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Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail

Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month.

“I understand the Government’s plan is for a roads-only option which would be a giant wasted opportunity to connect rail to the North Shore and link it up with the City Rail Link and the rest of the regional rail network,” says Mr Twyford.

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ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning

ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to argue against changes that would impact on Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls Grammar School when, if his party had their way, there would be no zones at all.

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Interest rate rise will hit the regions

The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. 

“The regions are already hit by dropping  export prices for dairy products and timber prices plus they have flat housing markets from LVRs . Now they have  to endure another interest rate rise which is a direct result of the Auckland housing price bubble.

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Photo op disguises abysmal failure

John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams

“The Government promised to build 700 houses in 12 months. Now seven months on, the Government can add these four to the 29 built by the end of May..

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Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden

Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says.

“Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce is insulting not only farmers across New Zealand but all Southerners as well.

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Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide

Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. 

“The digital revolution presents huge economic opportunities for New Zealand, but the current Government’s lack of vision means these opportunities are being missed and too many New Zealanders are being left behind. 

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New parents deserve support - Labour will deliver

Labour will pass legislation delivering 26 weeks paid parental leave to New Zealand families in its first 100 days in Government, Labour List MP Sue Moroney says.

Her Employment Protection and Parental Leave (Six Months' Paid Leave) Amendment Bill progressed through more of its committee stages last night and would move swiftly to a final reading to become law under a Labour-led Government.

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We must act to save our dolphins

A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. 

“Labour backs the public call for protection. This report by Economists at Large shows that the overwhelming majority of the public understands that as well, and are prepared to put both their vote and their tax dollar behind better protection.

 

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School told to manipulate national standards data

Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

“Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the Ministry of Education to arbitrarily adjust student results from ‘below standard’ to ‘above standard’ to make their data add up.

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Regional economies must have tailored plans

News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says.

“The Canpac site has effectively responded to the demand for value-added milk products. This is a role we hope the Hamilton site can retain through proposals to develop paediatrician milk powder.

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