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Minister Tin-Ears

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 pm, January 28th, 2013 - 65 comments
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New Zealand’s remaining world-class manufacturers are saying today they are sick of being told by politicians that they need to work harder when they have been doing that for years, but face a huge headwind from an over-valued dollar.

Not a good time for Minister Tin-Ears, Steven Joyce, to give them that message. To add insult to injury, Joyce quotes his own business experience, running radio stations in the domestic economy – he’s never had to face the effect of the high dollar on his bottom line.

I know CEO’s like Keith Whiteley of New Zealand’s iconic manufacturer from the days when we were together on the Board of the Engineering ITO, now Competenz. He runs a world-class business. When he and others like him are prepared to speak out as they did today at the Manufacturing Enquiry run by Labour, Greens and New Zealand First it is time for everyone to listen carefully. The manufacturing sector has lost 40,000 very good jobs in the last four years of the National government’s washing-their-hands inaction.

I am optimistic that the Enquiry will produce some action no later than 2014. We can only hope that National’s lack of action or ideas does not do too much more damage to the productive economy before then.


65 comments on “Minister Tin-Ears”

  1. Eddie 1

    MANA’s also in the inquiry.

    Joyce is one of those people who do their own side more damage than good by denying what everyone can see.

    • xtasy 1.1

      Joyce’s comments are music to my ears, as it proves the man, like much of the National led government, live in mental ivory towers, far away and detached from reality on the ground.

      It is great to hear him make derogative, insulting and stupid comments, as every one of them will be yet another nail in the coffin that will lay this government to rest.

      • handle 1.1.1

        Only if you find a builder who knows one end of a hammer from the other.

        • Colonic Wiper

          If Joyce is living in an ivory tower far removed, then the whole of Labours front bench would not even be in this galaxy in terms of a manufacturing context. Seriously what would they know about this.

          If Winston Peters is a so called solution in all this we are truly screwed.

          • CV - Real Labour

            Just bring Anderton in as a Labour advisor. He knows more about large scale manufacturing than anyone else in Parliament.

    • AmaKiwi 1.2

      But the Nats deny so convincingly.

      I never cease to be amazed at how cleverly they attack their critics and how lamely their critics attempt to fight back.

      National’s PR is so professional compared to the Left’s. Winston is the only opposition leader with a sharp tongue but we don’t hear from him often enough. Cunliffe can slay dragons but he’s been gagged and deported to Siberia.

      • xtasy 1.2.1

        Ama Kiwi: Yes, you are so right on that! It is pitiful what we get from the opposition, although at times they score some points.

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        And not without reason. There are few other serpents that have cause to fear the edge of Cunliffe’s sword. Old climate ignoring, BAU, fire breathing dinosaurs, hankering for a coal renaissance ignorant of the dangers of extinction lumbering around in the bowels of the Labour Party.

        • AmaKiwi

          “Shearer downsizes his housing promise”, today’s NZ Herald.

          Shot himself in the foot again.

          • irascible

            Shearer didn’t shoot himself in the foot. He repeated the policy announced at the Labour Conference, restated the messages given post conference and then had the Herald editorial decision to headline the story in the maner it will always choose whenever Labour announces policy directions.

            Haven’t you noticed that Joyce’s decision on keeping Novopay has been spun constructively as a positive business decision made by a competent businessman turned politician? Compare that spin to the criticism of Novopay & Joyce by Hipkins and get the message.

            • ad

              Shearer was toured around Auckland’s New Lynn site only in December last year. This site has over 100 new units going up, some even under $300k, all of high build quality, all built right next to a new public transport facility. Check out the full page article B5 in the Herland today.

              If housing is the sole major policy he is going to hang his hat on for a good while, he needs to be a whole lot better at it. Doing a good speech to launch it is not enough. Having concrete examples of what success would like like, whether in Auckland or Invercargill, is the key to retailing into a story that spreads throughout the country.

              Simply assigning blame to the media itself is weak. Pointing media’s amplifier in the right direction is a basic political job, particularly for a centrepiece policy.

              Shearer needs to get out there and front this story this week,or otherwise the opposition will continue to tip the story and the policy into the media’s cynicism.

    • Jenny 1.3

      MANA’s also in the inquiry.


      Is this an honest mistake, or is there some other reason for this interesting omission?

      Would you like to comment Mike?

  2. ChrisH 2

    Excellent image. Mr Can’t-fix-it.

  3. “one of those people who do their own side more damage than good by denying what everyone can see.”

    That’s funny irony.
    Who else gets it?

  4. xtasy 4

    I do not know about private media, but Radio NZ, and at least one of the big television news tonight, reported on this inquiry and what those employers said. That is a good sign, as the mainstream media tend to ignore too many other important issues, but at least not this one.

    Maybe it is, because this is about the ECONOMY, which tends to get a fair bit of attention usually.

    They cannot ignore and deny the elephant in the room, so to say.

  5. emergency mike 5

    Manufacturers: “We’re sick of being told to word harder and be more efficient by politicians.”

    Joyce: “Work harder, innovate.”

    Well done RNZ.

    • xtasy 5.1

      “Manufacturers: “We’re sick of being told to word harder and be more efficient by politicians.””

      One problem with highlighting this kind of comment is: This enquiry has been launched by politicians, from the opposition.

      So how would they have felt hearing this???

      I just fear, that although this enquiry is making some sense, that there is some danger of the parties and their leaders later down the road shooting themselves also in the foot.

      Once a new government may change the Reserve Bank Act or do other things, to drive the NZ Dollar down, the employers may come with other demands, some of which may not really be what workers and their representatives may wish for.

      And yes, why was Mana not included in Mike’s lead story up the top? Are they “too left” for you and the mates in the Labour caucus, Mike?

  6. Kobe24 6

    The stat in the article about the manufacturing sector losing 40,000 jobs in the last four years is incorrect. According to the Household Labour Force Survey the people employed in the manufacturing sector has remained constant between 245,000 and 255,000 since 2009 There was a loss in manufacturing jobs between 2005 and 2009

    • xtasy 6.1

      Kobe 28 – You are playing Key’s trick with the figures here!

      Yes, Mike needs to learn that it is 2013 now, as we are a month into a new year.

      But since 2008 about 40 thousand jobs were lost in manufacturing!

      In 2009 there had already been many jobs lost due to the GFC and fallout from that, so when counting from that the losses may not be as high. But Russel Norman and others have challenged the PM repeatedly on the figures since 2008, and Norman was right with the 40 k figure.

    • Eddie 6.2

      The Quarterly Employment Survey is the measure of the number of jobs.

      It’s down 40,000 from June 2008 to June 2012.

  7. Kobe24 7

    The stat in the article about the manufacturing sector losing 40,000 jobs in the last four years is incorrect.

    According to the Household Labour Force Survey the people employed in the manufacturing sector has remained constant between 245,000 and 255,000 since 2009

    There was a loss in manufacturing jobs between 2005 and 2009

  8. Tiresias 8

    “I am optimistic that the Enquiry will produce some action no later than 2014.” – Mike Smith

    I fear I’m not. Much as I loath this present Government I have to say that if there was a magic wand that could be waved to help exporters and manufacturers, Key et al would be waving it furiously. After all the MDs and CEOs and Directors of these businesses are National’s through and through, and I’m sure they’ve been demanding something for their money from the Government privately at parties and golf-courses and business breakfasts since before the last election.

    The only way you’re going to bring the exchange rate down is to sabotage the economy so it looks as shaky as Spain’s or Italy’s. The Reserve Bank Governor set it out in a speech last October:

    “So there are clear limits to what monetary policy and exchange rate intervention can do to lower the New Zealand dollar. In order to achieve a sustained reduction in the New Zealand dollar it would be necessary to alter the overall level and pattern of saving and investment in the economy. In particular, it will be necessary to tackle our addiction of depending on foreign savings to finance our consumption and investment. This dependency means that we have persistently needed interest rates above those in most developed economies to maintain inflation at target levels similar to those being followed elsewhere. Policies that increase domestic savings, including reducing the government’s fiscal deficit, and to reduce the flow of resources into the public sector and other non-tradables sectors, would help to achieve a sustainable reduction in the exchange rate.”


    Trouble is, to increase domestic savings you have to increase interest rates which puts up mortgates, both of which dries up High Street consumption which may help exporters but hurts all the rest of New Zealand’s businesses and retailers. Also, New Zealand’s Government fiscal deficit isn’t all that bad compared with the countries in trouble. It’s private sector overseas debt that’s causing the concern in the ratings agencies and the Govt. can’t do much about that except ask businesses to stop borrowing:


    Plus “reducing the Government’s fiscal deficit &tc” is banker-speak for austerity which is just Graeme Wheeler toeing the official line.

    Politicians – including Shearer in his State of the Nation speech – dream big dreams of other people coming up with better mouse-traps that are going to take the world by storm. Well, it might happen just as I might win Lotto. (Actually I’ll never win Lotto as I don’t buy a ticket, so make that “just as you might win Lotto”.)

    There ain’t nutt’n no Government can do about the exchange rate, unless it’s prepared to sacrifice almost everything else on that altar. And even if the Government could do something about the exchange rate it would have to think very carefully before doing it. Government debt isn’t frighteningly high. Private debt in New Zealand is. (see union.org.nz above). Most of it is via the banks and therefore funded from overseas in the almighty dollar. Bring the NZ dollar down by 10% (at least, as you’d have to in order to make a difference) and you’ve increased NZ’s overseas debt by 10% overnight and that would have Standard & Poors, Moodies et al running flags up flag-poles left, right and centre.

    So are you going to subsidise New Zealand’s world-class manufacturers just like you didn’t support New Zealand’s world-class wind-turbine manufacturer Windflow in Christchurch so that it’s had to lay off most of its staff – including world-class engineers and designers – and is now looking to sell its world-leading, New Zealand developed technology to a foreign competitor for a mess of pottage? http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/windflow-dream-fades-shares-plunge-ch-96636

    Sorry Mike. All the hot air your inquiry will produce over the next few months might have generated a few kw electricity from a Windflow gen set had there been one available – but for the rest it’s just another charade of politicians forming a committee to look at all the ways you might get other people to reshuffle the deckchairs on the Titanic.

    • xtasy 8.1

      Tiresias: Yes, you raise valid concerns here:

      “After all the MDs and CEOs and Directors of these businesses are National’s through and through, and I’m sure they’ve been demanding something for their money from the Government privately at parties and golf-courses and business breakfasts since before the last election.”

      “There ain’t nutt’n no Government can do about the exchange rate, unless it’s prepared to sacrifice almost everything else on that altar. And even if the Government could do something about the exchange rate it would have to think very carefully before doing it.”

      While we have the opposition try to charm some export industry employers feeling the pinch, there is always another side to the story, which requires caution to be applied.

      NZ’s over-dependence on Australian banks, who in part also depend on even larger foreign banks further afield, to keep on borrowing for housing and the likes, that is one major issue that needs addressing.

      Problem is: Few are prepared to address it. NZers are addicted to a lifestyle on borrowed money. So nothing will be gained without some pain. That is where Shearer and Labour are not quite up front with the public.

      NZ could try to issue more government bonds locally, but that bears high risks too, as NZ happens to be too tied up in global trade and business, so that “printing money” will likely just lead to more inflation at home. As a rather small economy, NZ is just over-dependent on the big players in finance and business. Easy money can only be a solution in limits, otherwise the credit rating will sink like a lead balloon.

      We could start with producing more of what is needed here locally, and a reduction in private motor transport in the cities could reduce the amount of fuel imports, which would also reduce import costs over-all, thus improve the balance sheets.

      People may need to go back to learn and build your own homes, in hours after ususal work, so borrowing costs could be reduced.

      Nevertheless, I think that a solution to peg the Dollar to a range of leading currencies, similar as to what Singapore does, would be a solution. Export manufacturers need a solution sooner rather than later, and we know that the NZ Dollar is also so high, due to speculation by overseas currency investors and traders.

      A simple continuation of what has been done the last 2 or so decades is NO option though.

    • tracey 8.2

      ” I have to say that if there was a magic wand that could be waved to help exporters and manufacturers, Key et al would be waving it furiously. After all the MDs and CEOs and Directors of these businesses are National’s through and through, and I’m sure they’ve been demanding something for their money from the Government privately at parties and golf-courses and business breakfasts since before the last election.”

      Not compared to the banking and finance (exchange traders) sectors. I think you are being naive. Key also has no knowledge or experience of what these businesses need because his background is in magic, the illusion of financial markets and exchange rates, nothing real or tangible there.

    • ad 8.3

      Apart from seeking to alter the exchange rate (of which I have no expertise), your question about Windflow is the clearest.

      This National government heavily subsidises some specific manufacturers – particularly pastoral ones. Sometimes through indirect means, but often through industry-good means such as irrigation, or tax rebates for film producers. Sometimes through direct means such as the National Convention Centre deal with SkyCity.

      Your question is really: which sector should get support, if different from the ones currently supported by the current gvoernment. In terms of wind power, one could argue that the Gvoernment is the largest supporter of wind power and wind technology through ownership of its own electricity generator companies – that Windflow’s is not public policy failure, but market failure.

      Each step down the primrose path of public commercial intervention gets very steep and very very expensive with not necessarily any hope of getting back.Why not set out the manufacturing sectors you would want supported and why?

    • infused 8.4

      Well done.

    • Rogue Trooper 8.5


  9. tsmithfield 9

    A pegged currency sounds nice, but in practice is much more difficult to manage.

    From the article:

    A government has to work to keep their pegged rate stable. Their national bank must hold large reserves of foreign currency to mitigate changes in supply and demand. If a sudden demand for a currency were to drive up the exchange rate, the national bank would have to release enough of that currency into the market to meet the demand. They can also buy up currency if low demand is lowering exchange rates.

    The problem is that in the case of NZ, there will likely be few opportunities for our RB to buy up currency when it is low, because the natural pressure on the NZD is up (against the USD anyway). So, maintaining a peg will be very expensive.


    The system can backfire, however, if the real world market value of the currency is not reflected by the pegged rate. In that case, a black market may spring up, where the currency will be traded at its market value, disregarding the government’s peg.
    When people realize that their currency isn’t worth as much as the pegged rate indicates, they may rush to exchange their money for other, more stable currencies. This can lead to economic disaster, since the sudden flood of currency in world markets drives the exchange rate very low. So if a country doesn’t take good care of their pegged rate, they may find themselves with worthless currency.

    A problem that is very likely in NZ since the pegged value of our dollar will be mostly much lower than its actual value.

    So, its not as easy as it sounds. Also, I think it would be counter-productive. In the case of the US, where deflation was the problem, their central bank is able to drive down the USD without greatly affecting inflation. Also, the US is a large economy that is sustainable within itself, so it gets much more benefit from driving down its currency.

    In the case of NZ, any move to drive down the dollar would be highly inflationary. This would push up the cost of our goods, and negate the effect of a lower dollar. At least at the moment, our cost of imported raw materials etc are low, so we are avoiding spiralling costs that would make our economy less competitive.

    Germany is a good example of an economy that can succeed as an exporter despite a high exchange rate. We need to focus on what we are good at, and avoid those areas where we don’t have a cost advantage (such as high volume manufacturing).

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Not sure why you’re talking about pegged currency, ts, because no one else is.

      All we need is for the OCR to take into account the exchange rate.

      If it did, we’d likely see a drop from 2.5% (one of the highest in the world) to 1.5-1.75%, with threats to drop it further if the exchange rate didn’t fall.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    The New World Order plan is for NZ is for it to become a recreational playground for the global elites, with peasants sweeping the roads, serving meals, changing bedding etc. plus a resource base from which minerals, trees, food and the last of the fossil fuels can be stripped.

    Everything is going according to plan.

    As for manufacturing:

    1. Nobody can compete with low-pay, hi-tech Asian economies.
    2. Manufacturing is a major part of the problem in so far as manufacturing is a major driver of Abrupt Climate change….. so we should be celebrating its demise.

    All too hard for simple-minded folk, I know.

    • I think more people are recognising that Aotearoa is being asset stripped to death. Intensive dairying is just another symptom of this. Rip, shit, bust.
      Aotearoa has cheap resources and high tech, so these get stripped to feed failing profits.
      Its more anarchy than plan. China and US are not following the same plan, but competing at all levels to suck what resources are left out of Eaarth. If war doesnt destroy us sooner CC will.
      Simple minded folk need to get back to Earth and figure out how we can collectively work out what to do to conserve what is left as the basis of our survival.
      A start would be a Labour Party, Greens and Mana doing more than holding an investigation into manufacturing premised on the myth of Aotearoa being a sovereign state, and work on a joint plan to throw out the banksters and their lackeys in parliament and put the working majority in power.
      This is what democratic socialism means today- human survival.

  11. millsy 11

    The RBA has done more harm to this country than erode manufacturing.

    Low wages, run down health and education system, destruction of welfare, you name it.

    As for manufacturing, I dont know of any propserus country that doesnt have some form of manufacturing capapbility (aside from the Arab oil states).

    I also note that a lot of jobs with the best wages and conditions as well as high union membership are in manufacturing, as perhaps thats why the government wants to destroy that sector. Same with Hillside and the Solid Energy coalmines, while the non-union, insecure film industry gets oodles of assistance.

    • CV - Real Labour 11.1

      It’s actually time that Treasury (sorry I said RB initially) got right-sized and some of its medicine taken internally.

  12. tc 12

    How about some stinging criticism directed at the gov’t by labour then……yeah right, that nice Mr Shearer’s too busy trying to string sentences together that aren’t rehearsed.

    Who the F is labours spokesperson on these matters anyway.

  13. Saarbo 13

    Joyce lacks experience and understanding of export industries. Not that long ago I did some work for a Paper company that was selling Paper to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia (not News Print). Now it is having to shed jobs as it cannot operate to capacity, also with a high exchange rate they are finding it difficult to compete with competing importers. It gets worse, the paper being imported is from Indonesia apparently uses Indonesian hardwood, something Greenpeace discovered.

  14. tracey 14

    C’mon everyone, it’s ok, clam down, Mt Joyce says the exchange rate will come down “in time”. Aren’t you all just so gosh darned reassured by his business accumen and insight?

    • rosy 14.1

      “Mt Joyce says the exchange rate will come down “in time””

      It might be sooner than he thinks, for all the wrong reasons, with the Northern hemisphere having a little recovery (who knows for how short a time), with the milk contamination issues and with manufacturing figures and other economic indicators going through the floor.

  15. tracey 15

    So Mr Joyce is going to visit school sto discuss the “problem”. Beginning of the school year, overwhelmingly busy and he is going to, what? Take more time from administrators to discuss the “problem.” Someone, god anyone, from opposition please point out in 30 seconds or less how ridiculous this is.

  16. King Kong 16

    I hope that the oppositions political point scoring on this issue works out for them because it probably isn’t doing the remaining workers in this sector any favours.

    Joyce is right when he says this kind of thing isn’t very helpfull. Just think about the manufacturing exporter who is actually doing ok and finds that none of the banks want to finance his capital investment and the company growth this will enable because they have been told from the roof tops that this type of business is fucked.

  17. vto 17

    Steven Joyce exhibits the age-old problem whereby someone with success in one sphere gets all over-confident that their opinions are pretty damn good on everything and they then try to transplant those talents or luck that led to the initial spherical success to another quite different sphere.

    Clearly, skill at running a radio show does not equate to political skill. (in fact, normaloly it is the reverse and radio is where the useless politicians end up).

    Similarly with John Key. Skill at money trading does not equate to political skills necessary to point a country in a long term correct direction.

    Another recent classic of course is Gareth Morgan.

    People should stick to their knitting.

    As for the issue at hand – for fucks sake here we still sit beholden to the world of money and financial structure. Just like the GFC and banks have fucked us so too now does the world of currency trading. In addition, it is absolutely astounding that whizz-kid Key the currency trader cannot resolve this for exporters.

    It’s stuffed and it’s time to just give up. We don’t need all that foreign money anyway – as DtB always says, we have more than enough to adequately feed, house and amuse ourselves in this country without even needing to hoist sail – we should ignore the rest of the world. It is they who would then come to us and hence provide us the upper hand in negotiating terms ……..

    • King Kong 17.1

      It is not just a problem for the succesful.

      There are many commenters here who have had absolutely no success in any part of their lives yet still spout opinions wildly with unfounded confidence on an enormous range of subjects.

      Exactly the same kind of lunacy.

      • tracey 17.1.1

        at least you agree the Minister is a lunatic. Obviously the big difference between Joyce and Key and those who comment here, is they use urgency to ram through their lunacy thus imposing it on the entire nation.

  18. d2ba 18

    On the flip of the coin Exporters that sell to Australia are doing great as the Kiwi-Aussie cross is more or less what it always has been over the past 20 years

    Joyce is correct we should not interfere with our exchange rate
    What those exporters crying foul don’t tell you is if the US -Kiwi exchange rate drop’s your wages are devalued
    ,so is your property —imagine if you want to sell up to move abroad your asset could be worth 30% less than what it is today if the kiwi TWI drops

    • tsmithfield 18.1

      If we were to peg our exchange rate, the logical currency would be the AU. That is because we tend to fluctuate against the AU, so pegging to the average rate would give our RB the opportunity to top up foreign reserves when the currency moves in its favour. Also, as pointed out by d2ba, Australia is our most significant trading partner. A peg at about NZ78-79 to the AU would be about right I think.

    • CV - Real Labour 18.2

      Joyce is correct we should not interfere with our exchange rate

      Nah you can’t leave it to the market, the market has no interest in the wellbeing of our exporters. And neither it seems do you.

      imagine if you want to sell up to move abroad your asset could be worth 30% less than what it is today if the kiwi TWI drops

      Oh I see. This is a very important consideration for the economic traitor class, those following in the footsteps of Fay and Richwhite.

    • tracey 18.3

      What you and Mr Kong appear to be saying is doing nothing continues tobe a great plan. If you are right, we could save enormous amount sof money by retiring our current cabinet and saving their salaries and hanger son costs

  19. Afewknowthetruth 19

    If the exchange rate were to drop to what it was around the year 2000 (40c US) everyone would be grizzling that they could not afford fuel or imported goods.

    The Era of Entitlement is over and we are now living in the Era of Consequences. Unfortunately, most people still have not realised and think they are still living in the Era of Entitlement.

    • King Kong 19.1

      As the world will end in 2015 I can probably kid myself that we are living in the “era of entitlement” untill then.

      What you are doing is the same as chastising a dying man for having a last smoke.

      • Tim 19.1.1

        As the world is going to end in 2015 (as you say), I’m wondering why you’re advocating the accumulation of wealth. Is it that protestant work ethic kicking in where all work is good – even pushing shit uphill?

  20. Colonic Wiper 20

    Export focussed manufacturers are important , no doubt. But also manufacturers supplying local consumption and this is the rub. Often they source off shore components and raw materials for local conversion. Be careful with shouting about about a dramatically reduced dollar as these companies are the mainstay of manufacturing employment. Again we are seeing a very silo’ed and unintegrated approach only keen on issue raising and noise producing.

  21. ad 21

    I think it was Karl Marx who said that “The point is not merely to interpret the world, the point is to change it.”

    What is this inquiry intended to produce? Would it change any business decisions, or any industry direction, as a result?

    Could the report find common ground between the participant political parties, towards a 2014 coalition policy?

    Will it change the decisions of any company or industry?

    We are probably dealing with the most commerically interventionist National government since Muldoon – so will this report propose a specific set of different interventions with a different underlying rationale? Being more, or less, “hands on”, isn’t enough now.

    And with the recommendations in the resulting report, is David Shearer committed to doing anything with them?

  22. d2ba 22

    If the exchange rate were to drop to what it was around the year 2000 (40c US) your wages. kiwisaver and life savings are wiped out very quickly
    I export to Australia and what the other exporters crying foul are really complaining about is they but a position/forward contract with the bank gambling on the Kiwi coming down and will lose money
    on the punt. I say tough that business , those exporters called it wrong and gambled on the exchange rate

    • Gosman 22.1


      Also what the opposition parties are not saying is that they really want to lower everybody’s living standards so that industrialists can compete.

      Regardless, any attempts to manipulate the currency to favour one section of society over another is likely to fail given the fact that the rate is largely determined by perceptions of market fundamentals.

      Can someone please explain how the US dollar and the Euro are not at a rate that is basically reflective of the respective weaknesses in those economies.

  23. Gosman 23

    I expect to see a flood of industrialists deserting the National party and joining the various opposition parties then. Hmmmm… I sense a Tui ad there for some reason.

  24. fenderviper 24

    Maybe you will, the exporting ones are not getting any relief, respect, mature dialogue or leadership from this inept Govt.

    woops..reply to Saint Gosman

    • Gosman 24.1

      Excellent. Which party will they flock to do you think?

      • fenderviper 24.1.1

        They should head to the Greens if they are thinking long term IMO

        • Gosman

          Good stuff. I look forward to the Greens being innundated with industrialists money and support in time for the next election then.

          • fenderviper

            Yes me too!

            Or they can continue to hang with dinosaurs, rape resources, foul the place up and shorten their long-term “brighter future”.

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    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    7 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    7 days ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    7 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    1 week ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    1 week ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    1 week ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    1 week ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    1 week ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 weeks ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago