What on earth was Deborah Russell thinking?

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There are times when the talent pool inside Labour is shown to be so shallow, it’s more a puddle.

Now before I put the boot in, I actually like Deborah Russell, but sweet Jesus can someone please write her questions from now on, because this was as tone deaf as Simon Bridges ill fated Facebook posting. David Seymour would have been so excited by this inane rant by her, he would have been able to type the tweet out with his erection…

…What the hell is she doing????

If any right wing jerk were to say this about individuals it would be decried as economic Darwinism – many many many small to medium businesses struggle – blaming them for their weakness to ideologically point score is jaw dropping in its offensiveness!

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Imagine the exact same wording for beneficiaries not able to survive this unprecedented pandemic and then blaming them for being too weak to survive it? We would crucify any right winger saying that! To appreciate how badly she screwed up, look at Grant’s face and the tone of his smack down because he knew exactly how that sounded to all those small businesses and sole traders now about to go under.

What the hell are you doing? Yo get this is live right Debs?

It’s a bloody patsy question to the Finance Minister, how do you mange to screw it up as bad as this?

Honestly her reply alone is worth 1.5% extra to the ACT vote.

People want to have their shared sacrifice respected, not denigrated by point scoring over a low wage economy and weak businesses who should have seen it coming.

Can someone please write her questions in future so we don’t hand the ammunition straight to the Right?

FFS.

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70 COMMENTS

  1. Thats what you get when you need to fill a quota! A carpet bagger that gets flown in from Wellington and dumped in West Auckland who has no connection with the people of the area and then spends all of her time back in Wellington ffs!
    She is a moron academic. Never worked in the real world.

    • DennyPaoa: “She is a moron academic. Never worked in the real world.”

      The tertiary sector IS the real world; every part of the labour market is the real world. The issue is that Russell is on salary; has doubtless always been so. Thus she knows jackshit about the exigencies of running a SME.

      In my view, nobody who’s a salary/wage-earner is in a position to have an opinion on this matter.

      • Just like anybody who hasn’t studied science, microbiology, medicine or economics or epidemiology and worked in those field is in a position to have an opinion on Covid-19 I suppose.

        • Researcher Academic v someone who is a actively working scientist. There is a difference. Put those casual racist glasses down and just maybe you’ll see more clearly peter?

          • What do actively working scientists know? In the past couple of weeks every Thomasina, Dick and Harriet has been spouting their opinion on scientific coronavirus matters. And they were all right, well according to themselves and their mates. Including enough in the media.

            As for the tosh about ‘the real world.’ I know, the real world, the one someone tells you is the real world because they inhabit it. That’s John Key crap. You’re not a real person, not a worthy person, not a real contributor and part of the real world unless you’ve run a business.

            When you need a doctor or nurse to save your live or your child’s do you say “Piss off you you’re a lesser being, you’re not from the real world”?

            And where on earth did you get those ‘casual racist glasses’?

            • Science itself doesn’t have a conflict with the real world. You shouldn’t be saying science infers certain practices or belief systems or that science treats people certain ways based off of beliefs. Science is only about claims about truth, if you have no conflict with the truth then science doesn’t care at all what you do for a living.

          • DennyPaoa: “Researcher Academic v someone who is a actively working scientist. There is a difference. Put those casual racist glasses down and just maybe you’ll see more clearly peter?”

            What the hell are you talking about? It makes no sense, you know. Is this just a response for the sake of making a response?

        • Peter: “…..anybody who hasn’t studied science, microbiology, medicine or economics or epidemiology and worked in those field is in a position to have an opinion on Covid-19 I suppose.”

          I assume that you mean “isn’t in a position”; otherwise, your comment makes no sense. Apart from the effects of government actions on the economy, economists aren’t in a position to have an opinion on the coronavirus, because a priori they know jackshit about the science. If one would have an opinion on the biology of the virus, it is necessary to have a background in the relevant science. That lets out pretty much all of our reporters here in NZ.

          • The remark is a comment on everyone now being an expert on everything. Regardless of whether they’ve studied it, they’re experts.

            The cheapening, minimising and discarding of expert knowledge and experience in the past couple of months has been astounding. Access to social media in some people’s minds means their expertise equals years of research and experience.

            Scientists are being rubbished by those who hardly know how to spell the word. The expert views of some scientists who disagree with other scientists is being backed as if having authority behind it, by some who’ve never opened a science book.

  2. Indeed! Which just goes to show that whether or not someone is a nice bloke or blokess is no determinant of whether or not they’re competent or suited to their various roles. (Our public service for example is full of quite a few nice blokes at the helm, and thank god they’re now having to operate in a different way – one where they’re likely to receive the JA/Mark Richardson index finger if they don’t do their job. AND thank god there are a good many worker-bee public servants that’ve stepped up despite some of the nice blokes – rather than because of them)

    • Simple answer, she wasn’t thinking because like so many of the Labour MPs she is incompetent.
      When practically none of your MPs have any experience owning and operating a business that is a problem.
      All the parties seem to have a problem in this area, but this imbeciles utter lack of feeling for people about to lose their livelihoods is beyond lack of business acumen and shows a lack of basic decency.

      • She’s my local MP. She wasn’t my first choice as candidate but she works hard in our electorate and does a good job.

        As other of the comments point out, we should be scrutinizing all the requests for business support, being careful about dishing out taxpayers money to everyone who feels entitled.

  3. Where the fuck do you start!!

    Firstly it’s the big businesses that got the lion shares of the government’s hand outs!!!! For fucks sake, shouldn’t the Labour Party be worrying why Air NZ needs propping up constantly (after set backs) and also has 1.1 billion in the bank?

    Sky city is asking their existing staff for handouts who they give the sack to, while paying CEO’s, 6 million, importing in migrant labour chefs and expecting a profit of 50- 100 profit this year.

    Coronavirus: SkyCity asks staff to donate salary into hardship fund to help those it made redundant
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/121105265/coronavirus-skycity-asks-staff-to-donate-salary-into-hardship-fund-to-help-those-it-made-redundant

    Like wise Harvey Norman (a big Australian company) was the first to claim nearly 13 million from the government on the wage subsidy.

    Labour were on the right track when they put in the 150k limit for the wage subsidy, (but should have been UBI instead for NZ citizens and long term 30+ year residents) but then removed it to help the world’s big companies while now pretending they didn’t and belittling the small companies and sole traders that are struggling but only got a much smaller share!!!!!

    In some ways I agree with Deborah on her concerns with companies going under so quickly, but the point that she fails to realise is that the big business seemingly has the same problem judging by the hand outs to them immediately, while government immigration policy has encouraged small businesses to pop up everywhere in tourism, fast food, retail, construction that are not viable, and on a ponzi, and creating more competition for other small businesses here like increasing commercial rents, while fixed costs keep rising in NZ, aka rates, insurance, power, water, etc…

    Labour also fails to understand that people have been creating fake businesses to fund the 300,000+ per YEAR residency rorts into NZ. It’s pretty well documented everywhere including whenever the labour inspectorate goes anywhere and the fake degrees churning out business masters and chefs, but still the government doesn’t work it out and stop it.

    Why do we have so many low skilled and income less people flooding into NZ?

    The government allows it!

    The government have made it harder for local small business by making more competition for everyone else based on visa fraud and cash labour, easing up the visas so that foreign students can stay for 3 years in NZ, ignoring the growing frauds, cash labour (post residency ofcourse) and then botching the census, deportations, and immigration figures!!!

  4. Politics is very much more about appearance rather than substance then? Because I think I may not entirely disagree with Russell (pending actual data), though can see that she may have used the wrong approach. Speaking publicly (as she was), it might have been better to express the same musing as something like:

    “While we appreciate the sacrifice made by small businesses in these unprecedented times, the crisis has revealed serious problems in the montary reserves of some businesses. Due, largely to the relaxation of necessary regulations by previous government’s policy, our businesses have been left exposed to unacceptable risk of failure by short sighted thinking… (etc)”

    Some times it’s better to sugar-coat a bitter pill. My background is more scientific than political, so I care more about the truth of statements than how they are phrased. But I can, dimly, see that this is not the case for everybody.

    • Virtual Government or Governance is the thing in 21st century.
      Where lip service is policy and feelings are Statutes.

      Doing things, is a thing of the past that has timed-out and superficiality now has primacy.

      Woke parenting and guilt ridden middleclass wealthy folks are the cause that has created this vacuous, singular society of feelings first and fuck you because I’m aloud too. FFS!

      Please someone put this shit back in the box and get Elon Musk to send it up into space with all that other shit thats up there.

    • “While we appreciate the sacrifice made by small businesses in these unprecedented times, the crisis has revealed serious problems in the montary reserves of some businesses. Due, largely to the relaxation of necessary regulations by previous government’s policy, our businesses have been left exposed to unacceptable risk of failure by short sighted thinking… (etc)”

      Exactly right. Perfect.

  5. Sadly most of the politicians and best thinkers of NZ (whether you agree with them or not) have been bullied out of parliament if they stand up to big business and trying to keep NZ sovereignty.

    Now the politicians left just seem like echo chambers, most of our main parties now house people who mostly think alike and then debate tiny details against each other. Scary stuff.

    Example of what our politicians used to say!

    Tēnā koutou katoa

    I te tuatahi ka mihi au ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe, āra, ko Te Ātiawa, ko
    Taranaki Whānui, ko Ngāti Toarangatira hoki. Kia ora koutou katoa mō tō
    manaakitanga.

    Ki a koutou kua tae mai i tēnei ahiahi, te whanau a Pāti Kākāriki, me ngā
    manuhiri, koutou katoa, tēnā koutou.

    Ka tu manahau ahau mo tenei korerorero kia a koutou kia matatika ai te ao
    torangapu ma tatou katoa.

    He tino harikoa ahau ki te kite i a koutou i a koutou katoa.
    Ko Metiria Turei ahau, te kaiārahi takirua o Te Rōpū Kākāriki.
    Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

    There’s this story about Michael Joseph Savage before he became the first
    Labour Prime Minister. He was an opposition MP for a very long time, and during
    the 1920s he used to tour the country building support for his new party. And he
    warned people that the economic system was broken. That it was unfair. And
    that it had corrupted the political process. That the system was rigged in ways
    that were dangerous and unstable. And he talked about the role of government
    in fixing these problems. Preventing collapse. Making things fair again.

    And one day, the story goes, he asked a farmer at one of these meetings, ‘Do I
    have your vote, sir?’ And this farmer said, ‘Well, you’ve got a lot of big ideas.
    Some of them sound right. But you and your party have never been in
    government. And I’ve learned on the farm that you never let a man watch your
    stock unless they’ve done it before. So you do not have my vote.’

    Years later, in the mid-1930s, Labour still had never been in government. By
    then New Zealand was in the depth of the depression. The agricultural sector
    was the backbone of the economy and it had collapsed. There was mass
    unemployment. Mass farm bankruptcies. Riots. During the election campaign in
    1935 Savage was by then the leader of the opposition. He went back to this
    province and saw the same farmer and said, ‘Do I have your vote yet? Are you
    going to let me look after your stock?’ And the farmer replied, ‘I don’t have any
    stock anymore and that’s why you have my vote.’

    I’ve been in parliament nearly fourteen years. I’ve been an opposition leader for
    almost seven of those. One of my goals and the aim of the Green Party is to try
    and stop history from repeating itself. To prevent yet another systemic collapse
    like the one that Savage warned about. The depression he warned about, and
    ended up leading New Zealand out of, was economic. The problems we’re talking
    about today and that we’re trying to avert are both economic and
    environmental. They’re going to be harder to recover from if we let them
    happen.

    And I hear the same doubts expressed about the Greens as they said to Savage.
    We like you. We like your ideas. We’re worried about the future. But you’ve
    never been in government before, so how can we trust you with our vote? It’s a
    Catch-22.

    So today I want to talk about these reservations people have about us and tell
    you why you can trust us with your vote and with the responsibility of helping to
    govern the country. And I hope to convince you that you should do this now.
    Because it’s a lot easier to not make a mess in the first place than it is to clean
    one up.

    The first thing I want to talk about is this idea that the Greens are too radical.
    Too outlandish. We have all these audacious ideas that won’t work in the real
    world.

    We are the party of new ideas. We make no apology for that. It’s very easy in
    politics to focus on day-to-day trivia. Rather than on what really matters.
    The Green Party has taken pride in unashamedly talking about serious issues.
    We don’t shy away from the hard stuff.

    We look at pollution and see a world’s worth of risks. And so we challenge the
    damage to our rivers caused by dairying, the use of toxics that put the bee
    population at risk, the pollution that puts our very planet at risk. We tackle these
    hard issues because we know the solutions are opportunities, not burdens.
    We see a future where all our families can go swimming in New Zealand’s rivers
    and lakes, where our native birds and forests are humming and we have
    certainty in a great future for all our kids.

    Imagine if the Government stopped seeing state homes, and the people who live
    in them as a burden, a problem better shifted out of sight so out of mind.
    Imagine if we had a Government instead that worked with the people that lived
    in those communities to design beautiful new homes and neighbourhoods that
    people actually want to live in. Michael Joseph Savage made that real once
    before. We see a future where all New Zealanders live in warm, dry affordable
    homes. Where children are no longer at risk of dying simply because of the
    home they live in.

    And we see a New Zealand where our people and our sovereignty are our
    priority. Not international companies and their profit margins. Not trade deals
    with countries who execute their citizens. But a green economy built on fairness,
    pay equity, on the new global opportunities that sit just within our reach. If we
    are willing to lean forward to take them.

    However, under National we are falling far short of this vision. Rather than
    leaning forward to take these opportunities, the National Government has sat
    back and let things get worse.

    Harmful pollution under this Government: Up.
    Kids living in poverty: Also up.
    New Zealanders unemployed: Up.
    House unaffordability: Way up.

    That is the record of this National Government.

    Our record is pretty good for a party that’s never been in Government. We’ve
    had agreements with both Labour and National and through these, we’ve
    delivered significant wins for New Zealanders.

    Our MoU with National meant over 235,000 New Zealand homes had insulation
    installed as part of the Warm Up New Zealand scheme. Not only did this mean
    there were 235,000 homes worth of warmer Kiwis, but $1.2 billion worth of
    health benefits came from the scheme. Our MoU has delivered more value to
    New Zealand than from policies brought about by National’s actual coalition
    partners in fact.

    We weren’t in coalition with Labour in 2005 but we were still able to secure the
    electrification of Auckland rail, we won a commitment to increase the minimum
    wage, and two Green MPs were the Government spokespeople on energy
    efficiency and Buy Kiwi Made.

    In just the last 12 months we supported the Feed the Kids campaign that has led
    to hundreds of local initiatives to feed hungry children at school. We launched
    the ‘Yes We can’ climate emission reduction plan to show how we can meet a 40
    percent reduction by 2030 by being ambitious for New Zealand. We announced
    our intention for a gender balanced Cabinet so that half of all Green Ministers
    will be men [because they have a place too] and challenged our future coalition
    partners to do the same. We launched the Kids Kiwisaver Scheme to combat
    growing wealth inequality and give all our kids some savings for their future. We
    led the walkout of women MPs from Parliament to show that rape is not and
    should never be a political weapon.

    These wins, these solutions, this leadership, shows we are capable of governing.
    Our goal is to effect meaningful change. And sometimes when you challenge
    conventional wisdom people feel threatened, and they call you ludicrous. For the
    past few years we’ve been questioning the Government’s reliance on dairy to
    prop up the economy. And we got told we were foolish, many many times right
    up until the price of milk solids collapsed last year. We argued that we needed
    more diversification, more investment in science and innovation, and John Key
    used to tell us we were, quote, away with the fairies, unquote, for suggesting
    this. Now some of his press releases about science and diversification read like
    the Green Party election manifesto.

    We were the first to talk about climate change. Outrageous. Last year National
    signed the Paris agreement. Capital gains tax. Ridiculous, until suddenly we got
    a version of one in last year’s budget. Inequality. Foolish. Energy efficient
    homes. Weird. Cycling and public transport. Bill English told us for many years
    that we were completely wrong for suggesting he invest more in cycling and
    public transport. Now, National and the Greens are working together on building
    a nationwide cycle trail. And we’ve heard that tomorrow his boss, the Prime
    Minister, is finally going to announce funding on the Auckland central rail link.
    Oh, that’s another good idea we campaigned for.

    There are two lessons here. The first is that ideas that are attacked as radical
    when the Greens propose them become conventional, sensible solutions very
    quickly when other parties adopt them. That tells us something about the gap
    between perception and reality when it comes to the Green Party.

    The second is that if you still think Green ideas are too radical for government
    then you have a problem. Because no matter which party you vote for, a lot of
    the new ideas and new solutions still come from us.

    The difference is that the solutions we propose are thought through. They flow
    from our values. They’re designed to complement each other. And when the
    other parties cherry pick them it’s usually out of a motivation to be seen to be
    doing something, while the solution itself is diluted.

    So if you like our ideas but want them done properly then you really need to get
    us into government.

    The other thing I want to say about this notion that we’re too radical is that
    when it comes to environmental and social and economic issues we’re actually a
    fairly conservative party. We think that the economic experiment imposed on
    our country over the last thirty years is radical. We think that doubling the
    number of dairy cows and the increasing pollution killing our rivers and streams
    is radical. We think a government that wants to mine our national parks is
    fanatical. We think the steep rise in child poverty and poverty related child death
    is radically irresponsible.

    It’s not radical to stand against the disintegration of our environment and our
    society. It would be radical not to do so.

    One of the core strengths of the Green Party is to think long-term. I talked about
    Michael Joseph Savage and the first Labour Government. A lot of their reforms
    are still with us today, eighty years later. State housing. Free hospital care. Free
    secondary education. And yes, some of those policies have been chipped away
    at, but their essence remains.

    We want our accomplishments to have the same sustained popular support as
    those first Labour reforms all those years ago.

    The progressive green change that we want to make happen has the potential to
    be the potent idea mix that fixes the big problems of the early 21st century and
    steers a course to great prosperity. But change isn’t the easy route. This
    Government likes the easy route. It likes to make minimal changes. They like to
    do just enough so we feel like something is happening. But real meaningful
    change is much harder.

    Over this summer break, I’ve been home in Dunedin, reconnecting as you do,
    with family and friends and thinking about my personal contribution to this work,
    whether I can still make a difference, whether I’m still useful to the Green
    kaupapa.

    And the time I spent out of the beltway, doing ordinary things away from politics
    I thought about why I’m a Green and it’s that we take on the big problems. We
    talk about the hard issues that the other parties prefer to ignore, climate,
    environment, poverty, kids. And that’s because we remember who we really
    belong to. And who we answer to.

    I remembered ka whawhai tonu mātou: that the struggle for justice and equality
    is the struggle without end. And that it is a great privilege and a great
    responsibility to take up that struggle and rise to be a leader in it.
    I’m in politics because I believe in the transformational power of government.
    And a Government with the Greens in it will be transformational. But we don’t
    want to make change that abandons people, or communities. We’ve had enough
    of that kind of change in my lifetime, and we know what it does to our loved
    ones.

    We want to make change that will still be helping people for the next eighty
    years, and we can’t do that if that change is chaotic or unpopular, and the
    subsequent Government just sweeps it all away again. The Greens are
    committed to change that endures.

    So how are we going to do that? We’ll be talking about our major policies over
    the next 12 months. But part of the philosophy of the Green Party is to look for
    small changes you can make that will have a big outcome. And the policy I want
    to talk about today is a small change to our political process that will have a big
    impact on our democracy.

    During election campaigns there’s always a lot of conflict and shouting between
    politicians about whose policy costs what, and where the money will come from.
    Which party is going to get us into surplus ten minutes faster than the others,
    and so on.

    We get criticised a lot for the supposed cost of our policies. But we do extensive
    work costing all of our policies before each election. We release fiscal
    statements. We get them audited.

    National doesn’t do that. They don’t because there’s a perception that they’re
    sensible and trustworthy on economic issues. So the reality is they get to make
    it up as they go along. Money appears out of thin air and no one even blinks.
    The asset sales are a good example. John Key pitched it as freeing up $7-10
    billion. They got $4.7 billion. Then Bill English promised to spend that money
    many times over, in completely different ways depending on who he was talking
    to. We got scammed. And no-even even blinked.

    So what I’m here to announce today is a measure designed to bring a little more
    transparency and accountability into New Zealand politics. Today, the Green
    Party has sent a letter to each party leader, asking for support from across the
    House to establish an independent unit in the Treasury to cost policy promises.
    Political parties could submit their policies for costing to this independent unit,
    which would then produce a report with information on both the fiscal and wider
    economic implications of the policy.

    Instead of New Zealanders making their decisions based on spin and who can
    shout the loudest, they will have meaningful, independently verified information
    instead.

    It will also ensure that policy promises are stable and durable because parties
    won’t be able to promise the earth unless they have the earth to give.
    So we are going to work with the other political parties in Parliament to try and
    make this a reality for the 2017 election. And it’s going to be very interesting to
    see which parties support it and who opposes it. Hopefully everyone will support
    it. It won’t cost much. It’s good for our democracy. It’s good for New Zealand.
    Political power can transform the country for the better, and make a positive
    difference to the lives of generations to come, if that power is exercised with
    responsibility and caution. So the first things we should ask of those who seek to
    wield that power is what they’re going to do, how they’re going to do it, and
    what it’s going to cost.

    So we call on the other political parties to welcome this idea and to work with us
    to make next year’s election more accountable and democratic. To close this gap
    we have between perception and reality, the gap between what political leaders
    say and what we actually do.

    The role of Government is not to provide entertainment or sideshows. The role
    of Government is to lead the country; to fix the problems that need fixing. The
    Green Party has been developing solutions for two decades now, two decades
    where our solutions have been adopted by other parties because we get it right.
    The future can be scary to think about but it doesn’t have to be. We will make
    enduring Green change that keeps children and families at the heart of our work.
    The solutions to the problems we face are not radical, or outlandish, the
    solutions are transformative.

    So I want you to take away this key point, this one thing about the Green Party
    and our political system: while change is not easy and meaningful change takes
    hard work; the Green Party is ready for that job.

    Together we are heading towards a beautiful tomorrow.

    • Unfortunately, the kids stole the keys to the car and have well and truly munted it. All the sentiment wont get back the support that they have alienated. Its not that I disagree with much of what you say. Its just that the crew in charge are morons. Corrupt and disingenuous little fuckers without an once of humility.
      I have always been a Red/Mana/Green voter, but it looks like theyve all fuck’d off to the ‘Right’ side of the political spectrum, chasing neoliberalism and claiming that that can sort all the social problems caused by,ffs, can be cured by, more Neoliberalism!

      The only cure for all of this pakeha bullshit is Tinorangatiratanga! You fullas can have your neoliberalism and Green Wash’n Capitalism. Psst! It doesnt work.

      The gweens need to sit this one out and sort their shit out!

  6. Let’s be blunt. Her comment was disgusting, all the more so because of the manner in which she made it.

    Based on my studies (I accept I was only studying business models from an academic rather that a real life perspective) and from working as a minimum wage worker in a small business to fund my studies, one of the things I have learnt is that in the main small businesses are established by dedicated hard working people with a vision but keeping up with the overheads, staff wages, and other costs including keeping costs down because of competition means there is very little, if any, fat left in the system to put money aside to buffer the business against downturns, especially unexpected and unprecedented downturns of the type we are experiencing now.

    So, when someone like D Russell comes along and, from the safety of her cosy little number, haughtily pipes up with her slant on the situation, no wonder we are left gasping at her arrogance and ignorance.

    • youngsuffrajet: “….in the main small businesses are established by dedicated hard working people with a vision but keeping up with the overheads, staff wages, and other costs including keeping costs down because of competition means there is very little, if any, fat left in the system to put money aside to buffer the business against downturns, especially unexpected and unprecedented downturns of the type we are experiencing now.”

      That’s exactly what we’ve seen and experienced. Russell’s comments were injudicious in the extreme. Not only is she wrong, she’s doing that awful thing so beloved of many Australians we’ve known: victim-blaming.

  7. How much of this vision did Labour achieve in terms of higher wages, better environment, less poverty more NZ assets or did COL lazy into the easy Natz think of….

    “When National thinks about growth, they think about growing volume.

    Milking more cows, digging more mines or drilling more holes.

    They haven’t got a fracking clue.”

    (Sounds suspiciously like Shovel ready, less living wages, more money to private shareholders paid for from Kiwis, more OIA, more immigration of low waged poverty and billionaires)

    David Cunliffe’s speech 2014…

    E nga mana o tenei rohe

    Ngai Tahu Tatou katoa te whanau o te reipa

    Tena koutou katoa

    It’s great to be here with you today, with Christchurch’s new Mayor Lianne, our wonderful President Moira, our fantastic candidate for Christchurch East, Poto Williams, and to be part of the Labour team that is going to win the 2014 election.

    I acknowledge our New Zealand Council, Te Kaunihera Maori, our affiliates, sector councils and my caucus colleagues.

    I want to especially acknowledge our previous leader David Shearer, leadership candidates Grant Robertson and Shane Jones, and my Deputy David Parker.

    Mostly, I want to acknowledge you – every member of this, New Zealand’s greatest political party, whose membership has exploded by 75% this year!

    We are here with good reason in this great city.

    To show our solidarity and determination to help get the rebuild moving. And to return a new Labour MP, Poto Williams, in Christchurch East. Thank you all for being here.

    Christchurch, we admire your resilience and your strength.

    Your compassion for one another, and your determination to rise above adversity are an inspiration to the rest of the country and to this Party.

    We are here today united and ready to win.

    Not for ourselves, but for every New Zealander who needs a new beginning and wants their country back.

    We need to reimagine the future.

    To rebuild it.

    To reclaim the Kiwi dream for all New Zealanders.

    The New Zealand we will build together is one most Kiwis can today only dream about.

    Let me tell you a local story.

    There ‘s a small road on the northern outskirts of Christchurch, just beyond the Styx railway over the bridge.

    It is called Cunliffe Road.

    My grandfather, a railwayman all of his life, and my gran retired there.

    They milked a cow; they kept chooks; grew their own veges; and fished for eels in the Styx river at the bottom garden.

    Like I did.

    The house was a stone’s throw from the railway tracks, tracks on which my father’s family worked and which much of the early history of this country was built – with hard labour, with high hopes and fervent dreams of a more prosperous future.

    Portraits of King Dick Seddon and Mickey Savage hung in the kitchen.

    I grew up the son of a Vicar.

    We didn’t have much, but we never went without.

    There was a good state school for me to go to, healthcare when my dad desperately needed it, and opportunities for me to work hard and get ahead.

    We have all heard about our current prime minister’s own humble beginnings, his overseas success and his money trader’s fortune.

    But in aspiration and core beliefs John Key and I could not be more different.

    John Key and his colleagues grew up in same New Zealand I’ve just been talking about.

    They personally benefited from these opportunities but now deny them to all but an elite few.

    They are pulling the ladder up behind them. – and that’s just wrong.

    I got into politics because I believe that all New Zealanders, regardless of background or circumstance, should have the same opportunities.

    Only when we all do, will we unlock the boundless potential of this country and its people, creating a better, fairer, more inclusive society that works for all New Zealanders, not just a privileged few.

    This weekend, our Party sets out together on a challenging but exciting new path.

    The stakes could not be higher: for the very future of this country and all who live in it.

    I am enlisting your support and commitment to help this Party return to government in 2014.

    Helping to create a fairer, more equitable future for all New Zealanders.

    A Tale of two countries I grew up in a New Zealand where if you worked hard and played by the rules anyone could get ahead.

    It was a country in which Kiwis could trust that government worked more or less in the interests of all its citizens.

    Sadly, those days are gone.

    We are confronted by a government clearly ruling in the interests of a few at the expense of the many, and creating two New Zealands.

    One for the rich and powerful, who don’t pay their fair share of tax because they have smart accountants to ensure they avoid it.

    And there’s the other New Zealand. Where people struggle to put food on the table for their families.

    Where children go to school hungry, and senior citizens shiver in their homes.

    Families who pay tax on every dollar they earn, pick up the slack for the mega-rich and the foreign corporations who don’t.

    Middle New Zealand is working harder than ever.

    And what do they have to show for it?

    A dying dream.

    Middle-income Kiwi families can’t afford the rent or mortgage because of National’s housing crisis; They can’t afford power bills from the profiteering companies National is determined to sell; Many families can’t afford clothes or a treat for the kids, because under National their wages just haven’t kept up.

    Now for the first time, a generation of hardworking parents are faced with the shocking prospect their children will do worse than them.

    That’s why our best and brightest young people are leaving.

    All this did not happen by accident. National deliberately chose this for New Zealand, because they still believe in outdated policies that reinforce privilege.

    Some call it “trickle down”.

    It’s the idea that if the rich get richer, the poor get lucky.

    Such neo-liberal policies are fundamentally outdated and the Global Financial Crisis proved they don’t work.

    Top economists around the world are casting aside these outdated theories, but National has not caught up.

    Five years ago, John Key told New Zealanders, “wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones’’.

    But he only meant it for the privileged few.

    He gave massive tax cuts to the rich that they did not need while he put up GST on everyone.

    Since that promise, 200,000 Kiwis have voted no confidence, and left.

    We’re told we can’t afford the ‘social goods’ that since the time of Michael Joseph Savage have been our Kiwi heritage.

    A good government stands alongside New Zealanders in case of disaster, ill health or bad luck.

    Good government in partnership with people helps build industries and regions; dams, railways and ports, and plants vast forests.

    Those birth-right assets belong to all New Zealanders.

    National – they are not yours to sell! But not content with laissez-faire neoliberalism, National has tilted the playing field even further.

    Its Hall of Shame involves those shabby deals with Warner Brothers; Sky City; Rio Tinto and Chorus.

    Business people are telling me they want no part of that.

    They want a level playing field that’s fair and transparent, not one set of rules for National’s mates and another for everyone else.

    They also say John Key is a map without a compass; that National has no strategy for the underlying problems of our economy.

    Mark my words, John Key’s answer will be to invite the royal family to bring its newest and cutest member here for a long series of photo ops in an election year.

    They should come.

    But will John Key dare take the Duke and Duchess back to McGehan Close?

    Will he take them to a closed sawmill in Rotorua or a boarded up tannery in Shannon?

    You can be sure he’ll bring them to Parliament.

    But will they meet the nightshift cleaners he won’t pay a Living Wage?

    The contrasts between National and Labour, between their New Zealand and ours, could not be greater.

    This government is tired, arrogant and out of touch. It is off-Key and out of tune.

    Labour is fresh, energized, true to its founding ideals and full of new ideas.

    It is a Party ready to govern on behalf of – and most importantly, alongside – all New Zealanders.

    Building a Future for All 3.1

    An economy that works for all New Zealanders In the last few weeks my team and I have visited families in Rotorua and Shannon whose lives have been shattered by the closure of their sawmill and their tannery.

    They need an economy that works for all New Zealanders.

    One that creates more value from every tree we fell, every litre of milk we produce and every fruit we pick.

    When National thinks about growth, they think about growing volume.

    Milking more cows, digging more mines or drilling more holes.

    They haven’t got a fracking clue.

    There’s only so many cows we can milk without polluting our waterways.

    There is no limit to the ingenuiety of our Kiwi scientisits in making more high value products from the proteins in our milk.

    We will reward innovation.

    National scrapped Labour’s R&D tax incentive.

    So our best and brightest took their ideas offshore.

    The journey we need to be on is one from thinking about volume to thinking about creating value.

    By contrast, National thinks it makes sense to truck New Zealand logs to a port, ship them to Asia for processing, and then import the timber back here to Christchurch for the rebuild.

    How dumb is that?

    Our Labour Government will give preference to Kiwi-made timber for the Christchurch rebuild.

    When we create value we need more of it to stay in New Zealand so we can share it.

    Our economy is being hollowed out because we don’t have enough capital.

    Our banking, finance and insurance industries are almost all foreign-owned, which is why we always run an external deficit and build up international debt.

    A Labour Government will address this fundamental problem.

    By strengthening KiwiSaver.

    By building up KiwiBank.

    By restarting contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

    All of these things will help build an economy we own.

    Of course we will balance the books, as we did every year in the fifth Labour Government.

    But that is not enough to turn around long term economic decline.

    Our pro-growth will help local Kiwi businesses access the investment they need to thrive.

    And today, in this very brave city, I am announcing that Labour will confront the challenges of an insurance industry that is no longer Kiwi-owned.

    One we know from painful experience has not met Canterbury’s needs.

    Just as KiwiBank gave us a customer-focused, low cost Kiwi-owned bank, KiwiAssure will give everyone a choice for better service, competititive premiums and local ownership that keeps profits here.

    KiwiAssure will be a sister company to KiwiBank, within the NZ Post Group.

    And like KiwiBank, it will offer customers an alternative and raise the bar across the insurance industry.

    We will build an economy that works for all New Zealanders, by helping create more value and keep more of it onshore.

    And having kept more wealth in New Zeaaland, that wealth needs to be shared fairly.

    The economy we build will provide secure, well-paid jobs. We will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour – immediately.

    We will promote a Living Wage.

    We will protect vulnerable workers.

    We will develop a new employment framework built on mutual respect.

    We will scrap the unfair 90-day trials and restore fairness in the workplace.

    We will train young Kiwis to rebuild Christchurch.

    We won’t give priority to overseas labour which just happens to keep locals out and wages down, We will invest more in our people and their skills and training.

    Everyone will contribute their fair share.

    We will raise the top tax rate for high earners but not middle income families.

    We will target those who speculate on capital gains and avoid tax using trusts.

    We want a level playing field.

    National wants special deals for its mates.

    National gave $30 million to Rio Tinto to keep the smelter’s closure off the TV until after the election.

    Labour will have a plan for an energy-rich Southland beyond the smelter.

    National bent the rules to sell our laws to Sky City.

    Labour will regulate to address gambling harm.

    National is about to hand over $400 million of your dollars to Chorus.

    Labour will deliver faster, cheaper braodband without subsidising foreign telcos.

    So Labour’s economic plan means creating more value, retaining more value onshore and sharing more value across our community.

    A fair and just society

    That’s because Labour believes in a fair and just society where all citizens live in dignity.

    • Warm in their homes through a Labour power policy that stops profiteering on electricity;

    • Secure because when the worst happens there’s a safety net to catch them and give them a hand up;

    • Safe with a world class health system that promotes wellness.

    • Secure with Super that means they won’t be living in poverty when they’re old.

    A fair society means having a shot at the Kiwi dream, incluiding home ownership.

    That’s a dream increasingly out of reach for a great many of our young men and woman beaten down by stagnant wages and skyrocketing house prices.

    Labour will build 100,000 affordable homes over over ten years.

    We will help first home buyers, not punish them with harsh lending rules.

    And unlike National, we won’t let offshore speculators rort our housing market.

    A just society gives a great start in life for all our kids.

    Labour will extend Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks.

    We won’t tolerate child poverty.

    We won’t let kids go to school hungry.

    We will scrap the National standards, there will be no charter schools.

    Instead we will build on New Zealand’s first calss public education system, that is led by some of the best educators in the entire world.

    An environment we protect

    Like so many Kiwis, I love our natural environment.

    Last weekend I tramped the Routeburn track with my son (until snow turned us back).

    As a kid I fished for salmon and trout in Canterbury’s rivers.

    I might not look like a pig hunter, but my dad was and as a kid I loved following him through the bush.

    We need to protect our forests and rivers and mountains.

    Labour will protect our environment.

    We will reverse National’s gutting of the Resource Management Act.

    We will rebuild our Conservation Department to protect our world-class conservation estate.

    We won’t, for example, build a monorail through a world heritage park.

    We are not opposed to responsible mining, but we won’t approve new mines on high value conservation land.

    We will insist on best practice environment and cleanup standards before we approve any more deep sea oil drilling.

    We recognise climate change is a fact, not a philosophy.

    We will restore an effective emissions trading scheme.

    We will not walk away from our responsibities to the planet, its climate or future generations.

    We want a high value, low carbon, renewable energy, smart, clean tech future.

    A nation we can all be proud of

    We will will give our children a nation to be proud of, including a principled and independent foreign policy.

    Labour calls for an informed debate about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

    National says it cannot release the negotiating text – that is a cop out.

    We expect proper briefings to the public, just as Labour did in government with the China FTA.

    While we recognise the potential trade benefits, until there is a full and open debate we are not prepared to sign over a blank cheque on our national sovereignty.

    A Labour Government will never spy on our own citizens without a judge’s warrant.

    That’s why we will repeal the GCSB Act and replace it with legislation that upholds Kiwis’ rights and freedoms.

    We will honour the Treaty of Waitangi, and support the development of a vibrant post settlement Maori renaissance based on mutual respect and partnership.

    We will invite New Zealanders to participate in a constitutional conversation to help us towards a mature, stable constitutional form.

    We will celebrate our unique identity by supporting our vibrant arts and culture sectors; including a renewed commitment to public broadcasting as one of the most important guardians of our democracy.

    Labour will help New Zealanders look to the future with confidence, in who we are, where we stand, where we are going.

    Creating the future Our mission is to Build a Future for All, including an economy that works for everyone, a fair and just society, an environment we protect, and a nation we can be proud of.

    Our Party, alongside all New Zealanders, can deliver this vision together.

    But first we must win the election in 2014.

    I know we can win; my colleagues in caucus know it.

    We need you to know it and believe in it too.

    Let’s build on the momentum we have gained.

    Here’s what we have to do, caucus and members and supporters, acting as one.

    We have to organize.

    Last election, nearly a million New Zealanders didn’t vote and we didn’t inspire them enough to do so.

    With one quarter of that missing million, National’s days in government are over. Some of them are in Labour’s heartland.

    They’ve voted for us in the past. We need to persuade them that we will make a real, positive difference in their lives.

    Many of the missing million are in the regions.

    We’re going to crisscross this country until every town knows we are on their side.

    We must listen to young people, because everything we do is ultimately for them.

    Each of you has the power to help us reach the missing million.

    They are your neighbours, your co-workers, your friends.

    Talk about our Labour vision.

    Every phone call you make, every piece of mail you deliver, finds us more new supporters.

    With our caucus , our members and our supporters working together we are unstoppable.

    Summary

    So together, we are on a mission to win the 2014 election.

    We are ambitious, not for ourselves, but to serve the people of New Zealand.

    Together, we will build a future for the children in this country who live in poverty, who go to school with empty stomachs, whose parents can’t afford to take them to the doctor when they are ill, who contract Third-World diseases through overcrowding in sub- standard housing.

    We will build a future for the young people who leave school directionless without support, guidance or prospects.

    We will build a future with our young people who come out of university with huge loans, fight their way into poorly paid jobs., and who can’t afford to buy a home of their own.

    We will build a future with our businesses and exporters held back by the inflexible Reserve Bank Act that sets inflation as its primary target while ignoring the devastating effects of a high exchange rate.

    We will build a future with our scientists who, are forced to look overseas for meaningful work.

    We will build a future with our public servants – our wonderful policewomen and men, our teachers, our nurses and doctors – whose work and worth has been so undermined and demoralized by this destructive Government.

    We will build a future with our artists, authors, musicians and performers – who help us to understand not only where we stand in the world, but to feel comfortable in our own skins – and proud of who we are.

    Creative, diverse, compassionate, innovative, generous, determined people happy at home in Aotearoa but punching well above our weight on whatever world stage we appear.

    Together, we will build a future for all New Zealanders, with an economy that works for all of us, a fair and just society, an environment we protect, and a nation we can all be proud of.

    We are a Party on the march.

    We are a winning team.

    We have an important job to do for all New Zealanders.

    We must work.

    We must win.

    And we must serve.

    I ask you now to join with me in becoming the Sixth Labour Government.

    Thank you.

    • Some numbers you need to understand.
      41 v 29+(7)
      1.15m v 956,000
      36.9 v 44.6
      And you’d need a swing of 13%+ to go it alone if the Gweens don’t make it and NZF swap sides.

  8. It is showing here that Jacinda is not as strong as a leader for the party as Helen VClark was and Labour is full of neoliberal pundits that ressemble the ghosts of ‘Roger Douglas’ unfortunately.

    • I suspect she said what she thought deep inside, without sanitizing it. Having said that I know of a few low margin businesses that are surviving because of the government support.

      Business bitch and moan about Labour incessantly and there is no love lost. As she was alluding to, the low wage economy that business want and demand, hence the migrant worker exploitation we are hooked on, is biting them in the arse now. And for those who tried to escape that world by running their own super low margin businesses are now realizing how tentative things are.

      BUT – it’s her government that shut down the economy, for good reason and they need to step up.. And for that she will probably be regretting what she said.

  9. In other words some small businesses were living hand to mouth before the lock down on a basis of everything lining up every week. Not ideal.

    But having said that business fragility could not have predicted almost the entire economy just switching off like a switch either, no person could plan for that nor want to. Even 3 months notice, which is what we got, for the most astute and pessimistic business person would not have changed a thing.

    The answer is for the government, who has stopped the economy , to prop them up for the next few months until the economy gets off the floor again.

  10. A more helpful response could have been something like this one by John Anthony: Business Leaders Share Tips for Surviving the Crisis

    His Ten Point Summary includes:
    1. Forget profit and balance sheets, focus on cash flow
    2. Go to your bank ASAP
    3. Trim every expense; talk to your landlord and suppliers
    4. Make cost cuts including staff reductions
    5. Communicate honestly and fully with all parties
    6. Look after your mental and physical health
    7. Trim advertising
    8. Look for opportunities (they are there) and stay focussed
    9. Stop following negative media
    10. Remember this will pass, “as have all previous recessions”

    These points are all clarified at the link above.

    • +Make cost cuts including staff reductions

      – yes make sure you hire staff that pay you! Sarcasm

      – plenty out there that are looking for that opportunity to get permanent residency illegally.

      Sky city and Air NZ were first of the cab ranks to sack employees but wait, they also are getting wage subsidies and loans too… (in Sky city case, they still have the gambling concessions even though John Key/Sky City collaboration conference centre went up in smoke with his go to, Fletchers at the helm).

  11. I was never great at school and passing exams was hard so to get ahead I worked out I needed to work hard . I did work hard for a few years making others wealthy so I decided I should work for myself . To buy my first business I needed money from the bank . I had to give them a business plan and in that plan was the what ifs. Sickness family problems drought rain were all there but not in my wildest nightmare would I have allowed for a complete shut down for weeks with no income and still having to pay rent rates ACC etc.Then to have some politician who is supposed to be from a party that cares to say it is my fault is breathtaking.
    I am not a Jacinda fan but I feel through out this she does care and I hope Russell gets as hard a kicking as Clark did as they both have let the party down in my mind

  12. Does Deborah Russell represent the workers party, or some neoliberal corporate-welfare advocates group who are happy to watch the little guy fail?

    • It was a momentary lapse — a brain fart. And she will be pilloried for it, quite rightly. My Nan used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, shut up and eat your Weet-Bix.” The moral of the story is… always listen to your Nan.

  13. Deborah has nothing to offer so this is what she does in attempt to draw attention elsewhere. Will be interesting to see how things go for the government after this all settles down. Their past record of outcomes which meet the goals that they have set themselves has not been very good.

    Maybe Deborah should put her effort into putting things in place to ensure that they can meet goals that they set instead of engaging in this rhetoric, that would be of benefit to everyone.

  14. “If any right wing jerk were to say this about individuals it would be decried as economic Darwinism – many many many small to medium businesses struggle – blaming them for their weakness to ideologically point score is jaw dropping in its offensiveness!”

    Indeed. It exemplifies the kind of sheer blinding ignorance which get the Labour party characterised as “anti-business”. Way to go: blaming the victims!

    I doubt that any “right wing jerk” would say such a thing, in truth. Right-wingers are slightly more likely to be involved in business, either big or small; and anyone with more that a passing acquaintance with running a small business would know what’s involved. It simply isn’t how they’d think.

  15. So, Deborah quite rightly questions the link between SME who don’t have enough capital to get through the past few weeks and the fact that “we’ve had quite a low wage economy so often makes it quite looks like you might be better off being in business rather than working for low wages”, and everyone loses their shit? It was a fricken good question and the fact that Grant missed it shows that he’s probably really needs some sleep. But, the fact that Martyn missed it, makes me think he needs to get some downtime away from the keyboard and a nice cuppa. Stay safe!

  16. Sorry, but I have to ask: Why are we giving any time at all to Mr Seymour’s twitter account?

    What he has done is to take a small soundbite of less than a minute, to take it out of any context, to spin it around a bit and to present that as evidence that the person (in this case Deborah) “doesn’t care about small businesses”.

    If we’re going to follow down the path of reacting to Seymour’s troll-like twitter posts, ..we’re pretty much sunk already, imo. jmo

  17. Shouldn’t we be asking just a few questions about the businesses or SMEs before dishing out trailer loads of cash to them, holus bolus?

    At the moment, the only criteria seems to be whether or not they are “Safe”, regarding transmission of Covid-19 on their premises or in the delivery of their goods or services.

    Shouldn’t those SMEs also be considered according to their future viability?

    Mr Bridges was calling for much more money to be handed over to Tourism businesses – That was a couple of days ago. The rationale was that tourism has been so devastated by all that has happened. But realistically, if there is no foreseeable future for a particular business, what is the point of the govt handing out large amounts of money to them?

    There are other relevant questions. For one, is the business NZ owned? Do the profits from that business return to AO/ NZ or do they go offshore? Are they owned and operated by someone, a person, group or corporation that is based overseas? Is there a parent company overseas, who should really be footing any costs, if such costs are required?

    There are other questions as well, that may be relevant for the longer term in particular.

  18. Having now looked at this objectively, it was spit balling, a teleconference between Ministers, other MP’s and I assume others. Putting ideas out there type of thing.

    And if Deborah Russell is guilty for thinking out aloud then so is Willie Jackson most definitely and probably others. Surely to God we want people freely and honestly discussing things to learn lessons and improve things going forward?

    Seymour was simply playing politics, taking what appeared to be an inhouse discussion, even a robust discussion and sneaking off and putting it on social media and everyone loses their shit before taking a deep breath and looking at it.

    About all Seymour’s actions will have achieved is NO one will trust the prick, discussion will cease to function and exchanges of opinions and ideas will cease. Fantastic for dealing with this crisis Dave, …not…
    But fuckwits like him never ever see the bigger picture.

    • “Surely to God we want people freely and honestly discussing things to learn lessons and improve things going forward? ”

      Indeed, Xray,the same thought occurred to me. In my younger days I’ve been in situations where I offered a view or put forward facts in a supposedly free-flowing discussion, only to have it shut down. Ok, lesson learned; keep it to myself.

      Worse still, the only narrative we end up with is the National/ACT party-line. Not very helpful. This is one of those instances where free speech and flow of ideas is essential – only to have free speech warrior Mr Seymour shut it down.

      Lesson learned by everyone, eh?

  19. To me there is lack of logic and one could be tempted to say govt catering to the big end of town in terms of which businesses stay open and which have closed. Why are butchers and green grocers not allowed to stay open? If a dairy can open why not these businesses? The same rules could be applied. I don’t understand either why for example, arborists and garden maintenance people can’t continue too?

    My personal view is this govt are out of touch but then govt in NZ has been so since the mid 80’s. They have no appreciation of the plight of the ordinary person, sitting in well paid jobs with fat pension schemes. Nor do I suspect they much care. What they also know is peoples choices in terms of actually initiating change through the electoral process has become a farce. Voting see’s little change so there is little reason for people to move away from a party they have typically supported.

    Worse still much of the MSM fails to hold them to proper account so there are no reasons for attitudes to change or complacency to be replaced by something more pro active and attentive.

  20. I started my own business over 30 years ago and have survived good and bad times. I wonder if the point trying to be made (rather badly) is about the same advice I received 30 years ago. 50% of new business will fail in their first year. Of those that survive, 50% will fail within 5 years (slightly lower for business with 5 or more employees). Some businesses are set up to be loss making on purpose to mitigate tax. Some businesses open to undercut their opposition to attract a buyout. The govt needs to be very careful as some businesses are hoping for free money. When I am told that Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacists are living hand to mouth and demanding bail out I can’t help but be slightly skeptical. We must guard against exploitation during this pandemic. Are people barking at imaginary cars or using this emergency for their own gain or just a little bit of utu or push back from the politically motivated?

    • When I am told that Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacists are living hand to mouth and demanding bail out I can’t help but be slightly skeptical.

      Yep. In my town several of the dentists have their own yacht or Big-Fishing vessel moored in the marina. (Hardly desperation.) They take generous holidays, and are usually booked out for weeks ahead anyways. They were open for the most urgent cases during the lockdown.

      Pharmacists have stayed open or available, I thought? And they picked up extra business from some shops that were closed (eg vitamins from health food shops, toiletries from all over).

      And the Docs – When they realised the rates of some sicknesses and accidents have suddenly fallen, you’d think they’d be celebrating – Or at least be happy about it. Instead the news is all about how they no longer make enough money. Falling accident rate causes plunge in income
      Rates of Flulike Illness Drop to almost Zero During Lockdown

  21. Headline:
    “MP Deborah Russell says businesses struggling in lockdown must have had a lack of financial strength.”

    Article:
    “A Labour MP says businesses in trouble “after only a few weeks in a pretty bad situation” was a sign they did not have the necessary strength.

    “We are seeing a number of small businesses really struggling, after only a few weeks in a pretty bad situation, which must speak to the strength of those small businesses going into this lockdown.”

    Is she right?
    Did she say ALL small businesses? If she’d said, “There might be some” instead of ‘We are seeing a number’ would that have changed the criticism?

    If she’d said on the German company pulling the pin, “After only a few weeks in a pretty bad situation, Bauer closed up which must speak to the strength of that business going into this lockdown,” would she have been pilloried? I think I heard Jacinda Ardern say that.

    Is Russell allowed to think that some small companies were likely to not be robust enough to withstand the shock of the lockdown? Should she be sacked or dismissed from the party for thinking it? Or sacked for saying it?
    Sacked for not saying it in a different, ‘nice’ way? (My prejudice about the way accountants I’ve dealt think just occurred.)

    Of course she shouldn’t have said it because the way our politics happen it looks bad to some people. It’s a heinous crime to others. Don’t say anything is the way to go in case someone disagrees and gets upset. All the while complaining that there’s no robust debate and ideas being chucked around.

    After the election maybe the Labour Party at the first caucus, whichever side of the House they’re on will give all MPs an explicit substantial list of things to not talk about, which words to not use, in which ever order, and how to think.

  22. Two points on this:
    1. Friends in their own business I know always regale me with the ‘risk and reward’ argument. ‘We take risk with our money in the hope of a significant reward’ . Should that risk money include some reserve capital for the unexpected – e.g. pandemics, earthquakes etc ? Otherwise you have to rely, as some businesses are now, on the government and then it becomes another example of profits going to private investors while losses are socialised (i.e. taxpayer funded).

    2. Once, when working for an NPF/charity, I queried an amount of a $1 million – plus in the bank account s ‘reserves’. Why did that exist when we still asked for donations? Because, it was explained, we wanted the organisation to continue in the event of natural disaster etc, so the staff could still be employed and paid so we could get going again asap.

    Isn’t that good common sense?
    Isn’t that prudent business sense?
    Isn’t that what Ms Russell was saying?

  23. You’ve stirred up Deborah Russell’s comments Bomber. And missed the bigger picture.

    Ofcourse she’s right. What should have been said is that this goes for big business too. Our government is pouring big money into these enormous operations. Why are they so needy if they were doing good business?

    Air NZ is shedding staff and flights while getting millions of our money. Meanwhile cabin staff coming off overseas flights are denied a fortnight’s isolation to check on their covid-19 possibility. One of our biggest clusters took off when a cabin steward attended a wedding in Invercargill. Focus your energy and anger on real problems, Bomber.

    • As diverse as the people commenting on The Daily Blog is, I think we have always stayed with in a philosophy of minimalizm and functionality and after 40 years of neoliberalizm kiwis are recognized and appreciated for that. Whether we are talking about politics, economics, serious production or custom luxury it is apart of the kiwi DNA which is recognizable and appreciated by immigrant desires to migrate to New Zealand.

      First of all I don’t think that building road, rail, ports and power plants is a race to having the biggest train set so to speak. At 200 kilometres,one comment that could have been made was that Whangarei to Auckland is a very long piece of rail track, we could make it 150 kilometres and it will still be very long but the length of the track is purely design driven. What makes the designers happy but most of all what makes the users happy in terms of a balanced design means kiwis don’t need to join in the race for the biggest train set.

      I think voters today make very conscious decisions about the size of government, and the size of the government is not anymore that “my needs are more important than other people’s needs.” The size of government today is merely a feature of the functions and space from with in urban developments. So I think that racing for length, size and power I think that dimension never really took over the kiwi dream and I don’t think it will take over. The rest isn’t even mentionable.

    • Further to my gripe re AirNZ, the obvious response from govt. is to deprivatise – make it a national/state airline again

      • The government is already a 51% shareholder in AirNZ. What they really need is a test that can be given at the boarder like a drug test and give an accurate reading with 4hrs. That’s what they need!

  24. Yes well I too thought that this was right.
    When I am told that Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacists are living hand to mouth and demanding bail out I can’t help but be slightly skeptical. In my town several of the dentists have their own yacht or Big-Fishing vessel moored in the marina. (Hardly desperation.) They take generous holidays, and are usually booked out for weeks ahead anyways. They were open for the most urgent cases during the lockdown.

    My previous dentist owned a glider, a bach and numerous other toys!

    You mean they can’t be ‘almost’ shut for 4 weeks – goodness me that is pathetic when I think what I pay for my 15 mins at the doctors $50 and then the government tops it up, come on. I do think that businesses that have been going for 5+ years ought to be able to withstand a month of not working.

    The hand outs to various outfits are ridiculous, but I am not sure how you get around this.
    How we decide who gets it and who doesn’t.
    The bloody casino getting all that dosh. As far as I am concerned it just means there shareholders should get a lower share this year. Honestly so many companies give good returns and then this comes along and the government props them up. They should have a fat bank balance for times like this.

    Air NZ we should own the dam thing and stop paying ridiculous salaries to the CEO.
    All infrastructure frankly should be owned by the State, this is not communism but bloody common sense for the common good. When are our electricity companies going to be owned by the State once again, and run in the interests of the people of this country. And all our public transport.

    I am only interested in the real workers continuing to receive money. I feel really sorry for all that labour that we imported for building in Queenstown, none of them citizens, all stuck! These are the people that really need helping.

  25. We want freedom of speech but only if you say what people want too hear.

    The first casualty of neoliberalism is speaking the truth without tact, diplomacy or propaganda.

    It is at the point where a still tongue is a prerequisite too expressing an opinion that runs contrary too our current state of affairs.

    What we say must not be used as an opportunity for dissent under any circumstances.

  26. Nail on the head Martyn!
    That’s few thousand more votes for ACT, just like that, and for good reason.

    Seymour is already making capital out of this in social media, as well he should because her attitude pretty much epitomizes what’s wrong with the left these days: None of them have ever been near the coalface.

    Due to the vagaries of MMP, Seymour can bring in two more MPs without every reaching the magic 5% threshold. Let’s see how the balance of power is shifting:

    So Seymour brings in a couple more MPs. He deserves to because he’s been excellent in opposition.

    NZF is totally screwed. The SFO report is due to come out prior to the election, so in the run-up we’re likely to see him facing criminal charges. The media will make hay of this.

    A reinvigorated Maori Party with a couple of known faces at the helm will inevitably take a few votes off Labour; maybe not enough get an MP elected but enough to lose Labour some support in their party vote.

    What of the Greens? My friends who are insiders tells of a faction fight over the list and general depression because in the end Labour abandoned even token green polices in favour of reality. Do not underestimate the effect of Mike Moore’s beat-up on green ideology. Many Green voters will be watching this and learning for the first time that solar panels and wind farms will not save them.

  27. After watching the clip a couple of times I think she hit the nail on the head, I to have struggled to understand how you would go into business with no cash reserves, do not banks demand a business case to be presented with the “what if’s” or am I missing something here, do they all live hand to mouth?
    For heavens sake it was an open discussion in parliament with all “the” parties putting in their sixpence.
    The fact that the Acta has twisted it out all proportion to suit his ends speaks volumes about the thin skinned response.
    Get a grip Bomber.

    • So how much reserve?
      Enough to withstand a once in a generation pandemic?

      In fact a large proportion of new small businesses put the family home on the block as collateral to get the business up and running.

      • “In fact a large proportion of new small businesses put the family home on the block as collateral to get the business up and running.”

        Well then that is an investment and as with all investments these people hold the risk. Why blame the government?

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