Room left for Greens in Labour reshuffle

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, February 26th, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour - Tags:

I think the Labour reshuffle is quite clever in how it signals the portfolios that its willing to give to the Greens and encourages them to set about being lead opposition spokespeople on those topics. Sure, the reshuffle has some weird stuff in it – ChCh Earthquake spokesperson a backbencher!, 6 ex-staffers in the top 10, Mallard’s ‘demotion’ that isn’t. But there’s some smarts there too.

Let’s start with economics. There’s a big question over where Russel Norman will fit into the finance/economics team of the next government. But with Cunliffe gone and a rookie handed Economic Development, it’s clear that Labour’s adjusted itself to giving him that role. No disrespect to my fellow Standardista’s brother; David Clark’s been outstanding. But putting such a junior MP in that position when Finance is held by a former Cabinet Minister ranked number 3, is a clear sign that Labour sees itself giving the role to Norman – a rookie’s not going to get the job over a co-leader.

Leaving Transport, Maori Affairs/Treaty, Energy, Climate Change and Conservation out of the top 20 (ie shadow Cabinet) would also be a joke if it wasn’t clearly being done to give the Greens space.

In Transport, Phil Twyford had done a remarkable job given the ambiguity of his party’s positions on the individual Roads of National Significance (they only flatly oppose one of them). Brendan Horan had also been doing a good job with his Kiwirail connections. Now, the board is clear for Julie Anne Genter to make her mark and cement her case to be Transport Minister. You couldn’t not have transport in Cabinet, it spends 5% of the budget, let alone its wider economic impacts.

Likewise, you can’t not have Maori Affairs and Treaty Settlements in Cabinet. Are they planning to give Metiria Turei Maori Affairs and maybe the Children’s Minister role that both parties want, and which Annette King had been eying up but won’t be able to do if she’s busy with Housing. Just as Norman wouldn’t have his hands directly on the cheque book if he was Economic Development rather than Finance, giving Turei advisory ministries to run rather than a big-budget department like MSD would fit with Labour’s desire to control the ‘real’ decisions in coalition.

Energy and Climate Change could be given to a single Green Minister to hold, given they’re very unlikely to remain with Moana Mackey in outside Cabinet roles. Gareth Hughes and Kennedy Graham could both put their hands up, or the roles could be split between Norman and Genter.

Conservation also needs to be in Cabinet because it makes decisions on large developments and the management of vast swathes of the country. Eugenie Sage is the Greens’ Conservation spokesperson and their Earthquake Recovery spokesperson – could Labour be planning to palm off both these roles that are frequently no-win to her? Interesting strategy if so.

Finally, ACC remains in Labour’s top 20 but it has been taken off the up and coming ex-union boss, Andrew Little, who as a union lawyer knows ACC and its issues like few others – with the exception of ex-DHB boss Kevin Hague, and given to the much lower profile Sue Moroney. On the other hand, Annette King has health now. That’s a clear signal that Labour is willing to give up ACC to Hague, but not health.

The Greens may be happy with some of the spots that Labour has de facto left open for them, and not so happy about others. Economic Development is the best Norman could ever hope for from Labour but also the least he should accept. Turei would want more than just advisory ministries, she’ll want her hands on the tiller. But it is good to see that Labour is acting now with an eye to a post-election coalition. Just the fact that ‘when we’re government’ is seriously in their heads is a positive frame of mind that was completely absent in the lead up to the 2011 election.

49 comments on “Room left for Greens in Labour reshuffle”

  1. just saying 1

    Oh come on James. Optimism is a fine thing, but looking at the Labour Party reshuffle and perceiving wisdom, generosity, collegiality, or intelligence beyond the most venal cunning, borders on delusional.

    It’s time to admit defeat.

  2. Matthew Hooton 2

    I am appalled to see The Standard reduced to stealing material from the NBR!
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/shape-new-government-emerges-wb-136413

    • wobble 2.2

      I thought it might be a matter of great minds thinking alike.

      Then I remember you’re Matthew Hooten.

      • felixviper 2.2.1

        Certainly no great mind behind that particular article. He has Metiria down for “Maori Development, Women’s Affairs, Conservation”.

        Just shows how little he know about the subject. Hope they’re not paying him much to sit at his desk (bar) and go “Hurr durr, she’s a woman and a maori….”

    • Skinny 2.3

      Matthew I actually believe a Labour/Greens coalition  will win  in a landslide victory for a number of reasons. I think we can forget the current polls results, as next year people are going to way up what’s been (or not) achieved by National. There are too many murmurs from swing voters that Key has turned out a bit light & suspect trust wise. The real telling blow will be the hundreds of thousands of Kiwi’s that didn’t vote last time ‘will’ vote if only to remove National & their coalition partners. 

      The only obvious Greens Ministerial appointment will be Julie Anna Genter to Transport. It would suit Labour to steer clear of this portfolio all things considered, and genuine concessions will need to be made for a happy partnership. 

    • David H 2.4

      Ahhh having a cry Hooton? Just because NO ONE wants to read your rubbish.

    • xtasy 2.5

      Matthes Hooton (hooter brain):

      Come on, are you now wanting to claim intellectual property rights to be honoured?

      Maybe someone had similar thoughts, ideas and interpretations as you?

      Who wants to pay for your comment column on NBR, when we get better minds write here free of charge?

      Maybe rethink your media business plan and approach.

      You come across as a “loser’ with this comment. I never bought much of your weekly commenting on National Radio on Monday mornings, I will do even less so now.

      Good luck and get a life, dear Matthew.

  3. Anne 3

    At this stage, I think you are reading more into the allocations than is actually there. Given the ruthless and self-centred attitude of the current Labour parliamentary hierarchy, I can’t see any serious signs of portfolio accomodation in their line-up. A good example… Shane Jones – a self confessed Green hater – has been promoted to the front bench.

  4. fatty 4

    Did they leave the #1 spot open to the Greens too…or do Labour seriously consider Shearer to be their leader?

  5. chris73 acualy is Dolan 5

    Basically Labours just throwing a few crumbs to placate the Greens. However this is all the Greens own making, by saying they’ll only go with Labour they’ve left themselves with no bargaining power.

    Basically the Greens are the dutiful stay at home wife that ignores the husbands (labours) philandering…

    the Greens could take lessons from Winstonfirst and P. Dunne on how to play the game (and get some influence)

    • fatty 5.1

      Can you show us how the Greens would work with National – especially in a Government from 2014-2017, when National will go for the jugular by bringing in some serious neoliberal policies (probably moving into Libertarian territory).

      Give us a run-down on how that would work

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        That may be more valuable to the nation

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 5.1.2

        They don’t have to say they’ll go with National, they can just say we’ll wait until after the election to see what we’ll do and them make Labour offer them concessions

        Essentially the Greens are the easy chick, that one that puts out, whereas Winstonfirst and P. Dunne played hard to get

        Because the Greens are easy Labour don’t have to offer them much to get them into bed but Winnie and Petie played coy and made National work for it and got rewarded

        • I think it actually helps voters decide if smaller parties mention who they plan to support for confidence and supply before the campaign. Nobody was impressed with New Zealand First’s antics in that regard.

          Remember that Labour will have to work with their partners for three years. If they feel like they’ve been slighted in coalition dealings, that’s not going to be a productive relationship. It’s in the Labour Party’s best interest to be seen as a fair dealer that is appropriately generous, but not a pushover.

          • chris73 acualy is Dolan 5.1.2.1.1

            Yes but Labour don’t like the Greens (one could say hate) because Labour see the Greens as poaching “their” votes

            Labour would rather not be in power but be the leader of the left than be in power but have to share with the Greens

            • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Grow up chris. Or learn some better trooling techniques. You can try and talk down the GP all you like, but they’re on a roll and will play a major part in the next election whichever way it goes.

              • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                What have I said was wrong?

                Labour party MPs have attacked the Greens in the past
                Winston and Peter Dunne both got more power with less MPs than the Greens have ever had
                Labour would rather not be in power but be the leader of the left than be in power but have to share with the Greens
                – I’ll admit thats my opinion but it seems to me that Labour have had the opportunity to give the Greens some positions but haven’t

                • Colonial Weka

                  Opinion? Sounds more like wishful thinking. Try posting something that supports your belief.

          • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.1.2

            Yes, and unlike NZF MPs and members, the Green Party still have a degree of integrity and the membership certainly has the expectation that the party will be clear before the election about its intentions re coalitions.

            It’s beyond belief that a party wouldn’t signal before an election which way it’s going to go afterwards. MMP was supposed to increase democracy, not create kingmakers like Peters.

        • Murray Olsen 5.1.2.2

          “Because the Greens are easy Labour don’t have to offer them much to get them into bed but Winnie and Petie played coy and made National work for it and got rewarded”

          I pity you. Obviously nobody has ever gone to bed with you because of your wit, charm, or good looks, so that you are reduced to thinking of women as essentially being prostitutes. Typical right wing bullshit when all the crap is washed off the top – you need to be rich and powerful because you would never get laid otherwise.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    You really want to go into Government with these guys Henderson? Are you a masochist?

    Just look at how they’ve treated their own former Ministers and top talent, and then think for 3 seconds how they are going to treat your team of new on the block outsiders when the chips are down.

    What does Green blood in the House look like?

    • Colonial Weka 6.1

      Are you suggesting that the GP stays outside of government? Or what?

      • Rich 6.1.1

        The best plan, if Labour (and Peters) are being dicks is for the Greens to enter into no parliament-long confidence and supply agreement, but to offer support or abstention on an initial confidence vote, whichever is needed to pass.

        Then take budget and legislation on their merits. Produce a Green shadow budget and advocate for those policies to be incorporated.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          That may be a strategy for gaining a long term Green majority. Being tainted by the actions of a coalition partner who isn’t really listening to you is the worst of all worlds (Lib Dems we’re looking at you)

          • Colonial Weka 6.1.1.1.1

            Pretty hard to see someone like Norman giving up a chance at a Ministry or three. It will be interesting to see what the membership make of the situation.

            I still expect the GP to present some new ways of doing coalition when the time comes.

        • Colonial Weka 6.1.1.2

          Rich, I tend to agree, but in the past that way of operating has been severely denounced as creating unstable government (which is why it’s never happened here). The right wing spin, and the media would play on this I’m sure, would be that the GP is holding the govt and the country to ransom. If the GP were to do that, they would need to box very clever, do lots of PR, and offer Labour as many things as they challenge.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.2

      will blend into the seats.
      Norman
      Turei
      Genter
      Kennedy Graham
      Sage
      Hague
      (slippery acknowledged on the box 5 Green Ministers, just to curry favour)

  7. hush minx 7

    With a slightly more cynical tone I ask what had happened to David Shearer’s desire for a green and smart brand for nz, valuing the environment etc, when he gives it to someone, Street, who had just been demoted from health as she didn’t perform, and had no background in the area that I can tell. The only logical reason is that Labour is indeed ceding the green issues to the Greens. If only I thought that was the real reason!

  8. cricklewood 8

    Are you saying that it signals that Labour have all but given up hope of getting much above 35% of the popular vote so are preparing for a possible coalition in a couple of years?
    Meanwhile governement ministers aren’t held to account for the next couple of years as they don’t have the best person for the job opposing them due to ‘strategic thinking’
    If that has been the thinking it seems to me to be a recipe for disaster… I say you should have the best in your party doing the jobs they are best suited to, put a smuch pressure on the Govt as you can and let the chips fall where they may come election day.
    Sure there maybe some ruffled feathers during coalition negotitations over who does what pre empting that is just stupid.

  9. SpaceMonkey 9

    James, I think you’re reading too much into the reshuffle. The Shearer camp is simply strengthening its hold on the Labour Party.

    I watched Shearer on television this morning selling the reshuffle and he still sounds like he’s unsure of himself, struggles to get the words out, gets the words out and then rushes to vary what he’s said sounding like he’s just remembered the scripted line he was supposed to say first time around. It’s awful to watch and worse to listen to.

  10. felixviper 10

    They also seem to have left open posts 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15, and 18.

    How generous of them.

  11. Blue 11

    Yeah, I’m sure it’s all moving over politely for the Greens and not in the slightest to do with having a shallow talent pool and factional infighting problem.

    Are they giving Chch earthquake recovery to the Greens too?

    • Socialist Paddy 11.1

      Aye. They punished Dalziel because she had the temerity (or is that good sense) to support Cunliffe.

      So they hang one of the hardest working, dedicated, intelligent MPs out to dry.

      I see no cunning strategy here to create a Labour-Green cabinet. I see the brutal hand of revenge politics being overplayed.

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    No spokesperson for Earthquake recovery? Is this because they don’t give a shit, or because they think the government is doing the perfect job?

  13. hush minx 13

    + 1 Blue. I suspect you may be correct. I’d imagine Lianne will continue to be supported by Cantabrians, not so sure about Labour tho.

  14. Bill 14

    Applyingthe principle of Occam’s Razor – this reshuffle simply says there is no room in Labour for Labour. Shearer et al won – Labour lost.

    Which could lead to idle speculation on whether there is room left in the Greens for Labour after this reshuffle. With Bradford and others having departed, the not altogether palatable social agenda of the Greens (yes, I liked it, but that’s not the point) is somewhat ‘open’ to a softer Labour influence.

    I’d guess Cunliffe and others who (for me) embody Labour values etc far, far better and honestly than Shearer, Robertson et al will want to ‘hang on in there’ for the inevitable collapse/renewal that follows the cycle of conservatism and crystalisation most organisation go through.

    But that takes us through to – what – 2017? That’s a long, long way away. So perhaps dumping the romantic notion of Labour and any ‘need’ to ‘fight the good fight’ in preference to getting some actual traction on policy and its implementation cuold be an option.

    It would also bring depth and experience to the Greens (something Irish has pointed out as lacking and a problem should they boost their poll rating in the short/medium term).

    The only downside I can see is that the current Labour Party would continue to get (undeserved) votes by riding the coat-tails of its history and exploiting electors misplaced romantic notions of ‘what was and should be’ rather than on ‘what is’.

  15. Fortran 15

    Looks like the old guard are still in power.
    Their is new talent available and needs urgently to be pushed into the front to see what makes them tick – there is new young skills there but appears misplaced. They need to be blooded over the next 18 months.
    The Greens are showing the way using all their talent well. After all they do not have to justify anything in there position, as they will not lead Government whatever. They can say what they like.
    Labour must be more imaginative though.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      After all they do not have to justify anything in there position, as they will not lead Government whatever. They can say what they like.

      That’s a Bullshit concept.

      Political parties are there to bring the very best ideas and proposals to voters.

      And the Greens are doing that very well.

      • Arfamo 15.1.1

        Yes they are. No sign of constant infighting there. They are very cohesive and focussing their comms and parliamentary debates on issues that count for voters.

  16. Jenny 16

    Leaving Transport, Maori Affairs/Treaty, Energy, Climate Change and Conservation out of the top 20 (ie shadow Cabinet) would also be a joke if it wasn’t clearly being done to give the Greens space.

    JAMES HENDERSON

    How do you make that out, James?

    How would giving the Greens policy positions and not portfolios give them space?

    This would be a very generous interpretation.

    Each of these policies are of interest to the Greens. And if they were portfolios the Greens would be competing for, and expecting to get at least some of them for their MPs. (Which would only be fair).

    Demoting these policies to powerless non-portfolio, while it may remove possibly acrimonious competition and argument between the Labour and the Green Party over who gets what.

    Removing these 5 key policies from the list of ministerial portfolios means that holding them will essentially be hollow and pointless.

    Obviously Labour don’t want the Green MPs to have any real power to affect change in any of these policy areas that is why these policies have been put out of cabinet where all the real decisions are made.

    Way to go Labour. Let the Green MPs compete for essentially powerless policy positions with no power to affect any outcomes. While all the real power to affect outcomes is held by Ministers with portfolio.

    Oh so subtle and clever. Let the Greens compete for all these new non-port folio positions, and tell them to be grateful. Meanwhile all the real decision making power lies with those with cabinet positions and proper Ministerial Portfolios.

    The Greens would have to be idiots or doormats to accept this.

    • Jenny 16.1

      It may also not have escaped most people’s attention that four of these five policy areas impinges on some aspect of climate change.

      At topic that the Labour Party want to ignore.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    11 hours ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    12 hours ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    13 hours ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    19 hours ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    2 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago