New Zealand Labour Party

News about the Economy & Employment

National can’t ignore economic warnings

Fitch ratings agency’s warnings of the worsening economic outlook is yet another signal that National needs to diversify the economy and take action to prepare New Zealand for a volatile year ahead, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.


“It hasn’t been a good start to the year for the economy. Dairy prices are sliding again, international markets have plunged and the Government’s books are heavily in the red.

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Robert Reich and Guy Standing keynote speakers at Future of Work Conference

Internationally renowned economists and authors Robert Reich and Guy Standing will be the keynote speakers at Labour’s Future of Work Conference in Auckland in March.


Robert Reich is a world renowned economist and former Secretary for Labour in the Bill Clinton administration. Professor Guy Standing is well known for his bestselling book The Precariat about the problems generated by uncertain work conditions.

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Employment case makes case for clarification around work definitions

It’s time the Government ended the confusion around casual employment agreements, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“Bay of Plenty District Health Board has been ordered to pay $7,500 to an employee who was inappropriately employed on a casual agreement. The determination of the Employment Relations Authority makes it clear that Wendy Rahiri was in fact a permanent part-time employee. 

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Monetary Policy Must Get into 21st Century

The lowest inflation since last century combined with rising unemployment and turbulent global markets is making a farce of monetary policy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.


“New Zealand’s monetary policy is outdated and not fit to handle significant changes in the economy. This year is off to a volatile start already with markets plunging across the globe and major investor uncertainty. It’s important that we have up-to-date tools to handle it.

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Dairy prices fall part of a bad start to the year

Global dairy prices have fallen for the second time in a row and with whole milk powder down 23 per cent since October, the worrying start to the year continues, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.


“The global economy has had a volatile start to 2016, with markets plunging, declining confidence in China’s economy and commodity prices on the slide. New Zealand isn’t insulated from this, especially with our over-reliance on dairy.

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Nats must work to support business confidence

In the face of recent turmoil in the financial markets and a forecast increase in unemployment, National must work with business to keep up the positive economic confidence from the end of last year, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark.


“The optimism coming out of the December quarter surveys is good to see. It’s vital that employers have the enthusiasm to hire in the new year after a difficult 2015 and to counter Treasury’s predictions that unemployment will rise to 6.5% in the first half of the year.

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Robertson to attend OECD future of work forum

Labour Finance Spokesperson and Chair of the Future of Work Commission Grant Robertson will travel to Paris this week to attend the OECD Future of Work Forum and to London where he will also undertake meetings and visits.

“We are at the halfway mark in terms of Labour’s Future of Work Commission, and this conference is a great opportunity to check in on the latest thinking in this area and test that against our work.

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Privatisation plans for mediation services rejected

Plans to privatise workplace mediation services in provincial New Zealand have been met with dismay from both unions and employers, says Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. 

“In another attempt by the National Party to privatise core Government services, MBIE has quietly begun consultation on their plans to outsource mediation services and close their regional offices in Palmerston North, Napier and Dunedin. It is driven by ideology rather than evidence and the response from those who most often use the service has been uniformly negative.

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Economy not keeping pace under National’s watch

New Zealanders are worse off with economic growth per person going backwards over the first nine months of 2015, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. 

“Per capita GDP still remains lower now than it was at the end of 2014. This shows many Kiwis are not getting ahead under this Government. It is why employment is falling and unemployment is rising.

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