Andrew Little’s Speech to Green Party AGM – one of his best ever

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Thank you very much.

I have accepted the invitation to speak to your conference out of a profound sense of responsibility.

I am here because I believe those on the progressive side of politics owe it to New Zealanders to offer the hope that change is possible.

We must show that there is a real alternative. A credible alternative.

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An alternative government that can transform our economy, end our housing crisis and restore a sense of hope and optimism to Kiwis who have been struggling.

One that will ensure all New Zealanders get a fair reward for the work that they do and that no one is left out or left behind.

An alternative government built on a new politics of inclusion, ambition and optimism.

One that builds on the things we are proudest of about our country, and that removes the barriers which stop us living up to our potential.

I want to sincerely thank you, and the leadership of the Green Party for this invitation.

I want to particularly acknowledge your co-leaders Metiria Turei and James Shaw. I have to say I have learned a lot from working with them.

I have learned from James the importance of matching your tie to your political colours. He really does have every shade of green in that wardrobe.

And from Metiria, that you can live in a castle and still be a republican!

In all seriousness, I have thoroughly enjoyed working together. As members of the Green Party you can be genuinely proud of two talented and dedicated leaders, backed by a hardworking Caucus.

After eight years, the current government has lost touch.

With an economy tilted in favour of those at the top, with rising unemployment and declining real wages, it’s time for a change.

With a deep housing crisis, plummeting homeownership and children forced to sleep in cars, it’s time for a change.

With a health system stretched to breaking point and an education system going backwards, it’s well past time for a change.

We owe it to the young couples worried they’ll never be able to buy a home because our housing market is out of control.

We owe it to the elderly who’ve paid taxes all their lives only to be told they can’t have the surgery they need because there’s not enough money in the health system for them.

We owe it to our kids – I owe it to my son – to do our part in the fight against climate change – because they don’t have a future if our planet doesn’t have a future.

And here in Canterbury, we owe it to the thousands of people who this government has let down.

People like Loretta Te Paa who I met on a visit here a few months ago.

When the earthquake struck, Loretta and her family were living in Woolston. Their home was ruined so they had to move into a cold, tiny flat in the Linwood temporary village.

They were told they’d be there for 26 weeks.

They were stuck there for three and a half years.

People like Loretta and her family, they deserve better.

They need a government that will back them and stand up for them.

They won’t get that from the current government.

We saw this clearly just last week – they produced a budget that did nothing to solve our housing crisis.

That cut money from health in real terms while freezing spending in our education system.

It’s a budget that actually forecast falling wages in the years ahead.

And look at the way they’ve slashed the social safety net and thrown people on the scrap heap.

They sell off state housing and say community providers can do the job instead – and then they cut the funding to those providers.

They say their social investment approach will target programmes at people most in need, and then they underfund those programs.

They say it isn’t economic to provide emergency housing – so instead they pay hundreds of dollars a night to put some of our most vulnerable people in motels – and then give them the bill.

Just look at the issue of rising homelessness we are now confronted with.

More than 40,000 people sleeping in cars, in garages, in severely overcrowded houses. Sleeping on the street.

Children as young as 11 living under bushes in South Auckland.

That’s not New Zealand. That’s not the country we are proud of.

And the Government’s only response, when not blaming others, is blaming homeless people themselves.

So this week they say the homeless don’t want to be helped, they quite like being homeless.

And this from a Government eight years in office.

When did we decide that was the kind of country we wanted to be?

When did this kind of poverty become ok?

Because we all know it’s wrong.

We’re a wealthy country.

This kind of thing doesn’t have to happen.

It happens as the result of political choices.

Well we can choose a better way.

We can choose to lift people out of homelessness.

And together that’s exactly what we’ll do.

So here’s my message to the Prime Minister: You’ve had eight years. Take some responsibility. Act like a grown up and stop blaming others.

But this isn’t the only issue they’re failing New Zealanders on.

Take their absolute lack of ambition on climate change.

On protecting our environment.

On standing up for our neighbours in the Pacific.

Look at the way this government ducks any moral responsibility on the world stage, from the refugee crisis to the treatment of Kiwis on Christmas Island.

Look at all they’ve done in the last eight years and think about the all the damage they could do if we give them another three.

We can’t let that happen.

We can’t be a successful country when more and more of the gains from our economy go only to the few at the very top.

We can’t be a successful country when the dream of homeownership is slipping away.

After eight years, it is very clear, if we want New Zealand to succeed, we have to change the government.

More and more New Zealanders are telling me there needs to be a change.

But they are cautious about the alternative.

New Zealanders might have real concerns about the current government, but they aren’t going to blindly vote for a change without reason to believe they are trading up.

And if we are serious about being that change, then we’ve got to earn it.

We can take nothing for granted.

We have to be disciplined and focussed as well as bold and courageous.

New Zealanders won’t trust us with the responsibilities of government unless we show them we are ready.

18 months ago, I made the decision to run for the leadership of my party because I could see that things had to change.

I saw a country in which more and more of the nation’s wealth was going to those at the very top, and those who worked for a living were struggling to get a fair share and struggling to get ahead.

That’s not the New Zealand I want to be part of. It’s not the kind of country I want to leave to my son. We’ve got to change it.

In the last 18 months, Labour’s made great progress.

Our caucus is working well together.

We’re reforming our party.

And we’re building a policy platform that can serve as the core of the next progressive government’s agenda.

But in an MMP environment, that alone isn’t enough.

In our country, under our system, governments must be built on lasting, mature relationships between different parties that share a common vision for the future.

That’s why we’ve been strengthening our relationship and cooperation with the Greens.

We’ve worked closely on issues like our Manufacturing Inquiry and the future of our education system.

We’ve worked together to get the government to agree to devolve more power over the Canterbury recovery to smart local people on the ground.

And we attended the Paris Climate Conference jointly as opposition members of the official delegation.

It’s against that background that this week Annette King and I signed the memorandum of understanding with the Green Party.

We are building a stronger relationship because that’s what the future demands. That’s what New Zealand needs.

This won’t always be easy.

We won’t agree on every issue.

We are different parties and we come from different movements, each with our own approach and our own traditions and our own way of seeing the world.

There will be points of real difference and debate and disagreement.

But we can deal with them respectfully and maturely.

I know this because I know that together, we share a vision for a stronger, fairer New Zealand.

It’s a much more hopeful and optimistic vision for our future than the one the current government is pursuing.

The leadership I bring to the next progressive government will deliver a better future for our country.

The government I lead will operate under the principle that the economy is not an end in itself, but a means to the end of delivering a good and decent life to our people.

For us in Labour, at the core of our political tradition, at the core of my own beliefs, lies the dignity of work. The ability to earn so you can stand on your own two feet and chase your dreams and ambitions.

That’s what we stand for. Every New Zealander having that chance.

We stand for a responsible state which ensures no citizen is denied the basics that allow them to participate in our society and reach their potential.

What are those basics?

A warm, dry, safe home. A quality education. Healthcare that’s there for you when you need it. And a safe and secure community.

We know that wealth must be created before it can be shared.

We support an economy that creates the next generation of jobs, which adds to the nation’s wealth, which modernises our economy and improves our standard of living.

And we know that development that contaminates the air we breathe, that chokes our lakes and waterways, or that damages our planet doesn’t serve our people and that we can and must do better.

Those principles will guide the Government I lead and they will guide me as Prime Minister.

We will reform our economy so it works for everyone, not just the few at the very top.

That means more good jobs, higher incomes and everyone getting a fair reward for their effort.

It means fixing this housing crisis.

After eight years we will do what this government has just never been able to get the hang of:

Build. More. Homes.

We will restore the Kiwi dream of homeownership.

We will address the housing crisis and we will build state houses so that every Kiwi can have a roof over their head.

Under the government I lead, older people won’t need to wait for years in pain.

We will end the cuts in health and make sure Kiwis get the care they need.

And we will recommit our country to the principle of free education.

We will put money back into our struggling public school system and we’ll stop shovelling money into charter schools that are more interested in making money off kids than teaching them.

And we will deliver three years free post-school training and education. Because lifelong education is the path to a better future.

The government I lead will make our country a leader in the fight against climate change.

And the next government will stand up for people in Christchurch that this government has forgotten about.

We’ll get cracking with the central city development, and we will sort out the mess at Southern Response and EQC.

People have waited too long. They deserve better.

And let me be very clear on one more thing: the government I lead will make fighting child poverty a top priority.

We will not accept children going to school hungry or going to sleep in bedrooms that make them sick.

We’ll feed hungry kids in schools and we will bring in proper rental standards so that every child in New Zealand grows up in a home that is warm and safe and dry.

We won’t listen to the cynics who say the problem is too big or too hard. Who say that poverty is just a fact of life.

We won’t give up on lifting every child out of poverty.

I won’t give up. It’s not who I am.

Next year, New Zealanders will have a clear choice.

On one hand a tired, out of touch government that is increasingly looking after only the few at the very top, and that has presided over a stalling economy, growing inequality, and an endless housing crisis.

Or they can choose a new, progressive government – our government – with a better plan for the future.

Our government will back people to get ahead, and reward their effort and ambition.

Our government will deliver a better, fairer New Zealand.

In the next 18 months, let’s send a simple message to New Zealanders:

There is a real alternative.

It’s time for a change.

Together let’s change this country.

Let’s build a better New Zealand.

Let’s do this.

And we can do this together.

Thank you.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Bloody good speak but nothing about transport?

    Our roads are crammed with trucks spewing out CO2 toxic greenhouse gasses while the Kiwirail system they bought back for us all now under national being deliberately run down & is dying from lack of funding.

    All while this mob are spending $12 billion alone just to widen the Hamilton Rotorua to Tauranga roads for yet more monster killer trucks.

    What a bloody insane National government this is, and Labour owe it to us, to take their rail back and restore it to 21st century usability again.

    Rate the speech 70% out of %100.

    Just a good start, words bare cheap but as Andrew said rightly, we are suspicious and they have to work to earn our trust again. Talk about regional freight/passenger rail please Labour!!!!.

    • Very good point Mr Clean Green ………. Lets get these bloody trucks off the road and get rail up and going again.

      Lets hope the next couple of weeks are full of Labour/Green policy that is smart and effective. The 2017 election is ours to loose – lets work together this time and get it sorted.

      • Thanks TOM,

        Check this I wrote to Andrew Little last week..
        TO; Andrew Little Leader, labour Party.

        Transport is a big election issue now emerging for the coalition between the opposition parties as we go forward now towards the next year’s election and we expect we should see National’s wild wanton destruction of our public Kiwirail regional rail asset to finally cease.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/288334/kiwirail-calls-for-support-for-trains

        Kiwirail’s Chair and CEO have recently pleaded like beggars on Radio NZ for the National administration to help save regional rail, but these begging efforts were greeted with a surly NO but this mat now be tempered with the recent joining of opposition parties to work together on issues to defeat the government during next years election on several fronts.

        Within all regions there are deep serious community concerns from all quarters over all those region’s now facing rail closures, that may well cause a shift in National loosing several seats in these regions in the next election.

        This is because of the National applying severe political interference to curtail Kiwirail’s attempts to revitalise the regional rail services, or even to cross lease parts of the network as PPP to some regional Local Councils, such as HB regional Council are now attempting to do, to save the whole Eastland rail services.

        Similarly National’s careless abandonment of all regional funding to save the Northland, East Coast, Tararua, Wairarapa, Taranaki, Waikato, and many south Island regional rail services will cost them several seats in parliament if they continue their wanton destruction of these urgently needed rail services as they cut and slash Kiwi rail’s budget and instead “redirect all funding” to assist private interests operating the Auckland passenger rail and Wellington commuter rail all now being set up to be run both by private overseas European companies, casing a loss of all future revenues from supporting Kiwirail also there.

        National are acting recklessly there now, and stand to loose the next election for certain, unless they suddenly reverse their financial throttling of Kiwi rail’s budget and finally save all these productive regions rail freight and passenger services soon.

        Put this up on your calendar as a biggie for the election please.

        • Yes, rail is the answer. If we want to solve housing, we also need to solve transport.

          Satellite towns with fast cheap rail. Much better than a sprawling city. Only a dumbass would want to recreate Los Angeles

  2. Good to see the Greens and Labour starting to use their noodles and stopping bitching at each other, now we just need Winston to pull his head in and think b4 he opens his mouth, we need a Labour/Green/NZF Coalition to drag this country out of the sh*t Key and English have got us in, I actually don’t believe we are a Rockstar Economy, like MSM keep telling us?

  3. “We will address the housing crisis and we will build state houses so that every Kiwi can have a roof over their head.”

    Be interesting to see the details of this. Cunnlife’s ‘affordable’ housing solution at the last election was a wet blanket, pretty much the same as what Key offered NZ.

    You can’t solve homelessness without state housing. Labour should let National offer market solutions.

  4. Little’s speech sounds impressive if you don’t examine the details and recognise that it is full of mutually exclusive concepts.

    But that is what politics has degenerated into over the past couple of decades, hasn’t it? -a whole load of drivel that sounds impressive but completely lacks substance and is full of mutually exclusive concepts.

    Little tells us:

    ‘We support an economy that creates the next generation of jobs, which adds to the nation’s wealth, which modernises our economy and improves our standard of living.’

    and

    ‘The government I lead will make our country a leader in the fight against climate change.’

    Sorry Andrew, these are mutually exclusive concepts: choose one or the other. All jobs (except peasant farm work) are dependent on burning fossil fuels and destroying the future.

    By the way, there is no ‘add wealth’ -that is yet another delusion: all wealth is generated by nature; humans just convert natural wealth into stuff and waste using fossil fuels, and assign numbers (nowadays computer digits) to the processes. Indeed, most human activities destroy wealth.

    ‘We’ve worked closely on issues like our Manufacturing Inquiry and the future of our education system.’

    and

    ‘And we know that development that contaminates the air we breathe, that chokes our lakes and waterways, or that damages our planet doesn’t serve our people and that we can and must do better.’

    ‘do better’ Really? Like what? All industrial activity contaminates the air we breathe and ‘damages our planet’.

    So which is it, Andrew? Manufacturing and development or a planet for your son to live on?

    ‘Our government will back people to get ahead, and reward their effort and ambition.’

    So what does ‘get ahead’ mean Andrew? Acquire more material possessions manufactured at the expense of your son’s future? Or does it mean have more fraudulently created fiat digits in bank accounts?

    When it comes to the detail we see that it’s all bollocks but Andrew Little’s bollocks is not quite as socially destructive bollocks as the bollocks National and the other fascist parties have on offer.

    Obviously the game will continue until the players can’t keep up their misrepresentation and lies any longer.

    That point is approaching fast.

    • The poisoning and overheating of the planet we live on via unrestrained fossil fuel emissions has reached a critical level, and now the bad news just keeps getting worse by the day:

      Daily CO2

      June 3, 2016: 408.25 ppm

      June 3, 2015: 402.90 ppm

      Up a staggering 5.35 ppm (versus 2005-2014 average of 2.11 ppm)

      https://www.co2.earth/co2-acceleration

      The numbers we have been seeing recently suggest that numerous positive feedbacks have been triggered and that ‘we’ could well break through the so-called upper safe limit of 450 ppm by 2025.

      Near-Term Human Extinction (2030-2050) looks ever more likely.

      Clearly it does not matter to politicians how threatening to their children’s futures (or anyone else’s) pollution levels get, they continue to promote ‘death of the planet’ via continued industrial emissions, just as Andrew Little has done.

  5. Didn’t JK have investments in NZ Rail at some stage, he must have had confidence in the industry if he was investing funds into the industry?

    • John Key was accused of insider trading over Transrail shares. he and wife made a lot of money out of it. That’s what derivatives traders like John key do. It’s not a mere coincidence that the NZ dollar is one of 10 most traded currencies in the world. His first job never stopped just because the crook became a MP then PM.

  6. John Key is a crook for sure read on;

    John key actually had thousands of undeclared shares in Tranzrail as he was running for election in 2008 and was challenged soundly by the then Labour Minister of finance Michael Cullen and had to apologise that AGAIN HIS MEMORY FAILED HIM, so that probably puts his total over 450+ lies he has made in his grubby career as agent PM for the Global rich list.
    Jack, Here is the details. Extract from Questions And Answers – Wednesday, 2 July 2008
    Thursday, 3 July 2008, 11:52 am
    Press Release: Office of the Clerk

    the full brief below showed John Key screwed us for $39 Million over the sale of Our rail in 1993 under national!!!!!!!
    QUOTE Winston Peters;

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Has the Prime Minister received any reports, namely, for example, from Booz Allen and Hamilton, that say that New Zealand Rail was making $36 million in 1993 and was down to make $100 million in 1994; and does she therefore not believe that taxpayers are entitled to some compensation for the 1993 sale of New Zealand Rail by the then National Government to its corrupt mates in Fay Richwhite and a foreign-owned company, Wisconsin Central Transportation?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: The member, like the Labour Party, opposed that sale. But there was one person who fully backed that sale and that was Mr Key, a director of Bankers Trust, which got the contract to advise the New Zealand Government on that sale. That sale was worth $400 million to the New Zealand Government—the National Government—in 1993. In that same year—the 1993 financial year—Bankers Trust, of which Mr Key was a director, pocketed $39 million in profit. Members should ask themselves the question, who benefited from the sale of Tranz Rail? Mr Key and his friends.

    (“Mr Key, a director of Bankers Trust, which got the contract to advise the New Zealand Government on that sale. That sale was worth $400 million to the New Zealand Government—the National Government—in 1993. In that same year—the 1993 financial year—Bankers Trust, of which Mr Key was a director, pocketed $39 million in profit. Members should ask themselves the question, who benefited from the sale of Tranz Rail? Mr Key and his friends.” )

    Questions And Answers – Wednesday, 2 July 2008
    Thursday, 3 July 2008, 11:52 am
    Press Release: Office of the Clerk

    Questions And Answers – Wednesday, 2 July 2008

    1. Rail and Ferry Purchase—Profitability

    1. JOHN KEY (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Does she stand by her statement, in relation to the Government’s purchase of rail and ferry assets, that “we are not going into this to make money”?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK (Prime Minister) : Yes.

    John Key: What is the Government’s best estimate of its on-going financial return from the purchase of rail and ferry assets?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I do not have that figure available. The member should put it down on notice.

    Tim Barnett: Which lines did Toll threaten to close if it did not get what it wanted in the rail access agreement?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I understand that the services that would have been closed under Toll’s plan B, in response to that situation, included the Overlander passenger service, the central North Island section of the main trunk line from Te Kūiti to Palmerston North, the Northland line, the Taranaki line, the Hawke’s Bay line, the Napier to Gisborne line, the Wairarapa line north of Masterton, Picton to Christchurch freight and passenger services, the Greymouth to Hokitika line, the Invercargill to Bluff line, and the Invercargill to Wairio line. I take it from the reaction of National members that they would love to see all of those lines closed. Labour would not.

    John Key: What was the value of the premium that the Crown paid, as indicated by Dr Cullen yesterday, for the purchase of KiwiRail from Toll Holdings?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I do not have a figure for a value on the premium.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Has the Prime Minister received any reports, namely, for example, from Booz Allen and Hamilton, that say that New Zealand Rail was making $36 million in 1993 and was down to make $100 million in 1994; and does she therefore not believe that taxpayers are entitled to some compensation for the 1993 sale of New Zealand Rail by the then National Government to its corrupt mates in Fay Richwhite and a foreign-owned company, Wisconsin Central Transportation?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: The member, like the Labour Party, opposed that sale. But there was one person who fully backed that sale and that Mr Key, a director of Bankers Trust, which got the contract to advise the New Zealand Government on that sale. That sale was worth $400 million to the New Zealand Government—the National Government—in 1993. In that same year—the 1993 financial year—Bankers Trust, of which Mr Key was a director, pocketed $39 million in profit. Members should ask themselves the question, who benefited from the sale of Tranz Rail? Mr Key and his friends.

    was John Key: What is the expected cost of the rolling stock the Crown will need to purchase if it wants to run the assets at the level that it is proposing to the New Zealand public, over the next 5 years?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: The Minister of Finance advised the House yesterday that to keep the rolling stock in its steady state—for example, no improvement—would require an investment of around $80 million a year. He further advises that to actually invest in an improved service—modern container wagons and customer-specific wagons—he estimates will cost around another $300 million over 5 years. That is a very good investment in a sustainable transport system.

    Hon Jim Anderton: Has the Prime Minister received any reports that those in this House who are critical of the purchase of KiwiRail would, if they were in a position to do so, sell KiwiRail if they had that opportunity?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I am sure National would like nothing better than to sell KiwiRail. Indeed, the National Party has opposed KiwiSaver. It has opposed Kiwibank. Now it opposes KiwiRail. What is it about kiwis and the public interest that the National Party hates?

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does the Prime Minister have any reports that in October 1992 Fay Richwhite got itself made the financial adviser to New Zealand Rail, and that on 26 April the next year it jumped across the table and said: “Hello, Government; we’re the buyer.”; and can she confirm that Mr Key’s company at the time facilitated that arrangement, which did not go to the market and did not go to tender but was just made with that Government’s corrupt mates in Fay Richwhite?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: My understanding of the facts is the same as the right honourable member’s—that Fay Richwhite did, indeed, jump across the transaction. We know that Mr Key was a director of Bankers Trust, which advised on that sale. We know, furthermore, that in 2002 Mr Key’s family trust bought 30,000 shares in Tranz Rail—

    Hon Members: What?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: —30,000 shares in Tranz Rail. We know, furthermore, that as associate transport spokesperson for the National Party in 2003, Mr Key commented on whether the Government should be buying back the track. We can find no record of Mr Key disclosing his financial interest as a shareholder.

    John Key: Can the Prime Minister confirm her answer from a little earlier that she is saying that Dr Cullen indicated the cost would be $80 million a year and $300 million to bring the rolling stock up; so are we led to believe therefore that the total cost of the rolling stock over 5 years, according to the calculations the Prime Minister has provided to the House, will be $700 million?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: That would be the simple addition of what I indicated the Minister of Finance’s advice was, but the gentleman who is asking the questions has never supported the Government’s buying back of rail. Indeed, Mr Key as associate transport spokesperson while owning shares in Tranz Rail at the time—which he never disclosed, as far as we can see—said publicly that shareholders were telling him they supported Toll’s offer for Tranz Rail over the Government’s offer. Well he would, would he not, because he was a shareholder, yet he purported to be speaking in the public interest as an Opposition associate transport spokesperson.

    Peter Brown: Noting the Prime Minister’s earlier answers to the former director of Bankers Trust, can she confirm that she shares the view of New Zealand First that taxpayer ownership of KiwiRailwill enable the Government to take a more strategic overview of transport in this country and make decisions that are in the best interests of New Zealand, our people, and our social and economic well-being, whereas private owners need only to make decisions that increase profits and satisfy their shareholders, and in this case overseas shareholders?

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. The National Party members may be embarrassed, but they should be required to keep quiet while a question is being properly asked about a very key strategic asset—or it used to be, until they sold it. If they are embarrassed, that does not mean that 10 of them are allowed to shout across the House while a question is being asked, so that we cannot even hear even though we sit next to our colleague.

    Madam SPEAKER: I just ask members to keep the level of interjections down so that other members can, in fact, be heard. Would the member please complete his question.

    Peter Brown: Well, I had got to the end of it, but I do not mind asking it again.

    Madam SPEAKER: No, I think the right honourable Prime Minister understood it.

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I absolutely agree with the import of Mr Brown’s question. The fact is that the Government has decided to make a strategic investment in rail rather than pay ever-increasing subsidies to a private company. Bringing this rail company back into public ownership enables investments to be made in the public interest in a sustainable transport system.

    Rodney Hide: Why does the Prime Minister not have sufficient confidence in her policies to stand up in this House and defend them rather than throw the dirt across to the Leader of the National Party; and could she explain to the people of New Zealand why rail is deemed to be so sustainable, when it cannot even cover its costs and she intends to use the taxpayer to put in hundreds of millions of dollars more funding—is that the Labour Party’s definition of sustainable?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: The member misses the point. Taxpayers were up for hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidise Toll. The Government has made a decision that that does not make sense, when the opportunity for ownership is there. I would like to know what “Mr ACT”, Mr Hide, considers is dirt about telling the truth about Mr Key being a director of Bankers Trust when it advised on the privatisation in 1993, when it made a substantial profit of $39 million that year, when Mr Key’s family trust bought shares in Tranz Rail, and when no record can be found of him disclosing that interest when he was commenting on the sale in 1993 on behalf of his party.

    John Key: Can I encourage the Prime Minister to give the right honourable Michael Cullen a call when she leaves the House, when he will probably inform her that he did not actually say it would be $80 million a year for the rolling stock but would be $80 million in total, so the Prime Minister has got that bit wrong; and can we conclude from the rest of the Prime Minister’s answers today that she is actually telling the House that she has no idea of what the return from rail will be, although she is pretty sure it will be negative and therefore will not talk to us about it, that she has no idea of the premium that the Crown paid to Toll Holdings, and that she actually has no idea how the rolling stock will be paid for or how much it will cost—that when it comes to this issue, she has no idea?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: Of course, Mr Key had the opportunity to ask all those questions of the Minister of Finance yesterday and absolutely fluffed his questions. I am interested to know what the National Party’s real policy on rail is, because I heard an interjection earlier from Gerry Brownlee, which said in respect of the Government’s purchase of rail that the shipyards are back. Mr Brownlee, if you think this policy is like buying Polish shipyards, why do you not state what you really believe and say that National supports rail privatisation, as it has always done and as Mr Key did when he advised on the privatisation in 1993?

    Hon Bill English: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. The member is a senior member and knows that her use of the term “you” is out of order.

    Madam SPEAKER: Yes, I am sure all members have been reminded of that and, of course, I am sure none have made that error before in this House. But I remind members to keep to the Standing Orders.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Has the Prime Minister any reports that suggest a certain political party is running around the country saying that the railways in 1993 were running at a loss despite what was said in the Booz Allen and Hamilton report, which was the most authoritative document at that time; and could it possibly be true that Mr Key and his company advised on privatisation and purchase to their client because the company was a loser and was bound to cost them a fortune if they bought it?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I have no reason whatsoever to doubt what the member has just said. I know that the National Party is so ideologically wedded to privatisation that if a State company is making money, it says: “There you go; the State doesn’t need to own it.” If the company is losing money, it says: “You should sell it to get rid of that liability.” Whatever the state of a public company, the National Party has an excuse for selling it.

    Madam SPEAKER: Point of order, Rodney Hide.

    Rodney Hide: It is a supplementary question.

    Madam SPEAKER: I would ask members, when they trade their supplementary questions, to give me notice of that fact before they rise to their feet.

    Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. Perhaps the Labour members may also like to do that. We see Mr Anderton and various other support parties take more than their allocation of supplementary questions on any given day. [Interruption]

    Madam SPEAKER: Please be quiet. As Mr Brownlee knows—and I have ruled on this before—if members notify me of a change in supplementary questions, that is fine. I am notified by parties of that, and it changes during the time that I am notified before the member rises to his or her feet, so there is no embarrassment—everybody knows. I had not been notified of Mr Hide’s supplementary question. Rodney Hide.

    Rodney Hide: I apologise. Are New Zealanders to take it from the Prime Minister’s performance in the House today that although she has come here to answer questions about rail, she does not know what it will cost taxpayers, she does not know what the premium was that was paid by the Government, and she does not know what the ongoing fiscal cost of rail is, but that she has actually taken the trouble to research the various shareholdings of Mr John Key, his directorships, and pretends to know all about that when she does not know about the policy and the cost to New Zealanders; does that not prove that this purchase is all about politics and not the good of the country?

    Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I know that the ACT party does not give a damn about sustainability or about having a sustainable transport system. I know the ACT party is ideologically opposed to public ownership. That and nothing else explains Mr Hide’s hysteria.

    Rodney Hide: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. It is very interesting to hear the hysteria of Helen Clark about me. I thought the issue was more about the hysterical response from the Labour Party to questions about rail. But frankly, there is no way that personal remarks about me from the Prime Minister address the question that I asked—which proves the point.

    Madam SPEAKER: The Prime Minister did address the question, but if she wants to add anything more, she is perfectly entitled to do so.

    • If we didn’t know already, this clearly defines Mr Hides core role in the Sunday Herald… a mole.

  7. I’m finding it hard to type this because I am crying. I hate what New Zealand has become under National, ACT United Future and the Maori Party. It stinks, it’s despicable.

    Andrew Little’s speech touched my core values.

    I care about my fellow kiwis, unlike the PM who cares about his rich mates. Key blaming the people for wanting to live in cars instead of racking up debts to WINZ to live in a scabby motel.

    Despicable. Despicable Key. I wish I was good on the internet so I could create a meme of Despicable Key and his Minions.

    Despicable Key

    Me me me culture that Key and his rich mates stand for, is not what I stand for. As an elderly woman I am angry, so angry that I want to scream and rage against them. They rile me up.

    Despicable Key

  8. Unfortunately this country got raped by the Merchant Banking Community and most New Zealanders are blind to the facts. Neoliberalism won.

    New Zealanders still see John Key as our Guardian Angel who is going to lead us all to paradise with his mercurial money making skills

  9. Unfortunately this country got raped by the Merchant Banking Community and most New Zealanders are blind to the facts. Neoliberalism won.

    New Zealanders still see John Key as our Guardian Angel who is going to lead us all to paradise with his mercurial money making skills

  10. The National loving MSM are trying very hard to nail down Labour and the Greens on every minute detail of what their collaboration will be.
    They blather on about how New Zealanders deserve to know.
    Actually most people are fairly pragmatic about such alliances/collaborations/accommodations (call it what you will) and know that the finer details take a while to iron out.
    No, it is the MSM that want all the details so the National government can get an extra year to work out their sleazeball responses, that is what it is all about. The MSM don’t give a crap about ordinary voters, they only want to be in John Key’s inner gaggle of sycophants and they will fight for the honour of being there.
    Do the MSM put the same kind of pressure on ACT? Not that I can remember, but of course ACT are on the right side of the tracks so that makes it different, it seems.
    As I said before, the MSM in this country do not and should not dictate what Labour and Greens do together and the two parties should not let themselves be sucked into it before they are ready just for the benefit of the National Party Dirty Tricks Brigade.

  11. Winnie, why do you persistently lump ACT in with the National Government, when there are “despicable” deeds (your words not mine) going on in New Zealand. It paints and taints ACT with unpopular goings-on in New Zealand that are hardly our making.

    ACT is responsible for a lot of good things happening in New Zealand such as Charter Schools. ACT would do a lot better in New Zealand with a 20-20-20 tax structure (GST, personal and business). Why don’t you focus on the positives in New Zealand instead of always carping on about the negative.

    Saatchi and Saatchi had geese advertising: see link below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0LJB2_Iuuo.
    The words were inspirational:

    People who share a sense of community can help each other get where they are going more easily….because they are travelling on the trust of one another.

    National are the main geese at the front of the “V” and one goose apiece for United Future and ACT, with other geese like the Maori Party being helped on the journey to a better New Zealand. by National.

    Maybe you need to have a look at this Winnie and see that we are all in this together. As the rich get richer, so the benefits flow down to the rest of New Zealand.

    Remember that ACT has only one member in Parliament, so stop lumping ACT in with despicable deeds please.

    • I have never heard or read such fuckwittery and gobshite in my entire life See-More. You are a sorry excuse for a human being.

      You really haven’t got a clue have you?
      But I have to admit, there was one glimmer of truth in what you wrote “one goose apiece for United Future and ACT”.

      You are a goose. Never a truer word written or spoken. Your treasonous, beloved ACT Party started this anti-social, selfish, self-centred, bullshit neoliberalism, that values money over people.

      May you all rot in hell for it. And Winnie was correct, you and Dunne and the Maori Party and National and its minions, are all despicable.

      despicable dɪˈspɪkəb(ə)l,ˈdɛspɪk-/Submit
      adjective
      deserving hatred and contempt.
      “a despicable crime”
      synonyms: contemptible, loathsome, hateful, detestable, reprehensible, abhorrent, abominable, awful, heinous, beyond the pale; odious, execrable, repellent, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, disgusting, horrible, horrid, horrifying, obnoxious, nauseating, offensive, distasteful, beneath/below contempt; vile, base, low, mean, abject, shameful, degrading, ignominious, cheap, shabby, miserable, wretched, sorry, scurvy; infamous, villainous, ignoble, disreputable, discreditable, unworthy, unscrupulous, unprincipled, unsavoury; informal dirty, filthy, dirty rotten, rotten, low-down, no-good, beastly, lousy; archaic caitiff
      “these were particularly despicable crimes”

      Despicable and its Google definitions, sums up your coalition of the damned perfectly.

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