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The Standard

Good on the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, June 19th, 2012 - 104 comments
Categories: democratic participation, greens, petition, referendum - Tags:

The Greens have hired the equivalent of 8 full-time staff for two months to get their signature collecting as part of the Keep Our Assets Coalition rolling. It comes out of the fixed budget allocated to the party’s leaders’ office – not one additional cent from the taxpayer, just a choice: other parties spend millions of taxpayer money on polling*. It’s a good use of our money.

After all, National is spending $120m of our money on the middlemen for the sales process – bankers, advertising firms etc. And they’re looking at giving a $400m bonus to the few people who will end up being shareholders. That’s half a billion splurged just on selling assets that we don’t want to sell. The Greens are spending 0.015% of that amount on a counter-campaign and entirely within the rules because they’re not asking for votes, money, or membership.

It looks like the use of a professional core is really helping with the signature collections. The Greens have collected an amazing 20,000 signatures in the past week and now have 41,600. Just on Thursday, they were at 30,000. Of course, the Coalition would have gotten the signatures eventually anyway – only an idiot would claim that paid collectors have somehow unfairly created support for this cause – but the small professional team surrounded by thousands of volunteers, who can only commit limited time, appears to have really sped things up.

The rumour is that National is planning a million dollar ‘information campaign’ on the asset sales, using public money, to coincide with the coming referendum. They can’t spend the money directly on the referendum, so they’ll do an end run around the law. That won’t stop them throwing stones at the Greens, though.

*When David Farrar writes his inevitable piece whinging about the Greens’ legal use of their money, I hope he will reveal how much he has been paid in public money for polling services.

104 comments on “Good on the Greens”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    Interesting to know how much of the vast amount of ‘information’ gathered at taxpayers expense by the ‘advisors’ to government on the asset sales has made its way into Ministers’ offices, and into their spin in the media and the House? Giant $120m pot calling a tiny $76k kettle black? Moreover, some transparency around what their contracted PR advisors are up to would be useful?

  2. It’s a good use of our money.

    I question that. I think the Greens could put that money to much better use. This is most likely a futile campaign, with a referendum far from guaranteed, if it happens it’s not binding, and it will be too late to stop MOM progressing – there will debate on MOM in parliament today, it’s at the second reading state.

    • Zetetic 2.1

      Yeah, well it’s hardly surprising that you are saying that it isn’t a good use of money. But who gives a fuck? It’s like me saying that the whole united future leaders budget is a waste of money, especially as most of it goes on combs. When your hair god starts listening to his constituents, then you’ll have some credibility.

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        Yeah, well it’s hardly surprising that all you do is attack and divert.

        Here’s proof that he has listened, and acted, and succeeded:
        http://yournz.org/2012/06/18/mixed-ownership-model-bill-51-ownership-amendments/

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Woo hoo we are saved.  NZ Inc will retain control of our power company shares and they will not be sold to the rich and overseas interests who will appoint directors that will insist on hiking price rises so their wealthy shareholders become even more wealthy.

          And we can use the money to pay off debt and invest in projects that are bound to return more than the 18% the power companies generate.

          Oh, wait, I just read Petey’s blog …

          The Nats and the follicled one are fixing up a loophole that they no doubt put in deliberately.  They are making an appalling bill not quite as bad.

          Petey engaging in a bit of “gocha” politics too … 

          • Pete George 2.1.1.1.1

            I could come out strongly in support of David Shearer and you’d still find something quibble about. Did you get my email?

            • quartz 2.1.1.1.1.1

              You will come out strongly in favour of David Shearer. When your mate Dunne realises Labour’s got the government benches and he needs to suck up to team-red to keep his baubles. I look forward to seeing you change tack and to it being futile.

              • That was a touch of sarcasm directed at MS who seems reluctant to back his own party (and tries a hypocritical gotcha on gotcha) – I’ve been one of Shearer’s strongest supporters here for months, in a very sparse field of support for him.

            • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Did you get my email?

              Aye Pete

              Still mulling over it. I thought I would consider your comments in the area of superannuation. I am never opposed to a proper debate.

              But your comments on MOM deserved a bit of a serve. This is not a wonderous backdown that makes things right. This is National taking a step back because it can see how enraged the population is becoming with asset sales.

              • This is National taking a step back because it can see how enraged the population is becoming with asset sales.

                Yes, that’s probably right – but because UF took them to task on it.

                • John M

                  Glad to see you finally agree that the population is becoming enraged with the asset sales. Does this mean we can now look forward to UF continuing to ‘take them to task’ by either voting the legislation down (or at least forcing a halt to sales until the result of the referendum is known)?

                  • deuto

                    In light of this recent (9am) article on Stuff, any backdown by Dunne the Hair seems highly improbable.

                    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7127734/Dunne-slams-asset-sales-amendment-push

                    United Future leader Peter Dunne is refusing to back a Greens’ amendment to keep partially sold state-owned assets open to public scrutiny, saying the party is being “mischievous”.

                    The Government’s legislation to enable the sale of up to 49 per cent of Mighty River Power, Genesis, Solid Energy and Meridian returns to Parliament today for a clause by clause debate.

                    State-owned assets are open to public scrutiny through the Official Information Act and the Ombudsman Act but under the Mixed Ownership Model Bill the partially sold enterprises would no longer be subject to those laws for commercial reasons which also exclude public companies.

                    Greens co-leader Russel Norman will put up an amendment to keep the state-owned assets subject such scrutiny.

                    However Dunne, who holds one of two crucial support votes for the Government, said today he wouldn’t be supporting the amendment.

                    “I’m not interested in supporting anything the Greens are putting forward on this.”

                    Dunne said he didn’t agree with the Greens’ opposition to asset sales.

                    “I think what they are being is mischievous. They are entitled to be but I’m certainly not support it. I don’t care what they are trying to do, my position is clear and I’m not budging from it.”

                    Norman said Dunne was being “incredibly unreasonable”.

                    “It’s not a very common sense position to oppose something solely on where it comes from rather than whether it is a good idea or not.”

                    Perhaps, Pete George would like to explain in view of his comments above that Dunne was holding National to account.

                    • @PeterDunneMP has just tweeted on this:

                      @NZStuffPolitics If the Greens expected their amendment to be taken seriously, they would have circulated it at least 24 hours in advance…

                      … and not via the news media on the morning of the debate

                      I think that’s a fair call.

                      Greens seem to work very well together within their party, but don’t seem to have figured out how to work inter-party yet.

                    • John M

                      You say Dunne’s made a “fair call”. Are you saying then, Pete, if the Greens had given Dunne 24 hours notice perhaps he would’ve supported the amendment? You and Dunne are becoming more and more unprincipled by the second. Next you’ll be blaming the Greens for the selling off of our assets because they didn’t give Dunne 24 hours notice of their amendment.

                      All of this is now getting beyond funny. If these are the responses Peter Dunne gives to legitimate concerns properly raised within our our democratic law-making process then all respect I had for him for acting as a moderating force on Key et al’s nasty agenda has gone and believe he now deserves nothing but complete and utter disdain for such nasty and unreasonable behaviour. He’s acting like a child in the playground.The sooner he is out of parliament the better

                      Another reason why we must now treat Dunne and Key et al with disdain is that’s it’s now clear the “partial” sales are not partial at all and the real agenda (that deep down we’ve known all along) is eventual total asset sales. Russel Norman’s amendment, far from being radical, merely ensures the assets Key and Dunne maintain the State will always keep a majority shareholding of are subject to the Official Information and Ombudsmen Acts. If these ‘sales’ will always only ever be “partial”, what’s the problem? Clearly the agenda is to eventually sell the lot off.

                      It is now time for the opposition parties to announce that if elected at the next election all shares in assets sold will be subject to a forced government re-buy and at the price this government sold them for, or better still, for less. Make it clear that this will be the policy so that all potential buyers will run a mile. Dunne and Key’s behaviour has now made this a necessary move.

                    • Would the Greens make a policy decision foisted on them via the media on the morning of the debate? Would they seriously expect any other party to? Get real.

                      If they were serious about getting support for an amendment they would have talked to other parties weeks ago.

                      Greens never intended it as anything but a media stunt, and Dunne called them on it.

                    • it’s now clear the “partial” sales are not partial at all and the real agenda (that deep down we’ve known all along) is eventual total asset sales.

                      That’s total bullshit dishonest scaremongering (and I’ve heard Russel Norman suggest that too).

                      Today it will be guaranteed that crown ownership is a minimum of 51%. That will only change if a future government gets sufficient support to change it – you know, how democracy works.

                    • Dr Terry

                      Pete, whatever the outcome, this will not be “a futile campaign”. There are many people ready and willing to stand up and be counted here, they might fail in the objective, but they will always maintain their integrity. Does that not matter to you? Good for the Greens, what a marvellous initiative!

                      I have no doubt that you will always need to have the last word, however.

                    • Jim in Tokyo

                      I’ve read an awful pile of brain searingly hypocritical and mealy mouthed pap from Dunne and his malfunctioning mouthpiece Pete George recently, but this has to be an all time low for the crusaders for ‘common sense’.

                      Do not forget that the sense of manufactured crisis around this is due entirely to National and UF’s decision to ram MOM through, having spat in the face of the politically engaged public by curtailing the select committee process by six weeks.

                      If Dunne had one last honest bone in his body he should have made his support conditional on adherence to democratic parliamentary process. For Dunne to ‘slam’ the Greens for catching him off guard with this amendment when the select committee wasn’t even due to report back until July 16 is hypocrisy of the highest order.

                    • McFlock

                      Today it will be guaranteed that crown ownership is a minimum of 51%. That will only change if a future government gets sufficient support to change it – you know, how democracy works.

                      49.5% being “sufficient support” – as long as you have one or two rotten boroughs to help ram it through.

                • bbfloyd

                  “because UF took them to task on it” …. now your just being an idiot little pete….. no-one with an iq above 70 is going to do more than either laugh at your ridiculous claims, or laugh at you personally for exposing yourself as a delusional attention seeker….

                  Either way, you are wasting space, and clogging up what could have been a useful, and informative discussion with self serving, ego stroking drivel….

                  I find it incredible that there are any left here who would waste time trying to have an intelligent, sincere debate with you….The party political agenda, which is so obviously your only reason to be here is getting rather tedious….

      • Yeah? I was a number of electorate committee meetings over the last term and not one person turned up and expressed concern about asset sales. Then all of a sudden there are dickheads rubbing themselves over the national war memorial in “protest”.

    • If futile means “showing this bunch to be totally doctrinaire and utterly irresponsible while failing to make them act sensibly” then I guess it is futile.

      A referendum is damn likely.  Relying on kiwis giving up because it is a fait accompli is a risky strategy.

      Agreed the referendum is not binding but so what?  It will just confirm how undemocratic this administration is, coiffured one included.

      So Petey do you have any qualms about MOM being smashed through under urgency?  Doncha think some more time and care should be allowed?

      • higherstandard 2.2.1

        When was the last time a NZ government took action in relation to a citizens initiated referendum ?

        • mickysavage 2.2.1.1

          Labour improved working conditions of firefighters considerably although the referendum occurred during the term of a National Government.
           
          Labour also tightened up bail laws and sentencing laws in response to the anti crime referendum although the red meat brigade did not notice a thing.

    • yeshe 2.3

      I, I, I, I ….. Pete .. check out other peoples’ posts for a while … not sure anyone uses ‘I’ quite as much you and it is boring, boring, boring. Please, just try writing with no ‘I’ and you might become easier to read especially when so many posts seem to become Pete George personal monopolies.

      Sorry, but it’s been too long coming …

      • bbfloyd 2.3.1

        Get used to it yeshe… Little pete isn;t going to stop blowing his own horn any time soon…..That tends to be the way with pathological obsessions like his…..

    • Dr Terry 2.4

      Pete, whatever the outcome, this will not be “a futile campaign”. There are many people ready and willing to stand up and be counted here, they might fail in the objective, but they will always maintain their integrity. Does that not matter to you? Good for the Greens, what a marvellous initiative!

      • Pete George 2.4.1

        I campaigned in the last election for better ways of allowing the people to stand up and be counted, I support that.

        But our petition/referendum system is deliberately flawed so that it is far too slow and ineffective.

        I’d rather see more effort put into coming up with a better, more responsive system for parliament/people interaction. If we can achieve something there we’ll be much better off in the medium term.

        • John M 2.4.1.1

          “But our petition/referendum system is deliberately flawed so that it is far too slow and ineffective.”

          Is this why you don’t support even arguing for holding off on the sales until the result of the referendum (as a compromise to Dunne pulling the pin on the legislation)? This is up there with Dunne rejecting Norman’s amendment because he wasn’t told about it in advance followed by you “fair call” analysis”, just wholesale rejection of something without any consideration of the merits. And you never did answer the question about what was so wrong with doing this: that there was nothing to lose by holding off because you could go ahead anyway if the referendum didn’t get the numbers; and everything to gain because with enough support against the sales government would be listening to what the people wanted. But no, you went back to hark on about whether Dunne said this, Dunne said that circular d8iscussion we’d finished months ago. Someone should alert Tom Scott to what you and Dunne are doing with this issue. He’d have material for months just on what’s transpired today.

          • Pete George 2.4.1.1.1

            Is this why you don’t support even arguing for holding off on the sales until the result of the referendum

            We don’t even know if there will be any referendum. It would be ridiculous to set as precedent of holding off any legislation pending the possibility of a referendum.

            Apart from making a nionsense of our democratic process it would encourage even more abuse of CIR as a means of massive filibustering.

            If we had a Labour/Green led government do you think they would put CGT legislation on hold for a couple of years to wait for the possibility there could be a referendum that could indicate majority opposition that they could ignore anyway?

            Do you think any government legislation should be put on hold if a referendum is promoted as a possibility by opposition parties?

            • Reality Bytes 2.4.1.1.1.1

              “Apart from making a nionsense of our democratic process it would encourage even more abuse of CIR as a means of massive filibustering.”

              Hi Pete,
              I was under the impression that Dunne is actually an MP, and as such he is entitled to choose to take a position on an issue in a way that he sees appropriate. If he chooses to take such a position and the government cannot find the numbers to avoid such action, then that’s their problem for failing to have the numbers and being in the minority.

    • John M 2.5

      Your position on the referendum and Dunne’s response to Norman’s amendment has lost UF the modicum of respect it may have had in the few disciples you thought you may have had left. If I were heading the anti-asset sales campaign I’d take UF’s position as a sign the gloves must come off. You and Dunne are even more despicable than Key, if that’s at all possible, because none of you are prepared to listen to what people want. For that you deserve nothing but vitriol and disdain.

      • Pete George 2.5.1

        John, your abusive approach doesn’t earn your own campaign any respect, in fact the reverse.

        Politics involves working with others, not haranguing them into doing what you want. You seem to not understand that it’s not just you that politicians have to listen to and who’s opinions need to be taken into account.

        • freedom 2.5.1.1

          So you must be really upset with Peter Dunne stomping on Democracy today ?
          “I’m not interested in supporting anything the Greens are putting forward on this.” “

        • Draco T Bastard 2.5.1.2

          Strange, I didn’t see any sign of abuse in John M’s reply to you. Your and UF’s response to this really is deserving of contempt.

        • John M 2.5.1.3

          “You seem to not understand that it’s not just you that politicians have to listen to and who’s opinions need to be taken into account.”

          Tell that to your mate Dunne. Look at his response to Russel Norman’s amendment. He’s openly saying he’s not prepared to listen to anyone who disagrees with him. You are as well. You’re both hypocrites of the most despicable kind.

          • Pete George 2.5.1.3.1

            I’ve never said I won’t listen to anyone who disagrees with me. I do more listening than most across various blogs and other social media. Try me – what do you want me to listen to? If you can keep it reasonable and non-abusive I’ll give you a good hearing.

            • fender 2.5.1.3.1.1

              PG your abuse meter might need recalibrating cos there wasn’t any, but don’t let that stop you from complaining on another blog about the way you get treated here.

              When you don’t find support for your view you play this abuse card, do you really think you are cut out for the beehive? Maybe you could become a priest or join Colin Craig, but he might use “blimin heck’ from time to time so cover your ears.

            • John M 2.5.1.3.1.2

              Have a look at the questions asked above at 5.49pm.

            • John M 2.5.1.3.1.3

              Yes, just as I thought.

    • Georgecom 2.6

      Pete

      The petition is far from futile.
      I think you will find a referendum does go ahead.
      No, its not binding but the message is strong.
      Some of the assets may be sold off but we may be able to save some and then have to start undoing the damage National have wrought.

      Mind you, easy way to stop the legislation, go and tell you make Peter to vote against it.

      Rob

    • Bob 2.7

      Agree Pete, is it a good use of their money, they could have used that money on funding support for their own MP http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10785474 but instead they use it on trying to push a referendum on the MOM when we had one in November!

      Also, lets hope those “equivalent of 8 full-time staff for two months” are being paid minimum wage (wouldn’t that be ironic after they say its not a livable wage), because if they pay them much more they will be in breach of the Citizens Initiated Referendum Act “Under the citizens initiated referendum act, promoters are only allowed to spend $50,000 on collecting the signatures and a further $50,000 on promoting a vote in favour of their cause.”.

  3. Good on the Greens – yeah right
    Like I’ve said you get what you vote for, and idiot selfish humans will always vote for idiot selfish leaders, the Greeds are the green wash, and we have been hung out to dry.
    How the hell is Kiwi Saver going to make a pay out to that example Norman used during the elections? If the Kiwi Saver accounts do not make a profit? To do so they must invest in companies that actually make a profit, and with nearly every other company globally going tits up, maybe NZ co ltd is the only thing left to invest in? Though saying that I know NZ co ltd is going down just like every other country.
    Can just see Norman in a loin cloth trying to stop his tribe from selling their Moi, “Russel they can’t take it away we have run out of trees”

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      Oh Robert your misery is depressing. You are like that Eeyore from Winney-the-Pooh.

      Don’t be so afraid of the future. For every challlenge, no matter how big, there is a solution. We on the left aren’t burying our heads, rather we are searching for solutions. Don’t arrogantly think we are all stupid and dont understand the ways of the world. We are all just a lot more confident in the lefts way to solve problems.

      • Robert Atack 3.1.1

        “We are all just a lot more confident in the lefts way to solve problems.” Which means you haven’t a clue.
        If you think you have a solution, then you are part of the problem.

        George Carlin – fuck hope
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W9Cs6KPTus

        George Carlin – garbage in garbage out.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIraCchPDhk

        George Carlin – Saving the Planet
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

        And a dose of reality for ya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOq2A_SGTYA Guy is being bought out to NZ this week to be the keynote speaker School Executive Officers conference in Wellington on the 4th July. So just maybe he has a clue?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          George Carlin was a great guy but only a comedian. He highlighted some of the problems of modern society but taking him as the prophet for Doom and Gloom probably isn’t the best option.

          Yes, there are solutions that we, as a small country at the bottom of the world, can put in place that will maintain a technological society. Yes, the present political parties, including the Greens, aren’t going anywhere near them but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

          • Robert Atack 3.1.1.1.1

            a technological society …………. yeah
            Technology is just a word to describe energy use.
            We are so connected to the rest of the world it would be imposable to maintain any sort of ‘society’ that is dependent on ‘the grid’.
            So what about Guy McPherson? see last link.
            We have run out of time and space to suggest/fight for so called ‘solutions’. The world is not going to get over peak oil, as the immediate threat, and as Guy says Climate Change isn’t looking very good for us.
            Peak oil, and the result of all the over exploitation, will take out about 5 billion people, and all the joys of + 4 5 6 ? degrees will see to the rest of us.
            George Carlin did talk some utter crap I know, but on politics the environmental, and his analysis of people he was bang on.
            Humans are basically selfish crap, and we are literally killing our offspring’s future in this orgy of growth at all costs, which the green party back … ie Kiwi Saver. (know you are not pro green, just like to keep the oddity of KS live)
            And I wanted to show EE that I did have a funny side )

  4. freedom 4

    The referendum process is certainly not being helped by the Avaaz petition which has now been re-edited to exclude any and all references to the Petition being presented to the PM. Apart from the highly questionable behaviour of altering the wording of a petition after it has been published and signed by 25,000+ people, this petition is now just gathering names, trying to achieve what exactly?

    Shifting the target number from 25,000 to 30,000 was sneaky, this recent activity breaches the basic rules of behaviour regarding Petitons, regardless of the method or the subject in question.

    here is the text today
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Oppose_NZ_Asset_Sales/?tta

    here is the text yesterday
    http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/650/avaazpetitiontext.png

    I have made numerous approaches to Avaaz but only receive form letter automaton responses.

    • yeshe 4.1

      please, keep trying to reach Avaaz. They do so much good, it will be sad that this duplicitous piece of work will cause them permanent harm … or maybe that is a second target also of the elusive and possibly illusive other ‘P. George’ …

    • deuto 4.2

      freedom, I appreciate your concerns re this petition and possible confusion that it is the referendum itself, but as the saying goes “there are more than one way to skin a cat” – and that from an animal lover with many years active in SPCAs etc. However, I reserve judgement on the effectiveness of the online petition until it is presented to Key as stated in the petition – or not presented.

      Re your links, I would be interested to know where your second one came from (the one you state was the site yesterday). I have been watching the site several times a day since about Thursday last week and have seen no changes to the wording since Thursday – other than the suggestion that lets try for 30,000 which was added I think on Friday or Saturday. In other words, from my viewing, it has not changed from the wording in your first link since that time. A check just a minute ago, it was the same other than the count is now up to 25,700.

      PS – I fully support what the Greens are doing including them using their parliamentary funding to do so.

      • freedom 4.2.1

        Yes i know it all looks the same but look more closely

        The second image is a cropped screengrab i took from the site just yesterday. You will notice the last line states “If 25,000 of us sign it will be delivered to john Key with a giant “Aotearoa, not for Sale” price tag!”

        now,
        if you return to the current page on the Avaaz site that quoted line is mysteriously absent. As this presentation to the PM was the original stated goal of the petition, what is the current function of this petition and why was the stated goal removed?

        • deuto 4.2.1.1

          Still there in the last paragraph

          We only have days left to tell our politicians to stop the sell out. Sign the petition now and share it widely. If 25,000 of us sign it will be delivered to John Key with a giant “Aotearoa: Not For Sale” price tag!

          • freedom 4.2.1.1.1

            http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/294/avaaz1020am19062012.png
            i just reloaded the address from a bookmark, refreshed the address bar, took a screengrab, cropped out my second monitor but left the address bar in the image and have posted it as it appears to me, there is no reference to the quoted line

            as i said the other day there is something strange going on here

            • yeshe 4.2.1.1.1.1

              freedom, deuto …. there is avaaz facebook page .. just had a quick look and they do seem to be responding quickly in the medium .. might be worth trying to contact them that way .. it is their credibility on the line. facebook is a foreign land to me .. sorry, so can’t offer to help but you two have all the page grabs etc … good luck.

              http://www.facebook.com/Avaaz

              • freedom

                thanks for the suggestion . . . done.

                • freedom

                  have posted twice to the Fb page, post has twice been removed from the Fb page, but no, nothing strange going on here

                  guess we just wait to see the presentation to the Pm then .. .. ..

                  • yeshe

                    amazing, really …. let’s see what arises next … it sure stinks …

                    • freedom

                      and in the process i get painted to look like like a half-baked paranoid nutjob, perhaps i can get a job in Cabinet?

            • deuto 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Hi freedom, I am no computer whiz. I put the online petition onto my Favorites bar and check it that way, but also refresh each time which seems to work for me with other sites on the bar. But actually, I am not interested in a fight on this – much more important to stop this dastardly MOM legislation and the sale of strategic taxpayer-owned assets (partial of otherwise) and by whatever means. Although a born cynic, I remain hopeful that this online petition will be delivered to Key et al today or in the next few days, but am doubtful that it will make any difference in the short term, sigh.

  5. DH 5

    I agree, Greens are going great. I re-watched the ‘someone else’s country’ doco a while back & had forgotten how vociferous the opposition to asset sales was back then. 93% were against selling forestry and they still sold it. It got nowhere because no political party backed the protests in any meaningful manner. Greens are doing an outstanding job on our behalf here, getting an economics firm to play the Nats at their own game was a masterstroke. Compare them with Labour who are all mouth & trousers.

  6. Anne 6

    It was reported at my electorate meeting last night that Labour has reached 30,000 signatures thus far.

    So, its good on Labour too.

    Labour is doing their thing at the local flea markets, and I believe they are targeting Supermarkets too. It must be a lucrative source.

  7. Kevin 7

    Gathering signatures on a petition for a referendum is in my view a waste of time and resources. The Greens can well afford to squander money on this project through their parliamentary funding but in the final analysis the outcome will be a non binding referendum.
    If you want to throw money at the privatisation of public assets then your money would be more effectively used in buying shares in said assets. Share holders get voting rights in these companies and are kept well informed of strategy therefore it is more prudent to participate than to oppose.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1

      Gee, Kevin, that sounds like the weasel justifications of a quisling.

    • Dr Terry 7.2

      Kevin, all I can take from this is “buy assets and sell your integrity”. I hope I have got you wrong.

      • Kevin 7.2.1

        @Dr Terry, @Kotahi
        I know my comment sounds cynical, but what else can you do? The petiton and referendum, despite what people say, won’t get any traction and will be a waste of time.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.2.1.1

          If you feel the need to justify your behaviour to yourself, keep going, but don’t kid yourself that weasel words carry weight for anyone else.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.2

          The only thing that most people can do is stop the selling of their assets. Buying them from themselves isn’t an option because 1) doing so is really stupid and 2) they don’t have any money.

        • fatty 7.2.1.3

          “won’t get any traction and will be a waste of time.”

          I kinda have the same opinion…I think the assets were as good as gone as soon as they were elected…but, Key is in on popularity, and popularity only. This referendum is the last thing he wants. The signatures will not stop the sales, but I think if it gets to a referendum, then Key will jump ship earlier and NACT will disintegrate.
          Also that nasty disease that has been infecting ‘common sense’ for years will finally be gone.
          See this referendum as an end to NACT and the end of Dunne’s pathetic excuse of a political life.
          That’s why meat george is having a heart attack

  8. Tangled up in blue 8

    Probably already mentioned but even if the referendum comes after the fact it is still a powerful tool to further saturate public consciousness regarding National’s shoddy economics and arrogant neglect of what NZ wants.

    • The petition/referendum system – the people’s only non-election option – has been taken from the people by parties using it as an electioneering tool. Funded by the people, being cynically used again.

      • freedom 8.1.1

        In what Universe does following due process as laid out by the Referendum protocols become cynical electioneering? Is it the same Universe where flip-flopping your values depending on who has the chequebook is called a political career?

        • Pete George 8.1.1.1

          The referendum system was originally designed as a far from perfect way of the people telling politicians what they wanted.

          It now seems to be another means by which parties can ue public funds to seek support – the Greens are even employing people to sign their petition. That’s hardly a system for the people to speak to politicians.

          I think we need a practical system designed by the people, for the people, and kept for the people.

          • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1

            “the Greens are even employing people to sign their petition”
                 
            No they’re not. And the system for people to speak to the politicians is the referendum itself – the petition is speaking to Elections NZ. 

          • freedom 8.1.1.1.2

            first up, the Greens are employing people to collect signatures, not sign the petition.

            seco…. actually nothing else you mentioned is worth responding to

            • Pete George 8.1.1.1.2.1

              first up – you’re right, I worded that badly (unintentionally) so was wrong.

              second – having a system of people telling politicians what to do, designed by politicians, is a recipe for failure and abuse by politicians. Or do you disagree?

              • freedom

                The system is not the problem. The problem is the systemic failure of those who are handsomely paid to manage it, to do so honestly and without prejudicial manipulation.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Disagree: the system is designed to compensate for greedy stupid Tories etc (cf: the select committee process) but no system can fully compensate for human behaviour.

                  • freedom

                    – The SC process was/is perverted by a predetermined human decision not by any inherent fault within the system itself. Certainly there are tweaks that could be applied but constant tweaking of systems is what creates so many of the problems in the first place. Perhaps if the SC process had a fixed rule of deliberation time relating to the number of submissions then perhaps the manipulative practices of parliamentarians would be less viable?

                    I do see your overall point (and am generally of a similar view) but a political system is like a car, without a safe and judicious driver, it is at best inert at worst it is lethal to those who encounter it. The car is hardly ever the problem.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Perhaps if the SC process had a fixed rule of deliberation time relating to the number of submissions then perhaps the manipulative practices of parliamentarians would be less viable?

                      That would be a good idea and I’d also like a binding referendum at the end of the select committee process that lets NZ tell the politicians if they support the new law or not.

                      Time for more democracy.

              • tracey

                do you mean like undermining democracy by making deals to not stand an opposing mp or by nudge nudge wink wink vote for me candidates?

      • John M 8.1.2

        The only way you could be right is if political parties were forcing people to sign the referendum against their will. Contrary to concerns that the will of the people was not reflected in the election result, you say the election result did represent the will of the people. So if the refendum comes back overwhelmingly against asset sales what would you say? Would you say that the Greens have manipulated the system to suit their own political agenda and that as a result people still really do support asset sales? Or would you say (even if they have changed their minds since the election) that the people have spoken?

        • Pete George 8.1.2.1

          Or would you say (even if they have changed their minds since the election) that the people have spoken?

          No, I wouldn’t say “the people” have spoken. Some people have spoken. Some have followed. And we don’t really know what many think.

          We know that many people prefer asset sales didn’t go ahead. But there’s a lot we don’t know. We don’t know how many think they should be able to proceed even though they prefer they didn’t. We don’t know how many are against “asset sales” but don’t mind MOM.

          What is your understanding of what “the people” think?

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.1

            You really are becoming more of a weasel every day.

            • McFlock 8.1.2.1.1.1

              nah – pete just doesn’t like democracy because it constantly reminds him that (to quote the Holy Ones) he’s not the Messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Not to mention his rejection issues.
                 
                29,157. The number of ungrateful North Dunedinites who didn’t vote for their better, Pete ‘Porkies’ George. 176. The mugs who did take him seriously. Though less seriously than the candidate the election before him, because, despite his Teflon grade waffling, Petey actually cost United Future votes. Democracy? Bah!

  9. captain hook 9

    so what do the greens have to say about the 40% rise in use of the earths resources since the last earth summit in 1992.
    how long till everything is exhausted?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      how long till everything is exhausted?

      Not long but the primary resource, oil, has already peaked which means that we won’t be able to get to the other resources soon anyway.

  10. BLiP 10

    .

    Heh!

    The Wellington offices of merchant banker Goldman Sachs will be the focus of protest activity on Tuesday by People’s Power Ohariu in its campaign against the privatisation of the four Government owned energy companies.

    The John Key Government has budgetted $120 million to be allocated to Goldman Sachs and other companies assisting the Government’s asset sales programme including advertising, public relations and call centre companies.

    At midday on Tuesday, “John Key”, “Bill English” and their minders will be leaving Parliament Buildings with wheelbarrows full of money heading up Lambton Quay to deliver $120 million to the offices of Goldman Sachs in the BNZ building at 1 Willis Street . . .

    http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=45787

  11. Jenny 11

    Good on the Greens

    The Greens have hired the equivalent of 8 full-time staff for two months to get their signature collecting as part of the Keep Our Assets Coalition rolling. It comes out of the fixed budget allocated to the party’s leaders’ office – not one additional cent from the taxpayer, just a choice: other parties spend millions of taxpayer money on polling*. It’s a good use of our money.

    EDDIE

    Good on you Eddie (for mentioning it). Now, if only the Lazy party would take up this initiative too, or even outdo it. Maybe all their affiliated unions could help as well. Maybe if the Lazy Party started doing things like this, then their vote would not continue to be cannibalised by the Greens.

    • Te Reo Putake 11.1

      Jenny, you fucken numpty, the Labour Party and most unions, affiliated or not, are totally behind this petition. The LP is working side by side with the Greens and Grey Power to get the numbers needed. Did you not spot the comment above that the LP has collected 30,000 signatures so far? 30,000! What the fuck have you done, apart from run the campaign down from a position of smug sectarian ignorance?

      • Jenny 11.1.1

        The Greens have collected an amazing 20,000 signatures in the past week and now have 41,600. Just on Thursday, they were at 30,000.

        EDDIE

        And this is a much smaller party.

        I might ask you, Mr Putake, How many full time staffers has the Lazy party put on this campaign?

        Sixteen?

        Eight?

        One?

        None?

        • Te Reo Putake 11.1.1.1

          The Labour Party’s campaign is member driven, but with huge contributions from MP’s and staff. Just like the Greens. That means hundreds of volunteer activists getting out there and actually signing people up. That’s what Grey Power are doing too. And the unions. What’s the problem, Jenny? Don’t you like mass movements any more?
           
          And, of course, had it been the LP paying part-timers to collect signatures, you’d be bagging them for selling out or some such other Spartist rubbish. Why don’t you just go get some signatures? It’s not a competition, its the left working together with some great allies in Grey Power and plenty of non affiliated volunteers, too. We need every bit of help we can get to make it happen, not pointless sniping at the people who are doing the hard yards.
           

          • Pete George 11.1.1.1.1

            We need every bit of help we can get to make it happen, not pointless sniping at the people who are doing the hard yards.

            An interesting comment. I agree with the sentiment, pointless sniping is, well, kinda pointless. Isn’t it.

            • Te Reo Putake 11.1.1.1.1.1

              No, pal. You’re pointless. You’ve never made a point in your life. Lies, on the hand …

        • Anne 11.1.1.2

          Don’t be so childish Jenny. It’s not a kids competition to see who can get the most signatures. It’s a combined effort on the part of a number of organisations to gather enough signatures for a referendum on Asset Sales in case you have forgotten.

          My understanding is that Labour had collected 30,000 signatures up to Wed./Thurs. of last week. The Greens and Labour are to be congratulated on their magnificent efforts in such a short space of time.

  12. freedom 12

    If you know where there are twenty people, that is 20 potential signatures and reason enough to print a page off and carry it with you during your day http://keepourassets.org.nz/

  13. Georgecom 13

    Anyone have a dirt file on Peter Dunne that can suddenly get produced?

    July 14 is a proposed nationwide day of action for the anti asset sale movement.

    Some of us are discussing maybe a city wide blitz on that day. Take the petition out to malls, carparks, public parks etc and gather as many signatures as possible. 10 or more teams, 3 people per team, 50 signatures per person, 1500 signatures very conservatively.

    • Carol 13.1

      Sounds good. Can confirmation of the day of action be as much in advance as possible, please, so I can book a day off work?

  14. tc 14

    And now the double dippers themselves are crying over this use of funds, what a bunch of hypocrytical shysters who just can’t stand the inconvenience of democratic process.

    Our only saviour is from an extremely unlikely MP and UF so prepare for the great sellout with those patsy suck ups.

  15. Dave 15

    Hey John Maynard (John M),

    You are allowed to use your real name, you know….

    • Te Reo Putake 15.1

      Dave, guessing at people’s identities is not cool. Delete it while you’ve still got time.

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