web analytics

The Speech: Active Government

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, November 18th, 2012 - 27 comments
Categories: activism, david shearer, labour, leadership - Tags: , , ,

David Shearer’s speech to conference was everything that it needed to be – and more. The headlines will be about KiwiBuild, as they should be, it’s a stunning policy. But just as important for the future of the country is the strong commitment to active government.

It’s pretty simple. The “small government”, passive, leave everything to the “invisible hand” approach to government has failed. It has failed globally. It has failed in NZ. The last wasted four years this country has been going backwards on just about every social and economic measure. It’s time for a change. A real change. David Shearer promised to deliver:

I promise that from the day we take office, you will see big change. Right across the economy we will make fundamental changes. We will replace a simplistic hands-off approach with a smart hands-on one.

Monetary policy will change.

So when the high dollar is killing our exporters we will give the Reserve Bank tools to act on the exchange rate. Our manufacturers are our job generators. If they’re doing their bit, we should do ours with intelligent government.

The R&D policy will change.

Most of what New Zealand exports today was known to the world before the industrial revolution. This government treats Research & Development as ‘nice to have’. We will treat it as absolutely vital to grow our smart businesses so they can take their products to the world.

We’ll change our tax system for the better.

We will bring in what this economy desperately needs: a capital gains tax. We want people to invest in houses because they need a place to live, not because they get a tax free investment. To shift investment instead into productive businesses to grow jobs.

The savings policy will change.

We’ll enrol everyone into KiwiSaver. That will support our retirement, but also build an investment pool to power our best businesses. That means companies like F&P Appliances can be owned here, not sold off-shore.

We’ll change the approach to productivity

Kiwis work longer hours than just about anywhere else in the world. But you wouldn’t know it looking at our pay packets. That’s because the hands-off approach says: “pay low wages, cut back on conditions and ramp up casualization”.

That has to end. We’ll be hands-on. The Minimum Wage will go up. A Living Wage must be our goal.

And Labour laws will be reformed to restore decency. We are proud of our unions and our origins. We thank them for what they do in standing up for workers’ rights, but we need to be in government to back you up.

The procurement policy will change.

The government spends $30 billion a year on contracting goods and services. The simplistic hands-off approach says “forget about Hillside Railway workshops, forget about local jobs. Go for the cheapest offshore price.”

The intelligent hands-on approach says: “we get much more from each government dollar by investing in a Kiwi company”. So wherever it’s the smart thing to do, we’ll prioritise the local supplier.

The approach to education will change.

I started my working life as a teacher. So I have an appreciation of the valuable job teachers do. And I know a gimmick when I see one.

Bigger classes, unqualified teachers, charter schools and performance pay will achieve nothing. The intelligent approach, the one I will follow is the one that asks: what will it take to make this education system the best in the world?

That’s a government that I want to see. In 2014 we have our chance.

27 comments on “The Speech: Active Government ”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    Is that the speech he prepared, or the speech he actually gave? Did he not mention … something else?

  2. That’s some Rockin policy M8! 😀

  3. prism 3

    Sounding good. And let’s have a committee that looks at innovation in policies that will provide significant advantages where applied. One that we can submit to as I think citzens can submit to the Law Commission for changes there.

    * I want to see the effect of secondary tax on the low income and beneficiaries changed.
    * Wipe the automatic drop in housing assistance when a beneficiary starts paid work.
    * I want parenting to be treated as training on the job for beneficiaries, with opportunities for all beneficiaries to get into the NCEA scheme and then be paid larger benefits while at the same they be encouraged to find a few hours of part-time work oppportunities, working with children, or something that combines with their parenting role.
    * I want help with transport for poorer people where there is poor public transport, who might have free vouchers to get them to the doctor etc.
    * The workers who are on the employer scheme for work experience with option of easy dismissal have this limited to 60 days, the employee to receive a wage subsidy as well as employer payment, and to report on the value of training received from the employer.
    * I want general competence for councils to be severely limited, very close to how it used to be, with a great limitation to borrowing, and that this must be from within the country. Perhaps through local government bonds. Anything else in concert with central government.
    * I want a share of regional GST collected being funnelled to a fund that the region can draw on for advanced infrastructure, stadiums, better water and sewerage for holiday crowd villages for instance.
    * I want a tendering system brought in for the top management roles in the public service.

    And I haven’t said anything about housing. Which is essential to be looked at with a practical scheme devised and started in January 2015 after Labour is re-elected. But everything has to be looked at. Government can’t just ride a hobbyhorse and wave that policy as a PR triumph it must work at improving and tweaking all its policies to make sure they are running effectively and helpfully.

  4. just saying 4

    How was the speech received conference attendees?

    • Hilary 4.1

      From twitter sounds like 2 minute standing ovation and even Patrick Gower called it a ‘powerhouse performance’.

      • just saying 4.1.1

        I’m not feeling very confident about Gower’s appraisals. Can anyone there confirm that it was a “powerhouse performance”. It didn’t read like a powerhouse speech to me

        • Stephen 4.1.1.1

          I was there. I am on record as being critical of his speaking. Frankly, having heard him speak before, I would not have believed this was the same guy. It was emphatic, natural, and convinced. I don’t know what they put in his cereal this morning but it’s election winning stuff.

  5. Hilary 5

    This comment got a lot of twitter attention and retweeting.

    Shearer: “I say to the people of Chch, we are committed to rebuilding your city from the grassroots up, not the Beehive down”

    • ianmac 5.1

      Great unless the Beehive gets in first and deletes the City Council and cements in its own team led by Steven Joyce.

  6. Cricklewood 6

    I have to say im not a fan of compulsary kiwisaver. As a single income family with 1 child im fighting to make ends meet now, losing $30 a week will really hurt im lucky if I can save that much now and that only covers school fees dentist etc some of that stuff would inevitably end up on plastic instead. Kiwisaver is great and i fully intend to join when my financial situation improves but for now im better off out. Id hate to lose that choice.

    • You_Fool 6.1

      As I remember the Labour Policy it is compulsory enrollment, you can still opt-out if you so desire. So you lose no choice (like ‘compulsory’ student union membership, which was anything but compulsory.)

  7. Hilary 8

    JS – Here is a tweet from someone who was there
    “I have been a harsh critic of Shearer as a speaker up until now but he really delivered the goods just now”

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    So when the high dollar is killing our exporters we will give the Reserve Bank tools to act on the exchange rate.

    They could just print money rather than selling bonds. That would actually bring the exchange rate down rather than pushing it and interest rates up and keep the country out of debt.

    We will treat it as absolutely vital to grow our smart businesses so they can take their products to the world.

    I assume a tax change that will allow the rich to become even richer but no actual support of people with the ideas.

    We will bring in what this economy desperately needs: a capital gains tax.

    As if it’s the total fix.

    We’ll enrol everyone into KiwiSaver.

    Money is not a resource and so saving it doesn’t change anything. Building the productive facilities and keeping them NZ state owned would be far better.

    The government spends $30 billion a year on contracting goods and services.

    The simple fact of the matter is that government spending is what drives the economy. This is because government spending is (or should be) debt free spending that utilises our resources as needed to keep our society viable. The private sector can then, and only then, provide the stuff that people want that isn’t critical.

    At a guess, I figure that government spending should probably make up about 50% to 60% of the economy. Taxes need to be set so as to prevent over accumulation in the private sector.

    Generally speaking – right ideas, wrong policies.

  9. Craig Glen Eden 10

    I heard it was Shearers best speech yet but not awesome like some want people to believe!

  10. Dr Terry 11

    Well, he covers the ground rather effectively. It is impossible to forecast the practical outcome of a political leader’s rhetoric. Sounds great (just like Obama) but, of course, we have to “wait and see”.
    The Roy Morgan Poll of November 15 reveals that National has increased its lead by 2%, right on top of the unemployment figures and increased debt (not to mention all the rest of its bad news). Labour too has risen, but is 13% behind, not the 10% we keep hearing about. I hear nobody mentioning Shearer’s latest personal polling, but I understand that it is 11%. Maybe the dreadful article today by Matt McCarten will help lift it!! McCarten accuses Cunliffe of being “calculating” in his speeches, as though a leader being calculating is some kind of evil! A leader damn well needs to be calculating, it is a virtue, not some kind of dread liability. I don’t know what is going on with Matt these days.

  11. Olwyn 12

    I would like to remind people that this speech reflects Shearer’s behaviour in last year’s leadership debates. By the time they got to Auckland and it was clear that Cunliffe was in the lead, he began tracking Cunliffe by saying very similar things. Then when he won the contest, he reverted to the implicitly right wing/explicitly bland position he has occupied since. I trust neither him nor his backers. As just saying observed on a different thread, the only people he treats as opponents are those on the left.

  12. irascible 13

    Sheare’s speech was a clear articulation of Labour’s policies and principles delivered unequivocally and with conviction. Gower and the other media seagulls who had already written thier reports of the reception to the speech would be forced to go back and rewrite their stories.
    Certainly, compared to the mangling of English and the brain fades that characterise KeY’s speeches Shearer certainly looked and sounded a leader and PM in waiting.

  13. Populuxe1 14

    Flashes of being on to it will still be insufficient if he continues to bumble around the rest of the time. The caucus needs to get over itself, purge dinosaurs like Mallard, purge all the third-way obsessives, and get back to first principles under a genuine star like, well, Cunliffe.

  14. Shearer can climb another rung or two in the polls ladder after just his first speech and only the first of Labour’s major policy announcements. Well done Shearer, bring it.

  15. rosy 16

    I’m pleased to see a mention of a Living Wage rather than a minimum wage. This is going to require big change in policy direction and strengthening labour and employment laws. It would mean changing contracts for services (I’m thinking especially of catering and cleaning services) to include explicitly stating how much staff performing those contracts would be paid. I hope they have their battle plan worked out because the Nacts will hit them on this. However if Boris Johnson can do it, then there is no reason that Labour can’t.

    Johnson said “some of the most red-blooded capitalist firms you can imagine” were signing up to the living wage because they realised it helped to create productivity and ensured staff enjoyed a decent standard of living….

    “I would like to see Whitehall generally in London, I would like to see Labour councils, Tory councils, Liberal councils, supporting low-paid workers and pay the London living wage. A huge number of public sector workers could benefit from this.”

    Johnson unveiled a trademark that formally recognises and accredits employers who pay the London living wage, courtesy of the Living Wage Foundation, which hopes the mark will become as recognisable as the Fairtrade logo.

  16. Jenny 17

    Ignoring the climate won’t change

    Future generations will curse us

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago