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Coat-tail of Many Colours

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 pm, November 22nd, 2013 - 72 comments
Categories: act, conservative party, Economy, election 2014, electoral systems, greens, hone harawira, john key, mana, maori party, MMP, national, nz first, paula bennett, united future - Tags: , , ,

John Key’s desperate and disloyal promotion of the Conservative Party in recent days and yesterday’s unseemly rush by Paula Bennett to claim the new Upper Harbour seat as her own sends a couple of interesting messages. Firstly, that National’s internal polling must be confirming that they are going to lose their current coalition partners. Secondly, that their declining popularity, combined with the proposed electorate boundary changes, mean they are going to lose their marginal urban seats.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Hollow Men have already decided that the choice is stark; Colin Craig or a decade or more on the opposition benches. I imagine they will be willing to accept Craig’s opposition to asset sales, given that they will have completed their un-mandated program by the time of the next election anyway. They may even agree to wind back marriage equality and child protection to an extent, if that is the price of power.

While the talk today is that the seat they will gift Craig is Murray McCully’s East Coast Bays, I think they have a plan B as well. And it involves rorting the results of the MMP review.

Palmy Labour MP Iain Lees Galloway has had his private member’s bill on MMP drawn from the ballot. This bill builds on the findings of the MMP review, which supported a lower threshold and an end to extra MP’s coming in as a result of a single electorate seat win. The bill was actually written by Lianne Dalziel and Iain LG has picked it up following Lianne’s election to the post of Christchurch Mayor.

The indications are that it will receive enough support from various parties to at least get a first reading.

The effect would be to end an obvious distortion in the results for minor parties. The bill aims to stop additional list MP’s going to Parliament on the coat-tails of a single electorate MP. It would also see the 5% threshold for list representation drop to 4%. The classic example of the unintended disparity is the 2008 election where NZ First achieved 4.07% of the party vote and gained no seats and ACT achieved just 3.65% of the party vote but were entitled to 5 MP’s as a result of being cynically gifted the Epsom electorate seat.

So far, so good. This is what NZ wants.

List only parties such as the Greens and NZ First have nothing to fear from this change, and in the case of Winston Peters, it offers an opportunity for revenge for his three years in the wilderness. However, the Maori Party, ACT and United Future will recognise this as the death knell for their hopes of any significant influence in the next Parliament. Even if these parties retain their total of five current electorate seats, they would have no extra MP’s unless they enjoy a dramatic change in their public popularity and, therefore, they will not be able to offer a lifeline to save the current coalition.

Mana will have reason to be worried, too. While current polling has Hone Harawira trailing a yet to be named Labour candidate in Te Tai Tokerau, there are encouraging signs that they will get a big enough party vote to see a second MP elected via the list should he hold that electorate. This bill would end that hope.

But Mana are not my concern; John Key is. I believe that National will support this bill from start to finish.

Call me cynical, but I think the Hollow Men will be looking at this bill as a means to ensure they can form a new coalition with Colin Craig. Clearly, they already understand that the current governing arrangement is not going to keep them in power, hence the bigging up of the Conservative Party in the last week. The desperation of Key to cling to power is shown in how swiftly he is prepared to publicly write off his current partners and talk of a National/Conservative Government even when the N/ACT/MP/UF arrangement still has 12 months to run.

So why would the Nats support the bill, if it hurts the chances of their current partners?

Well, to sneakily ensure the Conservatives have two options for getting into Parliament. My feeling is that National will seek to amend the bill to drop the anti-coat-tailing provision, but retain the proposed 4% threshold, thereby allowing Colin Craig two distinct chances of winning seats. One via a patsy arrangement in East Coast Bays, with coat-tail MP’s in tow, or via the more legitimate list only result above 4%.

There is a genuine risk that Key will scupper the real intent of the bill (ending coat-tailing) but promote the 4% threshold for his own ends. Iain Lees Galloway is going to have to work hard to make sure both aspects of this bill get through the house, in the form the MMP review says voters prefer. He’s going to have to convince all the opposition parties to support it, even though some will have doubts. Then he will have to make sure it is not watered down to benefit the right.

Never underestimate the lengths these villains will go to in order to cling to power. Blatantly manipulating the genuine wish of NZ voters to further democratise Parliament as a way of gifting Colin Craig a Parliamentary presence would be nothing to them. Democracy means nothing to them. We mean nothing to them. Nothing.

Power is everything.

Te Reo Putake

72 comments on “Coat-tail of Many Colours ”

  1. Phaedrus 1

    Very likely correct.

    In that case the opposition parties need to put their heads together to play the same game. Not standing a Labour candidate in Te Tai Tokerau and possibly also in Waiariki would vastly improve the chances of Mana representation. Not splitting the vote in Ohariu and Epsom by having both Green and Labour candidates would also be worth considering. The same could very well apply in whatever seat is gifted to Craig. There will be many moderate Nat voters who will be turned off by the prospect of voting for Craig and the Conservative Party, so offer them a very moderate Labour candidate who won’t frighten the horses.

    It’s all very well gnashing teeth because the Nats have gamed the system and won the election, but for goodness sake the answer is obvious.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      There’s a third option to gnashing of teeth or rolling in the gutter with lowlife Tories: win the friggin’ election!

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Still advocating for WWI “over the trench top” tactics in an MMP age of coalitions and multi-party alliances?

        And describing it as ‘honourable’ to boot?

        Nothing like a brave bayonet charge against a machine gun pill box eh?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1

          What? Are you having problems with the notion that Labour/Green getting over 50% of the vote can be described as “winning”?

          Try harder.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            hey mate, I’m happy to be in the wrong 12 months from now and for you to be right. However, I think Labour will certainly need 3rd party support for more than a 1-2 seat majority.

      • gobsmacked 1.1.2

        OAK +1

        38 + 12, 35 + 15, whatever combination you like, there’s 50% there for Labour plus Greens. No machinations can defeat a majority (yes, I know, a multi-seat overhang would, but ain’t gonna happen).

        Eyes on the prize.

        • karol 1.1.2.1

          +1. The machinations are a turn off to me, no matter who is oing it.

          I’d rather the coat tail option was ended. But, failing that, nothing beats a majority coalition/alliance.

  2. Rupert 2

    Does the Standard have a profanity filter? I’m trying really hard not to break it right now. I thought it was bad having McCully for an MP, but I’d vote for him in a second if the alternative was Colin Craig.

    Jeepers, this is bad. Even in the unlikely event of a Labour/Green cup of tea in East Coast Bays, if National only run a token candidate Craig is going to walk in.

    I hate my Tory neighbours.

    [lprent: No it doesn’t. However we do require that the abuse is pointed, and we have a rapid ejection mechanism for people advocating violence in any shape, manner or form. ]

  3. Ad 3

    Withdraw the bill Ian.
    The faint hope it has to get going in the House is not worth the risk of the gerrymandering.

    Key has so far left the MMP review until very late in the term, if at all.
    The balance of power is tilting the right way, and the Governor-General has signalled strongly he does not want to see a government proposed to him that consists of rats and mice.

    The bill is a dangerous waste of parliamentary time.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    I believe that National will support this bill from start to finish.

    No they won’t. Would have been much easier for Collins to have made changes months ago.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Agreed. The NATs would like to see Winston gone with all the NZF votes wasted. but at 4%, he’d definitely be staying around.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        Maybe CV, but they can’t rely on Winston being gone at 5%. They can rely on Colin Craig being a good little boy and doing exactly what Daddy tells him to do. He may turn out to be their only chance of survival.

    • Anne 4.2

      Would have been much easier for Collins to have made changes months ago.

      Yes but month’s ago their internal polling was probably telling them they were still on track to win the next election – bearing in mind they have a few lolly scrambles in store for election year. Then along came David Cunliffe and the story starts to change. Even if the MSM polling is not yet recording anything too significant, I bet their own polling is coming up with a worrying change to the electoral dynamics.

      I think TRP has sussed it very well.

  5. Richard Down South 5

    Perhaps its a long term power play… Bennett wins her seat, but JK loses… Bennett rolls JK… and looks towards the next election

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    So in summary: National playing the rules of the game = bad

    • Te Reo Putake 6.1

      Read the post, PR. It’s about National changing the rules of the game, via ILG’s bill.

      Or, if you only mean dumping McCully out of East Coast Bays in favour of Colin Craig, then it’s also going to require changing the rules of the game, because, unlike, Epsom, the voters in ECB can’t be relied on to do as they are told. National will have to seriously consider not standing a candidate at all to guarantee Craig gets up. And that would be unprecedented in a general election.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        Well tell you what you let me know what rules they’ve changed and we’ll discuss it…oh right they haven’t yet have they

        • Te Reo Putake 6.1.1.1

          Oh dear, not only have you apparently not read the post, you don’t even appear to have read the introduction. But if you’d genuinely prefer to stay away until the bill becomes law, I’m sure there’s many here who would applaud your decision.

          • Melb 6.1.1.1.1

            The post is all utter speculation.

            • Anne 6.1.1.1.1.1

              And what’s wrong with speculation? Informed speculation often turns out to be right.

              • greywarbler

                Better speculation than peculation. We here are working towards getting elected an honest competent intelligent Labour/Green Government not the shoddy bunch that we are dishonoured with at present.

      • Northshoreguynz 6.1.2

        East Coast Bay’s elected Gary Knapp from Social Credit in 1980, so my bet is still Rodney for the cup of tea.
        Either way it’s a play that the left is going to have to learn as well.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2

      Look at this way PR: lowlife Tory corruption bad, however they sleaze their way in. Exclusive Brethren Hollow Men Crazy Colin Craig John Banks all pale into insignificance next to the incompetence of Bill English or John Key’s self-interest.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    I think the 4% list vote is Craig’s best chance to getting into parliament. He mustered a massive 3.6% at the last election, and with people “knowing” he would get in at 4%, I expect the vote would go up from there. The 3.6% came on the back of misleading push polling that he was going to win the Rodney electorate – I’m sure without that they would have only been around 1-2% because no one likes ‘wasting’ their party vote.

    For the coat-tailing provision, I’d actually be happier if it wasn’t removed completely, but watered down: a maximum of 1 list MP per electorate won. Eg if you win 1 electorate and get PV sufficient for 4 MPs, you would instead get the 1 electorate + 1 list MP. If you won 2 electorates and sufficient PV to get 5 MPs, instead you would get 2 electorates + 2 list MPs.

    This seems like a fairer reflection for small parties that get above the single-electorate appeal, with less distortion from 1-man-bands like CC winning an electorate and bringing in a bunch of nobodies with them.

    If it was also implemented with a 4% threshold then I think it would be pretty fair for representation.

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      Too complicated

      • greywarbler 7.1.1

        Why is it too complicated? It seems Lanthanide came up with a practical idea. On first view it seems sound. So why should it add uncopable complexity. We have managed MMP and have chiselled a little way into fairer political party representation.

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    on some ‘electorate’ matters;
    “The survey over the page includes questions on some nationwide issues, but of equal importance, issues that affect us in Hawke’s Bay […] Your answers are important and will help me understand the priorities of our Hawke’s Bay community”.

    Funded by the Parliamentary Service and authorised by Craig Foss MP. 6 November 2013

    1.Which of National’s steps to build a stronger economy do you believe are most important?
    Boosting skills and supporting jobs (hmmm, Blinglish said “govt doesn’t create jobs”)
    Investing in science and innovation (hmmm)
    Developing export markets (MFAT, Biosecurity, Fonterra, and 100% Pure)
    Offering minority shares in energy SOE’s and Air New Zealand (What???)
    Better utilising [polluting] our natural resources
    Rolling out faster broadband and investing in roads. (hmmm)

    2.In which areas are better public services most important to you?
    Better, sooner, and more convenient healthcare (Read Health Cheque )
    Raising achievement in our schools
    Reducing welfare dependency with a focus on work (surprise, surprise)
    More frontline Police and safer communities (how’s that coming along…)

    3.Which do you believe will grow our region’s economy and create more jobs.
    Extension of the national cycleway (lol 🙂 )
    Water Storage projects to protect against drought (while rooting the rivers and aquifers )
    Oil or gas exploration (spoilt for choice 😉 )

    4. If you could fix one problem in our local area what would it be?

    Toss out the sitting MP! Any colour but Blue will do.

    • RedBaronCV 8.1

      No little blocks to tick labeled “none of the above”

      • Rogue Trooper 8.1.1

        Nope, leading the flock overall.

        • miravox 8.1.1.1

          Or leading the herd …

          Developing export markets – Fonterra – a special case? Why no the dairy industry generally, or any other industry? This and tourism – is that all we’ve got now that the hobbits are done?

  9. Anne 9

    Your answers are important…

    A derivation of that self serving phone message ” Your call is very important to us”.

    Another of their [insert electorate here] dick surveys. I wonder if someone will do an ‘Anne Tolley’s electorate secretary’ and forget to fill in the [—] bit.

    • Rogue Trooper 9.1

      gets hot in Gizzy, maybe heat-stroke 😀 (ironic the crime-stats in the Eastern Policing District) chuckle

  10. Lionel 10

    Good Post you are correct in your assertion that the crooked vile Nats will do anything to cling to power they are filthy scum in suits the fact they would rort the system to accomodate the unproven Crazy Colin Craig with a bunch unknowns apart from Christine Rankin says it all would,nt bet against Dunne retaining Ohariu/Belmont also a disgrace to Parliament he deserves to cast off to political oblivian

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      While the best Left wing electoral thinking in counter is the equivalent of a WW1 style “over the trenches” campaign with the aim to win fair and square FPP style; or is that FFS.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        FPP style is thinking electorate seats matter a damn if the theft have a solid win.
        And if they don’t get a solid, it’ll probably be down to Winston anyway.

    • Captain Carrot 10.2

      Yeah labour would never have dunne a dirty deal like that, would they Jim?

      • Lanthanide 10.2.1

        Being a life-long resident of Wigram up until the start of this year, Labour always campaigned in Wigram. They never did any cuppas or handshakes with Jim Anderton.

        • Captain Carrot 10.2.1.1

          Just Nods and winks, seats at the cabinet table and forgotten labour candidates…

          • Lanthanide 10.2.1.1.1

            So exactly what both Labour and National do when they stand candidates in seats that they know the other party will win, then?

  11. vto 11

    Smounds like failure ..

  12. Gareth 12

    I’d like to see someone proposing to dump the threshold all together.

    If Colin Craig can get 1-2% then he has a constituency and they deserve to be represented, even if I think they’re idiots.

    End the stupid machinations around electorate seats. If you get more than 0.85% of the party vote, you have an MP.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      The original 5% threshold, and subsequent recommendation of a 4% threshold, was done for a very good reason.

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        I reckon that if we keep a 4 or 5% threshold, we should get rid of sub-threshold list mps coattailing on a single electorate MP, or lower the threshhold of each election to the smallest represented party or 5% (whichever is smaller).

        Never voted for either party, but ACT getting (5?) MPs from one electorate and a couple of % when the more popular NZ1 got nothing was a farce, in my opinion.

      • Mike S 12.1.2

        Was the reason because there are less than 100 list mp’s so translating 1% of the vote for example if it were a case of there being 50 list mp’s in parliament then for the party receiving 1% of the total vote there would be no representation (1% of 50 = 0.5 mp’s)

        So why is the threshold not worked out as the lowest possible percentage of the total party vote that can be translated to one mp, which in our parliament would be 2% because we have 50 list mp’s. For example we have 50 list mp’s, then with the threshold at 2%, a party receiving 2% of the vote gets one list mp, a party getting 10% gets 5 list mo’s and so on. Seems far simpler to me than messing around with 3,4 or 5%

        I’m not sure if I agree with thresholds anyway. I’m thinking do away with electorate seats and simply have 100 mp’s in parliament. Each party gets the number of mp’s represented by the percentage they receive of the party vote. That way, if 1% of the population votes for the such and such party, then that party gets one mp in parliament and so on. Seems much fairer and more democratic to me, also it removes the ability of parties to play the system like National and Act in Epsom, removes coat tailing and has the lowest possible threshold to enable a real representation of votes cast.

        • Lanthanide 12.1.2.1

          Er, nothing like that.

          We already have cases where a PV calculates out to a fractional seat and the current system has to deal with that, which is actually done automatically and transparently by the Sainte-Laguë formula.

          Also what you’re describing is actually a supplementary member voting system (the one John Key was rooting for), not MMP.

        • bad12 12.1.2.2

          i tend to agree with Mike S, if we are going to remove the gaining of an electoral seat as the means to bring in further MP’s without reaching 5% of the Party Vote then to keep the system ‘representative’ i believe we would need lower the % for a single party MP down to as low as 1.8%,

          Having said that tho, i see no real reason to disenfranchise the voters who based around a sitting MP choose to cast their vote for the Party that that MP claims to represent,

          i quite enjoy the ramifications and machinations that the present system throws up, and must add that it is the right that has taken to ‘using’ the system to it’s best advantage through ‘co-operation’ rather than ‘competition’ and the ‘left’ lags behind mired in the First Past the Post mentality of ‘winning’ as many electorate seats as possible when in reality to gain and maintain the use of the Treasury benches the major Parties of the left need only choose ‘it’s friends’ and like the right has shown, openly give the aknowledgement to it’s supporters that such ‘deals’ will lead to a stronger for longer government of the left,

          There has been no real ‘backlash’ from the electorates from the rights deals done and Labour not standing a candidate against Jim Anderton shows that such deals are the pathway to the Government benches and the left should speed up the putting in place of a mechanism to sort such electoral dealing out…

    • Francis 12.2

      Agreed. If a party can get together ~20,000 (depending on how many people vote) people to support them above all the other options, why shouldn’t they be able to be represented in parliament?

      @Lanthanide, can you give the “very good reason” why we have thresholds? I’m struggling to figure that out…

      • Lanthanide 12.2.1

        To ensure there is not a plethora of tiny parties in parliament all with radically different ideas whom are impossible to group together to form a coalition.

        I know there are people who say “doesn’t happen” or “that’s democracy” but actually the point of a government is to govern. If it can’t do that because of too many tiny factions that won’t co-operate together and are more or less just there for the paycheck, it doesn’t actually achieve much.

        For example, just look at the Australian senate as a result of thei recent election. Their electoral system allowed 8 single-seat parties to get in, through manipulation of the preferences (they literally get together and determine through mathematics, not politics, which combinations will best allow them to win their seats). It’s resulted in a something verging on a hung parliament and there was serious talk about requiring a new election because of the result.

        • Tat Loo (CV) 12.2.1.1

          In terms of an operational caucus 4 MPs = 3% threshold would work well. The trick to a true MMP environment with smaller parties is actual and ongoing negotiation. Parties have to develop and get compromise legislation which better represents public opinion through.

          • Lanthanide 12.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, I’d be happy with a 3.5% threshold (4.2 vs 3.6 minimum).

            • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep 3.5% is a good balance. One which will still keep the neo-skinhead types out.

              • Rogue Trooper

                ‘old baldheads’

              • Gareth

                I really don’t like comments about keeping people out of our electoral process. If there are 37,000 skinheads in NZ (1/120th of the NZ population of 4.433 million), they have a right to a voice and someone in parliament who represents their views.

                It’d be great for my personal political satisfaction level if we kept stupid people who can’t see that they’re voting against their own interests out of the process. Also if we kept out rich people who have very little connection to the reality of life in NZ and who through their, sometimes willful, blindness make life harder for the rest of us.

                But that’s not how it works.

                I hate their message, but I will defend to the death their right to speak it.

                Also on a practical level, it’s been my experience that people who are involved in the process are much easier to educate about the realities of their position than people who are marginalised and unengaged.

        • Gareth 12.2.1.2

          I’ll say both of those things..

          Whether there are a plethora depends more on the national character and expectations of the electorate than the MMP system. National could implode into 8 minor parties, Labour into another 6 and we would have a plethora. They could all get over 5% and some of them could govern together. Nothing in MMP says this won’t happen. The New Zealand electorate says it won’t happen.

          If we did have a plethora, and it resulted in a hung election, past experience says that the New Zealand electorate doesn’t like such things and tends to punish whomever they think are responsible at the next election. As such, it’s a self-correcting problem.

          We expect our government to govern under whatever conditions we set, if it’s difficult because of problems negotiating with minor parties, tough bikkies. If they can’t get themselves together and provide a functioning government, we get out the Vote stick and hit them with it. It’s a big stick.

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.2.1

            Yep and its also why the NZ electorate will never approve a 4 year time. Too much time in between wielding the stick 🙂

  13. Northshoreguynz 13

    What are the chances of Winston playing nicely with the Greens in coalition?

    • bad12 13.1

      The short answer is ‘very low’, i would like to have thought that NZFirst could have found common political ground with the Green Party as much of their economics fit neatly together but have the sneaking suspicion that ‘personalities’ would negate both parties sitting round the Cabinet table with Labour,

      Labour could ensure it’self the Treasury Benches in November 2014 by simply ‘gifting’ the Mana Party the 3 Maori Party seats held by neither,

      i would go as far as suggest that Labour would openly campaign in those seats for the Mana Party to gain the electorate vote while campaigning solely for the Party Vote and having Mana campaign solely on the electorate vote while campaigning for it’s supporters to give Labour their Party Votes,

      Lolz, it’s never going to happen tho while Labour concentrate on ‘winning’ instead of ‘co-operating’,there’s also the not small consideration that Labour have no intentions of radically increasing the number of State Houses or addressing the child poverty issue in any meaningful way and would rather spend another 3 on the Opposition Benches than have the Mana Party force them to address these issues…

      • Te Reo Putake 13.1.1

        You’re assuming Mana would formally support a labour led Government, Bad. I’m not so sure. My feeling is that they would be more comfortable voting issue by issue, though if Hone was offered the job of looking after whanau ora or something else significant to mana’s voters, then I suppose support on confidence and supply might be possible.

        Re: Winston and the Greens, I take heart from the unions’ Manufacturing Enquiry, where the 3 parties worked closely together. If there are enough points of common interest (asset sales, for example), then I can see a 3 way government working OK.

        • bad12 13.1.1.1

          Why Te Reo would the Mana Party not support a Labour lead Government???, after all, Treaty issues aside, Mana is simply campaigning on State Housing policy that was at the heart of Norm Kirk’s Labour Government and considering the Kirk Governments payment of an extra welfare benefit to all beneficiaries at Christmas, Hone’s attitude to the alleviation of child poverty would in a truly ‘RED’ Labour simply be at the top of the to do list…

          • Te Reo Putake 13.1.1.1.1

            For starters, I don’t think mana have ever indicated that they actually would formally support a labour led government. As far as I know, they value their independence. And sitting on the cross benches, voting issue by issue, is one way of preserving that independence.

            Secondly, they have to be asked to join the coalition (or just be asked to give support on C&S). Because they are likely to support most progressive legislation, in effect, Labour already have their vote in the bank.

            Thirdly, personalities. I can see Winston getting on far better with Russel Norman than with Hone and if he were to go down the path of rejecting parties to go into coalition with (as he once did to the Greens), then taking a negative stance on mana seems more likely to me.

  14. Morrissey 14

    A GUEST POST!

    You have ARRIVED, Te Reo!

    Well done—and very well written.

    [lprent: He has done several before. Here and here. Now that my work load has reduced at work I’m going through the backlog of guest posts and apologising for my inattention and putting them up if they are still relevant. ]

    • Morrissey 14.1

      Thanks for that. I must pay attention more.

    • Te Reo Putake 14.2

      Thanks, Morrissey. I’m only good for the occasional guesty, but if others are keen, Lprent and the team are quite encouraging and very helpful with layout and graphics etc. I’m certainly in awe of the authors who pump them out week after week; kudos guys.

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    I put this in OM (its in mod) but it should probably go here.
    ——
    How the Left is less numerate at MMP than the Right

    Yeah that’s what I’ve been saying. But no, let’s not change a thing and play straight into National’s game plan instead.

    The problem in Epsom was that the Labour Party (and many Labour voters) simply lacked the numeracy-nous to shut-out Act. (The Green Party equally lacked such nous in 2005; hence Keith Locke’s near-naked stroll through Newmarket.)

    Labour’s biggest mistake by far was to select senior MP David Parker as Labour candidate in Epsom. Labour should not have even contested the Epsom election.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/11/22/dont-moan-about-mmp-disqualification-rules/

    • bad12 15.1

      Indeed CV, lets get intelligent people, for the bigger parties it’s the Party Vote that counts, under MMP smaller parties are needed to make up a Government, co-operation rather than competition is what will gain and retain the Government benches for the left,

      Labour need not hold a particular electorate to have representation in it, in marginal seats it does not hold Labour should simply fund an office and assign a list MP to that electorate…

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Murray McCully channels Elton John … “I’m still standing”:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/228673/mccully-indicates-he-will-contest-east-coast-bays

    Now, I’d guess that McCully gets what he wants – he’s not Paul Goldsmith or some other patsy-listy, only there to do what the party HQ requires.

    So if he digs his heels in, then Colin Craig is left with Rodney. Or bust.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • More rural broadband for regional communities
      New contracts will improve around 30,000 broadband connections in rural homes and communities Govt on track to see 99.8% of all New Zealanders receive access to improved broadband as a result of various connectivity programmes by the end of 2023, including those targeting rural regions Applications open for one-off ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Tauranga region to benefit from new funding and financing tool
    Tauranga will be the first region to use a new Government tool to raise funding for much-needed infrastructure. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be used to raise finance from private markets, which is then repaid via the levy on those who benefit from the infrastructure. The finance raised by ...
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    19 hours ago
  • New committee established to drive better public health outcomes
    Some of the country’s most difficult health issues will be tackled by a newly established public health advisory committee, whose members have now been appointed. Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall says the new Public Health Advisory Committee will investigate and help address long-term health challenges facing Aotearoa. “We ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Government and sector back innovative regional and wool projects
    $2.17 million for new food and fibre ventures in Taranaki $2.24m to develop high-value, sustainable cashmere industry $233,000 to prototype an acoustic, knitted textile product from strong wool for high-end commercial and residential interiors.  $530 million co-invested with business through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund  The Government closes ...
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    20 hours ago
  • Statement on the death of Sir Murray Halberg
    New Zealand has lost one our true sporting icons with the passing of Sir Murray Halberg, Grant Robertson, Minister of Sport and Recreation said today. “Sir Murray was an extraordinary athlete. His gold medal in the 5000m at the Rome Olympic Games in 1960 has been immortalised as part of New ...
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    2 days ago
  • Ministerial talks in Canberra to progress trans-Tasman relationship
    The importance of cooperation in the Pacific to support the region’s recovery and resilience will be a focus of formal talks in Canberra tomorrow between the Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and her Australian counterpart Penny Wong. Nanaia Mahuta will meet Senator Wong for the second formal Foreign Ministers’ Consultations following ...
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    2 days ago
  • Iwi and Government partnership delivers more rental homes for Pāpāmoa whānau
    Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare attended the official opening of 10 new rental homes built for working whānau of Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore in Pāpāmoa today. “The Bay of Plenty region is one of many regions facing significant housing challenges and this Government is taking action by ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government investment to support growth of Māori businesses and jobs in the primary sector
    Total exports by Māori businesses have grown by 38% since 2017 to $872 million, with the majority from the food and fibre sector Launch of Rautaki mo te Taurikura action plan to support the continued growth of Māori food and fibre sector Support for Māori agribusiness innovation and workforce development ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government to address child abuse system failings
    The Government is adopting the majority of recommendations from an independent review into the actions of government agencies leading up to the death of 5-year-old Malachi Subecz, Minister for Children Kelvin Davis announced today. Following Malachi’s murder at the hands of his caregiver in 2021, Dame Karen Poutasi was appointed ...
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    2 days ago
  • More tools to help Police deal with fleeing drivers
    Increase the maximum driver licence disqualification period for a second offence of failing to stop or remain stopped, from 12 months to between 12 months and 24 months; Amend the Sentencing Act 2002 so that a vehicle can be forfeited on conviction for failing to stop. Offenders could have their ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt books solid as global situation worsens
    The Crown accounts are in a solid position thanks to the Government’s careful financial management through a deteriorating global environment. For the four months to the end of October, the Operating Balance before Gains and Losses (OBEGAL) recorded a deficit of $2.8 billion, $274 million lower than forecast at Budget ...
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    2 days ago
  • Expanded Dental Grants Available From Today
    ·       Increased Special Needs Grants for dental treatment are available to eligible New Zealanders available from today ·       New criteria means more Dental Treatment covered ·       People can now receive more than one grant in a year (any 52-week period), up to the maximum of $1,000 ·       Recent increases to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Exports tracking towards new record high growth
    Primary industry exports to reach new record high of $55 billion in 2023 Forecasts $2.9 billion higher than in June 2022 Tracking strongly towards a 4 per cent increase in the year ending June 2023, despite global downturn New Zealand’s record food and fibre export revenue is projected to reach ...
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    2 days ago
  • New guidance for climate action at the local level
    The Government has released new guidance to support stronger links between New Zealand’s climate change goals, and local and regional planning. From today, it has become a legal requirement for local governments to consider the Government’s National Adaptation Plan and Emissions Reduction Plan when preparing or changing regional policy statements, ...
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    3 days ago
  • World-first bedside blood test good for people, good for health system
    A single blood test that can diagnose heart attacks in minutes instead of hours, saving the health system millions of dollars and getting patients treated faster, is being rolled out in New Zealand hospitals, says Health Minister Andrew Little. “This research, led by emergency doctors at Christchurch Hospital, is ground-breaking,” ...
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    3 days ago
  • New rongoā workstream announced alongside Therapeutic Products Bill
    A new workstream has been established within government to consider how rongoā might be protected in legislation. This comes as the Therapeutic Products Bill is introduced in Parliament today, Associate Minister for Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare said. “Under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Crown has an obligation to actively ...
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    3 days ago
  • Therapeutic Products Bill introduced
    Legislation to modernise the way medicines, medical devices and natural health products are regulated has been introduced in Parliament today. The Therapeutic Products Bill replaces the Medicines Act 1981 and Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 with a comprehensive regulatory regime that is fit for the future. Health Minister Andrew Little said ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Climate Action Centre to support farmers maintain international edge
    New Climate Action Centre launched to support farmers reduce ag emissions through R&D investment 50:50 joint venture between Government and agribusiness to accelerate product development First Centre projects launched to get farmers the emissions reducing tools sooner Indicative funding commitment rising to $35 million per year by Joint venture partners, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Progress on firearms register and safety authority
    The launch today of a new firearms regulator to ensure the legitimate possession and use of firearms, and an online portal to apply for licences, marks a significant step towards modernisation and improvements in gun safety, Police Minister Chris Hipkins says.     Police is moving from being an administrator of ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government sets out next steps for on-farm sequestration strategy
    Government to work with primary sector on developing a sequestration strategy Government confirms today it will bring all scientifically robust forms of sequestration into the Emissions Trading Scheme, starting from 2025. This will be done at full value, rather than at a discount, so farmers can realise the true potential ...
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    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister concludes bilateral talks with Finnish PM
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin have concluded their first in person bilateral meeting in Auckland this morning. The Prime Ministers reiterated how their respective countries shared similar values and reflected on ways to further strengthen the relationship between New Zealand and Finland. “New Zealand and Finland ...
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    3 days ago
  • Plan to boost value & lift sustainability of NZ forestry sector
    Sector ITP to grow domestic processing and low-carbon wood products Grow the wood processing sector by 3.5 million cubic metres (25%) by 2030 Grow export earnings from value-added wood products by $600 million by 2040 Increase the use of domestic timber in construction by 25% by 2030 The Forestry and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government supports more energy-saving projects to help more Kiwis save money
    17 community energy-saving education projects share $1.7 million Builds on success of previous Government projects that have supported more than 13,000 households and 440 energy education events with more than 80,000 LEDs distributed Helping households to reduce their energy bills and make their homes warmer and more energy-efficient, is the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt funds new 80-bed mental health unit for Canterbury
    The Government has granted final approval for a new 80-bed acute mental health facility at the Hillmorton Hospital campus, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This is the second stage of Hillmorton’s major infrastructure redevelopment programme and is one of the largest investments ever made in New Zealand’s mental health infrastructure ...
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    3 days ago
  • Māori education momentum rolls on with new wharekura
    A new Year 1-13 wharekura will extend Māori Medium Education into Porirua West from 2027, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “The establishment of Te Kākā Kura o Ngāti Toa Rangatira will over time provide a local option for up to 200 tamariki and rangatahi on the western side ...
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    3 days ago
  • Easing administrative burden on farmers through new integrated farm planning projects
    37 new investments to simplify planning and reduce paperwork for farmers and growers Targeted projects for Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatū-Whanganui, West Coast, Canterbury, and Otago Resources, a digital wallet and template tools to help farmers develop and integrate their farm planning. The Government is ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Commerce Commission Chair appointed
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark has today announced the appointment of Dr John Small as the new Chair of the Commerce Commission. “Dr Small has made a valuable contribution to a broad range of the Commission’s work in his roles as associate member and member, which he ...
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    4 days ago
  • Realising housing dreams for the Kāpiti Coast
    Much needed public housing is on the way for the Kāpiti Coast thanks to the Government’s purchase of a large vacant plot of land at 59-69 Raumati Road in Raumati Beach. “This purchase will ultimately mean more families have a place to call home and demonstrates our commitment to resolving ...
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    4 days ago
  • Decarbonisation industry milestone reached in Timaru
    A pioneering boiler conversion project is now up and ready to go, using woodchips to make potato chips, while slashing emissions. “McCain’s newly converted coal boiler will reduce CO2 emissions at its Timaru factory by 95% and is an excellent example of the great climate gains we can achieve through ...
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    4 days ago
  • Fiftieth Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations With China
    Chinese Embassy Reception Te Papa, Wellington   Tēnā koutou katoa, Da jia hao Let me first acknowledge Ambassador Wang Xiaolong, thank you for the invitation this evening, it is a pleasure to be here. I would also like to acknowledge current and former Parliamentary colleagues, as well as members of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt keeps AM on the air in Northland
    Minister of Broadcasting and Media Willie Jackson and Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty today announced a $1.48 million package to fund the repair and replacement of three transmission masts in Northland to ensure AM radio can stay on air in the region. “This funding will secure the reinstatement of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Multi million dollar package to tackle retail crime and reoffending
    A multi million dollar package to tackle retail crime and reoffending is the most significant crime prevention financial package in recent memory  New fog cannon subsidy scheme set up. Government to provide $4000 for all small shops and dairies in New Zealand who want a fog cannon installed, with shops ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding boost to support NZ’s game development industry
    New Zealand’s game developers will receive an immediate funding boost to help support the growth of local studios beyond the current Dunedin centre. “New Zealand’s game development sector has been rapidly growing. The latest data from the New Zealand Game Developers Association shows the total revenue for the industry is ...
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    5 days ago
  • A new strategy for Pacific housing
    New and existing housing initiatives are being brought together to improve home ownership for Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. Fale mo Aiga: Pacific Housing Strategy and Action Plan 2030, launched today, is the Government’s targeted response to the housing challenges faced by Pacific Aotearoa. Minister ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government takes action on pay parity for healthcare workers
    Thousands of frontline community health workers – including nurses in aged-care facilities - are in for a pay rise as the Labour Government takes action on pay parity in the health sector. “I’m pleased to announce that Cabinet has agreed to on-going funding of $200 million a year so that ...
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    5 days ago
  • World’s first algae-based local anaesthetic another step closer to reality
    A partnership between the Government and the Cawthron Institute has delivered a breakthrough in the production of a potent microalgal ingredient for the world’s first algae-based pain medication, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced.  “Scientists at Cawthron Institute in Nelson have developed a reliable and commercially scalable method for producing neosaxitoxin, ...
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    7 days ago