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Digital economic upgrade to boost jobs and incomes

A Labour Government will support the ICT sector to make New Zealand a tech-savvy nation and put ICT at the heart of our economic upgrade strategy, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

Among several new initiatives David Cunliffe announced today are plans to establish 1200 digital apprenticeships and support first-time entrepreneurs with ‘Garage Grants’.

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Smart meters are plain dumb

New Zealand has some of the dumbest electricity 'smart' meters in the world, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer.

“Imagine being able to set washing machines, dryers, dishwashers to turn on in the middle of the night when power is cheap. Or being able to see and modify second, by every second, electricity usage in the home on a computer, TV, smart phone. That was the real possibility five years ago when smart electricity meters began to be installed.

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Review of Whanau Ora will highlight what works well

Labour's review of Whanau Ora will identify models that work well throughout the country, what best practice looks like and how this will be used to frame new policy, says Māori Affairs Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.

“Māori Service providers and organisations have already started these collaborations that improve outcomes for whanau and Labour recognises that positive gains that have been made. However not all Government agencies are committed to this approach.

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Canterbury’s future must be Canterbury’s choice

A Labour Government will restore the right of Cantabrians to make their own decisions about the future of their communities, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“For almost four years Cantabrians have had the right to determine what they want for their communities over-ridden by a law which gives extraordinary powers to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the Earthquake Recovery Minister.

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Consents fall well short of targets

Auckland Council’s chief economist has published data showing Auckland is on track to build only half the number of houses the Council says the city needs to keep up with demand, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

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Labour to support gifted kids and special character schools

A Labour Government will help gifted children reach their full potential by properly funding dedicated and effective programmes outside their regular classes, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Labour will restore a ring-fenced fund to support these programmes, as well as re-establish the Gifted Advisory Board to identify and share evidence-based best practise. We will also ensure teacher programmes for professional development in this area have sufficient funding.

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Healthy contribution from creative sector

A report prepared for a newly formed group that champions New Zealand’s creative industries highlights the contribution they make to the economy, and proves the sector is not a 'nice to have' that should only be supported in good times, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“New Zealanders have long understood the role that the arts play in building our sense of place, well- being, and national identity.

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Please explain Minister… yet again

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy needs to explain what is going on with our export of sheep casings to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

“Our exports of partially processed casings to China have been halted and no one at the Ministry of Primary Industries will say why. It does not appear to be a food safety issue.

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Ensuring insurance works for all into the future

Ensuring the insurance industry works as it should when Kiwis need it most is the driver behind Labour’s plans for an Insurance Commissioner, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says.

 “The Canterbury earthquakes have highlighted just how under-prepared both the industry and EQC were to handle a major disaster.

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Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high

There’s no cause for celebration with the latest Household Incomes Report showing the number of children living in severe poverty has reached its highest level this century, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“New Zealand once valued itself as the one of the best countries, if not the best coun­try, in the world for bringing up chil­dren. Today's report shows this isn’t the case for too many Kiwi families and children.

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