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Nats hollow excuses on poverty

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, August 30th, 2012 - 90 comments
Categories: jobs, poverty - Tags:

National has a line on child poverty to allow them to oppose actually doing anything: ‘Jobs! Jobs are the solution to poverty, not more assistance for poor kids. National is about jobs, not handouts! And we’ll get more jobs with mining!’ But their record doesn’t match the rhetoric … There are 65,000 more unemployed under National and hundreds of mining jobs are being lost.

90 comments on “Nats hollow excuses on poverty”

  1. Tracey 1

    “OOOPS, mining isnt the job Panacea, Steven, let’s get some oil rigs in here”

    • Bill 1.1

      Or mine the ore and ship it abroad via a multi-billion road network and casualised ports, where the ore can be extracted and oil rigs fabricated and delivered back via the same casualised ports and multi billion dollar road network…into private hands of course. Who can import their own skilled up labour to operate the things and export any resulting resources and monies back over the horizon again. Thousands of jobs will thus be created, as NZ has an abundance of over-qualified ticket clipping parking attendants whose ticket clipping skills could surely be utilised in such a brave, new and innovative NZ.

    • David H 1.2

      but how many rigs would you need to hire just 10% of the unemployed? How many people work on a rig???

      • Tracey 1.2.1

        Suddenly windfarms wouldnt look so “visually offensive”

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          We can feed the world, its a distribution problem that means billions move in and out of starvation. Clearly neo-liberalist concerned solely on the delivering the supply side (and so
          dictating demand by cheapening limited resources and undervaluing oil) is not working.
          Its a total game, build sprawl, push demand up for oil, exploit even more expensive
          hard to get oil, create more pollution, less sustainability, and not even deliver on the
          basics of health, poverty abatement, even feeding the world. We know sparwl is
          expensive, oil is best left in the ground, and the world needs food certainty, yet we
          continue to have this dig it, sell it cheap, activity for activity sake economy.

  2. Poission 2

    The only responsive industry that can increase wealth for NZ at present ( read jobs) is the agriculture sector in the short term.

    The formidable constraint is the exchange rate,mostly fueled by the cash and carry trade,and the AK property bubble.

    Agriculture and its downstream industries situated in the heartland,do not have the transport or high cost housing problems that are driving the asymmetry in the NZ economy (wish lists) and have readily available underutilized capacity.

    The overemphasis on the so called high value jobs in both training and education have led to the increased disparity in wealth distribution.

    The schools,hospitals all still exist in the provinces as do ports,railheads etc,as do the infrastructure support services such as small engineering.

    Grow the heartland and it will feed the economy,

    • mike e 2.1

      poison agriculture is on a downward slide

      • Poission 2.1.1

        Dairy is up on volume and slightly on price in july (being a record value in 2011-2012

        Meats down on value ,average on volume,

        Fruits up on value as is wine.

        Logs up on volume down in value.

        The values are sensitive to the exchange rate.

        • mike e 2.1.1.1

          poison no one wants to live in isolated rural hick towns wages are are poor employment conditions are poor workers are forced to work long hours with no pay for ovetime.
          Until a real leap foward in adding value to these products.
          Farmers will just carry on taking advantage of workers who are isolated under paid and abused in ther work place.
          read bellow!

          • Poission 2.1.1.1.1

            A 10% decrease in the exchange rate would inject 5 billion into the NZ economy.The increased profits would increase the job supply,reduce debt and increase import substitution.

            The positive feedbacks would then entrain ( modelock) the economy in a sustainable system

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The increased profits would increase the job supply,reduce debt and increase import substitution.

              No, they won’t. In fact, they’re likely to do the exact opposite.

              The positive feedbacks would then entrain ( modelock) the economy in a sustainable system

              Yeah, that’s what we’ve been told for the last century or so – hasn’t happened yet.

              Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

            • mike e 2.1.1.1.1.2

              poison the price of fuel, fertilizer other inputs will undo your dream. before it starts.
              A giant leap forward is required and with national fucking up research by cutting and partially reinstating 3 years later it has undone years of good research .
              ie wool research at Lincoln university was completely undermined by National. South Africa Snapped up these researchers a developing country smart investment.
              National Dumb And Dumber.

    • rosy 2.2

      I heard there were a few jobs going in Christchurch, but instead of training people up, they imported them (bar 25, or something).

  3. tc 3

    Hollow excuses from the Hollowmen.

  4. Carol 4

    I was quite disgusted at the use of the term bleeding hearts used by one or two Nat speakers in the general debate yesterday to describe people who wanted something done about child poverty.

    Part of the Orwelian NAct universe where people who care about others and want a relatively even and secure playing field for all children are denigrated.

    http://hubpages.com/u/25200_f260.jpg

    http://theintelhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/2011-09-30_2323.png

    • Dr Terry 4.1

      Carol. Unfortunately such a phrase from the National Government is no surprise, only to be expected.
      That is how low they stoop. People who use such words are themselves in poverty, that is, poverty of sensitivity, ethic, spirit, and soul. They are the most damnable human beings in existence.

      • mike 4.1.1

        “Help us NAct spin doctors, this child poverty report doesn’t look good what can we do?”
        Bleeding hearts
        “Yep. That’s good. That’ll work.”

        The word is sociopath.

    • Roy 4.2

      Some of us take ‘bleeding heart’ as a compliment. Hearts are supposed to have blood in them, after all. Better a bleeding heart than a heart of stone, or no heart at all.

    • Tracey 4.3

      Yes, fancy wanting to help folks like this?

      ” Living in one of the poorest parts of Porirua, Mrs Masoe and her husband are both cleaners earning just above the minimum wage at $13.85 an hour, supporting their youngest son in his final year of high school and four grandchildren under 5.

      The family does not own a refrigerator because the electricity bill to run it would be too expensive.

      Lunch has been laid out on the table: sandwiches of white bread stuffed with cold tinned spaghetti and meat balls. She feeds the entire family of seven on just over $3 a day per person.

      Their pay-as-you-go power account often runs out before the next pay day rolls around, so they have no choice but to spend a day without any electricity.

      Mrs Masoe, 52, begins to cry as she speaks about how she cleans up other people’s vomit and scrubs human waste from toilet bowls for her meagre living.

      She spends her weekends working two 12-hour shifts. “:

      • Carol 4.3.1

        Ah, but Chancellor Gerry explained it all on behalf of the PM today. His Lordship Gerry praised the family for being so hard working and working hard to improve their lives. He said it was unfortunate for them that they had been picked up by unscrupulous politicians like Turei, who were just using the family for political ends. He also said that Turei would be better to give the family advice on how they can supplement their family with the government’s generous benefits.

        See, there’s always a perfectly good explanation. No family in NZ need be in poverty.

        PS: I think the family in question is the one Micky refers to below.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2

        Just work hard we’re told and you to can be rich. It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.

        As I was told when in Amway, working hard will never make you rich, to become rich you need to have lots of other people working for you. In other words, to become rich you need to be a ticket clipper. There is no other way and those having their ticket clipped, like those cleaners, are always poor.

        • TheContrarian 4.3.2.1

          “It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.”

          Not quite a lie. I came from a once middle class broken family (which made things financially difficult), flunked out of school and worked in hospitality until I decided to do something else
          I worked damned hard and am now relatively comfortable with a pretty good future ahead of me if I keep it up.

          Doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t call it a lie. 

          • Carol 4.3.2.1.1

            Statistics I saw a while back in the UK showed that children of mothers who had been middle-class, but dropped down the socioeconomic ladder, were most likely to rise from the lower class/es to the middle-class.

            I guess it has a lot to do with cultural capital, and/or personal connections and/or knowing how to work with the system, and/or having the support at home and know-how re-being successful in the education system.

            But I think, with fewer jobs around these days, it maybe harder for even those once-were-middle-class children.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.1.2

            Thing is, it doesn’t work for the majority. It also doesn’t apply to the top ~1% who don’t have to work at all having inherited their wealth. A few people might make it through but they’re a distinct minority.

            • TheContrarian 4.3.2.1.2.1

              “Thing is, it doesn’t work for the majority.”

               That isn’t necessarily true either – when NZ did have a robust middle class working hard still got you somewhere. maybe not is much anymore, but a good work ethic and some ambition can work to ones advantage. If I hadn’t have worked to get where I am today I know I wouldn’t be as happy and comfortable as I am today.
              McFlock once tried to convince me it was all done to luck but if I had sat around and waited for luck I wouldn’t be the successful person I am now.

              Besides which, what is the better lesson to teach “Work hard for what you want” or “don’t bother because it’s a lie”?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I’m not that keen on prying into poster’s backgrounds, TC, but seeing as you raised it, just how comfortable are you? I seem to recall from an earlier comment of yours that you have no significant assets and that you rent your home. If that is the case, then you are just like the majority; only a payday or two away from financial catastrophe.

                • “no significant assets and that you rent your home.  If that is the case, then you are just like the majority; only a payday or two away from financial catastrophe.”

                  While I have no house or car I have no debt – absolutely no debt, credit card, HP’s, loans, nothing.
                  My wife and I have significant savings and if either one of us lost our job for whatever reason there wouldn’t be cause for concern.
                  Plus I have youth and am on a great career path.
                  My wife and I could buy house tomorrow if we wanted but we are happy where we are.

                  It isn’t luck that we decided to save and pay off debt instead of buying assets like a house or car. It was a lifestyle choice which has paid off fortunately.

                  But it take many years of living hand to mouth to get here and there were several instances where I nearly collapsed financially.
                   

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Cheers, and good luck to you and your missus. If you genuinely have a few hundred grand in the bank, then, yes, that would be my definition of comfortable. Still not sure how paying money to a landlord fits in with your ‘no debt’ philosophy. Surely the rent is a debt you’d be better off without?

                    • Yes we are comfortable but once a house has been bought and child is on the way the savings will be eaten up rather quickly! As I said it is lifestyle decision that paid off.

                      As to rent, well that’s a cost of living and a lifestyle choice as opposed to a debt as far as I see it. And unlike a debt it is something I could stop paying at anytime of my choosing by moving out.
                      I also get something from it, it pays the rates and maintenance. My rent is actually really really cheap for where I live. My landlord is a very lovely person who wants someone to take care of the place while she is overseas as opposed to being in it for profit.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Any financial advisor will tell you that you do not sink a huge sum of capital and get into major debt to purchase a house to live in, if financial advantage is your main goal. You go ahead and do it for family and emotional reasons.

                    • I have a good adviser who has given us many things to think about.

                      I am trying not to rush into anything. I take personal finance seriously. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not more seriously than I.

              • fnjckg

                “work hard etc..” Reformation distortion

              • McFlock

                Touched you remember.
                   
                Pity your recollection is warped – I never suggested your success was all down to luck, just that a major part of anyone’s success is due to luck.
                      
                Which only the most obtuse egotist would disagree with.
                 

          • felix 4.3.2.1.3

            “Doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t call it a lie. “

            Ah but the lie is that it does apply to everyone, which is absurd as soon as you look beyond any individual case.

            • McFlock 4.3.2.1.3.1

              Actually, I’d say that any individual case shows the effect of luck, if you look closely. Whether the individual recognises this, on the other hand, is a different matter.

        • Plastic Tolstoy 4.3.2.2

          “Just work hard we’re told and you to can be rich. It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.”

          I’ve often wondered if people who use that line really do believe that the person working three jobs just to make ends meet simply isn’t working hard enough. I came to the conclusion that a lot of very wealthy people must have a different definition of “hard work” than what it means to most of us.

          I’ve also often wondered if those same people touting that line have any idea about ecology, as they seem to believe there are enough natural resources in existence that everyone could get as rich as them if they just worked hard enough. They just can’t seem to comprehend that their gain will almost always be someone else’s loss.

  5. If you want to read something really chilling this Stuff article describes a typical week for Peniata Endermann who not only attends school full time but works 25 hours a week as a cleaner to keep his family afloat.  His mother and him both work as cleaners to provide for his three siblings.

    And if you want to read something really disgusting then have a look at the comments.  There is an overwhelming stench of beneficiary bashing amongst the comments and a clear sense that they see themselves as superiors over the less fortunate amongst us.  Paula Bennett would be proud.

    • just saying 5.1

      Some people I know in the faux-food franchises bizz (in low socio-economic areas) tell me that the young people who work for them always ask when there is a (rare and meagre) payrise be given the extra in cash because their entire paypackets go toward supporting their families, and they wish for a little pocket-money for themselves.

    • Roy 5.2

      I am particularly contemptuous of the commenters who say “Oh well I did the same thing when I was a teenager!” What is it with some people that if they had a rough time they think everyone else should suffer as they did? The same ugly thinking comes to the fore when there is any talk of increasing maternity leave, a whole lot of mean older women start saying “I didn’t have maternity leave when I had my kids so why should they?”

      • bbfloyd 5.2.1

        Are these the generation of women who had their families before it became impossible to raise a family on one income adequately?

        • Roy 5.2.1.1

          Probably!

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            Those who set themselves up through the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s had the opportunity to do so in a NZ very different to now, during times of constant economic growth and energy availability.

      • Carol 5.2.2

        Kind of similar to the the proxy minister’s response to the question as to whether Paula Benefit had asked her cleaner what it was like living on the minimum wage. The reply was that Ms Benefit had been a single mother on a low income and and knew what it was like.

    • tc 5.3

      ‘There is an overwhelming stench of beneficiary bashing amongst the comments and a clear sense that they see themselves as superiors over the less fortunate amongst us.’

      It is Stuff mickey, just another NACT friendly MSM outlet under direction of it’s masters, ensuring the bene bashing tone is maintained. Fairfax is stuffed (probably in no small part to amounts paid by capt kirk for TradeMe) and under siege to become a formal voice of big business, Gine reinhart styles.

      Love the pinup picture in Stuff of Kaye on the alcohol bill piece when it probably should be the memorial notice for that Kings College student who drank himself to death…bias , move along people.

    • Tracey 5.4

      bloody bleeding hearts

  6. Mr Burns 6

    When are you $ocialists going to realise that the wealthy do not give a damn about poverty. The only thing the right is interested in is making sure that enough ordinary voters are fooled into supporting the right even though it is against their interests. If the right campaigned honestly they would never win an election and then where would the world be?
     
    It would resemble Sweeden with all of its fancy ideas of universal health and social welfare benefits. The place would be an absolute mess.

  7. Dr Terry 7

    Mr Burns, in a strange kind of way, I think you make a point here. What I question is your scoffing at Sweden on account of universal health and social welfare benefits, describing something highly desirable as “fancy ideas” (which appears to put you in company of people like Brownlie and co). Are these only “ideas”, or are they actualities?

  8. kiwi_prometheus 8

    Well another mine is retrenching. The workers will probably head to Aussie – though things are on the turn there as well – iron ore price is a massive bubble, China’s stratopheric gdp phase is over.

    So no chance of mining saving the country any more than gay ‘marriage’.

  9. Roy 9

    Child poverty solved by mining? So they are going to send the kids down the mines? It has been done before…

  10. What did you expect?

    They are the hollow men.

  11. Olwyn 11

    The difficulty with addressing poverty is that our system actively demands it. We are effectively a vassal state in which wealth is not produced beyond farming, but is instead sucked upwards and and outwards. The rich get to clip the tickets of the infrastructure as it disappears, and the middle class get to manage the wealth outflow, along with the chance to cling to overpriced domestic property. While the poor subsist on resources that are seen as a cost to the rest, to be kept as low as possible.

    Given our lack of industry, the middle class hate the poor because under the circumstances, to take the poor seriously is to risk ceasing to be middle class. Then there are people like tradies, who are traditionally middle class but can no longer rely on getting a foothold in that group, who feel the need to blame someone.

    That is why I put this question to Labour on Open Mike, 27/08/12: “If push comes to shove, how far are you willing to go to defend your constituency against the system? Are you willing to employ your imagination, you wiles and your courage on behalf of ordinary people? Or are you more likely to employ PR people so as to get away with shafting them on the system’s behalf?” There is no point in putting such a question to National. They are incapable of hearing it, let alone answering it.

    • Bored 11.1

      Olwyn, your last paragraph sums the whole thing up vis a vis Labour. The whole issue is systemic.

      On a personal basis I have managed corporate operations (it is a bit like a form of schizophrenia being part of something that you fundamentally disagree with, however there were children to house, clothe, feed). I now manage smaller concerns but the same issue occurs. I have people asking for pay rises, the market is deeply in recession and the ledger running very close to the wind. Some roles will get retrenched, there is no money for rises. The bosses / owners make cash out of profit, there is little of that so nothing to glean there. In my experience business owners are not scrooges per se, they don’t like hungry children anymore than joe average (note the schools doing breakfasts get major support from local businesses). And prices for all go up.

      So the scenario is a deeply squeezed small business community, costs at home rising rapidly whilst income is static and falling. People can only cut back so far, then they are forced to make choices: who goes hungry?

      The system is so close to insolvent that it has to be considered cancerous at best…I note however that death notices for capitalism are somewhat premature (much as we would like to attend the funeral), it has some resilience that expresses itself in the form of hungry children.

      As I have said the Labour guiding principles if stuck to form a good framework, what is lacking is any stated direction to address the mess. And that is because labour like National are committed to resuscitation of the current mess rather than posing a viable alternative that starts by feeding the children first.

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        The small business owners I know wrestle with the possibility of laying off workers and do everything they can to avoid it. To be frank I believe the problem is in the bigger, more faceless businesses where everything is driven by shareholder (read dividend) demand and justification and rationalisation of unethical behaviour is rife. I include banking in this.

    • Tracey 11.2

      Olwyn – I believe one of Labour’s fundamental problems is that they believe everyone in the “middle” who they seem to want to pander to, are self interested, self absorbed money-hungry idiots. They’r e not. Some of them actually want to live in a society where children are safe and fed and sheltered at night… bene bashing, faux law and order etc etc is just grist to the mill…

  12. Olwyn 12

    Bored and Tracey: I am not blaming anyone for responding to their own needs, nor am I claiming that the people in the middle are defined by the exasperations that some of them have. I am saying that you cannot really make a dent in poverty without tackling the system that produces it. And it can probably be tackled to a limited degree. However you can choose your targets carefully and put up a fight. You can see what needs to be done and do it, rather than meekly do what you are told.

    The British Empire run into difficulties when they put a mixture of lard and beef tallow on bullets, and then expected Muslim and Hindu soldiers to bite them. They found it unthinkable to bite those bullets, despite the great empire’s assumptions. When we are able to defend our core values with similar conviction, then maybe we can make the system accommodate us to some extent, including our desire not to have hungry children in damp, crowded, insecure housing. The squeeze will go on until we say “enough.”

    • Bored 12.1

      Olwyn, I am saying that you cannot really make a dent in poverty without tackling the system that produces it. And it can probably be tackled to a limited degree. 100% correct.

      Cant fault the diagnosis, my problem is what to replace it with, have been reading Schumacker (Small Is Beautiful) for some inspiration on solid state economics (i.e resource constrained and non growth orientated). Its going to happen and it needs Labour to embrace (if they dont they will be a totally historic irrelevance). In between times we find a way to feed the children first. Top priority.

      • Olwyn 12.1.1

        If I have read Small is Beautiful, it is a long time ago. But I agree with you as to feeding the children first. We need to have such priorities, and structure things, or pressure existing structures, with a view to actually achieving them. We presently seem to treat obedience to international financial structures as necessary and the viability of our people contingent, which we need to reverse. While I do not think we can ignore international financial structures, we can have our own set of “musts” to bring to the table, as opposed slavish obedience in exchange for career opportunities for those at the top.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        A resource based, democratic economy is the only option but one that both Labour and National will oppose as it goes against the economic theory that they believe.

  13. Fortran 13

    I have just heard that BHP has shelved a multi billion dollar operation in South Australia, and other projects elsewhere, and it was been suggested that anybody from New Zealand being tempted (forced) to got to Australia may find short pickings.
    In recent days the mining boom of Australia has come to a sudden halt – this was however predicted some time ago, but not expected so suddenly.
    BHP say they are looking for cheaper labour in the SE Asia mining facilities there. There appear to be many countries worthy of new exploration in mining eg Myanmar (Burma) was mentioned.

  14. captain hook 14

    hey bugger the kids.
    we need highways of national significance so we can drive around looking at nothing.

    • starlight 14.1

      I agree with you,its incredible that $14 billion is going to be spent on roads
      when the books are climbing to 72b in debt,children are living in poverty and
      the nacts use the gfc and ch ch to mask their economic incompetence,they
      have turfed people out of jobs and that continues,then legislate drug testing
      for beneficiaries,at least the nact supporters will have another chardonnay
      and salmon on a cracker while they click their glasses together with glee
      at nacts actions,while in the real nz, children suffer because the top 20%
      are the ‘prefered’ section of the community.
      At least labour has a ‘planet’ the nacts have a space craft and are still
      searching for a resting place.

  15. tracey 15

    Olwyn, i was agreeing with your post

    • Olwyn 15.1

      Sorry Tracey: I did not mean to sound combative, but I thought I may have given the impression that I was decrying the middle class in my previous post, and wanted to make it clear that I was not.

      • Bored 15.1.1

        Lots of us might get categorised as “middle class” now…most of us did not come from there (much as we might pretend otherwise). As they say about the wonderful Rachel Hunter, you can take the girl out of Glenfield but you cant take …etc. There is something comforting in being aware of your origins.

        • tracey 15.1.1.1

          I am not attacking the middle class i am attacking the tactic of pandering to a stereotype of the middle class

          • Olwyn 15.1.1.1.1

            Yes I got that and I agree with you. The roof painter was a classic example of pandering to prejudices that are attributed to the “struggling middle class” stereo type.

  16. tracey 16

    I chuckle at slater going to town on the lie of the roofer while bennett and others constantly create strawmen

  17. xtasy 17

    Poverty in NZ is pre programmed and WANTED! There is NO doubt about it, because any country that has the level of natural resources as NZ has, that has an abundance of milk, dairy products, meat, cereals, vegetables and fruit grown locally, that has NO excuse to have 20 or more per cent of children live in poverty. NZ is on a lying and losing streak, that is the truth. What we have is the bloody result of corporate decisions, and that involves the dairy giant Fonterra, same as the Turners and Growers and others.

    They are all focussed to export, and they admittedly have a struggle ahead to beat the high currency level, but they still manage.

    Now how can a country, rich in dairy, sundry food production allow that about a fifth of children, and I dare say, also adults, to live in poverty, especially food poverty?

    It is a human CRIME. It is disgusting as such, and I would expect a bit more from MPs I expect more of. But it is NOT happening. We have tit for tat little battles in Parliament every day. What about the personalities to take to heart what really matters to people? I see NONE, which includes ALL parties. So maybe the Standard thinks things will change, I cannot see it, keep me informed, thanks.

    • Roy 17.1

      I agree that poverty is pre-programmed and wanted, so that people will accept jobs with rotten pay and rotten working conditions. Teenagers too exhausted from work to learn at school are also wanted, because it is easier to deceive the ill-educated.

  18. xtasy 18

    Not only the Nats have excuses, so did Labour for years and employed a “Principal Advisor” to WiNZ thinking this:

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments too – June 2012.pdf

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Dr+David+Bratt+ppt&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CE0QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rgpn.org.nz%2FNetwork%2Fmedia%2Fdocuments%2FConference2011%2FD-Bratt.ppt&ei=pOMqUNyqF–QiQee4oGgBQ&usg=AFQjCNFEdYN_dDW9BAZvZo_cQpC2rFyelg&cad=rja

    Poverty is based on “benefit dependency”, right? Or is it “benefit dependency” that is the same as “drug dependency”? I think something along the lines goes his argument.

    Anyway, it is all fine, all right, we are in good hands, our leader is looking after us, hail our leader , blessed be him – so Hone Key, we love ya, we are there for ja, and we will follow thee unto death! Hail!

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    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    3 days ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    3 days ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    3 days ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    3 days ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    4 days ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    4 days ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    4 days ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    4 days ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    4 days ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    5 days ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 days ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    6 days ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    6 days ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    6 days ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    1 week ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    1 week ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    1 week ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • What is the point of education?
    The proposed Education (Update) Bill is the Government’s statement about what the point of education is, and what it means to people. This week we had a day of Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill. It’s a huge ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Earthquake exposes training shortfall
    Kaikoura’s earthquakes have exposed the Government’s under investment in critical building and construction skills training, says Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Government needs to urgently ramp up the training of Kiwis in construction and engineering in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to get P off our streets
    National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s calling the shots? Bye bye surplus
    I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money.  On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent rethink needed on workplace safety
      An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rubble and rubbish: spending time in post-quake Kaikōura
    I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob. I may have mentioned before that ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to pull the plug on state house sell-off
    The collapse of the planned sell-off of state houses in Horowhenua is an opportunity for the Government to call time on its troubled state house sell off policy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury sounds warning bell – but National’s not listening
    Today's long term fiscal outlook issued by The Treasury is a welcome wake-up call on the need to dramatically improve and diversify our economy and properly plan for the future, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson says. “Through our Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t believe the hype – debt has skyrocketed under National
    The reckless dangling of tax cuts by the National Government is all the more irresponsible when it is put alongside the failure to pay down debt or put money aside for future superannuation costs, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our kids deserve better
    We don’t know how many children are affected by having learning support needs. I do know that far too many children are not getting the support they deserve for conditions like autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. When these conditions are not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Talk of tax cuts is plain crazy
      John Key’s talk of tax cuts when the Government has $63 billion of debt, superannuation costs are rising by $1 billion a year and the cost of meeting another natural disaster, is just plain crazy, says Labour Leader Andrew ...
    2 weeks ago