Labour Party leader Andrew Little pledges better housing, better health and better schools under a Labour-Greens government

Labour Party leader Andrew Little pledges better housing, better health and better schools under a Labour-Greens government

The Labour and Green parties are holding a joint State of the Nation event on Sunday.

Here's a copy of Labour leader Andrew Little's press release and a link to his speech.

 

 

 

Labour and Greens committed to changing the government 

The Labour and Green parties’ joint State of the Nation event shows voters there is a plan to build a better New Zealand, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. 

“Everything we’ll do in government will be about building a better New Zealand: a country that is the envy of the world, where everyone has their shot at the Kiwi Dream. 

“Both Labour and the Greens believe that politics is about building a future for everyone. Like me, Metiria and James believe all our children deserve good housing, a world-class education, and the best start in life. We know that New Zealand’s future must be built on good, sustainable jobs that pay a fair wage. 

“We will run surpluses, just like last time. We’ll grow the economy, and pay down Bill English’s record debt. We’ve balanced the books before, and we’ll do it again. 

"National are out of ideas and out of touch. They've got nothing new to offer. “New Zealanders have a clear choice at this election. We can choose a tired Government with no new ideas, or we can choose a new, positive vision for a better New Zealand.”

Andrew Little shared stories of his battle with cancer and about his son that shape his vision, and closed his speech by saying:

“Here’s my message to New Zealanders this year - if you want better housing, better health, better schools; if you share our vision for New Zealand, do this: join our movement to change the government.”

Here's Little's full speech.

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Good luck to them. Hopefully they can actually challenge National in the market-place of ideas.
Economically, they are not much different from National. Hopefully, more spending on education, health, police etc.
The stumbling block for the middle NZ voter will be the Greens and their underlying (beyond care for the environment) social/political philosophies and who they back.

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Well I went along to that event earlier today and I have to say that I was fairly impressed (And I'm not easily impressed). It was packed out and since I arrived a few fashionable minutes late, we heard most of the event under the shade of the trees - wonderfully sunny day.

Anyhow, yes they certainly hit a cord with most Kiwis + immigrants, and for me they hit the Foreign Buyer cord since affordable housing is one of their highest priorities, that along with education and healthcare.

I have to say, I very much liked their highly can do and positive attitude. I think they do recognize what's been happening with our housing market, and seem motivated enough to do something about it.

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I have tried to engage with lots of MPs from all different parties about housing affordability since 2012 when I returned to NZ. I have to say that Labour -in particular Phil Twyford has been the main one to reciprocate that engagement. I genuinely believe Labour will give a fair crack at solving the housing crisis -if given a chance by the electorate. Labour have put in a lot of work behind the scenes to expand on their KiwiBuild policy -they have policies on foreign buyers, improving the productivity and competitiveness (combating the building material cartel) in the building industry and removing planning restrictions which only benefits land bankers and speculators. I believe by time the election comes Labour will have clear policies for security of tenure for renters and a plan for infrastructure. I would also not be surprised if they also announced a policy to reduce the immigration rate.

National and New Zealand First have never shown any interest when I tried to engage with them on housing affordability matters.

The Green party kind of comes and goes. I think they genuinely want to fix the problem but I am not sure if they have done the policy work.

Recently David Seymour has shown some interest about addressing the housing crisis and he has some knowledge of the issues. David's State of the Nation speech was heavy on housing affordability issues. Unfortunately he wants all the changes/relaxation of planning restrictions to be on the periphery and none to the inner city (where his electorate is) -where housing demand is high. He also doesn't acknowledge demand has an impact on the housing market -in particular foreign buyers and immigration.

David's housing policy agenda shows a lack of political bravery. This is unfortunate because the right side of political spectrum need some bravery. For the last 8 years of right-wing government one of the most notable things has been fear and greed has dominated bravery on the housing front.

They have already announced that they will reduce immigration to 45,000/year which is still far too high when we have families living in garages and cars. It also reveals that their financial plan includes the same population driven ponzie scheme as national.

It is going to be an extraordinarily brave politician or party that broaches the subject of population, but more expressly over-population and then begins to have the conversation of how the human race can still prosper while reducing its number and our pressure on the planet. There is no planet b for 99.999999999999999999% of us. (Actually I seriously doubt there is any planet b that we will find and get to before we completely wreck this one because we aren't far off having done that).

Demographics are changing fast, older people won't consume like the young. Population growth has halved in the last 40 years but we are living longer.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/first-time-human-h...

Correct and why we must learn to prosper without consumerism. Huge corporations aint gonna like it.

Pocketaces - "seriously doubt there is a planet b that .."

you might find this link interesting.
http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/10/why-not-space/

"Approximately how far have humans traveled from the surface of the Earth in your lifetime? [e.g., since 1980 or so]. Start with a standard Earth globe (30 cm diameter). The answer is 1.5 cm from the surface, .."

With the Moon being 9 metres and Mars between 1.3 km and 10 km away (on the same scale) i wouldnt get too hopeful ...

At the risk of repeating myself yet again; there is absolutely no need for an ever increasing population to have a prosperous economy. Germany and a bunch of other countries have had very healthy growth/capita for years with decreasing populations. There is absolutely no positive correlation between the two factors at all, in fact it is mildly negative.
Further given that the very real environmental problems that the world faces can be largely attributed increasing population and the rising standard of living for the second and third world countries, we desperately need to address over population if we are to avoid some very catastrophic consequences.

you will like this report then, did they name it before carrying it out i.e go in to research with a preconceived idea and find evidence to support there views
why advocate this unless something does not add up, short term gain long term costs
It also said the Government could consider imposing an upfront levy on migrants to address concerns that migration imposes a burden on local infrastructure.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1178...
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1179...

Chris M - "..there is absolutely no need for an ever increasing population to have a prosperous economy"

No. But to have a "prosperous" economy you need growth in DEBT. This is how the financial system works - this is how commodities get produced etc. And given real growth is actually dead, population growth is the only "solution" for the financial system.
At the risk of repeating myself, you have to collapse the environment OR the economy. There isnt a choice in a finite system.

Lets look at Germany.
Private debt is decreasing, Government debt is decreasing, and for an advanced European country they would be amongst the leaders in caring for the environment. Further to that in recent history they have incorporated and rebuilt East Germany and are are bankrolling more than their share of the troubled south European economies. AND THEIR POPULATION IS DROPPING. So cheer up, it is possible. Only a facts based approach and a positive outlook will solve these problems.

If aggregate debt decreases, the financial system implodes - so you can't take one country in isolation - one man's debt is another asset - their "assets" are effectively a claim on the energy output from elsewhere - you have to look at the system as a whole. Net claims on energy output (read environmental footprint) have to increase for the system to work. Debt is what makes things happen ...
Nature also doesn't care less about national borders. Germany (as per most western countries) effectively outsources its consumption pollution or ecological footprint.

The beneficial aspect as well as absolute necessity for (ever) increasing debt is a difficult concept to grasp - this is as good an explanation as anywhere..
https://ourfiniteworld.com/2016/12/07/what-has-gone-wrong-with-oil-price...

You have side tracked my point which was you don't need ever increasing population growth for increased wealth per capita. In my initial point I said nothing about Debt, you raised it.

No as I said above, I agreed you don't require increased population (in fact if you dramatically decreased population you immediately increase resource wealth per capita)
But the kicker is that the financial system we are locked into requires ever increasing debt. You mentioned prosperous economy. You can not have this without ever increasing debt. As the Nats have found, it is far easier to import debt growth in the form of people than try and find real growth.

So do we need a different financial system? Is that the root of the problem? Certainly to my inexpert eye there are some strange anomalies in the way things are set up that suit the banks and a few other vested interests but are not good for the general public. Presumably the structure of a financial system is just a human construct that can be altered. Why are we "locked" into the current system? who is holding the keys? why can't we get rid of them?

excellent question. The reason we are locked in is really due to the debt claims in the system - we have "progressed" down the track so far we cant easily regress to a simpler system - it is self managing so who decides how this is done? Who decides who loses value?. We are truely globalised in finance & supply chains. Cancel debt claims and you writeoff pension values, stock values etc - which crashes demand in the system.
But more than that, the current system is feeding 7billion plus (courtesy of the power of fossil fuels) - if we remove the debt claims, we remove the ability to continue propping up commodity prices so that it is viable to extract Oil, minerals, foodstuffs etc ... A simpler system would require a (massive) downshift in population. Who goes first? The current (temporary) answer is anywhere but the West ...
"Where sustenance is available, population takes up the slack unless something else intervenes."

some of the commentators here explain it a lot better ..

"It was the power of the steam engine that created the power of the United States (and Europe, particularly the UK), because it introduced the age of “unlimited” fuelburning, which in turn allowed the creation of “unlimited” debt. (by constantly increasing production of fossil fuels, and burning them in heat engines).
The process of burning fuel created employment, wages and sustainable prosperity. It also created global capitalism in its modern form, which is in turn sustained by infinite rolling debt, which was sustainable as long as input of energy into the system was rising faster than we burned it.

Now energy input into the industrial system is falling, which means that our rolling debt can never be repaid"
https://ourfiniteworld.com/2017/01/10/2017-the-year-when-the-world-econo...

The increasing frequency and severity of crises, suggests that this system is nearing collapse point. As far as I can see it is based very strongly on people believing, that what amounts to a con job, can be perpetuated for ever. At some point it must collapse and it got very close in 2008. If and when it does collapse is it too much to believe that at that point the system would changed? We would have lost everything at that point so little harm in pushing the reset button and starting fresh with a saner and sustainable system. I hope that somebody is very carefully planing for this right now, so that we are prepared with a good solution. The middle of the sort of crisis that we will face will be the worst time to try to figure it out. Postulating that some body faces this reality and comes up with a better system, would it not make sense at that point to develop a plan to transition to a better system and avoid the trauma of a total collapse. Yeah, I know, I am being far too optimistic and naive, when you look at the major world powers at the moment they are barely capable of honestly working with the basic democratic processes.

Chris M - didnt see your reply until now but I agree - Faith is all that holds things together .. faith that there is more available and that the future has MORE (in part to pay for growing debt mountains)... it would be far better to plan now than plan on the fly in the middle of collapse. But given the faith aspect, if there was open public discourse on a not so pretty transition it would destroy faith so collapse is then bought forward... Im sure there are powers that be that can see the writing on the wall, but given the tough transition required (ie depopulation for starters) and an inevitable smaller pie its not up for discussion.

Also its worth noting Democracy belongs to times of surplus ... America was established in 1776 (i think) which coincides perfectly with the start of the steam engine ... which delivered energy surplus.
Democracy wont survive lean times. So military/autocratic rule will rear its head in a fight for remaining resources.

John Key will still get a knighthood for his ponzi human importation scheme & bonus medal for never taxing capital gains foreign speculator buyers made for years without even a NZ bank account and of course no ird number .
Yes John you sure match the kid in Wellington Forex all those years ago
Lastly what a great pity there has not been a 1.5% transfer tax through the housing price boom years The money for infrastructure like public transport would have balanced out with quality of life being reduced cars on roads.Auckland rates are too low to sustain the services, unpopular comment but true.

Brendon your commentary is very interesting, although perhaps i'm too cynical because i tend to agree with Mortgage belt's comment that Labour is too much like National on economics. Also I firmly believe for housing to be affordable, house prices MUST fall by at least two thirds (rental costs same or more). The alternative is wages increasing a commensurate amount which is completely unreasonable for all the other impacts that would result or be necessary for it to happen. Little has firmly avoided admitting that housing prices must fall, instead talking about preserving equity in property, which contradicts any goals towards housing affordability. It also is protecting bank and investor interests at the expense of the majority of ordinary kiwis. The Greens co-leader Turei is the only polly I have heard who has had the balls to be specific on how much the cost of property must fall, and I feel that she didn't go far enough.

Murray most existing houses are in private ownership -the government cannot dictate the value owners of private property give to their houses.

What the government can do is ensure that new homes are built as affordably as possible. The government can do that by building homes directly -NZ government's have done that before. Or they can do it indirectly by removing planning restrictions so that the private sectors new housing supply is more affordable. The government can also do it by removing demand -banning foreign buyers, reducing immigration etc.

If a government did these things for long enough and showed enough commitment in doing them -i.e. it showed a moral compass and political will. Then the value which existing home owners expect to get from their properties would stop rising and at some point values would drop back to some degree, but that is actually several steps down the chain from something the government can control directly.

I believe Labour is committed to the first part of the process -removing planning restrictions to improve housing supply, addressing infrastructure funding etc and by taking steps to reduce excessive demand. Murray as you say the Green Party -Metiria Turei would be ok with a fall in the value of existing homes. What I am less clear about is their commitment/policy work for addressing the immediate housing effects that a government can control.

Good write up from Patrick Gower too.
http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/01/patrick-gower-labour-gree...

"The vibe at the Mount Albert War Memorial Hall was the best I have seen on the Left for years.

The leaders gelled, and so did the crowds. Labour benefited from the Green energy. And the Greens benefited from the extra size of Labour.

They both looked better together. But the most important thing was that it felt real.

The Green supporters liked Andrew Little. The Labour supporters liked Metiria Turei. They clapped each other like they meant it."

That may have been great, but did you see the awkwardness they both showed regarding the Ohariu electorate.

I don't see the relationship having quite the "happy ever after" feel to it, they would have us believe.

Yes watched Mr Little's rallying call as to how Mr Englsh should go after Mr Trump and how Mr Little would tell Mr Trump that Mr Little would not tolerate what Mr Trump is doing. What a great shame Mr Little cannot get off his butt and do something for his own constituents first, like tell Mr English and his government to go after the persecutory and fraudulent behaviour of EQC.

Promise better & more - politics 101. Even if it is totally undeliverable.

Well if we had a Foreign Buyer tax similar to Oz and Canada, just think of all the revenue that could be generated from that that could be used as affordable housing for NZ citizens and residents.

That would be a much better than Nationals 'let them eat cake' attitude, that Kiwis should only expect to afford a rabbit hutch apartment at best. At least Labour and the Greens want people to actually have healthy homes.

Yes but think of the loopholes that we would add to it, so that most (if not all) the "3% of foreign" buyers could avoid paying anything.

for clarity - i think the Nats are woeful The only honest thing a politician can promise now is less. And it its not a vote winner. If the Greens were green, they would actually be taking that "hard" line.

And its way too simplistic to suggest "if we just did policy X then ... Laws dont create resources and resources per capita are on the slide...

Pretty much all of the Kiwi Politicians are out of touch.

A new Government isn't really voted in on policy, rather they are voted in because we finally got sick of the last lot. Seems we can handle 9 years of lies, inaction, and corporate pandering by one party, before we decide to give the other party a go at the trough.

Even if we did vote on Policy, I can't see anything of actual value ever getting passed. MMP was never meant to enable efficient policy change.

When you look at the USA right now, you just breathe a huge sigh of relief and thank your lucky stars

I will give Trump one thing. Like the policies or not, he has followed through on more Election promises in a single week, than most politicians get through in an entire term.

Really what more do you want from the person you elected?

I hope they have a 30 day no questions asked, money back guarantee, you know, that buyer's regret clause.

a lot of people had regrets with Obama

Wouldn't that be good. Should come as standard with any vote cast.

Little may need to be careful politically opposing Trump too vociferously, despite Trumps faults, because if there is some kind of Brexit/Trump quiet groundswell building in NZ, then he has just discouraged that voter from Labour.

Going on comments etc floating around the various media sites, people may not openly agree with all his policies, but the sentiment is there, he is not as hated as many would like to portray.

Labour have not come up with a decent idea in a long time and it is a reason that I won’t vote for them this year. Gone are the great initiatives, creativity and energy. It has been replaced by hand wringing, internal squabbling and 1970s type economic theory involving housing which those of us who have been around long enough know how it all failed miserably. They are finished this election and require a new young leader who will be bold enough to ditch the Greens who do nothing for their chances of winning the election this year. It is only then that I will vote for them again.

We have career politicians who are motivated to pledge bigger govt and more spending to satisfy the ever increasing number of people who demand that they do "more". Auckland needs tens of billions spent on infrastructure and no one even questions Goff's ludicrous 2.5% rates pledge, so one can only assume that most of the electorate is either stupid or don't care. The issues at national level are even greater and yet the calls for more spending go on. The end result will not be good, but the advocates for all this socialism will never admit that they were wrong. You just need to look at the train wreck in France to see the future playbook...

I'd rather look to Scandinavia, cheers

We keep holding them up as the best of the best, and they may well be. But I can't see any Kiwis voting for 50% income tax.

We want the policies of Scandinavia with the taxes of Monaco.

Works though.
On the last bit, maybe Lotto as a means of taxation, some already call it a tax on stupid

It works because they have a culture that wants it to work.

Too Little too late.

You can't beat a TRUMPet.

The Last Trump?

You can tell by my call sign probably which party I support. The problem for me now and a lot of national supporters is that we don't believe in mumbo jumbo religion so bill English is a bit of a turkey in my and quite a few people's eyes ( be it a smart man) but how can you be smart if you believe in Father Christmas. ACT has my vote and labour will flounder for another 3 years, I read Littles speech and whilst easy to read for his target audience really was just a bit of babble, election year will be interesting!

West: Which belief system has been intricately intertwined with the history and development of the West, I wonder?
Keyt: In a way, English may help National by diminishing any anti- Key, anti - globalisation sentiment among voters.