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

 

Scoop Business: Wheeler Downplays Scope For ‘Large’ Rates Fall

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler says some market commentators are predicting further declines in interest rates that would only make sense for an economy in recession, although some easing is likely to be needed to maintain New Zealand’s economic growth. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha Dam: Consent Conditions Could Mean Reduced Intensity

Legal advice sought by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on the Ruataniwha Dam consent conditions has confirmed that farmers who sign up to take water from the dam could be required to reduce the intensity of their farming operation to meet the catchment’s strict nitrogen limit. More>>

Health And Safety: Bill Now Sees Rules Relaxed For Small Businesses

Health and safety law reform sparked by the Pike River coalmine disaster has been reported back from the industrial relations select committee with weakened requirements on small businesses to appoint health and safety representatives and committees. More>>

ALSO:

Bearing Fruit: Annual Fruit Exports Hit $2 Billion For First Time

The value of fruit exported rose 20 percent (up $330 million) for the June 2015 year when compared with the year ended June 2014. Both higher prices and a greater quantity of exports (up 9.0 percent) contributed to the overall rise. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: NZ Dollar Jumps After RBNZ Trims OCR

The New Zealand dollar jumped more than half a US cent after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler cut the official cash rate by a quarter-point and said the currency needs to be lower, while dropping a reference to criteria that justified intervention. More>>

ALSO:

Drones: New 'World-Class' Framework For UAVs

The rules, which come into effect on 1 August, recognise the changing environment and create a world-class framework that accommodates ongoing development while still ensuring the safety of the public, property and other airspace users. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news