The neoliberal power game: cities for sale

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, May 4th, 2014 - 27 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, business, capitalism, democracy under attack, housing, infrastructure, manufacturing, poverty, public transport - Tags:

I haven’t seen Mai Chen’s new book on Auckland and Wellington.  But the NZ Herald integrated review, promo, and interview with Mai Chen, make it all seem like it supports neoliberal capitalist values of big business, competition between powerful entities, and cheerleading for Rodney Hide’s corporate-favouring supercity structure.

skycity auckland

There’s no mention of thos in big Auckland struggling with income, transport and housing poverty.

Early in the NZ Herald article, ,A tale of two strong cities“, author Robin Blackstocksets up a power struggle between Auckland and Wellington:

It tells how Australasia’s biggest council organisation, which has a $3 billion annual budget and around 8,000 staff, was formed from the perspective of the key people who created and ran it during its first term, in 2010.

Chen makes no apologies that her book is likely to re-ignite age-old rivalries between Auckland and Wellington.

She believes politicians in the capital do not fully understand the needs of the country’s largest, most prosperous city. She thinks a small tail is wagging a big dog.

He seems to follow Chen in his awe of the sheer size of Auckland Council,

The amalgamated Auckland Council oversees a population of more than 1.5 million and accounts for just over 37 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP. It is predicted the city will have 2.5 million people by 2040, with more than half hailing from a steadily growing melting pot of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

and the big money that is gravitating towards it:

In recent years, however, the capital has seen a number of major banks and businesses, such as BNZ and ANZ, relocate their main offices to Auckland.

In December, oil giant BP announced it would join the corporate drift north and close its Wellington base of six decades.

The article then turns to Wellington, with a focus on the celebrities, movie industry, music gigs, and tourism that it attracts.  It makes an attenpt to suggest that Wellington should go the supercity route, and that Auckland and Wellington would benefit form working together.  But the article ends returning to talking up Auckland. It makes bold claims to be speaking for all Aucklanders, while ignoring those who are struggling to survive in the big city.

Back in her high-rise Auckland boardroom, Mai Chen presses her case for Beehive bureaucrats to start considering Auckland’s unique needs. But she stops short of sparking calls to shift the capital to the nation’s economic powerhouse.

Auckland was the capital until the 1860s, when parliament was moved to Wellington to be closer to the then most powerful economic and population bases, Dunedin and Christchurch.

“Aucklanders don’t like it when Government undermines the Auckland mayor, even if the mayor was Tweedledee or Tweedledum,” Chen explains. “But Auckland cannot fund its infrastructure, despite its wealth, without Central Government,” she says. “We need them. … Aucklanders just want to get on with it and could well do without dealing with another 30,000 officials in town.”

But the economic activities featured in the article do not include the production of material needs and wants fr all Kiwis. Chen’s book is called, Transforming Auckland: the Creation of Auckland Council.

We need another book: one that looks in depth about the Hide model supercity and how it enables the flow of big money, while the lives of the precariat continue to be one long struggle with higher prices, relatively little gains in incomes, less affordable housing, more transport and energy poverty.  Maybe a book called Transforming Auckland and Christchurch: the undermining of the lives of the struggling precariat ?

occupy-auckland

 

 

27 comments on “The neoliberal power game: cities for sale”

  1. barry 1

    So they are saying that in 26 years time Auckland will have half NZ’s people and will have added more than a million people?

    40000 people per year is more than the average growth rate for NZ as a whole

    Does this sound possible? If it were possible how could it be desirable?

    • Tamati 1.1

      Nobody has seriously questioned these pie in the sky population projections. I’m skeptical that there are waves of people arriving in Auckland every day…

    • Molly 1.2

      I attended the Auckland Conversations on the population expectation of 1 million, and realised they rely very heavily on statisticians – and so the projected figure was (and is) achieved by the usual methods.

      Was I convinced? Did start getting the giggles when the statistician started referring to retired nurses as “girls” and advised that when working in the UK, he and he fellow statistician misjudged the projected population statistics by underestimating the effect of the release of the contraceptive pill.
      Wondered for a while if I was watching a stand up comedian rather than a consultant. You may be interested to know that I seem to recall his company is used by the National government as well.

      That said – the million extra growth figure was fairly in the middle of top and bottom growth projections using different criteria.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Chen forgets that big chunks of the Auckland Council are carved off into mostly independent fiefs.
    Auckland Transport and Watercare largely run their own budget and activities with very little oversight from the elected representatives.

    • andrew murray 2.1

      What makes you think Chen forgets this..

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Yep, it’s quite likely that her law firm has done significant work relating to it one way or another.

    • Ad 2.2

      Not true there are endless goddamn workshops, which are continuing this week for all CCOs – particularly Transport and Watercare – with the Council.

  3. Philj 3

    xox
    Thanks for this information. The very core of the nation is at stake. The influence of Auckland is unbalanced to the detriment of the whole country.A monster has been created. What to do?

  4. adam 4

    I think the west and the south are not impressed with the super city. Hell in the west it feels like we are the forgotten child who should shut up and do as they are told.

    One thing I always loved about neo-liberalism is that it get’s more and more wasteful, as the projects it champions gets bigger and bigger.

    Bugger the super city, it is a failure of democracy, it is a failure financially, and it is the same old white boys club spooning the cream off for themselves.

    Local government should be just that – local. Smaller is better, more cost effective and more democratic.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      One thing I always loved about neo-liberalism is that it get’s more and more wasteful, as the projects it champions gets bigger and bigger.

      Creativity, innovation, nuance and artistic endeavour always give way at the very peaking of empire in favour of an ego driven, self aggrandising, bigger, bolder, brasher.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Local government should be just that – local. Smaller is better, more cost effective and more democratic.

      +1

      The evidence is in. There is no alternative.

  5. Will@Welly 5

    One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Mai Chen’s commentary’s is she is very approachable and down to earth. I suspect she has written this as much as an article to kick-start a discussion as to inform.
    Realistically it is probably too soon to pass judgement on the merits or otherwise whether or not the SuperCity is a pass or a fail. Most did not want it, most still do not want it.
    In Wellington, that seems to be the similar viewpoint, although many of the local politicians appear to be pushing for a similar amalgamation.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Realistically it is probably too soon to pass judgement on the merits or otherwise whether or not the SuperCity is a pass or a fail

      I’d ask a more simple question. Has it been a pass or fail for the democratic interests of local communities within Auckland.

      In Wellington, that seems to be the similar viewpoint, although many of the local politicians appear to be pushing for a similar amalgamation.

      It’s similar to what senior management does when they are out of ideas and serving the interests of their customers has become a low ranked priority. Acquire, merge, diversify, etc. Plenty of money to be made by the consultants and IT contractors.

    • Molly 5.2

      Well there is a local precedent and a published research paper from 2005 Local government amalgamation policy: A highway maintenance evaluation that might give some indication:

      “Abstract

      Evaluating the effects of a change in public policy setting is a critical element in the chain of accountability. Factors such as effectiveness and efficiency in government operations are often difficult to measure. In this study of efficiency outcomes, we follow events before and after significant structural change arising from local authority amalgamation. The study focuses on highway maintenance and uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to evaluate whether greater efficiency was achieved. Results(confined to highway management activities) show no evidence that amalgamation was justified in terms of diseconomies arising from smallness (i.e. increasing returns to scale). While new governance practices introduced contemporaneously lifted the level of performance of local authorities in terms of higher technical efficiency, there is no evidence that the amalgamation policy contributed to this improvement.

      The policy impact evaluation methodology developed in this paper has potential for application to other local government service activities.”

  6. Ad 6

    One subtle shift in how Auckland Council and central government engage is in changes to the Land Transport Management Act 2013.

    Auckland Transport alone is now responsible for reconciling the transport strategies and priorities of Auckland Council and the Government Policy Statement for Transport. This accounts for about 35% of the whole rates take, and about 33% of government’s transport fund.

    Auckland Transport must now prioritise the momentum of needs from its $14 billion of assets under management, and stay within the 2.5% rates increases that the Mayor and Council have forecast, and carefully deploy the depleting National Land Transport Fund.

    Consider that impact: with little input, and with the best technical prioritisation skills in the country, Auckland Transport must broker central and local government together permanently. And do so in a manner that enables the entire network to function and improve, every hour of every day.

    • Molly 6.1

      Spoke to a roading engineer from AT at a Generation Zero presentation.

      I mentioned that the division of AT from Auckland Council made it hard to get access to AT regarding issues regarding community planning. When I suggested that it seemed more effective to include how people move with how people live when planning, and the separate organisations (and outcomes) made this unlikely, he replied in the negative.

      When I asked him why – his response was:”It’s much easier to get the job done if we don’t have to take anything else into account”.

      His definition of effective and mine were completely different.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Auckland Transport are required to take into account the growth of Auckland and the consequent infrastructure needs of that growth.

        • Molly 6.1.1.1

          Yes, but as defined by those further up the hierachy, and with little consideration of how people live in communities. That is why to AT it is reasonable to consider bisecting communities with roads, and only backtrack after public outcry. Silo mentality.

  7. Chooky 7

    karol +100 …Great Post…and thought provoking..

    This may be of interest in regard to under- the- radar surreptitious planning for supercities in New Zealand and huge population immigration ..imo feelers are being put out to test the NZ public reaction to super cities…Shanghai anyone?

    Kathryn Ryan interviews Richard Ogden on Friday May 2 :

    09:35 Richard Ogden is the chairman and founder of the UK organisation Buildoffsite. He is visiting New Zealand to help set up an Australasian chapter and Bruce Coubray is the general manager of Howick Engineering, who is spearheading efforts to set up a functioning offsite construction industry here.

    Certainly it will have implications for building super motorways

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2594458/plans-to-set-up-an-off-site-construction-industry-in-nz

    • Not Petey 7.1

      “This may be of interest in regard to under- the- radar surreptitious planning for supercities in New Zealand and huge population immigration ..imo feelers are being put out to test the NZ public reaction to super cities…Shanghai anyone?”

      Eh ? Even Winston would make this kind of outlandish claim.

  8. Ennui 8

    Chen makes her statements in the context of the very immediate past, the here and now. She obviously is adrift in the sea of time..she has no idea of why cities are as they are, or the economy as it is. She is the perfect cypher of todays mega citizen lording over the wage slave classes and mindless masses. Her business partner Palmer, ditto, a supposedly large intellect that could not connect to a wider reality, concentrating on the narrow goals of efficiency and professionalism etc, but for what?

    So where does this narrow focus of our “intellectual” and “political” elite leave us? Out of context I think, believing that what is now is always going to be. That bigger is better and more efficient despite any evidence.

    If you want to understand cities as they are today, and the urbanisation of the last 150 years the obvious question needs asking. Why has nothing on this scale happened before? The answer is very simple: fossil energy applied to technology applied to economic growth. We see this as “progress”, an unchallenged continuum. Fossil energy has (if you had not noticed) peaked, its finite and going down, and there are no replacements. Before you say “technofix” consider that technology uses energy, it is not in itself energy.

    Maybe we need to envisage cities in the light of decline, places such as Detroit. They don’t need super city status, they need localized “development” to suit current and real future requirements. Asking simple questions like, how are we going to get food in? Or supply water? And maybe is a million person city even sustainable and desirable?

    The Chen Palmer classes are yet to awake to this new reality. We need to before they “take charge”.

  9. The Real Matthew 9

    You’ve got Auckland striving further ahead of the rest of the country courtesy of it’s economic development.

    Meanwhile Wellington has elected a Green council and is based on Arts and other socialist BS industry.

    The people are voting with their feet and are migrating to Auckland in ever increasing numbers. Wellington is dying.

    Yet the contributors to this website want to turn New Zealand into Wellington.

    Go Figure.

    • karol 9.1

      It’s not the people voting with their feet – it’s big business moving to a corporate-friendly context, and people following where the jobs are.

    • Chooky 9.2

      @ the real matthew

      Is that really true? …I know John Key has said Wellington is dying….and then later regretted it

      It is not the impression one gets from the new tech and software development companies ( who are en route to beating the dairy industry as NZ’s biggest earner)….their directors say that Wellington is the perfect size and has the perfect structure to lead this nascent high tech industry into the future and become the lead city for computer software tech devt in the South Pacific…some have moved their companies to Wellington from overseas….USA?

      Maybe it is you and John Key who are not up with the play here?

  10. ropata 10

    Some recommendations of the Royal Commission which have not been adopted or implemented:

    6A The Auckland Council should include a vision for the region in its spatial plan.

    6B The Mayor of Auckland's annual "State of the Region" address should describe progress towards the attainment of the vision.

    21D: Auckland Council CCOs and their statements of intent should be subject to performance review by the proposed Auckland Services Performance Auditor.

    22A Two Māori members should be elected to the Auckland Council by voters who are on the parliamentary Māori Electoral Roll.

    22B There should be a Mana Whenua Forum, the members of which will be appointed by mana whenua from the district of the Auckland Council.

    22D The Auckland Council should ensure that each local council has adequate structures in place to enable proper engagement with Māori and consideration of their views in the local councils’ decision-making processes. Where appropriate, current structures and/or memoranda of understanding should be transferred to local councils.

    24F Auckland Council should consider creating an Urban Development Agency, to operate at the direction of the Auckland Council, with compulsory acquisition powers.

    The Auckland Council should determine the extent to which responsibilities for the delivery of stormwater services are shared between local councils and Watercare Services Limited.

    26I Watercare Services Limited should be required by legislation to promote demand management.

    26M Watercare Services Limited should be required to prepare a stormwater action plan.

    27D The Auckland Council should prepare an e-government strategy as an intrinsic part of its proposed unified service delivery and information systems plan.

    28A The Auckland Council should work closely with consumers, the industry, and central government agencies to develop a climate change and energy strategy for the region, including monitoring and reviewing electricity security of supply performance, and industry planning and regulation impacting the Auckland region.

    30A The Auckland Council should develop a Regional Waste Management Strategy, including strategies for management of organic waste and integration of waste management with other environmental programmes.

    32G A statutory position of an independent Auckland Services Performance Auditor (to be appointed by the elected Auckland Council on the joint recommendation of the Chair of the Commerce Commission and the Auditor-General) should be created to provide assurance to the council and the public that the Auckland Council is providing high-quality services in a cost-effective way.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auckland_Council#Unimplemented_recommendations

    • ropata 10.1

      Rodney Hide was allowed to rampage over the orderly transition process recommended by the Royal Commission and ram through a bunch of anti democratic, corporate friendly measures with a view to flogging off precious Council assets which previous generations (Bruce Jesson) had fought long and hard to retain in public ownership. Of cource Mai Chen and her corporate cronies are salivating at the thought of juicy public utilities that can be monopolised (like Telecom) and then squeezed at the expense of the average Joe.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
    The Official Information Act requires agencies to decide on requests "as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received". But over the decades that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
    This is another post about my recent trip to the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a standard road classification system with ideally three types of roads: flow roads (motorways), distribution roads (arterials), and local roads (residential roads). This system does not ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
    REPORTBACK: CHARLOTTESVILLE: August 13, 2017 by Redneck Revolt members The situation on the ground in Charlottesville, Virginia, is still developing and unstable, but a few of our Redneck Revolt members on the ground took some time to provide the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
    The Labour party has hit the ground running with Jacinda Ardern. Not only has she shown immense capability as leader, the Labour party has clearly got its game on and returned to its core values, values that once made New ...
    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
    We need to transcend us vs them struggles, writes Philip McKibbin.   Image: The Prophet Te Whiti Addressing a Meeting of Natives from The Graphic (1881) In 1881, the peaceful village of Parihaka was invaded. Fifteen-hundred men, led ...
    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
    Local government in New Zealand is a creature of statute, so it’s subservient to powers bestowed upon it by central government. From the creation of its mandate and structure, to the reforms imposed through time, local councils are, and will ...
    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
    Who Loves Ya Baby? “I didn’t come to Parliament to act like other political parties. But this week that’s where we ended up. We have not been our best selves, and for that I am sorry.” But who are your best ...
    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
    The Victoria St Linear Park has been saved from the clutches of Auckland Transport. You may recall that we’ve been concerned about ATs plans for the future of many of the streets in the city centre for some time. In ...
    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
    .   . The mainstream media – or at least one clever journalist working for Mediaworks/Newshub – has finally caught up with a story broken by this blogger last year that unemployment data from Statistics NZ was no longer reliable; ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
    Among the sinners the drunk porter in Macbeth welcomes into hell is the ‘equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale’. Equivocation is a theme of the play; Shakespeare is thought to have been influenced by the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
    Is bootcamp the government's solution for hardened young criminals?   Photo: 123rf. National plans to solve the problem of serious youth offending by sending people to a remote, army-run boot camp for a year. But opponents of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
    This is an unabashed endorsement of an important group. I have no affiliation with them or conflict of interest. They are great, period. The ability to convey complex climate science to a wide-ranging audience is a golden attribute, something very ...
    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
        Hi, my name is Brian. Edwards to be precise. You may remember me. I used to be on television. Started in Christchurch on a magazine show called Town and Around. Went North to Wellington to audition for ...
    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
    The Todd Barclay affair, where the unelected Prime Minister claimed seven times that he couldn’t recall if Barclay had told him about the secret recording of a National party staffer, proved without a doubt that Bill English is dishonest!But if ...
    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
    Beauty queens, magic, dangly bits and nip slips - Miss Universe NZ had it all.   The top five Miss Universe NZ contestants (L-R): Shekinah Delos Santos, Sarah Hensby-Bennett, Harlem-Cruz Ihaia, Holly Waghorn and Brooke Houia. Screenshot: Miss ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
    Last night we learned that NZ Post had been spying on the public, using microphones on its delivery vehicles to record and listen to conversations between its employees and random members of the public without the consent of either party. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
    by Daphna Whitmore Although women got the vote in the late 19th century, now well in to the 21st century we still do not have pay equity. While overt discrimination against individual female employees is no longer legal or socially ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
    The last week in New Zealand politics has been extraordinary. But there’s one political party in particular that appears to be missing in action… the National party.The unelected PM Bill English has failed to gain any real traction in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
    Eye-popping beer infusions and drinking games with the bros. Lucy Zee heads to New Zealand's biggest beer festival, Beervana.   Produced and presented by Lucy Zee, and filmed and edited by Eddy Fifield. Made with the support of NZ On ...
    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
    National knows it can't defeat the Labour-Green policy on water charging on fairness grounds, so they're now appealing to racism, with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson scaremongering that making farmers pay their fair share will mean reopening historic ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
    Donald Trump would not be the first political leader to try to build his popularity, or divert attention from his troubles at home, by seeking a diversion – usually by means of a military adventure of some sort – overseas.  ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
    Science is helping more premature babies survive, but for parents it's still a journey marked by fear, pain and joy.   Inside of what looks like a giant Ziploc bag filled with water, the hoof of a tiny lamb ...
    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
    When Greg O’Connor was a young Police officer he did a stint undercover and has lamented having to arrest gang members he viewed at the time as his mates. This is perhaps the main problem for the left, being that ...
    4 days ago

  • Government must apologise over rebuild debacle
    The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. "For too long the interests of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    18 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    20 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    24 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
    Being a Member of Youth Parliament was an unexpected, but fabulous opportunity for me. It provided me a way to connect with other young people who have some things in common, and to learn what it is like to be ...
    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better homes for Maori under Labour
    Labour’s vision is that Māori enjoy an equal playing field and have the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Today Labour is proud to announce a detailed Māori housing policy from South Auckland’s ...
    3 weeks ago

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