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Ice Challenge

July 15, 2014

Economic Mismanagement

July 1, 2014

National claims to be the party of good economic management but it is blowing your money on a wasteful exercise in vote-buying.

Over the weekend National announced that their big plan for regional economic development is more hand-picked pork-barrel roading projects that will be paid for using money raised by selling off our revenue generating assets.

Here in the Manawatu we were supposed to rejoice over the news that the Whirokino trestle bridge is to be upgraded.

I was pretty scathing of the proposal. As a plan for regional development it’s as insipid as it gets and the work won’t even start for three years. Besides, it’s hard to tell what improving a stretch of road that assists heavy vehicles to travel between Levin and Shannon does for Palmerston North.

But perhaps if it’s not much help to Palmerston North it is still valuable to the wider region and the nations as a whole.

Sadly not. The NZTA report into the project shows it has a benefit-cost ratio of 0.5-0.6. In other words for every dollar of your money spent to build the bridge, we get 50-60 cents in return.

What a terrible investment.

What a waste of the money that used to be invested in profitable businesses.

Breathing Life into an Empty Palmy Shop

June 11, 2014

Labour’s Housing Plans Put People First

May 21, 2014

Building Our Healthcare Workforce

May 20, 2014

I’ve dropped into the Careerforce Workforce Development Conference at Te Papa. Careerforce is the Health and Disability industry training organisation.

It’s been great chatting with people representing Aged Care employers, workers and trainers as well as people from the wider health sector.

We have some serious challenges that we need to face in Aged Care that need to be addressed now before we hit crisis point. We will soon have too few places in rest homes, too little dementia care and the workforce is already horrifically underpaid.

All this was debated this morning by a panel of politicians. Labour was represented by Grant Robertson. National was represented by… nobody at all.

It’s unbelievable that such and crucial issue should be debated without the governing party having a presence. Why did they not want to defend their record? Why did they not want to tell the conference what their future plans are?

Labour believes we need a clear plan for the future of Aged Care. Our plans will be announced before the election. We are committed to making sure there is enough provision and we are committed to improving wages, conditions and training.

If we truly respect older people it’s the least we can do.