Journalists have right to protect sources

Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says.

“It is crucial in an open democracy that journalists are not forced to reveal their sources so whistle-blowers feel able to come forward with information.

“While we respect the Police’s independence, we are concerned that an arm of the state appears to be being used against Mr Hager while nothing appears to be being done about the wrongdoing he exposed.

“A 10-hour search of their family home would be harrowing for anyone. Nicky Hager was doing what the fourth estate ought to do and Police need to take care to protect his rights, and to avoid the appearance of intimidating the media.
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Key sacks himself in unprecedented move

John Key is trying to rid himself of the responsibilities every Prime Minister has to bear – that of overseeing our intelligence organisations, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker.

“This is a dereliction of duty. Managing our spy agencies is an integral part of being Prime Minister.

“Oversight of the SIS and GCSB has traditionally been the responsibility of Prime Ministers. It is an unprecedented move to delegate those responsibilities to a lower minister.
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Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises

Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker.

“Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter Davie is being rewarded for the company’s strong results with an almost $200,000 pay rise, increasing his salary by 18 per cent from $1.04 million to $1.24 million.

“The Rail and Maritime Union’s 200 workers at the Port are reaching the end of their three year collective contract which gave them a gradual 10 per cent pay rise over three years; equating to 3.3 per cent a year.

“That is a far cry from the $200,000 pay rise Peter Davie has just received. Many New Zealanders will think this outcome is unbalanced and unfair,” David Parker says.

2 October 2014                                                        MEDIA STATEMENT

Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify

The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker.
“Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February. This is bad news that will have knock-on effects for the rest of the economy.
“The figures speak for themselves. Other industries such as export manufacturing are in relative decline. Commentators report that the dairy industry faces a prolonged downturn with other countries now producing their own milk powder leading towards a global surplus.
“Economic commentators have said that National’s weakness is not addressing the long-term challenges we face. These are problems that won’t go away,” says David Parker.

2 October 2014                                                           MEDIA STATEMENT

Why power prices matter

News that the CEO of Contact Energy is now earning $1.7 million a year, or $33,000 a week, has shocked many New Zealanders and reinforces the urgent need for Labour’s NZ Power policy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“Currently power companies are allowed to charge excessive prices by pricing all electricity at the price paid for the most expensive electricity produced (often gas fired).
“Under Labour’s NZ Power consumers pay the average, rather than the highest, cost of generation. This saves hundreds of dollars a year for the average household and about 5 per cent for commercial users.
“This is only fair. Sixty per cent of NZ’s electricity comes from hydro, which is the cheapest electricity to produce in the world. It’s fuelled by the energy which comes from our public rivers. At present the public gets little benefit from this.
“I have been challenged by the business community on how I justify Labour’s policy to drop power prices.
“It’s easy.  People are cold. A couple of weeks ago I was in Wanganui. It was a cold day. I dropped into a suburban library. I was told many of the people who come in do so to get warm. They stay for hours on cold days because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

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Exports in permanent decline under National

Exports under National are in permanent decline – a result that causes long-term damage to our country’s wealth and makes Bill English’s admission that he has no new ideas all the more serious, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“National promised that exports as a percentage of GDP would increase from 33 per cent to 40 per cent under its watch. The opposite is happening. Exports have declined to 29 per cent and will drop even further to 26 per cent.
“This is despite the strongest terms of trade in a generation.
“That is the real story of National’s economic management. As a nation we are going backwards. The way to increase our wealth is to export more to our trading partners. That will lead to better jobs with higher wages.
“That won’t happen under National. Bill English admitted on The Nation he has no new ideas to turn around the economy. That’s worth showing again.
Lisa Owen: Mr English, I’m going to give you one last chance, Mr English. Have you got a new idea to boost our economy?
English: We want to keep going in the direction we’re going.
“It isn’t working. Labour has a real plan to boost exports. Our Economic Upgrade will focus on investment, innovation and industry to support exporting businesses.
“We will boost investment through making KiwiSaver universal to increase our national investment pool and use our capital gains tax to ensure that money goes into productive businesses.

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Key’s credibility – death by a thousand tax cuts

John Key’s fingers-crossed promise to provide $1500 a year in tax cuts would cost two or three times as much as he claims, providing yet another blow to his fiscal credibility, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“John Key is undermining the work Bill English has done on fiscal credibility. To the obvious discomfort of his Finance Minister he has introduced vague promises of tax cuts years into the future.
“The National Leader has now tried to claim his tax cut would give Kiwis $1500 more a year, while saying it would cost $500 million to $1 billion. But $1500 a year will cost $2.4 billion, around three times what John Key says it would cost.

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