Greens becoming the new opposition leaders

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, February 20th, 2012 - 242 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, Metiria Turei - Tags:

Last night, I saw Kevin Hague on the news talking about mine safety – mining, West Coast, labour rights, and no Labour voice. Same with minimum wage and asset sales.

Then there’s Metiria Turei getting the kind of cut through on National’s corporate welfare and class war that Labour has failed to manage over the last 3 years (not least because they’re geeky to use plain and strong language):

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei today lashed out at Prime Minister John Key and his Government for selling out employment, gambling, and ACC law to big corporations at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders and businesses.

In her keynote address to the Greens’ policy conference in Palmerston North Ms Turei contrasted the “astounding” degree of Corporate welfare and largesse extended by Mr Key’s Government “with their penny pinching towards those who need genuine support”.

“You can be sure of a Government hand-out if you are a movie studio, a profitable casino or an irrigation company” she said.

“But if you are a sole parent on the DPB trying to get a degree but needing just a little bit of help to cover childcare, like Tania Wysocki who went public with her case this week, then don’t expect anything.”

Ms Turei said plans to open up the ACC to private competition, allow private prisons, allow privately run charter schools to access state funding, and the “carving off” of Work and Income job services to private companies were examples of the Government’s approach.

“In all of these areas there is no evidence that these changes will benefit the public but it is very clear that they will benefit the bottom lines of corporations.”

A hungry Green Party is leading issues while Labour appears immobilised. The Greens have maintained their small party litheness while benefiting from greatly increased resources. Meanwhile, Labour is still trying to do things in the bureaucratic manner of a government with greatly reduced staff and no strategy. Indeed, I understand they have been struck by a wave of resignations and still haven’t re-appointed any of their staffers beyond the managers.

Naturally, the media are turning to the Greens – they’re the only ones getting their voice inside the newscycle, they have momentum behind them which Labour doesn’t, and they are now seen as far more relevant by the media than they were when they were a 7% party.

No wonder Metiria Turei is saying they won’t play little sibling in the next government. I see them being a third or more of the next governing coalition.

I can imagine Greens 20%, Labour 30% as a realistic result – especially if David Shearer listens to John Pagani and tries some dog-whistling beneficiary bashing, which will drive away liberal and poor voters while not attracting the rednecks because National will always be more credible and more extreme in bene-bashing. And if the Greens can articulate a more credible version of their green economic policy.

The truth is, the Greens have always had the best policies, now they have the best politics too. They are on the rise because they have what Labour doesn’t: a clear vision, a good brand, attractive policies, and likeable MPs.

The only concern now is that the ‘burn the village to save it’ instincts of Labour’s old tuskers will now come to the fore and they will turn their guns on the Greens when, in fact, it’s from National that they need to take votes to win and a strong Green Party may be the best chance of them being ministers again come 2014.

242 comments on “Greens becoming the new opposition leaders ”

  1. Carol 1

    I’m glad to see Turei getting some media cut-through. I have more trust in her on social and economic justice issues than in Norman. I like the succint way corporate welfare is contrasted with what NAct are doing with Work and Income, ACC, charter schools etc in the extract quoted by Eddie.

    PS: Eddie, the Metiria Turei link just takes me to The Standard.
    Looks like it’s this article:

  2. RedLogix 2

    While deeply respectful of Labour’s long and proud heritage as a progressive party of the left; I always expected that the Greens where the party of the future. In the meantime the two must co-exist, either co-operatively or as Eddie points out, destructively.

    It’s really just a marketing challenge, both represent legitimate portions of the political landscape… neither needs to cannabalise the others space if they are intelligent about it. Therein of course lies the challenge.

    With impulsive critters like Mallard in charge of Labour strategy you can’t be too hopeful.

    • ianmac 2.1

      I rather like Trevor’s outspoken frankness and I think that his ticket sale has been exploited by the Right. To blame Trevor for Labour Election showing is a bit odd when National’s failure to sweep the vote last November, is a Joyce failure. Don’t see the same criticism leveled at him.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Don’t see the same criticism leveled at him.

        That kind of criticism would be kept tightly within National, and the MSM would not repeat it.

        • Gosman

          Interesting unsubstantiated opinion you have there CV.

          • McFlock

            Why was Richard Worth kicked again?

            • Gosman

              I believe it was along the lines of lying to the PM about some sort of indiscretion.

              Your point being what exactly?

              • McFlock

                Merely that the difference between Worth and pretty much any of Labour’s scandals is that National seem to be able to keep more tight-lipped about the specifics of the case than Labour. Tending to support CV’s comment of 2.1.1

                • Gosman

                  Phil Goff attempted to keep quiet about the exact details of the Darren Hughes scandal. Unfortunately bacause it was a Police case this proved impossible. If it wasn’t one there is no reason to presume that it wouldn’t have been a similar outcome to the Worth situation.

                  • felix

                    How do you know the Worth situation didn’t involve the police?

                    • Gosman

                      The Police was far more involved in the Darren Hughes scandal would you not agree?

                    • i know the worth case did involve police, and a health specialist. the officers in attendance were encouraging his victim to press criminal charges against him. she declined, but not for a lack of good grounds or evidence.

                    • felix

                      Gosman you tit, you said it was “impossible” to keep it quiet “because” it was a police case.

                      Stop shifting the goalposts.

                    • McFlock

                      wot felix dun sed

                    • Gosman

                      No, The Police actually spent much more time on the Darren Hughes case becausre they had someone willing to complain. As you stated they didn’t in the case of Worth which meant there was nothing for the media to sink their teeth into. On top of that the way Goff handled the Hughes situation was appalling. He basically hung him out to dry and destroyed Hughes’ political career. Contrast this with Key’s handling of Worth and the fact that it was only pathetic leftists like you who who impotently demanding that the PM tell you what the case was about. It was brilliant.

                    • felix


                      You said it couldn’t be hushed up because the police were involved.

                      You can take that statement back anytime you like.

                    • Gosman

                      Felix I can’t help it if your comprehension skills aren’t the best. I mean first you accuse me of puting words into McFlock mouth, (then you suddenly agree with the position you claim I sstated he was coming from), then the next you can’t seem to comprehend that the Police investigation against Darren Hughes was of a different scale to that for Richard Worth. Are you having a bad day today? Perhaps you need to take a breather and put your feet up for a bit.

                    • felix

                      You’re shifting the goalposts.

                      You didn’t say anything about scale.

                      You said that “because” the police were involved it was “impossible” to keep quiet.

                      There is only one way to interpret that statement.

                      You were wrong.

                      End of.

          • Colonial Viper

            My position that National keeps a tightly run ship – are you saying that’s unsubstantiated?

            • Gosman

              Helen Clark led a tightly run ship. The National party more so than Labour over the last couple of years but probably less than Clark. I’d suggest you have no hard evidence supporting your belief that the media favours National over Labour in this regard.

              • Colonial Viper

                “Hard evidence”? Apart from the lack of “Attack on Democracy” headlines targetting Key what will you accept as “hard evidence”?

                • Gosman

                  There are potentially lot’s of ways you could measure media bias. One way you could do it would be to compare the media exposure of Opposition spokespersons at a similar time in the election cycle. So in NZ case you would be comparing the exposure given to Labour party spokespeople in 2012 with that given to National party spokespeople in 2003. Tally up the column spaces and media time allocated to them and you will have a rough idea if bias exists or at least a good starting point to further your atgument. Of course doing this would only make sense if you really cared about finding out if it was a problem rather than just using it as an excuse for why your view of the world is not more widely shared. I suspect you are comfortable just holding your belief though. It provides you a sense of self justification, albeit possibly a false one.

                  • McFlock

                    Bullshit. No two scandals are identical, happen at the same period in the election cycle, and have identical stories competing for attention – like woolly sheep. So any comparison would need control values assigned to the circumstances and other factors, and that assignment would itself be consciously or subconsciously biased. So even if the study were undertaken as you suggest, if it demonstrated bias towards conservative politics you’d argue it was flawed, and if it demonstrated a liberal bias you’d argue it was comprehensive and methodical.
                    So realy, you’re just trying to distract us from the statement that Labour are much less media-disciplined and tight-lipped than National. A fairly self-evident proposition to anybody else.

                    • Gosman

                      You can reduce bias especially if you agree with people from different political perspectives the weightings for the various factors you wish to control for BEFORE you perform the analysis. Then you remove one of your major obstacles for getting agreement on the results. The point is this can be done and in fact DTB states that it has been done. Now this would be interesting to see.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Want to know something Gos? I actually done such research and the result was that the MSM are biased in favour of the right.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Your grammar making my eyes bleed, aside, Draco, cite. Linky link? PUOSU. Because if you have actual empirical evidence, it should be made public through independent on-line sources. 

                    • McFlock

                      Wow. A novel idea. Maybe gossy could also take that up…

    • alex 2.2

      This is not the end of Labour by any means, just as the pendulum swung to National in 2008, it will swing back to Labour one day. However, it isn’t a great shock to see the Greens dominating Labour among voters who are focused on policy issues rather than the news cycle.

      • felix 2.2.1

        Swing back to the left, yes, but not necessarily swing back to Labour.

      • That’s just the thing though- the Greens are winning the news cycle, too. Really the only thing that’s stopping the Greens from taking over the left is this odd leftover notion that they’re not serious on economics, ironically a spectre that haunts Labour in its debates with National.

        • Colonial Viper

          Really the only thing that’s stopping the Greens from taking over the left

          The Greens won’t be ready to select and take command of Cabinet in either 2014, or in 2017 IMO. 2020 maybe? Or perhaps 2023? It’ll be interesting to see if the Greens can take that role by then.

          Until then, talk of being ready to take over the Left is somewhat premature.

  3. Craig 3

    I’m not surprised to see the Greens taking a stronger position on the centre-left. It mirrors what happened in Germany after the Fukushima tsunami and reactor accident, given Germany’s nuclear power reliance and the strong German Green position on that issue. I suspect the Rena scandal also provided our Greens with similar assistance over issues of public risk and National’s manic outsourcing, privatisation and deregulation programme. From memory, the SPD and German Greens are almost at parity. I wish them well- they’re far more stable than Winston and his sycophants and more strategically capable.

  4. Angela 4

    The Greens are organised, hard working and ethical. Far from being radical or wacky their policies are sensible and put people rather than money or power first. It’s time they got decent media coverage.
    At present the Greens provide leadership and balance to the opposition.
    In the future I expect to see them in government, and New Zealand will be better for it.

    • Dr Terry 4.1

      Very well spoken Angela. Thanks for sticking to the point, the huge worth of the Greens. Funny how comments tend to wander all over the place!

    • Vicky32 4.2

      At present the Greens provide leadership and balance to the opposition.
      In the future I expect to see them in government, and New Zealand will be better for it.

      I rather suspect that the opposite is true. The Greens are “middle class kiddies”  to a man (and woman) and I know precisely 2 out of many, many Green supporters and voters, who are workers, or beneficiaries rather than law and business students or members of what must loosely be called the “boss class”.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        That’s pretty accurate vicky. As I said above Labour and the Greens represent quite distinct portions of the voterbase…. and as much as you may sneer at ‘middle class kiddies’ they still vote.

        Because while the Greens and Labour have a great deal of overlap around an economic agenda, the Greens are socially more liberal than the typical Labour voter. This is entirely predictable and is the reason why the two parties exist.

        If you insist that the social agenda dominates then you will place both parties into destructive competition and electoral impotence; if you accept that the economic agenda is the core that they share… then it is possible to build an intelligent alliance.

        Sneering is not intelligent.

        • Vicky32

          Sneering is not intelligent.

          You’re right, of course. In this instance I was using ‘middle class kiddie’ as a synonym for ‘self-interested’ and ‘naive’. Ever since the 1980s, when I was student working on an SCSP* project for the Environment Group (and for some people who are now important people in the Greens and Forest and Bird) I have seen a huge class divide between the Greens and the ‘working classes’. They didn’t accept me as a fellow student, but as a gofer and the ‘typist’. I wonder where they thought I came from? 
          * Student Community Service Project.

  5. colour me cynical..

    but i view the speech from turei as largely bluster…and a cover for the fact they are about to sign yet another memorandum-of-understanding with national..

    ..the greens have done this previously with both labour and national..

    ..and with both it has stilled their tongues…(and for a very cheap-price…)

    ..they have voluntarily put what i call the m.o.u.-tape over their mouths…

    ..and they are about to do it again..

    ..and this speech is just to counter the perceptions many have…


    • McFlock 5.1

      I tend to agree – while I have a lot of time for individual Green MPs, like Turei, the wuss-green section pisses me off. That’s the section that insists they are the most ethical party, and waves Tibetan flags, but spends time working with National and trying to find consensus with them, which in reality results in a few marginal bones in exchange for their respectability. Structural improvement is impossible with National.
      They should have had the sense to know what it was before they made deals with it.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Their previous memorandum with the Government didn’t seem to have done them much harm if the last election is anything to go by. Unless of course you think they would have done much better and Labour much worse at the last election if they hadn’t done this. Is this what you think?

        • McFlock

          I merely think that the caring sharing image of the Greens is at odds with their willingness to compromise with a party whose policies kill children.    
          Although I might add to that thought that the Green’s insistence on doing so is a fine example of a transparent hippie trying to play at politics – obvious, unsubtle and eventually self-defeating. They mistake their success in the last election as a validation of their policies and a general shift in support patterns, whereas I believe a significant portion of it was due to Labour’s failure to completely re-align and re-invigorate itself inside the election cycle.

          • Gosman

            Oh lordy McFlock. You are being overly dramatic today aren’t you. Amazing that around half the voting population of the country likes killing children.

            • felix

              Putting words in people’s mouths again I see.

              • Gosman

                I have not put any words in anyone’s mouth. Once again you make a false alegation Felix. Better luck next time though. Nice diversion tactic though. I like it 😉

                • Matt

                  How does that diversion tactic stack up to your preferred endless nonsense rhetorical questions tactic?

                  • Gosman

                    What is your view? Do you think felix is adding anything or just trying to divert attention from the ridiculous statement of McFlock that National party policies kill children?

                • felix

                  Yeah you did.

                  You accused McFlock of saying that half the voting population of the country likes killing children.

                  And now you’re lying about it.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well yes – the last election turn out proves no such thing, but to say “I merely think that the caring sharing image of the Greens is at odds with their willingness to compromise with a party whose policies kill children” is a bit strong. National policy isn’t as progressive on that front as it could be, in fact it’s downright backward, but I wouldn’t say it’s the second coming of Herod. Hyperbole bordering on slander isn’t helpful in getting the point across.

                    • felix

                      So what Pop?

                      I wasn’t critiquing what McFlock said, I was pointing out that Gosman was lying about what McFlock said.

                      Try to keep up.

                    • rosy

                      So is …The Greens caring sharing image is at odds with their willingness to compromise with a party whose policies make it likely that more children will die due to living in poverty-related conditions … ok with you?

                      Because that’s what my problem with the Greens is as well. And having said that I think McFlock’s blunt version is more honest.

                    • Gosman

                      Where did I claim McFlock was saying [sic] that?

                  • Gosman

                    Where did I accuse McFlock of saying that?

                    Are you ascribing your own incorrect interpretation to me once again felix?

                    • felix

                      You can step up and say you acknowledge that McFlock said no such thing anytime you like, Gosman.

                    • Gosman

                      Where did I claim that McFlock did state that? Stop making stuff up. You are really having a bad day today aren’t you.

                    • felix


                      If that’s not what you were trying to convey with that comment then say so, and give another plausible interpretation given the context.

                      Otherwise it’ll look like you’re trying to back away from your comment without admitting it.

                    • Gosman

                      I’ve basically told you that I never claimed that McFlock said [sic] that.

                      As for me giving you another interpretation, I’m having too much fun seeing you basically state that people who support right wing policies essentially support people dying tas a result (something I never claimed McFlock was claiming by the way but which you have seemingly).

                      So given the fact that we have laws against people causing social harm such as via drugs and drink do you think we should have laws against people pushing right wing policies felix considering the social harm you think they cause?

                    • felix

                      That’s not what you said at all Gosman.

                      What you accused McFlock of saying was “around half the voting population of the country likes killing children.” (And you know that’s what I was referring to, because I just linked to it for you).

                      It’s entirely different to what he actually said, which was that the policies supported by people who vote for right wing parties are responsible for the unnecessary deaths of children. (which is factually accurate).

                      It’s not my fault that your little robot mind can’t understand the difference between those two obviously distinct ideas, but I’ll be working all night and I’m well sedated so I can patiently explain it over and over as many times as you like.

                      Oh and ps: Seeing as you’re refusing to state what you meant by that comment, it’s perfectly reasonable to take it that you meant exactly what it looks like you meant.

                      The other obvious interpretation is that you weren’t aping McFlock at all, but that would put you in the position of having said it yourself which could be awkward.

                      I’m taking the more charitable option by assuming (as any reasonable reader would) that you were satirising McFlock’s comment and that you don’t actually believe that “around half the voting population of the country likes killing children.”

                      Up to you though.

                    • Gosman

                      I never implied that was what McFlock stated. This is just your (wrong) interpretation of what I wrote.

                      However as for your position that what he stated was factually accurate how about you produce some hard evidence for this.

                      I have already produced links to statistics that stated the death rate has stayed essentially static and that for infant mortality has drifted downwards.

                      You expect people to take something as a fact when you don’t back it up. I’m calling you on this BS.

                    • felix

                      Gos, either you implied that McFlock said it (that’s reading your comment as being ironic, facetious or sarcastic),

                      Or you meant it yourself (that’s taking your comment literally).

                      If you believe there’s a third interpretation, let’s hear it.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I honestly don’t know why you bother. When I saw this thread had over 100 comments I was thinking “I bet it’s long pointless diversions from Gosman” and of course I was right.

            • Blue

              Not really. As long as it’s not their children, but the children of ‘bludgers’ and they are dying of poverty-related illnesses rather than being murdered, half of NZ’s voting population are fine with that.

              • Gosman

                Probably better for all though that we round them up and ship them to a concentration camp. I’m sure you would agree that someone dying quickly is preferably to dying slowly from poverty related issues. I mean won’t someone please think of the little children suffering.

                • McFlock

                  Typical tory – you missed option C: stop the kids from dying in the first place, by funding health, education, social welfare and housing programmes properly.

            • McFlock

              Amazing that around half the voting population of the country couldn’t see that John Key’s wave hides the fact that he likes implementing policies that are killing children through neglect and inaction right now.

              Fixed it for you.

              • Ianupnorth

                Gossy, you really are a knob; we have a government that is increasing the disparity between communities. Those at the bottom end have lower life expectencies, lower educational attainment and a higher chance of ending up in prison – go figure….
                Better still have a read – readily transferrable to here.

              • Populuxe1

                That’s just unnecessary. I loathe the man, but that’s just… wow…

                • McFlock

                  Is it incorrect?
                  I’m not saying that he’s going “one … two … three dead kids, mwahahahahaha!!!”
                  All I’m saying is that an unfortunate side effect of the policies that make his mates and him richer is that more people die than otherwise would have. And he doesn’t seem to have a major problem with this.

                  • Gosman

                    I love this. Now it seems if you don’t follow left wing policies it is the same as killing children. I can’t wait until someone on the left starts calling for the arrest of anybody for daring to promote a right leaning policies as it is the equivalent of incitment to commit murder. My view has always been that there is an intolerant totalitarian streak running beneath the surface of left wing politics and these sorts of statements just go to highlight this view has some validity.

                    • felix

                      McFlock’s statement is factually accurate.

                      The right-wing policies you support hurt people and kill people. Real people. Real pain. Real deaths.

                      Deal with it.

                    • Gosman

                      Well I guess then there is no other option but to outlaw such dangerous ideas. I mean if we make drunk driving illegal because of the social ills then it is obvious that the same needs to be done in this case.

                      Interesting though that you seem to imply that if you support right wing policies you should accept the fact that it kills people yet you were (wrongly) criticising me for stating that McFlock was saying [sic] the same thing.

                      Why the change in position felix or was the previous position just you diverting from the topic to try and score cheap points?

                    • felix

                      What change in position, Gos?

                      Be specific please, you’ve bought it up twice now so it must be something fairly concrete.

                    • McFlock

                      You have a history of talking about stuff that you don’t understand (like epidemiology), so let me be completely clear: Government is not just a game where the winner gets to give sinecures to their mates and taxpayer funds or tax cuts to the interest groups of their choice. Everyday government decisions affect whether people live or die.
                      A case in point is the change to the give way rules. Somewhere, someone in a government department would have done the equations as to whether the change is likely to save more lives (via simplicity of use and international parity preventing accidents) or whether it will cause more injury/death accidents than it prevents (i.e. confusion over the rule changeover). Unless they were fired in the public service culls, of course.
                      When you ignore the pharmac cost/benefit analyses in order to preferentially give medication to a high-profile lobby group, it causes more harm than good. Including to kids.
                      When your sole party action about child poverty skyrocketing is to “green paper” it for three years, that endangers children’s lives. When you know there is a strong correlation in NZ between child poverty and child mortality, that means kids will die.
                      When you give tax cuts to the rich rather than boosting funds to social services, health and education, that endangers people’s lives for want of an ambulance, a doctor or a social worker. Kids will die.
                      When you help increase unemployment by having SOEs purchase substandard infrastructure from overseas so the domestic manufacturer has to lay off workers, that puts the workers’ families into poverty.
                      Oh, we’re not talking hundreds of thousands – just dozens a year. But kids will still die.
                      And when you do all of these things, it’s pretty clear what your party cares about. And it’s not keeping kids alive.
                      And before you or burt come up with a “let’s tax the rich into poverty” absurdity, I recognisethat there is a point where the good of progressive taxation becomes outweighed by the bad. If you can point me to the studies that demonstrate that the government is even close to saving more lives than it is abandoning through its current policies, I will retract my statement.
                      But it would have tobe some pretty impressive shit.

                    • Gosman

                      Explain this position felix

                      “The right-wing policies you support hurt people and kill people. Real people. Real pain. Real deaths.

                      Deal with it.”

                      Specifically tell me how it differs from my absurdum ad infinitum statement that I made above

                      “Amazing that around half the voting population of the country likes killing children.”

                    • McFlock

                      Shit Gos, I must have missed the National Party press release that said “we’ll help the rich by taking money that keeps kids alive”.
                      In fact, looking at the radionz party policy site, National campaigned on no policy whatsoever, just a smile and a wave from Key.

                    • felix

                      That’s been explained to you several times already Gosman.

                      One statement refers to policies and their effects.

                      The other refers to half the people being murderers.

                    • RedLogix

                      We have this new policy that means opposing traffic lights will be green at the same time. We’ve determined that most of the time the traffic will flow more smoothly.

                      That this policy will also kill people… is just an unfortunate side-effect that we are not responsible for.

                    • Gosman

                      Interesting that the mortality rate (including the infant mortality rate) has been static, or even drifting downward.


                      I’d suggest there is no actual evidence that the policies of the National party have led to more deaths in NZ.

                      But by all means keep pushing this view. It just makes you look like fruit loops.

                      Fortunately for the wider center left your views are so extreme that noone is really pushing these ideas seriously.

                    • Gosman

                      “The other refers to half the people being murderers.”

                      There is nothing in my statement that suggests half the voting population is murderers. This is once again only your (wrong) interpretation.

                    • McFlock

                      Not from that table, because it includes things like congenital heart disease, microcephaly and other causes of death that don’t have a socio-economic relationship, and as I say we’re only talking dozens a year.
                      What you’ll need is a breakdown of Cause of Death and contributing factors for say 2000-2010 with attached  confidence intervals. But you’ll know from previous discussions – if you did the homework –  that for the socio-economic-related conditions cluster childhood mortality for the poorest kids is (from memory) around 12 times that of the richest kids. Quite a lot of analysis has been done in that area in NZ.

                    • Gosman

                      And I’ve told you McFlock that there is no stong evidence of a causal link between inequality and death rates. I’m not doubting there is between absolute rates of poverty in that poorer people have higher rates of mortality at a younger age than welathier people (ultimately everybody has 100 percernt mortality rate). Now considering inequality has been growing in NZ over the past 4 years where is the evidence, (you claim it is out there), that rates of mortality have been going up over the past 4 years?

                    • Gosman

                      The problem McFlock is you try and paint yourself as some kind of person who relies on the evidence but when it comes down to it you seem to be relying on ideological arguments to make the claim about National party policies causing MORE deaths. Show me the evidence for this in the pure statistics.

                    • Gosman

                      For your statement to be accurate McFlock you have to produce evidence that greater inequality has led to increased mortality for NZ as a whole not just that poorer people have higher mortality than welthier people. I see no evidence of this in the statistics. That would suggest your outrageous statement about the policies causing MORE deaths is bogus. However I am willing to see some evidence from you that backs up your view. Remember it has to be in a NZ context over the past 4 years and show that more people are now dying than would have been the case if the policies you decry had not been implemented.

                    • McFlock

                      And I’ve told you McFlock that there is no stong evidence of a causal link between inequality and death rates.
                      No, you parrotted your interpretation of what an epidemiologist told you because you have no idea what you’re talking about.
                      I’m not doubting there is between absolute rates of poverty in that poorer people have higher rates of mortality at a younger age than welathier people (ultimately everybody has 100 percernt mortality rate). Now considering inequality has been growing in NZ over the past 4 years where is the evidence, (you claim it is out there), that rates of mortality have been going up over the past 4 years?
                      the evidence is the previous trends and correlations between poverty and mortality in NZ that have been consistent over the last fifteen or twenty years, because the cause of death data for the bulk of national policy impacts is not publicly available yet. You’re a fool for arguing that the raw stats demonstrate anything, because we’re essentially examining a sub-population of at risk children inside the large infant mortality count.

                    • McFlock

                      For your statement to be accurate McFlock you have to produce evidence that greater inequality has led to increased mortality for NZ as a whole not just that poorer people have higher mortality than welthier people.

                      Two points:
                      1) no for my statement to be demonstrable I need the latest stats, which aren’t available. It might very well be accurate, we just don’t know for sure.
                      2) no because we aren’t talking about absolute numbers over time, we’re talking actual numbers vs what might have been. To translate it for your robot brain, “opportunity cost measured in lives”.
                      I see no evidence of this in the statistics. That would suggest your outrageous statement about the policies causing MORE deaths is bogus. However I am willing to see some evidence from you that backs up your view. Remember it has to be in a NZ context over the past 4 years and show that more people are now dying than would have been the case if the policies you decry had not been implemented.
                      No, we need a trend over time that also takes into account technology improvements in healthcare. While a rise would be clear, an actual proof against the opportunity cost of the tax cuts or skyrocketing debt is for someone’s phd. Not a blog.
                      I’m happy that a consistent correlation overtime, aetiological plausibility and other work in the field – including but not limited to the Spirit Level – is enough of a feathery shape that flies, paddles and quacks to call it a waterfowl of the genus scipidae.

                    • Gosman

                      “1) no for my statement to be demonstrable I need the latest stats, which aren’t available. It might very well be accurate, we just don’t know for sure.”

                      Translation – “I don’t have any actual facts and am making this up based on my faulty understanding of some studies which mistake co-relation with causation and my own political bias”

                      “2) no because we aren’t talking about absolute numbers over time, we’re talking actual numbers vs what might have been. To translate it for your robot brain, “opportunity cost measured in lives”.”

                      Translation – “I don’t have any actual facts and am making this up based on my faulty understanding of some studies which mistake co-relation with causation and my own political bias”

                    • Gosman

                      “…, because the cause of death data for the bulk of national policy impacts is not publicly available yet”

                      Translation “I have no evidence”

                    • Jenny

                      Disease rate ‘a disgrace’

                      Damp houses, poverty and a lack of primary healthcare are behind a dramatic rise in hospital admissions from infectious diseases….

                      …..The University of Otago study, published in international medical journal The Lancet, shows hospital admissions for infectious diseases increased by 51 per cent in New Zealand between 1989 and 2008.

                    • Gosman

                      See my comment below Jenny.

                      You have essentially shot yourself in your foot with the link to this article because the study mentions rate increases from 1998 through to 2008.

                  • How about you open your eyes, look around you and develop a conscience.  If you and a few others did that compulsion would not be necessary.

                    • Sorry badly nested comment intended for Gossy boy.

                    • Gosman

                      Show me the evidence that more deaths are occuring as a result of the policies implemented by the National led Government then mickeysavage.

                    • Gosman

                      Here’s an interesting graph on Infant mortality


                      Seems to be trending down in the years after 2008.

                      Where are these extra deaths coming from then as they don’t seem to be reflected in the statistics?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Gosman your call for evidence reminds me of those paid tobacco industry lackeys who cleverly stonewalled year after year as hundreds of thousands of new deaths were caused.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummmm…. no. There was plenty of statistics suggesting that the death rate amongst the wider population was higher as a result of smoking. The Tobacco industry tried to hide this. I have produced statistics showing the infant mortality rate falling over the past four years. This is at odds with the view that the policies ofNational causes MORE deaths. Show me your statistics that back that position up and your view will be taken more seriously.

                    • McFlock

                      Shit Gos – your CIA fact book source simply projected rates from the last available data – “accurate as of January 1, 2011”. So they might have had the basic 2009 data, not the 2010 or 2011, and were projecting pretty much from the roll-out by labour of the new VPD protocol.

                      And it doesn’t even agree with your statsnz source.

                    • Gosman

                      Produce evidence backing up your claim then McFlock instead of trying to discredit my statistics with your opinions. It should be quite simple to do. Higher mortality figures should be pretty easy to find for someone as in touch with this subject as yourself. I mean it’s not like you are just basing your opinion on ideological bias now is it?

                    • Gosman

                      Even a very critical UN report on Child mortality rates have stated they have remained static

                      “Another committee underlined that many developments had been seen regarding the right to life and survival, yet child and infant mortality rates remained “staggering” and had not changed over the past ten years.”


                      So where is your evidence that National party policies have caused MORE deaths?

                    • McFlock

                      What, produce evidence again? To someone who missed the word “staggering” twoor three times in a news article, but managed to spot “has not changed in the past ten years”.
                      oh, okay.
                      Btw, i was wrong about the 12x thing – it’s only twice as high for  the poorest kids.

                    • Gosman

                      So no evidence then McFlock that National Party policies have caused more deaths especially amongst children?

                      You did state it was out there yet you have failed to produce any evidence. You are full of it.

                    • infused

                      This is why the left sank in the election. The public know you’re nutters. See? I can play this game too.

                      Lets invent more bullshit on the spot shall we?

                    • McFlock

                      There is evidence that it’s a reasonable expectation. The actual evidence has yet to be fully compiled.

                    • Gosman

                      Translation – ” I have no evidence”

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I would expect that to be the received “translation” from someone who has no idea about public health.
                      If we had no idea about the likely effects of a medical programme until well after the fact, it would be a pretty fucking useless discipline, wouldn’t it? 
                      But as it is, we can make pretty accurate predictions based on what we already know. E.g. the new vaccine protocols weren’t created out of thin air – full CBAs were done to predict the results within a pretty good margin for error. The same methodology predicts the likely outcomes of other government policies – or are you arguing some sort of plausible relationship where tax cuts for the rich are associated with declining child mortality rates?
                      Gah – why am I even talking public health with you? You have no idea about the concepts behind it, make basic stats errors and don’t even read the google links you use as sources!

                    • Gosman

                      See my comments below.

                    • McFlock

                      which ones?

                    • Gosman


                      Should be right at the bottom.

                    • McFlock

                      Doesn’t seem to be a comment yet – still trying to look up a response in “Population Health for Dummies”?

                    • McFlock

                      interesting – didn’t show up for a while. Maybe spam queue? Possible IE being a dork.

                  • Gosman


                    That is not evidence that National party policies have led to MORE deaths. In fact it doesn’t mention mortality at all. Also the study is from 1998 through to 2008, which I believe another party other than National was in charge of the Treasury benches for the majority of this time.

                    Better luck next time

                    • wtl

                      1998 through to 2008

                      No, its 1989 to 2008. You’ve repeated the same mistake twice in this thread – did you even read the article?

                    • Gosman

                      Oh I have no problem acknowledging my mistake over the start date. It doesn’t matter in terms of the fact that approximately half the time in the study the Labour party was in power. following the logic of some here the stats should have been swinging in favour of lower rates of hospital admissions for these illnesses between 1999 and 2008. Instead they continued on their merry way into negative territory. By the way where is mortality rates for children mentioned in that article?

                    • Frank

                      See my comment below Jenny.

                      You have essentially shot yourself in your foot with the link to this article because the study mentions rate increases from 1998 through to 2008.

                      – Gosman

                      Gosman, weren’t you quoting some epidemiologist(s) from Otago Uni, regarding the Spirit Level?

                      So you’re content with quoting Otago Uni when it suits – but not at other times?

                    • Gosman

                      Frank, it is always good to see you come here and make some comment that manages to miss the point by a long shot.

                      Tell me Frank how that article referencing a study that ended in 2008 and is actually discussing hospital admissions rather than mortality rates supports the idea that the policies that our current National led Government is following leads to more children dying?

                      I look forward to your answer. Oh wait, considering the chances of getting an answer from you on this is slim to non existent, I don’t think I will.

                    • wtl

                      I’d say that the article was cited by Jenny to show exactly what it shows – that the policies of the 1980s and onwards in NZ have had very detrimental outcomes. Most visitors here can read it and judge for themselves whether NZ is heading in the right direction or whether we instead need to rethink our priorities.

                      It’s only you who has decided to make this argument about a very specific issue over a very specific timeframe.

                    • Gosman

                      Then she should have posted on a different comment stream rather than one that was discussing child mortality. Perhaps she could have posted it against one of the ones below this which mention concerns about the Greens supporting Tory policies but which doesn’t mention them causing the deaths of children.

                    • McFlock

                      Another public health fail, Gosman – morbidity is closely related to mortality. Given smallx% of patients die from infectious diseases, Jenny’s article is relevant to the discussion.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummmmm…. no because the study ends in 2008 and we are discussing the policies of the CURRENT National led Government. But hey i’m sure if we wait a couple of years you can come back with those ‘facts’ of yours.

                    • McFlock

                      Ummmmm…. no because the study ends in 2008 and we are discussing the policies of the CURRENT National led Government. But hey i’m sure if we wait a couple of years you can come back with those ‘facts’ of yours.

                      But Gosman, the Lancet (that well-known propoganda blogsite) article includes further peer-reviewed evidence of the relationship between poverty/inequality and infectious disease in New Zealand. For example, this paragraph is quite interesting, especially the last couple of lines:

                      In all four census periods (1991, 1996, 2001, 2006), infectious disease rates were much higher for individuals living in socioeconomically deprived areas (fi gure 3; webappendix pp 38, 43) than for those from less deprived areas. Rates rose for all deprivation (NZDep) quintiles, as did infectious diseases as a percentage of all-cause hospital admissions (webappendix pp 38, 43), but they increased much more in the most deprived quintiles Consequently, inequalities widened over the four censusperiods (figure 3; webappendix pp 38, 43).

                      That looks a bit like the beak-shaped bit of what might be called a “duck”.

        • phillip ure..


          ..i actually can see that they have absolutely no reasons to be smug about their results..

          ..given the environmental-imperatives that surround us..

          ..and the widespread acceptance of those imperatives…

          ..their result is dire..

          ..they should be in the the very least..

          ..and the reason for that disconnect is that many don’t see them as the/any answer..

          ..and that is largely down to them..i reckon..

          ..and the memorandums haven’t helped in that cause..

          ..of presenting a feisty/effective opposition/alternative to the sins of both national and labour..


      • Vicky32 5.1.2

        but spends time working with National and trying to find consensus with them, which in reality results in a few marginal bones in exchange for their respectability

        Exactly right!

  6. and speaking of ‘opposition’…

    ..could you please shave cunnliffe and wheel him into parliament..?

    ..for my sins i have done commentaries on most questiontimes..for some years now..

    ..and cunnliffe is one of the most effective operators i have seen over those years..

    ..(and he ‘rattles’ the right..which is a good thing..)

    ..i want you to let him loose to rip new ones for key/nact…

    ..if he was to be sidelined ‘cos of inner-schisims..

    ..that would be tragic/self-defeating…

    ..and a total waste of a needed resource..


    • muzza 6.1

      Parliamentarians for Global (order), ahem, action

      David Cunliffe
      Kennedy Graham

      Thinking either of these parties or or indeed any of them can turn the ship around is dreaming..

      People are going to get much more vocal, than simply voting for Labour or Greens!

  7. No wonder Shearer was the rightwingers’ prefered candidate for the Labour leadership.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    I can imagine Greens 20%, Labour 30% as a realistic result…

    I can see that but what I see most clearly is Labour becoming a minor party in the medium to long term.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Yer dreamin’ pal! Even at Labour’s lowest moments they are still the preferred choice of most non-National voters by a considerable distance and in the last election were still more than twice as popular as the Greens, who had to acheive their best ever result to even get that close. Normal service is being resumed as we speak and Labour will continue to climb back to its usual mid thirties polling result sooner rather than later.
      The Greens have probably peaked anyway and as long as they have the confused and confusing two leader strategy, they will never be taken seriously in terms of coalition leadership, either by other parties or the voting public.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        I’m thinking of the 20%+ of the population that didn’t vote. Get a party to appeal to them and Labour becomes a minor party.

        • Te Reo Putake

          I don’t see how that works, DtB. If that 20% voted, then I imagine they would be split like the rest of the electorate usually is, roughly two thirds to National and Labour, the rest to the also rans. Even if the whole 20% went to one party, that doesn’t relegate Labour, just strengthens someone else. And even if the 20% went specifically to the Greens, that would leave them only a few points ahead of Labour and both would then be major parties.
          I guess the question is whether the Greens can grow without cannibalising Labour’s vote. It’s in both party’s interest to see the other grow to the point where a Labour/Green government is a natural outcome. But if soft votes just alternate between the two, the overall left vote is not improved and nothing much changes. I’m certainly no expert on Green politics, but I suspect there are no Green parties who have ever got a higher percentage than our one achieved in November. And good as that result was, it did not change the Government.

          • felix

            “If that 20% voted, then I imagine they would be split like the rest of the electorate usually is, roughly two thirds to National and Labour, the rest to the also rans. “

            Maybe. But why do you think so?

            • the sprout

              considering that 20% is precisely in contradistinction to those who do vote, it’s illogical to then assume their voting distribution would mirror those they are the opposite of.

              Normal service is being resumed as we speak

              what on earth makes you think that? the dynamic performance of the Labour leader, the multiple resignations from his office, or the forcefully and eruditely enunciated new Blairite vision he has for Labour?

              i can think of six former Labour activists i know off the top of my head that wont be voting Labour in 2014 at the current rate, and i expect they’ll vote for whatever else offers a genuine leftward alternative.

              what on earth makes you think voters will start flocking to Labour in 2014 instead of to other parties?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I don’t know about flocking to Labour, Sprout, but if Labour get back to a more normal 34-38% in the polls and the Greens stay in double figures, then my dream result of a Labour/Green government comes to pass.
                Normal service is indeed being resumed, as you can see from the poll results here or in the last Roy Morgan (overdue one from Roy, aren’t we?). Despite all the grumbling about Shearer, he has done really well in that first preferred PM poll and helped move Labour back toward the thirties.
                Now, I would gone with Cunliffe personally, and, frankly if the Rev Blair could get us over the line, I’d happily sign his nomination form, too. The leader is not the party, they are just there to get the party elected. I don’t care if they are seen as right, left or centre, so long as they contribute to winning the next election for the left. 
                And, if I can repeat myself, we should all be demanding a snap election right now. Put it on Key to get a genuine mandate for flogging offf NZ’s assets and then hammer him day and night when he refuses. He won’t make it to Xmas if the public starts seeing him as a coward.

                • Preferred PM is a largely irrelevant poll and doesn’t really mean anything, and it’s kinda amusing that it gets so much credit from political journalists. It’s the party vote we should be basing our analysis off, not the preferred PM stakes.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I can’t agree with that at all, Matthew. It was Goff’s failure to make headway in that poll that specifically won it for the Nats. After three years of the MSM saying Goff had no chance based on his poor showing in the preferred PM poll, the electorate came to believe it and voted accordingly. Or more to the point, did not vote at all.
                    Like it or not, we have a media that thinks in FPP terms and can convince voters to think the same way. Even though you and I might see it as puffery, it does add credibilty to a leader. Which Shearer now has.

                  • felix

                    A lot of people give their party vote to the party who’s leader they like. They do think they “voted for John Key” even though we don’t vote for PMs.

                    The Nats know this, that’s why they only promoted John Key in the campaign.

                    Even the individual candidates weren’t promoting voting for “The National Party”, if you look at the language it was all about voting for “The John Key Government”.

          • Hanswurst

            I don’t see any reason to assume that. You’re basically assuming that the only difference between a voter and a non-voter is that one votes and the other doesn’t. What you are saying is essentially equivalent to saying that if Green voters had not been able to vote Green, their votes would have been split in line with the rest of the electorate. I doubt it.

            I agree that there will be a subset of non-voters whose attitudes more or less mirror the rest of the electorate, but who simply didn’t turn up. On the other hand, I have no idea how large that subset is, nor what the precise reasons would be in other cases. Having said all that, I don’t see any reason to assume that there is a monolithic group of like-minded non-voters who are just waiting for a political vehicle of expression, either.

          • Draco T Bastard

            If that 20% voted, then I imagine they would be split like the rest of the electorate usually is, roughly two thirds to National and Labour, the rest to the also rans.

            Then you don’t understand who votes and who doesn’t (A US survey – can’t find similar for NZ). The reality is that the left make up the greatest proportion of those who don’t vote. That’s why I said 20%+ rather than 27%. It’s a guestimate but I figure it’s pretty close – the other ~7% would have voted on the right. Basically, I’m figuring that ~2/3rds of the 27% who didn’t vote would have voted left.

            And even if the 20% went specifically to the Greens, that would leave them only a few points ahead of Labour and both would then be major parties.

            By major party I’m thinking in terms of leading the government, the party that the PM comes from.

            But if soft votes just alternate between the two, the overall left vote is not improved and nothing much changes.

            That’s why we need to appeal to the people who didn’t vote. ATM, we’re just passing the votes back and forth between the left and the right and we’re losing voters. More and more are starting to assume that there’s no difference between parties and, especially between Labour and NAct, they’re right.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              That’s an odd definition of major party. Personally I think it’s better to think in terms of parties large, (labour/national) medium, (Greens) small, (Maori Party/NZF) and micro. (Act/UF)

              And you’re quite right, the big disadvantage of MMP from my point of view is that it has encouraged Labour to continue its slow drift rightwards, making the differences between them and National ever more subtle as time goes on. We hardly repeal the attacks on the country that National gets done in a single term in government anymore.

              • Carol

                And the more MPs the Greens get, and the bigger the proportion of the vote, the more they drift towards the centre too. I prefer them as a small to medium party that has strong principles and policy focus and sticks to them.

                • Jack McDonald

                  Carol I don’t know what you are basing that arguement on. None of the Green’s policy has changed recently, and in fact, most of the new intake of Green MPs are further on the ‘left’ than the MPs who were already there (think Jan Logie, Denise Roche, Holly Walker). MPs are also forced to vote according to Green policy, even for personal votes.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Maybe its just me then. There seemed to be plenty of Green voters on November 26 who would be happy to vote National as their second choice party. Or who used their candidate vote for their local National candidate.

                    • Vicky32

                      There seemed to be plenty of Green voters on November 26 who would be happy to vote National as their second choice party. Or who used their candidate vote for their local National candidate.

                      I noticed that as well! (I was working, at a language school) and most of the other teachers were middle class. I was one of the only three  true lefties there – the other two were also over 45 – and all the young people were Nats or ‘blue-greens’.

                    • McFlock

                      Split vote summary is interesting – 13% of green party voters voted for a National party candidate. Now of those only about 2300 were Epsom. So that’s about 30,000 “ethical greens” who voted for National candidates.

                    • Jack McDonald

                      I agree, many National supporters are coming around to supporting the Greens, but thats because the perception is the issues we raise are now mainstream and less radical, and those middle class voters are now sick of dirty rivers and no jobs, but there has actually been no change in policy or principle on the part of the Greens

                    • McFlock

                      I agree. Besides one or two individual policies that it uses for publicity stunts to prove it’s radical, the bulk of Green social and economic policy is perfectly acceptable for national-lite voters, and has been for years
                      Of greater concern to me is that the entrenched National party economic philosophies are no longer anathema to Green principles.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I agree, Jack, it is embarrassing that so many Green voters would waste their vote on National Party electoral candidates. Even worse is that over a third of them voted Green in the electorate, which suggests a level of political naivety I’d assumed, but never previously had confirmed. Plonkers.

                    • lprent []

                      Look at the split votes running back over the last 4 elections. The green party voters are steadily moving more and more to tactical voting….

                      Good to see. In 2005, they were making me wonder about long term intelligence wastage from residual pot smoking… 😈

                    • I think that has much more to do with the electorate realising the left is a strong and viable option again than the Greens drifting right. There’s been some political moves that could be overblown as appealing to more centrist voters, but the party’s policies and principles are currently firmly entrenched in the Green part of the left-wing, and if they stray, they’ll have lost me, and no doubt a whole bunch of other members and supporters, too.

              • McFlock

                MMP encouraged Labour to go to the right in the same way that it encouraged minor parties to take up the baubles of power. While some were definitely just after the bling (cough cough DUNNE cough cough), I think a few really thought that by being ministers they’d have the power to change things. What they didn’t pick was that the bad that they did lived on into the election, while the good was oft interr’d within their Cabinet Collective Responsibility (cough cough KIWIBANK cough cough).
                If the Greens haven’t learnt that lesson they’re morons.
                And I think that during the elction Labour showed promise of having learned their own lesson.
                Let’s say 5-10% of the non-vote is realistically reclaimable into participation. If that were going to go to the greens, they would have voted this election – gone towards a prominent, easily distinguishable party. One should also consider the possibility that some of the green vote was a temporary vote against labour, who got their message into the community too little too late. So that’s 5-10% that labour can recover in the next election, while I think the greens will stay static.
                The alternative is that the greens bleed votes off labour, and I think the two parties are distinct enough that this is not a long term strategy. Which leaves either increased voter participation (e.g. their overseas vote campaigns), or going for the central pool of natlab floaters – but the latter will merely be repeating the same mistake that labour made. 

            • mickysavage

              Aye Draco.  Turnout last time was low.  Any higher and Key would be on his way overseas.

            • lprent

              Exactly. The no vote from either people not being on the roll or not voting is the largest ‘party’ vote in the country.

              It affects different areas differently. But taking an extreme, based on the 2006 census, in Auckland Central electorate the “didn’t vote” group are 44% of the electorate.

              • Frank

                Look at the split votes running back over the last 4 elections. The green party voters are steadily moving more and more to tactical voting….

                Good to see. In 2005, they were making me wonder about long term intelligence wastage from residual pot smoking

                Unfortunately, still not to a degree as to rid the electorate of people like Peter Dunne (UF). Green voters in Ohariu could have rid us of Dunne had Green voters given their electorate vote to the Labour candidate. rather than Gareth Hughes (G).

                As it was 1,775 Green votes were wasted on Hughes rather than being cast for Chauvel (L).

                Mind you, the same could be said of Labour voters in Epsom, had they cast their electorate vote for Goldsmith (N) rather than Parker (L).


                Ah well, live and learn, I guess…

                • James Shaw


                  If you’re going to argue that Gareth Hughes peeled 5.8% off Charles Chauvel on the left, you can’t ignore Katrina Shanks pulling 18.5% off Peter Dunne on the right.

                  If Shanks can pull three times as many votes off Dunne as hughes pulled off Chauvel, and Chauvel still can’t win, it’s time for Labour get a stronger candidate.

                  • KJT

                    It’s time for Labour to get over being a softer version of National.

                    Voters can see the resemblance to the USA and UK, where you only have a choice of two corporatist Neo-Liberal parties.

                    All that is holding the Labour vote up now are Labour loyalists.

                    Anyone who realizes that the current economic paradigm has failed us, is voting Greens or, maybe, Mana.

  9. deemac 9

    does it not occur to people that the media deliberately ignore Labour spokespeople? Or do you think they are unbiased?

  10. Fortran 10

    Labour can never be in power in the foreseeable future (2014) without the Greens in support, and they have said clearly that they want their very large pound of flesh.
    Like Winston who may well have the real balance and will take Foreign Affairs (he enjoyed the travel and baubles).
    Norman has said that he wants Dep PM and Finance, but may accept only Finance, at least. Turei will take Social Welfare and Maori.

    • Anderton got deputy PM for delivering far less to the government than the current Greens would. (When he was leader of the Alliance party, it polled 10% and 8% at the elections) If the Greens grow their vote again next election and decide to endorse a formal coalition, they will have earned not only the Deputy slot, but some significant portfolios- I’m hoping Energy and Transport would be prime examples.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        Funny – around 1999 the Alliance were saying the same thing.
        Pride goeth before the fall (or leadership betrayal)

        • The fall of the alliance was more about it being an unstable party with idealogical differences too big than about Jim Anderton getting important portfolios. Personally, I don’t think the Greens should shoot for Deputy PM, because I’d rather they go for portfolios and policy concessions.

          • McFlock

            Nah – it was pretty much the mps abandoning party policy that screwed us. The party itself was largely agreed on that issue.
            But then there’s NZ1 and the maori party who also got hammered by being too close to cabinet at the expense of their policies.
            What I suggest is having a c&s agreement that stipulates particular budget items and legislativechanges that have one of two priorities: negotiable” and “non-negotiable”. That way from the outset there’s policy differentiation. Monitor implementation, but don’t have any ministers or associate ministers in the government. And if one isn’t doing so well, start sabre-rattling outside of cabinet, rather than taking baubles and being seen as petulant or capricious (which I think is the smaller partner’s threat).

            • Matthew Whitehead

              Right, I perhaps should have said unstable caucus to be clear that I meant the actual MPs’ ideological differences, and not any incoherence in the party policy.

              You present a good government strategy, and one that should absolutely be considered come next election for the Greens- but there are questions as to whether there are some things for which it is useful to have ministerial powers, and having Labour agree to the Greens leading transport and energy would make for an amazing coalition, I think.

              Some of this is also about marketing, which the Alliance also didn’t do very well, where small parties need to claim their achievements before their coalition partners do. This is part of why Winston Peters keeps getting elected- he’s one of the few minor party leaders who’s done well at marketing his own achievements.

    • infused 10.2

      Mate, if Norman got finance, that would be the day to leave NZ.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Because he could somehow borrow at a faster rate than Bill English? That would be a sight to behold!

  11. Tom Gould 11

    It is somewhat distasteful to see the Greens crawling to the Tories and slagging off Labour at the same time. Hardly the look of a ‘new’ opposition? Or maybe Russel is more Tory than Green, a sort of Green Blue?

    • Jack McDonald 11.1

      Crawling to the Torys??!! how ridiculous. Did you read Metiria’s speech? Also the Greens don’t ‘slag off’ Labour, we critizise all partys where we disagree and praise them where we do agree. We are a policy based party, and act in accordance with our policy.

      And if you think Russel is anything like a Tory, then you really don’t know him at all.

    • Jackal 11.2

      Perhaps Tom Gould doesn’t know what a Tory is?

      In my opinion the main difference between the parties is that there’s very little to criticize about the Greens, even on a personal level. Unlike National that is beset with controversy due to bungling their secret agenda, even Labour looks pious and ethical. Their scandals, although disproportionately reported on by a biased media, are incomparable to National’s underhanded dealings and arrogant contempt for the public’s wishes.

      If the Green’s can halt National’s plans that would see the environmental, social and economic destruction of our country, more power to them.

    • If by “crawling to the Tories,” you mean the Green Party-National MoU, that’s just standard Green Party politics: working with any party in parliament on the issues that they agree on, and it should be telling just how limited the MoU was.

      As for slagging off Labour- the Greens are allowed to hold Labour to a higher standard than they hold themselves to. It’s only wrong to criticise someone when it’s hypocritical or undeserved, and I seriously doubt that’s been the case. The Greens have actually been very nice to Labour in my opinion, all things considered.

  12. Darien Fenton 12

    Eddie : that is a silly comment.

    I was interviewed for that Mines Story and had worked on it since Friday. The journalist cut me from it because the piece was too long, but Labour got the lead on Firstline this morning.

    You must have been asleep on the minimum wage and asset sales.

  13. Darien Fenton 13

    And you probably missed my question in the House too.

    And this on ACC from Andrew Little.

  14. Rosemary 14

    Labour will remain irrelevant until it rediscovers what it means to be the Labour Party. That means revisiting its traditional roots. Shearer’s and Labour’s ambivalence towards the POAL dispute, and the fact that Labour has officially abandoned the poor are examples of why Labour will continue to fail. I cannot and will not support Labour until it fixes itself in this regard, and many won’t trust Labour even if it does purport to sort itself out. Trouble is, there’s not a scrap of evidence Labour will ever learn. To me, I think Labour needs to hit rock bottom for things to change. They’re heading there pretty quickly.

    • Gosman 14.1

      “…and the fact that Labour has officially abandoned the poor”

      When did this happen?

      I must have missed this rather dramatic announcement.Who released the official statement? Was it the leader of the party or was this one of those remits that gets snuck through at the party conference?

      • mickysavage 14.1.1

        Gawd I hate it when I agree with Gossman but when did this happen Rosemary?  WFF for beneficiaries was really brave.  And I think the Greens hid their policies for the poor away so they could enjoy greater support amongst the middle class.  The election results tend to bear this out.

        • QoT

          Got to disagree, micky. “WFF for beneficiaries” was fucking stupid. Calling it “Working for Families for beneficiaries” was exceptionally fucking stupid. Spending massive time and Crown Law resources while in power to defend WFF, and then u-turning mere months out from the election, was pretty damn stupid. Implementing a policy with a stated purpose of “incentivising” beneficiaries to work by depriving their children of state support was fucking vicious as well as stupid. Add all those things together? Sure, it was “brave”. Sir Humphrey Appleby would probably call it “courageous”.

          • mickysavage

            QOT I said the policy was brave.  “Stupid” is sometimes a synonym for “brave”.

            WFF made things better in that the working poor’s plight improved.  Bebeficiaries did not enjoy the improvement but at least part of the population did.

            Electability is as important as principle when politics is being considered.

            I am pretty sure that the transfer from Labour to the Greens was in part because of this policy.  I can quote you the electorates where the Greens had a significant swing and the deprivation rating to confirm this.

            I do not like the result but the suggestion is that WFFFB was a vote loser.

            You seem to be suggesting that Labour was being brave but stupid at the same time … 

            • QoT

              I guess I’m agreeing it was a “brave” policy in that it was, indeed, brave to go out with a half-baked policy with a stupid name.

              Yes, originally you can argue that WFF was an electability vs principle issue. But going out in 2011 saying “we’ll give WFF to beneficiaries” offered neither – there was no reshaping of principles, no “we were wrong, we’re going to tackle child poverty no matter who their parents are because Kiwi kids deserve a fair go”, and likewise no electability in basically tattooing “we are flip-flopping in the hope poor people will show up to vote for us” on their foreheads.

              I’d always have been annoyed about the policy, but seriously, going out to Middle New Zealand and saying “so, we’ve spent our term plugging Working For Families and clearly branding it in line with our Working Poor vs Filthy Bludgers middle-class-friendly stance and buying into the idea that unemployed people won’t work unless we starve their kids … now we’re just going to throw them a handout with a patently-contradictory name” was just … fucking stupid. They could at least have gone with some retro Universal Child Benefit branding or something.

              • Lanthanide

                110% agree QoT. My PoV on this is that they just shouldn’t have said anything about it at all. National didn’t outline all of their policies (we can tell, because they had very few), so I don’t know why Labour felt they had to outline all of theirs.

          • Bill

            fck-ing, best comment I’ve read all day QOT, Thanks 🙂

          • Rosemary


            Abolished the special benefit in 2004
            Introduced work testing for invalid’s beneficiaries
            Removed looking after the poor as the main purpose of social welfare
            introduced WFF which excludes people without employment and those without children
            Have started talking about the “third way”, yet again
            Have failed to stand up against Nact’s welfare “reform” presumably because they’ve accepted the public believes Nact is correct, and have abandoned arguing for an adequate welfare system.

            Josie Pagani’s piece about ‘returning to the Treasury benches at any cost’ echoes Labour’s silence on welfare issues. Any positive reform Labour may refer to, such as extending WFF, not only still leaves many out in the cold, but can hardly be believed, especially when it was “promised” in an election year, and Labour’s track record on promises in the welfare area since 1991 have all been hollow. There’s a big long list of them. They reneged on everything in 1999 and even before.

            It’s the poorest of the poor Labour have abandoned. Labour has been sucked in to believe that talking about social welfare for this group just ain’t sexy enough anymore. They see it as risky, so are pandering to the populist attitudes you see on kiwiblog and hear on talkback radio. Labour’s let this rubbish dictate its welfare policy (if you can say they’ve got one, that is). Labour is no longer the party for the poor.

      • phillip ure.. 14.1.2

        well..they did during those nine long clark years..that’s irrefutable..

        ..and their promises to the poorest for this election were a $3 a year increase for three years..(that’d be ten bucks a week after three years..whoar..!

        ..that’s a’ll show those oecd

        ..and of course..who could forget that promise to include the poorest families in the sixty dollars a week working for (some) families regime..?

        …and that by 2018..(yep..!..2018…6 yrs/2 govts away..)

        ..if that dosen’t spell abandonment…

        ..what does..?

        ..(and didn’t shearer say he was going to ‘reconsider’ abandon..that rash 2018 promise..)


        ..we need lifeboats..

        ..not rubber-rings..

        ..and i don’t think labour have ‘got’ that yet…eh..?

        ..and political motivation of the poor next time looks like it is manas’ to take…

        ..when you bore down into the detail..harawira is the only one offering anything to the poor…. far as i can see..


    • Te Reo Putake 14.2

      ” … and the fact that Labour has officially abandoned the poor …”
      Did I miss the memo?

    • Bill 14.3

      Benson Pope introduced the biggest cut in benefits since Ruth Richardson. (Temporary Additional Support ‘replacing’ Supplementary Support).

      Last Labour government fought tooth and nail against unemployed parents accessing wff.

      And, lets face it, beneficiaries have been on the receiving end of the old ‘one, two combination’…jab from the right and a (double) cross from the left…since, well, since as long as I can remember.

      • Rosemary 14.3.1

        Yes, it replaced the special benefit that Labour ditched under urgency in 2004. National tried to do the same in 1995 but failed. Guess who opposed it back then? Labour did. Labour’s amendment Act in 2007 did a truck load of damage, too. Labour’s opened the door so many times for Nact to waltz through with “reform” even Nact would be unlikely to go through with if it hadn’t been for Labour cutting the track.

  15. Gosman 15


  16. I’m not bagging workers rights, but personally I’m not keen on seeing a greater green representation while they they remain a proponent for socialism, have blogged on consequences.

    • felix 16.1

      Could you explain in what way you’re “not bagging workers rights”?

      What aspects of employment law are you talking about specifically?

      • Rosemary 16.1.1

        She won’t be able to tell you because she doesn’t know.

        • QoT

          Or she will tell you but, if that blog post is anything to go by, you’ll be unable to understand her. Gods, my editing fingers are spasming.

          • Armchair Critic

            It illustrates very clearly that while it is possible to have too much of a good thing, too much of a bad thing is a lot more common.
            To save you actually trying to read them, quite a few of the posts run like this:
            [random introduction on something topical]
            …therefore socialism is bad. And evil.

            • Colonial Viper

              …therefore socialism is bad. And evil.

              But socialism for the rich (and welfare for big corporations) is quite acceptable.

  17. dancerwaitakere 17

    ANd so how will the greens at 20% actually PAY for their policies?

    If the greens want to play with the big boys, they will have to learn to be attacked like the big boys. This means learning to take attacks from labour instead of whinging.

    • felix 17.1

      Good example of the problem right there.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      Dunno but the difference between Greens (and the left in general) and NAct is that the Greens will actually properly cost and cover their policy. The NActs are looking at a massive deficit blow out from theirs because they went with uncosted policies and failed ideology.

  18. John Pagani 18

    Mmm. I’m going to have to disagree with your claim that I’m a dog-whistling beneficiary basher.

    Here’s the last comment I made on the subject:

    “That brings me to the mistakes people on the left make: They confuse welfare reform with beneficiary bashing. Done right, reform is the opposite, because when welfare is working properly there is more legitimacy about the cases of people who need care, and there are more resources to direct to where they are needed. People make the mistake of confusing reform with bashing because they believe no reform is needed at all. But that position is perverse for people who want to genuinely help beneficiaries.”

    If you can hear dog whistling, your ears are tuned to a higher register than mine.

    • Jackal 18.1

      Did somebody whistle a dog? Perhaps you need to reacquaint yourself with some of the literature (PDF) that National has commissioned?

      Yes! Progressive welfare reform is required, mainly to undo negative historical welfare reforms. However current reforms are designed specifically to save money to the detriment of the welfare dependent. This has wider implications to society in general, and a cost association.

      Paula Bennett has been crowing long and hard about the relatively small savings her detrimental reforms have achieved, while publicly lying about job creation and beneficiary numbers. National’s propaganda saying their changes are to benefit New Zealander’s (like most of their policies) should not be believed.

      It’s all about timing… while all that National bullshit is going on a leftwing political commentator comes out and says welfare reform is somehow desirable. WTF! It does not matter that your intent is to benefit society through positive welfare reform; it is that too many Labourites are A OK with pseudo-socialism while undertaking a bit of beneficiary bashing. Present company excluded.

    • Bill 18.2

      How about returning benefits to pre Richardson levels for a start. (Of course, that would put an upward pressure on wages…win/win)

      How about getting shot of the ridiculous situation whereby an unemployed person who manages to pick up a couple of hours work gets financially penalised to the extent they often wind up with less money after taking into account the cost of working….travel to and from, food etc. Many small employers with wildly oscillating labour needs would benefit too by being able to retain staff during their busy peaks. (At the moment it’s often ‘under the table’ until the employer ‘gets the shits’, says they have to put the work through the books and the employee does their sums and quits.)

      And how about rewriting that dogs dinner that passes for legislation so that it can be navigated and understood before anyone attempting to do so goes bald from tearing their hair out?

      And how about introducing a mechanism whereby advocates for unemployed people can gain some renumeration (I believe there is such a mechanism used in the case of ACC?) instead of the current law which stipulates an advocate is breaking the law if they seek or receive payment for their advocacy?

      Or, no. Lets leave things as they are and have targetted beneficiaries. Yup. That’s worked fine so far. Target them, stress them and make sure they know that they will be demeaned and put through the wrangle should they set foot in the WINZ office. And we’ll ‘save a fortune’ because people will feel too intimidated to claim benefits they’re entitled to.

      • phillip ure.. 18.2.1

        as far as that work is concerned.. forgot the financial/poverty-handcuffs of the 85 cents in the dollar clawback on monies earned..

        ..that’s another lets-kick-beneficiaries-in-the-goolies policy labour maintained for those nine long years..

        ..(and i’ve heard no noises about changing that yet from labour..

        that figure again..?..85 cents in the dollar…

        ..cruelties/ignoring leavened with sadism..from my side of the fence..

        ..and no matter how hard she scrubs…clark/that govt. will never remove that ignoring-the-poor stain around her/their hem…

        ..and hearing the attitudes being expressed here by some..

        ..that seems to be yet another lesson labour has yet to learn…


    • hate to pagani but most i have seen from you is rightwing/conservative labour.. are also a reactionary on pot…eh..? josie pagani related to you..?..btw..

      ..’cos she seems cut from the same cloth….

      ..her ideas seem to fit comfortably with the reactionaries who mainly inhabit jim moras’ panel.. you see yrslf as being on the right wing of labour..?


    • Olwyn 18.4

      Many of your responses had the tone of people responding to a dog whistle, and one person, Chris #60, questioned your saying “those who can work should work” by asking, “Are you saying there are jobs for everyone who can work? Former governments since time began (and Treasury, too) have always accepted that almost everyone who can work want to work, but you seem to be saying things more akin to neo-liberal anti-welfare rhetoric than acknowledging this fact.”

      In the absence of specifics it is actually hard to see what you are recommending: are you hoping to ensure that there are jobs aplenty for those desperate for work, or are you suggesting a 21st century version of “We must stop them from drinking gin and keeping their coal in the bath?” I have to say, your tone suggests you are at least flirting with the latter.

    • ak 18.5

      Pago: …when welfare is working properly…. there are more resources to direct to where they are needed.

      That’s not a dogwhistle Pagan, that’s a bloody foghorn from the SS Tory. Blaring “welfare money is being spent where it’s not needed.”

      Evidence please. The beneficiaries I deal with daily will be grateful to know what portion of their benefit they don’t need.

      And did the savings from the Special Benefit you abolished in your last benny-bash get “re-directed to where they were needed”? And did that “solve the problem”? And in terms you might understand, did that particular craven sop to redneckery garner Labour any votes?

      As for the pathetic puppywhistle “train em up and they’ll all get jobs”, again evidence please – what jobs?

      Think back a second; when there were jobs we had the second lowest unemployment in the west, and even the DPB was coming down.

      No extra training, no faux-concern, no veiled victim-bashing from venal poll-suckers, just jobs.

      The greed of a few has killed the jobs: if you haven’t the nuts to rip into them, at least assume the humanity to leave their victims alone.

    • Honestly John, the best thing to do with welfare would be to universalize it to everyone earning under a certain amount, with a few extra benefits for people who are earning but have additional challenges that they need a supplement to their income for. So much of our money spent on welfare is around excluding people that we’d probably save money by just putting everyone under an income of $20,000 a year on negative taxes.

      If you’re going to argue that there’s significant rorting of the system going on, you’re going to need evidence, and you’re also going to have to show that we’d save more money than it would cost us to enforce whatever fixes you’re proposing. Nobody likes it when people take money they don’t need when there are people genuinely struggling who deserve it, but we might just have bigger fish to fry, such as addressing the problems that lead to poverty and underemployment in the first place.

    • Rosemary 18.7

      Sure, but when Labour say reform they mean exactly the same kind of reform Nact want and are doing now.

  19. Mike 19

    “I can imagine Greens 20%, Labour 30% as a realistic result”

    You really believe over 20% of National voters are going to about face and vote for the Greens? Hardly realistic. The Greens will remain around the 10% mark unless they become far more centrist.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      The Greens will remain around the 10% mark unless they appear far more centrist.


    • An increasing number of Green party voters are voting for National electorate candidates, so that suggests that the Greens are already convincing former National supporters to give them their votes. You’re also discounting three other possibilities:

      a) People who didn’t vote coming back to the polls next election and voting Green. This is actually highly likely as the left vote was very depressed this election.
      b) Swing voters who were tired of Labour for various reasons who switched to National realising that the Greens are now a serious alternative to Labour and National, and one that they prefer.
      c) Labour convincing swing voters and the Greens convincing former Labour voters.

      • Mike 19.2.1

        “An increasing number of Green party voters are voting for National electorate candidates”

        Not really that significant other than Epsom, which was obviously Green supporters voting strategically. Also, Green supporters are more likely to vary their electorate vote amongst different parties as the electorate vote doesn’t really mean anything to the Green Party in nearly all the electorates. I simply can’t see voters turning from National and going to the Greens in large numbers, it’s too great a leap.

        “a) People who didn’t vote coming back to the polls next election and voting Green. This is actually highly likely as the left vote was very depressed this election.”

        I disagree. I would imagine (just my opinion) that green supporters would be a very low proportion of non voters and that green supporters are more likely than just about any other party to vote. I’d put money on the highest percentage of non voters in this election who vote in the next election will vote Labour.

        “b) Swing voters who were tired of Labour for various reasons who switched to National realising that the Greens are now a serious alternative to Labour and National, and one that they prefer.”

        Again I would have to disagree. These people switch between National and Labour, I think it is doubtful many of them would vote green, especially if they voted National this time. Switching from National to the Greens is a mighty big ideological leap whichever way you look at it.Why did they switch from Labour to National instead of Labour to the Greens this time? Because they, like most of the population are centrist in their views. The Greens are still to far left far most people although they could change that perception in the next 3 years.

        Aside from that, If we roughly average voter turnout for all elections since introducing MMP we get around 80% turnout. If we’re very generous we can say that based on past elections, 15% of voters never vote. So the number of votes the Greens might pick up from returning voters is not going to be huge assuming a best case scenario of 10% of eligible voters returning my guess is that Labour will pick up the highest proportion.

        Rather than the 20% Green, 30% Labour as suggested in the article I think we’re far more likely to get somewhere around 38 – 44% labour and 8 – 12% greens.

        Of course a lot can happen in 3 years. Key and English might turn the economy around and everything might turn awesome…… (chuckle)

        • Colonial Viper

          Agree: Greens will be lucky to hold on to 11%-12% in 2014. IMO they are at a high tide now, they will need a game changer to get to 15%.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            It’s certainly going to be a hard slog to climb higher now, especially seeing the Greens can’t just paint themselves as the little guys keeping Labour honest any more, and they’ll increasingly become vulnerable to backlash attacks from the right-wing, which have been quite sucessful against Labour in the past.

        • Greens have an incredible appeal to younger voters, and younger voters aren’t very likely to vote, especially in elections where they don’t feel “their side will win”.

          You’re assuming people vote for National for ideological reasons. The fact is that many people just don’t consider policy when they vote- they’re influenced by the people who do to some degree of course, but they can “feel” that National won’t be too threatening and be tired of Labour, even though they love left-wing policies and think right-wing ones are bad or dangerous. We can see that quite clearly based on polling on asset sales versus the general election.

          Now, do I see the Greens getting 20% of the vote next election? Not unless some very big wins happen way more quickly than the political norm. But I do see the Green vote at least stabilising, if not continuing its gradual growth. I’m not arguing that this 30/20 scenario is likely, just that growing is likely, and that 20% is not out of reach for the Greens in a few elections, if they manage themselves well. The Greens are the first party in generations to make the leap from new movement to being the third player in politics, and there’s real potential there. Let’s not talk it down.

          (Also, absolutely at some point the Green vote will shrink again- but that’s likely to happen next time the left-wing vote contracts. For the Green vote to shrink next election, Labour would need to perform much better than they currently are, AND the Greens would have to make some big mistakes, because they’re likely to benefit from the expansion of the left wing)

  20. Populuxe1 20

    I do not trust the Greens at all. They are far to cosy with the Natzis.
    The endorsed GST at 15% (mind you, so did Labour. The fought NZ1 tooth and nail to sit next to the Nats in the benches. They supported Whanau Ora despite it being a Natzi sop to the Maori Party. They keep trumpeting how keen they are to work more closely with the Nats.
    What kind of blue-green is that? Cerulean? Teal? Bondi Blue? (the latter being quite likely as the populace evacuates).
    I am also predicting a massive schism between the centrist technocrats and the hippie ferals.

    • McFlock 20.1

      lol – “natzis”?
      Possibly a bit far, even for me 🙂

      • Gosman 20.1.1

        Not really. You essentially claimed the policies killed children without providing a shred of evidence. Essentially I see this as being on par with comparing theGovernment with Nazis. Certainly when it comes to emotional hysteria that is divorced from factual reality. But hey, if you produce evidence then perhaps you could prove me wrong.

        • Jackal

          If you knew anything about history, you would realize that there are some similarities between the National party and the Nazis, especially concerning their propaganda mechanisms. Policies do kill people Gosman. That’s why there are more suicides after a bit of rightwing political beneficiary bashing.

          I think there needs to be a distinction made: The Green’s will support good policy that benefits New Zealand, no matter where that policy comes from… they are not so ideologically defunct as to only support their own ideas.

          • Gosman


            Did you form this idea in conjuction with your five year old banking sector expert Jackal? You know the same one that convinced you that the CFR has to be funded domestically.

            • Frank

              Interesting how rightwing groupies will jump through hoops; nitpick to the Nth degree; and try to obfuscate any statistic that shows a growing social problem during a National government.

              And more ironic still is that while rightwingers demand the highest standard of Taking Responsibility – they duck taking responsibility when it comes to failed policies of their own government.

              Right wingers default to these three positions: It’s,

              (a) the previous government’s fault
              (b) beneficiaries’ fault
              (c) no problem exists

              (Extra points if a right winger can use all three at the same time.)

              • Gosman

                I wouldn’t know Frank because noone has produced any statistics yet showing this growing social problem and childhood mortality rate, (remember Frank we are discussing Child deaths here), during the current National led administration. Perhaps you have some statistics to add? No?

                • McFlock

                  Bit of a slide there Gos – remember, we’re discussing child mortality that would not have occurred if national had e.g. deferred the tax cuts in favour of boosting health funding.
                  That does not necessarily equal a “growth” in mortality. 
                  If you knew anything about public health, you would already know that.

                • Frank

                  Gosman, only you could distill growing social problems and childhood mortality rates down to a concern about the validity of statistics.

                  Arguing the number of winged supernatural critters dancing on a head of a pin is your style – not mine.

                  The fact that you’re more concerned about wanting more statistics rather than the issue itself, I think, speaks volumes about you.

                  But you go ahead. Like your faux “concern” about children present at an industrial picket, in Auckland, we’re all quite clear about how you view other people.

                  To me, you epitomise the neo-liberal sociopath who functions as an Individual in an “economy” – whilst the rest of us live and co-exist in a society.

                  You demonstrate why neo-liberalism and the Cult of the Individual is destined for the scrapheap of history.

                  • Gosman

                    More statistics Frank??? I would just like to see some relevant statistics. But hey maybe we should just take your word for it. I mean you’re the guy who somehow thinks the terms of trade is impacted by farm sales to overseas investors so you obviously know your stuff.

                    • McFlock

                      But Gos, you don’t even understand statistics – otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered with the CIA projections of infant mortality.

                      I merely made an assertion that National party policies will result in some children dying who would otherwise have lived. My support for this is the known correlations between poverty and hardship (e.g. overcrowding and exposure to other hazards), disease, and (that well-known health outcome of some disease) death. I have also highlighted a number of specific policies (from Herceptin to rail wagon production) that National have implemented to the detriment of child health (and therefore mortality).
                      Your sole defense is that there are no current statistics that compare the last 3 years of national government with the hypothetical last three years of a decent left wing government. 
                      Meanwhile you support arguments you don’t understand by linking to sources you don’t read in order to imply a competence that doesn’t exist. 

                    • Gosman

                      Don’t worry. Only a few more years to wait McFlock. I’m sure you will feel better then.

                    • McFlock

                      “Feel better”? I feel fine.
                      It could be because I’m in one of the higher SES deciles, or possibly it’s just because I’m laughing like a drain at the fact that someone who believes Treasury predictions has incredible difficulty drawing the dots between poverty and health, and yet still has the gall to accuse others of being idealogues.

              • Rosemary

                In exactly the same way that idiot Borrows is comparing the $43k with being on a benefit, ignoring all of the add-ons that waged low-income earners also receive, as well as the extra assistance a beneficiary may be entitled to that is based on actual dollar costs the person has, such as the disability allowance, which means zero net increase in discretionary spending. Act did the same thing a few years ago by taking every single benefit, allowance and even tax credit, and then grossing them up – yes, even the non-taxable benefits like the AS and yes, even tax credits themselves! – to arrive at a figure of $91k argued as what a beneficiary receives each year. Just plain fucking bullshit.

          • Tom Gould

            It still looks ugly to me for a once principled party to be crawling to the Tories for a few crumbs from their table so they can look relevant and included. Sad, really.

        • McFlock

          Wait a few years, dude. Stats take a while to be collated.

          edit: and there’s a difference between letting kids die through negligence, and having it be the objective of your plan.

          • Gosman

            Well until that day comes then I’ll continue to call BS on your hysterical emotional rantings.

            Just console yourself with the fact that you think that one day the facts will catch up with your ideological bias.

            • McFlock

              Well until that day comes then I’ll continue to deny, deflect and distract from your reasonable predictions based on public health correlations and biological plausibility.
              Just console yourself with the fact that you think that in the next couple of years, say in publications based on 2010 or 2011 mortality registration data the facts will be generally consistent with our knowledge to date about how poverty and hardship negatively impacts on child health.


              • Gosman

                Yeah, when you have some actual facts to back up your emotional and hysterical rant then get back to me.

            • thatguynz

              Hahaha classic, you must be pretty thick skinned Gos to have your ideological bias waved in your face so incredibly frequently yet subsequently turn around and accuse others of ideological bias.
              That is just priceless.  I applaud you for giving me the heartiest chuckle I’ve had all day 🙂

  21. james 111 21

    Greens ares the left wing party of the future. Labour is a spent force full of dissaffected unionists ,and teachers. All to use to sucking on the State Titty for a feed.

    At least Norman is looking at being buisness friendly for small businesses this is something Labour cant seem to do. As they see all companys and bosses as bad.

    Until they have a mandate to grow an economy with people who have some business nous they will slide down the path way to oblivion

    • lprent 21.1

      Oh what complete twaddle, and incidentally shows your complete lack of small business experience. Over the years I have come to realize that national stands squarely behind particular types of business – those that they can leverage to get contributions from.

      They aren’t the ones exporting and making money for the country. They are the extractive industries and those requiring special permissions from the government to extort money from citizens. Property developers wanting new motorways to nowhere so they can sell cheaply acquired properties. Construction companies wanting to put their snouts firmly into helping the taxpayers acquire debt by making motorways. Car dealers. Immigrant consultants. Fishing companies wanting to take fishing stocks down to bare seabeds. Farming corporations wanting to grab water (resulting in the effective dissolution of ECan). Etc ec

      In other words, national is the party for parasites. What they don’t actually do is make anything easier for small businesses. They don’t contribute enough.

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    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    3 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    4 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    4 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    1 week ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    1 week ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    2 weeks ago

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