Political Roundup: Labour’s version of conservatism is no longer popular

23
1334
The face you pull after saving the country from Covid and the country are angry at you for saving them
New Zealand now essentially has two conservative major parties for the public to choose from. Unfortunately for one of them – the Labour Party – the public increasingly prefers the more authentic conservative option, National. This can be seen in the latest opinion poll showing National continuing to storm ahead of Labour.

According to last night’s Newshub-Reid Research poll, National has nearly a third more support than Labour – 41 per cent compared to just 32 per cent. As a result, Labour is currently projected to lose something like 24 of its MPs at the next election, and be turfed out of power in what could be a landslide reversal of the 2020 victory.

Five years of cautious managerialism

Labour’s five years in power have been incredibly conservative, despite the radical times. Very little in the way of far-reaching reform has been pushed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and few radical policies have actually been delivered.

Ardern and her deputy prime minister, Grant Robertson, have been incredibly cautious and limited in their ambitions while in power. They look like conservatives – happy to rule over the status quo, careful not to scare the horses, and keeping any radicalism at bay, bar co-governance reforms successfully pushed within Labour by the Māori caucus.

Throughout the Covid crisis, the Government’s main aim has rightly been “to conserve” and steady the ship. This approach won them their historic 50 per cent of the vote in 2020. But voters haven’t been won over by any reform programmes, largely because the Government hasn’t changed much, and when they have tried to implement big projects they’ve failed – from Kiwibuild through to Auckland light rail. Traditional issues for the left like inequality, housing, and poverty have been deprioritised.

- Sponsor Promotion -

Now, with a more bona fide conservative party back on the market – also promising very little change – voters looking for caution, stability and managerialism are opting for the original version – National. Why continue to support a cheap copy of conservatism (Labour) when you can have the real thing (National)?

Labour’s conservative conference and policy announcement

The Labour Party’s annual conference in the weekend was on brand for conservatism. Yet again, the theme was all about “how to govern” the status quo rather than about significant social change. “Stability” was offered as the reason to vote for Labour, pitched against the alleged “radicalism” of National. Other terms of moderation that Labour leaders like Robertson embraced at the conference were “responsible” and “balanced”.

The conference was largely devoid of any profound reforms or fresh thinking, suggesting Labour has become tired. There was the expected cheerleading and attempts to enthuse the faithful, and lots of anti-National rhetoric, but nothing to suggest the party had bold new ideas.

Of course, there was the big announcement of increased childcare support and family assistance. This was meant to combat the cost of living crisis, but in the context of just how severe the problem is, the announcement was rather underwhelming. It will cost just $189m over four years – less than $50m per year – and only starting in April next year. One journalist described it as a “tweak” in policy, another as a “morsel” rather than anything that would make a real difference to the cost of living crisis.

Even National said they supported the new spending. After all, much of the funding goes to middle class families rather than directed towards the most disadvantaged.

Does Labour actually have any new progressive or leftwing policies for dealing with the problems New Zealand is facing? Not from what we saw in the weekend. Instead, it’s all knee-jerk managerialism from the leadership.

Were there any real debates, ideological clashes, or activists pushing the party towards bolder goals? It’s hard to know because the leadership took the rather authoritarian decision to close most of the conference to the media and public. Instead, the focus was on motivational speeches aimed at keeping the faith of delegates intact, and pretending that much had been achieved in Labour’s five years in power.

Labour’s conservative campaign message: fear

Labour has indicated that it will fight the next election, not on any new programme of transformation, but just on keeping their opponents out of office. This is the ultimate conservative goal – and in fact, it’s the one that National has historically held as its core ideology. In this sense, it’s as if Labour has willingly morphed into being the “alternative National Party”.

Ardern and Robertson will attempt to stoke fears about National and its leaders being dangerous, risky, and unknown. Better the devil that you know. They have started campaigning on the basis that Labour is more responsible and better in a crisis. Hence suddenly both Ardern and Robertson have done a U-turn – instead of insisting that the economic and inflation crisis isn’t so bad, they now say the opposite. The new line is that it’s going to get worse, and that Labour are the best managers for the rocky times ahead.

It’s also a rather traditionalist campaign pitch to focus on leadership and personality as the reason to vote Labour. The big theme of the weekend was a relentlessly negative focus on Christopher Luxon, and attempts to paint him as inexperienced or lacking leadership skills. This is the ultimate conservative plea to voters. As Newshub political editor Jenna Lynch described yesterday, the Finance Minister’s name-calling campaigning was “embarrassing”, and looked “panicked and petty”.

Will Labour’s conservatism eventually win more votes in 2023? It seems unlikely. In trying to emulate National, Labour will have a difficult time trying to outdo them.

What’s more, although we live in unstable and turbulent times – which Ardern and Robertson obviously believe requires a cautious approach – there are plenty of voters who want to see big changes and a radical response rather than “business as usual”.

Last night’s poll wasn’t the only one indicating that Labour is in trouble. The party would be wise to also heed the results of last week’s Horizon Research survey which indicated that 35 per cent of the public felt “disappointed” with Ardern – another 28 per cent felt “angry” with her. Many of these people also indicated that they voted for Labour at the last election. They had expected the party to deliver change. Instead, all they are getting is “more of the same”. It’s not a winning electoral formula.

Labour is still pitching itself as a party of stability and restraint – or “National-lite”. But for voters who want an authentically conservative party, then they can just go for the real deal – Luxon’s National.

Further reading on the Labour Party Conference and Opinion Polls

Toby Manhire (Spinoff): When Norman Kirk met Liz Truss in South Auckland
Claire Trevett (Herald): After the Labour conference, the sucker punch lands in a poll (paywalled)
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Labour’s shrinking conga line
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Labour pitches vision and ability to lead past mounting challenges
Chris Trotter (Interest): Jacinda Ardern is, indisputably, New Zealand’s foremost impresario of political verbiage
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): National and ACT ahead in new poll, as Labour readies for a fight
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Newshub-Reid Research poll results disastrous for Labour – and it’s on Jacinda Ardern
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Newshub-Reid Research poll: Labour records lowest result since Jacinda Ardern became leader
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Newshub-Reid Research poll: Jacinda Ardern’s personal popularity plummets into 20s
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): New Newshub Poll – Labour Crash! National/ACT Government – Winners, Losers & Predictions
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern taking Labour’s drop in polls ‘with a grain of salt’
Michael Daly (Stuff): Defiant Ardern says Labour polling shows National and Labour ‘neck and neck’
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responds to ‘disastrous’ Newshub-Reid Research poll showing her personal popularity, Labour plummeting
Thomas Manch (Stuff): More people ‘disappointed’ and ‘angry’ with Jacinda Ardern, poll shows
Audrey Young (Herald): Rating the Cabinet – which ministers are up and which are down? (paywalled)
Emile Donovan (RNZ): Labour’s to-do list and the question of lasting reform
Richard Harman: Labour’s Pacific way (paywalled)
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Childcare subsidies to be made available to families earning higher incomes
1News: Govt’s childcare package will see fees go up – expert
Newshub: Cost of living: How Government’s childcare subsidy announcement will affect families
Glen McConnell (Stuff): Half of children to get subsidised childcare under Jacinda Ardern’s big Labour conference promise
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Sweeping expansion to childcare support announced by PM
William Hewett and Rachel Sadler (Newshub): More families to get childcare support, Working for Families tax credits boosted in cost of living package
1News: Childcare help for most families with new $190m Govt package
William Hewett and Rachel Sadler (Newshub): More families to get childcare support, Working for Families tax credits boosted in cost of living package
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Cost of living: Government’s childcare subsidy package supported by Kiwis but criticised by National
RNZ: National says government’s childcare subsidy extension ‘band-aid economics’
Herald: National’s Christopher Luxon reacts after Government’s childcare subsidy announcement
Brent Ewards (NBR): Government looks to tweak Working for Families (paywalled)
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): ‘We don’t cope’: 55,000 people have Working for Families debt
Molly Swift (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says cost of living ‘top of our agenda’, political experts believe another payment could be on the cards
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Labour’s lost the Covid card, but does it have something else up its sleeve?
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Labour reassures itself: ‘We’ve got this’
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Grant Robertson takes aim at ‘Liz Luxon’ to rally supporters ahead of 2023 general election
Claire Trevett (Herald): Labour’s Grant Robertson defends sledging of National, Luxon as close election shapes up
Anneke Smith (RNZ): ‘It’s all at stake’ at Election 2023 – Labour’s outgoing president Claire Szabó
Newshub: Jacinda Ardern ‘standing firm’ on Three Waters, hints the reform could have some changes
Claire Trevett (Herald): Jacinda Ardern on Election 2023, a swipe at Christopher Luxon, Three Waters – and when’s the wedding? (paywalled)
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Is the cost-of-living squeeze a crisis Jacinda Ardern can manage?
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Labour’s year ahead: Will it stick with unpopular policy or focus on the election?
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): The theme at the Labour Party conference was taking potshots at national

Other items of interest and importance today

PARLIAMENT; HAMILTON WEST BY-ELECTION
Max Rashbrooke (Stuff): Democracy may be in trouble, but the answer is more of it, not less
Damien Grant (Stuff): Like it or not, we’ve got a new democracy
Jessica Mutch (1News): Opinion: Why the Hamilton West by-election matters
1News: Ardern confirms she’ll make visit for Hamilton West by-election
Steve Braunias (Herald): The Secret Diary of … the Hamilton West byelection (paywalled)
Andrew Kirton (Herald): Percentages count in a byelection
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Hamilton West by-election: Gaurav Sharma ordered to remove sign saying he’s MP for Hamilton West
Adam Perse (Herald): Hamilton West byelection: Gaurav Sharma claims raid of Labour manpower as new party revealed
Herald: National Party reveals Tama Potaka as candidate
Peter Wilson (RNZ): Week in Politics: A stark assessment of threats to national security
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Beehive Diaries: Revealed: Who smashed the PM’s Kiwifruit
Stuff: Points of Order: Moral leadership, Hamilton drama and MPs singing ‘Wagon Wheel’
Bob Jones: The Kris Faafoi beat-up
Johnny Blades (RNZ): ‘A sea of tranquility’ – MPs and their groups

NZ HERALD’S REBUILDING BETTER SERIES
Isaac Davison (Herald): Rebuilding Better – the Equality Lens: How to grow the economy for all Kiwis (paywalled)
Liam Dann (Herald): Rebuilding Better: The big economic and social questions New Zealand faces (paywalled)
Claire Trevett (Herald): Rebuilding Better: One big idea – what PM Jacinda Ardern would do if money was not a factor (paywalled)
Liam Dann (Herald): If we want to rebuild better we need to change our mindset (paywalled)
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Time to put Covid in the past? Not on your life (paywalled)
Julia Gabel (Herald): Rebuilding Better: Parents struggling to make ends meet as cost-of-living crisis bites (paywalled)
Herald: More surviving than thriving’: Expert panel on how to rebuild New Zealand’s economy (paywalled)
Damien Venuto (Herald): The Front Page: Immigration, infrastructure, bickering politicians – How to fix a broken NZ
Herald Editorial: Rebuilding a better New Zealand (paywalled)
Herald: New poll reveals what Kiwis think

ECONOMY, BUSINESS, EMPLOYMENT
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Paul Goldsmith says National’s tax cut plans wouldn’t necessarily mean cuts to public services
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Yes – an economic recession is coming, rather than alienating social justice how about economic justice solidarity?
Michael Reddell: Making stuff up and misleading Parliament
Rob Stock (Stuff): Dirty secrets of debt consolidation loans revealed
Gianina Schwanecke (Stuff): The things we are going without to beat the cost of living crisis
Rebecca Stevenson (Interest): Competition regulators like NZ’s Commerce Commission may help to combat rising prices for consumers
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Mind the productivity gap: commission launches ‘helicopter’ review (paywalled)
Mike Treen (Daily Blog): Why Marx was right about capitalism needing to have periodic crises
Guy Trafford (Interest): Inefficient white-collar workers get benefits not available to blue- or grey-collar workers because bosses accept and pay for lazy work habits
Erin Gourley (Stuff): House prices, OE exodus, low immigration behind declining city populations
Bob Jones: The grim year ahead
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): Ripping the living wage bandaid off (paywalled)
Daniel Smith (Stuff): ‘This is not a crazy idea any more’: Are we on the precipice of a four-day working week revolution?
MIke Hosking (Newstalk ZB): The wage gravy train can’t last forever
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): $6Billion of National’s Tax cuts will go to the richest 5% – how does that fix the cost of living crisis?
Steve Kilgallon (Stuff): He’s a banned director and accused migrant exploiter, but still running a company
Maria Slade (NBR): Manaaki row creates ‘Streisand Effect’ tidal wave (paywalled)
1News: Professional firefighters union cancel Monday strike
Jonathan Leask (Local Democracy Reporting): Mid-Canterbury volunteer firefighters remain on duty amid union action
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Craig Renney: The union leader with Grant Robertson’s ear

ENVIRONMENT
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): COP27: The Government tells the world no more oil and gas is needed – but it can’t stop letting companies dig
Bridie Witton (Stuff): National leader Christopher Luxon under fire for carbon offset comment
Isobel Ewing (Newshub): National says Jacinda Ardern isn’t attending COP27 because she’s got ‘nothing big’ to talk about
Michael Neilson (Herald): National criticises Jacinda Ardern for missing fourth UN climate conference
David Williams (Newsroom): Your pre-COP climate denial inoculation
Rod Oram (Newsroom): Climate summit desperate and delayed
No Right Turn: Climate Change: Winning slowly
Jenny Nicholls (Stuff): Whose rights matter most? The story of a young protester kicked in the head
Morgane Solignac (Stuff): Emissions pricing plans : Fed Farmers brainstorm alternative to “bureaucratic nightmare”
Richard Walker (Stuff): Emissions impossible? How farmers are reducing their footprint
Nic Rawlence (The Conversation): Bones of contention: the West Coast whale fossil and the ethics of private collecting

THREE WATERS
Damien Venuto (Herald): The Front Page: Will Three Waters make it to the election?
Thomas Cramner: Tuku Morgan and Three Waters
Stephen Ward (Local Democracy Reporting): Tuku Morgan to head Three Waters iwi body for Auckland and Northland
Todd Niall (Stuff): Three Waters: Scottish adviser says larger-scale entities are key to success
Steve Walton (Stuff): Difficult Conversations: Your views on the Government’s Three Waters reforms
Andrew Gunn (Stuff): If Wayne Brown doesn’t like Three Waters, I’m warming to it

LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Bernard Orsman (Herald): $270m budget hole: Aucklanders set for steep rates rises unless big savings found
Steven Walton (Stuff): The $80m gap: Christchurch on track to underspend on crucial capital works
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Whangārei hapū call on council to embrace Māori world: new politicans’ pōwhiri
Maia Hart (Local Democracy Reporting): Some Marlborough Sounds roads no longer ‘sustainable’ after floods
Matthew Rosenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Abandoned San Rosa shipwreck finally removed from East Coast beach
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): How to lift participation in local elections – it’s simple but won’t happen!
Ben Bell (Southland Times): The future is here –seize the chance for local government reform
Tania Tapsell (Rotorua Daily Post): There’s a way forward, I intend to lead us there

HEALTH
1News: Up to half of Kiwi kids have rotting teeth – dentist
1News: National to keep Te Whatu Ora, tele abortion service if elected
Chris Lynch: Leaked text messages reveal extent of the staffing crisis crippling Christchurch hospital
Rachel Moore (Stuff): 20,000 people wait for surgery or first look in Waikato
Megan Wilson (Bay of Plenty Times): Tauranga Hospital: Elective surgery backlog nears 2000 as some wait years for hip replacements (paywalled)
Maryana Garcia (Bay of Plenty Times): Health worker shortage: Te Whatu Ora Bay of Plenty needs to fill 382 vacancies
Catherine Hubbard and Skara Bohny (Stuff): Long wait-times, parked ambulances and patients in the corridors in demand-surge at ED
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Meningococcal cases increasing again after disease ‘almost disappeared’ in 2020
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Southland radiology department operating without accreditation
Sophie Harris (Stuff): Woman who has to pay $115k for unfunded cancer drug asks: ‘What price is a life?’
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Kiwi diabetics competing with US consumers using vital drugs for weight loss
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Kiwis with rare disorders want faster progress on ‘life or death’ health strategy
Stephen Ward (Stuff): Pou unveiled but Hamilton health project $6.5m short, Government urged to put up pūtea
Joanne Naish (Stuff): Mental health unit could close due to ‘significant’ lack of staff
RNZ: New Canterbury mental health facility for children and teens taking shape
RNZ: Covid-19 cases likely much higher than currently reported – lab scientist

HOUSING
Felix Desmarais (Local Democracy Reporting): Rotorua emergency housing motels ads targeted Facebook users out of town
Kelly Makiha (Rotorua Daily Post): Rotorua emergency housing: Nearly $70m spent
Kelly Makiha (Rotorua Daily Post): Rotorua emergency housing: Kirsty Wiringi’s story of living in emergency housing motel
Tom Taylor (RNZ): Rotorua tourism operators say no to emergency housing extension
Carly Gooch (Stuff): ‘More and more I don’t recognise every day’: Christchurch’s rising homelessness problem
Yvonne Tahana (1News): Govt pledges $55 million for Māori land housing in Whāngarei
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): Are bank stress tests bunkum?
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand the ‘kiwi in the coalmine’ as house prices slump and repayments rise
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Why are cohousing developments failing to take off in New Zealand?

HATE SPEECH, FREE SPEECH, EXTREMISM, NATIONAL SECURITY
Janet Wilson (Stuff): Hate speech laws will only increase intolerance
Harry Peterson: The Government doesn’t have the political capital needed to pass hate speech laws
Lana Hart (Stuff): Are we becoming too scared to express our views?
Charlotte Graham-McLay (Guardian): New Zealand revamps deradicalisation program as anti-authority terror threat rises
Maryn Bradbury (Daily Blog): I refuse point blank to allow the SIS convince me my fellow Kiwi is a terrorist

TRANSPORT
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland’s public transports crisis: What’s gone wrong with bus, rail and ferry services (paywalled)
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): For want of a bus driver: tough times for Auckland Transport
RNZ: Another vacancy opens up on the Auckland Transport board
John Roughan (Herald): Transport planners need to work with, not against, the people (paywalled)
RNZ: Mt Messenger bypass: Act supports petition against project it backs
RNZ: Air NZ aims for first zero emissions aircraft to take flight by 2026

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Why an economist told ministers not to rebuild Scott Base
Bruce Munro (ODT): Global Insight: South Korea growing in influence
Gerard Hindmarsh (Stuff): Our faulty foreign policy has high costs hidden in plain sight
Sam Olley (RNZ): Ukrainians in NZ ‘feeling like they have failed’ refugees
James Haplin (Stuff): Auckland woman leaves for Moscow as police investigate Russian army fundraising

IMMIGRATION
Herald: Green Party lobbying for waiver visa for visiting Pacific people

23 COMMENTS

  1. Labour are just national policy (global, cheap labour capitalism exploiters) with more taxes for the middle class and more freebies for the woke and crims. No wonder they are falling out of favour.

  2. it’s what happens when your only ideology is focus groups….blair is a long defunct war criminal and starmer is a chocolate radiator….and look at where playing to the numpties has got the tories and the UK….playing to the gallery for temporary popularity wears thin..

  3. Come and get your free welfare while lowering wages in NZ!

    Resident visa categories reopen: What you need to know
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/what-you-need-to-know/476618/resident-visa-categories-reopen-what-you-need-to-know

    Already NZ is one of the highest mass immigration countries in the world while 30 years of low wages and unskilled labour mean that we also have one of the worst brain drains in the world.

    Lower wages than Australia and Singapore, some of the highest interest rates in the world for those who are working here to buy a house (vs those who just come to NZ and bring in the foreign money and have zero mortgage or mortgage from overseas).

    Like the fake meth levels, the so called high rents of NZ seem to be lower than most other nations. Off the back of echo chamber policy, we have hundreds of thousands living in expensive tax payer paid but grotty hotels. Hard to get a nationwide policy of more expensive rentals at lower levels of comfort, while increasing crime and violence, but they managed it!

    Can’t see equality and poverty increasing in NZ, while the world’s rich can come to NZ and buy up assets and residency while receiving free welfare from NZ taxpayers. It’s kinda the opposite of Robin Hood, where the middle class of NZ seem to be subsidising the worlds rich but unskilled, dysfunctional and crims to settle here as part of some bizarre NZ policy that makes zero sense.

    Lets face it, it can only be shameless attempts as getting a few more votes, which are ultimately backfiring as like the rentals, don’t think the majority of Kiwis are too happy about hundreds of thousands more foreign nationals able to access NZ health care, welfare, pensions and education off the back of these visa criterias so that our exploiter work culture and fake degree Ponzi can keep going post covid.

    • And INZ took the whole “1 Chinese is worth 2 Indians” comment as a ‘how to handbook’. Or more likely they drove the whole thing via their really really clever policy advice and Ministerial capture. In fact I think they probably refined it further.
      I Brit is worth ………
      1 American or Canadian is worth ……
      Anyone from the African Continent and refugees are worth shit, and anyone from South America should be ranked only slightly higher.
      Even returning Maries who’ve been absent for most of their lives should appear fairly low down in the rankings, and preferably they should be assigned an immigrant case manager to deal with their right to return home.
      It comes when you treat people merely, and primarily as economic units

    • forget welfare it’s a small bill as you know well snz….now let’s get tax bludgers who live off everyday kiwis and covid embezzelers you might get a decent return on effort.

  4. Wokesafe prosecuting the helicoptor heroes of White Island while ignoring migrant deaths another example of why people no longer trust government and their agencies to have any sense of justice or morality.

    White Island eruption: WorkSafe charges against Kahu NZ helicopter company ‘silly’ – owner
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/12/white-island-eruption-worksafe-charges-against-kahu-nz-helicopter-company-silly-owner.html

    Meanwhile after killing an illegal migrant worker who never paid any taxes in NZ, wokesafe did not prosecute, police did not prosecute and ACC after receiving zero levies paid out to a relative in China! Great to know you don’t need to work legally, pay taxes or be safe in NZ migrant led wokeplaces anymore! Taxpayers will pay out, union leaders will intervene and help keep the cash/killer economy going!

    Illegally working overstayer dies on the job – ACC payment made to widow in China
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/illegally-working-overstayer-dies-on-the-job-acc-payment-made-to-widow-in-china/OWADEJMGCUYM36WLF6YNKUA2SE/

    “Du praised Worksafe NZ’s approach to the investigation as “very professional”.

    “They’re amazing,” she said.

    “My husband worked himself to the bone for his employer, who did nothing for us, for our family, in the aftermath of his death.

    “If he had we could at least try to understand his situation and difficulties, but he didn’t care about us.”

    Worksafe NZ’s investigation report found Yu was working as a builder under the umbrella of a company called Star Echo Ltd (SEL), which was the latest in a string of subcontractors hired to develop the Hobsonville house site.

    Although Zheng Jinghui was director of Star Echo, the discussions and work was taken on by “a very experienced and highly regarded builder in the Chinese building community”. Yu was among those hired to build the house.

    On the day of Yu’s death, he had climbed to an incomplete first floor to work in an area where struts were temporarily pinned by only two nails. A co-worker nearby turned when hearing timber moving and watched Yu “trying to regain his balance”.

    Yu “tried to grab at some joists but wasn’t able to hold on”. He fell feet first through to the ground floor 2.9 metres below, landing on a concrete slab. “As he fell back his head struck a piece of timber that was located on the ground.” Yu was declared dead in hospital two days later.

    The investigation report found Star Echo had three previous interactions with Worksafe NZ with faulty and incomplete scaffolding cited in each instance. The company had received notices compelling improvement from Worksafe NZ but was not prosecuted.

    In this case, there was a recommendation to prosecute the company for removing equipment and tools from the building site before either police or Worksafe NZ arrived in the aftermath of the accident.

    The investigation found Yu was 45 when he died with no visa allowing him to legally work in New Zealand after arriving on a 30-day visitor visa in 2015.

    Du told Worksafe NZ her husband paid $30,000 in China for legal work in New Zealand but realised on arriving here that he had been duped. After paying $1800 to another contact, Yu was connected with the builder who was overseeing work at the Hobsonville site.

    Yu had been living with and working for the builder over three years, who said he had “no knowledge of his salary or other working conditions” which were agreed with Star Echo. The company said it had never received an invoice from Yu for his work.

    Worksafe NZ identified a number of areas at the construction zone that posed risks where workers could fall from a dangerous height. It emphasised the need for builders to protect workers where falls were a risk.

    “If a suitable ‘working at height’ control measure had been in place prior to the incident, the death of this worker could have been prevented.”

    Worksafe NZ found there was “public interest” in prosecuting Star Echo for removing equipment and tools from the building site. It also said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Star Echo over a “breach in relation to its primary duty of care” to Yu as a worker.

    That decision to prosecute was downgraded to a warning letter in April. Worksafe NZ’s specialist investigations boss, Simon Humphries, said the decision was made in the shadow of the pandemic.

    “This is because there was a greater public interest in Covid-19, amongst other reasons, and the offence by SEL was at the less serious end of the scale, as we only would have prosecuted for failure to preserve the site, not for the incident itself.”

    • China has an interesting concept in sentencing called “death penalty with reprieve”. If you commit a very serious crime, like getting a worker killed and then trying to cover it up, you are officially issued a death penalty, but if you behave in prison and refrain from committing further crimes, it is converted to a life sentence. You may even receive parole if you turn your life around. Would have been appropriate there.

    • snz the failure to regulate industry causes the problem…capitalists of every ethnicity will always choose the cheapest way and if people die people die…our light touch/no touch regulation is at fault

  5. Labour’s cost of living solution is half arsed — here is some money for poor families, and their kids…nice, the rest of the poor? — Piss Off!!

  6. Oranga Tamariki becoming a disaster for NZ kids. From letting down numerous kids and teens being found murdered and disabled on their watch to wasting time on critical race theories and taking abused kids away from permanent homes based on a race criteria. Then returning kids to abusive homes, not having any normal policy in place to check on kids wellbeing when parents are put in jail, where they are disabled or murdered. Too many mistakes and NZ government policy more interested in some fake pizza delivery worker shortage on minimum wages than our own kids being abused which has being making world headlines for years. Getting rid of child commissioner step in the wrong direction.

    • Indeed!
      So having alienated the precariat (i.e. those that were inclined to vote, rather than just go for escapist misery), they proceeded to alienate the reasonably well-educated muddle class – ON TOP of those they’d already treated like shit during the height of the pandemic:
      – gig workers (courier drivers, uber drivers, food deliverers, volunteers)
      – nurses, immigrant doctors, workers wiping geriatric bums
      – emergency service personnel
      etc.
      And btw, that RB pratt above seems to think ‘conservatism’ (with a little ‘c’, and neo-liberalism are mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand.
      We’re running out of labels tho’ : post-xxx and neo-xxx have already been taken so I suspect we’ll need a committee and a PR bullshit and marketing team of “US”, after a series of online surveys and meetings to dream up somethink neo-new (in this space). In fact we could even devise a tertiary education course and rip another round of immigrunts off to earn a billion or two in the ‘export education ‘space’.
      INZ could even create another queue.

  7. “Conservatism”? What sort of conservatism hands over control of the country’s water to unelected iwiocracy, criminalizes parents who are reluctant to support medicalization of their child’s gender dysphoria, and chooses a belligerant political activist to head a centre for research into “violent extremism”?

    • An incompetent type?
      There is nothing conservative about the current Labour party. They have spent money at an entirely unsustainable rate.
      The problem is that they are so utterly incompetent, that it doesn’t matter how much money they spend they still can’t achieve decent outcomes.

      • Tell that to the health( nurses still negotiating) and teaching sectors, whom have had the biggest increase in salaries in history, that they can’t achieve decent outcomes.
        But I guess you haven’t done your homework, just more baseless right wing rhetoric!

    • the type that is preparing those water resources for sale to foreign investors pope, THAT kind of conservatism.

  8. You’ve got to watch this. It wouldn’t matter where I placed my comment with this link. It’s a must watch no matter what you’re doing or what you think you know.
    The masquerade we think of as our politics isn’t politics. It’s neoliberals toying with our lives for their wealth creation. Labour, national, act, greens, etc etc…? They’re all neoliberal. And that means, you and you and me mean nothing to them, to those who now rule our lives and have done for more than 38 years. We, therefore, should remember that when voting for the fuckers or are trying to work out why a beautiful, rich country can barely support a scant few five million people while now nine multi billionaires swank about in all their arrogant laziness. my personal opinion is that our neoliberals have connections to the neoconservatives and they, in turn, have links to the mafia. Isn’t it mad to suspect that.
    https://youtu.be/wfXIJd5J_VA
    105,671 views Nov 7, 2022
    “Here is my conversation with Professor Jeffery Sachs, we discussed many controversial topics like Ukraine war, Media Lies & Wuhan Lab Leak. If you want to see more click the link below…”
    Watch Full Episode Here: https://rumble.com/v1r3zay-jeffrey-sa

  9. It’s just astounding how the Labour leadership keep completely misreading the room. Sinking in the polls and guaranteed to hit the 20’s in no time they are sticking to they’re trademark tinkering.

    I agree that the cost of living policy will barely make a difference if at all. A complete non event! A whole $4 per week extra, from April 2023 for the Best Start top up? Really? Stop it, that’ll buy a bottle of milk. Well almost!

    But the whole co-governance agenda kept well away from the public, now that is radical. Not at all what we thought we were getting from Labour and never mentioned once in the lead up to both the 2017 & 2020 elections. I can only assume they were just too proud of it to share with the rest of us!

  10. Labour should be listening to their grassroots, not communication and PR pundits like Clint Smith and Neale Jones.

    They won’t though, they will continue on with Three waters and listening to woke Wellington bellends and get obliterated next year.

    Reap what you sow Labour.

Comments are closed.