Nurses deserve our support

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, July 12th, 2018 - 101 comments
Categories: health, Privatisation - Tags:

New Zealand’s nurses, midwives, and medical assistants are on strike today and deserve our support.

There comes a time when consistently going over and above the call of duty becomes less about keeping people safe in the short term and more about enabling the slow-motion destruction of New Zealand’s public health system. That time has arrived.

The slow motion destruction of public health began the moment National was elected in 2008 and continued unabated under Junkie and Blinglish until last year.

Tony Ryall – why is he not in jail?

National was partially able to get away with the demolition job for so long because of its ceaseless repetition of the lie “we’re actually increasing funding” being amplified by both its ideological bedmates in the MSM boardrooms and the party’s sophisticated dirty-politics machine. National also worked diligently to seed its extremely well-paid fellow neoliberal idealogues throughout the DHBs and Ministry who, in turn,  ensured more and more public health spending was diverted away from the provision of actual health services towards bolstering the profit margins of the privateers incessantly nibbling away at the edges.

Only making things worse for the public during John Key’s dismal tenure was the dismal duo of Health Ministers. How many New Zealanders have had to suffer from failings in the health system due, for example, just to Tony Ryall’s HBL fiasco? HBL was eventually wound up by Jonathon Coleman who replaced it with NZ Health Partnership, basically a trojan-horse sitting in the middle of the public health sector handing out contracts for services to the private sector.

But, really, the main reason National has been able to get away with its attempted ruination of the public health system has been the dedication of New Zealand’s health professionals, most notably nurses, midwives and medical assistants. These wonderful people have done so wonderful a job the real effects of National’s under-funding have been obscured.

Its a shame the Labour-led coalition now has to clean up the shit National left behind. The MSM and its amplifiers will do all it can to blame Labour, but Dr David Clark needs to stand firm and demonstrate Labour was serious about its values. Time now to weed out National’s left-over neoliberal enablers and redirecting funding away from the privateers and back into the public system.  He and the rest of the coalition might also like to reflect on it priorities – the sufficient funding of essential public services or buying billion-dollar war machines to appease the Donald Trump regime.

 

101 comments on “Nurses deserve our support”

  1. patricia bremner 1

    Added to all of this articles truths about the demolition of nz health, is the movement of Coleman from public health to a job in private health. He and Rich are two peas in a pod.

    Nurses all public health workers and scientists deserve our support. The Coalition needs to be careful of the potholes and booby traps left by the last Government, and to keep faith with the nurses and government scientists who have been so neglected ’till now, and rebuild the public good.

    The books are in a good state, so now is the time for better flour in the bread of life, better paid bakers and more than lip service to improved health recipes in the pu.blic sphere

  2. roy cartland 2

    I was wondering whether this is a more shrewd, than naīve, move by the Finance Minister. He may have calculated that the flak from acquiescing to the demands without a strike might be worse thn responding to one.

    The NATs would launch the vitriol, then the loose cannon of NZF might use it as leverage to flex further, in favour of this ridiculous $20b dump on the military.

  3. SPC 3

    There is no direct connection as the defence spending comes out of future budgets, not this term 2017-2020.

    It’s the pre election decision (Labour and Greens) to place the government under a fiscal constraint that is involved here.

  4. Kat 4

    We let a fast food company take prime position in our childrens hospital, we allowed cash registers on the counters of A&E, we allow the insurance industry to determine who gets the best of health when and where and we pay our nurses and healthcare workers pittance. The failed “private capital” experiment of the last thirty years has no place in our health system.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The failed “private capital” experiment of the last thirty years has no place in our health system.

      Yep. A private healthcare system undermines the public healthcare system and decreases the amount of healthcare available by shifting limited resources into only looking after the rich. This is not good for society.

      We cannot afford the rich.

      • Tricledrown 4.1.1

        National put in more consultants middle management who were their to undermine public health care funding
        To privatise as much of the health care system as possible even though its more costly.

  5. Blazer 5

    Any person who has been in hospital would agree the nurses deserve more.The training they do is very intensive.
    Plenty of money in the health budget.Just needs better allocation.

  6. Ankerrawshark 6

    They have to find the money. End of story.

    S o sick of over paid ceos etc who earn ridiculous amounts of money and if they stuff up, all good here’s your bonus. If nurses stuff up….enquiries, etc, possible de-registration

  7. ianmac 7

    As the piece above by Chomsky says, “Defund…Privatise.”
    That was the plan by National in the Nineties and it nearly succeeded. It is happening in Britain right now with the American companies cherry picking the best areas to profit from.
    Coleman wasn’t an accident. He just had to sit tight and watch the Health system crumble.

    Nurses and teachers should be earning $100,000 pa.

    • Hongi Ika 7.1

      100% correct, defunding, run it into the ground, privatise, screw the taxpayers and the general public ?

      It works if you can do it, just look at the State Banks and Power Companies ?

    • sumsuch 7.2

      And strike for that!

  8. andrew murray 8

    While I agree the nurses deserve more, there is a bit of a reek of middle-class capture about this. There are many just as deserving in the public service who are much worse done by and are likely to be getting SFA … they, of course, are a few steps lower on the social ladder

    • roy cartland 8.1

      “middle-class capture”
      That’s a bit unfair. How many nurses do you know?

    • gsays 8.2

      Ok, Andrew, name these ‘many just as deserving’ you reckon as worthy of a pay rise.

      • Antoine 8.2.1

        I really don’t know why a left wing person would come on a Labour movement website and oppose a strike. What is the point of even being here, at that stage?

        A.

  9. Anne 9

    I have two questions:
    1) Why did the majority of nurses vote against the final offer of 9% over 18 months and significantly improved working conditions?
    2) Why did they stay so quiet over the previous government’s last year in office when their conditions were no different to what they are now?

    • gsays 9.1

      Hi Anne, there are a ccouple of oversights or assumptions in your question.
      What are the significant improved conditions you mention?

      For the senior RNs their deal went backwards with the new offer, the final two pay scales being promised were put back by 18months.

      Something else that may help is that not all nurses voted no because of money.
      Some voted no because of the lack of confidence in DHBs to adhere to their assurances of employing more staff.

      One thing for sure is don t take stuff or the Herald as your only info source.

  10. Glenn 10

    Yes. Why did they stay so quiet under National?

    • Blazer 10.1

      Read the dissertation by the OP and you will find the answer.

      • Anne 10.1.1

        If you are referring to this bit:

        …the main reason National has been able to get away with its attempted ruination of the public health system has been the dedication of New Zealand’s health professionals, most notably nurses, midwives and medical assistants. These wonderful people have done so wonderful a job the real effects of National’s under-funding have been obscured.

        That does not answer Glenn’s question. I’m sure it’s correct. National obscured reality. But the nurses would have been well aware so why did they not stand up for themselves earlier last year?

        The final vote to strike was said to be extremely close which means half the nurses wanted to accept the latest offer while the other half wanted to go ahead and strike. I am wondering what pressure might have been brought to bear on some of them to vote a certain way. Something about the outcome of this dispute doesn’t quite gel for me and I want to know why.

        • sumsuch 10.1.1.1

          The fact that these people are middle-class in their heads, bought the solids of National mebbe. Put aside the Nightingale fantasy and voted for the facts. They and the teachers and everyone else should strike, and , no, it won’t undermine the Left. Only uplift the pads of their feet into the heads of our leaders.

          • Anne 10.1.1.1.1

            The fact that these people are middle-class in their heads, bought the solids of National mebbe.

            I think you are right there at least in some cases.

            *Nice to have the reply button working again. Thanks lprent.

    • Siobhan 10.2

      Stockholm syndrome?

      After so many years of abuse under the neo liberal Governments of both National and Labour its amazing to me how many people are compliant and support and vote for their captors policies, even to their own detriment.

      Maybe having the PR of Labour with its claims of ‘Let’s Do This’ was actually taken seriously by some people, like a rush of adrenalin to the head after a big long sleep…though like Obama’s ‘Hope’ it really is a case of fingers crossed that the people don’t get too disappointed and reactionary and end up voting in our equivalent of The Orange Man with Little Hands.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 10.3

      1) Labour’s finding that they have to actually keep the promises they make to win votes

      2) it just wasn’t that bad under national. All that’s happened is labour promised them more.

  11. Ronnie 11

    I don’t understand the term “lie” in the article.
    I have just read the report from the Auditor General to the Health select committee. It shows Vote: Health increasing from $14b in 2012 (the earliest date) to $16.7 billion in 2017-18 budget.
    The Labour government budgeted just %16.2b this year and the forecasts are to decrease to $16.1 by 2020-21. The forecast is likely to change because governments won’t let a decrease happen.
    So those are the facts from the Auditor General.

    • BLiP 11.1

      The “lie” is that – yes – more money was spent in health – but – the increases did not cover the rises in costs due to inflation and population growth resulting in an actual decrease in funding in real terms.

      Then there’s the failure to maintain infrastructure, the dodgy spreadsheet shenanigans around health assets, the steady accumulation of debt by the DHBs, the siphoning off of health money into the pockets of privateers, plus the hundreds of millions thrown away by Ryall with his HBL scam.

      • dv 11.1.1

        cover the rises in costs due to inflation and population growth resulting in an actual decrease in funding in real terms.

        AND the ageing pop.

      • Geoff 11.1.2

        Go to this page on Facebook for another health debarcle that is about to explode as oved 250,000 people are over being treated as second class citizens. Not being able to get their daily medications at a subsidized price is causing unfold misery.

        The facebook group is underfunding of medicines by pharmac. Check it out.

      • Wayne 11.1.3

        Typical of BLiP to double down on the accusation of a lie, even when it is factually disproved. Capital expenditure does not come out of operating budgets.
        This constant accusation of lies by BLiP and others convinces no-one except zealots. Similarly the governments mantra of 9 years neglect and crisis won’t convince a single soft National voter to switch. In fact it will annoy such voters to be constantly told by someone like Robertson, Clark and Twyford that they are dupes.
        It is one of the reasons why Nationals support remains solid. The coalition simply has not found the way to convince floating voters. Insulting them is surely not the way.
        I do note that Jacinda does not seriously indulge herself in such childish antics. If the govt wins a second term it will be solely due to her, not the legion of underperforming ministers.

        • Kat 11.1.3.1

          @Wayne: “Similarly the governments mantra of 9 years neglect and crisis won’t convince a single soft National voter to switch”.

          The existing “soft voter” can stay where they are, and that is Nationals long term problem not those that want to see change for the good of all. The winds of politics are changing as well and the current support for the National opposition is perhaps a handy advantage for the coalition govt at the present time.

          • Wayne 11.1.3.1.1

            The difference of being in govt or not is only 1 or 2%. So a party that decides it does not want to win any vote from the other side is taking s huge risk. I am sure Jacinda knows that, even if some of her ministers don’t.
            For instance at the next election if National increases by just 1 or 2% and NZF goes under 5%, National will almost certainly be the govt.

            • McFlock 11.1.3.1.1.1

              I’m not so sure – I think the electorate has become quite polarised. The “floating voter” might be more rare than the “alienated 25%” who don’t vote at all.

            • bwaghorn 11.1.3.1.1.2

              Have you deliberately forgotten the greens or are you living the Nat wet dream fantasy that the greens would hop into to their dirty bed with them

              • Wayne

                bwaghorn

                I have assumed the Greens will stick with Labour. On current polling the Labour Green bloc is about 2% ahead of National. If there is a switch of even 1% it is likely the government changes since Act is also good for one, perhaps two seats.

                If NZF stays above 5% then it is almost certain the current coalition will win the next election.

                I can’t see any likely circumstances where the the Greens or NZF would switch away from Labour in 2020.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 11.1.3.2

          “This constant accusation of lies by BLiP and others convinces no-one except zealots.”

          Zealot – “a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals”.

          Read Wayne’s comment carefully (if you can bear to), then consider whether ‘Wayne speech’ identifies him as a zealot.

          Pot, meet kettle…

        • Stuart Munro 11.1.3.3

          Riiight.

          The leaking roof of Dunedin hospital tell us all we need to know about Coleman’s administration. They were pulling money out, not putting it in.

          It’s amazing that buffoons like Wayne think that flapping their insincere lips is going to preserve their collapsing support – that’s how they lost power in the first place.

          The Gnats creative accounting exercises told a great story, but the facts were rather different.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 11.1.3.4

          Coming (too) soon to a Blog near you – the hyperbolic Wayne (off the) Mapp.

          Only in Wayne’s World could half a dozen (or whatever) constitute a legion.

          A “legion”: “a division of 3,000–6,000 men”, “a vast number of people or things”.

          Wormtongue Wayne – a Grim joke.

        • BLiP 11.1.3.5

          Hmmmm . . . who to believe? Wayne the Pain not quite Sane and drunk Again, or financial data analysts at Victoria University and Infometrics?

        • Tricledrown 11.1.3.6

          Wayne so why was Middlemores leaky buildings allowed to get worse after coming to the ministers attention.
          The problem created by Nationals ditching the building codes all while you were in govt Wayne.
          Like Gerry no doubt you know nothing?
          Even though National promised to build DN hospital National had not budgeted for but put up some mealy mouth PPP at the 11th hour.
          National the Party who’s supporters wouldn’t be seen dead in a cheap house or car cafe etc but happy to have cheap nasty infrastructure.

        • sumsuch 11.1.3.7

          National support remains solid because of 84ism’s success. is that a good thing? Or just our puny version of Trump. When their children come along they will have forgotten social democracy.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    He and the rest of the coalition might also like to reflect on it priorities – the sufficient funding of essential public services or buying billion-dollar war machines to appease the Donald Trump regime.

    We actually do need the war machines we just didn’t need to buy them from the US.

    And the reason why we need to spend so much is because of years of underfunding for our defence forces as well but the reality there is that we’ve never spent enough on defence.

    • SPC 12.1

      The advantage of P 8’s is that the capacity to deliver weapons means they can also drop supplies, and while we need 6 planes, not 4, we do not need 6 sub hunters – we could get by on only 3, the 4th is one in reserve to offer for forward work with Oz or internationally (exercises or multi-lateral activity).

      Unsaid, at the moment, is the preferred option for the (cheaper) 5th and 6th planes.

      IMO the choice was really between getting 3 or 4 planes of this sort (and thus and 3 or 2 cheaper ones for the 6 we need) – similar to the 3 or 4 ANZAC frigates decision some years back.

      • Dukeofurl 12.1.1

        Cold war is long over. Don’t need such numbers.
        As well the numbers don’t add up. Based on previous US navny orders for it’s other allies, actual cost for 4 planes is $750 mill at current exchange rates. Somehow we end up nearly 3x that. spares for airliner type plane which flies at 1/20 monthly rate of airliner use. Please these are some of most reliable planes flying.
        Something doesn’t add up

        • lprent 12.1.1.1

          Observations.

          Military packages are usually calculated and sometimes paid for up front for the decades of the support contracts.

          Military packages usually include the vosges of training, both immediate and ongoing over decades. For aircraft I’d imagine that involves a lot of time for people being offshore in longish courses for the duration of the support deal.

          Military packages usually include whatever long term maintenance support is required, Typically something like 15-30 years. That includes the cost of holding and being able to supply the spares and long term support. It isn’t cheap and is usually greater than the cost of the initial equipment itself.

          etc…

          The upfront cost of the equipment is usually just a proportion of the contracts.

          • dukeofurl 12.1.1.1.1

            maybe if they said its including outside costs for the next 10 years , which would make sense.
            They could have told the physical cost of the planes as well. As we buy through the US navy, their contracts are published , so its not some dark secret like is commonly used to hide any contract details in NZ.

  13. Ad 14

    BliP I don’t agree that another structural adjustment in health is worth it. We tried those in the 1990s and it was disgusting. The invention of District Health Boards is a minimal lever of democratic accountability that was not otherwise realistic for the system to endure.

    We also don’t need to more witch-hunts, unless they are actually criminal. There are so few competent medical senior managers who actually want to stay that we should try to keep them

    What the nurses need is more pay, and a realistic career pathway. I don’t view this strike as about the entire health system.

    As this patient notes: “Just Pay Them More”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12087686

    • SPC 14.1

      Robertson says that despite an extra $1B onto the suplus this year they cannot do it.

      He says that such windfalls just get put aside to afford capital spending (without need for borrowing) – the reason being they do not (immediately) change the forecast of revenues available in future budgets. Which is all traditional practice.

      And he is also aware that there are also future committments (in the coalition agreement and Labour manifesto promises) that have priority in future budgets.

      What he could do is bring forward the next pay round and conclude this before the next election. This reduces the risk of a one term government delivering little to nurses, after years of restraint, which is what those who voted to strike would have feared.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Robertson was quite happy to find over $2 billion uncosted for the two new planes. So that fucking weak-assed Minister of Finance can pull more out from where that came from and pay the nurses what they need.

        The politics of this is going to grow on this whole government now.
        Otherwise the media are going to start conecting the PM’s baby and the care she got in the public hospital with nurse services, and how they serve us all.

        He definitely needs to bring anything he can forward to close this down.

        • Wayne 14.1.1.1

          Ad,

          The 2.3 billion is capital, and in any event not payable for some years. The operating budget of the NZDF, even taking account of the increased capital charge, will barely change as a result of the P8 purchase.

          Self evidently capital is not available to pay wages. It would be a breach of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

          Robertson might a little extra in the operating budget, but the more he finds, the greater will be the expectation of all the public sector groups, some of which are much keener on strike action than the nurses.

          Frankly the nurses already have a pretty good offer. Even their union thought so.

      • Ad 14.1.2

        Robertson was quite happy to find the unfunded $2.3 billion for planes without blinking.

        And barely a question in the media about it.

        All the media have to do is tie the treatment the Prime Minister got from nurses in a public hospital to the kind of rewards they get for that work, and Robertson will start to feel real media pain via the PM’s office.

        Whatever budgetary tricks he’s got available, Robertson better shake his ass and do them. This is going to grow fast.

        • SPC 14.1.2.1

          1. Because (replacement of the aircraft was an intended capital spending) capital spending and regular annual spending are in different categories.
          2. The defence aircraft are not delivered until 2023 and not paid for until 2026.

          But the big constraint is the fiscal restraint Labour (and Greens) committed to prior to the election.

          https://www.labour.org.nz/fiscalplan-brr

          • gsays 14.1.2.1.1

            Lack of money, to me, is weasel words.
            Billions extra going to defence and SCF bailout are two off the top of my head.

            It is and only ever is a lack of priority rather than a lack of cash.

            • SPC 14.1.2.1.1.1

              It’s about budgeting, not access to cash or financing capital spending (also financed by debt).

              Which is based on forecast GDP, forecast revenues, and annual budget spending year by year.

              If a government committs to spending within 30% of GDP during its term in office, as Labour did, then it has to limit what extra year on year spending it can committ to

              Note the nurses were offered $2000 each (easy to offer when there more cash collected this year than forecast, as it has no impact on future budget years).

          • Ad 14.1.2.1.2

            Yes I am aware of the difference between opex and capex.

            That would matter to Treasury. It need not matter to a Minister.

            As for the timing of the fiscal impact, that would be a part of any negotiation as to how and when different kinds of impact stated.

            To solve this issue, all the Minister of Finance has to do is send the signal that he is changing his mind.

            • SPC 14.1.2.1.2.1

              It does matter to the Minister, because of the promise to keep government spending within 30% of GDP.

              And remember the government is also committed to running a surplus large enough to finance placement of money into the Cullen Fund – which impacts on how much budget and capital spending can be made (and get debt down to 20% of GDP within 5 years) – which is why they used ending up resorting to PPP for the new/replacement prison.

              But, as I said before, there is no reason why the government cannot guarantee to negotiate and settle a new contract for the 2020-2023 period before the 2020 election (to reduce the risk of a National victory and a freeze of their pay after this fairly minor and belated increase).

              And the government could sweeten this deal by offering 500 new nurses each year. 2018, 2019 and 2020 and offer negotiations with the nurses and teachers unions over assistance to those in Auckland who do not own property.

              • Ad

                He’ll have to send some kind of signal like that.

                They won’t win 2020 without them.

              • dukeofurl

                The PPP at Waikeria was so far down the track as the policy of the last government, that it would have seen $10s of millions wasted on the pre selected PP and their design or start from scratch again and waste another 2 years. There may have been some financial risk to the PP not having any contract at all.
                Having a greenfields prison site consented could be 2 years alone, let alone build time.

                Plus there is the issue Fletchers had with the new Pare, they are left holding the bunny as construction costs have blown out, and that was a PPP.

                A government build on its own account could see the cost blow out and the prisons budget take the hit.

        • Dukeofurl 14.1.2.2

          It’s not unfunded. The defence budget has a substantial yearly capital budget. It comes from that.
          What we have had is announcement of future spending up to 6 years away

  14. UreKismet 15

    What is the point of a government which claims to be committed to reform if at first hurdle it falls back on the worst aspect of neoliberalism. That is the fake assertion that government expenditure ‘books must be balanced’ .

    Limiting expenditure to some notional figure that the monetarists over at treasury claim is all we can afford is nonsense, not least of all because treasury have proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted to accurately predict the price of a loaf of bread in situations where they can claim disinterest.
    Spending more on health education and housing is not that situation, since we know that the anally regressive creeps over at treasury are 100% philosophically opposed to such expenditure. In other words they have a mind set which will cause them to favour predicting a much lower revenue stream for this government than what it will really be.

    But that is only a small part of it. Since the 1980’s the reserve bank has run a fiat currency system. See https://www.dummies.com/personal-finance/investing/how-the-fiat-system-works/ This allows banks to create money out of thin air to make loans. After all with kiwis negligible savings discipline how else are the fat cats gonna land bank & build white elephants etc?

    Of course it isn’t just banks who have the power to create money out of thin air in a fiat system, the government does too. A classic example being when Oblamblamblam elected to bail out corporate banks using ‘quantitative easing’ – in the process letting Joe/Jo Citizen swing in the wind as mortgages exceeded property values in a declining market – but the bankers who caused the collapse were fine, they certainly stopped whining about any ‘inflationary effect’ once they realised all that good gravy was for them and only them. No new government assets were created yet the USD held firm when Obummer got the printing presses running hot churning out dosh for the super rich.

    If Ardern actually understood that socialism wasn’t just a groovy finishing school for career obsessed centrist politicians, she could get off her chuff and do the same in NZ – but with much less risk vis a vis inflation, since the print run that would work best is going to create public assets worth a sight more than the cost to obtain and free up billions of dollars of current planned expenditure which could pay for substantial increases in both staffing and pay across the public sector. Oh and soak up many thousands of un or under employed kiwis by giving them through compound training (eg apprenticeships combining on the job and off the job training) marketable skills for life.
    All this mob need to do is slough off the neoliberal shit stain currently covering them and re create a Department of Works – if the name offends harking back to old school kiwi agrarian socialism call it something else but do the job.
    The job being creating enough new money to hire skilled builders plus many not skilled, then churning out new homes for kiwis across Aotearoa. No money would be lost as valuable assets would be created and the would be a multitude of side benefits such as – do you ever wonder as I do that even though Oz has a.n extra layer of government with substantially higher administration cost for builders and much higer wages, why it cost 40% more to build a house in Aotearoa than Oz? The OZ houses tend to be sturdier (Termite, cyclone and environment protection) yet hey cost much less why?
    Because like just about everything else Aotearoa is subjected to a monopoly on building supplies. The same style of greed that has Australians paying 35% less for a block of kiwi butter than kiwis do has kiwis pandering to the greed of a couple of well established kiwi families who dominate building supplies biz here with vertically integrated monopolies which do us down. They couldn’t give a flying f**k how many kiwis are calling a shop doorway home, they’re all right “so bugger the rest of you, ya bludgers”.
    I was up in Auckland a couple of weeks back and saw how much worse homelessness has become in the last 6 months with these aged peepers, what is going on? That is not the NZ that our forbears sweated blood to build. I dunno what I would say to my grandad, mother or uncle if one of them turned up outta the grave and suggested we go down Queen St for a bit of a looksee and a shop – they would kill me for standing and back and letting it happen I reckon.

    The furphy that is a balanced budget needs to be taken out the back and shot at the same time as the C’s and the F’s cop their desserts.

    Then teachers, healthworkers and other public servants can get back to doing their jobs properly. Best of all every kiwi who wants one could get a warm dry roof over their head.
    However given too many derps predilection for oohing and aahing at the inconsequentialities of glossy publications ahead of the reality outside their own homes on the streets of kiwiland I ain’t holding my breath.

    • SPC 15.1

      The Labour policy of the 30% of GDP spending cap was developed before Ardern became leader and became part of an agreement nwith the Gformed

    • SPC 15.2

      The Labour policy of the 30% of GDP spending cap (and part of an agreement with Greens) was developed before Ardern became leader. It was decided on as a way of convincing those of middle class “sensibility” they would be fiscally fiscally responsible with tax revenues – so they could have a turn in office.

      They only won because Peters wanted more fairness, the middle class still wanted their tax cuts.

      Ardern should seriously consider an agreement with Peters and Shaw on a different approach for a second term.

      For example Peters might agree to the Cullen Fund inputs coming from a 1% employee and 1% employer contribution rather than tax revenues – this reduces the risk of an end to inputs during budget deficits (as occured 2009-2014).

      • UreKismet 15.2.1

        There won’t be a next time. This current administration has all the hallmarks of a one hit wonder, the one term labour government that loses because it cannot decide to be Arthur or Martha. The bourgeoisie will be shocked, shocked ,I tell ya to discover they cannot have their cake and eat it too. The tax cuts which were pointless since for most they’re a pittance will be forgotten, but all those pesky people (mostly unwhite to boot) cluttering up the streets with their tatty blankets etc are more difficult to lose. Joe/Jo Voter will see the homeless growing but won’t be cutting any slack over the cost of those stupid tax cuts and then one of the truly evil nats will become PM in 2020.
        That is the stupidity of focusing on the next election as soon as the previous one has been won.
        Much better to go head down bum up and fix things properly. When accosted by Natz figures who dominate Aotearoa’s political media, blame the natz for lying about the true state of the mess they left behind.
        Labour/NZF best bet was to go hard in their first term ignoring the fiscal restraint nonsense completely Peters is sharp enough to understand that was the only viable move and would have gone along with it and sold it to his derps.
        Sure there would have been mobs of whining right at kickoff but if Ardern had done it right the rise in standard of living would have made all forgiven come the next election anyhow.
        The real trouble is most of the Labourites don’t really spend time with those they seek to exploit, except when it comes time to exploit ’em.

        Instead Ardern appears to put more energy into selling herself to the sort of voters who aren’t committed to just outcomes and who won’t vote for her again – ever.

    • Brigid 15.3

      Aye, Robertson need not think his economic philosophy is popular world wide either. While I despise Macron for his military action against Syria, he may have a few clues.

      “In Germany, there cannot be a perpetual fetish for budget and trade surpluses because they are achieved at the expense of others,” Mr Macron said.

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/germany-merkel-must-spend-more-and-move-past-balanced-budget-fetish-macron-mg58z3h0j

      • Dukeofurl 15.3.1

        Well Macron would say that as French have horrible deficits..and guess what he won election to try and turn around Frances poor economic performance….. Merkel doesn’t have that little problem…why is that

    • Angel Fish 15.4

      A government based fiat currency is better than a debt based fiat currency issued by a private organization. Whatever happened to National sovereignty?

  15. Dot 16

    Nurses are to get significantly more than they got under a National Government so for the first time they do not have my support.

    • Anne 16.1

      With you Dot. They lost my support when they started playing political games. Well, to be precise the half of them who voted to go ahead with the strike.

      One has to question the reason why they chose to go ahead when they knew the facilitators and DHBs were working on a final offer which they plan to put before the nurses.

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/361677/dhbs-consider-final-recommendations-on-offer-to-nurses

      • Craig H 16.1.1

        Just speculating, but it’s consistent with the vote, so was probably seen as the will of the members regardless of whatever else is going on.

        • Anne 16.1.1.1

          I’ll accept that proposition Craig H but the vote was apparently very close so a significant number of nurses did not want to go ahead with the strike. It does not seem appropriate when a final offer was in the throes of being prepared for them to consider.

          • SPC 16.1.1.1.1

            Not so, they rejected the settlement that was offered to them and then took a days strike action. The facilitator gets involved each time an offer is rejected.

      • SPC 16.1.2

        Er no, an offer was made, the union recommended it be accepted but nurses voted by a narrow majority to reject the improved (changed from original) offer.

        The facilitator only gets involved after an offer is rejected and seeks to mediate out of the impasse. The only difference to last time this happened is that nurses took a days strike action at this point in the process.

        • Anne 16.1.2.1

          So what’s this then?

          Ms Mason:
          However, yesterday she said DHBs were disappointed that the Nurses Organisation had not waited to consider the final recommendations before proceeding with industrial action.

          https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/361677/dhbs-consider-final-recommendations-on-offer-to-nurses

          • SPC 16.1.2.1.1

            When an offer is rejected (which the nurses did on Monday) they are referred back to ERA facilitation. These talks ended on Wednesday without agreement and thus the strikes went ahead today.

            See the earlier news story (yesterday) about this.

            “There’s been no comment from either side but RNZ understands the facilitation talks ended a short time ago.

            The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) rejected the latest district health board pay offer yesterday, saying more money was needed to avert the strike. The Employment Relations Authority has ordered them back into talks which are due to continue today.”

            https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/361557/hospitals-prepare-for-nurses-strike

            The ERA facilitation tries to reconcile the two parties each time there is an impasse. It offers recommendations. If there is a new offer to nurses based on these recommendations, well and good. But until then, for nurses, nothing has changed.

            • Anne 16.1.2.1.1.1

              Except they knew a new offer was going to be made so, regardless of procedure, it was incumbent upon them to wait and see what the facilitators came up with. Then if a majority of nurses were still unimpressed they could have their strike.

              Some of the nurses have now resorted to playing on people’s emotions which only serves to cloud their undoubted genuine concerns. In other words, they are going too far and imo risk destabilising their case.

              • Craig H

                Having to give 14 days’ notice of strikes for essential services tends to make it unlikely that a strike will be cancelled in those circumstances. I understand what you’re saying, but once they’re that far down the path, and having already pulled the first strike action, it was almost inevitable.

                • Anne

                  I see you point Craig H. but there was a vote taken whether to go ahead with the strike a day or two beforehand and it passed with only a small majority.

              • SPC

                What new offer are you talking about?

                The facilitator brings forth recommendations after an/each impasse. These may or may not lead to a new (better) offer being made.

                We are already at the stage where the (government) funder of the boards said (prior to the rejected offer) that no more money will be made available to realise an improved settlement offer.

                The offer was regarded as inadequate, but there is little expectation for much, if any, improvement. The final stage (next one) is take it or leave it – at which point strike action is pointless. Strike action, at this point, is to let the public know they are not happy with the new government’s performance on delivering on their promise of a better health system.

                All of politics is playing with peoples emotions, any activism is seen as going too far by apologists for government/authority/power. Generally that is the line taken by Tories.

                The irony is that there is sympathy in the present government for their taking strike action, and the hope that they do have and build public support – which will make Labour’s re-election easier, so they can do something more about it, rather than this first step.

          • The Chairman 16.1.2.1.2

            It’s my understanding that the final recommendations didn’t include more money on the table as the Government (to date) has ruled that out.

            And nurses (via their last vote) have made it clear more money on the table is required to overcome this impasse. Thus, it was pointless waiting.

            I see you are still trying to undermine nurses and their cause, Anne. Shame on you.

            • veutoviper 16.1.2.1.2.1

              No, TC. Anne is expressing her honest opinion on the situation which she has every right to do. Just as you do here – constantly.

              She is not undermining the nurses’ cause and may well be expressing the views of some or many of them albeit presumably not the majority at present.

              IMHO this is a lot more honest than your constant criticism of the new government including the Greens while claiming to be a Green member/voter. Concern trolling? Or shame on you?

              • solkta

                You really think TC expresses their honest opinion? Not very often i would think.

                • veutoviper

                  No, Solkta. I realised after it was too late to edit that I should have reworded that to make it clear that I and apparently others here do not find many of TC’s comments honest. But that is what I am getting at in my last paragraph. Perhaps you saw my initial comment which was para one only before I added paras two and three.

                  • The Chairman

                    My opinions expressed are always honest. And if you bother to read my criticisms of Labour and the Greens you’ll see they aren’t made without good reasons.

                    • Anne

                      if you bother to read my criticisms of Labour and the Greens you’ll see they aren’t made without good reasons.

                      Thank-you dear man. It may have slipped past your personal radar unnoticed, but that is precisely what I was doing over the nurses’ actions.

                      Just because my comments don’t align with your point of view does not make them mendacious or mean. If you look back at my previous comments on this post you will see I asked a couple of pertinent questions and posited one or two relevant criticisms of their most recent decisions. It’s called democracy mate.

                      And for your info…. some of my very best friends over the years have been nurses. Indeed I was a nurse myself once – albeit of a specialist kind.

                    • The Chairman

                      “Some of my very best friends over the years have been nurses. Indeed I was a nurse myself once – albeit of a specialist kind”

                      That may well be so, Anne. But lets be clear here, you admitted you no longer support the majority of nurses that decided to strike.

                      And unlike my criticisms, from what I can gather from your posts and our discussion the other day, the loss of your support largely stems from flawed assumptions, thus conclusions. Such as the one I highlighted at 16.1.2.1.2

                      If nurses are unsuccessful in this dispute, patient safety won’t improve at a reasonable pace.

                      I think most New Zealanders will find that unacceptable. Evident by the overwhelming public support nurses have.

                      You and the Government are on the wrong side of this one.

              • The Chairman

                “Anne is expressing her honest opinion on the situation…”

                That’s what I initially thought when I first engaged her waning support (based on flawed assumptions) the other day.

                She has now admitted (at 16.1) she no longer supports the majority of nurses that decided to strike. Therefore, she is now hostile to striking nurses and their cause.

              • Anne

                Thank you veutoviper. They are indeed genuinely held views and based on past experience although not in the nursing profession.

    • SPC 16.2

      The real problem is staffing.

      It seems generous, if viewed in isolation of context, they received low settlements under National because of their budget deficits – and because National delayed settlement of this (consequences) before they left office (so they could to make their tax cuts the surplus away offer to voters first ….).

      • Dukeofurl 16.2.1

        Last wage round for nurses was 2015or 16. There was no deficits as such anymore. English found $5k for a pollies wage rise and was stage whispers about a tax cut coming up

  16. Delia 17

    48 hours the next time nurses and health care workers.

    • Anne 17.1

      I presume you mean the next round of strike action will be for 48 hrs.

      What many of the nurses are failing to acknowledge is that – as far as I can tell – the government has expressed their intention to meet all their demands over the next 18 months. These nurses have decided they want it all now.

      The government through the DHBs have said they can’t have it all now because the cost of doing so is too prohibitive. There are other negotiations under way on behalf of other sections of the Public Service (eg, the teachers) who have also suffered enormously under the last government’s tenure of office and they have to be considered too.

      Imo, comparisons with the amount being spent on the Air Force Orions and Hercules aircraft are a false equivalent. With the advent of Climate Change and the very real prospects of extreme weather systems here and in the South Pacific, those aircraft are going to become an ever increasing vital tool in the saving of lives. The current aircraft are way past their use-by date and no longer up to the job.

      • SPC 17.1.1

        The government has in fact said they cannot meet all the demands over the next 18 months, as they cannot afford to.

        • Anne 17.1.1.1

          That is not what I heard or saw online a day or two ago but I can’t recall where.
          It could have been Checkpoint but can’t be sure. The story included a reference to the government’s offer being fulfilled over the next 18 months – or something along those lines. If I can find it will link but no luck thus far.

          • gsays 17.1.1.1.1

            The members of the union are sick of hearing broken promises from the DHBs in regards to staffing and pay equality.

            Their words mean nothing, coupled with the approach taken by Ms Mason and the DHBs stating that nurses would be on $90,000-$93,000.
            There is a lack of goodwill, dare I say good faith in the DHB approach.

  17. Angel Fish 18

    Labour is completely fucked in the head!
    While National was in power, one of the things that really pissed me off
    was about the National party buying a bunch of shitty throw away helicopters
    from Australia, that the Australian state deemed not suitable.
    They spent a massive $160 million dollars on that garbage and with the arrogance
    that we can make gold out of what AUSSIES deem to be shit.

    You know when a nation with a trillion dollar economy wants to get rid of some tech instead of trying to fix it, a nation of $200 billion dollars or so should leap at it…

    But here, with Labour, it’s what $2 fucking billion dollars?
    I can stomach the free college bullshit and other kinds of social payments, because at least the money stays here, but this is fucking unforgivable.

    That military expenditure and also spending money on useless south korean trains, this is why I kept voting for labour. But no more.

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