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The Nation: Labour's future, The TICS Bill, Joe Hockey

23 AUGUST 2013
Coming up this week on The Nation

Table of Contents

• David Shearer's former chief-of-staff Stuart Nash looks to Labour's future. Plus: former Party President Mike Williams and former party organiser Jennie Michie on the way ahead for Labour.

• The other spy bill --- and why Mega's Vikram Kumar and NZ Telecommunications Forum's David Stone are critical of it

• Australian Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey on how New Zealand would fit into a Coalition Government's plans for the economy (and also a few words on rugby and V8s)

Shearer's out - but who's next in line?

Labour leader David Shearer has stepped down from his role after months of bad poll results.

At the time of writing, no-one had thrown their hat in the ring, although Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe have been tipped as the frontrunners. But, thanks to the Labour Party's new voting system, the public will have to wait until September 15 to find out who will be leader.

We invited David Shearer, Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little onto the programme this weekend, and all declined. Instead, we'll be joined by former Labour MP and David Shearer's former chief-of-staff Stuart Nash, who'll offer his insight into why Shearer resigned, and how the next leader will be chosen. Prominent Labour Party member and blogger Jenny Michie explains why she sees Cunliffe as the future leader.

And former Labour President and political commentator Mike Williams asesses the strengths of the candidates, and who he hopes will replace Shearer.

Whose afraid of the "other" spy bill?

After the GCSB bill passed this week, talk has turned to the "other" spy bill.

The Telecommunications (Interception, Capability and Security) bill - known as the TICS bill - allows the GCSB to intercept communications from telecommunications companies such as Telecom, 2degrees, and Vodafone. The TICS bill also forces telecommunications companies to get GCSB approval for network upgrades and new vendors.

The bill would also extend the obligation on a case-by-case basis to service providers, like Skype, Google hangouts, and iMessage, forcing them to provide communications to the GCSB.

And, worst of all, according to Mega CEO Vikram Kumar, the government will be able to access communications secretly, meaning consumers won't know which companies have been targetted by the GCSB. As a result, Mr Kumar says consumers may lose trust in all service providers across New Zealand - and companies like Mega may be forced to head offshore.

So what do the telecos think of all this? CEO of the NZ Telecommunications Forum David Stone joins us to discuss the cost of the bill on telcos, and whether it targets all communications companies equally.

Australia's new-look Government

With Australian polls showing a probable landslide defeat for the Rudd-Labour Government, attention is now turning to what sort of a Government the Abbot-led coalition would be.

The new Government will face a deficit blowout of $30 billion, growth unlikely to be beyond 3% and unemployment possibly rising to 6.25%, according to a pre-election Treasury briefing.

Australia’s investment-led resources boom is over, and business leaders are complaining that the country’s high cost structure led by high wages and restrictive industrial practices is making it less competitive.

All this matters to New Zealand because of the close political and economic relationship we have with Australia.

So this week our producer, Richard Harman, travelled to Melbourne to talk to the man who would be Tony Abbott’s Treasurer, Joe Hockey.

Mr Hockey’s father was a Palestinian refugee but he also has strong New Zealand links --- apart from his love of rugby.

And he has some surprising things to say about New Zealand in this exclusive interview.


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