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The Labour Campaign Launch

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, August 10th, 2014 - 40 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour, Media, newspapers - Tags:

David Cunliffe Congress

Today is the day of the Labour Campaign launch. Details are here if you are interested in attending and have not already reserved a position.

Some of the policy announcements have been foreshadowed in the media.  Yesterday the Herald reported that there will be extended free care for pregnant women including free dental care, doctors’ visits and prescriptions at a cost of about $10 million.  And this morning the Sunday Star Times provided details of further policy initiatives including $90 million to extend the care plus scheme.

There are 190,000 people currently entitled to Care Plus – introduced by the Clark Labour Government to subsidise intensive care for those with chronic conditions, acute medical or mental health needs, or terminal illness – but Labour wants to boost coverage to 440,000 people, providing four free GP visits and free prescriptions.

The extra funding would also see the number of people enrolled in Labour’s ‘Very Low Cost Access’ scheme increase by 50 per cent, resulting in almost two million people receiving free or heavily discounted doctors’ visits.

The remaining extra funding increase would be used to boost maternity services and funding to health organisations, including mental health practitioners.

While we are on the subject of the SST it chose to include in the article negative comments by a young couple interviewed at Auckland Hospital.  There is a photo of them with the heading “not impressed” and a comment by them that the money would be better spent on paid maternity leave.  Well it seems that this couple has cause to support Labour because it is Labour policy to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks and the best start policy will provide further assistance to young families.  I can understand a young couple not being on top of Labour’s policies but you would expect a leading National newspaper to be careful to not create a false impression by leaving out very important detail.

I am still trying to find out details on the live streaming of the event.  I presume it will be on livestream but will confirm as soon as I can.

40 comments on “The Labour Campaign Launch”

  1. Descendant Of Sssmith 1

    What I don’t expect is an increase in benefit rates or an increase in state housing.

    At least the last Labour Government put the $20-00 per week back on super – this supposedly more liberal, left leaning Labour Party can’t even talk about increasing benefit rates – they don’t even have a welfare policy on their website.

    In light of this weeks mantra all I can say is Fuck the Labour Party.

    Maybe they could tell us today when their welfare policy will be released?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      “they don’t even have a welfare policy on their website.”


      “Maybe they could tell us today when their welfare policy will be released?”

      Maybe, or perhaps they don’t want to tip off the government as to the date?

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Labour as a whole still thinks there are too many electoral risks in simply and publicly backing benes, and giving beneficiaries a louder political voice. Its one reason that more and more space has been opening up on the political left for other parties to arise and fill.

    • Bearded Git 1.2

      Labour are taking a big risk by raising the pension age to 67 (though there may be significant modifications to this policy; we don’t know about yet.)

      They can’t be seen to be raising benefits as well, a risk too far, and (although untrue) the Nats would probably say the savings on pensions were being squandered on beneficiaries.

      Once in government ways can usually be found to give money to those in poverty. For instance through a deal on confidence and supply with IMP. Labour can then say “well that’s MMP”.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.2.1

        Yet the last Labour government were quite happy to give it to NZS who needed it less and who were already getting more, yet Labour talk about how poorly those on benefit are doing and how those children and young people are living in poverty.

        It’s all very well to point out the obvious – it’s morally offensive to posture on the backs of those on benefit and then not commit to do anything about it.

        If as you suggest they have a late surprise or plans post-election that in my view treats the public like fools.

        Labour have no welfare policy or plans to increase benefit – losing votes
        Greens have policy to increase benefits – gaining votes
        Mana have policies to increase benefits – gaining votes

        Is there a pattern here?

        And I haven’t been on a benefit since the 80’s so it’s not about more money in my pocket – it is about reversing some of the injustices inflicted on those on benefit by the benefit cuts Ruth Richardson made, the increasing of the youth rate to 24 and the lack of increase in rates over the years.

        Remember too that those on benefit made zero gains from the years of tax cuts – so while we all got the benefit of more money in the hand people on benefit did not.

        The minimum rage has also risen more than benefits so low paid workers have also gained more than those on benefit – exacerbated by much assistance only being available if you were working.

        It’s just simply been unfair.

    • anker 1.3

      D of S @ 1.

      Their policy of paying the dole to employers who take on young people into apprenticeships is fantastic in my view. Far better than paying welfare. Giving these kids skills and a chance of a future.

      Best start, beneficiaries would get $60.00 a week for three years.

      Both of these policies would help particularly young vulnerable people on welfare.

      Increasing health spending for the most vulnerable.

      Why don’t you wait and see what they might be doing for benefits.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.3.1

        I’ve been waiting for several years now (two election periods) – I know Greens and I know Mana’s.

        Last year was supposed to be the year of policy for Labour – that was a damp squib.

        And I’m not the only one.

        Here’s some of the responses to the mini-manifesto announcement by Mike Smith here with others such as Xtasy and Mary asking the same types of questions:

        Clear choices in Labour’s mini-Manifesto

        or earlier

        On David Shearer’s Leadership

        I’m not sure how much longer you want me to wait.

        • Descendant Of Sssmith

          In the real world employers take on people because there is work for them to do.

          Paying a few employers a subsidy to take on an apprentice (who will need supervision, etc by a an existing worker who will not be as productive during this time) is all well and good but will only help a few in mainly urban areas.

          Enabling all beneficiaries to live a little better and spend their money in the local economy will likely create more jobs.

          If you wanted to be really progressive you could support employers to reduce the amount of hours existing staff work and to take on extra people – much more effective as there is only a fixed amount of work to do at any given point in time.

          The public service used to take on youth, particular those with disabilities that the private sector wouldn’t employ – lets do that again as well.

        • anker


          That’s just the youth employment section

  2. TightyRighty 2

    “Details are here if you are interested in attending and have not already reserved a position”

    You can’t even stack it with union flunkies to get the place full?

    Writings on the wall Greg, if you can’t fill a hall you can’t fill a ballot box

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      All the best to Labour for their Auckland launch today. Know a lot of people going including my partner.

      Some of us standard readers make our views well known, heh, about the LP, but in any event this election they need to do well whatever the differences or policy gaps. Labour will only shift left with more public participation in politics over time as Mana movement is showing the way on. There is Green and Internet Mana to vote for this time if Labour is not for you. The point is to get the combined left bloc over the line and then really push for all the things the left want.

      So TightyRighty you can get stuffed, only other lefties can credibly question Labour.

      • tinfoilhat 2.1.1

        “So TightyRighty you can get stuffed, only other lefties can credibly question Labour.”

        Not sure if that’s a reasonable position to take.

        • McFlock

          I see what you mean, but I’m having difficulty thinking of a tory who can be assumed to have applied a test of logic or reasonableness to their question or criticism of Labour (or any left party) before presenting it.

        • Murray Olsen

          Seems like an eminently reasonable position to me.

      • The Al1en 2.1.2

        “There is Green and Internet Mana to vote for this time if Labour is not for you”

        But only green if you want cabinet and policy influence.

    • RedBaronCV 2.2

      Well Nact don’t even bother with appearing in a hall now do they. (unless all there conditions are set down in advance.) They just want single appearances so that they can rave at people – worked for Steven Joyce, not?

      Where is Nact policy? Where are Nact election meetings?

      And to digress- I’m impressed at how Labour is, in the first instance, tryng to target areas of high need with the avaiable money, until it can get it’s hands on the wheel and sort the countries finance’s out.

    • Paul 2.3

      Can you debate issues rather than just make puerile insults?
      For example, please explain how the National Party plans to end systematic poverty in the country.

    • I would say this comment speaks volumes – a rightwinger can’t understand why a political party would like to be open and inclusive and encourage political engagement – but it’s just empty stirring.

    • lprent 2.5

      I seem to remember people saying the same about Cunliffe’s speech at their congress a few months ago. That was full. I would anticipate this will be pretty full as well.

      • mickysavage 2.5.1

        It is a huge venue. If Labour filled it then National should be really scared …

        Don’t you love the way the right wing will spin anything …

    • blue leopard 2.6

      @ TightyRighty

      ….and you were saying….?

  3. TightyRighty 3

    Tiger, that’s why the left bloc don’t win. “Only those who Vote for us can question us” keep the navel gazing up. It’s why your apparatchiks are having to Spruik places at your campaign launch, the day of!!!

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      no, no, I did not mention “vote” and anyone is obviously entitled to criticise Labour. The key word is “credibly”, left critics do it hopefully for positive reasons or out of disappointment. Righties bag Labour for negative reasons being ideologically opposed.

      Your criticism looked swingeing given all the hundreds of volunteer door knockers etc who are going to enjoy the afternoon.

  4. karol 4

    Hope the launch goes well. Expect sn inspiring speech fom Cunliffe. Very good policy on care for pregnant women.

  5. Ad 5

    If any fellow progressive westie wants a ride in to town for the launch, come to Totara Avenue Labour campaign headquarters and we will ensure you get there.

  6. just saying 6

    How does a person apply for the “care plus” package?

    I’ve never heard of it.

    Where has it been publicised? I remember a few years ago hearing a wealthy woman (by my standards) talking about going to see her GP that day for no particular reason other than to maintain her “high use” status so that she would receive subsidised care for her health condition. I didn’t know what scheme she was talking about.

    Tell me this isn’t another one of those things that those ‘in the know’ access while many or most of those most in need never know the existence of.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      I’ve never heard of this care plus thing either.

    • miravox 6.2

      hi js, Careplus is a really important feature of primary healthcare for people with more than one chronic illness e.g. Heart disease AND asthma. Hopefully from (e my point of view) this will be extended to people with one chronic condition that has serious long term implications, like rheumatiod arthritis. However any addition l support for individualls with long term chronic conditions is welcome, imo.

      Google rodenburg, dryden, rodrigo (2007) for long term conditions and care plus… Sorry it’s a Pdf and difficult to link from tablet (well, for me anyway).

      But yeah, it’s definitely not publicised enough. Maybe the health system couldn’t afford it if everyone who was eligible knew about it.

  7. Ad 7

    Sorry that’s Totara Ave New Lynn.

  8. anker 8

    Good luck Labour would love to be there, but can’t quite do (would involve planes etc.)

    Anyone who is in any doubt that Labour should be the next Governement, go to their website and read their policies…………….well thought through, comprehensive what they will actually DO to make these great things happen.

    Note my point above about what are they doing for beneficiaries. I want the long term view that we are going to get this country back on track with decent paid jobs and that people will be able to have a job, get skills buy a house, get good health care. And for when something goes wrong there will be a good safety net. But remember their policy will also considerable help a chunk of the most vulnerable those young people (mostly living in the regions that have no future etc). These are the people we need to be helping, by making sure they have a future.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      the irony our leading decision makers have yet to face: in a rapidly aging society, young brown people in the regions ARE the future of this nation, and we better hop to it in terms of looking after them and preparing their capabilities to meet that responsibility, or we will end up screwing ourselves.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 8.1.1

        That’s because they see immigration as our solution – you don’t need to invest in our people if you can import who you need.

        The trouble is too though that we are importing many of their right-wing cultural and political ideas as well.

      • Sacha 8.1.2

        “young brown people in the regions ARE the future of this nation”
        – in our cities, where most people will continue to live.

        • Colonial Viper

          Provincial NZ is aging faster than the cities, IIRC.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith

            To some extent that’s aging people moving to the regions compounding the normal aging population.

            Some of the census figures show quite a significant increase in 65+ than would be indicated by the previous census figures for the age group that would have turned 65.

  9. Jepenseque 9

    Hi all, as a recent new parent I’m a bit surprised about labours policy launch re pregnancy. That’s because everything did seem to be free already. In general the care and facilities and support from the public system has been superb. So it seems like an area that is well catered to already.


    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Free dental care is definitely a big change.

      • adam 9.1.1

        Maybe I read the policy wrong, but it also gives options around what doctors you have when in care. Also, lots of little, but effective changes making the mothers voice heard. I thought it was about making the care more transparent and robust.

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