Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Shearer outlines 'hands-on' policy-making push

Shearer outlines 'hands-on' policy-making push

By Pattrick Smellie

Jan 27 (BusinessDesk) - Labour Party leader David Shearer announced no new policy today in a much-hyped 'state of the nation' speech, but outlined a series of policy-making initiatives in 2013 for a new "hands-on" approach, including to "develop a clear plan to diversify our economy."

At the same time, its likely coalition partner in a new government after the 2014 election, the Green Party, launched a new coalition of interests opposed to the current direction of government policy at what was billed as its "state of the planet" picnic.

Both announcements followed Prime Minister John Key's own scene-setting speech for 2013 last Friday to a business audience in Auckland, at which he warned councils to free up land for more affordable housing as the government contemplates major changes to resource management law, and said New Zealand must become a "magnet for investment."

Shearer touted Labour's plan to build 100,000 new, more affordable family homes as an immediate kick-start to jobs, and announced a national conference to assist develop housing policies "at the cutting edge of urban design and energy efficiency."

The affordable home design conference will involve "the best ideas of architects, designers, urban planners and others".

The initiative is similar to the Labour-instigated Opposition manufacturing inquiry, which begins at Parliament tomorrow without participation by government MP's but involving Green and New Zealand First MP's.

“Our economic team will develop a clear plan to diversify our economy," Shearer told an audience in the working class Wellington satellite town of Wainuiomata. "It’s about backing the talent of businesses working in high tech and the innovations of those adding value to our natural resources. A thriving manufacturing sector is at the heart of our vision."

"I want KiwiBuild ready to roll on Day 1 when we take office," he said, partly because the home-building scheme would create work. The Greens last week announced a rent-to-buy scheme for low income people to acquire government-built homes, in a move aligned with Labour's housing policy.

Housing affordability is emerging as a key political issue after years of house price increases outstripping New Zealanders' income growth. However, home-building is about to take off in Christchurch, as the city's post-earthquakes rebuild gets under way.

Shearer also promised a white paper this year from shadow social welfare minister Jacinda Adern, with alternatives to addressing child poverty beyond Labour's existing commitment to provide more food to schools.

"This year I’m asking my education team to look at ways to improve transitions from school to further training and high-skill jobs," he said.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said the "I'm in - for the future" campaign sought to "draw together new constituencies of New Zealanders disillusioned with the direction the Government is taking", aiming to "stop negative policies being enacted before the 2014 election."

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Budget Policy Statement: Spending Wins Over Tax Cuts; Big Ticket Items Get Boost

Income tax cuts are on hold as the government says “responding to the earthquakes and reducing debt are currently of higher priority”, although election year tax sweeteners remain possible. More>>

ALSO:

Fishy: Is Whitebaiting Sustainable?

The whitebait fry - considered a delicacy by many - are the juveniles of five species of galaxiid, four of which are considered threatened or declining. The SMC asked freshwater experts for their views on the sustainability of the whitebait fishery and whether we're doing enough to monitor the five species of galaxiid that make up whitebait. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Smaller-Than-Expected Four-Month Deficit

The New Zealand government's accounts recorded a smaller-than-forecast deficit in the first four months of the fiscal year on a higher-than-expected inflow of corporate and goods and services tax. More>>

ALSO:

On For Christmas: KiwiRail Ferries Back In Full Operation After Quake

KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries are back in full operation for the first time since the Kaikoura earthquake, with the railspan that allows rail wagons to be loaded on the Aratere now restored. More>>

ALSO:

Comerce Commission Investigation: Prosecutions Over Steel Mesh Labelling

Steel & Tube Holdings, along with two other companies, will be prosecuted by the Commerce Commission following the regulator's investigation into seismic steel mesh, while Fletcher Building's steel division has been given a warning. More>>

ALSO:

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news