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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.

      Note to Labour leader: Rudimentary thoughts I

      • 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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  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago