Idea Upgrades for 2018

By   /   January 11, 2018  /   7 Comments

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One of the things dear to Jim’s heart was the idea that the State should use its power to make good outcomes and not leave it to the free market. In that vein, here are some upgrades for 2018 that we should push from a progressive Government.


One of the things dear to Jim’s heart was the idea that the State should use its power to make good outcomes and not leave it to the free market. In that vein, here are some upgrades for 2018 that we should push from a progressive Government.

Universal Suffrage – lower the voting age to 16:

If we want to re-engage youth, we have to actively promote their rights. By including 16 year olds into the democratic franchise, we allow their concerns, especially towards global warming, to be forced onto the political agenda. This would generate a better quality of democratic outcome that weights the realities of todays generation with the vested interests of the landed gentry who always vote. This should be picked up immediately by the Ministry of Youth and championed.

50-50 Gender Boards in all Public Services:

If one of the main criticisms from CEOs and the corporate world is that there aren’t enough quality female candidates for Board positions, then generate the infrastructure to lift that by setting all Public boards 50-50. There is a reservoir of talent inside the Public Service of women who have not been able to advance as far as they should have and who are ready to step up immediately. By lifting all Boards to 50-50 gender ratios inside the Public Service, you immediately upskill and prepare a new generation of female leaders who can move from the public service with Boardroom experience into the private sector to help boost the share of executive power in the private sector as well..

0800 public servant whistleblower phone number:

Where public servants who feel managers or ministerial bosses aren’t implementing new Government policy or are implementing policy that is counter productive to the public, can contact the Labour Party or the Minister or the PSA directly and alert the new Government to how policy is actually being implemented. For 9 years National have indoctrinated these Ministries into weapons against poor people, not for their welfare. They are fiefdoms of neoliberal public policy and those few still in the public service who are burnt out from fighting fires on every front need a boost by this type of gesture so that there is hope that the horror of the last 3 terms can be reversed. It would also give the new Ministers a better way to deal with the Yes Minister Public Servants who are already starting to smother them.

Free Internet in poorer social economic areas, libraries, rural NZ and Marae.

Make this a priority investment into digital infrastructure and re-invigorating Public Libraries and Marae while bolstering rural connectivity and countering lower socio-economic digital divide.

Upper Chamber of Parliament:

NZ is a one chamber Parliament and with the use of urgency, any crazy old thing can be written into law within a couple of hours making our Parliament one of the most powerful in the world. If we are to respect the Treaty as a founding document that should be celebrated as a strength rather than derided as reverse-racism run amok and if we want to make longer term vision from our politics, I think a 50 seat second chamber above Parliament with a 5 year term that has the power to delay legislation that breaches the Treaty or negatively impacts the future. The Tino Rangatiratanga Chamber would have the power to hear who legislation falls under their mandate and if a majority decide it is, then legislation could be passed back down to the Parliament for a re-vote. This would create break peddles for radical policy lurches and avoid captured policy dictates from vested interests.

New Union strike powers and two week worker levy:

If we ar serious about reversing inequality, the rules around strikes need to be urgently rewritten to make strike action by workers far easier. It is only when Unions have actual muscle at the negotiating table that bosses ever bother listening. The current legislation around strikes makes it very difficult for a Union to call one, allowing greater flexibility for Unions to call bosses out with strikes will force employers to want to compromise.

Living Wage:

This must be seen as the standard now and not the aspiration.

Free Public Transport for everyone under 18, students, disabled and beneficiaries: 

Let’s extend the Public Transport system to help move the poorest and most disadvantaged amongst  us around our cities. Pubic Transport can’t be allowed to gentrify, we need it to help counter inequality while promoting more public transport use.

New way for student loans to be worked off:

The horror of our student loan mountain has to be looked at with innovative new ideas to help pay off the generation of debt that has been built up.

Volunteers allowance: 

Help community groups pay for volunteers and help young people gain skills while strengthening the threads of community.

All woman political panel show on mainstream TV:

Come on. COME ON.

Vice Tax:

Put a super tax on the profits of tobacco, alcohol and gambling and put that money back into regulation and support services for those damaged by those vices.

Regulated Cannabis Market:

Come on. COME ON!

Beneficiary debt:

The viciousness of MSDa in their prosecution of the poor must be ended and the mountain of debt established written off.

Free Yoga, meditation, music, art, drama and literacy classes in all prisons available to all prisoners:

Could do more to generate positive results from our Corrections system than anything else.

Remove GST from fruit and vege:

The state has an obligation to set the market in a way that favours the people, removing GST makes fruit and vegetables  cheaper at a time when we substantially  need more fruit and veggies in our diet.

Remove GST from condoms, tampons and birth control

We want to support positive sexual health and remove price barriers to contraceptives while acknowledging that tampons are a necessity that should be as cheap as possible. Removing GST recognises the power imbalances that make these necessities worthy of subsidising.

Offer small and medium businesses much lower penalty rates and offer amnesties: 

While helping out workers, the new Government (particularly the Greens) should be reaching out to small and medium sized business with a reform on IRD to make their sanctions less punitive towards them.

NZ domestic produce subsidy:

Why should NZers pay the world market price for food produced in NZ? When you consider the market protections created for dairy, meat and agriculture alongside the environmental damage we all share from their production, shouldn’t NZers have a built in local subsidy that recognises the market protections and environmental cost? Shouldn’t NZers be able to purchase domestic produce at a domestic price rather than competing with the price a global market with global demand can create?

Free vegetarian school lunches: 

Eliminates hunger at schools, promotes healthy diet, moves away from meat because meat is so damaging to the environment.

Free Counselling:

The enormity of depression upon our society is only beginning to be understood. It is apparent we have a culture in need of counselling. We need to provide a public service of counsellors who are free and promote going as part of a necessary healthy lifestyle.

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  1. Draco T Bastard says:

    NZ is a one chamber Parliament and with the use of urgency, any crazy old thing can be written into law within a couple of hours making our Parliament one of the most powerful in the world.


    Having two chambers doesn’t prevent bad or urgent policy being passed. It just makes it harder to pass good policy as the US/UK and many other two chamber parliaments/governments have shown.

    We need a better system than the belief that a two chamber house does any good because the evidence is quite solid – a two chamber house just costs more.

    The horror of our student loan mountain has to be looked at with innovative new ideas to help pay off the generation of debt that has been built up.

    Simply write it off. Doing so won’t negatively effect anyone.

    Same goes for beneficiary debt as well.

  2. Red Buzzard says:

    +100 good post from Martyn Bradbury….all good suggestions…add to that state funded free dental care for all

    …get rid of fizzy drinks

    ….and fluoride… ( people can use their own fluoride tablets if they wish to ingest)

    …I would also make all education state funded and free for people of all ages

    • Geoff Lye says:

      And all medicines state funded, end this some subsidised, some not bullcrap that is currently in place, which causes so many people untold misery .

  3. Marc says:

    Did I miss something, such as FREE DENTAL CARE?

    I agree with much of the above, but some is in my view unrealistic and may even be counter productive.

    • Red Buzzard says:

      Yes free dental care was something that grassroots advocate Jim Anderton saw as a real need for grassroots New Zealanders

      dental care is expensive for those on limited incomes…the Labour Party should honour Jim by taxing the wealthy corporations more to pay for free dental care…certainly it should come before tax cuts for the wealthy who can afford dental care

      …dental health is crucial for mind and body health…poor dental health affects the heart and immune system for example, as well as psychological well being, education outcomes and work efficiency

      ‘Call for free dental care for all’

      “Free dental care should eventually be extended to all New Zealanders, Progressive leader Jim Anderton says.

      He today launched a dental health care policy under which free care would be extended on an incremental basis, targeting the most vulnerable groups first.

      Labour Party health spokesman Grant Robertson welcomed the plan, saying it was a useful tool in improving overall dental health care.

      “We know many New Zealanders are not receiving the dental care they need, with the most recent nationwide survey showing that 44 per cent are not receiving any at all,” Mr Robertoson said.

      “This represents a major future risk both in terms of health status, but also in costs to individuals and the taxpayer.”

      Mr Robertson said Labour would look closely at Mr Anderton’s proposal in terms of the pace and extent at which it could be implemented.”

  4. Afewknowthetruth says:

    ‘good outcomes’ are not possible in industrial nations controlled by banks, corporations and opportunists (as New Zealand is): everything that matters can only be made worse, and will be. More overcrowding, more gridlock, more pollution, worse food at higher cost, fewer resources shared amongst more people….and no accountability for those who make the idiotic decisions that cause everything to be made worse.

    With the rot of the fraudulent financial system chewing away at the very fabric of society every second of every day and destroying the very environment that supports life-as-we-know-it every second of every, we must anticipate a ‘watershed moment’ when the whole corrupt system reaches the point of uncontrollable collapse.

    What the Adern government COULD DO but won’t do is stop lying to the general populace about the future and stop squandering energy and resources on infrastructure and projects that will have no utility in the near future.

    What the Adern government COULD do but won’t is point out to the populace that we are in the midst of an environmental meltdown and on the brink of a financial meltdown that are both a direct result of the lifestyle enjoyed by the majority of New Zealander (along with similar nations). But it won’t.

    What the Adern government COULD but won’t is point out the without energy nothing happens, and that the prime energy systems (based on petroleum extracted from underground and under seas) are in terminal decline.

    The Adern government will just keep playing the game, pretending it is generating ‘good outcomes’ while in fact wrecking the future of every young New Zealander.

    So which will ‘get’ us first?

    The meltdown of the Arctic and Antarctic (both at record lows for the time of year) and all the other dire repercussions of ever-rising atmospheric CO2?

    January 10, 2018 408.13 ppm

    January 10, 2017 405.95 ppm

    Or the rise in energy costs? …..Brent oil now trading at around $70 a barrel, having risen from $45 a barrel since July 2016

    Of the unstable international bond market? …which was given the jitters by China a couple of days ago.

    That which is unsustainable cannot be sustained.

    However, I see that new car sales in NZ have recently hit a record high:

    ‘Over the year, 108,616 new passenger cars were sold – a new all-time record high. Driving that rise was sales for new rental vehicles supporting the tourism boom. Sales to rental car companies in December were also particularly strong.’

    so clearly a lot of people believe that which is unsustainable CAN be sustained.

    • Marc says:

      Ardern, not Adern, is the correct name of the PM. For the rest, you are about right, they will be so locked into the existing system, it would be political suicide to tell the people the truth.