NRT: A major shift in our foreign policy

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 pm, June 17th, 2014 - 33 comments
Categories: accountability, defence, International, military, Politics, war - Tags: , ,

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn points to potential unacceptable changes in the basis of our foreign policy and the deployment of our armed forces.

Since 1945, New Zealand’s foreign policy has been based around a commitment to international law, collective security, and UN peacekeeping. Since 1972, and more strongly after 1984, we’ve also pursued an independent path, acting on our principles rather than on the commands of the UK or US (or at least, that’s been the ideal, and hotly fought for by the public). Now, in a secret review of peacekeeping, National is going to throw all that away and turn us back into America’s footstool:

New Zealand wants to give up doing peacekeeping work for the sake of being a good global citizen and instead pick missions that benefit our international interests.

A review of peacekeeping options also suggests dropping a formal guideline that peace support operations (PSOs) must “be acceptable to the New Zealand public”.

The review, by the staff of the ministers of foreign affairs, defence and police, released under the Official Information Act, says the military should “seek opportunities” to work aboard with Australia, the United States, Britain and Canada.

[…]

The memo writers submit three options including no further involvement in peacekeeping, the status quo, and a third option in which New Zealand would no longer wait for requests from the United Nations but “could take a more active and strategic approach to identifying opportunities”.

The paper favours the third option.

In English, this means that rather than going on UN missions to support peace and keep combatants apart, we’ll be taking an active and direct role in America’s wars, against the wishes of the international community. The effect this will have on our international reputation as a principled, neutral party committed to international law, which we rely on for both trade access and for vanity status projects like pursuing Security Council seats, is left as an exercise for the reader.

But what really takes the cake is the removal of the requirement that military operations “be acceptable to the New Zealand public”. No, they don’t provide any justification, because there cannot be one. It runs contrary to the fundamental principles of democratic and accountable government. But it is entirely consistent with the unaccountable, autocratic mindset which infects our foreign policy community, which sees us as ignorant peasants to be ruled, rather than citizens who rule ourselves.

It speaks volumes that such a fundamental change in our foreign policy was being pursued in secret. Now its been made public, it will hopefully be abandoned.

33 comments on “NRT: A major shift in our foreign policy”

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    This MUST be an election issue.

    Will the main stream media pretend it is not a news story?

  2. vto 2

    If we go with the US, UK and Australia again we will surely become a target for 9-11 type events, just like the US, UK and Australia have been…..

    no thanks
    what a bunch of dimwits

    • AmaKiwi 2.1

      What do these militaristic nutters say the cost benefit analysis of being aggressively militaristic will be?

      I know what it is in the US and the UK. Arms manufacturers get huge weapons contracts and in turn make big political donations to keep the war mongers in power.

      The cost benefit analysis for the US and UK population is negative. The country goes deeply into debt. Twenty-five percent of the US budget is spent on making war.

      OK, Mr. Key. Explain to me how making war is going to strengthen our economy.

  3. RedBaronCV 3

    I admired Helen Clark for saying something along the lines of:
    “You need to think very carefully before sending other people’s sons and daughters off to war.”

    Just who is paying our government-are some of them agents for foreign powers?
    American lap dog – no thanks.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    To David Cunliffe:

    David Cunliffe, are you still opposed to binding citizens initiated referendums?

    If you don’t form the government 100 days from now, this militaristic mayhem will be the new law of the land. Without binding referendums, you and I will be powerless to stop it.

    • lprent 4.1

      Probably because our constitutional arrangements make it very hard to constrain parliament. I know that I’ve looked at it for a while and haven’t seen a way to bind parliament from overturning the decision of any previous parliament, including that of binding referendums.

      What you are asking for is a major change in our constitutional system. So far I haven’t detected any real interest amongst the population that would force that.

      However I suspect that would be a whole different topic than this one.

      • AmaKiwi 4.1.1

        You’re right. It requires a catastrophe for a nation to make significant changes. The UK has declined to a second rate country because it WON the second world war.

        If it had lost, it would have done some soul searching and created a modern social, economic, and political system, as Japan and Germany did.

        So NZ limps along the path of mediocrity content with those who echo the past, frightened of those who advocate modernity.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          If it had lost, it would have done some soul searching and created a modern social, economic, and political system, as Japan and Germany did.

          Well, I think all the lectures in Oxford and Cambridge would be in German, and the British flag would have a nice big Swastika on it…

        • lprent 4.1.1.2

          The question is more a question about wanting to be a “first rate country”? I’m not sure that we want to be. Certainly being ex-army I can’t see any reason that we’d want to put our people on the firing line to become such. We’re a country that was founded on the idea of providing modest opportunities to do what we want – together. You only have to look at the obdurate intransigence of people like Samuel Parnell to see how we operate.

          Part of that is to provide opportunities for others to do what they want. The (relative) incidents like the New Zealand wars and Gallipoli seared into our national psyche that providing opportunities for ourselves wasn’t done by trampling others for the benefit of other people. We now denies the societal strength that produced the resistance of the Māori and Turks that learned to resist an entire empire without descending (too much) into the folly of swollen empire.

          We fight where we need to (and I’m thinking of a great uncle who recently died, but who fought through El Alamein and the Monte Cassino). But that is why there is such a feeling towards multilateralism after the wars. Which is why such great power machinations like the one in the post above irritate us so much.

          But I can see that eventually we’d want to shift constitutional arrangements. I think that in the longer term we will do so. However it will be done carrying implicit lack of serious opposition of everyone from the monarchists to the Māori hapu with those who are more impatient like yourself.

          After being tempered by a few centuries here grumpily learning to live with each other, we’re no longer swift to embrace the crazy imperialistic populism that this dumb policy offers. But we’re sure as hell prone to making up our own minds and providing the obdurate intransigence to head where we want to go. Not where some johnny-come-lately dickhead wants us to go for their benefit.

          Diplomats and self-serving opportunists beware.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        Correct. Parliament is sovereign and cannot pass a law that it cannot later repeal. Even “entrenchment” and requiring certain majority of parliament to pass or amend legislation is ultimately implemented by laws that themselves can be repealed with a bare 50% + 1 seat majority.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Look at the direct and indirect military interventions of the west over the last 15 years. Fucking messes down the line with massive blowback all of them. Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine. The only party who are guaranteed to benefit – are military industrial complex corporations and contractors.

    The TPPA will strip us of our economic sovereignty while these moves strip us of our military and foreign policy sovereignty.

    Right on the cusp of China becoming a major regional power in the Pacific. Funny coincidence that.

    NZ must maintain its historical relationships and alliances with the western powers but it must also engage with Asia and with China on its own sovereign terms. That has to be a non-negotiable.

    • Wayne 5.1

      I think you will find a John Key led government would be very sensitive to public opinion when it comes to actual deployments. Surely you have worked out by now that the PM works extremely hard to keep the public on side.

      But as you will recall from Kosovo, a UN mandate is not always essential for international action. And New Zealand had a very small contingent there, mostly officers in headquarters and liaison roles.

      Kosovo was the reason why the 2010 Defence Review, which I was responsible for (and also did some of the writing) said a UN mandate was not essential in every case. And in East Timor it was obtained after the fact. Same with Bouganville and the Solomons. In our region of the South Pacific the Forum nations tend to decide first, then advise the UN.

      • miravox 5.1.1

        This reads very much like spin Wayne. Which suggests to me that even you can see that this is a dog’s breakfast of a review outcome.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        Surely you have worked out by now that the PM works extremely hard to keep the public on side.

        Yeah, sure – that would be why he sold off our assets even though it was obviously against what we wanted.

        John Key and National operate exactly the same way that all Oligarchs work – by ignoring the people altogether. The only time the will of the people and the will of the Oligarchs coincide is pure coincidence.

      • AmaKiwi 5.1.3

        “I think you will find a John Key led government would be very sensitive to public opinion when it comes to actual deployments.”

        As sensitive as he was about asset sales and the GCSB law?

        When it comes to war, leaders can’t reverse course because they have sent young people to their deaths. They do not admit it was a mistake, even when their brains tell them it was. History is replete with examples, such as LBJ and McNamara who realized Vietnam was hopeless, but did not have the courage to stop it.

      • Blue 5.1.4

        Surely you have worked out by now that the PM works extremely hard to keep the public on side.

        Not really. I remember his ‘missing in action’ speech over Iraq though, and I have noticed his tendency to prostrate himself and NZ to whoever he thinks will give us a free trade agreement.

        And then there was that thing where the overwhelming majority of Kiwis opposed asset sales and John Key did it anyway.

        And he was totally unconcerned about the Kiwi killed in Yemen, which made me think he wouldn’t have any hesitation sending Kiwis off to die for the US’s folly.

        The ‘have faith in John Key’ thing doesn’t work for me.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.4.1

          +111

        • Rodel 5.1.4.2

          Check out ‘Key + Iraq war’ on you-tube.

          I was always glad we had Clark rather than Key as our PM when that psycho Bush was US president. Key was so screamingly passionate about supporting the US invasion of Iraq in return for US trade.
          Urge people to listen and vote accordingly.

      • lprent 5.1.5

        But as you will recall from Kosovo, a UN mandate is not always essential for international action. And New Zealand had a very small contingent there, mostly officers in headquarters and liaison roles.

        From memory, wasn’t that covered by a security council resolutions made before and as the situation was deteriorating?

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

        Security council resolution 1244? Plus the previous ones.

        As I remember it the refugees streaming into Albania and other surrounding states as the ethnic Serbian militias showed the pattern so much like the start of the previous killing grounds in Bosnia that everything went the through the security council in record time.

        While we have had the UN Security Council at loggerheads for 50 years, it didn’t operate well. However its role is to deal with peacekeeping missions including military action.

      • lprent 5.1.6

        And in East Timor it was obtained after the fact.

        Yes but..

        Following the resignation of Indonesian President Suharto, a UN-sponsored agreement between Indonesia and Portugal allowed for a UN-supervised popular referendum in August 1999. The resulting clear vote for independence was met with a punitive campaign of violence by East Timorese pro-integration militia with the support of elements of the Indonesian military. With Indonesian permission, an Australian-led international peacekeeping force was deployed until order was restored. The administration of East Timor was taken over by the UN through the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in October 1999

        So in the wake of a UN supervised election, and with the permission of the country currently in charge of the territory and the holder of the only opposing military. Short of a UN Security Council resolution you cannot get clearer mandate that aggression was not the aim.

        From memory in Bougainville and the Solomons, didn’t much the same kind of conditions apply? We put military and police in to restore order with the blessings of every major party involved..

        Now compare that to the situation in Iraq where it appeared that we went in because people were telling telling a US president what he wanted to hear. What he wanted to hear was that he could go off and finish the job his daddy wasn’t able to do because of the limits of a previous UN Security council resolution. So the myth of active and imminent use of WMD’s was invented without any substantive evidence. In other words the use of the big lie technique.

        Just like previous US interventions in Grenada, Panama, etc

        Those types of opportunistic US led interventions are why this ‘review’ and its preferred option are being opposed.

        BTW: I think that you are gilding the lily quite a lot in your recollection of previous interventions with some selective memory.

    • Wayne 5.2

      What exactly was the indirect military intervention by the West in Ukraine? I think you must have mistaken Obama for Putin. I guess a fairly easy mistake to make.

      But on Asia and China, this is going to be a big test for New Zealand over the next twenty years, whoever is in government. And we can’t afford to veer widely from one course to another over this. There will need to be some level of consensus on our general approach, albeit that different governments will have their own approach.

      But this is not a reason to stand apart from TPP, more a reason to ultimately include all the nations of the region. And China is considering this. I would expect TPP and RCEP will ultimately merge into a single Asia Pacific agreement. Which will fulfill APEC’s Bogor Declaration.

      • Rodel 5.2.1

        Wayne-Listen to another Wayne. (Brittenden)-Counterpoint Sunday Morning, Sunday 9 March 2014, Radio NZ.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      NZ must maintain its historical relationships and alliances with the western powers

      Nope. Best thing to do would be to declare ourselves neutral. That way we would be able to engage well with everyone and not be any countries toady.

  6. miravox 6

    From the country that brought you a nuclear-free South Pacific and kept out of Iraq. I guess we’ve sold our banks, businesses and environment. Why not our foreign policy too! – there’s nothing much else left (watch for ACC, health and welfare-to-work programmes but).

    No requirement for military operations to be “be acceptable to the New Zealand public”. No pretence anymore about who the hell are they’re governing for. I’m not sure why they don’t just be done with it and sign up as an overseas territory like Guam. Bastards!

  7. philj 7

    xox
    If only we were the USA’s footstool and not its toilet roll.

  8. emergency mike 8

    So classic of the attitude of this crony fk the public govt. USA no.1 -> how can we lick more USA arse?

    “also suggests dropping a formal guideline that peace support operations (PSOs) must “be acceptable to the New Zealand public”.”

    I can see the review team in action now…

    “Hmm this ‘must be acceptable to the New Zealand public’ means we can’t do some war things that would get us further up Obama’s arse because the NZ public dont want it. Isn’t there something we can do about that?

    “Well hey, how about this…”

    Doesn’t need to be acceptable to the New Zealand public.

    “Bingo.”

    • AmaKiwi 8.1

      Make sure the NZ public does not know what our soldiers are really doing.

      The government lied and told us the SAS were only “training advisers.” The government did everything they could (short of assassination) to silence the reporter who showed us the SAS are in combat as a highly efficient killing machine.

      The first casualty of war is the truth.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1

        Hardly surprising, considering the art of warfare is deception. Failure to conceal your purposes can get a lot of people killed.

  9. North 9

    Wayne…….you would know better than just about anyone that John Key will do anything he wants to do……..as long as he can get away with it. He’d be a dumb little ShonKey to think he can get away with the stuff postulated in this post. Which he’s not. So it won’t happen. Unless the old bizo about power corrupts and golf fucks…….

    In which case…….bring it on. There will come a time when New Zealand will act to save itself from the likes of you slick fullas.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    “sensitive to public opinion” maybe. They’ll know what is unpopular and do it anyway-covering it up with spin and mistruths.
    Sensitive to public opinion and acting in accordance with it – that’s something else – it would be a triumph of hope over opportunism to get that out of the Nacts.

    However, whenever we see Wayne here we know something is rumbling in the background – the combination of this and TPPA would mean us losing both economic and ethical sovereignty- client state of the USA?

  11. Sanctuary 11

    Time to start taking direct action against illegal and immoral deployments – slash a few tyres on the Hercs, a bit of sugar in the gas tanks of the LAVs…

    oh hai GCSB!

  12. Will@Welly 12

    We’ve had a proud history in peace-keeping duties, but that doesn’t fit John Key’s agenda.
    Czar John Key sees himself in the role of a modern-day Julius Caesar.
    But that goes against what most New Zealanders seek in a leader.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Not sure you can justify that: Key has been clear why he thinks our tax dollars are well spent on killing: for private profit, or “trade” as he calls it.

      Julius Caesar fought for what he saw as his county’s interests. Key wants to make mercenaries of us.

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    3 days ago
  • Editors put the boot into National
    There is no question that a resurgent Labour party has closed the National party out of the media limelight. What else could Bill English do but pander to his ageist supporters by proposing boot camps and spot fines for the ...
    3 days ago
  • Civil Disobedience Against Big Irrigation
    Construction has started on huge irrigation schemes in Canterbury. When they start working, it’s going to be disastrous for our rivers - most of which are already struggling. More irrigation means more cows and that means more pollution.A few weeks ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: The Cullen fund divests
    Climate change is now undeniable, and if we are to survive it, the fossil fuel industry has to die. And now the Cullen Fund has recognised that fact, and started divesting its risk:The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has sold shares ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Dirty farmers
    Surprise, surprise - Waikato's dairy farmers are failing to comply with their resource consents:The Waikato Regional Council says dairy farm effluent compliance rates are heading in the right direction despite less than one quarter of farms monitored last year deemed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
    The Official Information Act requires agencies to decide on requests "as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received". But over the decades that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
    This is another post about my recent trip to the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a standard road classification system with ideally three types of roads: flow roads (motorways), distribution roads (arterials), and local roads (residential roads). This system does not ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
    REPORTBACK: CHARLOTTESVILLE: August 13, 2017 by Redneck Revolt members The situation on the ground in Charlottesville, Virginia, is still developing and unstable, but a few of our Redneck Revolt members on the ground took some time to provide the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
    The Labour party has hit the ground running with Jacinda Ardern. Not only has she shown immense capability as leader, the Labour party has clearly got its game on and returned to its core values, values that once made New ...
    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
    We need to transcend us vs them struggles, writes Philip McKibbin.   Image: The Prophet Te Whiti Addressing a Meeting of Natives from The Graphic (1881) In 1881, the peaceful village of Parihaka was invaded. Fifteen-hundred men, led ...
    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
    Local government in New Zealand is a creature of statute, so it’s subservient to powers bestowed upon it by central government. From the creation of its mandate and structure, to the reforms imposed through time, local councils are, and will ...
    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
    Who Loves Ya Baby? “I didn’t come to Parliament to act like other political parties. But this week that’s where we ended up. We have not been our best selves, and for that I am sorry.” But who are your best ...
    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
    The Victoria St Linear Park has been saved from the clutches of Auckland Transport. You may recall that we’ve been concerned about ATs plans for the future of many of the streets in the city centre for some time. In ...
    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
    .   . The mainstream media – or at least one clever journalist working for Mediaworks/Newshub – has finally caught up with a story broken by this blogger last year that unemployment data from Statistics NZ was no longer reliable; ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
    Among the sinners the drunk porter in Macbeth welcomes into hell is the ‘equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale’. Equivocation is a theme of the play; Shakespeare is thought to have been influenced by the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
    Is bootcamp the government's solution for hardened young criminals?   Photo: 123rf. National plans to solve the problem of serious youth offending by sending people to a remote, army-run boot camp for a year. But opponents of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
    This is an unabashed endorsement of an important group. I have no affiliation with them or conflict of interest. They are great, period. The ability to convey complex climate science to a wide-ranging audience is a golden attribute, something very ...
    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
        Hi, my name is Brian. Edwards to be precise. You may remember me. I used to be on television. Started in Christchurch on a magazine show called Town and Around. Went North to Wellington to audition for ...
    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
    The Todd Barclay affair, where the unelected Prime Minister claimed seven times that he couldn’t recall if Barclay had told him about the secret recording of a National party staffer, proved without a doubt that Bill English is dishonest!But if ...
    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
    Beauty queens, magic, dangly bits and nip slips - Miss Universe NZ had it all.   The top five Miss Universe NZ contestants (L-R): Shekinah Delos Santos, Sarah Hensby-Bennett, Harlem-Cruz Ihaia, Holly Waghorn and Brooke Houia. Screenshot: Miss ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
    Last night we learned that NZ Post had been spying on the public, using microphones on its delivery vehicles to record and listen to conversations between its employees and random members of the public without the consent of either party. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
    by Daphna Whitmore Although women got the vote in the late 19th century, now well in to the 21st century we still do not have pay equity. While overt discrimination against individual female employees is no longer legal or socially ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
    The last week in New Zealand politics has been extraordinary. But there’s one political party in particular that appears to be missing in action… the National party.The unelected PM Bill English has failed to gain any real traction in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
    Eye-popping beer infusions and drinking games with the bros. Lucy Zee heads to New Zealand's biggest beer festival, Beervana.   Produced and presented by Lucy Zee, and filmed and edited by Eddy Fifield. Made with the support of NZ On ...
    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
    National knows it can't defeat the Labour-Green policy on water charging on fairness grounds, so they're now appealing to racism, with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson scaremongering that making farmers pay their fair share will mean reopening historic ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
    Donald Trump would not be the first political leader to try to build his popularity, or divert attention from his troubles at home, by seeking a diversion – usually by means of a military adventure of some sort – overseas.  ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
    Science is helping more premature babies survive, but for parents it's still a journey marked by fear, pain and joy.   Inside of what looks like a giant Ziploc bag filled with water, the hoof of a tiny lamb ...
    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
    When Greg O’Connor was a young Police officer he did a stint undercover and has lamented having to arrest gang members he viewed at the time as his mates. This is perhaps the main problem for the left, being that ...
    4 days ago

  • Government must apologise over rebuild debacle
    The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. "For too long the interests of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    18 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
    Being a Member of Youth Parliament was an unexpected, but fabulous opportunity for me. It provided me a way to connect with other young people who have some things in common, and to learn what it is like to be ...
    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better homes for Maori under Labour
    Labour’s vision is that Māori enjoy an equal playing field and have the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Today Labour is proud to announce a detailed Māori housing policy from South Auckland’s ...
    3 weeks ago

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