News about the Economy & Employment

Overpriced prepay powering profits

Contact Energy is charging the poorest New Zealanders the highest electricity rates, ripping off those who can least afford it, Labour's Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.

New figures obtained by Labour show Contact Energy continues to charge up to 38 per cent more for the power under its prepay schemes.

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OCR decision indicates economy on downward slide

Today's decision by the Reserve Bank to cut the official cash rate despite a burgeoning housing bubble in Auckland is yet another warning to the Government that the economy is becoming increasingly vulnerable and unbalanced, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. 

“Despite the risk of pouring petrol on an overheated Auckland housing market by cutting interest rates, the weakness of the economy, wages and exports has forced the Governor to cut the OCR. 

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Illegally operating quarries must have safety reps

WorkSafe’s astonishing admission it has no idea how many quarries are being operated illegally is further evidence health and safety representatives are desperately needed in the industry, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“WorkSafe is supposed to be New Zealand’s safety watchdog. It is tasked with enforcing health and safety laws and standards, yet it seems unable to police many of the country’s high-risk industries.

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Manufacturing Sales fall by $1.7 billion

New Zealand’s fall in manufacturing sales is the largest in the past 5 years and that is in spite of volumes of sales increasing, says David Clark Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson.

“Given this morning’s stark warning by the OECD that the Government’s complacency is putting the health of the economy at risk from a further downturn in commodity prices, this $1.7 billion fall is a further indictment of the Government’s lack of vision.

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National must heed OECD warnings on economy

The latest OECD Economic Survey on New Zealand is a stark warning that more must be done if future generations of New Zealanders are to have a decent standard of living and economic opportunity, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.

"The OECD report finds that housing is increasingly unaffordable, inequality and poverty need to be tackled head on and the health of the economy is increasingly at risk from a further downturn in commodity prices. These are warnings that the National government must heed.

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Wellington super city process flawed

Labour’s Wellington MPs say the Government must take responsibility for the flawed process around the proposed super city for their region.

“This entire process has been a waste of time, energy and money,” Labour’s MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson says on behalf of Labour’s Wellington MPs.

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Quarry safety law must be urgently strengthened

The growing list of incidents causing injury and death at quarries demonstrates the urgent need to strengthen the health and safety law, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says. 

“The Select Committee considering the Health and Safety Reform Bill should use the extra time it has been given because of dithering by National MPs to make sure quarry workers and others working in isolated high-risk industries are as safe as possible.


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Debt trucks will not be stopped under new government rules

The new  consumer laws will not stop outrageous interest rates being charged by debt trucks that cruise low income suburbs, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.

“The government’s new Responsible Lending Code which came into force yesterday, does nothing to regulate debt trucks – and bizarrely, the code is non-binding. 

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Two sides of super minister: Dr Joyce and Mr Hide

Steven Joyce’s wild fluctuations between obsessive micro-manager and arms-length delegator is creating chaos in his personal MoBIE empire, with him waving outrageous spending through but scrutinising reports for colour palette, format orientation and language, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark said today.

“Officials are so exasperated by Steven Joyce’s behaviour one even said in an email: ‘the minister doesn’t know what he wants until often he sees what he doesn’t want’. Mr Joyce even agreed with his official’s assessment.

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