Can National lose Northland?

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, March 23rd, 2015 - 99 comments
Categories: by-election, national - Tags: , ,

Like Danyl at Dim-Post I find it hard to believe that National could lose Northland. They have huge resources to throw at it, both as a party (massive polling, phone banks, transport, hordes of “Key people”) and as a government ($69 million for bridges any one?). They have a PM who is unencumbered by scruples and will say and do anything for power. Surely they are going to safely beat one old codger in a bus?

Having said that they truly are making a mess of things. If this Claire Trevett column accurately reflects the Northland mood then people are seeing through the Nats:

National Party’s beeline for Northland

This is what scrabbling for survival looks like. It’s a lazy Sunday in Mangawhai and there are few locals about. There are, however, a lot of National Party people about.

They have been at the market, grabbed lunch and hit the shops. … There is National Party president Peter Goodfellow, another couple of board members, and the minister for the day, Amy Adams. MPs Scott Simpson, David Bennett and Jian Yang also pop in. Neighbouring Rodney MP Mark Mitchell is a constant presence. Adams observes they are wearing matching outfits: “The two Marks are starting to couples-dress. You must be spending too much time together.”

When they hit the shops there are more blue shirts than voters. An elderly couple is watching and Scott Dalziel tells Osborne “My gosh you must be worried. Look at them all.” Osborne recites his line about being a team, and the man replies, “A team? You’re a bloody army”.

“Scrabbling for survival” – ouch. Nor did Osborne’s handlers do their cause any favours this weekend by trying to hide him from a face to face debate with Peters:

Q+A: National’s Mark Osborne denies scaredy cat claims

National’s Mark Osborne denied claims that he’s too scared to debate his main rival Winston Peters in person. Speaking from Mangawhai Mr Osborne told TV One’s Q+A programme, “Oh, not at all. Not scared at all. Not one bit. We’re out here talking to voters in the electorate.” Both the leading candidates of the Northland by-election were invited to a face to face debate in our studio however, Winston Peters was the only one to accept.

So Mark Osborne phoned it in. That’s a very bad look – but it got worse. From the transcript (NBR paywall):

MICHAEL But are you scared to take on the man you are going head to head with in this contest?

MARK Oh, not at all. Not scared at all. Not one bit. We’re out here talking to voters in the electorate.

MICHAEL Can I just ask you? Steven Joyce, I understand, is in the room there. Could you just point out for me where he’s standing at the moment?

MARK Uh, just back there.

MICHAEL Just behind the camera? Is he giving you a bit of information, a few tips, is he?

MARK Not at all. Not—Not at all.

So not only did Osborne not face Peters in the Studio, they had Joyce there supervising. Commentary on twitter at the time was brutal, and had Osborne glancing to the side before answering questions. It looks like a puppet, and sounds like a puppet, and they have ten bridges to sell you!

Personally, I still believe that National will win Northland. But they don’t deserve to. Could they have made a bigger mess of it?

99 comments on “Can National lose Northland?”

  1. infused 1

    probably.

    slightly off topic, but I just noticed with this northland by-election how fat a lot of our mps are. not a good look.

  2. Colonial Rawshark 2

    NATs will win by around 1,500 votes I think. But for Winnie, that slashed blue majority is a win as well. He’s already worked this all out, the old sea dog.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      What about Focus NZ backing Winston? They got 1700 at the GE.

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.1

        I only just realised that was a thing. National have a very very hard road to hoe now. Which is why I suppose they are playing their urgent game of a Cabinet Minister a day up there.

        • Robert Glennie 2.1.1.1

          Any loss of votes and/or seat to an opposition party is going to hurt National. When Winston decided to campaign, that wise old fox knew – or least had a pretty good idea – of what the potential outcomes are.

  3. swordfish 3

    I’ve just created a map of the Booth-by-Booth 2014 Party-Vote in Northland. It’s not particularly useful for predicting whether or not Peters will win, of course, but might provide some interesting contextual information.

    I’m doing it for an upcoming blog post where I also set-out the combined Northland / Te Tai Tokerau vote*** and ask whether claims that the overwhelming majority of Northland Maori are on the TTT Roll are actually true.

    Then I’ll look at the geography of the 2014 Party-Vote using this map and a few other graphics. You’ll notice that, although Northland is a solidly Blue seat (though not, I’d argue, quite the stronghold that most pundits suggest), there is a decidedly Red area in the west. No coincidence that it’s also a largely Maori region. I’m thinking of calling it (somewhat ostentatiously) the Hokianga-Kaikohe Red Belt.

    ***Just those TTT votes from people within the Northland boundaries.

    Map here…http://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/Northland%20Party-Vote%202014:%20Booth-by-Booth/O0LSZEvYA5

    • veutoviper 3.1

      That map is fascinating – thanks Swordfish!

      I look forward to your blog post and hope you will post a link here when it is ready.

      • swordfish 3.1.1

        Cheers, veuto. Scribblemaps doesn’t seem to have a Map Legend facility but I’ll stick an explanation of the colours/data/circle sizes on my blog post (once it’s published in the next few days). Note, too, that (in bottom right corner) you can change background from Satellite to Terrain, Road or Hybrid.

    • Tracey 3.2

      fab

    • Murray Rawshark 3.3

      All the areas of property development and speculation give a Tory majority. What a surprise.

      I think Winnie can win.

  4. saveNZ 4

    I hope Winston Wins.

    It is not just the bribes and threats, but it is clear that National has no talent. Why choose Osbourne? What criminal charges is Sabin facing they want to hide?

    The National MP’s are just vegetables of ideology, run by Key, Joyce and Brownlee and the master chief is somewhere in the US by the looks of things.

    National are selling off the state houses.

    Under the Supercity they are stealing our wharves.

    They are propping up gambling and selling off public land with SkySore.

    They are wrecking the country with the RMA.

    Selling off NZ with TPP.

    They are absolute traitors to NZ.

    I just hope Northland ‘sends them a message’.

  5. Ffloyd 5

    It’s not really National though, is it? It is now #team key. Why else would Osborne be chosen who has obviously taken the blood oath with key and sworn undying allegiance to him. He comes across as very dim, so malleable! (i.e. “I can’t name all the bridges because they have different names⁉

    I can’t see any of the other candidates being as biddable as ossie is.

    National has been hijacked!

    • Emalitza 5.1

      He also named John Key as his ‘Political Hero in a question posed to him by the Herald on Sunday.

      Who is your political hero and why?
      John Key, because he is truly backing all New Zealanders to succeed and is a great example that through hard work and a positive attitude, anything is possible.

      Urgh.

  6. mickysavage 6

    The “debate” was a train wreck. As Felix said yesterday in open mike:

    “Jeebers.

    After watching that video I’m convinced that Mark Osborne has been abducted and is being held by Joyce, Key and Farrar against his will.

    He almost certainly has a shotgun pointed at his face through that whole debate.

    They won’t let him go to the tv studio in Auckland because they can’t control the hostage there.”

  7. fisiani 7

    National versus NZF/Labour/Greens/Mana. Of course National will lose. Do you really think National are invincible?

    • felix 7.1

      I think you mean “National/ACT/United Future/maori Party/Conservatives”

    • b waghorn 7.2

      Whats this !!you giving the 4 parties with integrity a chance against god key his 2 lap poodles and the invisible Maori party??

    • Lanthanide 7.3

      Is this a prediction for the next election, or what?

      Very odd comment.

    • Skinny 7.4

      This by election is a fraud and should be held again when the facts are put in front of voters to make an informed decision. Already I know of 2 church people that have voted National/Osbourne and have since heard from a respected person the rumours surrounding Sabin’s resignation. They are disgusted and feel let down that they have voted for a man (Osbourne) closely linked to Sabin. So expect the by election to be staged again if Osborne wins under false pretenses. In other words Peters may get another bite at the cherry.

      • b waghorn 7.4.1

        @ skinny “So expect the by election to be staged again if Osborne wins under false pretenses”
        Is that a real possibility.

        • Maui 7.4.1.1

          Agree Skinny, this election is a sham. How can people make an informed choice on who to vote for when all the facts aren’t in the public domain on why the last guy resigned.. Democracy has been dictated to the people of Northland by the ruling party.

        • Skinny 7.4.1.2

          I believe so, and rightfully so there will be a public outcry should he win. Osbourne or any other executive on Nationals Northland comittee should not have been allowed to be nominated in the run off to becoming the party candidate.

          The calculated last day continuation of name suppression is not good politics it is corruption. Key should have done the decent thing and insisted in transparency, and let their political fortunes rest on coming out, all be the timing being belated but still time enough for voters to .make an informed decision.

    • Murray Rawshark 7.5

      National vs human decency and respect for the sexual safety of minors. National had better bloody well lose.

  8. jenny kirk 8

    Osborne didn’t appear on Willie Jackson’s Marae TV programme either : its difficult to link to, but you can find it (I think) on TV on Demand. A really good backgrounder not only on the buy-election, but also on Northern Maori and the strength of Ngapuhi in Parliament over the years.

  9. Bill 9

    This early voting stuff…

    …from the scattered attention I’ve been paying, ‘everyone’ seems to assume that early votes are going to National, but is it not as reasonable to assume that early voters know damned fine well that they don’t want National and so have gone out and voted for the only sensible alternative?

    • Skinny 9.1

      A good share of the early votes will have gone to Prime some loyal voters will have made that choice in case they were told to vote for Peters.

  10. Bearded Git 10

    My back of envelope calculation, taking into account Greens and Conservatives not standing and 2/3 of Labour’s votes and most of FocusNZ’s votes going to Winston is that around 25% of the 18,000 that voted for National at the GE need to vote for Winston.

    This is entirely do-able because of:
    1. Winston effect
    2. Sabin effect
    3. Lacklustre and arrogant National since GE (Sky City, RMA ramming through etc)
    4. Terrible campaign by National
    5. Poor candidate for National
    6. High level of enrolement and early voting now taking place

    • Phil 10.1

      1. Winston effect
      You’re assuming that every single voter on ‘the left’ dislikes Winston less than they dislike National. That’s a big assumption.

      2. Sabin effect
      Sabin is gone. That’s why we’re having a by-election. I haven’t seen any evidence that the new guy is ‘tainted’ by Sabin in the eyes of voters.

      3. Lacklustre and arrogant National since GE (Sky City, RMA ramming through etc)
      Yeah, but any third-term government is going to look lacklustre and arrogant.

      4. Terrible campaign by National
      Through the lense of a wellington voter, yes. It looks like a fiasco. However, the boots on the ground that the Nats can deploy will be working in their favour.

      5. Poor candidate for National
      There are a lot of poor candidates up and down the country at a general election. They tend not to get much attention, but the media can focus a lot more energy on a single candidate in a by election.

      6. High level of enrollment and early voting now taking place
      It’s impossible to know one way or the other what early-voting means for the result. You could make a plausible case that early-voters are the ones with the strongest affiliation to a specific party, which would tend to favour National ahead of NZF.

      All in all, the characteristics of this by-election don’t look especially different from any other third-term by-election.

      • rawshark-yeshe 10.1.1

        you overlook the ‘characteristic’ that is the fraud perpetrated on Northland and the country by John Key covering up and ignoring allegations against Sabin since prior to the 2011 general election, according to NBR, whom, to date, have not been sued.

        let’s call it the ‘corruption characteristic’ and agree it is unknowable at this point. but does it remain so until Saturday ?

  11. Lanthanide 11

    “Could they have made a bigger mess of it?”

    Yes. Just look at Melissa Lee running in Mt Albert: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2410051/Lee-issues-full-apology

  12. fisiani 12

    If you look at Ipredict the chance of Osbourne winning are just 28%. I expect Winston to get a 2,000 majority.

  13. saveNZ 13

    Lets hope that Labour does not get the votes that make Winston lose, and let Osbourne through.

    It will benefit Labour if Winston wins, and depress many of those in Labour if he doesn’t and Willow-prime’s votes are why.

    • Maui 13.1

      Labour should have to pay for grief counselling for left voters if that happens. And Andrew Little should be made to ride the NZ First Bus to work.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 13.1.1

        Northland By-Election March 2015:

        Vote Labour, get National.

  14. Michael 14

    Labour and the Greens must actively campaign for Winston and turn out their voters. It’s probably true, however, that people in Northland have very low expectations of their political representatives (they’ve been let down many times before); if so, they’ll put up with Osbourne. After the 28th, the Nats will ignore Northland again and the region will go back to sleep. Unless WInston wins, of course.

  15. Jay 15

    Some hilarious comments here very entertaining, especially from Mickey Savage.

    Has anything not gone wrong for national?

    First Sabin going, then the PM boldly proclaiming Winston had “zero” chance, then Osborne getting the nomination in the first place, then the bridge bribe/blackmail, the army of MPs/babysitters, not knowing the names of the bridges, now this debate farce with Osborne performing with a pistol clapped to his head. It’s a bloody embarrassment.

    It’s been such a cluster I am starting to hope Winston wins. Which I expect he will for a number of reasons, not the least of which may be the constituents wanting to give National a pasting for being so inept.

    It’s literally a comedy of errors, John Key must have his head permanently in his hands. What on earth is next?

  16. Treetop 16

    To get a list seat and an electorate seat which would leave the government a vote short, just might be enough to get many erratic voters to the booth.

    Winston by 383 votes.

    The only good thing that National have to look forward to this week is the cricket.
    Todays 3 strikes: housing flop, GCSB micro management and hand holding of Osborne; it’s a duck of a day.

    And I suppose no televised cricket tomorrow for the poor people.

    Stupid Nats could have milked the cricket and got a few more votes had TVNZ televised the first time NZ have reached a semi final.

    The reason for more early voting for the by election is the cricket final.

    Note: I need to check if Prime are not televising and if the final is on Saturday.

  17. Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ DLANZ 17

    Hope you are wrong Anthony about the result as when the resignation of Mike Sabin came up DLANZ ‘jumped’ with glee at the prospect of a bye election, given the close call in Parliament should there be a change….A Hung Parliament until 2017 needs a cohesive strategy by Opposition parties for this to come about..

    Winston certainly has taken up the ‘mantle’ with zeal and National will have to lift their game, if they wish to retain this Seat. DLANZ encourage all voters with or without disabilities to get out and vote early and for those not yet registered, to do so.

    Good Luck for Change and keep smiling
    Doug Hay
    Coordinator

    • Anne 17.1

      Look what happened in Queensland. All the expert pundits were calling it for the Liberals and Labour – against all the odds – won in the end. Replace Labour with NZFirst and we might have another electoral upset.

  18. AUDNZD 18

    Very much so. National will possibly lose the seat as a result of its dreadful mistakes.
    The downside will be the elevation in popularity of that snake-oil seller, Winston Peters, an unprincipled individual.

  19. AUDNZD 19

    The spectacle of Green Party supporters swallowing a big rat and voting for Peters, their avowed enemy, must be the supreme irony of 2015.

    • Lanthanide 19.1

      Or, they could just not vote.

    • Macro 19.2

      And just why do you think the Greens could not work with NZF? Only those with little knowledge of the Greens would post a comment such as yours.

      • Chooky 19.2.1

        +100 Macro

      • Phil 19.2.2

        Because Winston has made it pretty clear he’ll never work with the Greens?
        It’s pretty much the one thing he’s never been duplicitous or facile on.

        • Macro 19.2.2.1

          Maybe Winston won’t work with the Greens – but that doesn’t go for the rest of his party. Nor does it explain away the fact that the Green’s work issue by issue. A fact most here (including you) fail to understand. Take for instance Tracey Martin’s recently failed Bill on Rental House Warrants of Fitness. That is an Issue that would have gained full support from the Greens. Winston’s proposed rail link will also gain full support from the Green’s. Winston’s free health care for all children is another issue that gains full Green support.
          It really isn’t rocket science. If the issue is one they can support then the Greens will support it. And as they have proved in the past, they will work with any party to further their policies, for the betterment of NZ.

  20. McFlock 20

    I initially thought that (despite their contemptible nature) the nats were a walk in, and thought that peters might give them a bit of a fright by cutting their majority.

    But the nats are shitting themselves. Even fizzianus is foretelling a glorious defeat. Unless this is a sophisticated double-psych by the nats, hoping to sow despondency amongst a resurgent Labour and Left (that look like moving forwards with new leaders and new certainty) by having a nat victory in a northland seat that was always safe. But I don’t think “pretty competent” joyce would be able to manage a plan of that sophistication.

    Touch wood – we might see a snap election yet…

  21. Tautoko Mangō Mata 21

    There were scores of blue National Tshirted people at both ends of Wellsford, doing the Pizza shake of posters. National appear to be striking out their candidate by putting an orange sticker diagonally across their billboards. Just needs another diagonal to complete it!

  22. coaster 22

    i dont think winnie will win due to shear invincibility of key.

    i realy hope winston does win, irrelevant of the disaster for national i think winston wants to win for the right reason. he grew up in northland, his family is from and lives there, its his home, irrelevant of where he lives now.

    i felt realy sorry for osbourne during the q ans a debate, he sounded desperate, scared and like someone who has been bullied and is now sticking up for the bullies. how would he ever represent northlands best interests in parliament?

  23. Sookie 23

    Young Nats were infesting my town yesterday, the one with the angry ratepayers. The angry ratepayers think Winston’s going to get them out of paying their rates arrears magically somehow, hence the reason Osborne and the strange Young Nat Borg People were here. Haven’t been in Northland long but folk up here are pretty conservative. It would be hilarious if Winston won but I’m not counting on it.

    • Murray Rawshark 23.1

      Mangawhai is one of the more conservative areas of Northland. It’s the only place I have ever stumbled across anyone having sex with an animal. Not all of Northland is like that.

      • felix 23.1.1

        Fucksake Murray, finish the story!

        • Murray Rawshark 23.1.1.1

          I was just walking along a country road to my mate’s place at the beginning of 1974. I heard strange noises through the scrub and investigated. A local was being tender with a young calf at the edge of a paddock. I left him to it and have no idea whether he subsequently stood as a National candidate or not.

          • felix 23.1.1.1.1

            Probably not, wrong species of juvenile.

          • rawshark-yeshe 23.1.1.1.2

            Murray … in this strange old world, how can you even euphemistically refer to the rape of a young female calf as ‘being tender’ ?

            I don’t understand. It seems so against everything I have read and understand of you here on these pages.

            • Anne 23.1.1.1.2.1

              I think he was trying to put it in a delicate/diplomatic (albeit with disdain) way.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                Yep, I realize that Anne — but there were better ways than that, especially in the current climate of the whole series of rape and sexual assault and secret cases we have been discussing over the last few days. For me, it is especially jarring from Murray who uses great skills and integrity.

            • Murray Rawshark 23.1.1.1.2.2

              I didn’t want to get graphic and couldn’t think of a more relevant, but entirely sarcastic, euphemism. Probably shouldn’t have said anything.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                thx for replying Murray. In terms of saying nothing ? Wise maybe. But we all enjoy a Masters Degree in Hindsight ! Hope you didn’t mind the question too much, but it matters to me.

            • felix 23.1.1.1.2.3

              No-one mentioned the gender of the calf.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                true. and no need for it to be specified. it is rape regardless of gender.

            • felix 23.1.1.1.2.4

              No-one mentioned the gender of the calf.

        • rawshark-yeshe 23.1.1.2

          no ! please don ‘t Murray !

          • Chooky 23.1.1.2.1

            i couldn’t possibly comment…i got into enough trouble defending Assange on non existent rape charges…i am a branded “rape apologist”…and I dont really find it funny

  24. SMILIN 24

    Yeah well this is typical National capitalise on as much bs as possible but no one in northland is buying into it, the age of the ignorant hick is over in the north
    I was talkin to a small business owner up there today he says his accountant tells him hes not to have any new outstanding debt with accounts to customers, hes been in business 30 plus years first time ive heard that from him . you see the real truth about this TPPA NOW and its not even official .ITS A SELLOUT OF OUR SOVEREIGNTY
    All the sharemarket richest are warning theres about to be a huge collapse of the financial system far bigger that what happened in 2008
    which there will be no political bs way out of it because it depth of corruption wont get fixed it will require a complete re think of financial management globally
    Key is corrupt and so is National they should be up for treason and NO THEY DON’T DESERVE THE NORTHLAND SEAT
    Its not theirs it belongs to the voters not the national party

    • Colonial Rawshark 24.1

      GFC 2 is not faraway…6 weeks or 6 months it’s hard to tell, but it’s coming. After 2008/2009 all the financial elite have done is used tax payer and government central banking bailouts to double down on their insolvent investment banks and over-leveraged bullshit activities.

      BTW Cunliffe is the only guy I would trust as Finance spokesperson to take Labour through GFC2. Everyone else that I can see would be too captured by orthodoxy pressure from the RBNZ, Treasury and the big trading banks.

      • Chooky 24.1.1

        + 100 CR …..yes Labour did themselves in by not standing by Cunliffe…he was their best talent and the Nacts knew it

        …anyone who tried to undermine and slander Cunliffe as a liar is suspect imo…(and there were some on the purported Left who did this )

        • Anne 24.1.1.1

          I heard a rather sad story today. I was told the Cunliffes have separated. If it’s true then I hope Paddy Gower and certain other journalists are hanging their heads in shame. Oh, and the sleaze bag Slater might like to reflect on the role he played…

          Edit: I hope its okay to mention it. There’s certainly no gossipy intention. Its often what happens when individuals are smeared, vilified and lied about.

          • rawshark-yeshe 24.1.1.1.1

            very sad to read that. awful costs.

          • jenny kirk 24.1.1.1.2

            That’s really sad …. and upsetting, Anne. They went through a lot of shit together. I hope its not true, or if it is : that its a temporary thing while they sort themselves out.

            • Anne 24.1.1.1.2.1

              …that its a temporary thing while they sort themselves out.

              Indeed. That’s what I hope.

              • Olwyn

                +1 Anne. The treatment they have been subject to, from both inside and outside of the Labour Party, is just appalling. Kia kaha, David and Karen.

          • veutoviper 24.1.1.1.3

            I am so sad to hear that if it is true, Anne. I have read a couple of inferences over the last few days on certain “other side’ blogs and twitters, but did not want to ask here in order to avoid bringing it to notice.

          • Colonial Rawshark 24.1.1.1.4

            🙁

            and some sections of the Labour caucus also have much to answer for.

          • Murray Rawshark 24.1.1.1.5

            David Cunliffe was put under a lot of pressure and could not rely on his colleagues for support. If what Anne says is correct, I am saddened but not overly surprised. I wish both of them more luck in the future.

            • saveNZ 24.1.1.1.5.1

              Good luck David and Karen. Hope you forget all the dirty politics and disgusting attacks and take time to sort out the important things in life. 30 years is a long time and with young children, I only hope you both make it through together.

          • aj 24.1.1.1.6

            There was a short report on this on the stuff website last night

  25. Penny Bright 25

    What would be GREAT are placards that could be held as close as possible to John Key when he (desperately) flies in to Northland and flaps around – BEGGING (former) National Party members / supporters to vote for ‘newby’ Mark Osborne?

    “When EXACTLY did
    the Police advise the
    Minister of Police –
    that Mike Sabin was
    being investigated?”

    “Where’s the
    TRANSPARENCY
    over Mike Sabin
    John Key? ”

    … sort of thing?

    Watch John Key get his ‘squeaky’ voice – when he gets asked the Mike Sabin questions!

    Looking forward to every possible Northland voter getting out and voting Winston Peters to ‘send National a message’!

    The rest of New Zealand are depending on you to clip the wings of this John Key led National Government!

    Please ‘SEIZE THE MOMENT’!!

    Penny Bright

  26. Enough is Enough 26

    Anyone who does not want to see the RMA washed away or the Employment Relations Act repealed must vote Winston.

    A vote for Labour is a vote for the status quo.

  27. Leftie 27

    After all the negative analysis, it is somewhat contradictory to say National will win and keep the Northland seat, how? Will John key fiddle it?

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    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 day ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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