Labour dis­ar­ray not a good look



With ref­er­ence to the coun­cil adopt­ing a liv­ing wage for staff, al­though I find it com­mend­able, is it fair that only cer­tain peo­ple get wage in­creases?

It is hard enough to cover the cur­rent in­crease in rates, let alone the ex­tra it will cost for the ex­tra coun­cil wages. It will also af­fect the peo­ple who rent as land­lords in­crease rent to cover the in­creases.

Think about the many adult work­ers work­ing in Porirua who still only get the min­i­mum wage. Not all of us have em­ploy­ers who care if we have to strug­gle with ris­ing power, phone, rents, food and petrol costs. Schools are back – more ex­pense.


I must protest against the prac­tice of throw­ing chil­dren into the air,


I en­joyed the story of Dr Jean Bryson (Jan­uary 26), re­mind­ing me as it did of my early years as a New Zealand ci­ti­zen.

When Dr Jean took on the lead­er­ship of the Girl Guides for the Porirua/Plim­mer­ton/ Pukerua Bay area, I was de­lighted to be­come one of her Guide team.

She was a re­mark­able per­son – vi­brant, full of fun, and with a strong core.


I have read with much in­ter­est the dis­cus­sions on the speed cam­era in Whit­ford Brown Ave.

It is also in­ter­est­ing to learn that this par­tic­u­lar cam­era is the high­est rev­enue col­lec­tor it the coun­try.

My ques­tion is: what hap­pens to all the rev­enue col­lected from th­ese in­fringe­ments? Does it go


When I came back home from hol­i­day, I found two in­fringe­ment no­tices. De­cem­ber 21 – 58kmh; De­cem­ber 22 – 55kmh. Each was for $30, and dif­fer­ent of­fi­cers is­sued the no­tices.

Now I have re­ceived an­other two no­tices for the car war­rant of fit­ness, each is­sued in Jan­uary for $200.

My daugh­ter uses Dad’s car for her pizza de­liv­ery and that road is where she passes.

I am­go­ing to get her to write a let­ter to the po­lice ask­ing them to waive one war­rant no­tice.

Dur­ing Christ­mas pe­riod, the me­chanic where I go was closed and the car’s war­rant was done as soon as they could do it – about Jan­uary 8.

Can they is­sue two war­rant in­fringe­ments for the same car like that?

Labour’s rep­u­ta­tion as a ca­bal of bick­er­ing back­stab­bers was in full flower once again last week, as the Labour par­lia­men­tary cau­cus failed to present a co­her­ent mes­sage on the Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship, de­spite hav­ing had years of warn­ing about the deal’s likely con­tents.

Af­ter sit­ting on the fence ear­lier in the week, Labour leader An­drew Lit­tle and his cau­cus fi­nally de­cided to op­pose the TPP.

At the same time, for­mer leader Phil Goff would be per­mit­ted (a) to pub­licly ex­press his per­sonal en­thu­si­asm for the TPP and (b) to vote in the House with Na­tional, against his col­leagues.

How­ever, an­other for­mer leader, David Shearer, was told to keep his per­sonal en­thu­si­asm for the TPP to him­self, and to vote with the team.

The gen­eros­ity ex­tended to Goff was puz­zling.

Later this year Goff will not be run­ning for the Auck­land may­oralty un­der the Labour ban­ner, pre­sum­ably be­cause the la­bel would limit his cross­over ap­peal.

Cyn­ics could well con­clude that Goff’s sup­port for the TPP may be mo­ti­vated as much by his in­ter­est in se­cur­ing cor­po­rate sup­port for his may­oral bid, as by the claimed mer­its of the deal.

If Goff wins the may­oralty as ex­pected, it would trig­ger aMt Roskill by-elec­tion in which – at best – the new Labour can­di­date is likely to win with only a re­duced ma­jor­ity, given Goff’s per­sonal fol­low­ing in the elec­torate.

Such an out­come would inevitably be treated by the me­dia as a neg­a­tive judg­ment on Lit­tle’s lead­er­ship, head­ing into elec­tion year 2017.

All up then, Goff isn’t earn­ing him­self any favours.

In fact, a hard­line ul­ti­ma­tum could have con­ceiv­ably won pub­lic sup­port for Lit­tle.

Vot­ing against his col­leagues on the TPP, Lit­tle could have said, would re­sult in Goff’s au­to­matic ex­pul­sion from the Labour cau­cus. In­stead, Lit­tle ap­pears to have been held to ran­som by the divi­sions in Labour’s ranks.

This week, mem­ber coun­tries gath­ered in New Zealand to sign the TPP.

This process merely con­firms that the text be­ing signed is the same one that was ne­go­ti­ated.

Rat­i­fy­ing the deal is a quite dif­fer­ent ball­game. Canada’s new govern­ment has yet to de­cide where it stands, and the US Congress will prob­a­bly not vote on the deal in 2016, given that the TPP is op­posed by all the main pres­i­den­tial con­tenders, Democrats and Repub­li­cans alike.

Here in New Zealand, sup­port­ers and crit­ics of the deal con­tinue to talk right past one

A hard­line ul­ti­ma­tum could have con­ceiv­ably won pub­lic sup­port for Lit­tle.

an­other. Last week, the Govern­ment re­leased a Min­istry of For­eign Affairs and Trade re­port claim­ing gains of $274 mil­lion a year from the TPP, with an over­all 1 per cent gain in gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (or $2.7 bil­lion in 2007 dol­lars) by 2030 from the deal.

Con­versely, TPP crit­ics cited a 2016 US re­search study from Tufts Univer­sity, which claimed the eco­nomic mod­els that pro­duce such fig­ures rou­tinely over­state the gains, be­cause the mod­els ex­plic­itly ex­clude the job losses and wage cuts (and the sub­se­quent rise in in­come in­equal­ity) caused by the com­pet­i­tive ‘ race to the bot­tom’ that the TPP will al­legedly gen­er­ate among its mem­ber coun­tries.

Faced with the vol­leys of claims and counter-claims about the TPP, the pub­lic can be ex­cused for fo­cus­ing on the more eas­ily un­der­stood sideshow in the Labour tent.

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