web analytics

New Zealand – unequal and rising

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, December 7th, 2011 - 62 comments
Categories: equality - Tags: , ,

The OECD has a report out – Divided We Stand – about the widening gap between rich and poor across the western world.

Launching the report in Paris, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said “The social contract is starting to unravel in many countries. This study dispels the assumptions that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that greater inequality fosters greater social mobility. Without a comprehensive strategy for inclusive growth, inequality will continue to rise.”

New Zealand stands out: we have the greatest increase in inequality between 1985 and 2008 from a GINI index of 0.27 to 0.33.  This despite inequality declining (slowly) between 2000 and 2008 under the Clark government (our GINI index peaked at 0.34 in 2000).

There are 3 main reasons for growing inequality according to the OECD, and the first two are certainly reflected here – benefits have been slashed, both in amount and in entitlement; and there have been massive tax cuts for the rich.

The third factor was massive increases in income for the most wealthy – there is now a 9:1 ratio between what the richest 10% and the poorest 10% earn across the OECD – 10:1 in New Zealand.  In 1985 this was 6:1 in Aotearoa.

Quite how we’ve done under Key is unclear: obviously there have been more large tax cuts for the rich, but the wealthy have also had a significant decrease in income with the Great Recession, and benefits haven’t been slashed – yet.

At any rate there is significant work to be done to ensure a fair New Zealand where we all get a slice of the wealth.

“There is nothing inevitable about high and growing inequalities,” said Mr Gurría. “Our report clearly indicates that upskilling of the workforce is by far the most powerful instrument to counter rising income inequality. The investment in people must begin in early childhood and be followed through into formal education and work.”

The OECD underlines the need for governments to review their tax systems to ensure that wealthier individuals contribute their fair share of the tax burden. This can be achieved by raising marginal tax rates on the rich but also improving tax compliance, eliminating tax deductions, and reassessing the role of taxes in all forms of property and wealth, the report says.

A higher top tax-rate for the top 2%, increasing compliance and a Capital Gains Tax, along with heavier investment in Early Childhood Education would seem to be pretty much along OECD guidelines then.  Fancy some used Labour policy Mr Key?

[Edit: Since I wrote this last night The Herald and Morning Report have gone big on this – I’ve been scooped!]

62 comments on “New Zealand – unequal and rising”

  1. Yeah, my north of 50 bucks went south for winter and hasn’t returned.

  2. Vivienne 2

    This is not new.

    Reading ‘The Spirit Level’ by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, in 2009, gives excellent explanation.

    As John Key and his side kick John Banks drive futher into the failed theories of the Chicago School of Economics the divide between those with too much money and those with a pitance will stretch further.

    Gives them someone to whip when it fails, of course.

    Labour needs to speak with those in the group of 1 million who did not vote and find out why.

    When the government changes in 2012 drastic moves will have to occur in the face of what will result from the current crop of repeated idealologues

    • Bunji 2.1

      What’s new is the OECD joining the IMF and pushing against inequality instead of their previous neo-liberal prescriptions. The world is waking up that theories of enrich the rich and everyone will be great don’t work. Why aren’t National?

      Even the Conservatives in Britain had in their 2010 campaign promises to reduce inequality…

      • Afewknowthetruth 2.1.1

        Bunji

        ‘Even the Conservatives in Britain had in their 2010 campaign promises to reduce inequality’

        You should know by now it’s all Orwellian.

        Macaroon and company also promised to be the ‘greenest government ever’

        Just look at what they’ve actually done.

      • Spratwax 2.1.2

        National aren’t waking up because a core of wealthy elite in NZ have a huge influence on National

        party policy and there is currently a race to ‘lock in’ their positions at the top for their future

        generations (not just in NZ either). Best way to do this is secure resources (Public Assets) and get

        systems in place (Charter schools, wipe out unions, cheap labour, no welfare), all at the expense

        of the plebs, before the pack of cards comes tumbling down. Expect to see more use of the Police

        to protect these systems and legislation to enforce this protection.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1

          +1

          The actions of the National Government over the last three years have been solely to protect and enhance the position of the already rich while also disenfranchising the poor.

  3. Blue 3

    Rising inequality can’t be that bad. NZ has just voted to increase it further over the next three years.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      Yeah how smart are we? Not very sadly.

    • uke 3.2

      It’s class war, just one side doesn’t know it, shoots itself in the foot, and then hands the gun to the other side.

      • Jimmy 3.2.1

        I do believe one side didn’t even bother turning up…

        • uke 3.2.1.1

          Increasingly, I get the sense that most NZers actually don’t care much about their country’s sovereignty. They aren’t really that patriotic – except in matters of sport – and seem quite willing to trade away public ownership and power over their society and economy for consumer baubles and pie-in-the-sky “aspirations”.
           
          Most, I suspect, wouldn’t really care if their country was “administered” by Canberra, Washington, or Beijing, which may well happen at some stage.
           
          How it has got to this, I don’t know. We used to be more patriotic, didn’t we? Then again, maybe not. We have never been invaded or warred with our close neighbours, hence don’t really have much fighting spirit when it comes to defending our land. Maori people, on the other hand, have had this experience and hence are much more staunch about self-determination. They know what it’s like to lose.

  4. Roy 4

    Trickle down, which I prefer to call piddle down, doesn’t work and never has worked. Why are we still forced to live with this ridiculous theory?

  5. Karl Sinclair 5

    Taken from a recent TED Talk by Richard Wilkinson:

    ‘We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.’

    http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html

    To change a phrase from the logical positivie movement, ‘unfortunately we could have had paradise but instead weve recreated the USA’…………

    To put it in context for NZ, is it fair to say that the present NZ Government is increasing the income gap between rich and poor (increase in GST, lower Top Tax rates). The problem, partly, is that the income and type of work is not empowering enough?

    Also Marmot’s Whitehall Study is a longitudinal study that has studied the effects of social status on health. He used as his sample a large number of well educated British Civil Servants – Hence “Whitehall”. A key finding has been the steep gradient in health outcomes that are formed by where you are in the power hierarchy. In short the less control and status you have – the more likely you are to be ill and even die early.

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/whitehallII/history

    So to put it bluntly, you are literally fighting for your life when you compete for jobs or even ask for a pay rise or promotion. Do you feel so respectful now of your managers etc etc…I’m starting to view them with allegator eyes………………………………………………………………..

  6. King Kong 6

    “New Zealand had the greatest increase in inequality in the Western World. So what are we going to do to fix it?”

    The one thing I am quite confident about is that no one who spends their days commenting on blog sites has the answer.

    • Karl Sinclair 6.1

      Like you

      • King Kong 6.1.1

        Absolutely

        • Karl Sinclair 6.1.1.1

          Actually, I do get your point….

          Mind you, 5 minutes bloggin is hardly a whole day now is it……you should change your name to Drama Queen…..

          Actions do speak louder than words dont they

          Go well

    • Blighty 6.2

      Actually, there are simple and proven answers.

      One of the last retreats of the Right is to say ‘yup, it’s unfair but that’s the way it is and there’s nothing that can be done about it, and we shouldn’t even discuss how to fix it’

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3

      That’s it is it? Confronted with the evidence that confounds your delusions, that’s the best you can do? Does it feel even a little bit uncomfortable to be confronted with the facts that expose your ignorance? I couldn’t care less one way or the other, I’m quite happy for morons to believe bullshit, since it creates a competitive advantage for me, but don’t you even get the vaguest niggling sense of self-doubt? Better allay it with another blog comment eh?

      • McFlock 6.3.1

        Look on the bright side. If KK klutz says there is an “answer”, then there must be a question worth asking. The point of the post is that inequality is a bad thing and leaves the question “how do we solve the problem of inequality?”
         
        Therefore, if KK’s comment is relevant to the post (okay, this is a long shot, but is theoretically possible), then one of the more rabid trolls here has come to the conclusion that income inequality is a bad thing. 
         
        I never thought I’d see the day…

    • vto 6.4

      “The one thing I am quite confident about is that no one who spends their days commenting on blog sites has the answer.”

      Well, given the quality of all your previous ramblings and confidences, I would therefore be confident that the opposite is in fact the case.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.5

      Still working on it but I will have an answer based upon democracy and cooperation. Unlike you who will continue to kiss your masters arse and declare that the rich are special.

  7. johnm 7

    The well-to-do who voted Key back in have pulled the ladder up on less fortunate kiwis:they don’t want to share rather they want more and to have their advantage protected by their man.
    Labour’s policies with Goff had he won would have helped to reduce inequality:
    1.A Capital gains tax though it was too small. I think it should be 50% backdated for 10 years. It’s scandalous our young families can’t afford to buy their first homes due to an overinflated market.We need to completely stop people buying important social assets to make capital gain from on the backs of the wage slaves who pay the mortgage! Banks must be stopped from lending for investment residential properties.
    2. Stop privatization of schools and look after all our children as does Sweden and eliminate child poverty:
    2a. Extend working for families to beneficiaries with children.
    2b. Take GST of food and veges.
    2c. Free health care for children up to 6
    2d. Do something about the substandard housing stock which is cold and damp.
    2e. Don’t privatize essential utilities such as water and power which will then have profit extracted from poorer people so shareholders and CEOs can smoke more cigars.
    2e Don’t sell off our Power company assets.
    Copy Sweden canteens and free food in all schools so all children eat properly. Have a travelling medical service to check up on all children.
    3.Reverse the last tax cut round and increase progressive taxation to levels we had in the 60s
    4.Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. This’ll help the working poor.
    5. Don’t privatize ACC
    6. Increase benefit levels.

    This government is following the U$$$$ model. Look what a disaster that unhappy now fascist state is now in:
    46,000,000 Americans existing on food stamps. 50,000 factories exported to Asia whose cheap labour profits Wall Street but leaves Americans homeless in the street. A totally corrupt Financial and Governmental system which worships money not human wellbeing. The American economy has been trashed. You have billionaires like Bloomberg saying the NYPD are his personal army to put down decent respectable mostly young Americans who legitimately protest.

    As Heinberg and AFKTT says all of this is getting worse as the rising tide that lifts all boats,growth is over due to resource depletion . This will make the inequalities in societies even more grotesque.

    As Mana says we need a huge redistributive action in New Zealand a “War on Poverty” otherwise we’re heading to be a little sh@t hole of social division lorded over by the rich and currency speculators with bolt holes in Hawaii under the reign of King Shonkey.

    Those that didn’t vote and if had we could have got rid of National. I know one of them, though he lives here he goes to Asia mostly where friends treat him with respect,while here he’s does not care or identify with NZ at all. When people are put down and marginalised enough they cease to participate in society: they’re too busy getting by day to day.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    There is a natural tendency for psychotic sociopaths to implement policies that benefit psychotic sociopaths. Psychotic sociopaths always over-rate their worth and their contribution organisations and to society, and once they get into positions where they are able to they set up criminal rorts which enable them to ‘loot the till’.

    Once the poor are driven to desperation there is open conflict The French Revolution, the Bolivar movement in South America, The Year of Revolution (1848), The Russian Revolution, The Chinese Civil War …… it just goes on and on.

    After each revolutionary period there is a period of greater equality, after which the cycle starts all over again.

    The most important lesson of history is that the lessons of history are not learned.

    I see that Olympus (camera manufacturer) is the latest organisation to be described as rotten to the core.

    By the way, it has been demonstrated time and time again that the most stable societies are those in which leaders [literally] share food with the lowest members.

    • King Kong 8.1

      I suspect that these stable societies that you refer to also had high rates of death by plague and mammoth wounds.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1

        KK

        I am unaware of the existence of mammoths in Tahiti in the nineteenth century or in the New Guinea highlands in the twentieth century but I bow to your greater knowledge of such things.

        When you refer to high death rates by plague are you referring to what happened shortly after white men arrived in places like America? Or are you using the term metaphorically, as in a ‘plague’ of Europeans wiped out the Caribs and very nearly wiped out the Maori?

      • Spratwax 8.1.2

        It is my understanding that stable societies of chimps did not live in 14th century Europe although they may have been hosts to the fleas which spread the disease. They would not have survived the cold climate of the mammoth habitat.

        Come to think of it- they wouldn’t be stable societies under King Kong!

      • mik e 8.1.3

        Gorillas have a more humane society aye king klutz

    • joe bloggs 8.2

      AFKTT, I just want to correct a popular misconception that your post reinforces:

      Psychopaths are rarely psychotic

      In contrast to people with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, who often lose contact with reality, psychopaths are almost always rational. They are well aware that their ill-advised or illegal actions are wrong in the eyes of society but shrug off these concerns. What’s more, they typically do so in aggressive or violent waqys.

      Psychopathy isn’t a product of Western culture either – it’s present in non-Western cultures as well, including those that have had minimal exposure to media portrayals of the condition.

      I rather suspect that the condition that you are thinking of is sociopathy (characterised by superficial charm, narcissism, and a lack of empathy) rather than the more problematic psychopathy (characterised by sociopathy, plus aggressive and predatory behaviour). To elaborate briefly, poor impulse control combined with inadequate self esteem or lower social standing is enough to create sociopathic behaviour. Whereas, the sociopath response is more grounded in reality of their social standing and past history the psychopath creates greater perceived threats through imagination – hence the greater violence.

      Unfortunately posts like yours serve as reminders that widespread common understandings of mental illness contain as much fiction as fact.

      [lprent: You still have two more days on your ban according to the file. I’ll let this through. ]

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.2.1

        jb

        I did not use the term psychopath. I wrote psychotic sociopaths.

        psychotic = disconnected from reality

        sociopath = person with personality disorder manifesting in extreme antisocial attitudes and behaviour.

        = Key, Banks, Dunne etc.

        • mike 8.2.1.1

          I guess it depends on your interpretation of ‘psychotic’. I myself associate the word with the more severe mental disorders such as those involving hallucinations and bizarre behaviour. Men in white coats coming to take you away territory.

          By ‘disconnected to reality’ I wonder if you mean their beliefs that they are smarter than the rest, that their con-job is impeccable, that they will never get caught, that they can bullshit their way out of anything, don’t care about raping the environment, that when the shit hits the fan they will still emerge winners, etc. These are all classic sociopath/psychopath beliefs. Their pathological self-confidence can be their undoing, but it can also get them a long way. People interpret confidence as competence and sincerity, it also makes them very good liars. (Psychopaths can often pass polygraph tests.)

          A sociopath who makes it in politics is like a kid in a candystore. Also don’t overlook narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), much more serious and nasty than just being a bit narcissistic, and often difficult to distinguish from sociopathy. I think Banks could be a candidate.

          Some believe that a sociopathic politician will often tag team with an NPD politician. It would be child’s play for a sociopathic manipulator to play on the all too obvious vanity/grandiosity/self-importance buttons of an NPD in order to get them to play ball.

          Oh look it’s John Key.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2

        Sociopathy and psychopathy are the same thing although some police jurisdictions in the US are starting to use sociopath to describe serial killers and psychopath for the corporate climber who lies and steals their way to the top.

        • mike 8.2.2.1

          There’s a lot of different opinions about definitions of sociopath vs psychopath. Everytime I read someone’s attempt they seem quite different. I’m not unsympathetic to the view that there is no meaningful difference, which I’ve heard before.

          One try is that sociopaths are largely a product of upbringing and environment, while psychopaths have an observable, physical, neurological difference to ‘normals’. The former don’t think they are different from normal people other than being smarter and superior, just looking out for number 1, they don’t think they are doing anything ‘wrong’, a very human denial. The later realise at a young age that they are different, still think they are smarter and superior, but don’t kid themselves about their amorality/immorality – they just don’t care.

          Any distinction is probably arbitrary, debatable, and have many shades of grey. So I think it could well come down to personal choice if you find one that you think meaningful or not.

          So I would take issue with the US jurisdictions you mention. I would say a serial killer is more likely to be a psychopath than sociopath (but a sociopath might not be above murder). And the corporate/political climber type could be a sociopath or a psychopath. But I guess a rose is a rose by any other name.

          As an aside, note that Dr Robert Hare, one of the foremost experts on psychopathy, estimates that 1% of the population are psychopaths, and that only about 1 in 20,000 – 30,000 psychopaths will be a serial killer.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.1.1

            Wikipedia to the Rescue

            And after that you should be thoroughly confused 😈

            Throw in this one as well:-

            Regrettably, the current (fourth, revised) edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), published in 2000, only reinforces the confusion between psychopathy and violence. It describes a condition termed antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), which is characterized by a longstanding history of criminal and often physically aggressive behavior, referring to it as synonymous with psychopathy. Yet research demonstrates that measures of psychopathy and ASPD overlap only moderately.

            • mike 8.2.2.1.1.1

              I’ve been researching the subject for the past year so you’ll have to do better than toss the wiki page at me if you want to confuse! From said wiki article, which I feel supports what I said:

              “Psychopathy vs. sociopathy

              Hare writes that the difference between sociopathy and psychopathy may “reflect the user’s views on the origins and determinates of the disorder.” The term sociopathy may be preferred by sociologists that see the causes as due to social factors. The term psychopathy may be preferred by psychologists who see the causes as due to a combination of psychological, genetic, and environmental factors.[99]

              David T. Lykken proposes psychopathy and sociopathy as two distinct kinds of antisocial personality disorder. He believes psychopaths are born with temperamental differences such as impulsivity, cortical underarousal, and fearlessness that lead them to risk-seeking behavior and an inability to internalize social norms. On the other hand, he claims sociopaths have relatively normal temperaments; their personality disorder being more an effect of negative sociological factors like parental neglect, delinquent peers, poverty, and extremely low or extremely high intelligence. Both personality disorders are the result of an interaction between genetic predispositions and environmental factors, but psychopathy leans towards the hereditary whereas sociopathy tends towards the environmental.[95]”

              You have hit upon a touchy point about the DSM-IV definition of ASPD in your quote though. It just lumps psychopathy in with ASPD, and the conditions for diagnosis are being seriously questioned by researchers. In particular the condition that there is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years, which disqualifies some who probably shouldn’t be disqualified. Also some claim the DSM-IV definition leans too heavily towards describing criminal behaviour, which neglects many other flavours of psychopath. This is a big area of debate right now. The feeling is that not all psychopaths have ASPD, and not all ASPDs are psychopaths. Or else the definition of ASPD needs to be quite seriously revised. Stay tuned for the DSM-V in 2013. What’s interesting to me is that definitions, understanding, and awareness of psychopathy and it’s impact on society are changing quickly, with some chilling implications.

              So I’ll see you, and raise you: Dr Robert Hare, probably the foremost expert on psychopathy, says it’s actually quite difficult to call psychopathy a mental illness under any meaningful definition of mental illness. He says a biologist might dispassionately call it a valid and often effective adaptation to an organisms environment, albeit a very selfish one. He even hints at calling them a different species!

  9. vto 9

    ffs, what do these people do with their hoardings of wealth? Don’t they get bored playing monopoly? And if they don’t, well it says something about them really. Or do they go on ever-longer and more-extensive overseas holidays? Lordy, how boring.

    In fact, it is becoming clear that obscene wealth is boring. And I suspect that those driving around in lambourghinis and ferraris and top-end trabants are viewed with less impression and more disdain as each day and week currently passes. In the streets of Fendalton, Remmers and that one in Wellington.

    Yet another sign of the moving of the times and sentiments…

    • King Kong 9.1

      I must say that the blokes I saw on Nikki beach, St Tropez earlier in the year who were pouring 500 euro bottles of champagne on scantilly clad hotties didn’t look too bored.

      Unfortunately as I live in impoverished old NZ I could only afford to waste a couple of the 200 euro bottles. This is the real outrage. New Zealanders deserve the right to spray champagne to an international standard.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.1.1

        KK

        From the attitudes you present on this forum we might conclude that you would have very much enjoyed being a slave master on a plantation or part of the administration of a Nazi death camp … such wonderful oportunities to exploit other people and enrich yourself.

      • Spratwax 9.1.2

        Ha ha ! Excellent. But if they got scantily clad hotties for 500 euros, what did you get for 200? A couple of chimps, maybe?

      • Karl Sinclair 9.1.3

        OMG Darrrrlinkkkk your vexations are of concern to me, you poor thing.

        To get you through your peril I will FEDEX immediately one Almas Caviar and a bottle of 1907 Heidsieck champagne.

        Just sprinkle delicately over said hotties and all will be made well again

        Happy quaffing…..

        On On Old Bean…

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.4

        You think an overt status symbol is interesting?

      • mik e 9.1.5

        king kong klueless klutz taking misogyny back to the middle ages

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.6

        So much class, are you sure it wasn’t Lindauer?

        • mik e 9.1.6.1

          KK to many wet dreams going back to basic instincts Neanderthal or maybe you are the missing link

      • mik e 9.1.7

        KK otherwise known as her-man cain

    • Jimmy 9.2

      Wealth is power, and sadly, power is something some try to obtain and increase.

      • vto 9.2.1

        Yes you’r right jimmy and I’ve always actually said that the pursuit of wealth usually falls away quickly, once on that track, to the pursuit of power and status.

        This very human trait is at the heart of it. It is unstoppable by means of argument. It is only stoppable by means of rules and regs re-setting, or by force.

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      Its not even like they put their wealth to anything useful to society. Most of it just sits in land or in Wall St accounts feeding the parasitic system.

      Certainly fuck all goes on ‘job creation’.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.3.1

        CV

        You forgot all the ‘job creation’ that comes from employing security guards to ensure there is no redistribution of their wealth, all the ‘job creation’ that comes from constructiing amd maiintaining super-yachts so the ultra-wealthy can keep themselves amused (Helen Clark was really keen on that one), and all the ‘job creation’ that comes from cleaning up oil spills because corporations cut maintenance in order to maximise return to shareholders and senior executives. (It would be shameful for a CEO to retire with a package of less than $300 million these days.)

        Then there is all the ‘job creation’ that comes from debt collection, foreclosure of homes, building and maintaining prisons, and building and maintianing hospitals that deal with the casualties of this toxic and dysfunctional system.

        Fortunately Peak Oil is going to bring it all to an end fairly soon.

        Then we will be able return to the days of feudalism, with a lord of the manor exploiting and abusing his serfs.

  10. Anthony 10

    Well we operate under an inherently unstable system that only gives the illusion of stability due to being constantly propped up by ever increasing levels of monetary, environmental and social costs.

    The mythic equilibrium of the free market will never happen, and until we realize that, the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer..

  11. What do do about this? Does Mana have the answer? Redistribution?
    Michael Roberts blog argue that this widening gap is a necessary aspect of capitalism and that no capitalist is going to give up on the class war because they are asked nicely by the David Shearers or the 99%. Capitalism has outlived is use-by date and is toxic. Time it was dumped.

    “…The OECD report finds that, in all the major capitalist economies, the rich getting richer just meant that they got further away from the rest of us and it did not matter if you lived in a so-called ‘free market’ Anglo Saxon country, such as the US and the UK, or supposedly in more egalitarian countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany. The pay gap between rich and poor just widened: from five to one in the 1980s to six to one today. In so-called BRICs ( Brazil, Russia, India and China), the ratio is an alarming 50 to one…”

    http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/inequality-poverty-and-riots/

  12. Peter 12

    NACT most likely cannot understand why inequality is an issue. After all this is the natural order of things and the way of the market. In their eyes everyone must strive to be part of the 1% and support those who make it! Simple really.

  13. Glenn 13

    I have 5 children. 3 voted and two couldn’t be bothered. In fact the daughter who didn’t vote isn’t even enrolled to vote at 38 years old..She has never voted.
    The son who didn’t vote has always voted before however in this election he just couldn’t be bothered. “It’ won’t make ant difference it’s only one vote.”
    The daughter is a beneficiery and the son is not on great wages.
    2 of the million non voters that we missed out on.

  14. Qualanqui 14

    Until a cure for greed and stupidity is found the world is just gona keep circling the drain with the greedy killing the stupid and getting stupidly wealthy

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    1 day ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 day ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    3 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. ...
    3 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. ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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. ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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. ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • Green policies support Labour’s housing plan
    The Green Party’s housing package is a welcome complement to Labour’s plan to fix the housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s clear that, to get the affordable homes we need and save the Kiwi dream of ...
    2 weeks ago

Today is the day of the Mt Roskill by-election. To be safe under the legislation, there will be no further comment on that election until after the polls close at 7pm. Transgressors will receive lengthy bans.