web analytics
The Standard

A little exploration?

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, January 23rd, 2014 - 23 comments
Categories: activism, democratic participation, Environment, greens, labour, Mining - Tags: , , ,

All parliamentarians prance to the tuneful pipes of corporate and financial overlords. Some, it has to be said, jig much too enthusiastically. Others have the decency, at least on the rare occasion, to be dragged to the floor somewhat reluctantly. Then sometimes, despite all the enthusiastic or apologetic jigging and swirling and twirling,  parliamentarians manage – I assume quite by accident – to serve the interests of democracy rather well.

That’s happening at the moment with Labour’s stance on deep sea exploration.

Had both Labour and the Greens backed the idea of a moratorium on deep sea exploration, then all the people currently organising and learning and protesting around the issue would have donned their hobbit hats and retired to their respective Shires to await a left leaning government.

That would have all been well and good in so far as there would be no deep sea exploration…until the next time parliament was controlled by those who jig too enthusiastically.

The fact is that when gains are casually granted by parliament, they are ‘soft’ and can be taken away just as casually as they were given.

But when we, ordinary people, invest our time and our energy to secure a gain, then it ‘belongs’ to us. It’s ours. It’s locked in.

So, well done Labour for rendering this small service to democracy.

23 comments on “A little exploration?”

  1. karol 1

    Agree, Bill.

    At least with the service to democracy of opening up the oil drilling topic to politcal discussion. But that is also one of the possibilities provided by MMP.

  2. Ad 2

    Mental and moral test:

    Much of Dunedin opposed the Aramoana aluminium smelter in the late 1970s and early 1980s with a substantial oppositional movement. New Zealand’s greatest series of protest art were produced from it – the Black Window series. The question could be asked about deep sea drilling: what would Hotere do?

  3. Not a PS Staffer 3

    Cunliffe has done the correct thing by backing more exploration under a stricter safety regime.

    A Moratorium is a cop-out: it is leaving it to the next generation to take the decisions and to shoulder the cost of the moratorium.

    • Bill 3.1

      Maybe and maybe not. But this post is about the impact, or potential impact of the Labour/Green positioning on any nascent grass/flax roots expressions of democracy on the matter by us, the citizenry.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Looks like logic and argument is a weak point of yours.

      1) How is leaving these natural resources available for the next generation a cop out?
      2) How is giving the next generation full control and decision making, a cop out?
      3) How is using up the resources before the next generation get a share at all fair?

      Get a grip dude.

      • Not a PS Staffer 3.2.1

        We are using oil every day that is imported from the four corners of the globe. That is benefiting taxpayer and/or gangsters everywhere else but in NZ.

        Why not explore for oil here and get the jobs and royalty income (and the balance of payments) tilted in our favour? It does not change the amount of fossil consumed, it just changes its origin.

        Why a moratorium? All the arguments I’ve heard are based on the BP deep sea experience in the Gulf; and most of the arguments are comparing apples with oranges and ignoring the science.
        I believe the Green Party is pushing for a moratorium because they want no exploration: period! That makes the call for a moratorium a lie. That is why I call it a cop-out.

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          “Why not explore for oil here and get the jobs and royalty income (and the balance of payments) tilted in our favour? It does not change the amount of fossil consumed, it just changes its origin.”

          Environment. One, spills and the impact on NZ. Two, AGW. If we commit infrastructure and legislation to local drilling for local profit, then we are committing to not mitigating AGW. Some of us still hope to lessen fossil fuel use, believe it or not.

          There is a whole nimby argument of course, which I’m surprised hasn’t been made yet. The irony of the NZ oil-free movement. At some point, hopefully soon, we will have to also talk about how to use less oil in NZ. Maybe that is part of Bill’s citizen’s democracy.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.2

          So are you in favour of leaving NZ’s energy resources in place, ready and available for the next generation?

          And why did you call giving the next generation control over their own destiny, a “cop out”?

  4. Philj 4

    Xox
    Labour has to stand and deliver challenging and progressive policies. Or Stand aside, as they are in the way! There has to be hope and action for people to bother voting.

    • Bill 4.1

      Hmm. Again. The post is not about the policy position of Labour or the Greens per se. It’s about the potential for those positions to impact on the level of political engagement by and between people.

  5. fambo 5

    Philosophically speaking, this is in line with what Barack Obama said in an interview on The New Republic just after he was re-elected, to the effect that to get a change in law achieved through the Congress and Senate meant it was less likely to be discarded by a change of administration than in the case of a solely presidential decision where that option is also available. In other words, a broader consensus had been achieved and that gave it a greater chance of surviving long term.

  6. Not a PS Staffer 7

    “This post is about the impact, or potential impact of the Labour/Green positioning on any nascent grass/flax roots expressions of democracy on the matter by us, the citizen”

    Bill, gnarly policy, like deep sea drilling, is best made by those who have the most concerns/fears about the operation of such technology. A Cunliffe led government would develop better legislation than a Key (or Collins) led government.

    Breakthrough policy, like working for families and KiwiSaver needs a strong government that has both the selling skills and the implementation skills. Clark and Cullen (and Maharey) were at the top of their game when these policies were implemented.

    • adam 7.1

      Working for families is at best, broken. It is corporate welfare, dressed up as left wing policy. Or to borrow from the Americans – food stamps for the working poor. Again with kiwi saver, who gets to play with this money again?

      My goodness Not a PS Staffer, your an odd social democrat, you come across as an apologist. Your one of those labour people who ask working people to vote labour because they will only cut you off at the knees, rather than the hip, like national. What a sad position, what a sad, cynical view of politics, Hooton and co are laughing in your face because of your fears.

      Say what you like about anarchism.. But, at least it not spineless, wimpy, and lacking vision. At least we don’t live in the past and want to see people being sold down the river over and over. Labour supporters you seem happy to wallow in a tub half full, how about you have some courage and ask for the tub to be filled, so you kids/grandkids can have a chance at a life of freedom.

  7. Te Reo Putake 8

    I’m wondering whether this announcement is actually Cunliffe’s cleverly disguised offer of an Epsom style cup of tea to the Greens. He’s effectively ensured that Green voters who are motivated by energy/climate issues are actually going to vote. That shores up one leg of the coalition.

    Monday to similarly motivate Labour voters?

    • weka 8.1

      Not for the first time I’ve wondered that about Cunliffe too. Cunning plan or wool over our eyes, hard to tell.

      I think the cup of tea is also along the lines of Labour voters who would be turned off if Labour banned drilling, will still vote Labour, and it leaves the way open for the GP to speak strongly against drilling, both during the election campaign, and then in coalition agreements.

    • Anne 8.2

      My reaction was that Cunliffe et al decided to get the biggest bone of contention between Labour and the Greens – deep sea oil drilling – out into the open at the start of the year. I guess he’s hoping a political compromise to ‘agree to disagree’ (or whatever) can be forged well in advance of the official campaign period. Given the propensity of the MSM to misinform – or turn issues relating to the left of centre parties on their heads – it would seem to be a sensible move.

  8. Corokia 9

    I was really pissed off with Cunliffe when I heard this yesterday. Right I thought, voters who actually give a shit about about climate change must vote Green and I’m even more motivated to get out there and campaign for that. Yep Bill, I think I get it.

  9. Murray Olsen 10

    Wow, Bill, your post makes me look at Rogernomics in a whole new light as well. Sir Roger obviously knew that if Labour moved to the far right, a people’s movement would form to take control of the economy for the common good. In fact, Labour probably shouldn’t bother legislating for anything, or even standing for parliament, because any gains will be overturned by NAct. It should all be left to this wider people’s movement to make real democratic gains.

    Or maybe, just maybe, Cunliffe is just a neoliberal who’s learned how to say “Kia ora bro” while he stands on top of a bus. I had hoped for better, but I’m not seeing it.

    • Bill 10.1

      A few years ago I heard an interview with a retiring unionist on radio NZ. (Maybe the Seafarers?) Anyway, he made the valid point in my opinion, that the extension of holiday leave, although welcome, was a flawed or hollow piece of legislation. And it was flawed or hollow because the benefactors (us) had been reduced to passive objects by unions and government operating a series of deals behind closed doors. And he argued that when the inevitable roll back came it would be easier done because we had not invested any of our own time and energy to get the change. Meaning, we’d have little in the way of personal investment to tap into and gather strength from when it came around to protecting those gains.

      By the stroke of a pen and nary a murmer…as (sadly) tends to happen in NZ.

      • Murray Olsen 10.1.1

        Bill, you are taking two extremes in your argument. One is the social democratic dream, where an elected government does everything for us, while we happily wait for socialism to be legislated in. The other is where everything worthwhile happens outside parliament, through organised struggle. In the society we have, both of these are important and need to be combined. While we cannot rely on Labour, Greens, or even Mana unless the pressure is constant, I would ask what has happened to the Seamen’s Union? How much of a fight did they put up against Rogernomics?

        We need both. “Left” politicians need to be forced, grudgingly, to legislate in the interests of the mass of the people. They need to be held to account, but while they are there on the green leather, they should at least earn their pay. Hone Harawira seems to have no problem legislating as well as standing with the Glen Innes tenants. Why didn’t he say “It’s no use me helping you by proposing more state houses. You have to build them yourselves.” Why are Labour members like that nothing but a distant memory?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New figures show speculators rampant
    New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank data shows mortgage lending was up 6 per… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Spring is here – not pollen your leg
    It’s the first day of spring, and many people will be thinking about getting stuck into the weeds in the garden ready for planting. This year September is also Bee Aware Month. While there is a lack of movement from… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    17 hours ago
  • Government must do more to help global refugee crisis
    John Key must urgently increase our refugee quota and let New Zealand play its part in helping address the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding around the world, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The refugee crisis in countries like Lebanon and Austria… ...
    17 hours ago
  • The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives
    ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    19 hours ago
  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    2 days ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    2 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    5 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    6 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    6 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    6 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    6 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    6 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    7 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    7 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    7 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    7 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    7 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    7 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    1 week ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    1 week ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere