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About that mandate

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, June 25th, 2012 - 156 comments
Categories: election 2011, privatisation - Tags:

The Right would have us believe that the election was a referendum on asset sales and nothing else. Well, let’s take a closer look at the results of that ‘referendum’. Yeah, there’s no mandate there.

156 comments on “About that mandate ”

  1. Check parliament tomorrow to see who has a mandate. Is this “no mandate” claim is a further sign of desperation?

    Russel Norman claims Key ‘desperate’ over asset sales.

    Except that Key is about to get his policy passed through parliament this week, and Norman is pushing for a referendum for next year. Who’s desperate?

    Greens co-leader Russel Norman said the prime minister was “desperate on asset sales because he has totally lost the public debate”.

    “So now all he can do is make underhand attacks based on completely false information about the Greens.”

    And Greens haven’t made underhand attacks on asset sales using fales information about them?

    The Greens had “shot down” all the Government’s arguments for asset sales, he said.

    That’s been so sucessful Norman is trying to extend the debate long after it’s over. And Greens keep trying to claim there is no mandate. Any other signs of who really is desperate?

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Nice one Pete.

      You argument is basically “we won* you lost, eat that”.

      You’ll recognise that phrase from when Cullen supposedly said it to National.

      This government, and you, are saying it the electorate though.

      The arguments against the CIR amount to nothing more than “we don’t care what you think”.

      Is this the new politics you are working towards?

      *about that “won” look at the table in the post. 1 seat. that’s the voctory margin.

      It’s an open question as to whether or not Dunne would have won his seat, (which gives the govt its majority) without his deal with National. What isn’t an open question though is that both National and Dunne thought the deal was necessary.

      There’s your mandate Pete.


    • Deano 1.2

      I’m desperate to stop asset sales.

      Nothing to be ashamed of, Pete.

    • Colonial Viper 1.3

      Any other signs of who really is desperate?

      These asset sales will impoverish future generations of NZers PG. Just as we have seen the banks, Telecom, Contact, etc. pump out billions of dollars from NZ annually. While providing goods and services that we could easily provide for ourselves.

      That’s why the fight is desperate.

    • KJT 1.4

      I was trying to have a reply to PG free day, but I have to laugh at his total lack of understanding of what the word democracy means.

      Clue. It does not mean that 61, largely, self appointed fools, or thieves, in parliament should be allowed to go against the clearly stated wishes of a majority of New Zealanders.

    • mike e 1.5

      Pathetic Grovelar the only Man date you have is with your leader.

    • Yet another day that Pete George cannot go one post without trying to redirect the topic.

  2. The right AND the left said it was a referendum on asset sales. Such short memories you have. Don’t you remember the left claiming a vote for National was a vote for asset sales? The ads Labour ran about how National, if they got in, would sell assets?

    2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) Politics the support or commission given to a government and its policies or an elected representative and his policies through an electoral victory

    National fits this description. I am against asset sales but National, unfortunately, have the mandate so why focus on this part? Banging on about mandates isn’t going to solve or stop this policy.   

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Banging on about mandates isn’t going to solve or stop this policy.

      Gosh, so authoritative.

      Politics is a funny old business. Language, doubly so.

      How can you be so certain about that? Because the language offends your narrow and dictionary based understanding of what ‘mandate’ means perhaps/ Do you think everyone share your view on that at an emotional level?

      We know that this government has responded in the past to public outcry, even on things where it said it wouldn’t. Mining, education, etc.

      Talking about the mandate, does many things. It’s not as simple as you would have it I think. Politics isn’t a scrapbook where citizens are kept safely in those little platic sleeves and attached to acid free paper and handed to parties to keep safely away until the next election campaign. They run about the place thinking, and more importantly; feeling and trusting,
      or growing in disgust as the case may be.

      The mandate is a living thing in this view. It’s conditional and constantly being tested. This government gave way on issues, in order to protect its ‘political capital’, which is just another phrase for mandate once you think about it. If you think about it with an open mind and analyse politics as a process. It’s not physics, or at least, if it is, it’s not newtonian physics. Not that there’s anything wrong with Newtonian physics, as afr as it goes. But it won’t get you all the way to an understanding of what is going on.

      need more tools young man.

      • I look forward to reading Pascal’s Dictionary of Redefined Terms. 
        Make sure to include Draco’s redefined definition of dictatorship and autocracy.  

        • Pascal's bookie

          As thoughtful a response as ever Contro. But I don’t really care about the Free Dictionary’s definition (2) of mandate. Shocking, I know. I’ll report to the Contrarioans re-education camps immediatly. And upon arrival, I’ll tell them that dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive, and if that don’t like that, they can go pound sand.

          But that is quite beside the point you raised and the one I was responding to.

          You said that:

          “Banging on about mandates isn’t going to solve or stop this policy.”

          I don’t think that’s true at all. In fact, I think it’s thoughtless.

          I hoped to encourage some thought from you on that, and hear some of those thoughts, especially in light of your post graduate politics study.

          Hopefully those studies have given you more to lean on than the Free Dictionary.

          But if you’re not up to it. Pay it no mind.

          • TheContrarian

            I usually use a dictionary to define terms not “what I think”.
            But each to their own. 

            • Pascal's bookie

              So you don’t want to explain why you think talking about mandate wan’t achieve anything. Fair enough. If I’d said something so transparently stupid I hope that I’d explain what I actually meant, but it’s differences that make for horse races I guess.

              “But each to their own.”

              Sure, that’s why you’ve made so many comments about it I guess, it just doesn’t bother you at all.

              • “So you don’t want to explain why you think talking about mandate wan’t achieve anything.”

                Indeed, the argument about whether National has a mandate for this policy won’t help this cause because either side could argue for or against which ties everyone up into a pointless discussion about definition’s, systemic problems with “…rotten boroughs and troughing hairdos.” when a far more powerful and indisputable argument is whether or not it makes economic sense which we all agree it doesn’t.

                That’s why I think the discussion about mandate won’t achieve anything. It’s a distraction from the real issues surrounding the economy.

                • McFlock

                  Apart from the fact that the economic argument has already failed. Those numbers aren’t going to change.
                  The mandate argument might still persuade those National (and UF) MPs who might still want a political career post-2014. After all, it only takes one to scupper the whole thing.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Indeed, the argument about whether National has a mandate for this policy won’t help this cause because either side could argue for or against which ties everyone up into a pointless discussion about definition’s, systemic problems with “…rotten boroughs and troughing hairdos.” when a far more powerful and indisputable argument is whether or not it makes economic sense which we all agree it doesn’t.

                  I think you’ll find that there are plenty of people out there who do think it makes economic sense, and that they’ll happily provide you with arguments. I disagree with those arguments, as do you, but the existence of those arguments means it isn’t ‘indisputable’ at all.

                  It’s not that those arguments shouldn’t be made, and it’s good that they are being made. If you prefer those argumenst, have at them. No one is forcing you into these other discussions.

                  As to why I think the mandate argument is a good one, vto hits on it nicely.

                  You can’t win political arguments on policy alone. This has been a major problem for the left. They seem to think that if they just spell out their ideas clearly enough, and convince them about policy, they’ll win. It never works out; even when issue polling tells us that clear majorities favour the left’s policies over those of the right. ie, even after the left has one the technocratic debate, they lose the political one.

                  That’s because people don’t really vote based on policy. Policy plays a role, to be sure, but it doesn’t trump the other issues, like trust, and likeability, and who I’d like to have a beer with, and ‘vision’. These are tricky things. If you talk about them directly, you’re screwed. that’s why you have to get the electorate asking those questions for themselves. You want to get your opponent saying things like ‘I don’t care what you think’, and ‘we won so you have to let us do this thing you don’t want’ and ‘we know better than you’.

                  Any of those memes wringing bells?

                  What parties are saying ‘listen to the people’ and which parties are saying ‘shut up’?

            • Colonial Viper

              Definitions are merely a beginning to communication, and dictionaries are particularly helpful to children still learning the basics of communicating.

            • Macro

              You might like to reconsider your opinion on on the use of dictionary meanings after you have read this: http://www.dotrob.com/essays/essay5.html
              Basically we give meaning to words by the way we use them. Your use of the word “mandate” is rather restrictive, and certainly not the way it is being used here to describe the will of the majority of the population. There is clear evidence that the majority of New Zealanders are opposed to asset sales of any nature, and the very slim electoral majority won by National and Act and supported in the house by UF, does not actually constitute a mandate from the people, (as evidenced by the number of actual votes cast for each party in the house).

              • First three dictionaries I tried all listed mandate as some combination of ‘will of the people’ type definitions and ‘command from a higher authority’ type. None of them mentioned winning an election as an example.

                Gotta wonder how hard it was fishing through websites to try and dictionary-bash us with that one.

                • That’s because you are not looking into what constitutes a political mandate, not just the word.

                  Politics 101 defines a political mandate as the consent to govern given by the people in a general election. If I can find my old uni books I’ll dig it out later tonight.

                  • McFlock

                    gots to finds us a definition that means we’s rightses. Silly hobbitses using normal wordsies…

                  • If you want to regress this debate down to the 101 level, tough bikkies. I’m not getting into a dictionary fight with you. Let’s go back to talking like adults, shall we?

                    A political mandate is retained by the support of the voting public. Note that word I used, “retained”? You don’t just get to have one for three years after winning an election, not if you endorse a democratic system which requires continuous consent of the governed to function.

                    John Key got a mandate to form a government, (which is what your politics 101 text book refers to, but I don’t think you’re a child, so you should already know that passing policies and forming a government are two different things that each require their own mandate to be justified) but there was never a clear display of public support for asset sales, as they weren’t the only issue at play in the election. He’s never obtained one since. This is a dramatic change of national policy that Kiwis have opposed ever since the first time it was hoisted on us, back when Labour was acting like, well, ACT.

                    You can pass a law without a mandate from below, if you have a good reason to – hence why we disagree that this referendum and the previous one are comparable. This is the reason that common definitions of mandate include a “higher command”- you can have a ‘strong leader’ who decides that they know better than the populace, if they’re willing to sell their idea and own it if it’s a failure. National have wisely not tried that justification for this policy.

                    We’ve let National choose their own justifications, and we’ve knocked each one they’re actually willing to admit down. Passing this law is undemocratic, it’s economic self-harm, it’s theft from the public, and it’s just plain stupid. I’m not sure what more you could ask for in terms of reasons to stop it.

                    • No more attempts to define your way out of the argument then? Fair enough.

                      I’m done my daily article critique, so I’m sorry, but Jane Clifton can wait. (besides, I’m hungry) I’m sure it’s just as useless as Colin James- right wing journalists don’t tend to have a huge diversity of thought. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it’s one of the ‘the Family First referendum can somehow be warped to say that the public opposed the §59 repeal’ pieces that the right is favouring. I’ll do a takedown on my blog tommorow of at least three reasons why that’s rubbish.

                    • Hmm. That should have been another reply to Bunji. Sorry about that.

                    • “No more attempts to define your way out of the argument then? Fair enough. ”

                      No, my comment is moderation still for some reason.

                      “‘the Family First referendum can somehow be warped to say that the public opposed the §59 repeal’”

                      Yeah, these are all warped!


                      (EDIT – see above re mandate def’s)

                      [lprent: There is a limit on the number of links vs text that the system tolerates. That is because a lot of spam consists of mostly links. I released your other comment with lots of links earlier. ]

                    • I’m not following your linkspam, I need to get ready for work. 🙂

                      I have no doubt they are all warped though, because if the question related to §59, it would have read “Should we repeal the defense of reasonable force for parents or guardians accused of assaulting their children?” Instead it had some waffle about smacking for “good parental correction”, which is newspeak if ever I saw it, and does not relate to the §59 repeal in the slightest, as it merely removes the reasonable force protection- they can still claim to have been acting with a child’s safety in mind to prevent greater harm, if it even comes to court…

                      And FF hasn’t pointed out a single case of a reasonable parent being prosecuted, just a bunch of sob stories about people who actually did assault their children, not touching their bums lightly to make a metaphorical point, nor using physical force to keep them out of danger.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, I did follow the links.
                      Yep, even the ones that were explicitly against the repeal were imagining good parents being put through the criminal justice system.  
                      The most interesting one was Sharples saying that the poll claiming Maori were against the repeal was at odds with his experiences at hui, when it was actually explained to people what the repeal actually meant.
                      So yeah – when there’s a lot of misinformation about an issue, polls are useless. When the questions are so vague as to mean anything, CIR are useless. But when the information is simple and obvious, like “49% of an asset being sold = economically and socially dumb”, and the CIR question is focussed on one plain issue? Then it’s a pretty good reflection of what the people want. 
                      Cont: you did pols101. Do you really think that the “smacking” or hard labour referenda were questions designed to elicit an informed response from the populace? 

                    • @Matthew, enjoy work 
                      @McFlock – I think it is a long gambit to play that the populace didn’t understand what they were voting/being polled on. 

                  • Bunji

                    You may find respected journo Colin James’ latest column interesting reading Contrarian:
                    When a mandate is not a mandate.

                    • Colin James starts off talking about why the “political mandates” the contrarian refers to are bunk, which I agree with, but then he pivots into his usual empty pragmatism, or as I generally call it, nonsense.

                      If National sold privatisation to focus groups before the election, that means that if the public hears only National’s narrative, they might be okay not opposing the policy. That is also different to a mandate, it’s trying to push policy through without needing to obtain one, much the same as trying to fly it in under the radar is.

                      But National has to deal with a debate, it’s public reasons have been refuted and its private reasons are therefore suspect, and it’s gambling that it won’t lose the next election if it tries to push through this policy.

                      That’s even discounting whether their base will bother to turn up if they do the expedient thing and cancel the sales.

                      So… they’re damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

          • McFlock

            Personally I find their game of “find the dictionary definition that best suits my point of view” an indication of the tories’ level of desperation.
            For example, cont. chose a definition that marked a political mandate being granted strictly by an “electoral victory” (or in this case a minority of votes and a couple of rotten boroughs “represented” by unprincipled troughers). The OED, on the other hand:

            2. Polit.  [After French mandat (1789 in this sense). In quot. 1796 the phrase mandate instructions is probably after French mandats impératifs (1789).] The commission to rule or to pursue stated policies conferred by electors on their elected representatives; support for a policy or measure of an elected party regarded as deriving from the preferences expressed by the votes of the electorate. Also in extended use.

            I.e. contrarian <ahem>cunningly<ahem> chose a definition of “mandate” that did not explicitly include the consent, direction or wishes of voters: just the ability to manipulate a “victory” out of musical chairs. 
            Why no reference to the actual votes cast? Because, as the post points out, there is no “mandate” granted by the “preferences expressed by the votes of the electorate”. Just rotten boroughs and troughing hairdos. 

    • Deano 2.2

      On the numbers in the table, do you really think National can claim that the people of New Zealand mandated them to sell assets? The majority of us voted against it and the quirks of the system delivered the asset sellers just one extra seat.

      • Indeed, the quirks of the system delivered National the ability to claim the needed mandate and to sell the assets.
        Unfortunate but true. It’s tricky (tricky as in sly) but yes, they can claim it. 

        • s y d

          United Future – quirk of the system.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          “It’s tricky (tricky as in sly) but yes, they can claim it.”

          Sure they can. Just as someone who smashes a new house with an axe and daubs graffiti all over it can claim that it was “just for fun”.

  3. ianmac 3

    Pete is a masochist. Why else would he be so desperate to defend the indefensible? Everything that Mr Norman has said above could be or is true.

    • Norman has been promoting unsubstantiated exaggerations (at best) on asset sales. How often has he said things like “selling all the asset to foreign owners”?

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1

        Probably never, if you’re claiming he did, Pete. And don’t misuse quotation marks, please. They’re for actual quotations, not stuff you just made up.
        Norman doesn’t have to say it anyway, becaue the history books already confirm that foreign ownership is the likeliest outcome, because that is what happened with the earlier asset thefts.

        • Pete George

          I can understand if you never use quotes.

          • Te Reo Putake

            I do use quotes, Pete. I put other people’s actual remarks in quotation marks, so that it’s obvious they are the literal representation of their words, not made up opinion or fantasy. That’s how written English works; though I appreciate you struggle with language, manfully trying to hide truths behind a wall of waffle each day.
            If you want to precis or simply guess what someone might say, try using singular marks (‘ …. ‘). That usually indicates that the phrases are yours, or generic, not the subject’s actual words.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4


    the peeps over at insidersPredict have National at under 40% for the first time in that market’s history:


    Wonder what the internal polling is saying?

    Wonder no more.

  5. Uturn 5

    Claims of mandate reveal a mind that is happy to use democratic means to an autocratic end. As PBs says, it is simply saying: “We have power so we’ll do as we please”. Such thinking can be a form of democracy, but a somewhat low grade version. If that is our measure of mandate, then in official eyes, the Fijian coups resulted in legitimate government. Someone takes power, they therefore had mandate and were completely legitimate. It also means that any political engagement is futile e.g. Someone this term does anything they want, using any means they like; someone next term reverses it using any means they like; there can be no argument from anyone because we all accept the standard of encumbency = mandate = legitimacy.

    The National caucus believe they own these assets and have a moral right to decide to sell them. To make that decision would require our representatives to endow themselves with the voices of all peoples of the past who built these assets up, and their reasons for doing so, and all future people who may use them. That would require an element of “divine right to rule” in their perspective. Even if people who voted for National last election all agreed they knew about asset sales, they still couldn’t speak on behalf of past and future generations. Least of all, our cultural understanding of democracy varies from what our ancestors believed it to be and will vary again to what our great grandchildren know. To follow the idea of a vote today equals consent for tomorrow, is just a mask for narrow, autocratic thinking.

    National may have a legal right, but that’s a reduction of the egalitarian style of democracy that NZders pride themselves on, or did, by several levels. Democracy that looks to what can be made to be legal, as it’s moral right, is not a democracy that is good for anyone who is not in or associated with official power. But it’s nice that National are illustrating these principles for everyone to see. It’s very hard to hide what you are, in practice.

    Under our present systems, the closest we could get to a decision that acknowledged the past and future generations of NZ would be for all members of Parliament to agree to the sale. Until that happens then, asset sales will be an act of a government that picks and chooses it’s meaning of democracy in ways that undermine political engagement.

    • Uturn 5.1

      I should also emphasise that even if all of our current MPs agreed to sell, using our current forms of representation, it would be a strategic and moral error, since so many viewpoints are not yet effectively represented in parliament: most glaringly, maori (from a maori world view sense), then on a historical basis at least, for Chinese; then Pacific immigrants and so on. Not only are these people not currently directly represented, any party that could represent them must adopt a eurocentric perspective to participate in parliamentry process. Pakeha, or europeans, view asset sales as simply a binary question – support or oppose. It’s not so simple for others and even the most eager proponent of multiculturalism would have to awaken the euro horror at awarding special concessions to some groups simply to get their voice heard. To say it’s as simple as, “we need cash… here, sell these”, in one way greatly narrows the parameters for understanding the issue, in another could result in an offence to many people, and going further, could even end in confusion for some people wondering how the question can even be asked.

  6. Jackal 6

    No mandate for asset sales

    If National is not willing to wait a few months for the result of a referendum, they will damage their party. This is because a number of scientific polls have shown the vast majority of New Zealanders and even a majority of National supporters don’t want asset sales…

  7. J McKenzie 7

    Dunnes “mandate”

    Total electoral votes in Ohariu 37,965

    Votes for Dunne 14.357

    Votes against Dunne 23,608

    Percentage for Dunne 37.8%

    Percentage against Dunne 62.2%

    • gareth 7.1

      That’s disingenuous bearing in mind that Katrina Shanks Nat Candidate received 6907 votes.
      How bout,

      Pro asset sale candidates 21264
      Against asset sale candidates 16701

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Except that Dunne didn’t actually campaign on selling assets.

        • gareth

          I dunno if Pete would agree…. but fair play.

          So how bout going on the party vote then:

          37828 total,
          19050 Nat & Act
          18778 the rest.

          • Pete George

            Dune (and as far as I know everyone in UF including me) didn’t campaign on selling assets, we campaigned on allowing National to progress their priority policies and we campaigned on limiting any sale of assets to defined limits, which we have held National too – that’s backed by facts despite repeated attempts to piddle over it.

            You’ll be able to find statistics that back anything you like – the key fact is that National have the numbers to get their MOM Bill through parliament.

            Read it in the paper on Wednesday, 61-60. Everything else is moot.

            • McFlock

              the key fact is that National have the numbers to get their MOM Bill through parliament. because Peter Dunne will provide the single vote needed to sell his country down the river.


            • gareth

              I agree they do have the numbers, I also think Peter Dunne is well within his rights to vote in favour, All im trying to show is the majority of people in Ohariu voted in a way that allowed asset sales to happen. To claim ignorance of who or what you were voting for after the fact shows you didn’t really care where your vote went.

              • If Peter Dunne presented himself as a strong leader who will push ahead with policy when he believes it’s the right one, then you might be correct.

                The problem is, Peter Dunne is the king of empty populism, and bends to the wind faster than a willow tree. He has been banging on about referendum-led policy for years, and now he doesn’t want a referendum to show him up as abandoning his one principle, populism, and wants to rush ahead with the policy, or try and ad-hominem the people running the referendum, rather than discussing it on its substance.

                Functionally speaking, being a hypocrite in politics is probably worse than breaking the law. And Dunne has no way out of his dilemma of supporting this disastrous policy without becoming a hypocrite- either he opposed these asset sales without saying he opposed them, or he supported them without clearly disclosing his support and then opposed giving people a say on it via referendum despite his somewhat odious history of proposing referenda for pretty much everything.

            • mike e

              Pathetic Grovelar So where is the money come from from lost income, when the assets are sold.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.2

        Dunne wasn’t a pro-asset sales candidate.

        Edit: Crikey, Draco’s quick. Room for him in the Olympic team?

  8. DH 8

    I’m sick of this mandate bullshit. It was a general election not a referendum. If the mandate argument had any validity then anything the Nats do that they didn’t campaign on means they have no mandate for it. (Greens & Labour could have some fun with that line of argument)

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Bingo! That’s exactly right, DH. Mandates have to be campaigned for, either in a referendum or in an election called for that specific purpose.
      National did not go to the electorate last November specifically calling for a mandate for asset sales and one of their support poodles, sorry, parties, thought so little about the issue they didn’t even include their support for asset sales in their policy literature or refer to it in the TV debates. The last time a general election was called to gain a specific mandate over a single issue was in 1984 and that didn’t end so well for Muldoon.
      The only other times in recent history an election was fought over gaining a mandate was Hone Harawira forcing a bye-election in Te Tai Tokerau and Tariana Turia doing the same a few years earlier after her resignation from Labour.

      • TightyRighty 8.1.1

        Do you believe the rubbish you write? National may not have “campaigned” on asset sales, but it clearly announced them as priority policy in their second term if re-elected. Why else did labour campaign so vociferously on the subject if not to draw attention to this clearly communicated policy?

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          Yes, National campaigned on it, United Follicles lied about it, and put together they still don’t represent a majority of votes cast.

          The mandate to introduce legislation does not confer the right to predetermine the decision of a select committee, nor to ignore evidence presented. Predetermination, for example, is defined by the Ombudsman’s office as a conflict of interest.

          But if the National Party wants to commit electoral suicide, I am happy about that, since they are a cancer on New Zealand.

        • DH

          That’s just rubbish. Asset sales was never a priority policy, the claimed benefits were not important enough economically for that. National didn’t campaign on asset sales either, what they did campaign on was the reasons why they wanted to sell the SOEs. The Greens in particular have since shown their justifications to be untrue and we have every right to deny their alleged mandate on those grounds alone.

          • Colonial Viper

            None of which should obscure the fact that National intends to concentrate the ownership of these very valuable, high profit generating strategic assets into the hands of the few and the foreign.

            • Pete George

              None of which should obscure the fact that National intends to concentrate the ownership of these very valuable, high profit generating strategic assets into the hands of the few and the foreign.

              That’s not a fact. It’s you making pathetically outrageous claims without facts.

              • vto

                Pete, I suspect cv is basing that on very recent NZ experiences with selling assets.

                What evidence is there that this wont happen again?

                • There’s plenty. National have made it clear they want to ensure as much New Zealand ownership for as long as possible. And they last week said they want to target getting 200,000 New Zealand shareholders.

                  Add to that the number of people likely to indirectly have an interest through Kiwisaver funds and NZ Super and ACC and there is likely to be significant New Zealand ownership.

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna

                    You swallowed that pack of lies?

                    There’s naive, and then there’s wilfully moronic.

                    • And there’s blatant denial of facts, with zero counter-facts.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Facts, Pete? You didn’t cite any; the loyalty bribe is so important to them they didn’t even put it in the budget, if you want a fact to consider.

                      If you’d said National want to create a perception of giving a toss about the ownership, because they think it will prevent some votes haemorrhaging, I’d be agreeing with you.

                  • vto

                    Pete George, those are facts in the same useful way that telling everybody you wash you hands after the loo is a fact.


                    Don’t be so naive. There is no fact in law to support the fact of their wishy-washy waffle crappola.

                    wake up man

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    Explain to me then Pete how the disabled person down the road on invalids benefit gets to be part of this – how they get to buy their share of this asset? or the kid who lost their casual job a few weeks ago, or all those families who are accessing food banks weekly, or those who can’t afford to pay their school fees.

                    Enlighten me.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    National have made it clear they want to ensure as much New Zealand ownership for as long as possible

                    Fucking worthless without the iron clad guarantees in legislation and enforcement.

                    So where are they, PG.

                    Or are you just spouting recycled Tory PR?

                  • David H

                    And if you believe that crap. I have a nice bridge for sale.. FFS what an one eyed fool you are petey.

                    • Macro

                      There’s a neat bridge over the Waiwera stream that’s part of the Northern Gateway toll road – I guess that’s the one your talking about. How do I get a share of that? 😉

                  • How are they ensuring that target? What is their POLICY for retaining New Zealand ownership? The only thing they’ve even considered so far is bonus shares, for which it looks like they can’t get a law passed, so if they go ahead with it, it will be blatantly illegal.

              • Crashcart

                How is it not a fact? Assets owned by every Kiwi will after the MOM have a large percentage owned by a small percentage of the population and some oversea’s investors. About as much of a fact as you can get.

                • You haven’t used any facts at all, you seem to have used generalised guesses, based in what?

                  The Green Machine and the Labour Loudhailer don’t count as factual.

                  • Anne

                    They’re a damm sight more factual than the Blue Boilers and the Purple Plonker!

                  • 1) We’re not proposing this policy, you are. Your side is the one with the burden of proof to establish that this is a wise policy choice, as by proposing a bill you are essentially making a claim that it is beneficial to the country, its citizens, or even the whole world.

                    2) Like Wikipedia, political websites ought to be treated as reference aggregators (ie. you can’t quote them directly, but check out their own references if provided) for anything other than determining a given party’s policy.

                    3) If I say something that also appears on a Green or Labour website, that doesn’t mean I haven’t fact-checked it, or that I’m not providing my own analysis of the situation independently. People of similar ideological bents will from time to time have similar ideas or criticisms.

          • TighyRighty

            They campaigned on the reasons why they wanted to sell them without actually campaigning on selling them? What election did you watch? Can you seriously believe what you wrote?

            So what your saying is that national campaigned by expressing what they want to do, but that they don’t actually want to do it once they get elected?

            I get it now. Vey droll.

            • DH

              No. They said “we want to sell these assets because….”

              The evidence is now very strong that their ‘because’ is false so their campaign was a fraud. No mandate. Very simple.

              • “The evidence is now very strong that their ‘because’ is false so their campaign was a fraud.”

                Citation needed.

                (EDIT – Sorry misread your comment. Pretend I said nothing….)

                • DH

                  Give it a rest Pal. Every justification they’ve come up with, and they’ve changed their story countless times, has been well rebutted by economists, the media & pretty much every non-partisan source. Even Treasury told them they were bullshitting.

  9. Enough is Enough 9

    This mandate argument is a bit silly. We need to be a bit smarter than banging on about having no mandate because quite clearly they will ignore us.

    A party’s best way of getting approval for their policy platform is to announce it before an election and make it a centre piece of their campaign. They did that. They can claim a amandate and we have to get on with a constructive way of derailing this.

    Winston’s proposal that he would buy them back is a good start. Labour should go one further and say they will nationalise without compensation. That is the end. The sales will not take place if they make that announcement.

    • DH 9.1

      I don’t agree. To me this is democracy at work & I’m quite happy with the way it’s progressing. We voted for a government at the general election and now we’re expressing our rejection of one of it’s policies. That’s how democracy is meant to work, voting in a party doesn’t give it licence to do everything it pleases. They’re there to work for our benefit not their own.

      The only way I can see for the left to stop asset sales is for them to promise a full commission of enquiry, with complete public disclosure, into the funding of the National Party if the sales go ahead. That would kill it stone dead IMO. Can’t see Labour doing that though, can anyone?

      Promising to buy it back won’t achieve anything except a lower price for the shares.

      • Enough is Enough 9.1.1

        What do you mean it won’t achieve anything. Hands up who will buy shares in a company that they know will be natiionalised in 2 years time.

        … Hear that. Its the sound of silence. No one will buy them if they will lose their investment. Therfore the whole process will be derailed.

        Meanwhile you can run around getting signatures for a referendum having a feel good fluffy in your stomach about democracy at work while the first lots of dividends heads off shore.

        Smarten up please. Take some firm action before our assets are sold. Signatures wont save shit.

        • DH

          No-one would promise to nationalise without compensation. That’s confiscation and it’s untenable for any party. The best they can do is promise to buy back what what was sold and that wouldn’t stop people buying the shares to begin with.

          • Colonial Viper

            No-one would promise to nationalise without compensation. That’s confiscation and it’s untenable for any party.

            There’s no problem if prospective buyers were forewarned well in advance of committing their money. Fairs fair after all.

          • Enough is Enough

            You are correct. Because the ‘activists’ are running around getting signatures for a petition that will achieve nothing, no party is getting the pressure on them to announce Nationalisation. If we put the heat on our MP’s to do that something might come of it.

            Instead you can keep getting your signatures and kiss goodbye to our assets.

      • Pete George 9.1.2

        The only way I can see for the left to stop asset sales is for them to promise a full commission of enquiry, with complete public disclosure, into the funding of the National Party if the sales go ahead.

        That’s an absurd threat.

        I doubt even Winston would try that. He’d be worried that the same might happen to him. Same for Labour.

        • LOL. Like Labour wouldn’t come out ahead in that equation. I don’t think they’re squeaky clean, but there’s a difference between being a little dirty and stinking to high heaven.

    • “This mandate argument is a bit silly. We need to be a bit smarter than banging on about having no mandate because quite clearly they will ignore us.”


  10. vto 10

    This mandate argument is not silly. It is central to this government’s credibility. It is absolutely clear that the majority of NZers do not want to sell these assets – they didn’t before the election and they don’t now. There are many ways of assessing this, of which the election (decided on all sorts of policies and crap) is just one.

    On top of all this, the one vote holding the ship together, namely Peter Dunne doesn’t even know what the benefits and downsides to the sale of these assets are.

    When I asked “what are the benefits to the taxpayer of selling the electricity companies?” Peter Dunne replied with this …

    “It is worth noting that the total amount of assets up for sale represent about 3% of the Crown’s balance sheet. The controls own shareholding and ownership we have negotiated will ensure they remain in Crown control, without competing ownership objectives.”

    And when Pascals bookie asked “what are the downsides for the taxpayer in selling the assets?” Peter Dunne replied with this …

    “There are no downsides”.

    Dunne is an arrogant wanker. (sorry PG but that’s just it)

  11. “It is absolutely clear that the majority of NZers do not want to sell these assets”

    Are you basing this on opinion polls? 

    • vto 11.1

      That and everything else, including the election. See original post above.

      • TheContrarian 11.1.1

        Would you consider then that it was absolutely clear that the majority of NZers did not want the smacking law to be changed?
        When you consider before the referendum over 80% of people wanted to law change to be reversed. 

        • vto

          Yes absolutely. That government similarly ignored the will of the people and was chucked like this lot will be in just over two years.

          Both acts are despicable and nothing makes the blood boil more. Vote them out!

        • McFlock

          Really? The referendum question had nothing to do with the S59 repeal, as I recall:

           Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?  

          Minor hitting, while still shite parental correction according to parents I know, doesn’t pass the public interest test to justify prosecution. Hence the lack of floods of “good” parents being charged (unless you think that hundreds of thousands of NZ parents spontaneously stopped using corporal punishment). No prosecution = no criminal offence. Hence the referendum, possibly because the wording is such shite, has been honoured. 
          Maybe the ‘hit your kid’ brigade should have simply demanded that the repeal of s59 be repealed? Pity they tried to be smart bastards and manipulate the result with a vague leading question…

          • TheContrarian


            What I am establishing here is that in both instances (asset sales and the s59 issue) had overwhelming public disapproval based on opinion polls.

            Ignoring the actual referendum question due to its vague wording the opinion polls still showed a major public backlash and, for consistency, if you are going to complain the government is routing public opinion on this then they routed public opinion on the other too. 

            • McFlock

              There was a backlash, but against what? The fact that 300k people signed a petition for a CIR with that wording indicates that quite a lot of people had no actual idea what the issue was. If they weren’t opposed to the actual law change, what were they opposed to?  As I said, the prison system hasn’t been flooded with parents jailed for a smack on the backside, which seems to be what the findies-first crowd were worried about.
              MOM has been discussed to death, and many people in this country have had direct experience of the joys of asset sales. And I believe that the current CIR proposed question is a bit more specific than the smacking one. So maybe there’s a bit less in the way of scaremongering propaganda going on this time – and maybe the polls reflect a more informed opinion.

              • The public polls showed by a huge margin the public did not want the bill passed.

                So why not complain about the government ignoring those polls but insist the government listen to these ones?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You keep asking the same question even after you’ve had the answer explained to you a dozen times which means that you’ve dropped from whinging Tory to troll.

                  I, for one, just ignore you now as there’s no point in engaging you.

                  • “I, for one, just ignore you now as there’s no point in engaging you.”

                    Says the guy who insists that NZ is a dictatorship based on evidence whatsoever outside “because I say so”

                    • RedLogix

                      So if the majority of the public did not want the S59 Repeal Bill passed…. why do you think the vast majority of Parliament voted for it?

                    • vto

                      mr logix, that is a question that I have always wondered.

                      What is the answer?

                    • McFlock

                      probably because they correctly identified the difference between ‘popular demand’ and ‘panic stirred up by paid propagandists working for people who want to beat children’.

                    • vto

                      really mcflock? the politicians can assess such things better than the rest of New Zealand? Your answer is the easy one but I suspect the true answer may be a tad more complex. Why did all those parties and politicians vote against what the people seemed to be telling them? And how applicable are those reasons to the last cir re harsher sentencing for crims?

                      I don’t know the answer but I certainly hope it is better than the one you provided, lest my perceptions of politicians get further cemented…

                    • “‘panic stirred up by paid propagandists working for people who want to beat children”.

                      Citation needed.

                    • McFlock

                      The phrasing of the harsher sentencing CIR was even more idiotic than the good parental beating CIR:  

                      Question: Should there be a reform of our justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them and imposing minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offences?

                      Fuck sake – a sliding scale from recognising needs of victims all the way up to hard labour? With a yes/no response? As opposed to the current CIR petition which is short, precise, and although it does mention each company by name the issue is much more clearly defined than the hooplah over “smacking” or the sentencing CIR.
                      Do I really think that those two CIRs are good examples of money and propaganda creating panic instead of an informed decision by the populace? Yes. I also think they are good examples of how referenda (or even general survey) questions should not be written. 

                    • This referendum actually addresses the policy being enacted. The referendum about smacking had nothing to do with repealing a legal defense for assault that was being used to successfully acquit people perpetrating very clear examples of assault, ie. beating their children with improvised weapons.

                      I would support the government at least putting their legislation on hold until after a referendum in any case that the referendum clearly and fairly raises a question about that legislation. This is, unfortunately, due to our lax CIR rules, the first time that such a referendum has been initiated in my political life.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  The Government didn’t ‘ignore’ those polls, Parliament did. The whole of the house, except ACT, voted to remove the specious defence that assaulting kids is OK because ‘I’m their parent’.
                  However, that wasn’t the question in the CIR anyway and the question that was in that CIR has never been introduced to Parliament as a bill, that I recall. They are two seperate matters.
                  And, leaving aside the failure of the beaters to get a continued right to assault their kids, Parliament is allowed, even encouraged, to lead. To go where society as a whole is not yet happy to go when it is the sensible option. Nuclear power, gay rights, an end to corporal punishment, votes for women and maori etc were all controversial, minority supported issues at some point. But leadership was applied and eventually they became the norm.
                  Asset theft, on the other hand, has already been tried and rejected in NZ and there is no change in 30 years to NZ society’s sensible rejection of it. Selling the family silver will never be popular in NZ. It wasn’t last time we did it, it failed to achieve what it was supposed to and the only people not to have learned the lesson are some, but not all, National voters and Peter Dunne.
                  I have no issue at all with Parliament making up its own mind. The referenda are non binding, anyway. But ignoring the result of this particular referendum will have a clear political cost. That wasn’t the case with the failed kiddy beater referendum, because all the parties, bar one, supported kids’ right to a violence free upbringing ahead of allowing their parents to hit them.

                  • Well then you are saying that government is allowed to ignore the people when it is an issue you support but government should be beholden to the people when it isn’t an issue you don’t support.

                    I mean, basically that’s it. 

                    • McFlock

                      If you ignore “basically” everything that TRP said, you are completely correct.

                    • I am not trying to establish if the repeal was a good idea or not.
                      What I am trying to understand is how on hand the will of the people should be ignored because ‘parliament knows best’ but not ignored in this instance.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      That’s not what he’s saying at all. read the last para. Nothing about ‘beholden’ or anything like it.

                      Citizens, in my view, should argue for what they think is right. If they think the government is about to do something stupid, they should argue that the government shouldn’t do that.

                      On the s59, I thought the repeal was the right thing to do, so I argued that parliament should repeal it. On this, I happen to agree with the majority, and again argue that the government should do what I think is the right thing to do. There is no contradiction there.

                      Do you think that citizens who see their government is about to do something they think is stupid, shouldn’t argue against it onthe basis that, oh well, they’re the government?

                      Or should they argue from what they think is the right thing to do?

                    • On the s59 the majority spoke quite loudly: Govt. didn’t listen

                      On the asset sales the majority is speaking quite loudly and it appears the government won’t listen. 

                      Why is OK for the govt. not listen in one incidence but not that other? 

                    • McFlock

                      On the s59 the majority spoke quite loudly: Govt. didn’t listen

                      On s59 the public harrumphed a lot and said absolutely nothing clearly, because they also wanted something done about kids getting beaten to death.
                      Quite frankly, the s59 repeal opponents seemed terrified that the prisons would be filled with “good” parents who smacked their kids. This hasn’t happened. Parliament (not just the government) fulfilled the rather confused wishes of the electorate, albeit not in the monosyllabic way some of them wanted.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “Why is OK for the govt. not listen in one incidence but not that other?”

                      The government can do whatever it likes at the end of the day. I don’t dispute that, and TRP came right out and said exactly the same thing.

                      This is about what we think the government ought to do. Not must. Not ‘can they’, but ‘should they’.

                      So if you can grok that it isn’t about trying to bind the government constitutionally or what-have-you, but about trying to influence them politically, I think the contradiction you see resolves itself.

                      If you think the govt is about to do something you agree with, you will think they should do it. If they are about to do something you don’t agree with, you will think they should not.

                      In a case where you are in the minority, you can pretty much argue the case and say you think the govt ought to do it in spite of public opinion.

                      If you are in the majority, you can argue that the govt should do it because of the policy argument, and if that doesn’t work; if the government doesn’t agree with you about the merits of the policy, I see no reason that you can’t bring the politics into it and point out that the country doesn’t want them to do it.

                      They are free to ignore you of course. It’s ‘ought’, not ‘must’.

                    • “On s59 the public harrumphed a lot and said absolutely nothing clear”


                    • vto

                      I think you’re all right.

                      Contrarian is right in that the last government ignored the wishes of the people, and you others are right in that the particulars of the circumstances are a little different. The issue though surely is that of the government doing as the people wish or ignoring the people, as gleaned from elections, cir’s, polls, etc. The last labour government ignored the wishes of the people. This government is ignoring the wishes of the people.

                    • Jackal

                      Just as a side note, the amount of children removed from their parents by the state has declined by over 18% since s59 was implemented. I cannot think of any other social dynamic that would cause this.

                      Also, most of the polling surveyed people about whether they believed it is okay to smack naughty children, not if the law change was required.

                      As McFlock has highlighted, the anti-smacking bill did not outlaw smacking altogether but merely removed the “use of reasonable force” as a defence in court. Your comparison is a complete fail TheInegalitarian.

                    • McFlock

                      “On s59 the public harrumphed a lot and said absolutely nothing clear”


                      Yeah. Kind’ve interesting that even a propaganda website that manages to translate “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” into “87.6% of voters have called for a law change by voting NO in the referendum.” can’t get it’s poll story straight.

                      Apparently answering “no” to the question “Will a smacking ban stop you from smacking your children?” means they opposed the bill. Maybe they understood the bill? 

                      “Would you like to see Sue Bradford’s smacking bill watered down?” becomes a categorical vote against any repeal, and only one survey apparently specifically mentioned s59. And that result was still against the repeal, but much closer than anything else.
                      Coupled with the heavy reliance on Stuff and Curia polls and the lack of survey links and questions, colour me not convinced that the polling was legitimate and that people were giving a clear message about their desired outcome. As I said, it looks to me very much like parliament managed to produce the vague outcome that people wanted (i.e. no epidemic of parents being arrested for abuse, which seems to have been tha main concern), while actually making an informed decision (one assumes most of the MPs read the bill and select committee report). 
                      Yet again, “Labour did it too” fails to apply, even if it were more than a half-arsed delaying tactic. 

                    • Yeah, those poll are all suspect and probably wrong.

                      My assertions are all I need!

                    • McFlock

                      Not that the polls are suspect and wrong.
                      More that the website summarizing them is suspect and intensely biased, and the few verifiable claims it makes (as summarised above) are suspect and wrong.

                    • Well, provide evidence to the contrary.
                      It’s all well and good to say “the website summarizing them is suspect and intensely biased, and the few verifiable claims it makes (as summarised above) are suspect and wrong.” without offering anything to dispute what the website says.

                      Surely you must have data that contradicts what this site says otherwise all your doing is offering pure assertion that “these claims are false” without offering anything to back your claim up.

                      Logic and reason dude, it’s a bitch

                    • McFlock

                      Logic and reason dude, it’s a bitch

                      Ain’t it just. The evidence you provided to support your assertion that all of parliament (except ACT) overruled the wishes of the people is bunk. In fact all it does is demonstrate that anti-repeal propagandists (or do you argue that your linked site is unbiased?), where they do bother to mention the questions actually asked in the surveys they chose to report, can’t support your assertion that there was clear public opposition to the repeal beyond a nebulous ‘good parents shouldn’t be locked up’ vibe.
                      Guess what: they got their wish. Good parents aren’t being locked up – bad parents just can’t argue that beating children to the point of injury was reasonable parental correction.

                    • ‘The evidence you provided to support your assertion that all of parliament (except ACT) overruled the wishes of the people is bunk’

                      Pure and unmitigated assertion. You are deciding, by fiat judgement, that the polls are bunk based on your own interpretation. You have provided no evidence, no polling which shows any different results, no evidence of data manipulation – nothing. The site is bias, we both know that, but you have asserted, without evidence, that the data is “bunk”.

                      ‘That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.’
                      Christopher Hitchens 

                    • McFlock

                      Seriously? That site is a blatant propaganda site with no sources. We do know that it, like you, stretches the english language to breaking point, for example the long bow your link drew between the ambivalent wording if the CIR and a very specific course of action  they claimed the CIR represented (“called for a law change “). I therefore view with reasonable doubt the possibility that any and all of their unsourced unspecified surveys were specifically relevant to not repealing/reintroducing s59.
                      As an example, take one of the few surveys where they mentioned the actual question: “Will a smacking ban stop you from smacking your children?” has nothing to do with whether s59 should be repealed of not – many parents who answered yes might have understood that the repeal of s59 would not affect their minor use of force. Yet it’s included in a list of polls that demonstrates “The majority of Kiwis disagree that a smack should be seen as a criminal offence in New Zealand.”. 
                      If I had presented a website like that as supporting evidence, you’d laugh me out of here. All I need to do is point out that the lack of parents being locked up (for pulling young jimmie off the road, as one of the pro-smacking arguments at the time had as an example) is perfectly consistent with not making good parenting a criminal offence. So the wishes of the electorate seem to have been fulfilled.

                      Given that your link’s an opinion piece with instances of clear misuse of the English language, I counter it with equivalent authority: it’s bunk.

                    • ” I counter it with equivalent authority” =/= what I say.
                      You’re opinion is not an authority. But if you want to play that game:
                      All those polls that show Kiwis are against assets sales are bunk. I counter them with equivalent authority.

                      I ask then you show me any evidence of majority support for this bill.
                      Otherwise you ain’t got nothing. 

                    • McFlock

                      I ask then you show me any evidence of majority support for this bill.
                      Otherwise you ain’t got nothing


                      You want me to prove the contrary to your unsupported position that the s59 repeal was contrary to the wishes of the  voters (your assertion in support of your claim “you are saying that government is allowed to ignore the people when it is an issue you support”)? Otherwise I’m the one who’s got nothing?

                      You made the assertion, you provide actual evidence that “the people” made any coherent and specific demand that s59 should not be repealed, rather than a more vague ‘good parents shouldn’t be locked up’.
                      Not some unsourced propaganda site that incorrectly thinks ‘repeal s59’ = ‘good parents will be incarcerated’.
                      Yeah, logic is a bitch – who would have thought that you making an assertion means that you have to prove it, rather than it being regarded as correct unless proved otherwise. 

                    • McFlock

                      Looking at each link in turn, is the concern with s59 or a more vague panic about parents being locked up:
                      1 (NZH): majority disagree with bill, think it’s “unenforceable”.  Kind’ve the point of the bill – minor smacks aren’t supposed to result in a prison sentence. So demonstates more a fear of good parents being harassed than s59 in particular.
                      2 ( Press Release: Coalition Against Nanny State’s Anti-Smacking Law).      Says it all, really. Not a poll.
                      3: (Onenews/CB) “A ONE News Colmar Brunton poll has found 83% of those surveyed believe it is okay to smack naughty children”.  Issue not in conflict with s59 repeal. Putting the two together implies conflation.
                      4: researchNZ poll. “Unenforceable”  – see point 1
                      5: TVNZ. Against Bil. Interesting quote: “But Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says at a number of hui up and down New Zealand, the picture is very different. He says when he and his party colleagues explained what the bill actually says, there was almost unanimous support for the bill”. Supports my point.
                      6:  National party. McCully. Did he vote against the repeal, then? Guess you might want to ask him what changed his mind.
                      7:SPCS. Broken link – might be my web. Didn’t expect much of an unbiased comment anyway.

                      So, of 7, those that were polls and even mentioned s59 (maybe 2 or 3) conflated the bill with other issues like making all light smacking child abuse or whatever.
                      So I think you’ve made a good case that people had no idea about what the bill actually meant.

                    • Well, shit, I disagree that the public didn’t know what they were voting on and I think it is plainly dishonest to say so. I also believe that is hypocritical to say the public didn’t know what they were doing so we can ignore the 80% that time but they shouldn’t be ignored this time…but I have been involved in this debate in some form or another for several days now and no-one has presented any evidence to me to the contrary outside their own opinions and none of the data I have presented has been accepted as evidence.

                      So it’s a stone wall.
                      Thanks for at least not resorting to name calling and other personal abuse. Perhaps we’ll talk again on another disputed point. 

                    • McFlock

                      I think there was a general ‘bill = bad’ vibe, but I also think that was simply because a number of pressure groups managed to link the bill with something other than what the bill represented.
                      Actually, I seem to recall having a similar debate about the food safety bill – my position was that it was a pretty minor streamlining of the current legislation, but others were claiming that one’s house could be searched without warrant if you gave a couple of garden spuds to a neighbour. No idea what happened with that – whether it was passed or kicked back to the bureaucracy, we seem to have had a shortage of doors kicked down by the food police. I oppose the idea of unwarranted unreasonable searches as much as the next guy, I just never saw it in the proposed bill. But a lot of people did.
                      Same with s59, imo – the debate was framed around ‘good parents being arrested’, not ‘bad parents not being able to get away with it’. ‘Mum and apple pie’ questions will always get the desired response, but they rarely give useful information about public opinion.

                    • McFlock

                      btw, I found it interesting that you appreciated the lack of abuse thrown in your direction but in the same comment called me “plainly dishonest” and “hypocritical”. 
                      I actually do think that people know their experience from previous asset sales, know what asset sales actually mean, and that the CIR question is tight enough to give a reasoned response. 
                      I don’t believe that the same can be said about the s59 repeal – I think there was a lot of bullshit and lies put about by scaremongerers for whatever reason, and the CIR question itself was so broad as to be a benign platitude that few people would disagree with. There’s a balance in getting a useful question vs getting 300k signatures, and I think the pro-s59 crowd went for popularity over substance.

                    • “my position was that it was a pretty minor streamlining of the current legislation, but others were claiming that one’s house could be searched without warrant if you gave a couple of garden spuds to a neighbour.”

                      Yeah there was a lot of bullshit being floated about the food bill (as you say) but there was nothing in it suggest you’d be arrested for giving someone some of your carrots.

                      “in the same comment called me “plainly dishonest” and “hypocritical”.”

                      No, I don’t mean you personally. I can think the position someone holds is dishonest without me thinking they are a dishonest person. I haven’t seen anything to suggest you personally are dishonest and believing a position to be hypocritical does not a personal attack make…not like say, calling someone an idiot saying they are stupid

                    • McFlock

                       I can think the position someone holds is dishonest without me thinking they are a dishonest person. 

                      really? You attribute intent and integrity to abstract statements, rather than the people who make them? 

                    • Like a dishonest argument, intellectually dishonest.

                      Like if I write a uni paper my lecturer can identify where my argument is dishonest (by omission or by making a logical fallacy) but that does not mean the lecturer is calling me a dishonest person

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah there was a lot of bullshit being floated about the food bill (as you say) but there was nothing in it suggest you’d be arrested for giving someone some of your carrots.

                      The point isn’t that it wasn’t in the bill, the point is that people really believed that it might be the case. 
                      Same with s59 repeal – a lot of people thought good parents might be locked up for child abuse. That is not and never was going to be the case. 

                    • McFlock

                      Like if I write a uni paper my lecturer can identify where my argument is dishonest (by omission or by making a logical fallacy) but that does not mean the lecturer is calling me a dishonest person


                      Well, I’ve not heard that use of “intellectually dishonest” without pejorative connotations about the arguer before, rather than it merely meaning an incomplete or flawed argument. Always as intentionally flawed. But whatever.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Nope, ’cause there was no smacking law to change. As was explained to you yesterday, as I recall. And no again, because that referendum was so badly worded, it was easily ignored by Parliament because there was no way of knowing what it really meant.

          • Herodotus

            You are full of it/ so over 300k who signed and the 84% did not know what they were supporting, and Clarke did not know that was why do much effort was placed in deferring the referendum to after the election.
            And sue bradfords ever changing judtification on why the law was needed was as consistent as nationals for asset sales. A different reason every other day.

    • McFlock 11.2

      well, we’d prefer a referendum before the assets were sold, but the ‘powers that be’ seem desperate to commit to a course of action before the people have an opportunity to say what they really want…

      • Pete George 11.2.1

        No, “the powers that be” signalled what they wanted to do 18 months ago, and put the appropriate legislation through parlament in a reasonably timely fashion (I know some have claimed it was cut short but I don’t know if that’s a legitimate complaint or just more stall tactics).

        The referendum process was started far too late, in fact possibly about a year too late. That isn’t the (current) government’s fault. We won’t even know if there will be a referendum until up to about 11 months after the legislation has passed through parliament.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          “…I don’t know if that’s a legitimate complaint…”

          Then why don’t you examine the facts of the matter – submitters insulted and ignored, reports prepared before deliberations were complete – and make your mind up then? Or is it more convenient to dribble weasel words?

        • McFlock

          National said, Act were obvious, UF were masters of ‘keeping national in check’ by rolling over for whatever national wanted. Except where the lie was so blatant that not even Dunne could bend over for it.

        • Nice try. The government never had adequate public support for its policies, the referendum is merely being used to show this and expose the government’s “mandate” spin as pure rubbish. It wouldn’t be necessary if they weren’t trying to push a policy New Zealand doesn’t want, no matter how you slice it.

          If the government cared about democracy, they wouldn’t have even proposed this policy. So we’ll put on pressure, as is our right.

          Please note that your “in a timely fashion” is our “curtailing legitimate debate and possible improvement via amendment and select committee, and extending this government’s record high statistics at doing so.”

          The mandate justification has been proven wrong. The economic justification is ‘not even wrong’, it’s so broken- in a few short years these sales will have lost the government money. There are only two possible reasons remaining to do this: pure ideology, and cronyism for your investor mates, with a possible honourable mention for ‘saving face’. Whichever applies, none of those are sufficient reasons to push through a drastic and wildly unpopular law.

  12. National have no mandate,end of, scrambling with cuppa teas and a wink and a nod
    of two questionable tail feathers hardly is enough for key to crow about,he should
    be ashamed of his actions in the run up to the election.
    His attitude is arrogant to say the least when it comes to nz taxpayer owned assets
    that were here long before he came back to these shores with a determination to
    empty the cupboards,he has no rights on this score,generations before him,current
    generations and future generations have more of a mandate to demand that strategic
    assets remain in all nz taxpayers hands as full and comprehensive entities.

  13. captain hook 13

    this government is expert at pretending that some things are too difficult for ordinary new zealanders to understand like the meaning of the word mandate.
    National was elected to form a government.
    That does not mean that every single policy they dream up gets carte blance.
    In a modern democracy the government of the day must see its policy undergo stringent scrutiny but this government is so scared of the public that every thing they do is sub rosa and only grudgingly exposed to the light of day.
    witness the policy rollouts on Sunday night that should have been released on Friday nights so people can discuss it.
    this government is really frightened by the public because in their heart of hearts they mean them no good.

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