Paula Bennett was in her element in Wednesday’s general debate:
Hon PAULA BENNETT (Minister for Social Development) : I move, That the House take note of miscellaneous business. What we have is the “Yeah, Nah Labour Party”. We have a wishy-washy party with a wishy-washy leader that does not know what it stands for or what it really means. What we have is the “Yeah, Nah Labour Party”. It cannot decide where it stands and cannot decide what it means. Labour wants to be the “Assure Party”. What it is actually is the “Unsure Party”. Labour does not know what it stands for. You have got to say that at least the Greens know what they stand for, and that is against anything that will actually mean jobs and growth. David Shearer may have been the “Yeah, um” leader but now we have the “Yeah, nah” leader. There is no doubt about that.
Let us take the man ban—take the man ban as one example. Labour turned around and said “Yes, yes, we want a man ban. We want a man ban.”, and then “No, no, no—yeah, yeah, no, no, no, we don’t want a man ban.” Then, of course, we have just had the weekend where it came back again and said: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, we will.” So it is the “Yeah, nah, yeah.” We have got one for that.
Let us take Cunliffe, who does the “Yeah” to one audience and then “Nah” to another audience. Inside the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions conference we had “Yeah” to the living wage and “Yeah” to paid parental leave. Then, quite frankly, he stepped outside and went “Oh, nah. Oh, nah—yeah, nah. Yeah, nah. Yeah, we kind of want them, but we’ll just back-pedal here faster than Shane Jones does with a remote. Yeah, nah, we actually didn’t mean it or maybe at some stage if we can get to it.” Cunliffe is telling one audience “Yeah”—but then again, he does owe the unions, remember. So one message to the unions—in fact, David Cunliffe might be at the Meat and Related Trades Workers Union now instead of in Parliament, and showing it that he actually owes it something and that that is where he should be.
Labour’s position on big, big projects is “Yeah, nah. Yeah, we sort of want jobs and that rhetoric sounds good, so yeah, we’ll go on about jobs. But nah, nah, we won’t actually support anything or vote for anything that means growth and that means jobs for real families.” In fact, let us take the classic example of that, which is the New Zealand International Convention Centre. It is the topic of the week; let us take the convention centre. Labour said: “Yeah, nah, yeah, nah, we won’t be voting for the convention centre. Yeah, nah, we don’t support jobs. We don’t want $400 million dollars that taxpayers don’t want to have to pay. Yeah, nah, we don’t want more tourism. Yeah, nah, we don’t want to see those jobs coming in.”
Unless, of course, Labour is speaking to Skycity itself, then it is “Oh, yeah, yeah. Actually, if we’re in, we won’t roll back the contract. Actually, if we’re in, the word on the side is yeah, nah.” Cunliffe says: “We didn’t mean what we actually said.” Let us just quote from him here, when he said to Skycity: “Do you want it straight from the shoulder? Here it is. We will not rip up the contract. We will not throw out the terms of Skycity’s gaming licence.” He says: “Yeah, nah. Yeah, nah.”
His rhetoric this week, the “Yeah, no” on what he is doing—in one breath on that convention centre he has most certainly done the “Yeah, nah”. His response to the unions right now—and let us remember who he is responsible to. Let us take trade. Trade is a goody, is it not? When he was in Government, he said: “Oh, yeah, we need more trade. Yeah, we’ll support trade. Free trade is good for the country. Free trade is good for jobs for Kiwis.” But now that the unions have got him wrapped around their little finger, it is: “Nah, nah—well, maybe. Yeah, nah, yeah, nah, maybe we’ll support free trade. No, we don’t think we do now.” Because the unions are actually pulling the strings, not the “Yeah, nah” leader who, quite frankly, is so wishy-washy.
Let us take superannuation. David Cunliffe says “Yeah, we want people to work harder. Yeah, we want people to work longer. Nah, nah—not now the unions are actually running things. Nah, doesn’t sit quite as well, so we’ll just backtrack hugely on that one as well.”, as he is kind of moving along. Take national standards. In 2012—2012, just last year—we had it quite emphatically from the Labour Party: “No, we will not cancel national standards.” Now that the unions are pulling the strings, it is: “Yeah, nah. Yeah, nah.” Just last weekend we had the leader saying that he will scrap national standards. “Yeah, nah. Yeah, nah. We’re not really sure exactly where we stand on those things as well.” So, let us contrast that to the National Party, which stands for something. What will the public be saying next year to Labour? “Yeah, nah!”
#gigatownoamaru is saying yeah, yeah to being the first gigatown in the Southern Hemisphere.