web analytics
The Standard

Farrar in an act of pure vanity…

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, May 1st, 2011 - 64 comments
Categories: blogs, dpf - Tags: , ,

In an act of pure vanity, David Farrar is whining about the a by-election that will probably be held in July – less than three months before the House dissolves for the election.

Farrar even points out the relevant law

Parliament can only resolve not to have a by-election if the resignation occurs within six months of Parliament automatiically dissolving (22 May) or the announced election date (26 May).

So this particular electoral case has been envisaged by parliament and put into statute. So what is Farrar whining about?

As a comment here by Thomas Farrow put it.

Yes its interesting reading the attack lines on Kiwiblog
Apparently its OK to force a by election a year out from an election as was the case with a certain Maori co leader, but not OK when its 7 months, I wonder which , 8 9 10 or 11 months would be acceptable?
I guess that is why we have a law that gives an exact time, namely 6 months.

Indeed.

Looks to me like Farrar is merely stroking his ego or something. If it was such a democratic problem then he always has the option seeking to change the law – using the democratic process. What Farrar failed to argue about was the advantages or disadvantages of having such a by-election on the person that was causing it to happen or for any other political considerations.

For the Mana party like any new political party the advantages are obvious. It allows a shakedown of the nascent campaigning organisation,  whilst getting a renewed mandate from the electorate who voted for a member of a different party. After all the gradual disassociation of Hone Harawira from his former party has been going on for quite some time. Effectively this will give the voters up North a chance to express the opinion on that. But probably more importantly for the Mana party, they will be able to generate free publicity prior to the actual election campaign starting off.

The big risk for the Mana party will be if they don’t get a clear unambiguous mandate.

None of these political topics were canvassed by Farrar. You’d have to say that what he was doing was a simple dog-whistle for the rabid participants of the sewer. That interpretation is supported by the other dog-whistle topics raised in the post as asides. Whining about something that parliament has specifically made provision for just makes him look like a political dork.

On the the other main right blogger, I did like Fran O’Sullivan’s article about the Brash hostile takeover.

When I revealed on March 12 that Brash and Banks were looking at either starting a new right-of-centre party or taking over Act, blogger Cameron Slater commented:

“I am also pretty sure that Banks and Brash know that electorally they are rat poison as candidates. They are both pensioners, with Brash over 70. They also both know that their best years politically are behind them.”

This time around, Brash’s strategists let Slater into the play: the direct onslaught was “open and honest but not fair”. And as for The Don’s age – don’t mention it.

Indeed. Which Farrar gleefully points to. But these two bloggers often feel like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

From Wikipedia:-

Carroll, having introduced two fat little men named Tweedledum and Tweedledee, quotes the nursery rhyme, which the two brothers then go on to enact. They agree to have a battle, but never have one. When they see a monstrous black crow swooping down, they take to their heels. The Tweedle brothers never contradict each other, even when one of them, according to the rhyme, “agrees to have a battle”. Rather, they complement each other’s words. This fact has led Tenniel to assume that they are twins also physically, and Gardner goes so far as to claim that Carroll intended them to be enantiomorphs, i.e., three-dimensional mirror images. Evidence for these assumptions cannot be found in any of Lewis Carroll’s writings.[4]

They most often appear to me to be a mirrored sock-puppets lending their use to various right factions. Their erstwhile ‘differences’ are orientated more to trying to control the political framing between themselves. I find that when I look at their political writing with that perspective in mind, the machinations become pretty obvious and quite tediously boring.

64 comments on “Farrar in an act of pure vanity…”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Good call on the dueling Carrollists.

    And key doesn’t even need to change the law to avoid a by-election. If the cost of Hone testing his mandate is so damnably high, all Key needs to do is inform parliament in writing that he is bringing the general election forward, and with a 75% vote, Hone’s seat can be left empty.

    The solution is there, in the law. If National and Labour really want to have that political fight about finance vs democracy, the tools are there for them to bring it on.

  2. PeteG 2

    The normal democratic way to do it would have been for Harawira to have fulfilled his three year responsibilities to his electorate and party (without whom he would not be an MP), and then stood with a new party in the general election, or stood down.

    • Blighty 2.1

      no because normally when current MPs start a new party they go to their electorate for a mandate. That’s the normal practice – Peters, Turia are examples. Your counter-example: Peter Dunne, wow.

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        Blighty, it shouldn’t be normal practice to cop out part way through a three year contract just because your personal ambitions have changed. When candidates stand they are offering themselves for three years. Exceptional circumstances aside they should stay the distance – all of them, no matter what party.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          But when an MP decides that they can no longer support the party under whose banner they were elected, that is an exceptional circumstance.

          • PeteG 2.1.1.1.1

            It’s not, it’s simply a choice.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              A choice based on the fact that he feels that the mP no longer stands for what he does; that he can longer serve the mP given what it is doing, that the mP is not a vehicle he can support.

              Given those facts about what he feels, the circumstances are such that testing his mandate is a perfectly appropriate thing to do. It may be that his electorate disagrees with him.

        • Daveosaurus 2.1.1.2

          You should tell that to Richard Worth or Pansy Wong, then.

        • Roger 2.1.1.3

          I don’t think his personal ambitions have changed, he has been relatively consistent about where he stands. He saw the Maori Party as having changed position from what he expected.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      Pete, if Hone wouldn’t have been an MP without the party, and if he can no longer in good conscience support the party, then retesting his mandate is exactly what he should be doing democratically speaking.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      PeteG you are talking to us about what is democratic and what is not?

      That somehow Harawira continuing to tow the line for a party which has turned its back on the principles and policies it was voted in on is, in your imagination, the more democratic thing to do?

      Especially compared to going out to seek a new electoral mandate?

      That’s a strange idea of democracy my man, its like a non-democratic idea of democracy.

  3. todd 3

    The hypocrisy expressed by Farrar and cohorts is simply disgusting!

    I agree on not funding the America’s Cup bid but sadly the last Labour Government signed a contract forcusing us to do so.

    Is forcusing even a word? Does it mean the lead up to actual cussing or perhaps a description of the shit forecasting Farrar has undertaken in prematurely predicting the next election results. Can Farrar even focus on his diabolical spelling in that post?

    The $500,000 costs may be on the light side. As this is a Maori seat, they will need many more polling places than in a general seat by-election.

    Is this an attempt at nonchalant racism perhaps?

    • felix 3.1

      Farrar isn’t even trying to hide his ugly racist nature anymore.

      I can only assume that by “Maori seat” he really means “geographically large seat”.

      But that wouldn’t stir up as much anti-Maori filth in the comments, would it?

      • QoT 3.1.1

        [Agh, the comment box is being weird but hopefully it shows up in the right place]

        At an eyeballing on elections.org.nz, felix, West Coast-Tasman, Kaikoura and Clutha-Southland are similar in geographic area. So I’d say Farrar is indeed being dogwhistlingly specific.

  4. I sincerely hope Hone succeeds with his new party because the left certainly needs a chakeup (though I’d rather the shaker have been Matt McCarten). I see Nandor spoke, and I particularly hope that indicates a return to politics by him, or at least a higher profile of some sort.

    But not at a cost of $500,000. Yes, there’s the six month rule and he’s within it. And forcing a by-election will give Mana campaign training, publicity etc.

    But (would-be) political leaders are regularly called on to exercise judgement. One of the messages any new party needs to campaign on is restraint where presently we have waste (particularly, though symbolically in terms of actual numbers, the expense of Parliament and its MPs. Isn’t this very blog pointing out the waste of money sending Key to primp and pose in the UK?).

    Someone on the average wage would take around 500 weeks to earn $500,000. Spending it on a politician’s gaming – any politician’s gaming but especially one claiming concern for the poorest sectors of society – is tactically stupid.

    He’ll get his mandate. Better to point out that he could have wasted half a million but chose to trust the judgement of his voters to acknowledge that come the General Election.

    • felix 4.1

      I don’t understand the point of the six-month rule then. What use is it?

      • The six month rule is there to provide an MP with a right to resign and seek a new mandate up to six months out from an election.

        But just because you have a right doesn’t mean you have to exercise it… that’s where the judgement part comes in.

        I could be wrong, but I think his likely support base will hear “$500,000” and start thinking how else that could have been spent.

        Of course it wouldn’t have been spent to their benefit in any way whatsoever, but that’s not the way people think when they hear “MP + large sum of money”. The outcome of that equation is, in most people’s minds, “rort” or “waste”, thanks to a long and ignoble history of both.

        • felix 4.1.1.1

          So when would it have been acceptable to you for him to exercise this right? How far out from the election would constitute good judgement in your book?

          • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.1.1.1

            Given that Hone could credibly argue it was the other Maori Party MPs who’d deviated from the mandate upon which they were elected, any time after the point at which the PM had announced a firm date for the election.

            It’d be different, I think, if he’d suddenly decided he wanted to be Maoridom’s answer to Don Brash. But to claim you need a new mandate when you’re sticking to the old one is a tad disingenuous.

            There are mechanisms (ranging from hui to the internet) through which he could have taken soundings of his electorate and ensured they weren’t of a mind to sack him. If they’d come back negative, or ambiguous, then at least he’d have a basis on which to claim he felt the measure was necessary.

            As I said, I hope he succeeds, as I once hoped the Maori party succeeded (primarily, from a personal perspective, because I was optimistic as to what Pita Sharples might do about imprisonment. That’s two politicians I’ve been suckered by).

            I just think this is a bad look for a party claiming to represent some of the most dispossessed people in an increasingly divided society.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      But (would-be) political leaders are regularly called on to exercise judgement. One of the messages any new party needs to campaign on is restraint where presently we have waste

      Quite right.

      But sometimes also spending a few hundred $K in order to save multiple $B’s down the track could also be considered a very, very good investment.

      • PeteG 4.2.1

        If more MPs resigned and had separate by-elections would that save even more? Or will just the Mana Party who will be campaigning on cost saving? Actually I haven’t seen that part of their policy yet, only the policies that will cost a lot more.

      • spending a few hundred $K in order to save multiple $B’s down the track

        I’m not sure I follow your logic there CV. Are you saying that getting more non-Nact MPs into Parliament will save us money? But then if Hone wins, it’s the status quo. Or is there some other cost saving I’ve missed?

    • MrSmith 4.3

      This is politics, anyone that thinks National wouldn’t do the same thing given half the chance are dreaming. Get the fuck over it “they are the rules” .

      I like the way Mana are playing the game. Hopefully they can motivate the percentage of the population that don’t normally vote too vote, believe me this is the Nacts greatest fear . Power to the people.

      SAY NO TO ASSET SALES.

      • Get the fuck over it “they are the rules”

        These are the same “rules” that let an unelected megalomaniac dictate to an elected PM who should be in his Cabinet on the basis that the party he’s just executed a putsch upon might win 5% at the next election.

        So we just STFU and don’t question the “rules” then. Would you like a salute with that?

    • swordfish 4.4

      @ Rex

      “Though I’d rather the shaker have been Matt McCarten..”

      Absolutely agree. But, still, looks like he’s gonna be playing an important role behind the scenes.

      “I see Nandor spoke, and I particularly hope that indicates a return to politics by him…”

      Strangely enough, I seem to remember Nandor was the key proponent of a closer Green relationship with the Nats – or, at least, a move away from a clear Centre-Left alignment.

    • Rex, it says a lot about the state of our democracy if spending on a by-election is seen as a ‘waste’. To me, $500,000 is not too much to ensure that the electors in that electorate continue to have their preferred candidate in parliament for the remainder of this parliamentary term – and performing electorate work. They may, after all, have changed their mind about their representative (for better or worse) since he left the MP.

      Frankly, I also think we hear more than enough of ‘economic efficiency’ arguments – at the expense of other values – in our political discourse. It is particularly dangerous when it starts to be applied to the electoral process itself. Would it show leadership, for example, to advocate that the MMP referendum – or any other citizens initiated referenda – not be held because of these ‘straightened times’?

      To clarify, I’m all for doing things ‘cost-effectively’ where possible in the electoral process but I’m not for financial arguments determining whether or not an electoral process occurs. The six month rule seems to be a reasonable compromise.

      • They may, after all, have changed their mind about their representative (for better or worse) since he left the MP.

        Lots of people change their mind about the choice they made once they see their MP in action. Changing parties is just one reason. If ever an MP said “Hold on, these aren’t the policies we went to the election on, I’d better test my mandate part way through the term” I might be a little less cynical about this exercise.

        If I had my way, people could change their mind about their MP mid-way through a term (recall, recoverable proxy) without such expense. And exercise more control over the bastards as well (binding citizens initiated referenda).

        Does anyone really believe that Hone – or anyone else who’s trodden the same path previously – is truly that committed to democracy that their decisions to run up the cost of a by-election has been about anything other than political advantage?!

        If they were such champions of democracy, then measures such as those mentioned would be amongst their policies… then I might believe them.

        • Colonial Viper 4.5.1.1

          Dunno if the Left should be shy about using the machinery to their advantage. The Right certainly have no qualms whatsoever about it.

  5. infused 5

    Because he’s doing it for one reason only, free advertising. Can’t wait till the party goes down in flames. I give it two years.

    • Free advertising? I thought it cost parties to contest by-elections. Wasn’t that one of the claims made about Labour’s finances and its ability to contest by-elections?

      • PeteG 5.1.1

        They will generate free publicity, but the campaign will cost them. Having resigned Harawira won’t get his parliamentary wages or travel allowances. Maybe that’s why he clocked up so much travel in the last three months.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Yes, Hone’s put his MP’s income and his MP’s perks on the line. Many tens of thousands of dollars worth of salary he could have simply collected between now and end of Nov.

          Gutsy.

          More gutsy than Rodney Hide, anyways.

    • lprent 5.2

      Because he’s doing it for one reason only, free advertising.

      Huh? It isn’t free to run a election campaign. The parties have to pay for their advertising.

      They will get free publicity – but that is a quite different thing. You sound as confused as Farrar does about actual politics (ie not the myths of the RWNJ’s).

      • infused 5.2.1

        I’m not confused at all. I know exactly what he’s doing.

        • lprent 5.2.1.1

          Yes you might have known what you were thinking. However precision is required when communicating these ideas to other people. Otherwise you simply look confused to other people (and other people will probably think that you are actually confused)..

          I’d suggest some remediation to learn to look less confused.

  6. FromTheSidelines 6

    Unlikely, but possible – Once Harawira HAS resigned, Key could bring the Election forward 6 weeks then Hone would be without any income for a much longer period than if a by-election was held.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Hone is undoubtedly risking is own income and his MP’s perks here.

      But he’s made the call that he will do so because he wants to seek a fresh democratic mandate from his electorate now that he has left the turncoat Maori Party.

      • higherstandard 6.1.1

        Nah he’s taking a fairly safe bet that he’ll be returned and this time on a party leader’s salary as per the inveterate troughers Dunne, Anderton and Hide

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Well HS, I believe the applicable Righty Principle is “take the risk, take the reward” :)

    • PeteG 6.2

      This is an unintended consequence of fixing the election date so far out – under the old way of leaving the announcement as long as possible Harawira may have moved sooner or not risked resigning at all.

      Harawira is forcing a by-election for convenience rather than on the principle of seeking a mandate once his position changed – otherwise he would have resigned when he left the Maori Party, which was in February.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1

        peeeeep!!!

        Mind reading foul, scrummit here, brown ball.

        Hone announced that he formed a new party, and said he was going to test his mandate to continue as an mp for that party.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    What happens if they hold a by-election and nobody comes? If the only candidate is Hone and no other party stands, what would constitute a mandate? A simple majority? What if the turnout is, say, 30%, is that a ringing endorsement?

    I can see the other parties not wanting to waste money and time on this stunt and leaving it till November to run a proper campaign. Which would leave Hone blowing half a million bucks for no good reason, aye?

    • todd 7.1

      Perhaps you agree with Farrar’s Quote of the Day:

      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/05/quote_of_the_day-6.html

      Danyl at Dim-Post:

      Sometimes I just want to strap the entire spectrum of left-wing politicians into dentists chairs and patiently explain to them – using chisels and barbed wire – that most the state’s wealth comes from ordinary people working hard and then giving a huge chunk of their income to the government, so spending it is a sacred trust not an endless opportunity to squander it all on gimmicks and whims and political stunts.

      This is in relation to the $500,000 to be wasted on a by-election.

      Advocating the torture of people who hold differing views from yours is something better suited to Nazi Germany. The right wing is clearly unhinged and requires some intervention to ensure they do not act on these compulsions. The ideas they are expressing are not as bad as what they are actually thinking, which is a sobering thought indeed. Things like the statement above by Danyl and the support it received from Farrar puts them into the dangerous psychopathic category. Most psychologists would agree with this diagnosis.

      What I really think is strange is that when it’s a left wing or Maori person who receives funds to democratically pursue a course of action that can only be undertaken with a voting process, the right wingers jump up and down like their arses are on fire. But when private enterprises receive millions and billions of tax dollars, they are silent about how much this costs the country.

      Your hypothesis VOR that nobody will vote or that there will be no competition smacks of desperation to discredit the Mana party. Similarly the hypocrisy exuding from hacks such as Farrar is pungently overwhelming. It’s a well known fact that psychopaths smell bad and I hope he receives the help he obviously requires, before it is too late.

      • Todd, obviously you have never heard of the term satire before, or come to think of it, humour. Stop your hand-wringing and get a life.

        You are attacking the man and not the ball (pot, kettle, black, yes I know it’s very nice Yeastie Boys brew). What do you actually think about the point he is making?!?
        And not just the money that Hone is wasting (making an ironic ersatz-hipster-like statement), but all the other money on all the other ideas & schemes that this Government and previous ones have had?

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          Seamonkey Madness,

          1. Democracy costs money. In the long run it’s worth it, given the alternatives.

          2. Farrar has never given a crap about working people before, and it’s a bit fucking late for him to start pretending to now.

          3. The quote from Danyl isn’t really an example of satire, it’s better described as hyperbole.

        • todd 7.1.1.2

          I think felix effectively answered your post there Seamonkey. I would probably describe what Danyl wrote as shit though. I don’t believe you can describe what I wrote as hand wringing either. Clearly my post was highlighting just how pathetic and stupid Farrar is. Being that I have expressed my views shows that I do in fact have a life.

          I’m attacking the man and the ball. I was not aware of any blogging rules and if you ask me, Farrar and his little minions deserve all the disrespect we can give them. You’re asking me to have a constructive debate with cretins who are calling for the torture of people who do not share their views. The best I can do is highlight such and give an opinion. Debating idiots like Farrar and Danyl will not be constructive.

          As for the waste of money that National undertakes, I can only say that this is a matter of opinion. If I worked for AMI, Mediaworks or South Canterbury Finance I would think such funds were great! As I am a New Zealand citizen who pays taxes and requires a robust democracy, I find it acceptable that taxes go towards ensuring the population is properly represented in Parliament.

          • Seamonkey Madness 7.1.1.2.1

            I’m an equal-opportunities commenter. I hate both sides for their “gimmicks and whims and political stunts”. Hone’s is just the latest and quite possibly, given the timing, the most ridiculous. Cobbling together a who’s-who of political has-beens is similar to, but in my eyes worse than, running a Government party from outside of Parliament.

            Wetting your panties about what Danyl wrote and comparing him to a Nazi is horrendous, and then you claim he is actually thinking worse! We KNOW is a piss-taker in the extreme, so why would you believe verbatim what he writes?

            I’ll say it again. Grow a sense of humour.

            Or to follow on from Labour’s negative-in-all-aspects, dropkick online campaign – let’s not. You’ll spoil it for the others.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1.1

              I’ll say it again. Grow a sense of humour.

              Why don;t you take your own advice.

              Or to follow on from Labour’s negative-in-all-aspects, dropkick online campaign – let’s not.

              I like that campaign.

              Its easy because National is digging NZ into a hole, and wailing on their lack of a plan is child’s play.

              • Fantastic retort Viper old chap. Gold star for that one.

                Great campaign, except for the fact that Labour is probably breaking the Electoral Act (again) by not having a name and address on each billboard.
                Take a look at some of the gems that snuck through the Helen Clark© Censor-matic for an example how much people love Labour.

                At least they aren’t shaped like a Give Way sign an they’re telling people to put them on the side of the road (and pay them $10 for the pleasure).

            • lprent 7.1.1.2.1.2

              Cobbling together a who’s-who of political has-beens

              Read some history. Almost every political party in NZ (and everywhere else) starts that way. You only have to read the wikipedia entries on the early history of each political party to understand that. Look at the early history of the National and Labour parties

      • Advocating the torture of people who hold differing views from yours is something better suited to Nazi Germany.

        Comparing a paragraph of hyperbole to Nazi Germany is just like the Rape of Nanking.

        • todd 7.1.2.1

          Comparing my description to the Rape of Nanking is about as stupid as saying John Key is honest.

  8. PeteG 8

    What sort of mandate does Harawira want?

    The Maori Party is expected to decide within days whether it will challenge Hone Harawira in the byelection he is forcing in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, even though the MP claims it assured him it would not.

    Mr Harawira said the Maori Party president had confirmed it would not stand against him, in accordance with the agreement reached when he left the party in February.

    A mandate without any competition from the biggest opposition???

    Dr Sharples also said on TVNZ’s Q+A that the decision to call a byelection had broken the truce between the two parties.

    He also disputed that Mr Harawira could claim to have a mandate from Maori if the Maori Party did not stand against him.

    So Sharples sees it like that too.

    National have not stood a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau since 2002 so could easily not bother for a by-election.

    So Harawira wants to contest the by-election just with Labour and Legalise Cannabis (who polled higher than ACT in 2008)? An odd sort of mandate. Labour could stay out of it too. If no one else stands that would save $500k.

    • felix 8.1

      Sorry but that’s utter bollocks.

      If the maori party think they have a chance of winning they’ll contest the seat. Obviously.

      If the National party thought they had a chance of winning they’d contest it too. Obviously.

      That they (National) don’t indicates a stronger mandate for Hone if anything, and the same applies to the maori party if they choose not to stand.

  9. ZeeBop 9

    Harawira claimed that the Maori Party were head hunting a replacement Maori party candidate. Sure Harawira knows that everyone in his electorate that voted Maori voted for him not the party! Yeah right. There are always some who would not go with Harawira and so would have communicated that to their party to seek a new representative. Harawira could not expect Sharple and the other Maori Party MPs to be able to make promises for every Maori party member in the electorate (unless the Maori party was run like ACT is, without grass root representation). So the pack not to stand a Maori candidate wasn’t worth diddly squat against the independent Harawira, as it was the local party that would decide that.
    Given Harawira’s message and standing among his constitutes is was more a statement of fact that the Maori Party would not get much return on their investment putting up an alternative
    and likely push the local Maori party to not put up a candidate.

    As for the future, my guess is parliament will stop the byelection, and come the election the Maori and Mana parties will have one MP each and Labour will have romp home unless Maori and Mana parties divvy up the seats which would not be mana enhancing for either party.
    Loyalist will stay with Maori Party, those feeling the cold winds of National will jump ship to Mana and the Labour block will trounce them both. caveat, that Labour platform is competitive.

    • felix 9.1

      So what if people are approaching the maori party wanting to run for them?

      The truce was that the maori party wouldn’t accept such offers.

      Moot anyway, as both sides blame the other for breaking the truce and it’s all on.

      • PeteG 9.1.1

        If there’s going to be a by-election, and Harawira wants to seek a meaningful mandate, then it shouldn’t exclude members and supporters and voters of the Maori Party. So yes, it should be all on, and Harawira should welcome that if he wants to be seen as being more interested in a democratic mandate than having an easy path to getting the added benefits of being a party leader.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          and Harawira should welcome that if he wants to be seen as being more interested in a democratic mandate

          I suspect that he does welcome this development. Very much in fact.

          • PeteG 9.1.1.1.1

            Quite possible, but if so he’s not being honest about it.

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.1

              He can’t force the maori party to run against him, Pete.

              If they pike (like National) it’s on their heads, not his.

              Your pro-democratic sentiments are better addressed to National and the maori party.

              • PeteG

                I get the impression Harawira’s trying to manoevre the MP into standing against him in the by-election and to blame them for breaking their agreement.

                Both sides have been talking about the flimsiness of the agreement since it was made so I don’t think it matters who gets that blame, both sides didn’t seem to be particularly committed to it.

  10. randal 10

    national and act ratcheted up the stakes in New Zealand politics by plumping for the permanent campaign a la the tea party republican style of US politicking. when the cost gets too much then they whinge.if a by election is the cost of doing politics in NZ then it is up to them to make it a more meaningful experieince for everyone.
    (hey I picked up that last phrase from the random nonsense generator but you konw what I mean. Doncha?)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    3 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    3 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    3 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    4 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    5 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    6 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    6 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere