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Labour’s legacy: building a better New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 3:28 pm, November 29th, 2016 - 92 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour - Tags:

Andrew Little

From Labour’s website.

This weekend, I’ve been out knocking on doors in Mt Roskill, supporting Michael Wood, and talking to Kiwis about the issues that matter to them. As you go around and talk to people, the achievements of earlier Labour Governments are all around you.

Today is the 81st anniversary of the election of the First Labour Government and 17 years since the Fifth Labour Government won. The contributions they made to creating the New Zealand we know can be seen everywhere, as can the damage National is doing.

There’s the state houses, first built under Michael Joseph Savage, which have provided decent, affordable homes for generations of New Zealanders. Labour has always believed a good place to live is a basic human right and making sure people have it is one of a government’s first duties. It’s sad, then, to see so many state houses vacant, like the one in Kallu Cres that National has left sitting empty for six months in the middle of a housing crisis.

There’s Mt Roskill Grammar, opened soon after Peter Fraser made secondary school education free for everyone, but which now charges $180 a year in ‘donations’ because it’s so underfunded. You meet young people studying at the University who can only afford it because Labour took the interest off student loans, although it’s getting harder as Natural ramps up fees.

There’s Three Kings Medical Centre, a participant in the Very Low Cost Access scheme introduced under Helen Clark to keep GP fees down in low-income areas, itself building on the GP subsidies introduced by the First Labour Government. Because of that scheme, it charges nothing for kids and $18 for adults. But underfunding is forcing fees up at other clinics; half a million Kiwis couldn’t afford to go to the doctor last year.

You meet families who can make ends meet, or do that bit extra for the kids, because the Fifth Labour Government brought in Working for Families. And people looking forward to a break over Christmas thanks to the annual leave the First Labour Government introduced.

In many ways, Labour built this country as we know it. We built it on Kiwi values of a fair shot and a fair share for all.

As we mark the anniversaries of the First and Fifth Labour Governments, their legacy is the opportunity for people to live the Kiwi dream. It’s a legacy that eight years of National has eroded but it’s one that the Sixth Labour Government I lead will build upon, and take further than ever before.

We’ll give people a chance to own their own place by building 100,000 affordable homes for people to buy along with thousands more state houses. We’ll make three years of post-school education and training free, and subsidise apprenticeships. We’ll tackle school donations and boost funding. We’ll reverse National’s health cuts and improve services. We’ll support local jobs by buying Kiwi-made and give unemployed young people work improving the environment. We’ll make our communities safer with 1,000 more police. And we’ll have money left over to pay down Key’s record debt because we won’t resort to a desperate $3 billion election year tax bribe.

That’s how we can build a better New Zealand on the foundation laid by past Labour Governments.

92 comments on “Labour’s legacy: building a better New Zealand ”

  1. michelle 1

    That all sounds good what about reducing immigration and changing the work visas system granted for jobs kiwis can and will do in building, dairying, hospitality and
    aged care.
    We also need to reintroduce a type of second chance education and training to fill these gaps in these industries.
    This has been taken away under Johns government the above could be tailored to the job market shortages. We know we need more chefs and we should not be getting them from overseas these are missed opportunities for our Youth and others and this is what Gareth Morgan has been talking about. We have how many NEETS they can fill these gaps.

    • garibaldi 1.1

      Strange he didn’t mention Labour’s crass record on beneficiaries in Helen’s regime, nor their unabashed continuing support for neoliberalism to this day.

      • Jenny Kirk 1.1.1

        You haven’t been listening Garibaldi – Labour under Andrew Little has rejected neo-liberalism.

        • Planet Earth 1.1.1.1

          Link, reference or citation please?

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I’d like to see it also. At least Labour are using the word neo-liberalism now, but personally I see no sign they have rejected it yet.

          • Leftie 1.1.1.1.2

            ” The era of ‘trickle down economics’ is over.”

            < ahref="http://www.labour.org.nz/a_plan_for_the_future

          • Leftie 1.1.1.1.3

            Trickle down economics is over

            http://www.labour.org.nz/a_plan_for_the_future

            • Planet Earth 1.1.1.1.4.1

              No, that’s not it.

              • Leftie

                Yes, it is.

                • Gosman

                  You think Neo-Liberalism is defined as ‘Trickle down economics’ do you?

                  The left has been rejecting this term for as long back as it was created by them as a strawman to attack the right. I’m pretty sure the last Labour led government also claimed they were against it.

                  • Leftie

                    No Gosman, and the link is an example of the direction Labour is heading, and it’s moving away from neoliberalism, and the current Labour party is not the same as the last Labour led government.

                    • Gosman

                      I don’t think you know what neoliberalism means. If you did you will have realised that Labour is not offering much in the way of difference beyond mere words stating they are anti-neoliberal now.

                    • Gosman

                      Let’s look at the important elements of what the left generally define as neoliberalism and see if the NZ Labour party has truly rejected it.

                      The private sector being the main driver for growth in the economy – Check

                      An open economy allowing free exhange of goods, services and ideas between nations – Check

                      A regime that encourages immigration – Check

                      Making it easier for the private sector to do business – Check

                      An independent Reserve bank given the task of maintaining low inflation – Check

                      The role of government to be focused on improving the environment for individuals to succeed on their own and to provide extra support for those in need – Check

                      Keeping taxes as a proportion of the economy to a manageable level – Check

                      Reduce the size of the deficit and pay back government debt – Check

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      Let’s not

                    • Leftie

                      You would say that because you can’t see past John key’s nose. You think National is going to rein forever. All you are doing is making assumptions, and more often than not, assumptions turn out to be wrong. The current Labour party is untested, lets sack National and find out. Nothing could be worse than the last 8 years we have had with John key and his National government of corruption, lies and sell outs.

      • wellfedweta 1.1.2

        ..or the fact that school ‘donations’ have been around for decades, including through the full term of the last Labour government.

    • Jenny Kirk 1.2

      Michelle – this is exactly what Andrew Little has been saying …. and when he said publicly he didn’t think we needed to import any more Asian chefs, he was shot down from all directions. Don’t you remember? Gareth Morgan has obviously copied his comments.

      By the way, Labour has continually announced new policies – but they don’t get much of an airing in the media (unlike the Nat’s tax cuts) – so here’s a link to them :
      http://www.labour.org.nz/announced_policies

    • Leftie 1.3

      Labour have talked about turning the tap down on immigration and putting the brakes on non resident foreign property speculators.

    • Leftie 1.4

      Labour have been talking about turning the tap down on immigration and putting the breaks on non resident foreign speculators.

  2. Siobhan 2

    Talk about cherry picking on the legacy of Labour Party Policies…wonder if he used a Pacific RSE worker.

    • Jenny Kirk 2.1

      What’s cherry-picking about the basis of New Zealand’s much-vaunted social welfare system – which has been systematically unpicked by ShonKey’s policies.

      • Leftie 2.1.1

        +1 Jenny.

        National have nothing to crow about in it’s history.

      • Chris 2.1.2

        Yes, Key’s government has done that. And so did the Bolger/Shipley government. Everyone knows that. But what nobody wants to accept is the huge amount of damage Clark’s government did to our much-vaunted social welfare system”. In many ways Labour’s handy work was much much worse because of how vital cornerstones were fucked with – things no National government had ever tried tampering with before. What’s interesting about this is how so many Labour supporters simply aren’t prepared to accept that this is what happened. Some even try to justify it.

    • Leftie 2.2

      Gee, that’s not funny, it’s nasty Siobhan.

      • Siobhan 2.2.1

        No not nasty. Pertinent.
        It concerns me that my local Labour Party person, Anna Lorke is on record claiming that the RSE scheme has improved employment outcomes and wages for people in the Hawkes Bay.
        Having locals compete with temporary labour from, to use the old phrase, underdeveloped countries, is not beneficial to our local or National economy.
        If those workers were made NZ residents (which would be fine with me) and therefore had to live on their wages for the whole year, in our developed, first world economy, they would be demanding better wages and conditions.

        Imported labor like this is pure neo liberalism, free market nonsense, and it is something I desperately wish Labour would put behind them.

        • Leftie 2.2.1.1

          Maybe that context is what you should have posted in the first place, as your initial comment did sound nasty. Thanks for clarifying.

  3. The Chairman 3

    Something to ponder.

    Voters are aware of this, yet no traction. Clearly Labour will have to come up with more if they want to win.

    • Ad 3.1

      Labour always makes you eat your veggies first before you get your pudding.

    • Jenny Kirk 3.2

      This is just the start. Why blow all your trumpets with one breath !

      • The Chairman 3.2.1

        One hopes they can deliver a tune that widely resonates, Jenny.

        • Leftie 3.2.1.1

          Not if National, their supporters and msm can help it.

          • The Chairman 3.2.1.1.1

            It’s all part of the challenge Labour face.

            To overcome this and win, Labour require to up their game – i.e. better policy and delivery.

            • Leftie 3.2.1.1.1.1

              At least Labour have policy, National sure don’t. All National has to do is rely on a complicit msm to spread it’s lies, no questions asked.

              • The Chairman

                While Labour seem to have a handle on the problems the country is facing, their solutions/policies are largely lacking. Highlighting policy formulating deficits within.

                Moreover, their delivery is atrocious.

                • Leftie

                  At least Labour do have solutions and policies to the mess National is making. National is just fortunate to have a lying, complicit msm on side.

      • Leftie 3.2.2

        Jenny. Exactly.

    • BM 3.3

      No ones believes them or trust them, Labours credibility is shot to pieces.

      That’s the problem for the left, you guys need quality sale people to win back and gain the publics confidence.

      Without people to sell the message, the polices, create enthusiasm, the left is going nowhere.

      That’s why Trump won and Key wins and will win again easily next year.

      • mosa 3.3.1

        Christ another 3 years of Key and his cohorts.

        My xmas wish is down the drain then.

      • Leftie 3.3.2

        Does anyone trust dishonest liar John key?

        • The Chairman 3.3.2.1

          Seeing as he polls higher than Little, one would assume that is an indication voters trust him more than Little. Which highlights how much more work Labour require to do to regain voter trust.

          • Leftie 3.3.2.1.1

            Not sure that is a show of trust. No one can say John key tells the truth can they? Incumbents always poll higher. John key has lost a lot of support since the last election. Andrew Little has not been in politics as long as John key has. Didn’t Helen Clark poll 2% prior to becoming PM?

            • The Chairman 3.3.2.1.1.1

              It’s illogical to assume voters would prefer a PM they don’t trust to some extent.

              I’m not saying it’s an indication they trust everything Key says, but it’s a good indication that they trust Key over Little.

              Helen worked hard to build up her trust. And was far better in her delivery.

              • Leftie

                How would you know they trust key over Little? Little hasn’t gone through an election yet.

                The point is, is that she was polling at 2%, and was in politics longer than Little.

                • The Chairman

                  I was going off the numerous preferred PM polls.

                  Helen was initially polling low largely due to the damage and distrust caused from Labour’s shift to the right.

                  • Leftie

                    Whatever you may like to think, the point is she was polling at 2% prior to becoming PM, and was in politics longer than Little.

              • Leftie

                How would you know they trust key over Little? Little hasn’t gone through an election yet.

                The point is, is that she was polling at 2%, and was in politics longer than Little

              • Leftie

                3rd time lucky to get this posted.

                How would you know they trust key over Little? Little hasn’t gone through an election yet.

                The point is, is that she was polling at 2%, and was in politics longer than Little.

                • lprent

                  Just be patient. Eventually I clear them.

                  There are a number of people getting this for some reason that I can’t identify at present. Problem is that because of worklaod at the paid job, I don’t have the free time to figure it out. So they get cleared out when I have time.

                  But I head out for a few weeks work in Italy shortly. That should give me some evenings free (ie NZ mornings) to add some debugging in. No TV (unless I want to watch news programs), cooking nor partner – I have no idea what else to use all of that free time for.

            • Bob 3.3.2.1.1.2

              “Incumbents always poll higher”
              Nope, 18 months out from the 2008 election (we are about 11 or 12 months out from the next election) John Key was polling higher than Helen Clark in the preferred PM stakes:
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2008

              Just shows how poorly Little has been performing!

              • Leftie

                Generally incumbents do poll higher, even John key is trending down substantially in the pop/preferred polls in his 3rd term. Andrew Little is relatively new to politics, unlike Helen Clark, when she polled at 2% prior to becoming PM.

                • Bob

                  Helen Clark polled at 2% in 1993 and won the election in 1999, are you happy to give Andrew Little 6 years to do the same?
                  Also, John Key had been in politics for about the same length of time as Andrew Little has now when he took the lead (as leader of the opposition) in the Preferred PM role.

                  • Leftie

                    Actually Helen Clark polled @ 2% after 1993 and the Labour party went as low as 14%. My point still stands.

                    John key is now polling his lowest since 2008. Quite a remarkable drop from those 50+ 60+ % days.

      • The Chairman 3.3.3

        Indeed, BM.

        • Leftie 3.3.3.1

          You trust John key, a known liar and deceiver?

          • The Chairman 3.3.3.1.1

            No, I don’t trust John key.

            But nor do I trust this current Labour lot.

            • Leftie 3.3.3.1.1.1

              Of course you don’t and no one would trust John key, and it blows your opinion that “It’s illogical to assume voters would prefer a PM they don’t trust to some extent.” doesn’t it? People still voted for key knowing he is liar and that he couldn’t be trusted.

              • The Chairman

                It doesn’t blow my opinion away. Key is not my preferred PM.

                Voters voted for Key/National because they preferred (and no doubt trusted) him/them over the opposition.

                • Leftie

                  Didn’t realize we were discussing you in particular. But yeah, it does blow your opinion out the window. People knew what they were voting for in John key and National and it had nothing to do with trust.

            • Leftie 3.3.3.1.1.2

              Third time lucky to get this posted…Of course you don’t and no one would trust John key, and it blows your opinion that “It’s illogical to assume voters would prefer a PM they don’t trust to some extent.” doesn’t it? People still voted for key knowing he is liar and that he couldn’t be trusted.

  4. Andrea 4

    “We’ll support local jobs by buying Kiwi-made ”

    Good luck with that. Years out of date, in fact. Unless he’s talking pies, sammies, and lattes?

    Totally agree with Michelle on the second-chance training.

    Add to that some direction from the government about how it will position NZ. Where we have edge and advantage in more than farming, movies, or a minor variety of football. Contributions that involve much larger numbers of the population for all working ages. Something that provides businesses and enterprises enough peace of mind to start out, keep growing, and start trading and hiring (if we’re still in the wage slave model.)

    “give unemployed young people work improving the environment” Not again! Clear fell Kaingaroa and let them start over? Plant pingao? Come on, already!!! Where’s the NEXT step for these ‘unemployed young people’? Where are the hope, possibilities, and training? The creation and retention of expertise, creativity, and some major breakthroughs in conservation of more than the old-fashioned ‘natural’ environment?

    Oh, well, no? Just another popular feel-good mouth-puff?

    And ‘improving the environment’ – hey, Labour! It was YOU who crammed together a bunch of government departments to make DoC – then slashed its budget to the marrow year on year. Killed the nurseries and land protection measures. Pensioned off the expertise and corporate knowing.

    What will you do differently-better this time round, Labour?

    • Naki man 4.1

      “We’ll support local jobs by buying Kiwi-made

      Good luck with that. Years out of date, in fact. Unless he’s talking pies, sammies, and lattes?”

      Yes that worked really well in Australia ripping off the tax payers to prop up the lazy over paid motor vehicle industry.

  5. Red Hand 5

    Looks like he has to keep juggling and no end to it. Like Sisyphus maybe.
    What’s in it for me or should I think of others ? Think of others or look after number one ? I’m alright Jack or my brother’s keeper? If Labour made up it’s mind to favour the general well being over individuals getting ahead in today’s NZ it risks losing votes. Big problem !!!!

  6. Leftie 6

    What’s National got? So I guess everyone would rather John key and his National government stay in power then.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    “We’ll support local jobs by buying Kiwi-made ”

    Andrea you obviously haven’t actually heard or read anywhere Andrew Little repeatedly saying that govt tenders will have a procurement clause in it which will help local tenderers be on an equal footing with overseas tenderers.
    This is a major step in the direction of (a) retaining jobs for NZers aka Hillside workshops and (b) building a new lot of local expertise in a number of different trades/IT etc.
    This is just one of the many policies Labour has developed to get NZers working again.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago