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A Country Party?

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, June 3rd, 2010 - 34 comments
Categories: ETS, national - Tags: ,

There’s increasing rumbles in the country side about a Country Party breaking away from National. The roots of this are in the anti-ETS backlash, which National brought upon itself with its behaviour in opposition.

It’s kind of like the Republicans’ Tea Party in the States. Started as Republican astro-turfing, the Tea Party has rapidly taken on because mainstream Republicans can’t actually adopt the extreme Right policies that their militarised base are demanding.

So, it is for National. Now in government, National has to actually govern. One of the things it has to do is distribute the cost of the international price on carbon created by Kyoto at least partially on to polluters. Naturally, the farmers, as heavy polluters who National has been feeding anti-climate change propaganda for years, don’t want to pay and can’t understand why National has betrayed them.

The storm of anger over this betrayal is compounded by what many in National’s rural base see as an overly generous attitude to Maori on issues like the foreshore and seabed, which threatens Pakeha rural business interests. Not to mention raising the driving age.

A Country Party standing apart from National would have more influence over rightwing governments than a rural base submersed within the Party.

Is a Country Party practical? Yes. There’s the population base: 20% of the country lives rurally and most of them are National voters. The rural population is already well organised through an array of community groups and companies. A breakaway Country Party could easily raise the money for a campaign. Winning a few seats and passing 5% should be easy.

Will it happen? Hard to say, but it’s looking more and more likely.

If it does come about, the Right will be reverting to its pre-National days. You see, National formed to bring the Right together with the sole aim of keeping Labour out of power (the name National was meant to show they represented all New Zealand, not just the working class – Labour called them the Nationalists referencing the Franco’s fascists). National brought together Reform representing the urban business class, United (the rump of the Liberals) representing farmers, and the crypto-fascist New Zealand Legion.

Could National, the Country Party, and ACT re-establish the old arrangement?

The Left has already splintered into natural fragments now that MMP makes it possible. The Right might be about to do the same.

34 comments on “A Country Party?”

  1. Badger 1

    This should not be seen as a Good Thing (TM)

    New Zealand has enough fringe right-wing types (Act Party) – you double or tripple the lunacy by encouraging a country party.

    • Fisiani 1.1

      It’s what you get when you muse over a keyboard without a clue on reality

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        It is what Farrar does all the time. Propose and surmise what is happening on the other side without having a clue. Except Eddie’s suggestions are actually possible.

        National does seem to have a number of cracks visible right now. Serves them right.

      • Sam 1.1.2

        We’re talking about political happenings in the country, not what you do when you end up in front of your computer.

  2. The Voice of Reason 2

    A country party would be an interesting return to the past and certainly would be useful for the left in terms of splintering the right vote. I have a sense that Fed Farmers are very close to ACT now, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Rodders offers a list seat to them as he has done for the Senseless Sentencing Trust.

    I have the opportunity to talk to farmers most Friday nights in the pub, as I live in a rural town in the commuter belt of the city I work in. There does seem to be grumbling that National are not delivering for them. The ETS, rural broadband, roading and other issues are not important to the urban elite that run the Nats these days. I seem to recall that the Nats used to have a city/country split in their leadership, with either the PM or deputy having to come from a rural area. Obviously not the case now with two city slickers in control.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Pfft, English is from Dipton! He’s hardly a city-slicker.

      • The Voice of Reason 2.1.1

        Er, yes, I know he’s nominally from Dipton, but he has lived in the slicker parts of Wellington for twenty years while rorting the housing allowance as if he was a rural MP, which he clearly is not. I’m sure there was a post or twenty on the subject earlier in the year, Lanthanide.

  3. PK 3

    ***you double or tripple the lunacy by encouraging a country party.***

    They provide a large portion of the country’s wealth (generally seen as a Good Thing (TM)). If their interests are being ignored it makes sense to form a party – every other group does so.

  4. gingercrush 4

    A country party is not viable. Its a myth to believe that the rural/country community is as tight-knitted as you like to believe. The fact is most of the rural community actually don’t have much to do with farming. This murmuring by some is well bullshit.

    Who the hell is going to lead the party and how are they going to expect to get 5% of the vote. Not all farmers will vote for such a party. They’d stay with National or whatever other party they vote for (The Greens do quite well in a number of rural/provincial seats). The idea that personalities from outside parliament are going to win electorates isn’t realistic.

    No minor party from when MMP began have been successful without a leader or member already being in parliament. Without Tariana Turia the Maori Party would have struggled. Alliance didn’t exist without Jim Anderton and the Greens came from Alliance (though the value party then the Greens always did rather well before MMP).

    Who from National (and that is where they would need to come from) would form their own party and who from National have the personality to pull it off? There’s no one. Look at every rural/country or provincial electorate in this country and name someone from there that could legitimately lead a party. But not only lead a party but actively get the people of that electorate to vote for them? There isn’t.

    And show me an example of an outsider coming in and being successful politically in this country? The closest thing you’ll get is the New Zealand Party.

    A Country Party would be frankly laughable. The only way it could work and this is a huge stretch would be to tap into the conservative/religious vote base. The likes who voted the Kiwi party in 2008 and the Christian Coalition in 1996. That isn’t very viable either.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Lockwood Smith maybe? He’d never leave National, though.

      • gingercrush 4.1.1

        Of all the rural/country electorates (though in my mind Rodney is just an urban outlier). That would be the best place for the party to spring from since many in Rodney are upset about the Super City situation. Though to what extent dissent and dissatisfaction due to local politics plays about at a General level is debatable. And much of the dissatisfaction in the Rodney District aren’t even in that electorate anymore.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.2

      I think you’re correct on this one. Rural people are very diverse politically and farmers are a small percentage of rural folk.
      Also different issues are important to people in different parts of the country. A lot of them are committed conservationists. Rural South islanders are unlikely to agree much with the Coromandel or Waitakere acre block dwellers. National do well because they have a conservative social agenda and rural people have an anti-Wellington predilection which they also spout well.
      Whats gets me though is why rural people like things like privatization and reduced government spending(which is sure to decrease their services of like telecommunications, roads, libraries, schools and hospitals) and would vote for tax cuts for high income earners. You’d think they would be guaranteed losers from that sort of agenda.

  5. Lew 5

    GC, the Greens? The māori party?

    Anyway, I’m intrigued by the suggestion and not concerned either way.

    I suspect that the consequence of this would be to drive National in the direction of what the ACT party used to be prior to being hijacked by the anti-science-hang-and-flog neo-authoritarians; it would be the national party of social conservatism, soft authoritarianism, a trade protectionism and agricultural nest-feathering,while National could focus on the urban liberals and city business types with rhetoric about free markets and free people. At present its service of two masters is beginning to look costly. With a Country Party, though, ACT’s lunch would be eaten by two competitors.

    An appropriate allegory is Australia, where the Liberal party is roughly equivalent to our Nats; somewhat accepting of environmental and socially-liberal causes, but not so much as Labor; while the National party (roughly what I’m suggesting a Country Party might be here) is rurally-based, much less environmentally and socially tolerant, but generally in line with the Libs on many topics.

    But there’s considerable ambivalence in them there hills. As I’ve argued before, rural dwellers are a complex bunch, not all authoritarian redneck throwbacks, and those socially-conservative voters who reluctantly tick “National” at present often do so for lack of alternatives. There are lots of lifestylers and back-to-the-landers, and lots more who wish they were. It’s a damned shame that the only MP who really has any connection with the huge population of hunters, trampers, fishers and non-farming rural types is the suave and urbane Peter Dunne. I’ve suggested the Greens have an opportunity to exploit this, by taking different (read: less hand-wringy-liberal nancy) positions on topics like outdoor recreation and natural resource management. Not that they will.

    Not that National would split, either. Much of the right’s strength is in unity, in swallowing its internal differences for the common good, and exerting discipline over message and policy.

    L

    • gingercrush 5.1

      Both the Greens and the Maori Party came from the inside. Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimmons came from the Alliance. The Green/Value vote existed for years prior to the Alliance and was above 5% and no doubt once 1996 came around that Green vote was very important to the Alliance Party. But I’d argue had Fitzsimmons and the Greens simply came from outside parliament I don’t think they’d be elected in 1999. Had Jenny Shipley not played her part in Coromandel. I’m not even sure the Green party would exist in parliament.

      So while outside forces helped that Green vote get near to 5%. I’d argue without the parliament presence of Fitzsimmons and Donald. Coromandel wouldn’t have happened and they would have lagged in the party vote as well.

      And while outside movements within Maori were important in the Maori Party forming. Without Turia providing the trigger from inside Parliament I doubt the Maori Party would have such an impact.

      That’s why for a Country Party to be successful they need someone from inside parliament.

      • Lew 5.1.1

        Oh, I see what you’re arguing, now. I agree on that count.

        L

        • toad 5.1.1.1

          Sandra Goudie?

          She’s about as rednecked and intolerant as you can get, and the fact that she’s been an MP for 8 years and hasn’t progressed beyond the backbenches would indicate she has no career prospects with National.

          • Lew 5.1.1.1.1

            Nah. Couldn’t be a bloody sheila. They need a Pine Tree.

            L

            • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Richard Loe?

              @GC

              But while I don’t think it is going to happen, if it did I’m not convinced that they would need a current or recent pollie to be the front man, or someone many people here would recognise.

              What an established politician as frontman for a new party does, is bring coverage, recognition, experience and a bit of organisation and some parliamentary, ahem, resourcing. The hard thing to overcome is the lack of an organisation, with info distribution channels and fundraising ability.

              Within NZ all of that stuff is doable for a rural based party. The recognition doesn’t need to be universal, and nor does the press coverage. There are rural media outlets that will be glad for the copy and go to pretty damn near every farm gate. There are numerous organisations with the communication networks already in place. They only need to reach these people. And if they can get a showing in a poll, they become a story and MSM coverage will follow. A well crafted timely stunt, (a-la fart tax tractor hikoi or something to do with the RB, interest rates and high dollars crushing exports, or whatever it is that opportunity presents) and you are away laughing.

              As noted, I don’t think a split will happen, the talk is just shots across bows. But those shots aren’t meaningless, and it could happen. And if it does happen, of all possible newbie outsider parties to be able to pull off getting past 5 percent, a rural one would have the best shot at it. I wouldn’t write the possibility of a split off, or the chances of it’s success.

              One thing about authoritarians, even mild ones, is that they are loyal as all hell. But they expect that to be returned and if they decide they’ve been betrayed, it’s all over baby blue.

      • Oscar 5.1.2

        I agree with the argument, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be someone inside Parliament.

        While it would definitely be easier to get a fledgling party off the ground, a’la Winston 1st in 1996, it’s entirely possible that the likes of Spud Bolger could easily be a frontman for a Country Party.

        Perhaps that big ostentatious birthday advertisement was a code, a call to arms for Spud to start farming his support base?

  6. Nick C 6

    I think at most you may see many rural groups openly endorsing Act. There is no way there will be a country party, it simply wont happen.

    • kaplan 6.1

      Just to clarify. Does ‘Simply wont happen’ mean the same things as ‘Never ever’? It’s just that our PM has recently proven that ‘Never ever’ = ‘Once we find a way to convince youse guys it’s all good’.
      It’s awesome. Works for promises on GST and asset sales plus heaps more. Probably will work in you case too.

      • Nick C 6.1.1

        No simply wont happen as in about as likely as the Cathrine Delahunty becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand after the next election

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Personally I’d like to see ACT and a Country Party both poll 4.9% without an electorate seat.

    Hey, a win is a win!

  8. PK 8

    ***It’s kind of like the Republicans’ Tea Party in the States. Started as Republican astro-turfing, the Tea Party has rapidly taken on because mainstream Republicans can’t actually adopt the extreme Right policies that their militarised base are demanding.***

    Extreme right? Actually, the reason is that mainstream Republicans are beholden to corporate and military interests.

    “Program of the Boston Tea Party
    Adopted in Convention, May 27, 2010

    1. End the Wars of Aggression: The U.S. should withdraw all forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, South Korea, Germany, Japan, and all other occupied nations.

    2. End the Fed: The U.S. Congress should audit the Fed, allow for competition of currencies, repeal the income tax, abolish the IRS, and refuse any further ‘bailouts’ of corporations in any industry. Furthermore, all federal regulations covering every aspect of the private economy, including those individuals who seek self-employment, should be repealed across the board. All FICA and withholding taxes levied on employers and employees should be eliminated entirely.

    3. End the War on Drugs: The federal government should repeal all laws against the use and trade of “controlled substances.” The states and local communities should also permit people to freely choose what substances they wish to consume without government intervention.

    4. End the Abuses of Liberty: Congress should repeal the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act & FISA Acts and abolish the NSA, TSA, CIA and any other federal agency that infringes on individual rights. Congress should review and revoke the emergency powers granted to the President in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. The U.S. should restore privacy by forbidding warrant-less wiretapping of phone and internet communication. The U.S. must restore habeas corpus, allowing all detainees, foreign and domestic, a speedy and public trial. No physical or environmental discomfort should be used to influence the interrogation of suspects for any crime. The U.S. government must respect the rights of all people, regardless of place of birth, status of citizenship, or suspicion of criminality.

    5. End the Immigration Fiasco: Rather than suddenly decide to enforce long-ignored immigration laws, the U.S. should open the borders to trade and travel. We should loosen restrictions on citizens and visitors alike, allowing people of many backgrounds and cultures to coexist in a society of social and economic freedom and prosperity. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol agencies at all levels of government should be abolished and dismantled immediately.”

    http://www.bostontea.us/program

  9. DS 9

    Nitpick: Reform was the redneck rural party, United was the urban business party (not the other way round).

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Let’s hope we get the Country Party in Parliament.

    Then we might get to hear this exchange, which did actually happen* in Australia:

    “I am a Country Member …”

    (interjection) “We remember!”

    (*possibly, and if it didn’t, it should have)

  11. DS 11

    >>>(*possibly, and if it didn’t, it should have)<<<

    Well, if puns on "country" are good enough for William Shakespeare's Hamlet, they should be good enough for party politics.

  12. solatnz 12

    The historical cleavages in the NZ right were there in 1935 and caused the Right to lose the election to Labour.

    You had the rural-based conservative Reform, the urban liberal but anti-Labour United and the pro-business Democrats (who won no seats). I see those as roughly correlating to “Country Party”, National and ACT respectively. NZ First represents the old National Party that overlapped Reform and United.

    If a country party were to form a splinter the Right vote it would be catastrophic for them.

  13. Bored 13

    A bag of spuds with a blue rosette on it was all that the Nats needed to stand to win Selwyn and Ashburton in the recent past…there was Ruth and Jenny.

  14. vto 14

    Good. Anything to spread the power has to be good. Concentrated power has only concentrated uses.

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    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    6 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    9 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    1 day ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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