Note to Labour leader: Rudimentary thoughts I

Written By: - Date published: 12:51 pm, October 18th, 2013 - 98 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

There is an increasing groundswell of opinion from a number of commentators across the political spectrum that signal Labour will be returned to Government at the 2014 General Election.

A question that has yet to be answered is: by how much? And for how long? The majority won in the 2014 general election will, to a large extent, determine the length of term in office.

It may upset some Labour members who position themselves to the Left in the Labour camp, but in broad terms Labour should seek to target and capture the support of those who generally consider themselves centrist. And those who would consider themselves to be an intermittent Labour voter. This is the real ground to be captured in 2014.

Most middle-class New Zealand electors are ‘pocket book’ voters. They are most interested in how a government is to contribute to the stability of their household. Like any first world middle-class group, they desire a stable economy with fair not penalising taxation, a world class free education and health sector, the ability to comfortably pay a mortgage over the course of their working life on quality and affordable housing. They want these advantages, and this stability, for their children.

Importantly, the middle-class wants to ‘get on’; live a life of achievement based on their efforts. The middle-class is driven by a quiet, sometimes latent, aspiration. This could be to be a small business owner, freehold homeowner, an apprentice who would dream to be self-employed, or the trained self-employed professional.

Aspirant middle-class electorates such as Invercargill, New Plymouth, Waimakariri, Whanganui, Napier, East Coast, Auckland Central, Christchurch Central, Ohariu, Hamilton West, and Maungakiekie should all be considered as marginal; to be won by Labour.

At a policy level, Labour should paint itself as a friend of the aspirant. On the one hand the supporter to the most vulnerable in New Zealand but equally a steadfast supporter of households and their aspirations.

The Left of the Labour Party may regard this kind of approach as a wretched departure from the founding themes of the Labour movement in New Zealand. Fear not; the Labour tradition is ostensibly progressive. None of our true believer Labour folk will be forgotten.

The aspirations and capture of the middle-class hold the key to Labour’s success in 2014 and beyond.

The Black Rod

98 comments on “Note to Labour leader: Rudimentary thoughts I ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Can I kick off the debate by advocating a counter view, that turnout is all important and the only way that you can do this is with a principled alternative view of the world that inspires people to vote.

    You cannot underestimate a combination of passion and competence.

    And there should be a role in persuasion and education in a campaign rather than relying on triangulation and matching policies to reference group data.

    • karol 1.1

      what does Labour stand for if it continues the old “neoliberal” approach – target the centrist voters. i thought this was what Cunliffe’s Labour was turning away from.

      A principled view is needed. The people most in need of Labour’s support are those who have been neglected by this “game” approach to politics – it’s not all about winning. It’s about democracy, and the greatest good for the greatest number.

      • Tim 1.1.1

        Indeed Karol!. And if Labour want to ditch many of its founding principles, particularly those that don’t give those most in need a fair suck of the sav, then at least they should have th common decency to change their name. “NeoLabour perhaps” … maybe even Me-Me-Me-o-Labour.
        Since Cunliffe, for my money they’re only JUST beginning to make me consider voting for them again (at least electorate vote-wise).

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          The Black Rod is advocating the virtues of a Light Blue alternative to National. More significant than that though, they have demonstrated zero understanding of the financial, monetary and central banking disasters unfolding offshore.

          Note to all: the 21st Century is the century of energy and resource decline. In this environment of real economy contraction, the middle classes have been staying afloat by pushing down opportunities available to the working classes and the under classes. Just as the 1% is determined to stay afloat by pushing down the middle classes.

          • Rogue Trooper 1.1.1.1.1

            This: Half of employed New Zealanders, in low waged employment, temporary contracts, and the precariat .Surveys conducted this year identified that this Half of the employed population are either coming up short financially, or receive just enough to meet their, and their families’ needs.
            As the Viper identifies, in the formerly Anglo-Saxon dominated nation-states, the UK, US, Aus, for examples, the middle-class are being continually squeezed and demoted, often replaced by new-comers of different ethnicities, Chinese, South East Asians, Polynesians and Indians, who often hold different aspirations despite their socio-economic bracketing.
            Then there is the tangata whenua, with their youth increasing rapidly in number, yet being generally neglected by parties, other than Mana.

            The ‘middle-class’, their promotion heavily dependent on oil, coal, resource depletion, private and public debt, and all the other trappings associated with Status Anxiety . In time, as a collective ‘class’, they will be swamped and displaced by competitive peoples from Asia (primarily).

    • stargazer 1.2

      i’d agree with this. we’ve already tried the “go for the centre” approach for the last 4-5 years. didn’t do us much good. on the other hand, as part of the leadership contest, we had the contenders pushing some very progressive left-wing positions & had increase in support. what we do need is strong planning and organisation around policy releases, but i don’t see that appealing to the centre is what people likely to vote labour are looking for.

    • emergency mike 1.3

      Agree Mickey, it’s to those 800,000 who couldn’t get inspired enough to vote in 2011 for a NAct nor Lab/Green govt both trying to win the mythical ‘centre’ vote that we should be looking.

      I feel that most ‘pocket book’ voters are more or less fixed in their voting patterns. How about we quit insulting/underestimating people’s intelligence and give people something to be inspired about? Let NAct carry on the fine job they’ve been doing giving people something to be disgusted by.

    • lprent 1.4

      I disagree with this as well. But Mickey can write faster than I can…

      It is a tactical approach rather than a strategic one. What you get out of it is one election, and maybe two if the opposition is weak enough. Not enough to win the decade required to implement real change.

      http://thestandard.org.nz/note-to-labour-leader-rudimentary-thoughts-i/#comment-712475

      • tamati 1.4.1

        I disagree with this as well. But Aaron Sorkin can write far more candidly that I can…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_Bartlet_Be_Bartlet

      • Mary 1.4.2

        It is true that Labour needs to capture the support of the middle class, but not by pandering to views generated by a neo-liberal agenda. It’s about creating a climate of opinion that values participation based on citizenship. New Zealand was that caring society for most of the last century until it began to fall apart in the mid 1980s followed by total decimation by the end of the 1990s. We’ve never recovered from that. Generations have cemented in a type of thinking your average National voter in the 1950s or 1960s would never have contemplated. Hatred of the poor is now commonplace. The poor are lazy therefore don’t deserve our help. In the 1990s the argument was about whether benefit levels were adequate. Remember Labour saying in the 1990s that it’d reinstate benefit rates to prior the 1991 cuts? It flip-flopped on that straight away, of course, but the discussion’s now moved to whether benefits should be paid at all. That’s where we’re still firmly planted. Adequate social security’s not on the agenda anymore, not in the mainstream, anyway. The issue shouldn’t be about Labour trying to be everything to everyone, rather than one of culture and values. We should instead be striving to regain the caring society we once had. What’s depressing is that I just can’t see how we can ever get to a point where we will even want to do that, let alone know how to do it.

        • This.

          Labour should vie for the centre vote from the Left. That means it has to sell its left-wing approach to the centre, not that the whole party has to shift to the right. Labour has already abandoned the idea of radical reform- it doesn’t need to go any further right to appeal to the middle class. Overall it will get more votes this way, but by still positioning itself close to the centre but with a distinctly left wing point of view, it both overlaps the Greens to ensure there are no wasted voters who fall between their approaches, (which was definitely a huge problem under Goff and Shearer) and also leaves the Greens room to pick up any more radical or simply differently inclined voters who want to veer even further left. It’s sound strategy both ways.

          What it needs to do is point out that a strong safety net helps all of us, even the rich. It needs to point out that an economy is built from the bottom up, and we can’t get prosperity for those centre voters without sharing it with those least well off in our society. It needs to be a broad tent, and welcome in all comers, provided they can get along in a broad tent. That means there’s room for Shane Jones and others like him, so long as he can keep his bigotry under control.

    • newsense 1.5

      Can I quote from Gordon Campbell about Obama:
      http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2013/10/18/gordon-campbell-on-the-police-being-above-the-law/

      “Bi-partisanship simply hasn’t worked ; and the quest for it was never the basis of his mandate. Way back in 2008 when there were such hopes for this presidency, Obama was given a strong mandate for change. The presidency is deceptive in that respect. Ostensibly, the office is meant to be bispartisan in that Mr President governs for all Americans. In reality though, those Presidents seen as great ( eg Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy on civil rights and yes, Reagan) have been those who made their partisan agenda into the new norm for the nation. Obama was elected to lead in that mould, and his only victories have arisen from the very few times that he has acted on that mandate”

      Similarly the centre has been dragged so far right I don’t think we should be aiming for the centre where Key has dragged it under the stalking horse of not being Don Brash. If you look at the instant poll changes of late, it is clear that there is a large number of people who are much happier with a centre further left and some who are waiting to be convinced about it.

      Remember just a short time ago that asset sales were considered political suicide given the examples of TranzRail, AirNZ etc etc. There is no reason why Labour can’t be the party the aspirational turn to and why an evidence based Labour direction should be attractive to a large cross section of Kiwis

  2. weka 2

    “but in broad terms Labour should seek to target and capture the support of those who generally consider themselves centrist. And those who would consider themselves to be an intermittent Labour voter. This is the real ground to be captured in 2014.”

    Where would those votes be coming from?

    And how would Labour achieve this at the same time as getting the missing 800,000 out to vote, some of whom aren’t voting because Labour is not that much different than NACT, or their needs aren’t being met by centrist govts? Or are you suggesting that Labour go after the centre vote at the expense of more marginalised people?

  3. lprent 3

    As I was saying to The Black Rod when this came in, I feel that this is a tactical rather than a strategic approach. Sure you can stroke the centrist votes and get them to vote for you. But why?

    They tend to be quite fickle voters and they can change their minds every three years because who the government is doesn’t matter much for the reasonably well-off. For the nearly the last 30 years with minor diversions, this has been the group that all major parties have tried to tickle. The reason why is because they virtually always vote.

    But it takes more than three years for most social and economic change. It usually takes a decade or more. So electoral strategies should be focused on that time frame.

    Chasing almost exclusively this centrist group has been the *main* reason that the number of people voting has been dropping rapidly during this period. If you have two major parties dedicated to patting the affluent and looking pretty damn indistinguishable then why vote at all?

    Now I’m just a hard headed “centrist” and probably centre right in most of my attitudes. I’m definitely neither a “leftie” nor a bleeding heart. I’m a reluctant socialist by intellect rather than by instinct. But I got trained to think strategically and over longer time periods. I’ve also spent much of the last 20 odd years supporting Labour as an activist and specifically with campaigns. For Labour a falling number of voters is terrible over the long term.

    So the down and out don’t vote, and they don’t do so because they *know* that both major parties only care about the centre… Probably good tactics to chase the centre but really dumbarse strategically.,

    Edit: Strategically the best way is to chase the missing voters and drive National out of the centre by moving the centre leftwards.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      I think you’re onto it, lp. I had some really disheartening talks with potential voters during the last campaign who simply did not see any party offering anything that impacted positively on their lives. For mine, I think a strategy of engagement with the middle class and working and non working poor makes sense.

      Firstly, the recent poll results suggest the floating centre has already made up its mind about Key, so Labour needs to find policies that bring them to us, rather than have their voting block dissipated on NZF or the Conservatives or whatever. The housing policy is an example of how that can work.

      For working Kiwis nearer the bottom of the heap, we need to give them reasons to enroll and vote. Better work rights, support for their kids, a living wage etc. We need to find the issues that resonate with them and put put up policies that will make them make the effort.

      For people living on the various forms of state support, again, it’s finding issues that resonate. Retooling WINZ so that it’s an agency of help, rather than a form of state repression would be a start.

      If Labour can shore up its vote by a couple of percent in all three of those sectors, they’ll be home and hosed.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Retooling WINZ so that it’s an agency of help, rather than a form of state repression would be a start.

        That and putting in place a Universal income. Support people to create their own work.

      • weka 3.1.2

        “For people living on the various forms of state support, again, it’s finding issues that resonate. Retooling WINZ so that it’s an agency of help, rather than a form of state repression would be a start.”

        It would be. However I’m not yet convinced that Labour understand what the actual issues are. The main thing I’ve seen from Cunliffe is that the solution to welfare problems is to create jobs, as if all people on welfare are unemployed. They’re not.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1

          Yep, just because someone isn’t employed by someone else to make the latter person richer doesn’t mean to say that they’re unemployed.

    • Rogue Trooper 3.2

      This also

  4. richard 4

    … but in broad terms Labour should seek to target and capture the support of those who generally consider themselves centrist.

    Bollocks.

    Labour has been overtly pandering to the mythical centrist voter ever since they first got into power under Helen Clarke. In every election since then they have lost votes. Since Helen left, the pandering got even more overt with the appointment of two successive leaders from the right of the party. The results were near devastating for the party’s very existence as a meaningful political entity in NZ.

    • weka 4.1

      I think the post is also confusing the middle class vote (which varies across the political spectrum), and middle NZ (whoever that is, it’s not just the middle classes).

  5. Philgwellington Wellington 5

    I wonder how long it will take before the the ideology as expressed from Cunliffe, is watered down, or disappears completely, as per Obama.
    Also don’t underestimate the growing influence of the Asian vote, particularly in Orkland. Just ask Len!

    • karol 5.1

      In his speech to the CTU, Cunliffe talked about a “values based” strategy, and government for “all New Zealanders.

      Why are some Labourites already asking to turn away from that?

  6. Policy Parrot 6

    Part of the reason why Labour has in fact become arguably more popular is that the Government has in fact, by neglect or design, moved increasingly away from the centre. Add in the odd scandal/ministerial resignation, and the leadership primary for Labour – which actually switched people on to Labour for the first time since the interest-free student loan policy –

    and hey presto, Labour has de-facto become a serious contender for the centrist voter. However, I do not agree with the premise that Labour should default back to managerialism now that it occupies the Government-in-waiting position. The centre is partly attracted to Labour because of the distinction it offers in its policy position, e.g. capital gains tax, remove LVRs, raise pension age for able bodied, support for a living wage, restoring balance to employment relations etc.

  7. McFlock 7

    The trouble is that the vast majority of voters aren’t “pocket book” voters. Some of them are aspirational voters (they vote for the pocket books of where they think they should be, rather than where they are), or noble voters (they vote for what they think is good for the country, rather than regarding themselves as part of that equation), or they are alienated voters (a plague on both your houses).

    Most people, if they think about the economy at all, would know “deficits bad, inflation bad” and not much more. This is why national have a reputation for financial management and can yell “tax and spend” at the left, when it’s nact who run the country into the ground every time they touch power.

    So to echo MS in comment 1, the left need to de-alienate poorer and middle class voters who have disengaged. This is not so much flashy campaigns as actually reconnecting policies with the problems they will solve – I think our postmodern campaigns of banalities and pithy policy statements have lost that connection to an individual voter’s personal situation. And that would also address a number of voters in the aspirational/noble categories, too.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    Black Rod’s post is fine as a preamble to some substance. But then it just stops.

    What does this “centrist” appeal mean? If it means understanding ‘average’ household concerns (power bills, rent/buy home, schools, health costs, groceries etc), then who on the left would disagree? And Labour seem to be doing this already. A range of policies address these issues. More to come, hopefully.

    If it means constructing a mythical bigot and pandering to him (always him), then no.

    So yes, let’s have this discussion, With specifics, please.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Awful lot to be said about this, but I’ll just say for now that “middle class” is not the same as the ‘political centre’ in terms of number of votes.

    Also the centre isn’t a group that is easily defined. They are a group of groups, each having their own idiosyncricies. What appeals to some of the ‘centre’, makes other’s toes curl.

  10. Philgwellington Wellington 10

    I also wonder when any major political party will do the right thing and acknowledge the magnitude of the issue of climate change, and the matter of dwindling resources for watering and feeding the people of the world. Perhaps this could be a happy marriage with the greens? Limiting population and growth has to be the priority. Can’t see that happening. The alternative is depressingly inevitable. No wonder our politicians don’t want to know.

    • The Lone Haranguer 10.1

      Philg,

      Most folk are interested in whats in it for them and their family first, whats in it for people like them second and the people “not like them” are a distant third if they rate at all.

      As for feeding the folks of the world? forget it, unless the Government has looked after priority one first, and priority two second.

      Dont believe me?

      Just get Labour to say they are going to make a refugee quota for intakes at the Universities and make their fees free and wait for the screams from all over the place.

  11. Steve 11

    I agree with Micky & Weka that the most important group for the Labour to mobilise are the disenfranchised voters who simply have not been turning out to vote.

    Having said that, policies that appeal to that group need not be at the expense of “middle-class” aspirants. The failed neo-liberal experiment of the last 25 years has been at the expense of all but the 1% elite. The middle class have been clobbered by these policies with falling real wages and hollowed out public services.

    The challenge for labour is to explain and educate “middle-class aspirants” that progressive social democratic policies will benefit them as much as the less fortunate in our society.The trick is to re-define the centre, not continue as National-lite.

    I am very excited about the future as Labour/Greens could be one of the first governments in the developed world to carve out a new progressive way forward that begins to roll back the disasterous experiment of neo-liberalism.

  12. bad12 12

    MS, without actually saying so you seem to be alluding to a Labour/Green Government also finding the space to include NZFirst,

    Of course such would rely on NZFirst surviving the 2014 election something i would suggest is less at this point in the electoral cycle than a 50/50 proposition,

    Obviously a Labour/Green Government is going to move to the left, just how far left i would suggest in the first term after 2014 will rely upon the rump ‘right’ of MP’s who privately still believe that the Douglas prescription ‘was the right thing’ as far as what was done to the New Zealand economy all those years ago being able to stomach having it unpicked bit by bit,

    This is MMP politics and while some put much weight upon the ‘prestige’ of electorate seats, in the greater scheme of things these mean little when it comes to the totaling of the vote,

    Could even a five term Government of the left be possible under MMP, my opinion says Yes, if Labour as the major Party in the next Government is willing to actively Build Coalition Partners,

    This of course would mean the next Labour/Green Government including not only NZFirst,(needed to make a majority or not), but, also including Hone Harawira’s Mana Party while giving that latter Party credit for the likes of State House builds,

    There are a lot of people that would probably oppose such, but, in terms of ‘coalition building’ there are large electoral gains across the spectrum, Labour/Green/Mana for agreements to not stand candidates in specific seats,

    The mechanics of arranging this are at this point in time beyond me and perhaps beyond the relevant political parties but i would suggest to achieve a four or five term Government of the left at some stage such an arrangement must be reached…

  13. Enough is Enough 13

    What a pile of bollocks.

    This isn’t just a game where winning an election is all Labour needs to achieve. If you win and continue the same misguided policies of the past 30 years, then we may as well leave National in. At least I don’t feel betrayed by them like I will if Labour tries to be National in drag.

    Labour needs to lead and influence public opinion. It needs to demonstrate why the neoliberal dream is a fucking nightmare for most of the public and why we need to change course. It must advocate truly socialist and economic friendly policies.

    Unless it does that then why change?

  14. Zorr 14

    One simple thing

    A leader leads – this is why I am enjoying Cunliffe so much and am reinvigorated by his leadership

    They don’t pander – this is distinctly pandering just to gain votes with no other goal in mind and would be like a cold shower

  15. This post is not only wrong strategically but tactically. To win the middle you have to break it up so that those who are self-employed only because there are no jobs get jobs.

    Following PhilGWells point, this is particularly true of the migrant population often excluded from jobs and forced into self-employment. Creating jobs is the way to win them from the politics of the right.

    This means job creation and full employment that is targeted at the under- and unemployed workers can also win those sections of the middle to jobs and unions. Double whammy.

    The blind aspirationals who who just want to escape the working class you don’t want anywhere near the Party anyway. They are fascist fodder.

  16. Ad 16

    I think the writer of the post shows a sad and cynical mistrust of New Zealanders to not vote unless their self-interest is appealed to. It only works to a degree (eg minor poll upswings after tax cuts, interest free student loans).

    Labour’s Hopey-Changey stuff is backed by solid and hard hitting policy that makes Cunliffe’s words seem believable.

    Fully agree with Mickey’s response, and lprent’s. I think people will continue to get excited by Labour with strong values, articulate leadership, and a sense of cohesion and purpose that can be transferred to getting more people out to vote.

    Helpfully Labour now has a leader that can achieve that.

    The dream run before Labour heading towards Christmas is the party conference, referendum, by-election and further asset sales, John Banks trial, and inevitable major cabinet reshuffle. I see 5 further points in that.

    The polls say there is no reason at all for David Cunliffe to change his existing themes or strategic direction – which is precisely the opposite direction of the posting writer.

  17. BLiP 17

    . . . Aspirant middle-class electorates such as Invercargill, New Plymouth, Waimakariri, Whanganui, Napier, East Coast, Auckland Central, Christchurch Central, Ohariu, Hamilton West, and Maungakiekie should all be considered as marginal; to be won by Labour.

    At a policy level, Labour should paint itself as a friend of the aspirant. On the one hand the supporter to the most vulnerable in New Zealand but equally a steadfast supporter of households and their aspirations . . .

    Are you havin’ a laugh?

  18. Red Rosa 18

    John Key is the slick salesman for a National Party which is Extreme Right. Not Centre-Right.

    Did NZ’ers really vote last time for a mishmash of Weird Right policies which include charter schools, return of knighthoods, further asset sales, gutting DoC & the RMA, more pokies and creepy bennie-bashing?

    The current mix of sleaze and farce is turning off many Old Nat voters, who for all their faults are at least honest. And many NZ’ers must be wondering now about TPP, the GCSB Bill etc, as Key’s credibility sinks to new lows.

    A capable and articulate Labour leader in David Cunliffe has revitalized the whole scene. All credit also to the Greens for plugging away under a barrage of smears.

    My guess an autumn election, once DotCom vs Key hits the headlines.

    • The Lone Haranguer 18.1

      Quote Red Rosa

      Did NZ’ers really vote last time for a mishmash of Weird Right policies which include charter schools, return of knighthoods, further asset sales, gutting DoC & the RMA, more pokies and creepy bennie-bashing?

      Yes they pretty much did. The Nats said what they were going to do, and then once back in power, got on with their agenda.

      And lets be fair, the return of Knighthoods was a winner for the Nats. The public are confident with it and even Labour types put their hands to trade in their indigenous NZ awards for an upgrade to a Gong once Helen was sitting in her New York apartment

      • weka 18.1.1

        No they fucking didn’t. For a start, the number of people who voted for NACT doesn’t equate to “NZers”, it’s only a portion of them, not even the majority of voters. Not to mention the 800,000 that didn’t vote at all. And the UF/Dunne/Ohariu factor.

        Then there is the fact that many people don’t pay that much attention to politics or policies other than the ones thrust in their faces or ones that directly affect them. Lots of people would have no idea what the issues with the RMA are, nor why DoC is being gutted.

        I’ve love to know if any proper research has been done on voting in NZ, who votes for what and why. Mostly I think we have no idea.

  19. Is there any evidence or analysis to support these claims about the motives, values and voting behaviour of ‘the centre’ or presumed ‘middle class aspirants’? Perhaps the evidence will be supplied in later posts? And is there any data on the size of such a group? Or, that ‘aspirational’ is the best word to characterise them?

    I would expect to see some polling evidence, for example, tied to voting patterns over a reasonably lengthy period that shows correlations between responses to values and attitudes surveys and voting behaviour.

    In the United States, for example, there is evidence from such polling and surveying that on many social and economic issues (e.g., health care) the policies of both the Democrat and Republican parties are well to the right of the public. There is also evidence of an extraordinary ‘volatility’ in voting behaviour in the US.

    The words “None of our true believer Labour folk will be forgotten” are also a bit curious. Perhaps it is just loose writing, but the ‘will be’ seems to assert a direction that ‘will be’ taken, as opposed to one that is just being advocated.

    • Puddleglum 19.1

      There is also evidence that, in the US electorate at least, more ‘liberal’ ideology (e.g., in terms of support for taxation) emerges during periods of income growth while more ‘conservative’ ideology (e.g., lower support for taxation) emerges when income growth declines.

      That is, ‘aspiration’ is perhaps better called ‘desperation’.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        Plus feeling better by bashing marginal and vulnerable groups, egged on by right wing assholes.

      • Lloyd 19.1.2

        Does the growth cause the liberal ideology or does the liberal ideology generate policies which cause a growth in the economy?

  20. Tangee 20

    I think DC have made it clear we are swerving left and as long as he is clear all the way and no doubling back then he should take the next election and what he does during the next term in government will ensure the return of labour for the next election if he follows through with his promises.
    A lot of people have been left behind and the trickling down effect should now be called the hardly trickling down effect. If more is distributed to the mass most of it will come back into the economy whereas if it is passed to the rich as it is now then it is sent to savings or used to avoid tax.

  21. captain hook 21

    Sometimes the people are very hard to lead and no matter what they are promised they stubbornly refuse to budge for what be in any in depth analysis rational reasons.
    KEY AND HIS LOWBROW mates were asssisted into power by the incessant promotion from Steven Joyces private radio network and the hair and teeth brigade from TV1 who took the line it was Nationals TURN.
    Well they have had their turn and left a frigging mess for the NZ Labour Party to clean up.
    Which they will.

  22. aerobubble 22

    It may upset some Labour members who position themselves to the Left in the Labour camp, but in broad terms Labour should seek to target and capture the support of those who generally consider themselves centrist.

    RUBBISH.

    Labour will lose if this is the goal. The whole idea is to win and that means in our present politics to not cede ground at the outset. Take to National base, to farmers, to small business owners, and explain to them why National backward ideology (and Labour when it was taken over by the extreme economic lobby) has decimated NZ leaving a hollowed our economy, always begging, create smelly, leaky, homes and financial companies.

    Labour will lose if it cannot speak to farmers, business people and labour rank and file, they are not mutually exclusive outside of parliament why would we be fooled into beliving they were inside of parliament.

    Its an oxymoron to say you want to be centralist yet ignore the right. Being centralist means talking to the right as much as the left. Winning means cooling the left and winning the right. You march right over to the right, strip Key bare of his false clothes and expose the right for the pillage of the last thirty years.

  23. Rich 23

    Invercargill, New Plymouth, Waimakariri, Whanganui, Napier, East Coast, Auckland Central, Christchurch Central, Ohariu, Hamilton West, and Maungakiekie

    We have MMP – Labour could lose in every one of those seats and still win the election. Party votes in safe Labour seats and safe National seats count as much as any in a marginal seat.

    • Te Reo Putake 23.1

      You’re missing the point, Rich. Winning the electorates is important because then we have local MP’s who will actually assist their constituents.

  24. Philgwellington Wellington 24

    It’s called inclusiveness. Cunliffe has to convince the non voting 800,000 that Labour has policies which give them hope. Low turnout reflects this disengagement. It’s not rocket science. But getting MSM onside would help.

  25. Draco T Bastard 25

    It may upset some Labour members who position themselves to the Left in the Labour camp, but in broad terms Labour should seek to target and capture the support of those who generally consider themselves centrist.

    Labour tried that and lost with both Goff and Shearer. The upswing in the polls that we’ve seen recently is, IMO, due to the fact that DC is more left than centre.

  26. Richard Down South 26

    We need to stop screwing around with labels and address the issues

  27. s y d 27

    Holy shit….I just got my membership card in todays mail. For the LABOUR party and already this geezer is talking about the third way. Didn’t we all just vote on that with Robertson and that other guy?
    Black Rod can piss off, the centre is wayyyyyyyyyyyy off to the left of where we are…..

    • weka 27.1

      I think the centre is not where it used to be, and it’s not just a matter of shifting the political spectrum. We now have several generations of people who’ve grown up since Rogernomics and been socialised into selfishness as the norm. I don’t think it is too late, NZ still holds enough of its egalitarian ethics, but it’s quite a job to centre us back in that. Not just a job for the politicians either.

  28. risildowgtn 28

    The centrist /right wing policies of the past 30 years havent delivered nothing but heartache for those @ the bottom.

    Time for a change

    That change is Cunliffe

    If he decides to carry on with the status quo then he will lose

    I think honestly people have had enough of these policies…..

  29. Crunchtime 29

    “The Black Rod” sounds like the voice of the ABC camp. “Target the centrist voters” sounds to me like carry on with the same old tired neoliberal policies.

    Target the nonvoters. there were 800,000 of them (as Shane Jones pointed out 800,000 times during the Labour leadership campaign). More people didn’t vote than voted for Labour last election. It’s these disenfranchised people that Labour now needs to include, motivate and empower.

    Besides which, Labour policy has “dramatically shifted to the left” and they are already polling significantly higher.

    Doesn’t sound to me like there’s any need to “target the centrist vote” as The Black Rod puts it.

    To me, Labour Policy has “dramatically shifted to the left” in recent years and is now pointing at the centre – it was a bit to the right there for a while.

    • greywarbler 29.1

      Thinking of targeting voters in an election reminded me of this piece on The Vault machine from the Spectator in 2004 by Peter Oborne. It was startling then and still is.
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Oborne
      http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/12829/the-mean-machine/

      The idea of picking on key voters to ‘stroke’ and woo, and bypassing the old faithful and ignoring the intransigent who are not likely voters, but still part of the polity to be represented is not good democratic thinking.

      I remember Brian Easton writing years ago on the voter pie chart for NZ. I’ll see if I can find it. It may be still meaningful.

  30. billbrowne 30

    yeah nah

  31. A TRADESMAN 31

    I have read some of the comments about the labour party over a period of time and have been concerned that some of those submitting opinions have lost sight of the main goal, GET RID OF JOHN KEY you cannot do anything if you are NOT in Government PLEASE UNITE.
    As one of the silent majority we want
    A good paying job with a fair wage that is not subsidised by working for families or to achive a decent wage our children have to go across the ditch. Are we to be exporters of labour
    A warm dry house that we can afford. WE all don’t want a four bedroom house and ensuite tho it would be nice.
    Superannuation sorted out once and for all
    To be able to train apprentices with out it costing a fortune, none of us is getting any younger. What
    is the average age of tradesmen (I hate the term tradies I AM A TRADESMAN AND PROUD OF IT)
    Those of us in the smoko sheds on building sites are not necessarily interested in the things that wind up some of the correspondents.
    Get out and ASK us what we want do not guess and do not forget there is a N Z outside of the cities

    • greywarbler 31.1

      A Tradesman
      I think if you had read much of what has been written on this blog you would know most people want what you want. And we know what is needed, to get Labour into Government, and have a real Labour Government, not just any old bunch who keep running to get the perks of power. Not 1984 lookalikes.

      And what is needed is for tradesmen and anyone else that is working for a wage, doing physical work particularly, to get to and work for the Party and its future.

      And don’t wait to be asked what you want, don’t tell people to ask you, get up and state what you want – to the media, in the streets, at meetings and let people know how important Real Labour will be to all people and the country.

    • Colonial Viper 31.2

      A TRADESMAN

      It’s worthwhile to note that politics fans like ourselves always discuss and debate where things are at, and where they might be going. It’s not a sign of disunity as such, especially at the moment when most people can see that Cunliffe is doing a good job.

      It’s just people commenting on their sport of choice.

      Disunity…well, if you look at some of the acidic comments being made around the time Shearer was making his sickness beneficiary remarks…yeah, that was disunity.

    • millsy 31.3

      Truth be told, you cannot expect to solve this nation’s problems by giving people hammers and tool belts and sending them to a building site.

      More apprenticeships might sound like feel-good politics, but not everyone wants to be a tradesman (or isnt suited).

      • karol 31.3.1

        Educate yourself. Maybe some people want to be involved in the digital side of printing, or forestry, or be a florist, or get an apprenticeship in the service or tourist industries.

        You’re not in the mid 20th century now, mr milllsy!

    • Crunchtime 31.4

      I like your list there.

      A good paying job with a fair wage, housing standards and affordability, apprenticeships, all of this is well taken care of by existing Labour policy (the Greens have great policy on this too for that matter, some of it largely shared with Labour, much of it their own).

      I’ve been watching Labour get out there and ask what people want for the last few years. Their policies are a result of getting out there and asking.

      Have to say “GET RID OF JOHN KEY” almost goes without saying… but it’s too negative to go about shouting this outright. Its more “GET LABOUR IN” that matters.

      What Labour need to do is publicise these policies in a way that makes it real for people.

      They should be open to fine-tuning, change and new policies of course… but the key (ahem) here is that they already have very solid policy. It’s a matter of connecting it with people so they know what they’re getting and that it actually is what they want.

  32. Lloyd 32

    The sad thing about the persons Black Rod says he is aiming at is that the majority of them would be better off with a seriously socialist government.

    They would find that their children could buy a house in Auckland when they leave their boring town for the big smoke. They would be more likely to keep their job so that they could pay off their mortgage. The economy has been shown to be consistently better under a Labour government, so their small business is more likely to proper with the reds in power. The poor people in their town are less likely to rob them or harbour infections that they can catch… the list goes on.

    Sure Labour needs to appeal to Mr and Mrs ‘Centre’, but the policies of the present “centre-right” government are aimed at favouring less than 1/2% of the population, so almost all of the New Zealand’s population’s interests are far to the left of the “centre-right” as defined by the actions of the present government. The whole problem seems to be to set out the alternatives clearly. Where do Mr and Mrs ‘Centre’ get any idea how badly conned they are by the ‘centre-right’ label? No-one is out on the street screaming “I’m being ripped off by John Key and his mates and I’m really mad about it!” Labour should be doing that now if it wants power at the next elections. There needs to be at least an equal amount of advertising of the rip-off as the electrical generation sell-off advertising.

    By having a solid socialist list of policies Labour will appeal to many who didn’t vote. The problem will be to show Mr and Mrs ‘centre’ that those policies are really, really in their best interests and that the present shonkey government has been destroying their chances of achieving their aspirations.

  33. QoT 33

    I feel like this phrase is key:

    those who generally consider themselves centrist

    Because what it says to me is that we’re not talking about policies or ideology, we’re talking about appealing to people who don’t see themselves as having an ideology. That’s where National’s jibes about the “far left” come into play: it’s the view that a lot of New Zealanders call themselves centrists because “left” means Stalin and “right” means Colin Craig.

    I feel like a lot of people who would call themselves “centrist” are really pretty leftwin/non-National in NZ political terms, i.e. of wanting people to get a fair deal, having a safety net when times are hard, getting a good free education and healthcare system for their kids.

    But we’ve allowed this myth of the “centre” to dominate. It’s the Peter Dunne approach: he doesn’t get votes because he’s strongly for a particular political perspective, he gets them because he’s seen as an ideology-free “common sense” kind of guy.

    I don’t think we recapture those voters (if that’s who we really want to recapture) by cuddling up to what National are doing. I think we do it by reminding them that all those values they believe in and take for granted are leftwing values.

    And to his credit, David Cunliffe has already started doing this:

    “If putting a warm dry home around every Kiwi child and making sure their tummies are fed and they have shoes on their feet is suddenly far-left, well go ahead with that tag,” he said.

  34. Saarbo 34

    I dont agree with The Black Rod, because i suspect a “centrist” voter is someone who only has an interest in politics around election time (if at all), and that voter is never going to build a strong support base to build a good 3 term government.

    I agree with a number of the comments, particularly the ones that suggest that Labour needs to shift the current centre to the left, most New Zealanders are familiar with this territory and I suspect one of the reasons that Labour has improved in the polls lately (because cunliffe has moved the party to the left). Our pay rates and conditions to our low paid workers are atrocious, so a move back to the Left in this area is a must. Lower GST, 10% was always a good % and an increase in the top rate and a comprehensive capital gains tax.

    At the same time as doing this though, Labour has to make sure it grows the country economically through exports, not internal debt driven growth. This will probably require FTA’s (that don’t affect our sovereignty of course). This may also include oil and gas…Norway’s Oil Fund is impressive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Government_Pension_Fund_of_Norway…Clearly there should NO deep sea drilling as any risk to our beautiful coastline is too big, there will come a time when technology catches up and eleiminates the risk, the oil isnt going anywhere.

    I guess what i am saying is we need to move Left on workers rights and conditions, etc…. But also we need to make sure we are generating real wealth for the nation, this can only come from exports, this may require policies that some on the Left are not happy with.

  35. Whatever next 35

    Labour represents cohesion/ cooperation as opposed to National only encouraging competition (which also helps them to divide and rule).
    Everything said above is valid, and if these debates can be held in a spirit of cooperation, as opposed to competition, the 800,000 who could not be arsed to vote may realise their vote counts.
    Key’s appearance of a confident leader in control has served him well, what could be learned by this? Anxious voters like to feel they are in safe hands,? Regardless of the politics
    If Labour really want to bring back decency to NZ politics,and expose National for the Glamour pusses they are, the left will need to inspire those who hover around the middle,for fear they fall for Key’s air of “relaxed, yet confident ” style again.Worse still, stay at home and leave it to the rest of us to decide.

    • millsy 35.1

      I think centrists would dig an oil fund…

      Same with more co-ops like Fonterra…

      Perhaps even things like state owned irrigation companies, state run kiwisaver funds, and so on.

      • Tat Loo 35.1.1

        Winston’s points to do with a state owned insurance company were pretty much spot on as well.

  36. LynWiper 36

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the above replies to TBR’s suggestion for a ‘centrist position.’

    ‘There is an increasing groundswell of opinion from a number of commentators across the political spectrum that signal Labour will be returned to Government at the 2014 General Election.’

    And to date, under David Cunliffe’s leadership this has happened without pandering to the centrist position. Very encouraging indeed.

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      That seemed to be the basic point missed by the post. Offering something different to the electorate is working and the polls are climbing…so let’s go back to the old way of doing things?

      Illogical is not even the word to describe it.

      • karol 36.1.1

        Exactly. Why are we back to debating this issue when time would be far better spent looking forwards to ways of campaigning, and policy development on the basis of this different direction?

      • Tat Loo 36.1.2

        Hi CV 😈

  37. greywarbler 37

    The Black Rod just opens Parliament doesn’t he/she? After that the real work of value goes on. So the position and the accompanying artifact is mainly ceremonial. Nice to have, but not a symbol that stands for the country I want to see for myself and 99% of citizens, and hopefully to stay living in. And the opinion offered from Black Rod seems to match the artifact, a piece of our past.

  38. Whatever next 38

    From the outside of the inner workings of Labour support system, for the life of me, I cannot see what the problem is. I am very concerned that so many opinions/ ego’s will play right into John Key’s hands, who seems to win by inspiring confidence in his sheeple and making 800,000 people feel their vote won’t count at all.
    David Cunliffe has been elected leader of Labour, so what about supporting him, rather than endless advice on how he should do his job??
    In support of Karol’s last entry, I will blog off, and stop worrying about factions, and disharmony which may cost Labour another election, and get on with trying to support whatever needs to be done to capture the great undecideds, who could bring in another term of National.( 18 years of Tories in UK not easily forgotten)

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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Can we be inoculated against climate misinformation? Yes – if we prebunk rather than debunk
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article written by Christian Turney, University of Technology Sydney and Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge and first published on February 14, 2024. Adrien Demers/Shutterstock Last year, the world experienced the hottest day ...
    6 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    6 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    7 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    7 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    1 week ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    1 week ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    1 week ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    1 week ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for five Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Parole (Mandatory Completion of Rehabilitative Programmes) Amendment Bill (Todd Stephenson) Goods and Services Tax (Removing GST From Food) Amendment Bill (Rawiri Waititi) Income Tax (ACC Payments) Amendment Bill (Hamish Campbell) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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