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Disconnect

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 pm, May 10th, 2009 - 47 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, mt albert - Tags:

As Labour learned to its cost last year you can’t keep on insisting that something is true if the public’s opinion has hardened against it. Once the disconnect is in place, not only do you fail to bring people to your point of view, your efforts make you look aloof or unlistening, hurting your popularity.

That’s what National faces now over the supercity. Here’s the part of the Q+A interview with Melissa Lee and David Shearer on the supercity:

MELISSA Super City well it makes sense to me, what matters is that people actually like the idea of one city, one rates bill, one council, but the thing is that the concern is how Mt Albert people are going to be represented in those council and you know there will be submissions there will be consultation and you know I’m hoping to make sure that Mt Albert people have a voice.

DAVID Super City’s going to be rammed through parliament this week under urgency, why can’t we actually have a discussion about it.

MELISSA Excuse me it’s not going to be rammed through parliament.

DAVID We’ve got a proposal put in front of us now and people really haven’t had a chance to look at it, they don’t understand it and they feel that their power of being able to plan for their own communities is being taken away from them.

DAVID We did have a royal commission, that royal commission came up with a report, the report was binned and we got a pamphlet that basically told us what was gonna happen, now people haven’t had a chance to

MELISSA Look this is scaremongering, this is absolute scaremongering by the Labour Party

DAVID It’s the reality Paul.

MELISSA and they’re actually saying that people are not gonna have a chance for consultation, they will, it will go out

DAVID Look the decision’s already been made by Rodney Hide, he’s already made that decision.

MELISSA to actually determine how they will be represented in those councils, you know a lot of people that I’ve talked to on the street like the idea, as I said one council, one mayor, one rates bill, it’s smart, and you know what

DAVID People are very worried that their own community is not gonna be served by one council, one mega council is gonna represent more than .

MELISSA Exactly but you know what

DAVID And there definitely needs to be some integration with the public transport for example…

…DAVID   Consultation basically is I mean the decision has been made, I mean Rodney Hide has decided that this is the way it’s going to be, he’s gonna push it through regardless and we can consult but this basically is going to be the reality.

Lee has nothing but ‘supercity council good, consulation plentiful, objections = scaremongering’. There’s the disconnect. Most Aucklanders oppose the supercity, Lee’s effectively saying ‘you’ve got it wrong’ but not backing it up with anything. It just doesn’t ring true to say there is adequate consultation or that the only opponents are Labour. 

The problem for Lee (and its the same with the Waterview connection) is that her party is at odds with popular sentiment. The only solution is to change the subject. Thus we see a cynical attempt from Lee in the interview (dutifully picked up by the rightwing blogs) to use the Napier shootings to make crime an issue:

MELISSA         But you’ve only been there for the last week as he said, he’s only come back just a week ago, I’ve been there for longer than that and people are telling me people are telling me that they’re concerned about safety issues, I mean as you know Paul I have been a victim of a home invasion, I had a gun pointed in my head, don’t tell me that law and order issue are not actually a big issue for people of Mt Albert, just look at what happened in Napier.
 
PAUL     Well to be fair to Mr Shearer he has had a bomb go off 25 metres behind him when he was sleeping.
 
MELISSA         True, but I mean maybe that is the reason he doesn’t think law and order is a big issue in Mt Albert

Yeah, the guy who has been face to face with armed men in Somalia and Iraq doesn’t understand law and order. Don’t think that’s going to fly.

47 comments on “Disconnect ”

  1. Jared 1

    Understanding Law and Order is not the same as understanding sentiment in the electorate that indicates law and order in their community is a problem. She does have a point, someone who is far disconnected from New Zealand and more to the point, Mt Albert, expects to understand the real issues in the electorate? Saying the Supercity is a done and dusted decision is pure scaremongering, and considering the 1,300,000 citizens in its isthmus, for National to introduce an “unpopular” solution to clear inefficiencies in local government would be the primary architect in their own downfall. John Key has said that we will get to have our say about the way how we are represented in the Select Committee process.

    Ill wait until the select committee stage to see/hear the submissions before I say that the public don’t want a supercity, at the moment it seems clear that the only detractors are those with the most to lose (i.e council employees) or those looking to score points against the government.

    • Danny 1.1

      “at the moment it seems clear that the only detractors are those with the most to lose (i.e council employees) or those looking to score points against the government.”

      and the majority of Aucklanders according to several polls.

      inconvenient that.

      • Jared 1.1.1

        Oh thats right, Polls.

        “A Reid Research survey released last week showed a reasonably even split in opinions on the Maori seats – 46 per cent favoured including them and 54 per cent were against.”
        Proof Aucklanders are against the inclusion of Maori Seats, wait, public opinion?

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10570153

        “Though the poll’s sample of just 483 is small, it is the first real indicator of support for the supercity concept, with 45 percent of Aucklanders in favour, and 43 percent against.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2354169/Voters-back-Auckland-supercity

        I thought id have a look at the polls that suggest Aucklanders disagree with the proposal. I could only find one, and it was commissioned on behalf of the Waitakere City Council and canvassed only 400 citizens in the Waitakere area. Very indicative I know. Could it be a campaign of misinformation that is leading those astray and that they don’t understand the differences between the royal commission and the PROPOSED Supercity model? Maybe thats why the government has set up http://www.auckland.govt.nz that highlights their concerns, hell, it even asks for their feedback, shocking I know.

        • r0b 1.1.1.1

          Rather selective quoting there Jared. Ass you well know, polls are generally opposed, and on a wide range of issues:

          Support for a supercity in greater Auckland is weak in Prime Minister John Key’s Helensville electorate. A Phoenix poll conducted in Waitakere found only 34 percent of respondents support the government’s plans – which call for an Auckland Council covering an area from Franklin in the south, through Papakura and as far north as Rodney. … Nearly half of those polled 47 percent opposed the government’s plan. In Mr Key’s Helensville electorate, which takes in large chunks of Rodney, it was slightly higher at 48 percent.

          Only 16 percent of those poll respondents supported the plan to create 20 to 30 local boards under the proposed Auckland Council, as opposed to 66 percent support for the commission’s model of a super council with six councils under it.

          Respondents were asked “Has the amount the government has consulted Aucklanders about the supercity been too much, about right or too little?” An overwhelming 63 percent said too little, 31 percent about right and 5 percent too much.

          The second question was “Do you support having a mayor with the same powers as now, or should he or she have greater executive powers as proposed by the government?” Only 39 percent agreed the new mayor should have more power something essential to the operation of a supercity council as proposed while 61 percent believed the mayor’s powers should not be expanded.

          The fourth and perhaps crucial question was “If the amalgamation does go ahead, should it be funded by Auckland ratepayers or the government?” Only 29 percent of respondents answered ratepayers should foot the bill and a massive 71 percent said the government should pay.

          See also eg here:

          A poll out yesterday shows only 12% of people in Key’s own electorate support his government’s proposed structure. 72% prefer the Royal Commission’s structure. 34% supported the supercity and 47% opposed it altogether.

          • Tim Ellis 1.1.1.1.1

            You’re quoting the same poll in both quotes r0b. The poll was conducted by phoenix research, only in waitakere. It isn’t an indication of wider support for the supercity across auckland.

            Also, if you actually linked through to the source article, rather than the standard’s summary of it as a reference, you might get your numbers right. Using self-referencing Standard posts to back up your claims and for sources for quotes is very dodgy r0b.

          • r0b 1.1.1.1.2

            You’re quoting the same poll in both quotes r0b.

            Quite right, in the second link I meant to refer to this Standard post on a Reid poll:

            Supercity poll results could spell trouble for the government.

            A Reid Research poll conducted in Auckland has found residents think consultation has been inadequate, that the mayor of a supercity should not have expanded powers, that the government should foot the bill for the reorganisation and that opposition to Maori representation is not as clearcut as the government believes.

            An overwhelming 63 percent of people polled say there is too little consultation, despite government claims of wide consultation. Only 39 percent agree a new mayor should have more power, while 61 percent say no. Expanded powers are essential to the government’s model.

            A massive 71 percent say the government should pay for the reorganisation. But the government is adamant ratepayers should pay which could add more than $550 to every rates bill in year one. It has also ruled out Maori representation although the survey shows a fairly even split in support, with 46 percent for reserved seats and 54 percent against.

            The results are similar to a Phoenix Research poll in Waitakere that found only 34 percent support for the government’s plans with 47 percent opposed. Opposition in Prime Minister John Key’s own electorate is 48 percent. Only 16 percent of respondents supported the plan to create 20 to 30 local boards, as opposed to 66 percent support for the royal commission’s model of a super council with six councils under it.

            Using self-referencing Standard posts to back up your claims and for sources for quotes is very dodgy r0b.

            Pardon me while I lol Tim! Just last week you claimed that Labour was in a “panic”, and cited as “evidence” comments from a couple of people on a Herald comments section! You claimed that these people were “Labour Party activists”, and of course could not provide any evidence to back such nonsense. Got any evidence to back that claim now Tim?

  2. SPC 2

    Any attempt by National to pay lip service to law and order should be met with

    1. the facts about the crime rates in the 90’s and police staffing levels compared to the decade since

    2. attempts to “rationalise” police services to cut costs to survive within the current administrations plans for budget limits (as in the 90’s).

    National have a habit of talking up areas where they are not providing any action (such as initially opposing WFF 2005-2007 while pretending to be pro family).

    PS During the previous 9 year government only people with a vested interest or political opponents made any criticism of governing party policy. Presumably this was why National ran as Labour lite, they could not improve on it. Which is why if Labour oppose the current party in government on policy they should listen.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    Eddie, Lee wiped the floor with Shearer yesterday. Shearer is struggling to get on top of the issues after being away for so long. Saying that crime isn’t a big issue is pretty out of touch, in my view.

    Eddie, on what do you base your assumption that there is major opposition to the super city? I know that it is a major campaign issue as far as Labour is concerned, and Labour want it to be a big campaign issue, because it detracts from all the law and order stuff that Labour might have to take some responsibility for. On what basis do you claim that it is a pressing concern for Mount Albert residents? Do you have some information about what Mount Albert residents are thinking that we don’t have that might support your claim? If so don’t hesitate to share it, because your argument at the moment that it’s a major issue just looks weak and spin.

    I would bet that since it appears to be only Young Labour making so much noise about waterview and the supercity in mount albert, that labour is worried that they might be judged on the real issues of concern in mount albert.

    • Ephemera 3.1

      “Lee wiped the floor with Shearer yesterday.”

      How? By failing to steer the debate to law and order issues, or refusing to commit to a position on “road or tunnel”?

      I thought she came across as a tad aggressive. I also find it hard to recall if she actually said anything which a Mt Albert voter could use to make a decision.

      Shearer, on the other hand, was quite measured in tone, and seemed in command of his position on local issues.

      Lee held her own, but ‘wiping the floor’? Naaaah.

      • Tigger 3.1.1

        Lee showed herself up by trying to play the ‘I’m more of a victim than you’ card with the guy who’s been working among war zones for the past billion years.

        I know Melissa well. She’s intelligent but as this exchange shows she’s not canny.

    • Akldnut 3.2

      Tim – I work in St Lukes and canvass a broad range of customers every day and of the ones that speak/understand English when asked about the supercity 7 from 10 are against it and likewise with the motorway as opposed to the tunnel.

      Lee said the residents have known for decades where the new road was going to go. As far as I know it was originally going to go down Rosebank Rd but due to cost was recently decided that it would go through Waterveiw not the decades that she claims.

    • lprent 3.3

      It is one of the big three issues in canvassing. And no – crime isn’t one of them.

  4. felix 4

    Tim, maybe Eddie saw a comment on a blog. That’s your standard of evidence isn’t it?

    On a more serious note, one thing I think Labour is missing (and Shearer missed it quite overtly) is the issue of a National win swinging the balance of power in the house.

    National and the Greens have gone to some effort to paint this by-election as having no significant consequence on national politics but the following needs to be understood and highlighted:

    A National win means that National can pass legislation with the support of just Peter Dunne, no need even for the support of ACT.

    This is not a minor technicality, but a major shift in power which will take us very close to a majority National govt and which seems to be slipping under the radar so far. National know it but they’re not going to point it out. Russel Norman knows it but he’s pretending not to. Wake up, Labour.

  5. Ari 5

    Crime is always a big issue, but it’s not always a big issue in which candidate to support. National, and Lee in particular, have no great plans with which to prevent crime and re-offending, and are actively looking to make things worse by pursuing a more punitive regime and cutting police resources.

    You got anything else up your sleeve? 😉

  6. Ari 6

    Felix, can you even float something for me for a moment that Dunne would support that ACT or the Maori Party wouldn’t that would be actively harmful? Now, if it were the other way around and we could be in for more national-act co-operation, I’d agree with you, but I honestly can’t think of anything worse Dunne could come up with than what we’ve already got, especially seeing Act has 3 authoritarians and 2 civil libertarians in parliament.

    • felix 6.1

      You make it sound like Dunne is working from the basis of some sort of uncompromisable principle. He’s a populist and an opportunist, as fickle as they come.

      All he would have to do is abstain and the Nats have an absolute majority. Can you really not imagine him abstaining in return for support on some profile-raising populist measure of his own?

      This is not an inconsequential power shift, as National and the Greens are trying to paint it.

      • Ari 6.1.1

        Oh, I agree with you that Dunne is a complete populist and a blight on New Zealand politics.

        I just don’t see how he can make the government any more extreme than it already is with ACT in the wings. National on its own is almost better than National with ACT to egg it on.

  7. Maynard J 7

    Tim, I asked you the other day for the source of your absolute claims and you never fronted, obviously because they don’t exist.

    Why are you still doing it? It makes you look mad (and not the angry kind of mad, the removed-from-rational-thought kind).

    Here’s the sum of your evidence so far, that Law and order is the issue of the day for the Mt Albert byelection:

    Tim Ellis: “labour is worried that they might be judged on the real issues of concern in mount albert”

    Tim Ellis: “Saying that crime isn’t a big issue is pretty out of touch, in my view.”

    Tim Ellis: “because it detracts from all the law and order stuff that Labour might have to take some responsibility for.”

    Tim Ellis: “…if the candidates started talking about the issues that matter to the people of Mt Albert, rather than trying to invent the issues and frame the issues for the campaign”

    See something in common there? No prizes… Yes, that’s right! Tim Ellis seems to be your only source, and yet you’re Just. So. Damn. Sure. that crime is THE issue.

    And the topic is ‘disconnect’. Curiously illustrative behabiour there, Tim. You’re proving a point very well, but I don’t think it’s the point you intended.

    Also, not surprisingly, I thought Shearer did very well. He’s used to dealing with slightly rabid people so Lee wasn’t too much for him to get excited about.

    • r0b 7.1

      It makes you look mad (and not the angry kind of mad, the removed-from-rational-thought kind).

      Tim isn’t mad, he knows exactly what he’s doing. His job is to show up here, and push National Party propaganda lines over and over and over. He’s actually kinda useful, because you know that if Tim is saying it, it’s the current Nats “talking point”, and then you can look our for it elsewhere.

      It has been claimed by those with more knowledge of these matters than I that Tim works for the National Party research unit, a claim which Tim has not denied as far as I know.

      • Tim Ellis 7.1.1

        r0b, I don’t work for the National Party research unit. I don’t know anybody who is. I’m not a national party member, and never have been. I mentioned on here before, and as LP knows, I’m just a lowly auditor working in a bank. There, satisfied?

        • r0b 7.1.1.1

          Perfectly satisfied Tim, if you deny it I take you at your word.

          Sill unexplained is your remarkable tendency to push National party lines, often in complete denial of the facts – e.g. your “Mt Albert law and order” fixation that Maynard J takes you to task for above.

          • gobsmacked 7.1.1.1.1

            Out of interest, Tim (or anybody else), what would be your reaction if an opposition MP used the tragedy in Napier to try and score a political point off National?

            Not classy, Melissa Lee. Not classy at all.

          • Tim Ellis 7.1.1.1.2

            r0b I live in Grey Lynn. I don’t know a lot about mount albert, although it is a neighbouring electorate and my daughter lives in Pt Chev so I do drive through it quite often.

            There does seem to be a big disconnect between the lines that the labour party is pushing and what is going on locally. Waterview isn’t an issue except for some people who live on or near the route and that’s obvious to anybody who looks at a map of the mount albert electorate. The northwestern motorway already dissects mount albert.

            Same goes for the supercity. Labour are trying to make this a big issue (it would be nice to know just where they stand on it) but I haven’t seen anything to say that it is a dominant issue for voters.

            Labour wants to make those the big issues of the campaign. I don’t blame them but let’s call a spade a spade and admit that there’s a lot of spin going on and manufacturing of issues. Labour’s strategy is to use a couple of issues to try and turn the byelection into a referendum on the government. They will have a big problem with that in my opinion especially since russell norman seems to be taking the moral high ground and is saying what he thinks on waterview and the supercity and is coming up with an alternative. If Labour succeeds in making the supercity and waterview the big issues of the campaign all they will manage to do is give norman the upper hand because he’s the only one coming up with an alternative.

            R0b, I stand by my view that I don’t think waterview and the supercity are big issues because from the people I talk to locally here in auckland central, they aren’t big issues here. Apart from a very small part of waterview (maybe 300 houses in the mount albert electorate) who are directly affected there is no reason why those issues should be felt any more in mount albert than in grey lynn.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1.1.1.3

            Tim, don’t argue with you about labour being overly hopeful that local government and Waterview will win votes. After all they were the ones who started both processes. The focus on law and order by Melissa Lee, is however, hugely disappointing. The economy,jobs and local services (can we get a better rail service) are what the candidates should be caring about.

  8. Zaphod Beeblebrox 8

    Its going to be a very long five weeks if all she can talk about is crime.The “lock them all up”, “more police on the beat”, “look out for those young people” mantra has been used by conservatives for the past twenty years. ACT only got 2.3% of the vote last election, hope she can come up with more.

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      It’s not even a smart strategy for Lee.

      ACT’s Boscawen will simply ask her: “So, do you support our Three Strikes policy?”. She will then have to explain why it won’t work, or maybe just waffle and dodge, thus appearing “soft on crime”. Unless she plans to break with her own party.

      There is no way the National Ministers responsible (Power and Finlayson are not fools) are going to support unworkable legislation in the long term, just to win votes in Mt Albert.

  9. Jasper 9

    felix

    National would still need three seats to have a majority.

    Currently: 121 seats in the house (1 up for by election) = 122 seats total
    National: 58 seats

    Wins Mt Albert +1 = 59 seats
    + Dunne = 60 seats.

    Still need 1 more vote.

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 10

    Its a bit sad, rising unemployment and recession and we are discussing gang patches, three strikes and fear of others.The economy and job creation should be the issue.

    • Pat 10.1

      ZB Why should that be the issue for Mt Albert residents? Sure, they are nationwide issues, but this is a byelection.

      For ethnic minorities in Auckland, in particular, law and order was a big issue in Auckland at the last election. There was a big swing of Indian and Asian voters from Labour to National. I think Lee is trying to tap back into that, to remind those voters why they ditched Labour and to give herself a point of difference. If Shearer and Norman are banging on about the Supercity and the tunnell, they risk not connecting with voters who don’t give a toss about either of those issues.

      .

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.1.1

        I think both sides are off the radar at the moment. For National, crime is the least worst thing to talk about at the moment. For Labour, its easy to oppose things, a lot harder to discuss how they would do things differently.

      • Irascible 10.1.2

        As I argued in another post Lee will be using the WONG-WANG campaign strategies used in Botany in 2008.
        She will play the Asian Victim Card at every opportunity in an effort to make crime the issue and will attempt to divert the debate from real social issues like the removal of the local councils with social policy focii in the NACT supercity concept and the ramming of a motorway through a community. The attempts to ram through a similar motorway in Manukau under the Banks-Curtis mayoralties spelt the end of the two mayors.
        Local issues matter in a by election Shearer needs to hammer them against the arrogant mantra of Lee & Hide.

  11. DeepRed 11

    “Its a bit sad, rising unemployment and recession and we are discussing gang patches, three strikes and fear of others.The economy and job creation should be the issue.”
    President Bush Sr was riding high in the polls in 1991 for his deft handling of the Gulf War and making peace with the soon-to-dissolve Soviet Union. The following year, his presidency turned to mud. And the reasons? Bill Clinton and “It’s the economy, stupid!” Expect to see Goff and Cunliffe picking that up towards the end of the electoral term.

    • Pat 11.1

      To be fair, Clinton also had a magnetic personality. Sort of like the second coming of JFK.

      In that respect, you cannot compare Goff and Cunliffe to him.

  12. ak 12

    So you’re not this Tim Ellis that recently wrote an article for the granny then Tim? (heh – seemed to fit so well, must say you show remarkable resilience in your relentless pro-tory beat-ups)
    http://www.resiliencei.com/About-Us.aspx

    [lprent: Don’t try ‘outing’ people. The whole point about this site is for people to be able to give opinions without having to look over their shoulders. We’ll leave that for the likes of whaledreck. Personally I’d prefer if people didn’t use their names – but that also is left to personal choice. The only ones who need to be concerned are banned trolls. Because I’ll sometimes get them regardless of pseudonym to keep the site ‘clean’. ]

    • Tim Ellis 12.1

      No, ak, although we’ve often been confused with each other, especially since I spent most of my career in a competing consulting firm.

    • Pat 12.2

      ak – it’s a bit creepy that you think it is OK that you are trying to dredge up some dirt on a poster, simply because he posts under his name when you do not.

      If it is so important to confirm what every Standard poster’s real name is and what they actually do for a living, then let’s see a Thread dedicated to precisely that. Methinks a few Standardistas would run a mile.

      • ak 12.2.1

        Excuse me? “Dredge up some dirt”? By trying to ensure that I don’t confuse a poster with someone of the same name, obvious ability and profile?

        Relax, “Pat”. From your comments, I’ll never confuse you with anyone. Unless Pat is your surname and you were christened Cow.

        • Pat 12.2.1.1

          ak In this one thread, Tim has twice had to respond to accusations, firstly from Maynard that he works in the Nat party research unit, and secondly from you that he is not who he claims to be i.e. a “lowly bank auditor”.

          The rest of us aren’t getting this treatment because we haven’t posted under our names. Clearly you have proven that if one posts under their real name they can expect to be google searched on the off chance they can be discredited.

          In my case, getting google searched would probably be a good thing since it would drive more traffic to my company website. But I suspect other posters here who work in the public sector wouldn’t enjoy it so much.

          • r0b 12.2.1.1.1

            firstly from Maynard that he works in the Nat party research unit,

            Maynard J is innocent, it was me that linked back to that old claim.

            If Tim had worked for Nat Research as claimed that would have been relevant to understanding his positions on this blog (as witness the continual witch hunts from the right trying to link the authors of this blog to the Labour Party) .

            As this is not in fact the case then no further speculation on Tim in the real world seems relevant. I don’t confirm or deny anything about myself (other than that I’m an ordinary Labour Party member in a quiet corner of NZ) and I don’t expect others to.

            So apologies to Tim and to all for starting this.

          • Tim Ellis 12.2.1.1.2

            For the record, I wasn’t offended by this. I pity the other poor sod who shares my name who’s had all sorts of bafflingly technical phone calls on corporate audit and risk, before having to explain that they have the wrong person.

            About ten years ago, I had a phone call from a client who continued to barrel the way through a conversation that was intended for my namesake, quite ignoring my protests that he really wanted to be talking to the other guy at PWC.

            Another time I went to visit a client and signed into the visitor’s book, only to see that the other Tim Ellis had been to visit immediately before me.

      • The Voice of Reason 12.2.2

        Actually, Pat, there is a clear difference between posting under your real name and using a pen name.

        Using your own name adds a certain authority and ownership to the comment. In affect, “you” say what “you” mean. I assume the “Trevor Mallard” that posts here is the same one that sits on the Labour front bench. If that’s not the case, I think we should be told. Ak assumed, apparently wrongly, that “Tim Ellis” was the author of the article he referenced. The “real” Tim corrected him without rancour. No harm, no foul.

        Using a pen name allows some distance and means a comment loses some personal context and the poster’s “new” identity establishes itself as a “personality” in it’s own right.

        So, The Voice of Reason, as I style myself here, becomes a recognisable entity, but it is not exactly the same entity as “me”.

        There are probably students out there doing study on the metaphysical nature of avatars in the Post Modern World and how the multiple faceted personalities we all have are finding expression and a kind of life on the net.

        But rest assured, the Standard does not appear to be the kind of site that would waste time trying to out its posters. There are some blogs that would, I’m sure, but I don’t need to know if you are really “Pat”. I’m more interested in the quality of your comments, than the person behind them.

        [lprent: Trevor Mallard is the MP. I also tend to take attempts at identity theft (including pseudonyms) very seriously, which is why we have gravatars and some missing ex-commentators who exited the NZ blogosphere abruptly and ungracefully. ]

  13. Frustrating debate. Lee followed the tried and true technique of trying to overtalk Shearer continuously.

    The panel of “experts” is also rather slanted. A peed off ex Labour MP (presumably representing us), Michelle Boag who did nothing but run National attack lines, and Therese Arseneau whose performance can be patchy.

    And Paul Holmes who … enough said.

    They should use someone like Brian Edwards to try and provide some sort of balance.

    • felix 13.1

      Lee followed the tried and true technique of trying to overtalk Shearer continuously

      And did you feel that Shearer was following the Don Brash “tried once and abandoned” technique of appearing the bigger person by letting her run her mouth?

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Meanwhile, not a good 24 hours for Melissa Lee, who is quickly digging herself a hole big enough for a tunnel.

    Yesterday she couldn’t / wouldn’t answer the “Tunnel” question.

    Today she admitted she didn’t support the tunnel (BFM radio interview).

    A couple of hours later: her view is labelled a “personal” preference by the PM, quietly dumping on his candidate.

    The announcement is due tomorrow. You’d think she could have been given a heads-up by her loyal leader.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    And 24 hours on … it gets worse for Melissa Lee.

    Campbell Live report raises ‘conflict of interest’ questions:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/News/PoliticsNews/National-MP-and-candidate-Melissa-Lees-ethics-called-into-question/tabid/419/articleID/103840/cat/68/Default.aspx

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    46 mins ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
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    5 hours ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Govt welcomes draft report on the retail grocery sector
    The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Christchurch’s Youth Hub ‘set to go’ thanks to further Government funding
    Construction of New Zealand’s first, purpose-built centre for youth well-being is ready to get underway thanks to an extra $2.5 million of COVID-19 response funding, Housing Minister and Associate Minister of Finance, Megan Woods announced today.  “The Christchurch Youth Hub is about bringing together all the things young people need ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Next step to protect Milford Sound Piopiotahi
    Expert group lays out plan to better protect iconic UNESCO World Heritage site Milford Sound Piopiotahi and its surrounds Funding confirmed for dedicated unit and Establishment Board to assess the recommendations and provide oversight of the process from here Milford Opportunities Project a test case for transformational change in tourism ...
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    1 day ago
  • Funding for projects to reduce waste from construction and demolition
    The Government has announced funding for projects in Auckland and the lower North Island to help reduce construction and demolition waste. “Construction is the main source of waste sent to landfill, and much of this could be reduced, reused and recovered,” Environment Minister David Parker said. “The Government is funding ...
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    1 day ago
  • Plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health threat by 2030
    A plan to eliminate hepatitis C in New Zealand, reducing liver cancer and the need for liver transplants, has been released today by Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall. “Around 45,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, but only around half know they have it,” said Ayesha Verrall. “Symptoms often ...
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    1 day ago
  • School upgrades and new classrooms for West Coast, Tasman and Canterbury
    A funding injection from Budget 2021 to complete four shovel ready projects and new classrooms at six schools and kura will provide a real boost to local communities, Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today. “This Government has committed to providing quality fit for purpose learning environments and 100,000 new student ...
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    1 day ago
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes smashes annual target
    The Government's highly successful insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, is celebrating a key milestone with the completion of more than 38,000 insulation and efficient heater installs in the year to the end of June, smashing its target of 25,000 installs for the year. “The Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme ...
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    2 days ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
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    2 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
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    2 days ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
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    3 days ago
  • Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing
    Iwi, Crown Partnership Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant Provides a pathway to home ownership New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a ...
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    3 days ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
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    3 days ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
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    5 days ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
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    6 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
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    6 days ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
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    6 days ago
  • Flood recovery given further assistance
    The Government is contributing a further $1 million to help the flood battered Buller community, Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money ...
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    1 week ago
  • Funding for five projects to reduce food waste
    The Government is funding five projects to help address the growing problem of food waste, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “New Zealand households throw away nearly 300,000 tonnes of food every year, half of which could still be eaten. By supporting these initiatives, we’re taking steps to reduce this ...
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    1 week ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for West Coast flooding event
    The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated today - meaning residents on the West Coast of the South Island and in the Marlborough region hit by flooding over the weekend can now access help finding temporary accommodation, announced Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Poto Williams in Westport today. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand
    Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand will be paused from 11.59am (NZT) tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. However, people currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight, ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity by Chinese state-sponsored actors
    New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious ...
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    1 week ago
  • Remarks to Diplomatic Corps
    It is a pleasure to be with you all this evening. Some of you may have been surprised when you received an invitation from the Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control, and I would forgive you if you were. New Zealand is unique in having established a Ministerial portfolio ...
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    1 week ago
  • Early Pfizer shipment boosts vaccine schedule
    The largest shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to date has arrived into New Zealand two days ahead of schedule, and doses are already being delivered to vaccination centres around the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “The shipment of more than 370,000 doses reached New Zealand yesterday, following a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Backing for Bay of Islands predator free effort
    The Government is throwing its support behind an ambitious project to restore native biodiversity and build long-term conservation careers, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Predator Free Bay of Islands aims to eradicate predators from the three main peninsulas in the region, and significantly reduce their impact throughout the wider 80,000-plus ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government commits $600,000 to flood recovery
    The Government is contributing $600,000 to help residents affected by the weekend’s violent weather with recovery efforts. Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have been in the Buller district this afternoon to assess flood damage and support the local response effort. They have announced ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government assisting local responses to heavy rainfall and high wind
    Acting Minister of Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says Central Government is monitoring the severe weather across the country, and is ready to provide further support to those affected if necessary. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this latest event, particularly communities on the West Coast and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM Ardern chairs APEC Leaders’ meeting on COVID-19
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has chaired a meeting of Leaders representing the 21 APEC economies overnight. “For the first time in APEC’s history Leaders have come together for an extraordinary meeting focused exclusively on COVID-19, and how our region can navigate out of the worst health and economic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health Minister welcomes progress on nurses’ pay
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s decision to take the Government’s improved pay offer to members and to lift strike notices is a positive move towards settling district health board nurses’ pay claims, Health Minister Andrew Little said. “It’s encouraging that the discussions between NZNO and DHBs over the nurses’ employment ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for Pacific regional business
    Pacific businesses will get a much-needed financial boost as they recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the new Pacific Aotearoa Regional Enterprise Fund, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  The new $2 million fund will co-invest in Pacific business projects and initiatives to create ...
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    2 weeks ago