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Dirty Politics in 2015

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, January 13th, 2015 - 81 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, broadcasting, capitalism, class war, Deep stuff, Dirty Politics, john key, journalism, labour, Media, national, newspapers, radio, same old national - Tags:

There was a fascinating interview on Radio New Zealand yesterday where Noelle McCarthy interviewed Political Scientists Bronwyn Hayward and Mark Boyd.  Bronwyn is the head of the Department of Politics at Canterbury University and Mark is a Doctoral candidate for a PhD at Auckland University.  The audio is here.  It is well worth a listen.

What was really impressive was the quality of the interview.  Instead of the typical type of political panel discussion where the loudest dominate and the best slogan wins we had the pleasure of listening to two people who clearly knew what they were talking about and were prepared to engage in an analytical discussion of the subject at hand.  If only more political discussions were like this. And if only experts of their calibre were used to talk about the left wing parties as opposed to the usual suspects.

They discussed dirty politics, the election result and the current state of the political parties.  The following is a simplified list of what they said but as I said have a listen yourself.

Points made included these:

  1. Turnout for the 2014 election for young people improved by about 10% and this was a good result especially considering the sort of election campaign (dirty) that it was.
  2. Hayward was hopeful that respect and interest in politics is improving and pointed to world events last year as evidence of this.  Young people are increasingly engaged in politics per se.
  3. The problem is with engagement with political parties and voting.  Issues such as inequality affect people at a deep level but they tend to be more likely to vote if they have a stake in the future.  People in the lower socioeconomic groups are less likely to vote because they see less reason to do so.
  4.  New Zealand’s vote last election was historically low and about average for countries in the OECD.
  5. The media’s role in New Zealand is very important.  Our media is dominated by the same voices spread across different media and we tend to get the same narrative.  There is a very small group of people saying the same thing.
  6. This needs to change.  A large reason for this is that the media is predominantly owned by commercial interests, and apart from Radio New Zealand and Maori Television we do not have public service media.  Because the media is so heavily commercialised it needs to attract an audience and the best way to do this is by covering conflict and scandal.
  7. Dirty politics and the circus surrounding Kim Dotcom were an absolute gift to the media.  They focussed on the scandals, the coverage was much more negative and much more personal than normal and we missed having the debates about policy.
  8. Rorting of the system is a major problem.  In Epsom 23,000 party voted National and only 1,000 voted ACT.  In Ohariu only 200 people voted for United Future.  If we want to restore faith in the system we have to sort this problem out.
  9. New Zealand’s politics is small and personal and with PR each vote counts.  The system is simple which can be bad because power is heavily concentrated in the executive without any real checks and balances.
  10. The power of large companies and their ability to lobby direct are huge.  Dirty politics was all about cronyism and power of the lobby groups.
  11. The role of the media is to scrutinise this and the difficulty with so much of the media being commercially owned is that there is a dampening effect on the media fulfilling its proper role to scrutinise.
  12. It was a shame that Dirty Politics came out during the campaign.  Hayward thought the disclosures did bother the electorate.  People became very uncomfortable about John Key and could not understand why he was associating with Cameron Slater.  They were concerned about Oravidia.  The moment of truth hurt the left though and people stopped thinking critically.  They did not like big money being used in this way and reverted to type.  People were concerned about childhood poverty and corporate power but the moment of truth caused them to go back to their traditional corners and vote for what they knew.
  13. What people are now interested in are questions of where are we going as a country?  What are our values?  How are we building our nation and who for, and how will we survive as a small diversifying country?  These issues were not discussed during the campaign because of the dominance of dirty politics.  During the campaign any policy debates were presented negatively.  We were still primarily concerned with hip pocket issues rather than the bigger issues of personal freedom or nation building or our place in the world.  And with the economy appearing to be fine people preferred not to change.
  14. Changing the flag is a branding exercise for helping businesses internationally.  This is not a proper reason for changing our flag.  The issues that will define the coming period are dissension envy hate and corruption.  The values that matter to us as a nation need to be agreed on before we can decide on a flag.
  15. Politics has to get back to things that matter.  Andrew Little’s “cut the crap” is potentially the start of a shift back to a discussion on the things that really matter.
  16. Andrew Little’s position as Labour leader is secure, he has made a good start and he will be a real challenge to John Key.
  17. Labour was hurt by having three leaders in three years.  The vote for Labour, Greens and Mana were all down in the election and National had a dream run in 2014.
  18. The TPPA is not well understood and there are concerns.  Kiwis need to know more about it before it is signed.  This ties into the need for the media to provide in-depth reporting on the issue.  And there needs to be transparency and we need to know what we as a nation are signing away and what we are gaining.
  19. Academics need to stand up and help with this process.  A lot of academics are working on projects that are tied to business and Government funding and feel reluctant to speak out because of this.
  20. As for social media Instagram is starting to take over from twitter for young voters.  Twitter encourages a fast and furious debate which is not helpful for the development of ideas.  It is more for the chatteratii.  Facebook is not helpful because of the corporate ability to affect feeds.  We are not dealing with a neutral platform, we are dealing with a corporate controlled medium.

The discussion presented the best critical analysis of New Zealand politics that I have heard in a while.  Well done Radio New Zealand, just what I expect from a public service media outlet.

And from the sublime to the ridiculous I paid a visit to Whaleoil.  Slater is running a series of posts “Who is Andrew Little”.  Obviously he believes that he being the one man wrecking ball that he is can destroy Little with the power of his blogging.  The funny thing is that he used a recent Standard post to provide the material in this donotlink post and linked to a youtube video put up by yours truly.

I expect that Slater will continue doing what he does but it will be interesting to see what strategy National adopts this year both in relation to Slater and in relation to the smearing and attacking of opponents.  Who will they use and how will they do it?  Meanwhile there needs to be a deep conversation on the current role of our media in serving our political system and what can be done to improve it.

81 comments on “Dirty Politics in 2015 ”

  1. Gosman 1

    Interestingly I made the same point here about the moment of truth well before the election where I stated it could have a massive negative impact for the left if the revellations were not as devastating as they were hyped to be.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.1

      I think they will be devastating once everyone gets sick of worshipping FJK. Unlike him, they are factual and won’t go away. People accept all sorts of things from their heroes, but once the gloss goes off, the collapse can be very fast. Kiwis’ relationship with Key is like a new marriage, everything is roses, but after the divorce, it’s all thorns.

  2. Dorothy 2

    Very interesting blog Mickey, I am off to do the follow up reading.

  3. miravox 3

    On point 18. “The TPPA is not well understood and there are concerns. Kiwis need to know more about it before it is signed. This ties into the need for the media to provide in-depth reporting on the issue. And there needs to be transparency and we need to know what we as a nation are signing away and what we are gaining.”

    A repost from Open Mike on the 10/01 to emphasise the difference in approach between the EU negotiations with the US and that of the TPPA countries.

    In the interest of transparency the EU is publishing texts of the proposed TTIP . The move:

    is an example of how the Commission is putting into practice its commitment made last November to inject more transparency into the TTIP negotiations. The Commission then undertook to:

    – make public more TTIP EU negotiating texts that the Commission shares with Member States and the European Parliament;
    – provide access to the EU’s TTIP negotiating texts to all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), not just a select few, by extending access to EU restricted documents in a ‘reading room’ to those MEPs who had no access to such restricted documents so far;
    – classify fewer TTIP negotiating documents as ‘EU restricted’, thus making them more easily accessible to MEPs outside the reading room;
    publish and update on a regular basis a public list of TTIP documents shared with the European Parliament and the Council.
    – publish information about who meets its political leaders and senior officials.
    The 12 position papers already published cover financial services, public procurement, regulatory coherence, technical barriers to trade, food safety and animal and plant health, chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, vehicles, sustainable development, and energy and raw materials.

    … We will make the whole text of the agreement public once negotiations have been concluded – well in advance of its signature and ratification.

    Many of the negotiation papers are there. Makes a lie of the arguments against publishing the texts of the TPPA, I reckon.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    I am not sure I agree with point 17 entirely. National hardly had a dream run in 2014. They had more negative headlines, scandals and resignations than any winning party ever.

  5. Skinny 5

    Expose the lobbyists and who their big business clients are. Hooton, Graham and other spin merchants hawking their wares should be forced to disclose the reason for a meeting, recorded transcripts of all meetings with Minister/MP’s or Government department heads. All other access like socialising by public relation staff with the above be banned in the interests of transparency & democracy. After the dodgy goings on exposed by Dirty Politic’s all opposition party’s should be drafting a join private members bill to go into the biscut tin ASAP.

    • Gosman 5.1

      Would this also apply to anyone discussing any matter with a politician on behalf of a third party e.g. Union’s?

      • Skinny 5.1.1

        Unions (other than the scambolic taxpayer union) are excluded as they fairly represent the best interests of working New Zealanders in what is an unlevel playing field, they are not open to the influence & corrupt practices of big business/ multi corporations.

        • Gosman 5.1.1.1

          This will never fly then. Your proposal is nothing more than a partisan political attempt to restrict people you disagree with from getting their views across to political representatives. Unless there is something equivalent to a revolution any change in this area will cause a huge backlash.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.1

            Oh that’s easy then. Simply weight all submissions based on the number of individual citizens represented.

            • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1.1

              How would this work exactly?

              If I run a company that employs 1000 people is that the same as a Union representing 1000 workers? Or perhaps I have a company that has 1000 shareholders. Do we use that as the comparison instead?

              • Tracey

                well, you could start by using a dictionary and learning the definitions of

                employ
                and
                represent

                • Gosman

                  Hence why I offered an alternative with the Shareholders. Does not the senior management of a business represent the interests of the shareholders?

                  • tracey

                    I am pretty sure they don’t. The Board does, but within the strict confines of the Companies Act. It is a false analogy. Anyway there are another 16+ points to consider.

                    • Gosman

                      Senior management are responsible to the board and thus to the shareholders.

                      The point is that trying to argue that groups like Unions should have more rights to lobby than businesses is going to open a world of trouble.

                    • CATMAN

                      The point is that trying to argue that groups like Unions should have more rights to lobby than businesses is going to open a world of trouble.

                      If your effort so far on the topic is an indication of the scope of this “world of trouble” then I think we’re all good thanks.

                    • Gosman

                      You are aware of the problems the Labour government faced when it introduced the Electoral finance act aren’t you? Take that response and multiply by about 10.

                    • CATMAN

                      Sooooo……10 billboards this time?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    So long as you can demonstrate democratic consultation with individuals who name you as their rep, Gos, you can claim to be representing them on the issues you consulted them about. And their conflicts of interest.

                    • Gosman

                      Excellent. So if the board is given authority by the shareholders to appoint a political lobbyist then that would mean they could receive the same level as a Union rep then.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      There’s also the small matter of evidence. So, for example, if your lobbyist claims that a rise in the minimum wage will lead to unemployment I’d like to see them up on perjury charges along with the shareholders.

                      Parliament being a court and all.

                    • CATMAN

                      “receive the same level ” of what?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Gossy’s just looking for loopholes. Appropriate attention to weighting and evidence will allay his philosophical fears, though probably not his conflicts of interest.

                  • No they don’t.

                    They (the board) have a fiduciary responsibility to maximise profit irrespective of any other wish any shareholder may have.

                    That’s not to say that shareholders cannot sway the board to consider a broader perspective (Sisters of St. Francis), but such activity is as rare as it is remarkable.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Hence why I offered an alternative with the Shareholders. Does not the senior management of a business represent the interests of the shareholders?

                    Only those shareholders with a greater than 5% share of a company count as having a significant interest in the company.

                    For this calculation, corporate/company/investment fund shareholders in a company will count as zero – they are not citizens or even people.

        • Naturesong 5.1.1.2

          Hmm, unions are democratic institutions and like all institutiuons, they are not immune from corruption.

          It comes down to governance and the enagement of the membership to ensure the union fairly represents it’s members.

          Corportations et al, are private institutions and represent no one other than the business, whose single most important goal is maximising profit.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.2

        @ Goosemann
        I don’t see why not. I don’t see any problem with records being kept of meetings between politicians and anyone, where they are acting in their capacity as politicians. Of course that idiot who said “Do you know who I am?” would have had real problems in a singles’ bar.

  6. saveNZ 6

    The biggest problem was the ‘left’ parties not collaborating and attacking each other. Labour came across as a joke, more worried about Dotcom than National. Having the capital gains taxes and increasing pension was a vote killer for Labour. They gained nothing and lost by dirty politics because they came out against Dotcom and fighting each other rather than going after Dirty Politics which lost them the left labour voters that believed Nicky Hager and were disgusted by Labour’s attacks on each other. In addition people did not vote because of the confusion.

    I’m sure I will be slammed for this but if Labour and Greens continue to believe that it was Internet Mana (who gained 1.5% hardly taking their votes) and not their actions they will be doomed to repeat them.

    The one to watch is National in the elections and they need to strategies to work together with Greens and Maori and anyone else and not look like a rabble. They need strategies against MSM who’s commentators are so far right wing it makes the centre look left.

    Also traditionally Labour has had ‘safe economic’ policies but gained the moral high ground on ethics. However they reversed this and Just like the 24 hour surveillance bill again Labour splitting their voters by going for a very controversial NationalLite policy. National out of the spotlight on the surveilance bill and Labour losing again.

    My view is the election result was left voters punishing Labour and in part Greens by for allowing National to get away with so much . That left the coast clear for National who stayed out of the limelight and attacked via Slater and MSM to look the most ‘dignified’.

    • The Greens were not worried about Internet-Mana, other than Dotcoms politically naive behaviour affecting perception of the left.
      Labours behaviour on the other hand, looked a lot like self mutulation.

  7. ShoreGirl 7

    The left failed to make Dirty Politics and Oravida an issue meaningful at a personal level to workers and families.
    There was a lot of material to use and our leaders made legalistic points rather than emotional points. Boring.

    Rather than the repeatedely trying to (and failing to) nail Key they should have focused on human stories of the smaller people whose lives were negatively effected by the thuggish behaviour.

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      Totally disagree.

      There was more than enough focus (from every conceivable angle) on the shortcomings and corruption of the National Government. It is hard to think what else could have been thrown at them.

      The left failed to articulate at a personal level how life would be different under an alternative government. People need something to vote for. Unfortunately the left focused to much on presenting something to vote against.

      • Coffee Connoissuer 7.1.1

        shoregirl is right in my view unless it is personalized or framed in a way that shows the intended audience how it affects them then the message fails to have the impact it needs and won’t hit home.
        The framing of an argument is something National do very well and something Labour need to get a lot better at very quickly. Framing is so important.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      The premise of the post is that the media made the decisions on what news to run. There was an attempt to make the campaign about policy but this was not reflected in what was published. I think that you need to look at the media if you want to work out responsibility for this.

      • ShoreGirl 7.2.1

        People could relate to stories like Cathetine Riche’s use on Whaleoil to stop a food writer in The Herald, Wendy Nissen, exposing the use of additives sugar and garbage in food. Big Food and National Party hacks trying to get a simple food writer fired!
        People can relate to that easier than the Jason Ede link to John Key,

        Likewise a story about Collins and hubby making $250k pa from helping Oravida Shaft Kiwi Farmers own Dairy Co, Fonterra, relates to real people more than the semantics of a minister having a secret dinner and telling fibs about it.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.1

          why do you think the media would focus on that and distribute/disseminate it, when Greens and Labour published over 50 policies between them but news outlets constantly reported on nats claim Labour had no policies?

        • mickysavage 7.2.1.2

          I agree the media focussed on dirty politics. But Labour was trying to talk about policies. Hell we had dozens of them we were meant to be campaigning on. Why is it Labour’s fault if the media chose to talk about dirty politics instead of Labour’s vision for the country?

          • Bill Drees 7.2.1.2.1

            Labour did get caught up in the Dirty Politics whirlwind. It was all consuming for a while. Many, including moi, thought it could be a king-hit on Key. Labour had a window of time in which to use it and did not do a good job.*

            Only when the polls showed that Key was going to survive it did Labour realise that Dirty Politics was not mana from heaven.

            •Phil Goff was an exception to that.

            • tracey 7.2.1.2.1.1

              by caught up in it do you mean swamped by it so the media buried their policy?

              cos it sounds like you are peddling the nonsense that Labour was yelling about DP for the whole campaign or even half of it. They werent.

              • Sacha

                On the contrary, their problem was conspicuous silence to stay “positive”. Releasing over a hundred policies rather than a few clear messages probably didn’t help either.

                • tracey

                  that is a different point to the one that bill drees is making. He appears to be saying the LP spent time and energy promoting or talking about DP, and the media didnt push the agenda, which is not my recollection.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.2.1.2

              …and yet they’re still dining out on it. Perhaps it’s a slow cooker.

          • fisiani 7.2.1.2.2

            Labour’s vision for the country was simple. Tax, spend and borrow. Same as always. So 20th century. No wonder it was rejected by the media and the voters.

            [How about you move away from the slogans and start using reality to support your arguments? – MS]

  8. Skinny 8

    The biggest single factor that the opposition party’s done was fail to work together in the common goal of wining the required seats to Govern.

    If Labour, Greens & NZF had run primary contests prior to the election in many electorate seats, with the most popular candidate becoming the sole contestant to run against the National candidate in that electorate. The non winners standing for the party vote only, thus giving the preferred coalition candidate a much better chance with no vote splitting.

    With the public interest and the opportunity to join in the primary vote all party’s would benefit with increased membership. The voting structure would be allocated to the proportion of members and a cross party panel. Under MMP it’s 2 votes, and I believe most people want the best person to be their electorate MP as long are on the side of the House they prefer. I would imagine plenty of blue ribbon seats would have got a few upset results.

    I will be canvassing an approach like this with the various party leaders over the next 6 months. Here’s hoping a decent strategy will unfold.

    • Enough is Enough 8.1

      How does the left afford that circus you have just described?

      • Skinny 8.1.1

        The primary is local and would cost bugger all, voting is for members only so it really only requires a decent size hall, with voting on the day. Any candidate promotional material can be put online or emailed by party’s to members.

        • Enough is Enough 8.1.1.1

          You do realise that one of the hurdles that the left face every election is cold-hard cash.

          The Nats have a money printing machine in their back office and can afford whatever they like.

          We beg for every cent and need to be extremely frugal in how we spend it.

          I can assure you that a primary election across the country will not cost ‘bugger all’.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            Which the last election should have shown to be nonsense. I doubt National had as much cash to spend as the IMP.

            • Barfly 8.1.1.1.1.1

              If you lose your job Gosman it looks like you could have a career in comedy…that last one had me in stitches

            • Skinny 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Don’t you mean the National Government own goal? where the taxpayer ended up indirectly funding the Internet Party through the hand out to Warner Brothers, which appears Dotcom grabbed a slice of the pie allegedly through Mega. Ending in a trickle down to Hone’s pocket.

              • Gosman

                It is Irrelevant where the money came from. The point is IMP spent more than National. How did this help them then?

                • KJT

                  Of course, the bribes to deadwood National MP’s to leave, the school funding in Tonga, the NZ Herald editorials of National propaganda etc, etc etc, were not, “election spending”!?

            • tricledrown 8.1.1.1.1.3

              Goose stepper you always use facts to cover up the truth.
              CASH.
              Maybe true but a yellow media which continually undermine opposition parties at will is PRICELESs!
              Most of the popular Radio stations especially the MediaWorks stations are always pushing National Party propaganda.
              Never critiscing imcumbent National MP,s alwaus poking low blows at the opposition.
              Goose stepper we have a corrupt Media that is gIving National millions in free propaganda!
              $millions of dollars worth not cash no never. FREE!

              • Skinny

                Not to mention kickbacks of lucrative Government contracts for sizable national party donations. Crest Clean exposed in DP got awarded a nationwide contract. Nevermind the local firm that had provided a very good cost efficient service for years. I nearly fell over when I heard CC’s charges to clean our offices.

                Nationals motto should be “many ways to skin the taxpayer”

            • tricledrown 8.1.1.1.1.4

              Paunch(Mora)and Judy(Collins no doubts )

          • Skinny 8.1.1.1.2

            The DC,GR,SJ LP husting cost $1800 in my region which took in a number of seats. A primary would at Max cost 1 K. I could front that myself, however split 3 ways across party’s means a relatively cheap cost. Added benefits are a pre election shake down, free publicity/recognition. A jump on the Nats.

            If you look at seats that could otherwise been easily won if not for vote splitting I think we need to move in the direction I propose.

          • fisiani 8.1.1.1.3

            Citation required for this obvious lie.

            • CATMAN 8.1.1.1.3.1

              What, the lie that the nats have an actual machine?

            • Enough is Enough 8.1.1.1.3.2

              you’re a fucking moron

              Let me dig into my filing cabinet to see if I can find the evidence you require re the money printing machine and the purple ferries that hand it out.

  9. Skinny 9

    Be interested in Savage’s opinion all be it a one dimensional lawyers view.

  10. Tracey 10

    Sooty and Sweep will return next week Mickey… this interview was an aberration.

    • Skinny 10.1

      “Sooty” oh dear this from the Queen of PC. Put a sun hat on luv if you’re been outdoors.

      • tracey 10.1.1

        🙄

        “The Sooty Show is a British children’s television series that aired on BBC Television from 1955 until 1967.. after it was cancelled by the BBC that year, The Sooty Show swiftly moved to ITV shortly after the launch of Thames Television in 1968, where the series remained until Thames lost its ITV franchise in 1992.

        It features the glove puppet characters Sooty, Sweep (who first appeared in 1957) and Soo (first appeared in 1964), and follows them in their many mischievous adventures. The show was presented from the 1955 to 1975 by Harry Corbett, and from 1976 to 1992 by his son, Matthew, as he bought the rights for Sooty for £35,000 from his father, and acted as the token human being. In 1981, The Sooty Show changed from a sketch-based format with a studio audience into a more sitcom-based format set in the Sooteries cottage.”

        Sooty A mute yellow bear who is the protagonist of the show. He owns a magic wand whose power is invoked using the words “Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy!”.

        Sweep – A grey dog with a penchant for bones and sausages. Known for communicating using bizarre squeaks (these were achieved by original puppeteer Leslie Corbett inserting a reed from an saxophone in his mouth to create Sweep’s distinctive squeaks).

        Soo – A calm and collected female panda with a normal human voice, who acts as the foil for both Sooty and Sweep. Usually wears a red skirt. Originally voiced by Mr stapleton snr wife Marjorie Corbett from 1964 to 1981 and later voiced by Brenda Longman from 1981 up to the present day.”

        wikipedia

  11. Sacha 11

    “The vote for Labour, Greens and Mana were all down in the election”

    Not this rubbish again, Greg. Please tell us what you understand the Greens % vote was in 2011 and 2014, and how many MPs that resulted in?

    • mickysavage 11.1

      It is what Mark Boyd said. He said (at 24:18) “the vote for Labour, the Greens and Internet Mana were all significantly down”.

      Green vote went down from 11.06% to 10.7% although I agree in numerical terms it was up by about 10,000.

      • Sacha 11.1.1

        and the number of MPs…
        was exactly the same.

        Sounds like Boyd needs a spanking, then. And anyone who repeats him without engaging their fact-checking brain first. I’m tired of people running a line that the Green vote was in any way like Labour or Mana in that respect. It will not help anyone lift their game or build a better alliance this term.

  12. Sacha 12

    “Instagram is starting to take over from twitter for young voters.”

    It will be interesting to see more post-election analysis of that. I thought young people had been using a range of alternatives for some time now, though I guess there may be differences with the subgroup who actually vote? Having a discussion about politics on Instagram seems unlikely.

  13. DH 13

    Strange there’s no mention there of what I thought was the dirtiest politics of all. The corporate media rigged the election by neutering the only credible opposition to John Key. They created the narrative that David Cunliffe was untrustworthy and that made him unelectable.

  14. reason 14

    I agree with DH that the media combined with the main players in Nationals Dirty Politics cast ran the near perfect hatchet job against DC .

    Even better for them they turned a rather horrible liability of their association with a wife beating big national party donating asian immigrant into the weapon upon which they launched their ‘tricky’ smears and resignation calls against DC.

    The media were firmly plugged in and played their part in this Dirty Politics smear episode to a tee ………….. Cunliffe never recovered from what was a set up followed by a whole lot of lies being used against himself and labour.

    The smear job Involving the same core cast with the same or even more abuse of power involving OIA’s and even the SIS were used the election before against Geoff.

    But back to the present ……………. :

    The direct line of shit from the prime ministers office to Whale Sludge will be more muted this year but dung beetles do not change their diet so I would expect the sneaky creep Farrar to push the prime ministers lines …….. while Whale Filth will be fed leaks and maybe more shoe camera photos from the likes of the vile Judith Collins and Lusks ugly hench-peoples who presently infest parliament.

    The print media will continue to recycle the Governments spin on most things and all you can really do is recognize them for what they are and help other people do the same …………….. and never buy them.

    Dirty Politics has not played out yet by any stretch of the imagination ……

  15. CATMAN 15

    If you value these longer, more thoughtful discussions about politics it’s probably worth emailng rnz and letting them know you wouldn’t mind hearing them all year round instead of the usual “paid lobbyist vs I-agree-with-the-paid-lobbyist” bullshit.

  16. fisiani 16

    Two leftie commentators speak on National Radio and try to rewrite history . Glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

  17. gnomic 17

    It’s the ‘as heard on all channels’ part that gets me. Should one by chance stray on to Radio Live say, strictly for research purposes of course, gadzooks whose is that familiar voice!? Yes, it’s “I’ve got three houses” yet again. If Mike is the voice of the Left no wonder it’s in big trouble. As for Hoots, just check if the lips are moving.

  18. Neil 18

    Slater & the Nats will do whatever it takes to discredit Andrew Little, no matter whether its legal or not.

  19. greywarshark 19

    Q. how will we survive as a small diversifying country?
    This was in the post of discussion with the two political commentators.

    I wonder if it should have been worded as “How will we survive as a small country not diversifying? What happens to countries reliant on extraction, primary industry as commodities, and tourism in a world of shrinking fuel?

    And how does a country have the resilience to manage in a self-supportive way in a major disaster scenario if we have stripped away all our skills and systems that would allow us to be self-sufficient? Could we do it, without starvation and extreme deprivation, death and disease and disruption of vital transport and technological systems?

    Or would areas be virtually abandoned as happened when Maori were swept with disease outbreaks and death in early colonial times? Too difficult to reach, no ready resources to call on, too big a disaster, so sad. Erect a monumnt to the NZ that was. Hold a design competition for the survivors to enter, give them something to do, good for morale and show them that government has a heart? This sort of happening could be experienced followed by more facile, shallow, manipulative thinking.

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  • Environment Court Judge appointed
    Prudence Steven QC, barrister of Christchurch has been appointed as an Environment Judge and District Court Judge to serve in Christchurch, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Steven has been a barrister sole since 2008, practising in resource management and local government / public law.    She was appointed a Queen’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government moves on climate promises
    The Government is delivering on its first tranche of election promises to take action on climate change with a raft of measures that will help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target, create new jobs and boost innovation. “This will be an ongoing area of action but we are moving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Jump starting research careers
    The Government is investing up to $10 million to support 30 of the country’s top early-career researchers to develop their research skills. “The pandemic has had widespread impacts across the science system, including the research workforce. After completing their PhD, researchers often travel overseas to gain experience but in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
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    1 day ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
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    2 days ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
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    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
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    2 days ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
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    3 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
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    3 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
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    7 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
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    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago