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Open mike 20/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 20th, 2012 - 87 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…


87 comments on “Open mike 20/08/2012”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Another week, three more pointless fatal casualties amongst our soldiers in Afghanistan. Let’s hope their funerals don’t clash with John Key’s parent-teacher day at Kings.

    IrishBill: The politics of out presence in Afghanistan needs to be discussed but not as thoughtlessly as this. Cool your heels or you’ll get a week off.

    • LynW 1.1

      A heartbreaking waste of life.


      At the weekend, former Labour leader Phil Goff said more combat deaths in Afghanistan were futile.

      “Sometimes you do things that involve sacrifice, but the sacrifice has to be worthwhile,” Goff said.

      “To me, further sacrifices aren’t going to bring better outcomes for Afghanistan. I’ve been to every funeral for those killed in action and they are terribly sad and your heart goes out to the families. But can I look them in the eye and say your son died because it was critical for us to be in Afghanistan? I don’t believe I can.”

      New Zealand’s Afghanistan deployment over the past five years has cost $185 million, with $32m budgeted this year.

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.1

        Will the caucus approved Labour policy please raise your hand?

        After the previous two deaths Shearer supported Key. Shearer said we should stay.


        • Colonial Viper

          Every report out of Afghanistan says that the internal security situation is deteriorating. We don’t even know what is achievable there any more. Condolences to the families of the service personnel killed. Bring our boys back this year.

          • Bored

            My son just came out of the forces, I welcome this as I cant trust how this government will deploy our forces personnel: the downside is that he is finding suitable work scarce but has got a job.

            Recently talking to services personnel the common refrain they give is funding cuts, privatized contractors doing core services work, boats tied up for lack of crew, second rate equipment, low moral. I am not sure I want to entrust any of our young people to organisations stretched this way. Who would trust the same politicians from whence this problem originates to make decisions for our young peoples welfare? Why do we allow these politico-ciphers to send our troops into combat zones to perform “reconstruction?”

            My deepest condolences to the families, who will reconstruct their life?

          • lostinsuburbia

            Yep, our mission there has failed at the cost of many lives and the waste of national treasuries.

            While I support military action when neccessary and also the deployment of rebuilding teams, the campaign in Afghanistan is a failure. With a war that has gone longer than World War One and Two combined, we are facing an enemy that is resurgent and a country that is run by a disorganised band of thugs.

            While there may be some local improvements (judging from some stories about improved conditions in some towns etc), Afghanistan has turned into a strategic defeat.

            Not to say that the Taliban or its ilk are my kind of people, but given the cultural and physical problems facing NATO and its allies (like us) its time to pull out as a “victory” can not be achieved.

            Losing more kiwi soliders to show that we are “one of boys” and a mate of the USA is just not worth it.

    • CnrJoe 1.2

      Bronaghs got a dressage competition coming up in Hawaii?

    • Nick 1.3

      Maybe Key can demand his son, and his sons Kings class mates to join up and go to Afghanistan. Can just see the weaned on pickle Kings parents faces.

      • rosy 1.3.1

        +1 If a war is worth fighting then it’s worth risking your own kids, not just other people’s children… (yes, I know we don’t have conscription, it’d be worth asking Key the question though)

      • AmaKiwi 1.3.2

        I oppose foreign wars but I favor conscription. Why?

        Conscription finally brought an end to the US war in Vietnam. The US war hawks ended conscription after Vietnam so they wouldn’t have the middle class organizing massive protests against future imperialist wars. It worked.

        We would have been out of Afghanistan long ago if the sons of the wealthy and middle class risked getting killed there.

        • rosy

          A very good point, AmaKiwi.

        • LynW

          Excellent point AmaKiwi

        • Bill

          Another argument I’ve heard for conscription is that it dilutes the culture of the armed forces. Meaning that a professional army of volunteers is more likely to accept certain intellectual or moral mores that an army comprised of all types and a wider spread of ‘enthusiasm’ would be less susceptible to, or even resistant to.

          And I can see the logic, but remain firmly opposed to conscription. And in a NZ context, I’m not sure I see much, if any, reason for having armed forces. I imagine that if another country wanted to invade NZ that they could succesfully do so whether or not there was any defence force. And since defence forces are presumably for defence and not offence, then I’m willing to accept that NZ isn’t interested in invading anyone else.

          Meanwhile, if there is a desire to send people to help on genuine humanitarian projects, then can that not be done without guns and whatever other army paraphernalia? If I was going to be compelled to walk around Afghanistan or some other such like place where people looking just like me had been responsible for inflicting bloody mayhem, I’m thinking the last thing I would want is to be kitted out in army fatigues with a gun strapped over my shoulder. Might as well just put a big day glow target on me with ‘target practice’ stamped across it in the local language.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And in a NZ context, I’m not sure I see much, if any, reason for having armed forces.

            We will need the ability to defend ourselves for the foreseeable future – unfortunately, ours can’t being configured incorrectly and dependent upon imported weapons. There are sociopaths, they do get to be in positions of power and they do invade other countries – especially if the other country is perceived to be weak.

    • Carol 1.4

      So sad. Condolences to the families, and friends of the dead soldiers.

      And New Zealand troops are there because…..???? …. because the the US is there….?

    • Dr Terry 1.5

      Irish Bill: You call comment from Sanctuary thoughtless? I should think he reflects the way many people will be thinking right now. Key’s recent decisions are hardly beyond question, surely? Naturally, however, we have great sympathy for families of the bereaved.

  2. Richard Mayes - Wellington 2

    What the hell’s wrong with you Sanctuary?

    Three New Zealand soldiers have died, while fighting to free a nation from the most hideous religious oppression you could imagine, and your first reaction is to turn that into a barbed comment about Key.

    Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

    THAT’s what our soldiers are fighting. If you think that’s “pointless” then you have a pretty fucked up view of the world. Grow up.

    • It’s time for our soldiers to come home Richard.  Their presence in Afghanistan is not helping.  The country is on the ropes because of continuous foreign meddling over the past few decades.

      It is time to bring the soldiers home and see if aid and compassion work better. 

    • Zorr 2.2

      Do you even remember the reason Afghanistan was invaded? It WASN’T to free the country from the grip of religious extremists because we wanted to save little girls like that – it was to pull down a structure that provided refuge to Al Qaeda. As much as the story of the little girl is horrible, it is not our duty to prevent every horror in the world, nor is it even possible, and risking the lives of our soldiers in a futile pursuit is disrespectful of their families as we are risking their lives needlessly.

      If you think it’s that important to go over there and fight to protect Afghanistan, where are your sign up papers for the army? Or why aren’t you over digging wells in Africa? etc etc

      Feel free to stop being a keyboard warrior and go out and be a real one if that is where your heart lies because at the moment your words ring hollow

    • rosy 2.3

      You do realise Richard, that the U.S. is negotiating their exit with those very same people?

    • IrishBill 2.4

      There are better ways to fight religious oppression than war.

    • Morrissey 2.5

      An ignoramus writes….

      Three New Zealand soldiers have died, while fighting to free a nation from the most hideous religious oppression you could imagine

      To “free” a nation by sending hundreds of thousands of troops to kill thousands and thousands of its civilians? Where have we heard that one before? Poland in the 1940s, Algeria in the 1950s, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the 1960s, Chechnya in the 1990s, Iraq in this century…

      Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

      Have you seen this picture? It wasn’t published in the semi-official Time magazine for obvious reasons. THAT’s what the Afghans are resisting…..


      By the way: your use of foul language does nothing to diminish the impression of massive ignorance.


    • millsy 2.6

      Richard – About 10 years ago I saw a photo of a woman who had her eyes gouged out and her nose cut off by her husband in Pakistan, I have also seen photos of women in Bangladesh who have had acid thrown in their faces.

      Are you suggesting we send troops to those countries as well?

    • prism 2.7

      Richard 2
      You need to grow up. There is a constant flow of news of disgusting
      treatment of people. Some of them perpetrated by armies ‘saving’ the country.

      We are not in Afghanistan as a crusade to save people from turning on each other viciously, after all we haven’t managed to do that in NZ. We are in Afghanistan because the USA asked us and we have tried to make a positive contribution to the people.

      That’s all we can do. Grow up yourself and put your energies into supporting positive groups attempting to aid people made by more needy after this war. Better still go yourself. The personal input and zeal and ability to find a way through the powerful philosophies different from our powerful philosophies could make a great difference in the location you operated in.

    • Vicky32 2.8

      Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

      All due respect to you, Richard, but I would not take the word of TIME magazine for anything!
      Frankly, I am with Sanctuary…
      Listening to TV3’s coverage of it all – disgusting. War porn!

      • Vicky32 2.8.1

        Memo to Mike McRoberts – a tragedy is when anyone is killed – not just one of the American invaders…

    • Daveosaurus 2.9

      And in another theocratic shithole, religious terrorists murder medical staff. So should we invade them as well?

      • Morrissey 2.9.1

        So should we invade them as well?

        If Richard Mayes was anything other than a ranting hypocrite, he would say, “Of course we should.”

  3. Carol 3

    So the new youth benefit system starts today. RNZ News said something about a private company managing it…? Another ticket clipper creaming off money that would be better spent on those in need?


    Essential bills will be paid directly from their benefit and they will receive $50 per week on a payment card.

    Labour says many young people don’t know about the payment card.

    Work & Income says no individual will be transferred to the new regime until they have had the changes explained to them.

    And also from today teenage women on benefits can get financial assistance with contraception….long term…. that slipped in quietly????


    The new grant

    The grant can help with additional costs for accessing the following types of subsidised LARC:

    *Depo-Provera injection
    * Contraceptive implants
    * Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

    Financial assistance can only be given for additional associated costs for LARCs that are subsidised by Pharmac. This could include:

    *Medical or nurse consultation fees
    * Reasonable travel costs getting to and from a consultation
    *Prescription charges
    *Any unsubsidised cost associated with accessing LARC.

    It does not include contraceptive pills or condoms.

    Who can get the assistance?

    The grant will be introduced in two phases.

    From 20 August 2012, it will be available to young women aged 16 to 18 years of age who are:

    *receiving Youth Payment or Young Parent Payments
    * partners of main beneficiaries and who are subject to the youth activity obligations

    From 15 October 2012 it will be available to:

    *women on a benefit (excluding Unemployment Student Hardship)
    *beneficiaries' female dependent children aged 16 years or older


    GPs will receive payment for LARC services directly from the client. This may be via a payment card.

    • Bored 3.1

      Nanny State replaced by Big (Step) Sister state. Cinders may never get to the Ball.

      At-least Nanny might have embroidered Cinders dress and given her a lift to the Ball..Step Sis Paula wants to keep Cinders scrubbing the floor. Paula does not need to go to the Ball to expose her ugliness.

    • rosy 3.2

      So they’ll give teens a controversial long-acting contraception with significant side-effects, including osteoporosis, delayed return to fertility and an increased risk of STDs … but nothing to protect against STDs and HIV infection.

      There is so much wrong with this picture.

  4. I feel like an extra on the set of a huge splatter/zombie movie being directed by Bill English and Steven Joyce and the Smiling Assassin taking the lead role. I’m sure Gerry Brownlee’s cosy relationship with Sir Peter Jackson had more to it than just screwing over a few actors.


  5. Chris 5

    Is p bennett going to do the inaugral injection/ implant/IUD. You know,”I declare this ……..”

  6. belladonna 6

    Someone rang talkback radio over the weekend claiming that 3 horses died unnecessarily during the filming of The Hobbit. Is Peter Jackson not subjected to the same animal welfare rules as everyone else? If this is true, the media are keeping very quiet about this.

    • tc 6.1

      That’s what closed down ‘Luck’ in it’s second season shoot which had a stellar cast incl Dustin Hoffman/Michael Gambon and quality scripts.

      But then they have a media of sorts in the US whereas here….move along sheeple, nothing to see.

  7. Morrissey 7

    British state radio hack shows how to play the game
    Radio New Zealand, Morning Report, Monday 20 August 2012, 8:35 a.m.

    Brave little Ecuador is calling for expressions of support from all of the countries in the OAS. Will Grant, a reporter for British state radio, told host Simon Mercep with epic seriousness that not all the Latin American states are as “left-wing as Venezuela and Bolivia”.

    Of course it would have been more accurate for Will Grant to say they are not all as committed to democracy and free speech as Venezuela and Bolivia, but you don’t get far with the British state broadcaster by speaking plainly and honestly. Far easier to use the imprecise, vaguely worrying, almost meaningless “left wing” label to diminish the stand of Latin America’s champions of democracy.

  8. millsy 8

    Richard Prebble finally admits it.

    Rail is obsolete and has no future.

    • Bored 8.1

      Prebbo the myopic hand maiden of rich snouts in the public trough..aha might he pronounce the same of the roading projects that underscore the tax funded “subsidising” of the trucking industry?

      I am of course looking forward to the huge capital destruction that will be the idle roads built to manage multi-ton trailers, and the out of diesel tractor units littering transport companies yards. A few more years and we shall remember Prebbos words as we catch the electric train and watch the freight wagons roll by…………….

    • tc 8.2

      IF ‘Prebble’ THEN ‘No Credibility’…END.

    • Morrissey 8.3

      Prebble? Isn’t he the fellow who wrote that book with the world’s most dishonest title?

  9. Seen this?


    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement?

    What sort of ‘partnership’ EXCLUDES THE PUBLIC?





    Where are the ‘minutes’ of the meetings?

    Whose interests is John Key serving?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


  10. prism 10

    Hope the move went fairly smoothly – shame about the rain. I guess you or someone else hasn’t changed the format of the blog. I have lost the grid system suddenly.
    I have been advised to use Firefox so will start that but meantime – has there been any change from your end?

    • r0b 10.1

      Only Lynn can say for sure, but there’s no visible changes that I can see…

    • lprent 10.2

      No changes. In fact no updates at all. That is in the CSS, so I’d guess that you have a cache issue. You’ll probably need to tell the cache to flush.

      Move was pretty good, and the rain held off on Saturday. Despite having employed some very active movers, I still did enough back crane work packing / unpacking to have a quite sore back by sunday afternoon. This getting older is a real pain in the back.. damnit.

      We moved back into my old apartment now that Lyn’s film has mostly finished being edited, festivaled, shown on PBS, and the distribution networks have been set up. We don’t need the extra office space because there aren’t people working at our home anymore. Also the leaky building work is all over…

      But I’m loving the polished concrete floor – apartment feels a lot bigger and a hell of a lot easier with a single surface. We had the carpet and tiles all pulled up and the concrete polished. Left the bathroom in lino (got rid of the tiles there during the leaky building). A lot more functional especially since we tripled the amount of storage to cope with having two of us in there.

  11. Carol 11

    John Key, a “sad fullah” – tell it!



    “Who earns $400,000 a year and has investments of $50 million, but won’t pay his cleaner more than $13.85 an hour? Answer – John Key. What a sad fullah” said MANA leader Hone Harawira.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      John Key doesn’t pay the cleaner personally, they’ll be hired by Parliamentary Services. Therefore this is coming out of taxpayers money, not Key’s. Talking about Key’s personal wealth is an irrelevant distraction.

      • weka 11.1.1

        What are the chances that Key has some employees/workers/staff somewhere in his life on close to minimum wage?
        I take your point though. Does Harawira not have an office at parliament that gets cleaned?
        Harawira also appears to suck at maths.

        • Carol

          Of course Harawira’s statement is not accurate literally, but it’s a point well made – it is succinctly showing up Key’s hypocrisy in keeping minimal wages so low, when he is so wealthy….. and with work that comes so close to him. These things are connected.

          I’m sure Harawira gets his offices cleaned by the same people, but he is asking for them to get more…. unlike Key and co.


    In November 1999, John Key was the Head of Derivatives for Merrill Lynch.

    In November 1999 John Key was also a Foreign Exchange Advisor to the New York Federal Reserve.

    In November 1999 is when the Glass Steagall Act was repealed.

    (The Glass Steagall Act effectively kept a concrete wall between boring, safe commercial banking and risky, dangerous investment banking.)

    The effect of the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act was to leave the derivatives market unregulated.

    What is regarded as the main reason for the global financial ‘meltdown’?

    The collapse of the derivatives market – WHICH NZ PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY HELPED TO SET UP.


    Whose interests is John Key NOW primarily serving, as Prime Minister of New Zealand, remembering that he is still a shareholder in the Bank of America?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’



    Are Kiwi Farmers the Victim of Fraudulent Derivatives?
    A fellow blogger pointed me in the direction of the fact that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 Farmers in New Zealand have been sold Derivatives Swaps. In an interesting series the Sunday Star times is shining light about this practice.

    In Britain, it’s being called a scandal. In New Zealand, there’s been barely a squeak.

    But with around one in 10 farmers in dire straits with high debt burdens and devalued farms, claims that complex “interest rate swaps” were missold to farmers who did not understand them are surfacing.

    The swaps, traditionally used by sophisticated businesses with expert finance staff, were sold in 2007, 2008 and even 2009 by some banks to farmers as insurance against interest rates – and hence floating rate farm mortgages – rising rapidly, farmers say.

    But when the opposite happened, the farmers who bought them were left locked in to high interest rates which they could not escape without paying hefty break fees.

    Already heavily indebted, some farmers have lost their farms as a result of the instruments.



    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


  13. Carol 13

    Another very good column from Tapu Misa: this time on “truthiness”, wannabe 3 yr old Paula Bennett and her breach of Work and Income’s code of conduct:


    Paula Bennett so sure she’s right

    But here is where we’re supposed to let the matter lie. Is there a principle at stake, or does is it all just come down to Bennett’s rock-solid belief in her own rightness?

    Given Bennett’s defiant tone and refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing or responsibility, it was hard not to agree with Speaker Lockwood Smith’s description of her in Parliament last week as showing “less discipline than a 3-year-old child”.

    Bennett may have good political instincts; I don’t doubt that she cares about the plight of the vulnerable and disadvantaged. But social welfare deserves a more principled and less “truthy” approach.

    • Bored 13.1

      If Labour had people like Tapu Misa in their PR and comms area (as opposed to the Paganis) I would vote for them. This lady is a treasure given where she works. Perhaps cut the bull and give her a safe seat might be a better option.

  14. Mary 14

    Where is the real criticism of Bennett’s new rules for beneficiaries under 20? Surely it’s the thin end of the wedge for passing delivery of welfare over to private charity? First youth, then it’ll be everyone because government will say how “successful” it’s been. It’s then a dangerously short step to moving the whole responsibility for welfare away from government. Nobody’s pointing this out. What’s Ardern saying? -that it’s unacceptable the changes weren’t publicised well enough? Crikey, does this mean Labour in principle supports these changes? Certainly looks like it. Sell outs.

    • Bored 14.1

      Looks like Adern has an aversion to scaring the horses and saying something that might just have a little force. Does she have to run things under the nose of the “pol scientists PR” flunkies?

    • Carol 14.2

      Yes, I looked, wondered and posted about the changes above.

    • Where is all the ‘accountability’ and where are the RULES for corporate welfare beneficiaries?

      How much public monies in tax and rates could be saved at central and local government level for SOCIAL WELFARE by CUTTING OUT THE CONSULTANTS AND PRIVATE CONTRACTORS?

      Penny Bright
      ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


    • Vicky32 14.4

      Where is the real criticism of Bennett’s new rules for beneficiaries under 20?

      I heard an interesting (and a bit scary)  item on BBC WS this afternoon – to the effect that they have this system in Oz – scary because they interviewed a woman on the DPB equivalent who sounded somewhat zombie-like as she prated on about how wonderful it all is for her, having a payment card.
      It all adds to my disillusionment with the BBC

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    A Republican shows just how out of touch with reality that he, and the rest of them, are:

    A Republican Senate hopeful sparked outrage on Sunday by suggesting that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy due to a woman’s biological defences.

    “If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.”

    This is his reason to explain his no-exceptions policy in regards to abortion.

    Just another old white guy wanting to take control of other peoples body and life.

  16. joe90 16

    He’s a creationist loon.

    Associate Education Minister John Banks says he believes the Genesis account of the start of life on Earth.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      …especially in these lamentable times.”

      If the times are “lamentable” it’s because of actions of himself and people like him who keep trying to prevent humankind from progressing and learning.

    • Pete 16.2

      He’s wrong and I already really dislike him, but I’m going to give him a pass on that (i.e. my opinion of him remains unchanged). Religious beliefs – my own liberal Catholicism included – in general are irrational. Maybe he’s reached the point where he just can’t sink any lower. I’ve met a number of creationists and they follow the same range of likeable-dislikeable as the general population. He hasn’t made it a feature of his public life until now. My guess is he’s positioning himself to join the Conservatives in 2014.

      • Carol 16.2.1

        My guess is he’s positioning himself to join the Conservatives in 2014.

        My thoughts exactly – auditioning for Craig et al. Hypocrite – using religion to waka jump! Looking for some way to continue living off taxpayers ‘ money while promoting charter schools with an agenda for the elite.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Banksie is without shame, campaigned for Mayor on “bash the boy racers” then promptly backed off that one while getting special parking arrangements for his Bentley. Who did steal his Harley anyway?

          Pete and Carol may well be onto his next opportunist squiggle.

        • bad12

          Possible??? a ACT/Conservative merger, it’s either Banks being stupid as usual or the village idiot might be trying to line up the next prop in a long line of them to keep the Slippery National Government with snouts firmly at trough…

      • ropata 16.2.2

        N.T. Wright (Bishop of Durham and renowned scholar) suggests that the mythic meaning of Genesis is far more important than historical nitpicking.

        Rev. Wright argues that the mythological part has been misunderstood and discarded by many evangelicals in favour of a reading based entirely on questions of historicity.
        “To flatten that [the text of Genesis] out is to almost perversely avoid the real thrust of the narrative … ”

        Wright suggests that questions concerning the historicity of Genesis and the historicity of Adam and Eve get caught up in contemporary cultural issues and miss the larger story [of God making Earth as a home for humanity, where he can also dwell with us, and the Fall as an archetype of the state of man].

        • ropata

          (right wing idiocy is not the only religion out there)

        • Vicky32

          Rev. Wright argues that the mythological part has been misunderstood and discarded by many evangelicals in favour of a reading based entirely on questions of historicity.

          Thanks for that, Ropata! 🙂

    • tc 16.4

      Banks is so full of shit that whenever he opens his mouth nothing else has a chance of emerging.

    • He’s a raving nut case Joe90.The trouble is he’s in charge of Education.
      and that’s a big worry .Along with his crazy Charter Schools and unregistered teachers our world class education is in serious danger ,State Schools, of course ,his mates Private Schools will not be affected .Lets hope the teachers unions will get organized.
      Anyone who believes that the world was created in six days must be mad that they are in charge of the nations education is madder still,

  17. Tiger Mountain 17

    Religion’s sometimes corrosive and deadly real world effects have had a good airing today via the narco-theocracy of Afghanistan. And then there is our very own Banksie, helpfully pointing out again that other countries do not have all the delusional politicians! … (beat me to it joe)

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      And who buys all the heroin made in Afghanistan which funds all kinds of Taleban activities…the young people of developed western countries who demand it at almost any price. The irony.

  18. Carol 18

    Greens of 3 countries critical of the TPP.


    Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
    Sunday, 19 August 2012, 7:00 pm
    Press Release: Green Party

    Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian Greens, Green Party of Canada)

    As the Green parliamentary political parties of three nations whose governments are currently in the process of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), we are issuing this joint statement to express our serious concern at the fundamentally undemocratic and non-transparent nature of the agreement. Following the leaking of the draft investment chapter of the TPPA the Greens are extremely concerned that the TPPA agreement has the potential to undermine the ability of our governments to perform effectively. More than just another trade agreement, the TPPA provisions could hinder access to safe, affordable medicines, weaken local content rules for media, stifle high-tech innovation, and even restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.

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    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    6 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    6 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    1 week ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago