pagani’s can give us better advice this time…both on the Labour Leadership and on the best uses for Oil and Gas. Haha see what I did there? :mrgreen:

  2. Kea 2

    In politics, as in life, you have to play the cards you are dealt. The last poll may have gone against the trend for any number of reasons, so I would caution against panic. Nevertheless there are sound reasons for Shearer to delegate activities to competent performers regardless of parochial interests or relationship choices. It would not be a sign of weakness but of that ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself”. It is called leadership.

    • Kea 2.1

      lprent: my posts are being designated as spam. What have I done to offend you ?

      [lprent: Nothing in the system. Must be coming from your IP at Akismet. Looking at it ]

  3. I have a somewhat radical idea.  Instead of letting the National Party deciding who should be leader of the Labour Party the constitution should be changed so that the activists and members who hold the party together get a say.

    • tc 3.1

      +1 the last thing labour needs is lose the support it’s tenuously holding onto from it’s grass roots members.

      Without that it’s going to be like the Nats in 02, decimation and these are the folk who put flyers into letter boxes, run raffles etc.

      Labour doesn’t swallow the dead rats the NACT live on like mining, dairy, insurance, transport lobbies etc so it needs to include the members or shrivel up and politically die.

    • Jim Nald 3.2

      How about a less radical idea, mickysavage?
      Get Michelle Boag to champion for the current Labour leadership.


    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      It should be the members deciding who the MPs and the leaders are. The MPs shouldn’t have any more say in the latter than any other member.

      • McFlock 3.3.1

        I agree with that, regardless of current leadership debates. 
        Even better, parties (not caucusses [sp? caucii? :)]) should be able to kick mps out of parliament if they fail to perform or go with policy.

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.2

        The MPs shouldn’t have any more say in the latter than any other member.

        But, the MP’s say, we have to work with the Leader day to day, so the thirty of us need to have at least as much say as 10,000 Labour Party members.

        Funny thing is, when you get a job with a company, you have to work with the manager you get to get the job done, you don’t get a say in it whatsoever.

      • King Kong 3.3.3

        The problem for party’s like Labour, the Greens and Mana is that if your raison d’etre is championing the cause of morons (dole bludgers, the envious, sickies etc), guess what kind of people are going to make up your membership.

        giving them too much power is quite literally putting the lunatics in charge of the asylum.

        • Colonial Viper

          As opposed to the wealthy lunatics destroying our ecosystem and impoverishing the many?

        • mickysavage

          You don’t have the slightest freaking idea do you KK.

          • King Kong

            And yet I have an incredibly comfortable life with a couple of beautiful, smart and well adjusted children…go figure

            • PlanetOrphan

              That Myth Buster guy had a one liner for that …..

            • mickysavage

              I was actually referring to your understanding of the Labour Party and how it works as well as to general humanity.  I guess I should add comprehension to that list.

              • King Kong

                Maybe you are right and I don’t know much about the Labour Party.

                Perhaps you can help me understand.

                Lets just say I am an ambitious party activist who, for arguments sake, was the chair of one of the parties regional councils but wanted to move on to greater things.

                Unfortunately in a recent leadership race the guy who had promised me a guaranteed path to the big time got thumped and, in a rather clumsy fashion, I said some pretty scathing things about the guy who actually won. With nothing to lose I continued to run down the current leader but all the while I can see my dreams of being a star disappear before me.

                What can I do?

                • Is that the best you can do Kong?  You shouldn’t rely on Slater for information.  It can be terribly disappointing to get things wrong.

                  • Pete Fraser

                    Er, isn’t that actually pretty much what happened though? I mean no offence, but you backed a horse big time, and your horse lost, and now it is all a bit awkward all round really. It’s cool, no one’s judging you. It happens in politics. But.

                  • Um, I stood down from the position.  

                    And if you can find any comment of mine post decision which is scathing of the leader and where I continue to run him down I would be pleased to see it.

                    And I have no interest in being a star. 

                    So no on all three counts. 

                    • Pete Fraser

                      In other words, yes you were an office holder in the Labour Party, yes you backed Cunliffe big time, and yes you still are sore about the whole thing. (The reference to your own future is also probably accurate, but not quite as solid as the other points.)

                      I don’t care! But don’t *fucking* pretend to us that isn’t what’s going on here.

                    • McFlock

                      PF, I’m not entirely sure whether your rephrasing actually matches what MS wrote.
                      Has mickey continued to run Shearer down over the past year, and if so can you provide some links? Because I don’t recall such comments from them.

            • prism

              We all could too – over the internet? With a double helping of smugness and superiority. Why you bother with the little people’s shrill whinings from your lofty position beats me?

            • North

              You are so immature King Kong.

        • tracey

          Does it offend you that Labour Greens and mana champion you KK?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Ah, the old RWNJ excuse to prevent democracy, they just don’t know what’s good for them. They/them being everybody except the RWNJs.

        • Hanswurst

          You can also make a note of the spellings of “parties” and “raison d’être”, just while we’re on the subject of morons.

          • King Kong

            Dude, I will ashamedly accept the error on “parties” but are you really pulling me up for not using a circumflex.

            • Colonial Viper

              Given our standard USA format keyboards the circumflex seems a bit of an over the top expectation.

            • Hanswurst

              Meh. Raise the subject of morons and lay yourself open to scrutiny or ridicule. Fair or unfair, you’ve earned it. I’ll refrain from mentioning that you missed a question mark in your last post, though. That would be going to far.

              • Hanswurst

                “Too”. Okay. So now I’m a moron as well. I’ll bow out disrespectfully.

              • lprent

                He needs an editor with an attention for detail perhaps. Cameron Slater maybe? :mrgreen:

                Nope. It would be almost as stupid as taking advice from National’s internal pollster about the Labour party leadership.

                It cracks me up whenever I think about making Cam an editor. I make a considerable number of typos, spelling errors, and outright grammatical errors. But I’m mainly a programmer who is used to the syntax, spelling and even the grammar of the vast majority of my writing being checked by compilers. But even so, I suspect I’m quite a lot better at not mangling written english than Cameron Slater is. Perhaps they’ll find a editor to check him. You can just picture that – perhaps it needs a cartoon?

                • PlanetOrphan

                  The “Truth” on their hands and knees …
                  Giant cockroach behind desk waving feeler frantically …
                  “All hail the Sl8ter Bug” …. “All hail the Sl8ter Bug” ….
                  (*snigger-giggle from back row(s)*)

    • That is exactly what will happen at the coming conference MickS. After 40 years of badgering by the small Cambridge Branch.
      As for letting the Nat’s chose our leader I like you am fed up with Right-Wing ponces giving us advice on how run our affairs . Plus I am completely pissed of at so called supporters taking notice of those Right-Wing stirrers.The Labour Party is full of intelligent knowledgeable members well able to conduct our own affairs . I would have thought the Nat’s had enough trouble trying to manage their own sleazy murky party without sticking their dirty noses in our affairs.

      • prism 3.4.1


        The Labour Party is full of intelligent knowledgeable members well able to conduct our own affairs.


        Great. Will you keep us up to date with what these people are doing to prepare for a tidy win (followed by good policy not borrowed from the Middle Way team and Tony Wassname from Britland). Let’s roll the comfortable ones at the next election coming soon to your area?

    • dancerwaitakere 3.5

      I think this is where a lot of the frustration has come from, the inability for members to have their say.

      Say Robertson becomes leader due to a vote that included the 40% membership vote. I do not think that there would be suck a sense of resentment, as people would have heard his plan and have a way to respond to that (my voting for him or for another candidate).

      With any leader, all the members want is to be inspired by a plan.

      Clearly Shearer isn’t doing that.

      But it should be members who decide the next leader, not DPF, be it Robertson or Cunliffe. At the end of the day, we will need whoever is the next leader to take the party into the 2014 election in a strong position, for the good of New Zealand. Three terms just CANNOT be an option for National.

  4. the sprout 4

    Robertson was the architect of the shearer plan in the first place. Why? Because he knew if Cunliffe was elected it’d be a long time indeed before he got a shot at the leadership himself.

    Those kinds of motivations, given the cost of the shearer fiasco to both the party and broader nz, are not the sort of motivations you want in any new leader.

    Anyone but Shearer or Robertson.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      I don’t think that’s particularly productive. If, hypothetically, David Shearer decided to step down whoever became leader would have to bring the caucus together. Part on Labour’s ongoing problem has been the inability of some of its caucus members to put the last leadership challenge behind them and focus on working together.

      • Orca 4.1.1

        Is this based on evidence or speculation ? What gives you an insight into his motivation ?

      • Rhinocrates 4.1.2

        There’s certainly a real discipline problem, and attempts to enforce discipline are inconsistent and ineffectual. I found this line from Garner’s piece very interesting (and not at all surprising):

        “But, without naming names, the hoopla I was put through before [Cunliffe] was ‘allowed’ on TV was fascinating.”

        And yet the Member for Sealord can just stroll into a studio and make up policy on the hoof!

      • the sprout 4.1.3

        Fair enough IB. The next leader should be based on merit. Having said that i see little merit in robertson, for the above reasons, and his shearer-like inability in inspire, engender confidence, show any strategic nous that benefits party rather than personal interests, or give an even remotely competent address to members

        • prism

          the sprout 4 1 3
          Often the discussion seems focussed on Labour and getting them back into power and methods to achieve this. You don’t mention actual policy along with aspiration for future policy, as something that a new leader should be espousing. While it is strategic not to tell everything in advance, without articulating the directions of thinking and some definite aims the public including Labour members, remain in ignorance and doubts crop up that there is any substantial and intelligent thinking and policy planning for 2000’s first century.

          • Jim Nald

            Re IB, the sprout and prism:

            It has been difficult to get a feel for clear direction, policy and strategy from the current Labour leadership team.

            And what has been conveyed so far has been a sense of mediocrity, rather than meritocracy.

          • Jim in Tokyo

            Yes, yes, and yes to more policy. Furthermore, does anyone have the patience to explain to me the origins of the ‘never announce specific policy in advance’ meme? Is it just a hangover from the Douglas blitzkrieg years, or is it straight from some publicist’s textbook? Personally, I find it THE most frustrating thing about politics as it is currently practiced in New Zealand. Why should we be doomed to fuss over vision / brand / image / gut feel for 90% of the election term?

            Did ‘no policy specifics until a few months before the campaign’ work for Labour at the last election with the capital gains tax? Sure they got bigger headlines when they ‘surprised’ us with the announcement, but on the other hand they also managed to give off the strong impression that they’d just come up with the idea yesterday, hadn’t really though it through and weren’t even sure if they liked the idea enough to defend it themselves.

            If a policy is any good at all, you should be amping to talk about it at any opportunity, in detail, from day one. Call me naive, but I say give me the damn policy now and leave the ‘vision statement’ rubbish to coke and starbucks. Leadership then becomes almost incidental – just pick the person who can argue the policy with the most clarity, wit and conviction.

            • PlanetOrphan

              Bloody well said M8!

            • Jackal

              Anybody who replaced Shearer would have the same problems… namely the right-wing trying to call the shots and undermine him/her by making shit up. That’s the main problem Shearer faces, not any inability on his part to inspire Labour to win the next election.

              The reason many people are not seeing Labour’s policy on certain matters is because the MSM tries its best to ignore it. You only have to watch parliament TV to see David Shearer’s clarity and conviction as leader of the opposition. You only need to visit their website to see that their policy is pretty well formed.

              • PlanetOrphan

                Fair enough …. why the persistent harangueing of him then?

                I Agree that they’ve definitely got visible a goal in mind, but they need to voice those expert opinions.
                If they get that “civilised” direction happening they might even get some good civilised Gnat’s on side, which means owning their own direction (and not playing politics anymore 🙂 )…..
                The strategy of “win the next election” is misdirecting them.

              • Jim in Tokyo

                The last time I watched a full Shearer speech from start to finish was his first one. This was perhaps the one time that the media was guaranteed to listen. Here’s what he said about the CGT then. (I’ll stick with the CGT example because Garner’s story this week alleges that no one in Labour could or would appear to defend the policy)

                “We campaigned last year on a bold fiscal policy, with a new capital gains tax, and a $5000 tax free zone”

                – ok

                “Now I won’t be setting out our fiscal policy today but I can tell you how I see things.”

                – oops, we’ve gone from “a bold fiscal policy ” to “how I see things” in one breath

                “I’ve always believed the best argument in favour of a capital gains tax was the economic effect it had.”

                – vague, kinda tautological

                “A CGT is pro-growth. It helps switch investment from sectors such as housing, to the productive sector where we desperately need more capital.”

                – I’m interested now, tell me more about this CGT

                “Over time I can also see the revenue it raises being used to offset the tax you have to pay in other areas.”

                – weasel words, vague – where? which? GST? corporate? personal? believe it or not, these are the kinds of boring points that I actually base my vote on

                “So I can see a role for CGT in transforming our economy.”

                – weasel words

                “On the other hand, I would want to ask whether a tax-free zone that gives everyone the same sized tax cut is going to be as much of a priority.”

                – weasel words, vague, is he trying to say that he has nixed lifting the top rate, or does he just not understand how his own progressive taxation policy works?

                “I believe we can look after everyone better, not by cutting taxes, but by earning more as a country and making sure that everyone gets a real chance to earn their share.”

                – vague, but efficiently contradicts his previous statement about cutting other, unspecified, taxes.

                “Let me be clear: these are policy matters that won’t be confirmed until much nearer the election.”

                – well, at least he is clear on this

                As for the website, snobbish design quibbles aside, is a dedicated ‘policy’ link too much to ask for? I clicked every link on the homepage and the most specific reference I found was a commitment to ‘reforming the tax system’. Compare and contrast with the Greens.

                • Jackal

                  It amuses me that you proclaim your own ignorance about a subject from the get go. I’ve only ever listened to David Shearer’s first speech you claim, and then go onto generalize about everything he stands for:

                  – oops, we’ve gone from “a bold fiscal policy ” to “how I see things” in one breath

                  Not really. You’re presuming that Labour won’t change its bold fiscal policy into something even more bold because of how Shearer sees things. Considering his background and some of the press releases that have been made while he has been leader of the opposition, I think you are entirely wrong in your presumptions.

                  – vague, kinda tautological

                  Clearly the main benefit of a CGT is the economic benefit it has. Not only would a CGT somewhat address the issue of our housing crisis, it would ensure much needed investment into more productive areas of the economy.

                  You seem to be interested in the vagaries of things instead of the actual dynamic. It’s always worthwhile for a politician to spell things out in plain english, even if it means repeating themselves. To me, Shearer isn’t being vague, he is saying that Labours bold policy might change for the better. Compare that forthrightness with John Keys snake oil sales technique. Personally I prefer a politician to repeat themselves ad infinitum if they’re on the right track.

                  – weasel words, vague – where? which? GST? corporate? personal? believe it or not, these are the kinds of boring points that I actually base my vote on.

                  As I thought, interested only in vagaries… And in this instance a vagary based on your own ignorance!

                  Labour has made a number of press releases recently about where it would distribute more tax money to. Clearly they’re not going to give further tax breaks to the already wealthy like National has done. That is one of the reasons New Zealand is in a financial mess. There is talk that Labour will not implement its $5000 tax threshold. Perhaps this is more about the economic realities of New Zealands current financial situation, thanks to Nationals bungling. As usual the RWNJ’s will blame Labour for what the rightwing has caused.

                  – weasel words

                  So you don’t think a CGT can transform our economy? What a complete fool!

                  – weasel words, vague, is he trying to say that he has nixed lifting the top rate, or does he just not understand how his own progressive taxation policy works?

                  Weasel words… Is that the best insult you can come up with? I think Labour is set to lift the top tax rate when they become a part of the next government. You can continue to try to promote doubt in others if you like. But really you’re just showing us your ignorance!

                  – vague, but efficiently contradicts his previous statement about cutting other, unspecified, taxes.

                  My word, you really are confused by your own cherry picking. Shearer said that it might be possible if a CGT is properly implemented to cut certain taxes in the future. His statement is if anything a bit optimistic in my opinion. He believes that New Zealand can increase its wealth and that will mean it’s possible to reduce taxes. He says that Labour will not reduce taxes across the board. Don’t blame him for your lack of comprehension skills.

                  I clicked every link on the homepage and the most specific reference I found was a commitment to ‘reforming the tax system’. Compare and contrast with the Greens.

                  Personally I think the Greens could do a lot better in promoting their actual policy as well. However I suspect people who actually look at such things are in the minority. That’s probably why it’s not a priority for most political parties… Especially National. How many policy have they implemented that were not a part of their campaigning?

                  Although I agree that all poitical parties, including Labour, could do better… Expecting political parties to have all their policy already devised more than two years out from the next general election is particularly arrogant Jim in Tokyo. With such arrogance perhaps you should tryout for a position within the National party… God knows they need some new blood.

                  • Jim in Tokyo

                    I approve of the policy, and studied the specifics of the proposal before voting last time, even though I’ve been out of the country for some years. What I’m questioning here is Shearer’s ability to argue the position with clarity and conviction.

                    I didn’t cherry pick the speech for vagaries – I just copied out the section on the CGT. You can double-check the transcription here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6580075/David-Shearers-full-March-15-speech

                    ‘Weasel words’ is an emotionally laden term, and perhaps I should not have used it, but it has a very specific meaning – to equivocate excessively. Wikipedia tells me a more neutral term is ‘tergiversate’.

                    I’m convinced that New Zealand needs a CGT tax, and if by chance I were elected, then one of my first acts in office would be set a comprehensive capital gains tax. Particularly if I was the leader of a party that was promoting it as a key policy plank.

                    But to say that “I can see a role for CGT in transforming our economy” – well that’s just weasel worded.

                    And don’t get me started on “I would want to ask whether xxx is going to be as much of a priority” as a rhetorical device – I mean who is he going to ask, the leader of the Labour party?

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    To be fair they have put some policy on their website.

                    Some of it I can relate to e.g. ensuring more contracts go to NZ companies.

                    What I want to know however and what will get my vote will be increasing benefit rates, the minimum wage and tax rates for people like me who didn’t need tax cuts in order to help those who need help more than I do.

                    Re-introducing penal rates and state housing for life, increasing the ability of unions to fight for better wages and working conditions and ideally since the state has passed legislation restricting the strength of workers to fight for themselves to pick up this responsibilty by ensuring a manadatory pay increase for all workers every year (on Labour Day maybe) of say 2% that at least ensures wages don’t remain static for many many people.

                    Moving the benefit to employers is just another subsidy to employers – that doesn’t inspire me.

                    By far the majority of employers employ someone because they have work to do that can make a profit – no work to do no job. Subsidy may influence the choice of who but very rarely does it increase jobs unless the business has cashflow issues. Did all those wage subsidies to McDonalds for instance actually create more jobs at McDonalds?

                    And no it’s not unrealistic to know this far out what they believe in and stand for – you build a brand and a connection with people over time – and that’s why I don’t particularly care who is leader.

                    And here’s the other thing if I as a voter can’t figure out what they stand for is it any wonder those within seem disconnected and rudderless and disloyal.

                    It seems to me they don’t know either – you can’t have a group of people consistently articulate a vision if the vision is a secret.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      pick up this responsibilty by ensuring a manadatory pay increase for all workers every year (on Labour Day maybe) of say 2% that at least ensures wages don’t remain static for many many people.

                      Mandatory wage increase every quarter in line with the CPI. This will ensure that wages remain as they were first agreed to and that wage negotiations will actually be about wage increases rather than just maintaining real value.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Also tax corporates more heavily (profits >$20M pa) and give tax relief to PAYE earners and small businesses (profits <$2M pa)

              • prism

                What Labour needs to get in front of the masses is another king hitter like Shortland Street but with a theme of battlers and middle class and Maori sticking together against a ritch bitch, who might have inherited a corporation, and a mean but cunning old tightwad like old man Burns in the Simpsons. Even some good skits, some animation.

                We’re not good at looking how things are, that’s SEP, she’ll be right, let’s go down to the giant hardware store and get us some retail therapy, or perhaps concentrate on sport. You might be struggling financially but you look gooood. So present it all as hilarious faction, which it sort of is, if one stands back and looks cynically and resignedly at things for a while. But let’s not get stuck in that mode either, turn the story round show our dark side but give it humour like Seinfeld perhaps.

          • tracey

            the strategy hasn’t happened national…

      • higherstandard 4.1.4

        “…….. Labour’s ongoing problem has been the inability of some of its caucus members to put the last leadership challenge behind them and focus on working together.”

        Quite true IB – same as most companies or organisations, politics is probably even worse due to the highly charged egos and odd personalties it often attracts.

        • Dr Terry

          There is good in politicians with strong egos. There is a problem with politicians who are strongly egotistical. Note the difference.

          • higherstandard

            “Note the difference.”

            Well you’d be able to if the current parliament wasn’t just full of egotistical rat bags, troughers and buffoons.

          • Hami Shearlie

            I think you must be referring to Steven Joyce!!

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.5

        Part on Labour’s ongoing problem has been the inability of some of its caucus members to put the last leadership challenge behind them and focus on working together.

        And part of this inability is driven by a lack of common goals and common values. Apart from being “in power”. Things like solidarity with the working class and the underclass, understanding the inherent instability and unfairness of capitalism, etc.

    • Kea 4.2

      Is this based on evidence or speculation ? What gives you an insight into his motivation ?

      [lprent: /i-dont-think-ill-be-taking-his-advice/comment-page-1/#comment-541590
      The auto-spam isn’t from local at our server matches on IP, email or even name.
      However you have a semi-static IP and I suspect that at least akismet has that IP listed as a spam source (probably from someone using it in a previous life).

      Since there is no way that I am turning off the automatic anti-spam (we get hundreds of spam messages per day), the best I can suggest is to ask your ISP to change the IP that they have semi-attached to you (there isn’t a way on akismet to say an IP is safe). ]

  5. Kea 5

    Name them.

  6. Stephen Doyle 6

    Gwynne Dyers book “Climate Wars” is a good read on the whole geo political situation. From memory he says that if we have to rely on geo engineering, it’s too late.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Geo-engineering is a very high energy, expensive enterprise. And what doesn’t our civilisation have at the moment? A lot of surplus energy, or a lot of surplus spending power.

      See how this resource depletion/de-industrialisation thing works in practice?

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        “Geo-engineering is a very high energy, expensive enterprise. And what doesn’t our civilisation have at the moment? A lot of surplus energy, or a lot of surplus spending power.”

        And yet wee see numbers floating around that we could seriously combat climate change if the world spent 1% of it’s GDP in doing so. That certainly is achievable, if there were any political will to do so. Also that “spending” really means “employing people to do stuff”, ie, jobs.

        • Colonial Viper

          Also that “spending” really means “employing people to do stuff”, ie, jobs.

          You can’t combat climate change by increasing employment, incomes and consumption.

          And yet wee see numbers floating around that we could seriously combat climate change if the world spent 1% of it’s GDP in doing so.

          That’s about US$800B in other words. Quite achievable a sum, the US gave more money than that to the banks in one year.

          But what would you do with US$800B to “combat climate change”, how much of that is actual climate change reduction, and how much of that would be spent on just minimising the adverse impacts of climate change on people?

  7. weka 7


    I tried to get a Labour face on TV this week to talk about capital gains taxes. I approached Shearer who was in Hokitika and too far away, David Parker in Dunedin and Cunliffe in Auckland.
    Cunliffe was the easiest to get hold of. But, without naming names, the hoopla I was put through before he was ‘allowed’ on TV was fascinating. Even Cunliffe was nervous – but keen.
    It took six hours of negotiating to get him on. It was quite simply, outrageous. It took me one text to get Russel Norman on the telly. It took two phone calls to get the Prime Minister to agree to a one-on-one interview.

    Jesus H Christ, wake the fuck up Labour.

    • just saying 7.1

      Why “without naming names” anyway? These people are not sources of malicious gossip information, but gate-keepers. And aren’t journalists supposed to expose exactly this kind of thing?
      Why is Garner protecting the people involved? Some kind of vested-interest? – maybe Garner has a horse in this particular race?

    • Anne 7.2

      But, without naming names, the hoopla I was put through before he was ‘allowed’ on TV was fascinating.

      Well, I think you should name names Duncan Garner so we know exactly who is behind this childish nonsense. If you’re not prepared to do that, then how about a hint or two? We will work the rest out from there.

    • McFlock 7.3

      Which one is the odd one out in this comparison? 

      • just saying 7.3.1

        I get the feeling, McFlock, that there is some background to your recent flurry of comments that you’re not saying. Why not clear the air, get it off your chest, rather than taking this kind of angry but ambiguous approach?

        • mickysavage

          Um it is quite clear.  Norman and Key can get serious TV time with very little effort.  Cunliffe has to go through all sorts of hoops to do the same.

          To be frank it sucks.  Which political party turns down an opportunity for serious TV time? 

        • McFlock

          Actually I just got fed up with the bullshit and a whole bunch of people doing the tories’ work for them..

          Norman and Key are party leaders. They are closer to the media team and can speak on almost any issue without invading turf.

          Cunliffe is not. He would be authorised to speak on a very limited range of topics before he starts encroaching on the relevant spokeperson’s area. We don’t even know what he was being asked to comment on. The entire comparison is farcical.

          And we’re getting worked up about Garner’s perception of events: that dude has only just stopped masturbating to Key’s picture every night.

          • just saying

            Depends on who you believe is a tory I guess.

            • McFlock

              Well, the difference between cunliffe and shearer is a lot less than the difference between shearer and Key, imo. For me the priority is to get rid of the government of wage slavery and theft of public assets.

              • just saying

                I think the opposite.
                I don’t know if Cunnliffe is a tory, but I’m bloody sure Shearer is.
                For me the priority is to get rid of the government of wage slavery and theft of public assets.
                And I think a) Shearer is more likely to lead the Labour to defeat, and
                b) A Shearer led government will be another tory government, and a one-term one to boot.

                • kousei

                  Cunliffe’s ‘thirty years of economic insanity’ remark would suggest he believes we need a massive strategic shift in thinking. I just don’t think he realises how massive that needs to be. Shearer’s just nowhere near that with his innocuous dribblings.

  8. infused 8

    ocean acidification will occur no matter what govt is in power in NZ. Thinking you will make a difference in this regard is just being silly.

    • Jackal 8.1

      Many countries respect New Zealand and the direction it takes on such matters. It could be that New Zealand making the right decision to reduce GHG emissions would help other countries to do the same thing. We should be a leader when it comes to climate change, not making excuses because other countries are also failing to reduce emissions.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Thinking that you don’t have to do your part is an abdication of responsibility.

      • infused 8.2.1

        It’s not about me playing a part or you playing a part at all. My point is even if you do, and I do, it’s not going to make an ounce of difference.

        • McFlock

          The words of someone without an ounce of integrity.
          “It won’t make any real difference” is a reason to avoid doing the right thing only for those who are concerned with how difficult a task might be, not whether it’s the correct thing. 

          • Colonial Viper

            I thought these Right Wingers were into their cult of personal responsibility?

          • infused

            You can’t convince big countries what to do. China and America don’t give a fuck. They really don’t. Which makes anything you do irrelevant.

            • Colonial Viper

              Nah you’re full of shit. Very ordinary people change the course of nations. NZ has done it many times on the world stage.

              • infused

                Your not going to change climate change this way though. People are too greedy and won’t give up their lifestyles.

                I said years ago, we will only change once resources become insanely expensive to extract/run out.

                Until then…

            • McFlock

              Only if the ends justify the means.
              Which is a fairly idiotic philosophy. 

    • Lightly 8.3

      sigh. the post isn’t about which party is best on ocean acidification – honestly, where do you get that from?

      But, anyway, your argument that it don’t matter what we or NZ does is dumb.

      that’s an argument against voting.

      It’s an argument against not leaving rubbish in a national park.

      It’s an argument against NZ being involved in WW2.

      Just because an individual or small country can’t significantly change an outcome doesn’t mean that our actions don’t add up to something that does make a difference – and each of us has a responsibility for the outcomes because we are all part of causing it.

      • Colonial Viper 8.3.2

        Nice speech, but what action are you going to back it up with? This is not a simple case of sending a Frigate to French controlled Morurua Atoll (which was in terms of international relations, a damn gutsy thing for a small country like NZ to do).

        You want to make a grand signal of grand objectives, then you have to back it up with appropriate, courageous action. And no one, not even the Greens, is going to go to the polls with anything close to it.

  9. Fortran 9

    Russel Norman gets all the publicity daily he wants still – who needs Labour ?
    Let’s get real.

    • tracey 9.1

      You make it sound like you support greens yet they want troops out of Afganistan and you want them endangering themselves andothers by going on revenge missions.

    • infused 9.2

      God help us if that retard is ever finance minister. That will be the time to leave the country.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Compared to Norman, what makes Bill English a greatly more talented Finance Minister? Anything? His great Treasury resume?

  10. Michael 11

    Labour’s Parliamentary caucus has too much power, which it too often misuses. Let the next leader be elected in a ballot from every financial member of the party (one member = one vote). That step alone will do a lot to revitalise the grass roots, who are fed up with being treated like mushrooms.

  11. OneTrack 12

    “On a related note, Farrar endorses….” – Have you got a link for that or is this just “make shit up about the enemy” day

    Rhetorical question – why do righties tend to attack the lefts policies, but lefties tend to attack the people.

    • fatty 12.1

      They don’t…left and right both attack the policies rather than the people. You’ll find that centrist/third way leaders get attacked as persons more because they aren’t defined so much by their policies. eg, both key and clark are targeted by the other side as people rather than their policies, because they piss about in the middle.

    • Fisiani 12.2

      Normally there is a link to the so called Farrar endorsement of Robertson. Apparently it is on a video or so David Shearer claims.

  12. peterlepaysan 13

    Why is it that people who voted labour into power forgot to turn up at election time? (twice).

    They were not hearing what they wanted to hear.

    Maybe the poncing princes and princesses inside the labour party caucus should grow up and listen to the membership, mind you, why bother? Membership is dwindling so why bother listening to supporters who are not listening?

  13. Treetop 14

    Getting the combination right with the leader and the deputy leader is also a failure of the Labour caucus. Two unknowns trying to find their feet to to see if they shape up is clumsy. Clumsy is a distraction which the Labour caucus cannot afford to have.

    Cunliffe is not clumsy and I think he should be leader and that he would bring the best out in Shearer and that Shearer would take some of he rough edges off Cunliffe were he deputy leader. Had Cunliffe been appointed as leader and Shearer deputy leader the Labour caucus would have had the option of promoting Shearer had Cunliffe stumbled, (but I think Cunliffe handles pressure well) then Robertson could have been promoted to deputy leader.

    Anything is possible and a leader can sometimes make a really good deputy leader due to lacking enough experience.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Except Robertson wanted his shot at the top and he has the support of one of the largest caucus blocks. Under these circumstances, a Cunliffe/Shearer team no matter how fit, would not be permitted to fly.

      As I said last night, I’m at the stage now where I’d strongly support a Robertson – Leader, Cunliffe – Deputy team to push the NATs out. Shearer won’t cut it.

      • Treetop 14.1.1

        The Labour caucus really need to ask themselves: Why did they just not elect Robertson as leader if Roberston has their support?

        Was it the:
        The infighting?
        Not wanting to waste Roberston due to his inexperience?

        Shearer is not cutting it with Roberstson and Robertson could be another Shearer, this is why Cunliffe needs to be appointed as leader so then Labour would be certain of a win in 2014.

        Cunliffe, Shearer needs to be tried, then Cunliffe, Robertson. There can only be one more leadership change before the election and Cunliffe has the experience, can handle pressure, does not second guess and is cheeky so gets noticed.

        Is Robertson performing as deputy leader?

        • just saying

          Why have Shearer in the picture at all?
          Does he need some sort of consolation prize to soothe his hurt feelings?
          After nearly a year of having the spotlight on his abilities he has shown himself to be weak, incompetent, ignorant, nice, and frankly a bit spacey. His consolation prize, if he needs one, (and let’s remember that such indulgence is only ever accorded to one-percenters when they fail), is that he still has a cushy job with a far greater than average salary, prestige, power, property and assets in the millions, gold-star contacts etc etc.. – multiple modes of privilege intersecting like the fucking star of David over his head. What more should he expect?

      • Captain Nemo 14.1.2

        Hmmm, Clark/Cullen then Robertson/Cunliffe

        There’s a pattern emerging if you look closely….

  14. Treetop 15

    Why have Shearer in the picture at all?

    Shearer deserves another chance to prove himself, but not as leader. Shearer has many humanitarian skills, he is honest and diplomatic.

    • just saying 15.1

      Surely he will have plenty of chances to prove himself in his ongoing job as a minister of parliament. Why does failure warrant a top job Treetop?

      Shearer is a proven liar actually (but then he is a politician, so maybe that is only to be expected). Also, what exactly is a humanitarian skill?

  15. Treetop 16

    Why does failure warrant a top job Treetop?

    It is the wounded oyster that mends its shell with pearl – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Also, what exactly is a humanitarian skill?

    To be concerned with promoting human welfare. Shearer has a proven track record.

    The government appear to be only interested in promoting human welfare for their voters and not the 200,000 children living in poverty. The government would be mocked more without people like Owen Glenn helping to alleviate poverty.

    • just saying 16.1

      So would you recommend a top job for everyone who fails, or just those who are already privileged? Shearer has been an MP for less than two terms. Do you think it is fair that others miss out to soothe his feelings? Also, there are many more wounded than Shearer (‘s pride). I would have thought the search for pearls might start with those who aren’t so lucky in every other way, if you’re dishing out rewards for failure.

      Owen Glenn is a good example of less than worthy people making themselves look much better than they are with high visibility good deeds. Jimmy Saville also springs to mind. Sometimes apparent humanitarianism can be a cover for extreme egotism or worse.

      What is Shearer’s track record in parliament regarding those less fortunate than himself?

      Personally, as is I’m sure is obvious, I believe he’d throw the poorest and weakest off the life raft to make it safer and comfier for the elite his well-paid humanitarian efforts have allowed him to join. He has already shown himself ready willing and able to that end.

  16. Treetop 17

    Sincere people get noticed for the good deeds that they do/have done and they last. Insincere people get noticed for the bad deeds that they do/have done and they do not last. This applies to being dead or alive.

    Shearer is sincere

    • just saying 17.1

      Sincere people get noticed for the good deeds that they do/have done and they last. Insincere people get noticed for the bad deeds that they do/have done and they do not last. This applies to being dead or alive

      What a nice just-world platititude. I’m sure you can think of as many counter examples as I can.
      It’s nice to know you think people get what they deserve. I think Shearer probably agrees with you.
      Btw you didn’t asnwer my questions.

      • Treetop 17.1.1

        Granted I have not answered all your questions. I have stated why I would like Shearer to be the deputy leader and what I admire about him politically.

        Initially when Key was elected I gave him the benefit of the doubt due to being a corporate banker with a proven track record. What put me off him entirely was how he can not handle the big stuff (education, housing, employment, health, welfare, growth, the deficit) except when it comes to ownership and control in the hands of the wealthy excluding most of the population from being able to afford shares.

        The only tick I give Key is keeping inflation down and not yet selling off the energy assets which he cannot wait to have PLUNDERED.

        • Colonial Viper

          Initially when Key was elected I gave him the benefit of the doubt due to being a corporate banker with a proven track record.

          Why the HELL did you give a CORPORATE BANKER “the benefit of the doubt”?

          Makes no sense whatsoever.

          The only tick I give Key is keeping inflation down

          OMG this is bullshit.

        • just saying

          I kind of envy your naivety, certainly the life experience you must have been lucky enough to avoid to maintain it.

          • Colonial Viper

            The weird thing is that “naive” is not a particularly obvious characteristic of Treetop’s previous comments. Something’s off.

            • just saying

              Funny you should say that CV. When you spend too much time at TS (as we both do) you have an idea of the who the regular posters are as people. At least a rough outline.

              I wouldn’t have thought of Treetop as being anything like as naive as s/he has come across here. I can think of one or two issues that s/he has discussed in the past things that s/he seemed to have been personally affected by, and this series of posts do seem inconsistent.

              But then we all have compartments in our minds.

              • Treetop

                November 4 1976 was a life changing day for me which cast a terrible shadow.

                I am secure in my self about being thought of as being naive occasionally regarding a comment.

  17. Treetop 18

    Why the HELL did you give a CORPORATE BANKER “the benefit of the doubt”?

    Not every corporate banker reaches the highest pinnacle and when they do, surely they must know how to manage money. I soon found out who Key manages the money for and how.

    On second thoughts I give the tick for low interest rates remaining low and not the CPI. In September 2008 year CPI inflation reached 5.1 percent.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Not every corporate banker reaches the highest pinnacle and when they do, surely they must know how to manage money. I soon found out who Key manages the money for and how.

      “Highest pinnacle” of what? The fraud machine which is investment banking? This is like giving someone kudos for rising to the top of the Gambino Mafia.

      Further, these assholes don’t “manage money”; at the top levels they create and operate wealth pumps and ticket clipping operations designed to impoverish their clients and the countries they operate in.

      Why would you give Key credit for doing this, and then give him credit for some bullshit econometric measures he has no control over as PM???

      Do you have any idea why interest rates are low? One reason is because of the LIBOR fraud which was perpetrated on world financial markets. The second reason is that SAVERS and PENSION FUNDS are being robbed by these low interest rates as the banks do not need to pay out as much on the money they hold for you.

  18. Treetop 19

    You cannot con a crim (corporate banker) and it is an advantage to know how they operate.

    Reasons for low interest rates (fraud and paying out as less as possible) was unknown to me. When it comes to purchasing a home, low interest rates are necessary. There are other factors required as well re home purchase e.g. affordable properties, adequate income.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      When it comes to purchasing a home, low interest rates are necessary.

      Sure they are helpful to you, but they are very helpful for property asset speculators who purchase investment properties through high levels of leverage (i.e. debt).

      This means that you may save on mortgage interest payments over time, but it doesn’t help you as the base price of the house you are trying to buy has already skyrocketed.

  19. Treetop 20

    Capital gains tax is long overdue. Exempt the family home.

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    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
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  • A Government System That Works
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    5 days ago
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    6 days ago
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  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    6 days ago
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    7 days ago
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  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
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  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
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  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
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  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
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    1 week ago

  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
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    3 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
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    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago