The Press on Labour

March 4th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

editorial:

leader David Cunliffe perhaps scored one or two electoral points last week when he visited – in her damaged home – an 85-year-old widow who told him she had been “pushed from pillar to post” in her dealings with EQC. …

Unfortunately, it was no substitute for a cohesive and well-articulated recovery policy from Labour, which continues to look lacklustre when it comes to explaining how it would handle the rebuild.

Cunliffe followed up his photo opportunity with a pledge to set up, if elected to Government, a $2 million fund to help individuals bring test cases against EQC and insurance companies, to “clarify the law, remove blockages and help get things moving”.

There is an immediate perception problem with the amount, which seems almost insignificant given the scale of the problem.

While Cunliffe talks of millions, the Government in election year is bound to keep repeating its mantra that it is funding $15 billion of a $40b rebuild.

Cunliffe’s rhetoric almost invites critique. If elected to Government, it would be better for Labour to clarify the law itself, even if that involves seeking its own declaratory judgments from the courts, rather than relying on citizens bringing test cases.

Paying people to take EQC and insurance companies to court might also create blockages, rather than remove them, at least in the cases of those who become involved in litigation.

It seems to be one of their more stupid policies. We’ll pay people to take our own insurance company to court.

And, given the length of time such cases take to be heard and adjudicated, then potentially appealed, it is hard to imagine how this scheme will help to get things moving to any significant degree.

A great way to delay things. Will they fund cases all the way to the Supreme Court?

It would be inviting them, in some cases, to sue EQC, a government department. What Cunliffe is saying, essentially, is that “if elected to govern, we will give you some money so that you can take our own officials to court, so that they can have a better idea of how they should be handling your case file”.

This is not what electors are looking for in a credible opposition party campaigning in election year.

It sounds like a policy a 22 year old staffer dreamt up the day before the visit. The key word in the editorial is credible. The policy is not credible, and neither is the party promoting it.

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20 Responses to “The Press on Labour”

  1. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    the Government in election year is bound to keep repeating its mantra that it is funding $15 billion of a $40b rebuild

    That’s a lot of taxpayers’ money being spent. No doubt the Taxpayers’ Union is investigating whether it’s money well spent.

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  2. Ben2001 (18 comments) says:

    Any credibility that DC had as long disappeared. He keeps making ‘errors of judgement’. He hops on every passing bandwagon. It is impossible to know what he believes or if he believes in anything at all. I think the word ‘tricky’ is too kind.

    I have no idea whether Labour staffers read these blogs but they should take heed. They should not assume this sort of comment is from the far right. There are many like me who at one time would have considered themselves natural Labour supporters but are totally disillusioned by Cunliffe. The thought of someone like Cunliffe running the country is frightening. One of his ‘errors of judgement’ would no doubt lead to our declaring was on Russia.

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  3. beautox (430 comments) says:

    Sounds like a lawyer thought than one up. I wonder who.

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  4. backster (2,077 comments) says:

    I wonder how many cases can be resolved up to Supreme Court level for $2 million.

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  5. alloytoo (432 comments) says:

    @ross69

    The Taxpayer’s Union probably noticed a couple of earthquake’s in the region. Surprised you missed them.

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  6. Souvlaki (29 comments) says:

    Speaking personally,( and I suspect for many others also)……part of the “feel-good factor” through out NZ(which is on the ascendancy ) comes from the knowledge that Labour is run by a bunch of nincompoops…..such blunderers, that we are unlikely to ever suffer under them in government, unless the Nats suffer a catastrophic reversal of form :-) !

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  7. smttc (692 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is just downright embarrassing. How he can go on air and claim he will be running the country later in the year is beyond me.

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  8. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    Sounds like a policy from a natural party of opposition. “Even if we win, we’ll focus on moaning about the Government”.

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  9. Minnie (96 comments) says:

    @Beautox “Sounds like a lawyer thought than one up. I wonder who.”

    The Press quoted approving comments from a Duncan Webb, “Labour member and insurance lawyer” in Monday’s story.

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  10. Albert_Ross (248 comments) says:

    Don’t often agree with ross69, but I am surprised at the negative reaction to his comment about whether the $15b of taxpayers’ money being spent on the earthquake rebuild is being well spent.

    One can thoroughly agree that rebuilding a major city after an earthquake is a good use of taxpayer money without having to conclude unquestioningly that everything that is spent in the name of “earthquake rebuild” must be being spent in the best way. For example, it would not be well spent if it were being used to fund an Olympic-standard indoor ski slope or a world-class centre for the treatment of leprosy.

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  11. flipper (3,557 comments) says:

    I wonder how long it will take the children in the MSM to realise that Cunners is nothing but an over-educated idiot.

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  12. CJPhoto (214 comments) says:

    BREAKING: Labour leader David Cunliffe says he would force the God to pay the full amount of the cleanup of Christchurch, where remains of the earthquake still lie.

    That is despite God being under no legal obligation to pay.

    Cunliffe said today he would force God to pay the full amount to have the wreck removed completely.
    “A Labour government will clean Christchurch up,” Cunliffe said.

    “We will make God pay through any means possible.”

    Cunliffe said he would take legal advice on whether any contracts made with a previous government would have to be honoured.

    “We would have to take careful legal advice on any contractual obligations. My understanding is the ultimate decision still remains with the New Zealand Government as to whether the city is rebuilt.

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  13. seanmaitland (455 comments) says:

    @Albert Ross – he is getting downvotes because he is completely Off Topic and is trolling to try and derail the thread. This thread is about legal action and how it would impact the EQC and insurance processes in ChristChurch.

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  14. KiwiGreg (3,175 comments) says:

    Tragically, the Nats haven’t abolished the entirely superfluous EQC

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  15. s.russell (1,563 comments) says:

    For Labour, policy is not about improving New Zealand, it is about getting elected. The only test they apply is “will this make a good sound bite?” The fact that a policy is incoherent, dishonest, counterproductive, unworkable, illegal, insane or all of the above is simply irrelevant.

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  16. Ed Snack (1,737 comments) says:

    Actually, one hopes that various bodies DO keep a close eye on the expenditure in Christchurch, that’s a shit load of money and regardless of our “clean” reputation, rorts are always possible. But I don’t see that as a partisan issue at all, just common sense.

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  17. alloytoo (432 comments) says:

    @ Ed Snack

    Absolutely, but many people do tend to forget that the bulk of the Christchurch rebuild is being paid through the insurance companies and you can bet they’re watching every penny.

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  18. Duxton (581 comments) says:

    “It seems to be one of their more stupid policies. ”

    The same could be said about anything Labour comes out with these days. Each pronouncement is worse (or funnier) than that which preceded it.

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  19. Wally.Anchor (19 comments) says:

    “It seems to be one of their more stupid policies.”
    ….
    “It seems to be yet another one of their more stupid policies.”

    There – FTFY

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  20. insider (1,000 comments) says:

    Dpf has obviously never heard of the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund, which provides not-for-profit groups with financial assistance to advocate for an environmental issue of high public interest in resource management cases at the Environment Court.

    Under national It’s been used to fight things such as the waterview connection, wiri prison and meridian windfarms.

    So it’s maybe not such a strange idea after all

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