RNZ: The 9th floor – Palmer

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, April 9th, 2017 - 70 comments
Categories: history, journalism - Tags: , , , ,

On RNZ Guyon Espiner is running what will be a fascinating series, The 9th Floor, consisting of interviews with five ex NZ PMs: Geoffrey Palmer, Mike Moore, Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley, Helen Clark. First up (airing on Friday) was Sir Geoffrey Palmer:

The Reformer – Geoffrey Palmer: Prime Minister 1989-90

NZ’s earliest living Prime Minister begins the series reflecting on the revolutionary fourth Labour government and his year as one of its three Prime Ministers.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer was one of New Zealand’s most prolific lawmakers and reformers, but a reluctant politician.

Imagine a country where the Prime Minister set the price of basic goods. Where the Cabinet, without having to even put it to a vote in Parliament, decided the wages you get and the taxes and interest rates you pay.

That was the country Geoffrey Palmer was determined to change when he entered Parliament in 1979. It was an economy, he told The 9th Floor, that no young New Zealander would recognise. … Palmer, a constitutional lawyer, describes Prime Minister Robert Muldoon as running an elected dictatorship between 1975 and 1984. It’s a big claim. …

Ultimately of course Palmer would get his chance to run the country too. He was Prime Minister for 13 months sandwiched between David Lange and Mike Moore, who a desperate Labour party turned to just two months before the 1990 election in a bid to save the furniture.

So what was it like to run the country? What is it like to be Prime Minister? “I found being the leader a nuisance,” Palmer told us. …

Plenty more in the text, but for the full hour-long interview you’ll need to listen…


70 comments on “RNZ: The 9th floor – Palmer”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    That went a long way to re-confirming my view of Geoffrey Palmer as a very intelligent uber-technocrat completely besotted with his own cleverness.

    The man has the certainty and fanaticism of the technocrat, the arrogance of a self-regarding intellectual and the political nous of a fool. He was, and remains, a very dangerous conviction politician with scant regard for the opinions of the hoi polloi.

    Listening to Palmer, the viciously toxic culture of arrogance of the Roger Douglas era Labour cabinet comes flooding back.

    • Morrissey 1.1

      A pretty good summary of Palmer, Sanctuary. I was appalled by Guyon Espiner’s breathless and admiring tone as he interviewed the Great Man.

      In fact, of course, Palmer was not brave, or principled, or particularly clever. His manipulation by the loathsome ex-president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, was perhaps the lowpoint of his career….

      https://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/2/as_turkey_freezes_israel_ties_critics

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        I think you are mis- understanding the type of interview, I understand its a ‘let them speak’ series on former PMs.
        It not meant to be a challenging of their previous decisions or playing the devils advocate on their current views.

        • WILD KATIPO 1.1.1.1

          Dont bullshit and just answer the fucking question.

          Your making excuses for their treachery.

          Despicable .

          • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1.1

            Your rantings arent worth reading let alone commenting on. Still losing it after all these years

            • WILD KATIPO 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Son,… your a ‘new’ kid on the block. It shows.

              ‘let them speak’

              Yeah… weve had 33 years of ‘ letting them speak’

              They still talk trash.

              Along the same lines as you do.

              • red-blooded

                Hey, how about dialling back on the personal abuse? dukeofurl had a perfectly reasonable point – Espiner’s role wasn’t to interrogate or to push his own viewpoint (whatever that may be), it was to give us some insight into the viewpoint of the subject of the interview. He’ll be interviewing others, too, and playing the same role with them. Besides, has it occurred to you that if you lost interest after 20 minutes (as you say below at 1.2), then maybe you’re not the best person to comment on the interview as a whole?

                • Dialing back?

                  How about you dial back on 33 years of bullshit and lies, buddy and stop being such a neo liberal apologist?

                  Its guys like Espiner and co that have enabled these neo liberal pricks to be seen with soft sentimental lenses ‘ because they are senior statesman types’ – or otherwise fulfilling some sort of perverted ‘ father figure’ in the under-confident NZ psyche.

                  If Espiner cant overcome his boyish state of being overwhelmed by dealing with someone that held such a dubious position of influence over so many at such a critical time then maybe he is the wrong person to be interviewing Palmer.

                  I would challenge you and every other closet neo liberal apologist to answer the fucking question of why someone like Kim Hill wasn’t doing the interviewing instead of a ‘ soft ‘ interviewer Guyon Espiner ?

                  Hill would have torn Palmer to shreds and you know it.

          • Richard McGrath 1.1.1.1.2

            “Dont bullshit and just answer the fucking question.”

            Er… what question?

    • Spot on , Sanctuary and Morrissey. My thoughts as well. I didnt even get 20 mins into it before I lost interest and was disgusted in not only Espiners obvious admiration of the man but the real truth about Palmer.

      I bloody lived through that era and I know what this country was like long BEFORE Rogernomics and the bloody mess it is in now. 33 years of that neo liberal garbage.

      ‘ SIR’ Geoffrey Palmer?

      That mans nothing more than a treasonous louse to me. As have been so many that have followed in his footsteps in both National and Labour since. Just a treasonous , lying pack of thieving neo liberal lice.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.1

        I actually thought Espiner did a good job, he let Palmer talk and we got a relaxed and unguarded interview from Palmer, where he did a pretty good job of condemning himself to any discerning listener.

        • WILD KATIPO 1.2.1.1

          Pretty much. But let not the history books record him ( Palmer ) as anything other than any other past anarcho-capitalist saboteurs , however.

          Because THAT is what the neo liberal IS.

          Call a louse a louse and be done with it.

          No more pandering around trying to find nice words for a treacherous wanker. As for Espiner. the guy was in primary school when others of my age group had to front head on Douglas and his bullshit garbage.

          So I’m hardly going to take Espiner as someone with credibility through life experience.

          Just another newbie in my opinion , by and large.

          • WILD KATIPO 1.2.1.1.1

            Dont believe me ?

            Anarcho-capitalism – Wikipedia
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

            Do some relaxing reading and learn what sort of scum have been operating in our country for the last 33 years.

            Hopefully you will want to strip each and every last one of these fuckers of any pretentious, undeserved title they ever have had bestowed on them after reading and realising just how much we have all been played.

          • Richard McGrath 1.2.1.1.2

            “As for Espiner. the guy was in primary school when others of my age group had to front head on Douglas and his bullshit garbage.”

            I too had to front head on the policies of Douglas – it was great. A refreshing change from the Polish shipyard socialism of Muldoon and the National Party that was sending our country to the wall. Hell, I even voted Labour in 1987 as a sign of my appreciation.

            Most of us didn’t realise how oppressed the average New Zealander had been until the Lange government took over.

            • McFlock 1.2.1.1.2.1

              …and doubled the youth suicide rate. You forgot to celebrate that bit.

              • Richard McGrath

                You are confusing correlation with causation. What evidence do you have linking one with the other? How did you eliminate other influences on the youth suicide rate? And why on earth do you suggest that youth suicide is a reason for celebration?

                • McFlock

                  I’m no more confused than you are when you talk about lab4 being refreshing.

                  Many other people had a different experience.

                  As to your last question,you’re a selfish shitheel, so I figured that you’d just be celebrating lower numbers of nonproductive economic units.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I note you have evaded addressing the issue of correlation/causation. You choose to insult rather than engage, which I think reflects poorly on you.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      You have another reasonable cause to suggest for the doubling of the youth suicide rate (other than the prevailing economic policy which threw many into economic hardship)?

                      The causal argument of economic hardship and disengagement leading to a decision to suicide is more than clear, as is the correlation. You need to suggest something stronger.

                    • McFlock

                      Not really.

                      I know you’d never be convinced that the waddling, quacking, feathery thing in front of you is a duck. No point flogging those dead teenagers.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      The onus is on those suggesting a causal relationship to prove it, not for me to suggest an alternative cause for any increase in the youth suicide rate.

                      Female youth (age 15-24) suicide rates decreased year on year from 1988 to 1991, by the way.

                    • McFlock

                      No onus.

                      Female youth (age 15-24) suicide rates decreased year on year from 1988 to 1991, by the way.

                      Figure 57 says you like to pick cherries, by the way. Slight declines in 15-24yo female suicide rates in the last two years of lab4 still leave a higher suicide rate in than group than in 1984 and don’t offset the year on year increases in male suicide rates, and frankly you probably know that, you dissembling fuckwit.

            • Nic the NZer 1.2.1.1.2.2

              McFlock identified the correlation between changes in the economy (exacerbating economic hardship for some) and a rise in the suicide rate.

              Richard pointed out that correlation does not imply causation.

              But the causal link here between economic hardship and a decision to suicide on an individual case by case basis, is well known. This implies the causal link between the correlation of certain economic changes and a rise in the aggregate suicide rate is real.

              The onus remains on Richard to establish a stronger alternative or at least identify a potential confounding factor. The reason the onus is on Richard is because of the strong (if well known) evidence that the correlation here is caused by a causal mechanism. This is bolstered by similar correlations also applying in other countries where mass economic hardship was experienced (not necessarily so intentionally).

              The evidence here is about as strong as you will see for anything in any social science (including the entire sub domain of economics).

      • Once ..whatever 1.2.2

        Indeed. As he said himself – Thank Christ I didn’t become a journalist (to paraphrase) – or we’d have gotten to the shitty state we’re in a lot sooner with the MSM.
        There were a few other indicators as to where he stands as well (the true neo-lib though not wanting to admit it) – like the reforms “happened too quickly” – but you know ….. TINA
        And a few other bits like ‘fortress New Zealand’ – Christ on a bike – he should look at a few immigration laws NOW based almost completely on monetary value of the immigrant rather than their worth as citizens and the contribution they’re likely to make.
        Whether intentional or not, S’geoffrey unfortunately was responsible (along with cohorts) for the commodification of all and everything.

        And just so I’m not coming across as totally negative, he was correct (or should I say right) about a few things – all from the position of comfort and security:
        – such as the competence of some of his peers and populist politics
        – a commitment to democratic process and slowing things down (democracy is supposed to be slow and awkward)
        – he’s apparently as scared now as he was when Labour took office and the country was damn near broke – which begs the question “what was the past 30 years all about?” if after those decades of economic brilliance – we could be facing the same shit all again with a different and more potent stink, AND I might add affecting a lot more people
        – etc.

      • Marcus Morris 1.2.3

        I lived through those years as well, just as I had lived through the previous nine years of Muldoon, who under MMP, wouldn’t have got a second term. Muldoon held enormous and frightening power – read Hugh Templeton’s book “All Honourable Men”. I lived through the twelve years of Holyoke’s laissez-faire government when we were dragged into the Vietnam war. I remember well the joy and relief we felt when Norm Kirk finally became P.M. and we showed the world a little intestinal fortitude (nuclear testing in the Pacific). I remember the palpable despair when Kirk died and Muldoon (aided and abetted by Bob Jones who ran a despicable anti Rowling campaign in Wellington) raged virtually unchallenged against the thoroughly decent Bill Rowling . David Lange’s victory over Muldoon in 1984 brought great rejoicing and he and Palmer proved an excellent political leadership team and it was very interesting to get a bit of insight into that relationship via the discussion with Guyon Espiner. A point that wasn’t made was that Labour actually increased its majority in the ’87 elections so the country as a whole was not too concerned at events during Labour’s first three years of office. There is no question that Roger Douglas’ policies paved the way for the neoliberal economics which have prevailed since but it is certain that David Lange became acutely aware of this, albeit too late. The fact that Prebble, Douglas, the Auckland historian, Bassett, went on to form a right wing party more than justified Lange’s concerns. We now have MMP, a system I applaud, and Geoffrey Palmer, a thoroughly decent and honourable man in my opinion, played a large hand in this improvement to the democratic process. Finally, I thought that is was significant that Sir Geoffrey expressed regret that he had “signed off” the sale of Telecom. “treasonous louse” – I don’t think so.

    • Jlo73 1.3

      So you prefer smiling celebrity driven PM’s like John Key then?

  2. red-blooded 2

    Wow – you and I seem to have been listening to different interviews!

    Palmer made some reasonable points and he also admitted that the government he was part of should have provided more support to people who suffered job losses because of their policies. It was interesting to hear his thoughts on issues like Brexit, Trump and compulsory voting. You don’t have to agree with all of his opinions but it’s still worth thinking through his reasoning. And, BTW, there’s nothing wrong with being clever!

    • Morrissey 2.1

      And, BTW, there’s nothing wrong with being clever!

      But there’s everything wrong with being weak, and being bullied and browbeaten by fanatics and murderers….

      http://gazanalysis.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/norman-finkelstein-torpedoing-law-how.html

      • red-blooded 2.1.1

        My “nothing wrong with being clever” comment was a response to Sanctuary’s dismissive “in love with his own cleverness” put down. It wasn’t an endorsement of all things Palmer.

    • Sanctuary 2.2

      Nothing wrong with being clever, but being a clever clogs who projects that as an intellectual hauteur is IMHO an absolutely fatal and fundamental flaw in a (so called in this case) left wing politician.

      Palmer’s ability to diagnose the ills of the world are not particularly unique, you or I could have just have easily rattled of the list of fairly trite topics – climate change, Trump, the crisis of democracy – he did. What struck me about Palmer was his unerring technocratic ability to correctly identify a crisis then just as unerringly use that crisis as a vehicle to push an agenda driven and completely incorrect solution.

      For instance, the crisis of democracy and voting won’t be fixed by a written constitution or fiddling with how we vote. Palmer’s constant fetishisation of mechanistic solutions to political problems with their origin in fundamental clashes between democracy and authoritarian global capitalism is entirely keeping with the machine like mind and lack of imagination of the high priesthood of neo-liberal technocrats across the West.

      • greywarshark 2.2.1

        Sanctuary
        Great summation of Palmer and why his basic ideas offered little to NZ progress as a balanced nation state then. That ‘intellectual hauteur’ you so aptly name, is going to prevent any useful ideas leading to policies to guide us round, or between, our geothermally active land of steaming, plopping mud pools, earthquakes and other natural or slightly man-made disasters. These, mixed with the inevitable disaster leading from being seduced and dazzled by the financial hat-tricks daily presented to us as examples of solid material success are outside his purview it seems.

        • AB 2.2.1.1

          “Palmer’s constant fetishisation of mechanistic solutions to political problems with their origin in fundamental clashes between democracy and authoritarian global capitalism…”
          Very nice – thanks. It explains why I always find him decent enough in a goofy sort of way but somehow infuriatingly ineffectual.

  3. Karen 3

    I found it fascinating – I recommend it to anyone interested in NZ politics.

    I was shocked by that he still supports the economic reforms of Roger Douglas – his only criticism was that they were done too quickly and did not provide enough help to those affected. I think the key to this attitude is his complete and ongoing lack of interest in economics coupled with the fact he was in Chicago during the height of Friedman. He was willing to believe the spin and lacked the interest to dig deeper.

    I didn’t find him arrogant at all. He is clever – why should he pretend otherwise? I also think he is principled and honest – but that doesn’t mean I agree with his analysis on every issue. What was interesting to me was the details about the feud between Lange and Douglas.

    • Grantoc 3.1

      Palmer’s comments in support of Rogernomics have to be seen in context of the times.

      As he said Muldoon was the closest thing to a dictator that NZ has probably ever had. As PM and Finance Minister he personally ran the economy, from deciding how much wages would increase by to what kind of cars could be imported to what interest rates should be.

      He was leading NZ down a similar path to that which Venezuela is presently on – and that leads to societal and economic breakdown. And that in turn negatively impacts working people the most.

      Rogernomics moved NZ back to economic orthodoxy. There were and are issues about the way in which this was implemented; but nevertheless it doesn’t make sense to deny that this should not have happened or to imply that Muldoon’s way was preferable.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Grantoc
        Politics they say is the art of the possible. You present an either/or possibility. There are always other approaches and game-playing in politics allowing them to be done, considering that there are pressures from the powerful moneyed group on governments and the unions were powerful then too.

        It needed a wily person, with wide economic knowledge, some animal cunning, as well as sterling quality of respect for the people’s needs and how to control their wants, to allow the populace to manage to get an enjoyabe life and achieve their needs.

        But the people were bundled aside in following the chosen neo lib way. The government was not cunning, intelligent or far-seeing, just puffed up with its own cleverness and of being at the forefront of a new economic trend.

      • Karen 3.1.2

        What nonsense, Grantoc.

        The choice wasn’t between the economic mismanagement of Muldoon (which was nothing like that of Venezuela) and Rogernomics. There are many other options of economic management that would not have created the catastrophic levels of inequality that were a result of neoliberalism.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.3

        Muldoon wasnt the closest thing to a dictator.!

        Nixon had a wage freeze in the US in his time too. It was seen as one of the policy options in that era.

        “On the afternoon of Friday, August 13, 1971, these officials along with twelve other high-ranking White House and Treasury advisors met secretly with Nixon at Camp David. There was great debate about what Nixon should do, but ultimately Nixon, relying heavily on the advice of the self-confident Connally, decided to break up Bretton Woods by suspending the convertibility of the dollar into gold; freezing wages and prices for 90 days to combat potential inflationary effects; and impose an import surcharge of 10 percent, to prevent a run on the dollar, stabilize the US economy, and decrease US unemployment and inflation rates, on August 15, 1971

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_shock

        In our time printing money, once unthinkable, has come back in fashion, as the previous idea of manipulating interest rates lost any meaning.

        In the long run Rogernomics has failed, as the principal driver was to increase growth rates over the levels of the previous 20 years. That never happened and we are back to where we were in the 60s and 70s.!

    • Brigid 3.2

      “his only criticism was that they were done too quickly and did not provide enough help to those affected.” And that shows just what a fool Palmer is.
      Not providing for those affected was in the plan.

      And how disgustingly disingenuous such a comment is.

      • red-blooded 3.2.1

        Brigid, on what basis to you claim to know what was “in the plan”? Palmer et al were definitely too rushed, didn’t give enough thought to consequences and got captured by ideology. I think even he was (almost) admitting that. We’ve got to remember the political and economic mess they inherited from Muldoon, though, and we also have to keep in mind the distinction between Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. You might argue that the second couldn’t have happened without the first, but Richardson and her lot would have moved just as swiftly and even more extremely in the neo-lib direction, even if Labour were implacably opposed. I remember that election, with the choice between Douglas and Richardson; talk about a rock and a hard place! I voted Labour, not as an endorsement of Douglas but as a way to stave off Richardson. Remember that it was National who sold off the state assets (they did it again, with different assets, recently) and cut benefits while cutting taxes on business and the wealthy.

        I was opposed to the neo-lib ideology in the 80s and I’m still opposed. I’m bloody glad David Lange finally found the courage to face down Douglas and stave off the flat tax madness. I don’t even drink tea, but that’s one cuppa I’m grateful for! I think it was interesting to hear Palmer reflect on his experience of those days and I’m definitely going to be tuning in for the rest of the series.

        • Once ..whatever 3.2.1.1

          “I think even he was (almost) admitting that”
          Gawd I wish that were true – I’d have a different opinion of the man.
          You’ve even shoved in an ‘(almost)’.
          I now actually have more sympathy for Spud Bolger who I’ve never supported.

          Lange may have woken up, albeit a bit too late. Palmer never did and still hasn’t.
          As a person, I actually quite liked the guy. On reflection, and as I used to watch him strutting around Mt Vic with the Colgate ring of Confidence, I came to realise just how out of touch he became from those he purported to …. you know ….. ‘represent’.

        • Anne 3.2.1.2

          … we also have to keep in mind the distinction between Rogernomics and Ruthanasia.

          Thanks red-blooded. I didn’t get a chance to point out to those intent on placing the blame for neo-liberalism on the 4th Labour govt. … that most of the damage was done in the 1990s.

          I’m referring in particular to the draconian measures introduced by Ruth Richardson which saw thousands upon thousands of people thrown on the scrap heap. I was one of them. At least the 4th Labour Govt. was generous to a fault with their redundancy packages and many people were able to set up on their own because of it. But once R.R. took over, that generosity quickly disappeared. Labour also pledged to ensure that those who fell through the cracks would not be penalised, and would receive every assistance to get back on their feet again. As we know that also went by the board once the Nats gained power.

          It is debatable what would have happened if Labour and managed to squeak back to power in 1990, but bearing in mind Roger Douglas was gone by then, I am certain the “cup of tea” David Lange talked about would have become a more permanent fixture and that would have ultimately allowed Helen Clark to be able to achieve much more during her term as PM.

          • Karen 3.2.1.2.1

            I disagree with this Anne. The changes in tax alone were enough to set the scene for a major increase in inequality, and the creation of SOEs laid the groundwork for the Nats to expand privatisation of state assets.

            Yes, you could argue that the Nats’ cuts in benefits, their sell off of state houses and the Employment Contracts Act were even more damaging but they were only able to do this because of what Labour had set into motion, and because the Left felt so demoralised by the betrayals of the 4th Labour Government that opposition was divided.

            Lange was unable to persuade enough of the caucus to change course – a sad indictment on many of those Labour MPs of that time.

            • Anne 3.2.1.2.1.1

              I’m not denying that what was done in the name of Rogernomics set the scene for the “inequalities” that have persevered since, but it needs to be seen in the context of the the parlous state left by the Muldoon administration. It gave Douglas enormous power… far more so than is normally the case. He literally was given carte blanche to do exactly what he wanted and when he wanted it.

              Lange was unable to persuade enough of the caucus to change course – a sad indictment on many of those Labour MPs of that time.

              A large part of the reason is because a culture of bullying had been encouraged by members of the Douglas clan that was all-pervading. Anyone who dared raise their head above the parapet had it chopped off. That culture spread beyond the parliamentary party too, and there would be many people who can attest to that. Add the over-all confusion which existed at the time and its easy to see why many Labour MPs kept their heads down. It was a very unpleasant time for some of those MPs who did stand up to the Douglas cabal. Ask Jenny Kirk…

            • Richard McGrath 3.2.1.2.1.2

              Always makes me smile when so-called ‘pro-equality’ people push for tax inequality. Douglas’ flat tax together with GST would have achieved tax equality, with everyone paying the same proportion of their income and spending as tax. And those on low incomes would still have benefitted disproportionately from government spending.

    • Anne 3.3

      I didn’t find him arrogant at all. He is clever – why should he pretend otherwise? I also think he is principled and honest – but that doesn’t mean I agree with his analysis on every issue. What was interesting to me was the details about the feud between Lange and Douglas.

      +1000

      And those of us who had knowledge and experience of NZ politics at that time, can commiserate to some extent with the extraordinary crisis through which he had to negotiate almost on his own. I think history will be kind to Geoffrey Palmer. That is, if the precarious position the world currently faces on several levels allows us to have a future.

  4. Cynical jester 4

    Ewww Geoffrey Palmer. The man who said “he had a great deal of fun reforming nz” he had fun whilst so many people committed suicide because they lost everything due to his government. Seems like a lovely chap. Neoliberalism is disgusting.

    • Agreed . What a disgusting little man he is. And to think people like him and Douglas are called ‘ Sirs’ .

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        I never call anyone with a knighthood “sir”. I pointblank refuse to do it. It got me in trouble a few times when i worked in hospo, but tough, it is my right in a free country.

        In this country, we have no need for bowing and scraping to these anachronistic “titles” the elite bestow on each other in the name of a woman living on the other side of the planet.

        • ropata 4.1.1.1

          +1 mostly a bunch of ****s (excepting Ed Hillary)

          • Kat 4.1.1.1.1

            Ropata
            And an even bigger “exception” for Peter Blake.

            Mind you Colin Meads hates being called sir, I think he secretly wishes he never had the moniker.

            There are many others who don’t belong in the “a bunch of ****s” league.

            • ropata 4.1.1.1.1.1

              wtf has “sir” colin meads done? professional boofhead and spruiker of snake oil cancer cures. a grade A pillock IMHO

              • Kat

                Colin Meads entertained the public that like rugby and sport similar to Howard Morrison with singing and show business. Ed Hillary climbed a mountain and drove tractors down at the Antarctic.

  5. Nic the NZer 5

    While Palmer explained his distrust of economists assumptions and ideology, particularly that coming from the Chicago school, this didn’t prevent him being subservient to it in ways which defined his political career.

    We should have no doubt as somebody involved in the process, and as a constitutional lawyer he would have understood there were no processes limiting the sovereign governments budgeting process (though this was not discussed explicitely during the interview).

    Never the less when it came to measures required he raises in particular that NZ had to reform during Labour4 fundamentally because of its significant govt deficit and government debt. What he doesn’t seem to have connected here is that the causal harm to the economy here is mostly one of those assumptions and ideologically driven decisions. Had he made this connection he may have made a different decision about the privatization of Telecom which he didn’t think a good idea in and of itself. He also justifies the requirement here based on the factor that the ‘Ship Yard’ economy ran a significant government deficit. While this would have and did put pressure on the fixed exchange rate other reform measures than floating the exchange rate never followed from this, except by following these ideological economic terms (which Palmer claims he understood and didn’t apply).

  6. Mrs Brillo 6

    I think he certainly did achieve some basic reforms which were beneficial.
    He set in place what there is of an integrated environmental protection legislative system, including the Resource Management Act which consolidated more than 95 poorly articulated statutes and alllowed for joined-up management of natural and built environments. He reformed local government structure, and was the first and best environment minister we have had.
    And he had a good go at a written constitution. And he took his crusade against purse seine net fishing to the UN and argued the case against it world wide.He was very pro protecting our natural heritage, and this got up the noses of the fishing industry and a lot more besides who wanted to exploit assets till they were gone.
    If you dismiss him because he did not have the popular appeal of a Key or a Trump, it says more about you than him.

  7. Philgwellington Wellington 7

    I enjoyed listening to this interview. Sir Geoffrey exhibited a Mr Magoo lack of awareness of how his words would reveal the imperfections in his character. It is a reminder to me of how the clever and the powerful are certainly NO better than the rest of us. And the mistakes THEY make have a greater impact on society as a whole.

  8. Gosman 8

    What reforms of the 4th Labour Government would people reverse now?

    • Nic the NZer 8.1

      The reserve bank act should be seriously modified. One change would be that the sitting government can always draw spending as it sees fit at no interest. This would be explicit, not the current implicit arrangement.

      Also GST to be immediately abolished.

      Telecom re-nationalized (due to natural monopoly status of telecommunications).

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        You think there is a natural monopoly in the telecommunications sector do you? So how do you explain Vodophone and 2 Degrees?

        • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1

          Yes, its called the phone lines (but you knew that).

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            You mean the ones owned by Chorus?

            What about the mobile networks and other services?

            • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Less important to nationalise those, as they don’t form as natural a monopoly there. Obviously Telecom has changed a bit since this was implemented.

              • Michael

                I’d restore a progressive income tax regime and use the revenue to repair some of the damage done by Rogernomics. Make the rich pay for the shit they’ve put the rest of us through. I’d go further too by implementing a few things the fourth Labour government never did, such as: introducing a capital gains tax; penalising tax dodgers and their advisers; stopping corporate welfare to private schools and other emblems of a class-based system of hierarchy; providing for genuinely free-of-charge access to primary health care; outlawing accountacy; and lots, lots more. Perhaps I’ll get the chance in my next life?

                • Nic the NZer

                  I think Gosman was trying to provoke just such responses as ‘Outlawing accountancy’ in his query. On the other points I agree a better tax regime may be fair and desirable, but… the left will burn lots of political capital doing it. Even more if it works so its a long term project. The govt doesnt need to collect more revenue to spend more and deal with inequality that way so its better not to hold off that measure and instead engage in a tax crusade.

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  • 2017 Rail Station Boardings
    For the last few years now and since electrification of the network, ridership on Auckland’s rail network has surged, jumping from 10 million trips in the year to June-2013 to 19.6 million trips in June this year (and bound to ...
    32 mins ago
  • Mark Richardson plays dirty
    The dirty politics debacle should have signalled to the right that underhanded tactics don’t usually pay off. There are some exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking New Zealander’s don’t like nastiness getting in the way of a good debate ...
    34 mins ago
  • Beyond the Beehive: Kaikohe / Whangarei
    In the lead-up to the election, journalist Max Towle is on an epic road trip taking the political pulse of young New Zealanders. The Whangarei electorate has been a safe National seat. Is that about to change? Beyond the ...
    39 mins ago
  • We are beneficiaries: I was used to feeling like a beggar
    A group of artists are continuing the conversation Metiria Turei MP started – demanding a more compassionate social welfare system. They asked artists who have been on a benefit in NZ (DPB, sickness, invalids, jobseeker, whatever) to draw a picture ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    11 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei has started something
    .   . When Metiria Turei announced her resignation as co-leader of the Green Party, on the afternoon of 9 August, it could be said that the bullies had won. The reactionary media pack – led chiefly by so-called “journalists” ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    12 hours ago
  • National would tax water as well
    Politics is a strange beast… it requires people to attack others over what they believe, usually because they think it's the best course of action to promote their party. Often those beliefs are founded on a real desire to make ...
    15 hours ago
  • Change happens when we stand together
    Tertiary Update Election Edition Vol 1 No 1 Together we have stopped National’s attempt to change the law to funnel public money to private tertiary education. Over the past few months, nearly 5,000 people have joined our campaign to keep tertiary education ...
    15 hours ago
  • Your university, pay and the living wage
    Dr. Wayne Linklater, co-president of the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) branch of the Tertiary Education Union, discusses how paying the Living Wage would help advance the values of public institutions like VUW.  Universities are the engine of progress. They train ...
    15 hours ago
  • Mental health needs are failed by competitive funding
    Nicole Wallace from the School of Social Sciences at the University of Auckland, shares a powerful story about studying for a tertiary degree with a mental health condition, highlighting why we need to support public tertiary education for better access to ...
    15 hours ago
  • Local public tertiary education is vital for Māori
    Steven Wharehinga, president of the Tertiary Education Union branch at the Universal College of Learning, explains what impact reforms introduced by National have had on the provision of regional tertiary education and what this means for Māori, Pasifika and low income families. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Our own memorial problem
    This week we've all been made aware of the problem of the USA commemorating the leaders of the racist, slave-owning Confederacy with public monuments. Meanwhile, there's a similar problem in New Zealand. Via Twitter, I was pointed at a map ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • No protection for whistleblowers in NZ
    There's been some debate about the need for increased whistleblower protection in New Zealand. And today, we have a perfect example of why it is needed: because the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki has just got the Employment Relations ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • That rail plan
    The big political news this morning in Greater Auckland's proposal for Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga commuter rail. It looks like a good idea. In the southern part of the North Island we already have (limited) commuter rail between Palmerston North, Masterton and Wellington, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • The Singles Life: The evolution of Shorecore
    Welcome to weekly series The Singles Life, where known experts Katie Parker and Hussein Moses peruse, ponder and pontificate on the latest and (maybe) greatest in New Zealand music. Photo: Florence Noble/Facebook It may have been nearly a decade ...
    20 hours ago
  • Just how bad is the Aussie NZ relationship?
    As the finger wagging continues both here and over the ditch about Australian MP Barnaby Joyce being outed as a New Zealand citizen (oh the horror!) it's probably work pointing out just how bad our political relationship with our closest ...
    21 hours ago
  • Voter Motivators 2017: Water.
    Worth Protecting? The threat to the nation’s water is real and it demands action. What’s more, the Water Issue comes with a whole cast of ready-made villains: someone to take the blame. Farmers. WHO CAN FORGET that magic childhood moment when ...
    22 hours ago
  • Are we all anti-fascist now?
    US neo-Nazis and fascists supporters march in Charoltsvill, USA. Image credit: Alejandro Alvarez/News2Share via Reuters Wouldn’t that be nice? What if the current almost universal condemnation of fascism by the main stream media and social media commenters were genuine.? That it represents an ...
    22 hours ago
  • Beyond the Beehive: The Far North
    In the lead-up to the election, journalist Max Towle is on an epic road trip taking the political pulse of young New Zealanders. Drugs, jobs and housing are on the minds of people in the Far North.   Beyond ...
    24 hours ago
  • Introducing Regional Rapid Rail
    Greater Auckland is proud to present our proposal for Regional Rapid Rail – an Upper North Island Passenger Network. This post gives you a brief summary of our staged proposal to introduce higher speed inter-city rail to the Upper North ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Second radio interview in the US travelogue series.
    There is some overlap between yesterday’s post and today’s radio interview, but there is also a a fair bit of other material as well: http://www.radiolive.co.nz/home/video/2017/08/trump–charlottesville-and-north-korea—the-latest-from-the-us.html ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Whatever happened to one law for all?
    by Susanne Kemp The Metiria Turei case certainly brought a lot of mean-spirited people with double standards out of the woodwork.  People who vigorously defended John Key’s electoral fraud and Bill English’s rorting of the public purse for the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Driverless Road Ahead
    For the past decade and a bit, I've been working as a computer technician and sales rep. During that time, I've seen the desktop and laptop computer go from being the main method people get on the Internet, to an ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration
    Orcon IRL’s election special took place Sunday evening, and it was a right time. Kiri Allan mesmerised crowds in te reo. Stephen Berry knocked Rock Enrol. Chloe Swarbrick spoke of a Green future. And I disrespected Russell’s authority and went ...
    2 days ago
  • Meanwhile, in Poland
    While we're all worrying about Nazis in America, we might also want to keep an eye on Poland:Polish police broke up a feminist rally and forcefully removed activists to clear the way for a march for far-right extremists. A live ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Privacy, not “secrecy”
    Politik breathlessly reports that the New Zealand government kept information on Barnaby Joyce's kiwi citizenship "top secret":New Zealand Ministers and officials imposed a heavy security lid once they realised that they had information which could, in effect, topple the Australian ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • General Election Debate on Transport – Campaign for Better Transport
    The Campaign for Better Transport is holding an election debate with all the major parties this month in Auckland. The CBT is led by Cameron Pitches and over the years has led campaigns and advocated for many transport issues including: Airport ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    2 days ago
  • The Real Reason for Housing Unaffordability
    The news that the number of houses being sold is falling and that prices are rising more slowly has been greeted in some quarters with responses that are – sadly – all too predictable. The consensus is that these shifts ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Renting in New Zealand (and what politicians are promising to change)
    As politicians talk up their housing policies ahead of the election, renters share stories of stress, illness and why the current system doesn’t work. Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Jared Kelly / Flickr Cleaning the house of mould and ...
    2 days ago
  • National fails miserably on housing
    I don’t know about you, but I’m not very happy with all the homeless people wandering the streets and sleeping rough in the cold, some of whom are dying on park benches. But instead of blaming the victims, I think ...
    2 days ago
  • Check this out
    The Spinoff has a terrific tool that lets you see and compare the leading parties’ election policies. You can tick your favourites and then see which way you lean based on your policy choices. It is beautifully done. It almost ...
    2 days ago
  • Loading Docs: Asian Men Talk About Sex
    Eight Asian men bare all as they speak candidly about sex, love and dating.   Asian Men Talk About Sex has been released as part of Loading Docs - a launchpad for short New Zealand documentaries. DIRECTOR INTERVIEW: ...
    2 days ago
  • “Let’s Tax This?” – “Hell, Yeah!”
    "Hell, Yeah!" - Labour must not retreat before National’s “Let’s Tax This!” counter-attack. Not when a majority of New Zealanders are ready to rescue their ailing public services from further deterioration. When National hurls the “tax and spend” accusation at Labour ...
    2 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce – Asshole of the Week
    It came as somewhat of a shock when the Australian government attacked the New Zealand Labour party and its leader Jacinda Arsdern yesterday, a personally attack over the fact that their Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has dual citizenship and ...
    2 days ago
  • Letters from America, take three: a scab got picked.
    Donald Trump picked a scab during his campaign for the presidency and now the puss is draining out. It will be a while before the wound is cleansed. The puss is racism, xenophobia and bigotry. When I left the US ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Timing is everything for Ardern & Labour
    Timing is just so important in politics, as in so much of life. Plenty of able people don't have the luck – or planning – to be in the right place at the right time. But right now, timing may ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Pouring gasoline on the housing fire
    Yesterday, Prime Minister Bill English announced that he would encourage the Reserve Bank to remove the loan to value ratio (LVR) rules that it put in place to take the heat out of rising house prices. As reported in Newsroom: ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Inferno VII: The circle of capitalists
    "Pape Satàn, pape Satàn aleppe!" If these words ever meant anything in any language, or were otherwise intelligible to the contemporaries of Dante Alighieri, that meaning is lost. What’s left to us is the beginning of a curse, or a ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why Labour isn’t responsible for Barnaby Joyce
    First published on Werewolf As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Release: TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES
    For Immediate Release Tuesday 15 August 2017 TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES Polls are showing that inequality is a top voter concern (Roy-Morgan and UMR Polls). The income equality group Closing the Gap is urging New Zealanders ...
    Closing the GapBy Marino Smith
    2 days ago
  • Ardern stands up for kiwis
    Today politics seems to be dominated by Australian ridiculousness, after the Australian government blamed Chris Hipkins (rather than hard-working Australian journalists) for exposing Barnaby Joyce as a New Zealand citizen, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop interfering in our election ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Editors put the boot into National
    There is no question that a resurgent Labour party has closed the National party out of the media limelight. What else could Bill English do but pander to his ageist supporters by proposing boot camps and spot fines for the ...
    3 days ago
  • Civil Disobedience Against Big Irrigation
    Construction has started on huge irrigation schemes in Canterbury. When they start working, it’s going to be disastrous for our rivers - most of which are already struggling. More irrigation means more cows and that means more pollution.A few weeks ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: The Cullen fund divests
    Climate change is now undeniable, and if we are to survive it, the fossil fuel industry has to die. And now the Cullen Fund has recognised that fact, and started divesting its risk:The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has sold shares ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Dirty farmers
    Surprise, surprise - Waikato's dairy farmers are failing to comply with their resource consents:The Waikato Regional Council says dairy farm effluent compliance rates are heading in the right direction despite less than one quarter of farms monitored last year deemed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
    The Official Information Act requires agencies to decide on requests "as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received". But over the decades that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
    This is another post about my recent trip to the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a standard road classification system with ideally three types of roads: flow roads (motorways), distribution roads (arterials), and local roads (residential roads). This system does not ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
    REPORTBACK: CHARLOTTESVILLE: August 13, 2017 by Redneck Revolt members The situation on the ground in Charlottesville, Virginia, is still developing and unstable, but a few of our Redneck Revolt members on the ground took some time to provide the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
    The Labour party has hit the ground running with Jacinda Ardern. Not only has she shown immense capability as leader, the Labour party has clearly got its game on and returned to its core values, values that once made New ...
    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
    We need to transcend us vs them struggles, writes Philip McKibbin.   Image: The Prophet Te Whiti Addressing a Meeting of Natives from The Graphic (1881) In 1881, the peaceful village of Parihaka was invaded. Fifteen-hundred men, led ...
    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
    Local government in New Zealand is a creature of statute, so it’s subservient to powers bestowed upon it by central government. From the creation of its mandate and structure, to the reforms imposed through time, local councils are, and will ...
    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
    Who Loves Ya Baby? “I didn’t come to Parliament to act like other political parties. But this week that’s where we ended up. We have not been our best selves, and for that I am sorry.” But who are your best ...
    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
    The Victoria St Linear Park has been saved from the clutches of Auckland Transport. You may recall that we’ve been concerned about ATs plans for the future of many of the streets in the city centre for some time. In ...
    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
    .   . The mainstream media – or at least one clever journalist working for Mediaworks/Newshub – has finally caught up with a story broken by this blogger last year that unemployment data from Statistics NZ was no longer reliable; ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
    Among the sinners the drunk porter in Macbeth welcomes into hell is the ‘equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale’. Equivocation is a theme of the play; Shakespeare is thought to have been influenced by the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
    Is bootcamp the government's solution for hardened young criminals?   Photo: 123rf. National plans to solve the problem of serious youth offending by sending people to a remote, army-run boot camp for a year. But opponents of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
    This is an unabashed endorsement of an important group. I have no affiliation with them or conflict of interest. They are great, period. The ability to convey complex climate science to a wide-ranging audience is a golden attribute, something very ...
    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
        Hi, my name is Brian. Edwards to be precise. You may remember me. I used to be on television. Started in Christchurch on a magazine show called Town and Around. Went North to Wellington to audition for ...
    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
    The Todd Barclay affair, where the unelected Prime Minister claimed seven times that he couldn’t recall if Barclay had told him about the secret recording of a National party staffer, proved without a doubt that Bill English is dishonest!But if ...
    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
    Beauty queens, magic, dangly bits and nip slips - Miss Universe NZ had it all.   The top five Miss Universe NZ contestants (L-R): Shekinah Delos Santos, Sarah Hensby-Bennett, Harlem-Cruz Ihaia, Holly Waghorn and Brooke Houia. Screenshot: Miss ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
    Last night we learned that NZ Post had been spying on the public, using microphones on its delivery vehicles to record and listen to conversations between its employees and random members of the public without the consent of either party. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
    by Daphna Whitmore Although women got the vote in the late 19th century, now well in to the 21st century we still do not have pay equity. While overt discrimination against individual female employees is no longer legal or socially ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
    The last week in New Zealand politics has been extraordinary. But there’s one political party in particular that appears to be missing in action… the National party.The unelected PM Bill English has failed to gain any real traction in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
    Eye-popping beer infusions and drinking games with the bros. Lucy Zee heads to New Zealand's biggest beer festival, Beervana.   Produced and presented by Lucy Zee, and filmed and edited by Eddy Fifield. Made with the support of NZ On ...
    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
    National knows it can't defeat the Labour-Green policy on water charging on fairness grounds, so they're now appealing to racism, with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson scaremongering that making farmers pay their fair share will mean reopening historic ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
    Donald Trump would not be the first political leader to try to build his popularity, or divert attention from his troubles at home, by seeking a diversion – usually by means of a military adventure of some sort – overseas.  ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
    Science is helping more premature babies survive, but for parents it's still a journey marked by fear, pain and joy.   Inside of what looks like a giant Ziploc bag filled with water, the hoof of a tiny lamb ...
    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
    When Greg O’Connor was a young Police officer he did a stint undercover and has lamented having to arrest gang members he viewed at the time as his mates. This is perhaps the main problem for the left, being that ...
    4 days ago
  • ATAP Revised
    The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) released just last year has been already been one of the most influential transport documents Auckland has seen. That’s because for the first time Auckland and the Government agreed on the future of transport ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on North Korea, neo-Nazism, and Milo
    First published on Werewolf With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – ...
    4 days ago
  • National Party: young offenders need to be dealt with
    PRESS RELEASE: NATIONAL PARTY ANNOUNCE LAW AND ORDER POLICY The National Party of New Zealand is pleased to announce a ground-breaking new law and order policy that draws ideas from some of the finest talkback minds of their generation. Today ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    5 days ago
  • US mass murder in Korea, 1950-1953
    The following piece is an extract from a longer article by Phil Hearse that appeared in International Viewpoint, an online Marxist publication, last Thursday (August 10). For the people of North Korea, warnings from their leadership about the United ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s water tax is going to kill us all
    This week new Labour leader and … Jacinda Ardern announced her party’s new plan to steal the Green Party’s old plan to place a charge on commercial users of water. This surprised many New Zealanders, mainly because since we’ve had ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    5 days ago

  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    14 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
    Being a Member of Youth Parliament was an unexpected, but fabulous opportunity for me. It provided me a way to connect with other young people who have some things in common, and to learn what it is like to be ...
    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
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