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Meka had to go

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, September 21st, 2018 - 137 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, dpf, jacinda ardern, labour, national, Politics, same old national, twitter - Tags:

The Prime Minister has made the right call by deciding to sack Whaitiri.

The public details are not clear but it appears that Whaitiri and a staff member were involved in a physical altercation and although the details are disputed it seems that both parties agree that a physical confrontation occurred.

Labour Ministers ought to treat their staff with dignity and respect.  No ifs no buts.

The decision will reinforce for Ardern a deserved reputation for toughness.  She is a lot more than stardust.

The incident also exposed the right’s spray and walk away approach to trying to affect the political discourse with no more cruelly exposed tweet than this one.

Although this one went close.

And the right tried to make something about the timing.  Labour was criticised for announcing something on a Friday, now they are being criticised for doing something on a Thursday …

Although National’s pollster gave it all away.

It really feels like criticise by numbers.

I hope that the media notice how cynical the right is with the truth.

And for Meka the opportunity of redemption and forgiveness should always be kept open.

137 comments on “Meka had to go”

  1. Mr Nobody 1

    The problem for Ardern is that this decision should have been made within 72 hours max and we all know if Helen was still in charge it would have been. Instead she has been left looking weak and having been forced into a decision to try and alter the perception that she is the Prime Minister in title only.

    • ianmac 1.1

      Bridges is so weak. After weeks of procrastination he hopes the betrayal of one of his MPs will be forgotten. A true leader would earn loyalty then act decisively and sack him/her for the betrayal. What a wimp!

      • Rozgonz 1.1.1

        What has this issue got to do with Bridges?

        • mac1 1.1.1.1

          You’re right, Rozgonz. There is nothing to learn of value from Bridge’s leadership, apart from how not to.

        • ianmac 1.1.1.2

          It is in response to the endless moaning from Bridges and his team, that Jacinda is a weak Leader who takes too long to “sack” those who make mistakes. Most people would wait for due process as does Jacinda. So Bridges in response to the Meka story, needs a dig to behave responsibly don’t you think?

    • Michelle 1.2

      Jacinda is not Helen Mr nobody she is Jacinda and she needs to find her own style of leadership that suits her and that she is comfortable with not be compared to past leaders.

      • Mr Nobody 1.2.1

        Her problem is though that while she can argue to the cows come home that her style is her own it is human nature for people to compare Prime Ministers against their predecessors. Even more acutely between predecessors who were of their own party.

        What does work potentially in her favour is that while Clark is generally well respected she wasn’t necessarily well liked, whereas the reverse is currently true of Ardern and it’s generally easier earn respect vs make people like you.

        • Michelle 1.2.1.1

          Mr nobody Jacinda comes from the next generation of leaders she is a new leader with no baggage attached unlike many of the prospective candidates that will be lining up when soimom ten bridges fails at the next election. She is also genuine unlike many of the has beens in the national party.

          • cleangreen 1.2.1.1.1

            100% Michelle;

            I believe in her and i hope her ministers now step up and carry her policies forward that we all voted for.

            Jacinda deserves this as she saved the party.

        • simbit 1.2.1.2

          I like her. Might even vote for Labour again, which I haven’t done since 1990. Now, how many ex-Labour voters are thinking like me? 2%? 5%?! 10??!!

      • Anne 1.2.2

        And what’s more, in the prevailing circumstances Helen would have done exactly as Jacinda – waited two weeks for the outcome of the inquiry. That is always the proper course of action.

        She followed the same principle of justice over Taito Philip Field, and waited months before ousting him out of parliament after he was found guilty of unlawful conduct in a court of law.

        • alwyn 1.2.2.1

          You are possibly the only person I have ever heard of for whom time flows backward.
          You say that Helen Clark
          “waited months before ousting him out of parliament after he was found guilty of unlawful conduct in a court of law.”.

          For you edification the sequence of events was
          1. Field was expelled from the Caucus on 13 February 2007.
          2. Field left Parliament on 8 November 2008.
          3. Field was convicted on 4 August 2009.
          Hardly the sequence of events you talk of is it?
          In fact the sequence is the reverse of your fairy story.

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10588646

          The Labour Party had been desperately covering up for him from 12 September 2005 and only took action when interviews with Field on both TV networks indicated that he planned to stand as an Independent against a Labour Candidate in Mangere.
          Only the threat that he would stand against the Labour Party caused their action. His crimes were totally irrelevant to the Labour Party leader.

          • Anne 1.2.2.1.1

            OK I got the last bit wrong alwyn but didn’t have the time to check the sequence of events – have other things to do you know.

            But Helen did not expel him from the caucus when the the issue first surfaced. The controversy over his conduct [alleged at that point} raged for many months before she let him go. She first gave him the opportunity to satisfy her the charges were not true. In the end he didn’t succeed so she removed him from caucus.

            In other words, she waited months before ousting him out of parliament… but as you correctly advise: it was before he was actually convicted. All you needed to do was politely correct the statement – not go into a puerile, diatribe of sarcasm cos… you’ve never got anything a bit wrong. Oh nooo… alwyn is as pure as the driven snow. 🙄

            • alwyn 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Perhaps I was a bit harsh. I withdraw and apologise for the sarcasm.

              However I think the sequence of events disproves, in my view, you comments on Clark’s behaviour.

              She was not giving him a chance to prove his innocence and sacking him when he couldn’t. She really made no attempt to remove him from the Caucus until he went rogue and threatened to stand in Mangere against the new Labour candidate at the next election.
              Then she moved. She didn’t appear to give a damn about what he had been up to before that, and the QC inquiry she set up was carefully arranged in its terms of reference to find no fault with him. She was entirely happy that he remain in the Labour Party until the 2008 election as long as he didn’t cause any more trouble before then and retired at that election.

              It wasn’t just “months” she waited, implying a few. It was a year and a half, and it would have gone on until the 2008 election if he hadn’t threatened the Labour Party itself. That was what upset her, not Field’s real sins.
              You propose that she cared what he had done. She didn’t. She cared only about what he might do come election time because he wouldn’t retire quietly. That was the “crime” she loathed.

              • Anne

                one all

                • McFlock

                  Dunno that anyone’s seriously said Meka’s behaviour was bad enough to get kicked from parliament. Maybe the police should be interested.

                  But while Field protested his innocence all the way through, after about a week from the story first breaking in 2005 he was no longer doing ministerial duties, and was out of cabinet a month later. If anything, Ardern got to that point slightly quicker than Clark did.

    • Clive Macann 1.3

      Sacking her on the spot due to “an accusation” is not leadership sorry. Waiting for more damning info is leadership.

      • marty mars 1.3.1

        No Clive that is naive imo. The only real winner out of all of this is Jacinda – she has acted quickly and tied it off – got a chance to reinforce the values she believes in and show some gumption. I’m sure she would have preferred NOT to have had to do it but flexibility and ability to take the moment ARE qualities of leadership.

      • veutoviper 1.3.2

        I am with you on this Clive.

        As Ardern has said virtually every time she was interviewed on this situation, due process of natural justice must be followed – and she has done that. Finally when the evidence pointed to stronger probability of a physical confrontation having taken place – even though certain aspects were still being contested – she took the step to remove Meka Whaitiri’s Ministerial responsibilities. However, she also left the door slightly open for her to be given further responsibilities in the future.

        In contrast, Bridges, despite his legal training and qualifications, has been calling Ardern weak for not acting as ” judge, jury, and executioner” – which would be in complete breach of these same due process and natural justice principles which are integral to our system of law and justice.

    • Gabby 1.4

      You sack me with no evidence Noddy, you’d be wearing your arse as a hat. In a legal sense of course.

    • rightly or wrongly 1.5

      It does seem a bit odd:

      White female Minister misleads Parliament, hides meetings, and unorthodox means of communication on 3 occasions is not considered guilty enough to be dismissed – holds onto Warrants for 7 months and only leaves after choosing to resign.

      Maori female Minister is accused of an assault of a minor nature on a staff member. No witnesses. Police not investigating. Minister denies the assault. Gets summarily dismissed.

      Why the two standards Prime Minister?

    • Louis 1.6

      So shoot first and ask questions later Mr Nobody? I doubt Helen would have done as you claim, pretty sure she would done what the PM did, stood the minister down and waited for the findings of the investigation before making a decision.

  2. Incognito 2

    Yes, all good, but why is this being framed as a Labour issue? Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister sacked Meka Whaitiri as a Minister because only the PM has this power (and duty); she did not act as Leader of the Labour Party.

    All Ministers ought to treat their staff with dignity and respect. No ifs no buts.

    FIFY

  3. cleangreen 3

    Meka was dysfunctional as a Labour MP as many times we asked her for rail support she failed to even respond to any calls from our community groups for her to help!!!!

    So sorry Meka, you should have helped the Gisborne community instead, and also should Phil Twyford honour his promises and his pledge to save our rail freight and passenger services too.

    Your own leader PM hon’ Jacinda Ardern requested we keep on Labour’s back to ‘live up to their promises and comittments, so we need you all to do your duty to our regional communities not just look after Auckland.!!!!!!!!!

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11948096
    NZ Herald
    BUSINESS

    Report finds rail injects $1.5 billion a year into New Zealand’s economy
    27 Nov, 2017 5:00am

    The largest contribution rail was making was the reduction of road use, KiwiRail chairman Trevor Janes said. Photo / File

    The Labour-led government is promising to invest in rail after releasing a report it says National sat on which shows $1.5 billion of hidden benefits from rail a year.
    The study by EY quantifies the savings from having fewer trucks and cars on roads, less damage to roads, not as much congestion and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford says the EY report was commissioned by NZTA and KiwiRail in 2016 and was sat on by the National government because it had an ideological bias against rail.
    The report says rail networks have long been thought of as monopolies with high up-front costs and significant barriers to entry.
    Many expect governments to be involved, but there is debate about how much.
    The experience of KiwiRail is a live embodiment of this debate, with several operating models over the past 30 years from full public ownership to full privatisation, the report says.
    The current model lies towards the “public ownership” end of the spectrum.
    KiwiRail is a state-owned enterprise which receives capital from central government and subsidies from regional council rates and from the National Land Transport Fund.
    The quantifying of the public benefit of rail will help support the rationale for continued intervention, or provide a basis for the retreat from financial support for rail, the report says.
    Twyford says rail has been on life support for too long.
    “The Labour-led government will restore balance to transport funding, boosting investment in rail infrastructure both for passengers and freight.
    “This will include significant investment in regional rail via the Regional Development Fund, as set out in the Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement.”

    End.

    Importantly again Phil Twyford promised our gisborne community to ‘save our rail’ as long back as 2013!!!!!!

    See here under a Labour media official press release. 22nd January 2012.

    Labour pledges to re-open rail line
    PRESS RELEASE | PHIL TWYFORD | 22 JAN 2013
    Labour in government will re-open the Gisborne-Napier rail line due to be closed under National, the party’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
    An independent report by economic consultants BERL casts doubt on the analysis used by KiwiRail to justify the mothballing of the line.
    “KiwiRail’s business case for the closure is utterly inadequate and falls way short of a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, something a Labour government would carry out and which I am confident would justify the line’s re-opening,” Phil Twyford said.
    “National doesn’t give a damn about the affected communities, and is content to sit on its hands while Gisborne loses a vital economic lifeline.
    “It is wasting billions of dollars on its ‘motorways of madness’ but cannot find $4 million to fix slip damage to this rail line.
    “Shutting the line is typical of the short-termism National demonstrated with the closure and sale of the Hillside rail workshops. The BERL report shows that National is blind to the wider economic costs and benefits, just as it was at Hillside.

    .

    • solkta 3.1

      She is still a Labour MP.

      • Chuck 3.1.1

        And will still be the co-chair of the Labour Maori caucus.

        Which implies the Maori caucus dug there heals in and Ardern buckled.

        • mac1 3.1.1.1

          Chuck, I get the impression that you would still call the PM weak even if Meka Whaitiri had been expelled from the NZLP but was still living in New Zealand.

          Do you know what the rights and powers of the PM are?

          • Chuck 3.1.1.1.1

            “Do you know what the rights and powers of the PM are?”

            With the current PM, it seems she has little rights and powers due to the influence of Winston.

            Although don’t you mean what rights and powers Ardern has as the Labour party leader? Insofar as you seem to be inferring Ardern was not able to remove Meka as the co-chair of the Maori caucus nor as a Labour MP.

            “Chuck, I get the impression that you would still call the PM weak even if Meka Whaitiri had been expelled from the NZLP but was still living in New Zealand.”

            I would say it was the correct decision by the PM (Meka no longer in Parliament).

            • mac1 3.1.1.1.1.1

              No, Chuck, you’re saying she should have done things, and I’m asking you to produce evidence for the powers and authority to act as you suggest.

              “With the current PM, it seems she has little rights and powers due to the influence of Winston.” That is just a very suspect opinion with no supporting evidence. “It seems” indeed!

              There are processes for removing Meka Whaitiri as an electorate MP from party and parliament, and from her co-chairing of the Maori caucus.

              You do say this should happen. Do you know what they are?

              Refer to comment 5.2 below…………

              • veutoviper

                And to 5.3 –

                Meka had to go

                And the powers that Ardern has or doesn’t have, have absolutely nothing to do with Winston Peters.

              • Chuck

                Refer to comment 5.3 below…

                My comment:

                “Which implies the Maori caucus dug there heals in and Ardern buckled.”

                Ardern had lost confidence in Meka and thus fired her. If we assume Ardern was genuine in her position, then a conversation would have taken place with the Maori caucus (to have a united position on Meka). The rest is now history…

                I do take on the point you are making mac1 no direct means (stroke of a pen) for Ardern to do anymore.

                It does though highlight one of two things:

                1/ Ardern did not want to fire Meka and only did so to counter the growing perception of being a weak PM. No need to go as co-chair, Ardern ok with her staying.

                2/ Ardern was genuine in her firing of Meka, but could not convince the Maori caucus that getting physical with your staff is never ok.

        • solkta 3.1.1.2

          I would expect the Maori Caucus to make there own decision on that. It has nothing to do with the PM.

    • Dukeofurl 3.2

      Why does even the Gisborne mayor and council not even support the Rail reopening ?
      http://gisborneherald.co.nz/opinion/3329682-135/waiting-for-gdc-to-embrace-rail
      theres your big problem there

      • cleangreen 3.2.1

        Dukeofurl

        You have been told already that we at theb Gisborne rail Action Group meeting last night have received a letter from Mayor Meng Foon that he has sent a letter to kiwirail and Shane jones requesting funds to reopen the Gisborne rail line for freight and passenger services so be advised Meng supports rail freight now as he is aware of the destruction the roads are suffering with increasing road freight.

        My challenge to you Dukeofurl is to drive in your car from Napier to Gisborne and on to tauranga and see for yourself the dangerous condition of highway 2 now and we hope you do survive the trip.

        Dont use old out of date press articles like the one you have there from before the Mayor was awoken to the road destruction issues by freight trucks and lack of safety.

        • OnceWasTim 3.2.1.1

          And as we know, resurrection of rail is going to be an inevitability long term.
          It seems many are not capable of long-term thinking however.
          Doesn’t matter if it’s Gisborne, or one of Winnie’s suggestions in the past to extend Kinleith to Taupo, or North of Auckland, or heavy rail to Auckland
          International Airport (it being an airport that doesn’t JUST serve Auckland), or others that see the need for passenger rail to Hamilton and Tauranga.
          I bet some are even kicking themselves now that Gisborne northward from Matawai wasn’t ever completed.

          But in typical Kiwi style …… we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it (when it becomes urgent).

          I’m not sure why it is – even after the earthquakes, that planners didn’t consider it an opportunity to provide rail to ChCh airport, or why in Dunedin, they’re not considering rail to the airport where a line already exists not to far away.
          I guess we’ll have to wait till another oil shock

          Thinking about it …… it probably explains why we have such a fucking mess with Metlink in Wellington

          • Dukeofurl 3.2.1.1.1

            Rail to airports are 99/100 on the priority list.

            Even Sydneys airport rail is hardly used by airport passengers , and likely a good number of boardings at either domestic or international station are just to get from one to the other.
            On a ranking of Sydney stations, they rank at number 60 or so, alongside such places as Granville Station. Not even in top 20.

            • alwyn 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Position 99?
              Would you really put them that high on the list?
              The only place I ever used to use the rail to get into the city was Paris.
              Now I, like everyone else except the backpackers, takes a taxi. Using rail when you have suitcases is a pain in the arse.

            • Tuppence Shrewsbury 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Sydney airport rail hardly used? I don’t know a single business traveller who doesn’t use it as there first priority if they can. Faster, cheaper and runs on time mostly. I’m flying to and from auckland airport at least once a week and heavy rail to both terminals would be my preferred method of getting to and from. I won’t use light rail as it will take too long.

        • Dukeofurl 3.2.1.2

          Requires an effort from Council . Just asking everyone else goes nowhere.
          Meng Foons heart is in the road links.

          Yes he presents petitions for others while the Council does nothing

          meanwhile down in HB , due to the RC effort work is underway on restoration to Wairoa.

          Gisborne Council is terrified that a reopened rail line will take log traffic away to Napier and not their wholly owned Port.
          This is why Gisborne District and Foon are not interested and just passing on others work to government.

        • Ad 3.2.1.3

          Mayor Foon should show he actually wants rail by getting his Council to vote money towards the capex. There’s no political leadership in a Mayor writing a begging letter.

          He should demonstrate he wants to be a substantial partner in transport for Gisborne. With $$.

    • Ad 3.3

      Business case for Wairoa – Gisborne rail works underway.

      Contractors are keen.

      • cleangreen 3.3.1

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11948096
        NZ Herald
        BUSINESS
        Report finds rail injects $1.5 billion a year into New Zealand’s economy
        27 Nov, 2017 5:00am
        4 minutes to read

        The largest contribution rail was making was the reduction of road use, KiwiRail chairman Trevor Janes said. Photo / File

        The Labour-led government is promising to invest in rail after releasing a report it says National sat on which shows $1.5 billion of hidden benefits from rail a year.
        The study by EY quantifies the savings from having fewer trucks and cars on roads, less damage to roads, not as much congestion and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
        Transport Minister Phil Twyford says the EY report was commissioned by NZTA and KiwiRail in 2016 and was sat on by the National government because it had an ideological bias against rail.
        The report says rail networks have long been thought of as monopolies with high up-front costs and significant barriers to entry.
        Many expect governments to be involved, but there is debate about how much.
        The experience of KiwiRail is a live embodiment of this debate, with several operating models over the past 30 years from full public ownership to full privatisation, the report says.
        The current model lies towards the “public ownership” end of the spectrum.
        KiwiRail is a state-owned enterprise which receives capital from central government and subsidies from regional council rates and from the National Land Transport Fund.
        The quantifying of the public benefit of rail will help support the rationale for continued intervention, or provide a basis for the retreat from financial support for rail, the report says.
        Twyford says rail has been on life support for too long.
        “The Labour-led government will restore balance to transport funding, boosting investment in rail infrastructure both for passengers and freight.
        “This will include significant investment in regional rail via the Regional Development Fund, as set out in the Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement.”

        The establishment of a light rail network in Auckland will significantly increase the $1.3b a year of benefits that road users, including freight companies, experience from reduced congestion, Mr Twyford said.
        KiwiRail chairman Trevor Janes said the total amount far exceeded what the taxpayer was spending on rail.
        The benefits far exceed what the taxpayer is spending on rail, KiwiRail chairman Trevor Janes says.
        “These benefits do not show up on the balance sheet, but they are very real, and they make a huge contribution to New Zealand,” he said.
        “The areas where rail is delivering for New Zealand include cutting congestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving safety on our roads and lowering spending on road maintenance and upgrades,” Janes said.
        The largest contribution rail was making was the reduction of road use, he said.
        “Rail is taking cars off the road and it’s taking trucks off the road. That is saving the country $1.3 billion a year because it cuts congestion for all road users, including other freight movers,” Janes said.
        “Using rail cuts New Zealand’s carbon emissions by 488,000 tonnes a year. That is the equivalent of taking 87,000 cars off the road, saving millions of dollars,” he said.
        “Rail freight has 66 per cent fewer carbon emissions than heavy road freight which is useful for New Zealand reaching its ambitious climate change targets.”
        The study found that without rail there would be an additional 100,000 daily car trips on the road each year – the equivalent of 76 million light vehicle hours reduced through rail, and 57 million of those hours were on Auckland roads.
        KiwiRail’s asset base:
        • 4000 km track (of which 500km mothballed)
        • 1656 bridges
        • 18,000ha of land managed
        • 198 mainline locomotives
        • 4585 freight wagons
        • Two owned and one leased ferry
        • 4200 staff
        Each week, train control operations manage the movement of:
        • 900 freight trains
        • 44 inter-city passenger trains
        • 2200 suburban passenger services in Wellington
        • 2000 suburban passenger services in Auckland
        – additional reporting NZN

        • Sacha 3.3.1.1

          Please do not paste entire articles.

          • cleangreen 3.3.1.1.1

            Sorry sasha I slipped editing, will take care.
            This was the promise by Minister twyford to fix our regional rail!!!!!!

            cleangreen 3.3.1
            21 September 2018 at 12:11 pm
            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11948096
            NZ Herald
            BUSINESS
            Report finds rail injects $1.5 billion a year into New Zealand’s economy
            27 Nov, 2017 5:00am

            “The Labour-led government is promising to invest in rail after releasing a report it says National sat on which shows $1.5 billion of hidden benefits from rail a year.”

            “Twyford says rail has been on life support for too long.
            “The Labour-led government will restore balance to transport funding, boosting investment in rail infrastructure both for passengers and freight.
            “This will include significant investment in regional rail via the Regional Development Fund, as set out in the Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement.”

  4. Sad day. Good to be decisive – Jacinda gets the chance to trash the, “I decided, it was my decision, I chose” etc which appears the main lines these days.

    I hope there is healing and redemption for all parties concerned.

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      yes thats right. Its sad that it came to this

    • cleangreen 4.2

      Yes National was always saying, ““I decided, it was my decision,
      national firstly lowered the standards by ignoring requests sent them for service and consultation and they used their own staff to block any consultation with national MP’s and their PM John Key.

      Our proof is that after our NGO sent John Key over 105 emails over 6yrs for consultation with him he never replied even once so we sent a official Information act request to Wayne Eagleson, chief of staff to PM John Key requesting confirmation that his office had received all our emails over the six years and he confirmed every one had been received and so we know the National Party do not respond to community requests for consultation and assistance.

      labour are also not now responding to community groups requesting assistance since taking over government.

      This is a bad look.

      Labour are so far also not really any better yet as they need to sow that they are a “warm, caring, inclusive Government” as they promised to be before we voted for them so labour respond to our emails please otherwise you are out of parliament inn 2020.

      .

      • mac1 4.2.1

        105 e-mails over 6 years? 17 e-mails a year. One every three weeks? Were you the prime instigator of this deluge of e-mails, cleangreen?

        Are you sending the same amount of e-mails to Minister Twyford?

        Has your group had any return contact with Minister Twyford, as you seem to imply that you have had in the past but it’s not happening now when you wrote “labour are also not now responding to community groups requesting assistance since taking over government.”

        Has Minister Twyford heard your views either in person or by e-mail?

        I’m interested because as a person involved in advocacy to local and central government I am hopefully aware of the difference between strong, logical, well-researched and respectfully presented approaches and just plain badgering.

        • SaveNZ 4.2.1.1

          I don’t know much about this issue, but badgering seems too hard a word if nothing is being done about a situation of dangerous and destroyed roads in an area that could be better served by rail. It is constituents rights to be able to write to politicians. Every 3 weeks does not seem excessive to me, if there is little to no communication about an issue being sent back from government.

          Most people in NZ wants functional rail operating here!

          What is stopping it?

        • cleangreen 4.2.1.2

          Thankyou Mac1,

          I am very happy to ‘liaise’ with you on our difficulty at being given any reponses back to our NGO from National and now labour also.

          Our community advocacy journey to get government support for our failing rail services in HB/Gisborne begun back in 1999 when my family came back from 11 yrs in Canada and USA to see what had happend to the rail service while gone since 1987.

          We have a home next to what was called the ‘Hastings – Napier motorway’ which runs along the west side of Napier right through the heavily populated suburbs there.’

          We noticed a large increase of trucks travelling all night and day than we recalled beck in 1987 when we left.
          The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment then became involved with our community group then and produced this report so we have history.

          https://www.pce.parliament.nz/media/pdfs/Hawkes-Bay-Expressway-Noise-and-air-quality-issues-June-2005.pdf

          When I as secretary of our community group approached the NZ Prime Minister in 2001 Helen Clark.

          Almost immediately Helen sent me as secretary of our Residents association a letter offering to send her Minister of finance Michael Cullen with the CEO of Transit NZ Robin Dunlop to meet with us and our committee.

          Also Helen arranged to have the Minister of Transport to join with us in this public issue so we gor “real inclusion and consultation then from labour.

          Sadly not now yet and we send emails to all transport and senior ministers in cabinet today the same manner as we did with helen Clark and John key, so if you have any ideas how we can get the media to pick up this issue and put some spotlight on our current failed representation from the new government please advise us or send me a address so we can advocate together.

          At the ‘Gisborne Rail Action Group’ two hour meeting yesterday the group all agreed for us to raising our issues with the press to bring pressure to bear for using rail services for freight and passenger mitigation for HB/Gisborne communities suffering from heavy truck traffic noise,vibration, and air pollution as it affects all living alongside highway two and its network roads from Wellington to Northland. I can recieve ideas at clean.air@xtra.co.nz

          • mac1 4.2.1.2.1

            Thanks for the reply. The approach that you have taken has produced a report from the Parliamentary Commissioner of the Environment in 2005 that seems certainly well-researched and argued logically.

            There were recommendations in the report. That they did not all get taken up, and were obviously not sufficient is obvious or you wouldn’t be fighting this in 2018. Or things have got worse with numbers and sizes of trucks.

            Thanks for your advocacy. We have similar arguments here with logging trucks especially damaging rural roads. Those stories come up in our local paper. The local authority is obviously aware as they repair the heavily potholed and damaged roads.

            Whether trucking interests pay enough in road user taxes to pay for the damage I do not know in what percentage terms.

            As for the efficacy of your group’s advocacy. By your critique of the Minister’s unresponsiveness you have certainly aroused this commenter’s interest. Now I know a little of the history around the issue and can see that it is more than a sour grapes, politically motivated exercise in attacking Labour and Minister Twyford.

            Though obviously taking up alternatives to bombarding the PM and the Minister will be done by your group. Getting the Gisborne mayor on board is a good step. I’d say that by all means approach your local MPs, councils and roading authorities. Would the PCE be interested in further approaches as to the efficacy of their advocacy? Local political party meetings. What do the local NZLP branches and LECs consider about this issue? What about other local political groups? Farmers and property owners here are affected by logging truck damage, so try their groups. Fed Farmers? Schools? Hospitals? Community groups?

            Written and posted letters generally get a response.

            But, badgering with poor argument, little or no further content, hectoring don’t work well at a personal or governmental level.

            The advocacy group that I work with does not always realise this, and they are complaining that their access to Ministers and officials is being limited.

            This is a reforming government with a huge agenda, and an enormous workload.

            I co-authored in 2016 a paper on the decline of local social services. Of course the local MP from the government of the day did nothing except have his staff try to pick holes in my evidence.

            Now, I have to decide along with my advocacy group when I can start chivvying the new government as to their perceived inaction.

            They do know. It’s a question of when, then who and how to approach.

            Best of luck with yours, cleangreen.

            • cleangreen 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Many thanks Mac1,

              Weill said there.

              Yes the new Government does have a heavy workload but we feel they do need to place issues such as trucking freight through third class roading now as we also suffer from our shingle roads are breaking apart with heavy trucks carting everything from stock feed to aggregate to milk tankers to fertilizer every day now on our narrow dirt roads with 100km speed limits!!!!!

              The dust is blinding residents and drivers here and dangerous to our health now!!!

              We have measured 782 ppm of PM10 particles with our US MIE expensive 12 thousand dollar particle aerosol meter.

              Exposure to anything above 50 ppm is exceeding the daily dose of 25-50 Ministry of Environment levels.

              So no-one cares about our rural health any better than those living alongside the sealed highways.

              We have support from the mayor and we are working on all Councillors also at GDC,NCC and HBRC councils and WDC also.

              It is perplexing when we used to get so much support from the Helen Clark government as i explained above at 4.2.1.2 and we have met Phil Twyford in 2012 in Gisborne just three days before the storm that washed out the rail line at the one km section so he may be scarred to front up again thinking he as a curse on our rail line now?

              Members of CEACand Rail Action Group met with Meng Foon our GDC Mayor several weeks ago and he offered support again for rail and wrote a letter to Kiwirail and Shane Jones requesting to provide funding to restore the rail service to Napier again.

              We are still waiting for the coalition government to fix our rail since they fixed all other south and north island rail washouts so far and we are waiting still.

              Labour promised they would fix Gisborne rail if re-elected so they must commit to keep their promises.

              Who would vote for them if they break their promises?
              Importantly again Phil Twyford promised our gisborne community to ‘save our rail’ as long back as 2013!!!!!!

              See here under a Labour media official press release. 22nd January 2013.

              Labour pledges to re-open rail line
              PRESS RELEASE | PHIL TWYFORD | 22 JAN 2013
              Labour in government will re-open the Gisborne-Napier rail line due to be closed under National, the party’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
              An independent report by economic consultants BERL casts doubt on the analysis used by KiwiRail to justify the mothballing of the line.
              “KiwiRail’s business case for the closure is utterly inadequate and falls way short of a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, something a Labour government would carry out and which I am confident would justify the line’s re-opening,” Phil Twyford said.
              “National doesn’t give a damn about the affected communities, and is content to sit on its hands while Gisborne loses a vital economic lifeline.
              “It is wasting billions of dollars on its ‘motorways of madness’ but cannot find $4 million to fix slip damage to this rail line.
              “Shutting the line is typical of the short-termism National demonstrated with the closure and sale of the Hillside rail workshops. The BERL report shows that National is blind to the wider economic costs and benefits, just as it was at Hillside.

              • mac1

                Thanks again. Your misspelling of the word ‘well’ as “weill” reminds me of Kurt Weill who wrote the Threepenny Opera from which comes “Mack the Knife” which my nom de plume partially refers. Kurt Weill fled to America to escape the Nazi persecutions. So when you say, ‘Weill said’ that is indeed unusually high praise.

                From my knowledge of NZ Rail, business cases around electrification and the purchase of rolling stock from overseas were not always made wisely, or should i say better, not received wisely further up the managerial decision chain.

                Years of neglect and special interest influence are heavily involved.

                Your press release from Twyford shows he is aware of the issues. Support for how this can be brought about five years later including 11 months of a new government needs reinvigorating. Firstly, unlike my MP who was not interested at all in social services apart from relief for earthquake struck farmers, Twyford should be interested.

                Just in case we forget who we are dealing with in that former government, it was reported to me that in 1999 the previous MP’s take on support for local unemployed getting into work was to get in overseas workers who would work for minimal wages and be compliant. This was at the same time as Kingsford Smith argued that we should import Asian women’s labour into the vineyards as their little hands were suited for the work.

                They didn’t care about the regions. Our region has an average income of
                $86000 as against $93000 for NZ as a whole.

                80% of our vineyards are owned outside the province, in Auckland or overseas. The logs are owned outside the province in which their owners are allowed to rip up the rural roads. The salmon farms being forced to move from their previous habitat by global warming are owned elsewhere. The regions are third world in terms of their exploitation from outside by business.

                This government at least has some sort of a plan for regional reinvigoration.

                • cleangreen

                  Yes to all that Mac1,

                  Gisborne has a low income base still, and Shane Jones has a plan to put another timber processor here as we need to make “value added products again as we did post second world war.

                  Another plan is to put s rail engineering school in Gisborne and the community groups are spearheading this plan at meetings with the Minister of regional development so a rail line to ship the products nation wide and globally is required also.
                  Since the closure of so many Government workshops Ministry of Works and rail workshops we have lost many highly skilled engineers who have been lost to Australia and Canada as i was one also because i was a engineer on Ministry of works at Turangi from 1966 and saw many highly talented engineers then.

                  So our standards have fallen greatly since then with outsourcing to “contractors’ and this has demonstrated that standards are falling as our roading in our rural region is now maintained at a lower standard of maintenance then the local council did before the national Government took local councils away from maintaining our roads.

                  We had a large wool shed farmers meeting in Gisborne when the Australian road company took over from Gisborne council and we asked at the public meeting what “standard will our rural road be kept up to?

                  They blandly said “we will maintain them to a standard’

                  Then we asked how can we see what standard this will be?

                  They said no paper is available as to what standard we are to follow.

                  So Mr Twyford needs to now set road standards that these private companies cannot dictate what we are getting now.

                  Our rural road is now full of potholes so bad that we have had to pay for 5 wheel alignments inn two years now.

                  Yes roads and rail has a very joint reason to combine their services. so we can cope.

  5. Chris T 5

    She had to be got out of the way in case it kicked off while Ardern was out of the country.

    Seems odd that she is still co-chair of the Maori caucus though

    So Ardern lacks confidence in her enough to not let her be a minister, but has confidence in her enough for her to continue as co-chair of the Maori caucus?

    Not sure what that says about Ardern’s opinion of the importance of the Maori caucus

    • So an 8 out of 10 from you then Chris.

    • lprent 5.2

      I know that you tend to play (or be) a political idiot, but surely even a idiot would know that the Maori Caucus is not run by the Governor General, PM, Cabinet, or even the Speaker of the House.

      Given that as hint I will leave it for you to deal to your bigoted ‘ignorance’.

      • cleangreen 5.2.1

        100% Iprent.

      • OnceWasTim 5.2.2

        @ Chris T (hopefully I’m replying to you directly)
        I’m kind of curious to know why it is you visit this site. It’s hard to know whether you come here in order to engage in debate, or merely as a means of demonstrating how big you think your balls are. Or is it just that you have a contrary and dysfunctional personality.
        I’m pretty sure you think you’re fucking amazingly clever, but it would be interesting to know why you think your muppetry, that’s so often demonstrated, seems to be a big turn on for you.
        Of course, if you don’t want to answer, I’ll turn on QT next week and watch Soimon, or maybe Jude demonstrating her abilities at emulating an alley Tom Cat. (Btw., you’re not into golden showers are you?)

        • Chris T 5.2.2.1

          I didn’t thing it was that controversial a point, but I will take what you said on board

          • OnceWasTim 5.2.2.1.1

            mmmm, maybe I’ll study you further. But Yea, but nah. There’s a few others on shift that are equally interesting and time is finite
            One in particular that seems to be auditioning for a NZ spinoff series of ‘Little Britain’ to be called “The only Gay in the VIllage’. And the only reason he seems to come in here is to challenge anyone that calls a gNat an arsehole.

            (Next. I’m sure you have very big balls that are the envy of all your colleagues on shift – I’m impressed if that’s of any value! Core!!!! do I envy the size of Chris T’s balls. Even BM must be envious )

      • Chris T 5.2.3

        I have no idea what you a talking about the GG or the Speaker

        It is the Labour Party Maori Caucus

        So it would be Ardern as she is the leader.

        Or if it the party president then forgive my ignorance

        • McFlock 5.2.3.1

          Does that mean Bridges is leader of the Nat women’s caucus group?

          lols

        • lprent 5.2.3.2

          I have no idea what you a talking about the GG or the Speaker

          You were suggesting that a person with a particular position had authority over the Maori Caucus. They have no authority over that particular caucus. The leader of the Labour party caucus is not the leader of the Labour party (NZLP). They are just the leader of the parliamentarians from that party.

          There are also no positions inside the NZLP who have any authority over the Maori Caucus rules, membership or positions. Not the president, secretary, nor the council.

          It is a voluntary self-governing body with a self-defined selection criteria. To give you a context, it is exactly like the Northern Club was prior to 1990. In that case it was effectively wealthy outwardly straight white males and their male minions interested in maintaining their power base (and pretty much still is as far as I can tell).

          The Maori caucus is somewhat more constructive, they are Labour MPs who choose to work together to improve the effectiveness of parliament in dealing with the social inequities related to Maori.

          Sure there are some constraints, The Speaker has an ability to constrain resources like rooms or support staff inside parliament. The NZLP could remove party membership. However neither of these actually change anything unless the Maori Caucus decides to do something itself.

          Can you now see why you look like a political idiot to me?

          Incidentally, it is about as stupid as the idiots who wander around some of the blogs saying that the NZLP or unions or god should change us or tell us to do something. Outside of the courts, we don’t cede any authority to others over what we do either.

          Whoever took a case to the courts would have to have a pretty damn good case. Otherwise I’ll happily help to bankrupt them with court ordered costs like I did with the last dickhead who tried it.

          I’d expect that the Maori caucus is as particular about who can tell them what to do as we are.

          • Chris T 5.2.3.2.1

            Cheers for the info. Interesting

            I apologise

            I can’t see how I would look like a political idiot to you, but I could see how you would think I need to learn more about the inner workings of the Labour party

            • lprent 5.2.3.2.1.1

              It isn’t that different to the National Party or any of the other parties in parliament apart from the Greens (who tend to devolve decisions more to members)..

            • Stunned Mullet 5.2.3.2.1.2

              “I can’t see how I would look like a political idiot to you, but I could see how you would think I need to learn more about the inner workings of the Labour party”

              I think it’s something to do with the fact that Lynn is a cunt who cunts cunts.

              For explanation see http://www.is-a-cunt.com

    • veutoviper 5.3

      What lprent said at 5.2.

      Ardern is not a member of the Maori Caucus and does not have any part in making the decisions as to who the Maori Caucus want as Chair or Deputy Chair – only members of the Maori Caucus get to make those decisions. As it should be.

      And this was the response from the Labour Maori Caucus a few days ago after Paula Bennett claimed on 13 Sept to have been told by sources close to the Maori Caucus that Whaitiri would be safe in all her positions. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12124585

      Ditto, Ardern while Leader of the Labour Party, cannot just remove Whaitiri as elected Member for the Maori seat of Ikaroa-Rawhiti . IMO, as I said a few weeks ago on here, any idea of deselecting her for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat would likely carry with it considerable problems and risks in view of her popularity and mana within the electorate.

      Whaitiri first won the seat in 2013, replacing the late Parekura Horomia and went on to hold the seat in the 2014 and 2017 general elections with increased majorities each time.

      From the time she first went to work for Horomia in the Community Employment Group of the Department of Labour in 1989, Whaitiri was very much Horomia’s protegy for the next 10 years there. This close relationship continued when Whaitiri returned to the DOL in 2003 – 2007 as a Senior Manager then Deputy Secretary after working as GM of the Maori Women’s Welfare League for some years; and then when she was Senior Advisor to Horomia as Minister of Maori Affairs 2007 – 2008 (and initially to Pita Sharples 2008/9) before becoming CEO of Ngati Kahungunu 2009 – 2013.

      With Horomia’s death in 2013, Whaitiri was the preferred (and designated by Horomia?) successor as Labour candidate in the resultant by-election which saw her win the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat with 41% of the vote against six other candidates (including Marama Davidson).

      She raised this personal percentage to 45.2% in the 2014 general election against five other candidates (including Marama Fox this time); and to 55% in 2017 against Marama Fox (36%) and Elizabeth Kerekere (8.6%).

      From accounts to date, Meka Whaitiri’s electorate are still strong in her support.

    • joe90 5.4

      So Ardern lacks confidence in her enough to not let her be a minister, but has confidence in her enough for her to continue as co-chair of the Maori caucus?

      Two months after police began an investigation into the alleged behaviour of a prominent New Zealander a National PM had enough confidence in the prominent New Zealander to appoint him chair of a law and order select committee.

  6. Ad 6

    Will be good to see full and unimpeded Sparkle Pony on the US talk shows, news channels, and set pieces.

    Next week: how to out-Trudeau with hitcount.

    • Do you not find the term ‘sparkle pony’ to be demeaning? I do.

      • JanM 6.1.1

        Yes, it is, and the people who use it obviously mean it to be. It’s the sort of language used by bullies

        • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1.1.1

          Ad may favour the use of ‘sparkle pony’ to convey “Modern-day bimbos who dress cute and wear glitter to attract attention.” [2nd definition]

          https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Sparkle%20Pony

          If so then it’s a revealing reference – what’s a ‘girl’ to do? Stick it out until the wrinkles arrive? What would Ad do?

        • Anne 6.1.1.2

          One minute Ad is lauding Jacinda, the next minute he calls her a sparkle pony. I judge that remark as offensive.

          • AB 6.1.1.2.1

            Maybe give Ad some credit – he’s a clever bloke. I reckon he’s deliberately using the language of the misogynist right in order to wind them up. You can’t reason with these people, so better to have some fun and see if you can make the veins on their necks explode.

            • Anne 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Don’t mind him winding up the rwnjs, but don’t see the point in annoying the reasonable and intelligent among our left- of-centre regular commentariat.

              Not clever in my book.

            • greywarshark 6.1.1.2.1.2

              +100 AB
              There are lots of ways of playing the RWNJs at their own game. ‘Owning’ some words once found incorrect takes their mocking strength down to zero, and becomes an in-joke for the other side.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.2.2

            Maybe, I get where you’re coming from Anne, but I can see another side to it. ‘Sparkle Pony’ has a mischievous, playful warmth to it. It balances out the gravitas and seriousness of the PM’s role; it’s a dimension HC failed to project well.

            Just saying.

            • Anne 6.1.1.2.2.1

              ‘Sparkle Pony’ has a mischievous, playful warmth to it

              It can have, but then Ad should make it clear in what context he’s using the term. I agree with veutoviper below. He’s being provocative for the sake of it.

      • veutoviper 6.1.2

        Ad was the very person who penned that term here on TS on Sunday, 16 Sept at comment 6.2.1.1 under his Coalition Reset Speech post :

        Prime Minister Ardern’s Coalition Reset Speech

        Ad 6.2.1.1
        16 September 2018 at 4:21 pm
        We should all – and I mean her Ministers as well – all replace her actual name with Sparkle Pony.

        Prime Minister Sparkle Pony.”

        And AB at 6.1.1.2.1, no. IMO Ad is a provocative person with a penchant for “creative” rather than “factual’ or “truthful” writing.

    • Macro 6.2

      Stephen Colbert’s Late Show audience and viewers will love her.
      There will be increased applications from US citizens seeking residency here for certain. 🙂

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the RWNJs attempts to paint Jacinda as weak are because of their own hatred of democracy and due process and their belief that the ‘leader’ should know everything and thus be able to act immediately.

    The RWNJs really do prefer dictatorships and thus anyone who doesn’t act like a dictator is obviously weak.

    • AB 7.1

      Pretty much – I make it a rule of thumb to never trust anyone who levels accusations of ‘weakness’ against someone else.
      Above all, you want to make damn sure that such a person never has significant power over you as an employer, elected official, or whatever.
      Because most likely they are vicious, authoritarian scum – the first out of the blocks in any Serbian or Bosnian style meltdown to do the killing, torturing and raping.

    • Stuart Munro 7.2

      Weak fools always need strong leaders.

    • RedLogix 7.3

      The RWNJs really do prefer dictatorships and thus anyone who doesn’t act like a dictator is obviously weak.

      Yes there is a tendency for this.

      Temperamentally right wingers do have a preference for clear boundaries, order and predictable process. It’s what they’re good at, and it’s true that at the extreme it does tend toward tyranny. (But the right doesn’t have this on it’s own. The left has its own catastrophic history to demonstrate this point.)

      The trend I’m deploring here is the constant formenting of hatred and intolerance of ‘right wingers’ I see going on here all the time. It’s wrong, it’s deplorable, it’s weak and I’m calling everyone here who does it out. It’s time we stopped all this endless, dangerous dehumanising; it will end very badly.

      Right wing people will always be with us; the only sane ethically acceptable path is to learn to negotiate better with them.

      • Stuart Munro 7.3.1

        For the past few decades lying has been the rightwing’s go to strategy on everything. You cannot make peace or cooperate with people who will not act in good faith – or you can, but they’ll just do you over if you do.

        • RedLogix 7.3.1.1

          I said negotiate with them, not capitulate. Surely we can manage this.

          • Stuart Munro 7.3.1.1.1

            You cannot negotiate with liars.

            Many of them only come here to deride and derail – there’s no common ground to be reached with them because that’s not something they want.

            We have a problem with some professed leftwingers for whom truth is not a value also.

            • RedLogix 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Meanwhile back at the ranch … right wingers think exactly the same about us, only they like to add in ‘gullible, naive liars’.

              Yet most of the time what is happening is that both sides are performing the old ’12 blind men discover an elephant’ trick.

              • Stuart Munro

                The rightwingers who might have a genuine conversation basically don’t come here. We get trolls, and they have little or nothing to add.

                • RedLogix

                  After many years of moderating here my troll detector works just fine thank you. We don’t get real trolls, or at least they don’t last long. What we do get are a bunch of righties who do indulge in shit-stirring and piss-takes, but are also quite often making points that have real political legitimacy from their perspective.

                  Labelling them all as ‘trolls’ is reactionary laziness and unproductive; although I do agree sometimes you have to be a bit firm with them. 🙂 The new ones especially can need a bit of educating.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What we do get are a bunch of righties who do indulge in shit-stirring and piss-takes, but are also quite often making points that have real political legitimacy from their perspective.

                    But don’t have any in reality.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Labelling them as trolls is merely taxonomical accuracy.

            • greywarshark 7.3.1.1.1.2

              Stuart Munro
              Yes you are being realistic. Trying to accommodate RWs takes up precious time that should be spent on important political matters that need airing and discussing. So f..k the RWs, give them a little polite time to put forward any thought they have, discuss, but then bam.

              The disruptions of climate change, machinisation, IT, roboisation, AI and chirpy-cheep-cheeps employed tio allay concerns, derogatory views of people by the elite who divide people into a small group worthy and large and growing unworthy, the spoiling of our resources for the sake of a fast buck, the vulnerability of our capital to capital flight by those swelling our coffers with their faux investments – the problems are major.

              Time on smarmy RWs is largely wasteful – it is only good for gaining a camera obscura view of the already pin headed brains of these so-called people (it will soon be possible for dedicated computers to broadcast their pap from some app.)

              • Stuart Munro

                I’d draw a distinction between the rightwingers that come here and the mass of them out in ordinary life – some of those are reasonably decent people who might indeed discuss something honestly.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.2

        Right wing people will always be with us; the only sane ethically acceptable path is to learn to negotiate better with them.

        It’s difficult to negotiate with people who’s preferred path is unacceptable and who won’t negotiate.

        • RedLogix 7.3.2.1

          And us sitting around in circle jerks calling them names is going to help exactly how? I didn’t say working with them was easy, but then again nothing really effective is.

          • Robert Guyton 7.3.2.1.1

            De-escalating the name-calling and labelling would be a good start. Doesn’t mean it’ll be reciprocated, initially at least. Patience and a sense of humour (self-deprecating if possible) would help.

          • Robert Guyton 7.3.2.1.2

            The Standard would be a great venue/forum to try to overcome the issue RedLogix describes – could we negotiate successfully (and gracefully) with our non-aligned visitors? Could we gather our people for the attempt – combine our forces, forge a unified team that no outsider, troll or otherwise, could resist debating reasonably with? Herding cats, I’ve heard, is a challenge.

            • RedLogix 7.3.2.1.2.1

              It’s a massive challenge; I’d not for a moment underestimate both the breadth of that challenge across so many topics, and the depth of the personal discipline and patience it would require.

              And perfection is political unobtainium. I’d be happy if we cranked down the polarising, pointless rhetoric volume a bit, and paid some attention on understanding both ourselves and our opponents better.

            • Antoine 7.3.2.1.2.2

              I don’t believe most Standard commenters come here to negotiate or in any form cross the divide. They come here for a good argument. They secretly appreciate RW commenters because it gives them someone to argue with.

              A.

        • Chuck 7.3.2.2

          “It’s difficult to negotiate with people who’s preferred path is unacceptable and who won’t negotiate.”

          But who gets to decide which path is unacceptable and who won’t negotiate?

          For example; Draco reading and interacting with you suggests to me your path is so extreme even a good portion of left-leaning people would struggle to find common ground with you.

          With some lefties on here, I can find common ground with. And to be honest over time I have voted both left and right of center.

      • Robert Guyton 7.3.3

        I’m with Redlogix on this. Draco’s point is good too; it’s difficult, especially on a blog 🙂

      • McFlock 7.3.4

        Some, like Winston, can be negotiated with. But he’s old school right wing.

        I recall a few years ago an MP talking about a cross-party working group. Not an official thing, just a bunch of MPs going “we think this is a problem, we know we won’t agree on everything about it, but we might as well work together on the few things we do agree on”, that sort of thing.

        It had all the leftish parties, NZ1, but also some of the nat coalition partners turning up regularly for years.

        Never had a single nat turn up once, even though nats with a professed interest in the area had been specifically sought out.

        the nats aren’t interested in negotiation or cooperation.

        • Robert Guyton 7.3.4.1

          I know some ex-Nat MP’s who are. In any case, they are willing to negotiate and cooperate with those they are willing to negotiate and cooperate with. We just have to become those people while at the same time maintaining our integrity. Of course this can be done.

          • McFlock 7.3.4.1.1

            Obviously none of them were interested in that specific policy area, then.

            Funny – every other party had someone who was.

        • alwyn 7.3.4.2

          Pray inform us. What was this group called and what was the topic they were interested in?
          Without that it is quite impossible to tell whether what you are talking about is true, isn’t it? You could just be telling a fairy tale.

          • McFlock 7.3.4.2.1

            Your sudden concern for whether something is true is touching, but far too late.

            • Macro 7.3.4.2.1.1

              Here is one cross party grouping..
              MPs collaborate across party lines in response to climate change

              A non-partisan, unified approach from Parliament
              The report is the product of GLOBE New Zealand, a cross-party working group that involves MPs from all parties. It’s chaired by Dr Kennedy Graham, and the executive committee includes Hon Peter Dunne, Marama Fox, Tracey Martin, Scott Simpson, and Dr Megan Woods.

              “The breakthrough here is that the group now owns a shared report on emissions reductions that it can debate with greater clarity than ever before,” said Dr Graham. “Parliament has in fact decided that it will hold a debate in April, focused specifically on the report. That, too, is unprecedented.”

              GLOBE New Zealand is a chapter of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE). The international organisation brings together parliamentarians from over 80 countries, with a focus on implementing laws in pursuit of sustainable development.

              Members:
              Andrew Bayly, Gareth Hughes, Eugenie Sage, Chris Bishop, Hon Tim Macindoe, Alastair Scott, David Clendon, Tracey Martin, David Seymour, Ian McKelvie, James Shaw, Steffan Browning, Hon Peter Dunne, Hon Mark Mitchell, Barbara Kuriger, Kris Faafoi, Todd Muller, Hon Scott Simpson, Marama Fox, Denis O’Rourke, Stuart Smith, Julie Anne Genter, Hon David Parker, Aupito William Sio, Michael Wood, Grant Robertson, Fletcher Tabuteau, Dr Kennedy Graham, Adrian Rurawhe, Dr Megan Woods, Todd Barclay, Denise Roche, Jan Logie, Barry Coates

              Not sure just what they achieved tho.

              • McFlock

                Fair enough, maybe this other one was just not one any of the nats agreed with at all.

              • greywarshark

                Was it Dr Kennedy Graham who retreated from the Greens facing up to social deprivation matters? If so he didn’t expand his consciousness much or perhaps the cross-party group couldn’t cross that bridge?

            • greywarshark 7.3.4.2.1.2

              Alwyn likes to pray for enlightenment to strike. Perhaps a lucky horseshoe might one day.

    • McFlock 7.4

      That’s too honest, IMO.

      I think that the political “game players” aren’t interested in describing her accurately, just negatively.

      So if she’s not “weak” she’d be “harsh”, “unreasonable”, “heartless”, or worse.

      Positivity and fairness are not on the agenda.

      • RedLogix 7.4.1

        Yeah all this is true; it’s a big world and on any given day we can find people on both the right and the left saying stupid things. And yes the game players cynically engage in this in order to inflame the polarisation.

        And yes I’ve watched with dismay a media agenda which rarely does the left any favours. (Yet there will be plenty of sincere right wingers who’ll say the same thing in reverse, so we have to be careful in making absolute claims based on our own personal subjective reactions.)

        But this behaviour does not describe or define either the left or right; there is a lot more going on under this superficial noise.

        • McFlock 7.4.1.1

          The existence of bullshitters on both sides does not mean bullshitters exist equally on both sides.

          Reflexive polarisation across the population helps the right significantly more than it helps the left. So, yeah, we should build working relationships where it’s possible. But don’t be thinking that it will always be possible, or even that it will be possible more often than not. Not any time soon.

          Maybe a few years in the cold and a generational shift will improve the nats, but I’m not expecting miracles.

          • RedLogix 7.4.1.1.1

            Reflexive polarisation across the population helps the right significantly more than it helps the left.

            Yes that’s possibly the crux of what I’m trying to say here; and having the left exacerbate it is wrong. Because while polarisation hurts everyone, but it’s the most vulnerable and disempowered who get hurt the most. The impact isn’t spread evenly; just as I’d agree the bullshit isn’t spread evenly.

            A sane consensus will not always be achievable, but we can improve the odds.

        • Incognito 7.4.1.2

          Reading this interesting thread, there are politicians/MPs (and ex-MPs), the media, and the ‘RWNJs’ who comment here on TS. Some Standardistas react to all three and display their reflexive behaviour by lashing out to just about anything that moves, sounds, and looks like a RWNJ (or a ‘troll’). The only people we can reach out to and negotiate with here on TS are the ones that comment here; we cannot negotiate with politicians (bar the odd ex-politician) or the media here on TS. And the only thing we can control, to some extent, is our own behaviour.

          When I’m tired I find it impossible to muster the energy to negotiate with ‘tricky’ comments/commenters and I usually don’t comment at all but when I do there’s often little attempt on my behalf to be positive & constructive. I’m learning to shut up and the number of deleted comments is a pretty good indicator 😉

      • Draco T Bastard 7.4.2

        /agreed.

    • Craig H 7.5

      As can be seen by the amount of complaining about business confidence – from the reporting and results, one could conclude that the only acceptable government for the business community is one with a large proportion of National MPs, with a strong preference for National/ACT. One could also uncharitably conclude that if they can only stomach one type of right-wing government, they must be fascists, or at least opposed to democracy.

  8. Macro 8

    The decision will reinforce for Ardern a deserved reputation for toughness. She is a lot more than stardust.

    We are all stardust Mickey. And we are all more than that as well. Anyone who wants to put down someone else by calling them stardust should be reminded that they are formed from stardust too.

  9. Bill 9

    From the post and header comments, there’s something not there that I was looking for. I’ve not been following this at all (so, please excuse the ignorance).

    But there was an incident and it was reported, yes?

    Was Whaitiri publicly stood down at that point – while the incident (or allegation) was investigated? And was she then fired on the heels of that investigation?

    Because, surely that’s how this kind of thing gets dealt with – a two step process, with step one being publicly announced so as to neutralise or quarantine any possible festering nonsense from whatever quarter. And step two being either a simple resumption of “interrupted service” or “a bullet”, depending.

    The fact that Price, Bennet and Farrar were able to indulge in shit stirring suggests someone missed or dropped a ball somewhere along the way, no?

    • McFlock 9.1

      She was initially stood down from ministerial responsibilities about three weeks ago after allegations surfaced.

      She’s now been kicked to the back benches after Ardern received a report into the incident. While some aspects are in dispute, the non-disputed facts were enough to get her fired from Cabinet.

      • Bill 9.1.1

        Cheers McFlock. So my question is, given that, how did Farrar et al manage to find space to shit stir?

        “She’s been stood down pending blah” needs to equal dead space….like the kind of dead space where a reporter, or anyone else, encounters a justifiably cold or reptilian non-response to any questions asked after the initial announcement.

        If reporters have been able to push some infantile “are we there yet?” line over these past weeks (if that’s what Farrer et al were able to feed into) , then someone needs to take a long hard look at how Labour Party ministers interact with the press/media/journalists.

        But anyway…

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          Dunno what Farrar’s been saying, but he doesn’t need space to make shit up.

          And journos and all the interwebz get to speculate the whats, whys and wherefores while an investigation is ongoing, especially if everyone’s pretty sure no criminal court action is in the line so they won’t be done for fucking up criminal cases. As long as someone within 10km of the beehive can claim to have maybe heard a rumour from a mate, someone with a designer clothing allowance gets 30seconds of breathless theorising on camera.

          An employment issue came to light, the minister was stood down, an investigation took place, and action happened.

  10. Darien Fenton 10

    Look I’m sad Meka has been ditched as a Minister. But there is a line for us who believe in workers rights. No matter how mighty a minister, their staff have the right to be treated respectfully and fairly. Jacinda made the right and principled call.

  11. mosa 11

    If Labour believed their own bullshit over wanting to address bullying and its effects it would have demanded Whaitiri’s resignation from parliament as an example of how serious they view this as an issue.
    And if Meka and the Maori caucus had any standards i would have thought they would have seen this as the only right course of action.
    Just another contradiction to add to the list.

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