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Confidence in govt falls on Hobbit debacle

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, November 10th, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: election 2011, polls - Tags:

The latest Roy Morgan poll shows confidence in government plummeted during the Hobbit debacle. The poll was conducted over the two weeks between Peter Jackson suddenly claiming the Hobbit would go overseas and the Hobbit Enabling Act being rushed through Parliament. It shows confidence in government falling to a new low for Key’s administration. At the beginning of the year, nearly three-quarters of the population agreed the country was heading in the right direction. Barely 50% do now.

Confidence in government is falling close to where it was when the Labour government lost the last election.

The party polling numbers bounce around as you would expect but the trend there is also clear. The gap is gradually closing.

Since, March National has polled below 50% as often as above. The spikes above 50% are becoming less frequent, the forays below 50% are getting deeper and longer. Labour’s core support is solid around 33% but the challenge is to push it higher. Last year, there were dips below 30% where it looked like base support could be eroded. Now, the spikes are upside, into the mid 30s.

The Greens continue to poll strongly around 8% (notice how there’s none of those tired old media comments about them not making 5% this time round). Meanwhile, ACT support is whithering away, which will leave National with real problems forming a coalition. Especially if Peter Dunne loses his seat

As the trend continues to close, Key is going to have even more reason to go for an early election. If you were him, would you wait another 13 months on these numbers?

Despite the way too many media commentators have automatically written off Labour since the last election, this is going to be a close fought race. With Labour/Green polling in the low 40s and National/ACT around 50%, and a closing trend, it only takes a few percentage points shift to change the result. That’s the kind of shift that could easily happen in a campaign dominated by a double-dip recession and National’s privatisation agenda – for instance.

45 comments on “Confidence in govt falls on Hobbit debacle”

  1. M 1

    ‘With Labour/Green polling in the low 40s and National/ACT around 50%, and a closing trend, it only takes a few percentage points shift to change the result.’

    Hope it happens soon – even the RWNJs at work are really grumbling about the massive ramping up of food prices, but will they be able to join the dots?

    It’s only going to take the next step down in the US, which can’t be too far off, to have a flow on effect here with the ensuing cut,cut,cut that is the only tool in the NACT toolbox.

    As an aside, I know someone who has speculated against our currency to the tune of several hundred thousand thinking it would drop massively against the USD and so far has reaped some gut-wrenching losses but is grimly hanging on hoping for a miracle – can’t see it at this rate.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      If I had that kind of money to play around with, I’d be betting on oil going up.

      Should’ve bet on the AUS appreciating vs NZ, that seemed a bit more certain than NZ depreciating vs US.

    • outofbed 1.2

      With Labour/Green polling in the low 40s

      Which makes a bold assumption!

  2. JayDee 2

    Smile and Wave will be “comfortable” with that!

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Insight: when ordinary middle class NZ’ers on $40K-$80K p.a. see their parents, friends, their brothers and sisters, going on strike, giving up weekend time going on protest marches they know that something is going wrong in our society.

    They may not know the exact cause and effect, or where blame lies, but an uneasy feeling comes on.

    Yes the unions might take a hit but then they see that their family members are out there on the line. They know that this is not about nothing, its about something. Even if its not entirely clear what that is, people are angry, and more importantly, people they know are angry. About something.

    And ‘smile and wave’ always seems to be in the middle of that ‘something’. In other words, we are seeing the first signs of shit sticking.

    The Battle of 2011 is ON.

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      Make that:

      “… see their parents, friends, their brothers and sisters, EX-WORKMATES AND FRIENDS OFF OVERSEAS, EG TO AUSTRALIA OR ASIA, ..”

      Btw, I am considering leaving for overseas as well … the last straw will be if NACTS get in for a second term and drive their agenda further to cut into working people’s livelihood and make NZ more vulnerable in trying to cope with emerging global changes and the economy.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        I know parents who are just desperate not to have their teenagers head off overseas, or choosing to do their university years in Australia.

  4. Pat 4

    I’m not sure about the Hobbit connection. The poll was conducted after the Blackcaps disastrous tour of Bangladesh.

    • Vicky32 4.1

      That shows that ‘Kiwis’ have a strange way of looking at things, if the outcome for a bunch of cricketists can cause a government to go down! WTF?????
      Deb

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        In that case the All Blacks at the RWC will either promote Key to Emperor of NZ or send him off drawn and quartered.

        By the way, I’m sure Pat was kidding. Well, hopefully anyway.

  5. gingercrush 5

    Who cares what the Greens poll nobody actually believes they’ll get whatever percentage they’re polling. That 8.5% may as well be treated as 6%

    And you’re a fucking tool. Well done for taking the confidence rating at a low no doubt we won’t see a fucking word stated when the confidence rating once again goes upwards. Just like the party support goes up then down then up then down. You really do need to shut the fuck up about trends. You don’t have a fucking clue about trends.

    Of course after the 2008 election National was going to reach unrealistic numbers while Labour in turn after being knocked from government would see their polling fall below what they would get at a General Election. Its to be expected. The numbers have simply reverted back to more realistic numbers and I can’t see that they’re particularly good for the left. With the Greens polling numbers they never reach and Labour outside of the Sep20-Oct3 can’t break out from 34%.

    Sure the numbers aren’t dire for the left and National has a problem in coalition partners etc but I sure wouldn’t be celebrating if I was the left. You have an idiot in Phil Goff and an arrogant Labour party who will surely set themselves up for embarassment come 2011.

  6. insider 6

    Was there a poll of confidence in the CTU carried out at hte same time? That no doubt would see their stocks rising if your theory were true…

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Public confidence in the CTU is relatively unimportant for the Battle of 2011.

      Public confidence in Key and the National Government however, is.

      I feel a panic pulse coming from over on the Right.

      • Pat 6.1.1

        “I feel a panic pulse coming from over on the Right.”

        If you take your hand off it, you’ll notice that what you felt was something entirely different.

      • insider 6.1.2

        It’s important as a proof point if you think the hobbit is the cause of a poll shift down. I don’t think it was – I think it’s an overly hopeful correlation by Marty.

        I could equally argue that the “NZ going in the right direction” poll could be down because people are concerned at the antics of the unions and see their actions as a sign of bad things to come. Given generally reported reaction to the whole issue, I’d suggest that has a bit more evidence behhind it although I wouldn’t want to put any money on it.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.2.1

          I agree.

          Also note that the question isn’t “what is your confidence in the government”, but “do you think NZ is heading in the right direction”. I’d say a low result for that reflects more on union antics than it does on the government.

          • felix 6.1.2.1.1

            It’s true that it is a very vague question, one that can be answered on almost any basis… BUT it’s also true that supporters of the govt always trumpet a high result as a vote of confidence in the govt.

          • Pascal's bookie 6.1.2.1.2

            Same poll saw national drop two percent though eh.

            But yeah, I’ve got issues about reading too much into this poll, as I’ve said before.

            On the wording

            “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction or would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction?”

            That, to me at least, seems to be biased towards a positive result. You are asked to choose between ‘generally,… the right direction’ and ‘seriously… the wrong direction’.

            • felix 6.1.2.1.2.1

              Yep, heavily weighted. You only need to feel mildly positive to answer “yes” but have to be totally pissed off to say “no”.

              • Jim Nald

                Seems weighted to me for at least this reason – there is no qualifying adverb in the first limb but there is a loaded qualifying adverb in the second.

                “are heading in the right direction” cf. “are SERIOUSLY heading in the wrong direction”

                Would be more neutral with the removal of “seriously”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Knowing the slant of the question’s wording towards favouring the current Government, we can read the results of the poll a bit differently. And that makes it quite interesting eh?

              • Lanthanide

                I would honestly answer ‘yes’ to the question as worded. If they removed ‘seriously’ then I’d probably answer ‘no’.

                Because I know the question is interpreted as ‘support for the government’ I would answer ‘no’.

                • Bright Red

                  it’s Roy Morgan who calls it the Government Confidence Rating, and lots of other foreign pollsters do it too. I guess incumbent govts have a harder time getting re-elected when fewer people think the country is going in the right direction.

        • freedom 6.1.2.2

          why don’t they simply change the question to
          ‘Is The National Government taking NZ in the right direction?” and remove the ambiguity

          then, “Are the unions taking NZ in the right direction?” etc etc

          if stats are supposedly about accurate representation of data then the initial data surely is the important bit

    • grumpy 6.2

      I think that will become obvious when the polls come up for the period after the Hobbit was sorted.

  7. tc 7

    Interesting even though it’s another one of those rubbery polls, one thing that is certainly occuring is the unemployment, wages growth, immigration trends, price rises and continued amateur performance of sideshow and his ministers (ineffective laws/trolley wreck etc) is making up folks minds that voted for that nice Mr Key and all his lovely promises that they were well and truly conned.

    There’s no plan, ability or even intention to make NZ better for most of society just the same old flog off assets, reward the already well off even more and crush the proles….folk who’ve lived through the 80′s on already knew this however alot of new kiwis didn’t but they know all to well now.

    The hobbit debacle showed key at his best, clueless, a shite negotiator who happily gave up more taxpayers money for a movie that wasn’t going anywhere else anyway and passed laws that muddied not clarified matters.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    The government are trying very hard to lose the election.

    The opposition aren’t trying very hard to win it.

    Stay-at-home party set for a landslide.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      I’d agree with that. But chances are both are going to turn around next year.

      Peter Dunne’s income splitting is going to be the cherry for the budget, and not much else besides.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      Yes Labour is not quite there yet but I do think it is gearing up quite nicely. Mana is a practice run, Labour has activists from all over the country there getting properly stuck in. And there is plenty of work going on around the party developing the details of the “Two New Zealands/Better Jobs, Higher Incomes/Children” platform described quite clearly at Conference.

      Stay-at-home party set for a landslide.

      Yeah, not the Labour folks I know.

  9. Adrian 9

    Income splitting is not a goer, it is just unaffordable in the next God knows how long.

  10. salsy 10

    Dont forget the truism, As Auckland Goes – So Goes the Country… If anything, that should scare the sh*t out of the Nats. Especially when John Key wont hand over any money for rail, but that nice guy phil goff *has* promised it, oh and with trains made in Dunedin because that new Labour government are commited to building our economy, not Asia’s.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      What Labour need to do know is propose a timeline which gets Dunedin built trains to AKL real fast. For the first traunch of trains that may mean doing a bit less and importing a bit more but that will change for future batches.

      • salsy 10.1.1

        Claire Curran made an interseting point, that $500 million Kiwirail $$ taken straight out the NZ economy. Jobs and investment in technologies handed over to Korea, but no outcry. The same amount threatened to leave via the hobbit and huge outcry. Kiwis have lost their sense of pride and ownership of their own assets and technologies. That is what needs fueling..

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Add aviation fuel and watch it burn, my man, its the Battle of 2011.

        • Frank Macskasy 10.1.1.2

          “Claire Curran made an interseting point, that $500 million Kiwirail $$ taken straight out the NZ economy. Jobs and investment in technologies handed over to Korea, but no outcry. ”

          Indeed.

          Hence this little piece I write a week or so ago…

          ““No Middle Ground on Middle Earth”

          by Frank Macskasy

          If ever mass hysteria gripped this country, it was no better demonstrated that the last few weeks, when an industrial dispute erupted between Peter Jackson and Actor’s Equity. The reaction from every segment of New Zealand society was one of collective naked fury not seen since the Under Arm Incident of 1981 or as divisive as the Springbok Tour, in the same year.

          A simple dispute between Employer and Union turned into a near-panic and events spiralled unbelievably out of control, taking all the main players by surprise. There were street marches; Youtube videos of Union officials harassed by anonymous video-photographers; threats; counter-threats; abusive emails(again mostly anonymous); newspaper editorials; and Talkback radio and internet chatrooms that demanded blood and the sacrifice of First Born.

          All over a couple of movies about hairy-footed fantasy characters.

          Actors Equity, to it’s credit realised that the ire of the Village Mob had been aroused; were screaming for retribution; and duly called off any and all industrial action. Mostly to no avail, as reason had taken leave of most New Zealanders, it seems.

          Finally, our esteemed Prime Minister and Typical All-Round Nice Bloke, John Key, faced off against a high-powered gang of Hollywood executives from Warner Bros. He went into the meeting declaring beforehand that there would be “no bidding war” with the likes of Slovakia or Hungary to retain the movies.

          He came out some hours later confirming that tax-payers would be paying $85 million to Warner Bros, and we would be changing our labour laws to comply with their wishes. The Mafia couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.

          But was on Earth caused such a nationwide, feverish hysteria from so many normally easy-going Kiwis? What sparked such an outrage that saw local actors threatened with violence and even death? Even Robyn Malcolm stated she would be selling her home – such was the naked hatred being expressed toward members of New Zealand’s Actor’s Equity.

          To be clear, this mass hysteria has little to do with an industrial dispute.

          It has little to do with the prospect of losing a $650 million dollar venture to Eastern Europe.

          And to be brutally clear, most folk couldn’t care tuppence about local actors and technicians losing their jobs in the process.

          After all, New Zealanders have stood by quietly and meekly as company after company relocated their manufacturing base and call centres tro China, Australia, Fiji, India, and elsewhere. Certainly not one single New Zealanders marched in the streets when Fisher & Paykel moved their manufacturing to China or when Telstra Clear moved part of it’s call centre to The Philippines; as did many other companies.

          Since the late 1980s, tens of thousands of jobs have been lost overseas, and most of our manufacturing sector has followed suit. Even our farmland is now up for grabs (more on this in a moment).

          So obviously, New Zealanders are not to fussed about the ‘gutting’ of our economy. It has been happening for over twenty years and mostly with practiced indifferance by The Kiwi Masses.

          So what was it that stirred the blood of ordinary New Zealand men and women to boiling point?

          The answer, I would suggest, lies in our sense of self; our national identity.

          Quite simply – we don’t have one.

          Once upon a time, we took pride in our rugby team, the All Blacks. Players such as Colin Meads, Sid Going, Brian Lahore, Ian Kirkpatrick were the stuff of legends. We were a tiny nation, but our team of fifteen black-garbed heroes could venture forth and thrash teams from far more numerically-populated nations. Australia, Britain, South Africa, France – all fell before The Mighty Blacks.

          Then, as rugby became commercialised and slightly less “heroic”; splintered into various other ‘codes’; tickets became outrageously expensive; and the names became more South Pacific than South Island – we slowly ceased to identify ourselves with the game. We became more sophisticated and were tempted with other sporting distractions in which we could take a small measure of national pride.

          Also once upon a time, we took pride in being a rural country that could out-produce any other agricultural and farming country on this planet. Our archetypal hero, Fred Dagg, was a simple character with common sense wisdom and good-natured, blokish, humour.

          But we outgrew Fred Dagg; John Clark moved to Australia; and our farmers began to speak with American, Australian, and Chinese accents.

          We were a nation left with not many heroes, except for randy doctors and nurses on “Shortland Street” and high-flying financiers such as Faye & Richwhite and Allan Hawkins. Except that Faye & Richwhite were eventually investigated by the Securities Commission for insider-trading; the NZ Railways they purchased was looted and our rail system fell apart through lack of maintenance; and Allan Hawkins ended up in jail. The doctors and nurses on “Shortland Street” carried on with their amourous activities.

          Then almost overnight, a new hero burst upon the scene: Peter Jackson.

          Jackson started off in 1987 with his Z Grade splatter-movie, “Bad Taste”. He quickly ran out of money and required tax-payer bail-out to the tune of $235,000 from the New Zealand Film Commission.

          The film achieved a small measure of cult-status and kick-started Jackson’s career. His subsequent films were popular, employing unique and charming aspects of Kiwi culture and humour.

          In 2001, Jackson’s first installment of “The Lord of The Rings” was released and became an international sensation. The eventual-trilogy earned Jackson Hollywood accolades; millions of dollars; and more Oscar Awards than could be carried in Fred Dagg’s old wheelbarrow.

          Indeed, the entire country shared in the radiant glory. New Zealand was suddenly the center of international attention, if not most of the Known Universe. To be a Kiwi was cool. Tourists flocked to our country, eager to see the mountains; the rivers; the forests; and Hobbits roaming freely. Aotearoa became Hobbiton.

          The Mountain Troll stood guard in Wellington’s civic square. A hero’s parade at the World Premiere of “Return of the King” wound it’s way through Wellington’s streets. Dragons adorned The Embassy and Readings Theatres. A giant arrow was cleverly plunged into the side of a Courtney Place pub. And a giant statue of Gollum greeted visitors to Wellington’s International Air Terminal.

          We suddenly knew who we were; we were the mythical land of Middle Earth. We were the nation that produced a man who could complete three complex movies, back-to-back, reaping hundreds of millions in profit in the process.

          It put New Zealand on the map and our national and personal pride was boundless.

          When the trilogy won a combined total of seventeen Oscars, Billy Crystal was moved to say, at the 2004 Academy Award ceremonies; “It’s now official. There is no one left in New Zealand to thank.” .That was the point at which Kiwis experienced a collective orgasm.

          As many of the protest-placards stated during the recent “Save The Hobbit” marches; “New Zealand IS Middle Earth”.

          So when Actor’s Equity began their industrial action at the end of September, they were not just taking on Peter Jackson. Nor were they taking on Warner Bros. No, Actor’s Equity was “attacking” New Zealand’s deepest, cultural psyche.

          New Zealanders now identified so closely with hobbits and Middle Earth that any suggestion that movie productions be moved offshore was akin to wounding our collective heart. No wonder we responded with such irrational anger and hatred; our very national identity was under threat and as any psychologist will tell you, assaulting a person’s psyche can have far more dire consequences than simply biffing him one.

          New Zealand was not about to lose something we identified so closely with. (Because we had nothing else left in which to express our national pride.) And certainly not through industrial action led by an Australian, through an Australian trade union – which in itself raised stark issues surrounding our rivalry with that country. Australia was (in)famous for attempting to steal our cultural icons and now it appeared that they were after ‘Our Precious’, The Hobbit.

          Yes, it seems we are that insecure.

          So when John Key bent over backwards to the Wide Boys from Warner Bros, he was prostituting this country because he had no alternative. Far better to “take one for the team” than an alternative that, conceivably, could have resulted in people actually being harmed or killed.

          Yes, the hatred was that palpable.

          For a brief moment in our history, we went collectively mad. We were Bilbo Baggins faced with the awful prospect of losing The Ring forever.

          And like Bilbo, we just couldn’t bear to part with The Precious. We were The Precious and without it, we were faced with a cultural emptiness.

          We are indeed slaves to The One Ring.

          • felix 10.1.1.2.1

            Beautifully put.

          • Carol 10.1.1.2.2

            Frank, your points on loss of jobs overseas to other industries, are very significant, and need to be repeated as widely as possible in NZ.

            On our national identity: you link it with “national pride”, which I think is maybe more of a significant factor than the identity issue. This is because, the main screen production in NZ that stimulates comments about it representing characters that Kiwis can identify with, is Outrageous Fortune. And even though Robyn Malcolm has been the audience choice as sexiest woman on TV for many years, because of her role as Cheryl West, somehow Malcolm’s support of the actors’ cause did not trump the Jackson-Middle Earth generated hysteria. And Jackson’s Hollywood films have less in them that Kiwis can identify with, at least at a character and narrative level. Middle Earth is championed, not so much for it’s representation of NZ, but because it “puts NZ on the International map”: ie it has to do with national pride.

            The question is, why is that “pride” in an internationally recognised sense of a very superficial national identity, more important than our deeper and more personalised sense of a local identity? It does seem to have to do with a “loss of national identity”, as you say Frank, but a long side the loss of a national identity at an international level, we do have at least one local production that has constructed a sense of Kiwiness for a large proportion of New Zealanders.

        • g says 10.1.1.3

          surely some mileage can be made out of this exporting of money instead of giving the local economy a boost.
          hopefully someone is keeping their powder dry to use nearer ballot time

  11. Sean Brooks 11

    Unless there is a major scandel or things really turn to custard, there is no way national will be a one term government.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Both are likely to happen, and at that crucial stage Key will be ousted as his ‘light weight’ demeanour will have become a distinct liability to National credibility in tough times.

  12. g says 12

    winston could be both of those….
    also if the voters in mr dunne electorate were to realise that he is not the family friendly chap he makes out and that he will do whatever with whoever to keep on as an mp….
    act just needs to keep it together for a bit longer…
    (if act is the answer we need to ask different questions)

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    We wanted to share with you a little fun....
    Gareth’s World | 23-04
  • Matauri Bay: There are certain stories that get under your skin
    There are certain stories that get under your skin, stories that no matter how many times you hear them somehow strike you in a way that you never forget, stories that become a very part of you. The story of...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-04
  • Anit-fluoridation advertising deceptive
     Looks like the scientific fight-back against the misinformation coming from anti-fluoridation groups is having some success. This press release from the on-line Making Sense of Fluoride group. Anti Fluoridation Advertisements Rejected by The Advertising Complaints Authority Over the past week,...
    Open Parachute | 23-04
  • The Art of Letting Go
    via Porcupine Farm   While the big news with regard to the rebuild has been the scaling back of the Arts Precinct, this is just one part of a wider narrative that sees the grand plan unravelling. Since I wrote...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 23-04
  • Joyce tells Otago to ship in more students
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 11 Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is using threatened changes to university councils to bully the University of Otago to take more international students, says TEU national secretary Sharn...
    TEU | 23-04
  • New money for Māori innovation won’t cover cuts to Māori research
    Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori centre of research excellence is welcoming the  government’s decision to invest up to $2.5 million a year over the next two years in Māori-led science and...
    TEU | 23-04
  • UCOL staff given holiday but not pay rise
    UCOL staff got two extra days’ holiday they did not bargain for this week between Easter and Anzac Day, but what they really want is a pay rise. The polytechnic’s chief executive Paul McIlroy said...
    TEU | 23-04
  • Workers Memorial Day 2014
    Please be advised that there are three events planned to commemorate Workers Memorial Day (28 April) in Wellington. The media are invited to attend all three events.What When Photo:  ...
    CTU | 23-04
  • Shane Jones speaks out
    On 3news last night, Shane Jones gave a staged interview where he got some things off his chest. Not exactly a graceful exit, but there you go. Two of the things he said were especially interesting to me. Shane said:...
    Polity | 23-04
  • No Economic Rationale for $760m Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fifth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz In this post we look at the economic...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    Column – iPredict iPredicts 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives...
    Its our future | 23-04
  • Photo of the day – Vulcan Lane
    Vulcan Lane alive with people Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • Have your say on what Internet rights should look like
    Today I launched my Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill – NZ’s first ever bill crowdsourced by a political party. The launch happened live on Reddit, and I was joined in my office Joy Liddicoat (former Human Rights Commissioner and present...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Michael Porter on Social Progress
    via CNN, Fareed Zakaria has a fascinating interview with Harvard's Michael Porter, architect of the Social Progress Index that was launched to great fanfare a little while back. New Zealand won the top rank in that index, and Porter's main...
    Polity | 23-04
  • Time running out to save uni councils
    There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Another reason why we need an enforceable BORA
    Back in 2003, the then-Labour government, faced with the "threat" of an unpopular child-sex offender being released from prison at the end of their sentance, enacted the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Act, allowing them to be detained for...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Attack of the Return of the Revenge of the Night of Boris Johnson
    The Great White Shark is circling closer and closer ...Boris Johnson is to announce he will stand for Parliament at next year’s election – to avoid speculation on his future overshadowing the Tory campaign.Friends of the London Mayor say he...
    Left hand palm | 23-04
  • The Greens’ "internet bill of rights"
    Today the Green party released their draft Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill. The bill is a response to government interference in cyberspace via the GCSB Act, TICS, and the Skynet law, and is intended to limit government control. Interestingly, they're...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Tweet FA
    It’s nothing new for politicians (and would-be politicians) to fall foul of the odd misplaced tweet, or some other social media own goal, so much that there is even a website to highlight deleted tweets. A politician speaking without thinking...
    recess monkey | 23-04
  • The two-sided density dividend: Agglomeration economies in *consumption*
    Why are people – both in NZ and around the world – increasingly choosing to live in cities? The answer usually advanced in response to this question, at least from an economic perspective, is “agglomeration economies”. In this post I...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • "Shoulder-tapping" vs public service values
    Another angle to the Shane Jones resignation: Mr Jones said he would leave Parliament next month after he was shoulder tapped by Foreign Minister Murray McCully for a new role as a roving economic ambassador across the Pacific. This is...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Good news, but enemies remain within the party
    Shane Jones’ decision to leave Labour is to be celebrated. But we must be on our guard, because others within the party hold similar views. Now is not the time to be complacent!...
    Imperator Fish | 22-04
  • Govt fails Southern Cross Forest workers
    The Government's failure to deal with problems in the wood processing industry has resulted in more needless job losses, Green Party forestry spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.Southern Cross Forest Products announcement of another sawmill closure brings the tally of closures...
    Greens | 24-04
  • Humiliation for Government in Chinese dictat
    New Zealand’s food safety systems should be respected by our trading partners, but instead the Government has been humiliated with the Chinese dictating the terms of our infant formula production, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.   “The Government...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Honouring our Pacific soldiers
    Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson and MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio, will pay a special tribute to the many Pacific Islanders who fought in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the First World War in a speech he is giving...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today's interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government's failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland."The Green Party...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Rate rise not needed if Government was doing its job
    Today’s interest rate rise wouldn’t have been necessary if the Government had been doing its job properly and targeting the sources of inflation, Labour says. “New Zealand interest rates are among the highest in the world, putting more and more...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Real independence needed in food safety
    The Green Party are calling for a truly independent body to regulate our food safety.Food safety Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the establishment of a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council as part of the Government's response to last year's...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive po