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John Key’s bullshit about rising inequality

Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, May 14th, 2014 - 86 comments
Categories: child welfare, david cunliffe, Economy, john key, poverty, same old national, Shane Jones, slippery, unemployment, wages - Tags:

Russel Norman and David Cunliffe have asked about John Key’s government’s record in Question Time today.  They referred to this census evidence, as reported on RNZ, that the inequality gap on NZ is growing.

In 2006, the median income for someone in the Orakei area, including Mission Bay and St Heliers, was $36,600.

Data from last year’s census, which has just been released, shows that figure has grown to $42,700.

But incomes for those in the poorest suburb of Mangere-Otahuhu actually fell, dropping $200 to $19,700 last year.

The figures for Auckland as a whole show the median income last year was $29,600, an increase of nearly $3000 from 2006.

Key denied there is rising inequality in NZ.  He ignores the increasing inequality in Auckland that is impacting heavily on those struggling to make ends meet: they are also living with increasing transport, housing and energy poverty.  Key’s response is to divert from this by, ignoring the gleefully attacking the opposition and praising the (alleged) successes of his government.


Key still keeps referring to general numbers of jobs and employment, and ignores the extent of underemployment, and low paid jobs.

The speaker again runs cover for an out of control government, that refuses to be held to account – something expected in a democracy.

I’ll link to the transcript of the exchanges as they become available – and to Question 2 by David Cunliffe about income inequality.  Key’s response to that is to deliver a speech, blaming the GFC, and praising the government poverty.

NZ’s growing income inequality gap is in an international context, where income inequality is growing in the US, as reported by the New York Times.

What if inequality were to continue growing years or decades into the future? Say the richest 1 percent of the population amassed a quarter of the nation’s income, up from about a fifth today. What about half?

To believe Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, this future is not just possible. It is likely.

In his bracing “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” which hit bookstores on Monday, Professor Piketty provides a fresh and sweeping analysis of the world’s economic history that puts into question many of our core beliefs about the organization of market economies.

His most startling news is that the belief that inequality will eventually stabilize and subside on its own, a long-held tenet of free market capitalism, is wrong. Rather, the economic forces concentrating more and more wealth into the hands of the fortunate few are almost sure to prevail for a very long time.

To a later Question, Bill English referred to OECD evidence that income inequality in NZ, is not rising: at best, it’s flat.  Parker responded by asking if those stats have taken account of housing affordability, and included measurements of wealth such as capital gains.

Several questions in Question Time have focused on issues of income inequality, and causing heated debate.

Update: Question One

Update: Transcripts

Question One

Question Two

In which David Cunliffe referred to the Salvation Army giving the government a D in their report (as reported by the Child Poverty Action Group), and to the numbers of children in poverty (as in the Child Poverty Report, which indicates a rise in diseases of poverty, and that 10% of children live in severe and persistent poverty).

 Question Four on Income & Social Inequality

In which David Parker refers to rising housing unaffordability as an indicator or f rising inequalities, and the impact on this of a lack of capital gains tax.

And Bill English said this:

On average across New Zealand, income inequality has not got worse. In fact, we are one of two developed countries where the OECD as recently as yesterday has said that it has been stable since 1994—and the Opposition should take some credit for that.

OEDC on Income Inequality in NZ3 News report in 2011.

A new report reveals the average income of New Zealand’s richest 10 percent is now 10 times that of the poorest 10 percent.

It’s a similar story across the OECD, but New Zealand’s income gap has grown faster than any other developed country over the past 20 years.

English was talking about the “average income as a measure. The 2011 report tells a different story because it compares the top and bottom 105.







86 comments on “John Key’s bullshit about rising inequality”

  1. fender 1

    The juvenile nature of the way the PM interacts in the house is so poor and predictable that viewers must be dropping off faster than Nationals poll numbers.

    Also someone really should inform this worst PM ever that the NZ Labour and Green parties have not held the treasury benches in Australia.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      He isn’t willing to lead, so Key blusters.

    • David H 1.2

      But no one will pull him up on it by way of point of order ora series of questions designed to tie him up in knots.

  2. Mary 2

    Carter is appallingly biased. Something needs to be done about ministers being allowed to refuse to answer questions by simply saying they “reject the basis of the question”. Extremely undemocratic. It’s Carter’s fault.

  3. wyndham 3

    It is standard routine for Key and English to routinely blame the Labour Party for any flaws in present government policies. That is number one.
    Second, it is the fault of the GFC.
    Thirdly, it is the fault of the ChCh earthquake.
    Which leads me to ask – – – for what length of time can a political party continue to blame it’s predecessors or earlier events for failings in it’s own governance ?

    • Gosman 3.1

      You do acknowledge that the 2008 PREFU predicted a decade of deficits and a huge increase in government debt as a result don’t you?

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        The GFC was caused, no not by Clark or Labour, but by the financial industry. An industry that was and still is picked as a winner. Whtye, ignorance on the recent debate, that governments don’t or should not pick winners, was hilarously deluded, since he says this is why governments should be neturalized and castrated, because they can’t help but choose winners, industries or groups. And of course exposes why he’s not a democrat because whats the point of voting if the government doesn’t influence citizens lives. Whyte abdicates any personal responsibility for selecting the financial industry. Its a winner takes all by ignoring it play.

        The GFC, more due to the beliefs of men like Key, than anything Labour did or did not do, has led to growing inequity (which has now accelerated under National).

        English says the overall exposure of the economy, GDP to debt is dropping. But this misses several points, its the rich who are getting out of the way and lowing debt, not the farmers and homeowners. Its the rich who are getting the to the chairs first as the music stops. And GDP doesn’t show the underlying problem, that led to the GFC, that of un-referred to debt, environment, social, and economic. Sprawl, inequality and pollution (macro and local), all are
        out of control and for the most part not accounted for by governments. So its nice that English finally, unlike Key, is willing to enter the frail but he’s still talking and using measures of the oil religion.

        • Gosman

          10 years of deficits was not as a result of the recesssion caused by the GFC. Treasury would have no way of knowing how long such a recession would last. The deficits predicted were based on projected expenditure and revenue as at the time of the financial update and were not dependent if the the economy was in recesssion or not.

          • RJL

            @Gosman Treasury would have no way of knowing how long such a recession would last.

            Yes, because Treasury’s job is basically just to look after a very large key and to periodically check (and fret about) the amount of bullion lying around in the government’s vault.

            Treasury spends no effort whatsoever on economic modelling or predictive capability.

            • Gosman

              Ahhh no. Economists generally have little clue how long a specific economic cycle will last but can generally use a rule of thumb of 5 – 7 years. This would preclude them predicting a cyclical based deficit of 10 years.

            • Tracey

              pease dont confuse gosman with any facts that dont suit the story he is peddling.

              • Gosman

                What facts has been presented by RJL that could possibly not suit my position?

          • framu

            “projected expenditure and revenue as at the time of the financial update and were not dependent if the the economy was in recesssion or not.”

            so quite obviously when economic conditions changed both treasuries predictions and any assumptions about what a governing party might do to change their own expenditure and any overhangs from the previous administration would also change

            you cant say the nats have done great because they reacted to events and at the same time criticise labour using an out of date prediction that has no ability to factor in what might have been done differently

            youve also got the distractotron fired up – the inital comment had 0 to do with the prefu. What do you think about national routinely blaming labour 6 years after the fact?

          • Stuart Munro

            Still spinning this tiresome fiction Gosman? You need better writers.

            • Tracey

              didnt english one say cullen wasnt spending enough? so had he run deficits and not surplus’ what would the nats besaying now…

              • Gosman

                Up till 2008 he might have. However the 2008 Budget was basically a massive spend up by Labour to try and buy the election. Hence the predicted decade of deficits. It was a pity really as I did rate Cullen as generally being an above average conservative finance minister up till that point.

                • Tracey

                  i imagine he is very sorry to have lost your respect.

                • Tracey

                  had he done the spending english says he wanted, and hasnt done the 2008 spend, we might be in the same position, which would have made english wrong.

                  anyway, we have this rockstar economy now and english said businesses should be giving everyone payrises. oh thats right, they ignored him.

                • Lanthanide

                  What was the “massive spend up” exactly?

            • Gosman

              What tiresome fiction?

          • Tracey

            treasury? the bunch of no hopers who taught english everything he knows about economics. bloody career bureaucrats.

          • Psycho Milt

            10 years of deficits was not as a result of the recesssion caused by the GFC.

            Followed (and refuted) by:

            The deficits predicted were based on projected expenditure and revenue…

            Can any readers think of something that happened in 2008 that might have affected revenue projections? Something big enough to cause a decade of deficits if the government kept spending at the rate it was in the mid-2000s? Anyone?

      • Tracey 3.1.2

        well we have the huge govt debt and yet key, and you, seem to be feeling quite proud

        • Gosman

          A huge government debt that was predicted in 2008 before National took office

          • Tracey

            predicted by the treasury that you were rubbishing above? that treasury you mean?

            • Gosman

              Where was I rubbishing Treasury? All I stated was that very few economic forecasts (and certainly not Treasury) would predict a cyclical trend lasting a decade. The deficit and associated increase in debt were the result of underlying structural issues with the nation fiscus.

  4. Gosman 4

    Based on Stats figures inequality across NZ is virtually the same as it was when National took office. Ponting this out is not ignoring anything.

    • karol 4.1

      John Key ignored the specific stats on growing income inequality in Auckland. As I said in the post, the OECD stsats, at best, show the inequality gap has been flat. But yet Key is claiming they are doing all sorts of good things.

      But he does ignore that, on top of an ongoing big inequality gap, those struggling in places like South Auckland, have had their income go backwards, while their costs of living re housing, energy and transport poverty have been rising. And as Parker pointed out, the increasing wealth gap exists on top of income inequality, especially via housing specualtion etc.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        John Key uses the stats that support his position just as Labour and the Greens use stats that support their position. This is hardly unusual.

        • Lanthanide

          John Key uses stats to avoid doing work.

        • Tracey

          may i present exhibit A as proof of the death of truth.

          its not a game gosman. i can only assume you take such a flippant view of tge truth because twisting it has served you well financially…

          the bottom 50% of south aucklanders are 200 bucks a year worse off than in 2006… is that one months power in the winter, school uniforms, dentist for mum or dad….

          meanwhile over in st heliers they have 4000 grand more a year.

          just a coincidence its those suburbs, right.

          • Gosman

            What is the baseline?

            What happened between the baseline and now?

            What has the recent trend in inequality been?

            • Colonial Viper

              Meh, you’ve no interest in helping these people Gosman, just wasting time and waiting for the clock to run down.

        • Psycho Milt

          John Key uses the stats that support his position just as Labour and the Greens use stats that support their position. This is hardly unusual.

          It’s certainly not unusual. Witness Nick Smith on the news last night informing us he’d discovered that only 11.8% of NZ properties are owned by overseas residents, and many of those were overseas NZers, so this talk of foreign investers driving up house prices in Auckland is rubbish. It’s superficially plausible, until you notice that he’s given you a national figure, not an Auckland one. I guess it’s conceivable that property investors in China are keen to snap up desirable properties with rapidly-increasing values in Invercargill, Hawera and Westport, but… no, hang on, actually it’s not conceivable in the slightest – he’s a lying weasel, just like his boss.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            Or Joyce on Q&A insisting on using quarterly earnings statistics to claim workers are better off – instead of the Labour Cost Index, which actually represents changes in people’s base pay rates.

        • karol

          Gosman, of updated the bottom of the post, after looking for some information on reports that have been discussed before on TS, and that was referred to in Question Time today.

          Basically, English said that the OECD had said this week that “on average” NZ’s inequality had been stable since 1994.

          But, I quickly found a 3 News report that referred to a 2011 OECD report that showed in NZ, in the last 20 years, the gap between the top 10% and the bottom 10% had risen faster than in any other OECD country.

          I also added some links to articles about the Salvation Army in the last year, giving the government a D for poverty, and about the Child Poverty report.

          • Wayne


            That TV3 item will be wrong. The relevant period for the shift is 1984 to the present, not the last 20 years. Not surprising that a short TV item will confuse the dates.

            The stats also refer to the rate of change, not the absolute change. And in any event must have been overtaken by what has happened in Greece, Spain, et al in the last 5 years.

            So what the stats actually show is that NZ had one of the flattest distributions in the OECD in 1984 (when wharfies got higher pay than doctors in hospitals). What David Lange referred to as a “polish shipyard”.

            In 1984 the economy was the most regulated in the OECD, so bringing it into the middle of the OECD meant some pretty dramatic changes. Actually more so than any other OECD country.

            And think about that for a moment. If you go from the virtually the most flat distribution in the OECD in 1984 to a distribution that puts you in the middle of the OECD, you have to move faster than anyone else. And it largely all occurred in a 9 year period from 1984 to 1993, so obviously pretty disruptive for many.

            And for you and others that still seems to produce a lot of angst. I note that David Cunliffe often talks about ending “30 years of the neo-liberal experiment”. But frankly I don’t believe him – he won’t do it. When Russell Norman says the same thing, I believe him – he would do it.

            • Tracey

              he often talks about it?

            • Clemgeopin

              Your last few lines indicate that you are simply trying to sow discord between Labour and the Greens. Your tactic here is despicable. You say you don’t believe Cunliffe. Do you believe Key?

      • aerobubble 4.1.2

        Past time Kiwi expats returned with wealth, able to buy into housing.

    • adam 4.2

      Do you read Gosman? Or is life a serious spin session for you? Read what Karol put, or I don’t know, read what pretty much every social service agency in the country is saying about the income gap.

      I think I’ve said it to you before – think before you write – your an idiot who just proves to me and the rest of the left that the right wing have gone from bat shit crazy to embracing nasty as well.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        You have nothing to really add to this discussion then adam beyond an ad hominem attack on myself. Goodoh. I take that as evidence I have made valid points which you can’t refute.

        • karol

          Actually, Adam made a good point about the social service agencies. I just added stuff to the post, about the Salvation Army report, referred to in Question Time today, in which the Sallies give the government a D for poverty.

  5. Gosman 5


  6. Will@Welly 6

    Key has not “ruled out tax cuts”.
    My crystal ball tells me that Act will have its way – 0% for anyone earning over say $150 – $200,000.
    Around 20% for the rest of us, with a sharp increase in user fees.
    Poverty in New Zealand, expect that to grow to around 50% in the next few years.

    • The Real Matthew 6.1

      That is not the ACT Party tax policy.

      You are being disrespectful by representing it as such.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        Yip. I know it can be hard to distinguish good satire from the truth, but better to let the ACT party hang themselves with their own lunacy rather than making things up.

      • Tracey 6.1.2

        disingenuous maybe, not disrespectful. it might have been when prebble had been thinking, which in hindsight has never been good for anything political he is involved with.

        you are right though, ACT betrayed the principle of 0% tax when it thought no one would vote for itb

  7. Gosman 7

    I will grant one thing. The replies by John Key at Question time in that clip were rather tiresome and are largely petty point scoring. I’d prefer if he tackled this issue head on as I beleieve the stats are there to support his position.

    • karol 7.1

      It was Key’s appalling performance as in that video, that spurred me to make a post – that, and I had already been thinking about posting about income and wealth inequalities.

    • I feel fairly certain that if the stats did support his position, he’d have used them. Or even if they vaguely sounded like they supported him – cf. Steven Joyce pretending that increases in earnings are the same as increases in wage rates.

  8. blue leopard 8

    A picture off a conspiracy facebook page, but the message is a good one:

    ‘You have the right to remain stupid. Everything you do not know, can and will be used against you. Most likely for profit.’

    • miravox 8.1

      You have the right to remain stupid

      And from the ‘you have a right to be educated’ variety of website, a a simple 3 min video from the New Economics Foundation explaining inequality in the UK.

  9. Tracey 9

    i see that bridges thinks the answer to poverty issues is to talk to retailers….

    ” The number of people having their power disconnected because they can’t pay their bills is too high, Energy Minister Simon Bridges agreed today following criticism from Labour.

    His comments came after Labour’s energy spokesman David Shearer released a statement condemning “record high” levels of disconnections in the first three months of this year, which he said showed the minister was out of touch with ordinary households.

    Data collected by the Electricity Authority showed 8967 homes were disconnected between January and March. That compared to 9620 in the first quarter of 2013, and 9897 in the last quarter of 2013.

    Mr Bridges said disconnection figures were higher than he would like.

    “While the numbers for the last quarter have fallen, and we are at the lowest level in two years, I remain concerned about the high levels of disconnections.

    “I have written again to retailers to ask what tangible actions they are taking to bring disconnection rates down,” he said.

    “It is clear that proactive customer management – including the provision of better information to customers about payment plans and making personal contact at an early stage – is the most effective way of avoiding disconnections.”

  10. Richard@Down South 10

    Key is hinting at possible tax cuts…


    how crazy is that

    • BM 10.1

      Key will seal the election and probably get an outright majority if that happens.

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        with “a massive spend up” you mean?

        gosman will be by shortly to explain why that will be the death of NZ

  11. finbar 11

    No way is the corporations ruler going to admit to wealth inequality,if he did,it would call him and his corperations exploitation a lie to their words of fairness.All lower than the one percent of controlers wealth are aware of it, yet like him ,not so much for the cronies, but him,with his loaned batch in Kiwi,Cambell should have flown out to Hawain tax bolt hole, his true home and batch,where he will be going after this coming election, and leave us with his $50 billion crony debt to pay for.

  12. finbar 12

    I have it on good knowing, that our P.M.has updated his old Hawian mansion to a bigger better one.Those crony addups it would be seem to be paying off..

  13. jcuknz 13

    It is worth reading Piketty’s book or at least the Executive Summary which I did and you will find that it is an inevitable result of those with some spare income getting richer and those with just enough to meet their needs remaining at that level.

    The book has some interesting stats about how the two world wars and the depression wiped the slate clean in the first half of the 20th century but the ‘haves’ have been building their ‘have’ with a vengence since and we can either let the situation continue or do something about it with progressive, really progressive, taxation on a world scale…. he admits this is unlikely to happen but suggests a 0.5% tax on income up to a million and then perhaps 5<7% for those with an annual income of a billion etc.

    An interesting read … the Summary is rather less than the actual book and I guess gives us the guts without the tedium of the whole story.

    • finbar 13.1

      The combined governace of europe have just sad yes to taxing all monetry tranaction..Honest tax knowing.

    • karol 13.2

      I’m looking forward to reading it. I have it on order.

      Also, The Spirit Level is important because it spells out ho those vast inequalities between the richest and poorest impact negatively on society as a whole.

      The differences between the stats referred to by Key and English, and those referred to by Norman, Cunliffe and Parker, is that the Nats focused on the “average” which has not changed in 20 years. But, it’s a different story when you look at the stats and reports referred to by the opposition. These focus on the increasing gap between the richest and poorest.

      I guess the Nats don’t care too much, because I doesn’t impact immediately on their main constituents the middle-to-high income earners and wealthiest. They don’t really seem to care about the bottom 10% who are really struggling, nor those in the next 10%, who are probably pretty stressed.

      However, the higher earners and wealth hoarders would probably care more if they understood how such inequalities are damaging to society as a whole.

      • Wayne 13.2.1


        I think the main reason for the change is the dates chosen. Unemployment is higher now at 6% than it was in 2007, when it just about as low as it got, at around 3.5%. Unemployment is invariably concentrated among the lowest skilled.

        So you can get a situation where the bulk of the city get an increase in income, but one part does not. The only real solution to that is to reduce unemployment. And in the long term that means increasing skills.

        I see that Treasury is predicting unemployment at 4.5%, and Labour is aiming for 4% – not really a huge difference.

        Given that future surpluses are projected to be quite large over the next three years, each political party should be able have significant new initiatives during the campaign that fit their perception of what will be best for New Zealand (as opposed to getting the books right, and dealing with the earthquake, which have been the main challenges for the last 5 years).

        Virtually all official stats say inequality has not really changed over the last 20 years. And this reflects my basic perception of New Zealand. The big shift occurred with the changes of the 9 years of 1984 to 1993. What you would call the “neoliberal experiment”. And what I would say was essential to save the economy, given what Labour inherited in 1984.

        However, there must be some change in inequality when unemployment increases and when it goes down. And over the last 20 years, unemployment was higher in the early 90’s, reduced to a low by 2007, went up in the GFC, and is coming down again. Perhaps the stats “smooth” these changes out a bit.

        • miravox

          “The big shift occurred with the changes of the 9 years of 1984 to 1993. What you would call the “neoliberal experiment”. And what I would say was essential to save the economy, “

          Collateral damage? You’re good with that Wayne?

        • framu

          “And what I would say was essential to save the economy, given what Labour inherited in 1984.”


          or were there other alternativ es?

          cmon wayne – was the first secret ACT party the only option?

          • Wayne

            There could be some argument that it could have been done less abruptly, but not not much argument about the need for overall direction of the changes. Excepting the contributors to The Standard.

            People would say the adjustment in Australia was less abrupt than ours, but in 1984 the NZ economy was much more regulated than Australia, so change here was always going to be more difficult.

            Today in 2014, what are the basic differences between us and Australia. Their tax system is a bit different. No tax on the first $15,000 and a top rate of 47%. A modest capital gains tax. Compulsory super savings. But on this last issue I reckon our super system is better and fairer than theirs. Other than that not too many differences.

            So 30 years later our economies are much more aligned than in 1984. One of the reasons for CER in 1982 was to start aligning the two economies.

            • Clemgeopin

              Just imagine what sort of a country, what sort of conditions. inequality, inhumanity, poverty, unhappiness, unfairness would have prevailed just now in New Zealand if the Rogernomics extreme agenda had been allowed to prevail unabated until now? You would have today in action all the draconian, thoughtless, greedy, survival of the fittest kind of policies and society here! Who would want that apart from the selfish Libertarians/ACT personality types?

            • miravox

              hmm… a little disappointed you didn’t address my question at, Wayne.

              Although worded quite abruptly, I’m quite interested to know whether the damage to vulnerable groups that has occurred since the neo-liberal experiment in the 80s is ok with you.

  14. Clemgeopin 14

    A good evidence of how the right deceived through false propaganda. The western dominated media fall for it and spread it unquestioningly to manipulate opinion and perception to suit those in authority. Key, English and their spin masters are adept at this manipulation game.

    Here is a very educative film by John Pilger about what USA did to the South American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile when ordinary people struggled to free themselves from ‘the modern form of slavery’. Includes plenty of nice historical footage.

    Worth watching it if you haven’t already. Cheers!


  15. Paul 15

    Carter must be the worst speaker ever.
    A disgrace.
    He and the media are a threat to democracy.

  16. karol 16

    Tweets from the Labour Party #realbudgetnumbers Will add to post.

  17. Murray Olsen 17

    What on earth was Mallard trying to do with his point of order?
    As for Key, has he ever given a straight answer in his life?

  18. Penny Bright 18

    Seen this?

    Got your diary out folks?

    Upcoming Robb Lectures at Auckland University on

    ‘The human cost of inequality’

    Fisher and Paykel lecture theatre,
    Owen Glenn Building Grafton Rd



    Monday 19 May “Evidence of damage”
    Wednesday 21 May “The causal prosesses”
    Friday 23 May “The solution”


    Penny Bright

    • lprent 18.1

      I’ve been planning to put up a notice post (if no-one else does) during the weekend.

      That could be a pretty full theatre.

      Does anyone know if it will be filmed? And if so would be be able to showcase the video.

  19. Kahukowhai 19

    Winston Peters has nailed National for the $50 billion increase in national debt in the past two terms of this government. We must apply ourselves to the question of exactly who has benefited the most from this $50 billion economic injection.

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    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago