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Turn off turnout – National’s 2014 strategy?

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, August 27th, 2012 - 41 comments
Categories: community democracy, democracy under attack, democratic participation, election 2014, electoral commission, racism, same old national, us politics - Tags:

Depress turnout among low-income voters by changing the enrolment rules – voter suppression is an old right-wing trick.  The Republicans are doing it in the US –  voter enrolment rules are set at State level and Republican-led States are moving to require voters to produce photo ID.

The US Presidential election is going to be very close, with a few key States determining in the outcome, as Florida did for George Bush in 2000 via the hanging chads and the Republican-appointed Supreme Court. Blacks and Hispanics overwhelmingly supported Obama in 2008. Many low-income voters do not have photo ID. So Republican strategists aim to change the rules and change the game in their favour.

New Zealanders have now decided that MMP is here to stay. National’s majority in Parliament is down to one, and our next election is also going to be very close.

It appears that some in National are already looking at how they may change the rules to their advantage. Andrew Geddis at Pundit has pointed to the possibility of systematic gaming of responses to the Electoral Commission’s proposals to improve MMP.

I suspect there may also  be a systematic approach to proposals to close off enrolment early. I got a hint of this after I had given my own submission to the Committee, when I listened to Toni Millar on speakerphone argue  that all voters should be enrolled a month before election day. She said that she had visited many polling booths last election day, and after a question from Lianne Dalziel MP said that this was because she was visiting for the National Party. She is presumably the same Toni Millar as stood for selection in Tamaki (by the way receiving faint praise from Whaleloil.)

Prompted by Andrew Geddis’ post,  I had a look at all 56  submissions to the election review. Eight had raised issues relating to the roll, and one of the eight was a form submission from ten named individuals.

There were some noticeable similarities among these eight submissions. Six commented on the dormant roll, five spoke of dubious voting practices without providing any evidence, four advocated early closing of the rolls, with the form submission advocating a return to the three-month closure. Three had made submissions after hearing about these issues at a meeting.

There was also strong National Party representation in these eight submissions. The form submission did not reveal any names on the Parliamentary Select Committee webpage. You had to open it to find that it came from Gary Kircher, David MacKenzie, David Hiatt, Dan Dolejs, Robyn Broughton, Colin Truman, Jim Gerard, Grant McKenna, Charlotte Kerse and Frank Brenmuhl, all from South Island locations. Jim Gerard is a former National Cabinet Minister, Robyn Broughton is Dunedin South National co-chair, Gary Kircher is National’s Waitaki electorate chair, and Dan Dolejs wished Key all the best for the election.

Other submissions came from Elspeth Ludemann, who blogs as Homepaddock and is National Regional Co-Chair; Karl Varley who is Chairman of the National Party Christchurch Central Electorate; and Kate Hazlett who was 2009 Southern National Chair and  is now a current member of National Party Board of Directors.

Labour and United Future made submissions, the National Party did not. No other submitters to the Select Committee saw the dormant roll as an issue requiring comment. I’ve scrutinised a few vote counts and the electoral officials are scrupulously competent. The largest group of submitters in fact called for more civic education in schools, a very good idea.

It may be that National’s real target is the removal of continuous enrolment,  introduced in 2002  as a way to encourage turnout.  Early closure of the rolls, advocated by the form submission and others in the above group, inhibits enrolment in the election campaign period. The Electoral Enrolment Centre’s submission to the review showed that 57,196 voters were enrolled between writ day and election day for example.

National’s minority report on the 2002 legislation introducing continuous enrolment contained in the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election  predicted that it would “endanger the very validity of elections”; there would be “greatly increased risk of multiple voting through fraudulent votes cast for people who are deceased”; that “constitutional government would be imperilled”; “people will not believe that governments are properly elected”, “respect for law and constitutional government will be diminished”; and “our democracy endangered.” They also opposed early vote counting as “the thin end of the wedge.”

The sky hasn’t fallen in on constitutional government or democracy. But National may with justification fear that it’s chances at the next election are under real threat. And there is no doubt that a much  greater threat to democracy than continuous enrolment comes from voter suppression.

That looks like National’s plot. It should not succeed.

41 comments on “Turn off turnout – National’s 2014 strategy?”

  1. Tim G. 1

    Fuck’s sake…

  2. Roy 2

    “greatly increased risk of multiple voting through fraudulent votes cast for people who are deceased”
    RWNJs love to roll out the bogeyman of fraudulent voting. The Repuglicans roll out the same bogeyman in the US, but in reality it is a miniscule problem.

    • Mr Burns 2.1

      But, but the republican measures mean that less poor people vote and increase the power of rich industrialists.
       
      If they did not do this there would be rampant democracy and people would start having wild thoughts like having a proper social security system, or universial medicare or proper environmental standards.
       
      Then the Government would stop paying subsidies to oil companies or, gasp, nuclear power station owners and then we would have utter social chaos. Sure poor people would get adequate medical treatment but the sales of BMWs would plummet overnight.
       
      You must be one of those hippy communist sorts Roy.

  3. Ianmac from Vietnam 3

    Here all votes are scrutinised carefully long after polling day. One by one with the covered number uncovered and name checked against that register used by each polling booth. If there are signs of multiple votes by one person the police check out the who and where. In NZ fraud is almost non-existent and we do not even need a drivers license to enrol or vote. So long may it stay that way.

    • Glg 3.1

      Voter fraud almost unheard of in the States too, but that hasn’t stopped the Republicans. Remember, it doesn’t have to be true, as long as the accusations have a sound of ‘truthiness’, and it serves to inflame the public.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    I think in Australia , the rolls close on the 7th working day after the election writs are issued. So its fairly early there as well

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Except in Australia, you’re legally required to vote or risk being fined, and they do actually enforce it.

      • Akldnut 4.1.1

        Yep I know a few who got stung for not voting when I was in Aussie!

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.2

        But you cant vote if you arent on the roll !

        • Carol 4.1.2.1

          But it is also compulsory to register if you are a citizen (when I lived there I wasn’t allowed to vote, but got letters asking why I wasn’t enrolled).

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_registration#Australia

          So I think it’s not that easy to avoid registering to vote.

          • Maui 4.1.2.1.1

            Australian voting booths were like community events compared to the empty school hall in which I voted at around 10 AM in Wellington during the last election.

            I would support compulsory voting in NZ if it were feasible, but know the NATs and their allies will ferociously oppose it for the reasons given above.

            What happened to notions of civic duty on both sides of politics ?

  5. Anne 5

    So that’s why the Nat ministers love tripping off to the States. They’re looking to study and emulate the latest Republican Party electoral rorts. Hey… is that why John Key couldn’t attend those two soldiers’ memorial service the other week. :)

  6. captain hook 6

    Yeah the right is so thick here they have to buy their ideas from the right wing think tanks in the US and then get neanderthals like big red hooton to spin it for them.
    they cant even do that for themselves on the stump..

    • Anne 6.1

      Hooton isn’t a neanderthal captain hook. He’s a smart cookie with an analytical mind. Trouble is, he’s ideologically well to the right, and he’s willing to spin any spurious and spiteful crap necessary to promote his political cause which is the election of right wing Nat. based governments in NZ.

      • DJ 6.1.1

        Ah not like you ideologists who swing extremely left ……. hmmmmmmm

        • Anne 6.1.1.1

          OMG. He calls the centre-left extremely left. There are some people whose brain cells are so few and far between, that it’s too hit and miss to really be worth bothering about. :roll:

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    You raise crucial points Mike. National must not be allowed to game our democratic processes and effectively disenfranchise large numbers of voters.

    But one thing you said that I don’t get:

    New Zealanders have now decided that MMP is here to stay. National’s majority in Parliament is down to one, and our next election is also going to be very close.

    So what I want to understand is, why do you think our next election is “going to be very close”?

    Indeed, why is Labour not tipping towards 40% on the polls, given Key’s erratic handling of issues? His complete disregard for our service personnel? The behaviour blowouts of his support parties? The fact that asset sales are the most widely disliked Government policy for two decades? The complete screw ups in Education and the mean spirited handling of portfolios covering Corrections, WINZ and more? The fumble which is the Christchurch rebuild, and the fact that more Kiwis than ever are leaving this country, petrol is at nominal record highs, and youth unemployment remains at critical levels?

    And after all this, you conclude that our next election “is also going to be very close”? Who exactly is National up against in the next election? Poorly warmed up left overs?

    With all due respect…what the???!

    • You_Fool 7.1

      Green + Labour are close to National who will have no support partners next election, Act is dead and gone and the conservatives will ensure more people move left.

    • DJ 7.2

      “petrol is at nominal record highs”

      Ah you forgot a few off your list. Of course there are more earthquakes now, there have been some volcanos erupting, there has been a lot of rain lately and even some surfable waves on the North Shore.

      National have to go ……….

      • lprent 7.2.1

        Sounds as sensible as “we want a taxcut for the wealthy even if we can’t afford it, and besides I’m tired of the same old faces (especially Winston)..” which was pretty much what happened in 2008 once you remove the excuse memes that wandered around.

        Voters eh! They know what they want….

  8. Raymond A Francis 8

    A couple of anomalies show up in the comments, apparently Right wing are:
    “So thick here they have to buy their ideas from the right wing think tanks in the US and then get neanderthals like big red hooton to spin it for them.”

    While the Left’s voters or at least the ” low-income voters ” who are expected to support Labour, are so dumb they can’t be bothered to get off their arses to enrol or vote

    Now I am a little reluctant allow my future to be determined by people like that but if you think the system is going to be rorted

    Get off your arses, organise, get the people enrolled, to the ballot box and put in your submissions

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Get off your arses, organise, get the people enrolled, to the ballot box and put in your submissions

      Sensible suggestions. But has Labour given up on the huge non-turnout voter? In favour of targetting the disloyal ‘it’s all about me’ middle class “swing” vote?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      That’s the problem with disenfranchising of voters by parties not being representative of them – they don’t get anyone to vote for. It’s not that they’re “dumb” but that they’re looking and can’t see any benefit in voting when the choice they have is between tweedledum and tweedledummer.

      Get off your arses, organise, get the people enrolled, to the ballot box and put in your submissions

      Yep. Still won’t work if the parties don’t represent the people that they’re trying to get to vote.

  9. Mike Smith 9

    @CV re your 40% I don’t think polls move that fast – the exception being Brash on one law for all. The trend line is more important, and the things you mention take time to work their way through to a wider perception in the electorate.
    Have a look at the latest Roy Morgan poll – http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4810/
    He provides a trend graph which shows Greens + Labour ahead of National on August 10; more importantly, Labour and Greens are trending up and National is trending down.
    Morgan’s comment is “If a National Election were held today today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll suggests an election result would be ‘too close to call.” And there are still two years to go.
    That is why I think National are worried, and why they are trying to change the rules to their advantage.

    • lprent 9.1

      I see why you mean. The GCI looks like it plateauing, but at levels that would make any government quail.

      The polls have got to be good. Yep…

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Labour is getting a lot of expensive, frequent internal polling done, which to my mind is like driving with one eye glued to the rear view mirror.

        One of the worst electoral outcomes I can think of in 2014 is a one term, one seat majority Labour (-Greens) Government which is too meek to do anything of lasting substance (i.e. busy trying to stay good with the ‘centre’) and which is then subsequently run out of office for another 2 (or 3) Tory terms.

        @CV re your 40% I don’t think polls move that fast

        The Roy Morgan charts show that polls have no trouble moving 0.5% per month or more on average, for sustained periods. 24 months to the next elections. How much worse does National have to do before Labour gets traction?

        Of course, what I am implying here (none to subtly I admit) is that this is not really about National at all. After all, if 2014 really is a close election (when Roy Morgan says that it is already too close to call *today*) it will only be because Labour has leisurely meandered its way there.

        • fatty 9.1.1.1

          Labour needs to be well ahead of National 6 months before the election. If Labour continue to stick with the guitar-strumming mumbler, then they need to account for getting owned in the pre-election leaders debates.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think relying on Labour is a viable option. They’re still to attached to the neo-liberal/classical school of economics despite the fact that the GFC just proved that entire theory doesn’t friggen work and they’re chasing the centre while ignoring about 30% of the population that also happen to be the most vulnerable and need good representation in parliament.

        • Tracey 9.1.1.2

          “getting a lot of expensive, frequent internal polling done, which to my mind is like driving with one eye glued to the rear view mirror. : this also sums up our current “leadership” and explains the lack of plans, including Plans B and C to asset sales. IT’s as though the assets will be sold, and hey presto the work is done, surely there must be plans to come after the sales???

    • We certainly need to be aware Mike. The Tories will do anything to win.Im picking that they will make the Maori water issue a ” them or us ” debate Just watch the red-neck vote ( which Im sad to say is big ) increase
      The Iwi /Kiwi type advertising Core-Flutes will be swamping the countryside. Alrteady cunning Key has stated that no one owns water.
      Be vigilante !

  10. Glg 10

    The number of people who are still talking National vs Labour still haven’t got their head around MMP. Having said that, that’s how the media are still playing things as well. Labour on its own are in big trouble. They all sat around during the last election, believing the old FPP chestnut that National would get two terms. If they had got off their behinds and worked in Watakere and South Auckland, they might not be in opposition now. Having said that, if Labour are busy being National Lite, and bashing beneficiaries, why would the poor and the dispossessed vote Labour?
    And while I am at it, why do Labour not challenge the propaganda that there is no money for social program’s, but plenty of money for consultants, and dumbass roading projects. How about a few simple graphs people can understand? Of course then you would have to get them out to the bought and paid for media.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      you are dreaming surely ?

    • tc 10.2

      Woah enough of the simple stuff that people can understand along with some hard work.

      Geniuses like mallard/pagani and co know better than that (you know the folk behind the 08 and 11 losses) and with candidates like the one in my electorate who lost by an even bigger margin to a lazy, deceptive and dishonest Nat MP, what was a safe labour seat till going blue in 08.

      She couldn’t answer the question as to why, in public debates she didn’t challenge his lies, gave a diversionary answer and moaned he does it all the time. At least she’s not sucking a list teat this term.

  11. Raymond A Francis 11

    I think you are being too negitive about the Lefts ability long term to have the majority of voters support
    Most of the Rights vote comes from those who can say “I am all right Jack” and as long as National rules they think they will be but as time goes by under the present World conditions they will be a disappearing breed, that is what the polls are tell us now IMHO

  12. captain hook 12

    The civil society has come to mean don’t talk back to your betters.
    And the best way to ensure that there are more losers for the winners to laugh at is to use the power of privilege and money to skew the vote so only the “betters” get a vote.

    • DJ 12.1

      What a load of drivel. Everyone gets a vote. Why is it someone else’s fault when the uninspired don’t get off their arses and influence the results.

      But to be honest ….. what was there to vote for? Left to right (in my opinion) …… Mana, Greens, Empty Void, NF, National, ACT, Conservatives

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        Your Empty Void needs to be moved to the right and needs to read United Future. *I* would never call P Dunne an Empty Void but I will die for your right to do so.

  13. captain hook 13

    they dont get a vote if they have been removed from the roll without their knowledge.
    and the Labour Party is the only party with a social conscience so it suits the tories to remove those people who have most to lose.

  14. Wisewoman 14

    Grant McKenna is a former South African who lives in Dunedin, is a strong supporter of the National Party and is fairly petulant about any decision that is not conservative. He was like that there; he’s like that here too.

    SIGNED: another very embarrassed South African

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  • Labour not “part of the communities we live in”
    Labour leadership aspirant Grant Robertson told a blunt truism to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand the Monday after the election. “Politics has to be about more than elections,” he said. “It has to about being part of the communities...
    Colin James | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • “Unless you can perform miracles, it’s time to go David”
    To be honest, I haven’t really had time to keep up with the volumes that has already been written regarding the (current lack of) leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party. One piece that has however caught my eye is...
    Progress report | 29-09
  • How sustainable is New Zealand?
    Behavioural economics is not a complete theory but it demonstrates that we are not the economic rational being usually assumed in economics theory. One of the most troubling divergences is that we make time-inconsistent decisions so our short run choices...
    Pundit | 29-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
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