Labour’s nine years of neglect

Kiri Allan

Now that we are
In government there is a
Need for us to make
Effective changes.

Yet we spend our time
Egregiously telling
Anyone and everyone, including
Reporters that it is all
Simon’s team’s fault.

Of course we could have
Formulated plans just in case

National lost the
Executive branch of
Government, but we didn’t.
Luckily, we can buy
Experts in working groups to
Come up with ideas because we are
Totally clueless.

Sep 2017, Kiri Allan: “So, after nine years of neglect, Gisborne finally hears from National one week out from a general election.”

Oct 2017, NZEI:  “…members who are fed up with holding together an education system broken from nine years of neglect.”

Oct 2017, Ardern:  – who will be sworn in as prime minister on Thursday – says the deal outlines a clear agenda – to prioritise regional development after “nine years of neglect.

Nov 2017, Clark: “Nine years of neglect in the health system …”

Dec 2017, Health Minister David Clark has released a report on his ministry which he says is an indictment on the previous government’s “nine years of neglect and under- resourcing”.

Dec 2017, PHA: Nine years of neglect blamed for poor public health services

Dec 2017, Jackson: “After nine years of neglect from this Opposition, …”

Feb 2018, Whaitiri: “This is a bold and ambitious plan that reverses nine years of neglect in our regions,” says Hon Meka Whaitiri.

Feb 2018, Prime:  “Nine years of neglect.

Feb 2018 Tabeteau: “… the regions have been neglected for nine years—nine years of neglect – …”

Mar 2018, Clark in General Debate: “We know on this side of the House that we have inherited nine years of neglect.” (Repeated 6 more times)

Mar 2018, Dyson (same debate)  “… seeing the destruction that was caused by nine years of neglect by the National Party.”

Mar 2018, Curran: “Census information will help us target new resources to district health boards in areas hardest hit by nine years of neglect and underfunding.”

Mar 2018, PSA: “… which is at least $1.85 billion after nine years of neglect,” PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

Apr 2018, Woods: “… a plan to fix up what has been left after nine years of neglect by the previous Government.”

May 2018, Robertson. “We cannot make up for nine years of neglect in one Budget … our commitments are for three years of government and beyond.”

May 2018, Davis: “Nine years of neglect by the previous National Government across housing, education and healthcare have hurt our people.”

May 2018, Nash: “We can’t fix nine years of neglect in one budget.”

Jun 2018,  Davidson: “Nurses need a significant pay catch-up, but this Government is going to find it challenging to recover nine years of neglect in a single year.”

Jun 2018, Peters: “You will get a fair deal, but we can’t turn around nine years of neglect in the space of one budget

Jul 2018, TEU: After nine years of neglect by the last government, it has never been more important to reform the education system to work for all people.

Aug 2018, Hipkins.  ” … in nine months in government we can’t make up for the nine years of neglect,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

Aug 2018, Sage: “Since taking on the waste portfolio I have heard loud and clear from New Zealanders that they find our country’s record on waste unacceptable and want action after nine years of neglect under National,” Eugenie Sage said.

Sep 2018, Ardern: “After nine years of neglect under National …”

Sep 2018, Sage: “Once again, this government is having to clean up after nine years of neglect. …”

Sep 2018, Martin: “… so we cannot snap our fingers after nine years of neglect …”

Oct 2018, CPAG activists: The new Government’s Families Package was largely a catch up that followed nine years of neglect and outright cuts and is not future-proofed by being indexed either for inflation or wage growth.

Oct 2018 Twyford: “… we’re addressing the infrastructure deficit that we inherited after nine years of neglect.”

Nov 2018 report on Labour Party Conference.  There wasn’t even very much “Tory-bashing”, barring some snippy asides from party president Nigel Haworth and references to “nine years of neglect“.

Nov 2018 Davis:  “like I say, we can’t fix nine years of neglect in one year.”

There are many other utterances of this phrase recorded in Hansard: Lees-Galloway, Sepaloni, Sio, Tinetti, Wood, Marcroft, McAnulty, Warren-Clark and Mitchell all failing to come up with something original to say.

So what did the Labour party neglect to do in those nine years?

  • They neglected to formulate any credible policy
  • They neglected to settle on a credible leader
  • They neglected to train a competent team of ministers-in-waiting
  • They neglected to convince the public and get a majority of votes on the night
  • They neglected to propose worthwhile legislation
  • They neglected to read up on basic Parliamentary procedure.

I am sure you can think of more things not done during the Labour’s nine years of neglect.

* I thought that Kiri was the originator of this go-to phrase for Labour, Greens, NZ First, unions and activists but a search on Hansard found it was first reported in Feb 2003 in an answer by Mark Burton to a patsy question from Labour.  The author of the quote is revealed in reply to a further patsy question in 2004. Quote.

“The National-led Governments did not allow defence spending to keep pace in the 1990s.”, and, further: “Nine years of neglect have seen the NZDF perilously low in capability and short of funds to correct this.” These honest and insightful comments were made by National’s spokesperson on defence, Simon Power, and the man who wants his job—Richard Worth. End quote.

So Simon Power (National) could be the originator of the phrase, possibly a bit too clever for Labour to have thought it up?  Kiri can take the credit for resurrecting the phrase for the current lot.


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WH is a pale, stale, male who does not believe all the doom and gloom climate nonsense so enjoys generating CO2 that the plants need to grow by driving his MG.

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