web analytics

Frankly Speaking: “John Banks: condition deteriorating”

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, August 15th, 2012 - 18 comments
Categories: act, conservative party, dpf, election 2014, electoral commission, electoral systems, greens, john banks, mana, maori party, MMP, national, nz first, political parties, Politics, united future - Tags:

Frank Macskasy over at Frankly Speaking writes some very long posts that are often full of interesting information. This one does a good analysis of the recommendations from the Electoral Commission and various party positions on it. On the way through he has a good swipe at John Banks, who it would be safe to say, he considers to be political cabbage. Reproduced with permission. 

Frank Macskasy  Frankly Speaking   fmacskasy.wordpress.com

.

1. Electoral Commission review completed

Checklist for the week…

  • Electoral Commission recommendation: Reducing the Party threshold from  5% to 4%   
  • Electoral Commission recommendation: Eliminating the one electorate seat party threshold  
  • Consequence of Electoral Commission recommendations: Annoying the hell out of  John Banks  

Yes, it’s been a good week.

In short, the Electoral Commission has recommended the following

  • The one-electorate-seat threshold for allocating list seats should be abolished.
  • The party vote threshold for allocating list seats should be lowered from 5% to 4%
  • The provision for overhang seats should be abolished for parties that do not cross the party vote threshold.
  • Candidates should continue to be able to stand both in an electorate and on a party list at general elections.
  • List MPs should continue to be able to contest by-elections.
  • Political parties should continue to have responsibility for the composition and ranking of candidates on their party lists.
  • Parliament should review the gradual erosion of list seats relative to electorate seats as it risks undermining the diversity and proportionality of Parliament.

This blogger endorses  every recommendation made by the Electoral Commission.

The recommendations eliminate contradictions; remove areas vulnerable to rorting by politicians; and increase the democratic nature of MMP.

The only comment I would make is that the law should be tightened in the area of political Parties ranking their Party Lists. At present, the law states only that such Lists should be democratically ranked – but gives no formal expectations of how the process of ranking is carried out.

In fact, I would endorse Electoral Commission over-sight of all Party List rankings to ensure that there is no ‘giggery-pokery’ by Party apparatchiks. As they say, justice must not only be done – it must be seen to be done.

The same could be said of the political process. And after all, as politicians are fond of telling us when they increase police surveillance powers; if  Parties are honest in their list-ranking process – they have nothing to be afraid off. Right?

However, all up, I believe the Electoral Commission has done an outstanding job on the review.

2. Party Responses

ACT

ACT supported retaining both the 5% Party and one electorate seat party threshold.

The Electoral Commission rejected both propositions.

ACT’s sole MP, John Banks, called the review recommendations “woeful”, and then went on to state,

Those who want to gerrymander with the electoral system do so because they lost the last election.”

See: Pressure’s on to tweak MMP

Really, Mr Banks?

When it comes to “gerrymandering”, none is guiltier  than ACT and John Key, and their now infamous “cup of tea” incident during last year’s general election campaign. That event was an outrageous attempt to throw the  election by suggesting to Epsom voters that they should cast their electorate votes for John Banks.

For Banks to now try to climb the moral highground, and accuse those who want to reform MMP as “gerrymandering”, is breath-taking and nauseating hypocrisy on a grand scale.

Banks also issued this statement on the ACT website,

” ACT will not support any changes to the MMP voting system. No electoral system is perfect, and the proposed changes do not offer any additional benefits to New Zealand. We do not support the abolishment of the one seat threshold.”

See: No Change Necessary to MMP

Aside from the inference that ACT is fast becoming a quasi-fascist party by ignoring the mass of public submissions that support reforms to MMP,  it is clear that John Banks’ Number One Priority is – John Banks. Ie;  getting himself re-elected to Parliament.

This man’s lack of personal insights into his behaviour, and how the public  view his self-serving and clownish actions,  is deeply troubling.

Greens

Of all the major Parties, only the Greens seem to have acted on principle on this issue.

As Green MP, Holly Walker said,

Abolishing the one electorate seat threshold and lowering the party vote threshold will help to reduce the number of ‘wasted’ votes, and ensure that everyone’s votes count.

Removing the one electorate seat threshold will make a big difference for fairness by making sure that the votes of people in some electorates are not given more weight than others.”

See: Electoral Commission recommendations strengthen MMP

It should be pointed out that whether the Party threshold is kept at 5% or 4%, or whether or not the one electorate seat party thresholdis retained or not, makes no difference to the Green Party.

With their electoral support now consistently over 10% (11.06% last year), and not being reliant on winning an electorate seat to gain Parliamentary representation, their submission to the Electoral Commission gives better representation to supporters of other small Parties, such as the Conservative Party.

Now that’s principled.

Labour

Labour’s submission to the Electoral Commission supported reducing the 5% threshold to 4% and doing away with the one electorate seat party threshold.

It’s fairly obvious why; National has been able to rort the one seat electorate seat threshold to allow potential coalition partners to win seats in Parliament.

By doing away with the one electorate seat party threshold, the demise of ACT is all but assured, and Peter Dunne’s party, United Future, becomes irrelevant.

Interestingly, Labour’s support for reducing the Party List threshold to 4%, gives the Conservative Party a greater chance to win seats in Parliament.

It also allows NZ First a better chance to win seats. (In 2008, NZ First missed out on seats by only .93 percentage-points of reaching the magic 5%.)

This blogger suspects that Labour strategists are thinking long-term on this issue. The Conservative Party may well win seats if the threshold is reduced to 4% – but this may be only a short-term victory for Colin Craig. One term in Parliament may alienate further electoral support, as happened to Peter Dunne’s United Future Party from 2002 to 2005 to 2008.)

See: Labour Welcomes MMP Proposals

Mana Party

Predictably,  the Mana Party is the Party that most loses out if the Electoral Commission’s recommendations are adopted.

Mana’s leader, Hone Harawira, won the Maori seat of  Te Tai Tokerau comfortably and also gained 1.08% of the Party Vote. Had Mana received an additional .12% votes, his Party would have gained an extra MP (the “coat tail” effect).

There is a good chance that if the one electorate seat threshold is retained that Mana could reasonably count on an extra one or two MPs. This is especially likely as the Maori Party bleeds electoral support because of it’s close association with the National Party, and increasingly divisive feelings over the sale of SOEs and water rights.

So it is little surprise that the Mana Party stated it’s opposition to abolition of the one electorate seat threshold.

It appears to be silent on the Party vote threshold.

See: Electoral Commission Report on MMP

This blogger believes that removing the one electorate seat threshold should only be a minor nuisance to the Mana Party. As the Maori Party disintergrates, Mana has a decent chance to pick up many of the Maori seats.

National

Like ACT, National supported retaining both the 5% Party andone electorate seat party threshold.

Deputy PM, Bill English has stated that National would consider the recommendations of the Electoral Commission.

Interestingly, right wing commentator and National Party cadre, Matthew Hooton, stated on Radio New Zealand on 13 August,

The other good thing for National in this report is by getting rid of the tomfoolery around the one seat rule, National won’t be tempted to have cups of tea with the likes of John Banks and Peter Dunne and they will become less relevant to the political system…

…So now National, assuming it will accept these recommendations, even though they are against what National itself recommended to the review, but if the government does accept these, then National now knows very clearly it’s path to it’s third term is through that Winston Peters/Colin Craig deal.

… Well strangely enough National recommended that 5% threshold remain and Labour recommended to the review that a 4% threshold be introduced and the review team has gone with what is the Labour party and the public’s preference. And the irony there is I think is that the 5% threshold, maintaining it , would have served the Labour Party’s interest and the 4% threshhold favours National. So the two Parties both, two main parties both, made recommendations that were against their own interests.”

See: Radio NZ, Nine to Noon Show: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Josie Pagani

In this matter, I concur fully with Hooton. Whilst reducing the 5% threshold to 4% may  disadvantage the Left in the short-term – in the long-term it will remove anomalies in the electoral system that  provides fertile ground for  a  pervading  sense of political cynicism, thereby alienating people from  voting.

The worst thing to put people off voting is a perception that the system is “rigged” to produce pre-determined results.

That’s why we got rid of First Past the Post.

New Zealand First

Winston Peters has curiously split his Party’s response to the Electoral Commission’s recommendations;

  •  5% vs 4% Threshold

Peters states that NZ First wants the 5% threshold retained, even though it might disadvantage his Party.

Right-wing blogger, David Farrar, stated on Radio NZ’s 4pm Panel on 14 August, that he considered Peters’ preference for 5% as “principled”.

Nonsense.

Peters wants the 5% threshold retained because it suits his strategy. NZ First has a better than 50/50 chance of crossing the 5% threshold in upcoming elections – especially now that his Party has access to millions of dollars in Parliamentary funding and free TV advertising.

Conversely, by insisting that  the 5% threshold be retained denies the Conservative Party the chance to win seats in Parliament, as reaching 5% is considerably harder than 4%. The Christian Coalition  Party achieved 4.33% in the first MMP election in 1996.

See: New Zealand general election, 1996

This assessment of Peters’ rationale is confirmed when, in the next breath, he supports abandoning the one electorate seat party threshold,

  • One electorate seat party threshold

There have been numerous attempts to corrupt the integrity of MMP by the National, ACT and United Future parties by misusing the intent of the one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats.”

It’s interesting that Peters wants the 5% threshold retained, and insists,

” Rt Hon Winston Peters says the 1993 referendum confirmed that the public wanted the threshold for a party to win list seats in a general election to be five per cent.

“It shouldn’t be tampered with now by Parliament”.”

See: MMP Recommendations Are Anti-Democratic – Peters

– but at the same time is comfortable with removing the one electorate seat party threshold despite it also being part and parcel of the 1993 Referendum?!

Contradictory, much?

The reason Peters wants the one electorate seat party threshold removed is that it prevents the Consertive Party from doing an Epsom or Ohariu-type deal with National, and thereby gaining Parliamentary seats by winning an electorate.

This is precisely how ACT gained five seats in the 2008 electorate;

  1. ACT failed to reach 5%, and gained only 3.65% of the Party Vote
  2. National did a deal with ACT, letting Rodney Hide win the Epsom electorate
  3. The one electorate seat threshold allowed four other MPs enter Parliament on Hide’s “coat tails”.

In simple words, Peters wants the Conservative Party from winning seats in Parliament in a similar manner.

In doing so, he retains his role as sole “king maker” between National and Labour/Greens.

3. The Thresholds – Why Change was necessary

5% Party Threshold

The Party vote threshold was probably originally set at 5% to allay fears that Parliament would be over-run by a plethora of small parties, as has happened in Israel.  The resulting instability would have destroyed MMPs reputation within a few years, and would not have survived the subsequent referendum.

A relatively ‘median’ 5% threshold could allow a measure of proportionality, whilst at the same time not resulting in the “Israeli Disease”. (Israeli politics has been dominated by numerous small, extremist, political parties, elected under proportional representation  with almost no Party threshold. In 2009 this resulted in a dozen parties being represented in The Knesset. See: Politics of Israel)

With MMP firmly bedded-in after 15 years, and the public comfortable with Parliamentary  proportional representation, it seems appropriate to reduce the Party threshold to 4%. This provides space and opportunity for a new political party to form; win representation in Parliament; and provide fresh ideas to be debated.

One electorate seat threshold

The one electorate seat threshold has always been an anomaly – but with justification. It was assumed that despite  MMP being favourable to small political Parties, it might still be difficult to win representation in Parliament. It was considered that if a small Party had the electoral support of voters to win one electorate (which was still fought under First Past the Post), then they deserved their full compliment of MPs, according to their Party vote, regardless of whether or not they reached 5%.

The one electorate seat threshold was a kind of “dispensation” from the 5% threshold, to ensure that a small Party could have an effective voice in Parliament.

Not only is it no longer needed – but the one electorate seat threshold dispensation has lately been exploited by larger parties such as National,  gerrymandering the system to gain  potential coalition partners  in Parliament.

It has also been demonstrated to be highly unfair.

In the 2008 General Election neither ACT nor NZ First reached the 5% Party threshold.  But because National assisted Rodney Hide to win the electorate seat of Epsom, ACT was given the  one electorate seat threshold dispensation, and won five seats in Parliament.

The irony was that ACT won fewer Party Votes (85,496 or, 3.65%) than NZ First (95,356 or, 4.07%) – but ACT still got into Parliament.

That result was not the fair system of proportional representation that was ‘sold’ to the public in 1993.

That situation was untenable, and the public stated as such in their submissions to the Electoral Commission. It was an affront to the Kiwi sense of fairness.

Accordingly, the public demand an end to it.

4. National’s dilemma

National now has a clear choice – and it is in a bind.

If it decides to accept the recommendations of the Electoral Commission to lower the Party threshold to 4% and abandon the one electorate seat threshold – then it risks alienating support from it’s two, one-man band, coalition partners, Peter Dunne and John “I-can’t-remember” Banks.

Dunne and Banks may push their coalition deal with National to the brink – and over the edge – if National accepts the Commission’s reforms.

If the reforms are implemented, it will make Dunne irrelevant, and John Banks and his Party, dog-tucker.

Dunne may win Ohariu – but he would never again have the chance to bring one or two extra MPs into Parliament on his “coat tails”.

And Epsom voters would dump Banks in favour of their own true-blue National candidate.

This would make life unpleasant for both Dunne and Banks. They might decide to issue an ultimatum (see below, “John Banks – mental confusion worsening?”) to abandon the reforms – or else they would walk from the Coalition. What would they have to lose?

But if National decides not to enact the Commission’s reforms, it risks losing a potential  coalition partner – the Conservative Party – in 2014. A Party threshold of 4% would mean 5 Conservative Party MPs.

That is simply too good an offer to pass up. Especially if National drops to 43% or 45% in the polls, as this blogger predicts will happen in the next twelve to 18  months.

Tough times ahead for the Nats…

5. John Banks – mental confusion worsening?

John Banks’ mental condition is deteriorating.

Today, the Member for Epsom forgot which political Party he is a member of, when he said on Radio NZ’s “Morning Report“,

The National Party are not going to support this proposal.”

Hear: Listen to John Banks on Morning Report

And again, on MSN News, Banks made it clear that he believed himself to be a National Party spokesperson when he said,

This is not going to happen.  The National Party is not going to support this proposal.”

John Banks is an ACT member of parliament – not National. He can no more speak for National than Hone Harawira  could speak on behalf of Labour.

It is becoming more apparent each day that the fellow is losing his tenuous grip on reality. This blogger hopes that he will receive the treatment he requires and makes a speedy recovery from his delusions and shocking memory loss.

Tomorrow, Banks may attempt to walk on water. Or invade Poland.

*

Previous blogposts

Supplementary Member system – it’s a bloody rort!

Some thoughts on MMP

John Banks – escaping justice

Additional

Radio NZ: Drop threshold from 5% to 4% – MMP review

Radio NZ: National won’t back MMP change, says Banks

.

18 comments on “Frankly Speaking: “John Banks: condition deteriorating””

  1. bad12 1

    So what does the post author expect from the recommendations should they be implemented???

    On current form the only ‘new’ party to enter the Parliament will be ones that has broken away from an existing party,

    A Parliament frozen in time with only those party’s that are there now having any hope of gaining the 5% of the party vote necessary to gain seats,

    With of course the codicil that the plaything Party’s of millionaires, for instance the Colin Craig conservatives, only alive in the political spectrum because the particular party ‘owner’ happens to have millions to squander on elections and electioneering, will be IN the Parliament,

    Pray tell wheres the f**king democracy in that???

    Give us real democracy, remove the 1 seat requirement which allows for ‘coat-tailing’ bring in a sinking lid for electoral representation right down to 1% = 1 seat,

    A ‘closed shop’ democracy such as what these recommendations would give us isn’t a democracy at all…

    • Not quite sure what your alternatives would be, Bad12.

      One thing I can tell you is that the No Threshold (or One Percent Threshold, as you call it) was tried in Israel, and their Knesset was filled with one-person and two-person extremist parties. Many of them wielded undue influence in their coalitions, and I suspect set back the peace process by decades.

      I’m comfortable with going to 4%.

      I’d like to see it go to 3% in another ten years – but that would be about it.

      The worst thing that could happen would be a politically-induced paralysis, brought on by a handful of extremist parties, leading to coalition collapses and early elections – as happened in Italy. (Hence the term “Italian Disease” in Italian politics.)

      The resulting numerous early elections became so bad that Italy temporarily abandoned it’s system of Proportional Representation in favour of an MMP-version.

      As we already have MMP, the danger for us, is that the public could become so disenchanted with proportional representation that a future government could engineer it’s replacement with SM, or return to FPP. I’m sure National would love to see the end of MMP and embracing of SM or FPP.

      However, our political system is an ongoing evolution so who knows where it will take us. Our children may decide on something else altogether…

      • bad12 1.1.1

        The Israeli Parliament wasn’t filled with one person and two person extremist party’s, just because YOU don’t like their views don’t make em extremist,and, the State of Israel still exists as does the State of Italy so save the fear-mongering please,

        That’s why we have a democracy so everyone has the chance to have their views heard in the Parliament,

        What YOU and the Electoral Commission propose is LESS democracy, a cozy little closed shop where the only ‘new’ Party that will ever get to enter the Parliament will either be something that has hived off of an existing Parliamentary Party or as i said befor a rich man’s plaything such as the Colin Craig Conservative Party,

        A perfect little club Parliament where rich F**kers like Craig can buy their way in and the rest is left to be divvied up by the pleasant little coterie of Party’s that now exist…

        • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.1

          Being rich, as in Colin Craig’s case, is no guarantee of electoral success. Just ask Bob Jones when he ran his “New Zealand Party” in 1984.

          But you seem to be contradicting yourself. On the one hand you’re saying that there will be less democracy and the perpetuation of ” a cozy little closed shop “.

          Then you complain bitterly that “rich F**kers like Craig can buy their way in “.

          If the Party Threshold was reduced to 1%, Colin Craig would still get in. So I don’t see your point.

          As for Israel – it’s hardly “fear mongering” when even some of their own viewed the smaller one and two-person band parties as extremists.

          You seem to be pissed that the Electoral Commission didn’t take your submissions onboard?

          • bad12 1.1.1.1.1

            Hello, is there anyone home, Bob Jones was playing in an FPP election,

            Your not even half clever, trying to twist what i say in your dumb as way is simple,

            I don’t care that Craig will get into the Parliament, what i care about is that stopping representation at 4% will ENSURE that the only new party’s in the Parliament will be the playthings of the rich such as Craig that have the money to buy the advertising, or the oraganization such as a church to use for political puposes,

            Do you actually know what a contradiction is, seems you have found a big word you can spell and decided at this point to use it, there is in fact no contradiction in the two, LESS democracy will be arrived at via taking away the ‘coat-tail’ and restricting future Party’s by fixing the Party vote needed at an arbitrary 4% to gain representation on spurious grounds,

            Extremist, you are joking are you not, for Gods sake the f**king Greens 10 years ago were spat upon by everyone as extremist,

            Hone Harawira in some quarters if you take the blinkers off is considered to be a radical extremist,

            The stuffed shirt closed shop ‘left’ have as usual engaged in a knee jerk reaction to the MMP review and the ‘right’ must have fell all over themselves with laughter when they viewed the submissions as the ‘left’ behaved like the turkey looking for a early Christmas,

            Under the proposed change the only new representation by Party’s gaining seats in the Parliament is either by a part or parts of a party breaking away to form another, so much for stability there right,

            Or, as above the monied Colin Craig’s of this world will by dint of money buy themselves into the Parliament,

            The ‘left’ will simply find itself shut out of power for long periods as the ‘right’ has an endless supply of money to enable the manufacture of such Party’s whereas the ‘left’ has to rely upon the party fracturing method as 4% of the Party vote is far too high for ANY party of the left lacking resources to have to reach…

          • jaymam 1.1.1.1.2

            “Being rich, as in Colin Craig’s case, is no guarantee of electoral success. Just ask Bob Jones when he ran his “New Zealand Party” in 1984.”
            I don’t think Bob Jones actually wanted or expected to get in. Under FPP he couldn’t. Under MMP he would have got in. No, he wanted to get rid of Gang of One Muldoon.
            Some businessmen made a lot of money by knowing that Roger Douglas would devalue in 1984. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know who those businessmen were? I’d like to see a 0.1% financial transactions tax so that we know what those b*stards are doing.

            • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.1.2.1

              “I don’t think Bob Jones actually wanted or expected to get in. Under FPP he couldn’t. Under MMP he would have got in.”

              Would he have gotten in under MMP?

              I’m not convinced of that. Your reference to being a “spoiler” for the Nats/Muldoon is probably closer to the truth.

              Under FPP, people could “put the frighteners” on the Nats (and Labour) by voting for Bob Jones or Social Credit, knowing that their protest vote wouldn’t actually amount to much. Voters were ‘content’ to send a message to the main two parties.

              In the mid-1990s, some may recall that the Alliance polled incredibly high (high 20s/low 30s) and actually threatened Labour by becoming the second biggest Party in Parliament.

              But by 1996 (the first MMP election), that support had dropped to 10.1% (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_general_election,_1996)
              .

              The reason for the massive drop in support? U nder MMP, protest votes can translate to actual seats, so people are more wary who they give their Party Vote to. The old saying, “Be Careful What You Wish For…” becomes a reality.

              • jaymam

                The NZ Party gained over 12% of the vote in 1984 so under MMP they would have had lots of MPs.. With Gordon Dryden still there they may have done even better. But it was apparent to me at the time that Bob Jones was just a spoiler. Having been a loyal National supporter until then, I decided to vote for that nasty commie Labour party, then got a rude shock when ACT took over Labour. What to do? Vote Alliance/Green of course 🙂

  2. jaymam 2

    So if the law is unchanged, we get both Banks and Hone Harawira’s mates in as well as them? Hmmm, tough decision 🙂
    P.S. I helped campaign for Mana last election. It’s true! Really!

    • You get the good (Harawira) with the mad (Banks), Jaymam. That’s democracy for you, I guess…

      I hope MANA does better at the next election – I really do. MANA is probably the closest thing we have to a true workers’ party right now (apologies to Labour supporters).

  3. tracey 3

    Surely no confidence in the associate minister of ed could be raisded in parliament. An mp who forgets which party he belongs to twice in one days is a sad state of affairs and not worthy of a cabinet or mp post.

  4. toad 4

    Tomorrow, Banks may attempt to walk on water. Or invade Poland.

    I wish.

    • mike e 4.1

      Banks fires blanks more likely to have a tilt at widmill.
      Sell his own family.
      Tory windup doll or dog chewy toy.
      Rhetoric so predictable it makes 99.4% of kiwi’s puke

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    These changes should be decided by the voters, NOT by MP’s.

    It could be done as a mail ballot referendum included with the 2013 local body election ballots.

    It is unethical for a parliament to determine how it is to be elected.

    • Amakiwi, the recommendations were reflected by many (most?) of the submissions made by the publics, Parties, and organisations to the Electoral Commission. I sat through half a day of submissions after I presented my own, and by far the majority wanted a reduction of the Party threshold from 5% to 4% and the elimination of the one electorate seat threshold.

      The same applied to many of the written submissions I read on-line on the Commission’s website. There seemed to be a majority (?) view on that issue.

      Having the matter decided by postal vote at 2013 local body elections would not, I suspect, deliver any more democratic response on these issues. Historically, the returns from postal voting on local body elections is very low, and we’d effectively be determining the make-up of MMP by a majority of only 30% to 40% of registered voters.

      Considering that many of those who are motivated to vote are often middle-class, affluent, National voters – I think we can see where that would be heading.

      If it’s going to be decided by referendum, it should be done at a General Election (2014), or not at all.

      Personally, I’m comfortable with the Electoral Commission’s report. But then again, many of their recommendations coincide with mine, so that’s unsurprising. The only thing I would tighten up on even more is to have the process of drawing up Party Lists specifically outlined in legislation, and supervised by the Electoral Commission.

  6. Tracey 6

    I agree with Frank. Motivated folks make submissions, whether they choose to speak to them or not thy can make written submissions.

    We had a referendum, now we use the structures we have to narrow it down and theoretically educate folks.

    The cost of such a direct democracy (referendum for whatever is deemed a major issue, and by whom) would be cumbersome.

    You dont even have to make a submission you can coat-tail someone else’s. Citizens have an obligation to be active in shaping their community, not just by bowling up the ballot box.

  7. Precisely, Tracey.

    I like to see MMP as an ongoing,evolving system.

    Perhaps in a decade, the Electoral Seats may be decided by a form of STV/PV, instead of the current FPP. That might take a fair bit of educating the public – but would make MMP even more responsive to the will of the people.

    In time, the Party threshold may drop to 3% – not far from Israel’s current 2%.

    MMP is a system open to refinement – as opposed to the dead-end FPP system…

  8. Rodel 8

    Just watched a clip of this mp (Banks) speaking. It’s not cabbage..it’s garbage.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    41 mins ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago