web analytics

“Labour… stop playing by this tired, neoliberal playbook”

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, March 11th, 2022 - 98 comments
Categories: Chlöe Swarbrick, Economy, greens, labour, maori party, poverty - Tags:

Meanwhile, Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick’s ten minute speech during the debate on Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday laid out contemporary, beyond neoliberalism positions.  Full transcript here, snippets below.

This is not an unusual speech by Swarbrick, she says things like this quite often and is freer to speak than co-leaders Marama Davidson or James Shaw because she has no Ministerial roles that tie her to Labour’s majority government policy positioning.

With the polls now evening out midterm, Labour’s support dropping back to historical norms post-early pandemic highs, and National being a contender again for the 2023 election, time to get organised and throw support behind the two parties offering an alternative to neoliberal BAU: the Green Party and Te Pāti Māori.

These are not government replacement parties, Labour would still get to form government. Ardern is still a formidable leader and we are very fortunate to have her. However the Greens and Māori Party are the people and organisations with the vision and values to lead New Zealand out of the neolib stalemate that is cementing in the chasm between rich and poor and that is killing the planet.

The left have no excuses now, we already have the parties in parliament that can pull the government leftwards and greenwards and into a ‘people and environment’-based kaupapa that is the antithesis of neoliberalism. They each hold cultural knowledge on sustainability and resiliency that is the key to the Just Transition urgently needed as the world crises deepen, both environmental and socioeconomic.

There is no return to BAU, but there are paths ahead we could choose that give us a chance at making it through the next century. A large contingent of Green and Māori Party MPs after the next election would strengthen the left and create a new window of opportunity for change.

Some snippets from Swarbrick’s speech.

On Business as Usual, and the potential of working collectively,

But the devil we know, business as usual, isn’t our future; it simply cannot be, and we heard that in the many submissions to the Finance and Expenditure Committee. “Business as usual” is not our future because it is those very settings that drove the greatest wealth inequality in this country, on record. It gave us the housing crisis. In “business as usual”, Aotearoa New Zealand produces four times the amount of climate change emissions than the limit required to keep our planet under 1.5 degrees of warming. Everybody deserves security and hope to be free from this exhaustion, but we will not get there by focusing on individualistic, short-term ideas such as those that have been floated by the Opposition. It is that kind of thinking that has created this exhaustion in the first place. It is only by working as a collective—the infamous team of 5 million—that we will create security and hope and a better future for all of us, it is in realising our strength and working together and pooling our resources to do bigger and greater things than any one of us could do by ourselves.

On the runaway wealth/poverty gap,

As with all stories, however, there is a long and important part that is left out, cultural norms that are assumed, because hidden within that story of inflation is one of economic power and growing inequality. Just yesterday, the Commerce Commission report into supermarkets plainly describes the sector’s excess profits. KPMG’s annual review of the financial sector showed pouring fuel on the fire of the housing crisis helped commercial banks in this country rake in the highest profits that they have ever seen. Economists have suggested that as a result of the choice to heavily rely on unconventional monetary policy over the last two years and high trust supports only for the big end of town, we’ve seen an acceleration of a nearly trillion-dollar wealth transfer to the wealthiest in this country.

In response to this cost of living crisis, the Opposition have revived their old faithful trickle-down economics, floating tax cuts, cuts to spending, cuts to workers’ and renters’ and beneficiaries’ rights—straight out of the 1980s tax book—playbook, rather. These aren’t solutions; they are once again declaring a war on the poor, which is why I implore the other side of the House, Labour, to stop playing by this tired neoliberal playbook.

On what the economy is for,

We hear a lot about the economy, but we don’t tend to hear a lot about what the economy actually is. We’re told that we’ve got to sacrifice for this economy to get our economy back on track. That basic, boring story neglects that the economy is all of us—our relationships with each other, the things that we create, our planet and its resources, the time we spend at work, unpaid labour—such as parenting, Mr Simeon Brown—the skills that we learn, the problems that we have, and the ways that we decide to fix them. It’s about how we work together to achieve our communities’ and our country’s goals and aspirations. It is supposed to serve us, not the other way around.

The late, great Jeanette Fitzsimons said in her 2006 state of the planet speech, “If the task of government is to promote the well-being of all people, how could it do that? I suggest to you that it has everything to do with offering a vision for a better way of life rather than more growth; it has to do with inclusiveness, with justice, and with protecting our commons—our common environment and resources, our common culture, our public health and our education systems.” Jeanette’s challenge was to question what we call the economy. What are our goals and who do they serve? What is economic growth really working towards? Is it protecting our planet? Is it protecting all of our people?

Swarbrick ends with this,

Past leaders have, as Paul Hawken said, “stolen the future, sold in the present, and called it GDP”. Nearly 100 years ago, in the wake of traumatic world wars, this Parliament decided to do something radical. It built the social safety net. In the subsequent decades, we have seen successive Governments at their worst tear holes out of that, and, at their best, only make minor repairs.

This Budget must be a Budget for an economy that serves both people and the planet. We cannot afford anything less because people and the planet are, frankly, exhausted and we’re organising.

98 comments on ““Labour… stop playing by this tired, neoliberal playbook” ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Good post which will hopefully get some thinking about how they can help with community organising themselves–rather than more centrist pontificating of which there are ample amounts on The Standard.

    The Labour Caucus with no handbrakes, a historic first majority MMP Govt. and immediately after the 2020 Election–sizeable good will even from some Torys, has shown exactly where it stands on big ticket items like public housing–with Blairism and Chicago School economics.

    But COVID…yes dear old COVID. A brilliant public health response, but…again neo liberal rigidity and the NZ monetarist state and 5th columnist managerialists in the public sector spoiled things.

    A two tier benefit system was implemented so middle class people did not have to experience sadistic WINZ/MSD while the 2019 WEAG Report sat on a dusty shelf somewhere as Minister Sepuloni largely ignored it. COVID assistance packages were funnelled through employers rather paid direct to workers via IRD–high trust model did not extend to the working class. Labour could have instituted free Wifi to bridge the digital divide, fare free public transport and a Basic Income trial with a few hundred bucks weekly for all citizens, they would have gained some supporters there. But, no, The Labour Caucus chose to put property on twin turbo boost to further enrich the usual suspects rather than implementing rent control and a state house mega build.

    I need not go on. I agree with weka that Te Parti Māori and Greens despite their flaws and challenges are already there as parliamentary organisations. That is where the organising effort should go for now from the new gens and the section of boomers that are not graspers. Elder poverty is a thing now too with many flatting and living in camper vans in their 60s and beyond. The NZ neo liberal state will endure until it is forcibly retired.

    • weka 1.1

      rather than more centrist pontificating of which there are ample amounts on The Standard.

      Indeed, but also lefties. Time we got on and did something.

      Labour are about to throw some scraps to some of the underclass, we could be organising around that. Or climate. Or whatever the Mp and GP are frontfooting.

  2. Brilliant stuff. At least someone in the class (Chloe Swarbrick) is paying attention and has something useful to say. Time for Jacinda to switch away from the endless Covid disaster narrative, and fulfil some of her high flying promises. At the moment she is looking a lot like the Ao/NZ version of Obama.

    Couple of points to add:

  3. Another analogy: the NZ working class is under attack from a powerful and merciless invader, all their hopes and dreams are being blown to smithereens (by aggressive and amoral capitalism). 🇺🇦

    The Labour Party has the weapons and capability to stop this plunder practically overnight (we saw it under Covid) yet they choose to do the bare minimum, paying lip service to our "brave essential workers" who still have to go home to shitty damp expensive rentals and pay extortionate prices for essentials like food, power, and petrol.

    Pathetic.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    All we had there from Chloe was commentary on the current situation. The critique seemed a blander version of the one we formulated 30 years ago in response to neoliberalism. She will need to focus more on presenting a persuasive agenda.

    It would help if the other Greens also shifted their focus away from irrelevancies and got it back onto essentials. From a marketing perspective, brand differentiation is what works. The target is floating voters, so the message must be to alert them to a better option. Explaining why it is better doesn't work in the language of hopes and wishes. It works in the language of results, and an action program to deliver them.

    Rather than being too scared to discuss the Greens' policy agenda, they ought to shift into promoting it in language & concepts floating voters can grasp. Resilience can be explained to ordinary folk who are struggling. They just need to start explaining how govt policy changes will deliver it.

  5. roy cartland 5

    Tautoko, hard.

    I've been asking a similar question; Labour can't possibly out-National National, so what are they for? Staying in power for the sake of it? Limiting what National would do, but keeping the status quo?

    If it's going to be us vs them in NZ, and it is in many ways, why not us vs the rich who don't work for their money? There are fewer of them than the rest of us.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.1

      There are fewer of them than the rest of us.

      Hmmm. I kinda keep hoping that realisation will hit…soon.

  6. pat 6

    On 'the economy'…

    " It’s about how we work together to achieve our communities’ and our country’s goals and aspirations. It is supposed to serve us, not the other way around."

    The problem is a lack of a common goal and Id suggest always will be. If we espouse waffly, non definitive aspirations, as politicians are wont to do, then it is easy to garner agreement. The problems however are revealed when the specific actions are examined.

    Time for first principles…what is an economy?

    Answer that and the solutions become evident, even if not welcome.

  7. Hunter Thompson II 7

    Look up the Pundit website for Brian Easton's comments on economics in general. He usually writes in a way non-economists can understand, and covers some good issues.

    As for the poll, I suspect Act and National are gaining by focussing on the negative.

    • newsense 7.1

      More like there’s several things:

      a) COVID is affecting people when it wasn’t before, especially outside Auckland and they’re blaming the government.

      b) the protest made the government look weak, though the response was fair. Ardern’s surge came on strength. As well as kindness.

      c) with a little memory, this was not far away from what Bridges was polling before the pandemic. Luxon looks like a business as usual Tory and hasn’t pissed off the people that other leader’s had. The centre right and centre left blocks have usually been fairly close.

      d) Labour has done little to put out fires, grab a media narrative and a cohesive vision of its programme outside COVID. 3 waters is a mess. The supermarket thing is confusing. Transport is actually great, but is getting some bad press here and there. The 4 term year is hubris. Housing is…who knows? Not renters or those wanting to buy. Tourism and international education are on hold despite having been significant industries. They’ve got a huge parliamentary team, but have not had the humility, communication or political management to shut down the leadership change and glide into the next election. Alternative conspiracy theory: the poll is a TVNZ revolt against the newer entity.

      d) we will see how good a PM Ardern is, as well as her front bench team. Meeting Groundswell now feels like a miscalculation. There’s not much good that can come of it now you’d think. It’s going to be a different ball game. Can we see a re-emergence of Jacindamania? How can the Bishops, Stanfords and Browns be countered? Who are the exciting or even better interesting and extremely competent young MPs pushing for cabinet places? And if there aren’t, why the heck not with such a big intake?

  8. Gosman 8

    As much as I would love the major party on the left to self-destruct by adopting such a radical policy platform I think it is unlikely to occur. The Greens have a pretty radical agenda yet this doesn't seem to boost their support beyond the 8 – 12 % level they have been floating around at for years. Why do you think it would boost Labour's popularity if they adopted similar policies?

    • weka 8.1

      If Labour lose 10% of their vote to the left wing parties, it will naturally drag Labour policy left/green. Labour don't have to adopt the policies now, my point is stop moaning about Labour and put energy into the parties that will do what is required.

      • Sanctuary 8.1.1

        Except that isn't how it works. The minor party gets a few symbolic bones thrown at it, some nice baubles of office and the majority party continues governing in the interests of their respective supporters in the centre.

        Any attempt at radical reform – in either direction – is instantly punished by the decisive electoral centre mass & it's class allies in the MSM, because their class interests are invested in the maintenance of the economic status quo.

        Significant change only occurs where it benefits the centrist voter mass, or conversely when you can convince that mass that change is a pre-requisite to maintaining it’s economic power and status.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          What I'm talking about has never been tried in NZ because we've always had Winston Peters and Peter Dunne. We don't have that influence currently.

          If lefties keep arguing for centrism and against change, that is what you will get. Worse, if you frame it as scarey radical, you basically cement in a centrist narrative.

          • Craig H 8.1.1.1.1

            1999-2002 was a Labour-Alliance coalition, so that's probably the most left-wing government of the MMP era.

            That aside, it seems to me that the hard part for lefties is advocating for change without it being branded as radical by someone. Even adding the 39c tax bracket was branded as radical, which doesn't really leave much room for going leftward without being branded as communist apocalypse-makers.

            • weka 8.1.1.1.1.1

              meanwhile we have Hooton today on his twitter apparently saying that we should have let several thousand boomers die early in order to save younger people from the lifetime tax burden of the covid response.

              There's a battle of the overton window, and I don't think we can let fear of being called commies stop us from doing what is necessary. Plenty of good PR people out there to manage the comms where it matters.

              • newsense

                This is a spot on comment.

                The callous have got louder. And less secretive.

                • weka

                  And normalised the rightward shift of the Overton window because they’re more organised and have better PR.

              • Craig H

                As the Republicans are noticing in the USA, the disproportionate death rates of their base compared to the base of the Democrats is not electorally favourable…

                It's not just a battle of the Overton Window though, the betrayal of the electorate around economic matters by Labour in 1984-1990 and then National in 1990-1993 has left Labour in this weird place where they will get absolutely destroyed electorally if they step outside the election manifesto or election promises on fiscal matters.

        • weka 8.1.1.2

          Any attempt at radical reform – in either direction – is instantly punished by the decisive electoral centre mass & it's class allies in the MSM, because their class interests are invested in the maintenance of the economic status quo.

          Snort. The number of trad lefties who are either working class or support working class politics and either won't vote Green and/or actively advocate against the Green Party, suggests some stupid right across the class spectrum.

          • weka 8.1.1.2.1

            better poor than green I guess.

          • Sanctuary 8.1.1.2.2

            "..Snort. The number of trad lefties who are either working class or support working class politics and either won't vote Green and/or actively advocate against the Green Party, suggests some stupid right across the class spectrum…"

            A haughtily arrogant dismissal of the majority of voters as stupid is one of the reasons why the Greens are so widely disliked. They are the self-righteous vegan at the dinner table of politics.

            • weka 8.1.1.2.2.1

              I wasn't calling the majority of voters stupid, I was pointing out the holes in your argument.

              I've never heard the Greens do haughtily arrogant dismissal of the majority of voters as stupid, so don't know what you are on about.

              What I'm seeing is thinly disguised contempt for the Greens with less and less actual political analysis, just throwing out casual, lazy slurs.

        • roblogic 8.1.1.3

          “Significant change only occurs where it benefits the centrist voter mass”

          Or when a majority of voters finds themselves falling into the precariat. Which can only happen in a (increasingly likely) depression-era crisis.

          • weka 8.1.1.3.1

            exactly. Or a climate crisis that affects people regularly in their every day lives. Think the West Coast but across the whole country.

            The key here is that we need to be prepared for when that happens by having strong political representation that actually understands the long crisis and what to do about it. We cannot wait until people feel the pressure because they will just vote National if Labour are disappointing. Or not vote.

            • Foreign waka 8.1.1.3.1.1

              I think you underestimate the survival instinct. If a choice between bread and a roof over the head is presented against farmers having their cows wading through a river… People will concentrate on feeding and housing themselves first. NZ is more and more becoming a poverty stricken country with all the hallmarks of the few calling the shots.

              And this is where it's at.

              https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1468018121996075

              The key OECD indicator for international comparison of poverty is the poverty rate, which is defined as the percentage of people living in households whose income falls below half the median household income of the total population (OECD, 2020). According to this statistic, the poverty rate in 2016 was 10.4% in Germany, 12.7% in Russia and 17.8% in the United States.

              Versus: NZ if children are in poor households, then there are an equal amount of poor parents.

              In the year ended June 2020, 18.4 percent of New Zealand children (210,500, or about 1 in 5) lived in households with less than 50 percent of the median equivalised disposable household income after deducting housing costs and compared to the median income from the baseline year.

          • Sanctuary 8.1.1.3.2

            But as the depression (and Trump/Brexit) has showed us, people are at least as likely (if not more likely) to fall to the populist authoritarian right as they are to the left.

            That is because while the economic failure of capitalism – both now as well as in the 1930s – falls heavily on the poor it is the middle class (which nowadays includes the artisan classes that used to identify with the working class) that wields the more decisive electoral power. And the middle class turns to the right, not the left, in economic crisis.

            The problem for any sort of political analysis in NZ that relies on the Atlantic Anglosphere (i.e. the way Martyn Bradbury or Chris Trotter have embraced far right populism whilst clinging to the language of the left because they really just want to burn it all down) is NZ simply has not experienced the economic pre-conditions that has discredited neoliberal centrism and seen the rise of new political coalitions (liberal radical centrist defenders of the status quo vs. right populists). We had the mildest of of GFCs – compared to the USA and Europe Asia-Pacific sailed through almost unscathed on the back of China's growth. Our covid response has been competent and has reinforced, not weakened, public faith in government technocrats. We currently have low unemployment, rising wages, a comparatively generous minimum wage, we've got just about the lowest levels of poverty in the elderly thanks to Superannuation, and the middle class is buttressed by generous state assistance via ACC, working for families and the soon to come unemployment insurance scheme.

            In short, for all the obvious issues we have in NZ the current class and economic setting remain largely popular with the vast majority of the electorate, and our main political parties – suffused as they are these days by the professional political class created by MMP – wish to retain their main party status along with the status and income that derives from that.

            The preconditions of crisis that would predicate the acceptance of radical action by the electorate simply do not exist in NZ at the moment, and all the wishful thinking in the world won’t change that.

            • Dennis Frank 8.1.1.3.2.1

              Good analysis. You could use it as a basis for theorising where to next for Labour though, eh? Okay, it would make sense to default to BAU for them, but what would be a better option?

              • Sanctuary

                Labour isn't interested in ideology. It draws it's MPs largely from political careerists, skilled technocrats and bureaucratic insiders informed by middle class identity politics horse trading. Like National as a party it exists because it exists and they both rely on presidential marketing, the inertia of incumbency, establishment support and generational brand recognition.

                Of course, technocratic competence, a defense of decency and of the status quo in itself isn't a bad thing – my personal view is Ardern will go down in history as having saved thousands of lives with her expert led covid response – and her contrast with the vulgar Judith Collins and her refusal to be brow beaten by the demands of business are also of note. But Labour's shift to the center on economic issues, and in particular its acceptance of the “neoliberal” reforms of the 80s and 90s are over the long term probably going to be fatal to it as a major party.

                The reason I think that is the modern political left came into existence was as a popular backlash against laissez-faire capitalism. Shifting the political vehicle of that backlash to a position of defense of capitalism removes the whole foundational raison d’etre of the Labour party and is therefore most likely unsustainable in the long run. In NZ the survival of Labour is entirely reliant on the retaining broad electoral support for the neoliberal status quo. The minute that disappears then unless Labour can pivot rapidly to a new reformist agenda it will suffer the same fate as it's European counterparts and for the same reasons – namely being the last people defending the status quo neoliberal political and economic settlement where the only genuine change agents appear to be the authoritarian populist right.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yeah I share that view. What I was fishing for was a positive alternative – when Labour reaches that pivot point, what ought they switch to? I mean, "a new reformist agenda" could be marketed as a return to socialism.

                  However Sanders & Corbyn flunked that challenge. They may have uttered the word once or twice but never explained how the concept could be regenerated in current conditions.

                  If, instead, something brand new such as the Green agenda (just kidding) were adopted, it could be marketed as progressive. Which form should progress take? It need not be ideology-based. It could just be a set of policies…

  9. Interviews like this do not help the cause. Ryan Bridges (rightly) holds the PM’s feet to the fire with some excellent questions.

    • weka 9.1

      Interesting that Ardern sees covid as a one in one hundred crisis. That actually explains quite a lot. I guess Labour are expecting things to go back to normal at some point. God knows what they think is going to happen with climate over the next ten years, maybe they think it's not going to be that bad (and won't be their problem by the time it does kick in).

      • roblogic 9.1.1

        The denial that there is a cost of living crisis was particularly annoying. As were the justifications of "growth" and "low public debt". And the refusal to acknowledge the government's not insignificant role in fuel prices. Too much big picture stuff and not much about directly helping Kiwis.

        “Back to normal” … what does that mean? Rogernomics has been a terrible “normal” for a generation.

        • Craig H 9.1.1.1

          I'd like to see far more than proposed, but the government's role in fuel taxes is a total red herring. Roads cost money, and that money has to come from taxes, tolls or road user charges somewhere. Diesel of about $2/L + RUC of $76/1000km (for a light vehicle) is the other main model for charging road costs back to users, and it's not really any better other cost-wise than for people who don't use roads.

      • Incognito 9.1.2

        Once you’re past the wild rapids it gets calmer but you will be further downstream and never in the same spot in the river again. Some people seem to cling on to some fairy-tale version of the past and think it is even possible to paddle against the stream. History and traditions matter, they bond us together, and they’re linked with our values and ideals. The latter are our guides for the future – the current will takes us further together with a lot of balancing and muscle power.

    • Puckish Rogue 9.2

      From about 6.15 onwards Ardern looks a bit shaky, Bridges doing a better job than the opposition

    • higherstandard 9.3

      Don't you think the PM looks tired ?

  10. Gosman 10

    Labour boxed itself in to a corner policy wise. They have decided to approach areas like Water and Health in the immediate term which are unlikely to pay off in time for the next election and they haven't got a lot of room for any more significant changes. Attempting to do so now would be able to be painted as the government veering away from the "Steady as we go" approach and would spook middle NZers. They are just going to have to keep doing what they are doing and hope things improve enough to hold on at the next election.

    • weka 10.1

      Despite the headline, the post isn't actually about Labour. They won't change until the electorate does.

  11. Sanctuary 11

    The Greens are on 9%. As long as we have a consensus driven voting system – which was introduced precisely in reaction to imposed radical change using a tyranny of the plurality – then radical change is a complete pipe dream.

    Our current party options reflect the electoral structure. Labour are a party of liberal technocratic managerialists whose appeal is primarily to pastel pink centre. National are moderate crony capitalists who have been unable to appeal to liberal centrist voters because Goodfellow has presided over catastrophically bad candidate selection, leaving national with a reactive rump caucus. Luxon, with the help of a media that is bored with the government, has papered over the cracks of his crackpots (for now) and has reached out to the selfish instincts of the Pakeha middle class.

    • weka 11.1

      In the meantime, GP with 18 MPs and Mp with 5 MPs would drag Labour policy left/green and focused on climate, sustainability, and ending poverty. You don't need a revolution for that to happen, you just need lefties willing to put the work in to support those two parties and talk about how it would help.

      • Sanctuary 11.1.1

        See my reply above to your similar comment. Our entire electoral system is dedicated to the proposition than radical change is bad.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          Covid just proved that wrong.

          • Sanctuary 11.1.1.1.1

            Whilst covid has revalidated the role of the state the hippy left that provided the ideological well spring of the Greens is more likely to make common cause with the libertarian right against state power for nebulous reasons of "freedom" than it is to endorse the role of state in enforced collective action.

            • weka 11.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you just made that up

            • roblogic 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Agreed, narcissistic individualism is the default philosophy of our day. Collectivism is an alien concept to Gen Z

              • Gosman

                Yeah that's a good idea – blame the voters you need to convince to support your ideals for being selfish [email protected]

              • Man Date

                Yesterday a year 13 student joined my L3 English lesson via zoom on his phone in front of the Jewellery store where he is working as a security guard to earn money to support his extended family hit hard by covid and the rising cost of living.

                Collectivism is certainly not an alien concept to Pasifika youth and I see it everyday.

                Ironically he wanted help on his assignment about how the director of the Polynesian Panthers mini series used symbolism to show inequity and racism.

                The local Labour MP who was voted in by Pasifika Labour supporters should be out there highlighting the impacts of neo-liberalism on the poor but unfortunately is another Uncle Tom.

                As Billy Bragg wrote "Is there more to a sitting Parliament than sitting on your Arse?"

                The Greens are not the answer though. The system has failed and greed, racism and INACTION are the new "weapons of mass destruction" (Faithless, well worth checking out the song)

    • Incognito 11.2

      Interesting viewpoint, as always, thanks.

      I disagree that we have a consensus-driven voting system or even one based on plurality (unless they are meant to refer to MMP and so-called coalition agreements). We have a system based on majority vote, AFAIK. Conscience votes are not common enough, IMO, and most (??) votes take place along Party lines (partisan politics at its finest).

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/get-involved/features-pre-2016/document/00NZPHomeNews20121019a1/conscience-votes

      Quite possibly, initial intentions are good and noble, hoping for the rarely achieved unanimous agreement on important matters, but political expediency (and other factors) is in conflict with reaching consensus.

      Under more ‘normal’ circumstances, the system favours relative stability over radical change. A crisis (e.g. war) can put the system into a state of emergency that justifies expediency.

      Climate Change is becoming such crisis, IMO, which will challenge and stretch generations to come.

  12. Gosman 12

    Where are all these potential supporters of a more traditional left wing policy agenda currently hiding? Is the argument that these people are not voting because they don't like the current offering or are they sitting with Labour at the moment?

    • weka 12.1

      I wouldn’t call it trad left, it’s more progressive green left. Myself, I think there are plenty of left voters who could shift to Green. 2017 GP’s highest poll was 15%. 10 or 11% is an historical norm. Part of the issue is how the GP engage. They seem to have needed time to recover from 2017. But they’re also caught in the problem of being part of govt and unable to speak out strongly. That needs to change.

      • weka 12.1.1

        There’s been research in the past that shows above 20% support for the Greens. The issue is how to translate that into actual votes.

        • Gosman 12.1.1.1

          The Greens have a massive dilemma as well. While their policies appeal to the more disadvantaged sections of society their supporter base tends to come from the more well off. That is why they get more votes in prosperous urban areas like Auckland Central than they do in more deprived electorates such as South Auckland and in the rural and provincial seats.

          They MIGHT be able to change that but I think their main struggle is one of perception. In this regard I think Martyn Bradbury and Chris Trotter have a valid point. The identity politics that many in The Greens seem obsessed by plays well to urban intellectuals but doesn't tend to fly with others.

          This may change but until it does it is going to be an issue getting anywhere near to 20% you think they could get.

          • weka 12.1.1.1.1

            the post is actually about the left making a simple choice. If we want progress on poverty and climate (and all associated issues) then we have two parties in parliament already we can swing behind. And that we should do that now if we want to have any impact on the 2023 election.

            All the arguments against the left I've seen in this thread are blather in that regard.

            • Gosman 12.1.1.1.1.1

              As I pointed out to you, it is too late for the government to do that now. Possibly at the start of last year there was a small window that they could have announced it. Instead they wasted their political capital on pushing Three waters reform and the massive health system changes. Both of these won't have ANY impact on the country for years.

  13. Corey Humm 13

    I will be party voting Green in the next election and for the first time ever voting against labour in my electorate, I'm not Casper the ghost, sorry Megan Woods!

    Yep, I'm finally doing it and voting Green. I'll be donating too.

    What the Greens need to do to quite easily catch the angry poor and working class who are fuming at labours inaction is focus on left wing economic reforms that will rise all people up and learn how to explain them in simple short sentences.

    If the Greens put Chloe as sole leader and ditch identity politics for just one election they could clean up on economics.

    Let labour be the centerist boring party of and the Greens be the party of change.

    Chloe has impressed me lately by constantly talking about economic justice.

    Economic justice is social justice.

    The Greens are really starting to get that and they need to hold firm in coalition talks, labour can rule out their policies but when it comes to coalition talks the greens should hold firm on cabinet positions and a bunch of economic reforms and tell labour you either accept them or you govern as a minority govt and we sit in the cross benches voting on a case by case basis.

    The greens don't have to be in the center to hold power. Refuse a coalition if it's not acceptable. Labour will not want to govern as a minority and will fall into line

  14. Ad 14

    Hilarious to hear the Greens telling Labour to be brave and anti-neoliberal.

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      Could be, but currently it's just Chloe, not a team effort. One swallow does not make a summer. Doesn't even make a meal.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Shaw's entire carbon trading regime is neoliberal candyfloss.

        • Dennis Frank 14.1.1.1

          Wouldn't surprise me. However I bet he's using official advice plus Labour's approval as basis. When in Rome…

          • Ad 14.1.1.1.1

            Yeah it's not his policy, legislation, leadership, or Ministerial portfolio.

            Nothing to do with the Greens at all.

            • Dennis Frank 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Reading the room involves orienting oneself toward the collective mood. Then the practice of consensus politics kicks in. One gravitates towards the middle, no matter how far out one started. Think of the Bell curve.

              Perhaps your path in politics has included such experiences so I'm not seeking to persuade you – just issuing a reminder. I agree the guy is pragmatic enough to be a believer in neoliberalism. But he's also a believer in sustainability. So no surprise when he produces whatever combination of the two suits those he's working with.

  15. Ad 15

    Same day as Chloe tosses another word salad, Marama Davison praises effective Labour policy on homelessness in joint release.

  16. Ad 16

    Same day as Mahuta gets kicked all over the park re 3-Waters – the actual delivery of a major Treaty obligation and only attempt to regulate dairy industry by proxy – Sage puts out a media release attacking her for not doing enough.

  17. Ad 17

    Which Green MP supported the government during the Parliament protest?

  18. Ad 18

    Which Green MP supported vaccine mandates while Labour was getting slammed daily?

  19. Ad 19

    Check out Green MP support for a cycleway linking Aucklands CBD and North Shore. Any ZB interview on it? Anything? A tweet?

  20. Ad 20

    But Chloe and Ricardo do support $14b on light rail.

    See you on the barricades comrades.

    • Poission 20.1

      $28 billion may be a little light in a high inflation regime.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 20.1.1

        It was a $10 bill project with a $4 bill contingency. Where does your $28 bill come from ?

        oh thats right you are a civil engineering costing expert

        • Poission 20.1.1.1

          Tell me about city/rail project with its start price and actual price on completion.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 20.1.1.1.1

            Where did you get the $28 bill from ? Simple question

            • Poission 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Maybe treasury can explain.

              Documents released by Treasury today show Michael Wood’s commitment to light rail could explode to an eye watering $29.2 billion – nearly double the cost of what was announced in January, which was already a staggering amount of money at almost $15 billion.

              https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2203/S00090/29b-for-light-rail-unjustifiable-in-cost-of-living-crisis.htm

              • Grant

                It is sweet when an ambush comes together like that..

              • Molly

                Well, the question next is surely – what other options are available?

                Free Public Transport for a century?

                https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/30-11-2021/free-public-transport-could-be-life-changing-for-many-say-campaigners

                "The policy does come with a hefty price tag. According to Auckland Transport, figures based on revenue prior to Covid show that providing free fares to the proposed target groups would cost $75 million to $100 million each year. An AT spokesperson added there could also be additional costs of up to $200 million a year to accommodate the extra demand that the free fares would create. "

                But that would only get more commuters out of cars, and reduce transport costs…(Climate change and inequality anyone?)

                (They may also be able to provide free WiFi on all services and at stations, improving both the quality of service and added security for users.)

                • Poission

                  Firstly it is a dead duck,it is financially unsustainable and will get even worse as we move into a high interest decade.

                  As we move into also an era of high energy cost, there will also be a move to low cost transport,which includes looking at work closer to home etc.

                  With free public transport in AK,it is for Aucklander's to determine,and how much they want to pay on their rates bills going forward,along with other policy increases being dumped on them,as well as substantive mortgage increases etc.

                  • Molly

                    It is an alternative spend, but politically undesirable. It would benefit low income households the most.

                    • Poission

                      Sorry let me clarify,the light rail is a dead duck,and needs to put back in the closet.

                      Free public transport is an open problem,with legitimate debating points such as you have raised for low income households.It should also be efficient,such as with those who have to use interconnections etc.

                    • Molly

                      Free public transport is an open problem,with legitimate debating points such as you have raised for low income households.It should also be efficient,such as with those who have to use interconnections etc.

                      Agree. The focus on itms other than service and security is a problem. And note, like you, that light rail failed cost/benfit more than once.

                      Interesting to see the budget for the new Elizabeth underground line in London is £18bn (approx $35bn). Our PPP's don't seem to provide financial benefits, or looking at the Southern motorway – schedule assurances.

                      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/mar/13/elizabeth-line-crossrail-opening-london

  21. pat 21

    This is the same Treasury that silently oversaw an asset bubble of economy wrecking proportions?

  22. newsense 22

    Treasury who spent years trying to pop the film industry bubble? Treasury who told us about trickle down economics (which Luxon fired up again last week) for two decades before it was conclusively shown to be BS and just a way to funnel money upwards?
    Any treasury information on the clusterfuck which is transmission gully? Anything on the city rail link, which went through all the tired bs light rail is going through, but luckily had a capable guy in Len Brown backing it. How about Britomart? Same thing. Fuck all the RW culture warriors, get the building started. At least get something done.

  23. newsense 23

    Christ that’s likely just the amount the land has accumulated in cost while Labour let bureaucrats and opposition give them the run around. Remember over a million dollars a house. Maybe over two million in some places. Materials shortage and price hikes before the war, which also won’t help anything. Remember light rail was initially a National policy ffs.
    Anyway, build and watch the Tory leeches come to cut the ribbons in their horse drawn carriages.

  24. Woolly Mammoth 24

    A new slogan for 2023 election might help…

    "Let's Do Something!"

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government support for Levin community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to help the Levin community following this morning’s tornado, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by severe weather events in Levin and across the country. “I know the tornado has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Statement from the Quintet of Attorneys General in support of Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova a...
    The Quintet of Attorneys General have issued the following statement of support for the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and investigations and prosecutions for crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “The Attorneys General of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand join in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Andrew Little Budget 2022 post-Budget health speech, Auckland, 20 May 2022
    Morena tatou katoa. Kua tae mai i runga i te kaupapa o te rā. Thank you all for being here today. Yesterday my colleague, the Minister of Finance Grant Robertson, delivered the Wellbeing Budget 2022 – for a secure future for New Zealand. I’m the Minister of Health, and this was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Govt helps supermarket shoppers get a fair deal
    Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said. The Commerce (Grocery Sector Covenants) Amendment Bill amends the Commerce Act 1986, banning restrictive covenants on land, and exclusive covenants ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister: Wellbeing Budget 2022 speech
    It is a pleasure to speak to this Budget. The 5th we have had the privilege of delivering, and in no less extraordinary circumstances.  Mr Speaker, the business and cycle of Government is, in some ways, no different to life itself. Navigating difficult times, while also making necessary progress. Dealing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Future resource management system implementation funding
    Budget 2022 provides funding to implement the new resource management system, building on progress made since the reform was announced just over a year ago. The inadequate funding for the implementation of the Resource Management Act in 1992 almost guaranteed its failure. There was a lack of national direction about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for quality public media
    The Government is substantially increasing the amount of funding for public media to ensure New Zealanders can continue to access quality local content and trusted news. “Our decision to create a new independent and future-focused public media entity is about achieving this objective, and we will support it with a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding boost secures Defence capabilities
    $662.5 million to maintain existing defence capabilities NZDF lower-paid staff will receive a salary increase to help meet cost-of living pressures. Budget 2022 sees significant resources made available for the Defence Force to maintain existing defence capabilities as it looks to the future delivery of these new investments. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2022 supports resilient and sustainable cultural sector
    More than $185 million to help build a resilient cultural sector as it continues to adapt to the challenges coming out of COVID-19. Support cultural sector agencies to continue to offer their important services to New Zealanders. Strengthen support for Māori arts, culture and heritage. The Government is investing in a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister of Finance: Wellbeing Budget 2022 Speech
    It is my great pleasure to present New Zealand’s fourth Wellbeing Budget. In each of this Government’s three previous Wellbeing Budgets we have not only considered the performance of our economy and finances, but also the wellbeing of our people, the health of our environment and the strength of our communities. In Budget ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellbeing Budget 2022 Speech
    It is my great pleasure to present New Zealand’s fourth Wellbeing Budget. In each of this Government’s three previous Wellbeing Budgets we have not only considered the performance of our economy and finances, but also the wellbeing of our people, the health of our environment and the strength of our communities. In Budget ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Coronial delays addressed by Budget 2022
    Four new permanent Coroners to be appointed Seven Coronial Registrar roles and four Clinical Advisor roles are planned to ease workload pressures Budget 2022 delivers a package of investment to improve the coronial system and reduce delays for grieving families and whānau. “Operating funding of $28.5 million over four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Paving the way for better outcomes for disabled people
    Establishment of Ministry for Disabled People Progressing the rollout of the Enabling Good Lives approach to Disability Support Services to provide self-determination for disabled people Extra funding for disability support services “Budget 2022 demonstrates the Government’s commitment to deliver change for the disability community with the establishment of a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Investing in education so all Kiwis can succeed
    Fairer Equity Funding system to replace school deciles The largest step yet towards Pay Parity in early learning Local support for schools to improve teaching and learning A unified funding system to underpin the Reform of Vocational Education Boost for schools and early learning centres to help with cost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Primary sector backed to grow and innovate
    $118.4 million for advisory services to support farmers, foresters, growers and whenua Māori owners to accelerate sustainable land use changes and lift productivity  $40 million to help transformation in the forestry, wood processing, food and beverage and fisheries sectors  $31.6 million to help maintain and lift animal welfare practices across Aotearoa New Zealand A total food and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More support for first home buyers and renters
    House price caps for First Home Grants increased in many parts of the country House price caps for First Home Loans removed entirely Kāinga Whenua Loan cap will also be increased from $200,000 to $500,000 The Affordable Housing Fund to initially provide support for not-for-profit rental providers Significant additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Budget lifts up to 14,000 children out of poverty
    Child Support rules to be reformed lifting an estimated 6,000 to 14,000 children out of poverty Support for immediate and essential dental care lifted from $300 to $1,000 per year Increased income levels for hardship assistance to extend eligibility Budget 2022 takes further action to reduce child poverty and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A booster for RNA research and development
    More support for RNA research through to pilot manufacturing RNA technology platform to be created to facilitate engagement between research and industry partners Researchers and businesses working in the rapidly developing field of RNA technology will benefit from a new research and development platform, funded in Budget 2022. “RNA ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Unleashing business potential across NZ
    A new Business Growth Fund to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow Fully funding the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund to unleash regional economic development opportunities Tourism Innovation Programme to promote sustainable recovery Eight Industry Transformation Plans progressed to work with industries, workers and iwi to transition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Securing the wellbeing of Pacific communities
    Budget 2022 further strengthens the economic foundations and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, as the recovery from COVID-19 continues. “The priorities we set for Budget 2022 will support the continued delivery of our commitments for Pacific peoples through the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, a 2020 manifesto commitment for Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers timely support for whānau
    Boost for Māori economic and employment initiatives. More funding for Māori health and wellbeing initiatives Further support towards growing language, culture and identity initiatives to deliver on our commitment to Te Reo Māori in Education  Funding for natural environment and climate change initiatives to help farmers, growers and whenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers critical infrastructure
    New hospital funding for Whangārei, Nelson and Hillmorton 280 more classrooms over 40 schools, and money for new kura $349 million for more rolling stock and rail network investment The completion of feasibility studies for a Northland dry dock and a new port in the Manukau Harbour Increased infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A health system that takes care of Māori
    $168 million to the Māori Health Authority for direct commissioning of services $20.1 million to support Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards $30 million to support Māori primary and community care providers $39 million for Māori health workforce development Budget 2022 invests in resetting our health system and gives economic security in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Investing in better health services
    Biggest-ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget Provision for 61 new emergency vehicles including 48 ambulances, along with 248 more paramedics and other frontline staff New emergency helicopter and crew, and replacement of some older choppers $100 million investment in specialist mental health and addiction services 195,000 primary and intermediate aged ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A Secure Future for New Zealanders’ health
    Landmark reform: new multi-year budgets for better planning and more consistent health services Record ongoing annual funding boost for Health NZ to meet cost pressures and start with a clean slate as it replaces fragmented DHB system ($1.8 billion year one, as well as additional $1.3 billion in year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Cost of living package eases impact on households – 2.1 million Kiwis to get new targeted payment
    Fuel Excise Duty and Road User Charges cut to be extended for two months Half price public transport extended for a further two months New temporary cost of living payment for people earning up to $70,000 who are not eligible to receive the Winter Energy Payment Estimated 2.1 million New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Budget highlights underlying strength of economy in face of global headwinds
    A return to surplus in 2024/2025 Unemployment rate projected to remain at record lows Net debt forecast to peak at 19.9 percent of GDP in 2024, lower than Australia, US, UK and Canada Economic growth to hit 4.2 percent in 2023 and average 2.1 percent over the forecast period A ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2022: A secure future in difficult times
    Cost of living payment to cushion impact of inflation for 2.1 million Kiwis Record health investment including biggest ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget First allocations from Climate Emergency Response Fund contribute to achieving the goals in the first Emissions Reduction Plan Government actions deliver one of the strongest ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2022: A secure future
    Budget 2022 will help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures. Our economy has come through the COVID-19 shock better than almost anywhere else in the world, but other challenges, both long-term and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health Minister to attend World Health Assembly in Geneva
    Health Minister Andrew Little will represent New Zealand at the first in-person World Health Assembly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday 22 – Wednesday 25 May (New Zealand time). “COVID-19 has affected people all around the world, and health continues to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New efforts to counter illegal timber trade
    New Zealand is committing to trade only in legally harvested timber with the Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today. Under the Bill, timber harvested in New Zealand and overseas, and used in products made here or imported, will have to be verified as being legally harvested. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Deaths in New Zealand lower than expected so far during the pandemic
    The Government has welcomed the release today of StatsNZ data showing the rate at which New Zealanders died from all causes during the COVID-19 pandemic has been lower than expected. The new StatsNZ figures provide a measure of the overall rate of deaths in New Zealand during the pandemic compared ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New law helps secure New Zealand’s maritime domain
    Legislation that will help prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including trafficking of humans, drugs, wildlife and arms, has passed its third reading in Parliament today, Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Today is a milestone in allowing us to respond to the increasingly dynamic and complex maritime security environment facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Trade and Export Growth Minister to travel to Bangkok for APEC
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor is set to travel to Thailand this week to represent New Zealand at the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Bangkok. “I’m very much looking forward to meeting my trade counterparts at APEC 2022 and building on the achievements we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government welcomes historic pay-equity deal
    Settlement of the first pay-equity agreement in the health sector is hugely significant, delivering pay rises of thousands of dollars for many hospital administration and clerical workers, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “There is no place in 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand for 1950s attitudes to work predominantly carried out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers new ICU space at Christchurch Hospital
    Health Minister Andrew Little opened a new intensive care space for up to 12 ICU-capable beds at Christchurch Hospital today, funded from the Government’s Rapid Hospital Improvement Programme. “I’m pleased to help mark this milestone. This new space will provide additional critical care support for the people of Canterbury and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for specialist mental health and addiction services
    Budget 2022 will continue to deliver on Labour’s commitment to better services and support for mental wellbeing. The upcoming Budget will include a $100-million investment over four years for a specialist mental health and addiction package, including: $27m for community-based crisis services that will deliver a variety of intensive supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 195,000 children set to benefit from more mental health support
    Budget 2022 will continue to deliver on Labour’s commitment to better mental wellbeing services and support, with 195,000 primary and intermediate aged children set to benefit from the continuation and expansion of Mana Ake services. “In Budget 2022 Labour will deliver on its manifesto commitment to expand Mana Ake, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Belarusian leaders and defence entities targeted under latest round of sanctions
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has today announced sanctions on Belarusian leaders and defence entities supporting Russia’s actions in Ukraine, as part of the Government’s ongoing response to the war. “The Belarusian government military is enabling the illegal and unacceptable assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “Under the leadership of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Queen's Platinum Jubilee Tree planting event at Government House
    Just after World War 2, there were incentives to clear forest and bring land into agricultural production. In places, the land had been stripped bare as forests were felled for sheep grazing. Today, you only have to look at the hills around Taihape and see the stumps of a once ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago