Grant Robertson

And so it begins…

With just one Tweet Phil Twyford has signalled the undermining of Andrew Little as leader.

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-9-10-33-am Read more »

“GDP up” just the war cry the CTU was waiting for

Just when the economy is going gang busters along come the unions with their bludging, grubby hands out.

The latest figures show gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.9 percent in the June quarter, taking annual growth to 3.6 percent.

Driven by housing, strong demand for exports and immigration, New Zealand now has the third highest growth rate in the OECD.

However, how much of the increased growth is getting through to workers?

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie says any growth flows into the economy and eventually into wages.

“If we continue to see unemployment track down, wages will start to move up and people will start to get ahead.

“We’re seeing real wage growth at the moment of 1.5 percent, but I’m expecting that to grow to 2.5 percent over the next 24 months.”

However, critics say we’re relying on immigration and on a per person basis New Zealand’s hardly growing at all.

“The biggest disappointment is the fact that it’s driven by population growth rather than by increasing the quality of what we are doing. Our productivity growth is probably going backwards,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg.

Read more »

Another financially illiterate beat-up from Robbo




Labour’s Grant Robertson says Uber’s minuscule tax payment in New Zealand is a sign it’s time the Government cracked down on multinational tax avoidance.

He says it’s a joke Uber paid just $9000 tax despite earning $1 million in revenue in New Zealand, and if it wants to operate here it should pay what others pay.

“That’s just not fair. I mean ordinary working people pay their taxes here every week. So should companies here, and the Government should crack down on those who don’t,” he says.

Read more »


No poofters, or can Robbo be PM?

Grant Robertson

Audrey Young questions whether Labour can elect Grant Robertson as leader.

But even Labour has some way to go in terms of tolerance – it is no secret that despite Grant Robertson’s popularity among MPs and party activists as a leadership contender, his sexuality was a defining disqualification for some in the party.

The internal tension between a focus on so-called identity politics versus a focus on so-called traditional values of working people will continue until it gains the Government benches again.

So far the answer is no. He has lost two leadership battles, and has clearly stated he will not run for leader again. Read more »

Are Debt-to-income restrictions on mortgages vote winners? Of course they’re not

Are Debt-to-income restrictions on mortgages vote winners?

Of course they’re not, and what’s the bet Farrar has been polling and focus grouping this.

Debt-to-income restrictions on mortgages are a long way off, even if the Reserve Bank decides it wants to introduce them, Parliament has been told.

Finance Minister Bill English was questioned about the restrictions today, after confirming last week that the Government and the Reserve Bank were discussing them.

“The Reserve Bank has yet to investigate whether the tool is workable, then it’s got to decide whether it wants to include it in the memorandum of understanding [with the Government], then it has to go out and consult everybody and work out how to apply it,” Mr English said.

Labour’s finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, asked Mr English about the potential impact of debt-to-income restrictions on first home buyers, but the minister said he wasn’t going to speculate on an issue the bank had just started working on.   Read more »

Shaw and McCarten manoeuvre against Robertson

It’s revealing that James Shaw has looked weak and sidelined in this Labour-Greens MOU. Shaw believes defeat is inevitable in 2017 and then the Greens will have to change strategy on the grounds of never having been part of government despite being in parliament since 1996. They will need to become more middling, and able to work with either side of politics.

But obviously the Greens have to believe something is on the table for them from yesterday’s deal. They have given up the ability to chase disaffected Labour votes at a time when Labour’s support looks like it is falling again, and they have given up finance. What do they gain in exchange?

Metiria Turei says the MOU helps to build a bloc that will get rid of National. One can debate whether it really will make a change of government more likely but even if you accept this MOU somehow makes the whole bigger than the parts, that still leaves out what the Greens specifically get out of it.

The other point Metiria has made publicly is that the Greens have been under pressure from their own members over their coalition positions. At the last election they claimed it was ‘highly unlikely’ they would work with National, as if they were in some way leaving the door open a smidgeon. In 2011 they said Labour was a ‘preferred but not exclusive’ partner, which was confusing because it implied National was a possibility but then everyone assumed the Greens had ruled National out. And after 2008 they went ahead and signed a (post-election) cooperation deal with National that delivered the cycleway and home insulation, before they withdrew from cooperation. Green activists believe those positions cost Labour votes (though maybe not the Greens), because it made an alternative government look less stable.  But still – responding to pressure from activists doesn’t really win the Greens anything in exchange for giving up finance and affirming Little’s status as Opposition leader to whom they will need to defer.     Read more »

Robbo “categorically” denies he’ll take Angry Andy’s job this term


Labour MP Grant Robertson has “categorically” ruled out challenging his party leader before next year’s election.

Speaking on The Nation today, Labour’s finance spokesman said leader Andrew Little had his full support, despite ranking poorly in a recent Newshub preferred-prime minister poll.

“The guy that I work with everyday is working hard,” he said.

“He’s got the vision to say we need to focus on health, education, housing, building up jobs around New Zealand and I think he’s doing a good job.”

He would “categorically not” challenge Mr Little, he said.

Mr Robertson ran in a party leadership race against Mr Little in 2014, narrowly missing out on the top spot.

The fact is that the question was asked.  And nobody asks the question unless there is talk that a leadership challenge is on the cards. Read more »

Could Jacinda and Twyford save Labour

With less than 1500 members Labour is trouble. Unlike the equally parlous labour movement there aren’t a lot of parties with which they can merge and others on the left would really rather Labour died so they can get on with leading the socialist rebellion.

Duncan Garner wonders whether Phil Twyford and Jacinda Ardern can save Labour.

Would Jacinda Ardern and Phil Twyford be a better leadership team? Both are from Auckland. Both have performed well this year. Both know the issues. But sources tell me this won’t happen.

The caucus is resigned to heading into the election with Little at the helm. There is a growing acceptance within that Little won’t lead them to victory.

My sources also tell me Little has failed to raise any money and that’s crucial. Also, who can even tell what Labour really stands for any more.

Not just Andrew Little, but also Nigel Haworth, who told the recent regional conference in Whanganui that he hadn’t raised a single cent. Labour supporters should be asking both Little and Haworth about fundraising, especially after their promises of a year ago.   Read more »

So, where is your alternative Robbo?

Yesterday Grant Robertson wrote an opinion piece for the NZ Herald criticising the government for their budget.

It is full of bumper sticker slogans  and broad brush statements. Take this one by way of example:

You can bet Bill English’s bottom dollar that in the lead up to next year’s Budget the Herald will be running stories about skyrocketing house prices, locked out first home buyers and people living in cars and garages because they can’t afford the rent for proper accommodation.

Well of course the Herald will be doing that, because like this year you will have run a campaign soliciting whingers and bludgers to tell their half of the story and pimped them to the Herald. Surely you can’t believe that we don’t know what you are doing?   Read more »

Why weren’t Grant and Andy drinking working men’s beer?

Andrew Little and Grant Robertson sat down to drink beer and try to look blokesy to middle New Zealand.

But they failed.

For a start Robbo seems to have some sort of magical fairy beer in his hands. Did Grant really want to present himself as the piss fairy?

On closer inspection it seems that they were drinking Tuatara craft beer, not Lion Red.

So not only did they not choose a real working man’s beer they chose some liberal elite poofy craft beer.

It shows how really out of touch they are with middle New Zealand.   Read more »