Q+A – foreign land buyers, Trump refugees

This morning on NZ Q & A:

Land sales to overseas buyers are on the rise – should New Zealanders be concerned?

This looked at foreign purchases of large land areas, especially around Queenstown and Hawea.

The Minister responsible (Land Information), Mark Minister, was then interviewed.

Also, seeking refuge from Trump’s America. Rebecca Wright reports from the US-Canada border. Watch her extraordinary story.

Plus, Sir Lockwood Smith sits down with Emma Keeling as he finishes up as NZ’s High Commissioner to the UK.

And our panel: Dr Claire Robinson, Robert Reid and Jamie Whyte

Claire Robertson has predicted Labour failure this year based on polls last year, Robert Reid is a unionist who strongly supports Labour and their more leftward leanings, and Jamie Whyte failed to make Parliament in 2014 as ACT’s leader.

The panel was hopeless on foreign ownseship, except for jamie Whyte who made some good points, in particular asking why foreign owners should be subjected to restrictions that New Zealanders aren’t.

Robinson started with a condescending diss of Mark Mitchell (who has just been Minister for three months and sounded quite well informed), and then waffled all over the place, ending up diverting to water saying it would become a big issue in the election.

Reid suggested that there should be no ownership of land.

Q+A – English, and Little and Ardern

Today on Q+A:

Political Editor Corin Dann interviews Prime Minister Bill English in a wide-ranging and revealing interview – how different will National be under his leadership?

Also, Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern – will they be a winning combination for Labour this year?

And our panel: Dr Raymond Miller, Steve Maharey, Hannah Monigatti with our host Greg Boyed.

It will be a good chance to compare English and Little.

Bill English:

No CGT, no asset sales (Kiwibank, TVNZ).

Doesn’t agree with ‘baby boomers’ not paying “their fair share” for Super.

“The economy is in much better shape” and that seem to be English’s key election strategy.

Fix working for families? “That will unfold through the year”, “we can have a crack at it through the next few years”

“Families on low to middle incomes” need to benefit more from the improved economy.

Will a tax cut be meaningful? Wait for the budget, have to look at a balance of tax cuts. Won’t put a figure on it. “I wouldn’t expect some big sugar shot in the middle to upper range”.

Sounds like tweaks to thresholds and more targeting at the low end.

Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern

Labour seem to be really trying to sell a dual leadership package.

Ardern has already said several times she absolutely backs Andrew and he is absolutely the leader – but she is dominating the speaking so far.

If National adjusts tax thresholds Little would leave them. Little is committing to as little as possible.

Both Ardern and Little divert from questions and try to repeat their learned talking points.

The only time Ardern sounded knowledgeable about a specific policy was on the sham of an abortion law that we still have in effect.

Little said that he supported both euthanasia and reviewing abortion law but as he says they are not a priority – he ensured a euthanasia private members’ bill was removed from the ballot – he doesn’t seem prepared to do anything about them.

Is the double act working? Not for me, just double poliparroting.



John Key on Q&A

John Key was interviewed by Corin Dann on Q&A this morning.

Terrific, probing interview by but I think the PM handled it well.

One News:John Key admits homelessness has risen on his watch

John Key says his government is working on many initiatives to combat homelessness, conceding that the issue has risen to prominence during his time as prime minister.

“Do you accept homelessness has risen on your watch?” ONE News Political Editor Corin Dann asked.

Mr Key agreed, but also defended his government.

“Yes, there are more people but equally we are also implementing a very significant plan,” he said.

“There’s no question that if house prices rise and if pressure goes on rents it has a significant impact on those most marginalised, not just those who are homeless.”

One News: John Key on Aus election: ‘Winning ugly is better than losing tidy’

John Key says the outcome of Australia’s election is important for New Zealand, and that Malcolm Turnbull’s biggest challenge is not election night, but about getting on and delivering results.

The New Zealand Prime Minister says on the basis that the Coaltion has the majority, he hopes Mr Turnbull will put his best foot forward.

“We need Australia over the next three years to be a strong and vibrant economy, they’re our biggest trading partner, it’s important to us,” Mr Key told ONE News Political Editor Corin Dann, live on TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning.

Mr Key likened an election to a rugby world cup, saying it’s not about how you win, it’s about getting results once elected.

“Winning ugly is better than losing tidy.”

Video of interview (17:48)


More on euthanasia

Links to further information on euthanasia (thanks PK):

RNZ (audio):

Andrew Denton is probably best known here as an Australian television presenter and comedian, but his new role is a much more serious one. He’s become a leading campaigner for physician-assisted dying, better known as voluntary euthanasia. He shares his own story of how watching his own father die led him to his views

Andrew Denton – Euthanasia

TVNZ Q+A (video):

Andrew Denton is in NZ to speak to the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. Talking about his personal campaign …

Euthanasia – Your Choice


False claims by Peters

In an interview with Katie Bradford on Q+A Winston Peters made claims that appear to be blatantly false.

This one may have been tongue in cheek but it is fairly obviously incorrect.

Winston Peters: Let me make one thing very clear. We have a very good relationship with everybody, as you well know, including New Zealand media.

The Speaker David Carter might well disagree with this. So might Peter Dunne, And David Seymour. Peters has had an acrimonious relationship with a number of journalists, unless it is all just an act. I doubt he has a good relationship with David Farrar or Cameron Slater.

The Maori Party has also been attacked by Peters. For example: Long, rambling and late: Winston attacks regular foes in speech

Peters said the Maori Party is “brown-mailing” National over the proposed changes to the Resource Management Act.

“It is obvious that National have been brown-mailed into making policy concessions to the Maori Party that doesn’t even get one percent of the vote.”

And his relationship with me is closer to very bad than very good. He’s one of a number of MPs who try to hide from me – “You are blocked from following @winstonpeters and viewing @winstonpeters’s Tweets” – and the only direct relationship I have had with Peters involved a threat of legal action.

Bradford asked Peters four times whether he had ‘a better relationship with the Greens, including:

Katie Bradford: Okay, but do you have a better relationship with the Greens now than you did in the past, and with Labour, for that matter?

Winston Peters: I mean, I never attacked the Greens in the past…

That’s obvious nonsense. Peters shut the Greens out of a coalition with Labour in 2005

In August 2015: Peters: NZ First will decide 2017 election

Mr Peters’ first job of the day was to hurl criticisms at the media – “your polls are crap”, “stop this nonsense” and “you ask some stupid questions”. Mr Peters also launched an attack on the Greens, saying it cost the Left last year’s election by attacking Labour, adding the Greens will be irrelevant by 2017.

It goes back, this from October 2000: Winston Peters accused of Gay-bashing

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has been accused of gay-bashing after attacking Green Party co-convenor Richard Davies’ naked appearance on a website advertising his gay homestay near Takaka.

June 2005: Peters says Green Party has ‘sold out’

Mr Peters yesterday described Mr Donald as “a man who’s obsessed with being in Cabinet and will sell any principle down the drain”.

Very ironic.

“They [the Greens] are going off to political oblivion. They don’t actually stand for anything and won’t stand up for anything,” he said on the Paul Holmes television show last night.

September 2014: Winnie on Waiheke: A Day Out with Winston Peters

He can also get pretty weird. To another man, he says: “You’re a Green supporter. That explains everything. You don’t care about the economy, you care about flies and bees. And trees. Let me tell you, man is more important, and womankind too. It’s in the book. Remember the book? God gave man dominion over them.”

Peters has attacked the greens directly (September 2014): Alternatives In Election 2014

“Of late the Greens have been talking about being co-deputy prime ministers and wanting the finance portfolio.

“Does that mean when the Prime Minister is abroad we are going to have two acting prime ministers instead.

“This situation would be farcical.

“If the Greens think they are going to take over the levers of economic management they are assuming other parties are not watching their record.

“Voters need to be disabused of the view promoted by the Greens that we in New Zealand First would stand by whilst they promote extremist policies in government.

“This is not indicating a choice but the media seem to have overlooked one option entirely, a Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply.

“This emerged in 2005, has precedent, and it was a stable, successful government that delivered the greatest surpluses in recent years.”

That’s an attack that the Greens will keep in mind, especially as their Memorandum of Understanding with Labour expires just prior to the business end of next year’s election, negotiating coalitions.

Winston Peters dirty on immigration

Winston Peters was interviewed by Katie Bradford on Q+A yesterday and was asked about immigration.

His responses will generally be agreed with by many people, but he plays to fears and prejudices without providing any substance to his insinuations.

If you found yourself agreeing with Peters then try analysing what he actually said and then consider the lack of substance.

Unless Peters can substantiate his claims – and he usually doesn’t – I call that very dirty politics.

Katie Bradford: On immigration then, we’ve seen Bill English talk about record migration, is it going to hit its peak? What needs to happen? What, if you were in government, would you do?

Winston Peters:  We’d bring people here that we need, not people who need us.

That’s the aim already, and the points system is designed to achieve this – “classify migrants on their skills, personal qualities, and potential contribution to New Zealand economy and society” – except for refugees, and they are carefully vetted as well. Already.

See Tools and information for meeting criteria

Katie Bradford: But how do you define that? Who are you talking about?

Winston Peters:  Treasury put a paper out just the other day, six months late, where they warned the government that a lot of this immigration policy is of low-skilled, low-qualified people and that it’s not working and that there were some serious dangers.

He doesn’t specify what the ‘serious dangers’ are. And we have a shortage of low-skilled, low-qualified people in some areas and occupations anyway. Dairy, horticulture and viticulture are very reliant on relatively low-qualified immigrants.

Katie Bradford: So who do you think should be allowed in the country and who shouldn’t?

Winston Peters:  Sorry, who’s been saying that for a long time, Katie? Why don’t you tell the country that someone has been saying for a long time that this is going to be a great cost? Because it does cost, and the infrastructural burden in Auckland now is massive and homelessness is really a despairing disgrace.

Only vague comments and no specifics about the cost.

The Government has made it clear that the infrastructure burden in Auckland should be covered by property developers.

There are financial benefits from immigration – that’s why National, Labour – and Peters – want immigration and population growth to continue.

Katie Bradford: Okay then, so how many people should we let in a year? Do you have a number in mind?

Winston Peters:  Yeah, something like, I would think if you’re talking about seriously qualified to fill those science and other gaps that we have and that we always have had for a hundred years, that may be somewhere between 7000 and 15,000 people. And you would also have this priority – if you go to the provinces, you’ll get far higher points. Because we’ve got all these skills gaps in the provinces which are not being filled because people are teeming into Auckland. The population of New Plymouth is coming to Auckland now every year.

But it isn’t this simple due to the unrestricted flow of New Zealanders out of and into the country. For example 48,815 immigrants arrived in 2004-2005 but 10,000 more people left so we had a population decrease.

When the Australian economy and job market boomed many New Zealanders moved over the ditch, but in recent years this flow has reversed. Immigration New Zealand cannot control the flow of New Zealanders, and cannot vet them on their qualifications or character. When jobs become scarce in Australia less qualified Kiwis are more likely to return.

Katie Bradford: Just lastly, just on that issue of who should come into this country, do you have in your mind who we should let in and who we shouldn’t?

Winston Peters:  Yes, I do into this context. It is not race based. They could come from anywhere in the world, as they have, and some have been brilliant people who have come into this country as both refugees and immigrants. But here’s what we want. We want them to salute our flag, respect our laws, honour our institutions and, above all, don’t bring absolutely anti-women attitudes with them, treating women like cattle, like fourth-class citizens. And I’d hope the women in this country wake up to what’s going on, because when you have that being imported into our country with no respect for our views, then I think it’s not good for us long term.

I have never saluted our flag, my guess is that most New Zealanders don’t salute our flag – nearly a half of us wanted a different flag. This is a stupid requirement.

“Respect our laws, honour our institutions and, above all, don’t bring absolutely anti-women attitudes with them” is cynically playing to populism and prejudice.

Peters gives no specifics about whether this addresses actual substantive issues with immigration, he is playing on fears and prejudices by implication.

Unless Peters can substantiate this sort of insinuation then I will call it dirty politics.

Katie Bradford: That sounds like you are targeting certain religions anyway. I mean, what are you saying there?

Winston Peters:  With the greatest respect, I have been to a lot of Muslim countries. I’ve been to Turkey. You couldn’t have the same view about how the Turkish think, whereas other countries, there are some serious reasons why we wouldn’t take those people. And the number-one one is their attitude towards women as just property, as cattle. Now, if we want that sort of society, then I think we’d be mad.

It’s clear that Peters is targeting Muslims without saying it directly. Again he provides no substance about whether immigrants with unlawful or anti-woman attitudes are coming to New Zealand. I haven’t seen any evidence any of this is a particular problem with immigrants in New Zealand.

Katie Bradford: So how do you choose that? How do you decide that? You can’t discriminate on the basis of someone’s views.

Winston Peters:  You interview each one.

Is that necessary? Is it practical? Would it be any more effective?

Just imagine interviewing Peters for a visa application – he would avoid giving straight answers.

Katie Bradford: Every single one of those 15,000 people should be interviewed?

Winston Peters:  Well, it’ll be so much easier with a smaller number, won’t it?

Except that the ‘smaller number’ is bunkum, and I presume Peters knows that. He’s not dumb, he’s cunning.

If we go back to 50,000 people a a year leaving New Zealand then to meet his net target of 15,000 that would require something like 65,000 interviews.

Katie Bradford: But the cost of that! Who’s going to sit down and do that?

Winston Peters:  Well, there’s a massive cost if you don’t. That’s the point. There’s a huge cost now. In every area of infrastructure in this Budget, there was a greater demand to which they are providing insufficient money. I didn’t say that; other economists have said that.

He just said it. Without any substance or references to which economists have said what.

Katie Bradford: Okay, and just lastly, do you think our refugee quota should be increased? We’re going to see the government make a decision on that soon.

Winston Peters:  New Zealand First has made that very clear. First of all, we want to know who’s coming. We’re not just going to take anybody; we need to check them out person by person. But the first thing you must do, and that’s the precondition, you’ve got to cut mass immigration of one, 20,000 a year or net 70,000 at the moment. You can’t do both.

Peters is not clear at all, except about his playing to prejudices and avoiding answering simple questions.

He didn’t answer a straight question about refugees – and refugees are causing the most concern at the moment due to where they are coming from, helped by  vague insinuations and warnings from people like Peters.

We don’t just take anybody. Refugees are carefully vetted, first by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and then selected by New Zealand.

2. Selection eligibility

The criteria for selecting UNHCR Quota refugees are similar across the countries under consideration. They typically include:

  • legal eligibility
  • family reunification and/or family connection factors
  • health or medical factors (individuals with communicable diseases or mental illnesses may be excluded)
  • good character (lack of criminal convictions and no security risk)
  • an ability to integrate.

New Zealand also favours families over single people because it is easier to find accommodation for them.


Incoming refugees then have to stay at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre for 6 weeks before settling in New Zealand, with the assistance of Red Cross.

Peters appears to be playing to fears and prejudices by making vague insinuations.

It ignores what is really happening and ignores how complex immigration is.

It impacts on attitudes to immigrants and it stokes intolerance and anger.

It is dirty politics, and Peters is accomplished at it. And he largely gets away with it.

Interview: http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/winston-peters-dismisses-labour-green-alliance-video-6475302

Q+A: Everest, housing and Labour-Greens

On Q+A this morning at 9 am:


With immigration running at record highs, is there too much pressure on housing, health and schools?

Whena Owen investigates whether NZ is really benefiting from the big growth in our population.

Labour-Green MoU

Labour and the Greens have pledged to work together to change the Government – but what kind of commitment is it?

Katie Bradford asks Labour leader Andrew Little, Green co-leader James Shaw and NZ First leader Winston Peters whether their parties can work together.

Mount Everest

The Everest climbing season is underway with record numbers of mountaineers expected to attempt the summit.

Jessica Mutch speaks to Tenzing Norgay’s son, Norbu, about the pressure on Sherpas to get their paying clients to the top.

Q+A today

Q+A today (9 am TV One) has a focus on foreign trusts and land tax:

Revelations this week that a company set-up by John Key’s lawyer lobbied the Government against changing the rules on foreign trusts. We asked Revenue Minister Todd McClay for an interview but he wasn’t available nor was the Prime Minister. But former Revenue Minister Peter Dunne will join us live to discuss.

Also, economist Arthur Grimes from the Motu Research Institute on Land Tax. Will it work?


Minister of Police and Corrections Judith Collins is back. How will she tackle drugs and gangs?

Joining our host Greg Boyed on the panel will be political scientist Dr Raymond Moore, Green Party chief of staff Andrew Campbell and social commentator and Ngāti Whātua spokesperson Ngarimu Blair.

Peter Dunne says he is looking forward to this:

The longest serving revenue Minister he’ll join us to discuss the and 9am Sunday

There’s been some preliminary exchanges on this on Twitter between and :

Espiner: says Panama Papers a ‘wake up’ call on foreign trusts. I interviewed him in 2012 for TV3 doco: he denied they were a problem.

Dunne: The issue has moved since then: IRD’s first of expression of concern to Ministers was August 2014, after I left portfolio

Espiner: exactly the same regime as I put to you then. Difference is 8000 trusts in 2012, 12000 now. Attraction is the same: secrecy.

Dunne: Again, you’re not listening. The first advice of concern from IRD was late 2014 when I was not Minister.

Espiner: Why didn’t you listen to me in 2012?!

Dunne: As I’ve long suspected, it’s all about you 🙂

Espiner: It’s my job to be fair …. (!)

Dunne: And mine to act on the basis of competent official advice.

: What if there is no competent advice?

Dunne: Personally, I think it foolish to take any advice on anything that is not competent.

Dunne was Minister of Revenue from 17 October 2005 to 7 June 2013 – the three years of that was during the Clark Labour Government’s third and final term, and then Dunne continued with Revenue in the first term plus a year of the second term under Key’s National Government.



Northland: Willow-Jean Prime Q & A

From NZ Herald Northland by-election: Q+A with leading candidates the Labour candidate Willow-Jean Prime’s  responses.

What is the first thing you would do as Northland’s new MP?

Well, Kelvin [Davis] told me it won’t be a sleep-in. The first thing I would do is take that list of promises we’ve received and which we will hopefully continue to receive until the 28th of March and ensure it was implemented, along with my long list of requests from the community.

Will you stand in Northland again in 2017?


What is your stance on the $1.75 billion Puhoi to Wellsford Highway?

The first stage [to Warkworth] is already committed. Beyond that I still have a question mark and want to see the business case for it, but my real issue is what about the rest of the state highway network and other rural roads? What about rail, and the link to the port? Bringing the motorway that far doesn’t actually address a lot of our issues further north. It’s a start, but what about the rest?

What is your stance on deep sea oil exploration and extraction off Northland’s coastline?

The issue is around extraction. I’m not convinced at this stage that it’s in our best interests in Northland. The community is really divided, the current regulatory framework is not strong enough for environmental protection and when they talk about the jobs it will create, our people don’t have the skills for the jobs. So will it be Northlanders who get the jobs and benefits from that, or will it simply attract other people from overseas or outside our region? There’s also a question mark around benefits to the region in terms of royalties. Any decision has to involve the community.

The Finance Minister has given you $200 million for the electorate. How would you spend it?

There’s the roading network – and I’m so pleased to see all these promises that the by-election has brought us. There are also sewerage and water schemes which used to be more subsidised by the Government than now. Another core piece of infrastructure that needs more investment is broadband and mobile coverage. In Dargaville, the cable is right next to them but they can’t hook in. Only the schools can. What’s that about? It makes it so difficult to do business from the North and it’s a lifestyle thing we like to have too, to connect us to the rest of the world at the same speeds everyone else has got. I can’t even use Skype in my home [near Moerewa].

Prime should be popular on the left and across to the centre and could have built her (and Labour’s) support if her party hadn’t decided to try and hand the election over to Peters. This looks lightweight and earnest – I think Prime comes across better in person.

Cunliffe Q&A on Facebook

David Cunliffe had Q&A on his Facebook page tonight. It worked much better than his last one (at The Standard) – a mix of policy and personable chitchat.

Cunliffe and Parker

Josh Lucas Evening lads. Q: What would an alternative Labour Budget have looked like?

David Cunliffe We’d deal to big housing crisis – 100,000 new homes. Taxing speculators and banning foreign buyers of existing homes. On jobs we’d get unemployment down to 4% in our first term with our Economic Upgrade. And our Best Start package would give every kid the best start in life, including the most vulnerable. See https://labour.org.nz/budget2014

Simon Gotlieb I’m curious David. We’re pretty certain about where Mr Key wants NZ to be in 20 years. How about you? When my children have children themselves what kind of society would you like to leave them?

David Cunliffe Hey Simon. We’re a bit worried about where NZ will be in 20 years unless we change course. It’s not clear Mr Key has a long term vision. He tends to make shorter term decisions. Our vision is for a NZ where everybody’s potential is recognised, everybody gets an opportunity to do and best they can be. I’m worried we’ve got a generation locked out of the housing market – and child poverty is a ticking time bomb.

Sophie Roil Why should we vote labour

David Cunliffe Because it’s about you, not us – and a fairer society. Take today. The Nats paid parental leave and parental tax credit policy is only half as good as Labour’s Best Start. Worse still, with 285,000 children below the poverty line, their package does not give 1c to the most vulnerable children. Not this year, not next year, not ever. https://labour.org.nz/beststart

Tayna King If you win the election will you remove the laws passed by national to violate the privacy of Kiwis eg: GCSB

David Cunliffe Our policy to immediately set up a full review of the NZ security services. We believe NZers have a right to be free from blanket surveillance, and that nobody should be spied on by NZ security services without a judge’s warrant.

David Kelly John Key’s budget speech — empty posturing, how do you stay sane listening to that drivel?

David Cunliffe You’re right, he seemed more interested in petty political point scoring than in addressing the issues that affect New Zealanders in their everyday lives.

Ian Vaudrey Do you think Labour will ever have a leader that can connect with the working man?

David Cunliffe You’ve got one.

Franquis Vegas ACC is a disgusting mess, leaving vulnerable people more vulnerable in order to make cash. Is there anything Labour will do once in government to fix ACC? Thanks 

David Cunliffe Franquis Vegas, I’ve had people in tears in my electorate office – who can barely walk, and ACC has told them they don’t have a problem. We will change the culture of ACC, so that it returns to the ideals for which it was set up – to help NZers who are the unfortunate victims of accidents, not to re-victimise them.

Naani Abercrombie How are you planning on helping to curb the high price of housing, especially in auckland? If a capital gains tax is part of your plan, what are the details of how it would work?

David Cunliffe We have to stop the crazy price increases which are locking young families out of a home of their own. We need to build more affordable houses – and we’re going to build 100,000 over 10 years. We need to remove the tax bias via CGT excluding the family home (currently renters subsidise landlords’ taxes). We also believe it’s a birthright for Kiwis to buy our homes, not foreign speculators.

Trudi Manning Do you believe in God? How about Aliens?

David Cunliffe One all at this end re God. (We’ll leave the aliens to Colin Craig).

Matthew Bowes What do you consider to be the 3 biggest issues facing New Zealands future? and what would you do to solve them?

David Cunliffe Work, homes, families.

Mawera Karetai We are a family with three kids and no plans to have more. We have a business that makes enough for us to survive and grow a little. We would get $200 per child per week under the new WFF tax credits and free health for all three kids – that will make a HUGE difference for us. What are you offering us? PS – we don’t have a trailer.

BY the way, I am a member of Labour and at the moment I am not sure if I can give Labour my Party vote, since I just can’t see where you give a damn about my family.

David Cunliffe Mawera, remember Labour brought in WFF. Our Best Start package is more generous than National’s immitation. Our economic policies will be better for everyone, including you. Our small business package will be something to look forward to.

Byron Donaldson David Cunliffe come to Westport to meet me I’m a great supporter of the NZ Labour Party please come and visit I’m still at high school and I’m the only student at my school who is a member of the Labour Party.

David Cunliffe I’m sure I’ll be there during the campaign. Well done for flying the flag.

Mihaela Soar By the way the so called surplus : selling strategic assets for 4 billions !

David Cunliffe Yes. And they made a loss compared with their promise, and now only 2% of NZers own those shares. (They’ve privatised our rivers too.).

Roger Tarry what do they mean surplus? we still have an overseas debt dont we?

David Cunliffe You’re right Roger. The vast majority of NZ’s debt is private debt, not Government debt – that’s debt held by Kiwi families and businesses, for things like mortgages. National are only talking about the Government surplus – not New Zealand’s external deficit, which they project will blow out to over 6% of GDP.

Curtis Omelvena Hey David. What could future generations lose if we do not raise the retirement age to 67? What are the alternatives to raising the age? Why do you think the best solution is to raise the retirement age? And could you modify the policy so some hard labour jobs retire earlier.

David Cunliffe Today’s Budget shows spending on super this coming financial year exceeding total Government spending on pre-school, primary, intermediate, secondary and tertiary education.Our aim is to ensure NZ super remains a sustainable, universal, publicly funded retirement policy. In order to do that we have to make the numbers add up in a predictable and fair way. We’re being honest with New Zealand. John Key isn’t. Under our policy, the hard labour jobs you talk about will be able to still retire at 65, because they will receive a transitional payment if they need it – no less than the super.

Simon Morris Why did you vote to keep rivers dirty with national

David Cunliffe We didn’t.

Kawhia Chambers do you truly want to represent the people of NZL or the big corporate banks feeding us an exploding crown dept

David Cunliffe I’m in politics to put people first.

Chris Mckissack if you promise to make the mighty waikato river blue again, ill vote for you 

Simon Gotlieb You’d need to get rid of all the cowshit first Chris. Good luck with that one, what with all the dairy farms

David Cunliffe We’ve said we’ll replace National’s weak NPS on “water quality” with a real one.
Clean rivers will not be allowed to get dirtier. Dirty rivers will be cleaned up. Increases in livestock/fertiliser/effluent will be controlled, not permitted.

Caitlin Blacktopp Aah ive written mine out like 5 times now

David Cunliffe I must vote Labour.
I must vote Labour.
I must vote Labour.
I must vote Labour.
I must vote Labour.

Alastair Ross Do you agree with economists saying there is little difference between National and Labours economic policies?

David Cunliffe Absolutely not – CGT, monetary policy reform, Best Start for kids, higher wages, cheaper power, fair employment laws. That’s just a start.

Byron Donaldson There was nothing in the Budget about child poverty I think that’s disgusting.

David Cunliffe So do we.

Jgl Lennon What concrete steps will you take to help the unemployed?

David Cunliffe We’ve set an agressive target to reduce unemployment to 4% by the end of our first term. There’s a whole package of policies that will work together.

SPEECH: New Zealand’s economic upgrade | New Zealand Labour

Ethel Leota Whittaker-Masiutama What kind of jobs would you create for “the people” of NZ

David Cunliffe Jobs with higher wages, all around our regions. In 14 out of 18 regions median wages went backwards since the start of this National Government.
Our manufacturing and forestry upgrade policies provide two examples of how we would get more and better jobs in specific sectors – with higher wages.

Stephen Kennedy Hey DC
As you know, we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. What innovative thinking is driving Labour 2014+ ?
Yours in red, – Stephen Kennedy [teacher, married, 3 kids, mortgage, Kiwi]

David Cunliffe We need to tax capital gains, boost innovation, increase savings, reform monetary policy, provide decent work, and help NZ’s industry on the journey from volume to value.

Mo Mosameh We want to know if are you going to change loan policy for postgraduate students or not ? Because it is not fair international students get free education plus 498$ a week as a scholerdhip from our family tax and kiwis students borrow money from studylink to eat.

David Cunliffe Mo, we’re going to scrap the 5 year ceiling on the student allowance. The Nats in this Budget froze the income threshold for student loan payments for another 3 years, because apparently you’re rich if you’re earning $20k..

[Name removed as requested] Change we can believe in hey. Why do you think National ripped off half your policies?

David Cunliffe Because have no vision of their own. They are a pale version, and they haven’t addressed the underlying economic issues.

David Cunliffe Hi all, wrapping up soon. Thanks so much for your questions, and wish we had time for more of them.

Penny Clark I see you didn’t answer my question, was it too hard for you?

Bennett Morgan Penny – there are over 200 questions. A lot to answer in what was originally going to be a 20 minute Q+A. Currently there are 295 questions or comments. Some weren’t getting the response they wanted (in the time available that would have been impossible).

Bobbi Pagani Would you please answer this question I posted on your page (copied at the bottom of this thread).

Bobbi Pagani Ok David let me make this very clear, I have tried and tried to get Labour to answer my question. I was glad you’re heading the Labour Party. But I cannot get my question answered. You just about had my vote in the bag. If Labour will not answer me I’m not voting for you, ok Only one vote, but my property is prominent and last election your Bill board was on my fence. You won’t be getting that either! I’ve tried for months through many avenues. Please reply, I’m attempting till the last minute.

Dawn Elizabeth Pollard I hope you let us know what your full education policy is sooner rather than later…There are a lot of teachers in NZ and a lot of them are not happy with the direction National is heading. Teachers don’t always vote Labour, you need to show them what you will be doing in education!

Bobbi Pagani Yeah, you did not answer my question Yet again. What is it with that question, posted well before closing time?

Nick Lawson To be honest David Cunliffe I don’t feel your answers held much insight. You seemed to answer the really obvious question and have ignored any questions i would have deemed important, or answered them extremely vaguely. This doesn’t fill me with confidence and has actually turned me off labour completely. Just another national waiting in the wings.
Liam O’Connor Tell me why when, given Parker’s own words that paying down debt is the most important thing, you’d force compulsory savings on me for a retirement I won’t have/reach? Surely it’s better to put that money towards paying off my student loan — a debt I’m sure that many Gen Y felt they had no choice but to take to get ahead — than saving for a hypothetical rainy day. It’s bad economics. Needless to say that when I’m already struggling to live in Wellington because that’s where the jobs are (unless I wanna suffer more and move to Auckland) — and we don’t live extravagantly; I haven’t even been on a paid ticket to the cinema for years — the idea of locking away money with a private company until I’m 65+ (if I make it) on top of tax and student loan repayments seems ridiculous. Especially when you insinuate that this policy will help fund your mates in the forestry industry. Seems like cronyism to me, just in shades of red rather than blue.
Bobbi Pagani If you will not answer my question- to your electorate office, on your page several times, and now here well before closing, even though I thought you were great, no, no and no. I’m still giving you a chance to answer and up until the election, if you don’t I’m not going to tick the box for you.
Now I’m going to ask the question of other parties. 
I have not even received from you why you do not answer.
Bobbi Pagani What a waste of time that session was, and I really believed I would get a reply, posting as I did well before closing.
Ok David Thank you for this opportunity!  I want to address the Rates Rebate. (I have previously asked this question both at the Electoral Office and on Labour’s page and got nowhere, no response on the page.)
So, the rates rebate, as I’m sure you know is a rebate available on application to those on a low income. The maximum rebate amounts to about $600, not insubstantial.
There is a narrow timeframe in which to apply for the rebate. There is information required for the application which is usually not even available by the cut off date for the application, you are expected to guesstimate.
If you miss the cut off Auckland Council will deny the rebate entirely. They will require the full rates to be paid and slap on penalties as well.
This did not used to be so. As I recall some twelve or so years ago if there was a cut off date they did not apply it. Now they do, strictly. 
This may be in accord with the letter of the law but is entirely against the spirit of it. The rebate is there by definition for people who are not managing that well, the low income earners would include the sick, disabled, invalids, elderly. It is there to help, I suppose, (or maybe there’s another reason for it?) Yet Auckland Council requires of the very people who are not managing that they get their application in on time, or rather, really, ahead of time considering the required information isn’t even available. It rigorously enforces the cut off date and denies any extension. I think this is unfair so I have stopped paying rates. If the back rebates were allowed my rates would be well towards being paid.
I would like Labour to look at this law and amend it so that Councils do have to allow eligible applications for rebates and back rebates, regardless of date of application and also not be allowed to apply penalties on the rebates they should have allowed. If the rebate application is late they have had the use of money after all. I think this is fair, and in the spirit of the intention of the Act. Do you? Will Labour do this? I look forward to your reply. Regards, Bobbi.

Too long to deal with in a quick fire Q&A but he is getting frustrated.

From Parliament: Budget Debate – 15th May, 2014 – Part 1