Shearer defends policy-free speech
Mon, 28 Jan 2013 9:58a.m.
By Dan Satherley
Labour leader David Shearer has dismissed criticism of his 'state of the nation' speech that it didn't contain any new policy.
Mr Shearer spoke yesterday at the Wainuiomata Rugby Club, talking about the need for a "hands-on" government that backs hard-working Kiwis doing their bit.
"It was just about setting out what our agenda is for the coming year, and yes, it is about getting out our ideas and policies as the year goes on, it wasn't about doing it today," Mr Shearer told Firstline this morning.
"As I've gone around the country, over and over people have come up to me and said, 'Look, I'm working hard, I'm paying my taxes, doing all the right things, but actually nobody's backing me, I feel nobody's standing up for me,' and that was really about 'I'm standing up for you.'"
Finance Minister Bill English said the speech was high on slogans and low on policy.
"Six weeks over summer to think about new policy, and Labour comes up with precisely nothing," he said yesterday.
"He says that he wants to be hands-on, and yet opposes every hands-on move National is making to encourage investment and growth."
In his own 'state of the nation' address on Friday, Prime Minister John Key said the Government would tackle housing affordability by amending the Resource Management Act (RMA) and forcing councils to free up land.
Mr Shearer however says the Government's "hands-off" approach "won't get young Kiwis into their own home", which is why the Government needs to get more involved.
"I believe that we should be building houses – that's not the Government building houses, it's the private sector – obviously builders build houses. But what the Government can do is to make that happen. We can stand back and we can twiddle with the RMA, or blame councils as this government is doing, but it won't get young Kiwis into their own home.
"We have to step in and actually do something."
Labour's KiwiBuild plan is to build 100,000 extra new houses over the next 10 years, for around $300,000 each. This, Mr Shearer says, will help young families buy their first home.
"We're only building just over 10,000 homes a year, and about five or six years ago we were building 32,000, 33,000 homes a year," he told Firstline this morning.
"That big gap in the market is why house prices are going up – there is simply an undersupply and an overdemand, and we need to be able to get in there.
"Only 5 percent of the houses being built in Auckland, for example, are in the affordable range."
He says the Government's plan of freeing up land won't change a thing.
"This government has sort of said, 'We're going to step back, leave it to the market and somehow we'll all sort of muddle through. Look, those days are gone. If we want to be able to get ahead as a country and do things for our people, we have to have a Government that is hands-on and not hands-off, and that's why we believe the Government is in the best position to be able to make housing affordability something that young Kiwis can actually afford to get into."
Criticism of KiwiBuild hasn't just come from the right, however. Left-leaning political commentator Chris Trotter says Labour's plan is just a "sop to the restive children of the middle class".
"The Greens' [housing policy] is actually targeted at people who don't have homes, which is you would have thought perhaps where Labour would have gone first," he told Firstline this morning.
APPRENTICE SCHEME TOO LATE, SAYS LABOUR
Mr Shearer also criticised the Government's apprenticeship scheme, which was announced in Mr Key's speech on Friday.
From April 1 an apprentice in the construction industry will get $2000, as will their employer. Apprentices and employers in other trades will get $1000. These bonuses only apply to the first 10,000 who sign up, however.
The Government says it expects to sign up around 14,000 new apprentices in the next five years, primarily to assist with the Christchurch rebuild.
But this is too little, too late, according to Labour.
"The Government needed to actually step in – with wartime urgency – and actually start training apprentices, not wait four years [sic] down the track."
"Four years ago we had 20 percent more apprentices out there than we have today," says Mr Shearer.
"We have Christchurch that needs to be rebuilt, and the Government has said the market will decide when we need apprentices, and when we need more people to build."
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
30/01/2013 11:26:24 a.m.
Why should Labour be announcing policy? The looney Nats set that precedence back at the 2008 election. National went into the election year without announcing any policy. They finally began to announce any policy about a month out from the 08 election. Any criticism from National towards Labour for their own practice is, hypocritical to say the least
30/01/2013 7:44:03 a.m.
Trouble with your comments Mike is you reinterpret everything your opponents say and then add things out of thin air to cement your delusions. If you go back and read my original opinion I stated a couple of times that Labour has it all ahead of them and the speech was devoid of any policy.Again they have an opportunity to take advantage of,but as of yet, they've done 'nada'. What you're going on about is cheap shots involving opposite ends of the anatomy, again where do you get this stuff dude? Like I said elsewhere on the site...go back on the meds Mike....(it'll help in the long run man).
30/01/2013 7:33:53 a.m.
Then where is Joe Key going to get 14K apprentices and fill the gaping wide tradesmen hole they have in CHCH, Challenger? Now whose being negative about the future of NZ.We wouldn't be able to start building houses for the middle class and the blue collar workers? Is that your take on reality? Seems like when it suits the right they suddenly lose faith in the resourcefulness of their fellow kiwis. Get the projects going and get people working on putting up housing for new home owners....not making the market 'affordable' for immigrants and forget about the affordability of houses for locals?? Houses not tenement buildings for the 2nd class citizens...man! The great NZ dream is meant for all NZers not a select few and a handful of wealthy immigrants....oops better watch my racial overtones....what a Joe Key the guy is....One word of warning to the left.If Shearer can't make any head way in the wake of this blundering govt,he doesn't deserve the job. I hope for the country, he has the wherewithal to get the public on his side in the next 18 months.
29/01/2013 10:48:06 p.m.
If we were building 30-32 thousand houses and now only 10 thousand and if the demand is there why are we not building those houses. Then why should the Govt. get involved.
My question is also about availability of workforce. We are already taking about shortage of tradesmen for Christchurch rebuild. Where will Shearer find the workforce to build 3 houses a day.
As for the cost and type of houses Shearer can provide he has also come down from his 300K 4 bedroom houses. Even for him to build on the outskirts of Auckland (though Auckland council state there is land available) how much will it cost to develop (Water, sewage,power, phone lines etc) those lands.What is the cost and how can you give us houses or even terrace houses for 300K. May be high-rise apartments is a possibility. But New Zealanders are not ready for it. If I remember right few years back many property developers have gone belly up building houses are apartment blocks. It may be worth investigating. So Labour as usual giving us pipe dream as usual.
29/01/2013 12:27:20 p.m.
Hate to say it, he's a nice guy, but says nothing new. National has handed so mnmay opportunities to Labour on a plate, and they have capitalised on none. Cheap housing? Otara and Ranui come to mind. Do we want more of this? You decide.
29/01/2013 8:47:40 a.m.
Zip it sweety.
28/01/2013 7:28:11 p.m.
Barb Jephson wrote:
Thank you Mr Shearer we're on the right road for the NZlanders!
28/01/2013 7:04:02 p.m.
Labour have some policy? They so many supporters with their heads up Labours backside like Katubaldy that they think they doing well.The polls say differently. Take the housing issue. Till more houses actually built and more supply introduced, the prices wont come down. Labour/Greens RMA has done what was expected, driven the cost of new housing up, the huge council costs that home buyers have to pay, and make lower cost homes less affordable for developers to build, so they dont build them. This was going to happen, and people who knew a tiny bit about property were telling Labour this before they even introduced the RMA. But listen to sense, or so many Yes Men like Katubaldy? Labour will always choose the Yes Men.We have some councils, which are holding up new hosuing developments. Now would the Len Brown Labour lead council be one of those? Look around, Auckland has the fastest growing home prices and they happen to be in his backyard where his council is aproving developments, or not approving them ...Auckland not the only Labour lead council around, and our councils need a kick up the backside and now we have talk of doing exactly that. The current stall/stall/stall by many councils is unacceptable.
28/01/2013 1:35:07 p.m.
Bill English comment made me laugh my ass off. He is accusing Labour of what himself, John Key and their other comrades has been doing since taking office, high on slogans and low on policy, and are masters at it. David Shearer and the rest of Labour should learn from it. Stick to your knittings and stop trying to be clever. On the other hand, the majority of the media seems to question Labours policies a lot more than they do with the governments. Considering the government has sometimes stolen other party's policies, and always been short on details. I wonder why eh?
28/01/2013 12:46:46 p.m.
Here's Mike again with his old newspaper clippings and cement hardened view points. You might as well be the man's policy spokesman Mike. You're quick to comment with a handful of assumptions and a fistful of cliches bro. The problem with this speech was,...it had no policy in it to speak of. Labour need to come out with their alternatives and I don't think they're going to be taking any of your suggestions anytime soon? Shearer has improved on his delivery,now he just needs some policies to 'deliver'. Plenty of options this year to 'have a crack' at the govt....only time will tell if he gets it right....(not you Mike).
Viewers overwhelming voted yes to decriminalising soft drugs during TV3's nation...
A petition boasting more than 37,000 signatures against the use of animal testin...
A report by New Zealand's police watchdog into the Urewera terror raids has foun...
Calls are growing for the Auckland Council to rethink its plans for more intensi...
A Work and Income employee has emailed the private details of 34 beneficiaries t...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.