The list of Labour’s worst failures after 4 years & what they need to do at their annual caucus retreat this week


The Labour Party Caucus is being held this week in New Plymouth and while they collectively have much to cheer about their incredible Covid response (until Omicron breaks out) their list of domestic achievements are woeful.

Labour didn’t expect to win 2017 and they didn’t expect to win a majority in 2020, this means they had no real strategy on how to force the public service into actually implementing policy.

With no clear strategy on how to force transformative change, Labour have languished and failed to do anything meaningful beyond keeping us safe from Covid.

It’s just not enough.

Here are their appalling failures:

Poverty & inequality crisis:

Despite most Kiwis supporting larger welfare payments, we get pittance from Labour instead…

Greens, ACT both condemn $20 benefit increase – but for very different reasons

The Greens and ACT have both condemned the Government’s increase to welfare payments – but for very different reasons.

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July 1 marks the day a raft of social development initiatives announced during Budget 2021 will come into effect, including a $20 increase to main benefits per week – a change that’ll impact hundreds of thousands of Kiwis on the dole.

Last years benefit rise will take child poverty from 18.4% to 17%.

So sure, cheer about that 1.4% like it means something but don’t pretend it actually does.

I’m getting a tad sick to death of listening to Jacinda and other apologists from this Government tell us with straight faces that lifting 30 000 kids out of poverty is somehow a meaningful response to the poverty crisis.

It is not.

Look, even if, and I mean IF, they actually do lift 30 000 kids out of poverty (and I say IF because we saw how their promises of jobs from the Provincial Growth Fund were a jokeso even IF they lift 30 000 kids out of poverty, that still leaves a staggering 190,000 children in poverty!!!

You can’t boast about saving 30 000 kids while leaving 190 000 behind and still ask for a pat on the back!

This isn’t leadership, it’s capitulation.

If only we could put in as much effort  lifting children out of poverty as we do on middle class tax breaks for electric cars, a billion dollar bike lane and hate speech legislation.

We hate beneficiaries so much that a crumb is sold as a mountain.


Housing Crisis:

The first baby steps of this new Government was to endorse a racist drug law, rule out a wealth tax, rule out lifting benefits before Christmas and refuse to mandate 10 sick days now.

Labour have bewilderingly however locked us into a vast debt trap to fund trickle down economics by printing billions and instead of loaning it to the Government to rebuild our infrastructure, poorly funded public services and refund our welfare state, Labour have green lighted it going to corporate banks to fuel property speculators in the hope the newly inflated paper wealthy spend that false sense of prosperity in the real economy to help the little guy.

Once again Labour use free market mechanics to try and fix a housing market wrecked by neoliberalism. KiwiBuild has become KiwiSpeculate!

If only Labour’s NeoKindness could help beneficiaries, renters, prisoners, the working class, kids in poverty, first time home owners & cannabis users the way it helps property speculators.


Climate Crisis:

The final watered down meaningless bullshit that has been agreed to is a shocking nothing as the entire species faces an unprecedented omnicide from catastrophic global warming.

Vacant promises that aren’t enforceable is only a win to the oil industry.

We will hit 2.7°C with current policies, 2.4°C if all Governments met the 2030 targets.

That is an abysmal failure of collective will and represents the longest suicide letter in human history.

It’s not James Shaws’s fault that the rest of the planet is still only paying lip service to the adaptation required to mitigate against the enormous threat global warming poses, so it would be unfair to blame him but the sophistry of NZs position to do the least possible while pretending we are manifesting something meaningful feels like James taking our cow to market and returning with 3 magic beans.

We are all like, ‘James, where’s the cow’, and James excitedly tells us he’s got these 3 magic beans and we all punch James.

COP26 has been a failure, if this was our last chance, then we have failed. The political spectrum can’t operate when the wealthy polluters own the capitalist system exacerbating the problem.


Prison reform crisis:

The Prison population is dropping, fewer prisoners are in rehabilitation, more are committing violence in prison and recidivism rates are still above 50%.

The only trick Labour adopted when they took over was existing legislation National had simply ignored that allowed low level prisoners to serve their sentences at home under home detention rules.

The problem was under National, they didn’t bother actively helping prisoners fill in the paperwork to apply for it. The first thing Labour did was force Corrections to help the prisoners fill in the paperwork, and that is the only reason the prison muster fell.

It’s still the same old underfunded violent and corrupt prison system  it always was with the same counterproductive policies.

Prisoners still have to admit guilt before they can access rehabilitation, which leads t fewer accessing it.

The prison environment is still too toxic to heal.

We are spending $1.7b on a prison system that is producing men more damaged than when they went in.

Sadly there are no votes in healing damaged men, only punishing them.


Medicinal cannabis crisis:

Andrew Little at 4.20pm

Right after the referendum which showed almost a majority demanding cannabis law reform, Little killed off any cannabis reform and landed us instead with bullshit medicinal cannabis rules that only serve a billionaire while crushing the local medicinal cannabis industry.

Patients seeking medicinal cannabis now ARE WORSE OFF after Labour than before it!

Minister Little has the audacity to blame the industry which either suggests Andrew is either lying or grossly misinformed!

I am free anytime to explain to the Minister why he is wrong.

Labour have inadvertently set the medicinal cannabis industry up the way they have set the super market duopoly up. Labour have allowed the big pharma segment of the NZ market to write rules that exclude the smaller players which has led directly to the impasse we have now.

A framework that only the big pharma segment can pass through while fucking over medicinal cannabis patients as well as the wider industry.

Labour deserve nothing but contempt for their medicinal cannabis failure and if the Greens had any strategic brain they would make a legal market part of their agreement to form a government in 2023.


So what to do?

The Government’s set piece legislation this year are TVNZ/RNZ merger, Public Health reform, 3 waters and Hate speech legislation. Each will create risks, each will create little hope in peoples day to day lived challenges.

Food inflation, mortgage hikes and economic down turn caused by external global shockwaves are not going to feel much better knowing Radio NZ will get another $20million each year!

Labour must have more of a message than ‘endure’, they must offer a real hope as people continue to struggle and that hope can be articulated in a new State backed supermarket chain to smash the $22billion per year duopoly.

It can’t be socialism when the Commerce Commission is calling for it!

Labour must have the courage to step into the market and force regulation when the market warps into a monopoly or duopoly!

The idea of cheaper food costs as prices rise is the perfect hope generator in the lives of voters Labour must reach out to.

Many will argue that Labour doesn’t need a surprisingly radical idea like a state backed 3rd player in the Supermarket industry. They will speak the whispers of the velvet gloved Wellington Mandarins who will tell the Caucus that steady and safe wins the day. They will point to Key and Clark midterm who coasted as evidence of playing it safe.

I think that argument misses the far bigger reality that NZ right now is not the same safe environment of midterm Key or Clark and that any trigger could cause enormous backlash.

Labour have to promise hope to voters wallets or lose the bank to National and ACT.

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  1. Three out of four of the official child poverty measures are relative against the median income. So in order to “lift children out of poverty” all the government has to do it drive away a number of people earning more than the median. There is currently an exodus of professionals from NZ to Aussie so that may account for the change.

      • Sorry, you got it completely wrong. Professionals are currently wanting to enter NZ in record numbers such was the brilliant covid response by the Government. Hell things are obviously greater here than anywhere else in the world otherwise you wouldn’t be here making shit up Andrew.

  2. I think they need to stop pretending that they know what they’re doing. Or that they care. Or that they are in any way remotely aligned with any truly people orientated machinery. Labour, National, two sides of the same, worthless coin, paid for with the harvested data of all those poverty stricken kids held hostage by the “unit standard” rort.

  3. I am not hopeful.

    4 years of timidness and faithful adherence to basic neo liberal dogma is what’s we have.

    So many reports called for, so many not acted upon. So many!

    And even when they try to implement a policy promise, they get lost, 1000% reliant on advisers and no idea how this achieve the goal.

    One need not look any further than mental health. Or light rail. The new transport minister boldly stated the final option would be made known by the end of 2021, coinciding with the same year we were supposed to be catching it to Mt Roskill. It wasn’t. It’s bound and gagged in unspeakable complexity and after Wood’s failure with the bike bridge, you know light rail may go to Mt Roskill by 2121, but not in anyone’s lifetime otherwise and nothing to do with Labour.

    I am searching for alternatives from now on in to Labour.

    • X-ray Have a look at TOP. I’m on their mailing list, and will start reading their emails properly. From what I recall, all their candidates were highly achieved in various areas beyond the expertise or concern of the
      the persons in Parliament; I knew one well, and respect her – very grounded. Apart from that, I won’t vote again unless there is a choice to express disenchantment with the current bunch. I think the only TOP policy which disturbed me was a suggestion to use Town Belt land for housing, and I think that guy’s gone, but as I say, I need to look at them with care.

  4. As if my monday wasn’t depressing enough laying bare the govt. failures in such a succinct way is just a double down. It is hard to know which failure is more depressing. I think Robertson’s $50b gift to the Aussie banks is the worst decision that has been made but the ease with which the Wellington mandarins have dominated what has turned out to be an inept and timid bunch of MP’s is the most disappointing.

  5. HOUSING…….by light years

    Their incompetence has far reaching implications. Top of the tree is the diabolical inequity that is being created. Never in my lifetime have I seen a more glaring example of the rich getting richer and everyone else battling to keep their head above water. The Ardern Government has stood on the sidelines and watched things worsen every week….and done fucking nothing. This will be their legacy.

    One dynamic highlights the hopelessness of the situation more than any other. Ardern wants housing to be more affordable but doesn’t want house prices to drop. It is obviously the diabolical house prices that is making housing unaffordable for many Kiwi’s so the best way to make housing affordable is for prices to drop……the very thing Ardern doesn’t want to happen. It’s far too late to just tinker around the edges but that’s exactly what Ardern has done. Why? So it “appears” she’s taking things seriously when in fact she’s ensuring the status quo remains. What a tragic indictment that is.

    Many believed the PM was more than just a politician. She was someone many disbelievers could actually trust. She’s proven to be just another politician. Many will never vote again after having their faith shit out the back.

    We have a generation of young Kiwis ready to leave NZ in their droves and Ardern couldn’t possibly care less. These are the very people we need to stay here but will soon be gone. We saw the same thing happen under John Key. He also talked a load of fluff about making sure there would be no more empty chairs around NZ dinner tables……then continued on doing exactly the same thing. Who will replace the kiwis leaving? The same demographic that have come here in their hundreds of thousands over the last 15 years changing NZ forever.

    Ardern is the master of saying fluffy pointless things that only ever serve to highlight one universal fact. Believing in the tooth fairy does not make the tooth fairy real.

    Two other people highlight how utterly clueless Labour are on housing and how there is virtually no priority on it.

    They had the totally inept Phil Twyford as the Minister of Housing. In the immortal words of John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious?.

    Twyford was brutally exposed as the epitome of hopelessness and became a well deserved scapegoat to buy more time for a “reset” and create the appearance Labour take housing seriously. The replacement must be a young energetic person who can work tirelessly to resolve the situation with housing and rebuild shattered confidence. Instead, they promote the morbidly obese Megan Woods to the all important role of Housing Minister. Ms Woods looks like a person that would tire just checking the letterbox. Housing is not enough for her. Energy and Resources – Minister Research, Science and Innovation – Minister, Finance – Associate Minister. She has a 0% chance of achieving anything meaningful with housing and that’s exactly what she’s achieved to date despite all the time and resources she’s been afforded. She even attempted to get the enemy, Judith Collins on board to address the issues with housing which only proved how totally out of her depth Woods really is.

    Woods is highly motivated by rare photo opportunities showing a handful of new homes that amount to half a splash in the ocean.

    Ardern and co had the opportunity to make a real difference with housing ……but all they have achieved was to remarkably make a diabolical situation even worse and then ensure that status quo remained …..while pretending they give a shit.

    The most frustrating aspect of this will come in the months leading up to the 2023 election. Ardern will suddenly be more motivated by self preservation. Fingers will be pulled out of arses so it appears they are making progress and just need more time. Due to the lack of a better alternative, many will believe Ardern and she will be gifted another 3 years… ensure the status quo remains.


    • refusing to make a decision is in and of itself actually a decision…

      they decided to do nothing and have delivered 100percent.

      one of her media wonks should remind jacinda, you can deny reality but you cannot avoid the results of reality.

      still a nice UN job in europe courtesy of auntie helen ain’t a bad ‘participation award’

      • gargarin. “ Refusing to make a decision is in and of itself actually a decision”. Correct.
        Traditional theology sees this as a ‘ sin of omission’. So does human decency.

    • Totally agree.
      How can anyone seriously think Jacinda Ardern and her ministers can run this country.
      They are well and truly out of their depth.
      I worry for New Zealand my place of birth.
      Their record as listed by Martyn should make them hang their heads in shame.

      • I suspect we will see what’s seen in workplaces on a daily basis, when people bullshit their way into jobs they’re not capable of doing.
        It takes a while for the fake or exaggerated CV to come home to roost.
        Eventually their incompetence, lack of results, the ongoing blame game wears thin, and they are seen for what they are.
        Next thing you know they’re gone, onto the next big thing, a step higher up the ladder.

  6. You need to write more of these types of articles. It is good to remind people what is actually happening, vs what is promoted.
    I only have one gripe with it, 🙂
    you say
    “”Labour have inadvertently set the medicinal cannabis industry up the way they have set the super market duopoly up.”” Quote end.

    I say:” Labour knew, knows and has knowingly set the medicinal cannabis industry up …………..”

    Labour has had two years to find a way to make medicinal cannabis available to the public as they found with the vaccines btw, and Labour refuses to do so.

    Thanks for writing this post. I “enjoyed” it.

  7. You can’t expect much planning and strategising from a party that sends it’s members a Christmas card (lovely photo of JA and the local MP), wishing us “best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”, post marked the 5th of January, arriving the 11th. Why bother?

  8. I do not have stats but my son in Melbourne told me his firm is desperate for staff at all levels and the HR dept is chasing staff from NZ with wages most here could only dream of .
    The down side which many forget is that though they pay tax they get nothing in return . No free hospital no unemployment kids miss out on free care unless it is life threatening . It’s a great place if you are fit healthy and in work otherwise forget it.

  9. If there is one image that is the epitome of this government, it’s the coal import image.

    Jacinda proudly proclaimed the “climate change was this generations ‘nuclear free moment’”* which brought up images of Langes Oxford ‘uranium on your breath’ debate and the flotilla of vessels large and small across the Waitemata protesting any warship entry. Jacinda was going to tackle climate change and there’s going to be some changes around here!

    And yet…she’s overseen a 4 fold increase in Indonesian dirty coal during her reign. Please just look at the graph and ask yourself “how does she sleep at night?”

    *btw not sure that she actually wrote that speech or it was written for her.

    • The increase in Indonesian coal imports was a direct result of the closing of mining in Huntly. NZ Steel needs that coal to feed its steel making process.

      Surely, if we are going to the burning the coal anyway, shouldn’t we be mining it in NZ? Keeping jobs here, making us responsible for the environmental costs etc.

  10. I think that their biggest failure is in the area of Public Trust (as in people being able to believe in them), their overt lies, incessant propaganda and media control make John Key look like a choir boy. The three Labour votes in our house are looking for a new home come the election.

    • Interesting you say that @Nicola. The 4 Labour votes in this house are also looking, and that’s after a lifetime of support with 3 of us.
      And it’s all to do with delivery (or non-delivery) and implementation. I’m not even sure they know where the roadblocks are half the time.
      A party that’s full of good intentions but NFI how to implement them. They need a decent shit kicker

  11. The “incredible Covid response” was the only one they could make. The only other option was a death toll off the grid for one very good reason. Our health system is simply too underfunded for our population. Covid has exposed systematic decades of public health underfunding. All those tax cuts didn’t come for free! Nothing comes for free!

    Currently in Canada there is concern that they have to operate a more restrictive system to cope with Covid than the US. Canada has 12 ICU beds per 100000 persons is the reason and an article I read stated a serious conversation is needed to rectify the underfunded state of their public health system.

    Imagine if they were New Zealand? About 3.5 ICU beds per 100,000 people. What would they say then? Terrifying? You bet. Jacinda knows it. They’ve always known it. They knew it in 2020 and yet did exactly nothing to improve the situation, rather it worsened.

    Hence the MIQ’s and hence she is pulling out all the stops other than serious permanant public health funding increases to stop the carnage and keep the dirty little system just the way it is. I really dont think this serendipity of unintended consequences is reason to celebrate. Especially if Omicron goes off like it has in Australia.

    Next time the Minister of Finance gloats about a surplus just question at what cost did we pay for that fiscally dry accounting award?

  12. 2017 promises to solve;
    and then …

    So what has changed? Nothing. It all has got worse!

    • We can now add the CCCFA another example of this inept Labour Government.
      The changes were intended to protect borrowers but instead has punished them.
      Poorly planned poorly executed.
      Not surprising to see the Minister in charge of this fiasco the one and only David Clark.
      After 4 disastrous years things just keep getting worse.

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