The Labour and Green parties are preparing to crank up their
respective campaigns this year to attract more members and
What is clear from speeches given yesterday by Labour leader
David Shearer and Green co-leader Metiria Turei, laying out
groundwork for the year ahead, is that higher taxes and a
more hands-on government will be the result for New
Zealanders from 2014 if the left wing gains power.
In response, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bill
English said the Opposition had six weeks over summer to
think about new policy, and Labour came up with ''precisely
Mr Shearer headed one of his speech paragraphs ''New era -
Hands-on Government'', to leave no doubt where Labour sees
Introducing a capital gains tax remained a priority as did
putting 100,000 families into new homes. In response to
remarks made on Friday about new apprentices by Prime
Minister John Key, Mr Shearer said he had been serious about
youth unemployment from the day he was elected leader.
Labour would pay employers the equivalent of the dole to take
on apprentices and would back Kiwi businesses to get their
slice of the $30 billion dollars the Government contracted
out every year. But Labour would require those businesses to
take on apprentices and trainees in return.
The Greens' first priority this year was to stop the sale of
the state-owned energy companies and the party was putting
one final push into collecting enough signatures to force a
citizens initiated referendum.
Another priority was the party's campaign to get the CBD rail
link in Auckland.''
In 2013, we will campaign for the survival of our public
schools. Make no mistake, our schools have never felt so
unsupported, so threatened as they do under this Government
and this minister [Hekia Parata]. If the Government keeps
attacking schools and kids, they've got a fight on their
hands,'' she said.
Mrs Turei, and the Greens, have adopted a President Barack
Obama campaign team approach by launching grass roots ''I'm
in - for the future campaign'' through the party's website.''
Building a modern on the ground campaign movement is a
logical next step in the development of the Green Party. This
step is about building a campaign machine that more
effectively puts our modern political thought into action.''
The National Party might have deep pockets, but the Greens
aimed to combat that with people active on the ground, she
said. The Government knew the 2014 election would be close so
it was digging in now to deliver as many hard-line policies
as possible over the next two years.''
We can't wait until the 2014 election to stop bad change
occurring,'' she said.
For his part, Mr Shearer called on supporters to be part of
his ''team'' and play a part in the next government.''
I want each of you to take the Labour message out to your
neighbours, your co-workers, your congregation and your
A tide for change was building, he said. He promised a
country where its people thrived to be leaders, not
followers, and a country where the government was hands-on
and backed its people.
Mr English said Mr Shearer's speech yesterday was full of
last year's slogans and no new policy.''
He says that he wants to be hands-on, and yet opposes every
hands-on move National is making to encourage investment and
growth. On top of that, Labour still hasn't apologised for
their wasteful policies the last time they got their hands on
To make it worse, at the same time Labour's coalition
partners - the Greens - were up in Auckland busy working out
how to stop everything they did not like, including
everything to do with growth and jobs, Mr English said.
''A very poor effort to start the year from the Opposition.''
• Hands-on government
• 100,000 families into new homes
• Capital Gains Tax
• Champion a living wage
• Lift the age of eligibility for universal
• Home for Life plan, progressive ownership
• Stop sale of state-owned assets
• Get CBD rail link in Auckland built
• Launch ''I'm in - for the future
• Support survival of public schools