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Standard questions: Grant Robertson

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, November 10th, 2014 - 81 comments
Categories: grant robertson, labour, leadership - Tags: , ,

A couple of weeks ago we asked readers to suggest questions for written answers from the candidates. We chose / edited six questions, and sent them to the four campaigns. The questions were:

(1) Can you outline your strategy for winning the next election.

(2) How prepared are you to work with the wider left, with the other parties of the left? Would you form a coalition with the Greens, before the next election – why or why not?

(3) How will you combat the attacks that will most certainly come from National and their fronts such as the “Taxpayers’ Union” and blogs? How do you shift the narrative so that “middle New Zealand” stop believing propaganda and start engaging with the real issues going on in New Zealand?

(4) Rural communities and towns have been declining for many years. What’s your plan to stop urban drift and the loss of vital services to these areas?

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

(6) Do you have the courage to acknowledge the predicament presented by Anthropogenic Global Warming and take the bull by the horns? Do you agree with the statement: “Coal mining is an unacceptably dangerous and ecologically unsustainable industry in the 21st Century”, and if so what are the implications for NZ?

Grant Robertson is the first to get back to us with a reply…


(1) Can you outline your strategy for winning the next election.

Labour needs an election strategy that will enable the party to reach out to a wider set of voters. Under my leadership the key planks of that strategy will be a clear policy agenda, and ensuring that the Labour Party is unified and fit for purpose. That means lifting the standard of our internal organisation. We need to form our 2017 Campaign Committee right now, including representatives from the membership. We need to develop clear, focused messages that underpin all our communications throughout the three year period. We must overhaul Labour’s capacity -its resources, processes and skills – to ensurethe party is equipped to build its support base. I would like to see regional organisers on the ground as soon as possible. You can find out more about my proposal for a Labour in the Community programme at www.grantrobertson.co.nz/labourinthecommunity

Policy development is critical, but so too is how we communicate the way in which Labourpolicies will make a difference to New Zealanders’ lives. This will mean developing a limited number of core messages that highlight our focus on work and opportunity through education, health and housing. It will also mean highlighting the impact and purpose rather than the means. The absolute imperative is consistency. We must be true to our values and inspire confidence that we can deliver what we are promising.

(2) How prepared are you to work with the wider left, with the other parties of the left? Would you form a coalition with the Greens, before the next election – why or why not?

The first priority is for Labour to be clear and confident about what it stands for. We need to clearly establish our identity with the electorate and show that we are united team. We are simply not credible as the lead party of an alternative government at 25%. Labour can, and should be a 40% party again. We must use this as the basis of a mature and confident relationship with the Greens and any other parties who, like Labour, believe the country should be run in the interests of all New Zealanders, not just the wealthiest. By the time we reach the 2017 election campaign New Zealanders need to know what an alternative government looks like.

(3) How will you combat the attacks that will most certainly come from National and their fronts such as the “Taxpayers’ Union” and blogs? How do you shift the narrative so that “middle New Zealand” stop believing propaganda and start engaging with the real issues going on in New Zealand?

We will achieve that by being true to our values and ideals, so that we define Labour rather than allowing our opponents to do so,. We must develop coherent and affordable policies that give all New Zealanders hope for the future. We must keep a relentless focus on the coreissues – work, education, health, housing and having a plan for the big challenges of our time- climate change, the gap between the rich and the rest and the changing nature of work. Our parliamentary team has to be better prepared and more vigorous in holding National to account and exposing their failings. Once we have developed our narrative it will need to be communicated effectively through a variety of channels – traditional media formats, social media, direct mail and, most importantly, by going out to communities, especially in the regions, and talking with people face-to-face.

(4) Rural communities and towns have been declining for many years. What’s your plan to stop urban drift and the loss of vital services to these areas?

We must invest in our regions to create opportunities for jobs, education and training. Our Regional Investment Fund is a good basis for this, supporting projects that are part of a sustainable regional development plan developed by the region itself. We can also make a difference by ensuring that we invest in regional tertiary education. One policy I developed in the last term was Centres of Vocational Excellence to be housed at regional polytechnics built around an area of expertise or job growth. We also need to use the power of government procurement to support local industries. What happened with Hillside Workshops in Dunedin must never occur again. We need to ensure local firms that are producing local jobs get a fair go at government contracts. It will also be possible to ensure that some government services are delivered in the regions- e.g. call centres that would make a big difference to those cities and towns and that National has centralised to Wellington.

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

We will develop policy that is specific to Work and Income and those who use the services. As an electorate MP with an office across the road from Work and Income I deal every week with the impact on my constituents of the policies that National has put in place. These include matters such as Work and Income clients’ entitlements,through to correcting policy changes that are forcing people to undertake low paid precarious work rather than allow them to train and study for more sustainable jobs. More broadly we need to see better integration of other services that beneficiaries are using such as housing and health with Work and Income so that people do not fall through the gaps.

(6) Do you have the courage to acknowledge the predicament presented by Anthropogenic Global Warming and take the bull by the horns? Do you agree with the statement: “Coal mining is an unacceptably dangerous and ecologically unsustainable industry in the 21st Century”, and if so what are the implications for NZ?

I have stated that one of my priority issues in terms of facing the future is climate change. We need a clear plan to reduce emissions and to transition to a low carbon economy in a way that is equitable and just. We must set a price on carbon that can apply across the economy. Labour in government developed an ETS that achievedthis, but the scheme has been gutted by National and never fully implemented. We should be open to the mechanism that will ensure that the price applies in the fairest and most equitable manner. We need sector plans in agriculture, energy and transport that are clear and bold. For example I think we should set the goal of 100% renewable energy generation. In terms of coal I do not see it as part of our long term energy mix although I accept it will be necessary in the short term.

81 comments on “Standard questions: Grant Robertson”

  1. Bill 1

    I’m not capable of articulating or explaining the following as well as it deserves to be, but hopefully my comment will be enough for some to get the gist of what I’m seeing.

    It’s not only Grant Robertson who is guilty of this btw, but how the hell do Labour Party MPs square this idea of ‘connecting’, when they thoughtlessly use the language that they do?

    eg – …the way in which Labourpolicies will make a difference to New Zealanders’ lives implies, or perhaps belies a truth, that New Zealanders and Labour are seen as two separate things…that the speaker (Labour MPs) perceive themselves, at least on some level, as exclusive and separated.

    I bet it never crosses their mind to say something like …the way in which Labour policies will make a difference to our lives. (Inclusive language ie, us, we etc, only seems to appear in reference to the Labour Party itself – that is otherwise hived off in some separate space where it ‘over sees’ New Zealanders)

    And I’m curious to note whether Grant is alone (or persistent) in dropping the ‘New Zealander’ and ‘New Zealanders” refrain when referencing WINZ, where further ‘othering’ of already somewhat othered New Zealanders occurs by using terms like ‘client’ and ‘constituent’.

    And then, finally, I’m also curious to see if the penny ever drops in the Labour Party ‘collective mindset’ that not all people living here and voting in elections are New Zealanders.

    • boyonlaptop 1.1

      “And then, finally, I’m also curious to see if the penny ever drops in the Labour Party ‘collective mindset’ that not all people living here and voting in elections are New Zealanders.”

      They’re all New Zealand residents at least and quite frankly I much prefer the term New Zealanders than referring to them as immigrants or some other terminology that creates a distinction between the two.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        I’m one of those ‘them’. 😉

        Now, what’s wrong with (as Les suggests) ‘people’ – just not that gawd awful paternalistic ‘our people’ that Helen Clark kept using?

        Or even better, why not the all encompassing, inclusive ‘we’, or the (both general and specific, depending on context) ‘you’?

        So, you know, instead of “the way in which Labourpolicies will make a difference to New Zealanders’ lives” , we get ‘the way in which Labour policies will make a difference to your life’?

        • boyonlaptop 1.1.1.1

          It’s just a question of semantics I suppose but personally I dislike the use of people as it is not inclusive of the whole. National’s policies are good for people for instance, a group of people do very well from their policies but not New Zealanders as a whole.

  2. les 2

    ‘people’ would be the best alternative.

    • Bill 2.1

      There are a multitude of options, but the language of separation, and that of identifying more with people who are not us is endemic in Labour these days.

      I gave one example of the detached ‘New Zealanders’ nonsense, but there is also the repeated references to such things as “the rich and the rest”, which essentially elevates the rich, positions and identifies them, while diminishing you and me to somewhere in the morass of ‘the rest’.

      Is it fair enough to conclude that there is no we in Labour?

  3. Tracey 3

    i read it twice… second time i stopped after question three.

    its like it wouldnt have mattered what the question asked, the answers would be the same.

    how grant how. this is why they needed to review and work out exactly what they stand for FIRST?

    i am no more enlightened after robertsons first three answers. disappointing

    • Once Was Tim 3.1

      I’m no more enlighted by the answers either. In fact I’m fucking disappointed by them. It looks like Grant has passed the questions to a Media Studies 101 student to answer (and often they get others to write their essays and assignments for them, and plagiarise anyway).

      So far, and surprisingly (to myself), Nanaia and Andrew seem to come across as the most honest.
      Previously, before the candidate ‘race’, they would not necessarily have been my choice.
      You’re losing it Grant! Just be honest ffs

      • lurgee 3.1.1

        Dunno how you can lambast Robertson for talking waffle and give Mahuta a pass. Her Q&A was dreaful – some of her replies were so open they could have meant anything and her language was hideous jargonese.

        Roberston’s answers here are a bit vapid, but I wonder if that is down to the questions, which rather invite hot-air dispensation.

        • Tracey 3.1.1.1

          mahuta hasnt answered these questions yet has she? perhaps when she has a fair comparisson can be made

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            I found her answers in her Q and A disappointing. At this stage I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she’s just not used to that medium (fast and furious online interaction with a bunch of rabble rousers, but she also came across as if she had some PR bod typing the responses. I’ll be interested to see how she handles the prepared Q and A.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.1.1

              i found them all lacking substance. at least she answered my question in q and a. others dodged it. mine is about HOW to combat the inevitable dirty tricks.

              grant appears to believe doing what cunliffe spent a year doing will do the trick, despite not thinking dc was up to the job

              • weka

                she answered mine too, but didn’t say anything 😉

                • Tracey

                  touche

                  • Karen

                    She didn’t answer mine about State housing, but may have run out of time.
                    DazzaBazza on twitter asked all if they preferred building more state housing or $400,000 “affordable” houses. Neither Nanaia nor Grant replied, David went for affordable houses and Andrew for state housing.

        • weka 3.1.1.2

          Lolz @lurgee. It’s really the fault of the voters asking the questions! Doh!

          • lurgee 3.1.1.2.1

            Some questions encourage vacuity. Or perhaps the more relaxed format for answering these questions allowed a politician’s instinct to obfuscate to come through …

  4. Tracey 4

    alot of beneficiaries are people who will literally never work due to physical or other serious disability, some from birth. why are they relegated to subsistence living and why do they not get differentiated by politicians. everyone not in work, is not going to have their current financial situation remedied by work. these members of our community operate at subsistence unless they have a monied family to top them up.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    We need a clear plan to reduce emissions and to transition to a low carbon economy in a way that is equitable and just.

    Translation: Protects the rich.

    Really, what we need is a law that says all fossil fueled generation will be replaced in 5 years by government owned wind and solar generation. There will be no compensation for the owners of these generators as they should have been in the process of tearing them down already. The fact that they aren’t is proof of their inability to run a business successfully.

    We also need to institute the Passive House standard as minimum for new housing with a minimum solar voltaic (at least 1kw) and water heating installation. And we need to get solar power (voltaic and heating) installed on all existing homes as well.

    • Bill 5.1

      The terms ‘equitable and just’ imply holding onto the mechanisms of the market economy. Thing is, coming off of carbon involves also coming away from market economics. So, ‘equitable and just’ (on my admittedly cynical reading) = struggling like hell or dead.

      Although peaking in 5 years is, according to science, absolutely necessary, decarbonising the entire supply side of our energy system within 5 years isn’t realistic or feasible – not even in NZ where a huge chunk of our energy supply is already non-carbon.

      We could have legislation today on motor vehicle emission/efficiency standards though. And we could also have efficiency standards brought to bear on fridges, vacuum cleaners, TVs, light bulbs, washing machines, dryers, etc, etc, etc. Such legislative frameworks would see very substantial drops in emissions over 5 – 10 years, depending on the replacement time for given appliances. (Car fleets renew over 8 year spans apparently).

      Over and above efficiency standards, we could develop clockwork and other forms of mechanical devices in lieu of electrical ones (hand driven coffee grinders, gravity lights etc), and/or develop higher quality solar chargers for them ( my understanding is that currently available solar charged lighting doesn’t deliver the same lumens as standard lights).

      Then we have to tackle, perhaps, the biggest source for emissions – jobs. Given that decarbonising society entails moving away from reliance on a market economy and much of its production and distribution, we really need to alter our ethics around having a job, and get rid of all jobs that don’t satisfy some given measure of contribution to society.

      That will entail altering our habits and expectations of what constitutes a good life or what brings a measure of self esteem etc.

      Meanwhile, work on the supply side of energy, throw everything we’ve got at slashing emissions from agriculture, and get on with building a future, finally, fit for humanity.

      • The Real Matthew 5.1.1

        If you want to know why the Left lost the last election look no further than Bill’s post.

        Void of reality and factually incorrect.

        [lprent: Banned for 2 weeks for pointless abuse. If you want to disagree with someone and to denigrate them, then you will explain *why* you disagree or you lose the right to comment here. Read the policy. ]

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          My comment is void of reality and factually incorrect in what respects?

          If you disagree with what I’ve said, then debate. Or if you can offer up information that illustrates I’ve said something incorrect, then fcking well do that and stop the trooling. Otherwise I might just sign in and start exercising my editorial prerogatives all over your arse.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          Actually, Bill makes many valid points. By the looks of things it would be you who are void of reality and factually incorrect.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        decarbonising the entire supply side of our energy system within 5 years isn’t realistic or feasible – not even in NZ where a huge chunk of our energy supply is already non-carbon.

        IMO, It’s possible but you’d rapidly have the RWNJs and businesses complaining about lack of people to employ and rising wages. You’d have to train up a few thousand people in construction and build factories in NZ to produce the solar and wind generators but, considering how many people we presently have unemployed, it’s most definitely possible.

        The only real problem is that once it’s done a lot of those people would be unemployed again and we’d either have to re-purpose those factories or decommission them altogether. I don’t really consider either to be an issue as I’m sure that there would be something else that needs to be done.

      • Tracey 5.1.3

        with the sell off of our electricity companies and the signing of the tppa, some of your measures will get us sued by some of the foreign owners of the mum and dad companies. its all inter connected and the natsi know exactly why they do what they do. it is not about getting poor people higher wages or better jobs it is about securing profits for large companies, many of who take their profit out of our economy and to another country.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.4

        I don’t understand your comment about lighting and lumens at all, Bill. Electricity is electricity. For a standard light bulb, the power depends on the current and the resistance. Given that these are equal, the luminosity should be equal. Solar power can be fed back into the standard grid, and lights can be run on either. What’s the difference?

        • Bill 5.1.4.1

          All I know is that I had a swatch at solar charged lights some time back, but that the stated lumens were much lower than that expected of ‘normal’ lightbulbs. I didn’t look into it any further than that.

          edit – think I just realised what you’re getting at – I wasn’t referring to the electricity being sourced from renewables to power conventional lights in my comment.

    • lurgee 5.2

      Pretty much everyone in the developed world is a multi-millionaire in climate change terms, Draco. What’s your carbon footprint? Probably bigger than 6 billion other people’s.

      • weka 5.2.1

        That might be true, but it doesn’t pertain to what Draco actually said.

        • lurgee 5.2.1.1

          It was specifically aimed at his “Translation: Protects the rich” comment, which seemed like thoughtless kneejerkery; unless, of course, he was already including himself among the protected rich.

          Didn’t realise it would appear all the way down here.

  6. Rosie 6

    “Labour in the community”.

    This sounds like a plan.

    I asked a senior left wing activist recently (whose not a member of any party) what is missing in Labour these days. His reply “Their presence in the community”. He remembers the days when Labour membership was high and when candidates would turn up to give talks at workplaces during break time. This may or may not fit with the current workplace environment but there may be many other ways of reaching out.

    Public community hall meetings on topics that affect people’s lives? Coordinated letter writing campaigns? And as suggested in the link, involvement in local issues. I really hope this does manifest – voters need to get to know and trust the Party again and one way is directly, at a community level.

    Will be happy to put my hand up to help if it’s needed.

    • Once Was Tim 6.1

      Very interesting @ Rosie. I agree, they’ve been missing in action (and I don’t mean ‘missing’ in the sense that the likes of Grant make a sensational effort at door knocking during campaign time – which he did), but in the sense that they’re otherwise completely absent – MSM prejudices and other difficulties aside.

      Some utter pratt (based on questions I’ve asked of Labour acolytes) decided that a presence at polling booths on election day wasn’t THAT important ffs.
      Where I was a scrutineer (and at a booth one would have thought the impressionable and undecided might be present), there was NO Labour presence. There were 3 Natzis with huge oversized rosettes, all busy texting and doing all the other no-nos.
      I succeeded in having one kicked out, and an undertaking by the manager that she’d keep a closer eye on things, but the point remains. It gave me the impression that Labour couldn’t actually be fucked trying to win

      • Rosie 6.1.1

        Indeed OWT, the Labour candidate in our electorate was outstanding in her efforts to connect with the community via door knocking, attended around about 3 events per day during campaign time, was effective and strong in the electorate debates and gifted in the area of being a people person…………..

        BUT these efforts existed in a vacuum, there was and is no foundation for success when the Party has been M.I.A for 6 years in the eyes of the voters. This is only an observation and isn’t meant as a criticism to those MP’s who have been working hard behind the scenes all this time.

        National made a come back with a big smoke n mirrors/Crosby Textor/John Ansell production back in the mid 2000’s. I wonder if the come back for Labour will be that much harder if they intend to act with sincerity and integrity in an age of easy gullibility, and with a voter base that is stuck in an X Factor/reality show mentality.

        Labour getting back into the community is the hard and slow way of doing it but is the honest and right way. I only hope it does happen and that it pays off.

    • Tracey 6.2

      i agree. and together with the unions they have the infrastructure to do this. first they will have to get over their embarrassment at having unions as members. 🙄

      • Rosie 6.2.1

        I wonder if they have in the past or will put in place after the review, a campaign strategy with their Union affiliates over the next three years. And yes, the infrastructure is in place in the form of the CTU.

        There are 6 Union affiliates – gaining another big Union such as First Union (27,000 members) would be helpful. They would need to win them over with some excellent employment policy.

    • greywarshark 6.3

      @rosie
      Just an advert with a photo single column – have a chat at x cafe 7.30 – 8.15 pm – what
      ive been doing this week etc. It’s costly but if some will stump up for the ads it keeps the mp in the community sights.

      • Rosie 6.3.1

        Or a monthly meeting Warbs, so people don’t get over saturated?

        Labour will have to keep up their pace in the electorates. Think of all those new Nat’s that got into parliament on the list after the election. They may not have won a seat, but they will be getting their feet in under the table on their local turf. They can’t be given an easy ride!

    • Ron 6.4

      Surely that is what Fabians have been doing for ever. I realise that they are mainly in the big cities but it fills a need that no one else does.

      Public community hall meetings on topics that affect people’s lives?

      • greywarshark 6.4.1

        @ ron 5.13pm
        Yes now Labour and the Greens neeed to do this on a regular basis to get more exposure to the voters and their opinions – get known to more.

      • Tracey 6.4.2

        Fabians brought together Jane Kelsey and Wayne Mapp to debate the TPPA last year. Media were invited. None attended, or if they did, they didnt file reports.

  7. Paua Fritter 7

    The answer to question two sounds like “Not much; no” surrounded by a layer of puffery.

    • boyonlaptop 7.1

      Which I think is a good idea. Labour needs to sort what it stands for not be defined by it’s coalition partners.

      • Paua Fritter 7.1.1

        If what Labour “stands for” is “winning on its own” then that’s just stupid because that’s not going to happen.

        I want to see Labour as the largest party in a left-wing coalition government – does Grant Robertson?

        During Helen Clark’s term as PM, she led a successful coalition of parties, including support parties outside of the formal coalition. But Grant Robertson, above, can’t even bring himself to talk about this issue. It’s all about Labour. Well I have news for him – it’s NOT all about Labour. It’s about the working people of NZ, and Labour have to face up to the fact that the issues of the day are much broader than Labour “establishing its identity” and “being clear and confident”.

        Now I accept that Labour does have to get its house in order, but PART OF THAT is sorting out their relationship with other left parties, surely? I mean – am I right? Or is that just a trivial little detail to leave aside for another three years?

        • boyonlaptop 7.1.1.1

          I’m sorry but you seem to have read something totally different to the responses Grant gave above. Robertson’s doesn’t say once that he thinks Labour can govern alone but notes that it should be a 40% party again which under an MMP electoral system by definition means that it’s not going to govern alone.

          You mention of Helen Clark is curious as she led Labour to successful victories in 2002 and 2005 without any sort of formal agreement between left-wing parties in fact the Greens were relegated to opposition. As well as 1999 with only an agreement with the Alliance but still got the Greens onside to govern.

          Having an attitude like they did last election that essentially a vote for NZF is as good as a vote for Labour is a worrying prospect. Personally, I don’t want to see Labour forced to the centre. A Labour government that can pass legislation with either NZF or the Greens is what we should be aiming for.

          • Paua Fritter 7.1.1.1.1

            You mention of Helen Clark is curious as she led Labour to successful victories in 2002 and 2005 without any sort of formal agreement between left-wing parties in fact the Greens were relegated to opposition. As well as 1999 with only an agreement with the Alliance but still got the Greens onside to govern.

            You are dead right – but my complaint with Robertson’s response is that, unlike you in your comment, he didn’t address the question at all, either to make mention of that past history, or to float the idea of a formal alliance amongst the left, or to say that he thought it was a good idea that Labour ran against Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau, or to say that he thought it was harmful to depend on NZF and that they should rule out any coalition or support arrangement, or … anything. It was all about Labour. Whereas the question was actually about Labour’s relations with other parties, and hence his non-answer was quite disrespectful to the questioner, in my opinion.

            If you could take anything from his answer, it was that he thought Labour could get %40 of the vote, with the implication that relations with other parties didn’t matter because Labour would be in a position of strength. Well Labour won’t be in a position of strength unless they can lead a movement (more than just Labour!) to win back government, and they can’t lead that movement if they don’t address the issues of relations with other parties!

            • boyonlaptop 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I think it should be all about Labour, he’s running for the Labour leadership. If Labour gets 40% in the next election it will certainly be the biggest party and will be in a position to form government even if it was a really bad night for the Greens(8%) and NZF (4.5%), they could still govern with just the Greens and possibly reach out to the Maori party if they’re still there.

              There’s no use in cementing potential alliances for government when the Labour-Green vote is 35%

              • Paua Fritter

                You wish it could all be about Labour, but the reality is, it’s just not. Labour are not a 40% party and showing no signs of it. It’s just wishful thinking.

                I realise he’s running for the leadership of the Labour Party, but the point of that party is not to be largest opposition party is it? The point of that party should be to serve the working people, and that means building a political coalition that could potentially rule.

                You say if Labour got 40% then they could “reach out” and “govern with the Greens” etc, but you know, if Labour got 75% then they could just govern. Why are you not considering that? Because it’s not realistic right? But you think 40% is realistic. Well good luck with that but I think you are dead wrong.

                One of the main reasons that the left is so weak electorally is BECAUSE they are disunited. The way to get the left’s electoral popularity up is PRECISELY to start working together. Show people that it is possible.

                While Labour people are wishing that Labour were a more popular party, they are putting off the urgent issue of building a broad, mass movement which might actually defeat the right-wing. That mass movement needs to include Labour AND the Greens, AND others. Build it!

                Sectarianism or wilful blindness in a leader is not what the Labour Party needs right now, and it’s not what the NZ working class needs.

              • fisiani

                Robertson claims he wants Labour to be a 40% party but John Key wants National to be a 50% party and could well get that result given the rise in living standards, wages, jobs and affordable housing that will take place in the next 1000 plus days. Already the employment reforms when they come into force will encourage a further surge in job growth. NZ is apparently the 3rd most prosperous country in the world.

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11355472

                boyonlaptop can you explain why you believe support for Honest John and his amazing 60 strong team will plummet below 40%. I expect it to rise and rise for at least three more terms.

                • Paul

                  Tr***s are out and about

                • leftie

                  @fisiani

                  Corrupt liar John Key is NOT honest, and his team of thieves are not amazing either.

                • Tracey

                  “a further surge in job growth”

                  can you define “surge” with statistical reference tot he previous surge you refer to and the one to come.

                • leftie

                  @fisiani

                  “apparently” is the key word here, doesn’t make your statement factually true or real though, does it? even less so, when it’s backed up by the propagandist mouth piece of the National government, the NZ Herald, who often lie and smear monger on behalf of.

  8. Once Was Tim 8

    If I may say so, Grant – your reply to (5) is just a little bit ‘woosey’, and it really surprises me – especially given you KNOW the plight of various teenagers – effectively living on the street and begging.
    These are the people turned away by WINZ because of lack of ID; a fixed abode; any other excuse that can be drummed up to make the figures look good
    – they’ve been booted out of home/are no longer able to live at home for various reasons (Dad or Mum is an asshole who can’t handle their sexuality; have higher expectations of their offspring than their offspring are able to deliver; various mental disorders; parental dysfunction; WHAT THE FUCK EVER!). Btw Grant – do you ever stop to talk to these people – there are new faces on Wellington Streets daily – and some with quite obvious learning difficulties.
    – or…… WINZ is just in its delaying/procrastinating mode (bearing in mind the ladder puller-upper’s ‘restructuring’ and under-resourcing)
    – or that FAILED ‘tough love’ paradigm is being used regardless of circumstance

    You are aware of course, there are vulnerable teenagers (on at least Wellington Sts), sometimes with signs that say they are prepared to sell their bodies (whether they be male or female, in search of either) – AND they are in growing numbers.
    You are aware of course, the requirements of the Night Shelter, and the problems with those not yet considered ‘adult’.
    Having your office across the road from WINZ ….mmmmm… YES, you must be aware then because you will have noticed those being turned away with the most feeble of excuses (Often, and usually to do with ID problems).

    I’ll opt out now before I run the risk of being banned, but once again you’ve offered a very woosey, non-commital, spin doctory answer – and I’m more than fucking surprised at it – either because it indicates that you are actually fucking naiive or that you don’t want to scare the political horses.

    With regard to 5 – maybe you should spend a day talking to some of the homeless around Wellington – ask them why, ask them what the problems they face with WINZ are; ask them what their expectations and hopes are; ask them whether they know where and how to go about getting valid ID (such as a birth certificate, and tell them what it will cost them); ask them if they are aware of the various NGO’s offering to help (but who are already overwhelmed).

    Like I said … opt out time before I get banned. I gave you my electorate vote just gone – you just lost it – still I probably won’t be here in ’17, so no wukkin furries – I’ll be where they actually give a shit

    • Once Was Tim 8.1

      Actually, your submission that your electorate office is across the road from WINZ shows (to me at least) that you’re offering a BS answer. It implies that it somehow makes you more aware of what’s going on. It doesn’t, its physical location matters not (unless you’re suggesting you have staff monitoring the coming and goings -WHICH THEY DON’T ANYWAY).
      ….. what (in your view) DOES Labour actually stand for? (2)

      Have to say, the questions asked in this post are actually pretty damn good.
      Grant – can you please just forget the pollie-speak, and say what the fuck you actually THINK, and not what you think people want to hear OR what you think will matter to the demographic you rank as most important.

      BTW – I can tell you that the homeless (referred to above) that I’ve spent time talking to feel REALLY REALLY fucking let down – AND it took a fair bit of convincing to get some of them to get out and vote in the first place (whether their votes got counted is another question).
      It’s kind of Labour’s Last Chance Hotel if you’re even interested in my opinion

      • Sirenia 8.1.1

        I was waiting with a friend in the Wellington Work and Income (hasn’t been called WINZ for years by they way) office a few weeks ago and one of Grant’s office people came in with a person who had just been turned away. They had gone across the road to Grant’s office for help and had found an advocate there. That is apparently a very common situation. I have observed that Grant is very familiar with issues around homelessness as many homeless people are his constituents too, and he once spent a night at the night shelter which is more than many other MPs have done.

        • Tracey 8.1.1.1

          has he ever been able to give straight meaningful answers cos that part of his brain was totally disengaged inquestions 1 to 3?

          if you comment is indicative of his knowledge of problems faced by all beneficiaries makes his response more vacuous not less. all beneficiaries are not unemployed, many are unemployable.

          • Sirenia 8.1.1.1.1

            Before the last election he convened a social welfare issues related election meeting for the Wellington region. Several parties attended and there was a packed hall. It is clear he understands the principles behind the development of and the need for a welfare state and importance of a strong welfare system for people’s diverse needs.

          • Once Was Tim 8.1.1.1.2

            Indeed @ Tracey.
            and @ Sirenia – I have no doubt what you say is true – I’ve encouraged people turned away from WINZ Willis St to do just as you say you’re aware has happened.
            So why the woosey pollie-speak answers above I wonder AND why still so many I’ve encountered that still have ‘ID’ problems with WINZ. I just encountered ANOTHER on the way home this evening – he’d been through ALL the frikken rituals…….

    • Tracey 8.2

      too scared of scarey middle nz apparently…

  9. weka 9

    “We must use this as the basis of a mature and confident relationship with the Greens and any other parties who, like Labour, believe the country should be run in the interests of all New Zealanders, not just the wealthiest”

    Can anyone remember what Robertson said previously when asked specifically about Mana/IMP?

    • Tracey 9.1

      ” .coalition partners:

      Andrew Little: “I think one of the mistakes we made in this election was not being clear with the electorate with where our likely coalition partners lay.”

      Grant Robertson: It’s also important to say who you won’t work with as well, and I think we probably did make a mistake about not being clearer early enough about for instance Internet-Mana”…

      https://nz.news.yahoo.com/election/a/-/25294658/contenders-for-labour-leadership-debate-for-first-time/

      • weka 9.1.1

        RIght, so his statement today is disingenuous. He’s probably not willing to work with left wing parties unless they are ones that don’t scare the horses too much.

        Just tell the fucking truth.

      • miravox 9.1.2

        Thank you Tracey. I think I know where my number one tick is not going to go.

        Not because Roberston may not have wanted to go with Internet-Mana (make the case and I might accept it) but because he hasn’t the courage to say what he meant. I’m sick of Flat Earth News.

        As an aside I thought Cunliffe was pretty strong in his statements that an Internet-Mana accommodation was off the table.

  10. Karen 10

    I think Grant’s answers to questions 1, 2, 4, + 6 are okay – he has some good ideas about community involvement throughout the next three years, regional development, and he recognises the need to find ways to engage younger voters. He also is good on climate change. He’s not so good when it comes to welfare or the role of the MSM in the election loss.

    His weaknesses are his lack of experience outside politics (apart from a stint at foreign affairs), an excessive ambition to be the leader at any cost, and an unrealistic idea of how he will be treated by the media if he is elected.

    • Ron 10.1

      which makes me wonder just how Grant would handle losing this leadership election. Might he be so bitter that he would not support the new leader. Maybe even become founder member of the ABL, ABM or ABD club?
      /blockquote>
      His weaknesses are his lack of experience outside politics (apart from a stint at foreign affairs), an excessive ambition to be the leader at any cost, and an unrealistic idea of how he will be treated by the media if he is elected.

      • Karen 10.1.1

        I fear Grant’s ambitions to be leader will not go away. I am sure he believes that the main reason Labour lost was because Cunliffe was leader and not him. I am very uneasy about this level of personal ambition, and this is the main reason I will not be voting for Grant.

        He needs to have a stint as a successful Cabinet Minister in government before he considers another attempt at becoming the leader, but I am not sure that he sees it this way. In answer to a question at the Auckland Central hustings about supporting the leader he said he thought there should not be a change for the next 3 years. At that moment he slipped down to 4 on my voting order.

  11. Dont worry. Be happy 11

    Poor old Grant. Stop with the run on sentences. Waffle fluff crap wriggle…..we have had this up to our necks. What do you believe? What would you die in a ditch for? Make me believe you…..

  12. Murray Rawshark 12

    I am not inspired by his answers. Too much corporate speak and waffling. I’m a physicist. Following Dirac, I like to make things as simple as possible, but not more so. Robertson seems to be the opposite. He makes simple things sound complicated, probably in an effort to be all things to all men (and women, transexuals, non-gendered, otherwise identified etc). A party that is going to represent and help those who need it cannot be all things to all men. Please stop trying and have a blunt and well defined message. Stop trying to be a slightly less right wing version of Key.

  13. “As an electorate MP with an office across the road from Work and Income ”

    It was, now it’s moved. Keep up Beltway – you’d have noticed if you’d paid attention.

  14. Colonial Rawshark 14

    Well, this certainly went smoothly.

  15. Karen 15

    Thank you, Grant, for sending in answers to the Standard’s questions.

    None of the others have, though I guess there is still time (but not much).

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