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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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    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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