Grant Robertson

Oh look, how inconvenient for Labour

Last year Andrew Little was stating that Labour’s focus was going to be on “jobs, jobs, jobs”. Grant Robertson is talking about the “Future of Work” and Andrew Little echoed that by talking about the rise of the robots…and nasty car washes.

Carmel Sepuloni thinks the statistics are wrong and calls for the government to be more transparent on job figures.

Grant Robertson even predicted that unemployment was going to balloon:

At the Select Committee Bill English appeared bewildered as to why unemployment is at 6%, higher than Australia, the US or the UK. He had no explanation as to why he has been unable to get unemployment any lower than the 5.6% recorded last year. With unemployment set to head towards 7% in the coming year, it is reckless that the government still has no plan to address this.

Apparently the government isn’t doing enough on jobs…and employment.

But wait…   Read more »

Grant Robertson is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist

Grant Robertson announced that he is working on his Future of Work Commission, but that we have to wait until November to hear what it is. But he has mentioned “flexicurity”…a bumper sticker slogan.

Lindsay Mitchell decodes what he means and why he isn’t actually solving a problem that exists.

Grant Robertson is talking up the Danish ‘Flexicurity’ model intimating Labour policy in 2017 might look like something similar:

The Danish system has three parts. It has flexible rules for hiring and firing workers, to make it easier to cut staff in downturns and easier to hire new staff when an economy rebounds. It has a generous unemployment benefit of up to 90 per cent for low-paid workers. And it has an “active labour market” policy, which means unemployed are helped into work, given guidance or re-trained.
Mr Robertson said New Zealand already had a flexible labour market, but it needed to be balanced with greater security and income support.
“Obviously you can’t take a model and replicate it from one country to another. It’s the principles of it that we are looking at and how something similar could be put in place in New Zealand.”

The following graph is apparently based on data extracted from the OECD database. I am assuming it is accurate:

Worker protection 2013 Read more »

The Future of Work Commission’s findings will be published in November

Labour Party 1st runner-up leader twice in a row, Grant Robertson, has created a paper entity called The Future of Work Commission.  It is going to try to understand what “work” is, what “jobs” are and, through this, win an election.

He’s talking up quite a storm, his paper entity and Grant.

Grant Robertson says New Zealanders can expect a radical shift in the Labour Party’s economic policy ahead of the 2017 election as his party looks to prepare workers for huge changes in the labour market in coming decades.

Mr Robertson is in Paris for the OECD’s Future of Work Forum, where politicians, businesspeople and unions are discussing how to adapt to the digital economy and the increasing casualisation of the workforce.

The shadow finance and employment minister is seeking ideas for his Future of Work Commission, a two-year project which will inform Labour’s new economic development policies.

“If we look ahead two decades, there will be enormous change,” he told the Herald from Paris. “Up to half of the jobs in the economy today won’t be there.”

That is because blue- and white-collar jobs are being lost to robotics, automisation and computerisation.

The working environment is becoming more flexible, and people are more likely to have several different career paths over their lifetime.

Mr Robertson said addressing these changes would mean a radical change of direction for his party.

I’d love to see Grant sell that to the party’s union masters.  As far as they are concerned, they are still going to be holding on to the old jobs thank you very much.   Read more »

Robertson reveals the secret of his Future of Work Commission

Grant Robertson has revealed, unwittingly, what his “Future of Work Commission” is all about.

The Labour Party is looking abroad for fresh ideas on the future of work in New Zealand as it reaches the halfway stage of a project to protect careers threatened by new technology.

Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson will this week attend the OECD Future of Work Forum in Paris, where over 300 academics, business representatives and politicians will discuss how digitisation is changing modern work, and the impact on skills and labour markets.

So his much touted ‘commission’, a name designed to lend authenticity and seriousness to it, is actually about protecting legacy jobs and not at all about working in the future.

Grant Robertson has revealed that Labour is still without ideas relevant for the future. It is simply union-led nonsense.  Read more »

It’s all about the jobs: get ready for a year of Labour’s new mantra


Richard Harman at Politik has an interview with Grant Robertson…where it is all about jobs…and he’s been thinking a lot.

The funny thing is that Grant Robertson has never had a real job and he is the supposed genius who is going to solve all our problems?

This is the year that Labour will try and shift the goal posts that define the economic debate in New Zealand politics.

In one of the most fundamental shakeups of the way the party thinks about the economy and itself  it is proposing to build its policies around the way the workplace has changed.

Labour, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, has always been the “workers’ party” where the workers were employees of big companies or organisations` which either processed, transported or manufactured physical products.

But these days manufacturing (in which Statistics NZ includes construction) accounts for less than 20% of gdp — service industries make up 66% of the economy.

And just as important as this shift has been the way we work. Labour faces this on the doorsteps of South Auckland among its huge Pasifika support base where people work two or three jobs, some part time, and some casual.

The old notions of security of employment has long since gone.

It has fallen to Grant Robertson to try and pull together the party’s response to this which he is doing by a massive consultation process.

So far he has been producing papers, talking to groups, unions, companies and individuals.

Read more »

Will Labour tax us even more?

Grant Robertson won’t commit to confirming whether or not Labour will go into the 2017 election with tax increases on the policy platform.

But would Labour change the tax system to help pay for its promises? And would it address wealth inequality?

“We have rule out going into the 2017 election with a capital gains tax but that doesn’t mean I think the tax system is correct or balanced. I think we can create a fairer system, particularly one that cracks down on speculation in the property market.”

Labour had gone into the last two elections promising to lift the top personal rate “and we are looking closely again at that”, he said.   Read more »

Government proud of small reduction in government employees. It’s not good enough

The government is trying to reduce troughers and bureaucrats and has made a good start…but it is nowhere near good enough.

Decimation would be a target to aim for.

The number of backroom bureaucrats is at its lowest since a cap was set in 2012.

State Services Minister Paula Bennett says there were 35,632 full time staff at the end of June, 474 fewer than in December.

“This latest result is 843 under the cap set by the Government in 2012, and the lowest since it was introduced,” she said today.

“The Government has made it a focus to cut unnecessary bureaucracy and waste and target expenditure where it will deliver measurable results.”    Read more »

Trotter on Labour’s coming shuffle of the deck chairs

Chris Trotter returns to sensibility and explores the shuffling of the deck chairs on the sinking ship Labour.

SOMETIME THIS WEEK (the date keeps changing) Andrew Little will announce his Shadow Cabinet reshuffle. The refreshed line-up of senior Opposition spokespeople will be the electorate’s best guide as to who will be doing what in the next Labour-led government. Barring unforeseen circumstances, and unforgiveable cock-ups, Little’s promotions, reappointments and demotions will be the last such exercise before the 2017 General Election.

Very few New Zealanders will pay much attention to Little’s final choices. Labour’s ranks, thinned by successive and increasingly severe defeats, contains nobody upon whose shoulders the burden of the electorate’s hopes has  yet descended.

Labour has a talent pool as shallow as a carpark puddle in the heat of summer. I was discussing this yesterday at lunch with the boys at church. They looked at National caucus and at Labour’s and came to the conclusion that even if a plane crashed with most of National’s cabinet aboard, there would still be capable people left in caucus to run the show. If Labour’s front two benches got cleaned out who would be left with any skills?    Read more »

Just what Labour needs, a deputy who doesn’t know what she wants to do

Labour’s conference has turned into a travesty, with Andrew Little unwilling to say whether or not Labour supports free trade, Phil Twyford going all Stalinist on housing, and the nanny state policies making a return with Labour’s wish to tax Watties’ tomato sauce.

Now Annette King, Andrew Little’s chosen deputy isn’t quite sure what she wants to do after 2017.

Labour MP Annette King says she hasn’t decided what she’ll do for the next general election.

Ms King is the MP for Rongotai, deputy leader of Labour and their spokeswoman for health.

There’s been speculation the 68-year-old may not stand at the 2017 general election or will run on the party list, creating an opportunity for a new electorate MP.

“That’s a decision I’ve yet to make,” Ms King told TVNZ’s Q&A program today.    Read more »

Judith Collins on work ethic and winning

Judith Collins has a column in the Sunday Star-Times today that mocks Labour for hating on John Key being with the All Blacks as they won the World Cup.

She then gets into the mechanics of winning where hard work beats natural talent.

Which then segues into discussing the missing talent of Andrew Little and also his missing work ethic.

We’ve seen the will to win in our Prime Minister. We saw it in Helen Clark. We don’t see it in the current leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little. That’s his problem. So far, I’ve seen nothing that tells me that Little is really serious.

Last weekend we had the Rugby World Cup final. This weekend, it is the Labour Party Conference. I’m sure the usual platitudes will result. They’re all behind the leader, all united, no factions, everything’s great. Except it’s not.

Andrew Little made a strategic error in handing over his Labour Party voters to Winston Peters in Northland. Sure, the result left National groggy – for a while. Sure, it took away a crucial vote for real Resource Management reform, but who are the losers in that? It’s all Kiwis and particularly people in Northland who want to see an even more vibrant economy.

I’m no fan of Winston Peters. He’s got the talent but not the work ethic. Tales of his unwillingness to read the fine print abound. That’s why his goal is 7 per cdent of the party vote not 50 per cent. But, right now, he is a more effective Leader of the Opposition than Andrew Little.

Read more »