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Key and Banks on ACT: snap elections, coups & Isaac

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, January 27th, 2012 - 55 comments
Categories: act, election 2011, john banks, john key - Tags: ,

The  tea tapes contain a pivotal exchange where John Banks and John Key talk about “restructuring” ACT – including Banks confirming his orders from Key to make Catherine Judd the new leader. We also learn that National advisors called Key in a panic during the Brash coup calling on him to stage a snap election. It’s an insight into the cynicism of National and Key, and also Key’s poor political judgement.

Starting at 6.05 on the tape, Key and Banks spend quite a bit of time talking about their plans for “restructuring” ACT …. and how it’s important that their collusion isn’t made public. Banks practices his denial lines (ironically, it’s this very conversation that made it public):

I mean, longer-term, I reckon ACT’s got to, um… The reason I didn’t text you is it’s better if I don’t. Because it puts you under pressure to say ‘he has or he hasn’t’ done.

Banks: No No. ‘I haven’t heard from the Prime Minister. I don’t expect you to have any…’. What’s that number of yours? I’ve got two numbers for you”

Key: the proper one’s 594594

Banks: 594594.  ‘I haven’t talked to you’. If they want to know, if I’ve talked to the Prime Minister. I think it’s important that, over the campaign, we stay at arm’s length. ‘He’s got his own party and I think the new Leader should be Catherine Judd‘ (Judd now uses the surname Isaac)

Key: Yeah yeah. She’s good.

Banks: Don Nicholson and Seymour – the four of us can restructure and rebuild this party.

Key: And she’s good actually. I reckon she’ll have quite a bit of female appeal. That’s where you want to go.

Where Key’s grand plan to install Isaac as leader stands after Brash and Banks failed to get her into Parliament, we don’t know. ACT currently has no leader.

Key’s mention of the snap election comes in response to Banks saying of Don Brash at 6.53 on the tape:

“he’s a strange fella, that other fella” [incidentally, the tape is riddled with this weak code talking, because they realised that, realistically, with the media pack metres away, their conversation wasn't private]

Key responds:

“Yeah. We’ve been down that road before. That’s why, when they rang me in the UK, I never ever thought it was going to be surging to 15% and we should have a snap election”

So, ‘they’ (which will be his senior advisors) called Key when he was in London for ANZAC Day last year, at the time of the Brash takeover of ACT. Despite it being clear that some factions within National were behind this coup, talk of ACT getting 15%, taken from National, spooked Key’s advisors into recommending a snap election.

He didn’t refuse because there was lack a real justification – no crisis of government – that would have necessitated a snap poll. Quite the opposite, he thought ACT wouldn’t seriously threaten National’s vote and, so, he didn’t need to go early. Both he and his advisors clearly felt no compunction about calling a snap election for purely political ends, however.

Interestingly (and I seriously doubt that this idea wasn’t planted by National advisors), Guyon Espiner wrote a piece at the time of the coup recommending that National hold a snap election. This reeks of National’s (highly effective) pre-framing tactics – give Guyon a hint and some lines, which he runs knowing that if and when it happens he will be able to claim amazing foresight, and thereby win the leader of the press gallery to your framing. So, I would say that the snap election was a pretty close thing.

Ironically, it would have been the right thing for National to do, for the opposite reasons to what they supposed.

ACT would still have polled abysmally in May and Labour would have polled higher but the Greens wouldn’t have done anywhere near as well, the Conservatives wouldn’t have bled 2.5% of National’s vote for no seats, and Peters probably wouldn’t have been back. National could very well have won an outright majority in a snap election in May but waiting cost them dearly (which is why Irish mocked their poor judgement for going for a November election back when Key announced it last February).

55 comments on “Key and Banks on ACT: snap elections, coups & Isaac”

  1. Rich 1

    When did Key pre-announce the election date – ISTR late 2010? After he’d done that, calling a snap election would have been hard.

    • queenstfarmer 1.1

      I don’t know, some might say it was a magnanimous gesture instead of reserving the right to play games with it like all parties typically have – eg the sort of opportunism that Irish advocated.

      or maybe not. Regardless, it is a good thing. I would support a law change that prevents a Govt from calling a snap election unless they lose a confidence vote (and possibly some other special circumstances arise). Of course they could engineer to lose a confidence vote, but that would hardly be in their interests.

      • adriank 1.1.1

        Not sure that snap election law would be worthwhile though, queenstfarmer: both Prime Ministers who have called snap elections in the modern era have been punished for it (I assume had Helen let the term run its full course in 02 they would have received a result similar to National’s last year).

        • queenstfarmer 1.1.1.1

          The benefit is that it would remove the possibility of manipulation. Why should a Govt be able to set a date that potentially disadvantages its opponents? I don’t think they should. So my preference would be to remove it – have a fixed election cycle.

      • felix 1.1.2

        Not sure that “advocate” is quite the word you’re looking for there with regard to Irish Bill.

      • Key doesn’t deserve credit for not kicking democracy in the teeth by calling a politically motivated snap election. That’s a basic thing we should expect of all Prime Ministers.

        Besides, he still got to pick a relatively advantageous date during the regular election window anyway, so it’s not like there’s any credit to give- he picked a different self-serving course. Labour is just as bad in this regard, but that doesn’t get National or Key off the hook for not giving the power away to someone truly independent, or just creating a fixed set of rules.

        • queenstfarmer 1.1.3.1

          Key doesn’t deserve credit for not kicking democracy in the teeth by calling a politically motivated snap election.

          True.

          That’s a basic thing we should expect of all Prime Ministers.

          Not really – what we expect is at least a little game playing, always with the prospect of a snap election. Key broke with tradition by announcing early (and sticking to it) that the Govt would go full term.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.3.1.1

            No, we should not have to expect game playing. We should have a fair and neutral method of setting the election date that doesn’t inherently advantage specific parties nor does it have any systemic bias in favour of government or opposition parties.

            In short: The Prime Minister needs to give up their ability to call elections. If they want a snap election, they can instruct their own government to vote against itself in a vote of confidence.

            • queenstfarmer 1.1.3.1.1.1

              I think we are in full agreement, just saying it differently.

              It would take a law change to remove the ability to call early elections, so perhaps as part of the MMP review (maybe it is already on the radar?)

              • We’re in agreement as to what we want, I’m just saying you should be more upset that you’re not getting it and expect more from your leaders. When it comes to politicians, having high expectations, but knowing they won’t always be lived up to is, I find, the best course of action, and it encourages you to constantly pressure them to be better.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      I always thought Key announcing the election date so early (late Jan or early Feb 2011) was a really bad move on their part, because I expected their popularity to wane over the length of the year and if the ABs had lost the world cup he’d have to bite the fallout – bit risky.

      Similarly if the election had been called early, like June-July, it would really have caught Labour and the Greens out of position.

      Seemed to me like Act’s takeover would have been the perfect excuse for a snap election, but he didn’t bite. Now he’s got only the slimmest of majorities for his key asset sales policy.

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    That’s where you want to go.

    An opinion. Hardly a “grand plan”.

    Who was the fucking idiot who called this tape a game changer? It’s just wouldn’t have been.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Ironicially, Key made the tape into a game changer, both for Winston and the Greens.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Don’t forget the conservatives, who would have bled off Act as well as some from National.

        • Huh? I don’t see how the conservatives were hurt by the tape. Unless you’re implying they would never have got 3.5% without it, in which case I disagree. National and Act bleed from the centre in this type of controversy, people on the right of politics just dismiss it as a partisan bash-up.

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t say they were hurt, I was adding their name to this list:

            “Ironicially, Key made the tape into a game changer, both for Winston and the Greens.”

      • Jack 2.1.2

        Wrong about Winston Peters… just because the press said the tapes have grown his popularity doesn’t mean it is true. Peters was gaining momentum before the tapes and according to the Horizon Polls was up around 8 percent. People like myself who voted for Key in 2008 and regretted it decided to go with Winston because Labour and Greens weren’t calling a “spade a spade”… Peters does and I hope he rips Key another you know what in Parliament. Oh, and I am 63 and am not dead… Since my decision, I have grown fond of Peters because every party, major news media and right wing blog are after him and he seems to still elude them.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          What will be fascinating will be if Winston can transform NZ First into something more than just the ‘Winston Party’ by the end of this term. The man is at the dusk of his political career (which is not to say that he won’t accomplish a lot more in the time allotted) and without renewal NZ1 will finish with him.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Key should have called an earlier election than he did. The electorate would have accepted an end of July election on the basis that it gets it out of the way for the World Cup, and it was well within the acceptable normal timeframes.

    National was extremely strong earlier in the year, and both Labour and NZ1 were nowhere. Betting an election on the AB’s win was foolish and in the end was a lot of risk for zero gain. And Key’s media star was in definite wane in the last quarter.

    All in all it’s no surprise that the National coalition is 4 seats down on last time.

    • chris73 3.1

      Except of course they still did win and how many MPs did Labour lose?

    • Jack 3.2

      I agree. He has maybe 2014, so I would say another 6 years.. and then nzfirst might be over but a lot of things can happen between now and then.

  4. Shona 4

    Thanks for a partial transcript. I just can’t tolerate listening to Key for more than a nano second. He has such abysmal diction and an impoverished vocab. His speech impediment is nauseating.

    • Hami Shearlie 4.1

      Listening to Key is painfully bad, but nowhere near as bad as looking into those blank dead eyes! I always imagine a serial killer would have eyes like his! I’ve never seen a real live zombie before – it really creeps me out! The terrible diction is even worse on the phone – I know – I got a pre-recorded call from him before the election!!

  5. randal 5

    so is kweeweecorp now pretending it doesn’t have a controlling interest in binkycorp?

  6. Absolute conclusive and irrefutable proof that ACT is a poodle party.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Poodle party ?

      More like chew toy, once they got down to one MP

    • Hami Shearlie 6.2

      NO!! Poodles are the smartest dogs around -Act, well they’re more like pugs or bulldogs – stubborn, yet completely dense!! And after all no poodle would be caught dead being called “Binky”! They’re far too classy for that!!

  7. ak 7

    Guyontory Spinner’s piece is more than just interesting, rather damning evidence of his role as opinion-leader for Joyce and the nasties’ funders.

    Quite delicious really: they’d put so much sterling work into the “nice John” image over preceding years that the contrived snap election gambit was a failure with the focus groups and talkback. Hoist by their own filthy petards again.

  8. james 111 8

    Really has no legs at all real damp squid for both Labour and Winston the fake

  9. randal 9

    kweewee will never call a snap election because even his densest advisor will tell him that he and his gubmint would go down like a row of sh*tcans when it comes to a matter of principle because neither he nor his party or his gubmint have any.

    • Please use real words. There’s so much wrong with this government that there’s no need to call them made up names when you can just list all of the stuff they’ve done instead.

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        I suspect he thinks that they are real words. They make about as much sense as some of his statements.

        [randal has posted here for ages using his own 'signature style' for want of a better term. He's never given any of the moderators concern, and while it sometimes takes a moment or two to decode what he's saying ... well there's no obligation on anyone to do so if they don't care to.

        I'd prefer to see this end here... RL]

        • mickysavage 9.1.1.1

          Randal always makes perfect sense to me.

        • Ah, apologies, I thought this was an attempt to establish some sort of silly derogatory name for Key. :)

        • lprent 9.1.1.3

          The only modertor attention he has ever required is that Akismet tosses his comments ino the spam queue every day because of the randal style. We release them manually every day. That has been going on for years.

          But I think we are winning (each one we release tells the program it was wrong). Akismet has let through at least a dozen of his comments automatically over the last few weeks. I had to read the moderated message log to be sure

  10. randal 10

    Last time I heard this was a free country.
    If you are ofended then grow up and accept that life is like this and your precious sensibilities aren’t worth shit.

  11. Maui 11

    I think Matt’s point is clear communication, aka plain english, rather than complicating life with obscure self-referential formulations such as ‘kweewee’, ‘gubmint’, and ‘sh*tcans’.

    Cheers,

    Maui.

  12. law 12

    “Yeah. We’ve been down that road before. That’s why, when they rang me in the UK, I never ever thought it was going to be surging to 15% and we should have a snap election”

    It is a stretch but- the 15% could be them talking about how large the gap was between Labour and National…

    • Carol 12.1

      Wasn’t Brash claiming that his ACT party would make 15% in the 2011 election.

      • law 12.1.1

        Wasn’t Goff claiming that he would win the election?

        • RedLogix 12.1.1.1

          Well Goff came within about 1-2% of his claim.

          • law 12.1.1.1.1

            lowest result in how many years?

            The original claim was a genuine theory- far fetched I agree, but as possible as some of the claims made here.

            • RedLogix 12.1.1.1.1.1

              A 1- 2% swing to the left, and Key could not have formed a government. It was a very close election….but you know this.

              • jaymam

                Even without such a swing, if more Epsom people especially lefties had voted for Goldsmith, that would have knocked out Banks and ACT for ever, and added another seat to non-National , i.e. a two seat change..
                I tried more than most, to achieve this.

  13. randal 13

    well if that isnt clear then how come you understand what I am saying?
    r u gubmint lackeys or sumthng?

  14. randal 14

    dats rite boy.
    when da gubmint gets me da job den I wont have to sit here amusing myself at the expense of grubby little ward heelers whose only claim to fame is dey know how to extract money out of the system but yet want complete obedience and deference from the peasants.
    in a pigs as* if you get my drift.

    • Tazirev 14.1

      Sorry, just realised you suffer from Slater-Farrar Syndrome, hows the eyesight these days??

  15. Maui 15

    randal, you are not the only one in that situation.

    • Maui 16.1

      So join the queue.

      Google or Ixquick by

      ‘Lessons_From_The_Great_Depression_For_Dummies’ or

      ‘Living_Well_In_A_Down_Economy_For_Dummies’ (both pdf files)

      as well as

      ‘Download’.

      Both are aimed at the North American market, but have constructive advice
      for the world we face today .. unless you are in the top 1%.

      Cheers, and have a good day ..

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  • Why the Prime Minister and RB Governor are whistling in the wind
    Let there be no mistake, New Zealanders want the NZ dollar to be as high as possible. A 65 US cent dollar makes us a hell of a lot poorer than an 88 cent one. So why does the Reserve...
    Gareth’s World | 30-09
  • A targeted transport rate?
    An article in last Friday’s NZ Herald provided an interesting insight into where the investigations into additional transport funding options are at. This is the second phase of the project to close the supposed $12 billion funding gap over the next 30...
    Transport Blog | 30-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • How You Can Help the Homeless
    At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Over 20% of Gold Production Now Pledged to Kiwifruit Claim
    Kiwifruit growers representing over 20% of New Zealand gold kiwifruit production have already pledged to join The Kiwifruit Claim, the chairman of the claim’s grower committee, John Cameron, said today....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • ‘Creepy’ Decision on Up-Skirt Filming Slammed
    Family First NZ says that a discharge without conviction given to a man who filmed up a woman's dress in a Wellington department store is a ‘creepy’ decision that should concern all people who value their privacy. “This decision by...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
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lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour's returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.