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National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, June 29th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: accountability, assets, bill english, debt / deficit, economy, john key, national - Tags:

Today, R0b asked a question that many people have been posing: just how many times does the National Government think it can spend the “profits” it’s “made” by selling off viable money-making New Zealand assets?

So I had a wee dig. Bear in mind, I’m not an economist; I’m just a citizen trying to find out where her money’s being spent.

On the other hand, I help run a household, so apparently this makes me just as qualified as the next person to determine whether the Nats are good economic managers.

Let’s start with the income. 2012 Treasury forecasts suggested a price of $6 billion for selling off 49% of Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis Energy and Solid Energy, and part of the publicly-owned chunk of Air New Zealand.

The proceeds of these sales go towards the “Future Investment Fund” – which isn’t really a fund, more a guideline.

Now that’s just a Treasury forecast, so put what faith in that that you wish.

What we have in hand is $1.7 billion from the sale of Mighty River Power. (And this was at the low end of the initial $1.6-1.9b estimate of its value, so let’s add that fact to any niggles we feel about Treasury’s forecasts while we’re at it.)

Somewhere along the line this has become $2.1 billion added to the Future Investment Fund.

Now, to the spending.

National has committed from the Future Investment Fund:

Phew, that’s a mighty list of stuff!

A mighty list of stuff costing $5.26 billion dollars. Out of $6 billion dollars we don’t even have yet.

And that’s ignoring the Government’s earlier statements about reducing our debt by $6 billion. That’s ignoring the fact that the Future Investment Fund only funds capital expenditure, not operating expenditure.

That’s ignoring the millions in the cost of consultants and advertising already spent trying to hike up the price of Mighty River Power.

If we were a household, we’d be sticking a fancy new fridge on hire purchase while promising to put the Xbox on Trademe some time next month, honest, I reckon it’ll pull in $600, and doing nothing about the credit card debt we racked up taking the lads out for Friday night Jagerbombs. Oh, and that new fridge? Uses three times as much electricity, but we haven’t put aside any extra cash for the power bill.

Does this look like good economic management to you?


89 comments on “National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5”

  1. karol 1

    Looks like satisfactory figures to me, QoT.

    The Nats over-spenders are also probably already spending the money they think rate payers will get from the sale of the Ports of Auckland and other Auckland and Christchurch assets.

  2. Yes 2

    Ummm you have got this sooo wrong…you’re right you’re not an economist.. Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

    Before you even respond think about the is..where was labour going to fund 100,000 homes..greens QE was going to cost 3.5 B and now the dollar has dropped we just lost double based on this stupid monetary policy.

    Then wait for it Labour wanted to squander ACC reserves…hmmm that’s my taxpayers funds..

    Can you please write balanced reports

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Can you please write in something resembling coherent thought?

    • QoT 2.2

      Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

      But Yes, my ladybrain is all befuddled! Future income revenue would seem to have fuck-all to do with asset sales, except insofar as they reduce future income.

      But as PB said, if you’d like to write a coherent comment which actually addresses the post in concrete terms I’m sure we’d all love to see it.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      Ummm you have got this sooo wrong…you’re right you’re not an economist.. Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

      Most trained economists don’t understand either money or debt. Their forecasts are also usually worth as much as an equivalent weight of toilet paper.

      What are you talking about?

  3. BM 3

    Maybe they’ll do a Russell and just print a pile of money?

    • QoT 3.1

      This has nothing to do with this post. Just like Yes, above, you are welcome to make comments which address the facts of the post. Any other derailing shit from you will be deleted.

    • tracey 3.2

      you mean like Mr Cameron (UK) and Mr Obama (USA)?

      You have to admit BM, that if this was the Labour Govt it would be called a lolly scramble or fuzzy economics. The two phrases greens and labour need to start throwing back at Nats around this nonsense.

      I recall when the asset sales were were schools and health (oh, the good old days… just 2 years ago actually).

  4. chris73 4

    National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5 should actually be National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5 and win re-election

    • Zorr 4.1

      “make $2 billion, spend 5 and win re-election while all the time complaining that any issues are due to the economic mismanagement of Clark and Cullen


      • chris73 4.1.1


        • QoT

          So let’s be clear, chris: you have no problem with National fiddling the books and lying about it as long as they win in 2014?

          Gosh, you’re a person of strong character.

          • chris73

            What you all need to understand is that what you say National are doing is what the right said Labour did when they were in power

            So while two wrongs may not make a right this will probably ensure National regains power (aided by Labours piss-weak management) which means we’ll have another three years of good, sound management before the left get a chance to undo all the good work

            So in this instance the end justifies the means, which I’m guessing is probably how a few labour supporters felt when Labour were upto their shenanigans (retrospective legislation anyone?)

            • QoT

              What I do love, chris, is how your argument literally boils down to:

              “Your side just hates it when my side does exactly what your side does, because you disagree with them, which means it’s ok when my side does it because I agree with them.”

              It also comforts me because I doubt someone with your level of critical thinking can so much as find his way to a polling booth every three years.

              • chris73

                Never fear, I always do my duty and perform my democratic right: two ticks National (unless Act ever sort themselves out)

        • muzza

          Nice of you to illustrate the mindset of those who, endorse the decline of this country.

          C73, if your posts are serious, you are foolish, if they are not serious, you are foolish!

          Must be a proud sensation, either way!

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead


          • chris73

            Fortunately more people in this country agree with my views than yours (or hadn’t you noticed the rights in charge?) and it looks like its going to continue for another three years

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Yeah, about that, a couple of questions: which polling company got closest to the last two election results? What are their latest results?

              Doing sums 101?

              • chris73

                The worst result that can happen is National going in with WinstonFirst, Labour are doing such a good job of shooting themselves in the foot (again) that they won’t mount much of a challenge

                The media have already decided its a National win

                [QoT: If you are incapable of addressing the post directly, I must at least insist you stick to the topic of the comment you are responding to. This incessant jumping around is boring.]

  5. tc 5

    Nice one QOT I was wondering how many times over the Nats have spent asset sales proceeds they haven’t got yet also.

    Shows what a feckless under the thumb bunch the MSM are, yiuve laid out a golden rainbow of many many lines of questioning govt ministers should be getting Gerry McGuire styles ‘show us the money ‘ .

    Watch out for the old classification switch, where operational becomes capex and hey presto it can be funded by asset sales and distort some numbers to boot, a classic accounting technique to make loss turn into profit.

    A good graph would be time on the x axis and all these promises stacked along it, a line for declining income stream as assets get sold off and gov’t debt to show sheeple the ongoing con the banskta is perpetrating

  6. Gosman 6

    I’m not sure I see the point of this post other than QOT seems to have come out as a fiscal conservative. If so, then welcome to the dark side QOT. Good to see you care that Government spending should be kept in check.

    • QoT 6.1

      You’re absolutely right, Gosman, you haven’t seen the point of this post. Refrain from further trollish speculations about my political leanings or you’re out.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      The one big difference I see between the right and the left is that the right say that they’re concerned about government spending but always blow the budget and the left don’t but almost always stay within budget.

      • Yes 6.2.1

        You serious.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Are you able to mount a reality based (ie: based on actual behaviour/outcomes when in government) rebuttal?

          Doubt it.

          • Yes

            Ok here’s a balance.. Micheal cullens hidden ACC blow out. When national gets in back in order..national decrease levies and Andrew little wanted to use it. Now I pay ACC for ACC matters..my fund.

            What about that great police IT program that spent 100M’s and had to be scrapped.

            Oh and didn’t Chris Hipkins sign off nova pay?

            Shall I carry on?

            • QoT

              And what the hell does any of this have to do with either my post or Draco’s comment?

              • Yes

                it was a reply to knucklehead

                • QoT

                  And it wasn’t relevant then, either. You were asked to “mount a reality based rebuttal” by OAK to DTB’s comment about the difference between right and left governments.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              If you carry on, will you mount a reality-based rebuttal to Draco’s comment, or will you just keep on blithering like a twit?

              PS: the ACC “blow-out” was a lie. Did Nick Smith dupe you? Either he did, or you’re a deceitful prick. Which is it?

              • Yes

                extract NZ herald

                Former ACC minister Maryan Street, who received her first official advice of the shortfall on August 14, said the Treasury was closely involved and Dr Cullen would have got a “heads-up” from officials.

                Ms Street provided the official papers to the Herald, including the August 14 report from ACC that detailed an estimated shortfall of over $900 million over the next three years. The figures were actually estimated out for five years, taking the shortfall to $1.5 billion.

                Ms Street said Treasury, ACC and the Department of Labour were all recommending that no decision be made until after the election.

                She said that, like her, Dr Cullen was relying on the early estimates, which were not “good figures” and he would have been waiting until she officially wrote to him on October 22 when the figures had been checked out properly.

                [QoT: If you cannot provide a link this is worth fuck-all, you do realise.]

                  • You_Fool

                    from that link:
                    “A Treasury spokeswoman said the ACC shortfall was not included as it was not deemed to be under active consideration.”

                    So it was a change in expectations and no-one had decided which numbers were right, and were investigating when the PREFU was released – maybe not best that it wasn’t included, however that said, no evidence to say that once it was determined that Labour wouldn’t have dealt with it worse than National.

          • joe90

            What about that great police IT program that spent 100M’s and had to be scrapped.

            Oh, the one that IBM ditched in August 1999. Idiot.

            The Inquiry has had difficulty obtaining the relevant figures for the cost of the Contract. The following table based on the Project Director’s reports, shows forecast expenditure for those items to be supplied by IBM. The table does not show internal Police costs.


            • Yes

              agree – now that is a National blowout

              If you read my first line – now for some balance.

              There are lots of blowout projects by both governments – accusations was made that national always blow budgets.

              i never called you an idiot or anyone on here once a foul name – so please apologise

              • QoT

                “The Budget” is not the same as individual projects, most of which are big enough to cover multiple governments.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead


                  So, Yes, now your red herrings have been given a decent burial, do you give up and concede the point, or are you going to attempt that rebuttal?

                • Yes

                  Im going to finish commenting on this post QoT – I have read all your moderations – if you are going to write a post and then moderate everyones response then your posts are a waste of time.

                  You made a list of projects – nothing wrong with that – I just suggested you should list all the Labour/greens etc policies as well for a balanced report.

                  Moderate this response if you like but if you cant handle peoples responses don’t write posts.

                  • QoT

                    Except for all those comments I didn’t moderate, including – shocking, I know – one which completely disagreed with the post!

                    (Probably a leftwing sockpuppet, right?)

                    You and all the other commenters whom I have had to moderate keep wanting to pretend that you think your bullshit is relevant to the post. It’s not.

                    There is nothing relevant about projects which may or may not have blown their budgets under Labour, to a post about National’s ambitious/casual/bullshit commitment of funds raised by selling assets.

                    Please, do fuck off. You haven’t exactly made a contribution anyone will miss.

                  • You_Fool

                    I didn’t realise that an opinion piece had to be balanced? Esp one written on a left leaning blog and detailing personal opinion, esp when that opinion is based on fact…

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    Well, from what I can gather, reading between the lines on Key and Brownlee’s foreheads is while Len has staked some of his mayoralty on not selling the Port shares, Key has hinted at that possibility. Gerry’s preference is NOT for further charges to the tax-payer for using state-owned assets -roads, tunnels and rail-lines- through additional regional taxes.
    The lovely Rachel sneaked in a suggestion that pressure by the Nats on Len to sell assets is an underhand shove against him FROM being re-elected mayor.

    Yep, they got their roading projects attached to that “loopy” CRL “that would do so very little”. hmm.

  8. Iron myself 8

    After years of lurking here, I can see why so many former proponents of government tax and spend to “fix” the economy have jumped on the rather poor meme “national are fiscally irresponsible”. I’ve seen CV, DTB et al change their latest slogan at a heartbeat to oppose anything that national do when it used to be exactly what they were clamouring for so many times now its not even funny. Just sad now. Like watching Rodney dangerfield stand up. Partisan and out of date. I bet if national raised the top tax rate one of regulars here will scream it will increase capital flight and scare away all the NZ Australian returnees. Without ever seeing the irony.

    [QoT: Like Gosman, you have deliberately missed the point of this post. No further warnings.]

    • muzza 8.1

      Iron myself, cheers for the giggle, appreciate it.

      Possibly giving you too much credit, but why not, its Sunday.

      If you’re trying to say that, it matters not who controls the purse strings, the outcomes are more or less the same trajectory, then you would be correct!

      Still doesn’t negate the validity, of pointing out the blindingly obvious hypocrisy of the MSM, and the political motivations.

      • Iron Myself 8.1.1

        The blinding hypocrisy of the MSM. Political arguments need a new Godwin’s law regarding the media. Both sides blame it vociferously. Which means on aggregate it is doing its job and being neutral. Critical where it needs to be critical based on fact and supportive if required using the same facts. ” It’s all the MSM’s fault” is the most pathetic argument. If the media call parties out for shit behaviour and policy, that’s because it’s probably deserved.

        That’s NZ anyway. You can say what you like about the herald, but it is far more balanced than the government funded radio outlets and their presenters unswerving allegiance to left wing values.

  9. infused 9

    [QoT: There is a very clear difference between accepting disagreement and tolerating trolling douchebags. Guess which side of the line you just chose to stand on?]

    • infused 9.1

      [QoT: The reason this comment was put in moderation is because you used the word “trolling”; I have no control over that process, more’s the pity. And I’m not going to apologise for labelling something as trolling when it serves no purpose but derailing or personally attacking a post author. I’m really not going to explain this again.]

      • infused 9.1.1

        You opened yourself up for attack by saying “Bear in mind, I’m not an economist”

        I mean “That’s ignoring the millions in the cost of consultants and advertising already spent trying to hike up the price of Mighty River Power.”

        Why are you even posting that if you aren’t going to list the figures? It’s just filler.

        Not taking in to account the household/trademe rubbish you have posted.

        You wonder why you’re not getting any decent replies?

        [QoT: Oh, I get it – you’ve completely missed the point! The point where this is just a top-of-my-head post based on half an hour’s googling. Where I do not pretend to have every single fact and figure – much less access to it. You’ll note a lot of the links are to media sources, because it’s very difficult to track down actual governmental documentation of a lot of this stuff.

        Which might have something to do with the fact that the whole point is to illustrate the casual relationship National’s promises have to do with reality.

        The “household/trademe rubbish” is there to highlight the bullshit idea, put about by rightwingers since the dawn of time, that government budgets work like household budgets.

        And I know why I’m not getting decent replies, sweetie. Because I’ve made a post chock-ful of facts and figures which dipshits like you don’t actually have a good response for.

        You are not welcome to comment further on this post.]

        • Gosman

          If that was your point it wasn’t very clear. Certainly I didn’t see many people commenting that picked up on that. AlsonI’m not sure many people are seriously making the case that Government is exactly like a household. I have seen some people make this case but noone doing any serious economic analysis.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            So, your defence to the accusation that your misunderstanding is a pretence is that you lack the cognitive ability to understand the post?

        • Gosman

          If that was your point it wasn’t very clear. Certainly I didn’t see many people commenting that picked up on that. I’m not sure many people are seriously making the case that Government is exactly like a household. I have seen some people make this case but noone doing any serious economic analysis.

          • felix

            It’s so weird how the only people who found the point unclear are the same people who set out daily and determinedly to deliberately disrupt and derail every thread on this site.

            So weird.

  10. Nordy 10

    I like your style QoT…pithy and to the point….

    A good post with real questions, unlike those we see asked by the MSM.

    It’s no wonder the Auckland rail link is scheduled for after the demise of this NACT govt – they have no idea about planning for the future. As has been stated succintly many times on TS, it is one of the defining features of right wing parties – it’s all about the short term, in other words, it’s about ‘me’.

  11. Wayne 11

    Well QoT, you seem to have ignored the fact that this expenditure takes place over a 10 year period. The money does not have to be in the bank right now. In any event 40+% of Meridian will be sold within 6 to 8 months.

    But actually the Left needs to work out where they stand on all of this (and this has been pointed out by most of the influential MSM commentators). You can’t blame National for not doing enough, then complain that when they do so, by asking where is the money, and by the way Phil Twyford complains that in any event it is not happening fast enough.

    What exactly is Labour’s message?

    • QoT 11.1

      Okay, but this raises a lot more questions:

      1) If they’re sticking to the initial plan for selling the power assets off over five years, how can they know right now where it’s best to spend $5.26 billion of it?

      2) But if they’re NOT sticking to that plan and are selling off Meridian quickly (coincidentally, pre-election) then they won’t get the “best price” for them and thus will have less money to spend on the things they’ve already committed to.

      3) I am not the Labour Party. This is not a Labour Party blog. The message of the Labour Party has fuck-all to do with my post.

      • Rogue Trooper 11.1.1

        having to wave a lot of nightstick policing this post Queen. (I regularly watch Wayne Mapp’s punditry on the box; wouldn’t bear it no mind, no how). Although, he and Susan Wood do make a lovely couple. “Middle New Zealand”, we despair.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.2

      I missed the part where QoT speaks for Labour.

      • weka 11.2.1

        More’s the pity though, they could do worse than having QoT as spokesperson 🙂

        • QoT

          On the plus side: can speak in full, clear sentences. On the minus side: full, clear sentences usually involve unladylike cusswords.

  12. irascible 12

    Key is doing the big offer spend up combined with a concerted social media advertising campaign and MSM conspiracies based on what happened in Australia with Gillard can be manipulated to happen in NZ to soften the country up for an early election once the GCSB bill fails to get endorsement.
    The spending promises all come with hooks – mainly more asset sales and then the sale of the infra structure (PPP schemes) to enrich the right wing profit taking asset strippers Key enjoys gambolling with.

  13. Disraeli Gladstone 13

    I’m not if this has been covered in the heaps of comments, but this post isn’t entirely accurate. Mainly because while it’s true that National don’t have the alleged $6bn from asset sales (I doubt it’ll get that high), National also isn’t looking to spend $5bn right now. The spending is staggered. For instance, the CRL isn’t going to be funded until 2020 by the government. Therefore that $1.4bn isn’t being spent now; it’ll be spent once the full proceeds from the asset sales have been collected.

    If you want to make the point that National is trying to have its cake and eat it too by announcing big spending projects that are popular and trying to hide that they’re not coming into effect straight away, that’s a damn good point. But to say that the spending out versus the revenue in from asset sales isn’t quite right, because it does seem like the spending is being staggered to match the staggered asset sales.

    • QoT 13.1

      This is true to a point – but on the other hand, they are committing to spend money they don’t have yet.

      What if the sale of Meridian is a complete flop? What if it’s so bad they literally can’t put Genesis up for sale? Does anyone believe Solid Energy’s going to be a viable product any time soon? Then what happens to the $1 billion for education, or the $1 billion for health? Sure, they haven’t yet spelled out exactly how those figures are going to get broken up, but there’s still a specific scale of upgrades and renovations they’ve promised.

      And this ignores the fact that National may not be in power after 2014 – so if a Labour-led government stops further asset sales, do they also get the blame for leaving schools/hospitals/Christchurch in the lurch and “breaking” the promises of the previous administration? Even if you think National will win in 2014, they’re not going to stick around another two terms after that to see the CRL kick off.

      Yes, at the moment they’re staggering the actual spending to the assets sales. But they’re not staggering their promises.

      (And I would bet money which I already actually have in my pocket that the promises are just going to keep on coming.)

      • Wayne 13.1.1

        QoT, To a much greater extent that an individual or a family, Govt’s plan their spending track out to 10 years or beyond. It less about the timing of the announcement (which will be chosen for best political advantage), and more about the timing of the actual expenditure – but I am sure you know all of this.

        And of course, every Govt plans as if they are the govt beyond the next election.

        In any event what is your actual complaint. Every thing that has been announced has bipartisan support, though I guess the two sides of politics have different ways of funding them. For the Left, increased taxes for every sector (personal, corporate and CGT). For the Right, same taxes as at present, but asset sales to make up the shortfall in the LTA account.

        Commenters here seem to have lost sight of the fact that over the next 10 years the LTA account will generate $15 billion. Much of it is already committed, but a fair bit is always available for large capital projects, such as the existing electrification project.

        I imagine both sides would borrow for these long term projects, although the Right is also keener on tolling.

        And unlike you, I believe when Govts make promises of the magnitude they stick by them.

        And it is likely that CRL will start before 2020. There is a huge amount of work in design and planning and tendering which will take at 2 to 3 years before construction starts. So even on the Nats 2020 timeframe serious work will start around 2017. And of course, if the City can get early funding, it could be before then,. In any event the PM has signaled the timing can be bought forward. My bet – Mayor Len will get things started in his next term, i.e. 2016.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Yeah that all sounds very plausible. Does it mean six equals twelve?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.2

      Wow! A cogent counter-argument!

      DG, They’re going to spend $12bn ($6bn in debt reduction, and $6bn in spending, give or take).

      No matter how long you take to spend it, 6 ≠ 12.

      • Chris 13.2.1

        It can be reasonably argued that they are the same thing so 6 doesn’t need to equal 12.

        I think most here would agree that the list of expenditure that QoT has set out is pretty necessary and should occur regardless of asset sales. By using the money from asset sales they have effectively eliminated $6bn of debt that the government would have needed to take on to fund these projects.

        In other words if the government has a debt level of $100 they can now fund more projects for that $100. So the money from the asset sales will be used to repay debt thereby allowing futher expenditure to occur.

        Also, I’m not a fan of the argument that they shouldn’t be planning to use the asset sales money because they don’t have it yet. The same could be said for all future government revenues, so does that mean they should have no plans as they do not have the tax revenue yet?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          “…would have needed to take on…”

          That’s a lovely assumption you’ve got there. Did you make it yourself?

          GDP is always higher under Labour led governments, because they run the economy better, and that increases the tax take (not to mention that the biggest beneficiaries of society pay more tax).

          So, no, there is nothing to say that borrowing is the only solution. The National Party always has to borrow, as a consequence of its fiscal incompetence, but other parties are not as handicapped.

          • Chris

            Fair enough, however the fact remains that National is currently in power so they will take on debt rather than hiking taxes. You can compare it to what Labour would have done but that is rather academic. The fact remains they will take on debt and the asset sales can be used to pay down debt and fund projects at the same time as I just explained.

            For the record I also think taxes should be higher rather than borrowing more, however that’s not really the point here.

  14. Yes 14

    QOt you moderated or commented on 20 of the 66 posts on here..talk about controlling. And you abused people who posted as well.

    [QoT: And now it’s 21 out of 76.

    To give it a different spin, I only moderated the comments of 6 individuals – including yourself – and many of these moderations only involved adding mod comments, not deleting or editing the text.

    It’s not my fault that you six all lack home-training, and to be frank, you, BM, chris73 and Gosman are hardly the posterboys for constructive, genuine commenters at The Standard.]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.1

      Perhaps, like me, she has little tolerance for deceitful shills.

    • weka 14.2

      Yep, she’s got a trigger finger when it comes to tr*lling and derailing. I for one appreciate the tight moderation, because it means we don’t have endless sub-threads of drivel and abuse (from both sides I might add). Where someone has commented responding to the content of the actual post (as opposed to having a go at her politics, or making inflammatory remarks unrelated to the post content), she has engaged thoughtfully. It’s not hard to tell the difference. QoT has some rules about commenting on her posts, they’re not hard to learn.

      • QoT 14.2.1

        Thank you, weka. But unfortunately it seems that some people don’t find my rules all that clear, they just keep doing the same thing over and over and then complaining when it always delivers the identical results …

  15. quicksilver 15

    [QoT: Goodbye.]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1

      Yeah, because Disraeli Gladstone disagreed and got insulted and banned. So did Wayne. No, wait…

    • weka 15.2

      qs, you do realise that intentionally misrepresenting the rules, is against the rules.

  16. Jon L 16

    The difference between “left” and right, as I see it, is that the
    right blow the budget on helping themselves, and the left tend to blow it on trying to help the community.
    I know which way I’d rather it be blown…….

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    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    7 days ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    7 days ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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