web analytics

My (late) vote

Written By: - Date published: 4:58 pm, November 16th, 2014 - 54 comments
Categories: david parker, grant robertson, labour, Nanaia Mahuta - Tags:

The system fixing at The Standard is done for the moment. So for the next few hours I’m paying bills and finally doing a late vote for the Labour party. The anecdotal word is that there have been in the order of 6000 membership votes. But I suspect that there will be quite a few late voters like me.

I wasn’t too fussed about the field of leadership candidates early on when I wrote “I have the form – but none to vote for” where I said

veggies-in-blenderUnlike every other occasion where a leadership change has happened inside Labour I have absolutely no idea who in the hell I want to vote for. On the other hand, I also don’t have anyone who I’d vote against (which is usually my starting point).

What I want is some kind of person blender. There are aspects of each of the candidates that I’d like to see in my ideal candidate, plus a large and long dose of senior ministerial experience that is so clearly lacking.

Ok, I still want that blender. But there were some surprises for me as I went through five small meetings with candidates and two of the hustings meetings. Especially in the way that the candidates seemed to eventually get the message that dissatisfaction about the way that the Labour caucus is ‘perceived’ is actually widespread outside of this site (FFS – authors and commenters reflect opinions in the labour movement – we’re not a goddamn PR mouthpiece like many of the right blogs).

As most people will be aware, I’m generally of the ‘right’ of the Labour party in most matters. That is hardly surprising as I spend my working days involved building export intellectual property businesses. These are what we require to earn a first world living in a world that is increasingly competitive for commodities.

I volunteer help for the left because National and the right generally are such short-term thinkers. They tend to support the kinds of stupid negative sum businesses like selling dairy commodities, crony capitalism rentiers, and bloody stupid perverse incentives in property bubbles. Damn useless for our future wealth generation.

But I also have little time for ideology. What I’m interested in is building a better NZ capable of supporting its aging population and providing opportunities for the kids coming through. Labour and the Greens generally have a better appreciation and policies for that than National and its puppet parties. We have to earn the treasury benches to be able to do that, and the first place to start is in fixing the frustrating and outright irritating internal systems inside Labour that have been frustrating me for a long time.

Slprent - labour leadership voteo here is what I eventually voted for. What I’m interested in is having the whole of the Labour party in good shape to fight the next election. The left only have 3 years to build a viable alternative government and for me experience trumps almost everything else.

The first two on my list came relatively easily. The last two were a bit of a coin toss.

With Andrew Little it is because of the experience with organising outside of the political sphere in the labour movement and across the Labour party. I think that he has the ability and the talents to make the sceloric internal processes change in the incremental way that a nearly century old party needs. He and others certainly did so in the EPMU that I and my family knew of old.

Of course he is a bit like a overly serious brick when it comes to speaking. But if the Labour party doesn’t improve then they won’t look like they are going to be the leading party in a government. Then they won’t get voted into a position to be one. Besides, he has most of three years to get his arse into gear to look less like a hounddog on the podium.

David Parker has the ministerial and policy experience that will stand him in good stead with developing a working government. I was expecting that I’d put him way down. However his rapidly improving performance on the hustings and the potential for self-improvement during the process showed promise to match the background. He doesn’t seem to have the organisational experience inside the Labour party to do the kinds of change required. But it was pretty clear that he’d been taking and listening to advice from those who did. He has also done enough serious time outside of the parliamentary system to be able to think see further about alternatives that work.

I hope David keeps getting good advice and in particular mastering that self-deprecating grin – it works. Learn to cut the pauses to think. And above all learn to make the damn policy phrasing a lot shorter please. It isn’t about producing reams of carefully written policy – they are useful as links. It is about explaining and selling that policy to other kiwis who haven’t had your background so they want to dig down into those policies.

Nanaia Mahuta made a excellent point with the referencing to the effective performance from the Maori caucus in the last election. That was a awesome performance by her and the other Maori Labour MPs and candidates. She impressed me both this time and in the earlier leadership campaign. But the problem is that I have no ‘feel’ for how she would be able to do the kinds of organisational change required. She asserted that there would be change, but gave no indication about how. As anyone who reads this site is aware, I treat unsubstantiated assertions as mere wallpaper

Grant Robertson, well in this election someone had to be last. I was impressed as always by Grant, he is a good performer, a charmer, and I’m certain that he is a best of these candidates in the house and probably in parliament. But I’m interested in how to get the Labour party and the left activated and organised for the next election. And after being around politicians for decades, I treat charm as a mere trainable job requirement. After all I saw Helen Clark over several decades go from being a complete dog on the idiotbox to someone who usually commanded everyone’s attention through her personality.

The problem was that I can’t see his organisational ability to actually change the Labour party internally, and that in my view is the prime thing that needs to happen. Moreover, I didn’t see him improve through the selection process. What he was saying at the start was what he was also saying at the end.  Most of it was assertions (many of which I liked) with too little detail to treat them as anything more than waffle. The factor that finally put him at the bottom was the event at the Kings Arms. Why do you have to bring hordes of Young Labour up from Wellington for an event in Auckland? I’m sure that Jacinda could have raked up some equally enthusiastic “new generation” people from up here.

So that is what I based my vote on…. And I’d still like a blender. They each have different strengths and I hope like hell that they continue to work together which ever one wins the leadership. In my view they are all good candidates.

If you haven’t voted yet. It is a good time to do so. Now the bills, some sleep, and a think about what I do for the next few years for the left.

54 comments on “My (late) vote”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    Enjoyed reading the article and your fair and frank analysis.

  2. George D 2

    I suppose we have, as you say, “several decades” to turn a “brick” into someone who can charm the people of New Zealand, through the harsh eyes of the press gallery.

    Most of New Zealand doesn’t care one bit about the internal organisation of the Labour Party. They just want someone who can explain how a Labour-Green Government is going to reduce their mortgage payments or deposit, and give their kids the education they deserve. On all available evidence, Little is completely and utterly unable to do this.

    I ran an election campaign against Grant, and started this year a complete skeptic. His propensity to surround himself with his young fan club put me off, as it does for you. But despite stealing more of his party vote, I rate him highly. He is very intelligent, excellent both in person and in front of the camera, and committed to social equality. He’s also a lot more ready than he was several years ago.

    Parker and Mahuta I have no strong opinions about.

    • lprent 2.1

      He is very intelligent, excellent both in person and in front of the camera, and committed to social equality. He’s also a lot more ready than he was several years ago.

      I agree with all of that. The problem is that he’d probably be fine on TV, but Labour doesn’t win on TV unless National is fracturing themselves – eg Bolger/Shipley. Quite simply National is more centralised and more capable of running a good solid negative campaign than Labour is.

      Labour wins elections against National by having enough supporters and members being willing to go out and arguing with their friends and family about why what Labour is proposing are some damn fine ideas and being willing to do that for 3 years. The party structure is the way those messages get dispersed and it has been let fall into a shameful neglect.

      Why does National win? Primarily because if they see *any* incoherence in Labour from years out, they will target that for their negative campaigns to make them look as if they are numpties who couldn’t form a coherent government if they tried. Just think on what has happened since 2004 and that is the exact pattern they follow every time. It was the same pattern that they used to use with great success from the 1950s onwards.

      It isn’t like they have good policy or even great leaders. They try to get voters to react against the left and the only defense against that is to get people on the left to work for what they agree with. That takes a great deal of organisational work over years all the way through a political organisation as large as Labour, not just a short campaign.

      That is why I don’t give a rats arse about the individual leader in terms of the last six weeks of TV campaigning. It is the prior ~125 weeks of getting the party and caucus looking like that can run the country and messaging that right down to the grassroots that will win an election against National either way.

      It was pretty clear to me from the hustings that I think that Grant Robertson would be awesome in the last bit of the campaign, and he would still lose because of things that happened years back.

      • George D 2.1.1

        You spend 2.75 years winning on television, and then .25 years winning on the street.

        It doesn’t matter how strong your ground game is (and from what I could tell it was reasonable) if voters have decided in the last few years they have no compelling reason to vote for you.

        (Yeah, I know those 3 months take 15 months of organising. They also require a lot of people to give a lot of money to a party they think is going to win.)

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          Not really.

          You can spend 2.75 years losing on TV with multiple silly damn things like

          1. Chris Carter posting letters under journalist’s doors (to take personal example from the term not under review)
          2. or spokespeople contradicting each other
          3. or ‘confidential leaks’ by senior Labour figures contradicting whatever the policy is after it has been made.
          4. or having a controversial policy like CGT not really made clear to either the politicians or the political activists. I grimly remember the debate here after Cunliffe wasn’t sure on TV – and we weren’t that sure either

          Or innumerable other examples that National exploited (and I had to suffer through).

          Then you can spend 0.25 years trying to look like a government. That strategy clearly doesn’t work.

          The media will run a story about a policy for just a few days or maybe a week at the outside. It simply doesn’t penetrate into the general voting population. To get members and activists to keep repeating it to their workmates, friends and family you have to keep repeating it to them as well. Since most members and supporters aren’t great readers of political blogs or in the policy loops, that means a lot of organising to keep those messages repeating throughout the election cycle.

          The money is important, but people donate to parties that they think are likely to win. So that is the same thing.

      • Tracey 2.1.2

        helen clark spent a year on the ground before the 99 election. this is exactly how lp wins elections. as long as they are not tv unfriendly they can win from the ground.

      • David H 2.1.3

        An excellent article as usual Lprent.

        However: Little couldn’t even win his electoral seat so for me he’s out.
        Parker didn’t even bother to try for an electorate seat so He’s out.
        Robertson won his seat, but I have never trusted him So he’s out.
        Mahuta Should be made the next leader she does not have any baggage.

        Now what should have happened was, they should have had a investigation into why labour lost the last election, and why some of the candidates cost Labour the election by not chasing the party vote. Then those now politicians should be given a piece of paper with their resignations already printed, dated and just needing a signature.

        And the treatment of Cunliffe by Caucus all through the election, has cost Labour my support for the forseeable future.

        Mahuta to lead.

        The rest of them not worth the tick!

        David H

    • lprent 2.2

      Basically I’m convinced of Grant’s tactical abilities, I’m simply unconvinced of his strategic focus and abilities to concentrate on that. Labour and the left will probably win or lose the next election on what happens over the next 6-9 months.

      • Anne 2.2.1

        Yep. I came to the same conclusions for exactly the same reasons as lprent. A Little/Parker combination is what the Labour Party needs with Robertson, Mahuta, Cunliffe, Twyford, and Ardern taking the next five places. Annette King and Phil Goff still have a lot to offer in the way of experience and knowledge, but they have to give way to a new team. Having said that, I think they should – along with Shearer – take the next three places.

        Now, if I get my way… then I’ll be a happy chapess. 😀

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          Little/Parker, what would happen to the retirement age policy?

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.1

            They’d have a argument heated discussion inside caucus based on the priorities of the policies about what they want to push this term, and then sell that list to the rest of us.

            There is so much available policy that they’d have to pick and choose anyway because they sure as hell can’t do it all in one term. Figure that out early and then push that for 30 months. Make that public and clear early on and then stick almost entirely to that plan of what they want to emphasis this time around.

            The idea is to stay on the treasury benches for 6-12 years so it is a question of when they would want to do it rather than if they’d want to do it.

            The biggest issue of the last 6 years was that we didn’t know most of the campaign policy for 2011 until 2011, and much the same thing was happening in 2013 for 2014.

            Labour needs to advantage of the vast pile of policy that has been decided, costed, and reviewed in the last 6 years and announce it as the campaign priorities next year for 2017. No-one will be particularly happy, but at least there would be some goals to work towards. Everything else goes up for another round of decisions in 2018.

          • Atiawa 2.2.1.1.2

            Little wins that argument. Raising the age of eligibility to 67 was soooooo dumb. Why would Labour go head to head with John Key on that issue? And why should people have to wait another two years having worked a life time? Whoever within Labour gave that policy wings should start looking for another party. Good luck.

            • Tracey 2.2.1.1.2.1

              and therein lies the failure to communicate cos the rise to 67 wld be phased in but. nats succeeded in making 60 year olds think they had to wait til 67… which they didnt under the policy.

              todays 30 yr old wld… but so what…

              • Atiawa

                Sixty year olds I know didn’t think the policy was going to affect them. Key has maintained from day one that the age of eligibility would not change under his watch. We understand that the cost of universal superannuation will be greater then the governments total spend on education by the end of next year. The debate in the first instance needed to be around the decreasing tax take as a consequence of tax cuts for high income earners & companies.
                Key has turned superannuation into a sacred cow. Yet it requires robust debate in respect of affordability and eligibility.
                It was and remains piss poor Labour party policy even if off-set, for some, by the mortgage interest rate/KiwiSaver initiative.

        • greywarshark 2.2.1.2

          !@ Anne
          Sounds good. I’d vote for that and hope for that if I was Labour.

        • Karen 2.2.1.3

          That is exactly the front bench I’d like to see, Anne.

          Let’s hope!

        • Tracey 2.2.1.4

          and no backstabbing from those who dont win and their supporters. lp has to be tighter than the proverbial cos gower et al will focus on cracks…

    • Karen 2.3

      George D – I suggest you read Little’s response to the Standard’s 6 questions then read Robertson’s answers. Robertson is waffle and political speak, Little is straightforward, with clear, well considered answers. When it comes to communicating, Little is much better than Robertson.

      I am sure that Grant Robertson is very intelligent and is committed to social equality. He obviously also has lots of charm in person, but I don’t agree that this comes across on camera. He was dreadful in the debate with Steven Joyce during the campaign (Joyce was worse admittedly) and he often appears petulant when challenged. He kept talking over Nanaia Mahuta in the debate on the Nation.

      The Labour Party campaign was poor, and the problems with caucus unity had been obvious to the general public for some time. Labour needs to sort out their organisation, otherwise voters do not hear about policies, and even if they do, they will not be convinced Labour would be able to deliver. To think otherwise is naive.

  3. lprent 3

    Ah! damnit. I must be tired. I clipped the image of my vote wrote the post and *forgot* to press confirm.

    *sigh* Now I have actually voted…. Good thing I spotted that before I went off for a snooze.

      • lprent 3.1.1

        You would say that…. Another one in the bag…

        I tell you what though, David Parker surprised the hell out of me. I was kind of anticipating him being at the bottom of my pile. As it was it was only the union organising that tipped the balance. It is much closer to the needed managerial style Labour needs (in my opinion) than the more business style that I think David Parker would prefer.

        While the Otago Community Law Centre (I still have a tee-shirt from about 1986 from when my partner at the time was volunteering there) was a hell of good effort in the same style, I simply didn’t think it’d scale up in the way required in a country wide effort. Andrew Little had already done largely that – I’d seen or heard some of that in various workspaces at the shop steward level (my family works on the other side of the table).

    • greywarshark 3.2

      @ lprent
      Don’t wear yourself out!

  4. fisiani 4

    Had i been a member that’s exactly how I would voted. Hope that’s not too concerning.

  5. Clean_power 5

    My vote would have been: Robertson, Parker, Little, Mahuta.

  6. red lion serratus 6

    David Parker is an intellectual & passionate, he may have been a perfect leader in the pre- television age. AL for the current day.

  7. Phaedrus 7

    My vote was the same as yours, for very similar reasons. I also very much agree with your analysis of Labour’s problems in the past, and their seeming lack of vision and belief (incoherent is the word that comes to mind) and how Labour should proceed from here.

    • seeker 7.1

      Cannot agree with you Phaedrus (and lprent) as I cannot get past Parker’s immediate disloyalty after the election, and his intransigence regarding the raising of the retirement age. Have had enough of dishonourable behaviour from the national party, cannot cope with lack of integrity in Labour as well. Labour has to form a more honourable, ethical and creative team this time to prevent our country sinking further than ‘down under’ as is the direction we are heading thanks to #mobkey.

  8. Ron 8

    I go with your order Lynn but reversed Mahuta and Parker.
    My real worry is now that Robertson will lose and not accept the decision and we start the nonsense of disunity all over again.

    • seeker 8.1

      “My real worry is now that Robertson will lose and not accept the decision and we start the nonsense of disunity all over again.”

      My worry too Ron.

    • marie 8.2

      Also very worried about this. Haven’t seen a lot of evidence yet that certain caucus members are willing to put the Party, and those that the Party is supposed to be helping, before their own naked ambition.

  9. Skinny 9

    I have the contenders in that order also. One of the wannabe Leaders pointed out the very good point that if Grant is chosen it’s leaves the problem of the party not being rid of undermining crowd. It’s going to be a very close thing between Little & Robo with an outside chance that Parker who is probaby the one who could bring unity could sneak thru on the secondary vote, depending upon which way the caucus lean?

  10. odysseus 10

    Interesting Lynn, I was close to your ranking but have reversed 1 & 2 , though not much in it – for me, main criteria is electability .

  11. Tracey 11

    i thought dp was very able deputy to dc… i dont know if he has abc behind him or. not. i dont know enough about the inside machinations.

    i dont think dp or gr mentioned unions in their offerings to this site which may be problematic.

  12. Orthodoxia 12

    How is caucus voting, do they vote on the day e.g is their vote already locked in or not? Politicians like to back the winning horse so if Little appears to be ahead even by a nose some of caucus could jump across?
    Why I put Grant at 4 personally, is that even though he says he is the new generation, his caucus base should have retired 2 elections ago. The other issue is that mainstream NZ already thinks that Labour is a “gaggle of gays” and also just a bunch of university intellectual elites and Grant right or wrong will just continue to reinforce that perception.
    Having said that however if Robertson does not win I can not see him surrendering his ambitions…

  13. Ad 13

    “Now the bills, some sleep, and a think about what I do for the next few years for the left.”

    Yes.

    I spent Friday evening at the Waitakere Eco Awards. That’s 300 people who have no party structure, volunteer not to enable others to gain power, not for jostling into some minor micro-territory with the otherwise late middle-aged and spent, not donating thousands of hours and $$ in futile efforts every three years without recognition…

    … instead what they do is make the world a better place, one park and garden and stream at a time. For no instrumental benefit, no political or policy or territorial sensibility to what they are doing, and have open, generous and generative interactions with other people doing the same thing. They form community. And then have an evening full of simple celebration of everyone else’s good and hard and effective work.

    As an old Labour activist, being in that room of 300 people was quite a challenge.

  14. Halcyon 14

    Orthodoxia, you are so correct. If Robertson does not win this selection then he needs to be neutralised. Otherwise Labour will be facing another leadership challenge before the next election day.

    Robertson appears determined to be the Labour Leader come hell or high water. And it is about ego and not what is best for Labour.

    • b waghorn 14.1

      If he does not win and does not come out in full support of who does they should take his seat off him and put him at 35 ish on the list for the next election

    • Clemgeopin 14.2

      I think you are being very unfair to Robertson here. Let us wait for the leadership result and see how he reacts and behaves in the future before making any baseless unfounded unfair imaginary allegations.

      • Skinny 14.2.1

        Robertson and his deadwood mates will try force DC out. I am not lifting a finger to campaign for Labour if that happens, the man has a lot more too offer that the likes of Cosgrove!

        • goodsweat 14.2.1.1

          Union guys are accustomed to focussing on the long game. Where the fight needs focus to achieve favourable long-term outcomes.

          I’m hoping Little might have the chutzpah to orchestrate and conduct all of the soldiers with Labour principles in their hearts to take the fight out of the bedroom and into the street vs National, where it belongs.

  15. saarbo 15

    Hear,hear….ditto.

  16. fambo 16

    At the very least Andrew Little has the capability to settle things down in the Labour Party. I remember him from years ago when he was president of the Victoria University student union and there are some very positive qualities about him that I doubt very much have changed over the years. There’s a bit of mettle at the bottom of him that means he won’t cave in to bullying.

    • b waghorn 16.1

      God knows the left need to show a bit of mettle. I also saw a glimpse of fire in him when talking about workers getting a fare deal. Were as all I saw was poli speak from the others.

  17. westiechick 17

    I have to decide whether I will vote before I decide who to vote for. Last time round I was desperate for Cunliffe to win. This time, I have no strong feelings. I can see them all doing ok. I think we have also realised now that this is a three year commitment and whoever wins will enjoy the support and security of tenure that the last two didn’t have. Hard to pick winners. Muldoon, Lange, Bolger, Clark and Key couldn’t all be more different from each other but they all managed to cut through. Hopefully whoever wins tomorrow will join that list and win some elections.

  18. seeker 18

    i think after tomorrow it must not be a case of building unity but KEEPing unity.
    If there is disagreement learn to disagree agreeably to keep unity rather than disagree disagreeably and become disloyal.

    If I even sense differing factions in Labour setting out for their own personal agendas I will have to leave. Am still uncomfortable about Parker and his apparent personality flaws regarding loyalty. Not a sign of trustworthy and inspiring leadership in my view.

  19. Orthodoxia 19

    Yes Parker now looks poor after his behavior straight after the election and should not be Deputy Leader or Finance going forward. Let him cool his heels say in health etc. Also don’t want to go negative but Jacinda just does not cut it on the front bench she is poor in the house and even her sound bites on the news aren’t flash, so whoever wins she should not be deputy.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    7 hours ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    1 day ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    1 day ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    3 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    4 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    4 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    4 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    4 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    5 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    6 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    6 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    6 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    1 week ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago