Labour’s policies

Written By: - Date published: 10:44 am, August 15th, 2017 - 65 comments
Categories: benefits, climate change, Economy, election 2017, Environment, jacinda ardern, labour, Politics, public transport, transport, welfare - Tags:

Everyone’s got a wishlist, and these are some highlights from Labour’s election one, so far, with six weeks to go before election day:

INCOME AND ECONOMY
– Retirement age stays at 65
– Re-start payments to NZSuperfund
– Reduce unemployment to 4%
– Reserve Bank must target unemployment
– Tax capital gains on investment properties sold within 5 years
– Cash to young people to start a business
– Eradicate negative gearing on investment properties

ENVIRONMENT
– Charge for large-scale commercial use of rural water
– All lakes and rivers swimmable within a generation
– Emissions Trading Scheme to cover all sectors, and all gases

EDUCATION
– 3 years free tertiary education after finishing school
– Life plan for all school leavers includes driving lessons

HOUSING
– Stop sale of state houses completely
– Build 1,000 state houses per year
– Pay toward winter energy bills for superannuants and beneficiaries
– Enforceable standards for rental housing
– De-corporatise Housing New Zealand

WELFARE
– $60 a week for families with babies and toddlers
– Increase Working for Families
– Increase accommodation payments

JUSTICE
– Get rid of private prisons

TRANSPORT
– Light rail to Auckland Airport completed by 2027
– Light rail to North Shore
– Light rail to west Auckland
– Dedicated busway in south Auckland from Panmure to Manukau
– Replace Manuwatu Gorge Road

Plenty more detail here.

For those sober types who like to compare policies between parties before an election, The Spinoff does a good comparative job here.

65 comments on “Labour’s policies”

  1. Bill 1

    The Spinoff has done not a bad job with that set of pages.

    Couldn’t help but notice they’d completely missed the Green Party’s policies around employment though – a comprehensive review of the ERA and to haul NZ into line with international standards for worker rights (including the right to strike).

    Link to the summary.

    Link to full policy (absolutely worth the read)

    Just like with their welfare policy, it leaves NZ Labour dead in the water.

    • Macro 1.1

      Actually Bill I thought it was a good start but a bit “once over lightly”, and as you point out completely misses perhaps the most important policy initiatives such as the elimination of poverty, the commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, and the renewal of forests.

    • Sigh 1.2

      CTU strongly endorsed Labour’s employment relations policy. It’ll be the boldest progressive change in employment law since Michael Joseph Savage. But I take it he was too neoliberal for you too Bill.

      • Bill 1.2.1

        How can policy that essentially re-sets the ERA to what it was prior to National be “the boldest progressive change in employment law since Michael Joseph Savage” when the original ERA was put in place by NZ Labour in 2001? 🙄

        btw. Have I said I don’t support NZ Labour’s industrial policy? No. It’s like their welfare policy. It’s welcome, but others (The Green Party) have far better proposals.

    • No they didn’t. ERA doesnt need review. It needs replacing. Labour’s policy is for a revolutionary new system of collective bargaining ; No waiting for review. In first 100 days getting rid of all Nats shite ; and then bring it on.

      • Bill 1.3.1

        Who didn’t what?

        When the Green Party policy is read, it’s fairly apparent that ‘review’ means ‘replace’ – there is no way that the current ERA could act as a vehicle for the suite of policy changes the Green Party proposes.

        NZ Labour has released policy that tinkers around the edges of the ERA and in effect defaults it back to what it was before National began to slice and dice it.

        If they’ve proposed more than that, I missed it and would appreciate the heads up/link.

        If the “revolutionary new system of collective bargaining” is beyond MECAs and anything in the Green Party policy, then a link to that would be nice too.

        • weka 1.3.1.1

          The ERA replaced previous worse National employment policy from the 90s, right? (not my area, and my memory is hazy, just trying to keep up at a lay person level with what is being compared historically).

          • Bill 1.3.1.1.1

            Yes. The Employment Relations Act replaced the Employment Contracts Act, but didn’t restore to workers anything like the power we had before the ECA was put in place.

            • weka 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Was the pre-ECA legislation useful in terms of what needs to happen now?

              • Bill

                Probably, in some respects. And probably not in others. And which is which will all depend on who you speak to.

                My broad brush stroke is that anything which increases the immediate power of workers is good, but if that’s done by way of strengthening remote bureaucratic structures that are vested with the power to make decisions, then it’s bad.

        • McFlock 1.3.1.2

          this looks like it:

          Within the first 12 months in Government, Labour will:

          • In conjunction with all relevant stakeholders, develop and introduce a legislative system of industry and sector collective bargaining that allows unions and employers, with the assistance of the Employment Relations Authority, to create Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum conditions, such as wages, allowances, weekend and night rates, hours of work and leave arrangements for workers across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.

          • Extend the right to organise and bargain collectively to contractors who primarily sell their labour.

          • Investigate measures that improve job security for people in precarious forms of employment (for example, labour hire, casual, seasonal, contracted or sub-contracted workers).

          • Review bargaining fee arrangements to ensure they are fair to workers, the union, and employers for the extension of collective bargaining outcomes to non-unionised workers.

          • Review multi-employer and multi-union collective bargaining arrangements to encourage their use and to support the development of Fair Pay Agreements.

          The green policy emphasises facilitiation frameworks to enable parties to work togather. Labour policy emphasises specific advances in the nitty-gritty of negotiations. Neither leaves the other “dead in the water” – like many of their policies, they dovetail quite nicely and have a fair bit of shared ground.

          Frankly, I like the idea of hammering both policies together – there don’t seem to be any contradictions, and neither has anything I particularly disagree with.

          • Bill 1.3.1.2.1

            I disagree with your take on what the emphasis of Green policy is by way of contrasting to NZ Labour’s supposed nitty gritty. I suspect you’re simply drawn to some tired (and unfortunate ‘workerist’) notion that would rather promote NZ Labour as the ones with ‘dirt under their nails’ as opposed to a Green Party that’s well meaning, but comprised of lily handed paper wonks.

            But look. Take the highest common denominator, and we’ll be getting there. That common highest denominator is more often than not green. That should be giving ‘dyed in the wool’ NZ Labour supporters some pause for thought. But yeah, I know…

            edit – Support the right of working people and their unions to campaign for political, environmental, social and work-related industrial issues, including the right to strike in support of these. (Hardly ’emphasising a facilitation framework’ 😉 )

            • McFlock 1.3.1.2.1.1

              Suspect whatever you want.

              The Greens repeatedly talk about “frameworks” for bargaining and even paying travel costs and providing facilitators for MECA negotiations.

              Labour will introduce industry-wide fair conditions, not just MECA negotiations.

              Greens will “Support the retention of legislative provisions giving contracted working people ([…]), the right to transfer to the new employer on existing terms and conditions for at least 6 months.”

              Labs will “Extend the right to organise and bargain collectively to contractors who primarily sell their labour.”

              Both are good. Both are different.

              Point-scoring between parties that will likely have to work together in order for either and both to achive their objectives is, frankly and in my opinion, self-defeating.

              • Bill

                Point-scoring between parties that will…

                Didn’t I state my position to be “take the highest common denominator”?

                And I think we’d agree on that front, yes?

                So then we have to discern where the highest denominators or far reaching aspects of policy are coming from. And if even just a goodly number of them are coming from the Green Party, then it kind of obligates anyone with a major focus on worker rights to vote Green.

                Why?

                NZ Labour will be the major party and able to implement both its higher and lower goals. But if workers want the highest common denominator, then NZ Labour have to be kept away from their lower goals and pushed on their higher ones. The only leverage available is the Green Party and their employment policies.

                And the bigger the Green presence in government, the greater that leverage.

                • McFlock

                  Meh.

                  Dunno about “obligated”. Sure, vote for the party that best reflects one’s ideals, but maybe there isn’t a “highest” denominator. Maybe they’re for all intents and purposes (beyond point scoring) just “different”.

                  Your position that all of Labour’s agenda will be introduced as long as it’s the majority party in government is not necessarily valid. The stronger Labour is, the more legitimacy for its drift towards the left. The more it looks like they’ve struck a chord with the electorate, the more they’ll settle on that path and aggressively follow through on their policies.

                  I quite like the idea of setting standards of “fair” across industries. I also quite like the idea of subbies being able to bargain collectively. Those are big changes that will require courage to follow through on, rather than just be “aspirational” goals in the nebulous future and followed by a right tac two years later in an effort to catch soft nats.

                  That having been said, so far the Greens have come closer to getting my vote than ever. And yes, I also like a lot of green policy, and would like to see it implemented. So if someone says to me “I’ll vote Green” or “I’ll vote Labour”, I’m happy either way. If they vote somewhere else, or pretentiously abstain, chances are that I’d probably think less of them (if they gave a damn about my opinion).

          • Zeroque 1.3.1.2.2

            The problem with the ERA was that although introduced as an alternative to the highly destructive ECA it didn’t achieve its objectives, one of which was to promote collective bargaining. I recall in 2000 when the ERA was introduced the parties of the right were proclaiming that the sky would fall in and we would see widespread strikes and disharmony and some on the left were hoping that it was the beginning of workers getting a law that would allow them to stem the losses they had incurred since 1991 and rebuild their terms and conditions. Neither really happened and with the exception of a few Public Sector Unions, union membership and collective bargaining didn’t really recover and inequality steadily worsened. I don’t know where the Greens will end up with their review of the ERA which will certainly need to focus on alternative collective bargaining models. It may end up quite close to Labour with its focus on a new law that will allow such things as industry wide bargaining. The sentiments of both parties in this area are sound so I’m sure it will work out fine.

          • Ad 1.3.1.2.3

            I haven’t seen sector-wide bargaining since the F.O.L. heyday 40 years ago.

            Crikey.

      • WILD KATIPO 1.3.2

        If I had it my way I’d get rid of the whole screaming New Zealand Initiative / Business Roundtable backed ECA and ERA and be done with it. Both are just a suck up to big business to keep wages down , workers divided , Unions detoothed and perpetuate the political opportunism of the likes of Bill English and his fellow neo liberal traveler’s.

        The discussion shouldn’t be about working around the ERA but abolishing it altogether for the far right wing piece of crap that it is and reintroducing Union award / govt backed wage rounds adjusted biannually with inflation and measured against the consumer price index.
        ………………………………………………………….
        Ruthanasia – Wikipedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruthanasia

        Ken Douglas, then president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, recalled in the 1996 documentary Revolution:

        … ” The Employment Contracts Act was deliberately intended to individualise the employment relationship. It was a natural outcome of the ideological propaganda of rugged individualism, of self-interest and greed and the appeal to individuals that you could find better for you by climbing over the tops of your colleagues, your mates, and so on. Ruth Richardson was very clear, very blunt, very honest about its purpose. It was to achieve a dramatic lowering of wages, very, very quickly ” …

        New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
        http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

  2. Jono 2

    Just one thing I noticed on the reduce unemployment to 4%. The statement does not say they will accurately count Unemployment by changing the methodology the stats department use.

  3. Sigh 3

    Good stuff on building affordable houses and cracking down on speculators too. http://www.labour.org.nz/housing

    • Ad 3.1

      Eradicating negative gearing is going to be a real killer for rentier capitalist landlords. Not going to be pretty for everyone’s equity if that goes through.

      But, as they say, better to have both legs waxed in full strips, rather than plucking one hair out at a time.

    • mauī 3.2

      $550,000 housing on a greenfield site on Aucklands fringe is affordable? You have to hope you’re on a large salary and can work from home.

      • Ad 3.2.1

        Home ownership will become rarer, no matter what. The social capital in the form of equity that was built up in New Zealand during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s is fast evaporating. There may be a slowing of the reversal under a changed government – but it would take multiple terms to reverse it.

        Labour could print houses every day for a whole term and still not overcome the shortage of built form.

        But they have a number of instruments to bring the price of houses down. Just think out loud what will happen when:
        – Almost no investors are buying property any more
        – Labour introduces mass produced housing by robot
        – The Reserve Bank even says it really is merely even seriously CONSIDERING Loan-To-Income ratios.
        – Compulsory conditions are put on all landlords for upkeep and insulation – just watch those owners exit the liabilities of upkeep then
        – Foreign hosing ownership is severely curtailed.

        And the following is quite possible now:
        – China gets to face its domestic debt squeeze
        – The US is tipped into a trade war or other social strife causing a recession

        Don’t expect the government to control the entire real estate market. Expect however that they will do even more than the National government is doing to control exuberant price bubbles in real estate.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Home ownership will become rarer, no matter what.

          Private ownership should become non-existent if we want a sustainable way house everyone. Private ownership and the profit drive isn’t, and can’t, do it.

          That doesn’t have to happen right away but Labour could bring back lifetime leases on state homes. That will ensure that people have a place to live without concern that they’re going to lose it.

          Then, at some point, start buying up privately owned houses and making them state houses with the present occupants getting a lifetime lease if they so desire.

          Labour introduces mass produced housing by robot

          [Citation needed]

          Labour could print houses every day for a whole term and still not overcome the shortage of built form.

          Wouldn’t that depend upon how many robots they have and how many days per year each robot is in use?

          1000 robots that can print a house in one day and each working 200 days per year could have 200,000 houses built in one year.

          Don’t expect the government to control the entire real estate market.

          I wouldn’t expect that of Labour as they’re still too in awe of capitalism despite it’s continued failings.

          • Ad 3.2.1.1.1

            I think the Greens want long term renting. Check them out.

            Twyford hadn’t published anything on robotically-manufactured houses, but he’s well briefed on it.

            No party in parliament will alter the NZ housing market more than Labour.

            We’re 6 weeks out. No-one is forcing you to vote. You can retain all utopian purity if you like.

            But those who do vote, must make a choice of available policies. That is what will determine the next government.

            • Molly 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Mass produced housing – produces a lot of houses.

              Housing appropriately designed for the site, produces houses that are more comfortable to live in, and reduces energy use and costs over the lifetime of the building.

              If mass produced housing is going to be an effective solution, then it must take into account appropriate design options for sites.

  4. savenz 4

    Nice to see Labour’s policies set out is a quick easy bullet point read.

    All looks good.

    Would like to see more on environment though, National standards and what they are doing for health care.

    Not much on the spinoff site about health policy. Missed opportunity for Labour and Greens.

    • alwyn 4.1

      Setting them out with bullet points seems completely appropriate.
      After all the entire policy often seems to be encompassed with a single bullet point.

      This seems to be the whole of the water poiicy. A few platitudes without any detail at all. Not even any mention of the rate of the tax on water usage.
      Is this really all they can tell us?
      http://www.labour.org.nz/water

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Better to stay fuzzy.

        Labour should launch all the policies it needs to attract sufficient voting segments, and avoid getting caught up in policy detail like they have so many times before.

        Labour currently has the superior strategy to any other party.

        • Crashcart 4.1.1.1

          Exactly Ad. Many people on here lamented that Labour were to in the weeds with policy last time. All the detail they put in gave opportunities for NACT to create and ask questions on minutia that no one could be expected to know off the top of their head. They and the media would then crow about how labour didn’t even understand the policies how could they implement them.

          NACT have been light on detail and big on rhetoric for the last couple of elections. You should be able to make a decision based upon the intensions.

      • lprent 4.1.2

        Is this really all they can tell us?

        Yes. Until you have access to all of the information the most you can usually signal is intent on anything that is complex.

        By contrast National currently has all of the machinery of government in hand including budget, regulatory and statutory powers, and they can’t (for example) tell Auckland when

        1. The flood of migration into Auckland will diminish (caused by this government’s policies)
        2. When the housing supply will catch up (despite having an organisation Housing Corp whose job it is to provide that)
        3. When exactly ANY infrastructure project will start beyond the ones that have already started. The council is far more transparent.

        Perhaps you like concentrating on people who currently don’t actually have the capability to change anything because you are too scared to look at what the current incompetent fuckwits have been not doing. Like their job.

        • alwyn 4.1.2.1

          Of course you need that for the details of some policies.
          For the tax you are going to slap on water usage though?
          Come on. How much more do you really need to know?

          The Labour Party seemed to have been perfectly happy to announce policies in the past without having all the information you seem to think is necessary.
          Where does the 100,000 houses come from? Or the standalone price of $500k – $600k? They at least give us some idea of what is proposed.

          I don’t expect perfection in the proposals but I think we are entitled to something more than is being offered to date on a lot of them.

          • Ad 4.1.2.1.1

            Its off to bootcamp for you.

            Youll enjoy the policy detail there.

          • lprent 4.1.2.1.2

            Those examples are intent. What you are asking for is a specific that requires some quite specific data. So you are advocating that they should do this casually and without forethought? Like a National policy on, for instance, sending youth into boot camps again?

            I notice you ran away from my question. Pretty normal for for a National idiot.

            Have you put National’s actual performance in government to the same tests? Compare their promises to what they actually achieve.
            Ie using real statistics rather than the classic National redefinitions of pollution, poverty, unemployment, income, hospital waiting lists, or anything.

            As far as I can see it has been 8 years of just making everything worse and redefining the stats to make it look like they are doing something.

            But hey. You’re only interested in criticising any one except national eh? Some kind of hypocrite’s double standard that you operate under..

            • Poission 4.1.2.1.2.1

              Could national provide a list of outcomes such as this.

              https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/liberal-and-labour-federation-poster

            • alwyn 4.1.2.1.2.2

              I think the National policy on sending the worst of our youth offenders into Army camps is silly. I am not sure how wedded they are to it but I don’t think it will actually have any truly dire effects on New Zealand if they go ahead with it. It can always be dropped.

              “National idiot”? Don’t be silly. I am not, and never have been a member of any party. Since 1981 I have in fact voted 5 times for Labour and 6 times for National. Once, living in Australia, I did not vote. Hardly a “National” supporter am I?

              In general I think we have done very well in New Zealand in the last 8 years. We got through the GFC in far better shape than most countries. The mass exodus of New Zealanders to Australia has vanished. I’ll bet not many people expected that. Unemployment has, compared to our peers in the world, been held down to a remarkable level. In spite of your statement the Health system has improved and a person wanting elective surgery now knows whether or not the state will provide it. It is a change from a previous Governments fiddling the waiting lists so that people never knew what would happen.

              However this Government is, as all Governments do, getting tired. John Key accepted that he had done his dash and retired. He is the only PM in my lifetime who retired voluntarily and while still on top.
              I don’t believe any Government can perform well for more than 3 terms, and many for more than 2. The Bolger and Clark Governments did very well for 2 terms and then were flaming disasters in the third term. They had to go and I voted against both of them.
              However I also believe that you have to have a competent alternative to replace them. I cannot see one. At least the Green Party has self-destructed. The may get back into Parliament but they are very unlikely to have any influence. They have been shown up as a far-left group of idiots rather than an environmental group. I personally hope that they drop below the 5% level.

              I think that a Shearer led Government would have been a very suitable one to be elected this year. Obviously I can’t really know what would have happened but I think I would have happily voted for him.
              The Labour party unfortunately replaced him with Cunliffe and then Little. How could you have all been so stupid?

              Ardern looks and sounds a most attractive personality. She does not appear to know her stuff though. Certainly she cannot give informed answers to the questions posed. To hear someone wanting to be PM but unable to comment on the RBNZ Governors statement on the OCR really does make me worry. Then to have the woolly policies that are being presented as the Labour election planks leaves me in really serious doubt.
              At least with National I can be fairly sure what we will get. It may not be particularly original or forward looking but it won’t be a mess of foolish and ill prepared ideas that the policies announced to date look like.

              I realise that Helen Clark left an emasculated set of MPs in the Labour Caucus. Why hasn’t the party managed to get a better set after 9 years? It took National six years after 1999 to fully sort out their act but at least they did it and had recovered some credibility by 2005.

              • lprent

                We got through the GFC in far better shape than most countries.

                Of course having a really low government debt at the start of it helped. As did the commodity windfall of the dairy (provided you don’t look at the state of now fixing our waterways and aquifers). S pile of initiatives from the Clark government like the diversifying into tech industries helped a lot in diversifying the economy away from selling unprocessed commodities (although National did dampen that by making it far harder for startups to start). Basically I don’t think it had much to do with National apart from National over the last four years of kicking excessive nett inwards migration to alleviate the downturn in dairy prices (and without the required infrastructural spend to make it work). Which is an exact reprise of their 1998/9 response the asian flu that caused similar issues in the early 00s albeit at half the magnitude.

                The mass exodus of New Zealanders to Australia has vanished.

                Because of the economy in aussie being way worse than ours. As their economy picks up the migration flow will go the other way. Surely you have seen this before. Or are you too dull to remember the basics of labour economics.

                …the Health system has improved and a person wanting elective surgery now knows whether or not the state will provide it.

                Essentially that they won’t get it because they are likely to die first. That is pretty much what the GPs are saying about all elective surgery from basics like hip and knee replacements all the way to heart bypass.

                The real question is what exactly are the public health system now actually providing?

                I think that a Shearer led Government would have been a very suitable one to be elected this year.

                David Shearer was (in my semi-professional opinion) a politically incompetent idiot. Nice guy. But so was Lange who had many of the same faults. Would have been a complete disaster trying to run a government because he was someone who tended to get captured by and only listened to whoever he trusted.

                One of the things I liked about having Helen Clark as my local MP was that she listened to everyone, including economic liberals like me who routinely disagreed with her. Oh well we have a third labour parliamentary leader in the electorate now. So far she appears to be reasonably competent.

                At least with National I can be fairly sure what we will get.

                Incompetents? Just look at the way that they have completely managed to fuck up Auckland’s infrastructure. As far as I can see it was done for the most venal economic motives accompanied with spite that Aucklanders didn’t vote for them to run the city.

                It took National six years after 1999 to fully sort out their act but at least they did it and had recovered some credibility by 2005.

                You really are obsessed by leadership aren’t you? That is always the least of the political issues for running a government. But it is a pretty standard Tory attitude – which appears to be what you are regardless who you vote for.

                But I will point out that National are now retreading the same leader who lost the 2002 election in fine style for pretty much the same reasons he will this time. No idea about what to do about the problems created by the government he was part of and no apparent idea about where we are heading or why. Indeed it’d be hard to pick any National MP who has any vision where we should be in 20 years apart from “more of the same”. Why do you think that they always fuck up the country and require the left to fix it up?

        • Eco maori 4.1.2.2

          His Iprent can someone else change search tool on this site as I can’t find my. Blogs

      • After all the entire policy often seems to be encompassed with a single bullet point.

        That’s all that National ever provided – if they provided anything at all – and you didn’t complain about that.

        Not even any mention of the rate of the tax on water usage.

        Technically, it’s not a tax but you already knew that.

    • red-blooded 4.2

      “Not much on the spinoff site about health policy. Missed opportunity for Labour and Greens.”

      There’s still more policy to come, remember. And strong core policy often comes out a bit closer than this – plenty of people aren’t really paying attention yet.

  5. savenz 5

    Like to see the RMA changed to make sure that the primary goal is to make sure that every consent values the long term environment above short term commerce. At present the reason over 99% of consents go through is that there is little to stop them, that’s why our pristine waters is so easy to give away. Nothing in the law currently to stop water, but that is the tip of the iceberg because it’s creating inequality as the powerful game the system. If lakes and rivers being swimmable is so important this election – the new government need to protect them in law through the RMA being strengthened for the environment – ABOVE short term profits.

  6. Pete 6

    Anyone going to take this list to Hosking so an adult can read it to him and explain it to him?

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    Anyone know what a “generation” is? It could be from the time one person is born to when they have their first baby which could be as short as 16 years (legally) or the length of a person’s age which could be up to around 105 years old.

  8. Michael 8

    I note that the tertiary education policy fails to mention that the entitlement to 3 years “free” education only takes effect from 2027.

  9. Janet 9

    And a blind eye and a deaf ear re immigration which is what is really bugging people in my circles. The fact that “kiwis ” are NOT being listened too especially regarding immigration. They want it shut right down to bare necessity. We have a false economy because of it being right over the top right now.

    • Ad 9.1

      Which immigrant-dependent industries would you like to target first?
      – I.t.
      – wine
      – fruit
      – dairy
      – construction
      – hospitality
      – tertiary education

      • Janet 9.1.1

        All of them ! We must seriously start properly encouraging and training our own…
        Remember this on 9 th Aug from Eco-maori

        ” So bill english trashing our young people so they can import more forners to please his busness mates and keep wages low. Now dont brand me as raceies as i respect all people but when they come from 3 world nations and make 10 times what they make in there country it is not fair on the local work force.
        Now has any looked into the billions that these people send home to there familys it will be better for the econnermie to employe locals and keep that money in our contry. I no about 30 people who were dairyfarming 10 years ago who are not now because of import workers. Does Bill English think our people are that stupied to go to work and lose money. I invested 13 years in the dairyfarming. Im mowwing lawns now.”

        Wake up ! Immigration is not the answer, it is the cause of most of our “undersupply” and poverty problems. Do we have to grow and grow like Yertle the Turtle until we collapse . No we have to consolidate and settle into a sustainable way of living in our country so it will perpetually support our future generations. We should have started yesterday.

        • WILD KATIPO 9.1.1.1

          We DEFINITELY can afford to take a serious look at the sheer numbers coming in . And immigration IS an indirect cause of many problems. And the only reason why Bill English and co will not address it is that they know damn well it is a mechanism to keep New Zealand wages LOW.

          AND create an imported voter base.

          AND pander to all the private education providers . Many of which need looking into because of visa scam fraud .

          Sound too simplistic ?

          Only if you have a penchant for pontificating and hand wringing.

          We used to have a balanced immigration policy , that is , – until National saw an opportunity for their globalist neo liberalism and sweet deals for their mates.

          And before they could use the derogatory term ‘ racist ‘ to anyone who opposed their irresponsible immigration policy settings.

          If National truly was doing this for altruistic reasons , – they would have slashed immigration numbers and enlarged their quota of refugees. Its that simple.

          AND , – if they truly meant business , – would have ENSURED the infrastructure was there, wages were good , and made damn sure housing speculation was under control.

          They did none of this.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      Immigrants aren’t the problem: the problem is that the National Party has done nothing to prepare for such high levels of new arrivals.

      Which just goes to show how stupid they are: imagine if the influx of new citizens had coincided with the investment required to cope. Lots of work for anyone who wants it, etc etc.

      I think they find long-term thinking difficult because they’re so busy maintaining personal prejudices and remembering the dogma.

  10. adam 10

    Reduce unemployment to 4%.

    How delightfully enlightened of them.

    Lets keep the stick to beat poor people up with.

    Lets only make it a little bit better.

    Can’t have working people having comfortable, or fulfilling lives or anything – sheesh that be asking just to much.

    Or God forbid, full employment, then working people might just get the idea they being ripped off and ask for better wages – can’t have that!!!!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      Work isn’t everything. What about an economy that can cope with a few percent of people taking time out at any given time – even for long periods of time, in such a way that doesn’t judge and penalise them?

      From Labour’s perspective, the obvious rebuttal to your comment is that they expect new collective bargaining arrangements to lift wages.

      • adam 10.1.1

        And yet they happy to let that favour employers with unemployment at 4%…

        As for work not setting you free, I agree. But, as the conservatives on this site keep banging on about, if the system is staying the same. Then why are you playing into the hands of employers who see their only way to make a profit by screwing down on wages.

        That what 4% unemployment means – a tool for employers to smash working people with. Call me old fashioned poppet – but I rather not let employers carry on shafting working folk.

        You know the world did not fall apart when full employment was the aim of governments.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1

          My point is whether it means that or not is a choice. I agree that Labour are the wrong party to make the right choice.

        • Ad 10.1.1.2

          Last time at 4%: Helen Clark.

          Lower than 4%: late 1950s.

          You’re wondering where upward wage pressure is like everyone in the OECD.
          – mass immigration
          – unions at 10% of the private sector.
          – sustained low productivity

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2.1

            sustained low productivity

            We’ve been getting productivity gains year on year. Less than what we should be but we’ve been getting them. What we haven’t been getting is the increased wages that politicians and economists tell us come with those productivity gains. Instead they’ve all been going to the capitalists.

            This is probably because increased productivity, when all else remains the same, should decrease wages as it decreases demand for personnel. Which is what we’ve actually been seeing even though we’ve seen massive increases in population.

  11. eco Maori/kiwi 11

    Tops policy changed a little i.e universal wage for the youth and if they play up it get cut by 10 percent This could be one way to reduce youth crime . We must stop using old failed policies and look outside the square for new and more effective solutions to our problems. the only problem I have with this idea is it is still the stick instead of the carrot any other humane ideas to help our youth people

  12. Descendant Of Sssmith 12

    The worst affected by the benefit cuts were young people aged under 25.

    It’s time someone stood for these youth and not only increased there benefits by a decent amount but removed the discrimination they had inflicted on them by moving the under 18 rate of benefit to under 25.

    Giving more money to parents and children is easy.

    These poor people haven’t had any decent increase for many, many years. They should also all get a retrospective lump sum to firstly remove any WINZ debt they have built up over that time due to the low benefit rates and then receive any remainder in their own pockets.

    There needs to be some recompense for the misery inflicted on them.

    Labour sadly only see them as future workers.

    “Build 1,000 state houses per year”

    Really I thought they were building affordable houses. Not quite the same thing.

    What they should do in part is build two bedroom units for old people and swap those for existing three and four bedroom properties.

    This will help house the aging population in comfort and free up existing housing.

    They should also give the councils (against much pressure to sell by right wing acolytes) who have retained their pensioner housing a cash injection to help upgrade and maintain it as successive governments have neglected to support councils who provide this.

    They should also ensue that if they wish to get private enterprise to build houses then the state owns the land and leases at peppercorn rentals. This mean people are only buying the house and then things might actually be affordable.

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