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Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges

Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. 

“Figures released to Labour show that since the National Science Challenges were announced, $3m has been spent by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment administering them, including $1.2 promoting them, while some participating government entities have spent over $200,000 each just to prepare proposals.”

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Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?

Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“Information obtained from Christchurch City Council shows just 2160 Code Compliance Certificates were issued in the two years to June 2014, while CERA says Canterbury 25,000 are needed,” says Phil Twyford.

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CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights

CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says.

“Of course CERA officials do need to travel to Wellington but 200 flights on average a month is an excessive airlines bill for an organisation based entirely in one region.

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Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again

Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

“Nick Smith doesn’t understand boundaries. Time and time again throughout his career he has gone too far. He is a shining example of the arrogance and conflicts of interest of Team Key’s Wall of Shame.

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Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up

The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in a bypass at Warkworth and ease the congestion pinch points.

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Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation

The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“It’s not good enough for the minister to delegate the aviation portfolio to the associate minister. It’s just not on to continue as Transport Minister while being investigated by transport officials.

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Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing

Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American authority’s investigation into Kim Dotcom when he was granted residency.

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Regional economies need 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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Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation

New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today.

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Dr Rajen Prasad's Valedictory Statement

Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction.

Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over 50 years.

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