If Epsom & Ohariu were Northland & Te Tai Tonga…

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, October 26th, 2011 - 29 comments
Categories: democratic participation, MMP, Politics - Tags:

There’s a tired old line trotted about by those who dislike MMP and that whole proportionality thing it guarantees: “it gives minor parties too much power”.

You usually see it used to disparage law changes like the repeal of section 59 (which only 113 MPs voted for! Injustice!) and parties like the Greens … but since the anti-MMP movement is pretty much based on the right (in terms of a return-to-FPP movement, specifically; plenty of us politic-geek lefties throw the horns for systems like STV) you just never see the same criticism made of, say, ACT.

ACT, who exist because the voters of Epsom have basically struck a bargain with National: make sure your true-blue candidate is guaranteed a viable list spot, and we’ll supply the coalition partner of your dreams.

That bargain might be on the down now, but still we get stories about the PM coquettishly refusing to instruct National voters to tick Banksie (nudge nudge, wink wink) while of course supporting his own party’s guy (just what you’ve got to say, innit, hint hint.)
[And yes, having just snarkily defended proportionality you might think it’s hypocritical for me to disparage ACT; but when parties like NZ First get nearly 10,000 more votes than ACT and no seats at all, proportionality’s on my side of this one.]

Anyway. The question I pose today is, why, when the Greens get nearly 7% of the popular vote yet “have too much power”, do we not look to the two rogue electorates who have held so much more sway in the formation of our government? [Someone far smarter than me can probably do the math, but without ACT’s five seats in 2008 you can’t deny National would’ve had less free rein.]
So where’s the hate for Epsom and Ohariu?

Call me a raging feminist if you will, but here’s a funny thing:

Epsom is (at Aug 09) 64.4% Pakeha/European, and only 6% Maori/Pasifika. 35.9% of its population have a Bachelors degree or higher, compared to 14.2% nationwide. 59.2% of its households have an income over $70k, and 46.4% over $100k, at a time when the median was $59k.

93.8% of people receive no government benefit.

Ohariu is 69.2% Pakeha/European, and 11.3% Maori/Pasifika. 28.4% of its population have a Bachelors degree or higher, and 58.1% of its households have an income over $70k, and 38.2% have an income over $100k.

92% receive no government benefit.

… So we’re looking at white, academically-educated, well-off electorates (and please let’s not start the whining about how $100k per household doesn’t make you rich).

All I’m wondering is, what if those statistics looked very different? What if Mana and Labour were striking a deal over Northland? 40% Maori/Pasifika, 6.6% Bachelors or higher, 20.4% of households on 70k+, nearly 1-in-5 on a benefit?
Or, even more scandalously, the electorate that’s over 74.4% Maori, 9.7% varsity-educated, 1-in-5 on a benefit, 29.5% of households over 70k Te Tai Tonga?

Would the dominant story still be about the Greens having too much power? Would the Armstrongs and O’Sullivans of the world still be talking about dealings in Epsom as though it were a clever intellectual exercise?

Is anyone seriously going to argue that rich white electorates having significant, some might say disproportionate say in the future of our country, and this being treated as normal, isn’t a reflection of who’s in charge of New Zealand? (Hint: not the unions.)

~

Note: Before y’all ask, I haven’t subjected Wigram to the same analysis because since 2005 Wigram just hasn’t played the same role as Ohariu in providing a swinging single vote or Epsom in bringing in additional seats.

For more QoT goodness and a little badness (good badness, that is) head over to her blog: Ideologically Impure

29 comments on “If Epsom & Ohariu were Northland & Te Tai Tonga…”

  1. Uturn 1

    The answer isn’t in statistics or logic.

    “…It gives minor parties too much power…”, is middle-classese (or aspiration-ese) for a long list of cliché, unexamined, ideas that eventually are defined as “They’re not like me”.

    Much like the comments of a poster here whose main argument was “…they’re ruining the grass…”, his point wasn’t that the grass would get ruined, but the grass is a symbolic image relating to a concrete concept within a cultural or personal language. You won’t catch them with logic, primarily because they aren’t listening, aren’t aware they can’t listen and usually don’t want to change.

    A certain mind is off out into the future all the time. It doesn’t reside here, with day to day acts, it thinks that life happens after work, during retirement, after promotion, after the climb, in Tahiti, Noosa or a beachside resort, and anything of the now and familiar is low class and backward. It knows solutions to everyone’s problems – aspiration, planning, schedules, logic, reason, ambition. It seeks out reflections of it’s own ideas and appearances and rejects alternatives. It does not know what it is, so embraces cultural norms as it’s identity.

    Common phrases, sentiments, keeping up appearances of class, is it’s M.O. We’ve seen a lot of it recently with people attaching their emotional state to the winning of the RWC. After a while, the self-inflicted damage of delayed self-awareness creates anxiety and serious problems can occur once the host realises the problem. Panic sets in and anything that reminds them that the identity of culture is not real makes them scared, angry and then openly hostile. At that point the host can either stop and examine the problem to make changes, or fight it and project it outwards; ad nauseum, or until psychosis sets in, which ever happens first

    It doesn’t much matter which culture you pick, it happens with all of them. People are designed to grow, mentally, not stagnate for economic purposes. “…It gives the minor parites too much power…” could mean anything, but is usually along the theme of “…it reminds me of all of the parts of myself that scare me…”.

    That’s my theory based on my life/personal experience. I should also add that just because something scares people, doesn’t mean the the alternative is true/right/good. It takes far more work to find what is true than a simple either/or reduction.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Some Wigram stats:
    12.1% Maori or Pacific, 71.1% European, 11.4% Asian

    12.6% Bachelors or higher, 26.3% on $70k+ and 9.9% on $100K+

    13.3% on government benefits

    The stats are actually surprisingly close to Te Tai Tonga, except for the ethnicity.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Incidentally as a resident of Wigram, I’d have to say this election seems like a bit of a non-event. There are hardly any National billboards around at all, I’ve seen a few Greens ones but mostly it’s Megan Woods for Labour everywhere. Seems like National aren’t even bothering to contest it.

      http://www.meganwoods.org.nz/about-megan/

  3. Rich 3

    I suspect that Northland (along with places like the East Cape) is only Tory because a large chunk of the population is on the Maori roll.

    Rural seats like West Coast (where the working class is predominantly Pakeha) are a lot more marginal.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Sounds like a ripe area for gerrymandering. Get Labour to team up with Mana or someone else and gerrymand the maori voters onto the appropriate roll so that left-wing parties can win both electorates.

  4. Ari 4

    While I’d love to chuck Peter Dunne out, it’s pretty ridiculous that these parties even require electorate seats to get into parliament in the first place. If they have the party vote for at least one seat, they ought to be in Parliament anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Thinking about that. Electorate seats can be won with less votes than a list seat. An electorate seat can be won with about 10k votes whereas a list seat requires about 60k. What this shows is that we have the threshold around the wrong way. This brings about the idea that it should be that a party cannot win an electorate seat unless they win enough party votes to support a seat in parliament, ie, you need to have 0.8% vote to win a seat in parliament.

      The present 5% threshold should, of course, be dropped so that if a party does get 0.8% of the vote they get a seat whether they win an electorate or not.

      • Mark 4.1.1

        Well that’s just idiotic. You’re saying that we should deprive electorates the right to democratically vote in the person they most want representing them? Yes, MMP needs adjusting; no, we shouldn’t force unpopular representation on people just because their local MP is part of a minor party.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          And yet our present system deprives people of their chosen representatives unless they pass some arbitrarily high proportion of the vote and yet a lot of people want to keep that injustice.

          Tell me, are you one of those people?

        • mik e 4.1.1.2

          yes take away the 5% threshold and that would allow true proportionality and would stop the carpet baggers but put stronger legislation to stop extremist parties from gaining power.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1

            but put stronger legislation to stop extremist parties from gaining power.

            What on earth would such legislation even look like?

            Best opt for a ~3% threshold and leave it at that. Once one in 33 voting NZers back a party they should be in.

            • QoT 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Obviously something like “no party may campaign in a general election:

              a) which commenter mik e at The Standard judges to be too extremist.”

              • lprent

                Oh Oh… I know. Lemme moderate…. I have lots of experience with political wannabes who are unsuitable.

                Which I suspect will raise and dispose of all of the issues (especially succession after my good fair self croaks) about getting someone (apart from mik e) to act as the governor general, ombudsmen, presidential, court figures, etc.

            • Ari 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Why 3%? If we’re lowering it, why not just set it at .87%? (ie. 1/120th of the vote) There’s actually a good reason for having a threshold that low, (if we ditch it altogether, because the saint-lague formula is quite friendly to minor parties, they could possibly win a seat with a very small amount of the vote, less than an electorate) but given the small size of our parliament in world terms, I don’t see why any other criteria than “win a seat” should be required for a small party to enter parliament.

              If they have ridiculous or harmful ideas, so what? Tens of thousands of people get what they voted for if those ridiculous ideas are heard, and hopefully being seen to support those ideas becomes unpopular and people with silly or extreme views change their minds. I really don’t see how anyone but National* win by having any significant threshold at all.

              * Labour is far more likely to benefit by going into coalition with small parties that might die to the threshold, seeing they can sometimes be almost sensible.

    • QoT 4.2

      I absolutely agree that the current 5% threshold is too high, Ari. And it seems pretty objectively unfair that NZ First with 10k more votes gets 0 seats to ACT’s five. In a fairer system, Ohariu and Epsom wouldn’t be as big a deal.

      • Ari 4.2.1

        Not just that, but ACT might be stood down this election due to running John Banks as their lifeboat electorate candidate, and it worries me both that (a) their voters might get disenfranchised, and (b) that because of this a very small minority of their voters could become much more extreme and turn to corruption, crime or terrorism to get their voices heard. (given that these are ACT voters, it would probably be corruption, but still!)

        I don’t particularly care about NZ First not getting into parliament, I don’t like them, but I think it’s incredibly unjust to their voters, and that it’s poisonous to our democracy to have people unrepresented after they actually went out and voted for a party that actually should have won multiple seats in parliament.

  5. Craig 5

    Well, Charles Chauvel came pretty close to disposing of Dunne last time. United Future seems almost moribund. I gather that the Faustian bargain struck back in 2000 between Dunne and Future New Zealand (seats in return for FNZ’s infrastructure and membership) reached a Marlovian* ending in 2007 when Copeland and Baldock walked out and tried to re-establish Future New Zealand/the Kiwi Party, blathered on about Binding Citizens Referenda, failed to get enough petition signatures for a non-binding CIR and then slithered into the Conservative Party.

    After 2007, the infrastructure deficit and membership loss started to eat away at “United Future”, leading its former organisational members (ie Denise Krum) to return to National. I suspect that given various machinations in the seat, Charles may well end up pipping Petey at the post.

    Added to which, David Parker has a finance portfolio background. He’ll probably clean the floor with Banks in any Epsom candidates debate…

    • mik e 5.1

      I thought the mouth piece for the hair piece would have surfaced by now

    • Jum 5.2

      Craig,

      I’ve had a look at the Epsom candidates. I agree that David Parker has the gravitas and the persona that would grace Epsom far better than the weird and wacky reps they’ve had foisted upon them by John Key and National so far.

      But the factor that has more importance than any of that is what the rich and ruthless choose at the ballot box; if they choose anyone other than the best which to me is David Parker, that proves once and for all that their greedy selfish and arrogant interests take precedence over New Zealand’s future as a country seeking and all New Zealanders’ future children.

      Workers need to know that Key will stop at nothing to get into power again to allow his backers to carry out the sacking of New Zealand and support the international conservatives’ and corporates’ sacking of the greater riches lying untouched and pristine south of New Zealand. Whales first, minerals next.

      Try the try-hard Nat candidate of Hunua – been there yonks, supported by huge election campaigning by Act in 2008, yet now nothing from Act, but huge billboards from Conservative. Are we missing a game change here?

      • \Craig 5.2.1

        Jum:
        Good point. It does make strategic sense for the Conservatives to campaign in rural and provincial city seats, although I gather that Colin Craig’s public recognition factor diminishes as he gets further from Auckland (and don’t forget, he came a distant third in the Auckland supermayoralty race). Whether they’ll get Rodney or not should be critically assessed by an objective polling agency. As for the big billboards, yeah, the guy is a millionaire. However, that needs to be pitted against amateur antics like late entry into the election race and his bob-each-way policies- oppose asset sales *and* the emission tradings scheme?!! These are plainly clip-on policies, poorly elaborated. The Conservatives seem to be a cult of personality party (yeah, another one…)

        I see that the latest Horizon poll has them on 2.2 percent, just behind Mana.

    • Ari 5.3

      “We’re winning with it right now” is not a good reason to keep an unfair voting system. We should want to win in a fair fight, where everyone’s ideas are heard, we should want to find out the public’s REAL feelings about parties and candidates; the same way we should care about science, and facts- what is ACTUALLY right, not just what sounds nice.

      Besides, fairer voting systems work for our values much better in the long term- it’s only really the bigoted parts of the upper-middle class and the regressively rich who stand to benefit from distorting public opinion.

      By the by, if citizen-initiated referenda consisted of actual draft bills, and would have to pass a consistency check with the Bill of Rights* to go ahead, I’d probably support binding referenda.

      * By which I mean one that actually mattered, not like the ones actual bills go through.

  6. Dont care if its the jackasses in Act or the socialists in Green, MMP gives too much power to the smaller parties.

    Always hated it.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      MMP takes too much power away from National you mean.

    • Ari 6.2

      It’s National and Labour who determine how much power goes to smaller parties, given they’re the keyholders in negotiations. I think blaming MMP for that is rather misguided. If Labour and National’s ideas are so much more right for the country, then they should not compromise on them.

      If there’s any problem with MMP, it’s that it needs better tweaks to make the larger parties act more responsibly- for instance, requiring parties to have popular votes on their lists would probably be great for both Labour and National. (although it would likely pull both parties leftward, just because the largest parties are both right of their constituencies)

    • Jum 6.3

      Brett Dale,

      What you liked was the election results for National that had far fewer votes than Labour but still got to govern. It happened twice if not more.

  7. \Craig 7

    While I don’t like the microparty constituency/list entourage aspects of MMP, those can be fixed without compromising MMP itself. In Germany, a minor party has to win two Bundestag seats if it’s well under the five percent threshold.

    Ah- the Maxim Institute has come out supporting SM! Well, actually no, they’re having a buck each way:
    http://www.maxim.org.nz

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    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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