Labour centrists cut the path to death by a thousand cuts

Labour centrists think they are so clever. Poor Carmel Sepuloni was hung out to dry over her very reasonable stated position to repeal National’s punitive benefit stop if the beneficiary has a warrant issued for their arrest.  Most warrants are issued for unpaid fines for traffic or parking infringements, and almost nobody poses a risk to public safety. Carmel has the real concern that this impacts the beneficiaries children most of all. But Labour has decided not to follow through with the repeal. The media pointed out the child harm.
Clearly some Labour centrists are concerned that a repeal will make them look soft on crime and worried National will bull horn that. The problem with being so focused on optics rather than your principles is they have just damaged Labours brand integrity which Jacinda has wonderfully built up as based on kindness. Labour now looks as callous and as stupid as National.  And on this point the centrists are.
Optics are an imagined outcome not the real practical consequence this law has on some children. Centrists are more frightened by their own shadows rather than looking for ways to lead on a principled position.
For example, this law under Labour applied to about 4,000 cases. Under National it was about 2,000. This can indicate that National wasn’t properly resourcing the department so they weren’t able to pick up and identify the cases. So National was just window dressing tough on crime but in reality they weren’t prepared to fund it. National’s money is not where its mouth is.
Or how about, this is only 4,000 cases a year for people who aren’t violent criminals. A strong focus on such a small number drives up administrative complexity and cost which wastes tax dollars. And rather than making society safer it could drive financial desperation and some could resort to crime to look after their family.
And this law shows National is the party of petty. Agonising and law making to punish tiny numbers of poor people is not going to drive the economy to greater heights, or lift our society to greater standards of care and safety.  Wouldn’t it be a more effective to focus on the small number of the most wealthy and get more tax audits on them, or stronger laws around their economic behaviour.
So our labour centrist heroes self harm once again. But they will push on and tell everyone it’s only a flesh wound. Just like how they must surely now see the colossal economic stupidity they have built into the affordable housing crisis. Ruining our historic cities for no gain in affordable housing. Stoically they keep going forward, without a leg to stand on; to admit an error is political suicide; but small cuts don’t matter?
Centrists leadership fails. Have the courage to change your decision and repeal this harmful to children benefit stop law.  In fact Jacinda should kick some arse over this.   Repeal the absurd policy changes that are designed to destroy our historic cities because the changes as proposed can never bring about affordable housing. Kick several over this.


  1. Just one point : “ Ruining our historic cities for no gain in affordable housing “ is tragically true, but it may also be part of the onslaught against our cultural heritage, the whole tapestry of our cultural heritage, for reasons which aren ‘t clear to discern, and are not ‘transparent’.

    By now, it is surely self-evident that the PM simply stating something doesn’t make it so, apart perhaps from reporting that she baked scones for a visiting pop star, invited him over for tea.

    • basic what do we need nice leafy views for nimbys or houses….and yes that is the choice…if pakeha cultural heritage consists of just a ‘a white picket fence’ then it’s fucked.

  2. It is a bloody disgrace. Just another thing to put a cross by they said they would do and haven’t. Ridiculous and punitive, bash them whilst they are down.

    And what are they doing about the billions that are not paid in taxes every year. ZILCH!

  3. Stephen , they (Labour) have had 6 years+ to sort out Social Welfare via Carmel Sepuloni….the sad truth is Carmel is out of her depth — she, Sepuloni, was promoted to Cabinet for diversity reasons…not merit…and it shows.

    • Social Welfare needs more funding, that cant happen unless Labour increases taxation.
      I was surprised they didnt get onto this in their first term but then they also did a review into poverty with 24 recommendations resulting and Labour hasnt started any of them and not lifted a finger to change the tax rates.
      The way they act now is as if they’re more centre right than left. Trying to pander for more right wing votes to stay in power at the expense of their left wing voting base.

  4. If Labour were concerned about harmful consequences for children, then Sepuloni and Arden wouldn’t be abolishing the best voice which vulnerable children have ever had, the Commissioner for Children.

    Labour looks as callous and stupid as National because they are as callous and stupid as National. Optics aren’t the PM’s strongest point, but not for want of trying. The optics alone, of abolishing the Commissioner for Children, are brutally graphic. The optics of baking scones for hungry kiddies – I mean baking scones for Ed Sheerhan – were to impress younger voters, the ones working in crappy underpaid jobs, with student loans, and diminishing hopes of permanent homes. But Sepuloni shouldn’t dare play the victim after what she’s done.

  5. ” In fact Jacinda should kick some arse over this ”

    The only time I have ever seen her kick arse was over reforming the gun laws. The rest is all entertainment and marketing which is more suited to the average idiot Kiwi voter and her international self admiration society.

  6. Well the way the polling is going. They seem like theyre fuck’d. Nothing but another ‘Big Bribe’ might swing it?

    They should akshully team up with the Nat’s in 2023 to form a Grande Coalition! That would be definitely a move that ensures that their shitty polices survive.

  7. Good comment Stephen but so painful. It pains the heart and the rational brain to read the truth and facts about Labour and apparently tne Centrists have it. That should mean that there would be balanced viewpoints. But unfortunately there is no steel in their backbone, soggy toilet paper is not good for delivering on the hard tasks. They may have been handed Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, but as Monty Python says…

    “Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”
    ― Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  8. So to be clear, people on a benefit incur a parking or traffic fine, meaning they have a car and the means to fuel it but don’t care to park it legally or meet the same driving and vehicle standards as everyone else – and then don’t pay the fine.

    These are only some of the people on the benefit by the way; there must be cases of people on benefits who incur a fine and pay the fine. As well as people on benefits who don’t incur fines at all.

    There are also people not on benefits but on fixed incomes who if they incur fines pay the fine. They also pay tax to fund the people on the benefit who don’t pay the fine.

    I don’t see anything in your article about being fair to these two categories of people. Instead its the same old trope about further taxing the “wealthy” – the people who are actually already paying the vast proportion of tax in New Zealand.

    The people who pay their fair share and pay their fines just don’t want to see others get off without some accountability. National knows that this sense of fairness is where votes are.

    Perhaps the Left commentariat can come up with a method that isn’t just once again the “no consequences, someone else (who is doing it hard) will pick up the costs of your poor choices” policy.

  9. I have never seen the appeal of Jacinda but to date she was just a politican on the other side of the fence but more and more she is becoming unlikeable as the leader of the country . She came in with so much hope for the underdog but their lot is getting worse . High rents are effecting all levels of society but if you do the figures the income for most landlords is not great due to all the new regulations so they are not investing in more homes for tenants at the same time state houses are not keeping pace either .

  10. Wrote to Carmel once. Told her about the situation I have found myself in, disabled, married, she earns too much so I dont get a benefit. the level of discrimination out there ect, all the things that create poverty.
    Her reply was a regurgitation of all the failed attempts I had made in the past trying to get help as if writing that letter was helping me.
    They’re all the same, they dont care.


  12. So, to be clear, you are waiting to see another government repeal these issues that National / Act opposed?

    10 days sickleave (increased by 5 days)
    26 weeks paid parental leave
    Restored meal and rest breaks
    Strengthened collective bargaining
    Extended protections for vulnerable workers to include security
    Workers in “triangular” relationships can challenge both bosses.
    Limited 90 day trials to small workplaces
    Matariki holiday
    Bereavement leave now includes miscarriage (Greens)
    Domestic violence leave (Greens)
    Screen workers restored rights to collectively bargain
    Minimum wage increased from $15.75 to $21.20 per hour since 2018
    Living Wage applies to contract workers in government departments
    Equal Pay Amendment Act passed
    Historic pay equity settlements – many more underway.
    Fair Pay Agreements making their way through parliament.


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