Tribunal calls for asset sale delay

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, August 24th, 2012 - 63 comments
Categories: bill english, cartoons, john key, Maori Issues, Privatisation - Tags:

Just up this afternoon on Stuff:

The Government must halt its asset sales programme until Maori water rights can be sorted out, the Waitangi Tribunal says.

And Tom Scott this morning in the DomPost:

 Says it all really – National’s wheels are coming off.

lprent updating: Link to decision is here.

In the national interest and the interests of the Crown-Maori relationship, we recommend that the sale be delayed while the Treaty partners negotiate a solution to this dilemma.

The Crown will be in breach of Treaty principles if it proceeds to sell shares without first providing Maori with a remedy or rights recognition, or at least preserving its ability to do so,

In our view, the recognition of the just rights of Maori in their water bodies can no longer be delayed . The Crown admitted in our hearing that it has known of these claims for many years, and has left them unresolved.

Quotes lifted from Michael Bott on Facebook.
Ouch…

63 comments on “Tribunal calls for asset sale delay”

  1. “In the national interest and the interests of the Crown-Maori relationship, we recommend that the sale be delayed while the Treaty partners negotiate a solution to this dilemma.”

    Cat meet pidgeons. 

  2. Peter 2

    Yeah, it’s an excellent finding, but what disturbs me is the lack of comment (published or otherwise) from Labour. Surely the country’s largest political party would be available to comment, in the same way that comments were received from NZF, the Greens, and the Mana Party?

    • It is only just out Peter.  The decision is 217 pages.  The Tribunal did extraordinarily well in preparing this in such a short time.  I think time is needed to digest it.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        So the other opposition parties have better speed readers than ours?

        The Waitangi Tribunal has come out against the asset sales process. Saying that it appears to be the right decision would cost Labour nothing.

        • fatty 2.1.1.1

          “So the other opposition parties have better speed readers than ours?”

          Harawira managed a response…a good one too.

          • gobsmacked 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes, it’s not a “biggie” but it is a small illustration of Labour’s failings. We all knew the report was coming out this afternoon, and we pretty much knew what it would say. So you don’t start typing once you’ve read the report – you have something ready to go. Spin is not about digesting all the details – that comes later, after the headlines.

            There should be a Shearer soundbite on the 6pm news – “Kiwis know you can’t sell your house while the lawyers and the council are fighting over the property”, that kind of thing.

            • often puzzled 2.1.1.1.1.1

              David Shearer DID comment on the radio national programme news along with the Greens and Mana about 5’oclock.

        • Carol 2.1.1.2

          It looks to me like, either they had a copy of the Tribunal report earlier, or the press releases by the Green, Mana & NZ First Parties were prepared before the report came out:

          http://www.scoop.co.nz/

          Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
          Friday, 24 August 2012, 4:22 pm
          Press Release: Green Party

          The Government Needs to Stop and Listen
          Friday, 24 August 2012, 4:01 pm
          Press Release: Mana Party

          PRESS RELEASE

          Embargoed until 4.00 pm Friday 24th August

          MANA Leader Hone Harawira

          The Government Needs to Stop and Listen

          New Zealand Water Rights a Total Mess – Peters
          Friday, 24 August 2012, 4:08 pm
          Press Release: New Zealand First Party

          Rt Hon Winston Peters
          New Zealand First Leader
          24 August 2012

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.2.1

            Hmm OK.

            Labour’s sign off process is somewhat laborious and needs to be made more nimble. 

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2.2

            It looks to me like, either they had a copy of the Tribunal report earlier, or the press releases by the Green, Mana & NZ First Parties were prepared before the report came out:

            I would say both.

            Labour’s Maori caucus should have been able to get a heads up mid this week. And preparing a couple of draft versions ahead of time, one of which could be released with a 10 minute spruce up, is a no brainer.

            • gobsmacked 2.1.1.2.2.1

              They could have just listened to Radio Live between 2 and 3 pm, where Winston Peters told us when it was coming out, and what it would say.

          • gobsmacked 2.1.1.2.3

            A statement from Shearer –

            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1208/S00379/government-should-halt-asset-sales-plan.htm

            Could have been written yesterday.

            • Carol 2.1.1.2.3.1

              Well, in this instance it doesn’t seem to be that Labour has been that far behind other opposition parties in commenting – not like some other issues when they’ve been silent for 12 hours or more.

              And most people are still working or commuting, so wouldn’t notice. More important is the content of the statements, and how they are presented.

              These days the biggest number of people get their news from the 6pm TV broadcasts. So let’s see how that goes.

              And the Maori Party?

            • Dr Terry 2.1.1.2.3.2

              Possibly better Shearer said nothing, his silence might me more convincing than his cliched words!

              Now watch for how much “respect” Key will show for Maori opinion!

  3. mike 3

    John Key considering his options for a response:

    a) No comment.

    b) Just say “I’m not bovvered.”

    c) Ignore it.

    d) Say your going to listen, then ignore it.

    e) Say your lawyer said it’s cool if you ignore it.

    f) Talk about euthanasia some more, then ignore it.

    g) Call it a ‘political decision’.

    h) Accept that sweet job offer from Goldman Sachs.

    • fatty 3.1

      my guess is B, my hope is H

    • CnrJoe 3.2

      its dynnamic innit

    • Shaz 3.3

      Or “this is just one finding of one Tribunal and I’m sure another one would take a different view”.

      🙂

    • Ianmac from Vietnam 3.4

      i) That is just one opinion. I know of many who will give me a different view.

    • Jackal 3.5

      It’s my guess the rightwing spindoctors will have good long thunk about it before making up some lame excuse and flagging the whole thing. Key will defer the announcement to protect his teflon brand and be conveniently out of the country… Perhaps even groveling to his corporate masters in the US. While spinning hard to try and make it look like they’re listening to what the public wants, National will continue to lose ground for wasting huge amounts of taxpayer money on their ideologically blinded neoliberal agenda. I guess the Nats can just sack a few thousand more public servants to make up the shortfall eh!

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Looks like the Tribunal has been quite smart – they’ve been accommodating to the Gov’t by issuing an early interim report, on the date requested (ordered) by Bill English.

    The interim report has said “delay, and you might be able to sort this out”. So they haven’t been obstructive. Basically it’s a challenge – “ignore us if you dare”, though obviously in much nicer language.

    If I were Key and co I’d delay, because they can recoup the lost political capital later. If they push on they could screw up the whole asset sales plan – not enough “Mums and Dads” buying in, not enough cash for the books.

    They’re probably arrogant enough to push on, though. They reckon they’re bullet-proof, given the state of Labour. Time to prove them wrong with some leadership, please.

    • I am afraid, terrified, that the only lost political capital will be the Maori Party buffer.  And they will gain from an enraged redneck reaction to the judgment.

      • gobsmacked 4.1.1

        Yes, there may be a redneck reaction, but ultimately the first sale (Mighty River) has to generate the cash. If it flops, the economic failure should trump the race-wedge.

    • GregM 4.2

      Tend to agree,Gobsmacked.
      The best thing the Govt. could do is exactly what the Waitangi tribunal recommends. The tribunal has made it clear they are NOT against the partial sale, but do require acknowledgement of the tangatawhenua’s relationship to natural resources.
      My gut feeling, the first of the sales will go ahead, but in a more considered manner, but the later “items on the block” will be removed from offer.
      Interesting times ahead. Greg.

  5. Coolas 5

    Thank you Waitangi Tribunal. ‘Treaty partners negotiate a solution to this dilema.’

    Key has to negotiate or legislate. Either way asset sales are delayed. Either way he’s in for a very rough ride, and I doubt he’s got the stamina or will for what’s coming.

    It’s hard to believe Key Corp got such bad legal advice. Especially with unresolved water rights claims ‘in process.’

    Most interesting will be Key’s attitude toward the Treaty and ‘Partnership.’ Abuse from Banks is certain. Off to watch news. Could be better than Coro.

    • Carol 5.1

      Ah well, accidents and crime trumps the most important political news of the day.

      What a disgrace our news media have become!

    • Dr Terry 5.2

      Coolas. Key might not have the stamina (depends on Joyce for that) or the will (English shouts out the orders), but he does have low down graft and cunning. Moreover, he knows too well that he is a successful gambler.

  6. Foreign Waka 6

    Seems to me a wealth transfer from all NZlaenders in any case. So really, the ones resigning to a loss all the way are the ones loosing which ever way. Politically, these are the votes which will now turn from “asset sales – yes, no. It’s a no” to “loose the tax paid money to a/ or b/”. Hence two flies with one hit. Asset sales will go through and a wedge has been firmly driven between races. (Not everyone has an academic point of view). Well, that was well played.

    • Carol 6.1

      Yes, but the Maori water issue is not the only problem with asset sales…. asset sales that a large proportion of NZers are opposed to.

      • Foreign Waka 6.1.1

        Precisely, this is why the Tribunal is now lodging a claim (why not before the election?). So it will end up like this: Assets will be sold and everybody who has just had the proverbial theft experience has now to pay for the Maori claim as well. Hallelujah, how many times can you shaft one person?

    • OneTrack 6.2

      Foreign Waka – you got it in one. Even if the sales don’t go ahead now, the rest of the country will be paying higher power charges in order to pay the treaty “property rights” (whatever you do dont call it ownership – dont want to scare the horses). High-five!

      Time to start planning for the next claim – air maybe?

  7. richard 7

    Nats Asset Sales programme = CLUSTERFUCK

  8. Carol 8

    O.M.G.! The Herald is shameless !

    I refuse to click on the link at the top of their website to a video of Key’s immediate reaction to the asset sales shambles dance party.

    🙄

  9. AmaKiwi 9

    A view from overseas.

    If you tell market participants overseas you are launching an IPO (initial public offering) they will assume you are drugged or an idiot. Business sucks, everywhere. Money is fleeing shares and going into bonds. I think Key is a smart market watcher and knows he has missed his window of opportunity.

    Coming soon to a news program near you: John Key blames the European credit crisis for the low prices being offered for Mighty River shares but says we should go ahead anyhow.

    So is the purpose of the sale to get a good price for the people’s infrastructure or to simply get it away from them at any price?

    • AmaKiwi 9.1

      Correction: Is the purpose to get them into his family trusts at the lowest possible price?

      • mike 9.1.1

        Financial elites buying up strategic assets at bargain prices in times of economic crisis is a very old game.

        But if the price gets driven too low he surely won’t be able to justify selling at all. Then what does he have to show for his time in power except broken promises, record unemployment, and one crushed car? (Not that I think selling assets would be any kind of achievement.)

  10. xtasy 10

    This is a dilemma. I expected this decision, for sure. But where will it lead to. We had this with fisheries and other issues. This is an open invitation to Key and his government to bring in smart ‘brinkmanship” or whatever you may call it.

    One thing I have learned as a migrant from an non anglo saxon country is: NOTHING is holy, nothing is lasting, nothing is reliable, nothing is valuable and not sellable!

    We will have exactly another repeat of that principle, namely that NOTHING is not sellable and not negotiable. The Crown will go about and do it yet again, go into negotiations and work out numerous individual deals, offering some monetary or interest based rights and compensation, to BUY OFF the iwi and Maori Council.

    It is now up to the Maori Council also to show true colours. Are you going to act in the interest of the whole of Aoteaoroa, or only for the interests of a selected few circles and elitarian interest holders in your quarters?

    We are at a cross roads, sort of, but I see this is actually quite manageable within the free market ideology of National and ACT, as they can simply flog off some “rights’, shares or whatever, to keep the dissenters and claimants quiet, and get on with their agenda on a grander scale.

    As a socially minded person I am getting very, very worried about all this, and I question whether this will not simply serve more the divide and rule system we already have here. It stinks, to be honest, and the call is now on Maori Council and iwi affected, to show their true colours, about what they want NZ’s future to be. I would HATE to be forced to be in the same quarter of nationalists and right wingers on this one, but it is a very, very serious issue to be addressed now, water interests, rights or whatever, that must be resolved in the wider public interest!

    • Carol 10.1

      We will have exactly another repeat of that principle, namely that NOTHING is not sellable and not negotiable. The Crown will go about and do it yet again, go into negotiations and work out numerous individual deals, offering some monetary or interest based rights and compensation, to BUY OFF the iwi and Maori Council.

      Yes, this is my reading of the first reports on the Tribunal interim report. The Tribunal seems to have pointed in this direction: i.e. that some iwi and hapu want the right to be in on the asset sales with more than just shares, but some control and financial stakes:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7543164/Asset-sale-delay-in-national-interest

      “The Crown will be in breach of Treaty principles if it proceeds to sell shares without first providing Maori with a remedy or rights recognition, or at least preserving its ability to do so,” Chief Judge Wilson Isaac said in the report.

      While it was not impossible for Maori rights to be remedied following the sale there were other issues for Maori relating to their guardianship of the resource.

      “We agreed with the claimants that, in practical terms, the Crown will not be able to provide such recognition after it sells shares to private investors.

      “We consider that the sale must be delayed while an accommodation is reached with Maori.”

      Shares in the power-generating state-owned companies would go some way to remedying Maori rights but not all affected groups wanted shares, Isaac said.

      My bold…. indicates that they may want MORE than just shares, but not that they want to stop asset sales in themselves.

      And Key is big on negotiating such deals.

    • Adele 10.2

      Kiaora Xtasy

      It is now up to the Maori Council also to show true colours. Are you going to act in the interest of the whole of Aoteaoroa, or only for the interests of a selected few circles and elitarian interest holders in your quarters?

      Excuse me but since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed way back in 1840 Māori as whānau, hapū and Iwi have been fighting for the rights afforded under the Treaty and have been the only peoples that have suffered the great losses – of lands, of waterways, of lives, of mana.

      The Māori Council last great claim was over the reo – they won but I didn’t see non-Māori interests jump on board and say “hello chaps, can we have a bit of the reo too.” Lots of mention about the Brown Elite – fuck that. There seems to be some meme in place which says that you can’t be a good Māori unless you’re poor, a beneficiary, and know thy place.

      Rather than waste time thinking about the minute minority of Māori that think they’re actually white and act accordingly – fixate yourselves on the huge number of non-Māori business elite that are ripping this country off blind – you, me and our kids.

      • Carol 10.2.1

        fixate yourselves on the huge number of non-Māori business elite that are ripping this country off blind – you, me and our kids.

        For myself, I do just that. But I fear they (led my the ruthless and amoral Key) may pull out all the stops, and apply all kinds of pressures, to do some deal with Iwi and hapū that will ultimately provide most benefit to the wealthy and powerful.

      • xtasy 10.2.2

        Adele – I am not so much against the right of tangata whenua under the TOW, what concerns me most about this is, that it will only “hold up” the sale of the SOEs under the Mixed Ownership Model legislation, and that certain interests in whatever form will be granted to iwi (following negotiations with a cunningly smart Hone Key), and that after that the assets will still be sold.

        I know that many in the opposition get excited about the asset sales being slowed down and hampered, but I want to see them stopped. Hence what is happening throught the Waitangi Tribunal will likely not achieve this, it will only delay the process.

        So a more resolute stand by Maori Council and others involved is appreciated, same by the Waitangi Tribunal, which though is a kind of judicial institution of sorts and must interprete the law in view of TOW.

        Just using the process to get rights and interests awarded, and then letting the government move on with their agenda, that would disappoint me.

  11. Adele 11

    Kiaora Carol,

    Lets say, some Māori groups want the waterways. Some Māori hapū do not want power-stations on their waterways because they have a negative impact on the life-forces of the waterways and the creatures within.

    • Carol 11.1

      Kiaora Adele,

      Replied above. I hope that those acting in the interests of all their people are able to stand strong against the ruthlessness of our current government.

  12. Adele 12

    Kiaora Carol,

    I always enjoy reading your commentary as I know it comes from a good place. You have a good heart with the brains to match.

  13. Carol 13

    Shame on Armstrong in today’s Herald for giving a bit of a green light to race-baiting (albeit expressed in a bit of a cautious, understated way):

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10829353

    The tribunal says Maori do not claim to own all water everywhere. However, it has effectively ruled that iwi do have the right to control access to and the use of water in their rohe (territory) – and to reap the commercial benefits to boot.

    You can almost feel the hackles rising in Talkbackland. National will not want to be seen to be at the beck and call of the tribunal, not least because it is thought to have benefited in recent polls from talking tough on water, with Key insisting no one owns it.

    It’s only the possibility of a court struggle that causes Armstrong to back of from sanctioning this race-baiting.

    A government should be leading in a positive way, not pandering to, and stirring up the lowest common denominator of divisive hate-mongering.

    Why do governments even consider pandering to talkbackland? What percentage of the population are actually into that?

    • Glando periscope 13.1

      John is not advocating that outcome. He is suggesting how the govt will react. I dont understand why it is a shame on him to have written what he believes the political dynamic, however unedifying it is, to be. Should journalists not write things that make uncomfortable reading?

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Should journalists not write things that make uncomfortable reading?

        Real journalists wouldn’t be introducing their own feelings and one eyed editorialising into their analysis.

      • Carol 13.1.2

        A journalist should be aiming for accuracy and a fair reflection of various points of view. He doesn’t directly point out that Key’s claim of no-one owning water was misrepresenting the evidence. He shouldn’t just be repeating the government’s line without question.

        And, clearly, for Armstrong’s target audience it is more uncomfortable reading that Key was wrong in his claim

        • Glando Periscope 13.1.2.1

          In a news story, yes, a range of views should ideally be represented. The Herald has done that. Armstrong, as a political observer of some 30 plus years’ experience, is being paid to take a considered view and express an opinion in this piece. I think you’re confusing his take on the situation with a dislike of what that take is and going a step further and confusing that take with Armstrong’s personal political views. Let’s face it, you read it, reacted and are worried about the political dynamic he describes. That doesn’t make it wrong or unworthy to have described what this is – a National Party-led government highly confident its polling will allow it to ignore or downplay the tribunal’s finding. Seems to me plenty of the comments in this thread fear exactly that outcome.

  14. vto 14

    Well the results are hardly surprising and seemingly consistent with the treaty. Which is all well and good. But still not convinced that the treaty provides a good solid footing for our nation/s in todays world with its ability to separate peoples, with all the issues that brings with it. I keep an eye out for evidence and arguments that it is a good solid footing but aint found it or been presented with it yet. The realities of the treaty, and what is best for Aotearoa, are two different things – there is too much assumption that one equals the other.

    Aside from that, fucking great that Key and his evil brainless bozos have got further stuck in the mud of their own making. They deserve everything they get. Wankers.

    • weka 14.1

      “with its ability to separate peoples,”
       
      Are you arguing for assimilation of Maori into the dominant culture vto?

  15. Fortran 15

    No Sales of SOE’s will require the Government (any Government who wants to balance the countries books) to find the money elsewhere, so that will mean increasing personal taxes and/or cutting its spending to find the $7billion anticipated and budgetted over the next five years.

    Doing so will upset many electorates to be seen to be bowing to the elitist Maori gravy train, which does nothing for most Maori anyway, as Key will blame the combined oppositions also.
    It does not mean that big cheers that will go up from Maori, Greens, Labour, Hone and the Winston parties will find universal favour.

    Key could call an election on this, as I doubt if the opinion polls would change in favour of the opposition parties – are Labour ready, because I suspect that the Nats would win using this as a lead platform.
    Taking Key for a fool is not clever.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      No Sales of SOE’s will require the Government (any Government who wants to balance the countries books) to find the money elsewhere, so that will mean increasing personal taxes and/or cutting its spending to find the $7billion anticipated and budgetted over the next five years.

      Firstly, the Govt is not going to get $7B. That number was always a dream, as we can see by the way the dream is evaporating that National never took into account the reality of timing and objections.

      And personal taxes don’t have to go up a whit to cover Key and English’s economic incompetence. To raise $7B over 5 years is trivial. A tiny FTT and a corporate superprofits tax set at 39% will do it.

      • Tiresias 15.1.1

        “And personal taxes don’t have to go up a whit to cover Key and English’s economic incompetence. To raise $7B over 5 years is trivial. A tiny FTT and a corporate superprofits tax set at 39% will do it.”

        No, taxes don’t HAVE to go up but the Maori have handed National the excuse to put them up to cover the shortfall caused by their claim to own everything in the country that isn’t nailed down and many things that are. And you can be sure the shortfall won’t be covered by increased taxes on the rich, a FTT and business.

        Part at least of the shortfall could be met by directing the retained hydro power companies to pay a larger dividend to the Govt, which will put all our power prices up.

  16. BR 16

    The Waitangi Tribunal are but one of a very long list of expensive and obstructive government agencies that should be closed down forthwith, and all those involved thrown onto the dole.

    Bill.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      And the Office of the Prime Minister should be first down the toilet, with John Key setting the example for the rest of us.

    • Tiresias 16.2

      Except that the government agency that doles out the dole should be the first to go.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Māori land owners left in limbo
    The measly figure allocated to the troubled Te Ture Whenua Māori reforms in Budget 2017 are a sign the reforms are a low priority for the Government and will leave many Māori land owners in limbo, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP ...
    9 hours ago
  • Another fish hook in Budget costs families
    Some families with teenagers will be left worse off by a ‘Teenagers Tax’ hidden in the Budget, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “More than 6,000 families with teens face losing more in their Working for Families payments than ...
    16 hours ago
  • Our position on National’s 2017 Budget
    Around Parliament, Budget time is one of the busiest times of the year. Last week, things were hectic. A number of people were left with the impression that the Greens had voted for “the Budget”. This is incorrect. The Green ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 day ago
  • Ports of Auckland decision a win for workers and the environment
    Ports of Auckland’s decision to no longer release the toxic fumigant methyl bromide into the atmosphere is a win for their workers and for the environment, says Labour’s Spokesperson for Biosecurity Damien O’Connor.   “The intention to move to a ...
    2 days ago
  • Single Child Tax hidden in Budget
    Buried in National’s so-called family Budget is a Single Child Tax that will hit medium to low income families, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 days ago
  • Commerce Commission investigates Ron Hoy Fong
    The decision by the Commerce Commission to investigate Ron Hoy Fong and his questionable advice to property investors to use fake names and target ‘dummies’ is good news, Labour’s spokesperson on Consumer Affairs Michael Wood says.  “I am pleased that ...
    4 days ago
  • National running out of excuses on Pike
    The latest Pike River revelations further erode National's position of blocking a manned re-entry of the Pike River Mine drift, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    4 days ago
  • Nats’ Budget locks in housing crisis
    National’s ninth Budget forecasts house prices will rise at three times the rate of wages, locking in the housing crisis for years to come, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “After nine years, all National can offer is a ...
    4 days ago
  • Small change that is sorely needed
    The big headline of the Government’s Budget yesterday was its Family Incomes Package – a range of measures including changes to income tax thresholds and the Family Tax Credit. Overall the Budget is a huge disappointment and a missed opportunity ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Kids bear the brunt of Budget
    Future generations are the ones bearing the brunt of National’s failure to provide education services the funding they need to make ends meet, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “For nine years in a row the Government has told our ...
    4 days ago
  • The real costs of National’s election bribe
    The cost of National’s poorly-targeted election year budget bribe is that there’s nothing to fix the housing crisis, health funding is cut, and funding for schools is cut, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “As the dust begins to settle ...
    5 days ago
  • Health running on empty
    Get ready for more cuts to health at a local level, affecting all New Zealanders, after a Budget that failed to deliver even enough for health services to stand still, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “District Health Boards this ...
    5 days ago
  • Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff
    National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with ...
    5 days ago
  • After nine years, it’s the One Dollar Bill Budget
    National’s Budget 2017 is an irresponsible election bribe which after nine years exposes a government that’s run out of energy and ideas to tackle the big issues facing New Zealand,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “This is simply cynical electioneering ...
    5 days ago
  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    6 days ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    6 days ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    6 days ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    7 days ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    1 week ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    1 week ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 week ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    3 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    3 weeks ago