Thursday, November 06, 2008

Labour's policy dump

Labour has done a last-minute, pre-election policy dump, releasing all the second-tier policy they hadn't previously announced during the campaign. Amongst the pile are their long-awaited environment policy, a human rights policy, and their women's issues policy.

Labour's environment policy has no big promises, and is more or less the status quo. They're talking about tweaking the RMA here, introducing a National Policy Statement there, and investigating reform somewhere else. it's not very impressive, until you consider that the alternative is a wholesale gutting of the RMA and elimination of local input into significant planning decisions.

Their human rights policy [PDF] is unimpressive. Yes, its good that they have one, but there's nothing concrete in it. it would be nice if Labour could talk about human rights in more than empty platitudes.

The Women's Issues policy [PDF] recognises the importance of economic issues such as income adequacy and work-life balance. There's also a strong focus on domestic violence and health issues, including a commitment to nationwide equality of access for contraception. Interestingly, while National has a women's affairs spokesperson, they don't actually have any policy in this area. But no doubt they think women will be made better off by tax cuts for the rich, "cutting bureaucracy", and gutting the RMA...