More on benefit levels

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, May 12th, 2008 - 60 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

It was disappointing to hear National Radio this morning summarise the recent debate over benefit levels as ‘benefits are not keeping up with the cost of living’. Benefits are keeping up with the cost of living they are adjusted every year to keep them in line with the cost of living (that’s what the Consumer Price Index or ‘inflation’ is). What benefits are not keeping up with is incomes, because wages are rising faster than the cost of living. In fact, real incomes are up 15% since Labour came to power. Beneficiaries are not worse off, but everyone else is better off.

That’s not an argument against raising benefits though. Benefit levels are shockingly low, $184 a week on the unemployment benefit is simply not enough to support a decent life for yourself, let alone a family, in most of New Zealand. The Government could and should increase benefits to a more decent level, say, the 28% of the average wage they were before the 1991 benefit cuts (they’re 21% now), and should be indexed to the average wage like superannuation is, rather than inflation. That would carry a cost but a relatively small one because so many people have come off benefits under Labour. The cost of the benefit system has fallen 36% under Labour because fewer people are using it, some of those savings should be directed towards remaining beneficiaries.

There is some basis to the idea that benefits can’t be too close to wage levels otherwise they will act as a disincentive to work but there’s a simple solution to that keep raising the minimum wage.

60 comments on “More on benefit levels”

  1. roger nome 1

    A few extracts from my thesis that should help to give a little context.

    The 1991 benefit reforms involved tighter eligibility criteria and the cutting of almost all social security benefits for adults (Easton, 1997a: 52). The cutting of unemployment benefits during this period was particularly severe. For instance, in 1987 the weekly unemployment benefit rate for a single person (25 and over) stood at 36 percent of the average wage. However, this figure fell throughout the neoliberal to be to 27 percent in 1999. To aid the efficacy of these measures a case management approach was introduced, further discouraging ‘welfare dependency’, and increasing the self-sufficiency of beneficiaries (McLaughlin, 1997). The distress caused by these reforms was further compounded by a sharp rise in unemployment (see Appendix 1) that occurred at the same time (Easton, 1997a: 52). Also contributing to the increase in poverty was a growing class of working poor who were caught by a combination of real wage reduction or stagnation associated with the ECA, and higher rents for state and private housing (McLaughlin, 2000: 36). Unfortunately the government’s only answer to these issues was an appeal to workers, urging the tightening of belts in anticipation of an economic recovery (Kelsey, 1998: 10).

    In total from 1987 to 2002 the level of assistance offered by the government in unemployment benefit as a percentage of the average wage slipped by 9.9 percentage points. Similarly the eligibility cut off point for income assistance for a single worker, living alone declined from 56.1 per cent in 1991 to be just 54.3 in 2002.

  2. AncientGeek 2

    Steve: looking at the graph you should probably stack-bar it with the major types of benefits. Only the dole really impacts on wage disincentives.

    DPB and sickness don’t in any significant way IMHO.

  3. Instead of increasing the benefit, why not keep it the same rate but also hand out food vouchers/stamps?

    By the way, Steve how much do you think someone on the unemployment benefit should get, $258 a week?

    28% of the average wage?

    Why would anyone want a part time job then?

  4. yeah, but do you know how much work that would be? and I’m ever so lazy 😛

  5. I agree Brett $258 a week would be a bloody good start. Especially when 40 hours on the minimum wage gets you $480. You’d spend a little under half of it to rent an average room in a flat though, but I guess an accommodation benefit would top that up.

  6. It didn’t stop people working when it was 28% of the average wage in 1990 (or 36% of the average wage in 1987), why would it now?

    I’m imagining 25%, indexed to average wage, would be a goer.

  7. roger nome 7

    I would also add that the Employment Contracts Act increased wage disparity between low-skilled and high-skilled workers (the average wage in the retail industry is only 64% of the average wage, whereas it used to be 75% prior to the ECA), meaning further hardship for low-skilled workers, who often experience periods of unemployment.

    In Australia most workers are still covered by a union-negotiated collective agreement (“work choices” didn’t apply to most workers because most people work in a work-place of over 100 employees).

    As a result income low-skilled work is still relitively well paid compared to high skilled work (i.e. you hear of Aus $16 and hour for regular labouring work). As a result, low-income people are better off, and they have a lower level of incomew inequality – and consequently less of the social problems that are associated with high levels of income inquality (crime/imprisonment rates, low social mobilty and poverty-related health problems.

    So if we’re not going to ensure that low income workers get a decent wage, we should at least have a decent benefit levels. Personally I would prefer the former over the latter (it’s nice to feel like you’re contributing to society), but as you never hear any calls for a return to centralised collective bargaining from any of the major parties, we’re stuck with the latter option.

  8. Billy 8

    Shouldn’t it be to provide an absolute minimum to keep it together until you can change your circumstances? How is what other people are earning relevant to that? Well done Labour. Indexing it to CPI increases was absolutely the right thing to do.

  9. roger nome 9

    “By the way, Steve how much do you think someone on the unemployment benefit should get, $258 a week?”

    Brett, we had less than one percent unemployment in the 1960s, and the unemployment benefit was available. People want to work. No one wants to be on the dole long-term, it’s bloody depressing (though I agree that if you put it up to say $300 a week it would significantly increase short-term unemployment). It’s a question of whether the work is available or not.

  10. deemac 10

    roger nome: “In Australia most workers are still covered by a union-negotiated collective agreement (‘work choices’ didn’t apply to most workers – most people work in a work-place of over 100 employees).” I’d like to see the stats on that. If it’s true, why was work choices such a big issue in the election?
    In most OECD countries, most workers work for SMEs and I’d be surprised if Oz were different

  11. There is work available, its just the work is not great, the local McDonald’s is hiring, but not many people want to work there, but isnt the benefit there for people who cant find any job at all, not people who are picky?

  12. Ben R 12

    “$184 a week on the unemployment benefit is simply not enough to support a decent life for yourself, let alone a family, in most of New Zealand.”

    But that’s not what you’d get if you had a family? A sole parent with a child get’s $263.78, and more if they have more children.

    And that’s not accounting for accomodation supplements, community service cards, Temporary Additional Support for people who can’t meet their essential costs from their income or other sources and the Special Needs Grant for urgent one-off payments.

    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/get-assistance/rates-info.html
    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/get-assistance/extra-help/index.html

  13. ghostwhowalks 13

    Ben R is right, the core benefit is $184 pw but nobody gets just that unless in unusual circumstances( paying no rent, no dependents ?)

  14. roger nome 14

    deemac – while it’s true that the majority of workplaces in most OECD countries employ below 100 people, it isn’t true that the majority of people work such places.

    I think you’re getting your stats confused.

    oh, and BTW work choices was an issue because it would have directly affected about 30% of the workforce. A not insignificant portion I think you’ll agree.

  15. roger nome 15

    Ghost, Ben R – I know a guy that does benefit advocacy. He says that most people don’t claim the accomadation suppliment, and plenty of beneficiaries don’t have children (it’s not like an extra $80 a week is going to make you living standards higher when you have to support a child anyway).

    Also, community services cards are available to most people. You even see dairy farmers with them (probably writing their new four wheel drive off as a business expenses, etc).

  16. Ben R 16

    “He says that most people don’t claim the accomadation suppliment”

    Yes, but that’s different from saying it isn’t available. Isn’t the point being made that benefits are too low?

    “plenty of beneficiaries don’t have children”

    I was just pointing out that the original post said $184 was tough to live on, esp if you had a family. If you have a family you’re eligible for a higher benefit.

    Also, I’m not sure most people would qualify for a community services card – the thresholds seem reasonably tight. If you receive a benefit you get one automatically according to the website.

    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/get-assistance/csc/income-thresholds.html

  17. roger nome 17

    Billy:

    “Shouldn’t it be to provide an absolute minimum to keep it together until you can change your circumstances?”

    Unfortuantely it isn’t an “absolute minimum”. Many people have to go into debt while they’re on the benefit – and their health often suffers do to poor nutritian, etc.

  18. roger nome 18

    Ben R:

    “Yes, but that’s different from saying it isn’t available. Isn’t the point being made that benefits are too low?”

    If most people don’t know about it, and therefore don’t claim that isn’t it a rather academic point anyway?

    “I’m not sure most people would qualify for a community services card”

    Perhaps not “most people” but many working people I know have one.

  19. roger nome 19

    Billy:

    I also don’t accept that the benefit should be an “absolute subsistance-level minimum”. High wealth inequality causes many social problems (I listed them above). Now you can argue that you don’t care, and that would be logically valid, but my guess is that most New Zealanders would care about them.

    If you think high wealth inequality doesn’t cause those social problems of corse I’d be happy to debate you.

  20. roger nome 20

    “There is work available, its just the work is not great, the local McDonald’s is hiring, but not many people want to work there, but isnt the benefit there for people who cant find any job at all, not people who are picky?”

    Bret: I’d be surprised if McDs loses any business due to being understaffed.

    The main reason they’re always hiring is because they can never have too-much staff. i.e. the more staff they have the more labour flexibilty they have – i.e. they can call peopel to come in for a shift with two hours notice, and the more people they have on-call the more likely it is they can get the people in when they need them.

  21. roger nome 21

    BTW appologies for the poor grammar. To hasty.

  22. Billy 22

    RN:

    1. Do not purport to quote me and mendaciously get the quote wrong. I said nothing about “subsistence.”

    2. Similarly, I am not arguing that “I do not care”. Typically, that is an attempt to paint anyone who is against welfare as a lifestyle as uncaring.

    3. The purpose of welfare should not be to reduce income disparity. It should be to provide those who are unable to help themselves with the basics to sustain themselves until they are able to improve their position.

    4. Anyone on welfare is being subsidised by everyone else. This is not a right. It is a priviledge. To pretend it is is unfair on the rest of us who struggle doing jobs we hate to provide for ourselves, our dependents and to pay our tax.

  23. I quite like my work. Perhaps you should change careers Billy. It might make you less cranky.

  24. Billy 24

    What career do you suggest, ‘sod?

  25. Ben R 25

    “If most people don’t know about it, and therefore don’t claim that isn’t it a rather academic point anyway?”

    I think it’s an important distinction if you’re talking about raising benefit rates. It needs to be clear what is actually avaiable under the current scheme. Of course if people don’t know it’s available then you can target that separately.

    I think more people would support increased benefit levels if there were stricter criteria on returning to work, and using contraception while on the benefit?

    “Britain and New Zealand are the only other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with entitlements this generous. Like Australia, they too have high numbers of children growing up in jobless households. In all three countries the lesson is that if you pay parents welfare to stay out of the labour market, that is exactly what they’ll do.

    In most of continental Europe and Scandinavia, by contrast, parents on welfare are expected to find work by the time their children start school. This is why Sweden, for example, has only 2.7 per cent of children in jobless households, even though it has as many single-parent and blended families as we do. The value of welfare benefits in Sweden may be higher than here but Sweden’s eligibility rules are much stricter.” http://www.cis.org.nz/executive_highlights/EH2007/eh44607.html

  26. roger nome 26

    Billy:

    “I said nothing about “subsistence.'”

    Forgive e for thinking that “absolute minimum” equates to subsistence. It’s that language thing again.

    “Typically, that is an attempt to paint anyone who is against welfare as a lifestyle as uncaring.”

    I didn’t say that. I said that you have the possibility of two logically valid lines of argument available. That you don’t care about the social problems that high wealth inequality causes, or that it doesn’t cause them.

    “The purpose of welfare should not be to reduce income disparity.”

    Why not? It’s pretty weak to not back up your position with an argument.

    “Anyone on welfare is being subsidised by everyone else. This is not a right. It is a priviledge”

    It’s a right if a government gets voted in on that platform. It’s called democracy.

  27. Ben R 27

    “stricter criteria on returning to work”

    I’d acknowledge though that this is dependent on there being jobs available! For instance part of the reason the Clinton welfare reforms were successful was linked to the economy doing so well at the time.

  28. roger nome 29

    Ben R-

    “I think it’s an important distinction if you’re talking about raising benefit rates. It needs to be clear what is actually available under the current scheme. Of course if people don’t know it’s available then you can target that separately.”

    Fair point. If it was WINZ policy to ask every beneficiary if they want to apply for an accommodation supplement (it isn’t – in fact they’re often told to not mention it), it would be fine to take it into account. As it isn’t, and as a result, most people don’t know about it’s a rather academic point that you make.

    “”Britain and New Zealand are the only other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with entitlements this generous.”

    Firstly – I don’t trust a word that comes from the very partisan, corporate funded “CIS”. Secondly, as I said above:

    low-skilled work is still relatively well paid compared to high skilled work (i.e. you hear of Aus $16 and hour for regular labouring work). As a result, low-income people are better off, and they have a lower level of income inequality – and consequently less of the social problems that are associated with high levels of income inequality (crime/imprisonment rates, low social mobility and poverty-related health problems.

    So if we’re not going to ensure that low income workers get a decent wage, we should at least have a decent benefit levels. Personally I would prefer the former over the latter (it’s nice to feel like you’re contributing to society), but as you never hear any calls for a return to centralised collective bargaining from any of the major parties, we’re stuck with the latter option.

    I’ll also add that like NZ, Britain has a decentralised labour market – so needs higher benefit levels. Sweden, and all other countries in continental europe have centralised collective bargaining – which as I said favours low-income people.

    “This is why Sweden, for example, has only 2.7 per cent of children in jobless households”

    See this is an example of CSI’s unreliable partisan spin. Sweden has amazing gender equality legislation which makes it easy for mothers to re-enter the workforce. i.e. completely free child care – of course CIS would do away with this policy in a flash if they had the choice.

  29. Billy 30

    RN,

    “Why not?”

    Because you have to be fair to the people providing the largesse as well.

    ‘sod, I could never do real estate. I hate the overuse of exclamation marks and those pretend quotes: “Stroll to the cafes!” indeed.

  30. roger nome 31

    Ben R

    “part of the reason the Clinton welfare reforms were successful was linked to the economy doing so well at the time.”

    They weren’t succsesful. They just meant that people were kicked off welfare wthout having work available. (i.e. the employment rate was the same in 2005 as was when they were implimented)

    Result – more people without any form of income.

    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/15/24/38335554.pdf

  31. Billy 32

    RN said: “It’s a right if a government gets voted in on that platform. It’s called democracy.”

    There are limits, RN. Laws passed to exterminate all gingas might enjoy widespread support. It would not make them right.

  32. roger nome 33

    ” Laws passed to exterminate all gingas might enjoy widespread support.”

    That’s why we have a liberal, pluralist democracy. A humane benefit system doesn’t run contrary to that.

  33. But you could keep it real – the first real estate agent to understand irony. I’d buy a house from you on that basis alone…

  34. Billy 35

    I’m all for humane RN. Providing enough to get by is humane. Making sure you can keep up with the neighbours is taking the piss.

  35. roger nome 36

    “Because you have to be fair to the people providing the largesse as well.”

    The majority of tax is paid by the minority of individuals earning over $40,000. It wouldn’t kill them to dish out an extra $10 a week in tax to provide a just society with low crime and relatively equal opportunities for rich and poor children alike. I thoroughly reject the notion that it’s a grave injustice for well-off people to be a little less well-off so that we can have a just society.

  36. roger nome 37

    Billy:

    Humane = just. Creating a poverty trap isn’t justice. Wealth inequality negatively correlates with social mobility, meaning that lack of wealth redistribution creates a poverty trap. That isn’t a just society. Your destiny shouldn’t be determined primarly by the situation that you’re accidentally borne into. Justice requires that people be treated equally/given relitively equal opportunities.

    See the graph on page 46

    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/27/28/38335410.pdf

  37. Billy 38

    RN:

    I am just catching up with this:

    “Forgive e for thinking that “absolute minimum’ equates to subsistence. It’s that language thing again.”

    That would have been fine, RN, but for the quotes. Since you haughtily played the “language” card, allow me to explain that, when using quotation marks, it is considered good manners (at the very least) language that the words within quotation marks were actually said by the person you are purporting to quote. As you might say, it is a language thing.

    “I thoroughly reject the notion that it’s a grave injustice for well-off people to be a little less well-off so that we can have a just society.”

    If your view of a just society is that everyone has a similar level of income no matter how hard they work or how talented they are, then your suggestion is the way to go. I am just not sure that that would really be just.

  38. Lyn 39

    Ben R – “In most of continental Europe and Scandinavia, by contrast, parents on welfare are expected to find work by the time their children start school. This is why Sweden, for example, has only 2.7 per cent of children in jobless households, even though it has as many single-parent and blended families as we do. The value of welfare benefits in Sweden may be higher than here but Sweden’s eligibility rules are much stricter.”

    The reason this is workable is because Sweden has a highly comprehensive state-provided childcare system. Working parents are more common in Sweden because when children start school, welfare kicks in in a different way, a way that pays parents to go to work. New Zealand refuses to deal with the issue of childcare in a way that makes sense, and until we do we’ll face the issue of children grwoing up in jobless households.

  39. roger nome 40

    Billy:

    “If your view of a just society is that everyone has a similar level of income no matter how hard they work ”

    Strawman argument. I never said anything of the sort. Australia has something close to an acceptable level of wealth inequality, and good social mobility levels as a result. We however have a much higher inequality level than Australia. It’s because they have centralised collective bargainig and we don’t compensate for our lack of this with decent benefit levels.

  40. roger nome 41

    Oh and Billy on the topic of quotations – fair enough, I should have used single commas to indicate that I wasn’t quoting your exact words.

  41. Billy 42

    “I never said anything of the sort.”

    Well that’s rich. I suppose I should have pretended you said it by putting it in quotation marks.

    “Australia has something close to an acceptable level of wealth inequality…”

    Says you. Acceptability is in the eye of the beholder.

  42. Billy 43

    My last post was in ignorance of yours of 7:50. Apology (if that’s what it was) accepted. This is the only ignorance to which I will admit.

  43. Don’t you have some real estate to sell or something billy?

  44. Billy 45

    Yes. I have something near the Mt Eden border that may interest you, ‘sod. It is an “entertainer’s delight!” and you should “bring your paint brush!”.

  45. If it’s the same place I’m thinking off I had to sharpen the end of my paint brush the last time I stayed there…

  46. roger nome 47

    “Says you. Acceptability is in the eye of the beholder”

    Yeah, well I should have said, if you care about social mobility/equality of opportunity it’s acceptable.

  47. Billy 48

    “I had to sharpen the end of my paint brush…”

    What is this, a euphemism? For what? Only, exercise your judgement: there are some things I do not want to know.

  48. Ari 49

    Roger nome- Australia’s income inequality is acceptable?! Only if you’re not aboriginal!

  49. roger nome 50

    Ari – good point.

  50. Asher 51

    For what its worth, the Unemployment Benefit is only $184 for those 25 and over. For a 20 – 24 year old (or an under 20 living away from home), it is just $153.46 / week. Last time I checked, under 25s don’t get discounted rent, petrol, food etc, so quite why the benefit drops by 16% is beyond me. These pay rates are also the same as on the Sickness Benefit

    As someone who has lived in both Wellington and Christchurch, this is not enough. Rent within walking/biking distance of central city Wellington frequently tops $120 – $140 (and I’m not talking about a particularly flash house or big room), and living further away for cheaper rent (and I’m talking Lower Hutt, Kilbirnie/Lyall Bay sort of distance to notice any real difference in price) simply adds expensive public transport costs on top. While Christchurch is slightly better, the same problems remain.

    WINZ case managers, as a policy, do not tell beneficiaries what they are entitled to. Even when applying for additional support they are entitled to, beneficiaries are often declined. Case managers are frequently rude, cruel, patronising and unhelpful, creating (seemingly on purpose) a situation whereby beneficiaries are less and less likely to seek any help they require.

    Oh, and stop stigmatising beneficiaries. There’s nothing wrong with being on a benefit, short or long term.

  51. Asher 52

    Oh, I forgot to mention. Accommodation supplement, if you get it, certainly helps, but its no miracle fix.

    If you have rent of $115 (as I used to in 2005) in Wellington, and are on the unemployment benefit while under 25, your benefit + accomm supplement will total (from memory) $207, leaving just $92 for phone, power, potentially gas and food. If you’re lucky, you might have something left over for transport and/or internet, but you’ll be pushing it.

  52. randal 53

    well after I pay my rent phone and power I have $90 left to feed myself and enjoy this life…I want a job but somehow all the little manques on their computers going tap tap tap sneak creep peek and the creeps I use to know 30 years ago are in control at winz and I am being starved to death by creeps who think it is funny to watch someone struggling…I am not just some abstract argument on a messageboard….howzat for a brave new world?

  53. Phil 54

    “I want a job”

    If you took a writing course, it might improve the look of your CV…

  54. Phil 55

    On second thought, you’d be perfect for the Real Estate position Billy and Sod were on about.

  55. Ben R 56

    “As someone who has lived in both Wellington and Christchurch, this is not enough.”

    What about provincial centres? Why should the rate have to guarantee that a person can live in the centre of a major city? Rents in provincial areas like Palmerston North, Hawkes Bay & Bay of Plenty are significantly lower. Also horticultural centres like Hawkes Bay, Nelson etc have to bring in people from overseas to work on the orchards.

    “Wellington frequently tops $120 – $140 (and I’m not talking about a particularly flash house or big room), and living further away for cheaper rent (and I’m talking Lower Hutt, Kilbirnie/Lyall Bay sort of distance to notice any real difference in price) simply adds expensive public transport costs on top.”

    What public transport expenses is someone in Kilbirnie on a sickness benefit going to be incurring though? There is the Pak N Save (which I normally go to), Dr’s clinics etc.

    “There’s nothing wrong with being on a benefit, short or long term.”

    What about going on it long term and having several children? Isn’t that undermining the purpose of the benefit?

  56. Phil 57

    “WINZ case managers, as a policy, do not tell beneficiaries what they are entitled to. Even when applying for additional support they are entitled to, beneficiaries are often declined. Case managers are frequently rude, cruel, patronising and unhelpful, creating (seemingly on purpose) a situation whereby beneficiaries are less and less likely to seek any help they require.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. Granted, their call centre is shit.

    Going into the office, talking to the case managers and listening to what they said, being polite, reading the information packs and brochures, taking a few seconds to make sure I’d completed the forms correctly, they then bent over backwards to help when I was on the unemployment benefit while looking for work.

    I had a pre-concieved notion of WINZ before dealing with them, but was pleasantly suprised to have it blown out of the water.

  57. Draco TB 58

    There is work available, its just the work is not great, the local McDonald’s is hiring, but not many people want to work there, but isnt the benefit there for people who cant find any job at all, not people who are picky?

    What’s wrong with people being picky about where they work? I would argue that being able to be picky about where you worked would be part and parcel of a free labour market (people are actually free to make a choice).

    I would have thought people would far prefer to hire people who actually want to be there rather than being there because they have to be so they can have bread on the table. But it seems that businesses much prefer being able to force people to work for starvation wages so that they can increase profits.

  58. Draco TB 59

    I had a pre-concieved notion of WINZ before dealing with them, but was pleasantly suprised to have it blown out of the water.

    Some are good, some are bad. I’m pretty sure you’ll find this is true of almost any place.

  59. Ben R 60

    “What’s wrong with people being picky about where they work?”

    Nothing, but they shouldn’t expect to be paid more than available jobs while they’re biding their time (taking into account we have minimum wage laws).

    “I would have thought people would far prefer to hire people who actually want to be there rather than being there because they have to be so they can have bread on the table”

    Isn’t this a little idealistic? Most people work because they need the money don’t they?

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  • Trump and Truman
    Incinerating Hiroshima by Don Franks US President Donald now threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea’s country of 26 million people. This from the leader of the only power that ever used nuclear weapons. Trump isn’t a one-off nutcase. He follows ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    21 hours ago
  • You’re Wrong Keith: We Have To Do This NOW.
    Let's Do This NOW! Elections are won when the electorate’s general preference for prosperity and stability is overwhelmed by its desire to turn the page and begin something new. When simply restoring the same old faces to the same old ...
    22 hours ago
  • Lies, damn lies and the National Party 
    This week Patrick Gower called it. The National Party was guilty of the biggest lie of the campaign. It’s not the only lie, but it’s certainly the biggest. Labour, apparently, is going to lift income tax. National are arguing, like ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 day ago
  • Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring
    Anti-fluoride campaigners don’t agree. Image credit:Dental Care Tips for Mom and Baby” presentation What’s the story about this new IQ-fluoride study? The one that claims fluoride intake by pregnant women could endanger their children’s IQ? Whatever the truth, ...
    1 day ago
  • BSA and ASA to political parties: “sure, lie all you like”
    When I first saw the National Party’s blatantly misleading “Let’s Tax This” ad, I thought: the Advertising Standards Authority would have to uphold a complaint about this one. And if the ad is broadcast on TV or radio, the Broadcasting Standards ...
    1 day ago
  • WINZ steals from the poorest
    Hot on the heels of yesterday's news of WINZ lawlessness, we learn that WINZ has been illegally underpaying the poorest beneficiaries: More than 7000 of New Zealand's most-desperate beneficiaries have been short-changed by the Government - and they're about to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Verse Chorus Verse: Precipice – Indi
    Indi, aka Indira Force, gives a track-by-track breakdown of her new album.   Cover art from Precipice. 'Demeter' This one is about as close to a pop song as i get on this album. It's sort of a ...
    1 day ago
  • Suspicious
    Remember National's court case with Eminem? A decision was supposed to be issued within three months of the trial ending in May. But strangely, its late:Justice Helen Cull reserved her decision on May 12 - noting at the time that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Māori Party confirms opposition to tertiary education Bill
    The TEU is pleased to report that Marama Fox, co-leader of the Māori Party, has told the TEU that her party is opposed to National’s tertiary education Bill. The Bill would give Ministers greater powers to divert public funds away from public ...
    1 day ago
  • Second chance learners rely on public tertiary education
    Craig West, a senior lecturer at Otago Polytechnic, discusses the importance of public tertiary education for second chance learners and its role in the local community. Education sits at the heart of every community and this could not be truer than ...
    1 day ago
  • Election a huge opportunity to improve lives of students
    Jonathan Gee, national president of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, says this election is a chance to make politics work better for students – which, he says, will benefit us all. For too long, students and young people ...
    1 day ago
  • National announces tertiary education policy
    National published its tertiary education policy for the election with minimal fanfare last week. The policy contains little of substance, but there are two commitments worth pointing to. The first is a target to increase the value of international education in New Zealand ...
    1 day ago
  • What next for tertiary education?
    David Cooke, national chair of the Quality Public Education Coalition, looks at some of the key issues facing the tertiary education sector after the election before offering some thoughts on what we can do together to ensure a positive future for students and ...
    1 day ago
  • TEU celebrates Suffrage Day
    Tuesday 19 September was Suffrage Day and TEU members were out in force to celebrate. Many chose to honour those women who fought and won the right to vote 124 years ago by coming together to vote early. The TEU teams at ...
    1 day ago
  • Access: Disabled floater voters Part 4: Health and Support
    This is the fourth of a series of blogs from the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA).   We have used DPA’s strategic areas of focus, as identified by our members, as a guide to examine key areas of each party’s policies. We ...
    1 day ago
  • A positive sign
    While Donald Trump seems trying to start nuclear wars with both North Korea and Iran, there's abeen a positive sign: the UN has outlawed nuclear weapons. And New Zealand was one of the first countries to sign up to the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • New Auckland Transport Chief Executive
    Yesterday, Auckland Transport finally announced who would replace David Warburton as Chief Executive later this year. The job has gone to Shane Ellison. It certainly seems that he has significant experience with running public transport which will be very useful for ...
    1 day ago
  • What Do the Chinese Pay For?
    The Herald’s readiness to alert its readers to the important conclusions of the University of Canterbury research into the links between China and past and present New Zealand politicians and their family members is to be commended, not because there ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The Day After Tomorrow
    The Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence index dipped marginally this week, but, said the bank's chief economist, "households remain in good spirits". In truth, our good spirits rely on us not looking too far ahead.New Zealanders' perception of their current ...
    1 day ago
  • Rotten to the core
    How rotten is WINZ? So rotten that they use false names for those serving on their internal Benefit Review Committees, and present them as truthful to their statutory appeal body. As if that's not bad enough, they then continued to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The Grow Room Profiles – Villette
    Local Alt R&B songstress/producer Villette discusses some of her formative musical experiences, her positive forecast for Women within Aotearoa's music industry, and finally drops the name of her new mixtape. This video was made with funding support from NZ ...
    1 day ago
  • The Singles Life: What happened to political music in New Zealand?
    Welcome to weekly series The Singles Life, where known experts Katie Parker and Hussein Moses peruse, ponder and pontificate on the latest and (maybe) greatest in New Zealand music. In these trying times, political music feels like it would ...
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Chinese influence operations, Hillary’s blame game, Trump’s incoherence and NZ’s 3...
    As part of the series of radio interviews I do with Mitch Harris on RadioLive on Wed nights, this week we decided to be a bit more free ranging than usual (since the normal focus of the radio version of ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • The beginning of the end for nuclear weapons
    "I have been waiting for this day for seven decades and I am overjoyed that it has finally arrived,” said Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow in July, when a new treaty banning nuclear weapons was agreed at the United Nations in ...
    1 day ago
  • Election Transport Policy Roundup
    Transport featured prominently in this election, particularly in the opening weeks of the campaign. At the same time, the differences between the parties when it comes to transport policies has been stark. It’s also worth remembering the outcome of the 1News ...
    1 day ago
  • The loneliness of the election hoarding
    Every three years the institution of the election poster gives us an object lesson in psychogeography, remaking the country into red zones, blue zones, contested zones. A sign erected on a private fence or put up at one’s window makes ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • This is how civil wars start
    As I write this, Spanish police are raiding Catalan government offices and arresting government officials in an effort to prevent Catalans from voting in a referendum on independence:Spanish police officers have raided three Catalan regional government departments and arrested 12 ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Election edition of It’s Our Future Bulletin
    A vote for National is a vote for the TPPA-11 Kia ora koutou katoa, This will be a short Bulletin as you are all, no doubt, up to your eyeballs in political spin and campaign rhetoric. The general election Saturday ...
    Its our futureBy Stephen Parry
    2 days ago
  • National Increased and Introduced 18 New Taxes, How Many More to Come?
    While National have been the failed Government of New Zealand they have increased or introduced 18 taxes on the ever suffering New Zealand public!   These included an increase in GST, taxing your Kiwisaver contributions, increased your Prescription ...
    2 days ago
  • Bugger
    Still, the Greens look safe. That's SOMETHING.And if NZ First don't get back in (assuming Winston loses Northland and they slip 0.1% more ... Well, I'll try very hard to lament the undemocratic wasted vote while punching the air and ...
    2 days ago
  • It takes just 4 years to detect human warming of the oceans
    We’ve known for decades that the Earth is warming, but a key question is, how fast? Another key question is whether the warming is primarily caused by human activities. If we can more precisely measure the rate of warming and ...
    2 days ago
  • Why I was an idiot for not voting last election
    Three years is a long time.   Image: The Wireless/Luke McPake   I have a flatmate who probably won’t vote. He says he might, but it’s not looking good. A capital gains tax could persuade him, but Labour’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Not That Kind of Voting
    As is customary in the run-up to an election, there is some hand-wringing going on about what turnout is going to be like.read more ...
    PunditBy Leonid Sirota
    2 days ago
  • Bill English is incompetent
    When John Key handed Bill English the poisoned chalice of a third term, it was pretty clear that the smiling assassin was getting out while the getting was good. After all, English had been largely left out of most of ...
    2 days ago
  • Pre-emptively poking holes in the land tax bucket
    Land taxes have – unexpectedly – become a hot policy topic in the run-up to the election. Land taxes were originally suggested by the economist and social reformer Henry George as a fairer alternative to income or business tax. The ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis support a water tax
    The prospect of making farmers and water bottlers pay for their use of public water has been a big issue this election campaign. Irrigation-dependent dairy farmers hate the idea, of course - they're freeloaders who don't want to pay their ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National censors NZTA
    Last month, when the National Party announced ten expensive new roads as the core of its election campaign, the Greater Auckland blog noticed something interesting: the business case for one of them, Whangarei to Wellsford, had disappeared from NZTA's website. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Follow the Leader: Winston Peters – NZ First
      ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: Disabled floater voters 3: Education and Justice
    This is the third of a series of blogs from the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA).   We have used DPA’s strategic areas of focus, as identified by our members, as a guide to examine key areas of each party’s policies. We ...
    2 days ago
  • Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (ono)
    . . You show me yours, I’ll show you mine… . Perhaps the most ill-considered public statement from NZ First leader, Winston Peters, was his recent (11 September) demand that Labour disclose it’s full tax plan as a pre-condition for ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • The mystery of the Wellsford-Whangarei business case solved
    Exactly a month ago, the National Party announced the biggest element of their transport policy for this election, $10.5 billion on 10 new Roads of National Significance. These are: Wellsford to Whangarei East West Link in Auckland Cambridge to Tirau Piarere ...
    2 days ago
  • Which New Zealand are you voting for?
    I was walking out of a meeting with two fine people the other day, one a National Party supporter and one a Labour Party supporter. The centre-right man reckons his team has lost it, but he sighed, "the economy's going ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Farmers blame absence of Bill English for failure to summon Cow God
    Farmers were deeply disappointed when an incantation meant to summon the Cow God instead summoned Winston Peters. Dairy farmers have spent the better part of today blaming Prime Minister Bill English for their failure to summon the Cow God beneath ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • Trust women to decide: Greens
    The Green party has renewed its calls for abortion law reform, after a woman who was declined a termination considered suicide.    Under the Crimes Act, an abortion must be approved by two licenced specialist doctors.  Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski ...
    3 days ago
  • Suffrage Day is now about equal pay for many women
    The fight goes on.   Merinda Jackson. Photo: The Wireless/Max Towle Women wearing suffragist dress gathered outside Wellington’s central library this afternoon. They periodically broke off into small groups and disappeared inside for a few minutes at ...
    3 days ago
  • How WINZ got social housing costs so wrong
    Last year, National bowed to public pressure over homelessness and replaced emergency housing loans - under which the homeless were saddled with odious debt to be put up in price-gouging motels - with a grant. Their initial budget for these ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Narcissistic men are more likely to troll on Facebook – study
    “Aggression, manipulativeness, low agreeableness.” Sound familiar? Illustration: 123RF A new study analysing people’s motivations for trolling has found men are more likely to bully others on Facebook because they’re more narcissistic. Researchers from Brunel and Goldsmiths universities ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: This is going to cost us
    For the past six months, National have been suppressing Ministry for the Environment guidance on coastal hazards, which show that sea level rise and the resulting storm surges threaten $19 billion of coastal property. This government malfeasance isn't just bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National has failed our health system
    Along with a number of other worsening sectors in New Zealand, the public health system has become increasingly degraded under a National led government. The statistics clearly show a complete failure to meet growing demand for services, especially in peak ...
    3 days ago
  • Suffrage Day
    Today, September 19th, is Suffrage Day. 124 years ago today, women gained the right to vote in New Zealand. Its one of our greatest achievements as a nation, and yet its not one we publicly mark. That needs to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins and the swamp kauri petrol crisis
    The ruptured fuel pipe that runs to Auckland Airport looks set to cause more chaos as fuel shortages start to impede people trying to fill up at the pump.Already a number of international flights have been diverted or cancelled due ...
    3 days ago
  • Facts about fluorosis – not a worry in New Zealand
    This sort of serious dental fluorosis does not occur in New Zealand A recent issue of the Fluoride Exposed Newsletter gives us the facts about dental fluorosis – a subject very often misrepresented by opponents of community water fluoridation. Ever ...
    3 days ago
  • PT Ridership around New Zealand
    Auckland had a pretty good year for public transport ridership in the last financial year (to the end of June). Overall, compared to the 2016 ridership increased by 5.5 million (7%) to 88.44 million trips, the highest point since 1955. ...
    3 days ago
  • Australia tries to deport Rohingya to persecution
    Myanmar is currently waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against its Rohingya minority. So naturally, the racist Australian government is trying to force Rohingya detained in its concentration camps to return to persecution:Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Chevron’s Amazon Chernobyl Case moves to Canada
    After perpetrating what is probably the worst oil-related catastrophe on Earth - a 20,000 hectare death zone in Ecuador, known as the “Amazon Chernobyl” - the Chevron Corporation has spent two decades and over a billion dollars trying to avoid ...
    3 days ago
  • 5 reasons the car industry needs to change its ways now
    Today the world’s biggest motor show gets underway in Germany. The Frankfurt Motorshow is the moment many of the world’s best known car manufacturers get together for a grand display of vehicles that have been polished so hard it’s a ...
    3 days ago
  • Access Granted: Kat Greenbrook – From insight to action
    Kat Greenbrook (@katgreenbrook) is on a mission to increase the number of data insights actioned as she sees a growing gap between analytics teams and decision makers, stemming from a breakdown in communication.  Kat, through her own company Rogue Penguin, works across ...
    3 days ago
  • When The Country Goes To Town.
    Pretty Ugly, Pretty Quickly: That the demographic and cultural divide between rural and urban New Zealand remains a source of deep unease to farmers cannot be doubted. Equally indisputable, historically-speaking, has been the militant, even violent, character of rural New ...
    3 days ago
  • More on Kiwi Rail De-electrification
    *This is a guest post by Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders KIWIRAIL’S NIMT DECISION EXPOSED IN LEAKED DOCUMENTS Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders1 Leaked documents show that KiwiRail’s decision in December 2016, to ...
    Transport BlogBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Limits to growth?
    Mounting concern with housing, transport and diversity issues in Auckland point to a consensus that growth trends are exceeding our ability to readily cope. This is aggravated by reports that portions of our wilderness tourism areas are being hammered by ...
    Briefing PapersBy Charles Crothers
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters hijacks National’s protest
    There was a lot of anticipation surrounding a farmer’s protest in Morrinsville yesterday, a protest over Labour’s proposed levy of 1 to 2 cents per 1000 litres of water used for irrigation.Federated Farmers and Dairy NZ in particular have been ...
    4 days ago
  • Just when will the fat lady start singing this election?
    Now we’ve entered the last week of the election campaign, Saturday’s finishing post is in sight. Once the polls close at 7pm on that day, no further ballots may be cast.read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Prediction
    There's nothing stupider on the internet than putting down your thoughts in an indisputable form.  So that, of course is what I am going to do:NAT – 42%LAB – 39%NZF – 8%GRE – 6%TOP – 2%MAO – 1.5% (With electorate ...
    4 days ago

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 day ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    2 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    2 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    3 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    3 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    3 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    4 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    6 days ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    1 week ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
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