web analytics

Key says ‘damn the torpedoes’ on asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, October 30th, 2013 - 44 comments
Categories: privatisation, referendum - Tags:

The asset sales have been an unmitigated failure. They’ve raised less money than expected, they’ve cost more than twice as much as National said they would, no ‘mums and dads’ have shown up to buy the shares, and the public is waiting for its referendum. Now, it turns out that Treasury warned Key not to flood the market but Key plans to keep on flooding it.

It’s pretty much common sense from the Treasury (which is something of a revelation in itself). They told National: ‘look, if you’re going to sell 3 big electricity companies into a sharemarket that is already heavy on electricity companies, for God’s sake don’t do them all at once, the market can only swallow so much at a time; rush it, and you’ll get less Kiwi ownership and less money for the Crown’. Specifically, Treasury said don’t sell more than $1.5 billion every 12 months and spread it over 3 to 5 years.

Well, Key and co went ahead and sold two companies that were meant to be worth nearly $5 billion in just six months. The result: $1.3 billion less than thought and a fraction of the expected ‘mum and dad’ investors.

Of course, Key’s made a Prime Ministership out of ignoring all common sense and repeatedly failing in the pursuit of ideology, so he’s ignoring the lessons of Mighty River and Meridian, and threatening to sell Air NZ and Genesis in the next six months.

As Kiwi citizens, and the owners of these companies, we’ve got to send a strong message to Key and National in the referendum. A strong ‘no’ vote will tell them that, if the asset sales continue, National will get slaughtered in the election. That won’t matter to Key, he knows he’s odds on to lose and he’ll be on the next flight to Hawaii when it happens so he doesn’t care how big he loses, but it could force more level heads in National to rope him in.

44 comments on “Key says ‘damn the torpedoes’ on asset sales”

  1. Old Irascible 1

    Meanwhile, Hungary’s right wing Government says “We’ll take back the state assets for the public good.”
    http://theirasciblecurmudgeon.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/on-wisdom-of-selling-state-assets-right.html

  2. tricledrown 2

    Key will sell the other half of the power companies.

  3. Tracey 3

    He still has 12 months…

  4. vto 4

    I laughed yesterday when I heard the boss at Meridian state that the company’s governance will improve to best practice because it is now a listed public company….

    …. is it worth pointing out Chase Corp? Dominion Finance? Equiticorp? Feltex? Pike River? Where does this list end?

    …. what is it about these so-called “captains of industry” that they flick their blinkers to shut so often and on matters of such consequence?

    …. wait for Meridian to get into trouble…. and need taxpayer support ….. ffs …. idiots

    • Copperhead 4.1

      You missed the elephant in the room, Enron. Public ownership did that one very well…

      • Tat Loo (CV) 4.1.1

        Its the same old meme that private is somehow better than public. For the privateers and corporate monopolists that is of course the case. Just check out the rape and pillaging caused by the listed UK energy companies.

    • miravox 4.2

      “… the company’s governance will improve to best practice because it is now a listed public company….”

      You heard the one about the train company operating the east coast line in the UK that was privatised and couldn’t provide a profitable service?

      It went bankrupt, was re-nationalised, and with the profit requirement of it’s Bermuda-registered holding company removed, has since then paid more money back into public funds that any of it’s private pseudo-competitors. It has a much improved (and much better) safety record, punctuality and customer satisfaction ratings than all the private operators.

      So good in fact, that the Tories are going to re-privatise it. Two of the top bidders are majority-owned by the French state, and one a wholly owned subsidiary of the German government-owned rail operator, but somehow the British state can’t own it.

      Hilarious.

      Watch out Air NZ.

      • halfcrown 4.2.1

        Thanks for that miravox, as I said not long ago, when Air New Zealand was “privatised” and the major share holding was bought by Briely Investments, we were told that it had to be privatised otherwise in a decade it would be a third rate operator with debts of 500 million. After a decade of privatisation, and bungy jumping by the spivs from the right, in 2001 the then Clark government had to re nationalise Air New Zealand as it was a third rate carrier with debts of 880 million. Now they are out of the shit Key wants to sell it off to his spiv mates AGAIN.

      • Francis 4.2.2

        Yep, there’s two ways that companies go after privatisation:

        1) In the case of some SOEs, the new owners milk them for all they have while failing to fund essential maintenance. After several years, the privately owned company is on the verge of collapse with its asset near ruin (the railways are the best example of this, but I’m sure similar things have happened to other companies). Eventually, the government is forced to buy them back if they stand any chance of surviving.

        2) The companies, which were performing reasonably well under public ownership, then go into the private sector and continue to perform reasonably well. However, instead of the profits going to the public, they go into the hands of a few (usually overseas) owners or companies. These companies are often Monopolies, Duopoly, or Oligopolies, so private ownership also allows the companies to forego their social responsibilities and instead dramatically increase prices (and thus increase profit margins). Examples of this include Telecom and the power companies.

        Either way, the public looses out. Particularly in the long term.

        I also have to ask, what’s the difference (in terms of the way the company is run) between public and private ownership? Was the SOE model not designed to effectively be a publicly owned company run like a private company? If the trouble is supposed to be with the management of the company, what’s to stop the government simply restructuring the management while retaining the entity of the dividends?

        • Tat Loo (CV) 4.2.2.1

          I also have to ask, what’s the difference (in terms of the way the company is run) between public and private ownership? Was the SOE model not designed to effectively be a publicly owned company run like a private company? If the trouble is supposed to be with the management of the company, what’s to stop the government simply restructuring the management while retaining the entity of the dividends?

          Actually, nothing.

          In some cases, when shit in the private company has gone real bad, statutory receivers or similar are called in to get things back on an even keel.

          The “private companies are run better” canard was set up by the neolibs (along with bullshit like “market discipline”) and left wing/progressive elements never pushed back against it adequately.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2

          2) The companies, which were performing reasonably well under public ownership, then go into the private sector and continue to perform reasonably well. However, instead of the profits going to the public, they go into the hands of a few (usually overseas) owners or companies.

          Telecom: The $17b of profits went into private pockets and now we get the honor of paying even more taxpayer dollars to put in place the network that the $17b should have paid for. It’s really nothing short of legalised theft.

          I also have to ask, what’s the difference (in terms of the way the company is run) between public and private ownership?

          These days, nothing – even the dead-weight loss of profit is the same.

          Was the SOE model not designed to effectively be a publicly owned company run like a private company?

          Yes it was and, generally, speaking, it’s doing that which is, of course, why we’re all worse off.

          If the trouble is supposed to be with the management of the company, what’s to stop the government simply restructuring the management while retaining the entity of the dividends?

          Nothing but it’s not management that’s the problem that Tories and other capitalists have the problem with. What they’re really concerned about is those profits going to the government rather than them.

          The grip of privatisation on our vital services has to be broken

          Privatisation is a failed and corrosive model. In Britain, it has combined with a determination to put up any asset up for sale to hollow out the country’s industrial base to disastrous effect. If Britain is to have a sustained recovery, it needs a genuinely mixed economy. The political and corporate elite have run out of excuses.

          The same can be said of NZ.

          • TheContrarian 4.2.2.2.1

            “The $17b of profits went into private pockets and now we get the honor of paying even more taxpayer dollars to put in place the network that the $17b should have paid for. It’s really nothing short of legalised theft”

            This assumes that the 17b would have gone in totality to the network. An assumption, nothing more.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2.1.1

              A reasonable assumption considering that that was exactly what was happening to Telecom’s surplus before the sale – as I’ve told you before. Sure, governments probably would have fucked with that, especially the 1990s National government, but that still would have shown the dead-weight loss of profit.

          • miravox 4.2.2.2.2

            A great article by Seamus Milne there, Draco

            This bit, too:

            the costs of privatisation have created a powerful counter-momentum in Europe (and even more so in Latin America) to bring services, resources and utilities back into the public sector: water in France, power in Germany, and transport in Britain (Newcastle is currently attempting to take back bus routes). In September, the people of Hamburg voted to bring back the power supply into municipal ownership. Berlin is set to follow suit this coming Sunday.

            Of course, where I am in this far-left (according to some) outpost of Vienna, public utilities still remain in public hands. A referendum this year on the topic overwhelmingly rejected selling them.

            The sale of public utilities and services is flawed ideology, the NZ public knows it, but accepts it anyway. Strange – people must have lots of money to burn.

            • Tat Loo (CV) 4.2.2.2.2.1

              Or too much trust in the Government of the day.

              • miravox

                Yep, and that’s even crazier. Governments need to be challenged not to misuse the power the public has entrusted to them. Not trusted unreservedly.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  And that curiously, is supposedly the role of the news media and of journalism: to constantly challenge those in power and those in official positions.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2.2.2

              The sale of public utilities and services is flawed ideology, the NZ public knows it, but accepts it anyway. Strange – people must have lots of money to burn.

              I don’t think that they accept it. I think that they feel powerless to change it. Both major parties have been selling off assets and only a minor party or two, which people don’t have full trust in, are saying that they’ll renationalise.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      what is it about these so-called “captains of industry” that they flick their blinkers to shut so often and on matters of such consequence?

      Because they believe themselves to be better than anyone else. The failures that we see in the private sector is proof that they aren’t.

      • hoom 4.3.1

        “Because they believe themselves to be better than anyone else.”
        Don’t forget: Rapacious self serving sociopaths.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    You gotta think think who is pushing this policy forward and would National benefit financially before the next election from ‘selling the lot’

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      Depends how many of them are capable of taking the long-term view. Key is in it for the short term and can expect huge rewards from his clients for transferring our wealth into private hands. These rewards will be delivered offshore, so he won’t even have to worry about the potential for vilification and contempt every time he shows his face in public.

      Visiting performers are often amazed by our openness, at how ridiculous their bodyguards look on Queen St. Even Muldoon was eminently approachable in public, (anecdotally) even at home. Our Prime Minister feels differently; he travels with security because he’s stealing from us and he knows we know.

      • Quincy 5.1.1

        I recall during the Muldoon era while driving my Morris Minor along the quay in Wellington I passed Muldoon’s limo (no doubt carrying him from the airport to parliament) parked up on the roadside with his driver out helping a woman to change a wheel.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      They probably will but that’s not why they’re selling any assets. They’re selling to increase the profit for the private owners. That extra profit comes from our pockets.

      Then there’s what happens once everything is privately owned as it once was under the aristocracy.

    • SpaceMonkey 5.3

      Possibly some in National will do well but John Key’s bankster mates and hedge fund operators will do much better. That National might contemplate a sell-the-lot firesale is a indication to me that financial collapse might be closer than many think.

  6. fambo 6

    Looking on the bright side, the PM signalling that he plans to sell off the rest of the assets in the hurry must increase the motivation for people to vote in the referendum, and (hopefully) reduce National’s chances of winning the next election.

  7. Sable 7

    There’s an assumption here I find interesting but naive, that is, that Keys is operating in the interests of the New Zealand people when in fact the only people he is interested in is himself and his well heeled mates…

  8. karol 8

    Steve Baron: another referendum, another ignored result, on the sham of NZ democracy.

    It is easy for political pundits and politicians like Whanganui MP Chester Borrows to suggest people are not voting because “we are all a pretty apathetic bunch”, but a rational voter is quite justified in coming to the conclusion that voting is a waste of time. Maybe we expect more from our political system than casting one vote every three years and when we are not given the opportunity to mould our own destiny in specific referendums, we give up in disgust? Democracy is not just about “elect me, I know what’s best for you”, it’s about having a say on the real issues that often affect us directly. The same can be said when it comes to conscience votes in Parliament – who cares what John Key or Chester Borrows thinks? What is important is what the majority of their constituents think.

    The Government is not taking our democracy seriously. So, all you politicians down in Wellington, don’t belittle us by denying us our democratic rights and do not assume we are apathetic and ill-informed. Dwell on the words of President Thomas Jefferson: “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”

  9. Rodel 9

    Be interesting to know which mom and dad politicians bought, at bargain prices, the assets that we used to own. Is there a way to find out? If its a blind trust thing I guess not.

  10. captain hook 10

    I’m getting really pissed off with the noo noo heads who think the share price is the defining issue of the asset sales.
    Its the future income stream that is important and where the payoff for National is.
    wrangling over the share price is just a red herring that lets National completely off the hook and lets them know that the proletariat is still ignorant of how the whole thing works.
    Wake up.

    • tc 10.1

      +1 and the insertion of a minority shareholding that can have a big say in dividend V reinvestment, minority interests being looked after are enshrined in our corporate laws.

      They couldn’t care less if the price was multiples of what is it as these are long term money spinners.

      The low price just makes this an even better deal for the nats backers.

    • Rob 10.2

      But that is exactly how a share is valued Captain , its value is determined by future generated cashflows.

      • framu 10.2.1

        whatever happened to demand and supply?

      • tc 10.2.2

        Value is not the same as price which captain is referring to or ‘Historical Cost’ in accounting terms.

        Supply and demand drive price but that’s no indication of value…..hands up who thinks Zero are worth what that caps out at with it’s actual customer/revenue/cost structure.

        One fund manager I recall called a sharemarket a hysteria index.

  11. Roy 11

    [pedant mode] David Farragut’s famous, foolhardy order to ‘Damn the torpedoes!’ actually led to a successful naval invasion of Mobile Bay, so you might want to reconsider the headline of this article. It isn’t really appropriate since Key’s asset sales program is a disaster [/pedant mode]

  12. Sawitt Cuming 12

    Key is only doing what he is told by his bosses at the Federal Resrve and his mates on Wall Street and in the corporations. Once we elected our own leaders but those days have long gone. Anyone not preoccupied with genuflecting at the Mall or otherwise “having fun” would have joined the dots and come to this conclusion for themselves ages ago.
    Iceland and Hungary are showing the way but Key has to go, the sooner the better and back to Wall Street for preference.

  13. Peter Freedman 13

    The obsession of conservatives in selling off everything that moves would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 13.1

      They aren’t conservatives, they are neoliberals. True conservatives conserve stuff. Plenty of National voting Southland conservatives hate the fact that our nation’s assets are being sold off.

  14. Ennui 14

    I have said it so often before so fekkin often: this whole “sale” issue is NOT about funding government. If the Left debates it on that basis they will get screwed because they are using the language and argument set out by their opponents.

    This debate is about one very small class of people who realise that the future is energy poor laying their hands on a strategic asset that produces power. This is about the rich positioning themselves as energy barons renting power to us serfs and peasants. Todays price and return are irrelevant, in fact the extreme Right are probably delighted with the debate to date being about “government funding etc”.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • RCEP trade deal risks repeating TPPA mistakes
    The lesson from the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) should have been that it is time to re-think this type of so-called trade agreement. But despite warnings from internationally-recognised experts, there are more secretive “trade” negotiations happening this ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    5 hours ago
  • Education for All?
    This year I have been focused on getting a better deal for kids and families with learning needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum. We had a Select Committee inquiry into the issues faced, but the Government was too ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 hours ago
  • Economy must deliver a fair go for New Zealanders
    The latest Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) provides further evidence that the economy that the National Government and Bill English have is sitting on shifting sands and leaves many people behind, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says today. ...
    1 day ago
  • A Billion Better Things
    Earlier this week I posed some questions to Finance Minister Bill English about his support for the government’s plan to spend a billion dollars on a new prison. I was pretty disappointed in his answers, all of which flew in the face of his own ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 day ago
  • Govt already in ‘holiday mode’ on $2.3b owed to Kiwi workers
    The Government is dragging its feet while working New Zealanders are still missing up to $2.3 billion collectively owed to them through underpaid holiday pay entitlements, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “The cover was blown on this issue ...
    1 day ago
  • Why is New Zealand still the exception on deposit protection?
    I took the opportunity to question the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, about New Zealand’s lack of deposit protection in front of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in Parliament yesterday. Why does the Reserve Bank continue to oppose protecting ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 day ago
  • Statement on proposed United Nations role
    “There has been a high degree of media interest in New Zealand about a possible post with the United Nations. “My name has been proposed to the United Nations Secretary General to be his Special Representative in South Sudan. ...
    1 day ago
  • David Shearer proposed for UN peacekeeping role
    Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “David has kept me fully informed about this opportunity and we are ...
    2 days ago
  • Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten must be saved
    The Minister of Education needs to show some leadership and secure the future of two not-for-profit early childhood education centres that could be faced with closure as the land they sit on is up for sale, Grant Robertson Labour MP ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministry reveals shocking charter school results
    NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated with documents revealing many students leaving school without basic NCEA level two qualifications despite this being a main educational target for the Government, says Labour Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Documents obtained ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister must protect MSD staff
      The Minister of Social Development should immediately implement safer work practices to ensure tragedies such as the Ashburton killings don’t happen again, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.   ...
    2 days ago
  • A vote for the Māori Party is a vote for National
    Comments made by the Māori Party leadership in the wake of John Key’s surprise resignation make one thing clear: a vote for them is a vote for a fourth term National Government, and the increasing inequality and poverty for Māori ...
    2 days ago
  • Collins and English split over police funding
    The bloodletting has already begun with splits and divisions emerging after the Police Minister knifed the Finance Minister via the media, says Labour Police spokesman Stuart Nash. ...
    2 days ago
  • Next Prime Minister must tackle foreign speculators
    The public rightly puts much of the blame for the housing bubble at the feet of foreign speculators, and the next Prime Minister must listen to their concerns, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ student performance slips in international study – again
    The continuing fall in Kiwi kids’ performance in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows the damage being inflicted by National’s cuts to education and one-size-fits-all approach, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “For years, National has ...
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms dangerous backward step
    Child protection has taken a massive step backwards today with the Government passing a Bill that will give significant powers to unspecified ‘professionals’ or contract holders, says Labour’s Acting Children’s spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 days ago
  • Improve workplaces, and address domestic violence
    Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Palm oil industry implicated in human rights abuses
    The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions. ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • Syphilis on the rise in NZ
    Cases of syphilis are increasing in Auckland. You read that right, syphilis!  RNZ reported today that rates of syphilis have increased by 71 percent (between 2013-2015). We have known about the increase in syphilis figures for a while, but nothing ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • We need to work smarter not longer
    The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Statement on John Key’s resignation
    Labour Party Leader Andrew Little has acknowledged John Key’s contribution to Government.  “John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. Although we may have had our policy differences over the years, I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to ...
    4 days ago
  • Positive plan secures victory
    The victory of Labour’s newest MP, Michael Wood, in Mt Roskill is the result of a well-organised campaign run with honesty and integrity, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “I congratulate Michael Wood on his great victory. He will be a ...
    6 days ago
  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    1 week ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    1 week ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    1 week ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    1 week ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    1 week ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    1 week ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    1 week ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    1 week ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    1 week ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 weeks ago