Grant Robertson

The things people say when they think they are off air

Have a listen to the rather chatty Lisa Owen talking to Grant Robertson last night on RadioLive when both parties thought they weren’t on air.

Whoopsy they were.

It is amazing how chummy people are when they think no one is listening. Wonder no more at the objectivity of Lisa Owen.

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And another Farrar kicking for Robbo

Our Pinko arts, travel and fitness blogger mate continues to point out what everybody knew, Grant Robertson is not a finance minister’s arsehole.

Grant Robertson has exclaimed:

The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, ’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals and survivors of domestic violence is set to shut its doors, minus any last minute intervention.

“There are thousands of vulnerable people and families who rely on Relationships Aotearoa for critical services. The government cannot leave them in the lurch.

“Like other non-governmental organisations, Relationships Aotearoa has been seriously underfunded in recent years. It has been asked to do more with less and the strain has clearly started to tell.

This is typical Labour. If an NGO has financial issues, then the answer is the taxpayer must throw more money at them. In the same breath they expect us to believe they would ever have lowered the deficit.     Read more »

Farrar Roshambos Robbo twice in the same day

It looks like Arts, Lifestyle and Travel blogger David “Pinko” Farrar must have had a hard night out and woken up a little liverish.

He has roshamboed Robbo for the second time in a day for not doing enough reading on the finance portfolio over the summer.

Labour Party finance spokesman Grant Robertson said while the elderly had been looked after, Government policy meant younger generations would not reach retirement with the same level of savings or income base.

“If you look at the 2010 tax cuts, they very specifically protected the incomes of the elderly, and that’s good that they did that.  Read more »

Farrar Fisks Robbo

Labour’s Finance spokesman Grant Robertson apparently spent the summer reading, so he could be a good finance minister.

It looks like he might need to spend a few more summers reading as his thoughts are no match for arts, travel and lifestyle blogger David Farrar.

Farrar spent the summer traveling, bludging free tickets to shows and exercising – yet in one sensible post shows up Robbo for the vacuous fool he is. 

The Herald has a Budget wishlist from Grant Robertson. What is interesting in there is the total lack of new ideas – in fact 90% of what he calls for is already occurring! Let’s go through them.

What was required was an active policy of targeted financial investment stronger innovation partnerships,

Has he not heard of the Callaghan Institute? The invested $270 million in innovation partnerships in 2014.

encouragement of migration to the regions

You already gain extra points to qualify as a migrant if your job offer is outside Auckland, and the Government has said it is looking at more points on top of that.

and research and development through tax credits to all qualifying companies rather than the grants system that operates now.   Read more »

Grant Robertson as the next Michael Cullen?

After failing to win the Labour leadership contest last year, Mr Robertson reinvented himself to become a finance spokesman who could reach the standards set by former Labour finance guru Sir Michael Cullen.

Incidentally, Sir Michael is a supporter and mentor of Mr Robertson and, of course, both of them have Dunedin links. Sir Michael was the long-time MP for St Kilda and Dunedin South and Mr Robertson was born in St Kilda and educated in Dunedin.

In his first major speech before a business audience in Dunedin yesterday, Mr Robertson showed he was open to new ideas and suggestions. While criticising Prime Minister John Key and the Government for a hands-off approach to the economy, the creation of jobs and Auckland’s housing issues, the Wellington Central MP also started offering some hints of where Labour may look in future to gain support.

Labour needs to get Mr Robertson before as many business audiences as possible, as quickly as possible, as his message about regional support is sure to resonate well.

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The Blueprint for Robbo’s realisation that his promise not to run as leader doesn’t count

Nigel Farage promised to resign if he did not win his seat. On Friday of last week he resigned. Yesterday he un-resigned after the UKIP Board refused to let him resign.

I had promised in my book, the Purple Revolution, that if I lost in the South Thanet constituency, I would stand down as Ukip leader. This might have accounted for how much negativity the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, and the trade unions threw at me in that seat over the past few months.

And I’m a man of my word. It was only about 20 minutes after the results in South Thanet had come in, that I stood on the cliffs outside the Botany Bay Hotel, surrounded by the nation’s media, and confirmed that I would be handing my resignation to the National Executive Committee today. What followed was something that had crossed my mind, but that I had never truly expected.

UKIP’s NEC overwhelmingly refused my resignation, citing the party membership support as a reason for which I should stay on. I was reluctant. I wanted evidence, I wanted options. And they all came. I was left in a situation that made it clear; there was only one person the NEC wanted for the job, and the party membership was in support.

So, I breathed deep, and thought for as long as I possibly had, given the meeting was ongoing, and still is, at my time of writing this. I decided that as much as I had earned my holidays. As much as I wanted to spend the summer fishing, walking, and of course, in the European Parliament where all hell is currently breaking loose – that I owed it to the party that got me here.  Read more »

Labour repeats policy idea from last year and touts it as new policy

The Labour party clearly don’t understand that there is something called Google…which enables people to search the internet for things.

Like announcements made last year which are the same as the announcements made this year.

This is what they had to say in June 2014:

The Labour Party says if elected to government it will entice immigrants away from Auckland by increasing incentives for them to accept jobs or establish businesses in regional New Zealand.

Labour also says it will manage inward migration to reduce peaks and troughs in net migration, thereby taking pressure off an overheating housing market.

The party’s immigration policy was released by immigration spokesman Trevor Mallard on Saturday morning. Here’s the full policy document and Mallard’s statement here.

“Around half of permanent arrivals to New Zealand move to the Auckland region. If our policies were based on the development of some of our most promising regions this could be a trigger for attracting some migrants to these centres,” the policy statement says.

“This approach holds greater promise if a particular industry or types of industries were clustered in a region for the recruitment of highly skilled migrants and businesses specifically for that region. In this way immigration can be a critical input into regional development and a brake on growing our cities even bigger.”

Labour says over time new industries could be located in provincial centres, and existing industries there could be supported by smarter immigration and investment policies.

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Grant Robertson launches leadership bid

Grant Robertson has launched his leadership this morning in the NZ Herald.

He has done a nice soft piece for Audrey Young where he uses the language that a real Labour leader would use.

Mr Robertson makes it clear there are several ways he will be different from his predecessor, David Parker.

He wants to cut down on the number of policies and focus on a few and he wants to humanise Labour’s economic policy. That will mean less talk about poverty and the current account deficit, important as they are, and more talk about people and work.

Labour is the party of work and workers and if we look at the perception of the party, it may be that we have lost that connection to work.

“We are not going to not talk about poverty, because we have to, but we want to be the party of work and workers.

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Burning bridges not even built

What an omnishambles.

Bill English has caused confusion in parliament with his cute answers over the 10 bridges that National has promised to build in Northland.

The Government was asked to reaffirm its commitment to upgrade Northland bridges after comments by Finance Minister Bill English caused confusion in Parliament today.

The National Party has promised to upgrade 10 one-way bridges in Northland as part of its byelection campaign, which polls indicate will be a close-run race between National’s Mark Osborne and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Answering a question in the House today, Mr English indicated the completion of the bridges upgrade could depend on the byelection outcome.

“A political party has made an undertaking in an election – the Northland byelection. Whether it can be executed may well depend on the outcome of that election,” Mr English said.

Pressed by Labour’s Grant Robertson on whether he could confirm the 10 bridges would be upgraded under the current Government, Mr English still left room for interpretation.

“That is certainly National’s view … but in order to achieve a majority in this house you have to work with other parties.   Read more »

Where are the small business owners?

Labour has announced the make up of what they call their “Future of Work Commission“.

Most Kiwis work in small business, or own one. Yet they are not represented in the future of work commission.

Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Chair of the Future of Work Commission Grant Robertson has announced the membership of the External Reference Group which will guide the Commission’s work over the next two years.

“The External Reference Group brings a wide range of knowledge and experience to this important project. We have people from business, union, academic and community backgrounds, all of whom bring specialist skills that will provide expertise to ensure the Commission meets its goals.

“We have deliberately cast a wide net to get people who will challenge us. We want to be clear that each person who has agreed to be on the reference group is doing so because they believe in the importance of the issues the Commission is considering. Their involvement should not be construed as indicating any political preference by them or their organisation.”   Read more »