Why Gareth Hughes is so right about the failure of Labour


Gareth Hughes preaching some heavy truth…

40 years on, it’s time to reboot the economic system that got us into this mess

Enough time has passed that we can now state that poverty, inequality and pollution aren’t bugs – they are in fact features of the system.

With our own election less than 100 days away, is anyone questioning this broken “business as usual” economy and proposing to install a new operating system?

After leading the revolution in the 1980s and early 1990s, Labour and National pivoted to become its guardians.

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Successive governments saw their role as guaranteeing low government spending, low government debt and low taxes, without upsetting an economic apple cart built on high house prices, high migration and high emissions.

By and large they achieved, and have maintained the status quo at the expense of all of us.

Even with a once-in-a-generation parliamentary majority and the spark of reformist zeal, real change was constrained by the post-1984 operating system.

Experts were asked what would end child poverty and the bare minimum was done rather than tax wealth.

Reviews and reports were delivered instead of modern water infrastructure, light rail or getting Wellington moving, to keep debt below an arbitrary limit.

Reorganisations in health, water, polytechs and public broadcasting bureaucracies were pitched as drives for cost-saving efficiencies and marginal improvements rather than transformational changes that would significantly improve health, clean water, education and access to New Zealand stories. Is it any surprise they had so few enthusiastic backers?

Unfortunately, the lesson Labour took from plunging polling was that the public was tired of change full stop. I think the real message was that people were frustrated with hearing about poverty, a housing crisis and a climate emergency without seeing change.

…Gareth is 100% right.

We voted Jacinda in for transformative change, yes Covid happened and over turned the apple cart, but Labour’s innate caution and refusal to step out of the neoliberal economic straightjacket and actually reform NZs capitalism has failed.

Time and time again, from the Housing industry, the drainage industry, the Supermarket duopoly, we are not regulated capitalism in a way that creates real change, innovation and dynamism.

Labour didn’t expect to win 2017 and they didn’t expect to win an MMP majority in 2020, so they’ve had no real 100 day legislative agenda to ram through and as such have been stymied ever step by the Wellington Bureaucracy who are beholden to the Professional Managerial Class consultants who ensure the big part of town always have the upper hand in the market.

Instead of proper investment from revenue created by taxing the rich, Government has spent more money on social engineering media campaigns and a re-arranging of the Bureaucratic structures behind the Ministries to direct funding rather than actually funding the Ministries properly in the first place!

Chippy’s attempt to drag Labour out of ideological virtue signalling cul de sacs to focus on bread and butter issues is admirable, but meaningless if no one can afford the bread and butter!

If Labour refuse point blank to regulate NZ Capitalism properly, the big boys will continue to rule at the expense of small businesses.


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    • The editor of the Dominion Post must have been on vacation the day they let that one get through!

      Gareth’s criticisms are equally applicable to the Greens. I suspect that is why he is no longer a member.

      However, the solutions he is proposing are still the same old Club of Rome, neo-Malthusian claptrap: opposition to economic growth, and making underpopulated areas even more underpopulated. Worse still, he specifically demands the state double down on racially-divisive black nationalism.

      The (legal) corruption of the existing political parties is making a new Third Party inevitable. Both social democrats and populist conservatives have nobody to vote for, and they will never be allowed to elect a new leader of any existing party (Labour has essentially abolished their already gerrymandered leadership elections).

      • malthus will ultimately be proved correct. maths and physics don’t care one iota about a brown smudge on the surface of a hot rock orbiting a burning ball of gas.

        • Malthusian theory is undisputed…… but Malthus was limited by his understanding of geology and abundance that result from innovation.

          If he had a second stab at it he would qualify his theory to include the “innovative abundance theory” that has become so evident over time.

      • I agree Gareth doesn’t offer any solutions.Typical Green argument
        Criticism with no solutions.

    • It’s amazing Rat in a cage that anyone including Labour’s ardent followers could vote for them.
      They have trampled all over the traditional Labour voter,departed from the principles of the Labour Party.
      What would MJS make of this lot?

  1. Labour is ‘sort-a’ socialist party but without the courage or competence to change much except pronouns and departments’ titles to te reo.

      • lol.. and yet we have outrage from the lord baron peasantry at a bit of social tinkering.

        • You identified it correctly, it’s tinkering where we need a wholesale re-thinking of how we run business. No pun intended. And these far left corporate stooges are not socialist because otherwise they would not be tinkering of the fraying edges for show – dawn raid appologies anyone?, they would actually be building housing, hospitals and schools, build a public transport system that is not falling apart and unaffordable, etc etc etc.

      • No they are political opportunists only.
        Have no direction,have no ideas,have no talent,an empty pool.

        • It will be interesting to see how Hipkins and Labour roll back this setback.

          I predict that there will be a major tax reform election policy rolled out by Labour. They intended to roll it out as late as possible, based on polling results.

          The policies that they have come up with are hard to defend and promote and it was their intention to string it out at a time when there is only time for accolades and no critical analysis.

          Labour should grow a pair, announce and defend their policy so that we can have a true contest of ideas to be tested by the electorate in October.

  2. The excuse Labour didn’t expect to win says Labour’s policy’s we voted on were just made up bullshit and their MP’s present at those times were morons paid to eat their lunch. And that, sadly, pretty much sums the situation up!

    To have a 100 day plan expects you to have ministers who know how to build and create things. As it transpired, Labour had zip, nil, 0! Just aged uni students, people who ticked identity boxes, union hacks and a deaf amateur stock broker.

    But look, credit where credits due, they emptied the jails, a roaring success it’s been and even better they’ve worked hard to keep them empty. Just don’t ask how they did it, you really wouldn’t want to know and ignore the collateral societal damage.

    But on reform? Stop the bus (that may not turn up) Gareth, you’re wrong. They’ve tried to sneak through massive change however, constitutional change they never mentioned a whisper of to the electorate not once, (can’t imagine why), until busted by ACT, and toiled deep in the shadows to implement it. Willie, their only competent Minister, should win the equivalent to a CIA operative of the decade! Labour ever so casually ending one person one vote is equivalent to a regime change coup d’etat unannounced apart from a casual McAnulty drawl to say “we nailed it”. Take note Yevgeny Prigozhin, you just need weapons grade duplicity and “kindness”, not tanks!

    So with that, fuck Labour. Promise what you like, no one except the terminally sensory challenged will listen, you are full of shit incompetent frauds. You will not be missed!

    • X-ray Yes. If Labour didn’t expect to win, then why were they in the race at all ? If they didn’t think that they’d have to do anything, they let the punters down badly, and they should sod off.

    • You really have a bee in your bonnet about wanting to expand the carceral state, dont you.

      I would rather have more schools, hospitals and state houses.


      • We just need to get rid of the recidivist violent offenders & meth dealers that clog our prisons and channel that wasted money into things that actually benefit our society. Simple.

        • Correct Erik but being so simple the Labour Government and their supporters can’t get it.

      • We all want that millsy, we all want that! But do you seriously believe this bunch of kunst can or will deliver that? They won’t deliver any fucking thing. There is way too much evidence of total and utter incompetence at all levels. And Chippie and Jacinda are behind a lot of it. So stop repeating yourself over and making yourself looked brainwashed. Unless you really are? Are you drowing in Chapinda Kool-aid?

    • Comment of the week XRay.
      So easy to destroy the world’s oldest liberal democracy if you bribe the idiot mainstream media.

  3. Unfortunately concentration of wealth in this country isn’t a myth. We also have underfunded sectors such as health and education which have led to strikes. This should really speak out at us. Strikes should be rare. Until the tax system is restructured, allowing for a Mansion Tax, an Asset Tax, Inheritance Taxation, and possibly a Financial Transactions Tax, these and other issues will crop up.

    • Daniel, this government has literally wasted tens of millions of dollars, hundreds in fact with nothing to show for it that could have gone into health and education. Bike bridge, light rail, RAT kits, the school lunch project to make but a few. The money is there, or was, just stop idiots like this lot treating it as a bottomless unaccountable money pit!

      • Yes wealth through thrift is not something the Labour Government understands.
        Obscene waste of other people’s money is their speciality.

  4. To vote Labour back in would give the message that the voters are happy with the current failure to curb poverty,crime ,lack of housing ,poor health and education outcomes . I believe National learnt from their lose in 2017 and will be more aware of the voters needs if they win the election this time around. It will be close so it is important to vote whatever the choice you make .

    • Why dont you just admit that you want the guts ripped out of our public services?
      You havent answered my question as to whether workers deserve payrises or not.
      DO you own rental property? If so, did you put your rent up this year,. if yes, then you are a hypocrite.

      • Workers deserve pay rises if they work harder or smarter and make more money for their boss . At the moment wages are going up to stop workers leaving and they need more to get the same purchases so no one is benefiting especially the client and the employers.
        I have been a landlord and charged the rate suggested by my agent.I sold both places due to my poor health and not wanting extra worries .If I had rentals now the rent would have to increase to pay increases in mortgages and rates and insurance all high due to the poor management of this government

    • just to watch Conservatives lose their minds is enough for me, although if you believe Luxon will deliver anything other than increases in the price of shelter, most of them have already.

  5. The Chipster has sold out on the most devout Labour supporters again.
    His support base have been sacrificed,yet again, in his goal to win the election at any cost.
    He has betrayed the core principles of the Labour Party.

    • Just as National and Act are willing to lie their way into power at any cost. It’s in their DNA think U.S. Fox News and the Dominion voting machines.

    • As a far right winger Bob, what are Labours core principles ( that you would never ever vote for).

    • Not at any cost, that’s National and ACT’s domain as evidenced by the very wealthiest and the donations required to buy an election.

  6. Oh, for fucks sake! When I read gareth morgans tripe I’m reminded of white wash. Both white, lumpy and can’t be swallowed.
    What’s it going to take? Dr Who in his Tardis to take you mopes back to 1984? Read this, and spend much of that time reading between the lines. https://teara.govt.nz/en/labour-party/page-4
    The National Party were going full Leach on our primary AGRARIAN industry and Lange would have seen that as a dire threat to our economy overall and our fellow AO/NZ’ers in particular. You will surely realise that douglas would have marketed his moves to the rich and infamous by promising them first feet in the trough as public infrastructure and resources became available for purchase. At below market value of course. You have an opinion on that graeme hart? Richest Kiwi-as individual with a personal wealth of now about 10 billion.
    He, Lange, saw roger douglas as a personal friend but who was, in fact, a back stabbing, manipulative rat who’d strayed from the Kiwi-As woodpile.
    It was because of rogers over all treachery that Lange quit his position as Prime Minister in an act of honour as he warned he would if douglas was allowed to return to caucus. Of course, douglas had already gathered about him his minions in waiting. Douglas performed a pantomime by dramatically resigning as finance minister only to return as minister of finance after caucus invited him back. I stopped the truck I was driving for a living to listen to him do so live on RNZ.
    David Lange deserves Capitals for his name. He was an honourable fellow in a similar vein to Norman Kirk. Lange, like Kirk, had the interests of the common person at heart. douglas only had the smell of other people’s money in his piggy nostrils.
    It’s incorrect, completely incorrect in fact and dangerously misleading to confuse this post rogers neo-labor with old socialist oriented Labour. It’s dangerous because it derails any investigative narrative to find out exactly what the fuck’s going on with our politics and our economy.
    Surely, by The Daily Blog’s own statistics, 14 multi-billionaires, 3118 multi-millionaires with individual wealth exceeding $50 million each and four foreign owned banks stealing $180.00 in net profits a second out of our agrarian exports earning economy is enough to show that our politics and our economy is entirely rigged. Our politics is a buckled bullshit story and our economy, our true economy remains hidden under and behind corruption and skullduggerous bullshittery.
    Gareth Morgan fails in one area. ( Or has he…? )
    He fails to understand that rogernomics has done what it set out to do and that is that the Players are now so fucking rich they’re likely untouchable, unless they’re caught with child porn on their lap tops like brierly was.
    Neoliberal economics wasn’t something that seemed like a good idea at the time. It was what it was, and still is what it started out to be. A fucking con job. And never, ever forget, it was the national party and it’s cadre of crooks who were behind the whole fucking rotten shit show. After old Labour was hollowed and reduced to a Zombie party shambling along sniffing at the money while roger started ACT and ACT are up the Natzo’s and there they are, to this day, attracting the terminally stupid and the greedy. Lange and Kirk are dead and roger douglas is a healthy 85.
    A public, Royal Commission of Inquiry urgently please.

            • Sorry BB that would be me. Blob doesn’t like me ever since I outed him, when he arrogantly promoted his pedophile Dulwich school upbringing.
              It appears Blob has done so well with his life he likes to let everyone know just how well, pretending to live next door to millionaires, owning multiple properties, being an upstanding citizen etc. But as you point out every one of his posts are Bullsh…read anyone one of his posts and he provides no evidence, it’s just rinse and repeat, Labour worst blah, blah ‘blah and it shows his immaturity in not being able to make adult conversation.
              Which begs the question why would someone that has such a high opinion of himself need to denigrate others, my view is he is insecure.
              Why he never misses an opportunity to disparage others for having a different opinion to his hard right wing views and beliefs that border on hysterical. Just notice the amount of comments he posts, most if not all of them embarrassing.
              To summarize, he has slagged Labour, TPM, the Greens and now Gareth Hughes and then promotes Luxon and National whom haven’t achieved anything notable. It’s quite clear he is just a right wing troll. No problem with right wing views, I quite enjoy Trevor’s point of view at times, because his views are not infantile and are based on common sense.
              looking forward to the election where I believe TPM will be king maker judging by recent polling.

    • Oh my goodness countryboy, I agree with every word you said. Douglas ,Prebble et.al used and abused David Lange’s popularity to stuff us all in NZ for ever. Here we are again at the tipping point of a NACT government from which there will be a point of no return. Once again the working class will become the failed neoliberal trickle down experiment. The workers will be allowed to be used and abused with Seymour wagging Luxon’s tail. We will be down the road to selling assets, privatization , cuts to public services, austerity for some .All in the name of greedy tax cuts for the rich ( hence all the mega rich donors these are not donations they are bribes ) The ignorance of the gullible will be lulled into a world of pain under the false banner of liberty. The racist elements will be in their element. With Luxon and Seymour representing NZ on the world stage we will become a laughing stock aka. Johnson, Trump say no more.

  7. Chippie takes a hit for the team.

    1984 Trickle Down is introduced.

    As well as imposing GST on working people, massive tax cuts given to the big end of town. And large and profitable public services are privatised so that rich people can make even more money off them.

    2023 Labour leader agrees to lose the election to preserve trickle down.

    Because he knows if he lets the rich keep their wealth, it will trickle down.

    What a guy.


  8. What is labour going to achieve in a fourth term that they haven’t already had nine years to do? Their leader has regressive policies and little in the way of a clear vision. My understanding of it is that he’s already ruled out a Capital Gains Tax and has no plans to tax wealth, despite the covid-19 pandemic transferring an unprecedented amount of taxpayers money to the rich in the form of business subsidies. Surely now is the time to get some of those funds back for the majority from the minority rich.

    • ‘they haven’t already had nine years to do? ‘
      Very good…as you have N.F.I…can’t take you seriously.

  9. Sounds like Gareth is proposing a 3 child policy Abit like Cinas 1 child policy, Instead of a 6 or 8 child policy.

    Because kids are really expensive and the more u have the greater the impact on the environment.

  10. As an example of idiotic waste, when labour took over in 2017 Mid Central Health had a ratio of 2.1 admin to 1 health worker.

    By 2023 that had changed to 6 to 1 and we wonder why people’s surgeries are being delayed.

    We have plenty of money we just have imbeciles spending it.

    • Actually Gary there are many managers in mid central who should be put out to pasture. There are people there who will actively sabotage any changes to their cosy little kingdoms. Probably this is the case in the majority of hospitals in NZ and unfortunately until these people are turfed out not much will change. I look forward to the day when certain people at mid central lose their jobs to let more liberal minded people in who will embrace the changes needed for real success. Remember the reasons for the new authority was because hospitals were failing and constantly in the red and there were no consequences for these failures in management, I say no more.

  11. So intractable is the question of Child Poverty that even 300+ working groups couldn’t fix it. LOL

    Could it be that the image above portrays the poor themselves? A professionally hapless underclass bred on open ended welfare whose first instinct in every circumstance is to put their hands out for more.

    The only solution for that problem is to stop enabling them.

    • Not at all, the only solution is to give those that want it a keo to escape and I think we’d all agree that is education.

      The current system isn’t working for a number of reasons yet rather than fix it the current lot are ideologically fixated on dumbing it down se we “look” like we’re doing something rather than get back to basics including self respect rather than identity issues and race baced drivel.

      Learn maori by all means if want and even learn the culture if you want but first learn the basics so you can function in a modern world rather than an orchestrated backwards looking tribal one.

  12. Who as Minister of Education destroyed education?
    Gosh the Chipster,our unelected Prime Minister.

    • Gosh it was Hekia Parata, the one and only. Not our outstanding P.M. Chris Hipkins.

  13. While we are evaluating pollies and looking for our stool pigeons for our dovecote; if we can fit them into our shoebox (shades of the 4 Yorkshiremen), take a look at Gareth Hughes on Jacinda Ardern.

    I think we need to be so cool in our thoughts this election when we have so little to be enthusiastic about and Gareth’s opinion is balanced and positive about Jacinda. So if we can follow that approach past our feelings of frustration it would be helpful.

    Not in the same pantheon as Richard Seddon or Peter Fraser for their impact on the country, but high up on the next tier. She brought in a universal child payment for parents; ushered in Fair Pay agreements for workers; healthy home standards for renters; winter energy payments for a million Kiwis; New Zealand History into the curriculum; free school lunches and period products for students, and a policy foundation for climate action.

    Labour’s website documents a list of achievements much longer than this, but the last five years have felt like running from crisis to crisis struggling to take a breath. So it’s perhaps even more remarkable that she was able to deliver as much as she did.

    What other Prime Minister outside of wartime has had to deal with so much and then, did it so well? We can point to thousands of New Zealanders who are alive today because of her bold, swift actions and leadership over Covid.

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