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Best and worst of 2012

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, December 26th, 2012 - 93 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags:

Best leader of the year? Hmm, Russel Norman’s done a very good job but is very much in his Honeymoon period – he’s yet to be seriously tested. Winston, on the other hand, has come back from the dead in a way that few thought was possible and has dealt with the Horan stuff admirably. So, Winston. Runner up, John Key – as much as I don’t like to admit it John Key must be doing something right – his party is systematically destroying the economy but he’s still the voters’ favorite.

Worst leader of the year? John Banks. That’s the end of the Act party (thanks John, I greatly appreciate that). Runner up, David Shearer – he’s had a year of media honeymoon and he’s pissed it away and alienated his membership in the process. Here’s a tip for 2013 David – figure out what you stand for and then find a way to say it clearly. It’ll be a lot easier to cope in interviews and debates if you are articulating policy from a firm coherent ideological position. Also, show, don’t tell – if you want people to know you’ve got political vision then you need to show it – not bang on endlessly about how you’ve got political vision (honestly it’s like you’ve taken the most literal reading of Lakoff possible).

Best frontbencher of the year? Tony Ryall. Remember the big heath cut scandal of 2012? Neither does anyone else. The circus of ineptitude that has been the fiftieth parliament thus far has allowed Ryall to work under the radar.

Worst frontbencher? Hekia Parata.

Best backbencher? Well that was a hard one – there have been quite a few backbenchers doing good work. From Gareth Hughes who has been a constant thorn in the side of the government, Andrew Little who took Collins on and won (and bonus points for gangnam styling it in the house – a comic deadpan masterpiece), Julie Anne Genter who has been relentless in showing up the absurdity of the government’s roads of national significance, Sue Morony who’s paid parental leave campaign showed women voters exactly who National are… But I think the backbencher of the year has to be Louisa Wall – in getting her marriage equality bill through it’s first reading she showed the great value of lobbying and of working with supporters outside of parliament to achieve a result.

Worst backbencher? Brendan Horan. Just resign, Brendan.

Political loser of the year? Hekia Parata.

Political winner of the year? The Labour party membership. I think 2012 will come to be seen as a turning point in the Labour party’s history and potentially in the history of democratic participation in New Zealand (and, of course, you can be one of those winners by joining up).

93 comments on “Best and worst of 2012”

  1. the sprout 1

    well said IB, agreed on all counts

  2. Can’t agree more Irish.

    And despite all that has happened, despite asset sales, education stuff ups, savage cuts, foreign affairs ineptitude and rising unemployment the poll of polls has National on 43% and Labour on 34%.

    Elsewhere in the world in the UK Labour has a 10 point advantage over the Tories in the polls and in Australia the latest Roy Morgan poll has labor ahead of the coalition.

    What is happening in NZ?

    • weka 2.1

      It’s no longer Labour. It’s Labour/Greens. And that poll shows them on 45.4% compared to 43% National.

      NZF is the real worry on 6.5%

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        So Weka Labour/Greens are neck and neck with National. Don’t you think this is still a bizarre result given what the current state of the country?

        • tc 2.1.1.1

          It’s a reflection of the own goals the mallarfia has kicked for the Labour party mickey. People want a change but not to what’s being presented currantly(sic) by the old guard.

          As odious as the Nats are they understand the spin, PR and value of new unknown faces regardless of their ability.

        • GeoffCartwright 2.1.1.2

          Two years out from election. Time is everything in politics
          Micky economy is holding barely most active voters from the middle are still employed, things haven’t got dire yet for most people…boxing day retail take will be still high.
          Once the policy direction come on stream and the twin realisation of a how bad the economy is in national and globally and also that labour has a new direction ( hopefully ) then the swing will happen. Unless laour implodes due to infighting they should sleep walk home with the greens.
          Solo I say again unity, one collective voice vs the Tories and lets organise now for 2014.

          Red alert is being reassessed and revamped.
          A caucus shuffle is on the cards, cunliffe will be back as both the members and indeed the party need him, but then again you know better than me..

          I has this conversation in 2007, as treasury indicated the looming darkness, with various party officials. Conclusion was to sleep walk in due to the cycle and the crunch.
          also it could have been much worse under the Tories….what would have happened if they economy was robust and English has spare balance to play with.
          The stuffed up early with tax cuts and now a huge hole in the accounts.

          Labour should be hitting them hard on economics – so my Xmas wish is bring back cunliffe under sharers watch but unified team approach without the wisperers…less deals wheels smoke and more focus on the new direction…and make it real for all new zealanders and not the social pandering to a small loud clique.
          The people are starving for leadership, positive change, and a new direction from the social left.

          • The Al1en 2.1.1.2.1

            “I say again unity, one collective voice vs the Tories and lets organise now for 2014”

            I’ll be doing all I can to encourage voters to reject the Labour party, as I have, and party vote Green in 2014.
            The more green mps there are, the less likely the current polit bureau won’t mess up the country like they have their party.

            Why won’t someone from Labour give a projection of where they would like the party to be in the polls in six months and a years time?

            • GeoffCartwright 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Well good on you…one vote for the green is one more vote for the coalition.
              We need the green and mana etc to keep labour on message, honest and progressive and to face upto the big issues. Unemployment, low wages, little real growth, climate change,energy shortages looming, credit crunch.
              It’s real simple people need the basics housing, food, water and energy..rest is flow on from that.

              • The Al1en

                I used to think one couldn’t have the Greens without Labour, but with Labour static in the polls and looking no more likely now to encourage the disenfranchised to vote key out in 2014 than they did in ’11, I’m not so sure.

                Hand on hearts, the most ardent top table supporters aside, after the last year and given the personnel in charge, who can’t see a near future situation where Labour are potential junior partners in coalition?

                So when they publish those poll targets, what’s it going to be?
                Incompetent forecasting or incompetent voters?

                • GeoffCartwright

                  Oh on green labour partnership more equal than not at next election.
                  Greens are the dominant left party at moment.
                  More active in the house on getting msm feed and traction.
                  Less fart tax and more connection and resonance with the public.

        • Daveosaurus 2.1.1.3

          Well, perhaps if the Labs had spent as much energy confronting the Tories as they did fighting themselves, then the results might have been a bit more definitive. But when (for example) any random post here is as likely to be attacking Labour as it is National, can any outside observer really be surprised?

          • Crimson Nile 2.1.1.3.1

            Cunliffe being ambushed by his colleagues and demoted could be considered as an example of ‘Labour Party infighting’. However, comments on The Standard attacking that behaviour are comments AGAINST Labour infighting.

            In other words, it would pay for you to remember that The Standard is not a Labour Party site.

        • David H 2.1.1.4

          Mickey it SHOULD be labour on it’s own that are Neck and Neck, but i think the MSM has lumped them together (through laziness or whyever.) I think it is Laziness to lump them together in here. Don’t forget that the Greens can always say no to Shearer and they may do that if he is still as useless or power mad, (Cunliffe debacle) as he is now!

      • felixviper 2.1.2

        “It’s no longer Labour. It’s Labour/Greens.”

        I’ll believe that when I hear it from Labour. And I mean publicly and willingly, not whispered and grudgingly.

        A Green partnership is the only way Labour is getting near government again. Ever. If they can’t hold hands in public and mean it, then they’re simply not ready to govern.

      • Fortran 2.1.3

        weka

        Yup – that’s all that matters – the combined Labour/Greens seat numbers.
        Ignore Winston he is not going to be around after 2014

        • Skinny 2.1.3.1

          Never dismiss Peters, the old dog will be around you can count on that!

          What labour & Greens can’t count on is him joining them, he dislikes the Greens as do they of him. He will more than likely side with National so a vote for NZ First needs to be discouraged too dissatisfied Left voters.

          I agree that Shearer needs to sharpen up, so I will cross my fingers in hope. Rolling him has a huge risk attached.Seeing the record rise of people suffering this Xmas, and the volunteer support services being overrun gives a clear indication another term of National is not an option.

          • mickysavage 2.1.3.1.1

            Agreed about Peters. And I think we should regard him as being the opposition and not part of the coalition.

            I agree also that a Labour – Green – NZF coalition does not bear thinking about. It will be far too unstable.

            Labour and the Greens have to be able to form a coalition by themselves, perhaps with Mana and you never know about the Maori Party post Turia.

            • pmofnz 2.1.3.1.1.1

              Peters … we should regard him as being the opposition

              The said coalition will have a large dead rat to consume as he will be more than likely, as is the norm, the kingmaker.

    • Foreign Waka 2.2

      Two things – a policy vacuum, no one has any idea what labor really stands for – a slogan if you will such as “a fair society will not leave people in the poverty dust” and a policy that shows how…and secondly a leader whose only show on the radar gave the public a glimpse on his obvious envy towards an intelligent other. Feels like a Nero moment and as such is not an alternative. Hence the leaning to the Green Party with a leader who makes absolute sense.

      • weka 2.2.1

        two leaders actually.

        Speaking of which, it’s about time Labour looked at having co-leaders. It would help Labour to ditch the “I’m king and you’re not allowed to criticse me” model.

        • Foreign Waka 2.2.1.1

          Merry Christmas and hopefully the new year will look better than the last.
          I am not very optimistic about labor’s chances though. There is no real alternative to Mr Key and thus Nat will win again (sorry, don’t want to spoil your holiday).
          Labor made a good start showing a united front with many talents that can be called upon and a structure (at the time anyway) that seem to have favored talent pooling over submissive behavior towards the leader – ave Cesar. It did only last 5 minutes and all the young voters with their hopes for a new party with a new approach have been taught a lesson. It will take years to repair the damage. Ave stupidity.

  3. karol 3

    Excellent post on most counts, IrishBill. You have selected most of the MPs I would for good and bad years.

    However, Russel Norman’s “honeymoon” seems to me to be one backed by the MSM, especially. I also I have a niggling suspicion he’s also in favour with the current Labour Party leadership – for some reason. I’m not sure he is the strongest of the current very good Green MPs. I don’t so far see Norman as being able to provide strong leadership on the issues that are the strongest focus of the GP – equality, climate, resource-depletion, environmental destruction, poverty, grass-roots democracy, etc.

    Hone Harawira also had a very good year, even though it was always headline stuff. He has shed his image of being a bit of a hot head or loose cannon. He has established a strong sense of mission and identity for the Mana Party. He has joined in flax roots struggles, alongside those on low incomes.

    On the rest of your choices, IB, I very much agree.

    • Zetetic 3.1

      to be fair to Norman, the equity stuff is Turei’s area. If he started going on about that he would be accused of trying to overshadow her. And while he’s co-leader for the environmental stuff, it just gets no attention. Economics was the headline this year and he did a good job getting a green voice in it.

      I don’t think he’s in favour with Labour. Quite the opposite. They want a nice, quiet Green Party. Not one taking the economic space away from them.

      • karol 3.1.1

        You’re probably right, Zetitic (also agree with IB @9.07am & partly with felix @9.13am below).

        I’m looking at how things are working out, rather than what was the original Labour leadership/Caucus intention. Part of the reason economics is seen as the main issue is because that’s how the NAct government have framed it, with the MSM in agreement. It suits the MOR journalists and NAct for that to be more of the focus, while marginalising and demonising the less well-off.

        The likes of Patrick Gower have led the way in imaging a Shearer-Norman led government, and others in opposition seem to be falling in line with this: see McCarten’s top 10 as highlighted by Mike Smith in his “gathering gloom” post

        The more this happens, the harder it will be for the Greens, and Mana to take the initiative to lead the discourse away from bennie-bashing and appeasing the comfortable middle-classes.

        However, if IB is right, that Shearer brings about his own demise, all those linked to him in the MSM-led public mind will be tainted. This would open the way for a different direction.

      • Dr Terry 3.1.2

        And can we be certain that the Greens actually want to unite with Labour (as Labour is at present, anyway)?

    • IrishBill 3.2

      I think Russel is very good but I haven’t seen him under a great deal of pressure. I think he’ll do okay (as will Met) but as they become more and more likely to be Ministers they’ll come under the spotlight and they’ll have to step up their game a bit. I think they will and I have great faith in other members of the Greens’ caucus such as Hague, Kennedy, Genter, and Hughes to step up too.

      On the other hand I think Shearer has the potential to deliver a comedy of errors election campaign that sees whatever gains they’ve made evaporating as the media make great sport of him and his front bench. Unlike Russel or Met or Winston, Shearer has the extra hurdle of needing to prove he’s a credible PM in waiting. I don’t think he’s capable of that but I’d be very happy to be proved wrong.

      • Populuxe1 3.2.1

        Surely his little dance with the Chinese security detail counts as pressure, and I don’t think you could fairly say he acted with full parliamentary dignity there.

        • bad12 3.2.1.1

          How does one act with ‘dignity’ whilst being assaulted by a number of burly security personal???…

          • felixviper 3.2.1.1.1

            I think when Pop says “act with dignity” he means “sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up when the boss man tells you to.”

            I could be wrong and I’m sure he’ll tell me so, but he’ll probably just be using more polite words to say exactly the same thing.

      • newsense 3.2.2

        also the question is what kind of PM he’d be.

        I think no one was deluded about Key or Clark and the kind of leader they were. Shearer doesn’t have a track record, or the one he has is a bit hazy and doesn’t have his personality stamped clearly on it. No donkey deep in doo doo or vascetomy jokes yet…

  4. Bill 4

    Metiria Turei?

    • felixviper 4.1

      Good question.

      One of my favourite MPs in the house, but the way she’s been sidelined in the media in favour of Norman as the de-facto sole leader of the Greens (and the opposition) I think I’d have to put her year on the “worst” side of the ledger.

      • Fortran 4.1.1

        Metiria is seen as a token female Maori by most people.

        • GeoffCartwright 4.1.1.1

          qualify that please.
          Most you know?
          Most people where when etc?

        • bad12 4.1.1.2

          Betcha Ann Tolley doesn’t see Metiria Turei as a token anything, Metiria was the final straw that seen Slippery remove Tolley from the Education Portfolio when in one 30 second burst on a RadioNZ National ‘Morning Report’ debate She silenced the condescending Minister who sat for the rest of the debate in stunned silence,

          Anyone underestimating the co-Leader of the Greens or thinks that within the Party,(where it really counts), She has somehow been usurped by Russell Norman is deluded, they have neatly divided up areas of expertise to suit their relative strengths and it obviously works for the Party as they have remained (in the MSM polls),highly favored by the vote that put them in the Parliament…

    • Bill 4.2

      I reckon she’s been quietly solid. And if her lack of ‘celebrity’ prominence is by choice rather than accident, then she goes up in my estimation. Good leaders are ‘invisible’. And I know that doesn’t sit well in a world of politician as celebrity or media personality. But then, that world doesn’t sit well with me. And so any politician who doesn’t buy into the circus becasue they don’t necessarily have to seeing as how they are a co-leader…well, with some caveats, Metiria’s top of my list.

      • karol 4.2.1

        Agree with felix about Turei being sidelined. However, I also agree with Bill on Turei and her solid performance as a non-celebrity personality.

        I think there is a problem with us constructing our own lists, if we are guided too much by how an MP gets cut-through into the MSM. To get such cut-through, they are always in danger of reinforcing the status quo e.g. the MSM championing of celebrity culture.

        If we construct best and worst lists based on MSM cut-through, we also reinforce the such values – shouldn’t our lists be based on alternative values as Bill is doing?

        • IrishBill 4.2.1.1

          I think we can do both. My list was based very much on mainstream political aptitude (or lack of). If I were to put together a list based on alternative values it would look a little different.

          • karol 4.2.1.1.1

            Agreed, IB. I think your inclusion of several opposition back-benchers goes against the MSM grain. As does you focus on questions about Norman’s long-term viability.

            But I also agree with Bill that I would have Turei on my list, and for a good year, and not as felix said, a bad year.

            • Saarbo 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I would have placed Turei on the list, she has been outstanding.

              IB given that you mention that John Key has been “systematically destroying the economy” I would have thought that he should be in the Worst list, but I take your point that your list was based on “mainstream political aptitude”. Then perhaps the ABC clique should be on your “Best” list given the way they worked with the MSM and dealt with us members after the conference.

              • IrishBill

                I don’t think alienating your support-base to the point they openly discuss getting rid of you is good politics. Especially at a time that base has just increased its power.

      • felixviper 4.2.2

        Quietly solid, yep. My complaint isn’t really with anything Metiria has or hasn’t done, but with the way it’s been reported.

        Does that mean she had a bad year? Probably not at all. But what about the long-term ramifications for the co-leadership principle? As karol has pointed out many times, Norman is now often referred to simply as the “Green Party Leader”.

        Does this become a convention, that the Greens have a male and female leader but the media only go to the male for comment?

        What does this do for women in politics beyond the Greens? And what message does it send to the rest of us beyond politics?

        • GeoffCartwright 4.2.2.1

          A sad reflcction on our society that we have such an imbedded prevelanr message.
          With such a woeful and ignorant msm we need another construct to dis emulate party information…um it’s called the party and it’s organisation.
          Shame most electorates are so badly disorganised.

  5. muzza 5

    Sadly this just shows how poorly served NZ is.

    The experiment looks set to continue unchallenged!

  6. Bearded Git 6

    Worst of the year-Collins for debasing NZ’s legal system in the eyes of the rest of the world with such arrogance.

  7. Quasimodo 7

    “Runner up, John Key – as much as I don’t like to admit it John Key must be doing something right – his party is systematically destroying the economy but he’s still the voters’ favorite.”

    Who is doing National Party PR or giving him media advice at the moment ?

    Key has abandoned trash talk and the Master of the Universe persona, and in recent TV interviews bowed his head and moved into the camera without a word, almost smooching (or making love) to it. The media have let him get away with it.

    It lets people read into it what they will, and disdains any pretence at communication, critical analysis, or broadening the horizons of the public.. the supposed functions of televisual media in our time.

    At some point he will have to venture an opinion .. and be held accountable.

  8. BM 9

    I think the Greens would do better if they ditched the two leader bollocks.
    It just oozes pc, a real turn off for most voters.

    Go with Norman, he’s the most effective and leaderish of the two, most kiwis don’t care about gender, more important is best person for the job.

    • dancervipereke 9.1

      Maybe thats the answer for Labour have David Cunliffe and Shearer as co leaders. Shearer could continue going round the country playing his guitar and Cunliffe could get on with making Labour a genuine opposition who look like a Government in waiting.

      I knew we would find a use for Shearer at some stage!

    • felixviper 9.2

      Do not feed the right-wing/hates-the-greens/wants-them-to-fail/would-never-vote-for-them trool.

    • Foreign Waka 9.3

      Not so, if anything its preferred by many under 40 to the “old” school of one leader rules and the rest just follows.

  9. Anne 10

    …Sue Morony who’s paid parental leave campaign showed women voters exactly who National are… But I think the backbencher of the year has to be Louisa Wall – in getting her marriage equality bill through it’s first reading…

    It will be a test of Shearer’s leadership whether Sue Moroney and Lousia Wall are promoted in Shearer’s reshuffle. Both of them supported David Cunliffe at the time of the leadership contest, and Sue Moroney in particular paid a price. She was reshuffled down the pack.

    They have both shown consistency and determination in their respective shadow portfolios – and they acquit themselves well in The House – so lets see if they are going to be suitably rewarded for their hard work. It would be a significant sign of a new maturity and unity of purpose in the Labour Party. Fingers crossed.

    • bad12 10.1

      I would add Charles Chauval to the list of those who have impressed in the House, He has presence when on His feet and talks in English as opposed to politico-speak…

      • Anne 10.1.1

        Yes. Very much so. But my understanding is: Chauval also supported David Cunliffe in the leadership contest. He didn’t get demoted, but I don’t think he was rewarded for his impressive performance either – unless one can call not being demoted as acknowledgment of his good performance. 🙂

        • felixviper 10.1.1.1

          “unless one can call not being demoted as acknowledgment of his very good performance.”

          I suppose one could, if one wanted to go down the path of praising Shearer simply for not being a massive cock.

        • newsense 10.1.1.2

          yep think this is a key thing- how much talent is going to continue to be thrown away for not supporting Shearer.

          Morony fronted well and with success on her private members bill.

          Perhaps only King, Goff and Mallard are as experienced as Ryall. Who would you pick to be as safe a pair of hands?

    • Mary 10.2

      Louisa Wall shows signs of being a future leader. Perhaps a while a way yet, but a leader nonetheless.

  10. AmaKiwi 11

    “Rolling him (Shearer) has a huge risk attached.”

    Wrong. A public Labour leadership contest will revitalize the party.

    1. Party members will flock to the nationwide debates.
    2. If Shearer wins, it will legitimize the leadership he stole in Dec. 2012.
    3. Fantastic media coverage and public interest.
    4. Labour will be seen as an open, democratic party.

    Obama and Hillary Clinton fought like cats and dogs for a year. Three months later Obama took the White House BECAUSE the two candidates had stolen the spotlight for a year, attacking the incumbent’s failures.

    Shearer supporters should WANT an open, PUBLIC, leadership contest because it will do the same for Labour.

    • bad12 11.1

      Yeah i agree with that prognosis, had Shearer at the Conference gave a speech applauding the Party for its democratization of process and directly stated that it would be He who would trigger the Party wide vote in February my estimation of His leadership potential would have risen by about 99%,

      Just as importantly we all wouldn’t be sitting here debating the sheer arrogance of the man and proposing that Labour members extend the Party reform process to give the floor of the Conference the ‘trigger’ to have the question of leadership voted upon by the whole Party,

      My what the f**k is He doing there award has to go to Labour’s Shane Jones who i consider to be a wanker in both senses of the word once touted as a future leader(as He had attended Oxford or some such),has been a regular on Maori TV this year failing to expound upon anything that i could either understand in English or Maori and if i didn’t know that Jones was a member of Labour’s caucus i would have been left wondering who the idiot was answering the questions with a mouthful of over intellectualized waffle that meant in the end absolutely nothing…

      • Rogue Trooper 11.1.1

        “Green Priests” was a clever bit of phishful winking on Jones’ part though
        (he’s in both the 99, and the 1%)

    • newsense 11.2

      so in this analogy Shearer is Obama and Cunliffe is Clinton?

  11. ColonialPete 12

    I’ve been very impressed with Gareth Hughes’ work on intellectual property issues. It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t gain a lot of attention in the media, but I’m glad there’s someone in the house who gets IP issues, I used to think Clare Curran was on the ball in that respect, but her reputation is too tainted for me now. David Clark, my local MP, has made a mark for himself over the past year and I think he’s got a good future ahead of him in Parliament. I’ll be happy to vote for him again, should he keep this up.

    For me the jury is still out on my party vote. I want a Labour-Green government, but I may give my vote to the Greens for the first time in 2014, depending on how the next year and a half shapes up and if I think larger Green representation will moderate the shenanigans that have been going on in Labour. Policy will of course play into this too.

    • xtasy 12.1

      I do at times feel a lot of sympathy for Gareth Hughes, but still, there is something missing. He is still a bit too much like the smart student challenging the professor. To have authority on the political stage one must move on from that. He knows a lot, is competent, skillful and has potential, but sadly at times I feel he gets a bit carried away with issues and topics that many would consider to be rather “petty” and not “core” or convincingly “major”.

      I will definitely watch his space, as he is a guy very capable of learning and improving!

  12. Jenny 13

    Most invisible Damnatio Memoriae

  13. Mary 14

    You seem to be saying that it’s an admirable quality to manage to remain popular in the polls while your party ‘destroys the economy’ (and presumably all of the other nasty things National are doing, as well). Key’s so-called popularity remaining high is not because of anything positive about the man. It remains high due to a combination of lies, subterfuge, duplicity and taking advantage of a naive and uncritical public. I understand of course that almost all politicians regard all of these things as their stock-in-trade but that doesn’t mean that they’re things to aspire to. Placing Key as one of the best leaders of the year suggests you think that they are.

    • felixviper 14.1

      I don’t think he’s saying those things are admirable at all. I think he’s saying they’re being effectively deployed in pursuit of Key’s goals.

      • Mary 14.1.1

        Yes, I know, but I don’t think that the test for best leader of the year should be judged on how “effectively” such deplorable qualities – lies, subterfuge and duplicity – are deployed.

        • felixviper 14.1.1.1

          Sorry, I assumed when you said “You seem to be saying” that you meant “You seem to be saying “.

        • ochocinco 14.1.1.2

          Because those aren’t deplorable in themselves, only when deployed for the wrong reasons

          Lying, subterfuge, and duplicity are entirely valid weapons. Machiavelli would roll in his grave at your comments.

          • Crimson Nile 14.1.1.2.1

            Perhaps Jesus or Buddha would make a better example in terms of political leadership?

            • Mary 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes, if they used those “tools” to starve people and wreck the economy and turn neighbour against neighbour I’m sure it’d be fine.

  14. peterlepaysan 15

    What has the LP done to attract back all the “no shows” at the last election?

    San fairy ann.

    If the LP cannot revive a lost electorate how the hell can it attract disillusioned NP voters?

    Watching a society being wasted maybe necessary for UN negotiators. I am not so sure about that strategy in our society.

    Shearer and his cabal appear to be somewhat to the right of Key. Roof painting is objectionable.

    • Mary 15.1

      “Roof painting is objectionable.”

      Yes, and shows what Labour’s got in store. Time to ditch Labour, not join them.

      • GeoffCartwright 15.1.1

        Mary Mary contrary to the spin…shearer is naive an amateur polli, the message is about fairness and no person should be allowed to Rort the system poor unemployed or elite capitalist.
        One rule one law one new Zealand.

    • GeoffCartwright 15.2

      Gosh…the wide middle hate hate bludgers in society. Can’t attack the nobs cause well shearer and co are nob envyers elites are elites so sheared and co have to appeal to the middle again and the one framed message is fairness’ hard day bork for good pay anti system rorting hence the naive and lame use of framed language.
      CC hand puppet material.

  15. gnomic 16

    The smirking weasel aka ‘Sir’ Shonkey can’t do anything without having his sweaty palm held by ‘Lord’ Ashcroft and Crosby Textor or whoever is doing the focus groups now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the focus groups are coming up with news the Nats don’t want to hear. The middle classes are not going to be overjoyed by the various backdoor taxes required to compensate for the asinine Treasury forecast shortfalls.

    Not entirely convinced by Ruzza. What makes him think he is qualified to be Minister of Finance, or how that could be a sellable bill of goods to the great NZ electorate in its dubious wisdom? Squeaky voice, ginger, and an Ozzie. Why is he even here by the way? The give me back my flag episode didn’t help. Who does he think he is, the late saintly Rod? Short back and sides, questionable suits, and a doctorate is it of late, won’t do it.

    Metiria on the other hand has impressed me when I’ve heard her in the House. Seems to have a bit more to her than the co-leader. Reminds me of hearing the emergent Shipley back in the day. Not that a comparison with NZ’s first woman PM would be considered flattering.

    What, no mention of the ever-on-the-rise Judith Collins? Destined to greatness surely?

    Or ‘Frontbums’ Tamihere? Could one really wish to belong to a party which accepts this individual as a member? Shurely shome grave error here?

    Couldn’t Winston just fall under a bus or something? Is somebody who refers to the Greens as turd blossoms really relevant any more, if he ever was? He is after all merely just a Muldoonist when all’s said and done. Something he has in common with the smirking weasel oddly enough.

  16. xtasy 17

    Best MP performers:

    Russel Norman, still learning but a resolute, smart and convincing force to count on;

    David Parker, a very smart economic spokesperson, with much potential, to get over shyness;

    David Cunliffe, a bright mind, a true economic expert, a bit over on wordings and slogans and still due to learn more about accepting a “team” to be the solution to succeed, huge potential;

    Winston Peters, of course of the old school, having his closet stories and issues, but a total political survivor of the best beast categories, a real animal to show the government where to go;

    Kevin Hague, a bit in the shadow, but an excellent political performer, exposing all the crap that went on within ACC, exposing the government in an expert manner, same also showing integrity and much knowledge;

    John Key – still hanging in there, albeit rather weak now, but a smart and very articulate operator, always the main challenge for the opposition to deal with;

    Bill English – also a very experienced operator on the government front, not necessarily honest and convincing, but stubbornly solid, resolute, and always finding some answers to excuse government’s poor performance;

    Judith Collins – a hard as nails polly that is not to be messed around with, she will find an angle to attack, no matter how good the challenge may be, she lost credibility though with the handling at ACC, the criticism of a senior, neutral judge from Canada, and in a few other areas;

    Tony Ryall – this is a hard as nails politician the opposition has failed to get dealt with. He is good at propaganda, delivers the broken record success stories of elective surgery waiting times shortened, but he is also smart at covering up the failings in health, quite evident, sadly Labour has failed to expose enough;

    Julie Ann Genter – another great performer for the Greens, disecting the transport nonsense this government has tried and tired to deliver, as it is all about highways and too little about public transport in major centres;

    Grant Robertson – being very good at digging into John Banks, the GCSB scandal, Dotcom and all associate issues, plus more in his portfolio, as he is good at speaking, digging up stuff, but he should rethink his political loyalty to the hopeless Shearer camp;

    Tariana Turia – for sticking to the line of sale for the Maori Party to get something out of the deal with the Nats, but sadly it is losing momentum, as few see the real gains;

    Hone Harawira – as a very outspoken, honest and resolute voice of the truly downtrodden, the unemployed, Maori, Pacifica and others, on benefits, in public housing and down and out;

    Metiria Turei – for taking a very uncompromising stand on poverty in NZ, destroying families and marginalising many down the bottom end;

    Jacinda Ardern – to raise her voice for the beneficiaries in NZ, but it has only been of recent that this appears to have been more honest. Sadly she has been a bit willy nilly on much over the last couple of years. She has a last chance to get her act together, to be honest, resolute, convincing and take a clear stand for the poor and neglected she is supposed to defend. We want her to learn, grow and represent us, that is beneficiaries with little hope (no corporate and other elite cop out talk thanks)>

  17. AmaKiwi 18

    “Grant Robertson – . . . . . should rethink his political loyalty to the hopeless Shearer camp.”

    From Day #1, Shearer was Robertson’s path to power.

    When Shearer falls, the dagger in his back will have Robertson’s fingerprints all over it.

  18. bad12 19

    My ‘don’t talk down to me you fat b*****d’ award has to go to the Greens Julie-ann Genter who with relentless tenacity tortured the admission out of Gerry Brownlee that the Governments ‘roads of no significance’ didn’t even meet the Government own cost/benefit measurement…

  19. bad12 20

    The ‘take your 3% and stuff it you know where’ award has to go to Winston Peters who brought NZFirst roaring back into the Parliament with 6.2% of the vote despite ACT, National, and every mass media organization in the country for the previous 3 years telling us all that Party wouldn’t get over 3% of the vote and was finished,

    Notable performers in the House for NZFirst this year were Tracey Martin, and Asenati Lole-Taylor who showed they are not shy and put the NZFirst position across loudly and with style,

    Brendan Who gets my ‘fastest career in politics’ award…

  20. bad12 21

    My politician(s) of the year award has to go to those members of the Labour Party who pushed for and guided through the Conference the changes to the Labour Constitution,

    Although my belief is that the ‘trigger’ for a leadership vote should rest with the members at the annual conference and that Cabinet positions should also be voted upon by the membership at the same time the changes made recently were a massive step in the right direction….

  21. bad12 22

    The ‘we have our s**t together why havn’t you lot’ award has to go to the Green Party, while all the other Party’s in the Parliament have spent the year dancing around on one foot with the other firmly placed in their own ear-holes the Greens have resolutely failed to offer up internal scandals and instead stuck to the basics of evidence based opposition,

    Such staunch adherence to the party principles and policy should see them well rewarded in 2014…

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  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    19 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    19 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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