web analytics

Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, February 5th, 2014 - 45 comments
Categories: Economy, wages - Tags: ,

Charles Waldegrave has slammed Brian Scott’s critique of the method used to calculate the Living Wage in New Zealand.

In a detailed and interesting analysis, he addresses the databases used to develop the Living Wage and compares the New Zealand approach with that of other countries. He shows Scott’s critique, and that of the Treasury, lack an informed understanding of the definition of a living wage and confuse market wage rates and welfare transfers.

He also demonstrates how Scott selectively applies international comparative data and consistently misapplies the use of Statistics New Zealand’s Household Economic Survey database. Further, he states Scott provides no evidence for his assertions about the negative impacts of the living wage on workplace morale and productivity.

Waldegrave cites the evidence of the balance of studies that have shown positive business and economic outcomes from living wage policies internationally.

*The living wage level was set at $18.40 per hour in February 2013. Scott’s paper has been given prominence on David Farrar’s Kiwiblog 3 January 2014





45 comments on “Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique”

  1. Disraeli Gladstone 1

    “It is not suggested that the minimum wage be lifted to the level of the living wage.
    They are quite separate entities.”

    I sometimes feel like that get lost in translation to both the left and right. The right goes “oh no! look at this massive increase” and the left goes “everybody gets it!”

    It shouldn’t be statutorily enforced. I like the London scheme which is similar to a fair trade badge. You get the logo if you pay the living wage. I’d certainly tailor that knowledge into where I shop.

    • framu 1.1

      thats pretty much my view as well (living wage, not minimum wage)

      yes the market can decide – and the purchaser is as much a part of the market as the employer (and the use of the badge is a good idea). But theres no reason why the govt (who is a player in the market too) cant lead the way

      it will only work by showing it works and by building the expectation and demand. It wont work and is too easily undone if its a top down imposed thing

    • McFlock 1.2

      personally, I’d want very good reasons why the minimum wage is not set at a living-wage level.

      As always ( 🙂 ) I’d be looking for a phased increase rather than a blanket dictat, but everyone is entitled to live in dignity and participate in society. That includes a right to work 35-40 hrs per week, and to work only 35-40hrs per week.

      I was amused that Waldegrave’s response had to continually address the fact that tories have no idea what “dignity” means, and that it’s not the same as “minimum”.

      • weka 1.2.1

        “but everyone is entitled to live in dignity and participate in society”

        What would you do with benefit rates in that case?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          +1 Weka.

          Set benefit rates at living wage rates. Or don’t you want to live in high waged economy? Politics of envy handicap?

        • McFlock

          probably along the lines of what oak said above, especially for longer term benefits. Ideally the unemployment benefit is a bridging benefit, but that requires full employent policies

      • Lanthanide 1.2.2

        The only argument I could think for why the living wage should not be the minimum is that the living wage is targeted at families with particular assumptions in mind. There are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount, and similarly many families that would need more than the calculated living wage to ‘live’ well, particularly if they have high-needs family members.

        Of course the minimum wage should be $15, preferably $16, so the leap from there to $18.40 isn’t all that much.

        • just saying

          …there are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount,…

          If they were puritans, exceptional budgeters, already set-up with low miaintenance, free or affordable accomodation, and hit no unexpected bumps along the road….ever

          Unless you mean short-term……but for many, many, people, it’s not. And even short term in the best of all possible circumstances, why shouldn’t workers be allowed to splurge a little – have a nice meal, a holiday once in a while…..

          • Lanthanide

            If they were puritans, exceptional budgeters, already set-up with low miaintenance, free or affordable accomodation, and hit no unexpected bumps along the road….ever

            Note that I’m suggesting a minimum wage of $16, and that therefore someone who was single could ‘live well’ for $16/hour.

            If you’re saying that the difference between $16 and $18.40 is so marked that all of the things you’ve mentioned here are true, for a single person, then I can only conclude that you would also consider $18.40 to be too little to raise a family on, which is what the living wage was calculated for.

            • just saying

              If you are working fulltime on $16 per hour an extra $2.40 per hour is not “chump change” it could mean you could afford to see the dentist, for example.

              Btw, I live quite well on less because I’m pretty well-set-up (though not a puritan). But when that bump comes I’m fucked, and you know what? – that’s an incessant life-sapping stress.

          • gem

            +1 But somehow the commensurate argument about the top of the scale never gains traction; i.e why on earth does the head of an SOE need 50 times or more the minimum wage? The double standard is a bit like John Galbraith’s ‘private opulence and public squalor’, except now we have a quasi corporate public sector where the head of the postal service gets 28 times the minimum wage.

        • karol

          It evens out in the long run as people’s circumstances change. Most single people will eventually have children. Most people with children will eventually be empty nesters. Several along the way will have others to care for – older people, injured, sick or disabled, etc.

          Good if one can have a few good times before having children. Maybe also save a little.

          • Lanthanide

            Yes, savings is a good point I hadn’t really considered.

            Anyway, I said that was the only argument I could think of, I’m not necessarily putting that forwards myself. Like I said in the post, I’m in favour of a minimum wage of $16, and I see $2.40 as being chump-change on top of that (extra 15%), so while I wouldn’t necessarily support a raise to $18.40, I also wouldn’t oppose it.

        • stargazer

          “the living wage is targeted at families with particular assumptions in mind. There are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount, and similarly many families that would need more than the calculated living wage to ‘live’ well, particularly if they have high-needs family members.”

          the living wage is based on a family of 2 adults & 2 children, with one person working 40 hours per week & the other working 20 hours per week. a single person wouldn’t be getting the wage from the additional 20 hours. the living wage also takes into account working for families entitlements. a single person without kids would not get any working for families payments.

          so taking both those things into account, a single person would be getting a significantly lesser amount in terms of their overall income. bigger families would get a higher working for families entitlement, so a higher level of overall income.

          • Lanthanide

            Thanks stargazer, I wasn’t aware of those specific details.

            In that case yes, $18.40 for a single person seems like a reasonable rate.

    • KJT 1.3

      A minimum wage should be at the same level as a “living” wage.

      Why should your employees, subsidise, your business?

      Capitalism 101. Businesses which cannot pay the true costs of the resources they use, including people, should be allowed to fail, to make room for those who can use their inputs more effectively.

      • Macro 1.3.1


      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.3.2

        The true costs of the resources they use (people) is not the living wage. The true cost isn’t even the minimum wage. It would be what the market decides (probably far below the minimum wage).

        That’s why we have statutory guarantees on a wage limit because capitalism would lead to an effective minimum wage that would be far too low.

        So, no. Not really Capitalism 101.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    Waldegrave clearly doesn’t understand how right wing facts work. His work has been subjected to a process of denial therefore it is flawed. No fact-based analysis can compete with this.

    • Macro 2.1

      Sad but true.

    • QoT 2.2

      At some point we really do have to let go of the idea we can convince the right with facts. They don’t want the people at the bottom of the ladder to have fulfilled, satisfying lives. They cannot be reasoned with on this point.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        I think the best strategy is to make their arguments the subject of ridicule.

      • RedLogix 2.2.2

        Yes. When I contemplate the gulf between the two ways of thinking – I’m tempted by the idea that there must be some irreducible genetic difference. By alas therein lies the madness of eugenics.

        I have this clear memory of an old picture from a mountain equipment catalog from the 1980’s. It was a gorgeous photo of a climber casually cooking dinner, while ensconced in a suspended bivvy dangling on one of the massive vertical faces in the Yosemite. The contrast between the eerie exposure of his position, with the domestic familiarity of what he was doing was the striking element. The caption said, “humans are the most adaptable species”.

        I guess that is what I hang onto – that we are all inherently capable of adapting to new circumstances. Change the circumstance and most people will change with it.

        Humans have arrived at one of the extremes of our adaptability. We’re an highly agonist, hierarchical and competitive society, and we are so heavily adapted to it we have trouble imagining an alternative. Or perhaps more to the point, most people have so much personal energy invested into the adaptation they really cannot let go.

        It’s my observation that it’s takes something bigger than the individual to trigger that letting go, to allow the possibility of transformation. Traditionally it has been a belief in a strong leader, the tribe, village, state or race which energises us. Or a belief system, benign or otherwise, such as the almost universal religious experience.

        Yet none of these traditional modes of transformation seem adequate any longer.

        OAK – yes but ridicule goes bpth ways.

        • greywarbler

          Red Logix

          • karol

            Then it just becomes a nasty, aggressive, slanging match.

            Best just to keep repeating your values and position – sometimes with facts, at other times with humour, at other times just the position, etc – there is no one way that fits all responses/contexts.

            • greywarbler

              That’s a Good simple little adage to remember karol. Well put, I think I’ll keep it. It’s a bit like How to implement a mission statement.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Yeah plus one Karol. Suit the tactics to the terrain.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          RedLogix, are you sure we haven’t just adapted to having lots of cheap energy? The true range of our adaptability is determined by our environment. Easy to survive in the tropics. At the poles, in the deserts, not so much.

          As for a trans-formative experience, hang on to your hat, Dorothea.

          • RedLogix

            Yes and no. The Innuit have managed just fine in the Arctic and the Kalahari San thrive in an environment quite the opposite.

            What would not survive so well without cheap energy is all the technology. (Right now I’m working in an innovative mining area which is addressing urgent challenges around how to extract minerals from increasingly lower-grade ores without the energy costs going beserk – so your comment makes perfect sense from that perspective.)

            What does interest me a lot is that when you look beyond the relatively narrow confines of our own current society there are a myriad other possible ways of living. We keep making the mistake of thinking that because we have constructed a highly competitive, hierarchical, individualistic society and because people have adapted to this – that this is the ONLY way people can behave. That’s just flat-out not true.

            Almost all behaviour (as distinct from our motivations) is a social construct and is a result of the circumstances we construct and tolerate. Change these circumstances and people’s beahviour will adapt with an extraordinary flexibility.

            Jared Diamond (who I keep on referencing) used the example in his book Collapse. How Societies choose to Succeed or Fail used the example of an isolated group on a tiny, remote Eastern Pacific atolls who faced with environmental collapse chose to ban the raising and eating of pigs. This was a very big and difficult decision for them to make – but enabled them to survive an otherwise almost certain collapse.

            Part of Diamond’s argument is that when the decision-making elites of a society become too isolated, insulated, from the conditions of ordinary people – then it becomes impossible for them to make these challenging and critical reconfigurations essential to adaptation. Which always results in social collapse.

            It has been of course a religious belief in the god of progress that has sustained our society in it’s present configuration. When that god fails us – right about the time the oil fails – we will be desperately in need of a wholly new and transformative ‘idea bigger than ourselves’ to shape the way we behave.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              That’s my point: the “transformative ‘idea bigger than ourselves’ to shape the way we behave”, will be our environment, as always.

              The price of oil and the costs of climate change loom large.

              • Colonial Viper

                Problem is, the environment is a highly lagging indicator.

                By the time it’s obvious to ordinary people in ‘advanced western nations’ how changed (for the worse) things have become in the global environment, it will be far too late.

  3. Tracey 3

    But joyce says that labour and greens are lying about the numbers. He wouldnt lie.

    • Macro 3.1

      Yeah! The lying bastards! I mean what do they know about wages and living?? Whereas Joyce knows how to live it up – and pay minimal wages.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        Pretty sure any payroll administered by Steven Joyce would be a monumental fuckup. Not a dig at Novopay – his feeble ideology is the only connection he has with that.

        Nah, I’m saying he lacks the day-to-day diligence and care too.

  4. greywarbler 4

    I was interested in who this Brian Scott is. He is not Graham Scott from Treasury in case anyone thought that. And found some interesting links and quotes as well which I throw in to show attitudes from various people in society.

    The Visible Hand in Economics – Matt Nolan

    One site said he was a – Researcher Brian Scott
    From Home Paddock summary – But Brian Scott who has recently completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with first class honours, has done a very thorough critique of the living wage proposal.

    On HomePaddock – In the critique.
    P 33 10 About the Author
    Brian Scott, 50, is currently taking a middle-age gap year after successfully completing four years of tertiary study at the Victoria University of Wellington. On completion Brian was awarded a Batchelor of Commerce and Administration (1st Class Honours), majoring in Information Systems. In addition to the degree, Brian was also awarded a prestigious “Excellence Award” which recognises the achievements of the top five percent of Business School graduates. He is not, and has never been, a member of any political party or movement.
    The BCA (Hon) is a research degree, with a focus on research and critical thinking.

    Then from stuff – http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/9606501/Living-wage-policy-is-poor-solution-to-complex-problem
    Wellington City Council’s adoption of a living wage policy represents a failure of governance, writes Nicola Young.
    “Mayor Celia Wade- Brown has defended this Alice in Wonderland approach”
    (Nicola Young is a Wellington city councillor. Last month she attempted to delay the implementation of the minimum wage to allow for consultation. Her motion was defeated eight votes to five.)

    And following on but eagerly pushing forward is dahdah – Lindsay Mitchell: Living wage critique
    Jan 3, 2014 – Brian Scott has published a critique of the so called Living Wage, and it … No all we need is a half-way competent economist to point out what every business- owner and every job-creator in NZ knows: … February 3 in history.

    (Unfortunately Brian Scott has never been in involved in any movement. Pity he didn’t move his brain more aside from the channel of Commerce towards Humanity when he was tudying.)

  5. adam 5

    Blah blah blah – f&^k the labour market. Wages have been going backwards for years. A minimum wage is a joke, it means victory for bad bosses and slack, nasty owners. Ffs come on people, if you going to work for someone else they need to pay you and pay your fair. It seems to me all this statistical analysis is a smoke screen so employers can carry on being ass-holes.

    If your not getting $27 a hour – why are you getting out of bed?

    Plus screw the moaning right wing d*&kwads if there so good with money, why does the economy keep collapsing? And why do they keep making the middle class and poorest classes pay for their bloody mistakes?

  6. freedom 6

    here is a simple table of income realted info doing the rounds today, might be useful to some.

    As broadstrokes go it is quite clear, so let’s not be too pedantic on it

    • weka 6.1

      Very useful table.

      How come the person running Housing NZ earns half the person running Superannuation? (and other discrepancies).

  7. tricledrown 7

    Who less than half of the lotteries commissioner!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    2 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    3 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    4 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    4 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    4 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    4 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    5 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    5 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    6 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    6 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    6 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    7 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    1 week ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago