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What Can Be Saved?

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, April 29th, 2022 - 157 comments
Categories: education, grant robertson, health, housing, jacinda ardern, labour, national, tax, Unions, welfare, workers' rights - Tags:

The tide of this government is running out. There’s 18 months left in the term. What would you save?

There’s no doubt this government has done a lot, very successfully, and I’ve written about that before. This post isn’t the Praise Them one.

Life is cruel when good will from doing a good job isn’t sustained more than a year.

But time is running out to get more major initiatives to the point that makes them hard to reverse.

No, we’re not getting a Capital Gains Tax or any other major tax reform. We’re not getting completed health reforms. We’re not getting major conservation wins. We’re not getting union growth or wage growth beyond minimums. Yes we are likely to get more welfare subsidies to stave off price increases.

Will we have 3 Waters implemented by the end of this term?

Will we have a water quality regulator up and running?

Will we have a lot more houses built?

Will we have a stable Carbon trading system?

Will we have a set of climate policies that an Opposition would find hard to undo?

Will the government get the second seat on the Fonterra pricing Board?

Will there be a stronger and clearer defence relationship with Australia?

Will inflation be stabilised?

Will our hospital waiting lists recover, and medical staff get something of a break?

Will house price increases be stabilised?

What about plans for electricity prices, RMA reform, the public media merger, Oranga Tamariki, secondary education results, poverty levels, gangs, meth use, suicide levels, cancer drugs, public transport pricing, Treaty settlements, and the usual bag of complaints?

I have faith in Minister Robertson to surprise us with boldness at the 2022 and 2023 Budgets.

I have an irrational belief that on polling day the public will reward competent leadership within Labour over the untested and brittle National leadership.

There’s no need to write Labour off yet. A year is a very long time in global politics. It’s an MMP system.

But at this rate of polling fall Ministers and officials will soon hit a standard and reasonable programme management instinct to save what you can from the fire and show babies have been rescued, into glaring media spotlight.

What will be completed? What do you kill/dump/blame/defer/deny/bury/stick on a manifesto?

What do you save?

157 comments on “What Can Be Saved? ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Usually what saves us in troubled times is a combination of realism, adaption, and hope. Given that Labour seem unrealistic, disinclined to adapt, and hopeless, I doubt anyone would feel like saving them. Labour loyalists will try to have a go – but will struggle with realism. Realistic diagnosis would target this question: why have Labour not been signalling their strategic targets for this term?

    Voters look for such signals. To have faith in a govt, they need to feel it has a plan, and a strategy for implementing it. Labour's failure to present either of these two elements of governance to the electorate is symptomatic of a death-wish.

    Is National any better? Not on current performance. They have a new leader with a bright shiny dome. Not much happening inside it however. So the old dumb & dumber routine from the political left and right is getting a re-run. Usually that means third & fourth parties benefit from disgusted voters abandoning support for L/N. Next poll will be interesting to discern any such trend…

  2. roblogic 2

    Labour will probably have to dilute some of the co-governance stuff as it feels like the public are not on board. And some radical (probably unethical) policies to keep the economy afloat into the election as we are in for a rough ride into global instability and a possible housing crash

  3. Ad-why are you even talking about writing Labour off?

    Most polls still show a Lab/Gre/MP coalition will be able to form a majority government.

    Luxon is media useless. Labour has two budgets to give its policies further direction and sweeten potential supporters.

    By the election inflation will be under control, house building will continue to be at record levels, unemployment will still be around 3.2 per cent, the borders will be open and the tourist industry will be cranking. Climate change will push votes towards the Greens.

    I think that Lab/Gre/MP will win in 18 months.

    • Ad 3.1

      I admire your impressive optimism.

      • Bearded Git 3.1.1

        I accept the co-governance stance is going to cost Labour many votes.

        They can either go down in flames at the election by sticking to their principles (as Chris Trotter supported in an article he wrote recently) of they can cravenly back down. My choice is the flames.

        • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.1

          I support sustained progress from the Government on all of the programmes they have put up. There is no going back now, nor is their time to revert to bau. I also feel, despite the naysayers, the Government will succeed in winning the election and will be required by circumstance, to fulfil it's stated objectives.

          • Patricia Bremner 3.1.1.1.1

            Right Robert The 3 waters reform acceptance of the 45 of 48 recommendations is a great step forward. The 1 share per 50000 population, the co governance at Council level retention of ownership within a structure overseeing the 4 areas by a Board made up of experts in the field. Ministers Mahuta and Robertson have done well.
            Kaitiakitanga in practice.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      bearded git he may be making mistakes now but in 18 months he will have honed his message.Labour need to ditch 3 waters get seasonal labour into the country urgently to keep the price of food down and help keep exports going and open borders to education health professionals.On housing bring in more labour and import the likes of Gib board to improve supply shortages timber shortages the govt should buy up building grade timber being exported to fix local shortages or even import construction timber.Also import temproray housing buy up land to fix homelessness even Natioinal were able to free up land in the Canterbury earthquakes even though National didn't help with money or insurance payouts they actually caused problems in that area that still haven't been fixed .Labour need to be bold its better to have people and families in portacoms than on the street or living out of their cars.Who is Labour trying to please the big banks who they handed $30 billion of free money to exasperate the housing crisis or the poor who can't afford a roof over their head. During the pandemic Labour were able to find accommodation solutions for most.Now its impossible and we are seeing the consequences which are only going to multiply.National will moan enough .Labour being the incumbent will loose the next election especially if inflation continues to stay high, Labour will get blamed.

      • KJT 3.2.1

        Bring in more cheap labour, to keep working conditions and wages down, while prices go up?

        Sure, that will be popular!

        • Poission 3.2.1.1

          and increasing unemployment due to the forthcoming recession.

          • KJT 3.2.1.1.1

            Just as well National weren't in power, eh?

            We would have one already, plus thousands of extra deaths over the last two years.

            • Poission 3.2.1.1.1.1

              We would be a worse state economically,as constraints on travel benefited the economy by increased household savings (both cash in the bank,and repaying debt) and increased domestic spending.

      • Adrian 3.2.2

        National didn’t have to go far to free up land in Chch, they just built on Rolleston soils which are pretty poor anyway, in summer even the rabbits have to take a cut lunch.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Interesting. Conversations with close family and friend in NZ this past year reveal a surprising swing away from the left – and with some vehemence too. These are people who will have voted Labour or Green all their lives. On that basis yes I have to agree the ground has shifted under Labour and some fancy footwork will be needed to see a third term.

    The issue that irks me the most is the proposed handover of the Conservation estate to iwi – that would be a 'lie in front of the tanks' moment for me personally.

    Otherwise your OP covers it off succinctly as always. yes

    • Hunter Thompson II 4.1

      A free and open debate on co-governance would be a good thing – hope that occurs in the election. CG may prove to be a millstone round Labour's neck.

      One MP's talk of merely "tweaking democracy" is deliberately deceptive. Reminds me of the political promise that income tax would be a temporary measure. (Robert Peel opposed it during the UK election of 1841 but then retained it).

  5. Sanctuary 5

    What depresses me most about this government is it's lack of political fight. They've defaulted back to that weird pre-covid comfort zone of political passivity they had (and, lest we forget, they were behind in the polls) when they were gleefully pummeled by a hostile MSM, where for weeks on end government ministers were invisible, nobody felt the need to forcefully lay out the case for anything as long as they had an elite consensus, and the media narrative was allowed to be set by a revanchist media and right wing agent provocateurs and where pearl clutching useful idiots like Josie Pagani were always presented as the "reasonable left".

    Brave technocratic managerialism might make for an excellent response to crises, but it also makes for weak and losing politics. Hasn't anyone (outside perhaps Michael Wood and Grant Robertson) in this Labour government got any convictions beyond being good administrators or staying the smug winners of horse trading identity politics? Why do they behave like over-promoted PPTA officials who feel they have to hold their noses before slinging political barbs? Where is the mongrel in this government?

    • As I point out below, I think they are in a really difficult spot with fairly limited options due largely to circumstances outside their control. That may explain their apparent passivity more than anything else.

  6. I think there are several factors at play here.

    Firstly, I think a lot of the strong support for Labour at the last election was actually quite soft, in that it was motivated around Covid anxiety and not wanting to change horses during a crisis, and National's self induced implosion.

    However, since that time we have seen Covid anxiety ease, mistakes being made in the Covid response (e.g. the RAT test debacle) undermining the Government narrative about competence with the Covid response, and National getting its act together somewhat more.

    I think these factors have had an effect in moving a lot of the soft support away from Labour and back towards National.

    The other burning issue is the cost of living with inflation running rampant. I accept a lot of this is not really the government's fault. Firstly, there are a lot of international inputs to this in terms of oil prices, freight costs etc.

    Secondly, our RB decided to take a path of least regrets so far as supporting the NZ economy during the crisis. It now appears that the NZ economy didn't need anything like that support, hence chickens are coming home to roost now. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    I think our population has been conditioned by political parties over the years to believe that governments can solve all our problems, therefore are responsible to do so. The fact that the government can't do much about these problems tends to play against the expectations of the electorate as expectations are not being met.

    I think, in hindsight, it was beneficial for National to lose the last election. Otherwise, they would be struggling with the same issues, and may be suffering a similar decline in popularity.

    A good time to be in opposition I think.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Another self flagellating post. We have obviously had a neo liberal state and main party Parliamentary consensus for over 3 decades. NZ had a significant dark tory culture for much of the 20th century. Apart from 2020 there have often been very close elections and MMP wrangling.

    So what has changed in NZ since 1984? The country is definitely a tale of two cities in terms of inequality, and numerically new gen voters will start to outnumber the codgers in 2023 and will do in 2026. Birth rates are down to just below population replacement levels, and trending down further. Migrant labour is here because it is needed, not to annoy grumpy old blokes.

    On social media certain NZ Labour MPs have at last been tooting their partys own horn on various reforms and successes. My pick is a Labour/Green/Māori MMP Govt.

  8. Gosman 8

    Why is the government attempting so much reform at this stage of their time in power? Admittedly they had to deal with Covid for two of the four and a half years they have been in power but the should have had the key reforms sorted and ready to be debated well before now. Any significant changes made now are just going to lead to blow back in support in election year. The only think I can see that will arrest a continued decline is some cost of living policy. This is a little ;Hail Mary; though.

    • Yes. I think that some of the reforms are very contentious and could lose more votes than what they gain, so I don't really understand that either.

      The bigger issue though, is I think that the focus on some of the reforms will annoy a lot of voters who think the Government should be focusing a lot more on issues of day to day living at the moment rather than esoteric changes.

      I think the government also has a huge problem with being able to spend on social promises. That is because it has already fired a lot of its bullets with funding the Covid response. And, with the prospect of a world recession looming, it makes it difficult to budget ahead for future income.

      As I said, a terrible time to be in government at the moment.

    • Craig H 8.2

      Labour said they would be transformational, so that's why there is a lot of reform. Agree that it's contentious, but it's a bit odd to me that there are simultaneously complaints about being too timid and too bold.

      • tsmithfield 8.2.1

        You hit the nail on the head. When people complain about the transformational stuff being too timid or too bold, it indicates that not many are happy with it on either side of the fence. So, not great with an election around the corner.

        I do understand that. I think the biggest issue with that, as Gosman points out above, is that governments tend to do their transformational stuff at the start of their term and the nice vote-getting stuff at the end of the term.

        The government was stymied with this approach due to Covid. But I am not sure pushing through with this sort of stuff right now to prove themselves as "transformational'' is a great strategy.

        I think it would have been better politically to simply say that they are putting off some of this stuff until next term because they want to focus on the immediate pressing issues facing Kiwis at the moment.

        I think that would have shown they have the right sense of priorities without abandoning their "transformational" narrative.

        • Patricia Bremner 8.2.1.1

          No tssmithfield, they will press on and convince the public with planned infrastructure replacement renewal and improved quality of monitoring water and outcomes. 3 waters is crucial to a healthy more managed system.

          • tsmithfield 8.2.1.1.1

            We need a solution to the problem. I am not sure that Three Waters is that solution.

            It will go down like a cup of cold sick in Christchurch if we end up having our water chlorinated as a result. People who aren't from Christchurch you probably don't appreciate how much we value our fresh artesian water without the ghastly chlorine taste.

            If National promises to give that back to Christchurch they will probably have a slam-dunk here I expect.

          • Belladonna 8.2.1.1.2

            The big problem with this is that 3 Waters debate has become co-governance debate.
            The Venn diagram overlap of the supporters of both aspects is getting pretty small.

            Ditching the co-governance aspect would enable the Government to work on convincing the public that the proposed 3 waters solution is actually going to achieve what they're aiming for. (And Mahuta is not the person to be leading this – her communication is …. poor … at best)

            • Patricia Bremner 8.2.1.1.2.1

              Nanaia Mahuta is articulate, listens reflects and works through consensus.

              She has an MA(Hons) from Auckland University. She is used to working with large groups across diverse sectors.

              • Belladonna

                Mahuta's public statements are verbose and frequently verging on indecipherable to the general public. Given that her degree is in social anthropology – this is, perhaps, not surprising.

                In a campaign to persuade, you need a communicator who can break ideas into small chunks, using simple, direct language, and speak persuasively; rather than delivering a lecture orated in rotund periods.

                And, it's a bit rich to label Mahuta as working through consensus – when she told Councils they could opt out, and then changed her mind, when it seemed as though they were going to!

                Mahuta may well be an effective communicator within the beltway and with iwi – but she's much less good at reaching Joe and Jane Average.

    • Peter 8.3

      Covid had to be dealt with but they "should have"…

      The country was in a state of discombobulation. People did not know if they would be at work, if people they needed to work with would be available.

      Many were freaking out about having to simply wear a mask.

      You know the scene was set for more "they are pushing things through when we are distracted, when we are not in a position to properly respond."

      We do not have a robust, positive and intelligent enough society to handle the big things which need to be done.

      Doing them with the clear pressures and fragility was dooming attempted changes to chaos.

      That said, it may have been an opportunity to come in the back door when there was a massive hoo-ha at the front door. Or creating a bigger fuss at the front door may have put covid into the perspective of being transitory and there were more important issues to be addressed.

    • Robert Guyton 8.4

      "Why is the government attempting so much reform at this stage of their time in power? "

      That's the right question, Gosman.

      The answer is obvious enough to me, by not many others, by the looks.

    • Ad 8.5

      Government responses to COVID were their own set of reforms, and certainly accelerated the renationalisation of health. Which is the biggest health reform since the formation of DHB's over 20 years ago.

      Robertson's wage subsidy response was the largest single intervention we've had since the Depression. That has massively expanded the available policy instruments of government, should need arise again.

      Also inside COVID is a huge re-tooling of the security+Police+military+health+border control executive within government, in preparation for the next one. Some of that will come out in the Defence White Paper being written by NZ Defence+NZDF at the moment.

      The most important policy intervention was the soft landing of society and economy from COVID.

      So arguably this government has already achieved massive reform, and the current stuff is small by comparison.

    • Foreign waka 8.6

      Because they promised their constituency particular outcomes and now have to deliver come rain or high water. Did I just say water? This is done even if they would lose the election. I honestly think that they know that very well and hence this lacklustre performance. And of cause there is the belief that it will be difficult to undo if the government changes.

  9. pat 9

    It is telling that nearly 5 years after gaining the Treasury benches there is so little that has been successfully completed….while it may not be the main cause of their defeat it certainly creates the expectation of future performance.

    • Ad 9.1

      Notably this terms' big deliveries in the transport field were started off under National: Waikato-Hamilton bypass, Transmission Gully, Northern Busway extension, Northern Gateway SH1 to Wellsford, Eastern Busway to Pakuranga and then Botany, and Glen Innes to CBD cycleway.

      City Rail Link finish is next Parliamentary term, but also started under National.

      The big delivery for Labour has been in housing construction, where they have smashed it under Woods.

      My minor grumble of fate is that Dunedin Hospital will be opened by late next term, whoever gets it.

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        "The big delivery for Labour has been in housing construction, where they have smashed it under Woods."

        That is the funniest thing I have seen for ages. And you would seem to have kept a straight face when you wrote it.

        • Ad 9.1.1.1

          Kainga Ora HNZ are their own construction boom.

          I've posted just on their main Auckland projects. Which were also further accelerated yesterday through huge government funding.

          Not sure which city you're in but if you visit Auckland, their construction sites are visible from space.

          • Poission 9.1.1.1.1

            And at what cost,1 million dollar a unit for social housing in inner city wellington is ridiculous (this excludes the land owned by wcc) and also requires a 50 million pumped sewage system.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/127798096/wellington-to-get-300-new-public-homes-in-296m-development

            • Patricia Bremner 9.1.1.1.1.1

              PoissondevilThat is why we need 3 waters.

              • Poission

                No we don't need 3 waters,we need councils to do their job,which is to use their asset depreciation (which is funded by ratepayers) to repair the infrastructure or replace if it needs expansion.

                Using this ratepayer funding for its intended purpose,and not vanity projects or entertainment ventures is what is required,along with sacking all the existing local body politicians and replacing with independent locals.

                • Ad

                  3 Waters precisely sacks all the existing local body politicians and replaces them with independents from any and every operational decision about water.

                  You either get reform or you don't.

                  And this government has determined today that you get reform.

                  (Curiously Mahuta was supported today by Robertson not Ardern.)

                  • Poission

                    The reform that is needed for water infrastructure,would take a single page of legislation.

                    • Ad

                      As a Treasury Dep Sec said to me in a lift once: "There's a really simple answer to every big policy problem, and it's wrong."

                      Put up a post on it so we can see your legislative drafting skills.

                    • Poission

                      Water, sewage,and storm water infrastructure needs to be fit for purpose and maintained in accordance with its maintenance schedule warranties, and fully funded by the assets depreciation.

                      The systems for water,sewage,and storm water shall be in accordance with the Health act 1956 and its appropriate regulations

                      Asset replacement and expansion for growth is funded by central government from the GST on the local body rates to maintain optimal levels of debt.

                  • Patricia Bremner

                    Ad, Robertson is Infrastructure Minister That is why he supported today.

              • Foreign waka

                What has infrastructure to do with 3 waters? I mean what you need is:

                Skilled engineers, less red tape, including pressure points when laying pipes, choosing the right material, getting your hands on that material (!), getting the costing right, future proving the installation, can other companies be consulted if so much earth has to be moved, i.e. other cabling etc. Incorporating any plans that are in the proposal stage, and so on. You know logistical stuff, preparation and time frames. It would pay to have a skilled project manager looking at overruns, legal stuff and the like.

                All the things that seem to work in other countries but inexplicably not here. Transmission gully as a case in point was one hell of a mess and the PP concept was interpreted as Taxpayer pays (Public) and we (Private) milk it for all we can.
                Besides, everybody seems to forget: We, the people living in the area are paying for all of it and not small cash either. Rates are designed for the basic underpinning of a city’s infrastructure that add the municipality to what is widely known as civilized. It is therefore so that those who pay own what they have paid for.

            • Ad 9.1.1.1.1.2

              You can't complain simultaneously about not enough market intervention and then complain because it's hard.

          • alwyn 9.1.1.1.2

            How many have been built and are now occupied?

            And I don't just mean promised. I mean finished.

            • Ad 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Jesus you are just a lazy tiresome old dork.

              It would have taken you 30 seconds to find out that by November last year this Labour government had built an extra 8,516 homes. An extra 2,867 Transitional homes were also added. I'd estimate another 1,000 new houses since November to now into the public sector. There will be a new tally out this November to give the accurate update.

              You will of course be aware that this government is investing more than any government since the 1970s on infrastructure like pipes and roads to get more housing built.

              That is the last time I do your fucking homework.

              • alwyn

                I guess that you are calling the CEO of the Community Housing Provider Monte Cecillia a liar then.

                Today he said "When Labour came to power there were just over 67,000 state houses and a waitlist of 5000. Five years later, the state house numbers have grown by less than a 1000 while the public housing waitlist has soared to 24,000."

                Did you perchance forget to include the thousands of homes that Labour either sold or demolished?

                [Take a month off; you already pissed off the Author of the OP, but decided to double-down anyway, which was a stupid way of asking for a ban.

                Ad did not call anybody a liar; he called you “a lazy tiresome old dork”, which indeed you are, and which you obviously couldn’t handle.

                You didn’t provide a link for your quote and it appears it is almost 2 years old, so it couldn’t have been said “today”, as you state in your comment. Fake news, false claim.

                You also failed to support your statement of fact about the houses that Labour sold or demolished – Incognito]

          • Sanctuary 9.1.1.1.3

            A whole group on the left (The Minto-Bradbury lovers of strawmen) have convinced themselves that the only solution to housing is to go back in time and reconstitute the Ministry of Works, dig up James Fletcher and employ an army of swaggies to build state houses.

            This plan is of course completely impractical in 2022 but it gives them something to be safely outraged about while ignoring the actual progress of people who are interested in actually getting things done.

            • KJT 9.1.1.1.3.1

              Because "the left" shouldn't want something that worked?

              It put a ceiling on both rents and house prices. Which is sorely needed, now.

              Along with training and employment for the next generation of tradespeople. Something that is also lacking.

              • Ad

                It's not the Ministry of Works that put a limit on rents.

                Nor, as the many histories of Fletcher Building attest, did the MoW build them.

                We have more public sector housing construction and investment going on under this government than at any time since the 1970s.

                And builders are already 10% of our workforce. NZ is at 3% unemployed . My workplace can barely hire anyone for street sweeping let alone carpentry – and there aren't any to fly in from Australia either.

              • Patricia Bremner

                That is incorrect. The apprentice support has seen huge growth in that area.

    • Patricia Bremner 9.2

      Actually they had to contend with NZ First for 3 of the 5 years.

  10. Binders full of women 10

    Priorities- build a lot of rent to buy (Greens policy) progressive ownership State Houses, and ditch 3-Waters. That's what you can change. 6,7,8 %Inflation & 12 yr olds on Ram-Raids will be harder to change/fix. But I fear that Mahuta and Robbo aren't gonna announce a backdown on 3Waters at Porirua today.

  11. Patricia Bremner 11

    I think the public is at a recovery stage of the Pandemic. Fed up with restrictions, wanting the freedom we had last summer, looking at how to "put a rocket" under parts of Government they feel have stalled.

    This seems similar to the behaviour recorded after World War Two, where Governments were turfed as "Good in a war" but not in a recovery perhaps. But that does not need to happen.

    The constant memes by the opposition of "Late to act", and "a failure" promoted the discontent. Constant stories about people disadvantaged by the covid rules, promotion of the disaffected painted a picture the opposite to reality, where actions saved lives and increased lifespans.

    Vaccination rates up in the 95% range under mandates, but the drop off of the boosters to 52%* tells the story of decline in belief of efficacy or importance.

    The deaths going from a low of 54 to a growing high of 600+ in a couple of months, yet still the denial and cries of "We did not need the mandates for vaccination." when clearly the results for voluntary boosters are far behind.

    The Parliamentary protest added to the picture of growing factions.

    Impatience and annoyance coupled with frustration at personal situations being badly affected, then the added whammy of inflation almost worldwide kicking in is all coalescing into a feeling of "It is out of control" Add Putin on top for a wild ride.

    Ever the opportunists, National will use this situation, though it appears Christopher Luxon's hubris is not backed with experience or a deft touch, and we know the paucity of talent in National's team.. It appears he has greater belief in himself than sections of the general population do, as they did not miss the self agrandisement of the Limo ride of 200 m.

    I agree the Labour team need to paint a picture of hope with concrete actions in the budget to meet the current situation, and to reaffirm the direction of travel.

    We have become more insular through the pandemic, and some beliefs more entrenched.

    As in the world we see fractures of trade and human relationships, we see that in mini scale here. It will require skill and diplomacy, and an ability to pivot to meet change, which this Government has managed well in the past.

    The opposition meantime has just begun to rebuild and have no experience at governing in these circumstance, but do have moneyed backers. What is their agenda?

    The Labour supporters and Greens need to work for this next term, using the next two budgets, as this term is about covid, the next will be about gaining stability after covid and continuing strategies for wellbeing social cohesion and the carbon challenge. We need courage.

    As one famous Kiwi said, "It won't happen overnight… but it will happen."
    If we work together.

    • Tiger Mountain 11.1

      Thoughtful post Patricia.

    • Probably the good thing for National is that, if they get in next election, the inflation cycle will probably have started to reverse. So, by the time of the end of their first term, inflation will be back under control again, and undoubtably they will claim the credit for it.

      That is just luck. But I guess Labour have had their share of luck as well, so all par for the course.

  12. arkie 12

    What can be saved? Evidently not the COVID response, the strategy abandoned we are now experiencing the highest mortality rate on record; 8789 deaths in the first 13 weeks of this year.

    "I think the public perception is that you get it once, it's a one and done type situation, it's mostly going to be mild and then you'll be over it and once we're through this wave, the country will be over it and go back to normal," Ward told Newsroom.

    "Looking at what's happened around the world and knowing about reinfections and waning immunity, I don't think that's the reality. It seems to me that we've got this sort of parochial exceptionalism about what's happening overseas – some countries are on their fourth, fifth, sixth waves – and it almost feels like there's a public sentiment that it's not going to happen here. Or at least there's no expression of fear that it's going to happen here."

    Covid-19 is here to stay. That doesn't mean we can forget about it. If it does become endemic – reaching a natural equilibrium without excessive outbreaks – it could still be deeply harmful. Smallpox was endemic, too. It also killed millions of people every year.

    The Government's current approach to Covid-19 is purely wishful thinking – that if it looks away, then the virus won't spread. So the Government has looked away, but Covid-19 is still spreading.

    If we keep ignoring it, then its next resurgence will be much worse than it has to be.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/the-government-has-given-up-on-covid

    • pat 12.1

      If (as looks probable) Covid becomes endemic what is the correct response?….we know the current vaccines have limited effectiveness and for a very short period, we know that reinfection occurs and we know that for an overwhelming proportion of the population the symptoms are relatively mild and short lived…. there is little we can effectively do to prevent it.

      • arkie 12.1.1

        I rely on the expertise of those in the field (particularly those quoted in the cited article) but it is also apparent that reducing opportunities for transmission should be the goal and this can be achieved through a combination of measures including; masks, occupancy caps, remote working, effective testing and isolation protocols etc. etc. The experts are saying that the current government 'strategy' of vaccination alone is insufficient, and the plateaued infection rate and average 13 COVID related deaths a day is evidence of that.

        • pat 12.1.1.1

          All well and good however (with the possible exception of mask wearing) we dont have the resources for the level of testing required, the occupancy restrictions dont prevent spread, prolonged isolation further reduces our already insufficient capacity in all areas and then there is the mental well being and social acceptance issues for what appears to be a minimal reduction in the rate of spread, but not the ultimate level of infection.

          • arkie 12.1.1.1.1

            All of which could be addressed to some extent by a government that hasn't given up.

            Most experts are not as fatalistic.

            • pat 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Addressed how and with what/who?

              • arkie

                If you aren't satisfied with the advice and evidence of the experts then you accept There Is No Alternative. I can't help with that.

                • pat

                  So you have no practical method by which the risks can be addressed merely an expectation that the Government should 'do something'….even if there is nothing that can be done.

                  • arkie

                    I am not an expert nor do I write policy. I am here, like most of us, to discuss the actions of politicians and our feelings about them. I don't presume to think I have any effect on the actions of the government, let alone those of a developing and still unravelling global pandemic. I outlined what experts and I consider practical, evidently you and the government disagree. All of it hangs on a laconic 'If'.

    • Adrian 12.2

      I think there needs to be a bit of fact checking on the death claims here. 8789 deaths in 13 weeks is 676 deaths a week, in 2019 the weekly death rate was 658 making the excess deaths per day 2.57 a day so that may just be the actual current " because of " Covid daily death rate and not the "with " rate of 13.

  13. Poission 13

    What would you save?

    Money would be the obvious thing to save as we look forward to significant wealth depreciation.There needs to be shift to better spending that increases efficiency,reduces cost for sustainable outcomes.

    Interest rates increases will remove around an extra 10b$ from the economy alone.Housing inventory is at record levels in Wellington,Otago,Central NZ a significant shift in 2 months.

    Superannuation schemes will be looking at 15-20% losses in value,Utility prices will ratchet up due to poor council spending.

    Not going to be a good winter.

  14. Chris T 14

    TBF You have to hand it to Labour to still have a chance of winning, given they have achieved pretty much "F" all and are still blaming the last lot of idiots for it after 5 years.

    I mean at which point does it go from "It is all the last lots fault. Not ours!!! we haven't done anything!!!", to "Yeah. We have been a bit shit as well"

  15. Brendan Waugh 15

    Nat voter here.

    Any policy that Labour wants to last long term needs to either be just 1) a good idea (e.g free healthcare) or 2) too dangrous to cancel (e.g. social security in the USA is the third rail of politics).

    So in terms of Labour's pet policies – three waters, fair pay, etc. are dead if Labour loses. There is not enough time to embed them.

    I'm not saying Labour will lose (never take a voter for granted). But short term electoral gain will be the name of the day – e.g. petrol tax drop when the Nats went up.

  16. Corey Humm 16

    I'd save The RMA reforms because that'll save us from hearing national and act moan about the rma ad nauseam in the next election as per.

    I'd keep the health reforms and make health free at the point of service like the nhs and keep three waters but edit out any mention of co-govt in these or any bills moving forward. Shred it. Fight poverty and inequality with traditional labour and traditional NZ beliefs of universalism.

    And I'd go nuclear on the supermarkets and destroy them and allow existing franchises to leave and or join incoming supermarkets as franchises or be independent. This, unlike everything and I mean everything labour is concerned about right now would be insanely popular.

    Other than that pretty much every bit of energy has to be about keeping living costs down, building house

    Most of labours agenda this year is less appealing than cold sick and I have no bone in this fight over cogvt but here's what I'm seeing a lot and I come from a mixed race family:

    The left has really really, wildly, wildly,misread the public mood on co-govt and it's killing this govt. I'm shocked at some of the people , the most staunchest labour vowing to vote act because act are promising referendums on co-govt. Venomous rants about how labour has turned into the Maori party to the point they get in tears and have anxiety attacks over it. The left calls these people racist at our own peril. They are working class and some of them are Maori friends a lot of them are young too. We don't need Willie Jackson and Grant Robertson going on tv and talking about tweaking democracy and the optics of that Rotorua council bill how did noone see how that would be perceived. That's insane that that got to a second reading. Anything with a whiff of being labeled separatist needs to go if labour wants a third term.

    Universalism is Labour future if it wants to be a party of government.

    The police minister needs to go. I love Poto but Nash should get the portfolio.

    Labour needs to decide does it want to die in a ditch over incredibly unpopular reforms that will lose them votes not just in this next election but will cause people to vote for parties like act who will campaign on undoing those reforms for the rest of their lives or does it want a third term.

    Rma. Building. Healthcare. Water reforms. Supermarket reforms. Cost of living.

    Nothing else matters.

    • Foreign waka 16.1

      Thank you for expressing so honestly and to the point what moves ordinary people out there. No political party clap trap. It gives me hope and made my day, I am a NZlander by choice for nearly 40 years. Talk about Universalism…..

  17. Anker 17

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE2204/S00068/cancer-control-agencys-medicines-report-deeply-disappointing.htm

    Breast Cancer Aotearoa speaking up about the Cancer agency lying about what extra drugs are needed in NZ for Breast Cancer

    Labour would do well to quit adding more bueracrcy to health e.g. the Cancer Agengy who state there is only one breast cancer drug not available in NZ when this is not the case.

    FFS Labour stop this. Fund the drugs, train more Dr's, nurses and radiologists etc (and pay them well). That is what will make the difference in health.

    The same is true for a Mental Health Commission. Waste of money. Psychiatrists are speaking out at the moment about the stress they are under. Train mental health personnal in evidence based treatments,, train a lot of them and make sure services have abundant staff. I am. not a big fan of Mike King, but the fact that he has been able to employ therapists who have offered thousands of therapy sessions for free, while the Govt dithers says it all.

    • Incognito 17.1

      Breast Cancer Aotearoa speaking up about the Cancer agency lying about what extra drugs are needed in NZ for Breast Cancer

      They didn’t accuse them of “lying”.

      … e.g. the Cancer Agengy who state there is only one breast cancer drug not available in NZ …

      That’s not at all what they said.

      Before you spread nonsense here you might actually want to do some checking.

      • Anker 17.1.1

        Incognito, there were no quote marks where I wrote Breast Cancer Aotearoa speaking up about the cancer agency lying. Lying was my word/interpretation. It wasn't a direct quote from Breast Cancer Aotearoa. I didn't use quotation marks. Breast Cancer Aotearoa state there are eighteen drugs that benefit Breast Cancer sufferers that are not funded in NZ.

        The cancer Agency is either ignorant or lying. I believe Breast Cancer Aotearoa before I would believe the cancer agency. Having had breast cancer and having had it in my family, I have done a lot of research in the area and it makes me very angry when someone paid a big salary doesn't come clean about the availability of drugs to treat this deadly illness.

        • Incognito 17.1.1.1

          You choose what and whom to believe, but this doesn’t make it true though.

          You chose to use the word “lying”, and I quoted you, but it was ambiguous that this was your belief and not something said in the Scoop press release by the one party about the other party.

          In your ignorant bias you choose to believe one party over another even though they were saying quite different things. Obviously, you only looked at the slanted article in Scoop.

          The salaries of people whom you don’t know is utterly irrelevant and again just shows your negative bias.

          Lastly, anger can cloud your judgement.

          • Anker 17.1.1.1.1

            Yes Incognito, I agree it was a little ambigious ie when I used the word lying , which Aotearoa Breast Cancer didn't.

            I did only look at the article in Scoop. If you have other information, please feel free to post. I have done a lot of research on Breast cancer drugs, because of my family situation.

            I also watched a heart breaking tv news item about a young women with a young family who has to fund her own stage four bowel cancer drugs to stay alive. This is cruel imo. The connection with the "big salaries" are that the people employed at the Cancer Agency earn big salaries (well some of them). I rather see that scrapped and the money go to people with cancer to pay for what are life saving or life prolonging drugs. For me it is a no brainer.

            • Incognito 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Fair comment, thank you.

              Undoubtedly, you know more about breast cancer than the average Kiwi, but being a patient doesn’t make one an expert.

              The Scoop piece clearly referred to a report. You can find the report here: https://teaho.govt.nz/reports/publications/cancer-medicines

              Not everybody who contributed to the report is paid by the Cancer Control Agency, very few, in fact. In any case, it’s a false dichotomy between money for drugs and salaries of experts. If you believe the CCA is a waste of time & money and want it scrapped then say so with your reasoning.

              • Anker

                I really do agree that being a patient doesn't make you an expert. I wish people would listen to that in mental health too. However I have researched all I can about cancer and drugs, because of what the family situation is up against. I believe the clinicians treating the illeness e.g breast cancer stay very up to date and understand the treatments and what is indicated.

                I do believe the CCA is a waste of money. I believe adding health authorities adds very little and often costs a lot. Our health system needs well trained, well paid staff and health care needs to be really well resourced. When a cancer patient can't get the drugs that will prolong their life or have to wait for a scan, because their are not enough radiologists, patients miss out. As for the CAA. Well if they went tommorrow, who would know.

                • Incognito

                  Here’s a more balanced response to the CCA report: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/466029/cancer-experts-support-groups-respond-to-new-cancer-control-agency-report, and it addresses a few of your criticisms.

                  The CCA was set up from scratch in December 2019 with a budget of $30.7 million for 4 years. Its aims are, among other things, to provide oversight and leadership in NZ, which were and arguably still are missing in NZ. Its mission is also to enable more equitable outcomes for cancer patients, e.g., dealing with the so-called post-code lottery system. It has no formal role for recommending drugs to be subsidised/funded by Pharmac – the agencies have completely different roles and responsibilities. I note that CCA’s budget is only a miniscule fraction of Pharmac’s one. Time will tell if CCA will make a sufficient, sustainable, and meaningful positive impact on outcomes for all cancer patients in NZ.

                  • Sacha

                    The agency has the job of guiding government funding across all cancers and treatments. Medicines are only part of cancer care and prevention despite what their suppliers might say. And breast cancer is not the only form, though its patient advocacy groups are focused and loud.

                  • Anker

                    rather than heeding plentiful advice for prevention, people demand extra funding for the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.;pharmacs budget would become a bottomless pit"

                    No not a bottomless pit. Australia and the UK have far more drugs available for cancers (not just breast).

                    Prevention is good, but we know what the risk factors are for cancer. Tabacco, alcohol, red meat, processed meat, obesity, too much sun exposure and lack of exercise. There may be one or two more, but most people commonly know of these.

                    The govt knows what to do about these things, tax and regulate or eliminate as is the case with tabacco. What is the cancer agency going to add? Btw I have some sort of genetic predisposition to B cancer and I avoid all of the above. If my cancer metastisizes the Cancer Agency will do nothing for me. But there are drugs that will as they have done for other family members.

                    I am not just wanting drugs for breast cancer, but also cystic fibrosis and other cancers.

                    I have a knowledge of how organisations like the Mental Health Commission (when it existed) don't really achieve anything, just soak up money, while people can't get proper help.

                    Other than prevention, health all rises and falls on the appropriately trained clinicians who are well resourced. I think Mike King has shown this.

                    • Incognito

                      You may want to check this out: https://pharmac.govt.nz/about/what-we-do/how-pharmac-works/mythbusting-pharmac/

                      Longer term, the aim is that the work by CCA helps to improve overall outcomes for cancer patients. This includes better and more effective prevention, better and earlier testing and diagnosis, better treatment options (incl. drugs), et cetera. This should also and especially apply to Māori women with breast cancer anywhere in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Obviously, CCA is never going to provide direct care of patients, but neither does Pharmac, for that matter. However, their work, among and combined with other things, will have a positive impact on people such as yourself. Whether you like to believe this or not will make no difference.

                    • Anker

                      Incognito accept that you are right about BC being most common but not the biggest killer.

                      And of course Maori women in poor areas have worse outcomes.

                      I am not criticizing Pharmac, they can only spend what they are given. I am complaining that Labour just adds to the bureacracy in health e.g the health reforms. Meanwhile nurses are leaving NZ for better wages, NZ is falling behind in available cancer drugs and we are about to have a GP shortage because we are not training enough Drs.

                    • Incognito []

                      The CCA is not a health reform as such, it was set up to fill a gap (a need). Without oversight and leadership we will just continue to blow money and will leave people behind who need support more than others.

                      BTW, I did not state whether breast cancer is or is not the biggest killer of women in NZ. I asked you to check your statement of fact and provide a reference, if you could, please. Sacha kindly provided a few helpful links in the meantime. All good now 🙂

        • Foreign waka 17.1.1.2

          Anker, I hope you have recovered. It is quite difficult to get through this and I trust you had a support system around you. All the best.

          • Anker 17.1.1.2.1

            Thanks so much Feoreign Waka. Yes long been clear. But I watched the Top Twins on 60 minutes and Jules was clear for 16 years and then her caner returned. The danger with Breast Cancer is if it metatisizes. Then the prognosis is very poor, although there are some very new drugs that are extending some women's lives significantly.

            We have it hard. three out of four women in the family have had it.

            • Foreign waka 17.1.1.2.1.1

              This must indeed be worrying for you and I hope that you stay free of that insidious illness. We can all but cross the fingers that Pharmac gets the go ahead for better drugs to offer to all. My best wishes and stay well.

              • Anker

                Thanks Foreign Waka. I kind of have a belief I will be o.k. But who would know. I just want others to get the right treatment.

  18. Mike the Lefty 18

    Most New Zealanders are sick and tired of the social austerity – that is the lockdowns, the mandates, the masks, the social distancing, the border controls. They want to party all the time – no restrictions – and tough luck to all the poor sods who they will infect with COVID and may die. They no longer think its all that important – as long as its someone else who suffers.

    They are seduced by the implied promises of ACT, and slightly less so National, that if they win in 2023 it will be PARTY TIME. Of course National and ACT don't care to publicise so much that they plan to cut spending everywhere except roading and prisons and borrow a shit load more money to fund the tax cuts that they are promising. More social housing? More police? More doctors? Not under National?ACT. It will be more housing speculation, more Ferraris, more luxury yachts and more foreign workers working for the (lower) minimum wage.

    But the sheeple don't want to know about that: PARTY ALL THE TIME is what it is all about and the Labour government tells them that is too dangerous – and they don't want to hear this so they will vote for the parties that promise jam today – National and ACT.

    The Labour government makes the sacrifices, National and ACT swoop in like vultures to take advantage of the easy pickings.

    • roblogic 18.1

      Labour need to argue their case — how exactly will they make life better for Kiwis? Not more of Grant burbling on about an economic surplus or Jacinda making grand statements about climate change. The pandemic has become less immediate now that everyone is vaccinated. Lab need to make some concrete promises to ordinary people, that they will stop inflation, regulate uncontrolled capitalist thievery, control rents, and NOT enter into moral hazard territory if people can't pay their mortgages.

      Feels like we are waiting for Aussie regulators to finally throw the books at the runaway banking sector. They won’t do it, and NZ needs to prepare for a hell of a crash

    • Foreign waka 18.2

      Sorry Mike, all I see is higher costs everywhere that bite and government charges are about to increase too after FY22. The reforms that are being implemented without a mandate or even talking to those affected will cost another bundle. Who do you think will pay for that? The ones in the 30% upper income? Yeah right, it will be again the ones that the labor party is suppose to represent. I have to look up the dictionary whether the meaning has changed of that word as well as democracy. Apparently it has changed too.

  19. adam 19

    One simple thing that will help save Labour, are the tax cuts that a purposed by National.

    Que what happened in Sir Lanka, falling into a cascading mess here just the same if the nats cut taxes. The repercussions from the last tax cuts by the nats are still being felt by us all. More and the economy will turn to custard.

    It's political stupidity of the top order to push for more tax cuts. An rigid ideological position that will hurt the majority, for the pleasure of a greedy few.

  20. Stuart Munro 20

    We have an odd, but perhaps temporary glimmer of light in Labour's corner, which is the strangely professional, and less than worshipful treatment of Luxon in the media. It never happened to Key – Did Luxon forget to fill some brown envelopes?

  21. newsense 21

    Who’s ghosting in Luxon’s slipstream?
    Mitchell has been very quiet, but seemed to have built himself quit a strong local loyalty. Chris Bishop has been front and centre of the Covid response and been eloquent with minimum malarky. Nicola Willis is trying to be the Ardern to Luxon’s Andrew Little.

    Luxon will have a difficult time convincing that he’s a centerist. It’s hard to know if the plotters are coming from the right or the centre. You’d think the centre given that’s where Key tacked, at least symbolically.

    Hooton backed Muller, so maybe not such a genius. But business liked the CRL by and large and Luxon is attacking public transport as a priority. He’s been much more sloppy in his ascension than Key. Key arrived with less fanfare and departed with his voters wanting a good deal more of his leadership.

    Luxon has been over promise and under deliver so far. It sounds as if a number are unconvinced by him and think they could do better.

    So to summarize – Labour has had some real tough times, but don’t forget the talent and experience they do have. As well as the talent in the left overall outside Labour.

    They need to sell what another decade of Labour led government could be. Not in those words, but a new idea of what can be achieved. It’s a sales job. Cos tax cuts for the rich is a stinker that they should be able to deflect and defeat. Though it does make you think there’s some other middle class welfare yet to come in the National platform…

    • roblogic 21.1

      Hooton backed Muller, so maybe not such a genius

      Mediocrity and unquestioning repetition of a few "pro-business" talking points, and the slick regurgitation of rehearsed slogans, is the main qualification. Intellect and morality are not useful attributes for mouthpieces of death cult capitalism and right wing populism

    • " Key arrived with less fanfare and departed with his voters wanting a good deal more of his leadership.

      No he was totally discredited and was booed at every public appearance and you could see in his face the shock of the public reaction after he had been kept on his high pedestal to long and the public finally seeing through him and that he after much debate could not walk on water after all and the " brighter future " apart from the usual suspects was not that bright after all.

  22. DS 22

    A somewhat simple request… can we just restore the Helen Clark status quo, so far as tertiary education goes? Restoring post-grad access to student alliances, repealing the 7 EFTS limit on access to student loans (which doesn't save money anyway), and restoring universal membership to Students' Associations.

    It's not much, just to undo the John Key regime.

    • Ad 22.1

      I'm from that now-absurd era in which I did multiple degrees with no debt, lived in a subsidised student flat, with a Bursary for the first degree and useful scholarships for the others, resulting in zero student debt.

      Cullen did a good job for Labour in a tough 2006 campaign by wiping student loan interest. We got a poll bump right afterwards.

      Robertson could do a one-off wipe of {say}$20,000 of everyone's student loan.

      Winner winner chicken dinner.

      • Patricia Bremner 22.1.1

        laugh Great idea Ad. Student loans are an albatross around the neck.

      • Sabine 22.1.2

        Are we gonna wipe 20 grand worth of debt from people who have not gone into uni but racked up debt say for a car to go to work or to get a job?
        I am all for wiping student loans on people who have skills that we need, i.e. nurses, doctors etc. But for those that studied gender woo, journalism, communications, pr, all those 'studies' that will eventually set them up for a lucrative career managing a call centre of a government job etc, can we just let these people pay of their loans that they incurred knowing full well that they have to repay them? Or would that be unkind?

        After all if a young person gets into a loan say to buy a car for a low paying job we would not argue to wipe that car loan?

        • Ad 22.1.2.1

          Simple: no. Cars are rapidly depreciating assets with largely privatised benefits.

          Degrees are appreciating assets that provide class mobility and broader benefits.

      • Foreign waka 22.1.3

        I am not entirely agreeing here. What about a person that choses a trade, will the same principle of compensation apply? Are we looking for equity or equality? Because this can open an can of worms.

        I personally believe all education up to the age of 18 should be free. After that, a person should contribute to society. That would apply to all, regardless of who they are. The age cap will need to be there to make sure kids stay in school to make it to this point. Otherwise NZ is ending up with what can be called the forever student.

        • Ad 22.1.3.1

          Any post-Secondary qualification tertiary education debt could count.

          If you go into a trade with no qualification you are earning faster than those who do a degree. It's a choice you make.

          • pat 22.1.3.1.1

            You are aware that (your) previously free tertiary education was one half of a social contract…the other side involved higher taxation of your improved earning capacity to facilitate it.

      • pat 22.1.4

        "n the 2020 financial year, the nominal value of all loans was $16.1b, with $1.6b of that overdue.

        IRD spends millions each year ($2.2m in 2018) chasing down that debt, knowing it won’t recover much of it.

        On a per-person basis, the average loan is $23,307."

        https://www.newsroom.co.nz/a-case-for-cancelling-student-debt#:~:text=Since%201992%2C%201.37%20million%20Kiwis,%241.6b%20of%20that%20overdue.

        That would cost the government around 13.5 billion of projected revenue (not counting penalties/interest)…..where will it be made up from?

        • Ad 22.1.4.1

          Same place they found $45 billion of wage subsidy.

          • pat 22.1.4.1.1

            So borrowed….with the subsequent increased servicing needs that apply even further pressure on government provision.

            • Ad 22.1.4.1.1.1

              Govt net debt forecast is better than expected. And Budget 2022-3 is v good.

              They have plenty of headroom.

              • Poission

                cancelling student debt is both inflationary (large arguments in the US over this now) and promotes even more financial inequality in the future,by discounting the debt of future high salary earners.

              • pat

                If you (or we) wish to return to free tertiary education then you need to accept the social contract that underpins it…..as the saying goes, you cant have it both ways.

  23. " what can be saved "

    Well I am no supporter of this Social Democrat Neo Liberal party but they saved many lives that would have been lost had the Nasty Natz been in charge of policy.

    The difference is that when it came to managing the pandemic Adern and her ministers saw their fellow New Zealanders lives were worth saving unlike the National party and their donors and supporters who see kiwi's as expendable in their drive for efficiency and maximising their profit and greed.

    Now if that care of saving lives could be extended and placed at the centre of all Labour policy and articulated and felt by many kiwis with Adern leading it then a third term is conceivable.

    • In Vino 23.1

      Restored, rather than extended, I think.

      Anecdotal, because it is from my family's experience only. Male partner caught Covid being a teacher at a school (how predictable) and went into isolation as did his partner because she had been exposed to him. They came out of isolation at current times, and 3 days later she felt symptoms and tested positive. Our current isolation times are too short, judging by this.

      She caught it off her partner too late for her to have caught it off him when he first got symptoms: it is pretty certain that her partner came out of isolation while still 'a bit' contagious…

      Now could our Govt have been influenced by the pushy economic sector when they decided on the current inadequate isolation times?

      We would still be doing the original isolation times if we were serious. It seems we are not any more.

  24. thebiggestfish7 24

    I would like to see Three Waters progressed. To my mind the best way to do this is to get ACT and National on board, with the removal of Co-Governance and a few other tweaks in exchange for ACT and National supporting and entrenching the legislation to ensure our water infrastructure gets the upgrades it needs along with ensuring these assets are not sold to overseas interests. I would also like Labour and the Greens to put together a coherent case for a capital gains tax to the electorate for 2023, sold as excluding the family home with tax cuts at our two bottom bands to net off the extra tax increased. This will be a fairer rebalancing of the tax system and with proper discussion this should be able to get the support of the electorate over NAT scaremongering.

    • Ad 24.1

      I bet if Labour proposed to National that they will put up an amended 3-Waters legislation that had instead a single national water entity to own and operate the whole thing, it would be very hard for National to now oppose it.

      But that would be too big a swallow for Mahuta and the Maori Caucus.

      I would have preferred to see in the 3 Waters legislation the National Parks partnership model with iwi built within.

      The 3 Waters governance structure should reflect that it is a national not regional resource that should be governed by the only entity that can represent us all: the state itself.

  25. infused 25

    I would personally stop fucking around with co-governance stuff and implement some of the tax stuff Labour has been harping on about. Push for regulation change. Even though none of that's what I want, but I know the core Labour supporters want (have a read on reddit).

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  • Pacific Business Village launched in Tauranga
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    4 days ago
  • Changes to intensive winter grazing regulations better for farmers and environment
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  • Government supports extra housing development
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  • Shining a light on unfairness in our tax system
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  • Statement on Cooperation in Agriculture between Japan and New Zealand
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  • Commissioners reappointed to Tauranga City Council
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  • Prime Minister has productive meeting with Prime Minister of Japan
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