Tax plan looks set to be on new Labour election agenda as Little’s ‘no change’ shadow is no more; Also, Ardern on being able to handle Winston & the Greens in Cabinet; 'Election will see generational change'

By Alex Tarrant

A more comprehensive tax policy looks set to be on new Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern’s Election 2017 agenda as the shackles imposed by Andrew Little’s ‘no change’ stance are lifted.

Ardern was keeping her policy cards close to her chest on Tuesday after taking over from Little, saying she would embark on a 72-hour stock take of Labour’s campaign and policy manifesto.

But importantly, she did not rule out taking a much more comprehensive tax policy to the electorate before 23 September than Labour’s current policy, and even seemed to encourage speculation.

I'm told that a more progressive stance is set to appear.

Ardern also indicated she would like to add policy to the election manifesto. As Labour's policy costings have already been published, any extra spending might need to be covered by extra revenue as the party seeks to stay within its self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules.

However, this doesn't seem to be in the 'revenue-for-policy-sake' bucket. Rather, it will be in the 'we think New Zealand needs a more progressive tax system' bucket.

'Tackling inequality'

Asked whether she favoured bringing back Labour’s former capital gains tax policy, Ardern replied:

“I think it’s fair to say, and anyone’s who’s watched me in politics over the last nine years, and watched Labour’s values as well, will know that I’ll be very focussed on issues of inequality. That’s a major concern for me.”

While she asked for time to review policy ideas over the next three days, Ardern added: “but there will be a few different ideas that I’ll be talking to the team about.”

Later during her first press conference as leader, I asked whether Labour would be taking a more comprehensive tax policy into the election as opposed to Little’s former stance. As I asked the question, a wry smile appeared momentarily on finance spokesman Grant Robertson’s face.

Robertson appears energised by the prospect of actually being able to take a progressive tax policy into the election campaign.

Former Labour leader Phil Goff’s move to run on a capital gains tax stance in 2011, something David Shearer and David Cunliffe carried on, has softened the electorate to such talk from a major party. Capital Gains Tax was only spoken about in dark corners of the Parliamentary precinct before Goff went out on a limb with it following the 2010 Tax Working Group’s recommendations.

What we’re still not sure on at the moment is what a new Labour package could include. But Robertson is a CGT fan and also a fan of a top higher personal income tax rate. The word 'progressive' may as well be tattooed across his back. I’d note that Robertson was also the driving force behind Labour’s consideration of a universal basic income before Little shut the idea down as being too wild.

While a UBI might be a step too far this election, could Labour’s previous policy of a tax-free threshold for income come back on the agenda? It would be the first step in that direction.

Perhaps Ardern and Robertson won’t look to rock the boat that much, but we can certainly expect the Labour Party before 23 September to announce a much more comprehensive tax policy than it currently has.

When Little became leader in 2014 he was quick to drop pretty much all of Labour’s tax initiatives including that capital gains tax. Talk of a higher top personal income tax rate also disappeared under his tenure. In its place have appeared a number of minor tweaks – extending the bright line test, ending secondary tax, and later, a move to combat negative gearing.

As I wrote on Monday, the stance meant the Green Party was able to take on the mantle of being the number one promoter of a more progressive income tax system, while also being able to attract the attentions of those keen on a capital gains tax.

Little did allow Robertson the promise that Labour would form a new tax working group sometime before 2020 to work out how to tax income, wealth and assets much more fairly, with the potential to take recommendations into that year’s election. But that’s not really a proper tax policy.

Ardern’s first press conference as leader - being able to handle Winston & The Greens

Meanwhile, Jacinda Ardern’s first press conference as leader appeared to be well-received. She was happy to take control of proceedings, and push back at journalists when asked critical questions.

Importantly, Ardern indicated she was willing to find common ground with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters if that were required. What was her message to him? “I like single malts,” she said referencing Peters’ famous love for whisky. It was a whisky session with Jim Bolger in 1996 that helped form a government back then, after all.

“The point I’m trying to make is that, we’ll find our common ground. You won’t hear a lot of conversation about that from us in the election campaign. We’re going to be focussed on Labour,” Ardern said.

However, there was still a hint of Little’s criticism of Peters from the weekend. If voters wanted assurance that National wouldn’t be in charge after the election, the surest way was to vote Labour. “If the voters present something different to us, then we’ll work with that. But I’m sure we’ll find common ground if and when we’re required to do that.”

The message was largely the same for the Green Party. The Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties would stay, although Labour’s campaign would only be about Labour’s policies.

Ardern said attaching any of Labour’s current woes to the rise in the polls the Greens have seen since the MoU was signed wasn’t a useful exercise. Labour’s team took responsibility for its own campaign. “I’m not interested in the relative effect of other parties,” she said.

One of the answers that drew the most reaction from the media pack was to a question of whether Ardern could lead a cabinet that included the Greens and Winston Peters: “I used to be the President of an international youth organisation that had members from Lebanon, Palestine and Israel. I think I can do this.”

It wasn’t an answer anyone was expecting, and it did the trick. There were answers to every question. Was she ready to be Prime Minister? Her team wouldn’t have appointed her if they didn’t think so.

“I’ve had nigh on twenty years of experience working in and around politics,” Ardern said. She also referenced her “pretty diverse rural background” growing up in Morrinsville as helping prepare her for the job. “Granted, I am a young proposition for the party. But this team has worked alongside me for nine years. They have faith in me and I absolutely believe I’m up to the job.”

An inter-generational election

Another tack into Greens territory was Ardern’s targeting of young people, and talking about her appointment as signalling generational change.

“I’m very mindful that the next generation is about to inherit a New Zealand that isn’t better than what their parents experienced. So, our focus will be about bringing fairness back into New Zealand. We’ll have a focus on equality and inequality…” she said. “I want to take stock for a bit. What will be clear to people though - it is a generational difference.”

Also: “At stake is a chance to build a New Zealand that is better than we found it, and to build a future to look forward to.” And: “We can prepare ourselves and future generations for a much brighter future.”

On the Maori Party, the door was left open, even by new deputy Kelvin Davis. Maori Party President Tuku Morgan on Tuesday called for the new Labour leadership to be open to working with his party, as Maori around the country had been telling him they would prefer the two parties worked together than Maori with National.

It was a far cry from Morgan’s sharp criticisms of Little a few months ago, where he accused the Labour Party leader of throwing his Maori caucus under the bus by not accepting them on the list. Little then ruled out working with the Maori Party – which formed in 2004 after splitting from Labour.

Davis’ message to Morgan and co: “If the Maori Party is still standing after the election, they’d have to up their game if they want to work with us.” It’s not in ‘wide open arms’ territory but the comment was welcomed by Maori co-leader Marama Fox to some extent. Do we see a slight twinkle in the eye of those who reckon a Labour-Greens-Maori coalition could get over the line if polling improves? (By a lot.)

The worst job in politics

Asked whether she was ready for the extra scrutiny that came with becoming Prime Minister, Ardern did say there wasn’t much that compared to the role in terms of preparing for it. “And all of us are untested until we have the opportunity to trial for something like that.”

“I present a real difference for New Zealanders and a new vision as well, on behalf of the Labour Party. So, I’m ready to take on that challenge and I’m excited about the campaign,” she said. “Everyone knows I have just accepted, with short notice, the worst job in politics. But I also welcome this job. It is an enormous privilege to be the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.”

Some commentators have pointed to Ardern’s age (“I’m youth-adjacent,” she did admit) as implying she won’t be able to handle the role of leader of the Opposition, let along Prime Minister. The Labour Party is well known for its infighting and strong voices.

From what was on show, Ardern appeared ready to at least try and handle it. Stuart Nash was asked about a comment yesterday that he didn’t think Labour should change leader this close to election. Before Nash could reply, his new leader took control: “Stuart already has acknowledged to me that he was wrong.” To which Nash could only add: “What she said.”

So, if she was ready for the role, and believed Labour does stand a chance – with or without a grand coalition of the left – then did she have a message for Prime Minister Bill English?

“Don’t be complacent.”


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114 Comments

Now we have younger people who are going through the house buyer and rent will we see laws change to favour that democratic

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Excellent and given that the prime purpose of houses is for people to make HOMES in, thus any and all regulations, for my money, should begin with that premise.

That may be news to some investors, fancy wanting a home not just an investment.

@solardb be careful what you wish for , without the much maligned property investor providing rental stock , we would have a real housing crisis because the State is simply unable to house everyone

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Rubbish. Investors do not provide any greater increase in housing stock than owner occupiers do. They probably provide less. Investors mostly buy and sell existing stock as those properties have immediate cashflow for debt service, which does nothing to increase overall housing stock. Any fall in the proportion of housing stock owned by investors means an increase in the proportion of housing stock owned by owner occupiers, which decreases rental demand. A change in the proportion of investor vs owner occupier dwellings is irrelevant to the "housing crisis".

@Bobster , you are simply WRONG , my daughter is renting from an Asian slumlord simply because she neither has the deposit , nor the income to own her own home , so she rents from someone whose yield is almost ZERO based on the supposed value of the property .

As much as we hate investors they are an essential part of the housing supply equation

If investors sell to owner occupiers the effect on accommodation supply and demand is zero, there are the same number of houses and the same number of people accomodated. Investors are not doing us a great favour by buying a disportionate number of houses which are then rented, as they are merely acquiring housing stock which would otherwise be owned by owner occupiers. They create as much rental demand as they satisfy. Of course there needs to be rental market, but there is no need for it to be as big as it currently is. If prices were to fall, owner occupiers would be able to buy more houses. Investor demand has come at the expense of owner occupiers who would service debts with salaried income. Let's not pretend that investors housing is "new" housing that might "disappear" if prices fall.

Every time I build a new house on an existing property(doubling the number of dwellings on that property) I'll tell myself that I haven't really added to the housing stock and that instead an owner occupied living in the single old dwelling would have added more to the housing stock.

If I wasn't competing with property investors, I would have been able to buy a plot myself to build on. I'm a tradesman and a QS so I could have done it myself too.

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Out of interest, I wonder how many properties owned by investors on here were actually new builds by the investor. I suspect investors have primarily bought existing stock.

Exactly, they want immediate cashflow to service debt.

Actually the LVR rules and falling market make acquiring new properties less attractive. Building new dwellings on existing sites is however still quite attractive due to the RBNZ's new build LVR exemption. I'm in the process of trying to get 2 built now. The ROI on new dwelling construction can be close to 10% if you don't have to buy land.

Still sounds like labour are going to make it so that those with accountants who can distribute their money to make use of the bottom tax brackets more often will win the most.

Also sounds like Labour plan to endorse Turei's fraud and work with the green (fraud) party.

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yes wonderful news. National is now toast...more so than yesterday. By bye Bill.

if you were to make a song of the above statement, I'll listen to it every day :)

Hahaha. Labour is finished. The 6th leader in 9 years. Real stability:)

@ rastus , you have got to be one of the most delusional optimists on the internet . If anyone is toast its Labour , with chaos , indecision , infighting and no coherent policies , they want to lead the next Government but cannot even lead themselves out of the wilderness

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For the record I have never voted Labour, I have even been part of Nat party election day work parties. My history/back ground is right. I always beelived the right would deliver sound managment of our country for the benefit of all.

Well that bubble has been burst! All they are interested in is inflating the wealth of their corporate and farming mates - asset stripping the land and the people on the way.

They agenda set by a man who was so hollow his main purpsoes was to create his own legacy - one failed, the flag (which required us to support), the second achieved, as he brought back in knighthoods for himself. Sums up the Nat party of today in a nutshell.

I dont belvie I am deluded, I beleive national will be wasteland after election night. The scorn for Nat is very very widespread....maybe just not in your bubble.

Okay , you make a rational argument , and I withdraw the remark and apologize , because I am also annoyed by National particularly its immigration policies .

You are so unbelievably wishy-washy

Oh so the $100k+ that Labour have received in donations since Ardern took the reins is just imaginary.

Rounding errors aren't imaginary, duh... There was an ancient movie about someone collecting all the rounding errors from a banking system if I recall correctly.

I believe that was Superman III

Not if they introduce a tax on the use of accountants.

and a tax on posting comments

Yes, a tax on opinions! Perfect. Where do I sign up?

Jacinda - I dont perceive you are tied to the MOU. Let it go, let it go..........

The MOU is between parties, not individuals.

No the umbillical cord to the benefit fraud party is going to add to their demise

I don't think we have heard the last of "Benefit Fraud", but I think the next major out will be someone in the National Party.
A pity , as it really is a distraction from comparing policy etc.

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She's swung me Labour's way. Sounds like we are going to get policy that focuses on the youth and working classes more. About time people got better rewarded for actual hard work, not just for being asset rich.

I still want to vote Labour to have them precide over a short economic crash in NZ about when I do my OE. My problem is still that they side with those with flagrant disregard for the rule of law.

Steady on, they're not Bill English or John Key.

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Most people believe we can do better. Jacinda has captured that belief with her "relentless positivity" and "we can do better". The latter should be included in the re-branding project taking place.

She would be wise to talk up 'New Zealand values' too.
Ie. fairness, egalitarianism.
That our nation evolved in a manner different to the 'home country' with its haves and have nots, but we've gone in that direction.
that it's not acceptable to have homeless people strewn across our CBDs, that it is not acceptable to have some of the highest suicide and child poverty rates in the world, that it's not acceptable to have some of the world's most unaffordable housing etc etc.

That this is not the real NZ. And it's time to bring back the real NZ.

Well, that's what I would do if I was them.

Hide yer wallets, folks. 'Inequality' measures means the Gubmint's Long Hand in Your short pocket, one way or t'other.....

That's if Winnie the Wizened, the Putative PM, doesn't dilute the mix.... can't see a tax increase on Single Malts.

Depends. If they adopt some TOP policies suddenly your income tax will drop considerably.

New Leader, old tax talk. Imagine a bold new statement "Immigration to be slashed",country forced to play catch up, MAKE NEW ZEALAND GREAT AGAIN, could work for us!

She could be the needle to get the camel going again..

@ Chairman Moa I dont think so she is too young , too inexperienced , too naive , too " different " and frankly not the brightest lamp in the cul de sac to appeal to middle New Zealand voters

They said the same thing about the new French President, Canadian PM (even Donald Trump!!!).. personally I might have a go at Labour in Sept.. nothing to lose now.

If Labour really want to bring back fairness and help stamp out corruption. The NZ housing market would be a good place to start
Bring in the Foreign Buyers tax pronto along with full anti money laundering measures.

You need to actually act on these policies, not just talk about them if you truly want to recorrect the balance in favor of citizens and residents. Not just the wealth one percent elite.

Not sure why there is any focus on TOP. They sit at 1-2% of the polls....yawn. A wasted vote.

I found a bit of her history from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacinda_Ardern.

Nothing that dramatic apart from her sorta attractive smile.

Not sure she is capable.

Tax and spend heading our way. Clouds of dust in offices all around the country this morning as ancient tax efficiency plans are resurrected. The tedious, complex arrangements of yesteryear may shortly be back in vogue.

Luckily the masters of TAX- AND SPEND will not win this time around

Boatman. Will be close. Davis will pull some Maori party supporters and secure Labour centrist voters.

But Jacinda has spiked Winnie by ruling him out of PM or DPM, in her first not so clever move. She next faces the dragon's den of parliamentary debate where she has been opaque up until now and will be forced to commit one way or the other on the Turei fraud issue.

She has a massive mountain ahead of her that her charisma alone will not be enough to surmount. We are about to see what the woman is really made of.

Close ? I dont really know , so you could be right .

The masters of BORROW and LARCENY will be gone by lunchtime.

Implementing a capital gains tax at the height of asset prices isn't the smartest idea (revenue wise). Why not a comprehensive land value tax instead?

Labour is even less stable than Trump's administration.

Are you young and thinking of studying to be a doctor, engineer, architect or any other high paying profession? DON'T! Labour will steal money from your hard earned salary and redistribute it to their cadres.

Be warned - Labour is a regime you don't want to suffer under.

Correct , Labour is hopelessly unstable , directionless and sorry to say Jacinda is way too young, unintelligent and naive to be PM

What has intelligence got to do with it? All she has to do is be convincing. It worked in the US for Trump, at least initially.

Maybe, maybe not. I do think she is at least 5 years shy on experience, ideally speaking, but I disagree she is unintelligent. She seems very smart to me. I don't think she seems naive either.
Experience is a good quality to have. But energy, enthusiasm, positivity, having guts and being articulate are also desirable, and she has those qualities in spades from what I can see.
She has been in parliament for 9 years, remember, which is a reasonable period of time.

You would think that after 9 years on the bank benches that they would have new policies to roll out on everything,but not so we will make them up 7 weeks out from an election and see how we go.

@ng PRECISELY , no new ideas , no new policies , no original thoughts , no leadership ......... just old fashioned harping back to the 1930's no changes to stupid immigration settings and a housing wishlist where they will build houses and sell them at a loss ............ I was hoping to get cheap brand new Auckland houses for each of my 3 kids

Promising words.
This new team have the guts and energy to make the change the country so desperately needs.
Here I am, was ready to vote Winston, but seriously seriously reconsidering now.
But I''ll await their policy.

@Fritz , you are delusional , how could anyone expect Labour to lead the next Government , when they cant even agree on the party leadership ?

LOL exactly! Very delusional indeed. More uncertainty more like it, not to mention the question popped by NZ Herald this morning: Is it NZ's right to know Labour leader Jacinda Ardern's baby plans?
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11897831

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For goodness sake - pregnancy/child-bearing is not the plague and children are not a burden. You really are clutching at straws.

Kate. Not a Jacinda fan but agree with you on the children issue. Distasteful irrelevancy.

It is an entirely legitimate question - has direct bearing on her ability to do the PM job if elected. If you consider this type of thing sexist you might as well put a ban of mentioning her gender.
If she was a male of advanced age questions would be asked about the state of her health - equally legitimately . Candidates in US elections routinely release their medical records.
It is her choice whether to answer or not ; it is up to the voters to decide if it matters .

Nothing to do with sexism. It's about capability to do the job, in particular whether having a child significantly inhibits the ability to do so. If the answer is yes then the question is valid, if no then it is irrelevant. Richardson asking this question pre supposes he believes motherhood does. With an additional inference that the experience of becoming a mother does not in fact enhance leadership capability. Dinosaur attitudes.

" It's about capability to do the job, in particular whether having a child significantly inhibits the ability to do so" - it certainly does , albeit temporarily .

"With an additional inference that the experience of becoming a mother does not in fact enhance leadership capability. " - I do not see the inference at all ; I actually tend to agree that motherhood enhances leadership ability - in the longer term only . Funny you should bring this up though - when Teresa May's lack of children was brought up as a negative during the election campaign in the UK a storm of accusations of sexism ensued. Damned if you do , damned if you do not.

Finally - just labeling anyone who disagrees with you a dinosaur does not make your argument any stronger.

My dinosaur comment intended as an opinion, not to make the argument stronger. But your point noted, tks.

Questioning someone’s family planning intentions is offensive in the extreme. Would the same critique be applied to a man of the same age? It goes to show the lows to which the opposition will stoop.

Sexism, bigotry and prejudice is alive and well in NZ.

It's nobody's bloody business whether she plans to have children or not. She is currently fit to carry out her work. Anything else is completely irrelevant.

Being childless is de rigueur for politics these days. Take Europe, it is ruled by the childless - Merkel, Rutte, Macron, Lofven, Bettel, Sturgeon...

FFS, it's none of our business as long as she can do the job.

She can do the job - she told us so! - "...but I believe I'm up to the job". Thatcher springs to mind... "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/336265/ardern-i-absolutely-belie...

Powerful, swchmowerful, about time that sort of sentiment was binned. She is putting herself out there as a possible PM not taking us to war.

Not about power Pockets - more about the second sentence and applies to all and sundry from being a lady to being powerful... - "If you have to tell people you are xx , you aren't."

It's a stupid question and is a reflection on how out of touch dinosaurs such as your self, really are.

It is not my question. Are you saying NZ Herald is out of touch?

Yep, way out of touch.. and you are piggy back on their mentality

I can see the next question will be if she has a baby being an MP (or PM), how are you going to feed the baby in debating chamber..!!!

Not sure why this Jacinda Adern/baby thing is such an issue...I mean look at the children John Key had to deal with while PM...Steven Joyce, Todd Barclay, Paula Benefit, Nick Smith...(the list goes on...)

Ha, ha, very good...

Some might describe the current direction the country is going in as 'delusional'

Generational change - too long in coming, but finally here. Time to pass the baton.

Lets be brutally frank about this , its a disaster for Labour , and the stupid thing was the fall in polls was avoidable .

Instead Little kept saying "this is not the time for tax cuts " ... over and over and over again ad infinitum , AND said he would reverse and repeal the cost -of -living adjustments to the tax brackets in the last budget .

How utterly utterly stupid was that ?

This was going to lose support among middle income New Zealanders , many of whom are struggling and who need every cent they can get .

And Kiwi's dont like paying tax , lets be honest , especially when they are struggling to make ends meet

Now to compound it all , Labour have shown there is ZERO internal cohesion ............. they want to lead Government and run the country and cant even appoint a stable leader , let alone run their organisation properly flip-flopping all over the place at the last minute.

Well, as history frequently tells us, sometimes out of chaos comes true positive and decisive change.
Maybe this is one of those time.

'And Kiwi's don't like paying tax , lets be honest , especially when they are struggling to make ends meet'

On the flipside, many kiwis don't like:
- being unable to afford their own house
- facing an education crisis
- being stuck in crazy traffic for two hours a day

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@FRITZ the cause of ALL the ills you mention is IMMIGRATION building only 7,000 houses and bringing in 76,000 immigrants ( most of whom need to shown wealth and skills to get in )

400 additional new cars registered in Auckland EVERY MONTH this year

Our immigration policy is a disaster

I agree immigration plays a significant part in these problems.
But the Nats are doing very little about it are they?
In fact, you can't keep these population ponzi growing without raising taxes and / or borrowing more.
So, the Nats are setting Auckland up for failure by allowing huge growth to continue, and not investing sufficiently to respond to that growth

At least Labour:

- Propose to reduce immigration
- Propose to invest more in housing,education etc

Have seen that car increase figure quoted frequently and would like to see figures for new car registration V redundant cars being de-registered. As registration is done on a national basis can Auckland figures be extrapolated out of the nation figure.

Another area where there might be an anomaly is if head office for say a rental car company was in Auckland, do their new car registration add to the Auckland total even though the rentals may be spread over all of New Zealand?

There are 1,000 cars stolen every month so maybe that has something to do with it too.

You need to pull your head out of the sand. Look at This through an 18-30 year olds point of view, crusty old status quo Bill, or some new exciting potentially game changing injection of fresh blood.
Generation rent will lap this up, watch the polls.

Am in that age bracket, fully believe Bill to be the superior leader. Want to vote Labour regardless because their small size, reliance on coalition partners who don't get along, inexperienced idelogical leadership and lack of market understanding combined make them irresistible. I am not joking, it really does.

I get where you are coming from sadr001. Life is kind of "meh" for a lot of young people and some chaos could be interesting. I took my daughters to see Dunkirk the other day and they came away saying they would like to be involved in such a fiasco.

I just want to watch the world burn. If I can't then watching a loose left coalition fail and in doing so lay the foundation for a real right government will suffice. I reckon young people look more at the longer term whilst older people want the next hit of other people's money as soon as they can get it.

Yes, you are pretty much describing the sentiment of the rank and file youth of the Alt-Right.

Alt-right? What a charming guy you must be. White supremacist, sexist and homophobic

I thought you were out here ?? Do not let us keep you.

It is extremely rude and low-socio to come out attacking people instead of arguing on the topic itself GRRRRRRR. Zachary is anything BUT white supremacist, sexist and homophobic.

In terms of the last casual assessment of ZS's character (the one that starts with an H), you'd definitely be the best person to make that judgement!

Easy mistake to make, as that is pretty much how he described himself (given there is a him) during the run up to the US election

@sluggy , the youth are too lazy to vote , my kids over 18 at the time partied the night before the last election and then lay in bed for half the day of voting , my daughter voted but my son was not interested ..........

John who? Bill is about to drop the ball... again

Taxation is the price of civilized society. What I despise about paying taxes is seeing them go towards political payoffs for which conservatives are infamous. Another irrigation project mate, another payroll provider mate, another prison contract mate, another privatisation mate, another tourism subsidy mate, another agricultural subsidy mate, another landlord subsidy mate, another convention centre mate, another PPP mate, another bailout mate, another SOE mate, another billion of borrowed money mate ... the list goes on and on.

Labour seem pretty united in caucus and they're smart enough to see that doing the same thing over and over again is madness.

Hey look at the Nats - it's 1999 again or is it 2002 - same old same old

National is losing most of the immigrants' votes . How ironic.. National's policies allows them to come, live and work in NZ, and now they could not care what National policies are. The comments I heard from the immigrants are they are voting for Labour because they want cheaper housing.

You're only ever going to get cheaper housing if you remove the RMA, Local Government relative regulation, The Building Act to name a few, oh and don't forget that houses have 15% GST.....Labour has never proposed to address any othese issues so house prices can hardly come done!

Recent data showed the biggest single predictor of a person not voting was being an immigrant and that the politics of this group tend to be more conservative than liberal. If they do come out to vote, it is likely the Nats will be the beneficiaries.

Does Ardern really believe her own nonsense "“I’m very mindful that the next generation is about to inherit a New Zealand that isn’t better than what their parents experienced"......wow.....women are now in roles across all sectors, large increase in the number of women in business, no unions causing strike action several times a year, there are benefits galore, what about the advances in the sciences and technology, education, things like reticulated water schemes and sewerage, Oh and did I add so far NZ is Nuclear Free and so far we have avoided something like WW3, - my list of a better NZ is almost endless. Ardern sounds like a spoilt wee brat.

And yet they can't afford to buy a house, suicide rates are terrible, people are stressed out and needing the help of mental health services that are overloaded, rivers are polluted and not safe for swimming, roads and hospitals and schools are full.....

You sound like a grumpy old baby boomer...who owns shares in Fonterra and has 3 rentals....and yet those material things aren't filling you with joy...

Fresh approach.

Election results : Whoever Winston Peter wants will form the government so it all comes down how well or badly, he does and chances are that this will be the best election result for Winston - The King Maker.

And she was asked the most unfair question ?
Now that is going to get her heaps of women's votes.
If she promises not to pull any ponytails on top of this PR win, she will become PM.

Gerry Brownlee's note today to Patrick Gower was a bit creepy:

On his way to Question Time Brownlee shook the hand of Newshub political editor Patrick Gower with an envelope marked "Cheerleader in chief" and inside were two sets of tassles, one red and one blue. The note from him referred to Gower's "unbridled excitement" yesterday and he was including a blue one "in the hope that one day you may find similar enthusiasm for its use".

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11898088

Very weird.

Brownlee is a goose!

Whose disclosure statements studiously avoid mentioning how many properties he has acquired in Christchurch since the earthquakes. Just lists "properties".

One of the foie gras ones?

Brownlee is at least equipped with the splendid moobs necessary to be able to spin them in opposite directions.

Reading some of the above comments... as far as experience is concerned, Jacinda has 2 years less experience than David Lange and 5 years younger than he was when Labour went into power. And she has considerably more experience than the current ACT leader.. but... she is female... OMG
I'm loving how this has the status quo shaking in their collective troughs... winter is coming...

I would like to see something being done about the sale of farms, especially ones owned by multifarm corporates. The likes of the Canadian Pension funds are buying up considerable numbers of dairy farms mainly via the way they are being marketed - as one deal rather than as individual sale. There was a public outcry when this happened with the Crafar farms but it has been happening again recently - the Harvard Uni farms in Ranfurly, the Maxwell farms in Central Plateau, currently the Waibury Farms in North Canterbury (http://www.nzfarms.co.nz/3118779). The Paterson farms are also supposed to be sold. We aren't just talking of a few farms involved but dozens.

Recently talking to extended family in Canada who were lamenting the high price of cropping land in the prairie belt ("new buyers will never be able to repay the cost in their lifetime"), they were most surprised to hear how active the Canadian Pension Fund industry is in NZ farm purchases. Especially given they are barred from buying farms in Canada. I have been told that a Southern Hemisphere country's investment funds sent staff here to look at buying NZ dairy farms. These Funds make the Canadian Funds look like chump change. The concerning thing is that they were intending to 'bring their own people in to run the farms'. Are the banks colluding with offshore Funds to buy up distressed or otherwise properties? Sure these farms get advertised - it is an OIO requirement - but some of the advertisments are small ads on obscure pages. A banker said recently that for the first time ever, they are hearing most sharemilkers now say that farm ownership is not a goal anymore - it is simply unreachable. If farms had to be advertised for sale individually rather than as a block they may have more of a chance.