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Farrar in an act of pure vanity…

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, May 1st, 2011 - 64 comments
Categories: blogs, dpf - Tags: , ,

In an act of pure vanity, David Farrar is whining about the a by-election that will probably be held in July – less than three months before the House dissolves for the election.

Farrar even points out the relevant law

Parliament can only resolve not to have a by-election if the resignation occurs within six months of Parliament automatiically dissolving (22 May) or the announced election date (26 May).

So this particular electoral case has been envisaged by parliament and put into statute. So what is Farrar whining about?

As a comment here by Thomas Farrow put it.

Yes its interesting reading the attack lines on Kiwiblog
Apparently its OK to force a by election a year out from an election as was the case with a certain Maori co leader, but not OK when its 7 months, I wonder which , 8 9 10 or 11 months would be acceptable?
I guess that is why we have a law that gives an exact time, namely 6 months.

Indeed.

Looks to me like Farrar is merely stroking his ego or something. If it was such a democratic problem then he always has the option seeking to change the law – using the democratic process. What Farrar failed to argue about was the advantages or disadvantages of having such a by-election on the person that was causing it to happen or for any other political considerations.

For the Mana party like any new political party the advantages are obvious. It allows a shakedown of the nascent campaigning organisation,  whilst getting a renewed mandate from the electorate who voted for a member of a different party. After all the gradual disassociation of Hone Harawira from his former party has been going on for quite some time. Effectively this will give the voters up North a chance to express the opinion on that. But probably more importantly for the Mana party, they will be able to generate free publicity prior to the actual election campaign starting off.

The big risk for the Mana party will be if they don’t get a clear unambiguous mandate.

None of these political topics were canvassed by Farrar. You’d have to say that what he was doing was a simple dog-whistle for the rabid participants of the sewer. That interpretation is supported by the other dog-whistle topics raised in the post as asides. Whining about something that parliament has specifically made provision for just makes him look like a political dork.

On the the other main right blogger, I did like Fran O’Sullivan’s article about the Brash hostile takeover.

When I revealed on March 12 that Brash and Banks were looking at either starting a new right-of-centre party or taking over Act, blogger Cameron Slater commented:

“I am also pretty sure that Banks and Brash know that electorally they are rat poison as candidates. They are both pensioners, with Brash over 70. They also both know that their best years politically are behind them.”

This time around, Brash’s strategists let Slater into the play: the direct onslaught was “open and honest but not fair”. And as for The Don’s age – don’t mention it.

Indeed. Which Farrar gleefully points to. But these two bloggers often feel like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

From Wikipedia:-

Carroll, having introduced two fat little men named Tweedledum and Tweedledee, quotes the nursery rhyme, which the two brothers then go on to enact. They agree to have a battle, but never have one. When they see a monstrous black crow swooping down, they take to their heels. The Tweedle brothers never contradict each other, even when one of them, according to the rhyme, “agrees to have a battle”. Rather, they complement each other’s words. This fact has led Tenniel to assume that they are twins also physically, and Gardner goes so far as to claim that Carroll intended them to be enantiomorphs, i.e., three-dimensional mirror images. Evidence for these assumptions cannot be found in any of Lewis Carroll’s writings.[4]

They most often appear to me to be a mirrored sock-puppets lending their use to various right factions. Their erstwhile ‘differences’ are orientated more to trying to control the political framing between themselves. I find that when I look at their political writing with that perspective in mind, the machinations become pretty obvious and quite tediously boring.

64 comments on “Farrar in an act of pure vanity…”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Good call on the dueling Carrollists.

    And key doesn’t even need to change the law to avoid a by-election. If the cost of Hone testing his mandate is so damnably high, all Key needs to do is inform parliament in writing that he is bringing the general election forward, and with a 75% vote, Hone’s seat can be left empty.

    The solution is there, in the law. If National and Labour really want to have that political fight about finance vs democracy, the tools are there for them to bring it on.

  2. PeteG 2

    The normal democratic way to do it would have been for Harawira to have fulfilled his three year responsibilities to his electorate and party (without whom he would not be an MP), and then stood with a new party in the general election, or stood down.

    • Blighty 2.1

      no because normally when current MPs start a new party they go to their electorate for a mandate. That’s the normal practice – Peters, Turia are examples. Your counter-example: Peter Dunne, wow.

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        Blighty, it shouldn’t be normal practice to cop out part way through a three year contract just because your personal ambitions have changed. When candidates stand they are offering themselves for three years. Exceptional circumstances aside they should stay the distance – all of them, no matter what party.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          But when an MP decides that they can no longer support the party under whose banner they were elected, that is an exceptional circumstance.

          • PeteG 2.1.1.1.1

            It’s not, it’s simply a choice.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              A choice based on the fact that he feels that the mP no longer stands for what he does; that he can longer serve the mP given what it is doing, that the mP is not a vehicle he can support.

              Given those facts about what he feels, the circumstances are such that testing his mandate is a perfectly appropriate thing to do. It may be that his electorate disagrees with him.

        • Daveosaurus 2.1.1.2

          You should tell that to Richard Worth or Pansy Wong, then.

        • Roger 2.1.1.3

          I don’t think his personal ambitions have changed, he has been relatively consistent about where he stands. He saw the Maori Party as having changed position from what he expected.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      Pete, if Hone wouldn’t have been an MP without the party, and if he can no longer in good conscience support the party, then retesting his mandate is exactly what he should be doing democratically speaking.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      PeteG you are talking to us about what is democratic and what is not?

      That somehow Harawira continuing to tow the line for a party which has turned its back on the principles and policies it was voted in on is, in your imagination, the more democratic thing to do?

      Especially compared to going out to seek a new electoral mandate?

      That’s a strange idea of democracy my man, its like a non-democratic idea of democracy.

  3. todd 3

    The hypocrisy expressed by Farrar and cohorts is simply disgusting!

    I agree on not funding the America’s Cup bid but sadly the last Labour Government signed a contract forcusing us to do so.

    Is forcusing even a word? Does it mean the lead up to actual cussing or perhaps a description of the shit forecasting Farrar has undertaken in prematurely predicting the next election results. Can Farrar even focus on his diabolical spelling in that post?

    The $500,000 costs may be on the light side. As this is a Maori seat, they will need many more polling places than in a general seat by-election.

    Is this an attempt at nonchalant racism perhaps?

    • felix 3.1

      Farrar isn’t even trying to hide his ugly racist nature anymore.

      I can only assume that by “Maori seat” he really means “geographically large seat”.

      But that wouldn’t stir up as much anti-Maori filth in the comments, would it?

      • QoT 3.1.1

        [Agh, the comment box is being weird but hopefully it shows up in the right place]

        At an eyeballing on elections.org.nz, felix, West Coast-Tasman, Kaikoura and Clutha-Southland are similar in geographic area. So I’d say Farrar is indeed being dogwhistlingly specific.

  4. I sincerely hope Hone succeeds with his new party because the left certainly needs a chakeup (though I’d rather the shaker have been Matt McCarten). I see Nandor spoke, and I particularly hope that indicates a return to politics by him, or at least a higher profile of some sort.

    But not at a cost of $500,000. Yes, there’s the six month rule and he’s within it. And forcing a by-election will give Mana campaign training, publicity etc.

    But (would-be) political leaders are regularly called on to exercise judgement. One of the messages any new party needs to campaign on is restraint where presently we have waste (particularly, though symbolically in terms of actual numbers, the expense of Parliament and its MPs. Isn’t this very blog pointing out the waste of money sending Key to primp and pose in the UK?).

    Someone on the average wage would take around 500 weeks to earn $500,000. Spending it on a politician’s gaming – any politician’s gaming but especially one claiming concern for the poorest sectors of society – is tactically stupid.

    He’ll get his mandate. Better to point out that he could have wasted half a million but chose to trust the judgement of his voters to acknowledge that come the General Election.

    • felix 4.1

      I don’t understand the point of the six-month rule then. What use is it?

      • The six month rule is there to provide an MP with a right to resign and seek a new mandate up to six months out from an election.

        But just because you have a right doesn’t mean you have to exercise it… that’s where the judgement part comes in.

        I could be wrong, but I think his likely support base will hear “$500,000” and start thinking how else that could have been spent.

        Of course it wouldn’t have been spent to their benefit in any way whatsoever, but that’s not the way people think when they hear “MP + large sum of money”. The outcome of that equation is, in most people’s minds, “rort” or “waste”, thanks to a long and ignoble history of both.

        • felix 4.1.1.1

          So when would it have been acceptable to you for him to exercise this right? How far out from the election would constitute good judgement in your book?

          • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.1.1.1

            Given that Hone could credibly argue it was the other Maori Party MPs who’d deviated from the mandate upon which they were elected, any time after the point at which the PM had announced a firm date for the election.

            It’d be different, I think, if he’d suddenly decided he wanted to be Maoridom’s answer to Don Brash. But to claim you need a new mandate when you’re sticking to the old one is a tad disingenuous.

            There are mechanisms (ranging from hui to the internet) through which he could have taken soundings of his electorate and ensured they weren’t of a mind to sack him. If they’d come back negative, or ambiguous, then at least he’d have a basis on which to claim he felt the measure was necessary.

            As I said, I hope he succeeds, as I once hoped the Maori party succeeded (primarily, from a personal perspective, because I was optimistic as to what Pita Sharples might do about imprisonment. That’s two politicians I’ve been suckered by).

            I just think this is a bad look for a party claiming to represent some of the most dispossessed people in an increasingly divided society.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      But (would-be) political leaders are regularly called on to exercise judgement. One of the messages any new party needs to campaign on is restraint where presently we have waste

      Quite right.

      But sometimes also spending a few hundred $K in order to save multiple $B’s down the track could also be considered a very, very good investment.

      • PeteG 4.2.1

        If more MPs resigned and had separate by-elections would that save even more? Or will just the Mana Party who will be campaigning on cost saving? Actually I haven’t seen that part of their policy yet, only the policies that will cost a lot more.

      • spending a few hundred $K in order to save multiple $B’s down the track

        I’m not sure I follow your logic there CV. Are you saying that getting more non-Nact MPs into Parliament will save us money? But then if Hone wins, it’s the status quo. Or is there some other cost saving I’ve missed?

    • MrSmith 4.3

      This is politics, anyone that thinks National wouldn’t do the same thing given half the chance are dreaming. Get the fuck over it “they are the rules” .

      I like the way Mana are playing the game. Hopefully they can motivate the percentage of the population that don’t normally vote too vote, believe me this is the Nacts greatest fear . Power to the people.

      SAY NO TO ASSET SALES.

      • Get the fuck over it “they are the rules”

        These are the same “rules” that let an unelected megalomaniac dictate to an elected PM who should be in his Cabinet on the basis that the party he’s just executed a putsch upon might win 5% at the next election.

        So we just STFU and don’t question the “rules” then. Would you like a salute with that?

    • swordfish 4.4

      @ Rex

      “Though I’d rather the shaker have been Matt McCarten..”

      Absolutely agree. But, still, looks like he’s gonna be playing an important role behind the scenes.

      “I see Nandor spoke, and I particularly hope that indicates a return to politics by him…”

      Strangely enough, I seem to remember Nandor was the key proponent of a closer Green relationship with the Nats – or, at least, a move away from a clear Centre-Left alignment.

    • Rex, it says a lot about the state of our democracy if spending on a by-election is seen as a ‘waste’. To me, $500,000 is not too much to ensure that the electors in that electorate continue to have their preferred candidate in parliament for the remainder of this parliamentary term – and performing electorate work. They may, after all, have changed their mind about their representative (for better or worse) since he left the MP.

      Frankly, I also think we hear more than enough of ‘economic efficiency’ arguments – at the expense of other values – in our political discourse. It is particularly dangerous when it starts to be applied to the electoral process itself. Would it show leadership, for example, to advocate that the MMP referendum – or any other citizens initiated referenda – not be held because of these ‘straightened times’?

      To clarify, I’m all for doing things ‘cost-effectively’ where possible in the electoral process but I’m not for financial arguments determining whether or not an electoral process occurs. The six month rule seems to be a reasonable compromise.

      • They may, after all, have changed their mind about their representative (for better or worse) since he left the MP.

        Lots of people change their mind about the choice they made once they see their MP in action. Changing parties is just one reason. If ever an MP said “Hold on, these aren’t the policies we went to the election on, I’d better test my mandate part way through the term” I might be a little less cynical about this exercise.

        If I had my way, people could change their mind about their MP mid-way through a term (recall, recoverable proxy) without such expense. And exercise more control over the bastards as well (binding citizens initiated referenda).

        Does anyone really believe that Hone – or anyone else who’s trodden the same path previously – is truly that committed to democracy that their decisions to run up the cost of a by-election has been about anything other than political advantage?!

        If they were such champions of democracy, then measures such as those mentioned would be amongst their policies… then I might believe them.

        • Colonial Viper 4.5.1.1

          Dunno if the Left should be shy about using the machinery to their advantage. The Right certainly have no qualms whatsoever about it.

  5. infused 5

    Because he’s doing it for one reason only, free advertising. Can’t wait till the party goes down in flames. I give it two years.

    • Free advertising? I thought it cost parties to contest by-elections. Wasn’t that one of the claims made about Labour’s finances and its ability to contest by-elections?

      • PeteG 5.1.1

        They will generate free publicity, but the campaign will cost them. Having resigned Harawira won’t get his parliamentary wages or travel allowances. Maybe that’s why he clocked up so much travel in the last three months.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Yes, Hone’s put his MP’s income and his MP’s perks on the line. Many tens of thousands of dollars worth of salary he could have simply collected between now and end of Nov.

          Gutsy.

          More gutsy than Rodney Hide, anyways.

    • lprent 5.2

      Because he’s doing it for one reason only, free advertising.

      Huh? It isn’t free to run a election campaign. The parties have to pay for their advertising.

      They will get free publicity – but that is a quite different thing. You sound as confused as Farrar does about actual politics (ie not the myths of the RWNJ’s).

      • infused 5.2.1

        I’m not confused at all. I know exactly what he’s doing.

        • lprent 5.2.1.1

          Yes you might have known what you were thinking. However precision is required when communicating these ideas to other people. Otherwise you simply look confused to other people (and other people will probably think that you are actually confused)..

          I’d suggest some remediation to learn to look less confused.

  6. FromTheSidelines 6

    Unlikely, but possible – Once Harawira HAS resigned, Key could bring the Election forward 6 weeks then Hone would be without any income for a much longer period than if a by-election was held.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Hone is undoubtedly risking is own income and his MP’s perks here.

      But he’s made the call that he will do so because he wants to seek a fresh democratic mandate from his electorate now that he has left the turncoat Maori Party.

      • higherstandard 6.1.1

        Nah he’s taking a fairly safe bet that he’ll be returned and this time on a party leader’s salary as per the inveterate troughers Dunne, Anderton and Hide

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Well HS, I believe the applicable Righty Principle is “take the risk, take the reward” 🙂

    • PeteG 6.2

      This is an unintended consequence of fixing the election date so far out – under the old way of leaving the announcement as long as possible Harawira may have moved sooner or not risked resigning at all.

      Harawira is forcing a by-election for convenience rather than on the principle of seeking a mandate once his position changed – otherwise he would have resigned when he left the Maori Party, which was in February.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1

        peeeeep!!!

        Mind reading foul, scrummit here, brown ball.

        Hone announced that he formed a new party, and said he was going to test his mandate to continue as an mp for that party.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    What happens if they hold a by-election and nobody comes? If the only candidate is Hone and no other party stands, what would constitute a mandate? A simple majority? What if the turnout is, say, 30%, is that a ringing endorsement?

    I can see the other parties not wanting to waste money and time on this stunt and leaving it till November to run a proper campaign. Which would leave Hone blowing half a million bucks for no good reason, aye?

    • todd 7.1

      Perhaps you agree with Farrar’s Quote of the Day:

      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/05/quote_of_the_day-6.html

      Danyl at Dim-Post:

      Sometimes I just want to strap the entire spectrum of left-wing politicians into dentists chairs and patiently explain to them – using chisels and barbed wire – that most the state’s wealth comes from ordinary people working hard and then giving a huge chunk of their income to the government, so spending it is a sacred trust not an endless opportunity to squander it all on gimmicks and whims and political stunts.

      This is in relation to the $500,000 to be wasted on a by-election.

      Advocating the torture of people who hold differing views from yours is something better suited to Nazi Germany. The right wing is clearly unhinged and requires some intervention to ensure they do not act on these compulsions. The ideas they are expressing are not as bad as what they are actually thinking, which is a sobering thought indeed. Things like the statement above by Danyl and the support it received from Farrar puts them into the dangerous psychopathic category. Most psychologists would agree with this diagnosis.

      What I really think is strange is that when it’s a left wing or Maori person who receives funds to democratically pursue a course of action that can only be undertaken with a voting process, the right wingers jump up and down like their arses are on fire. But when private enterprises receive millions and billions of tax dollars, they are silent about how much this costs the country.

      Your hypothesis VOR that nobody will vote or that there will be no competition smacks of desperation to discredit the Mana party. Similarly the hypocrisy exuding from hacks such as Farrar is pungently overwhelming. It’s a well known fact that psychopaths smell bad and I hope he receives the help he obviously requires, before it is too late.

      • Todd, obviously you have never heard of the term satire before, or come to think of it, humour. Stop your hand-wringing and get a life.

        You are attacking the man and not the ball (pot, kettle, black, yes I know it’s very nice Yeastie Boys brew). What do you actually think about the point he is making?!?
        And not just the money that Hone is wasting (making an ironic ersatz-hipster-like statement), but all the other money on all the other ideas & schemes that this Government and previous ones have had?

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          Seamonkey Madness,

          1. Democracy costs money. In the long run it’s worth it, given the alternatives.

          2. Farrar has never given a crap about working people before, and it’s a bit fucking late for him to start pretending to now.

          3. The quote from Danyl isn’t really an example of satire, it’s better described as hyperbole.

        • todd 7.1.1.2

          I think felix effectively answered your post there Seamonkey. I would probably describe what Danyl wrote as shit though. I don’t believe you can describe what I wrote as hand wringing either. Clearly my post was highlighting just how pathetic and stupid Farrar is. Being that I have expressed my views shows that I do in fact have a life.

          I’m attacking the man and the ball. I was not aware of any blogging rules and if you ask me, Farrar and his little minions deserve all the disrespect we can give them. You’re asking me to have a constructive debate with cretins who are calling for the torture of people who do not share their views. The best I can do is highlight such and give an opinion. Debating idiots like Farrar and Danyl will not be constructive.

          As for the waste of money that National undertakes, I can only say that this is a matter of opinion. If I worked for AMI, Mediaworks or South Canterbury Finance I would think such funds were great! As I am a New Zealand citizen who pays taxes and requires a robust democracy, I find it acceptable that taxes go towards ensuring the population is properly represented in Parliament.

          • Seamonkey Madness 7.1.1.2.1

            I’m an equal-opportunities commenter. I hate both sides for their “gimmicks and whims and political stunts”. Hone’s is just the latest and quite possibly, given the timing, the most ridiculous. Cobbling together a who’s-who of political has-beens is similar to, but in my eyes worse than, running a Government party from outside of Parliament.

            Wetting your panties about what Danyl wrote and comparing him to a Nazi is horrendous, and then you claim he is actually thinking worse! We KNOW is a piss-taker in the extreme, so why would you believe verbatim what he writes?

            I’ll say it again. Grow a sense of humour.

            Or to follow on from Labour’s negative-in-all-aspects, dropkick online campaign – let’s not. You’ll spoil it for the others.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1.1

              I’ll say it again. Grow a sense of humour.

              Why don;t you take your own advice.

              Or to follow on from Labour’s negative-in-all-aspects, dropkick online campaign – let’s not.

              I like that campaign.

              Its easy because National is digging NZ into a hole, and wailing on their lack of a plan is child’s play.

              • Fantastic retort Viper old chap. Gold star for that one.

                Great campaign, except for the fact that Labour is probably breaking the Electoral Act (again) by not having a name and address on each billboard.
                Take a look at some of the gems that snuck through the Helen Clark© Censor-matic for an example how much people love Labour.

                At least they aren’t shaped like a Give Way sign an they’re telling people to put them on the side of the road (and pay them $10 for the pleasure).

            • lprent 7.1.1.2.1.2

              Cobbling together a who’s-who of political has-beens

              Read some history. Almost every political party in NZ (and everywhere else) starts that way. You only have to read the wikipedia entries on the early history of each political party to understand that. Look at the early history of the National and Labour parties

      • Advocating the torture of people who hold differing views from yours is something better suited to Nazi Germany.

        Comparing a paragraph of hyperbole to Nazi Germany is just like the Rape of Nanking.

        • todd 7.1.2.1

          Comparing my description to the Rape of Nanking is about as stupid as saying John Key is honest.

  8. PeteG 8

    What sort of mandate does Harawira want?

    The Maori Party is expected to decide within days whether it will challenge Hone Harawira in the byelection he is forcing in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, even though the MP claims it assured him it would not.

    Mr Harawira said the Maori Party president had confirmed it would not stand against him, in accordance with the agreement reached when he left the party in February.

    A mandate without any competition from the biggest opposition???

    Dr Sharples also said on TVNZ’s Q+A that the decision to call a byelection had broken the truce between the two parties.

    He also disputed that Mr Harawira could claim to have a mandate from Maori if the Maori Party did not stand against him.

    So Sharples sees it like that too.

    National have not stood a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau since 2002 so could easily not bother for a by-election.

    So Harawira wants to contest the by-election just with Labour and Legalise Cannabis (who polled higher than ACT in 2008)? An odd sort of mandate. Labour could stay out of it too. If no one else stands that would save $500k.

    • felix 8.1

      Sorry but that’s utter bollocks.

      If the maori party think they have a chance of winning they’ll contest the seat. Obviously.

      If the National party thought they had a chance of winning they’d contest it too. Obviously.

      That they (National) don’t indicates a stronger mandate for Hone if anything, and the same applies to the maori party if they choose not to stand.

  9. ZeeBop 9

    Harawira claimed that the Maori Party were head hunting a replacement Maori party candidate. Sure Harawira knows that everyone in his electorate that voted Maori voted for him not the party! Yeah right. There are always some who would not go with Harawira and so would have communicated that to their party to seek a new representative. Harawira could not expect Sharple and the other Maori Party MPs to be able to make promises for every Maori party member in the electorate (unless the Maori party was run like ACT is, without grass root representation). So the pack not to stand a Maori candidate wasn’t worth diddly squat against the independent Harawira, as it was the local party that would decide that.
    Given Harawira’s message and standing among his constitutes is was more a statement of fact that the Maori Party would not get much return on their investment putting up an alternative
    and likely push the local Maori party to not put up a candidate.

    As for the future, my guess is parliament will stop the byelection, and come the election the Maori and Mana parties will have one MP each and Labour will have romp home unless Maori and Mana parties divvy up the seats which would not be mana enhancing for either party.
    Loyalist will stay with Maori Party, those feeling the cold winds of National will jump ship to Mana and the Labour block will trounce them both. caveat, that Labour platform is competitive.

    • felix 9.1

      So what if people are approaching the maori party wanting to run for them?

      The truce was that the maori party wouldn’t accept such offers.

      Moot anyway, as both sides blame the other for breaking the truce and it’s all on.

      • PeteG 9.1.1

        If there’s going to be a by-election, and Harawira wants to seek a meaningful mandate, then it shouldn’t exclude members and supporters and voters of the Maori Party. So yes, it should be all on, and Harawira should welcome that if he wants to be seen as being more interested in a democratic mandate than having an easy path to getting the added benefits of being a party leader.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          and Harawira should welcome that if he wants to be seen as being more interested in a democratic mandate

          I suspect that he does welcome this development. Very much in fact.

          • PeteG 9.1.1.1.1

            Quite possible, but if so he’s not being honest about it.

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.1

              He can’t force the maori party to run against him, Pete.

              If they pike (like National) it’s on their heads, not his.

              Your pro-democratic sentiments are better addressed to National and the maori party.

              • PeteG

                I get the impression Harawira’s trying to manoevre the MP into standing against him in the by-election and to blame them for breaking their agreement.

                Both sides have been talking about the flimsiness of the agreement since it was made so I don’t think it matters who gets that blame, both sides didn’t seem to be particularly committed to it.

  10. randal 10

    national and act ratcheted up the stakes in New Zealand politics by plumping for the permanent campaign a la the tea party republican style of US politicking. when the cost gets too much then they whinge.if a by election is the cost of doing politics in NZ then it is up to them to make it a more meaningful experieince for everyone.
    (hey I picked up that last phrase from the random nonsense generator but you konw what I mean. Doncha?)

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    The continuing fall in Kiwi kids’ performance in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows the damage being inflicted by National’s cuts to education and one-size-fits-all approach, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “For years, National has ...
    11 hours ago
  • CYF reforms dangerous backward step
    Child protection has taken a massive step backwards today with the Government passing a Bill that will give significant powers to unspecified ‘professionals’ or contract holders, says Labour’s Acting Children’s spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 day ago
  • Improve workplaces, and address domestic violence
    Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Palm oil industry implicated in human rights abuses
    The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions. ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Syphilis on the rise in NZ
    Cases of syphilis are increasing in Auckland. You read that right, syphilis!  RNZ reported today that rates of syphilis have increased by 71 percent (between 2013-2015). We have known about the increase in syphilis figures for a while, but nothing ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    2 days ago
  • We need to work smarter not longer
    The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 days ago
  • Statement on John Key’s resignation
    Labour Party Leader Andrew Little has acknowledged John Key’s contribution to Government.  “John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. Although we may have had our policy differences over the years, I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to ...
    2 days ago
  • Positive plan secures victory
    The victory of Labour’s newest MP, Michael Wood, in Mt Roskill is the result of a well-organised campaign run with honesty and integrity, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “I congratulate Michael Wood on his great victory. He will be a ...
    4 days ago
  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    5 days ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    5 days ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    6 days ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    6 days ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    6 days ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    6 days ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    6 days ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    6 days ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    1 week ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    1 week ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    1 week ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    1 week ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    1 week ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago