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Breaking: Citizen’s Initiated Referendum Is On

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, September 2nd, 2013 - 99 comments
Categories: democratic participation, referendum, russel norman, twitter - Tags:

Russel Norman’s let the cat out of the bag with a series of tweets:

We’ve done it!! Citizen initated referendum on asset sales is on! #fb


OOps, there was an embargo on the CIR result until 1pm which I didn’t realise until after I tweeted. Apolgies to Clerk of the House


So is John Key still saying these 327,224 New Zealanders don’t exist? Such arrogance comes before a fall.

h/t r0b (he’s trying to take a break…)

Update: coverage at stuff and nzherald and nice graphic:



99 comments on “Breaking: Citizen’s Initiated Referendum Is On”

  1. r0b 1

    Newstalk ZB has published, so the cat is well and truly out of the bag:


    h/t r0b (he’s trying to take a break…)

    Yeah I am. It’s not easy!

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    Well done everyone 🙂

    Good timing too 🙂

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Mike Williams – please stop talking. Your time is gone.

    (He’s dismissing the referendum on Radio NZ now, acting as Hooton’s yes-man).

    A commentator for the “left” would a) be welcoming the referendum and b) remind listeners of what John Key said in 2008 – he basically called Clark a chicken and anti-democratic for not holding the so-called smacking referendum … so, over to you, John.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Mike Frakking Williams. I mean, seriously. Why have all these people been with Labour since the days of Douglas, Prebble and Caygill???

      • Sable 3.1.1

        Its like I have been saying Labour are no longer a party of the working person or the left. They are a bunch of right wing sell outs like National.

        • McFlock

          I wouldn’t go that far (surprise), but if you want a firmly “left” party then yeah: Mana, Greens, or the Alliance (or other non-parliamentary left parties) might be more your cup of tea.

          • weka

            Sorry, that’s not good enough. If Labour wants people like Mike Williams to be a spokesperson who agrees that with the likes of Hooton, then it should drop all pretense at being a left party and take over the ground about to be vacated by Peter Dunne. Labour don’t have to be as far left as Mana or the GP, but they do need to be specific if they want to use the term ‘left’.

            • Tigger

              Who voted Williams as a Labour ‘spokesperson’?

              • Paul

                The same people who vote Josie Pagani to do the same job.
                The corporate media.
                They go for compliant left so there is no alternative presented to people.
                Fox News do it all the time.
                Media in NZ is owned by large corporations.

            • McFlock

              It’s more complicated than that.

              First of all, is Williams a labour spokesperson, or just some talking head paid by the media to make pseudo-authoritative comments about labour?

              Secondly, while the repudiation of lab4 in the 2011 campaign was nice, anyone who’s still in labour and hoping for a clone of lab1, knowing full well that they didn’t renationalise everything in the nine years they had in power (after selling much of it the previous time), well… they’re morons. Labour isn’t tory like dunne, but it ain’t left like Savage, either.

              I think labour is slowly moving left again, but we need farther/”true” left parties (depending on one’s nomenclature) to add the real meat to the next government.

              • felix

                The problem I have is nothing to do with Labour but rather that in the media he’s presented as a voice “from the left“.

                I’d place him at the right end of the the Labour Party, and the Labour party itself on the right end of the broader left.

                Doesn’t seem like much of a counterbalance to Hooton who is well to the right of National.

                • McFlock

                  pretty much. But of course skewing the debate like that makes the tories look middle of the road and reasonable.

              • weka

                “First of all, is Williams a labour spokesperson”

                I was being a bit facetious, but maybe someone can clarify. Does Williams hold any official positions within the Labour party currently?

                • Anne

                  No. He stepped down as president in 2009 I think it was – not long after the 2008 defeat anyway. As far as I know he’s still a member of the party and is probably sought by some for advice, but he holds no official party position.

                • lprent

                  He has about as much as I do. Nothing apart from whatever he does at electorate level and as a member. Of course you don’t have to actually have to hold positions to have effect either.

      • Saarbo 3.1.2


        they continue to hang around Labour because they need Labour more than Labour needs them, they need to —- off. There is more than mike Williams in this tribe.

        This is great news, happy to say that I did some signature chasing, and got plenty of signatures from National voting people. This will be painful for National.

    • gobsmacked 3.2

      Here’s the Herald with some Key comments at the time …


      Maybe somebody could find the Hansard for that date in 2008? Key definitely attacked Clark in Parliament for disregarding the voters, I remember.

    • Rhinocrates 3.3

      I’ve long ago given up listening to that Monday “From the Right and From the Far Right” slot. The sound of Williams making squelching noises with Hoots for twenty minutes is more than I can stomach.

    • RedBaronCV 3.4

      This has to be idiot territory by Mike. All the polls indicate that a very large % of NZ think asset sales are rubbish. Why swim against a tide that strong?

      • Paul 3.4.1

        Because he does not represent those people.
        What is it like to sell your soul to the corporates, Mike?

    • Tim 3.5

      +1+1+1+1 ad infinitum.

      Please Mike. I know times are getting desperate, but I fear I’ll be seeing you round sometime in the near future as some muttering old doddera in a town or city somewhere near as I pass through.
      It’ll be along the lines of “I used to be the Labor [note the loss of the ‘u’] Party president dontcha know”!
      The rest of the Tauranga or Papamoa, or Martinborough, or Nelson, or Eketahuna residents will be giving Moik a wide berth as they walk along the retirement-city township exclaiming “poor old Mike – you know he meant well”. The local RSA will of course have been long dead – sold to the local golf course entrepreneur/operator, and Radio NZ will have been sold to The Radio Network and rebranded as “The Voice of the New Zill People/Sounds like Them”.
      Earnie Abbott and a generation of others won’t just be turning in their graves, they’ll be positively vibrating and gyrating

    • Craig Y 3.6

      Really? I’m opposed to asset sales and I’m not overly enthusiastic about the referendum solution. What if the Nats turn around and use this as an excuse to further cut health and social services? When are we going to see an elaborated capital gain tax policy from Labour and the Greens, given that it is our policy response to asset sales? And what about members of the Maori, LGBT and immigrant communities who are concerned at the potential abuse of right-wing populist referenda against our human rights and civil liberties? It’s a *non-binding* referendum. To make it binding would create all sorts of right-wing populist malevolence.

  4. Tigger 4

    Great news. Now to counter the Tory spin machine.

    • Mary 4.1

      Watch Key ignore everything, even start to speed the sales up.

      • Clement Pinto 4.1.1

        I think in his gambling mind set, his calculation will be that he will most probably lose at the election next year whether he stops asset sales or not. So, he will feel that it is more profitable for him and his rich mates if he hocks the nation’s silver now and bugger off after the election with a big chunk of the profitable power shares. Bugger the people.

  5. Sable 5

    The little emperor wont like this, we will finally we will see what people really think of Keys asset sales rather than listening to National and the mainstream media’s spin on the whole thing. Good job Russell.

  6. pollywog 6

    Cheeehooo…The only man date Key ever had was the one with his bankster mates where they tell him what to do.

  7. Mr Interest 7


    ELECTRIC POWERED CARS (i.e. whether its the hydrogen fuel or actual batteries…. you going to need electricity to do it) – STOP THE DEBT of OIL

    Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. ( NSANY ) reported a massive 335% increase in sales of its hatchback electric car LEAF in U.S since the launch of the 2013 model in Mar 2013. LEAF has been Nissan’s bestselling car in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. Alongside, the company also witnessed burgeoning demand for electric vehicles outside the traditional West Coast market, i.e., in “New Wave” markets across the country

    Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/nissans-2013-leaf-sales-surge-335-analyst-blog-cm271134#ixzz2dgigoEYI

    Nissan has witnessed 8.5% year-on-year growth in sales so far this year. The increase was driven by record-breaking U.S. monthly sales in 4 out of 7 months. The biggest contribution came from year-over-year increase in the sales of Nissan LEAF and a surge in the sales of the redesigned Pathfinder SUV.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZK3l0-sEVc (BBC HARDtalk – Carlos Ghosn – CEO, Renault-Nissan) A good interview by Steven Sacher, asking briefly some hard questions on electric car

    Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. ( NSANY ) reported a massive 335% increase in sales of its hatchback electric car LEAF in U.S since the launch of the 2013 model in Mar 2013. LEAF has been Nissan’s bestselling car in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. Alongside, the company also witnessed burgeoning demand for electric vehicles outside the traditional West Coast market, i.e., in “New Wave” markets across the country

    Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/nissans-2013-leaf-sales-surge-335-analyst-blog-cm271134#ixzz2dgigoEYI

    Nissan has witnessed 8.5% year-on-year growth in sales so far this year. The increase was driven by record-breaking U.S. monthly sales in 4 out of 7 months. The biggest contribution came from year-over-year increase in the sales of Nissan LEAF and a surge in the sales of the redesigned Pathfinder SUV.

    Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/nissans-2013-leaf-sales-surge-335-analyst-blog-cm271134#ixzz2dgiptAbG

  8. Tracey 8

    Will it be held before the election? If yes, the numbers who bother to vote will be interesting.

  9. ak 9

    Well done all of you. Have a hooly and come back for a big push.

    Letters to the ed by the zillion

    Leaflets in every box in the country

    Vote YES for asset sales when you see National people selling THEIR profitable farms and businesses.

    If you want to keep OURS, vote NO.


  10. bad12 10

    Excellent result for everyone involved, and, in a strange paradox the delay while more signatures were sought might have a silver lining in that held even closer to November 2014 the results of the referendum might be fresher in the minds as people go to the polls,

    Russell you are so bad in tweeting the news befor the embargo was lifted, keep this behavior up and i will require a name change to bad13 after having to induct you into the bads,

    Your burst of excitement is of course forgiven and if it happens again i will have to donate another 20 to the campaign, while telling you just how bad you are and listening to the mad laughter emanating from up my sleeve….

  11. Ad 11

    Standard question to put to all three of the Labour leadership candidates:

    “Will you commit to bringing back these sold assets into New Zealand public hands by enabling Kiwisaver, NZSuper, and ACC funds to buy back the sold assets over time?”

    • alwyn 11.1

      I see you appear to be following the approach of the Argentinian Government.
      In order to get the money to carry out some of their wilder schemes they simply seized, and then squandered all the private superannuation schemes’ money.
      Why should the state be allowed to seize, and spend as they see fit MY savings in MY retirement scheme. Leave KiwiSaver alone!

      • Richard Christie 11.1.1

        Yeah, better Kiwisaver funds are left alone and continue with Nat’s scheme of making it available to fuel the property bubble and enrich speculators.

      • Ad 11.1.2

        Simple selfishness. You clearly have no idea how small and weak you are, and New Zealand is, if our remaining collective force is thrown to the world. We need the power to choose more local ownership with more local savings.

      • felix 11.1.3

        “Why should the state be allowed to seize, and spend as they see fit MY savings in MY retirement scheme. Leave KiwiSaver alone!”

        Hey alwyn, you must be livid with John Key for passing a law to allow the state to seize the money in your bank account if they need it to bail out a failing bank then, eh?

        • alwyn

          Not at all. I suggest you learn what the proposal to apply a “hair-cut” to deposits in a failing bank actually means. You have clearly never read the details of the Reserve Bank proposal.
          The bank is not going to be “bailed out” as you call it. It is going to be wound up and the shareholders in the bank will lose ALL their investment. The amount taken from depositors in the bank covers the amount by which the bank’s liabilities exceeds its assets.
          It also applies only to deposits in the failing bank. It doesn’t mean that the Government can take money out of my account at bank A if dodgy bank B goes bust.
          What do you prefer? Do you want the situation thaat the last Labour Government brought in, where the taxpayer bore all the losses and the depositor, no matter how reckless, lost nothing?
          Some left wing politicians, particularly of the Green persuasion talk about Kiwisaver as being funds that they should control, and that they can invest, no matter how crazy the investment. It is not their money. It is the property of the person who holds the account, and whos retirement fund it is.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    The question I have asked of over a dozen top Labour MPs over the years (including Cunliffe and Robertson): “Do you approve of BINDING citizens initiated referendums.

    All answer, “No. No. No. No.”

    If we had the same constitution as Switzerland, 50,000 signatures would have gotten us a BINDING referendum.

    • Roflcopter 12.1

      All well and good, until someone runs one on bringing back (at worse case) capital punishment, or “life means life” with no parole.

      • Tigger 12.1.1

        Or that marriage equality should be undone or Maori seats abolished etc. Tyranny of the majority is very possible.

        • Winston Smith

          Yeah its a bugger for the left when pesky democracy gets in the way…

        • Mike S

          That’s what democracy is, majority rules.

          • gobsmacked

            That’s what democracy is, majority rules.

            Go to bottom of class. Homework: 20th century history. See: minorities, oppression of.

            It’s kind of scary that anyone should misunderstand democracy that badly.

            • SpaceMonkey

              “Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.”
              – Oscar Wilde.

            • Mike S

              Hahaha, teach me then. Please explain how democracy is not majority rules.

          • lurgee

            We have a representative democracy, where decisions are taken by our proxies, not by a mob of whipped up furies. Binding referenda are somewhat contrary to representative democracy. If you want something done, persuade a politician to introduce a bill or set up your own party and persuade people you are correct.

            • Clement Pinto

              Excellent point.
              If the majority of ‘people’ are really against a law passed by the majority of MPs in the parliament, then at the next election, the majority of people should vote that government out of office and bring in new legislation to repeal or mitigate the effects of the previous unpopular law. There is no other civilised, fair way.

    • infused 12.2

      Would have got you mob rules.

  13. Winston Smith 13

    Why not just vote National out at the next election and save us an estimated 30 million? Or will this be a referendum like the smacking….

    • felix 13.1

      Voting National out is going to save a hell of a lot more than that, Winston.

      • Winston Smith 13.1.1

        Yeah I could have put that better…

        Why waste 30 mill on a meaningless referendum (anti-smacking, 120 mps to 99) when instead you could just vote National out of office

        • gobsmacked

          Because the referendum law passed by the National government allows for this action. So, people make use of it.

          If you don’t like CIRs, ask John Key to scrap the law. He won’t, and you won’t.

          Personally I think the Citizens Initiated Referendum law should be updated. It is bad for democracy to both encourage and discourage participation – first people work hard to get the signatures, then the referendum is held, then the gov’t of the day ignores them. It devalues our votes.

          There should be a workable compromise where a referendum (non-binding) can be held on a piece of legislation (not “Would you like a pony?) and a gov’t response should be required, as people like Andrew Geddes etc have suggested.

          • chris73

            You make some good points, why have a referendum when the politicians will just ignore it (at a cost of many millions)

            • McFlock

              because they have to ignore it, and blatantly, rather than pretending that people agree with their idiotic actions.

            • gobsmacked

              1) Because National promised the use of referenda in their 1990 election campaign. Then they passed this law. So take it up with them.

              2) Here are some quotes for you …

              The Prime Minister is “arrogantly out of touch” and “running scared” on the issue. “The government does not like the New Zealand public being able to express their view on democracy … Why does the Prime Minister not just admit s/he finds the voters of New Zealand an annoyance?”

              The words of John Key, 2008. He seemed quite keen on a referendum back then. Now it’s just an expensive toy, apparently.

              • Tracey

                another flip flop… remember when he called WFF as “communism by stealth”… and kept it.

        • Don't worry. Be happy.

          You know that “anti smacking petition”? Well I was asked to sign in at a kindergarten by a teacher there. I refused and said I didn’t agree that people who assaulted their children should have a legal defense. She argued with me…”No, no no” she said. “This is the anti smacking petition. It’s against smacking.” So if she was tricked into backing the petition by the slick use of a name for a petition that actually meant the opposite…how many of those who signed it were also fooled?

    • lurgee 13.2

      I wonder if National might hold the referendum sooner rather than later, and ‘Listen to the will of the New Zealand people’ and stop all (new) sales? If National have the wit to announce that they have ‘come to realise people feel very strongly on this’ and though they have ‘a clear mandate to complete these reforms’ they will ‘not proceed with any more sales at this time’ it will remove a significant negative.

      That would be a bit annoying as making 2014 a vote on asset sales would have been quite good for Labour.

  14. Because, Winston Smith, the referendum and the attention it will draw to the theft that is the ‘Key asset sale’ will ensure the ousting of National – now that’s what I call a good investment.

    • Winston Smith 14.1

      So its a $ 30 million political message paid for by the tax payer…well played Greens, very devious but a shame it won’t work

      • felix 14.1.1

        Gawd it’s awful how democracy allows for the commoners to have a political voice.

      • framu 14.1.2

        the greens arent leading this WS, they are just the most visible – it was grey power that got the ball rolling here.

        And i think you would be surprised on how it will affect the voters – but yeah, national arent going to listen are they, which will in turn affect the voters some more

        PS: party budget spending complaints arent the issue as each party can spend their budget on whatever they feel like

      • MrSmith 14.1.3

        Winston your a typical tory pulling numbers like $30 mil out of your ass, how you lot run businesses is beyond me, the estimate if the referendum is held outside an election is $9 mil i believe.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yep, $9m and it’s already being touted by the MSM as a huge amount. Something that they didn’t do for the $30m that this government gave to Rio Tinto.

      • Pete 14.1.4

        Asset sales make as much sense as paying your mortgage with your credit card. If you want to attack fiscal irresponsibility, attack that.

      • Half Crown 14.1.5

        Amasing, how the commentators from the right can always point to the “mismanagement” of finances by the left by having things like referendums and decent wages and conditions for all New Zealanders, when slime bag Key and his pack of merry crooks waste money on the hour and half hour and it is classed as good management. Like

        30 Mil to Reo Tinto
        Millions to Jackson and Warners
        Money wasted on promoting MRP The price of the shares that mums & dads did not buy are now in a free fall
        Further millions promoting further asset sales.
        Roads to fucking nowhere.
        Loss of income as the profits from the asset sales now go to spiv mates of slime bag key

        I also thought the referendum was going to cost 9 mil not 30 mil. But there again there is nothing like a good bit of right wing bullshit again.

  15. Tracey 15

    Referendums are a good idea if there is honest factual information surrounding them. That’s not going to happen because by definition they are politicised. I was pleased that s59a was repealed even though 80-something% of those who voted in that referendum wanted to keep the old law…

    • Pasupial 15.1

      From a TV3 article (I don’t know why the justice system one has no associated date), does anyone here know what; if any, law changes resulted from these referenda?

      Past citizens-initiated referenda

      December 2, 1995: “Should the number of professional firefighters employed full time in the New Zealand Fire Service be reduced below the number employed on 1 January 1995?” Yes: 12.2 percent. No: 87.8 percent. Turnout: 27 percent.
      November 27, 1999 (two referenda on election day): “Should the size of the House of Representatives be reduced from 120 members to 99 members?” Yes: 81.5 percent. No: 18.5 percent. Turnout: 84.8 percent.
      “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?” Yes: 91.8 percent. No: 8.2 percent. Turnout: 84.8 percent.
      August 25, 2009: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” Yes: 11.98 percent. No: 87.4 percent. Turnout: 56.09 percent.
      29 other petitions since 1993 have failed to gain enough signatures to force a referendum.

      Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Asset-petition-triggers-referendum/tabid/1607/articleID/311520/Default.aspx#ixzz2djRlr16V

    • Molly 15.2

      US ballot papers are an alternative idea. Probably, used when it comes to discretional funding and policies, but apparently it takes a while to place your vote in the US.

      Not a simple two ticks every three years.

  16. emergency mike 16


    “However, Mr Key says the mixed-ownership model for state-owned enterprises was a policy National campaigned on in the last general election which was, in essence, a referendum, he says.

    “National won that election on the back of this major policy platform with an overwhelming majority – the biggest result we received in MMP history. So it isn’t like this was something that wasn’t debated.”

    Ha John Key is still trying to pretend the last general election was a referendum on asset sales. Nah, I’m pretty sure it was a general election. But the referendum on asset sales that we will be having sometime in the next 12 months, I’m pretty sure that will be a referendum on asset sales.

    “Mr Key believes the turnout will be “relatively low” and most who vote on it will likely be opposed to asset sales and will not be representative.”

    So, wait what? According to his logic the election was a referendum on asset sales and gave them a mandate. But an actual referendum on asset sales won’t be representative because of ‘relatively low’ turnout. First, how does he know there will be a low turnout, or that that will mean it won’t be representative? Second, ‘relative’ to what? Third, the 2011 election saw the lowest voter turnout in a NZ election ever. So maybe that wasn’t very representative eh?

    • chris73 16.1


      Phil Goff (remember him?) also said it but no doubt you’ll just ignore that

      • emergency mike 16.1.1

        Phil Goff saying something doesn’t make it automatically true just because he said it. I guess you must be a big Goff fan to be so believing of him, I’m sorry but there it is.

        So do you think the 2011 general election was a general election or a referendum on asset sales chris73?

      • miravox 16.1.2

        Pretty hard to present something said by Phil Goff as something that a fair chunk of left-wingers would say represented their views, I suspect. So yeah, I’ll just ignore that.

      • felix 16.1.3

        “Phil Goff (remember him?) also said it but no doubt you’ll just ignore that”

        And? What if it was?

        Does that mean that’s the last time anyone gets a say on the matter?

        By that logic we needn’t be bothering with general elections either. Fark it, the people have elected a National govt so let’s just have National govts from 93 til infinity.

        • chris73

          If the leader of the opposition says in the run up to an election its a referendum and the leader of the country says its a referendum then its a pretty good bet its a referendum

          Which the left lost by the way if you had forgotten

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            😆 whining much?

            • Winston Smith

              Just pointing out we’ve had an unofficial referendum which the left lost and now we’ll have a non-binding referendum which won’t happen

              But well done to the Greens and Labour for getting an extra 9 mill in political advertising, quite smart of them really

          • emergency mike

            “If the leader of the opposition says in the run up to an election its a referendum and the leader of the country says its a referendum then its a pretty good bet its a referendum”

            Because it’s completely beyond the realms of possibility that Goff said it because he thought it would help his election chances (the public being against asset sales & all). Right? And Key said it because selling our assets to his rich mates is his whole raison d’PM, so pretending that a NAct win is a tacit approval from NZ on asset sales is pure spin.

            At a general election chris, people are voting on many different issues. And also on what party they think is best to run the country, which involves a lot more than just asset sales. Asset sales was a big issue because it was one of the few clear points of difference between Labour and NAct. But to claim that that’s all it was about is retarded.

            Then there’s the fact that it was a general election, not a referendum on asset sales chris. There’s that. You know, a fact.

            But if you don’t find facts convincing, there’s also that every opinion poll was and is against asset sales. So if it had been a referendum on asset sales they would have lost. They didn’t lose, so it wasn’t a referendum.

            John Bankster Key won the election in spite of the asset sales policy, not because of it.

    • Hayden 16.2

      Someone should remind him that 47.31% isn’t a majority, even when adding 1.07% (United Future) and 0.6% (ACT).

      On a related note, is that the lowest result for a party with a Member in the House? Jim Anderton’s Progressives managed 0.91% in 2008…

    • BrucetheMoose 16.3

      Key has again dismissed the referendum result at this weeks standard issue PM’s BS Press Conference with his usual deranged megalomaniac view of nearly everybody voted for fantastic me so I can do what the hell I like reasoning here – http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1309/S00016/pm-press-conference-syria-living-wage-asset-sales.htm
      Judging from the photos in the article, the authoritarian theatrical theme seems to be going well for him. Reading Dictatorship For Dummies is really paying off. Not sure about what the rest of NZ thinks about the power stage look, but hey, it’s not like Johnny cares too much about what Kiwis opinions are anyway, as long as it fools them his way that is.
      Anyway, Heil Key. I mean Hi Key

      • fender 16.3.1

        “The government provided support for low income workers through initiatives such as kiwi saver, he said.”

        wtf, that’s a lame bit of spin..

        He looks like Pete George in the bottom photo,

  17. feijoa 17

    Who has the say on how a referendum is worded?
    I have found the wording on some in the past has been very , well, dodgy in terms of clarity and intent, – I’m trying to remember some examples, but fail….
    Will the Greens have a say on the actual wording or will it get manipulated by the Nats?

  18. Tim 18

    “OOps, there was an embargo on the CIR result until 1pm which I didn’t realise until after I tweeted. Apolgies to Clerk of the House”
    Mary Harris?
    I’m sure she’ll cope! After all – she’s got bigger and better fuckwits to have to deal with. Actually – she’s got half a house and more!

  19. Swan 19

    The wording is very broad. They name several different companies, including Air NZ where they are only proposing selling 30%. Also no counterfactual is described.

    So no matter the result it is unclear the relevance it will have to any political party’s policies.

    • Pasupial 19.1


      30% is included as being up to 49%. But, yes; I’m sure that sociopaths and lawyers could drive a herd of sheep through the gaps in that wording.

      The jargon; “…no counterfactual is described”, probably has a specific meaning in your circles. To me, it just sounds like your complaining that there’s not enough lies.

      • swan 19.1.1

        Yeah the point is, selling 49% of Air New Zealand would leave the government with a minority shareholding only. And there might be a lot of people against this. So the question is asking if people are happy with the government potentially selling down to a minority shareholding in Air NZ. This would lead them to vote No. But this is not government policy.

        The thing about a “do you support x, y and z” question is that you have to support every part to say yes, but only need to not support one part to answer no.

        For example, whilst I am quite happy with the current governments policies, I would probably have to vote no, as I dont think it is the right time to sell 49% of solid energy given the precarious state of its finances. I doubt the government will be selling solid energy in its current state.

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  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    2 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    2 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    2 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    3 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    3 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    3 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    4 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    4 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    4 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    5 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    5 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    1 week ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    1 week ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    1 week ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago