web analytics

We would love to see wages drop – Key

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, January 23rd, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Staying with today’s wages theme, The Herald is reporting: “Mr Key would not rule out pay cuts for public servants in the next three years”.

So will Mr Key be ringing the Herald’s editor, demanding a retraction and threatening Audrey Young for writing the article? This is after all what Key did last year when the Bay Report quoted him saying “We would love to see wages drop“. Outraged, Key lambasted the Bay Report (and the Standard when we reported it), yelling he would never want to see wages go down. But it looks like we simply caught a glimpse of the real John Key.

18 comments on “We would love to see wages drop – Key ”

  1. anyone for prices going down..?

  2. Whero 2

    Didn’t the Goober also say he wanted higher unemployemnt?

    John Key – Champion of the Underclass – in fact, he loves them so much, he wants more!

  3. QoT 3

    This is my surprised face.

    Why do I get the feeling that it’s not going to be the 100k+ paper-pushing report re-re-re-re-re-drafters who get it in the neck?

  4. infused 4

    Prices arn’t going down… In the IT world at least, thinks are going up up up.

  5. naughtybynature 5

    What a stupid beat-up. The article clearly quotes Key as saying this isn’t on the Government’s agenda at the present moment. More to the point, why would he rule them out in the fiscal environment the Government currently faces? Managing within the Government’s fiscal headroom was always going to be difficult after 2020 and it has got a whole a lot worse since the financial crisis.

    As a public servant I heartily agree that we shouldn’t expect large increases, as has occured over recent years, at a time when others are facing financial difficulties and inflation forecasts are dipping from where they were a year ago. Afterall we are there to serve the public interest not feather our own nests. Kudos to Key for calling for restraint in MP renumeration.

  6. burt 6


    So what would Labour have done?

    Argued that their 9% pay rise every year was OK because they were not responsible for setting it then put out a press releases requesting that pay rises are low to keep inflation in check while they spend our money like a drunken sailor in a brothel?

    Perhaps they would have put taxes up to reduce take home pay while people incapable of understanding net pay is what people spend would argue that since gross pay went up by CPI that Labour are good for low paid workers?

    Please tell us what Labour would have done, surely if you can tell us why National are so bad then you must have an alternative.

  7. Jono 7

    Burt you reactionary – pay rises in the public sector where usually about inflation, not 9% – try and get some idea about what you are talking about. the last govt might have done something – so far the current govt has done absolutely nothing

  8. burt 8


    Yes I agree, pay rises for MP’s have always been about 9% and the self serving pricks have not allowed the public service to have the same level of pay rise.

    See it was good enough for them (the MP’s) to have 9% every year but Dr’s, Teachers, Police, Nurses etc got roughly CPI. Dr’s striked because the govt would not approve 12% over 3 years – at the same time as they (the MP’s) were getting 9% every year.

    One thing is for sure, National are not having one rule for themselves and another for everybody else. How quickly we forget how self serving the Labour govt were eh.

  9. SPC 9


    MP’s pay is not assessed every year.

    Doctors asked for more than 12% over 3 years.

    And nurses received increases above the CPI.


    I wonder which public servants are to be in fear of their pay being cut.

    Has no one told John Key that cutting the pay of government workers was a failed policy practice resort response of the Depression years.

    There is a case for a freeze (or CPI cap) on higher salaries in the public service – during a programme of sector spending review (it builds up common cause with staff asked to work harder to deliver value for money/review programmes). But efficiency in the public sector is not built on diminishing wages paid to staff – and it’s a poor policy option and example when one is trying to sustain demand in the economy.

    Is the centre-piece of National’s programme – the closing of the wage gap across the Tasman gone by lunch-time?

  10. the sprout 10

    And further on the Herald’s latest, how marvellous to see Helen Clark voted, by a significant margin, “Greatest Living New Zealand” on the Herald’s online poll that closed today.

    That must be unheard of for a PM deposed only a couple of months ago to win such an accollade. I bet the Herald are regretting having ever run it now – but I doubt they’ll make much of it despite it being such a remarkable feat.

    It’ll be a nice boost to developing the ‘What have we done!?’ frame as kiwis start to realise they’ve traded a great leader for a monkey, just when great leadership is needed more than ever before.

  11. SPC 11

    It appears so – if one reads the signs from this governemnt so far

    They intend to freeze the salaries of police, military, teachers and doctors and nurses etc to afford their tax cuts or perhaps to afford new ones to the corporate sector (Oz banks get to keep more of their profits – profits subsidised and protected at taxpayer risk).

    I wonder how they will retain staff once jobs become available again in the private sector …

    The whole ethos is contrary to the pre-election idea of a growing economy delivering higher wages to workers. Its just more of the pro employer paying less to workers mantra that helped get this country into a low wage hole in the first place.

    And its inferred Weldon is hosting the Jobs Summit because of his own ideas – which apparently include Cullen Fund cash being used to develop non ownership shares in corporates (help corporates fund raise – as an alternative to direct infrastructure investment) and for the same non ownership shares being issued in state assets.

    Personally I would transfer 10% of the power company shares to the Cullen Fund over the next 5 years (to the 50% level) rather than borrow to finance the Fund while we have these deficits. But later (say 2020’s) I would sell this half ownership to Kiwi Saver funds so they remained in some form of public ownership. A non government shareholder (but still public agent) would be good for the power companies and us.

    But otherwise I would prefer to leave the Cullen Fund free to to sustain investment diversity and only invest where it chose/saw reasonable opportunity.

    If government sees a need to support fundraising by corporates – because of investor or banker reluctance, it has better options.

    The most traditional would be via incentives (deducting the CPI off non ownership dividends and interest income before assessing tax), the most radical – limiting credit to banks and lending a portion of total credit (so made available) directly to corporates at say 5-10% (clear rent profit to government/Reserve Bank). If the idea of that did not make Oz banks open their wallets to business what would … .

  12. burt 12


    I commented back here in June last year about Dr. Cullen saying public sector employees expecting big pay rises had lost touch with reality.

    The original article on Stuff is still there.

    Big state sector pay claims ‘unrealistic’

    But hey, that was before the full extent of the financial crisis was know and it was a Labour party person saying it so it was fine. Labour good – National Bad.

    Oh, and MP’s salaries are reviewed every year. Nurses have recently (in the last 3-4 years) had reasonable pay increases but are still very understaffed and attrition rates in nursing are appalling – still. Nurses are still underpaid on international standards.

  13. Zorr 13

    Nurses have recently (in the last 3-4 years) had reasonable pay increases but are still very understaffed and attrition rates in nursing are appalling – still. Nurses are still underpaid on international standards.

    So we are freezing their pay packets, why? So that the attrition rate goes even higher?

  14. burt 14


    I did find a link to the Unite website. Junior doctors deserve support from CTU – not back-stabbing

    The union has said it wants a 10 per cent average increase over three years. The DHBs said 4.25 per cent, take it or leave it. What the media hasn’t reported is that the doctors offered to accept the same percentage the DHBs offered senior doctors.

    So the Junior DR’s were denied 10% over 3 years?

    I also found this Herald link.

    Details of pay deal to senior doctors

    Senior doctors have each been offered salary increases of 13.3 per cent over three years, and an immediate $10,000 lump sum payment as a “retention” bonus.

    So I stand corrected. It was not 12% over three years it was 13.3% over three years plus a one off bonus.

  15. burt 15


    So we are freezing their pay packets, why? So that the attrition rate goes even higher?

    I agree, foolish if you ask me. We should be working toward international pay parity in such fundamentally necessary occupations. Hopefully dropping the ideology that only the state run providers can be allocated state funding will ensure that staff have other avenues of employment outside the public service. Time will tell, not sure if it will work for the Police mind you.

  16. the sprout 16

    Helen Clark voted, by a significant margin, “Greatest Living New Zealander’ on the Herald’s online poll

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Is the centre-piece of National’s programme – the closing of the wage gap across the Tasman gone by lunch-time?

    It was never a part of Nationals policy platform – only a part of their slogans.

  18. SPC 18


    Laila Harre did a good thing for nurses getting them some real wage increases. Personally I support continued real increases in the pay of doctors and nurses. There is no future for public services in any country, in an increasingly international market, if pay lags behind for too long.

    National’s old fashioned idea of low wage economy being somehow cost-efficient is short sighted nonsense. Its the idiocy of those who think they can fight off a major recession/depression by cutting wage costs – it seems National is taking seriously “economic” advice from ratings agencies who made a real mess of their own financial sector credit ratings. They worry about a credit ratings downgrade from the same people who could not see a mess developing in their own financial sector. Talk about National being led by the blind and the stupid.

    The first thing that needs to be done though, is to move way beyond Nationals minute 2008 policy (which while token is still more than what Labour did – Labour tiotally failed to make any move on whatsoever in debt write-offs despite repeated urging) and deliver 10% pa cuts in tertiary debt (it being written off over 10 years work in Enzed) to doctors and nurses – effectively 10 years local work resulting in free medical training. This applying to existing staff as well as current and future trainees (thus we might attract back some of those who moved to Oz).

    The second thing is focus on areas of shortage – the growing probem is the lack of and ageing profile of our GP’s – this requires central provision of locums to allow GP’s holidays (if we show concern for GP’s being able to have such support then we attract people into this vocation).

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago