So Labour’s ‘transformation’ equates to spending billions on bloody roads???


Ummmm. Yay?

Government unveils $12b infrastructure boost, much of it focused on roads and rail

The Government will invest an extra $12b in infrastructure over the next four years, including $6.8b on transport.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson unveiled the spending at the Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) on Wednesday afternoon, saying it was the right time to take advantage of low interest rates and “future-proof” New Zealand with stimulatory spending

Of the $12b there will be $8b on specific “shovel-ready” projects set to be announced early next year. Most of that will be taken up with a $6.8b spend on transport which itself will mostly be on roads and heavy rail.

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Another $300m will be spent on hospital property, $300m on “regional investment opportunities”, and $200m on “public estate decarbonisation.” Also included is the already-announced $400m boost for state school property improvements.

So we are facing 14000 on social housing wait lists, historically high food grants, historically high suicide rates and generations locked out of home ownership and social equity while the planet rapidly melts, and Grant’s dusting off the credit card for fucking roads!

Don’t get me wrong, yay the other spending, yay making our roads safer, yay there will be some attempt to catch up to the crippling underfunding in all infrastructure while open door immigration creates enormous pressure on the working classes, the poor and beneficiaries but as Chris Trotter points out today, this is a spend up for the establishment, not the people.

To be transformative, Labour needed to borrow $50 billion, which still would keep our credit rating where it is, and embark upon an enormous sustainability rebuild and state housing upgrade.

Building a better motorway bridge for the homeless to sleep under isn’t much of a vision.
We are rapidly running out of time to transform our economy, society and community for the challenges of the climate crisis, this was an enormous missed opportunity by a Government still too cautious to love up to their rhetoric.
Labour – it’s like National but with more hugs and roads.


  1. “Building a better motorway bridge for the homeless to sleep under isn’t much of a vision.”

    I believe Labours vision of bridge building for the homeless was the same as the Natz, just like Kiwibuild was pretty much the same as the Natz policy on housing.

    Growth, growth, growth, (people, cars and poverty of particular importance to grow in NZ over the past decade).

    Somehow the Greens also forgot what sustainability means, while they were identity gazing.

  2. It makes perfect sense to me…
    Get people to encapsulate themselves within busy little bits of plastic and metal to speed between the bankster creation that is the urban-housing false economy myth and the brain-fog that’s the instant-gratification of retail therapy.
    Unfortunately , like all drugs, we quickly become addicted and crave a constant hit and we do all this as our biosphere’s systems collapse around us.
    I asked someone the other day.
    ” Wow! Cool new phone but can I ask? Could we build a blow fly? ”
    They replied ” No. But can I make a phone call on a blow fly? ” I replied ” Not yet. But what’s more important? Your phone call or a blow fly? ”
    It was at that point that things became tense.
    The only time you will know things are becoming transformative within Labour is if you film adern giving jonky a good kicking in the foyer of the ANZ bank.
    Until then? This isn’t so much the end of 2019 as the beginning of 1984.
    Doesn’t time fly?

  3. Beware of borrowing and the costs of a fast-growing economy!!!!

    China steps in as Zambia runs out of loan options

    “Southern Africa’s third largest economy is a textbook example of the increasing debt facing a fast-growing continent”

    “The bitter-sweet lyrics (in Bemba) of Yama Chinese describe the concerns of many Zambians: “They put on smart suits and fly to China to sell our country. The roads belong to China. The hotels are for the Chinese. The chicken farms are Chinese. Even the brickworks are Chinese.”

  4. The recent record immigration boom will come unstuck sooner or later, as young people in NZ can’t afford a home, have student debt to pay, and limited prospects.

    • Yes but the ageist wokie globalist Greens prefer to blame the NZ Boomers( their elders)…because they must not appear racist

      • They support an end to tertiary fees and immigration is lower now, than under National. Greens support refugees not high immigration.

        • SPC – “Greens support refugees not high immigration.”

          If the Greens actually think that, it is certainly not clear!

          Immigration is not lower now because the amount of temporary visas has grown 16% per YEAR as jobseeker numbers increase!

          Work visa numbers soar
          “At 152,432, the number of temporary workers present in New Zealand on 30 June 2017 was 16 per cent higher than the year before.”

          “The number of people here on temporary work visas has increased by 63 per cent since 2009.”

          “Perhaps you had the impression that most temporary work visas were issued subject to some sort of labour market test (to be clear, I don’t favour such tests). If you thought that, you were wrong.”

          “There might have been a building boom on, but actually that apparently-chronic shortage of chefs continues to dominate the numbers. You may recall my pre-election post noting that the actual make-up of migrant numbers was exacerbating – not easing – workforce issues in the construction sector.”

          “China can be expected to push for better access for investment and labour. The revised TPP has doubled the OIO investment threshold from $100m to $200m for China under a most favoured nation clause, but this has already been banked. Given the importance of China to the economy you can expect this will be a hot topic for negotiation.

          So too will be access for temporary labour. It is a demand they have made of others and it is likely to be a demand they will make of us.”

  5. While Labour will not build as many roads as National would, they could and should be making the case that there is other infrastructure that has priority (let alone supply in services, affordable dentist visits, better income support for those with disability).

  6. So no building Homes for the forever increasing number of the homeless doesnt get a mention?? 14,000 and rising rapidly!
    National & Labour should join forces and unite together to oust NZF because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ if I recognise this “Woke White ” coloured labour party??

  7. We believe Phil Twyfprd is actually not going to build those roads of “National importance” (incompetence)

    So below this was our press release today to counter the raod truck looby that want subsidised roads for trucks.

    CEAC – climate change issues for rail transport plans
    Thursday, 12 December 2019, 9:11 am
    Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
    Climate change crisis; – “transport emissions are a major culprit causing horrendous weather events.”
    At CEAC; we will watch with interest of how the transport funds will be used to improve our transport infrastructure and lower our climate change emissions.

    CEAC- climate change issues for rail transport plans.
    “The lion’s share of that $8 billion – $6.8 billion of the new spending – will be spent on transport projects with a “significant proportion” of that to be spent on roads and rail.”
    How do we stop climate change affects in NZ?
    The shock of an alarming release of the report at the Climate Change conference in Madrid COPs 25 last week on the discovery loss of widespread ocean oxygen linked to climate change was yet another watershed moment that we must now take seriously as dire for our future survival. – Look up (IOD) “Indian Ocean Dipole”
    Why hasn’t our Government ‘spending policy’ been focused on a solid “climate change” policy?
    Our preferred policy for the reasons for spending quote;
    “$6.8 billion of the new spending – will be spent on transport projects with a “significant proportion” of that to be spent on roads and rail.”
    CEAC says; “regarding climate change emissions we consider;
    Our response to the *headline above; – Yes to rail, – and no to roads.
    • Giving public subsidies to ‘private road freight’, will only encourage an increase massive greenhouse emissions.
    • This increase of truck freight will only make climate change more unstable.
    • While investing in ‘public owned rail’ will help stabilise our unstable climate going forward.
    • A common sense policy.
    CEAC has always advocated to Government for our land transport to return again to using rail as our prime mover ‘of people and freight’ around our country as was the case 40yrs ago before the 1980’s.
    With rail we have no serious ‘climate change transport emissions to deal with’.
    Also – “the elephant in the room now is tyre ‘micro-plastic’ emissions”.
    Tyre dust pollution is now globally considered as a ‘micro-plastics pandemic’, and is seen as the worst enemy causing climate change in the articles below.
    These two documents below provide the evidence to show about “road dust from tyres is an overlooked pollutant of our environment and waterways.
    Tyre dust is micro-plastics.
    • If the world is to limit the effects of global warming, drastic changes must be made and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report Executive Summary.
    • All must be taken seriously now along with; “Comparison of Tire and Road Wear Particle Concentrations in Sediment for Watersheds in France, Japan, and the United States by Quantitative Pyrolysis GC/MS Analysis” report on sediments for watersheds.
    QUOTE: “Comparison of Tire and Road Wear Particle Concentrations in Sediment for Watersheds in France, Japan, and the United States by Quantitative Pyrolysis GC/MS Analysis
    So less ‘transport micro-plastic dust’ is considered as a major plus – and only ‘steel wheels on a steel track’ will do the job to deal with Climate change.
    So if we lower the micro-plastics and climate change emissions in our environment we will make our lives and environment healthy again.
    So we advocate that our Government use the $6.8 Billion dollars to restore rail again to become the ‘prime mover of NZ’s freight and passenger service again.

  8. What does Julian Genter and Phil Twyford have to say about this . There were roads planned by National all ready to go until these two put a hold on them . They could not work out how to build houses what makes anyone think they can build roads.

    Climate Proofing Roads.

    Climate proofing of infrastructure is important. Especially for disaster risk, emergency, rehabilitation management.

    Hopefully, no funding for Fonterra’s rural destruction network.

    Being optimistic, one assumes that the Green partners in the governing executive have a solid toolbox to influence how and where the money is used. ???

  10. CEAC’s latest press release on the ‘wrong way’ – Labour Government’s anti rail – “road” only plans.

    We hope they read our demise;

    “CEAC – Government must stop being stymied by MBIE bureaucrats.”
    Friday 13th December 2019.
    Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre

    Subject; Deputy PM said quote; “New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has challenged his Cabinet colleagues for the delay over a Northport decision, criticising it as “paralysis by analysis”.
    CEAC supports Winston’s challenge here as our community is also experiencing the same “paralysis by analysis” from MBIE occurring in our fight to restore our east coast rail after a very long over seven year battle beginning in 2012.

    Subject; “CEAC – Government must stop being stymied by MBIE bureaucrats.”

    Deputy PM Winston Peters today said on RNZ;
    quote; Specifically; Deputy PM said quote; “New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has challenged his Cabinet colleagues for the delay over a Northport decision, criticising it as “paralysis by analysis”.

    CEAC is concerned that this slow procedural policy over-reach is also affecting other projects around NZ today as we are experiencing the same “paralysis by analysis” occurring in our seven year fight to restore our east coast Gisborne/HB rail.

    The Government must stop being stymied by these ghost like MBIE bureaucrats.”

    CEAC is now calling for the Government to move quickly into action here in all our provinces including the East coast- Gisborne- HB. Export regions, as the lack of rail services is now impacting on our provinces economic, and environmental wellbeing by causing imminent hazardous for road travel and increasing costs of our road repairs from overuse of heavy freight trucks all through our regions.

    • Government policy must stop being stalled by MBIE tactics.
    • 2019 was the Government’s ‘year of delivery’.
    • Government plans were stymied by MBIE stalling tactics.

    This is the very same “paralysis by analysis” style we see in HB/Gisborne from MBIE not being efficiently overseeing our rail projects under way, so we want to see the MBIE investigated over the lack of efficient service to get Government projects under way in reasonable time.

    • February 2019 we complained about the lack of service from MBIE here’
    • September 2019 we complained about MBIE again.

    Now in December 2019 we again call on Government to change the culture of MBIE so that all our provinces receive a reasonable level of service.


  11. Simplistic claptrap.

    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. There is an extremely long to-do list thanks in no small way to previous warped priorities and the absurdity of the alleged “rock star economy”.

    Should they shitcan all areas of need and just focus on one area or make progress in as many areas as possible?

    The part of this I find especially farcical is the faux concern for the poor now coming from the Latrine Rodent Party and their trolls. These people couldn’t give a flying fuck about the poor. Never have. Never will. We have 9 years of recent conclusive indisputable evidence of that. It may appear to be a choice of Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse but at least Minnie clearly gives a shit and who’s God is not selfish greed and $$.

    • Jacindafan wrote: “There is an extremely long to-do list thanks in no small way to previous warped priorities”

      Yes there is, and there will be through the years ahead. But time is running out for the govt for this term and a follow-on term is not guaranteed. They have already changed gear, in effect, and are making some of the bigger calls. Eg, when asked about moving the Ports of Auckland Jacinda replied decisively that “It’s a question of when and where-to, not ‘if’ “. And now the roads funding budget etc.

      Yet her fundamental mission and drive was towards bringing about significant, substantial real-world change to our poorest citizens, particularly the children. She wants NZ to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up. She herself is Minister for Child Poverty Reduction.

      Yet when confronted with the question of ‘When?’, she seemed to be obfuscating and delaying. She said,

      “Well, of course, some of those issues do require decisions that are usually taken around a Budget time. So whilst we’ve been able to give direction of travel, some of those policy decisions do need to go through different processes.” Ref: Gordon Campbell at Scoop.

      He continues with an excerpt from an RNZ article:
      “Susan St John said she feared that by the time the government announced useful changes to the welfare system, there would be no guarantee the government would still be in power and able to deliver on its promises.

      “We’re calling for an emergency package because it’s not good enough to wait until next year and find out in the budget that there might be something that will be an election debate, and then find well, actually, it’s only if Labour get back in that we’re going to get anything at all.” “

      • @Applewood, yes and don’t forget the private kids charities with glitzy marketing sucking out more money while the old fashioned charities who spend the money on the poor not marketing and raincoats, get less and less donations, the state itself is underfunded and private providers are considered better ways to ‘invest’ taxpayer money.

        Modern charities seem more like “predatory humanitarianism” and tax routs.

        Clinton Foundation for example NZ taxpayers paid $5.5m For The Clinton Foundation In 2018/19 where apparently “Clinton Foundation Admit 85% Of Donations Do Not Go To Charity”

        • saveNZ – Funny you should cite the Clintons. Harry and Meghan Markle are going one better. Apparently they’re setting up the US branch of the Sussex Foundation in the state of Nevada, where I’m informed only 10% of the donations have to go to charity, so they get 5% more than their apparent friends, the Clintons.

          I think Hilary wants to hug Meghan as a mother – yoinks -and NZ’ers wave little flags at them here, and Pomegranates are talking about foisting them off onto us or Aus with Harry as GG – and the less I say about that the better.

        • I could be mistaken save nz but i think the total nz taxpayer contribution to killary’s slush fund by shonkey’s mob was closer to 15 million dollars all up.

          • G.A.P Pretty sure that Hilary Clinton said they departed broke from the White House, so they probably needed the NZ taxpayer to help restore their wealth. It takes a lot of money to be rich.

  12. We shouldn’t be surprised by this development. The finance minister is a neoliberal – we’ve known that all along. I’m depressed by this announcement, but I can’t say I’m surprised.

  13. Funny , Grant’s appearance on the pub programme, claiming to be full on for the people. Never voting for Labour I joined to vote for Andrew Little in lieu of ABC. I was right. If you saw Jacinda screw up her face at Grant’s defeat you know all about her. Speaking sincerely about poverty and not doing the required — cognitive dissonance. Focus fucken groups. Talking about her hometown of Murupara and not fucken doing that hell-hole right. Crass git.

  14. Labour and the rest of this ‘coalition government’ are only doing what they are doing, because they realise, this country and its people are so firmly locked into the global financial, economic system, based on resource extraction, on fossil fuel use and on exploitation of the earth, its resources and some of its people, opting out will leave you out in the cold, cold wind, like Venezuela had to learn.

    They would risk having to go Cuba style economics after the revolution, but who can expect ‘the people’ to reform and live more humbly and socially and environmentally more responsibly?

    There will be NO transformational change except in the deluded minds of the identity politics adherents, the minds of the blind fans of Jacinda and her government, and the urban liberal brigade, who have signed up to endless virtue signalling, while the powers that be have their agenda, stick to it, and force the rest to follow them.

    This government is a TOTAL JOKE, a totally sick joke, to be honest, we still have most drive in fossil fuel cars, and urban middle class people are brainwashed to hate farmers, as they think, we blame them, for emissions, while we are blind towards our lifestyle, driving our SUVs everywhere, taking kids to school, going shopping at the malls, taking dad and kids to sports, to go to the park, then get the bike out of the SUV, so Mum and the kids can pretend they save the planet by joy riding on E-bikes through Cornwall Park and such.

    By the way, E-bikes need ‘power’ too, we would not even have enough electricity to power all electric cars, should the fleet change to that within a year or so.

    Hence drink up, have another toke, enjoy the life while the going is good, the end will come soon, the giant enviro economical disaster any human generation will ever have experienced.

    Rest in Peace Peter Snell by the way, a good soul, who thrived in a time where they did not (yet) have the worries we now have.

  15. Is it true that Nurse Maude is planning no longer to support old people living independently in their own homes by cutting services ?

    eg. cutting for the elderly :
    * help with shopping
    * help with house work
    *cutting back on personal help , bathing and medication

    Also eroding and cutting employment conditions for Nurse Maude employees ( note mainly women carers, who the elderly depend on for friendship and care and quality of life)

    eg…. cutting employment conditions, cutting back on hours of work for Nurse Maude nurses /employees and making new employment strictly casualised …thereby undermining continuity of service from mature experienced carers, who really care about our elders


    * Is this a way to force our elderly into private rest homes
    * Is this a way of stripping them of their assets?
    * Is this a way of releasing their houses onto the market? ( a market we know which is seriously depleted of housing for New Zealanders due to politicians policies)

    It is well known that the elderly don’t live long in rest homes but do much better staying in their own homes surrounded by neighbours and friends

    Is this the way we treat our elders in new Zealand now? ( in the meantime this government floods us with new elderly immigrants who buy up houses)

    This is a betrayal of born New Zealanders and elder abuse for New Zealanders who have paid taxes all their lives.

    • Red Buzzard – Probably all three, but mainly, ” Is this a way to force our elderly into private rest homes ?”

      Bullying people into going into care may be originating from non-familial sources. I sought advice from my GP- Kiwi bloke – for an elderly neighbour subject to shocking behaviour from her GP – Indian woman – which left her, in her own words, terrified. My neighbour suggested that her GP could have shares in the local rest home which that medical practice urges people into. I did a search, but I couldn’t find anything out.

      She was told to use a walking frame, and declined. She’s never had a fall, and said she wouldn’t use it because she needs to keep her leg muscles fit and healthy. It’s possible that walking frames and other stuff may be being unnecessarily foisted on oldies.

      She got a walking stick which was then swiped by a rellie who she said was pressurising her into going into care and prone to skulduggery. I gave her another stick, and said that he wouldn’t dare take mine. She has a good advocate now, but has had experiences she should never have, especially old and alone.

      If Nurse Maude – which used to be good – like 40 years ago – has both home visiting services and care homes in the same town, then it would make economic sense for them to herd all their customers into common pens.

      There are big bucks to be made in aged care – All Blacks sink money into it – splendid physical specimens of manhood enriching themselves at the expensive of those of whom Shakespeare said, ‘the oldest have borne most’, and who flat-brained Greens resent like hell.

      • Great she has a good neighbour who looks out for her! We need more NZ born doctors and economists who are imbued with NZ culture of respecting and caring for the elderly( their elders) and not abusing and throwing NZ elders (and young) on the scrapheap

          • We need to be training our own NZ doctors ( especially Maori and Pacific woman doctors), not importing doctors who do not understand NZ culture of caring for elderly and not exploiting the young

            eg we do not want the likes of the imported doctor in Dunedin who was sexually exploiting young NZ girls and murdered one when she threatened to expose him

            imo NZ doctor intake should be taken from NZ born nurses for further advanced training…empathy and kindness and understanding of values of NZ culture are the most important attributes of a doctor , not artificial examination results or highest so called IQs…nor do we want doctors who are there motivated by status and money…we can train many more who will work for much less and be much more effective for New Zealanders

            • Red Buzzard. I actually did a search on that neighbor’s dr, and found zilch. Had she been trained in a good English teaching hospital for example – or OU – I’d have been fairly happy, but she is the only doctor in that practice with no history, qualifications etc noted. Some practices don’t go full Kardashian, but the others in that practice do, so that surprised me.

              I’m sure she’s Ok, but what happened with this patient should not have. Overseas trained drs used to have to sit qualifying exams to practise here, and they probably still do.

              The Filipino nurses now staffing our hospitals and rest homes are lovely.

              Don’t forget, that NZ nurses used to train on the job, in a paid apprenticeship model. Apart from the perils of hierarchical structures such as having terrifying matrons and bossy ward sisters, it worked well, and it produced good nurses.

              Then they whipped them out of hospitals, and into polytechs where they had to pay for their own training, and the nature of the nursing profession almost certainly changed; they emerged with big debts, and some promptly pushed off overseas for bigger bucks, or contracted to temp agencies here, for bigger bucks.

              • Yes I forgot about the polytech training of nurses now…agreed they need to be trained on the job ( it is one thing to know the theory and quite another to be on the job, which may not be liked)….many good experienced nurses actually know more than new doctors

                imo the highly technical aspects of medicine eg surgery can be left to technologists and specialists ( who can be paid accordingly)

                …with appropriate evaluation and backup patients can be funneled to specialists much more frequently…as it is many people are injured and die in the public system through not seeing a specialist on time due to financial constraints

                • Red Buzzard – Apprenticeships went out the door with neoliberalism.

                  Govt realised that it could make money from school leavers seeking to gain the expertise and solid qualifications to support themselves, and have a meaningful place in the community, and make a useful contribution to society.

                  There were choices galore. The NZ Post Office, NZ Railways, NZ Broadcasting Service all offered engineering apprenticeships for the work novice keen to get a solid qualification to ensure their futures. There will be others I don’t know of.

                  Now, a man can get a student loan – and a pile of debt – to train as a carpenter. A girl can put herself in the hock to become a beautician, or to attend Taxi Driving College.

                  To me, it was short-sightedness, whipping away career opportunities for the young, and certainly not in the interests of NZ as a whole, but that is not the way that the ideology-captured function – they need to generate money for a handful at the top, so that it can trickle down again. They still believe this.

                  A few years back, an SOE of the former
                  NZBC was told that it should be taking on apprenticeships, and I think took on one, plus a handicapped chappie to show their social responsibility – or it could have been the same person, not two separate ones.

                  Now we have our valuable young men adrift, and killing themselves, and their loss of a societal anchor will be one of the reasons.

                  Odious Nats such as English, telling them they’re useless, robbing their lives of meaning.

                  • +100 totally agree…young people want meaningful work , mentors and wages/salaries and in many cases not more study , especially when they or their parents have to go into debt to get it

                    • Well I find it difficult to motivate young girls with neat writing which is every girl with even a little bit of talent because they’re always assigned administrative duties.

                      So there’s the perception and the impact on it is more girls have an average intelligence than boys.

                      So that’s the great problem really in lifting females into higher education.

                    • RB – I taught a kid once, quiet, original thinker- brilliant writer -the sort of student teachers get excited about. Solo Mum mum. Nice Mum.

                      Was overseas for years, came back, ran into another of that class, and the first thing I did was ask after Joe. In and out of prison – and not even for big stuff, petty car conversion etc. He needed a mentor, and I don’t know what happened, but it shouldn’t have, and it upset me. In retrospect I could have told the school that here was a boy to be nurtured, and perhaps someone would have listened – but there’s more like him out there.
                      Our adolescent males tend to be less articulate than eg Nth Americans, and this doesn’t help them, but they’re generally great, and Bill English angered me when he said they were all write-offs, because it is patently untrue. It was more cruel than English has the wit to realise – or perhaps he did realise, and had some other agenda going on.

        • Red Buzzard – Young and sick on the scrap heap is horrific; Govt really need to accept increasing benefit levels as a healthy society necessity – and as injection of cash into the economy – and to do it quietly – perhaps at 4 o’clock on a Friday afternoon when the well-heeled are off to their holiday homes and may not really notice what’s going on.

          Or in the middle of the next big tragedy, when it could go fairly unnoticed. They need to be pre- armed with answers to fell unfair critics for every single big step which they take, and it should not be that hard to do.

  16. “To be transformative, Labour needed to borrow $50 billion, which still would keep our credit rating where it is, and embark upon an enormous sustainability rebuild and state housing upgrade.”

    Yes. And there are various ways of keeping our own NZ finances here at home, rather than being bled out to exploitative foreign interests.

    It’s time for this govt to really start enacting what they promised, to significantly alleviate poverty in Aotearoa.

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