'Without doubt there's a bias'– Helen Clark says there's a 'vocal' sector of business community 'against Labour'

Helen Clark says the "circuit breaker" in combatting falling business confidence is engagement, however the former Prime Minister told Q+A there was "without a doubt" bias against the Labour Party in parts of the community.

ANZ Bank's monthly survey shows sentiment turned more gloomy with a net 50 per cent of firms expecting the economy will deteriorate over the next year, down five percentage points from July.

When asked by host Q+A Corin Dann how she navigated her way through the 2000 "Winter of Discontent", Miss Clark said business may not like the policies, "but they like predictability; they like certainty; they like to know that they can have a dialogue with you".

The former Prime Minister was interview by TVNZ1’s Q+A host Corin Dann. Source: Q+A

Miss Clark said there was "without a doubt" bias against a Labour Government.

"It doesn't apply to every businessperson…but there is a vocal group that just doesn't like Labour being in government, and they will continue to complain."

"We [the Fifth Labour Government] didn't roll anything back, but we did have a lot of engagement with business around New Zealand.

"The record shows that for years we delivered good growth in unemployment, so there wasn't a basis for low confidence."

She thought the circuit breaker was "pretty much what Jacinda Ardern has announced", after the Prime Minister released plans to establish a Business Advisory Council led by Air New Zealand’s Christoper Luxon.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson also told Q+A low business confidence was a risk if the sentiment "translates into the investments that businesses make".

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said he is committed to the current debt target. Source: Q+A

"But I don't believe it has and I don't believe it needs to." 

Mr Robertson said he is committed to the current debt target and thought the Government had the "balance about right in the economy at the moment". 

National Party leader Simon Bridges told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning small to medium business owners (SMEs) "can't deal with the swings and the round-abouts in bad Government policy" the way large businesses could. 

He said those businesses “can't deal with the swings and the roundabouts” the way large businesses can. Source: Breakfast

"The cost, the compliance, the taxes of this Government, they're killing SMEs. [Businesses] want to do best by their workers, but getting unions in really hurts them.

"An investment decision that goes against them, an immigration decision that goes against them can mean the difference their business going forward or not."

The former Prime Minister said there was a group “that just doesn’t like Labour being in Government. Source: Q+A



Owner of dog who became internet sensation after Kawakawa escape speaks with Seven Sharp

A Bay of Islands woman told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she is "never going to live this down" after footage of her rescue dog Lily dragging a bakery's flag down the main street of Kawakawa went viral around the globe.

CCTV footage of the freedom-seeking furball's runner — accompanied by Yakety Sax, the song made famous by the Benny Hill Show — has been viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted to Facebook last night.

Lucie Green, a volunteer with Bay of Islands Animal Rescue, was taking the basset hound for a walk last week when she decided to stop at a local business to buy Lily a treat.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

But the Basset Hound received a fright and bolted despite being tied to a large Coca-Cola flag forcing Lucie to give chase.

"For an animal with just little legs, my god she can run," Lucie told Seven Sharp.

Lily, Lucie and the rogue flag brought Kawakawa's State Highway 1 strip to a standstill, the whole escapade captured on CCTV.

"My partner owns a local CCTV company I got to the office and I told him what had happened.

"He didn't tell me he'd done it, but he edited footage and put the music on and uploaded it to Facebook and tagged me in it.

"I knew it was trouble when basically by the time we'd gone to bed last night it had hit 100,000 views," Lucie said.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

Thousands of people have since commented on the video, with many of them admiring the dog’s spirit.

"I'm laughing my guts out it's so funny," wrote Facebook user Annie Hicks.

Lucie does see the funny side of events however.

"They say every dog has their day, so I guess Lily is enjoying her 15 mins of fame." 

Lily made a run for it when owner Lucie Green stopped at a shop in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp


Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp

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Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp


Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS