Labour lay complaint over coverage of policy costings

In the weekend Labour released policy on a youth work scheme.

Labour will:

  • give unemployed young people a job for six months doing work of public value, so they can gain work experience and avoid long-term unemployment.

With an estimated 10,000 participants per year, Ready for Work will cost $60m a year.

The cost was questioned by David Farrar yesterday afternoon, and again on 1 News last night in Labour proposing to offer unemployed young Kiwis paid volunteer work for six months.

This gave fairly wide coverage of Andrew Little’s speech but criticised them for not getting their numbers right, or not being specific about what they covered (4 months on average, not 6 months).

This morning on Twitter Phil Twyford, who is heading Labours election campaign in Auckland, must have got out of the wrong side of the bed, or had a sleepless night chewing over the coverage.

. Appalled by your biased story on last night. You were fully briefed on numbers but you chose to run Nat attack line.

rubbish. We weren’t told $60m was based on avg 4 months & nowhere did it say ‘up to’ 6 months. U fudged it.

Nor were the rest of us “fully briefed”.

If you wanted detail on cost assumptions you only needed to ask. Andrea’s piece a lapse of professnl stds.

Nor were the rest of us fully briefed till we asked after Andrea’s story.

Not so. Andrea was briefed personally on modelling and assumptions. There was no mistake.Numbers do add up.


and we did ask in the standup and nobody said it was based on 4 months

I stand by the story.

Public deserves better than bias and hatchet jobs as we enter election year. Sound assumptions on costs were explained to you.

And it looks like Twyford and Labour are not letting go of this.

Labour has lodged formal complaint with TVNZ over its coverage of their youth work scheme

Donald Trump has nearly managed to pull of a great election heist by attacking the media, but I think Twyford and the New Zealand media will be quite different.

Leave a comment


  1. So, the announcement was for to 10,000 unemployed youth to get $15.86 per hour for 40 hrs work for 6 months work. And sanctions would be applied if the youth did not participate. That was what was published. The mathematics are simple, and were reported accurately. So what was stuffed up? It has to be, once again a lack of clarity by the Labour representative who announced the plan. Don’t try and blame the media this time Labour for your failure in communication!

    • They deducted current costs/benefits and allowed for tax and GST.

      But the key thing they omitted to explain was it was based on an estimated term of employment of 4 months based on overseas experience with similar schemes. They only clarified after their costings were questioned, then they got into a huff about being questioned and for being reported on incomplete information that they hadn’t provided.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  7th November 2016

        In short Labour completely blew the release of their policy… WTF were they thinking?

        • The same as previous times they have blown policy announcements? Their training levy announcement was botched and easily described as an immigrant tax.

          They have a history of not doing their homework on policy costs, and particularly on failing to predict obvious criticisms.

          • Blazer

             /  7th November 2016

            it is piss poor,dare I say…National did it too.E.g the surplus that turned out to be a …deficit…plenty more but the msm go very easy on the govt,journo jobs are hard to get.

            • Surpluses are only estimates so can easily swing beyond the Government’s control.

              But yes National have botched costings too. Bill English exaggerating the cost of paid parental leave comes to mind.

  2. This is a terrible sign from Labour. Not briefing there comrades with the right info, then getting huff that the comrades do the math and it doesn’t add up.
    The Press Secretaries need to either rein themselves in if in charge of The Twyfords twitter handle, or remove The Twyford from control of his own twitter handle.
    Ohhhh thats right Press Secs keep leaving I wonder why? Is it because they are not listened too?

  3. Poorly thought out attack by the aspiring future Leader of the Labour Party – David Cunliffe Mk11. He was enjoying a respite period of seeming almost professional to me. I’d quite forgotten what an entitled, surly and priggish man he was for a couple of weeks. I’m certain his miscalculation will mean Vance and co pay him back 10 fold. If he thinks he’ll get the better of of Ms steeped-in-NOTW-ways-of-cunning Andrea V, he will be reminded for some time that he won’t. I do hope his fit of childish pique and the payback lasts all the way until 2017.

  4. The Labour complaint lacks merit as substantiated by the Journalist’s involved. I view the complaint to be a smoke screen for the Lack of a Labour explanation about the nature of the promised sanctions for those who do not want to accept charity. What are they trying to hide?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  8th November 2016


      • Probably right ,Alan. I just wonder what Mac MacCarten is doing in Auckland, as he was clearly not in charge of the 3 stooges to get their lines right on stage. There is a lack of strong coordination of policy announcements, surely given Little’s Union background he is aware of the need to get such things right by use of forward planning and rehearsals and knowing the detail of a policy before becoming thee target for questioning? That’s why I think Alan is probably right, and what does that tell us about leadership in Labour?

        I recommend Little and his team read Wikileaks Podesta Papers to get a feel of prior planning and effective public speaking to the masses.


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