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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?)

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  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    3 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    4 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    4 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    6 days ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago

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