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Carmel wins, Nats down 1, MMP to stay

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, December 10th, 2011 - 196 comments
Categories: election 2011, MMP, referendum - Tags:

Official Election results are out. Carmel Sepuloni takes Waitakere back for Labour by 11 votes, and National loses one seat to the Greens. MMP wins by a mile. Well done Carmel – I’m really glad she stays in Parliament. I don’t think a recount will change anything – I scrutineered the official count last election and the Commission was very very careful. Bad luck for Brendon Burns and Raymond Huo.

196 comments on “Carmel wins, Nats down 1, MMP to stay”

  1. dancerwaitakere 1

    Bloody brilliant. xD

    • aerobubble 1.1

      The prelimary results have not been updated. Why not? Have Maori party tipped over to a 122 seat parliament???

      • Marjorie Dawe 1.1.1

        I’m not sure about that but I have another question. If the Nats have 59 seats and John Banks and Peter Dunn each have one that makes 61 seats in parliament. I am assuming that the Nats will need to provide a non voting speaker to reduce them to 60. If that is correct would the Maori Party have the balance of power?
        My other assumption is that if that is the case they will not be able to pass legislation without someone else voting with them. Therefore if all the other parties on the outer do not vote with them, the Maori Party can actually stop the legislation which will allow our important assets to be sold.
        Can someone please tell me if I am right or wrong in this?
        If I am right can someone please tell the Maori Party that they can save us all.

        • Anne

          @ Marjorie Dawe
          As I understand it the Speaker has voting rights and it is automatically added to National’s count.

          • Marjorie Dawe

            Thanks Anne. I was an idea thought wasnt it.

            • Luxated

              I know non-voting speakers are part of the Australian system, does anyone know what the situation is in the UK? Also when did we move to ‘voting’ speaker (presumably we moved this way and not the Australians moving the other way around).

              • Rich

                The UK speaker has a casting vote which they exercise only when there is a tie and according to various rules.

                Also, the Speaker is elected by exhaustive secret ballot, reducing opportunity for partisanship (as the party whips cannot know how their MPs voted).

  2. crite40 2

    Great news! The Key “government” has tried on at least 2 monetarist things that they failed to mention during the campaign already. This will make life VERY hard for them!

  3. Great stuff Carmel.  Commiserations Raymond.  And National have to now deal with the Maori Party.  It is a good day …

    • J 3.1

      No they don’t. National has a 61 to 60 majority.

      • Pete 3.1.1

        If they want any insurance against a by-election if an electorate MP leaves parliament or if an MP crosses the floor they would want the Maori party to provide some breathing room. Additionally, carrying out radical changes on a thin majority tends to be punished in NZ.

        • Chris

          Unfortunately the Maori Party are just too naive to see that going with Key means more pain and hurt for Maori. I thought Sharples had a brain but know now he hasn’t. He’ll be happy to support asset sales in return for flying the Maori flag on Waitangi Day. The guy’s a poodle and has no ability to see beyond a 61-60 split. While I want to like Sharples I think it’s time he’s made aware of how people are feeling about his apparent stupidity.

          • Ianupnorth

            +1 – the Maori Party sold there soul for the baubles of office; they thought whanau ora would be a big winner, little did they know the funding was done by removing it from every other service available to Maori.

            • drongo

              That’s right. While I’d like to forgive the Maori Party for siding with National, for example because they were new, naive, thought Key’s ‘clever’ rhetoric around the “repealing” the Seabed and Foreshore Act really did mean “restoring” the CA’s decision, understandable disdain for Labour given the history etc etc, they should’ve learned by now. If they do any post-election deal with Key then we must give the Maori P:arty the full force of our anger, instead of pandering around their complete and utter incompetence as if it doesn’t exist. We’ve been doing that in hope they’d see the light for far too long. The stakes are higher now, and we just don’t need blithering fools in the mix to stuff everything up. Nationalising assets can be done, but it’s preferable we don’t have that unnecessary hassle.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        No they don’t. National has a 61 to 60 majority.

        Many NAT MPs have heard loud and clear from supporters in their local electorates that Asset Sales are well hated.

        In this game, two is one, one is none.

        Lets see the MSM continue National’s spin of “clear mandate for asset sales” lol

        • Bob Stanforth

          If you dont have a clear mandate, you cant form a government. They can, they have, and they have a very clear mandate.

          • felix

            If you’re right, they won’t have to get the maori party on side will they?

            We’ll see.

            • Bob Stanforth

              They wont, if you can add, you can see that.

              • felix

                I can add pretty good, Bob.

                That’s how I know there’s not much difference between 60 and 61.

                So we’ll see.

                • Bob Stanforth

                  So, you assume that Winston is ‘on your side’? Winston is on Winstons side. Watch him and his feral bunch implode over the next three years, with glee. I will.

                  Good to see you can add Felix – if you take 190,000 votes away from a party, what do you get?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So, you assume that Winston is ‘on your side’? Winston is on Winstons side.

                    I reckon felix is clear that Winston is not on Key’s side, hence the 61/60 analysis. 61 MPs For Key and 60 MPs Not For Key.

                    • Bob Stanforth

                      And still a majority. Slim, yes. Workable, absolutely. And under MMP as well. And a mandate. Ah yes.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I love the fact Key has fuck all to work with this term compared to just 3 years ago. Winston is already licking his lips.

                  • drongo

                    But one vote can’t be a clear mandate. If you think that then you’re assuming the remaining 60, under MMP, are idiots. It will take only one of a number of things to stop asset sales, either an MP crossing the floor, a by-election, or even a speaker being chosen. Bet you Key will be supporting a Labour speaker. Naive, Stanford, just bloody naive.

                    • Bob Stanforth

                      Actually its not, and shows your lack of understanding of how the house actually works. But feel free to continue to throw mindless insults because you don’t agree with what I say – its amusing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      drongo – I suspect events will lead to Bob eating his own confidence before the first half of Key’s new term is done.

          • Jackal

            To form a government maybe, but not to sell assets.

            • Bob Stanforth

              How do you draw that long bow then, do tell.

              The electorate had the chance to tell the national party to take a running jump. They didnt. By any measure. They campaigned on partial privatisation, and labour loudly against it. National won.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh Bob, don’t be obtuse, I’d have loved to have seen a separate referendum on Nov 26 around Asset Sales.

                What do you reckon, 75% to 85% against, from across the entire political spectrum?

                • Bob Stanforth

                  Le sigh, come on CV, stop with the strap lines. If partial privitisation is so evil – why did labour actively support it in its previous term. And seek to extend it with AirNZ until told they couldn’t?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Because they’re a centre-right party that believes in the delusional free-market, ie, they’re almost as stupid as NAct voters.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We’ve got to bring more referendums into government decision making. We simply cannot leave such major decisions up to a few.

                  • seeker

                    Absolutely DracoT. horrendous that the sale of electricity assets we need for our survival was just tacked on to whether you voted for one party or another as ‘policy’ as an excuse for selling them.

                    It is so unpricipled. Such an important decision requires a referendum. Now we have to listen to the inane cackles of the likes of Stanforth, telling us National won a mandate beacause they were able to cobble together enough seats -just (by one!) to form another hideous Nit government.

                    Not only do nat members not understand maths (47% of the vote is not half), which means “no mandate” even by the flimsy,unprincipled way just used to get a decision on whether to sell our electricity assets or not; they still do not understand MMP.(probably too many letters in the acronym,which is why the pm wanted SM -ie two letters and it suits his party more.)

              • felix

                Like I said, we’ll see if National agrees with you by whether they get the maori party on side.

                If I were in their position, I wouldn’t be gambling on a one-seat-lead.

          • Ari

            A mandate to form a government is not the same thing as a mandate for a given policy- EVEN IF that policy was a core part of your package. The only way you get a mandate on a particular policy is through majority public support.

          • Vicky32

            They can, they have, and they have a very clear mandate.

            Yeah, sure they do… I suggest a cup of tea and a lie down…

        • Fotran

          I did not know that we had elected the MSM to govern the country. I know they continue to lead us to believe that, as they have done for a long time, but I think you will find that National have all the mandate they want to partially sell some assets. Tough titty.

          • Colonial Viper

            Oh National currently have the ability to sell assets, you’re right. Until a Wong, Worth, or Marilyn Waring occurs hahahaha

  4. gingercrush 4

    Any electorates flip from National to Labour or vice-versa in terms of party vote?

    • Fisiani 4.1

      Labour humiliated in Wellington Central . They came third. The first time in history that Labour has come third in any electorate since MMP began. Blame it on Grant Robertson.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1

        Fizzing, fizzing, fizzing in this magic land…

        It is not FPP any more old chap.

        • Fisiani

          Exactly my point!!! Robertson ran his campaign like FPP. He won the battle but lost the war. He was the ONLY Labour or National candidate to have such a bad campaign that his Party came THIRD.

      • clandestino 4.1.2

        Except he won the electorate.

  5. DS 6

    Absolutely gutted Brendon Burns didn’t get in for Christchurch Central. Just so completely stunned.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      His utter loyalty and dedication to his constituents not rewarded by enough of them. Awful.

      • seeker 6.1.1

        Ditto DS and CV. I feel terrible for him. What happened ? So many witnessed his dedication and yet this was not enough. What did Wagner do to beat him?
        I can only put this down to population displacement or extreme disconnection due to the unprecedented high levels of cognitively disabling stress which has arisen as a direct result of the 8,000 or so earthquakes in that brave, but devastated region.

        • gingercrush

          Combination of party vote being higher than Labour and the inevitable split of Labour and Greens. The same happens with the other minor parties, when NZ First, Act etc have been stronger it tends to hurt the Labour or National electorate candidate. Basically Christchurch Central National voters voted Wagner. Burns actually got some of the National party vote, the Labour vote and a substantial amount of the Green vote. It just wasn’t enough to topple Wagner. From memory of the polling booths. Wagner and National did very well in Papanui and Saint Albans. Burns and Labour tended to do well elsewhere.

          • Ari

            This is why we should use range voting if we’re going to keep electorates. It’s independent of “cloning”, and thus wouldn’t result in vote splits.

  6. Pete 7

    National’s total party vote gain over 2008 was 4640 votes.
    Labour lost 181944
    Greens gained 89757
    NZ First gained 52188
    Jim Anderton’s Progressives didn’t stand this year, so they dropped 21241 votes

    So about 60,000 people supporting opposition parties stayed at home.

    Total vote supporting National/Act/United Future/Maori party (and assuming the Maori Party will support the government this term):
    2008 – 1215371
    2011 – 1127952

  7. chris73 8

    11 vote difference only so I wouldn’t go counting my chickens just yet

  8. red blooded 9


    Of course, this makes it even more obvious that Labour has to think hard about how to work constructively and collegially with the Greens. To be frank, I don’t think that’s ever been managed as well as it should have been, and it’s hardly surprising that Green loyalty to Labour seems to be weakening, with them seeing Labour more as competition for the left vote, rather than as partners. After all, that seems to be how Labour has always seen the Greens (at least it’s how they’ve been treated).

    • oftenpuzzled 9.1

      but Greens have to be willing to work with Labour and that is not something to be taken for granted from their perspective. Maybe the best way is the opposition parties to chose what they will collaborate in such as asset sales where all oppose that and sign some memorandum to say they will. It will more likely issue by issue. Greens will not want labour taking their glory away from them. It’s not all up to Labour.

      • mike 9.1.1

        Quite right o.p. Greens have to pull their weight too. Perhaps a little less ‘holier-than-thou’ might help? Something has to be done in the electorates – e.g. Burns looses Ch-Ch Central by 45 and the Green candidate took 2,000 odd votes in a seat they never had a chance to win. Not saying they’d all vote Labour, but at least 46 would, surely? National is way ahead in managing this aspect of MMP, we have to pull our socks up and start working together – and that means both, not just Labour

        • Colonial Viper

          Was with some young professionals last night who were fashionable Green supporters. Once they found out I was a Labour Party member they all put on their ‘holier than thou’ bullshit up to the nines.

          And they didn’t like what I had to say about the Greens having NFI about energy depletion, lol.

          • Ari

            Honestly, Green voters should have solidarity with Labour voters, even if we do have issues with Labour, given that Labour has helped implement the most and best Green policies so far.

            • Vicky32

              Honestly, Green voters should have solidarity with Labour voters,

              They should, yes, but to judge by the Greens I know, most don’t. They’re Blue-Green, and I don’t trust them one centimetre! 🙁

        • Andy_Roo

          I am a green voter, in CHCH Central, and I gave my electorate vote to Burns. More accurate to say “at least 46 more could have” – to which I could not agree more.

          Wagner – from what I can see is a useless waste of space. Arrogant and clueless.

        • oftenpuzzled

          cldn’t agree more Mike, it will be intererstying to see how the Greens leadership deals with 12 MP’s a lot more to maintain their ‘holier then thou’ stance. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like devious dirty politics but there is way to retain a wholesome humility without being holier than thou!

  9. dv 10

    As a matter of interest. what would happen if the election ended in a tie after all possibilities have been exhausted?
    Is it on a coin toss?

    • chris73 10.1

      Fight to the death, in loin clothes, with bare hands

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      On a dead tie, apparently once all other avenues are exhausted, it does result in a coin toss.

      I’m wondering just how that works thought: best 2 out of 3, how they decide the coin is fair, etc. Maybe they could use the Lotto coin toss that they have for Big Wednesday.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Following on, I reckon televise it and use it as a fund raising event for Christchurch residents.

  10. Akldnut 11

    Makes all the mocking, arrogance, abuse and all the hard work we did worth while.
    Celebratory drinks for sure tonite.

    • Akldnut 11.1

      I mean mocking, arrogance & abuse from National supporters, especially the one guy in West city who called me a racist and was venomous with his insults!

      • newsense 11.1.1

        congrats man- I was feeling guilty I didn’t get out and do help any in the west. I still am, but in the fashion of the guy who drops a catch, but sees the batsmen get out next ball…

  11. gingercrush 12

    Hmm more people voted for the Greens in Wellington Central than they did Labour.

    • Anthony 12.1

      Probably has a lot to do with them understanding how to get the most bang for buck out of MMP.

      • Ari 12.1.1

        The Greens are to the point now where their party vote accrues MPs about as quickly as Labour’s will, so I think that’s a little unfair. The vast majority of voters probably just liked Green policy, direction, and candidates better.

  12. Rustle19 13

    For the final count, the election night votes are all recounted so the 11 vote margin is likely very accurate, although there may be some cases where the voter intention could be disputed through “confused” marking of the ballot paper

  13. crite40 14

    Cor Blimey! Haven’t all our correspondents realised that the WHOLE libertarian/monetarist idea is about more than economics. It is becoming clearer that waht they would really like is a return to feudalism. Ignorant
    peasants making them a lot of money while fundamentalist religion keeps them in line.
    “The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate. God keeps them high and lowly and orders their estate”
    So funding religious schools for example is exactly in that direction, as is keeping higher education for the wealthy or those who don’t question the rulers.
    Please folk’s read some history. It can be quite instructive.

  14. Craig Glen Eden 15

    Getting Rid of Bennett is fantastic news, the West has been cleansed. I guess your TURN is over Paula! One term wonder oouch!

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    This table shows the unfairness in the present electoral system. The conservative party got 4.4 times more votes than UF and yet has no seats. UF didn’t actually get enough votes to warrant having a seat (0.6% rather than 0.833).

    Time to drop that threshold but what we’re more likely to see (because the politicians don’t want more parties) is the dropping of the tail (where on electorate seat brings in the rest) resulting in even worse disproportion than we get now. Hell, it was a promise from Phil Goff.

    • alwyn 16.1

      There are, of course, NO Mps who got in as a “tail” for a party that got an electorate seat but less than 5% of the vote.
      Dropping that part of MMP off would have had no effect at all on the result.
      On the other hand I hope you are not proposing that a party be required to have at least 5% of the vote or any electorate seats they win are to be disallowed?

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Dropping that part of MMP off would have had no effect at all on the result.

        Not this election but there was last election and others.

        On the other hand I hope you are not proposing that a party be required to have at least 5% of the vote or any electorate seats they win are to be disallowed?

        Nope, I want proportional voting for electorates which would bring winning an electorate closer to the 0.833% that would warrant a seat. Or just drop the electorate seats altogether and integrate local councils more into national government.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.2

        There are, of course, NO Mps who got in as a “tail” for a party that got an electorate seat but less than 5% of the vote. Dropping that part of MMP off would have had no effect at all on the result.

        Wrong, IMO. It sure would have had an effect on the result.

        For starters the BullShit around Epsom would have been halved and the Tea Party probably wouldn’t have happened.

        Winston’s airtime would therefore have been affected and the make up of today’s Parliament would be vastly different.

        • Ed

          I believe around 3% of voters ticked NZ First purely to ensure that those anti-National votes would not be wasted. I know a few who were annoyed that their vote went so far past 5%. The threshold is too high, and should probably be deleted entirely.

          • Ari

            Deleting it entirely would REALLY result in micro parties. For instance, joke parties would be very likely to win single seats under a no-threshold system. A .89% threshold of winning the first list seat outright would probably be the fairest system.

  16. felix 17

    Don’t get too excited about the maori Party, they’ve already said they don’t mind selling our assets as long as their mates can buy some.

  17. gingercrush 18

    Oh god mandate this and mandate that. Means nothing. National due to confidence and supply arrangements with Act and United Future and presumably the Maori party, have the right to introduce legislation (bills) into parliament. Parliament in turn requires majority support to pass that legislation into Acts of Parliament. That requires a mandate. National was given a mandate to introduce legislation, parliament can give National a mandate to pass that legislation..

    • felix 18.1

      I don’t think anyone disputes any of that gc.

      But since the election we’ve been bombarded with messages about John Key’s “landslide win” and his “overwhelming majority” and his “historic victory”.

      Seems an odd way to describe a govt hinged on one seat.

      • gingercrush 18.1.1

        I know. John Key and those who share what he said are wrong. But so are those on the left that denounce that National has no mandate.

        • felix


        • Ari

          National certainly has a mandate on a lot of issues where there’s no indication of public opinion or where it’s outright on their side.

          What they don’t have a mandate for is regressive taxes and asset sales, which the public outright opposes. You don’t get a mandate for all your policies just by squeaking by into government.

  18. Pundit X 19

    The Greens campaign manager in Waitakere foresaw the risk of Carmel losing because of an increased Green vote and attempted a formal dialogue on the issue with Labour they never responded. Fantastic that she won in spite of everything but hope wiser counsel prevails in both parties before the next election..

      • Pundit X 19.1.1

        The Greens Campaign Manager emailed Goff Well before the election was actually called Probably didn’t see the need to copy you in Micky…

        • Colonial Viper

          Having a simple chat to Carmel would have sorted things out fast. These are the links and understandings Labour and Greens have to build up over the next 3 years

          • Pundit X

            There was a positive conversation. Just didn’t include Mickey..

          • Ari

            Yep. And we need to work out a way to redirect more Green electorate votes to the genuinely positive Labour candidates that probably could really earn them, like Carmel, or Charles Chauvel.

            • Carol

              I don’t understand why anyone gives an electorate vote to a Green candidate. The Greens make it very clear that they campaign for the party votes only, and they partly do this through through electorate candidates. Why waste an electorate vote on a Green candidate that’s only going to come 3rd or 4th?

  19. gingercrush 20

    And Labour by virtue of propotionality in parliament should lose a front bench member while the Greens gain a front bench member. Won’t happen of course. But as with National in 2002 who lost two front seats in parliament. The same should happen to Labour.

    Labour also loses a few questions to ministers etc due to that proportionality so they need to play smarter in parliament. I would suggest using member bills to achieve that.

    • alwyn 20.1

      They will have to be very much smarter than they were this year if they expect to get anywhere with member’s bills. Thanks to the idiocy of Grant Robertson there basically weren’t any discussed in 2011.
      Sure he prevented the voluntary student union membership being passed until the end of the year but in the meantime he prevented any other private member’s bills being discussed.
      I’ve no doubt that the Government thought it was hilarious. They don’t need private members bills. Anything they want simply becomes Government business. The bills are basically there for Opposition parties to, in rather simplistic terms, embarass the Government.
      When the Government simply cut off debate on the Royal Society bill Grant was left wandering around the chamber looking, I imagine, for a copy of the rules of the house. This from someone who is, apparently seriously, being considered as a deputy leader of the Labour party.

  20. Tiger Mountain 21

    as at 3:59, NZ Herald online, front page.

    “John Key calling for recount
    BREAKING National has enough seats to form a government despite losing a list MP, but will still be smarting after Cabinet minister Paula Bennett lost her Waitakere seat by 11 votes. John Key said he would be calling a recount of…”


    This does not continue on into linked article copy (yet). The “who said they said…” fluid revisionism crappola was well illustrated here during the ‘Teapot Tapes’.

    • alwyn 21.1

      As of 4.03pm there was nothing about John Key calling for a recount, and all the story is there.
      I think a reporter must have been having a little bit of a senior moment if he started to post what you say.
      That doesn’t mean he won’t, of course, and if they really want to make it tough on Sepuloni they could go for an Electoral petition if the judicial recount has no effect.

      • Tiger Mountain 21.1.1

        Well you are effin right, at 4:14, gone. I should have taken a screen shot and will do in future. The text in quote marks was copied and pasted direct from the Herald web page.

        When Andrew Geddis got bent out of shape about the possible effect of the ‘Teapot Tapes’ as espoused by several Standard commenters, he had to pull his head in when Mathew Hooten used the same headline “Explosive” that he had seen at the Herald before it was expunged.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Here tis alwyn… .png file. Maybe a tech head here could describe how this happens.


          • alwyn

            OK. I believe you that it was there. I think he was letting his story get ahead of the facts though. The Nats have a few days to think about it and they probably wouldn’t jump in immediately.
            I’m inclined to agree with the original post that they count has been done very carefully and I doubt that you could swing 11 votes just by a recount.
            I wonder if they think there is any chance of an electoral petition though? That’s how Winston Peters got into Parliament in 1979. He stood for National in the 1978 election, lost, and then had the result overturned and the Labour candidate tossed out for overspending on his campaign if my memory serves me correctly.

            • Tiger Mountain

              Well the nats may have a few days to think about it, but what about the person that tapped out the words in my capture?

              And no, unfortunately your memory does not serve you correctly. The then Hunua seat involved the notorious “ticks and crosses” scenario about voters clearly indicating their intentions on the ballot paper.

              The sitting member, Malcom Douglas (Roger’s brother) had a 301 vote election night majority. Winston first claimed “irregularities” and got a court ordered recount. 500 papers were classified informal, eventually one way and another by parliamentary records; giving Peters a 192 majority and he subsequently replaced Labour’s Douglas as the Hunua MP.

              • Anne

                That’s correct TM. From memory it transpired that the Douglas team had also been enrolling Pacific Island people who didn’t satisfy the residency criteria. That is, they had lived in NZ for less than 12 months.

              • alwyn

                Oh well. Put it down to a senior moment on my part. You seem to have a better memory than I do.
                They have now got a quote that John Key IS calling for a recount so the journalist is right, but guilty of premature reporting.
                I have now worked out what I was thinking of re the petition.
                It was in the Wairarapa electorate where Winston supported a petition by Wyatt Creech.
                The court found that people voted who were not entitled to and that the Labour candidate breached the spending rules. Boorman for Labour was displaced and the National candidate was declared elected. When Winston is involved you tend to remember only his name.

          • Colonial Viper

            Found it.


            John Key said he would be calling a recount of the Waitakere ballot papers.

            “It’s the party’s intention to seek a judicial review. We will file that with the court next week,” he said.

            The webmaster seems to have messed up the links on their front page.

            • Ari

              Fair enough, with the count that close, you want to be sure that it’s been accurate, and Labour would have been just as justified in doing so if it was their candidate that was short. I just hope that the review does not result in the junking of any votes that were clearly expressed.

  21. Burns loses his seat after working so well – and Wagner gets to primp and preen, going on about how much the voters just loved what National is doing in Christchurch, despite her getting fewer electorate votes than last time

    Reading the figures it looks like thousands of previous Labour voters left the electorate. Makes sense given that it was the eastern part of Christchurch Central that was the worst hit.

    The Greens also got fewer votes. 

    • NickS 22.1

      Aye, and she’s been very much the invisible politician in those parts for the last 3 years and after the February quake…

      • Puddleglum 22.1.1

        She’s done next to nothing except write the occasional “golly gosh, isn’t Christchurch a beautiful place to live” letter to the editor. Occasionally she’d also write one in praise of some concert featuring youth, etc. – never commented on substantive issues.

        I saw her once during the 2005 campaign fronting for National at a ‘meet the candidates’ meeting in Christchurch Central (where I used to live).

        I’d never seen her before and, because of her inept effort (mumbling to the floor, looking like she didn’t want to be there, vacuous answers to questions), I just assumed that National were putting up a ‘patsy’ candidate in a safe Labour seat. I was stunned to discover that she got into parliament on the list. I thought then, is she the best National could do for that place on the list? 

        Completely sidelined by her own party after the earthquake, so far as I could tell.

        The polling booths that Burns topped were all in the East of the electorate. Wagner’s were all North-West (Merivale, St Albans and the like). The worst hit parts of the electorate were East, of course. It’s where I went shovelling silt – almost a ghost town back then. 

        As I mentioned, the Greens’ candidate (David Moorhouse) also got fewer votes than last time – so obviously it wasn’t a case of Labour voters deserting to the Greens. My guess is that they just weren’t in the electorate – and who knows whether they could be bothered enrolling and voting in the electorates they ended up in. 

        • NickS

          She’s actually been gunning for central for as long as I can remember, which being 26 would make it around 1998 at the earliest I think.

          And yeah, the only reason it seems why she got votes is simply because she in the National Party, rather than anything else she says publicly. Though I suspect word of mouth in, and socialising with, the usual old-boys-n-girls networks amongst the upper and wannabe upper class is how she primarily campaigns. Instead of in the public eye where her opponents can question her claims.

  22. Blue 23

    Time to crunch some numbers.

    With the Nats now down to 59 seats, they’re hanging on by their fingernails. If Act had lost Epsom or Dunne Ohariu, they wouldn’t be able to form a government. The Maori Party may be sell-outs, but even they probably wouldn’t have voted for everything National wants to do in its second term.

    I calculate National’s final support at 32% of all eligible voters. Only 69% of those eligible to vote actually voted.

    Something to think about when our country gets wrecked over the next three years and when you encounter people who didn’t vote.

    On another note, Mana on 1.08% is now more popular than Act on 1.07%, and the Conservative Party on 2.65% is now more popular than the Maori Party on 1.43%.

    The most marginal electorate seats in the country are as follows:

    1. Waitakere – Carmel Sepuloni (Labour) beat Paula Bennett (National) by 11 votes.
    2. Christchurch Central – Nicky Wagner (National) beat Brendon Burns (Labour) by 45 votes.
    3. Waimakariri – Kate Wilkinson (National) beat Clayton Cosgrove (Labour) by 642 votes.
    3. Auckland Central – Nikki Kaye (National) beat Jacinda Ardern (Labour) by 717 votes.
    4. Tamaki Makaurau – Pita Sharples (Maori Party) beat Shane Jones (Labour) by 936 votes.
    5. Ohariu – Peter Dunne (United Future) beat Charles Chauvel (Labour) by 1,392 votes.

    We’ve still got our work cut out for us though – 51% of votes cast were for right-wing parties (National, Act and the Conservative Party) 42% for left-wing parties, and then there’s NZ First and United Future with 7% between them (centrist parties?).

    • fmacskasy 23.1

      “If Act had lost Epsom or Dunne Ohariu, they wouldn’t be able to form a government. ”

      Indeed, Blue. If Green voters in Ohariu hadn’t given their electorate vote to Gareth Hughes, but to Charles Chauvel, and had Labour and Green voters voted more tactically in Epsom, the outcome might have been somewhat different.

      Ok, now I understand that we’re free to vote as we please. But there’s sometimes a price to be paid for “indulging” ourselves. That ‘price’ is 49% of four state assets; semi-privatisation of our schools; bashing beneficiaries for a global recession they had no part in making; and god knows what else this National Government has lined up for us…

      On the plus-side, MMP is embedded into our political/electoral system and the threat from the Right Wing to f**k with our democracy is gone (hopefully).

      • Colonial Viper 23.1.1

        The Left have to learn to tactical vote and cut deals. This election could and should have been won by Labour and the Greens.

        • Blue

          Yep. National’s deal with Act not to stand a candidate in Waimakariri appears to be the only thing that got Wilkinson over the line.

          Oh to have more lefties voting tactically in Ohariu and Epsom.

        • mik e

          Low turn out is the main problem the left have to work together to get maximum turnout as well as sort out tactical vote.

          • ScottGN

            I agree mik e. As usual low turnout has hit the left harder. Young and poorer NZers stayed home again – partly because the media declared the result a foregone conclusion from the outset but also because Labour failed to motivate them to get out and vote. Until we can do this we won’t (and don’t deserve) to win. Bickering about the left’s failure to grasp the tactical situation (which I don’t accept anyway, given that most Green voters did split in marginals) is only going to park us in the same electoral cul-de-sac that Key, Banks and Dunne have found themselves in this election – i.e an ‘historic’ election landslide victory that strangely has only delivered the thinnest majority possible. Though I agree Blue that it looks like the NACT deal in Waimakariri is what got Wilkinson over the line there even allowing for the swing to National in Chch.

        • Pundit X

          The Green Campaign Manager in Waitakere attempted dialogue with Goff and was stonewalled. Hopefully the new Leadership will be more receptive to dialogue..

          • gingercrush

            That was Greg Presland wasn’t it?

            • Colonial Viper

              lol not

            • mickysavage

              What the …

              Steve Tollestrup the Green candidate did say at a meeting that he was endorsing Carmel but the greens for whatever reason declined to publicize this.

              • Pundit X

                Steve actually said in conversation with David Parker after the meeting that he was campaigning for the party vote and if people wanted to give their electorate vote to Carmel he was fine with that – hardly an endorsement. Carmel then told the Herald she had Steve’s endorsement which the Herald published. Although the Greens were campaigning Nationally on the basis that they were an independent party, their Waitakere team decided not to challenge the veracity of Carmel’s claim in the Herald. In fact throughout the campaign they did everything possible to assist her electorate vote including doorstep endorsements…

                • Funny, I was at that meeting and recall something different happening.

                  But there is no need to continuously relitigate the matter is there PX.

                  Steve’s strategy seemed to work.  The Greens had a very healthy 4.2 percentage point increase in their party vote share in Waitakere while his personal vote went up a much more modest 0.6%.  In terms of the interests of the Green Party Steve did well. 

                  • Pundit X

                    No your quite right Micky I just checked with Steve. He says that he was speaking with a group of about eight people in conversation he said “I’m campaigning for the party vote. There are only two people in my view who are worth giving your electorate vote to and I would urge you to give it Carmel.” Have forwarded email to Goff for your information.

  23. Rustle19 24

    Wellington Central is a shocker, while Grant Robertson won by 6,376, Labour came in third, yes THIRD, on the party vote: National leading on 15,128, Greens 10,903, Labour 10,459

    In Akl Central Labour is second on 8,590, with the Greens close on their heels at 7,797

    • Jeremy 24.1

      It’s a shame the Greens didn’t win Welly Central Labour voters should have voted for him.

    • Hilary 24.2

      Wellington Central is about the second most wealthy electorate after Ohariu (I think) so you would expect it to vote heavily National. There are also traditionally large Act (Richard Prebble was once the MP) and Green votes. The fact that Grant, and Marian Hobbs before him, had such large majorities reflect their personal appeal and hard work.

      • TighyRighty 24.2.1

        Wealthy thanks to the preponderance of highly paid public servants. Who do they normally vote for i wonder? It’s not national, or the greens, so labour must really be fucking hopeless.

        • Colonial Viper

          A preponderance of staff on over $100K employed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

        • Ari

          Yep, it’s wealthy because it has a large amount of decently-paid people, rather than a small amount of indecently paid people.

          I only know two public servants who voted labour this election, so I wasn’t really expecting them to decimate in wellington- most of the lefties I know voted Greens or Mana.

    • possum 24.3

      Not a shocker at all just a huge and committed campaign team.
      Don’t forget we got Celia Wade Brown over the Line for Mayor

  24. anne 25

    Didn’t key say that he would wait for the maori vote earlier on because he didn’t want to go with 1-2 seat majority to the govener general now he only has 1,he will be desperate to get the maori party to sign a confidence and supply agreement,to give him a comfortable buffer,the maori party have been hit hard in this election because they went into a confidence and supply agreement in the last term,the majority has changed with these results, with a majority of 1,it doesn’t make for a stable government at all over the next 3yrs,a bi-election could cost the govt dearly,so all eyes will now be on the maori party,will they align themselves with the left or will they sell out to the right when their policies are going to strip the population of the core of their being,take their assets and give them to american corportates,continue to tell lies and pull the wool over the eyes of most of the population? if the chch recount gains 1 more seat for labour,that would be a hung parliament wouldn’t it?

    • gingercrush 25.1

      Are there two anne’s? This one seems even thicker than the other one. Even if Brendon Burns does win Christchurch Central after a judicial recount it doesn’t change the seat allocation. National still has 59 seats. Labour still has 34.

      [lprent: common name – look at the identicons. I will have a look at the IP’s etc when I get home. ]

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        Now that you mention it, it does seem like a different anne.

        • Blue

          There are two Annes. One with a small a and a pink gravatar, and one with a capital A and a blue gravatar.

          • Carol

            Unless she decided to sign in. I looked at signing in a week or so ago, but saw I would need to change the C at the beginning of my name to c. It seems no capitals are allowed for signing in.

  25. RedLogix 26

    Frankly with the electorate seats still essentially an FPP race, Labour and the Greens are constantly splitting their vote. They HAVE to learn to cut deals and not stand against each other in ALL the marginal electorates.

    • seeker 26.1

      Complete agreement. RedLogix.

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1


        Any seat with a less than 3000 majority to a NAT MP must be covered by a deal. Although it’ll be difficult for both Labour and the Greens to get their heads around this.

    • Draco T Bastard 26.2

      Well, no, now that we’ve got a review of MMP going they need to push for proportional voting in electorates.

      • RedLogix 26.2.1

        Well now you come to mention it… how about combining two systems. MMP for the overall House as at present, and STV for each electorate race?

        • NickS


          Hell yes, and it would make fro some very interesting voting statistics too.

        • dv

          Like that Idea.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yes a nice simple STV, one where you get 3 choices only ranked 1, 2 and 3.

        • fmacskasy

          Personally, am liking that idea that idea, RedLogix.

          But try explaining that to an electorate that just returned a “smile & wave” politician as prime minister because they thought he’s “such a nice man”…

          They voted for him whilst not supporting state asset sales.

          How does a person vote like that?


        • Ari

          STV is only a little better than FPP. I recommend we skip straight to range voting- very simple idea- rate every candidate you know about from 1 to 99. If enough people don’t rate a candidate, they’re disqualified.

    • possum 26.3

      Yes Labour should not stand a candidate in Welly Central 😉

  26. Jum 27

    This result is all about the public hatred of asset sales and contracting out of our water infrastructure – let the battle commence.

    Tis a pity that Phil Goff relinquished his role as Leader so soon – after all this election was about a party that had learned its lesson about selling the strategic assets (Labour) and a party that wanted to enslave NZers (NAct).

    If the Maori Party sign on with NActU now, it means that everything they said about being anti-asset sales is a LIE.

  27. Jum 28

    I’ll repeat that:

    “If the Maori Party sign on with NActU now, it means that everything they said about being

    anti-asset sales is a LIE.’

    • seeker 28.1

      A very, very good point Jum. They must be reminded of this.

    • Draco T Bastard 28.2

      If the Maori Party sign up with NAct then everything they said about being for Maori is a lie.

    • ScottGN 28.3

      Personally I think you should save your scorn for Peter Dunne who has done his usual trick. He says he will save Radio NZ and Kiwibank (which aren’t on the block so far so nice diversion Pete) all the while quietly allowing the sale of critical Energy Companies to proceed under his agreement with Key.

      • Jackal 28.3.1

        Being that selling our power companies reduces revenue streams and the ability to service debt, in a few more years Kiwibank and RadioNZ will be on the block. By agreeing to the MOM privatization of our power companies now, Dunne has broken his promise.

      • fmacskasy 28.3.2

        Indeed, Scott. I’ve noticed precisely the same thing. Has anyone in the msm picked up on this?

  28. Jenny 29

    Even before this news, commentators here, have noted that this slim majority puts the Key government in the same sort of danger zone as the Muldoon government.

    Muldoon’s government also had a similar slim majority making his conservative government uniquely vulnerable to mass action.

    Mass protests against nuclear ship visits shifted two National MPs, Marilyn Waring, and Mike Minogue to vote against the government and with the opposition in support of a Values Party sponsored vote to ban Nuclear Ship visits.

    To avoid this vote, Muldoon called a snap election.

    If such a popular mass movement arose again; Commentators have speculated on the question; who could be Key’s Minogue and Waring?

    • Jenny 29.1

      Post Script:
      Muldoon’s snap election returned a Labour Government. The Labour Government once installed in office, did everything it could, to distance itself from the support they previously gave this legislation while in opposition, achieving more than Muldoon could, in keeping the legislation out of parliament for another 3 years.
      Labour even made an attempt to bring in a nuclear armed US warship the USS Buchanon. It was not until facing impending electoral defeat due to their extremely unpopular Rogernomics economic policies, and also small but growing protests from antinuclear activists, that Labour finally passed the famous legislation making New Zealand declared Nuclear Free. Even in retreat before the peace movement, Labour leader David Lange in a last ditch effort to limit the anti-nuclear movement, was moved to declare “This policy is not for export.”

      Lange was quoted in The Listener at the time, as saying that the peace movement was the lobby he feared most.

      • McFlock 29.1.1

        I don’t know much about the conservative party, but theirbranding seems to suggest that theymight be in a position to poach one or two national electorate mps, maybe old-school conservatives who aren’t so free market.
        A long shot, but something to bear in mind.

        • Colonial Viper

          The Conservatives are strongly against asset sales. That’s a pressure point which can be brought against the NATs.

      • Draco T Bastard 29.1.2

        Labour even made an attempt to bring in a nuclear armed US warship the USS Buchanon.



        In 1984, the opposition New Zealand Labour Party proposed the nuclear-free zone legislation. Muldoon strongly opposed the proposal, fearing it may compromise New Zealand’s national security. However, as he failed to secure Marilyn Waring’s support on the issue, and as the National Party had a majority of only one, Muldoon decided to call a snap election, the New Zealand general election, 1984, stating that Waring’s “feminist anti-nuclear stance” threatened his ability to govern.

        Following the victory of the New Zealand Labour Party in elections in 1984, Prime Minister David Lange barred nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from using New Zealand ports or entering New Zealand waters. In February 1985, a port-visit request by the United States for the USS Buchanan was refused by the New Zealand government on the basis that the Buchanan was capable of launching nuclear depth bombs.

        Get your history right.

        • Colonial Viper

          Can’t wait for the Herald heading. “John Key Stuffed on Pizzas, Calls for Snap Election”

      • oftenpuzzled 29.1.3

        A comment I read recently and I can’t locate it, suggested that the Nats will encourage protests to cause confusion amongst the opposition parties and bring discredit, all in opposition will need to work together in street protests so unity is visible

        • Colonial Viper

          This is what the NATs will do with strikes and lock outs this term. It will enable them to further discredit the unions, public sector and private sector.

    • Jenny 29.2

      If such a popular mass movement arose again; Commentators have speculated on the question; who could be Key’s Minogue and Waring?

      The other question is what issue might such a mass movement arise around?

      Could it be in response to National’s declared war on the poor?

      Could it be National’s declared intention to mine the Deniston plateau?
      (an issue mass protest has already given his administration a bloody nose over)

      Could such a movement arise over National’s unpopular privatisation plans?

      Or some other right wing cause that attacks the majority for the benefit of the minority?

      Maybe some yet to be announced attack on workers or union rights?

      • Colonial Viper 29.2.1

        Bear in mind that the next 3 years is not going to be an environment solely of the NAT’s making. Strong external factors and unexpected events will likely be in play as well.

        We must stand firm against any hint of ‘disaster capitalism’.

  29. venezia 30

    I too am gutted about Brendon Burns. He has worked tirelessly helping people who lost so much in the East, has been a terrific advocate and spokesperson vis a vis EQC and CERA, done a sterling job challenging the sacrifice of our rivers to the irrigators, and meanwhile his own property was munted. 4000 people are estimated to have left this electorate because of earthquakes and he is paying the price. Wagner has been campaigning for 3 years – mainly photo opps and gushy email newsletters to all and sundry. She billboard bombed the electorate and if course every time Key was down here with the earthquakes, her face was in the photos. National have put about the perception that Chch Central voters are grateful for what the Nats have done for the city. Not where I live. People are very stressed and critical of the govt.

  30. One Anonymous Bloke 31

    One seat majority. John Key, who is your weakest link? Apart from the Maori Party that is…

    Perhaps the possibility pends of pronouncements in Parliament purtaining to previously private pratfalls.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 31.1

      If Nikki Kay really believed in what she says she does (public transport, no mining in national parks), she now has the power to put her words into action.

      • Colonial Viper 31.1.1

        Oh dear. I feel like Jacinda is going to have to publicly and morally support Nikki Kaye.

        After all, its a big move for any young MP to cross the floor and oppose your own party, especially on an issue as big as mining on conservation land. 😎

      • One Anonymous Bloke 31.1.2

        Come on guys we can’t have a “Who is your weakest link” contest if there’s only one contender.

        I’m going to nominate Dunne and Banksy, but I’m sure there are a few more on the National bankbenches with slim majorities or dodgy connections 🙂

        • ianmac

          Don’t think Dunne and Banksie are the weakest links because I can’t imagine either of them standing up for a principle which would not benefit them selves. Marilyn Waring sorts? Never!

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            There are more ways to monkeywrench a one seat majority than appeals to principles, Dunne surely has his self-interest in being returned in 2014 to consider. Banks on the other hand may prove so unpalatable as time goes by that he brings out others’ principles like an allergic reaction.
            And what about the bottom of the listers? Some of them must be at least as mentally agile as Richard Prosser, and all that entails 🙂

            • Tiger Mountain

              Mike Sabin, ex copper, new Northland MP. Far Right US links via his old ‘drug’ consultancy company Methcon which he sold well before his candidacy was confirmed. Anecdotal ev. only of breaches of privacy when Taipa area school BOT chair. Sharing police knowledge of parents alleged activities with board.
              Messy personal life, but won’t go there apart from noting a political source claiming he was initially rejected from the NZ Police due to domestic violence history.

              Used to charge very poor communities, desperate to do something about the P scourge in the North, a $1000 per seminar. Big on blaming and shaming welfare ‘bludgers’, it is claimed he lived off ACC money for a tragically sports injured son. Not claiming he was not entitled to at all just pointing out the hypocrisy of the ‘deserving and undeserving’ tory beneficiary scenario.

              Nothing earth shattering here perhaps, but was not popular in sections of the Māori community, his regular column in the Northland Age is usually a standard Nat/CT lines handout. Deserves watching on issue such as Marsden Pt rail link and roading amongst others.

          • dv

            Dunne and Banks didn’t get where they are by standing on principle.
            (Maybe standing on principals)

  31. SHG 32

    Maori Party signs confidence and supply agreement with National.


    • fmacskasy 32.1

      “Maori Party signs confidence and supply agreement with National.”

      The idiots. They’ve signed their electoral “death warrants”. This will be a far-right wing National Government, and the Maori Party will be tarred with the same brush. They will end up like Mauri Pacific and Mana Motuhake; a footnight in history, and a puppet of this administration.

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    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 week ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago