web analytics

Polity: Why Joyce is full of it on monetary policy

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, May 5th, 2014 - 33 comments
Categories: don brash, Economy, monetary policy, national, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags: , , ,

polity_square_for_lynnlprent: Rob Salmond at Polity just saved me from having to write something like this post explaining economic basics to Steven Joyce today. Over the weekend Joyce demonstrated again why his tenure at MoBIE has been a failure for the overall economy. He fixates on one thing (like the business selling milk powder) to the exclusion of the overall picture. In part that is why we have neither expanding innovation or employment in our economy at present. He is a good tactical politician. But he is a fool on strategy.

Steven Joyce, Minister of Running Interference, is trumpeting a “back of the envelope calculation” this morning claiming it would take a six point rise in the Kiwisaver contribution rate to equal just a one point rise in interest rates. Ohmigod – that’s a 6:1 ratio! How horribly inefficient! And so on.

Here is why Joyce is spouting is a load of nonsense:

  1. Comparing apples with oranges
    A one percent change in interest rates takes, according to Joyce, around $2.5 billion out of new Zealanders’ disposable income. A 1% increase in savings rates only takes out around $400m. That is no surprise, because interest rates operate on capital holdings, while savings rates operate only oncurrent earnings. So the 6:1 thing is a rhetorical red herring, nothing more. If we compare apples with apples, Joyce is saying that KiwiSaver would need to collect an extra $2.5 billion from New Zealanders in order that banks do not have to collect the extra $2.5 billion from New Zealanders instead. True enough, but not really an argument.
  2. Ignoring most of the apples
    Labour has a wide range of policies designed to increase savings and expand what people can do with their savings, many of which will decrease the need to adjust the Variable Savings Rate (VSR). One is to make KiwiSaver universal, which will have a very large impact. Joyce’s calculations are all about how much Labour would have to change the VSR if it had absolutely no other policies that impact on savings. Which makes the analysis pretty much useless.
  3. Ignoring the world around him
    Joyce’s approach to monetary policy appears wilfully ignorant of interest rates in other countries. He keeps on about New Zealand’s interest rate history, instead. But nobody is choosing between New Zealand’s 2014 interest rates and New Zealand’s 1979 interest rates. For that, you need a DeLorean. Instead, millions of people are choosing between New Zealand’s 2014 interest rates and Japan’s or America’s or Australia’s 2014 rates. That is what is driving up our dollar, which is why managing growth without increasing interest rates is such a smart idea.
  4. Ignoring flow-on effects
    Assessing the impact of a policy on New Zealanders’ lives, you normally look at all the impacts of the policy, not just one. For example, if we manage heat in the economy through retirement savings rates instead of lending rates, we take away the major force driving the New Zealand dollar upwards (see above). That means our exports are more competitive, which means more foreign exchange earnings, a better balance of payments, and more jobs for New Zealanders. Oddly none of those obvious impacts appear in Joyce’s critique. Which is entirely disingenuous.

None of Joyce’s protests change the Labour’s fundamental point: If the economy is overheating, would you rather cool it down by giving your retirement account some money, or giving an Australian bank the money instead? If you would rather give the banks the money, National’s plan is for you. If you would rather give your retirement account the money, choice Labour’s plan.

This idea is entirely sensible, which is why it is getting praise from all over the spectrum, including even Don Brash!

Steven Joyce is treating the media and the public like fools. He thinks we will see “6:1” and run like terrified peasants. We aren’t that dumb.

33 comments on “Polity: Why Joyce is full of it on monetary policy”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    You need to take everything Joyce says with a huge grain of salt. The problem with spinning exaggerated rants on everything opposition parties do, day after day, is that he can’t do serious. And, remember, this is the guy who promised a trillion dollars from an oil bonanza. Still waiting.

  2. captain hook 2

    Joyce will just say anything as long as it is obtuse and confusing. He never will address the issue of why National panders to one sector of the economy and leaves the rest out to dry.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Joyce needs to watch this video again and again until he understands it properly and clearly.

    http://tinyurl.com/luh3xah

    Or, he is better off spending his time trying to analyse and solve the Nova Pay mess.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    I agree with this entirely. The bald conductor is spinning furiously.

    However to avoid his spin getting traction Parker needs to be armed with numbers. Otherwise he will be punished and National will be allowed to lie by saying Kiwisaver contributions will increase to 14%.

    Parker needs to smash their lies hard and early by showing the models and the numbers of what will happen to Kiwisaver in order to knock 1% off the OCR.

    • lprent 4.1

      One of the issues with putting up numbers is that they are unlikely to be particularly accurate at this point in time. Even the reserve bank with all of their modelling will have little idea about the sensitivity of applying these tools either on their own or in combination with other tools.

      When the reserve bank act was put into place with its single main active tool of the OCR plus the gabfest of warnings and other minor tools, it took nearly a decade before they managed to figure out how to use it without overshooting too much. Even now the expectations of the people in the “markets” it is designed to affect shift depending on what is happening in the wider markets at the time.

      Once the powers for this and the other monetary tools that Labour is proposing are put into place, I’d expect that it will take a decade for the reserve bank to learn how and when to use them. In all likelihood they won’t use them as their main tools for some time, but will instead tweak them slightly until they figure out the effect(s) that they have in conjunction with the tools that they already use.

      That was what was the complete bollocks with Steven Joyce’s “back of the envelope” numbers with “boffins”.

      They were simply lying with numbers. No-one can really anticipate the effects of these tools until they have been tried in our unique economy along with the other tools that are already in use.

      The point of having them, as Brash pointed out, was to have them so that we don’t have to continue to overuse the single main tool that the reserve ban currently has. That frequently is like trying to crack a brazil nut with a sledgehammer. We wind up with all of the growth squashed out of our real economy to quell property booms or applied too delicately – it actually encourages the mad rush of a bubble while the reserve bank is doing too little too late.

      The days of the single tool are long over.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    Turns out Joyce made it up, on the “back of a cigarette packet”, with a couple of Tory “boffins” and says it’s “not authoritative”. So why is it in the media? The guy’s an idiot.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      They have boffins ?

      Boffin is of course one of the Hobbitt families .

  6. Gosman 6

    If Labour are going to introduce a range of policies to increase the savings rate in other areas beyond Kiwisaver won’t that make the proposed policy less effective?

    • lprent 6.1

      It is likely to make it less likely to be used. So what? That just means it will be used when it is needed to be used.

      We have reserve powers all the way through our system that are only there to be called into use when they are needed….

      Is that really a serious objection? Or are you just stroking that line?

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        It is a serious objection, or at least less an objection and more an observation. Fran O’Sullivan also highlighted this in a recent article on the policy. In theory there is nothing wrong with the proposal. In reality it would likely be far less effective at controlling the amount of currency in circulation than using interest rates.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          Fran is somewhat myopic and highly selective about what she chooses to look at. It might be less effective. However its’ efficiency wasn’t the reason that it was selected.

          She ignores the economic damage that the interest rate tool has increasingly been doing to our economy. That is why there is a widespread perception amongst both economic commentators who aren’t wedded to the advantages that the OCR gives them and the economically aware in the population.

          One of Fran’s blind spots for the last 20+ years I have read her is that she is completely oblivious to anything that actually produces value. IMHO She tends to just concentrate on money flows.

          • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1

            “increasingly” I don’t think your use of this word is accurate.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I think it is entirely accurate. Look at the export trading position right now for NZ with the exception of dairy milk powder. Even that has just had a nasty probability of dropping in light of major price falls elsewhere in the world in recent days, not to mention the stuff up on milk powder with China

              http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nz-dollar-advances-traders-await-data-employment-dairy-prices-bd-155711

              Early tomorrow morning traders will be eyeing prices in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction and a speech by Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler on the significance of dairy to the New Zealand economy.

              Non-dairy manufacturing is down for what? About the third quarter in a row. Unemployment policy from this government looks like it is more about standing people down off the roll than getting them into real jobs.

              About the only investment I see coming into the country comes in the form of people chasing the property bubble, and I suspect that reserve bank’s OCR policies are just going to make it more attractive to get their money in NZ dollars.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Unemployment policy from this government looks like it is more about standing people down off the roll than getting them into real jobs.

                That’s exactly what it is. Not that I’d call most jobs out there real jobs anyway.

                and I suspect that reserve bank’s OCR policies are just going to make it more attractive to get their money in NZ dollars.

                QFT

                It’s the OCR and the high interest rates that it brings that are stuffing up our economy and helping make it unsustainable.

              • Gosman

                Increasingly would suggest that the use of interest rates has been increasing the rate of economic damage to the economy over time. The reality would suggest otherwise. The greatest amount of damage caused by a a tight monetary policy was in the mid 1980’s. This led to the failure of many agricultural based businesses and farms.

                • lprent

                  Only if you consider that SMP’s (ie the sheep subsidy) was a monetary policy. Personally I viewed it as being a straight welfare by Muldoon’s National government to farmers that discouraged them from adapting to the permanently low price of wool and mutton.

                  The removal of that particular bit of welfare caused the failure of most of those agricultural based businesses because all of a sudden the income from the vast numbers of sheep farmers disappeared.

                  Incidentally as my parents had a small farm at the time, and I’d spent a year out farming before university a few years earlier it wasn’t hard to see where the failure of the “agricultural based businesses” came from.

                  The changes in the exchange rate at that time were also a direct consequence of Muldoon’s National government running us directly towards a governmental default in 1984/5 largely as a consequence of that dumbarse farmer welfare.

                  • Gosman

                    No, I’m talking about the massive interest rate hikes that took place in the mid 1980’s to tame the rampant inflation prevalent in NZ at the time. This impacted farmers because they had overextended themselves. That was the worst impact of the interest rate policy in my mind. Yoy suggest it is increasing in it’s negative economic outcome. I can’t see much evidence to support that view.

                    • lprent

                      Wrong causation. It wasn’t the creation of money supply being turned off that caused that problem. It was the abrupt fall in the value of land.

                      When the tap was turned off on SMP’s, the property bubble that had formed around farm properties (and that had caused an inordinate amount of land to be put into production – I think we peaked at nearly 70 million sheep) burst. Farm land values fell drastically not only on sheep farms, but on all farm lands.

                      People who were over-extended were unable to get loans for the amounts that they had previously and/or were unable to service the mortgages that they had (at table mortgages on long terms to beat inflation) with the income at world prices.

                      They had to sell up voluntarily or by foreclosure sales. That pushed the land values down further. It took most of the decade before the effect of SMPs shook out through the farming sector.

                      That farm property bubble in the late 70s and early 80s was what caused me not to go farming. The property values were grossly over-priced compared to the returns from farming.

                      In many ways the same kind of thing is happening today with dairy prices. It is less complicated without the inflation and happens slower on the price reductions like the last 5 or 6 dairy auction results. But it is still happening.

                      That was what Wheeler was warning about today.

    • James N 6.2

      I think he meant “muffins” not “boffins”.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    If the economy is overheating, would you rather cool it down by giving your retirement account some money, or giving an Australian bank the money instead?

    I suppose this is not quite as bad as increasing the numbers of unemployed to keep inflation low.

    Very selective parts of the economy are overheating in some locations, but for a majority of NZers in most of the country I suspect it is missing them entirely.

  8. Ennui 8

    The whole thing with Joyce and strategy is NOT that he is “no good” at strategy. That may or may not be, the reality is that Joyce lives in that torn environment between:

    A: The neo-liberal vision of “the invisible hand” of the market producing its own logic and strategy.
    B: The whys and wherefores of multi-national corporate and finance capitalism (formerly known as “robber baron”, monopoly, rentier etc).

    Neither of these things has Joyce, nor NACT, (nor both recent Labour administrations) challenged. It is pointless accusing Joyce of a lack of strategy when that option is actually proscribed by his party, by legislation etc. We live in a sad little country, at a sad time, with a sad little government sadly lacking in the decency and the courage to strive for something better.

  9. aerobubble 9

    Recap GFC. In order to stem a collapse in the world banking system major nations have started printing money. NZ dairy gets brought up by this cheap cash and in order to exchange something in return citizens get to buy cheap electronics etc. Only problem there’s not a lot of money around as citizens are paying mortgages off for over priced housing, and farmers for overprice farmland.

    Now we could cut back the about of dairy we sell and so take the pressure off our ecology and our economy, and lock our capacity to export to our citizens ability to purchase. No. No, what we actually do is have citizens and businesses (and now govt under key) borrow money from offshore, and deal with the imbalances from cheap money by selling off our profit centers.

    This is remarkably similar to why people should not borrow, because people pay twice, they pay the money to borrow it and they pay the capital back. A country that leaves their kids homes doesn’t have to work as hard. So a country that borrows heavily overseas has to pay twice, once to pay for the borrowing and then to pay the capital back.

    And all we needed was to sell less dairy, or better still, pay more to citizens to purchase more imports. But no your average National voter believes that wages need to be lower and debt is good, that the more dairy we have the better we will be off, YET ITS NOT TRUE, its just digging a even bigger debt pit to climb out of as interest rate rise along with the exchange rates.

    • Ennui 9.1

      Spot on Aero….

      I might add to yours “But no your average National voter believes that other peoples wages need to be lower and avoiding tax, lowering tax and allowing national debt to grow is good”……

      • aerobubble 9.1.1

        No. National voters believe in crushing unions, so want poorer bargaining power for employees, and most of them are employees. You see their boring, their followers, they don’t get that they lost their homes (or soon will, see below) because their wages (though it looked well paid) weren’t enough and National have removed their ability to drive up wages. Housing is over priced, rents will need to rise to maintain landlord mortgage repayments, rents can’t rise as power, food, fuel rise.

        Labour just said its going to lower the exchange rate, many over exposed to oil will be hurt, and unlike the rest of the world who have had to deal with higher price oil (having been in ‘good times’ due to Key’s financial policies) we are going to be hit by a triple whammy, oil, debt and housing collapse. Everybody else has been taking the hard medicine, nice Mr Key is just delaying the inevitable (and the longer the harder the crash). And the media just won’t criticize the neo-liberals,
        neo-liberals who don’t have to put up any sensible policy, or expose themselves to any kind of explanation about what has happened globally, what is happening, and what will happen. Its a good gig in a time of growth backed cheap high density non-renewable fuels to declare you
        don’t need to do government, and then declare you are working harder than ever doing less government, and how you win just by being there.

        Anyway more pointedly, if that’s not enough. No, its not about wages, its about the fact that we can produce everything we need, end world poverty, but we don’t because the wealthy can’t work out how to make a buck when most people will have reams of free time. And one or other must give, either the wealthy give up the notion of having a profit center everywhere, or the world wakes up to the con, that we don’t have to live exploited lives just so a few have bank balances that when laid to the moon several times makes for a party joke with their last friend.

        • Ennui 9.1.1.1

          Aero, nice summary, history may not repeat but the themes of humanity echo loudly: so many classes in the past have followed a trajectory to self fulfilling annihilation. Neo liberalism, the latest cab off the rank.

  10. dave 10

    your right when an ex governor like don brash says its a good idea and hes partisan ,you know Parker is on to something . joyce was running a Forbes reporter down 2 weeks ago for telling the truth its Joyce that has no credibility just a walking mouth spewing spin free of facts .there is a cure its called the mute button !

  11. captain hook 11

    The only economics joyce knows is all for me and none for you unless I have to pay you off.

  12. This type of economic illiteracy is a lynchpin of National’s political class. There are, admittedly, one or two people in the party that know about running a business, (ironically, probably less of them than there are in either the Green Party alone or the Labour party alone) but none of them understands how to run an entire economy.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • RCEP trade deal risks repeating TPPA mistakes
    The lesson from the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) should have been that it is time to re-think this type of so-called trade agreement. But despite warnings from internationally-recognised experts, there are more secretive “trade” negotiations happening this ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 hours ago
  • Education for All?
    This year I have been focused on getting a better deal for kids and families with learning needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum. We had a Select Committee inquiry into the issues faced, but the Government was too ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 hours ago
  • Economy must deliver a fair go for New Zealanders
    The latest Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) provides further evidence that the economy that the National Government and Bill English have is sitting on shifting sands and leaves many people behind, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says today. ...
    1 day ago
  • A Billion Better Things
    Earlier this week I posed some questions to Finance Minister Bill English about his support for the government’s plan to spend a billion dollars on a new prison. I was pretty disappointed in his answers, all of which flew in the face of his own ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 day ago
  • Govt already in ‘holiday mode’ on $2.3b owed to Kiwi workers
    The Government is dragging its feet while working New Zealanders are still missing up to $2.3 billion collectively owed to them through underpaid holiday pay entitlements, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “The cover was blown on this issue ...
    1 day ago
  • Why is New Zealand still the exception on deposit protection?
    I took the opportunity to question the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, about New Zealand’s lack of deposit protection in front of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in Parliament yesterday. Why does the Reserve Bank continue to oppose protecting ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 day ago
  • Statement on proposed United Nations role
    “There has been a high degree of media interest in New Zealand about a possible post with the United Nations. “My name has been proposed to the United Nations Secretary General to be his Special Representative in South Sudan. ...
    1 day ago
  • David Shearer proposed for UN peacekeeping role
    Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “David has kept me fully informed about this opportunity and we are ...
    1 day ago
  • Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten must be saved
    The Minister of Education needs to show some leadership and secure the future of two not-for-profit early childhood education centres that could be faced with closure as the land they sit on is up for sale, Grant Robertson Labour MP ...
    1 day ago
  • Ministry reveals shocking charter school results
    NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated with documents revealing many students leaving school without basic NCEA level two qualifications despite this being a main educational target for the Government, says Labour Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Documents obtained ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister must protect MSD staff
      The Minister of Social Development should immediately implement safer work practices to ensure tragedies such as the Ashburton killings don’t happen again, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.   ...
    2 days ago
  • A vote for the Māori Party is a vote for National
    Comments made by the Māori Party leadership in the wake of John Key’s surprise resignation make one thing clear: a vote for them is a vote for a fourth term National Government, and the increasing inequality and poverty for Māori ...
    2 days ago
  • Collins and English split over police funding
    The bloodletting has already begun with splits and divisions emerging after the Police Minister knifed the Finance Minister via the media, says Labour Police spokesman Stuart Nash. ...
    2 days ago
  • Next Prime Minister must tackle foreign speculators
    The public rightly puts much of the blame for the housing bubble at the feet of foreign speculators, and the next Prime Minister must listen to their concerns, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ student performance slips in international study – again
    The continuing fall in Kiwi kids’ performance in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows the damage being inflicted by National’s cuts to education and one-size-fits-all approach, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “For years, National has ...
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms dangerous backward step
    Child protection has taken a massive step backwards today with the Government passing a Bill that will give significant powers to unspecified ‘professionals’ or contract holders, says Labour’s Acting Children’s spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 days ago
  • Improve workplaces, and address domestic violence
    Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Palm oil industry implicated in human rights abuses
    The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions. ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • Syphilis on the rise in NZ
    Cases of syphilis are increasing in Auckland. You read that right, syphilis!  RNZ reported today that rates of syphilis have increased by 71 percent (between 2013-2015). We have known about the increase in syphilis figures for a while, but nothing ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • We need to work smarter not longer
    The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Statement on John Key’s resignation
    Labour Party Leader Andrew Little has acknowledged John Key’s contribution to Government.  “John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. Although we may have had our policy differences over the years, I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to ...
    4 days ago
  • Positive plan secures victory
    The victory of Labour’s newest MP, Michael Wood, in Mt Roskill is the result of a well-organised campaign run with honesty and integrity, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “I congratulate Michael Wood on his great victory. He will be a ...
    6 days ago
  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    1 week ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    1 week ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    1 week ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    1 week ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    1 week ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    1 week ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    1 week ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    1 week ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    1 week ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 weeks ago