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Turei pushing me back to RAM

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, January 29th, 2010 - 62 comments
Categories: greens, labour, minimum wage - Tags: , ,

Check out this exchange between Trevor Mallard and Metiria Turei on his Facebook page (great how the new media allows these spur of the moment debates):

Trevor Mallard: 25c/hour. $10 week for 40 hours then minus tax, extra acc, ets charges. Not fair John Key. It should be $15

Metiria Turei: Trevor, with genuine respect, my question is why didnt you do it when you had the chance? It has been the right thing to do for years.

Mallard: We moved it from $7 to $12. Trajectory would have had it at $14. Not much real help from you guys esp since Russel started cuddling tories.

Turei:Getting personal wont help here – this is a political debate about the use of power when you have it to weild.
I agree that the minimum wage did rise under Labour. Even if the trajectory, in the best of circumstances, would have had it at $14 in 2010, it was still a slow process over nearly 10 years. The issue now is to make sure that we have a political committment from parties that the minimum wage will go to at least $15 ph or to, as the petition says, “66% of the average total hourly earnings as defined in the Quarterly Employment Survey” We need a committment to kepp closing that gap in the short and long term and a committment fairly sharing the cost of eliminating poverty.

Mallard: Metiria the txts and phones are running hot at your choice to attack Labour rather than Nats on multiple sites on this issue – general disbelief – from both Greens and Labour people. This is politics not personal.

Turei: We have to live with our legacies and its hard sometimes. Its not unreasonable to ask what the barriers to the doing the right thing was in the past and whether those barriers will still be in place in the future. What we need now is positive, future focused committments.

Mallard: Metiria Can’t tell if you are trying to be cute or smart or what. I am very proud of the progress Labour made on the minimum wage. Took it from $7 to $12. Way way ahead of inflation and change in average wages. Worked closely with Sue Bradford on the youth issue. And she knew how to work on an issue where there was broad agreement and it didn’t involve repeating the very lines the National party used to attack Labour as you have done tonight.

I thought it was hilarious. Bit worried about Turei though.

  1. Why is she attacking Labour over what it did or didn’t do in the past when National is doing bad stuff now? National, not Labour, made the pathetic 25 cent increase. Plenty of things you can legitimately criticise Labour on (check our ‘Labour’ category). Lifting the minimum wage by 71% in 9 years isn’t one.
  2. Turei’s absorbed National/Farrar lines. The ‘why didn’t Labour permanently fix every problem’ line is what we expect from our dumber righties. Argument boils down to ‘Labour should have insured New Zealand against all National’s future crappiness’.
  3. Mallard owned her.

I should be a key voter for Turei. Left of Labour on everything. But this poorly executed, unjustified, sniping attack leaves me cold. Not how Fitzsimons would have acted. Looks like it’s RAM for me again in 2011.

62 comments on “Turei pushing me back to RAM”

  1. Peter Johns 1

    I hope you take a couple of thousand of your buddies with you to vote RAM. Should see the Greens go below 5%. Keep up the good work laddie.

    She does have a point though, Trev the Muss did not increase the Min wage that much when he was in power with an economy that was booming. Lion in opposition, mouse in power.

  2. Good call Z.

    The Greens are starting to really worry me.

    With the loss of Donald, Bradford and now Fitzsimons they have lost a huge amount of talent. Norman’s decision to stand in Mt Albert was, well, weird at best.

    Cosying up to the nats and criticising Labour because they did not do quite enough but far more than the nats would ever do is buying the Farrar line.

    That post was interesting. Of course if the Nats want to criticise Labour for not doing enough then the solution is simple. Support Mallard’s bill.

    What are the chances of this happening?

    • Mr Magoo 2.1

      I am not sure this is blowing up a situation beyond proportion.
      I am also not sure what all the confusion is. Every angle is pretty obvious to me?

      We are all very wealthy and want to take more of your money. (NB: tongue only partially in cheek)

      We were not able to get through much of our social policy because we were in govt with dunne and winston and lost chunks of our working class base. We want it back and unfortunately part of that push will effect the greens indirectly as always.

      We need to differentiate ourselves from labour on this whole “reconnect with the working class” thing they are doing. Minimum wage workers are where a lot of our base is.

      I am a generally angry man who is prone to being a dolt in public…

      I don’t agree with attacking labour with that meme. It is also unfair given the amount the min wage rose during their term as Mallard points out in an unhelpful fashion.
      Pillow fights between labour and the greens like this will not help either of them. Conversing with Mallard on anything is likely to be the same.

      I actually hoped that the greens and labour would form a left coalition at some stage. Unfortunately the tories are so good at raising the ghosts of communist past that labour always backs away.

    • Zepher 2.2

      Bradford and Fitzsimons are still members of The Greens. They just aren’t MPs anymore. Their minds are still there to contribute, they’ll just be doing less in it than they use to.

  3. toad 3

    Come on Z, be fair. Metiria released a media statement very strongly condemning National for its inaction on the minimum wage:

    A twenty-five cent increase in the minimum wage will do little to help some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable families make ends meet, said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei today.

    “John Key’s Government lacks both the courage and the compassion to help those earning the bare minimum to get through these difficult economic times,’ said Ms Turei.

    The Government today announced a raise to the minimum wage from $12.50 to $12.75.

    “Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would have brought us into line with minimum wage rates in Australia — one gap this Government isn’t interested in closing,’ said Ms Turei.

    “450,000 New Zealanders would benefit by raising the minimum wage to $15. Protecting the wages of the most vulnerable is an essential part of creating a fairer, more equal society. Sixty-one percent of New Zealanders agree.’

    Ms Turei was using figures from a NZ Herald poll last week that found that 61% of New Zealanders support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

    The Green Party is growing increasingly concerned at the current economic direction of John Key’s Government — a Government now giving serious consideration to cutting the top level of income tax by 21%. The resulting inequality will inevitably lead to greater social spending and a more divided country.

    “It’s better to pay people fair wages for their work than to top up their salaries with social assistance spending. A minimum wage of $15 per hour could save more than $1 billion from the Government’s social assistance budget alone. A billion dollars we could put into schools, hospitals, or cleaning up our rivers.’

    The Greens have consistently been advocating a higher minimum wage than Labour – they were calling for $12 an hour in 2005 and Labour didn’t get to that figure until 2008.

    And I think it is fair for Metiria to remind people that Labour’s commitment to $15 an hour has come somewhat belatedly. At the time of the last election they were saying:

    We acknowledge that there have been calls from a number of quarters to lift the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. Labour would like to meet this target if possible, but in the current economic circumstances we are not able to commit to doing so.

    Labour will guarantee annual adjustments to the minimum wage during the next term of government, so that the minimum wage at least keeps pace with increases in the average wage or the consumer price index, whichever is the greater.

    • Be fair my arse! The Greens need to wake up, I for one am sick of the pious rhetoric from the Greens. No Government not even one with the Greens in it can solve a counties problems in total forever. Politics and issues move as does time. What might not be a problem today may be a urgent issue tommorrow.

      The Greens have used right wing attack lines on Labour for a long time now. The Greens need to work out if they are going to progress their voters issues/ concerns by working with Labour or the Nats. Its that simple.

      Message to the Geens leadership get of you pious seats and start working with Labour or stay on your seat, cuddle up with smiley John and achieve jack shit!

      At the end of the day its your choice but I get the feeling some Labour activists have had enough of the Greens stupid attacks. Good on Mallard to.

      • HitchensFan 3.1.1

        My god, Craig, you’ve summed up my views PRECISELY! Hope the Greens are reading this. Bring back Sue and Jeanette…….

  4. Z, you are as sensitive on this issue as mallard was! My worry is that once again, Mallard (and Labour) have failed to commit to fixing the issue. That’s where I think Meyt was going, and I think she ‘owned’ Trevor! What matters here is not the sniping, but the results for those on the minimum wage.

    When will Labour step up?

    • Armchair Critic 4.1

      “When will Labour step up?”
      Probably when they can next form a government. Personally I’m hoping for 2011. Otherwise it will be 2014 – there is no way National can win three elections in a row.

    • Zetetic 4.2

      70% in nine years is stepping up. Should have been higher yes.

      Your enemy isn’t the guy who is fighting with you just not well enough. It’s the guy fighting against you.

      Key has managed just 3% a year. He’s your enemy.

  5. Lew 5

    This just strikes me as another example of Labour trying to be the left, and treating other left movements as competitors to be extinguished or absorbed, rather than adopting a position at the centre of a left-aligned bloc.

    This way lies ruin. One of the hallmarks of progressive politics is that the various factions will not swallow their own initiatives and principles in the name of unity, as the conservatives will. Rather than trying to fight this tendency, as Labour is, they should be trying to utilise it to their advantage.

    Going to RAM won’t help the situation, either, and sends a weird sort of message of solidarity to Labour. They’re much more strident (though much less relevant) opponents of the establishment left than the Greens are. I’d say they’re welcome to you, because if you’ll throw your toys over something like this you’re probably more of a liability than an asset in any case.


    • Zetetic 5.1

      It struck me as Turei being a dork. Attacking her ally because she didn’t think they had done enough. Failing to give any respect to their very good record, which could have been better. Adopting National lines. And failing to attack the real enemy.

      Is it just me who thinks its pathetic to attack a party of the Left that has put up the min wage every time is has been government using lines of a party that hates the poor and reduces the min wage to a pittance?

  6. gingercrush 6

    I don’t see the problem. Metira asked Mallard a question but instead of answering the damn thing its him who first goes on attack with his sniping on Norman. Also I like how Trevor can dish it out but can’t actually take it.

    Or was this not a low-blow?

    Silly Russel Norman doesn’t want us doing movies in NZ. He is opposed to the grant that got Avatar here.

    He prefers low tech low skill low wage jobs or none at all.


    I think its an appalling state of affairs if Labour must be immune to criticism.

  7. Ray 7

    Toad is right ( I never thought those word would leave my mouth)

    The Greens are the ones who dragged Labour, kicking and screaming so to speak, to up the minimiun wage and fair enough if they point out the hypocrisy of the present call for $15 now when they don’t have to pay the piper

    • lprent 8.1

      So gc – are you going to say how much Labour raised the minimum wage in march 2008? Or are you going to try to defend the pathetic $0.25 that the NACTs put in?

      I remember the 90’s when the national party let the minimum wage slide to the point that it was far lower than the official deep poverty level – and some dickhead employers (and a few national MPs) were crying that it was still to high (and raising it would cut employment). Chicken little?

      The way that the Nats let the minimum wage drop was to simply raise the minimum wage much less than the CPI – just like they are doing this year.

      • gingercrush 8.1.1

        I’m not defending National’s 25 cents. Its terrible. My point in showing that post was that this was the type of thing the left were thinking prior to the election. Perhaps therefore in reading that they might understand where Metira Turei is coming from.

        Personally I favour a high minimum wage but that minimum wage must be matched with significant cuts to Business Tax.

    • Bright Red 8.2

      um, if I’m reading right, the post is criticising Labour for not adopting a policy to increase the min wage to $15 an hour as part of its election policy. Now, it has commited to that target. What’s the problem?

  8. Jonathan 9

    Mallard didn’t ‘own’ anybody, all he did was to show what a typical bully he is. He likes losing his temper and getting in fights and attacking people, but a girl calls him out on the legacy of his government and he has a big sook and cry about it? He can dish out the punches (verbally and physically) but can’t handle any sort of criticism himself. Personally I think he’s an embarrassment and should retire immediately because his presence isn’t positive and he seems to have very little to offer to the progressive movement as a whole. I told him so on his blog and he decided not to post my comment…sticks & stones huh

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      typical bully, a girl, big sook and cry about it, the punches (verbally and physically), an embarrassment, should retire immediately,…..

      “isn’t positive”


      This is stupid.

      Labour isn’t as far to the left as the Greens.
      The Greens should criticise them for that, and take votes off them from any lefties that vote Labour.

      The LP should pay attention to that, but not at the expense of losing centrist votes.

      If that means throwing punches at the Greens to cover policy shifts left, meh.

      If the LP loses centrist votes, the left loses.

  9. lukas 10

    We don’t mind you wasting your vote on RAM

  10. Patrick 11

    RAM got less than 500 votes at the last election.

    • Lew 11.1

      Goal for 2011: beat the Libertarianz. If they join forces with the Workers Party, they might have a shot. I say, might.


    • George D 11.2

      You need to have 500 or more members to register as a political party in New Zealand. You do the maths…

      • Bright Red 11.2.1

        I don’t think that has ever been enforced. Political parties don’t publish their memberships

        • George D

          You have to provide

          For each member a personally signed and dated declaration (usually the membership form) which contains:

          1. The member’s name and residential street address;
          2. Confirmation by the person that they are eligible to enrol as an elector;
          3. The amount of the membership fee that has been paid to the party;
          4. Authorisation for the party to record them as a financial member of the party;
          5. Authorisation for the party to release their membership details to the Electoral Commission for the purpose of the application to register the party under the Electoral Act.

          So yeah, you do have to have had 500 people go to that much effort.

    • Labour was 39 votes away from another list seat. So close …

  11. SHG 12

    As far as I can see, the only person that Trevor owned in this little interchange was Trevor.

    For all his “leading Labour online” efforts, Trevor is still a newb. He doesn’t get it. Someone tried to debate an issue with him and he kickbanned her. That’s the sort of behaviour you expect from a powertripping 16-year-old op on Undernet, not a political party’s great white hope.

  12. George D 13

    Why do so many on the left automatically assume that Green MPs are trolling?

    As Frog as pointed out above, they have always been very cool towards any large increase in the minimum wage, actively resisting calls from the Greens to increase it to a proper living wage. Slowly and incrementally was Helen Clark’s style, and whenever I talked to Labour activists they said that we’re getting there eventually, but we can’t do it as quickly as that. I accepted that was Labour’s modus operandi, even if I disagreed with it.

    Suddenly, from the comfort of the opposition benches they’re asking for the largest single increase in decades, when they know that National is in no position to do so, for a number of reasons (most of them ideological and to do with their backers in business). Metiria has the right to ask Labour about this newfound enthusiasm and just what it means.

    If Labour don’t deliver a very significant increase in the minimum wage next time they’re in power, it will be they who were trolling.

    • Bright Red 13.1

      “If Labour don’t deliver a very significant increase in the minimum wage next time they’re in power, it will be they who were trolling.”

      well, last time they delivered 70-odd percent in 9 years. And they’ve committed to $15 now.

      So, yeah, I think we can expect good increases from them.

      • TightyRighty 13.1.1

        70 odd percent in nine years? whoop de shit. their now calling for a 19% rise in one year? you don’t have to be a genius to work out that if labour were as good as their made-in-opposition promises the minimum wage would be at $33.50. that is roughly a 19% increase year on year for nine years from $7. and Labour had the economic boom to end all economic booms to work with. NZ has only just exited recession. labours commitments are laughable. and probably paid for by us on a pledge card.

        • Zetetic

          70% in nine years is whoopite sh*t indeed. Your dickhead party managed 14% in their last nine years. http://nacew.govt.nz/publications/files/paper-low-waged-work.pdf

          At the current rate it’ll take your hero Key 22 years to get it up 70%.

          • TightyRighty

            i’m not comparing parties Z, don’t get so defensive. I’m just saying, as i have before, that labours latest attention grabbing attempt at siding beside the average kiwi battler is laughable. their track record all by itself means they can’t be believed. nice slander attack though, trying to paint national in a bad light, even though they don’t campaign on minimum wage issues. sucker

            • Zetetic

              I’m painting the Nats in a bad because they don’t do anything for the minimum wage worker. Fact they don’t campaign on doing anything for the working poor just makes them worse.

              Labour’s track record is a 70% increase in the min wage. Record low unemployment. Record high wages increases.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Now now zet, it’s slanderous to say that National should give a shit about the working poor.

              • TightyRighty

                this isn’t about the nats zucker, this about what the greens think of your precious labour policy. which is they think it is pretty much BS and only there for political expediency. record low unemployment, dirven by growth in the public sector, record high wages, led by growth in the public sector (phil goff voting for an automatic 5% wage increase every year for 5 years for top civil servants) 70% increase in the minimum wage? and now you want $15 per hour, why don’t you all just admit your precious labor government didn’t do enough?

              • I have to back Z here TightyRighty. The thread is ultimately about the workers and a living wage, and all parties be damned. The Nats have the worst record of all in government. We greenies may get into Labour’s face over their about-face, but the National Party’s record borders on criminal.

              • TightyRighty

                do you now richard? well, that is really a cutting blow on the verge of this weekend.

                when you campaign for something people can reasonably expect you to deliver (tax cuts?), when you don’t, but do something nice anyway, well shit lets rag on them because our side feels more should have been done. well your side lost, and to campaign on it now is just politcal expediency, nothing more. when it’s your turn, do what ever the hell you want, if you campaigned on minimum wage levels, good for you, stick to your principles (tax cuts?), if you didn’t campaign for a minimum wage increase and did it anyway, you are actually pretty awesome.

                borders on criminal, another thing the left wants to ban?

                “section 63 of the political justice act; it will be a criminal offence to perform any action which a party on the acknowledged left of the political spectrum does not like or feels is against the left wing parties agenda.”

                at least this government actually isn’t criminal (TPF), that thing has mileage doesn’t it?

      • George D 13.1.2

        Actually, it was about 50% in real terms, coming off a low base. That’s still good, and Labour deserve credit for it.

        However, Labour were committed to incremental raises, and actively resisted any huge increase. The $12 commitment was part of their deal with NZFirst, and they were quite cautious about it, saying they would allow it “only if economic conditions permit”. It happened, and for that I’m thankful.

        But let’s forget about that reluctance and conditionality… because we want to.

  13. greenfly 14

    Good grief! How precious you are being!
    Metiria startled Trevor with a question on his Facebook page, causing him to throw his arms in the air, biff a few pointless insults her way and chuck her off his ‘friends’ list!
    The Greens have and will continue to hold Labour’s feet to the heat when necessary, but for Labour and her supporters to screech and writhe every time they do it is quite pathetic, given that this was hardly an inferno Metiria was subjecting Trevor to, more the warm glow of a friendly fire.
    Goff’s speech two days back was a good one, and Labour has pricked-up its ears in response, but to start churlishly swatting anyone within arms reach as a result, is silly. Silly, Mr Mallard.

    • Zetetic 14.1

      you’re ignoring the problem.

      I should be a green voter but I look at Turei and Norman and see ignorance and arrogance, respectively. They have no appeal for radicals and are too smug for mainstream.

      It’s a dangerous position to be in.

      • IrishBill 14.1.1

        I had a look at the thread on frogblog (I haven’t checked it out for months) and was struck by the fact they allow comments to be voted down by readers to the point where the comment appears to fade into the background.

        I actually find that more censorious than someone defriending someone else from their personal facebook page.

        Edit: and before I forget to mention it, RAM are splitters! Go the workers party!

        • lprent

          Yeah I don’t like it as a concept. I wrote a post about it operating on kiwiblog a couple of months back. Seems to be designed to allow a local bully group to form.

          By the time you change the parameters to the point it cannot happen, then it is ineffective.

          BTW: You do like wasting your vote 😈

          • IrishBill

            Only my electorate vote. The Greens have had my party vote since the Alliance went west.

        • Bill

          Don’t know about censorious. Really fucking childish though. It kind of reminds me of primary school situations where a teacher would ask a question, get a couple of answers and get every other kid to put up their hands if they agreed with person a and again for person b.

          Note that’s person a or person b… not answer a or answer b.

          And I’d have thought the Greens would have had a dim view of of any personality cult dynamics. But, no. Apparently not.

          I wonder….

          edit. just noticed the ‘hide comments of less than x value.’ Fucking fucked.

  14. the sprout 15

    he he, i remember RAM.
    the party that claimed 5000 members and got a grand total 400 party votes nationwide.

  15. Santi 16

    Good to see the censor removing postings on this subject with glee!

    [lprent: Be a dickhead if you want. You know the policy about speculating on authors. But if you want to be booted off the site for a long time, then just carry on.

    I read the comments in the trash as well as everywhere else. ]

  16. Wesley Leftie 17

    Mallard owned her?
    Yeah, and Labour won the last election.

    C’mon, Metiria totally pwned Mallard.

  17. lprent 18

    Mallard owned her.

    I really really hate that owned, pwned, etc phrase. It is a pile of crap under almost every circumstance, and as far as I’m concerned simply designed to start really stupid flame wars because it is simply too subjective to be arguable.

    All it does is increase my workload. If I see it again, in posts or comments then I’m liable to express my opinion of it with some alacrity.

    Leave it for the nuts.

  18. tc 19

    I see the greens heading towards political oblivion……the new leaders are as inspiring as Key is and their appeal has always been ‘Keeping the bastards honest’ to nick the catchcry of the founder of Oz’s balance of power party…the Democrats.

    They look more like the MP……show up, act indignant and concerned….do nothing and collect the baubles.

  19. If the left wants to win the next election we had better stop this petty bickering now!
    The enemy for Labour and the Greens is National /ACT
    and this cuddling up to National by the Greens is going to lose us support .The trouble is this lost support may not go to Labour ,it either becomes a none vote or goes to some obscure minority pqrty . Its the Left’s lose. If we want a left wing government then we need a Labour /Green coalition. Of course we have differences but lets discuss them in private not in the public domain where they are eagerly picked up by the likes of the Herald and the Conservative press let alone the Nats dirty tricks brigade.

  20. Paul Williams 21

    Great, the left are in-fighting again. Piety on one side, sarcasm on the other.

    Wouldn ‘t it be better if both were simply discussing the pitful increase in the minimum wage?

    • Blue 21.1

      The Left is in a bit of a sorry state right now. Both the Maori Party and the Greens think it’s more fun to attack Labour than National, and the new Green party leadership are more irritating than fingernails on a blackboard.

      Labour’s poll ratings are terrible, the Maori Party has taken support and seats from them and the Greens will not poll nearly as well now as they did with the much-respected Jeanette in charge.

      There’s a lot of work to be done this year.

  21. roger nome 22

    You’re being a little sensitive here zet. It’s fair cop, and as a social democrat i find it hard to disagree with Turia. For the country’s political centre to move left (which we all, on the left want, surely) than Labour, as the defacto left party, has to move left first, and drag National kicking and screaming.

    It ain’t rocket science.

  22. Paul Williams 23

    Blue, I don’t see things the same as you appear to.

    Labour’s first year in opposition has been good and certainly in stark contrast to the situation in 1991+ (also National’s situation in 2000+). Also, Caucus and party renewal is well advanced . What’s not yet in place is new policies, but I’m not surprised by that at this point.

    I’m disappointed in the sniping but have a sense of the underlying tactical considerations.

  23. Jared 24

    Im struggling to understand how a 19% change in one year can be advocated considering Labour averaged a 7.78% increase annually? Its easy when you are in opposition to make unrealistic expectations.

  24. Francois 25

    It’s really the current Green leadership that doesn’t understand the situation that Fitzsimmons did. The Green Party exists at the sufferance of the Labour Party – if they pick fights with the Labour Party – the Labour Party can destroy them as a political force.

    It would be in the interest of the broad left to avoid such bloodletting – it would take about a decade for the Left to even begin to think of being in government if that did happen. But the retarded tone-deaf Green Party leadership is pushing this closer and closer to reality…

  25. greenfly 26

    Metiria Turei: Trevor, with genuine respect, my question is why didnt you do it when you had the chance? It has been the right thing to do for years.

  26. millsy 27

    Can someone please provide links to the Green Party press releases supporting school vouchers, a regressive tax system, increased overseas ownership, ‘flexible labour laws’, cuts to government spending etc, and so on.

    Because I dont see any evidence that the Green Party is ‘cuddling tories’?

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