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Key’s transparent gerrymander

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 pm, February 9th, 2014 - 101 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, election 2014, electoral commission, electoral systems, john key, Judith Collins, MMP, national - Tags:

John Key wants to be “transparent” about which persons or parties he will want to give the nod and wink to before this year’s election, but not yet. This emerged after close questioning from senior journalists at his press conference last Monday. It will all depend on National’s extensive polling, as he will want to shorten the odds before he comes clear near the election.

John Armstrong summarises the issues well in Saturday’s Herald. Coming clear is perhaps not quite the right way to put it – in an article headlined “Rotten smell arising from one-seat threshold”, Armstrong focuses on National’s refusal to implement the Electoral Commission’s advice on removing the one-seat threshold for allowing additional MPs into Parliament. He starts:

National’s brushing aside of Electoral Commission advice (is) an act of self-interest which diminishes our democracy

and puts his finger on the reason

The one-seat threshold survives simply because it could yet be the difference between National staying in power and going into Opposition.

and the tactics National used

National’s response to those recommendations, which had wide support from those making submissions to the review, was cunning but also predictably self-serving. Justice Minister Judith Collins loftily announced there would be no changes as the convention that there be an all-party consensus for measures altering aspects of the electoral system was lacking. This seemingly principled stance played on public ignorance by conveniently neglecting to mention it was National and Act which were blocking such a consensus.

Armstrong’s comment is

However, it seems to have dawned on the Prime Minister just how manipulative all this is beginning to look. The word “gerrymander”- one not usually associated with New Zealand’s voting system – surfaced in questions at Key’s weekly news conference on Monday.

In response, Key chose his words very carefully as he parried further questions about the likelihood and timing of accommodations. While he wanted to be “transparent” about such deals, he was reserving the right to hold off announcing them possibly until as late as the early stages of the official election campaign.

The Prime Minister’s remarks suggest he realises that National has become too blase in turning parliamentary seats into playthings akin to the “rotten boroughs” of old England and a return to more careful political management is in order.

It’s worth listening to the full press conference – it’s on Scoop and can get it

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

. It was Fairfax senior journalist Vernon Small who raised the gerrymander issue, asking Key whether gifting a seat to a party that was polling at zero was almost the definition of gerrymander. Key suddenly realised he had to catch a plane to meet Tony Abbott.

Other gallery journalists not always met with praise on this site pressed Key as well on how well these issues and tactics were understood by voters in general.

While Key is keen to get off the subject, I don’t think these issues are going to go away. The preternaturally weak Election Amendment Bill is still due to have its second reading in the House, John Banks is still to have his day in court, and the Maori Party knows that if it is to survive in any electorate it has to distance itself from National.

As one gallery member remarked at the press conference, the Maori Party has vote against National 80% of the time. It would be an interesting exercise to see how many Bills passed into law by virtue of the single-party gerrymander provided by Banks and Dunne.

And of course if Banks is found guilty and has to step down from Parliament, what will Key do then? If he asks National’s already selected candidate Paul Goldsmith to step aside for the zero-polling ACT candidate, it will be a Vernon Small “by definition” gerrymander. If Paul Goldsmith stands and wins, National will have one more MP than they were entitled to as a result of the 2011 election; another gerrymander. If Goldsmith stands and wins a by-election, will he be asked to stand aside in the general election. Will Key have to bring forward the date of the election to avoid a by-election if Banks is guilty? What happens to his majority then?

Oh what a tangled web they weave…

101 comments on “Key’s transparent gerrymander”

  1. lprent 1

    Nice summary of National’s gerrymander issues.

    My non-scientific sampling shows that it really pisses off solid national party voters. It is kind of startling having them approach me to rant about it.

    I don’t think it will work too well in Epsom from what I have seen. Banks is actively distrusted there at present. And suggesting that if they want ACT they may vote in a born-again libertarian! That seems to upset the mercantile classes that are the majority of National/Act voters there..

    • lprent 1.1

      If anyone is looking for the off-topic diversions they have posted, They’re in OpenMike with a warning. Talk about the topic in the post.

      Put other topics in OpenMike.

      I’m simply going to spam and ban any further attempts to divert from this topic.

  2. Stephanie Rodgers 2

    It’s very interesting to see that journalists like John Armstrong are starting to be much more open in criticising the Prime Minister, and especially the National Party’s pretty obvious attempts to direct their voting base. When the last cup-of-tea meeting happened I think a lot of the media tried to have a bob each way, painting it as a cynical gesture but also buying into it as a sound political move. This time it’ll be much harder to parachute in Seymour or Craig.

    • Clemgeopin 2.1

      Ultimately it boils down to
      (1) How much self respect Seymour, Craig and Key have.
      (2) How much self respect the voters of Epsom have.

  3. Skinny 3

    Key will go for an early election as soon as he can. Forget the rugby or any other reason being mooted, it’s in his interest as his core voters will turn up at the polls. The longer he leaves it the worst the result.

    I challenge anyone to differ as to why he won’t!

  4. Wayne 4

    While you could say that John Banks winning Epsom in 2011 was the result of a deal, that was much less true in 2008, and not true at all in 2005 when Rodney first won Epsom. That was not something that the Nats or Richard Worth wanted.

    And how true is it of Peter Dunne. Has Labour ever really had a much of a chance of winning Ohariu in the last few elections.

    It is not that the one seat thing is actually undemocratic. And in any event it was never proposed to be abolished under the MMP review. Only the “top up” was. But since the “top up” allows a smaller blocs of voters to be represented in Parliament than the 5% threshold, arguably it is more democratic.

    Which is why I think that if the “top up” has to go the threshold should be 3%, not 4% as proposed by the Review Committee.

    • weka 4.1

      “Has Labour ever really had a much of a chance of winning Ohariu in the last few elections.”

      2011, if the GP voters had voted for Chauvel, he would have won.

      http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2011/electorate-35.html

      • Rosie 4.1.1

        Exactly weka. And IF we get a good strong Labour candidate for Ohariu Wayne just might find he may be eating his words. I dare say I sense a change in the wind in this electorate, going by the conversations I’ve had with folks, even the conservative business owning types.

        Last year’s public meeting to discuss the crucial vote Dunne has cast on the GCSB Act, Sky City, Asset sales and may pass on Bridge’s new employment amendments was held in the main hall, was well attended and quite vocal. Compare that with the UF annual conference held in the same community centre but in a smaller room with a tiny turnout.

        Also consider the 64.6% of Ohariu voters who said NO to asset sales in the referendum. After 30 years of holding this seat he is finally losing his flavour among voters, and folks are getting tired of him and his silly photo ops in the local papers.

        It can’t be assumed that Dunne will be part of the next government.

        His days are numbered.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          Tricky though to guess what will happen if people don’t vote for Dunne. Compare the party votes to the seat votes. It’s fair to say that most of the Dunne voters were also National voters in 2011. And that a big chunk of the GP vote went to Chauvel. Most of the Labour vote went to Chauvel. Hard to know what the NZF vote is doing, maybe it went to Dunne?

          New Zealand First Party 1,478 BARR, Hugh NZF 339
          Labour Party 10,036 CHAUVEL, Charles LAB 12,965
          United Future 672 DUNNE, Peter UFNZ 14,357
          Libertarianz 47 FITZPATRICK, Sean LIB 109
          Green Party 5,453 HUGHES, Gareth GP 2,160
          National Party 18,764 SHANKS, Katrina NAT 6,907
          Conservative Party 636 WOODNUTT, Stephen CNSP 378

          • Rosie 4.1.1.1.1

            Hi weka. Yes, National is it in terms of the party vote, and if you compare 2008 with 2011 even more people voted Dunne – strategically to keep National in power. (he’s also like an old pair slippers to a group voters who are completely disconnected from the world of politics and are just fond of Dunne because he turns up at their kid’s school)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%8Chariu

            But more people also voted Chauvel in 2011 than 2008, so you can see the battle is really over the electorate vote here. Like you say, Chauvel could have won had he received those votes that went to Gareth Hughes (well, to paraphrase you)

            So this year, I really think it can be done. I’m mainly going on the FEELING I am getting. I really do feel a change in the wind. Also we have had a boundary change. Maungaraki has been lost and the suburb of Wadestown has been gained. His old familiars in that chunk of the electorate have gone and he has a new crowd that don’t know him personally.

            Wadestown is affluent and I’m hoping it’s more full of chardonnay socialists than Nat supporters. (any Wadestown residents out there? What are your thoughts?) Either way, there is lots of work to be done but I think we can win it.

            As for NZ First, I couldn’t say.

          • Wayne 4.1.1.1.2

            Well Katrina Shanks got 6,907 votes compared to 2,160 for Gareth Hughes. The reality is that people still make their own voting choices, no matter what Party leaders say. Voters will only follow the views of Party Leaders if they think it makes sense.

            So clearly some Green voters were not prepared to got for Charles Chauvel, just as some Nat voters (a much larger group than Gareth’s voters) were not prepared to vote for Peter Dunne.

            So it looks like the seat favors Dunne, but I do not know how important the boundary changes will be for 2014.

            I don’t think GCSB or employment law will affect the 2014 vote. And probably neither will asset sales, since many people have obviously separated their electoral vote from the referendum vote.

            The question in relation to the public meetings, is whether they attracted anyone other than those whose votes are already predetermined.

            • Rosie 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Shanks and Hughes electorate votes were both well down in 2011 on their 2008 votes.

              I can tell you that there were former Dunne voters at the large public meeting last year, and they were angry, and it was over asset sales. Yes, I agree this seat HAS favoured Dunne, that can’t be denied after 30 years, but for how much longer?

              Wayne, I think your lot shouldn’t feel as comfortable and relaxed as you appear to be – but if you are, that could be advantageous to those of us who want to see Dunne gone, maybe you’ll be less inclined to put up a fight!

              On another note, Mike Smith has asked, what will National do in Epsom? And I would add, what would they do in Ohariu? Not stand a candidate? There is after all no word of Shank’s replacement. Gerry mandering ahead?

        • Rosie 4.1.1.2

          lol. “………..was held in the main hall,……….”. To expand on that random bit of info: It should read “………..was held in the main hall of the Johnsonville Community Centre, just over the road from Dunne’s office”

        • PapaMike 4.1.1.3

          If the Greens can do a deal and agree not to challenge in Ohariu we could easily get Dunns out.

          • Rosie 4.1.1.3.1

            Too late. They already have their candidate, Tane Woodley.

            • middxkea 4.1.1.3.1.1

              Not too late at all
              The Greens could do a deal
              Rogatai or Wellington Central for Ohariu? :-)

          • Wayne 4.1.1.3.2

            I thought Labour was complaining about the Nats doing deals like this!
            And in any event based on the 2011 result, the Greens pulling their candidate would not be enough if the Nats also pulled their candidate.

      • Stephen 4.1.2

        So a central task for the Labour candidate this year is to persuade those Green voters that he or she deserves their vote.

        • Rosie 4.1.2.1

          Yes Stephen, they will need to campaign hard on that point.

          But where oh where is the new candidate?

          • James Thrace 4.1.2.1.1

            Virginia Andersen is the sole nomination for Ohariu, Rosie. Likely to be confirmed on 23 February.

            Leaving it very late in the piece to introduce a new piece of meat to the Ohariu plebs. I hope they have an effective strategy in place to introduce her beyond small fair meet and greets.

            Chauvel worked damn hard from 2005 which is why in 2011 he had more than enough name recognition. I don’t know that Virginia Andersen has the same level of name recognition, or even if she’s going to get it within 6 months.

            I can’t find much about her on Google, but appears that she is a public servant.

            I doubt Ohariu will be taken away from Dunne this year, unfortunately.

        • Tracey 4.1.2.2

          or labour supporters vote green

    • Paul 4.2

      You’re spinning so much you’ll fall over soon.

      [lprent: Pays to say why. Otherwise it looks like you don’t have any idea. ]

    • greywarbler 4.3

      Wayne you say it is arguably to be more democratic to have smaller numbers represented in parliament. It could however be regarded as more elitist, in that a small number of people have been able to jump the 5% ‘safety barrier’ to get their position, and who can afford the costs incurred in pursuing this venture.

      Also going too low in percentages makes it likely that there will be capture of the tipping point in voting in parliament by groups with obssessive attitudes that are not in the best interests of most citizens. It can result in less democratic outcomes, and more towards autocratic ones, so counter-productive from naive expectations.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.4

      arguably it is more democratic

      The problem, Dr. Mapp isn’t so much the rules as the National Party’s “gerrymandering” – aka corruption, which leaves an increasingly foul taste in even John Armstrong’s mouth.

      What’s your opinion of Armstrong’s views, Dr. Mapp? Speak up man.

    • Tracey 4.5

      Labour Party 10,036 CHAUVEL, Charles LAB 12,965
      United Future 672 DUNNE, Peter UFNZ 14,357

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    Clue me in – if a seat falls vacant within x months of a General eection then there does not have to be a by-election?

    Would an electorate really vote for Craig either? His image is such that I could hold my nose and vote for any other candidate (virtually) on the right just to keep him out. I could see people thinking that way, has anybody asked the left in East Coast Bays?

    Lastly, if Labour stood a right leaning male candidate (they have their uses) in Upper Harbour would the absolute rednecks in the electorate vote for a bloke. Could be headlined as Labour doesn’t believe in a man ban in the electorate?

    • lprent 5.1

      Depends on the will of parliament.

      Wikipedia

      Under the Electoral Act 1993, a by-election need not take place if a general election will occur within six months of an electorate seat becoming vacant, although confirmation by a resolution supported by at least 75% of MPs is required. In 1996 the general election date was brought forward slightly, to 12 October, to avoid a by-election after the resignation of Michael Laws. Twice, in 1943 and 1969, by-elections were avoided after the deaths in election years of Paraire Karaka Paikea and Ralph Hanan by passing special acts, the By-election Postponement Act 1943 and the By-election Postponement Act 1969.

      • RedBaronCV 5.1.1

        Is that likely here? Would opposition parties agree to prolong the current parliament knowing that it can’t really pass any legislation and go for a date of their choice? Nact negotiating between a rock and a hard place -if so would warm my heart.

        • Tamati 5.1.1.1

          I can’t see it happening here.

          Labour would have to force a pointless by-election and would be hammed in the media for it. They would be accused wasting taxpayers money and playing petty political games. They would look like squabbling kids not a government in waiting. National wouldn’t stand a candidate, on the ground they didn’t want this by-election and David Seymour elected as the member for Epsom. As the sitting member it would be easier for him to be re-elected in the general election a few months later.

          The only reason they would try oppose it would be to try and draw out the John Banks saga. It wouldn’t harm the Government too much not be able to pass any legislation for a couple of months. They would still have the confidence of the house anyway.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1.1.1

            Pointless ?
            The sitting MP was disqualified for election corruption, surely it would be ACT and John Banks who would be blamed.
            As for the cost, its next to nothing. About 6 polling booths, 30 people for one day.
            Less than a new limo, less than a couple of months of McCullys travel bill.Less than….

            • Tamati 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, holding a by election 4 months before a general election would be pretty pointless. Labour would be blamed for forcing a pointless by-election not for John Banks’s electoral corruption.

              Sure, it may only cost a hundred thousand dollars or so, but voters are pretty unforgiving when it comes to politicians needlessly spending money. Shane Jones nearly ended his career over a $5 porn movie.

    • Tamati 5.2

      If any electorate was to vote for Colin Craig it would be East Coast Bays.

      It’s one of the most religious electorates in the country and very wealthy. It also has a large number of (excuse the racial stereotype) white South Africans living there who tend to be socially conservative. Like any electorate though, I doubt they’ll be happy about being told to vote for.

      The lefts best chance would be to rope in one of the Albany Councillors, Wayne Walker or John Watson. I’ve got no idea if either have links to the Labour party.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    Actually we should do our candidate vote as STV

    • McFlock 6.1

      fair comment

    • Stephanie Rodgers 6.2

      Especially given the number of local body elections which now use STV, so a lot of people are used to how it works.

      • Tamati 6.2.1

        Labour would never back STV. They’d probably lose more seats to the Greens than gain seats of National.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2.2

        Thats silly, only useful when you have multiple councillors elected for each ward.

        The MMP system allready allows for representation for smaller parties

        • Shrubbery 6.2.2.1

          On the contrary, it makes voting for a minor party candidate something other than a total waste of time.

        • McFlock 6.2.2.2

          but it’s not about smaller party representation, it’s about who the electorate want to represent them in parliament. Just as it’s about who the residents want to represent them on council.

  7. North 7

    Yesterday Bad 12 and Veutoviper gently urged me to think more carefully about Armstrong’s seeming lash at Key (NZ Herald) for what Armstrong called a stench in New Zealand politics – that is, Key yet again gifting Epsom.

    How about this – given that it’s extraordinary that “KeyHasCharisma” Armstrong should attack Key in that way, like out of the blue, might Armstrong’s ostensibly harsh verdict not be a laying the ground for him to attack Cunliffe hard out if Labour should counter by open encouragement to its voters to vote tactically in response ? I mean there has to be a reason for Armstrong’s outburst.

    Can you imagine Old Aunty Armstrong’s sham moral equivalency spluttering ? “I condemned it in National and equally I condemn it in Labour – hypocrites !” This analysis is predicated on the understanding that Armstrong really is a confirmed and helpless Key lover. After all, we’ve seen nothing else from the fuckwit for years now.

    I’m way over believing that the MSM and its so-called leading lights wouldn’t do their best to skew an electoral outcome in the most cynical way. Their careers depend on their complicity.

    • Anne 7.1

      Can you imagine Old Aunty Armstrong’s sham moral equivalency spluttering ? “I condemned it in National and equally I condemn it in Labour – hypocrites !”

      It would be a valid response if Armstrong had condemned Key for doing a deal with Peter Dunne five years ago. I don’t recall him doing so.

      It would be a valid response if Armstrong had condemned Key for doing a deal with Rodney Hide five years ago. I don’t recall him doing so.

      It would be a valid response if Armstrong had condemned Key for doing a deal with John Banks three years ago. I don’t recall him doing so.

      So, why is he spitting tacks over the latest “tactical deals” Key is contemplating?

      I think North is on to something.

      • North 7.1.1

        It certainly is puzzling. Especially when in the context of a seeming attack on Key, Armstrong then waxes somewhat congratulatory of him:

        “No one knows better than Key that giving voters a nod and wink as to how they should tick the ballot can come badly unstuck – as in the case of the Epsom “cup of tea” with John Banks which partially derailed National’s election campaign in 2011.

        Using such exercises as symbolic means of communicating how people should vote had some value when voters had to be gently prodded to tick for the first time the name of someone not from their favoured party.

        Now that voters are far more conscious of what might be required of them, Key’s desire to be more direct and transparent is the right call.

        That is not sufficient excuse, however, to remove the stench of something rotten in the state of New Zealand’s democracy.”

        Surely Armstrong should have written “That IS sufficient………to remove the stench……” ?

        Does Armstrong intend later on in the year to opine – “I called it unsatisfactory, and indeed Epsom 2011 was an unsavoury spectacle. However for some months now the electorate has seen the the prime minister characteristically open and transparent as to his understandable wish to engage the centre right. It has always been open to the Labour Party, with like openness and transparency, to do the same in respect of the centre left. That it has not because blah blah blah (pejorative) does not licence the Labour Party now to call foul………we do after all live in a democracy where every elector is ultimately the master of his own vote.” ?

        Armstrong’s article a tool in the “normalisation” of rotten borough politics ? Can’t you just hear Key – “I’ve been criticised blah blah blah” then cynically cutting to the rationalisation in the paragraph above ?

        If we are being softened up for normalisation it may be that our own immaculate haughtiness delivers us Key 3. A nightmare prospect. Which as you can see from the timing of this comment has woken me from troubled slumber.

        • tc 7.1.1.1

          Armstrong is a Nat fanboy who will always end up on their side, he is part of the govt spin.

          You don’t keep those comfy roles unless you toe the line, smellstrong doesn’t need to be told, he sold out years ago along with o’shillivan etc.

          Granny calls this balance

      • David H 7.1.2

        Maybe Armstrong is becoming an irrelevancy.

      • mikesh 7.1.3

        Until this year’s election we didn’t have the electoral commission’s recommendations to take into account. A major point of Armstrong’s article was National’s rather Machiavellian refusal to implement those recommendations.

    • veutoviper 7.2

      Some good points, North, and it could be the hidden agenda, although I also support Anne’s points.

      Just to throw another angle into the mix. Last night I did a quick look at the over 100 comments on the Herald website to Armstrong’s article – sorted by the Most Liked option.

      I did not read or analyse them closely, but what jumped out at me was the number blaming/criticising MMP itself – rather than the various elements (list seats, coattails, 5%, etc) that the Electoral Commission recommendations address for reform. (Obviously many comments also addressed these issues, and Key etc)

      Key is known for not supporting MMP despite the referendum results supporting the retention of MMP.

      It crossed my mind that the hidden agenda in Armstrong’s article (or one of them) was to focus ongoing debate against the retention of MMP and the return to FPP – rather than on the reforms needed to MMP itself.

      Just a thought, but would not be surprised.

      • veutoviper 7.2.1

        A footnote to the above. I have just relooked at the comments on the Herald. While the anti-MMP comments are still there, they are no longer far up in the Most Liked sort. The most liked are very anti-Key etc. But I still stand by my initial thoughts as to a possible hidden agenda being to continue the debate against MMP itself.

  8. Rodel 8

    Gerrymander is from early 19th cent.: Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts and the shape of a new voting district on a map drawn when he was in office (1812), the creation of which was felt to favour his party: the map (with claws, wings, and fangs added), was published in the Boston Weekly Messenger, with the title The Gerry-Mander .
    I think the collusion between John Key, John Banks in Epsom/Remuera leaving aside John Armstrong is better described as a Johnny-mander.

  9. Meg 9

    Can you imagine Key’s outrage if Labour were perverting democracy like this??? He would be screaming and whipping the media into a frenzy.

    The left need to make this the story. Key is perverting democracy, doing dirty deals with parties who can’t even get 0.01% in the polls to make sure he can stay in power.

    • PapaMike 9.1

      Remember that after November (or probably October) that the incoming Labour led Government will have the numbers to do whatever it wants to make changes to the electoral system and the odd bits, and perhaps fund political parties as put forward strongly by the Green Party.

  10. Sisko 10

    The left also gains to some extent from the one seat threshold, because Mana and the Maori party are only able to get into parliament because of it (I realize the Maori party has supported National recently, but I suspect they would prefer to go with Labour if a coalition on the left was viable). If we abolished the one seat threshold, would it apply to all electorates (Maori and general) and potentially kill both the Mana and Maori parties?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      And yet, I note parties of the Left are unanimous in their support for the commission’s recommendations.

      • Auto_Immune 10.1.1

        …except Lees-Galloway’s bill didn’t incorporate ALL the recommendations from the commission (notably, getting rid of overhang).

        • James Thrace 10.1.1.1

          Should just get rid of the party vote altogether and have 120 Electorates, all with STV.

          120 seats in Parliament.

          120 Electorates.

          Each candidate can declare their affiliation.

          STV voting.

          Voting returns will show which candidates in which electorates are most preferred.
          Those who end up in Parliament will naturally congregate under the banner of the party they stood for.

          Then making up a government will be interesting. Will it necessarily be a case of the most numbers of Electorate MPs representing a party overall that are able to form together a coalition government, or will there be a large amount of independents in Parliament, thus necessitating a multi headed hydra.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2

          ” Lees-Galloway’s bill didn’t incorporate ALL the recommendations from the commission (notably, getting rid of overhang).”

          True, which is a shame, but select committees are for reasons such as these.

    • bad12 10.2

      Sisko, i think you might have been working off of a misunderstanding here, what is proposed is an abolition of the ability of those Parties which gain 1 electorate seat to bring further MP’s into the house with as little as 1.7% of the Party vote not the abolition of a Party’s right to win a single electorate and thus gain representation,

      Your focus in your comment upon the Mana and Maori parties is of interest, suggsting your underlying agenda, should the abolition of ‘coat-tailing’ become the rule, ACT, United future, and, the Conservatives would likely be effected as much as the Maori and Mana parties…

      • Sisko 10.2.1

        Oh so it’s a bit different to what I thought. A party which wins 3 electorate seats but 0% of the party vote would still get 3 seats, but a party that gets 4.9% of the vote but 1 electorate will get just the one seat. Is that correct? So the Maori and Mana parties would be quite safe, but the Conservatives and Act would not be able to bring in anyone extra above their one possible electorate each.

        It’s better than the status quo, but still doesn’t quite seem right. Parties can still get effectively free seats…for example if Act polls at zero on the list vote but wins Epsom, they’ll get a seat, and could put a National govt over the line for another 3 years.

        btw who cares what my underlying agenda is. I’m probably one of the least politically engaged people on this site. But I’d like rules that will give us a fair makeup of parliament in 20 years time as well as a fair makeup today, not a system that will leave avenues open for either side to manipulate elections.

        • Lanthanide 10.2.1.1

          You’re correct.

          It’s better than the status quo, but still doesn’t quite seem right. Parties can still get effectively free seats…for example if Act polls at zero on the list vote but wins Epsom, they’ll get a seat, and could put a National govt over the line for another 3 years.

          It’s simply a result of our national electoral system. We still have electorate MPs so that we can have local representation at a national level for when it’s required, as well as for them to help cut through obstructive red-tape and other bollocks on the behalf of private citizens.

          I think this local representation element is important, but that naturally means if someone wins an electorate seat, they should go to Parliament one way or another.

          It would be much more peculiar if a politician won an electorate seat, but because their party vote was too low didn’t actually get to go to Parliament and someone else took their place, or their electorate simply didn’t have any representation for that term of parliament.

        • mikesh 10.2.1.2

          “Oh so it’s a bit different to what I thought. A party which wins 3 electorate seats but 0% of the party vote would still get 3 seats, but a party that gets 4.9% of the vote but 1 electorate will get just the one seat. Is that correct? So the Maori and Mana parties would be quite safe, but the Conservatives and Act would not be able to bring in anyone extra above their one possible electorate each.”

          It does seem unfair, but it does have the advantage of discouraging the use of tactics like the Epsom “gerrymander”, since these would then gain, at he most, one seat.

          The fairest option however would be to get rid of the threshold altogether. Then each party would simply get whatever number of seats its party vote entiltled it to, with the proviso that candidates winning an electorate seat would get into parliament anyway regardless of their party vote.

        • bad12 10.2.1.3

          Sisko, yes i agree, you do seem rather politically illiterate, the state of the game as it is, A party that wins an electorate seat can bring another member into the house off of the Party List with as little as 1.7% of the party vote,

          So, A Party that wins an electorate seat can gain any number of MP’s on an upward scale depending on their Party Vote, which means ACT on 0% of the Party Vote would have no List MP’s but ACT with 1.7% of the Party Vote and a win in the Epsom electorate would have 2 MP’s,

          i personally see little wrong with the system as it stands, with ‘right wing’ voters seeming to have ‘clicked’ on how to tactically vote a damn sight faster than their ‘left-wing’ counter-parts,

          Electorate seats seem to really be a halfway house type situation between MMP and FPP and putting aside the question of how the average head could access an MP responsible for ‘their electorate’ for the moment, switching to a fully Party Vote model of elections might be the only ‘fair’ means of deciding the Parliament,

          Altho to ensure a system of full Proportional Representation so as not to disenfranchise the smaller groupings in society would necessitate a low starting point to gain an MP of something like 1% of the vote and there are a myriad problems which would be the likely result of such a change to the current system…

  11. Sisko 11

    The advantage certainly used to be more balanced back when it was mainly centrist parties getting in on the one seat threshold (UF, Maori, NZ First) plus 1-2 seats at each extreme (Progressives, Mana and Act). Now that the progressives are gone and the Conservatives have shown up the advantage has certainly gone towards the right, and it probably is time for a discussion about it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      That is why the Electoral Commission’s report has clout: it doesn’t embody the stain of naked self-interest.

      PS: we had the discussion. See the report.

      PPS: now would be a good time to ride roughshod over the transparent delaying tactics of 0.0% minority right wing trash and implement the Commissions recommendations.

  12. greywarbler 12

    Could someone advise who is the black-haired person in the images with this thread? I don’t watch tv much, and one thing it is useful for is seeing the line-up of the usual suspects.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      It’s Colin Craig, but it looks nothing like his crafted media character, if that’s any help :)

    • fender 12.2

      To my eyes there isn’t a black-haired suspect in that line-up.

      There is however a majority that have proven to have black hearts and rotten souls.

    • Lanthanide 12.3

      It’s Colin Craig (who has brown hair) wearing headphones from when he did a radio interview.

      A much larger shot from a different angle is visible on the front page of The Civilian at the moment: http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/

  13. bad12 13

    Picking up on North’s comment above, i do not believe for one moment that John Armstrong for a moment meant a word of the slagging he appeared to give Slippery the Prime Minister over the gerry-mandering issue,

    The article in the Herald was an extremely clever piece of attempted cynical manipulation by those who wrote it, and by those i mean that i do not think that Armstrong formulated the narrative nor the actual text of that particular column on His own,(if i am right, think the 9th floor of the Beehive as a likely place to find the co-authors),

    Clever??? yes bloody clever, imagine if Armstrong had simply printed a column damning the left if they failed to ‘take the moral high-ground’ surrounding advice to voters on ‘tactical voting’.
    While using data from the ‘suspect’ Reid-poll to
    show voter disquiet over such Party political ‘interference’ in the actual vote,(suspect Reid-poll???, Armstrong himself, in a column last year, directly stated that the Reid-poll deliberately skews it’s pols using the questions asked to get answers it wants),

    It is a given that National will urge it’s voters quite openly to vote ‘tactically’ and while we,(we as in the broad church of the left), take that ‘moral high-ground’ claiming that such tactics are gerrymandering ‘the left’ is likely to remain as the Opposition,

    Had the left,both Labour and the Green Parties, gone into the 2011 election with a strategy of countering the ‘tactics/gerrymandering’ of Slippery the Prime Minister by canvassing the electorates of Ohariu and Epsom advising their identified voters how to vote to secure the best chance of a Labour/Green Government it is highly likely that neither Dunne or Banks would now be propping up this National Government,

    National are simply playing the ‘election game’ according to the current rules albeit walking ruthlessly a very fine line, if Labour/Green go into the 2014 election ‘claiming the moral high-ground’ remaining mum on tactical voting then IF the vote is tight i would suggest right now we will have a third term National Government as the result,

    The choice then in 2014 is pretty clear, take the moral high-ground decrying National’s manipulation of ‘their’ voters,(who if Epsom and Ohariu are the template of measurement are happily manipulated), and likely lose the election if it’s a close one, or, take the view that ‘the moral high-ground’ puts neither food on the table of the have-nots nor pays the rent and go into the 2014 election with a deliberate strategy to counter Nationals manipulations educating ‘left’ voters how to vote tactically to ensure the likes of UF, ACT, and, the Conservatives fail at the ballot box,

    i know what my choice is, the rational one, not another 3 of National as the Government…

    • mikesh 13.1

      As much as I would like to agree with this assessment, I think it requires more proof. I am more inclined to give Armstrong the benefit of the doubt rather thaqn accuse him of this sort of Machiavellianism.

      • PapaMike 13.1.1

        +100

      • bad12 13.1.2

        Lolz, i am sure you do, require ‘more’ proof that is, do you think these people leave a paper trail of their actions,

        Armstrong, did He suddenly get a dose of electoral purity, as has been pointed out further up the Post Armstrong sure as hell didn’t kick up a fuss about the Epsom chimps tea-party between Slippery the Prime Minister and John Banks prior to the 2011 election so who the fuck is He trying to fool here,

        Neither do i believe that Armstrong is capable of such machiavellian behavior the bulk of His writing in my opinion being pedestrian to say the least which is why i point out that i believe that He had ‘Help’ in putting the piece together,

        As i said in the comment above, Armstrong directly stated in a column in the Herald last year that the Reid-poll deliberately asked ‘leading’ questions of those it polls so as to get ‘required answers’ thus skewing those polls results, yet here He is using the so called results by the polling company as a center piece of the whole column as some form of justification of His opinion,

        We know, and, Armstrong knows that Slippery the PM will be asking National voters in certain electorates this year to vote for ‘another party’ to try and ensure a National third term of Government so who is Armstrong trying to deter from giving such advice to ‘their’ voters it sure as hell aint Slippery,

        i would suggest the underlying intent of what in my mind is a cunning piece of writing, ‘tricky’ to use the words of Slippery the PM, is by using ‘suspect’ poll results which show a large majority of ‘left’ voters to not appreciate the prior efforts of Slippery the PM’s electoral efforts in the likes of the Epsom electorate is to attempt to deter Labour/Green from doing the same or taking measures in the obvious electorates which would make such tactical voting at the behest of Slippery the PM backfire in His face…

        • veutoviper 13.1.2.1

          I am with you on the Armstrong article, bad12.

          On first reading, I was very surprised at the apparent turn-around by Armstrong, but on second reading picked up on his second to last paragraph as I mentioned on OM yesterday.http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-08022014/#comment-770027

          Somehow the article did not ring true to Armstrong’s usual stance/style, and I am very much on the same wavelength as North and Anne at 7 and 7.1 above. As mentioned in my comments at 7.2 and 7.2.1 above, I think there are a number of hidden agendas in the article, including an attempt to dissuade Labour and Greens voters to not ‘use’ the current electoral provisions to vote tactically as you suggest – and also to keep the anti-MMP debate alive in favour of a return to FPP (Key’s preferred system).

          It may sound machiavellian, but these first few weeks of 2014 have already proven that the election campaign is well and truly underway – and Key and friends are not going to play the nice guys/girls.

    • Wayne 13.2

      Bad 12
      Your insult to John Armstrong”s journalistic integrity is ludicrous. There is absolutely no way that he is the puppet of anyone, or that you can look to “the 9th floor of the Beehive as the likely place to find co -authors.”

      I know it is fashionable to deride the MSM (zealots on the Left and Right both do it), but your proposition is ridiculous.

      In fact I think that John Armstrong does not even vote to ensure he can be as objective as possible. And I know politicians on both sides of the House respect him and carefully consider his articles. He has enough background and respect that his words count far more than most.

      • bad12 13.2.1

        Wayne a very Large LOLZ is what the sum total of your attempt at claiming political sainthood for John Armstrong has aroused in me,

        Pathetic springs to mind as the school room mark for your efforts, Objective and John Armstrong in the same sentence would have most here querying your sanity and me laughing like a loon at the very thought of such having subjected myself to the indignity of Armstrong’s right wing drivel for a number of years,

        Armstrong and the rest of the little college of Herald political commenters might have some licence to write ‘what they think’ but don’t for a minute attempt to have me believe that when it comes to editorial direction Armstrong and the others will not write as they are directed…

        • veutoviper 13.2.1.1

          Interesting that Dr Mapp suddenly comes to the support of Armstrong ….LOLZ

          • bad12 13.2.1.1.1

            VV, The Doktor comes across in that particular comment as being overly strident in the defence of Armstrong, perhaps i have hit a Large Nerve…

            • veutoviper 13.2.1.1.1.1

              LOL. Nerves can be nasty things- very painful when pinched.

              • Pasupial

                I’m willing to take Wayne Mapp’s denial as confirmation.

                Thanks to both B12 & VV for looking past the headlines.

                [lprent: Claiming victory based on a absent criteria tends to be a dangerous thing on this site. I tend to regard it as being part of the pwned heresy and have been known to abruptly ban people making it as flamewar starters. ]

      • tricledrown 13.2.2

        Mapp your full of crapp

        • Wayne 13.2.2.1

          It is apparent that I should not contribute to this site during election year (except perhaps on TPP).

          Better for the partisans to talk to each other.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.2.1.1

            Before you go, can we take your remarks about John Armstrong’s credibility to mean that you think he’s right about the stench of corruption rising from the National Party?

          • bad12 13.2.2.1.2

            Befor you go, in the face of your non-denial of my contention that when it comes to what the Herald’s political commentators write they Will do as the editor/owners tells them to do, shall i/we then take it as ‘written’ that that is exactly what occurs at the Herald…

  14. greywarbler 14

    Thanks for the Colin Craig identification. It’s good to know that pollies can have a bad face day as well.

  15. freedom 15

    a quick 2c

    Throw out the list grift.

    Voters elect two MPs per electorate.

    Problem solved.

    • Pasupial 15.1

      Freedom

      Double down on FPP and completely ditch proportional representation?

      I wouldn’t even give you 1c for that opinion.

      What problem is solved – National’s imminent loss to a Labour/ Green government?

  16. Whatever next 16

    Now that journalists are finally trying to ask some important questions….Key will always be rushing off somewhere, maybe that’s his secret, never stay in one place long enough to answer ANYTHING

  17. North 17

    Yet again my thinking has been sharpened by your analyses Bad and Veuto. Yes, on first reading Armstrong purports to vindicate the ‘high moral ground’ of the broad Left. Basically, “Good on you people of the Left, stay pure…..”. We stay pure and play ‘fair’. Well, Key’s probably got Epsom and Ohariu at no risk or cost.

    What if the people of the Left DON’T sit back on our ‘purity’ ? What if we DON’T take Armstrong’s encouragement and determine to use the same device, going as far as Waiariki maybe ? Armstrong, later this year as I said – “Hypocrites Hypocrites !” We already know these masters of the dark art do it very well.

    Meanwhile, in all the din and at the last minute Key dashes in and adds the weirdo Craig to the gift list already naming Dunne and Seymour. Then immediately cuts to the Armstrong line I’ve suggested.

    Result ? The sought normalisation in measure established and the broad Left vehemently abused as hypocrites, Upper Harbour embraces EVEN the weirdo Craig. Potentially Key now has not just two but Three Stooges. And in my admittedly insufficient appreciation, of the technicalities, maybe even an overhang ? Beware Craig’s attractiveness to the erstwhile Christian Heritage and Christian Coalition monkeys. They’re still out there. What was their combined party vote in 1996 before the pervert Capill got sent away for serial sexual abuse of kids ? 6.7% between them. If they do that again they have seats anyway but let’s say they miss the 5% – they’re there in numbers on Craig’s coattails.

    Acknowledging the Winston wild card and the trouble he’s bound to cause at the appearance of a unified and co-operative Left bloc, does the broad Left have any option but to get a bit impure ? If we don’t we know Key has two in the hole to start.

    • North 17.1

      Sorry, incorrect figures – 1996 Christian Coalition took 4.3% of the party vote. Christian Heritage Party not running until 1999 when it took 2.4% of the party vote. Point remains. If gerrymandering is ‘normalised’ as to see Craig win a seat we’re going to have more than just one avowed fundamentalist in parliament. And overhang ? Grist for Key’s mill.

    • bad12 17.2

      Yep North, i began to despair reading your comment until the last paragraph that is, your right of course, the upcoming election is looking like a damned if we do and damned if we don’t situation,

      Leaving aside Waiariki for the moment,(Annette Sykes is odds on to remove Flavell there with or without a spot of backing from Labour/Green), i do not think the left has really got a choice as far as Epsom and Ohariu and any seat ‘gifted’ to Craig’s troop of ‘wing-nuts’ go,

      Had the Maori Party not essentially turned on it’s voters and supported this National Government making that Party an untrustworthy one to support the electoral landscape would not have looked so fraught for the left as it now does,

      i do not see Labour/Green educating those voters in the specific electorates who have given an indication of supporting a left wing Government anything but the only logical means to counter th obvious moves by national to give the same advice to it’s voters…

  18. peterlepaysan 18

    Armstrong always loves to cluck about his poster boy and give him advice.

  19. freedom 19

    I am sick of journalists rejecting their responsibility for the sound-bite culture of our political environment. Armstrong’s piece has highlighted the issue nicely.

    “This seemingly principled stance played on public ignorance by conveniently neglecting to mention it was National and Act which were blocking such a consensus.”

    Very true Mr Armstrong, imagine if there had been journalists and newspapers at the time who could have made more mention of it. You yourself could have contributed to alleviating this public ignorance instead of speaking up now, safe amongst the swarm of self-serving acolytes suddenly remembering reality.

    After the decision by Judith Collins, I recall reading a half dozen lines, in even fewer articles, which dared speak the truth of who was blocking the process and these were buried within final paragraphs that had already shifted into wrap up.

    For those who had the knowledge at the time, to now be talking openly about public ignorance is quite frankly bullshit of a high order. I feel it cements Armstrong’s place in the annals of the MSM. Not as a journalist with integrity but a run of the mill propagandist, who despite his many years of effort and achievement, is left holding an opinion no more valuable than a talking head on FOX.

    • veutoviper 19.1

      +1, freedom. But with the caveat on your last sentence – “no more valuable than a talking heard for “Key” – not FOX.

      Ps Kia kaha for your rant yesterday. Hang in there; you are not alone.

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  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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