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Archive for November, 2008

Anatomy of a honeymoon piece

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, November 30th, 2008 - 33 comments

Most of our political journalists are more than capable of producing informative, insightful pieces. For instance, Claire Trevett wrote an excellent series of pieces that confirmed John Key had stolen Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’ for his ‘Ambiguous for NZ’ DVD. She researched the legalities of the issue, consulted a musicologist on the tune, brought forward a confession […]

Act lied and gets away with it

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, November 30th, 2008 - 11 comments

At the Media Law Journal, Wellington based media lawyer Steven Price has been looking at the recent decisions of the Advertising Standards Complaint Board (a self-regulatory body) related to the election. There are a series of them and the decisions are weird. More importantly they are ineffectual in the great tradition of industry self-regulatory bodies. […]

The Mt Victoria Supplement

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, November 30th, 2008 - 15 comments

We were emailed the Mount Victoria Supplement a while back but I forgot to post it. It’s, um, it’s extraordinary. A good Sunday read, download it.

More upgrades

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 am, November 30th, 2008 - 41 comments

I’ve added two front-end features to the site. Automatic comment closing and a WSIWYG comment editor. Comments get automatically closed on posts older than 30 days, unless that the post remains quite active. It displays like The main reason for this update is because a common troll tactic recently has been to drop comments into […]

Wailin’

Written By: - Date published: 2:25 pm, November 29th, 2008 - 44 comments

Foreign Minister and Whaling Spokesperson Murray McCully has announced that New Zealand will be breaching international law by not undertaking search and rescue operations if whalers or protesters get into trouble in New Zealand’s zone of responsibility. Great. So, in a week and a half our new government has abandoned its part in the global […]

Just wondering

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, November 29th, 2008 - 8 comments

“National’s honeymoon has to run its course. The public – not Labour or the media – will decide when that honeymoon is over” writes John Armstrong. I’m just wondering: how does the public gather information on what the Government is up to, to decide if it wants the honeymoon to continue? And, how do we, […]

Nats scrap citizens’ jury on electoral reform

Written By: - Date published: 5:49 pm, November 28th, 2008 - 42 comments

Frogblog reports: The Green Party initiative to have electoral reform reviewed and managed by a citizens’ jury has been scrapped by the National government today. While not surprising, it does mean that electoral reform falls back into the hands of the politicians – putting the wolves back in charge of the hen house. The press […]

The Standard Week – 21-28 November

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, November 28th, 2008 - 2 comments

The Standard Week has been on hiatus due to a combination of elections, forgetfulness, and binge drinking but it’s back. This week saw our brand-spanking new PM out on his own for the first time, going to APEC and the UK. He blushed and gushed at meeting George Bush and bagged his money-trader mates, then […]

Basin Reserve flyover

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, November 28th, 2008 - 43 comments

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard the odd grumble in Wellington leftie circles about the proposed Basin Reserve flyover but until now haven’t really paid much attention. Nor, does it seem, have many others. The 3D artists’ projection above shows why we probably should. According to the Save the Basin Reserve campaign, the NZ […]

The slow pols-news day quiz #1

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, November 28th, 2008 - 34 comments

Seems there’s so little news today, apart from the Mumbai attacks and the plane crash, that the Herald hasn’t even bothered to update their website. So, I thought we might have a wee quiz instead.  Who said this, in what context, and are they implying what they seem to be implying? “If this bill becomes […]

Brownlee’s blow-out

Written By: - Date published: 11:33 pm, November 27th, 2008 - 47 comments

National/ACT has only been in power a week, but the flip-flops keep coming. Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee will not confirm that that National/ACT will reversing the new light-bulb standards. This after they campaigned hard against these standards and Key repeatedly promised that under a National government people would not be told which type of light-bulbs they can use. Brownlee […]

‘Become a nation of savers’

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, November 27th, 2008 - 35 comments

That’s Finance Minister Bill English’s message to Kiwis. So, that would be why he is cutting our Kiwisaver nesteggs in half to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, eh?

A plea to National

Written By: - Date published: 10:47 am, November 27th, 2008 - 92 comments

Don’t let Key go abroad representing us again until he has had some diplomacy training. I can’t believe, I literally can’t believe, the comments he has made in the UK. In addition to the comments yesterday, where he called the new carbon-offset airport departure tax “protectionism” and said it will lead to a “contagion effect”, […]

Small-target governing

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, November 27th, 2008 - 28 comments

Yesterday it was a $7bn rescue package. Today it’s preparing a contingency plan to bail out big business. But do we get details? Of course not. I’ve got a bad feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that there’s no real plan here, or if there is it’s one that the public wouldn’t like […]

Another upgrade

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 am, November 27th, 2008 - 7 comments

Another upgrade complete. As per usual let me know if any problems (that I didn’t find in testing) show up. Please let me know here. If I don’t know about them then I can’t fix them. The next upgrade will happen on the weekend. This is a new module designed to make bans more effective […]

Attention turns to local government

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 pm, November 26th, 2008 - 24 comments

Seems the commentators are definately picking local government as one of the issues to watch in terms of how the new Nationaladministration handles MMP politics (and how the opposition parties handle it as well I guess). Gordon Campbell notes: Giving the local government portfolio to Rodney Hide creates some management challenges for John Key. Can […]

Kids set back children’s franchise 100 years

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, November 26th, 2008 - 23 comments

The results are in from the NZ Post-sponsored Kids Voting project, and while it’s a worthy project it nonetheless shows why we don’t allow children the franchise. More than 13,000 school students nationwide took part in the project aimed at encouraging kids to take an interest in our democracy. The resulting Parliament had Labour and […]

PPPs? No, please

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, November 26th, 2008 - 24 comments

I’ve never seen the sense in Public-Private Partnerships. How is it ever going to be cheaper to get a private profit-making company to come on-board and take the risk for developing a piece of public infrastructure? The Government has to give them a good deal so they can make a profit, and the Government has […]

The departed

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, November 26th, 2008 - 56 comments

The UK has announced plans to increase departure tax from its airports for flights outside Europe to pay for offsetting their carbon emissions. This is part of the worldwide response to climate change – countries are making emitters pay and even aviation, which is excluded from Kyoto, is now being targeted (quite rightly too, it […]

‘Cos I say so

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, November 26th, 2008 - 22 comments

Following Tony “cos I say so” Ryall’s media success with his plan to cut down waiting lists using the King Canute model of governance, the word around the traps is that several of National’s front bench are planning similar moves. Over the next few days expect the following: Simon Power will announce plans to tell […]

Free trade no answer to credit crisis, part 2

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 pm, November 25th, 2008 - 12 comments

I’m a bit concerned to see people welcoming APEC’s commitment to re-igniting the Doha Round of free trade talks as if they are a solution to the economic mess we are in now. I’ve already noted that more free trade, while desirable if done fairly, will not fix the problems that have lead to this […]

Ryall: do it or else

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, November 25th, 2008 - 32 comments

Health Minister Tony Ryall’s first policy will be to impose maximum waiting times for hospital emergency departments. No word on extra funding for achieving those goals (the UK achievement in shortening waiting times that Ryall cites came with large health budget increases) or what will happen if they are not met. Now, it’s great to […]

Why is there a media honeymoon?

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, November 25th, 2008 - 41 comments

Why do new leaders get honeymoons? When you think about it, there’s no objective reason why a leader should get an easy run at first, not be asked the hard questions, be served lavish praise. So why does it happen? Well, I asked around a few people who’d been there and done that, and the […]

TVNZ cancels Agenda

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, November 25th, 2008 - 27 comments

No Right Turn reports that TVNZ has cancelled Agenda, New Zealand’s only in-depth political interview and analysis show: According to Dennis Welch on Radio NZ this morning, TVNZ has cancelled Agenda, New Zealand’s top current affairs show. No word on what, if anything, they plan to replace it with, but it would be interesting to […]

All the facts

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, November 25th, 2008 - 81 comments

National’s David Farrar has been running a series for some time trying to paint NZ Labour as out of step with Labour Parties around the world when it comes to their attitude on tax cuts. His intention, of course, is to portray Labour as extreme left and his mates in National as centrist and middle […]

Signature performance

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, November 25th, 2008 - 37 comments

Before our new Prime Minister went to APEC I wrote “it’s not an opportunity to get some names in your autograph book”. I feared he would view this meeting of the world’s most powerful people merely as an opportunity to get his picture snapped with some famous faces to impress the folks back home, rather […]

Work choices

Written By: - Date published: 4:48 pm, November 24th, 2008 - 48 comments

Watching this new ad from the Australian Council of Trade Unions on employment law reform was kind of depressing – while the Aussies are looking forward to getting their work rights back under a new government, ours is drafting up legislation to take them away. Time for a change eh? Guess we should have read […]

Redundant

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, November 24th, 2008 - 33 comments

I was talking to a friend the other night. Her job is disappearing. Fortunately, she is getting a decent-sized redundancy payment. I asked if she is a member of the union. ‘No, why would I be?’ Well, you only get that redundancy payment because the union won it in negotiations. ‘But I’m on an individual […]

In the driver’s seat

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 24th, 2008 - 43 comments

Free trade no answer to credit crisis

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, November 24th, 2008 - 13 comments

Free trade is basically a good idea. We live on a world of limited resources, we should use those resources as efficiently and sustainability as possible. Trade barriers that distort the costs of production in different countries undermine the efficiency of resource use. Ideally, we wouldn’t have them – but we would also need consistent […]

Labour’s lessons

Written By: - Date published: 6:27 pm, November 23rd, 2008 - 55 comments

54,982 votes, 2.3% of the total. That was difference in the election. If Labour had lost 55,000 fewer votes to National (it lost 142.966 in total, while voter numbers grew 69,000) then a Labour (47), Green (9), Progressive (1), Maori (5) government would have been possible, a more natural and stable government than one that […]

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