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Key, Peters and the early election

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, March 11th, 2014 - 57 comments
Categories: election 2014, john key, national, nz first, winston peters - Tags:

john-key-winston-peters-2-february-20111

Just over three years ago, on February 2 to be precise, John Key announced that the date of the 2011 election would be November 26, 2011.  At the time he said:

“I believe it is in the country’s best interests to know the date of the General Election early in election year … [i]t creates certainty for New Zealanders and allows people to plan accordingly.”

Giving such extended notice was praised by independent commentators such as David Farrar as being principled.  Instead of preserving the ability to time the election to give National the biggest strategic advantage Key gave up that advantage. This was in keeping with his carefully constructed persona where he has tried to suggest that he is above playing political games.

At the same time he ruled out Winston Peters being part of his Government.  In very clear terms he said the following:

“I don’t see a place for a Winston Peters-led New Zealand First in a government that I lead … [h]istorically, he has always been sacked by prime ministers. It’s a very different style to mine and it’s rearward-looking.

What a difference three years makes. We now have an early election based on political advantage and Key is disparaging of NZ First but is refusing to rule out going into coalition with Peters.

The early election date decision is cynical in the extreme, and is based on political rather than constitutional considerations. The chance for Key to attend the G20 gathering in November as an observer is no justification for mucking around with constitutional norms. Let’s be clear, the only reason for the earlier date is the hope that National can maintain current polling levels and the fear that over time its support will ebb.

Key could not go any earlier as there is no justification. The experience of 2002 where Labour went early and lost significant support during the campaign is something Key would have been conscious of. A September election is as early as he could go without facing significant adverse electoral effect.

Key has attacked Peters saying that he should announce now who NZ First will go into coalition with. Peters has responded by stating “[h]e’s never talked to me on the matter and whatever his planning skills are, mind-reading is not one of them.”

The attack on Peters is at one level understandable. MMP elections often see votes swirl amongst smaller parties as people make decisions on what mix of parties they want to see in Government. If NZ First was seen as a potential coalition partner then soft National votes would flow Peters way.  Key cannot rule Peters out for pragmatic rather than principled reasons.  But he cannot get too close either.

This election is up to grabs. It is going to be an interesting six months.

57 comments on “Key, Peters and the early election”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    No I disagree, I think it’s good that everyone has a good period of notice of when the election is.

    My preference would be that an election date is set in statute such as ‘the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in October’. However it is a far superior situation than what we had previously.

    As for Winston he will play his usual tricks of appealing to people’s prejudices and bigotry to try and get over 5% and continue with the parliamentary gravy train into and through his dotage.

    • Anne 1.1

      And do you think Key doesn’t appeal to people’s prejudice and bigotry? And you can add avarice and self centredness to his bag of “tricky” tricks. The difference is: Key disguises it a little better than Winston which makes him infinitely more dangerous.

  2. Skinny 2

    Key is being tricky he needs John Banks to pass the budget and a by election is the very last thing he needs. The G20 is a convenient excuse. Winston Peters is in the luxurious position of putting up the ‘No Deal’ sign whenever he decides the time is good to go. NZF will absolutely soar in the polls possibly to 8-10 percent.

    When you see Winnie relaxed and smiling and John Key desperate and snaring when referring to Peters you know who is in control and who is not.

    I have no regrets doing a oncer by party voting NZF in 2011 he has kept us in the game while Labour were getting their shit together, and he will get his revenge on September 20 when he joins a L/G setup.

    Good health Winston!

    • Bearded Git 2.1

      What gets me is TV3 news said last night “this will give Key the ability to attend the G20 meeting if he wins” rather than “this will give whoever wins the election the ability to attend the G20 summit.”

      And while talking about media bias I just heard feedback on Morning Report-3 texts/emails received all of which slammed Cunliffe and praised Key/National. This is not balanced. How does this happen?

  3. geoff 3

    David Farrar – independent?? Surely you jest! 😉
    Great post ms

  4. Tom Gould 4

    The MSM is heavily biased in favour of the Tories, and the political media simply craven. Maybe it’s time for a ‘pants-on-fire’ style website that challenges every piece of biased, unfair, unbalanced and inaccurate political reportage or comment? On the other hand, it would overwhelm itself with an avalanche of copy, within days, and need a staff of hundreds.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Any government contesting for a third term in office is always at a disadvantage. With the real economy and the institutions of this country performing dreadfully for the bottom 50% of the electorate, Labour should be in a clear pole position, not trying to eke out a narrow, cobbled together victory.

    Time to show the electorate a true alternative vision for the nation.

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      “Time to show the electorate a true alternative vision for the nation.”

      Hah.

      I am enthusiastically waiting to hear from the Labour caucus and particularly David T.I.N.A. Parker that increasing the age of entitlement for superannuation is such a true alternative vision for the nation.

      Btw, if anyone can give a great analysis as to how that policy will helpfully encourage the so-called ‘missing voters’ to come out on election day and strongly support Labour, I would like to read it.

    • Yep I’m a bit surprised by the ‘he went early’ lines – imo labour should be champing at the bit for the election to show voters a clear choice, a clear alternative to the gnat nastiness – instead more of the ‘he’s not playing nice’ stuff. The left need to find people with backbone to take it to these gnats and their hanger-on dags. Come on labour you have everything to win and nothing to lose.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        I hear many natural Labour supporters disgruntled with the cheap pot shot lines from Labour. Trying to stick it to Key for going early matters only to a Thorndon bubble crowd. No one in Ashurst or Waihola gives a damn.

        So who gives a fuck if Key went two months early, its his constitutional perogative as PM. The issue Labour, if you are listening, is not that Key is going two months early, its the alternative vision that you are offering the nation. People are waiting for it, they want to hear gutsy game changing details, and they don’t have long attention spans. Get to it.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          +1

          All we’re hearing from Labour so far is more of the same neo-liberal BS that we’ve heard for the last thirty years. People are looking and demanding change but no political party is offering one.

  6. Tracey 6

    Interestingly the Herald reported as part of the announcement that National has given the nod to Dunne and Seymour.

    No cups of tea required it seems.

    “Mr Key is also expected to give clearer indications of whether National will assist potential coalition partners in electorate seats closer to the election.

    He has already indicated it will do so for Peter Dunne in Ohariu and Act’s David Seymour in Epsom, but has not yet said whether it will support Conservative Party leader Colin Craig in the same way.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11217195

    • Skinny 6.1

      Tracey things are very different this election. Key will not have it his own way in Epsom. ACT are a total joke, people I know living there feel rightfully shamed by Banks & the latest plonker heading ACT. 

      Key is doing ‘double speak’ regarding Collin Craig. He is saying “don’t force National to do a deal with this religious wacko party, give us a clear margin to govern alone or with the new-old ACT party if they prove they are worthy of our endorsement. 
       
      Note Key is already trying to peel back soft NZF Tory voters to his Nat party. Peters recent polling 5% will be unpalatable, probably 1.5 % are likely to head home if Key rights off Winston. However NZF stand to pick up treble that with deserting Nat voters. Most of the former disillusioned Maori Party voters too. This is even before Peters drops the bomb and rights National off.  

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        It’s easy to say that now, though. When it comes down to the last polls released before the election, if it shows National losing if they don’t get Act, I’m sure the National voters in Epsom will once again do what is required of them.

  7. MaxFletcher 7

    In all fairness, Cunliffe also talked about a coalition with NZ First also in his Q+A interview on Sunday.

    Seems both parties realise they might need Winston

  8. Craig Y 8

    Reports of the Conservative Party’s ‘fiscal conservatism’ are much exaggerated. In other words, will Key have to conduct a strange-sect wedding with a clone of New Zealand First if they’re foolish enough to gift Colin and Co. a sacrificial constituency? Good question…

    http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/31/article_14733.php

  9. xtasy 9

    “Let’s be clear, the only reason for the earlier date is the hope that National can maintain current polling levels and the fear that over time its support will ebb.”

    This is true, but Key and National are not that much “desperate”, they are calculating and slightly worried that their “popularity” will not last the full year. So yes, what they are going to do is running an election campaign BLITZKRIEG STYLE!

    Prepare for the hits, also under the belts, and the use of easily manipulated media staff, who can also be too easily tied in by National’s spin masters, to manipulate the wider public. We will get hammered with “success news” about economic growth, about “achievements” and get appeals like “needing to stay on course” and so forth. Key will be presented as the competent, strong, smart and “popular” leader, possibly claimed to be the “best PM” NZ had (?). They are planning to win the election outright, so they will not necessarily need the small support lackeys from ACT and United Future.

    So it is all on now, and Labour as the largest opposition party is now called upon to get all their acts together, to have their MPs firmly fall in line, to get policies ready, and put the weaponry in position, to hit back and go on the attack of shallow government policies, of “achievements” that largely have nothing to do with the government and John Key, and to present the country and people a PLAN for the future.

    A clear plan and alternative packaged – in simple, yet clear messages, and constantly machine gunned at the government, presented to the media and public, and carried out into public events, meetings and more, by all MPs, potential new candidates and members and supporters.

    I am waiting to see Labour in action, also on welfare, please, as you are the ones that are expected to LEAD, while the Greens will fire away with their plan (likely to be well matched).

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      xtasy – yours is the narrative which I feel is the most pertinent. National were desperate late last year with the membership election of David Cunliffe, but they have long since regrouped and see an opportunity to win. And they are going for it, as can be seen with their retirements and caucus renewal – again the left is fond of framing that as “desperate rats leaving a sinking ship” but the electorate is likely to view it as a party determined to bring something new to the table.

      • Skinny 9.1.1

        Yeah yeah and the Left just tell the truth National are recruiting a harsher bred of right-wing psychopaths. The saying “you can not trust a third term National Government” should be rolled out immediately.

        • gnomic 9.1.1.1

          Erm, this almost seems to imply a newly elected National government could be trustworthy. Shurely shome mishtake here? Though I agree that if elected in 2014 the Nats will finally go utterly psycho. After all, it will be like a total mandate to implement the thousand year reich. And when the wheels fall off there will be no alternative, right? And the weasel will have nothing left to lose. Sorry, that’s Sir Smirking Weasel to you.

          The same weasel who referred to our nation’s banner as post-colonial. ‘The current flag symbolizes “a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed,” Key said in a speech in Wellington today.’

          However honours from the English monarch are OK. Please tell me it is time for this man to retire to Hawaii, and get some tasty directorships.

    • Tracey 9.2

      Yup. Success like fewer on welfare but then…

      Interesting claims more people are in work cos they are not on welfare anymore BUT not reflected in the tax take… which is down for 3rd or 4th month in a row

  10. risildowgtn 10

    I look forward to see the leaders debates :)
    Cunliffe is gonna rip shonky a new one and then some hahahahhahahahahahahaha

    • Jim Nald 10.1

      Re leaders debate:

      So how many words and seconds will Cunliffe take to explain (explaining is losing?) the wonderful super policy that has been blessed by David T.I.N.A. Parker?

      Will Cunliffe’s explanation and advocacy of the policy totally floor John Key and generate such fantastic reaction to the extent that voters will cast a winning vote for Cunliffe or a protest vote against Key?

      Ok, let’s wait and see. Too soon to tell. 194 days to go.

    • Puckish Rogue 10.2

      Really?

      I say that because Key ripped Clark, Cullen, Goff, Campbell and (well probably would have) Shearer a new one whereas Cunliffe hasn’t been tested against anyone of note

    • Sosoo 10.3

      They won’t be real debates brcause nothing of substance will be discussed. They will be political beauty contests and framed by the press as such.

      By the end of this election campaign, if you are a Labour voter, chances are you will abandon any confidence in democracy if you haven’t already.

  11. About two weeks ago I was contacted by a polling company. They wanted to ask me some questions about politics and I thought here we go and said yes.

    The question that caught my attention most was: If NZ First get’s voted into a National government should Winston Peters have a ministerial post?

    Deducting from that question and framed by the others I reckon that National wants to know how much they will lose in the run up to the elections if they start courting NZ First.

    They know they are losing support and are trying to find out what they can do to keep a majority.

    Now what was that a bout giving up sovereignty forever in favor of big transnational Corporations?

    • Te Reo Putake 11.1

      That’s a good analysis, Travellerev. You don’t recall the name of the polling company do you? If it was Curia, then … Bingo!

      My gut feeling is that National know their safest bet is to stop Winston getting 5% and hoping NZF voters go there way. Option B is a post-election offer to Winston of the deputy leadership. Anything less wouldn’t work this time round.

      One thing that stood out for me is how weird it is that Key spoke about NZF at all. No words of encouragement for his current coalition partners; it’s like he knows they ain’t gonna be around.

      • travellerev 11.1.1

        Do you know what? I didn’t pay attention to the blooming name but now that you remind me it damn well was Curia marketing!

        What makes this even more interesting is that we have an unregistered number. HTF did they get our number?

        Now if I could only let you look at this video about an orange

  12. Monty 12

    Oh dear risildowgtn, we have heard that before. In 2005 Key destroyed the master of the debate Micky Cullen, then in 2008 he tore apart Clark, then Goff in 2011 was a no contest. What makes you think Cunliffe will better Key? I doubt he will. Lefties have always underestimated Key.

    And by the way Winston will go with Key he Winnie gets back in simply for the following reasons. 1 Winnie will not abide by the extreme left policies of the greens, 2. Winnie will go with the biggest party because the electorate has spoken, and 3. Because he understands that a three way plus possible Hone factor will be too unstable, and 4. He knows no government could survive the ego of Cunliffe, Norman and himself, and 5. Winnie will not want to be the third part of the trifecta. He can handle being second , but not third.

    In fact I do not think Winston will be back. Labour and greens supporters who voted Winston last time around will go back to voting for labour green rather than vote for a party who is likely to support a national Government.

    • risildowgtn 12.1

      hahah is that your best?

      Cunliffe aint clarke or any of those other fools

      [lprent: John Clarke? ]

      • MaxFletcher 12.1.1

        Clarke was no fool

        [lprent: John Clarke? Helen Clark (with no frigging ‘e’)? David Clark? It would help if you used the fuller names so others could figure out who you mean. ]

    • Lanthanide 12.2

      I don’t recall him “[tearing] apart Clark”. I recall the media being surprised by how well he did, because expectations were set very very low.

      Similarly Goff in 2011 wasn’t a “no contest”, it was quite close (in so much as leaders ‘win’ debates), with Goff clearing ‘winning’ one, Key ‘winning’ one and the other one going to Key by a nose. But apart from the ‘winning’ aspect, Key really put on a poor display, particularly with his lame ‘drunken sailor’ joke.

      No one cares about finance spokespeople debates so I don’t know anything about whatever 2005 debate you’re mentioning.

      • Ant 12.2.1

        I always thought National were smart and criticised Helen for being “too aggressive” – Labour then went full retard and over reacted – Helen noticeably held back (didn’t interrupt him, didn’t talk over him) in the debates which essentially gave Key free reign.

        I hope Cunliffe doesn’t receive any equally conservative horrible advice that makes him hold back.

    • framu 12.3

      “greens supporters who voted Winston last time ”

      you reckon?

    • PapaMike 12.4

      Winnie has always maintained he would never go into any coalition with the Greens.

      I assume he is changing his mind – again

      • McFlock 12.4.1

        Many ways to skin a cat without technically being part of a coalition government.

        e.g. post 2005: confidence and supply support, a minister, but not in the coalition government.

    • Skinny 12.5

      Your handle says it all, your a bloody comic alright Winston won’t get 5% lol that is a classic.. You forgot to say if he declared going with NACT he wont get 5%.

    • Tiger Mountain 12.6

      Classic “miss-underestimation” from Montykins.

  13. Tombstone 13

    I notice there’s been another budget blowout for the government which is kinda odd as I thought they had delivered a rock star economy and we were now all on the slow but steady march toward Utopia? So, the tax switch, austerity measures, slashing of jobs and flogging off our assets has achieved what? Seems we’re going backwards and still Key’s fans crow like great things have been achieved – ah, no they haven’t you bunch of sanctimonious doosh bags! Wake the fuck up!

    • Puckish Rogue 13.1

      Well theres this:

      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/manufacturing_and_production/EconomicSurveyofManufacturing_MRDec13qtr.aspx

      Not counting dairy and meat (which increased higher)

      » Seafood +2.7%
      » Fruit, oil, cereal and food +5.0%
      » Wood and paper +1.6%
      » Printing +8.5%
      » Non-metallic minerals +5.5%
      » Transport +5.9%
      » Furniture +6.2%

      So I’d suggest lefties wake the fuck up and realise (and appreciate) the good work Nationals doing

      • McFlock 13.1.2

        You forget to mention 27% of kids in poverty. That’s up, too.

      • KB 13.1.3

        Maybe these things are up despite what National’s been doing. Also what were the volumes prior to the GFC/when National took over? Are they merely returning to previous levels?

      • framu 13.1.4

        your link doesnt show those figures (unless im just missing something) – edit – perhaps i skimmed that too quickly – sorry

        also “The total manufacturing sales volume had a record rise”

        sales not tax revenue – considering that tombstone is talking about govt budget blowouts its weird that you link to things other than govt revenue data

      • xtasy 13.1.5

        Seafood – more exports to China and other places (mostly low value added),
        Fruit, oil, cereal and food – more exports to China and so (likely more canned fruit comes under this),
        Wood and paper – more exports to China and the likes (cut or chipped logs are likely counted as “manufacturing”),
        Non-metallic minerals – more exports to China and so (could mean any such mineral with little “manufactured” value),
        Transport – maybe once off contract of some transport appliances or accessories by a manufacturer, possibly to Australia, otherwise work on electrification of rail links in Auckland and whatever else, that had been planned for a long time (already prepared for under Labour),
        Furniture – yes, perhaps some more furniture for local use?

        Indeed, it shows a growth curve, slowly returning manufacturing data to the level of 2008 – just before National took office!

        http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/manufacturing_and_production/EconomicSurveyofManufacturing_HOTPDec13qtr.aspx

        Bearing in mind that most the exporting benefits some, but not necessarily all New Zealanders, this alone does only say so much.

        So it took National in government over 5 years to bring it back to what it was prior to when they took over government?!

    • xtasy 13.2

      Apart from share-milkers and fruit picking gangs (from overseas) working their butts off, and logging gangs risking life and well-being to keep jobs, by cutting thousands of cheap logs for China, fishing vessels from overseas ripping their quota and more out of the sea around us, most that have come off welfare and gone into “work”, ended up with marginal, part time and casual jobs, that pay little in income tax. GST take is not growing, as retail spending on cards may be up, but in cash goes down, which rather represents a change of purchasing behaviour (by younger generations), and NOT a real, substantial growth in retail sales.

      Also solo parents (mostly females) forced off welfare, due to work testing and other draconian expectations, have moved in with (potentially abusive) partners, or are working the streets, to survive without cut or denied benefits.

      Yeah, it is a “rock star economy” by some figures, but the whole picture will show it is anything like a “rock star economy”, where only farmers and a few others do well, but most get nowhere, or move backwards. And the farmers spend perhaps more on paying off debt and importing new machinery, made in China, like those glossily (asbestos) painted new trains, which cost Kiwirail 3 million a week, while being out of business, due to suspected health risk for the drivers.

      Selling assets put some cash into the till, but that cash was already spent before, so now the cupboards are bare, and it may show sooner than National may like, hence the rush for 20 September now. Key knows, if they get in again, they can rip the rest of the crap out of this country and really get stuck into beneficiaries and others.

      Times could never have been more serious under this government, to realise a change of government is NEEDED!

  14. Enough is Enough 14

    Well of course they are desperate Mickey.

    I wish we showed similar levels of urgency and desperation for the treasury benches instead of this sloppy mistake filled start to election year.

  15. captain hook 15

    shifty Key has always been desperate.
    people like him have no acceptance of the world.
    they need to grab everything in case there is nothing left for them.
    when they are finished there is nothing left over for anybody else.
    he wants to enron new zealand and then split.

  16. peterlepaysan 16

    The media chatterers that talk about G20 influencing the election date display an extraordinary incompetence and/or venality.

    I have no idea what the National party thinking is about the date apart from the fact that it is a date that they think is advantageous to them, for whatever myriad of possible reasons.

    It would be nice if, for once, media chatterers stopped interviewing their iphones and lifted their heads to look around at real world around them.

  17. Philj 17

    Xox
    Part of me relishes National, post election, having to live with the results of such mis management of New Zealand. Can we be so shallow and dupe able? That is the question.

  18. Murray Olsen 18

    The election date is good. We know the day we’ll get rid of Key and his douchebag acolytes, if Labour can do two things:
    1. Forget increasing the retirement age. In an ideal world, I’d say kick anyone promoting the increase, like Clark and Goff, out of the party.
    2. Realise that you can’t shut Shane Jones up, so use his big mouth to attack NAct rather than the Greens. Keep him to a script and keep him away from the mining and fishing interests he loves so much.

    It would also be good to hear a few inspiring, rather than insipid, things from other Labour candidates. Jacinda Ardern needs to learn that just being photogenic is not enough. Mallard just needs to retire.

  19. Tanz 19

    Key gets all the good media attention, he is their darling. It’s scrape and bow by the MSM. No wonder he thinks he is golden…even if he is not.

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    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    10 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    10 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    12 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    12 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    13 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    15 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    15 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    22 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    23 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Fuck TV3
    TV3 has announced that they will be shitcanning Campbell Live. Oh, there'll still be a programme - but it won't have John Campbell, it'll only be four days a week, and it will almost certainly turn into the sort of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    5 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    8 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    8 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    10 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    2 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    3 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    4 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    4 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    4 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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