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Judith Collins, MMP, “consensus” & democracy

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 pm, May 14th, 2013 - 68 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, electoral commission, greens, john key, Judith Collins, Metiria Turei, MMP, national/act government, referendum - Tags:

Today Green MP Holly Walker dragged out of Judith Collins that the NAct government will not be implementing the recommendations of the Electoral Commission on MMP.  Then Collins goes on to defend her position with reference to the lack of  “consensus”, clearly associating this with the need for  “unanimous” agreement on the changes by all political parties.

The Greens may be hair splitting when they say Collins is confusing 2 different terms.  However, they nail it when claiming that NAct don’t want to get rid of the Epsom coat tail effect because it may damage their chances of being re-elected.

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I believe that Dr Holly Walker was correct on this matter when she wrote: “There is a tradition of legislation making changes to the electoral system being passed unanimously in Parliament, and it would be great if all parties were able to put aside their own short-term political interests and build a consensus around the Electoral Commission’s report.” Dr Walker wrote that on 6 November last year in a little-read blog called Frogblog, and I agree with her.

Holly Walker: Thank you for the promotion—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Would the member like to start her question again.

Holly Walker: Thanks for the promotion, Minister. Which party or parties have blocked consensus in Parliament on the recommendations of the MMP review?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Actually, no party has been able to reach consensus, because consensus actually requires all parties to agree.

In a later press release, Holly Walker argues that the government did not live up to the promise of improving the MMP system following a review:

“The review was carried out in a timely manner with a robust public submission process, a high degree of engagement and a clear steer from the public on what they’d like to see changed.

“National has undermined this process by ignoring the wishes of the New Zealand public, in particular to abolish the one electorate seat threshold.

“It is weak of the Minister to hide behind the excuse of needing cross-party consensus.

“Consensus is always great to aim for but with the self-interest of the National, ACT and United Future parties always likely to derail this process, the responsible thing for the Government to do was to implement the recommendations of the Electoral Commission as a package in time for the next election.

“The Minister wants to gerrymander the system so that National don’t lose their coalition partners and can rely on ACT and United Future at the next election.

Tonight on Checkpoint on RNZ, Metiria Turei says that Collins is confusing “consensus” with “unanimous” support for all the changes.  Further she argues that there would never be a “unanimous” agreement on the recommended changes.  Turei said the Greens don’t agree with all the recommended changes, but will support them.  Key did promise a review, holding out the carrot of possible changes.

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I did get the impression that many people voted to keep MMP, with the idea in mind that important changes could be made to some of the undemocratic elements, such as the Epsom fiddle.  It’s interesting that we learn that changes won’t happen soon after John Banks has said he will stand for Epsom again.

68 comments on “Judith Collins, MMP, “consensus” & democracy”

  1. Nordy 1

    Thanks Carol – yes, an issue that has been ‘flying under the radar’ of late, and the NACT govt are happy with that.

    Typical of Collins to confuse and distract by appearing to be principled and yet in reality to be pandering to the minority, as it suits her. As I said elsewhere, ‘the tail wagging the dog’.

    The difficulty with this and other important issues (e.g the constitutional conversation) is that in reality NACT don’t want to engage on the issues as they don’t really have a position or view based on principles or anything close to democracy. It suits them nicely to distract and divert on anything but the issues – the reason of course they have that ‘nice man Mr Key’ front and centre – just ‘smile and wave’…….

    • Anne 1.1

      Typical of Collins to confuse and distract by appearing to be principled and yet in reality to be pandering to the minority, as it suits her.

      Ms Collins is a dangerous woman. She would not hesitate to use her thugs Slater and Lusk et al… to ‘put down’ anyone who dared to stand up to her. God help us if she ever became prime minister. She would make Thatcher look like a harmless kitten.

      The numbers have been done. NAct can’t afford to lose Banks and Dunne, so to hell with principle and keeping their promise to the proletariat – you know, those pesky peasants (us) whom our forefathers were stupid enough to allow to have a vote.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        And Collins is a possible future PM.

      • Anne 1.1.2

        And here’s the video…

        http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/18499

        Collins left her broomstick at the Chamber door.

      • veutoviper 1.1.3

        Well said, Anne.

        • IrishBill 1.1.3.1

          Collins is despised by many in the National party. She has her uses but she’ll never be leader. You only have to look at how close her henchmen came to seriously damaging National over the Gilmore affair, and Key’s subsequent dismissal of Lusk to see that.

          If Gilmore had decided to use his statement to open the can of worms that is the Nat’s dirty tricks machine (and I understand he came very close to doing so) then any opportunity for National to run a negative lead-in to the 2014 campaign would have been done and dusted. Put simply, Collins’ fools came very close to costing National a 2014 win.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.4

        In this scenario it’s actually best to keep Banks as head of ACT and standing and winning in Epsom, then they will go nowhere.

  2. Northshoreguynz 2

    Looking forward to the MSMs take on this.

  3. ianmac 3

    By the Collins standard that consensus = unanimous, it would be impossible to EVER get this through. John Banks would NEVER agree to lose his cup of tea.
    Consensus usually means a general informal acceptance of a plan. Usually a significant majority.
    Lucky this Government does not need a “Collins Consensus” to pass all its Bills!

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Andrew Geddis is going to have something to say about this:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/running-down-the-clock-on-electoral-reform

    The third future, however, is the worst of all. In it, the Government lets the clock run out on being able to make changes for 2014, while announcing that the lack of consensus amongst the political parties in Parliament means that it intends taking no further action on the Commission’s recommendations.

    I really hope this isn’t a future that the Government plans to visit on us. But if it is, I already have planned a post of Old Testament fury that will make Samuel L. Jackson’s quotation from Ezekiel look like a lullaby to a sleepy child. So, let’s see what the future holds

    • QoT 4.1

      Is it “CALLED IT” following by a Z-snap of the fingers?

      • Is it “CALLED IT” following by a Z-snap of the fingers?

        What is this – 2006?

        Actually, I went down the restrained smouldering and sarcastic tweaking of the NZ Herald route. Sorry for over-promising and under-delivering.

  5. vto 5

    .
    John Key

    John Banks

    John Key

    John Banks

    John Banks

    John Key

    John John Key John Banks John Banks Key

    Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key

    John Banks Key

    • toad 5.1

      I doubt that even the good voters of Epsom would elect someone so demonstrably corrupt at the next election.

      Goldsmith likely to be the next MP for Epsom, despite the Nats’ undemocratic machinations.

  6. Tamati 6

    To be fair, the voters of New Zealand didn’t get a chance to vote on whether they wished to remove the coattail provision and lower the threshold to 4%. The best thing to do would be have another referendum at the next election, where voters can decide on these two issues. I imagine they support removing “coat tailing” but would reject lowering the threshold.

    • karol 6.1

      All voters got the opportunity to make submissions to the review. Only a small proportion took it up as usual.

      • Tamati 6.1.1

        And all voters should have the opportunity to decide if changes should be made to the electoral system, in a referendum.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          I can see the value in that, Tamati. I’m not sure how well it would go down right now. Also, the government would get to choose the wording of the questions, compared with a Citizen initiated referendum, which would require a petition.

          My feeling is that most kiwis would choose to end the coat tail requirement.

          • Tamati 6.1.1.1.1

            Indeed.

            Having said that, I imagine a majority of New Zealanders would also vote to remove the Maori seats if given the option. The majority will of the Mob is often not always the best long term decision.

            A link for any classical scholars out there,
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mytilenian_Debate

            • KJT 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The minority will of parliament is almost always not the best long term decision.

              Fixed it for you.

              If you do not trust in the will of the majority, why have voting at all!

              • Tamati

                Read my above post on the Mytilenian Debate.

                A simple majority of Parliament could of course change the electoral system, if it chose to.

        • gobsmacked 6.1.1.2

          Yes, there’s a case for having the 2014 election under the current rules and a simultaneous referendum (“Do you support the Electoral Commission’s proposed changes?” or whatever).

          That solves the whole “consensus” question, which is why Collins/Key don’t want to do it. They prefer an excuse (however hollow) to do nothing at all, until the system starts to go against National. It’s blatantly self-serving.

          Let’s hope Colin Craig gets 4% at the next election and National lose, and start whining “it’s not fair!!”. That would be so funny.

        • Arfamo 6.1.1.3

          Yes. Great idea. Which party will push it?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3.1

            Neither major party will. Not in their interests to have more small party competitors stealing what they see as votes belonging to them/

        • QoT 6.1.1.4

          Well … we did have the opportunity to decide if changes should be made, when we had a referendum on MMP vs other systems with the understanding that if MMP was triumphant its current implementation would be reviewed.

          I must say it’s going to be an eternal black mark against NZ First for popularizing the idea of screaming “BUT WE NEED A REFERENDUM” every time changes are happening that we don’t like. Representative democracy: learn you some.

          • Tamati 6.1.1.4.1

            Referendums and horrible things, just ask a Californian!

          • KJT 6.1.1.4.2

            Representative democracy is an oxymoron.

            Getting to change the seats in the dictatorship every three years, IS NOT DEMOCRACY!

            • Tamati 6.1.1.4.2.1

              So we should run our nation like New Zealand idol?

              Text into vote whether to amend the habeas corpus Act?

              • Colonial Viper

                Works for Switzerland

                • Tamati

                  Banning Minarets?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    A decision by the people, for the people.

                    • Tamati

                      The majority effectively legitimizing racial discrimination against a minority.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah, that’s right. But Switzerland also voted to increase taxes on executive super salaries, and increased the minimum wage to around $50,000

                    • KJT

                      Why is banning minarets discrimination?
                      We effectively banned church bells early sunday morning long ago. Same thing.
                      Don’t think having amplified calls to prayer at 6 am would be too popular here either.

                      I havn’t noticed “representative democracy being too hot on minority rights.
                      Unless it is protecting the rights of the extremely wealthy to the detriment of all the rest of us, especially Maori.

                    • stargazer

                      “We effectively banned church bells early sunday morning long ago.”

                      but they haven’t banned church steeples. you can have minarets as a design feature without any noise coming out of them. just like we do in nz.

                      the swiss decision is straight discrimination.

      • KJT 6.1.2

        Not surprising. Most New Zealanders have given up on our political process.

        As we are all ignored by our dictators, who do whatever they choose, except for a few bones on election year.

  7. From National’s PoV, it was worthwhile going with the review because there was always the possibility it would recommend changing to Supplementary Member, or even scrapping proportional representation altogether. It hasn’t, so now it has to be ignored as quietly as possible. Good on the Greens for putting a stick in their spokes.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Er, the review was specifically set up to follow the first referendum. They can’t have recommended swapping to SM or ditching proportionality, because the public voted for MMP.

      If the public had voted for some other form, then the review would have scoped out how that was to be implemented.

      • Psycho Milt 7.1.1

        The review of MMP involves a referendum and a commission. The commission’s had no point ever since the referendum returned the “wrong” answer.

        • Andrew Geddis 7.1.1.1

          No.

          The Commission’s review ONLY kicked in if the voters decided to retain MMP … so (under this analysis) the Commission’s review had no point at all. Which turned out to be the case, but it would have been nice to hear this before everyone wasted their time taking part in it.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    The Greens score a major headline by asking a direct, simple, clear question.

    For the past 4 years many of us have been begging Labour MPs to do this. But of course they know better (and never read blogs, they tell us), so they persist with “Does he stand by his statements?”, which nearly always leads nowhere.

    They are either too stupid to learn from Winston and the Greens, or too complacent to care.

  9. ianmac 9

    1.Scrapping the provision that allows MPs who win electorate seats to bring others in on their party’s list even if they did not reach the 5 per cent threshold.
    2. Lowering that threshold to 4 or 3 per cent to compensate for any loss of proportionality from that.

    I would ask each party if they agree with 1. Yes or No
    I would ask each party if they agree with 2. Yes or No.
    Then it might become clear just who is denying Consensus.

  10. veutoviper 10

    Well done to the Greens – again – on asking the direct question. As Gobsmacked says at 8, when will Labour ever learn to do the same instead of the useless “Does the … stand by all his/her statements?” AND Supplementary Questions with two parts thereby allowing the Minister to answer only one part.

    We now know that National are going to do nothing – but that should not be surprising considering the consistent attempts by them and their spin doctors (eg Boag) over the last two weeks to blame the Gilmore situation on MMP. They want a return to FPP.

    Interestingly, I/S at NRT presents a different viewpoint on National’s decision/admission that the review recommendations will not be implemented.

    “As someone who thinks that the Electoral Commission’s recommendations are worse than what we have at present, I’m not exactly broken up about this.

    MMP needs to be tweaked, but those tweaks must enhance representation, not diminish it. The changes proposed by the Electoral Commission on their own assessment give us a less representative Parliament than we have at present, and thus it is better that they are dumped. National is acting out of pure venality, but I think its a better result for our democracy than if they’d implemented everything. But it is kindof spitting in the face on everyone who contributed to the review. And having done this, National is inviting future governments to make changes without consensus, which could be even worse.

    It also raises the question of what our political parties could reach consensus on, and why at least those changes are not going to be implemented. And if the answer is “none”, then it suggests that consensus is simply too high a bar, and that the government set up the review to fail all along.”

    http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/the-mmp-review-is-dead.html

    • Tamati 10.1

      I think this whole issue reinforces the importance of the constitutional review. You simply can’t have politicians drawing up their own rules.

      I disagree with I/S about trying to make parliament more representative though. Already we have seven parties represented in parliaments, with a broad spectrum of ideologies and policies. TBH the only group who aren’t really represented are christian conservatives and I’m not really missing them! Israel has a highly representative system, and it’s safe to say comes up with pretty disastrous results. Extremists and single issue politicians rule the roost, moderation and consensus has long been abandoned.

  11. Alanz 11

    Wow! Sharp, intelligent interview responses from Meteria.
    I have never voted Greens but after hearing that, Meteria has my two ticks on the ballot paper.

    • vto 11.1

      clear as a bell and resonating

    • karol 11.2

      Yes, I’m glad she is fronting more for the party this year. I have long been impressed by Turei’s clear and sharp thinking and talking.

  12. mikesh 12

    It was perfectly reasonable for minor parties such as UF, ACT and Mana to oppose the commission’s recommendations. After all if any of them happened to score, say, 3% support, which would entitle them to 4 seats, then in a proportional representation system they should be allowed their 4 seats. But, equally, a party like the Conservatives can argue that if they are not allowed list seats because they didn’t reach the threshold then other parties that did not reach the the threshold should not be allowed, on the basis of winning an electorate seat, list seats either.

    It seems to me that the only solution which would keep all contenders happy would be to get rid of the threshold altogether. The fact that this solution would be fair to all parties overrides, in my opinion, the main objection viz that it could lead to a proliferation of small parties.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      No orphan single MP parties unless they represent an electorate.

      • mikesh 12.1.1

        We have three ‘orphan” single parties in parliament at present. What diffderence does it make to the parliament whether they represent an electorate or not? But in any case “orphan” parties would, I think, be a small price to pay in return for a system which gives all parties represenentation in proportion to their support.

    • felix 12.2

      And anyway, what’s the matter with a proliferation of small parties? It’s not as if the large ones are demonstrating a commitment to mind-blowingly high standards.

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    Would the people have voted in a referendum to:

    Lower taxes for the rich?
    Approve TPPA?
    Destroy local government in Auckland?
    Make Gerry Brownlee Czar of Christchurch?
    Approve Labour’s Seabed and Foreskin bill?
    Allow casinos?
    Allow all our major banks to be sold to foreigners?
    Allow party drugs (legal highs)?
    Have GST. Raise GST from 10% to 12 1/2 % and now 15%?
    Sell off Mighty River Power?
    Reject changes to MMP?
    Approve the Sky Casino deal?
    Give GCSB more power?
    Allow the appointment of Susan de Void?
    Treat our military like serfs.
    Destroy unions?
    Cut industrial safety inspection?
    Allow foreign companies to plunder our fishing grounds?

    Etc., etc., etc.

    We (the overwhelming majority of us) have a very low opinion of MPs of ALL parties.

    Why do we let people we don’t trust and consider incompetent run our country?

    Our political system is dysfunctional. The people should be sovereign, not the politicians.

    • ianmac 13.1

      The “Collins Consensus” (actually = Unanimous) would stop any Bill from being presented let alone passed -ever. Unless it was a Bill doubling MP Salaries.

      • karol 13.1.1

        I laughed at Collins on RNZ this morning saying that the majority of parties do not agree with the electoral commission’s recommendations: she referred to something like 5 parties not agreeing. So that would include 2 one-man parties (UF, ACT), National & 2 other small parties?

    • Ugly Truth 13.2

      “The people should be sovereign, not the politicians.”

      Sovereign. A person, body, or state in which independent and supreme authority is vested; a chief ruler with supreme power; a king or other ruler with limited power.

      Sovereignty. The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which any independent state is governed; supreme political authority; paramount control of the constitution and frame of government and its administration; the self-sufficient source of political power, from which all specific political powers are derived; …

      Black’s dictionary of law, 5th edition.

      Sovereignty is vested in a state, it is not assumed. Sovereignty is a purely abstract concept, in reality no sovereign state has absolute and uncontrollable power. Sovereignty embodies the concept of being at the top of the hierarchy, but just because a group has a hierarchical structure with a single member at the top, it does not mean that the power of that group is supreme, absolute, or uncontrollable.

      As for the sovereignty of a people, this maxim of the common law is relevant.

      Derativa potestas non potest esse major primitiva. The power which is derived cannot be greater than that from which it is derived.

      It’s meaningless to talk of the sovereignty of a people unless the source of power is understood.
      The common law describes this source of power, but the civil state denies both denies the existence of the source and claims the benefits arising from it.

  14. fambo 14

    Best to let sleeping dogs lie. Any changes National made would only make matters worse

  15. tracey 15

    Only two days ago Joyce was railing att eh Greens for undermining democracy with their stance on the casino deala nd compensation… He and Collins obviously never talk!

  16. Tanz 16

    maybe Labour shouild push the recommended changes to MMP as in promising to make the changes if they win next years election. What a loss for democracy though, with Key once again, holding all the trump cards. He will do anything to win votes and stay in power, no matter how unprincipled.

  17. freedom 17

    Consensus comes from consultation. Which as we have heard today, was not exactly forthcoming from Judith Collins, and now we hear that is not “actually” her job.

    Well sorry Judith, but it is “actually”
    You even “actually” said so yourself “actually”.
    ““The Government will now carefully consider the Commission’s recommendations and will be consulting with other parties in Parliament for their views,” Ms Collins said.”

    http://www.judithcollins.co.nz/index.php?/categories/1-News/P9.html

  18. the pigman 18

    I thought the best bit of all this was Collins as quoted in an earlier stuff.co.nz article:

    She said it was not her role to “do deals” on MMP reform.

    “I’m actually not a party leader, I’m the Minister of Justice”, she said.

    “But I will be soon”, she could be heard muttering under her breath. Even from here, I can almost hear the echoes of her dark incantations over a cauldron somewhere in Nu Zihl.

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    1 week ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika caucus visit as Kiribati water crisis deepens
    Water supplies are deteriorating in Kiribati as Labour’s  Pasifika climate change task force prepares to head there and Tuvalu, says Labour’s Pacific Climate Change Spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “There is a growing crisis on the atolls due to water supplies… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika caucus visit as Kiribati water crisis deepens
    Water supplies are deteriorating in Kiribati as Labour’s  Pasifika climate change task force prepares to head there and Tuvalu, says Labour’s Pacific Climate Change Spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “There is a growing crisis on the atolls due to water supplies… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika caucus visit as Kiribati water crisis deepens
    Water supplies are deteriorating in Kiribati as Labour’s  Pasifika climate change task force prepares to head there and Tuvalu, says Labour’s Pacific Climate Change Spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “There is a growing crisis on the atolls due to water supplies… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika caucus visit as Kiribati water crisis deepens
    Water supplies are deteriorating in Kiribati as Labour’s  Pasifika climate change task force prepares to head there and Tuvalu, says Labour’s Pacific Climate Change Spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “There is a growing crisis on the atolls due to water supplies… ...
    1 week ago

  • Bledisloe Garden Reception cancelled at Government House
    Rain has forced Government House Auckland to cancel the Bledisloe Garden Reception, which was due to start at 4pm this afternoon. The Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, will still be marking Waitangi Day with a special citizenship ceremony for 25 people… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Call for Child Sex Abuse Inquiry
    6th February 2016 “We just haven’t had a Rolf Harris or Jimmy Savile to bring our own dirty laundry out into the open but the time bomb is ticking and powder-keg will ignite.” McVicar ...
    17 hours ago
  • Maori are amongst the biggest beneficiaries of TPP
    In the lead up to Waitangi celebrations and the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership in New Zealand this week, much is being made of Maori opposition to the TPP due to a lack of consultation and a perceived loss… ...
    2 days ago
  • Maori are amongst the biggest beneficiaries of TPP
    In the lead up to Waitangi celebrations and the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership in New Zealand this week, much is being made of Maori opposition to the TPP due to a lack of consultation and a perceived loss… ...
    2 days ago
  • More than 27,000 new Kiwis in 2015
    This Waitangi Day, New Zealand will roll out the welcome mat to 24 new citizens at Government House, and acknowledge over 27,000 people who were granted citizenship last year. ...
    2 days ago
  • Demolition of 32 & 36 Glendevere Terrace
    Demolition of 32 & 36 Glendevere Terrace Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Southern Response today announced that the demolitions of 32 and 36 Glendevere Terrace, Redcliffs, Christchurch will begin next week. ...
    2 days ago
  • Next step in 2GP process
    Dunedin (Friday, 5 February 2016) – The next step in the process of establishing a new Dunedin City District Plan will be underway when further submissions are called for from 10 February. ...
    2 days ago
  • Next step in 2GP process
    Dunedin (Friday, 5 February 2016) – The next step in the process of establishing a new Dunedin City District Plan will be underway when further submissions are called for from 10 February. ...
    2 days ago
  • Report into diplomat debacle shows Ministers’ failures
    The report into the treatment of a diplomat found guilty of indecent assault highlights a failure of Government Ministers to show political leadership over sexual violence, the Green Party said today. ...
    2 days ago
  • Report into diplomat debacle shows Ministers’ failures
    The report into the treatment of a diplomat found guilty of indecent assault highlights a failure of Government Ministers to show political leadership over sexual violence, the Green Party said today. ...
    2 days ago
  • TPP Good News for New Zealand
    TPP Good News for New Zealand by Dr Llew Richards, chief executive of IANZ We all like to travel. We all buy stuff from overseas. But sometimes we pay up to twice the price for something in New Zealand that… ...
    2 days ago
  • TPP Good News for New Zealand
    TPP Good News for New Zealand by Dr Llew Richards, chief executive of IANZ We all like to travel. We all buy stuff from overseas. But sometimes we pay up to twice the price for something in New Zealand that… ...
    2 days ago
  • Council seeks submissions on bylaw amendment
    Palmerston North City Council is calling for submissions on a proposed amendment to the Signs and Use of Public Places Bylaw for Election Signs. ...
    2 days ago
  • Credit Ratings Agency Blackmails Christchurch City Council
    Credit Ratings Agency Blackmails Christchurch City Council on Asset Sales This story slipped by without comment from anyone in the Christmas rush. Better late than never. On December 8th the Press reported that: “Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministry welcomes release of Whitehead Report
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has welcomed the public release of the Whitehead report. ...
    2 days ago
  • TPP Agreement bad for democracy
    International Trade Union Confederation TPP Agreement bad for democracy, rights, public services and health Brussels, 4 February 2016 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a major setback for employment ...
    2 days ago
  • TPP Agreement bad for democracy
    International Trade Union Confederation TPP Agreement bad for democracy, rights, public services and health Brussels, 4 February 2016 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a major setback for employment ...
    2 days ago
  • Peru signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership in NZ
    Thursday 4 February 2016 Press Release Peru's Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Magali Silva has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand's city of Auckland today along with her counterparts from 11 Pacific countries. The ...
    2 days ago
  • Peru signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership in NZ
    Thursday 4 February 2016 Press Release Peru's Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Magali Silva has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand's city of Auckland today along with her counterparts from 11 Pacific countries. The ...
    2 days ago
  • Protesters project giant message onto SkyCity
    Community organisations representing more than five and a half million people around the world have united to take joint action and express global opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as Trade Ministers sign the deal at SkyCity in Auckland. ...
    2 days ago
  • Protesters project giant message onto SkyCity
    Community organisations representing more than five and a half million people around the world have united to take joint action and express global opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as Trade Ministers sign the deal at SkyCity in Auckland. ...
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank highlights importance of market discipline
    Reserve Bank highlights importance of market discipline The Reserve Bank today highlighted the importance of market discipline as one of three pillars that help maintain the stability of financial institutions. In a speech this evening hosted by the NZ Bankers… ...
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure to underpin development of the Northland regi
    “The release today of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan is strongly endorsed by the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) and will drive much needed employment, investment and growth in the region,” says NZCID ...
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure to underpin development of the Northland regi
    “The release today of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan is strongly endorsed by the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) and will drive much needed employment, investment and growth in the region,” says NZCID ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis reject the TPPA
    Around 15,000 Kiwis marched down Queen Street today to protest against the signing of the TPPA. The march was loud, diverse, family-friendly, peaceful and passionate in its opposition to the TPPA. ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis reject the TPPA
    Around 15,000 Kiwis marched down Queen Street today to protest against the signing of the TPPA. The march was loud, diverse, family-friendly, peaceful and passionate in its opposition to the TPPA. ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ-US Council welcomes the signature of the TPP
    NZ-US Council welcomes the signature of the TPP The Executive Director of the NZ-US Council, Fiona Cooper Clarke, has welcomed the signature of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Auckland today. “We are delighted that the TPP has been… ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ-US Council welcomes the signature of the TPP
    NZ-US Council welcomes the signature of the TPP The Executive Director of the NZ-US Council, Fiona Cooper Clarke, has welcomed the signature of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Auckland today. “We are delighted that the TPP has been… ...
    3 days ago
  • Let Quake Outcasts Move on Says Human Rights Commissioner
    Let Quake Outcasts Move on Says Chief Human Rights Commissioner The Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford is calling on the Government yet again to settle the Quake Outcasts case following yesterday’s announcement that the Outcasts have ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwifruit winner in TPP Agreement
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement will generate significant value for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry and Zespri welcomes the signing of the Agreement today in Auckland. Zespri Chief Executive Lain Jager explains the TPP will eliminate ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwifruit winner in TPP Agreement
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement will generate significant value for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry and Zespri welcomes the signing of the Agreement today in Auckland. Zespri Chief Executive Lain Jager explains the TPP will eliminate ...
    3 days ago
  • Waihi Dam Update
    Waihi Dam Update Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is hopeful the discharge of sediment from the Waihi Dam into the Waiau River will cease by the end of next week. HBRC staff met with Eastland Group staff and contractors yesterday to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Waihi Dam Update
    Waihi Dam Update Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is hopeful the discharge of sediment from the Waihi Dam into the Waiau River will cease by the end of next week. HBRC staff met with Eastland Group staff and contractors yesterday to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Campaigners vow “final battle” to prevent massive deal
    As TPP is signed in Auckland casino, campaigners vow “final battle” to prevent massive deal being ratified ...
    3 days ago
  • Paddling Cape to Cape for a Cause
    A mission that will see him spend three week on stand up paddle board, paddling from the South Cape to the top of the East Cape of the North Island. ...
    3 days ago
  • Trust applauds $4m government funding for art centre
    Today's announcement of central government support, made by Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce, provides a key step forward in funding for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery. ...
    3 days ago
  • Horticulture Welcomes TPP Signing
    New Zealand’s peak body for commercial fruit and vegetable growers, Horticulture New Zealand, has welcomed the official New Zealand signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement today. Horticulture is New Zealand’s fourth largest export earner, sending ...
    3 days ago
  • Attitude change to sexual violence needed, council says
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand says the commentary around Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail's assault on Tania Billingsley should be a wakeup call for New Zealanders to change their attitudes to violence. ...
    3 days ago
  • Hundertwasser Art Centre receives Government boost
    Prosper Northland has welcomed today’s announcement of a $4 million contribution by Central Government to the Hundertwasser Art Centre (HAC) project in Whangarei. ...
    3 days ago
  • National Policy Statement a powerful tool under the RMA
    Property Council believes there is an urgent and pressing need for a National Policy Statement (NPS) on urban development under the Resource Management Act (RMA). ...
    3 days ago
  • National Policy Statement a powerful tool under the RMA
    Property Council believes there is an urgent and pressing need for a National Policy Statement (NPS) on urban development under the Resource Management Act (RMA). ...
    3 days ago
  • TPPA – The People Prefer Accountability
    The Conservative Party are by no means opposed to trade agreements with other countries, but the secrecy surrounding the negotiations and the lack of disclosure of real detail with regard to the TPPA, accompanied by the fobbing off of serious… ...
    3 days ago
  • TPPA – The People Prefer Accountability
    The Conservative Party are by no means opposed to trade agreements with other countries, but the secrecy surrounding the negotiations and the lack of disclosure of real detail with regard to the TPPA, accompanied by the fobbing off of serious… ...
    3 days ago
  • TPP casino signing gambles with our future
    OTTAWA – Trade ministers from 12 nations have chosen a casino and convention centre for the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), leading to criticism from fair trade advocates like the Council of Canadians that governments are gambling ...
    3 days ago
  • TPP casino signing gambles with our future
    OTTAWA – Trade ministers from 12 nations have chosen a casino and convention centre for the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), leading to criticism from fair trade advocates like the Council of Canadians that governments are gambling ...
    3 days ago
  • TPPA Still Needs an Independent Health Impact Assessment
    TPPA Still Needs an Independent Health Impact Assessment The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) urges the Government to facilitate an independent Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the recently agreed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement ...
    3 days ago
  • TPPA Still Needs an Independent Health Impact Assessment
    TPPA Still Needs an Independent Health Impact Assessment The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) urges the Government to facilitate an independent Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the recently agreed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement ...
    3 days ago
  • Neo-Kalashnikovs join TPPA protest
    Auckland indie band The Neo-Kalashnikovs are issuing a challenge to all others bands to stand up in protest against the TPPA. They performed at the Protestival on 31st January and will be on the protest march down Queen St. ...
    3 days ago
  • Neo-Kalashnikovs join TPPA protest
    Auckland indie band The Neo-Kalashnikovs are issuing a challenge to all others bands to stand up in protest against the TPPA. They performed at the Protestival on 31st January and will be on the protest march down Queen St. ...
    3 days ago
  • Federated Farmers welcomes TPP signing
    Federated Farmers welcomes today's signing in Auckland of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as a significant milestone for the New Zealand economy and a positive deal for the agriculture sector. ...
    3 days ago

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