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Questions for the candidates

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, October 28th, 2014 - 117 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags: , , ,

All four of Labour’s leadership candidates either have, or will (watch for announcements) be taking place in Q&A sessions here on The Standard. They have also done so on Stuff. It’s a great level of accessibility and interaction with we the people, and it’s much appreciated.

But the short answer format of live chat has its limitations, there isn’t much scope for detail. We would like to put some written questions to each of the leadership candidates, so that we can compare more detailed answers.

Please post your questions. We will choose some (around five?) to be put to all candidates, possibly amalgamating wording if there are common themes. Guidelines:
(1) Ask questions that apply to / can be answered by all four candidates. We want to compare their answers side by side.
(2) Look forward, not back. We want to know plans for the future, not relive past battles.

Over to you…

117 comments on “Questions for the candidates”

  1. millsy 1

    What is your position on public ownership of infrastructural assets, ie power generation and distribution, telecommunications, air ports, seaports, gas pipelines, irrigation, potable water networks, railways, ferries, roads,etc.

  2. Clemgeopin 2

    Given the dismal treatment meted out to Mr Cunliffe straight after the election by the caucus, how can we be assured that you will be the best leader of the caucus and the Labour party? Do you have it in you to take on John Key as your opponent for the Prime Minister’s post?

    • Tracey 2.1

      how will you combat the strategic attacks that will most certainly come from national, act and their ilk, such as taxpayer unions and blogs set up specifically to undermine you and get the media to ignore your policies

  3. b waghorn 3

    Rural communities and towns have been declining for many years what’s labours plan if any to stop urban drift and the lose of vital services to these areas.

  4. Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 4

    Sort of a generic question:
    How prepared are you to work with the wider left, with the other parties of the left? How prepared are you to form a coalition, eg with the greens, if that is what it takes to win in 2017? And how concerned are you with re-engaging those disaffected left oriented people who may have given up on voting, eg due to poverty related reasons?

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Im still surprised how many people still think the leader of the Labour party is like the US president, who ‘will do this or do that’. Even more interesting is some people who are asking for ‘a plan’.
    People its a ‘dog and pony show’, you go on what it looks like or sounds like to you. And on some major policies its left to individual MPs, like Louisa Wall to do all the work.

  6. Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 6

    Another question: Would you commit to doing an audit of New Zealand land now under foreign ownership, and long term lease. This includes farmland, forestry, vineyards, all rural, agricultural as well as urban, and all other NZ land.

  7. wekarawshark 7

    If at the next election Mana were the make or break for the formation of a left wing government, would you choose to take their support on confidence and supply or would you choose to remain in opposition? (note, I am not asking if you would go into coalition with Mana, just if you would accept their support on C and S).

    • Chooky 7.1

      +100 Weka

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      Wasn’t it pretty obvious from this last election that they would work on confidence and supply with Mana if that was what was required to form a new government?

      After Cunliffe ruled them out of “being in government”, when asked these questions he never came out and said it, but always said things like “well Mana are hardly going to support a National-led government are they?”.

      • wekarawshark 7.2.1

        Yes, DC said that. Little and at least one of the other candidates have said that Labour should be ruling them out completely and making this clear to the electorate.

        edit, bear in mind these are questions for the Labour leadership candidates, not Labour as a whole.

        • Lanthanide 7.2.1.1

          Ok, wasn’t aware Little had said that.

          I guess there is merit in seeing *how* they answer the question, even if we might assume what the answer is going to be, the way it is delivered could be revealing for the candidate.

          • wekarawshark 7.2.1.1.1

            Not just Little. When I asked him on the Q and A he avoided a direct answer and basically said Mana are out of the picture. I don’t think they’ve thought this through. It’s not like we’re not going to be asking these things come the next election.

            I just want to know what Mahuta will say, but I agree that how they all answer will be revealing.

  8. Bill 8

    Do you have the courage to acknowledge the predicament presented by AGW and take the bull by the horns?

    If you don’t understand that the hard scientific facts point to 2 degrees being almost impossible to avoid now; that avoiding 4 degrees (by as soon as mid-century on current emission trends) means peaking artificial CO2 production by 2020 and reducing emissions by 3.5% per annum thereafter, will you educate yourself, and lay the reality of the situation out before the NZ public?

    (Simply look up Alice Bowes Larkin and Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK for excellent, scientifically unchallenged critical analyses of major AGW reports )

    If you are going to take the few hours necessary to get a handle on the situation, then understand that all reports suggesting 2 degree upper limit is possible have either:

    a) fairy dust sprinkled throughout in the form of negative carbon scenarios via carbon capture and storage – that doesn’t exist on any scale; has huge, largely unacknowledged logistical hurdles before it in the form of sourcing enough bio-fuel (CCS is pointless if used to burn fossil fuels) ; finding rock formations for storage, time scale for development and roll out – if it even works adequately etc.

    or

    b) incorporated into the modelling either ‘or/and’ – lower than empirically observable emission rates (often only 50% of actual emissions) , false peak dates (often situated in the past), exaggerated possible cumulative totals of CO2 in relation to likely outcomes (commonly, almost doubling the amount of ‘allowable’ CO2 as calculated by the scientific community), presented outcomes on the back of lengthening odds rather than in relation to sensible measures of ‘scientific certainty’…all to paint a rosy picture.

    Having done that, will you ensure that all future policy be held up against the reality of AGW and judged accordingly? And further, will you initiate serious policies designed to avoid the temperature increases that the scientific community says we are heading for (ie, ignoring potential tipping points, 4 degrees in as little as ‘half’ a lifetime away) – an environment that will not sustain a global human community?

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      “And further, will you initiate serious policies designed to avoid the temperature increases that the scientific community says we are heading for (ie, ignoring potential tipping points, 4 degrees in as little as ‘half’ a lifetime away) – an environment that will not sustain a global human community?”

      Like invading the rest of the world and imposing our rule on them?

      • Bill 8.1.1

        Lanth, it escapes me what reducing CO2 emissions and military invasions have got to do with one another. Controlling the exploitation of resources – assuming that was your point – is not the same as not exploiting those resources.

        Meanwhile NZ, as a part of the necessary global response to AGW must contribute to a massive 3.5% per annum, global, de-carbonisation of society and industry…suggestive of a need for NZ to reduce NZ emissions by ~ 3.5% per annum after 2020.

        But you want to make cheap, tangential…actually, wholly unrelated, shots at (some) western governments policies? Then well done. Have yourself a brownie point or a wee star on your wall chart. You choose.

        • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1

          The point is that NZ is in no position to implement “serious policies designed to avoid the temperature increases” unless we can convince the rest of the world to do the same. It seems unlikely NZ has that much sway.

          • weka 8.1.1.1.1

            That whole women voting thing didn’t catch on either

            • Tracey 8.1.1.1.1.1

              8 hour working day
              40 hour week

              nz have been leaders dping what is right here and leading the way. leading ground to a halt in late 2008 when we decided leading was defined as following the money

            • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Extending women the right to vote isn’t exactly the same as “give up your car and cut your electricity usage by 80% (no air-conditioning or refrigerators for you!)”.

              It’s easy to extend new things to people. It’s not nearly so easy to take things away.

              • wekarawshark

                If you think there wasn’t serious resistance to giving women the vote I suggest you do some research.

                “give up your car and cut your electricity usage by 80% (no air-conditioning or refrigerators for you!)”.

                Why would you frame it like that if you wanted people to change?

                • Tracey

                  the idea that it is easier to give something than take it away is a little trite. otherwise everyone would have been given it at the same time not decades and decades apart, and people wouldnt have died to get it. same goes for slavery, homosexual reform, factory reform, work reform.

                  • wekarawshark

                    Yes, and giving women the vote took power away from some men, who were well aware of the fact.

                    The Transition Town movement now has over a decade under its belt of how to present change in the face of AGW in a proactive and empowering way.

                • Lanthanide

                  “If you think there wasn’t serious resistance to giving women the vote I suggest you do some research.”

                  I didn’t say that. What I said, is the difficulty of giving women the vote will be nothing compared to taking away peoples fridges, air-conditioning (remember, large parts of the world population live in places that regularly get to 30ºC for months of the year) and cars.

                  And 80% electricity consumption reduction in countries that use coal-fired power is of the order of magnitude reduction that Bill is saying we need to achieve to avoid a 2ºC rise.

                  “Why would you frame it like that if you wanted people to change?”

                  Because you don’t get to control both sides of the argument. The opposition will (and is) framing it that way.

                  • Tracey

                    large parts of the worlds population live in places regularly over 30′ who have never had refrigerators and air conditioning.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Once again, it’s much harder to give something up, especially when the consequences of not doing so are not immediately obvious and the evidence for action is “open to debate” – of course the people “debating” the science are just using it as an excuse not to change.

                    • Tracey

                      lanth

                      we always have peolle telling us the sky will fall if we do something, espesh if we do it first.

                      vote
                      slavery
                      labour reform
                      child labour
                      homosexual law reform
                      four weeks annual leave
                      nuclear free ( our economy woud collapse cos our allies would stop trading with us)
                      gay marriage
                      paternity leave

                      and so on…

                      the govt showed where it stands through its chicken little nanny state nonsense over energy light bulbs.

                      if they hadnt we would have a nation of homes lit by energy saving bulbs… we dont because nats took the debate to the extreme because they feared what might be next and which pals business would be hit.

                      i know to a great extent we are in agreement. i am not suggesting you are a chicken little or climate change denier.

                      as an aside do you consider quotas giving something or taking something away? it is of course both, as are all the things in my list.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Energy saving lightbulbs is the perfect example about what it is really going to take to combat climate change.

                      It’s pretty easy to swap one type of lightbulb for another. In the end, you still get light.

                      It’s much more difficult to convince people that actually you don’t need a fridge, or a car, or a washing machine or dish washer, and you only get to have 100L of heated water between a family of 4 a day…

                      Because those *are* the sorts of changes required if we are going to be *serious* about climate change.

                    • Tracey

                      well, we agree on one thing, a law tomorrow making cars illegal will cause a riot. incremental change, such as advocating for raising the retirement age makes much more sense than the paul henry attitude

                      “why would i care if i am going to be dead”

                  • Bill

                    that Bill is saying we need to achieve to avoid a 2ºC rise

                    Thankyou for illustrating your idiocy again.

                    Mind pointing out exactly where it was I said that +2 degrees can be avoided? The scientific data informs us that avoidance of 2 degrees of warming is virtually impossible now, but that dipping below + 4 degrees is absolutely achievable with 3.5% per annum reductions off of a 2020 global peak in emissions.

                    Meanwhile, if you are so big on more efficient light-bulbs, and don’t believe we need to live in the dark, then why not more efficient fridges and whatever else? And in the longer term, with a CO2 neutral supply system, go the extra yards and look at innovative solutions such as massively improved gravity lights etc.

                  • wekarawshark

                    I think you are underestimating the huge cultural shift that had to occur in order for women to gain the vote. As you have said, it’s a cultural shift that needs to occur in order for us to respond meaningfully to AGW. We’ve had those kind of shifts before.

                    It’s not about convincing people that they have to give up their car or their fridge. It’s about educating people about the coming crises and giving them proactive and empowering ways to respond (like I said, much work has been done on this already outside of govt). When that happens, giving up the car or the fridge is less frightening.

                    Sure the right will drive a fear-based narrative. But this takes us back to the start of the conversation. If Labour and the Greens worked together and stood up strongly on this, then it’s possible to combat that narrative with a better one.

                    Besides, even if being real about CC means staying in opposition, that’s a better option that hiding the truth and staying in opposition. We are at the point where integrity on this issue should be paramount. The problem is that Labour consider power more important. A strong combined opposition voice speaking out on CC would be potent.

                    • wekarawshark

                      Am just listening to James Shaw’s maiden speech and he’s talking about how prior to suffrage people who opposed it thought that giving women the vote would lead to the breakdown of civilisation 😉

              • Tracey

                what is the same is the notion that nz can do something first and it may then be taken up by others. that was wekas point, at least what i took from her comment in response to your idea that us doing it wouldnt change the world.

                you hzve modified your concern from whats the point if the rest of the world dont to taking away is harder than giving. i dispute that by the way but the distinction is not what weka was addressing.

          • Bill 8.1.1.1.2

            NZ is actually in an excellent position to implement serious de-carbonisation policies given the amount of hydro etc already existing on the supply side of the equation.

            Some simple standards around car efficiency would whack a whole lot of carbon from the cycle too (from memory, something like 40% of NZ fossil emissions are from transport)

            As a first guideline step, dump the ludicrous and non-scientific clap-trap about emissions being 80% of 1990 levels by 2050 (or whatever it is), and ‘get real’…including, obviously, dumping the ETS ‘accountants sleight of hand’ nonsense.

            The difficult bit will be staring down the international financial community that’s hell bent on making hay while the world burns. But then, a bit of truth being spoken to the NZ public would go a long way in opposing that pressure and galvanising people to do what needs to be done.

            You know what flows from that Lanth? The ‘good example’ that gets picked up by other countries in spite of the squeals from financial elites and their institutions.

            • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1.2.1

              “NZ is actually in an excellent position to implement serious de-carbonisation policies given the amount of hydro etc already existing on the supply side of the equation.”

              Yes, and this won’t make a difference to climate change. Other countries *are not* in an excellent position, and they are the ones that need to make the biggest changes.

              • Bill

                Lanth, if humanity needs to reduce CO2 by 3.5% per annum from 2020, then most countries need to reduce CO2 by 3.5% per annum from 2020.

                Now sure, different countries have different possibilities and obstacles and some have a right (if you believe in equity) to shift their commitments onto others in the short term. Those others then have a responsibility to take up the slack and reduce their CO2 even more. (Think formally colonised and underdeveloped countries seeking to lay in infrastructure for example).

                Of course, you could settle for the mind set you’re exhibiting and settle for doing nothing and (if you are presently young enough) watch 10 000 years of civilisation unravel ‘overnight’ in a world experiencing average surface temperatures of at least 4 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

                • Lanthanide

                  It’s going to take either disasters, or inescapable evidence before ‘serious’ effort is made on climate change. Now if we had readily available alternatives for transportation and electricity production that didn’t emit CO2 and allowed us to more or less maintain the same quality of living, I think things would be different. But we don’t live in that reality.

                  The West wasn’t taking ebola seriously until about 2 months ago. I don’t see why reaction climate change will be any better.

                  • Bill

                    You’re an idiot Lanth.

                    The science is incontrovertible.

                    If you do nothing, your whole energy system as well as other infrastructure – not to mention your economy – will be taken away from you by the effects of warming heading in the direction of +4 – + 6 and more.

                    Meanwhile, right now, (very approx) 1% of the worlds’ population is responsible for (very approx) 50% of energy related CO2 emissions. That’s true within individual nations as well as across nations.

                    Is it really necessary to spell it out the implications of that for you?

              • Tracey

                do you mean like the usa?

              • Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks

                “this won’t make a difference”

                I don’t believe that, and I don’t believe it is a healthy approach to change. Change begins with one action, one person, one community, one nation.

                • wekarawshark

                  There’s also the value of presenting a useful working model. NZ could excel at demonstrating to the world how to do this.

                  • Lanthanide

                    “There’s also the value of presenting a useful working model.”

                    But it’s not a useful working model, because our country is so different from so many others:
                    1. Stable democracy
                    2. Huge baseload renewable electricity generation to start with
                    3. Temperate climate so that transportation by bike or motorbike (still fossil fueled!) is feasible for the majority of the population pretty much year-round
                    4. Plentiful rain and farmland to produce all our own food, even if we forgo fertilisers (those pesky fossil fuels again)

                    There needs to be a *massive* cultural change in NZ and globally before climate change has a chance of being seriously addressed. I don’t believe that a political party crying “the end is nigh” is going to get elected, nor lead that change. Note that the Greens are now much more circumspect about climate change than they used to be back in the early 2000’s – that’s because they know it’s electoral poison.

                    • wekarawshark

                      I also don’t think a party shouting the end is nigh is useful. Have you been listening to what I’ve been saying?

                      There are plenty of stable democracies that could use a workable model. The other issues are all local design problems. You seem to be mistaking the very cultural change you know is needed with the detail of how things are implemented once that change is happening.

                      eg,

                      “3. Temperate climate so that transportation by bike or motorbike (still fossil fueled!) is feasible for the majority of the population pretty much year-round”

                      hahaha, you’ve obviously never lived in Dunedin (climate AND hills). What you do is design for low carbon appropriate to the specific location. In Dunedin you use trams (again) and bikes and walking. In Chch you use bikes and walkways. In northern Canada/Alaska you use skis/skates/dog sleds. In all those situations you redesign work/home so that less distance has to be travelled.

                      (Chch of course was the perfect opportunity to trial a transition, pity it’s been wasted).

                      “Note that the Greens are now much more circumspect about climate change than they used to be back in the early 2000’s – that’s because they know it’s electoral poison.”

                      That would be the GP whose co-leader said earlier this year that CC is the most important issue of our time, if not of all time. Also understand that CC is taken into account in policies across the board, it’s core in most of what they do.

                      Yep, they’re playing it smart, but expect the narrative to change if they get to be in govt for more than one term. It would also be much easier to change if Labour were on board and got over their shit about Mana, and if Peters was gone (NZF seem to be developing well in this area otherwise).

                    • Tracey

                      fifteen years ago climate change was being scoffed at. have you ever considered they dont seems as strident now because they are no longer the lone voice standing on the deck of the titanic, that their position only seems more circumspect because far fewer are scoffing

                    • wekarawshark

                      +1. We’ve already had a huge shift. In the past five years alone, we have gone from AGW being debated to AGW being considered normal and the debate is around how bad it will get. Lots of progress has been made.

                    • Bill

                      Crying “the end is nigh” is stupid, and a million miles away from disseminating the scientific facts of the matter as a prelude to doing something.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Please excuse my language. But fuck Climate Change as a rationale for acting. People are concerned about their standard of living and about their children’s standard of living. The absolute necessity for maintaining a decent standard of living in NZ to 2100 and beyond is building infrastructure and other preparations for a ‘very low carbon economy’ *right now*.

                      Petrol and diesel are both going to be significantly unaffordable (and unavailable) in the next 20-25 years. Exceptions will be made for VIPs and certain other critical services.

                      Coal is going the same way about 20 years after that.

                    • Bill

                      So, you can’t see the obvious overlaps between soaring inequality, global warming and resource depletion?

                      ~ 1% responsible for ~ 50% of emissions. ~1% accruing ~50% of global wealth. Scarce resources being the preserve of a similar small percentage of people – probably in line with the same 20/80 ‘rule’ that reveals the 1:50 ratio.

                      The overlaps are fairly obvious and ripe for attracting a broad and comprehensive front of similarly overlapping ‘corrective measures’, no?

                      I don’t give a flying fuck if people prefer to enter onto the avenue through a depletion door, an AGW door or an economic inequality door….as long as we all get together.

      • wekarawshark 8.1.2

        that’s stupid, not least because I am 100% certain you know that’s not what Bill meant.

        • adam 8.1.2.1

          NO offence Bill – but I though a 1 degree increase in temperature would mean certain economic and societal failure in some zones. And the fact the last ice age was a 2 degree cooler overall difference.

          So what chance have we got with 4 degrees? I suggest that will be extincion – and probably not a bad thing, if we can’t work out our shit.

          • wekarawshark 8.1.2.1.1

            Not great for the rest of the planet though, who had no choice in the matter.

          • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.2.1.2

            4 deg C rise in average global temps will be a disaster for a very large number of people. Billion plus.

            • Pat O'Dea 8.1.2.1.2.1

              There has been lot of questions and debate around the issue of climate change started off by Bill’s simple question

              “Do you have the courage to acknowledge the predicament presented by AGW and take the bull by the horns?”
              BILL

              To drill down a bit deeper, to actually be able to determine if any of the candidates do have the courage to take the bull by the horns, (so to speak).

              I would like the candidates to give their responses relating to one specific real world example related to the climate in this country. Hopefully their responses will help us gauge if any of the candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party are prepared to do something practical about it.

              This will entail the candidates giving just seven simple agree or disagree responses relating to coal the most dangerous and destructive fossil fuel to the environment, the climate, and workers safety.

              James Hansen former director of the NASA Goddard Institute has identified coal as the greatest driver of climate change.

              “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet.”

              JAMES HANSEN former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute

              Could each candidate then give their opinion on the repeated bail out of the “Technically Insolvent” Solid Energy?

              Agree/disagree?

              Just days out from the election the Government announced that they were giving an additional bail to Solid Energy of $103million, this is on top of the $150million the Government gave to bail out Solid Energy last year.

              This is more than a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money. The bail out of this insolvent company has been described by the taxpayer’s union as government “culture of corporate welfare”.

              Do you agree/disagree with the view of the taxpayer’s union that this is an act of corporate welfare?

              In the age of climate change;

              Gareth Hughes of the Greens said that this money would have been better spent on a “just transition to more sustainable jobs” for these workers, “jobs that don’t fry the planet”.

              “The National Government need to take responsibility for their mismanagement of Solid Energy and cut their losses.

              The banks that made risky loans to Solid Energy need to bear the cost of their mistakes.

              Coal is not going to be the fuel of our future if we are to stabilise our climate.

              New Zealanders and Solid Energy workers need a just transition into more sustainable jobs – jobs that don’t fry the planet.”

              GARETH HUGHES Press Release Oct. 1, 2013

              Do you agree/disagree with this view expressed by Gareth Hughes?

              Or do you each have some other take on the Solid Energy taxpayer bail out?

              Considering that the bail out was originally sold to the public as a measure to save jobs, do you think that following Solid Energy’s continuing their brutal layoffs and closures, that the Government should have heeded Gareth Hughes advice?

              Agree/disagree?

              As a leader of the Labour Party, the acknowledged advocate for the working people in parliament, are you of the view, or do you disagree with the statement below;

              ‘Coal mining is an unacceptably dangerous and ecologically unsustainable industry in the 21st Century. Not unlike Asbestos mining in the 20th’?

              Agree/disagree?

              Sir Peter Gluckman the chief science adviser to the Prime Minister has said this:

              “New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global green house gases. So anything we do as a nation will have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”
              PETER GLUCKMAN

              Do you agree/disagree with Professor Gluckman that New Zealand should lead by example?

              Do you think that following the normal course of events Solid Energy should be allowed to close, or do you think it should be supported by the taxpayer to continue on Business As Unusual?

              Yes, or No?

              Sources:

              Government announces another bail out of Solid Energy:
              http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/10515618/Solid-Energy-gets-103-million-lifeline

              Taxpayer’s Union statement on the bail out of Solid Energy:
              https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/25047908/taxpayers-on-hook-again-for-solid-energy/

              Gareth Hughes statement on the bail out of Solid Energy:
              https://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/govt-bail-out-solid-energy-privatisation-stealth

              Solid Energy continues round of savage layoffs:
              (I) http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/9048873/Heartbreak-for-Huntly-East-miners
              (II) http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7719822/Last-ditch-bid-to-save-mine-jobs

              Peter Gluckman, our greatest impact will be to lead by example:
              http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

  9. wekarawshark 9

    Do you intend for Labour to develop policy specific to Work and Income beneficiaries? (as opposed to policy directed towards low income people in general). Do you recognise that many WINZ beneficiaries have vulnerabilities not being addressed by other Labour policy?

    Given that Labour appears to be taking the view that attending to worker/employment issues will result in the country being able to afford welfare, what timeframe would you put on welfare issues being looked at? In the first term, or longer?

    Will you support Labour rolling back the worst of the Paula Bennett welfare reforms?

    How do you intend for Labour to address the cultural and structural problems within Work and Income?

    How do you intend for Labour to address the cultural issues regarding welfare in the wider community eg the bludger memes?

    • greywarshark 9.1

      @wekarawshark
      Apart from the moral questions of providing assistance for the people who can’t get a
      shakedown in the milk bar economy, there is the huge budget of welfare to play around with.

      What questions are they going to ask the welfare beneficiaries themselves?
      Would they be asked what would help them to live better, be able to earn a little more or get volunteer work?

      Then we would be able to see welfare as an investment leading tobenies spending bringing more money in circulation, get a small multiplier effect, so boosting business in the 101 circular economic model we get taught?

  10. KJS0ne 10

    Walk us through your plan to unite the Labour Caucus behind you despite disparate ideologies. How do you plan on healing the wounds and changing Labour’s public image of infighting and backstabbing?

  11. Roy 11

    Are you a socialist?

  12. Ad 12

    What is the greatest difference your Labour-led government can make to New Zealand in one electoral term?

  13. Liam 13

    If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be?

  14. blue leopard 14

    [Background to question – could be cut out]:

    I draw a strong correlation between this year’s lack of support for Labour in the election and the extremely negative coverage of Labour by the media that occurred throughout the year.

    I have never seen such disrespect shown toward the main opposition before by the media.

    I am firmly of the belief that Labour’s policies were far better than National’s yet Labour’s political approach was a direct threat to the privileges being enjoyed by those small circles of people who currently hold power in this country and beyond (not just governmental power, things like media ownership, included).

    i.e. The media coverage was to propagandize people into voting against their best interests.

    How are you going to address this problem?

    [Shorter version]:

    I wish to know from the four candidates:

    How do you shift the narrative so that ‘middle New Zealand’ stop believing propaganda and start engaging with the real issues going on in New Zealand?

    • Chooky 14.1

      +100 blue leopard…..good question…..there needs to be some sort of concerted media strategy ( overseas with a few exceptions , the media has been bought by the oligarchy and is very much biased against the people and the Left in favour of the very wealthy)…and just look at the dismantling of Maori tv !

      • blue leopard 14.1.1

        Yes, I agree.

        I just don’t see how there can be real progress in this country unless Labour (and the Left in general) don’t start acknowledging this problem and learning how to command the narrative.

        Our current status quo is self-destructive IMO, and I just don’t see Labour taking this problem re the narrative into account at all. They keep trying to be so reasonable, however being reasonable under the current settings is nuts, if they genuinely want a ‘fairer’ society [and we need a fairer society].

        It is nuts because what is considered ‘reasonable’ is actually pretty biased toward those who already have a lot. Any suggestion of balancing things up are continuously, and increasingly so, met by hysterical cries of ‘its not fair, what about me?’ by people who are not acknowledging that some are struggling a whole lot more than them.

        This is a hopeless situation that needs to be addressed.

        I am sick of hearing ‘the left are out of touch with middle New Zealand’ because I honestly get the impression that ‘middle New Zealand’ are out of touch with how good they have it, how much of a trap others are in, and how supporting a party that removes opportunities and misinforms and double-speaks over every matter is destructive to the well-being of the entire country.

        • Chooky 14.1.1.1

          +100…yes agree wholeheartedly about the media problem and commanding the narrative…the only option i see is for the Left to set up their own media outlets …eg radio …with a clear Left focus and mandate

          ….but I also think that so called ‘middle New Zealand’ is increasingly struggling …and would vote Left ( the Left being divided and servile and beholden to the media doesnt help)…. if the msm were not so perniciously biased…. ‘middle New Zealand’ was not encouraged to see the policy issues clearly this Election …there was too much obfuscation , trivia , hype and character assassination … as was seen in the in the case of Cunliffe and Harawira ( and Dotcom, who was just a backer)

          ….but more importantly youth (under 30s) are increasingly the underclass but are choosing NOT to vote! ….(.they are caught in a cycle of hopelessness and cynicism about their future ….they have high student debts/ interest on loans….scarce or underpaid jobs, housing inflated well beyond their reach of ever owning their own home).

          …the msm deliberately ignores youth and does nothing to empower them or clarify the youth policy issues relevant for them or encourage them to vote!….Russell Brand’s cynicism and “dont vote” ( because it wont change anything) option resonates and has become very attractive

        • Anne 14.1.1.2

          I just don’t see how there can be real progress in this country unless Labour (and the Left in general) don’t start acknowledging this problem and learning how to command the narrative.

          100% agree. Instead of standing their ground, Labour – more often than not – cuddled up to the MSM which had the effect of causing the MSM to show even more disrespect to them. It is the main reason I will probably be giving Andrew Little the top spot on my ballot form because I see him as someone with the strength to sock it to them when the MSM play their silly/partisan games. They won’t like it, but what’s the bet they will respect him for it.

          • blue leopard 14.1.1.2.1

            That point about respect is particularly pertinent. Those on the left, particularly Labour, have to show a bit of confidence in their stance, otherwise how do they expect others’ to catch on to it and follow?

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.3

          @ blue leopard 4.19pm
          Great reasoning there. Definitely not nuts

    • Zolan 14.2

      I suspect that your question will be too broad and abstract to get useful answers. It really demands commitment to a substantial program. Instead, I’ll go for something concrete, difficult, and immediately, individually actionable:

      On what single assumption/narrative are you prepared to challenge public opinion?

  15. Marksman33 15

    Like the long version Blue, but the short will do.

    • blue leopard 15.1

      Thanks Marksman,

      I thought it was a bit long-winded and therefore less likely to be posed to the candidates, so attempted to offer a more succinct version.

      I was going to add a request that someone else reword the question. I would really like to know if they are thinking about this issue.

  16. Dont worry. Be happy 16

    Will the Party you lead into Government refuse to sign the TPP?

    Will the Party that you lead into Government wind back the legislation that enables spying on NZers?

    Under what circumstances (political) are you prepared to lie to you fellow citizens?

  17. Karen 17

    Do you recognise that there is an urgent need for a greatly expanded provision of state housing, given the growing levels of child poverty and the proven poor health and education outcomes that are a direct result of poor housing options?

    An ipad for every kid is not much use if the family lives in a car.

  18. boldsirbrian 18

    .
    What Labour represents or stands for
    What is your vision for (a) the Labour Party, and (b) A Labour led coalition?
    What particular policies do you think represent the vision particularly well?

  19. could you each please detail what you would do in your first one hundred days as prime minister to directly address/alleviate the current rates of poverty (child + adult) and inequality..

    ..(please note i am asking for concrete/policy-steps..not aspirational musings/riffings on versions of arbeit macht frei..eh..?..)

    and would you consider instituting a financial transaction tax on inter-bank/financial-institution transactions..?

    ..to fund any poverty-ending programs..

    ..(n.b…treasury work done for the mana party showed a small f.t.t. on our banks etc..would cause them no real harm/stress..

    ..and would raise enough money to do away with g.s.t..if used for that purpose..

    ..so it is clear the means to end poverty are at hand..)

    ..and if not..why not..?

    • Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 19.1

      Yes, removing GST on essential food items would be very good! Any way they can do that – It is so basic.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 19.1.1

        That policy for GST-exemption on essential food items was abandoned at the recent election. Can someone remember why that was given up, and in exchange for what? I reckon I follow such news closely but even the specific reason escaped me.

        • Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 19.1.1.1

          “even the specific reason escaped me.”

          Same for the $10,000 tax threshold – (I think it was 10K). Disappeared without a trace.

        • Zolan 19.1.1.2

          I don’t know either. Should we assume that they were unwilling to make up the lost revenue from those who can afford it?

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 19.1.1.2.1

            ‘Tis reassuring I am not alone and I haven’t lost my marbles. Yet.

            When I first heard Labour was abandoning those two policies (GST exemption on essential food items, and the $10K threshold ….. and there could have been an additional one or two more), I recall there was a sense at the time that they were being given up for something not announced at the time. However, the implication was That Something would be something significant and of higher priority.

            But then looking back, it is not even obvious or clear what That Something was really about.

            Grrrrr.

      • les 19.1.2

        How would this make a measurable difference that the average person would even notice?

  20. greywarshark 20

    @ phillip ure
    Good questions. Perhaps you ought to get them written on stone to ensure they stay as fixed and unarguable as the ten commandments. Get them set in concrete I say.

    • @ grey..aye..!

      ..and the thing is an ftt isn’t even that radical an idea/concept/policy….

      ..22 other oecd countries already have a version of one..

      ..and the eu is about to institute an eu-wide one there..

      ..but here..?..yeah..nah..eh..?

      ..it’s a third-rail for both labour/national..

      ..when in fact we are the ‘radicals’..for not having one..

      ..i just see it as the bleeding-obvious/problem-solver..

      ..make the richest (i.e..the banksters who are gouging us/sucking billions in profit out of the country each/every year..)

      ..make them help pay for the poorest..

      ..how better to address that problem/issue..?

      ..i actually think a problem-solving equation/policy like that will go down a treat with just about everyone but the banksters..

      ..(and they’ll get over it..)

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        I see that in May the EU were getting quite keen on the Financial Transactions Tax but Britain acting to be a spoiler as usual. It ought to put more energy into other sectors of business than finance.
        http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/06/george-osborne-eu-financial-transaction-tax-legal-challenge

        The European Union moved closer to a tax on financial transactions after 10 member states agreed to implement the levy by 1 January 2016, angering George Osborne who threatened a fresh legal challenge to the tax.

        The group, led by Germany and France, told a meeting of Europe’s finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday that they planned to introduce a tax on a phased basis, starting with the taxation of “shares and some derivatives”, but the details of exactly how it would work have yet to be agreed.

  21. Tracey 21

    do you accept transparency and accountability of ministers and the depts they lead is crucial to an open and fair democracy? if yes will you commit to,

    substantially increased funding and power to ombudsmen until such time as ministers and their depts have grasped and enacted the legislation as intended,

    introduce consequences for those found to be withholding information unreasonably or unreasonably delaying release of information, including for ministers (punishable by up to two years imprisonment),

    review the place of public broadcasting in all its forms in an open, fair and educated democracy including the appointment of a panel to oversee appointments to board and editorial positions, such a panel to be agreed by consensus of a balanced committee of parliament. consensus shall not mean by majority vote

  22. Zolan 22

    In which avenues of job creation will you seek the most growth? and how?

  23. Levvi 23

    Would you like to see the price of houses in New Zealand go up, down or stay the same over a ten year time horizon?

  24. newsense 24

    Will you and David Shearer be calling for Jesse Ryder to leave cricket for the good of the game and to stop endless speculation?

  25. KJT 25

    What is your position on Democracy?

    The right of all of us to have a say in policies which affect our lives by referenda, and or, recall votes.

  26. Atiawa 26

    Do you encourage those working people you represent or aspire to represent to join unions?

    If you do, what do you tell them? If you don’t, why not?

  27. les 27

    Can you outline your strategy for winning the next election.

  28. Clemgeopin 28

    Will you reverse/modify

    (1) Charter School settings.
    (2) National Standards.
    (3) Asset sales of power companies.
    (4) Employment Relations’ amendment provisions
    (5) Sale of state houses.
    (6) GCSB spying/privacy provisions.

    • Colonial Rawshark 28.1

      Good questions but the left always seems to be stuck in this mode of reversing the latest BS National has inflicted upon the nation. And because it is far easier to issue BS than it is to try and clean up afterward, Labour will always lose this game.

    • Chooky 28.2

      +100 Clem

  29. adam 29

    Post scarcity has gone hand in hand with a new totalitarianism agree/disagree?

  30. Murray Rawshark 30

    What stopped you joining New Labour when Anderton set it up?

    What stopped you joining ACT when Douglas and Prebble set it up?

  31. Colonial Rawshark 31

    A jobs guarantee programme for those 25 and under would help young people develop a good work ethic, eliminate youth unemployment, and push back against poverty. Would you support the creation of such a scheme? Why?

  32. Pat O'Dea 32

    I have been wondering.

    What will happen to David Cunliffe?

    Are any of you willing to have him in your shadow cabinet?

    Can you put your personal differences with David Cunliff behind you to prevent the waste of a very talented and experienced MP?

    Or will you continue the internal party warfare by banishing David Cunliffe to the back benches again?

  33. what will each of you do to ensure constant supplies of that new sugar-crack/chocolate-milk..?

    ..and should that new sugar-crack concoction have to face/undergo the legal-high testing-regime..?

    ..if not..why not..?

  34. Pat O'Dea 34

    Is David Cunliffe too Left Wing?

    David Cunliffe, for good or ill, has become a lightning rod for grass roots dissatisfaction with the current direction of the parliamentary wing of the Labour Party.

    In my opinion a short hand way to prise apart the differences between the various candidates therefore, is to determine their approach to David Cunliffe.

    Question: Does David Cunliffe have any future in the parliamentary Labour Party?

    Yes/No
    No Comment

    Question: Will David Cunliffe be part of your Shadow Cabinet, or will David Cunliffe be sent to back benches again?

    Yes/No
    No comment

    Question: Will David Cunliffe ever be allowed to be part of any future Labour led government, or will he be forced to retire before 2017?

    Yes/No
    No comment

    Question: Is David Cunliffe too Left Wing to be in the modern Labour Party?

    Yes/No
    No comment

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