Annette King

Deputy Leader & MP for Rongotai

Spokesperson for Health

Contact Annette King

Annette has proudly represented the eastern and southern suburbs of Wellington for 21 years.  Annette is also the MP for the Chatham Islands, which gives her both an urban and rural view of people's concerns. Getting involved in the local community and advocating for the values and policies of Labour is Annette's passion.  Her number one hobby is her grandkids, with travel and movies when there is time to spare.

Career Highlights

  • Annette set up the Community Employment Development Group when she was the Minister of Employment.
  • She brought democracy back to the public health system through the establishment of District Health Boards and the passage of the NZ Public Health and Disability Act.
  • As Minister of Health, Annette approved the rebuild of hospitals under the fifth Labour government from Kaitaia to Invercargill.
  • On behalf of the Labour Government, she signed and ratified the UN Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which now guides tobacco policy in NZ.
  • Annette also secured funding for Chatham Islands infrastructure (only for the National government to cancel it!)

Contact Annette King

Rongotai electorate office in Newtown

Phone: 04 389 0989
Physical: 172 Riddiford St Newtown, Wellington 6021

Parliamentary Office

Phone: 04 817 9103

Latest from Annette King

Government still won’t come clean on TPPA and Pharmac

February 05, 2016

That the Government has blacked out entire pages of briefings on how the TPPA might impact on Pharmac is hardly transparent, says Labour’s spokesperson on Health Annette King.

“Dozens of pages of documents obtained by Labour under the OIA have been redacted. In the light of John Key’s promise that Pharmac would not be damaged under the TPPA it is difficult to understand the secrecy.

Lives lost as funding indecision continues

January 22, 2016

The longer the Government continues its hands-off approach to funding a ground-breaking melanoma treatment the more lives will be lost, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Keytruda was approved for use by Pharmac in September, but given a low funding priority. 

Singapore link a capital idea - Labour

January 21, 2016

Wellington Airport should be applauded for securing a new international link, Labour says.   

“Attracting Singapore Airlines to the city is a feather in their cap. Plans for a four-day a week service between the Capital and Singapore via Canberra is a message to naysayers about the future of our airport,” Rongotai MP Annette King says. 

Cuts see health staff rack up millions of annual leave hours

January 18, 2016

The Government’s cuts to the health sector have left doctors and nurses overworked and stretched to breaking point, with more than eight million hours of annual leave currently owed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

“National has cut $1.7 billion from the health budget over six years. We’re now seeing the results - health professionals and other DHB staff so overworked they have had to put off taking millions of hours of annual leave.


Salary curb call after bumper CEO pay hike

December 18, 2015

The salaries of district health board bosses should be reined in, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“There’s something very out of whack when we have our hospitals so squeezed for cash they are cutting back on frontline staff while CEOs are pocketing salary increases of up to 13 per cent. 

Hospitals reduce doctor numbers as financial strain continues

December 14, 2015

Hospitals around the country are cutting back on staff as they continue to grapple with multi-million dollar deficits, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Latest financial reports show DHBs are not hiring doctors or other health professionals in an attempt to save money.


Cancer patients forced to keep begging

December 02, 2015

Several hundred New Zealanders are missing out on potentially life-saving cancer treatment because of the Government’s failure to properly fund Pharmac, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

Pharmac has today announced it will not fund melanoma drug Keytruda, due to cost and insufficient clinical evidence of its effectiveness.

Back-down has Joyce doctoring loan policy

December 01, 2015

The Government has been embarrassed into a back-down over its short-sighted and unfair student loan cap, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Steven Joyce appears to have had a road to Damascus rethink on the detrimental effects his seven year study cap on student loans has had on post-grads, and pushed it out another year.

Sick leave surveys not to be sneezed at

November 19, 2015

A survey showing growing numbers of doctors and dentists are going to work when they are sick should ring alarm bells, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

The survey by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists found 88 per cent of senior doctors and dentists often or sometimes went to work while unwell during a 24-month period, with 75 per cent going in to work when they had an infectious illness.

Patients waiting in more pain for operations

November 11, 2015

Kiwis needing hip or knee replacements continue to face a postcode lottery when it comes to levels of care with more than half the country’s DHBs increasing surgery pain thresholds over the last three years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“What that means is that depending on where you live you may have to be in more pain, and wait longer for an operation than someone else waiting for the same treatment in another region.

Public health about people not headlines

November 09, 2015

The health sector is at breaking point with DHBs looking to cut services as they struggle to balance their books, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“National has underfunded health to the tune of $1.7 billion over six years.

Millions of hours owed in annual leave compromising patient care

November 08, 2015

Health workers, struggling with heavy workloads and under pressure to do more with less, are owed almost $500 million in overdue annual leave, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

"Figures released to Labour under the official Information Act show staff at the country’s 20 DHBs are owed $465 million in annual leave and millions of hours of backed up holidays.

Screws put on health as budgets blow out

November 06, 2015

More than half the country’s health boards have blown out their budgets just months into the new financial year, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“A report to Jonathan Coleman on the financial performance of our district health boards shows that in just the second month of the 2015/16 financial year 13 are in the red to the tune of $8.4 million. 

Pressure on DHBs as scalpel taken to funding

November 03, 2015

Health boards across the country are looking to cut back on services as they buckle under pressure from the Government to keep costs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Previously withheld information received from the Minister of Health shows DHBs are not receiving enough funding to cope with growth pressures and an aging population.

A-G confirms HBL was a shambles

October 12, 2015

An agency set up by the Government to “save” money across the health sector has been slammed by the Auditor-General for wasting millions of dollars, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

The report, instigated by Labour, shows that while Health Benefits Limited was supposed to save $700 million, it only managed to make savings of $71 million.

Groser playing games over Pharmac fallout

October 06, 2015

Tim Groser is not being upfront with Kiwis about what the TPP will mean with regards to life-saving drug costs, Labour’s Acting Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Claims by Mr Groser that Kiwis won’t be paying more for their medicine under the TPP should be taken with a large dose of scepticism. He let the Australians do the running on this, while he concentrated on dairy. The result is a dud deal for dairy and a less than clear proposal on drug costs.

New Zealand has missed the bus on TPP

October 06, 2015

The Government appears to have failed to deliver in the secretive TPP deal, with no meaningful gains for dairy and new costs for Pharmac, Labour’s Acting Leader Annette King says.

“Tim Groser has been left in the dust on this deal despite the big promises made of a “gold standard agreement’. The deal falls well below expectations with only disappointing crumbs for our dairy industry and extended patents on new drugs which will cost the taxpayer millions and leave New Zealanders without life-saving drugs.

English should send himself to Australia

October 05, 2015

Bill English should be sticking it to the Australians rather than sticking by them and their dreadful treatment of Kiwis in detention centres, Acting Labour Leader Annette King says.

“To say there is no evidence that New Zealanders are facing ‘shocking or appalling’ treatment is itself both shocking and appalling.

Are you fighting for our health, Mr Key?

October 04, 2015

The Government must not back down in the TPPA negotiations and allow a loss of access to cutting edge medicine for diseases like cancer, Labour Health spokesperson Annette King says.

 “Our health system is already struggling and too many Kiwis are having to go without the care they need.

Breach of privacy a breach of patients’ trust

October 02, 2015

A privacy breach, which has seen the unauthorised release of confidential birth and death details of over 24,000 people, is inexcusable, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“The Ministry of Health’s emailing of electronic files to all 950 pharmacists who use an online health portal is shocking, whether unintentional or not.

A spoonful of sugar…would be better than two

September 25, 2015

New Zealanders’ high sugar consumption could be cut overnight with an industry-led initiative to reduce the amount of sugar in all processed foods, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“The focus has been on fizzy drinks but what about cereal or yoghurt, or even peanut butter? We should be looking to reduce sugar across the board. 

Another day, another horror health story

September 24, 2015

Jonathan Coleman is fast running out of excuses for the sorry state of New Zealand’s public health system, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“There’s not a day goes by that I don’t receive correspondence from someone who is quite rightly outraged at being treated –  as one patient put it – ‘like refuse at the tip’ or from health professionals frustrated at not being able to provide services.

Heart patient told to take bus home in his PJs

September 20, 2015

The treatment of a Palmerston North man, admitted to Wellington hospital after a heart attack and expected to travel home on public transport in his pyjamas after being discharged, beggars belief but is symptomatic of a chronically underfunded health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

The patient, Ian Sutherland, was transferred by ambulance to Wellington Hospital from Palmerston North Hospital’s coronary care unit in August. He had been admitted to hospital wearing only slippers, pyjamas and a dressing gown. He had no money and no other clothes with him.

Bulging mailbag sign of growing health crisis

September 17, 2015

A Whangarei woman whose home care was cut from three hours a fortnight to just one and called in Red Cross in desperation after being unable to do her grocery shopping, is just one of many Kiwis cruelly affected by cuts to public health, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“My inbox is full of letters from people whose experiences with the health sector read like something from a horror movie script.

Chathams a plane ride too far

September 13, 2015

The Government needs to swot up on its geography after a war veteran was told he wasn’t eligible for help with travel costs to the Chathams to visit his daughter because the journey was ‘over international water’, Labour Rongotai MP Annette King says.

In a letter to Mrs King retired army officer Ian Thorpe says he was informed he didn’t qualify for a concession - which allows veterans with 70 per cent disablement to claim a certain amount for car, bus or plane journeys– because the Chathams were outside of New Zealand’s “three main islands”.

Kiwis’ health suffers as Government spin machine goes into overdrive

September 10, 2015

Increasing numbers of GPs are giving up referring patients for first specialist assessments because they know it’s a waste of time, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Jonathan Coleman has just issued a barrage of press releases asserting increasing numbers of New Zealanders are receiving better access to specialists.

ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite

August 25, 2015

Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

“People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait for hours in the hallway of Dunedin Hospital is just the latest in a string of warning signs that something is very wrong in our health system.

Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover

August 21, 2015

The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King Labour’s Wellington MPs say. 

“We welcome the Court decision.  The exhaustive Board of Inquiry process rejected the flyover because the costs simply did not match the benefits.  NZTA has only itself to blame for being in this position.  They have failed to look properly at other options that would not have had the effect of seriously compromising the environment and heritage of our city as the flyover would have, “Grant Robertson says.

GPs forced to do specialist work as budget cuts bite

August 13, 2015

Patients are being refused specialist treatment as cuts to health spending force more work onto GPs, Labour's Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“The Minister of Health admitted last month that health funding has not kept up with inflation and an independent Infometrics report found $1.7 billion has been cut in real terms by the National Government. This means New Zealanders are not getting access to the services they need and doctors are telling us their patients are being sent back from specialist appointments.

Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer

July 28, 2015

Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the last six budgets. A shortfall of $500 million this year means the sector’s funding has been slashed by $1.7 billion since 2010.

Charges up for some as funding up for grabs

July 28, 2015

A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says

“Information leaked to Labour shows the Government is looking to cap how much people on low incomes have to pay for doctors’ visits, while allowing GPs to charge others more.

Razor gang takes scalpel to health

July 27, 2015

Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says

“Leaked documents reveal a radical shake-up of the health sector is underway. Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is trying to distance himself from it by saying it is a ‘third party’ report, not Government policy and that he hasn’t read it. That is just not believable.

Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings

July 23, 2015

Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has become so serious it is compromising patients’ safety.

Govt needs to heed warnings on med students

July 20, 2015

The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages students whose future careers require longer study periods.

Calls to extend life-saving training

July 17, 2015

The Government must ensure all health sector workers are not only be trained to routinely check for medical identification bracelets but have access to critical online patient information, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“The tragic death of an 80-year-old who was prescribed a drug her MedicAlert bracelet showed she was allergic to, has prompted other patients to come forward with similar stories of having information ignored by paramedics.

SDHB shakeup set to be highly unpopular

July 16, 2015

The Government is using the Commissioner tasked with sorting out the beleaguered Southern District Health Board to do its dirty work, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“New information reveals Kathy Grant is being paid extra to offset damage to her reputation in the likely fallout from what looks set to be a massive downgrade of the region’s health services

Auckland kids missing out on free GPs

July 14, 2015

Thousands of Auckland children are missing out on free doctors’ visits despite claims from the Government that take-up had exceeded expectations, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has been quick to talk up the ‘success’ of the Government’s scheme to subsidise doctors’ visits to children under 13.

Bleak year on cards for health workforce

July 10, 2015

A Government budget document dump reveals district health board underfunding will put pay increases for public sector health workers, including nurses and doctors, at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

Cost pressures mean district health boards have not been fully funded to cover wage increases for the 40,000 workers whose contracts are up for renegotiation shortly.

Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training

July 04, 2015

Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“The department had its accreditation withdrawn late last year after failing to meet certain standards. Attempts to find out why were stymied by Auckland District Health Board senior management refusing to answer several OIA requests.

Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctors

July 02, 2015

News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on effect. The hospital can no longer train students in this specialty and will struggle to attract the kind of experienced and talented surgeons to the hospital that it has in the past.

Backers banking on social bonds cash?

July 01, 2015

The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

A briefing paper to Jonathan Coleman and Cabinet committee members notes a key component of the Government’s social bonds model is ‘payment by results’, meaning the Government – or taxpayers – only pays out cash for successful outcomes ‘once they have been delivered and measured’.

Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experiment

June 24, 2015

Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’ presented ideas to a group of wealthy investors in an attempt to gain funding while offering a stake of the company in return.

Secrecy surrounds social experiment

June 02, 2015

The secrecy surrounding the Government’s plans to let private funders invest in mental health services only increases suspicions that the proposal has been ill-thought through, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette Kings says.

“The process with which New Zealanders have learned the Government is about to implement its social bond experiment could hardly have been less transparent.

Millions going on mental health experiment

May 31, 2015

The Government is using some of the most vulnerable Kiwis as guinea pigs against official advice and in the absence of international evidence that its ‘experiment’ will achieve the desired results, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“A multi-million mental health initiative, to be bank-rolled by private investors, is a disaster in the making.

Hospital food plan hits another snag

May 27, 2015

The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Doing away with local kitchens by contracting services to hubs operated by a multinational catering company was a crazy idea from the get-go.

Help sought by agencies now asked to help

May 27, 2015

The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.

“Lifeline, one of five agencies MSD is working with to take over clients left in limbo following the closure of Relationships Aotearoa, has been asked to set up a free phone number to help the transition process.

Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances

May 26, 2015

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.

“It was only this week that Anne Tolley was talking about the possibility of keeping Relationships Aotearoa – New Zealand’s biggest professional counselling group – on as the Government’s preferred nationwide provider. Contingency plans to transition clients were also discussed.

Minister makes meagre effort to fix big problem

May 06, 2015

Today’s announcement by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that Budget 2015 will include $98 million for elective surgery over three to four years should be seen for what it is – a drop in the bucket in an effort to appease thousands of concerned New Zealanders, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“This will be greeted by the sector with an awful sense of déjà vu. It is a re-announcement with a little gift wrapping.

Too many Kiwis waiting on waiting lists

May 05, 2015

Waiting lists to get on waiting lists are the new norm for thousands of New Zealanders living with chronic health problems, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“The Government’s underfunding of the health sector is forcing district health boards to create all manner of loopholes to keep people off waiting lists for first specialist assessments and surgery.

Simon Bridges spent over $6500 on Northland

April 29, 2015

Transport Minister Simon Bridges spent over $6519 on travel and flights to Northland for the by-election – spending around $1000 a week, Labour’s Acting Leader Annette King says.

“Simon Bridges’ desperate dashes to Northland got him in political hot water. Not only did his promise of ten bridges backfire significantly, he breached the Cabinet manual in getting advice from his department for a campaign promise.

More hype and half-truths from Coleman

April 28, 2015

The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of it, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“It’s time Jonathan Coleman admitted to the real causes of rheumatic fever.

Communities forced to stomach water woes

April 27, 2015

Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

The Drinking Water Subsidy Scheme was established by Labour in 2005 to improve drinking water systems in communities with up to 5000 people. National revised the scheme in December 2010 - reducing both the criteria and funding pool, forcing ratepayers to pick up additional costs for water improvements – and will scrap it completely in July.

No more sweet talk on obesity

April 17, 2015

The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. 

“While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on obesity let’s see some new ideas, such as reducing sugar in processed food. Manufacturers did it with salt, there’s no reason they can’t do the same with the sweet stuff.

Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts

April 17, 2015

The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health boards – Hutt Valley, Nelson-Marlborough and Southern – had some 282 staff working or not, as the case may be, on unfair-zero hour contracts last year.

Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds

April 15, 2015

The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, Tairawhiti, Southern and Waikato regions are all in line to have Compass Group take over provision of food services.

Cancer prevention calls gain momentum

April 15, 2015

Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is the most costly cancer overall, also renews calls for a national bowel screening programme. 

Of roading rabbits, bad maths and pulling the wool

March 11, 2015

The Government should be apologising to Northland voters for some very dodgy mathematics, Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“John Key, Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges have spent the last few days pulling rabbits out of all sorts of hats.

Govt to forge ahead with ‘high risk’ lab plan

March 09, 2015

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman’s decision to privatise Wellington’s laboratory services goes against the advice of those working at the front line – our clinicians and medical specialists, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Doctors have warned the Government many times that its plans to integrate the Capital’s hospital and diagnostic testing services has the potential to backfire and could result in delays in both diagnosis and treatment; and even put lives at risk.

Government shrugs off health sector crisis

February 26, 2015

Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Health services in New Zealand are in crisis.

Rheumatic fever rates continue to soar despite millions spent on prevention campaign

January 15, 2015

The Government’s $65 million spend on rheumatic fever prevention has made little impact on the alarmingly high rate of the disease among young New Zealanders, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

Latest figures from ESR show there were 235 notified cases of acute rheumatic fever in the year to September 2014, up 75 on the previous twelve months.

Regions hit with budget band aid

January 05, 2015

Nine of New Zealand’s District Health Boards look set to be big losers in next year’s funding round, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

Treasury has advised the Government that District Health Boards need to trim almost $200 million from their 2015/16 budget.

Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?

November 21, 2014

It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Clinicians have sent the Government some very strong warnings about the proposal to integrate Wellington’s hospital and community diagnostic testing services, saying privatising labs could delay diagnosis and treatment, potentially risking lives.

A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme

November 21, 2014

New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“National has misled New Zealanders about Health Benefits Limited right from the start. It was set up four years ago to save our district health boards $700 million by 2015, yet no one – not even the Minister – appears to know exactly how much has been saved so far or what the ‘savings’ have been used for.

Past time to act on warnings about palliative care

November 11, 2014

Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says.

A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end of life care workforce is in crisis with 12 vacant specialist positions and 18 more likely over the next five years due to retirement.

Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding

November 07, 2014

New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“For almost two years Labour has been warning about the number of people who are being kept off waiting lists because district health boards are underfunded by the Government.

Response to Ministerial Statement on ISIS

November 05, 2014

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity for the House to respond to his statement today.

It’s times like this Parliament can be at its best.

Bowel cancer demands renewed urgency

November 05, 2014

The Government must act on new calls by medical experts to roll out bowel cancer screening across the country, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“New Zealand has one of the world’s highest rates of bowel cancer - 1200 Kiwis die of bowel cancer every year – yet we have been one of the slowest to take action

An asset sale is an asset sale is…

November 03, 2014

Paula Bennett’s admission that the Government’s state housing sell off is an asset sale shows John Key’s promise that there would be no more asset sales wasn’t worth the paper it was written on, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that National’s plan to sell down the country’s state housing stock could be described as an asset sale.

Return to less holidays on the cards?

October 31, 2014

John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal right to a tea break - that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis opposed - it is hinting at making changes to the Holidays Act, which ensures all New Zealanders get a certain amount of annual leave.

50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law

October 30, 2014

More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the high level of concern National’s mean-spirited legislation has caused.”


Lessons to be learned from police investigation

October 29, 2014

The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had been laid because no girls had been ‘brave enough’ to come forward, it became known that four victims had been interviewed. Since then five have made formal statements.

Child poverty: No more wake-up calls

October 29, 2014

A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact that rates of child poverty in New Zealand hardly moved between 2008 and 2012, while National has been in government.

Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?

October 28, 2014

Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information Act response to Labour in July that she had received no phone calls, text messages, emails or correspondence from Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater in her ministerial capacity.

A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman

October 21, 2014

The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98.

“Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says.

Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty

October 21, 2014

John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for it this term.

Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister

October 03, 2014

One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“National has steadfastly refused to acknowledge that the number of patients in need of surgery who are not meeting thresholds is continuing to grow.

Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign

September 17, 2014

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says.

“An email, signed by Brian Loughnane - Federal Director of the Liberal Party and the husband of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff - uses the Liberal Party letterhead and is authorised jointly by both the Liberal and New Zealand National parties.

Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all

August 15, 2014

A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says.

Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said it was time to rebalance the system by addressing and dealing with the root causes of poor health.

Accessible healthcare also affordable

August 11, 2014


It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

"Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s comprehensive, fully costed proposal to provide free healthcare to more Kiwis is nothing if not predictable.

Health sector pushed to desperate measures

August 04, 2014

Industrial action being taken by DHB workers is a direct result of prolonged and chronic underfunding of the sector by National, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

"Labour has been warning of a blow-out for some time following increasing pressure being placed on our district health boards.

Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall

July 30, 2014

Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Health Minister Tony Ryall has just announced the Government will fund up to 200 additional training places for nurse graduates next year.

History points to poor DHB decision

July 15, 2014

A damning Government-ordered review has found Nigel Murray, due to take up the role of CEO at Waikato District Health Board next week, was in charge of one of the worst-performing Canadian health authorities, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“A just released report prepared for the Canadian Ministry of Health shows several Fraser Health Authority hospitals in British Colombia, were the worst for patient safety and quality of care.

Deaths should prompt change

July 11, 2014

Eight adverse reports relating to rest home care in as many months, resulting in several deaths, cannot go unchallenged, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

In the latest report this week, concerns were raised by a coroner over the death of an elderly woman who died of a heart attack after a fall.

Surgical mesh inquiry a must says Labour

July 02, 2014

Labour is calling on the Minister of Health to instigate an independent inquiry into the use of surgical mesh in New Zealand.

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