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National will distort MMP for its own benefit, again

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, July 26th, 2017 - 80 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, act, bill english, MMP, national, peter dunne, Politics, same old national, united future - Tags:

Another election campaign and two more deals have been done which will allow National to distort proportionality under MMP to gain an advantage. In the last two elections this distortion was vital and it may be that these deals again will have a significant effect on who forms the next Government.

National has again announced that it will extend life support to two puppet parties who apart from this arrangement would not have parliamentary representation. From the Herald:

Prime Minister Bill English has today confirmed National’s intention to work with United Future and the Act Party in September’s election – encouraging his party’s supporters to vote for David Seymour and Peter Dunne.

“We are encouraging National supporters to give their electorate vote to Act candidate, David Seymour, in Epsom, and United Future candidate, Peter Dunne, in Ohariu – and their party vote to National.

“To be clear, we want to increase our party votes in those electorates and that’s what our National Party candidates will be working hard to do.”

English said he had already made it clear that if National is re-elected his preference is to continue working with Act, United Future and the Maori Party.

No matter how you dress this up the announcement shows that National is willing to rort the electoral system.  Last election ACT received 0.69% of the party vote but thanks to the deal it has 0.83% of the votes in Parliament.  United Future is even worse.  It only received 0.22% of the vote but its voting strength in Parliament is nearly four times this.  And the deal sidesteps the clear intention that under MMP a party should not be represented unless it achieves 4% or more of the party vote.

The figures may appear to be small but just think of the number of divisions that have passed by only one or two votes.

It is interesting that National has not endorsed the Maori Party candidates.  Perhaps they believe that the Maori Party is terminal, thanks to its continued support for National during the past three terms.

At least this time we are not going to be put through the charade of who is having cups of tea with who.  I guess there is less chance of damaging comments being accidentally recorded that way.

80 comments on “National will distort MMP for its own benefit, again ”

  1. I love how billshitter talks about the parties offering support and so on. Hey bill without your gnat push they wouldn’t be there. Such a low lie that party one – really low imo.

  2. Sabine 2

    did anyone expect anything else?

  3. Hooch 3

    Wouldn’t have a clue who the national candidate is in ohariu. Only signs up are for dunne, O’Connor and bill English with his smug grin.

    And what an arrogant twerp Seymour is in the stuff article. Basically saying any party vote means more act mp as he will be elected. Why bother having the election? Why not just anoint him as mp for Epsom forever more.

    • Come on , mate … you’re being cheap ,… lets go the whole hog and have a hologram for Prime Minister.

      Think of it,… at every international meeting between heads of state we could be the first to have someone parading around with a capital ‘ H’ on their heads. Then we would really be put on the map,… although,… for some very sad , sad reasons, I must admit…

      • Wensleydale 3.1.1

        If you’re in trouble he will save the day
        He’s brave and he’s fearless come what may
        Without him the mission would go astray
        He’s Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer
        Without him life would be much grimmer
        He’s handsome, trim, there’s no one slimmer
        He’ll never need a zimmer

  4. DoublePlusGood 4

    “Last election ACT received 0.69% of the party vote but thanks to the deal it has 0.83% of the votes in Parliament. ”
    You mean… exactly the number of seats ACT should have got in parliament given its popularity in the party vote, if we got rid of the undemocratic 5% threshold?
    The rorts might be silly, but ACT was popular enough to warrant a single seat in parliament – they just got it by dubious methods.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      But it wasn’t. Under the general rules those votes should not have counted because ACT was well short of the threshold. Instead it’s votes were given a premium because National gifted the seat to them.

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        I suppose you spoke out about the disgrace of Jim Anderton, “Uncle Jim” as Helen Clark used to refer to him, having been in Parliament?
        And you will tell people who think Hone should be in Parliament that they should STFU?

        And I suppose I should correct your statement that
        “Under the general rules those votes should not have counted because ACT was well short of the threshold” to something like
        “Under the rules mickysavage decrees candidates who win electorate seats shall be automatically disbarred from Parliament unless their party gets at least 5% of the party vote.” That is, of course, the only way you could keep David Seymour out.
        Presumably you would give the seat to the candidate getting the most votes who belongs to a “qualifying” party? Or perhaps you would simply appoint a Labour person as the electorate member?

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1

          I suppose you spoke out about the disgrace of Jim Anderton, “Uncle Jim” as Helen Clark used to refer to him, having been in Parliament?

          Bollocks. Labour couldn’t have defeated Jim Anderton in Wigram if he was caught mugging an old lady. Rimmer and Dunne on the other hand are only in Parliament because National tells its supporters to vote for them.

          And you will tell people who think Hone should be in Parliament that they should STFU?

          Good example. Notice how Labour didn’t put up a patsy candidate in Te Tai Tokerau and then ask all their supporters not to vote for him?

          • alwyn 4.1.1.1.1

            “Labour couldn’t have defeated Jim Anderton in Wigram”.
            I don’t really know Christchurch so I won’t say that is rubbish.
            However an awful lot of people in New Zealand politics have thought they were unbeatable in their electorates and that the voters really loved them.
            How many have you known who left their party and stood and won as an independent or a representative of a new party in the last few years. The only one I can think of this century is Tariana Turia. Generally without a party organisation and vote behind them they vanish.

            I think Labour could have easily wiped Anderton out at any time from the 2005 election onwards and could probably have done so in 2002. I can’t prove it of course but it is pretty clear that any minor party that goes into Government with a larger party comes close to being wiped out in the next election.
            Look at Jim himself. He thought he was invincible in Christchurch and was a certainty for the mayoralty. Didn’t work out to well did it?

            That isn’t really the point though. Labour certainly didn’t make any real effort to depose him and in that regard were no different to the National Party now. Helen just understood MMP first, in spite of her opposition to that form of Government.
            National have now caught and passed Labour in the art of politics.

            • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Labour certainly didn’t make any real effort to depose him and in that regard were no different to the National Party now.

              Sure, but if you’re trying to equate Labour with National on this issue, you need to point me to the bit where Helen Clark asked people not to vote for the Labour candidate in Wigram but instead to vote for another party’s candidate. Because I don’t recall that happening, ever.

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.2

          If you read it clearly I said under general rules the votes should not count. They only count because the Government rorts the system. And it refused to actually do something about the threshold because it has a political advantage from this arrangement.

          Anderton is an entirely different situation. He won the seat fairly and was impregnable.

          • alwyn 4.1.1.2.1

            You might have a point if Seymour’s winning an electorate seat had the effect of bringing an additional ACT member into the house.
            It didn’t. Seymour is there, not because they counted the ACT Party vote but because he won an electorate seat. It wouldn’t have mattered in the slightest whether the ACT party got any votes at all. As it was the Party votes DID NOT COUNT.
            You could have had a point if you talked about the Maori Party in 2014 but you have none with ACT.

            Anderton was in exactly the same position. He, just like Seymour, won the seat fairly. In 2002 he managed to bring in a hanger-on who would not have been there at all under the general rules you mention. In 2005 and 2008 he was all on his lonesome.

            The electorate seats take precedence over any list seats in defining the makeup of the house. Little may regret that fact as, given the slide in Labour Party support in the polls, and the stink coming from the liaison with the Green fraudster he may miss out altogether.

  5. dukeofurl 5

    ” National has not endorsed the Maori Party candidates. ”

    In that case they dont want to wreck their chances !!

    What will be interesting if national doesnt offer a candidate in Ohariu ? Its almost certain ACT wont stand in this seat, it was only 209 votes last time but that could make the difference

    What about the Maori party running pacifica candidates in general seats ?

  6. Cynical jester 6

    To be fair, labour and the greens are doing strategic voting too in dunnes electorate (i would have preferred chch central and auckland central too) …. electorate deals are a reality why is the left still struggling to be strategic we’ve had since 2011 to get our shit together and stop splitting the left vote. This disorganization is our bad, I thought the mou would have meant more electorate deals but sadly heart over brain wins again.

    • weka 6.1

      The Labour and the Greens don’t have a deal for Ōhāriu afaik. The Greens chose not to stand in that electorate, like they do with lots of others.

      I think there is a difference between a party unilaterally making a decision like this but not telling their voters who to vote for, and what National does, which is tell their voters to vote for another candidate where that other party is only ever going to be in parliament because of those directed votes.

      If the Greens do or don’t stand in Ōhāriu, it makes no difference whatsoever to Labour’s ability to be in parliament.

      btw, the Greens didn’t stand in TTT last time, and nobody batted an eyelid.

      • Chris 6.1.1

        I respectfully disagree

        The Greens not standing in Ohariu means that the left vote is not split.

        The Green and Labour candidates last time together got more than Dunne

        To only have a Labour candidate DOES increase Labour’s chances

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          Of course, but as was predicted, if the Greens chose to not stand in Ōhāriu, then National would tell their voters to vote Dunne.

          But this is still not a deal between Labour and the Greens.

          I’m not averse to concessions btw. I just think that we should lower the threshold and be more upfront about it. However I can also see why Labour and the Greens don’t do it, because it looks fucking shifty as what National are doing.

        • satty 6.1.1.2

          Why doesn’t United Future have candidates standing in all the other electorates? Looks like they’re trying to avoid a split of the right vote.

  7. Norfolk Traveller 7

    “No matter how you dress this up the announcement shows that National is willing to rort the electoral system. ”
    The word ‘rort’ means ‘a fraudulent or dishonest practise’. What National are doing is neither. It is clever politics, and well within the rules of the absurd electoral system we have.

    • LivinInTheBay 7.1

      Spot on. And no different to what Labour would do if they had the choice.

      The fact is all parties will do what they need to do in order to be in the Government benches.

      • Chris 7.1.1

        Exactly

        Depending on which side of the coin you are on for each instance, she is always one person’s brilliant tactics, to the other’s dirty politics.

      • Psycho Milt 7.1.2

        And no different to what Labour would do if they had the choice.

        As weka pointed out on another thread, if that were true Labour would have given Kelvin Davis a high list placing and asked Labour supporters to vote for Hone Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau. The fact is that Labour couldn’t do it even if they wanted to, because their candidates tend to have too much self-respect. National, on the other hand, apparently has no shortage of ambitious toadies like Paul Goldsmith so can afford to play this game.

        • LivinInTheBay 7.1.2.1

          I’m not sure Labour or anyone wants to work with Hone again hence not doing a deal with him.

          But rest assured, if they could, they would.

          The name of the game is winning right? And they will ALL do what they can in order to win.

      • Grantoc 7.1.3

        And just the same as the Greens are doing; in Ngaio actually, by deciding not to stand a candidate and encouraging their supporters to vote Labour.

        So Micky can you explain to me why National is ‘rorting’ the MMP system and the Greens are not? Or, as in other things, are the Greens deemed to be above the law by you and others because they are, well, the Greens.

        • weka 7.1.3.1

          How are they encouraging Ngaio voters to vote Labour?

        • AB 7.1.3.2

          Because National would easily win Epsom itself if it tried.
          But instead it works with a bogus micro party that effectively gives National another seat, but one which is NOT counted in National’s allocation of seats based on its % of the party vote. It’s a rort pure and simple that distorts the proportionality of parliament

          It is utterly different from what the Greens and Labour will do in Ohariu. If Labour were to win Ohariu as a result of this arrangement, that seat WILL be counted as part of Labours’ allocation of seats based on their % of the party vote. The proportionality of parliament is maintained and not distorted.

          That you don’t recognise such an obvious difference is unbelievable, or you are simply unable to understand how MMP works.
          First step to stop this nonsense would be to implement preferential voting for the electorate vote. Candidates would be ranked – so as a Green voter in Ohariu I would rank the Green candidate no.1, the Labour candidate no.2 and the NZF candidate no. 3. I would leave Dunne unranked. Lowest polling candidate is discarded, 2nd preferences counted etc. until someone has over 50% of the vote.

        • swordfish 7.1.3.3

          Ngaio ????

          So not the 5623 Green voters in the entire seat of Ohariu but just the 430 in the single suburb of Ngaio ? I see

    • Booker 7.2

      But don’t forget the Electoral Commission recommended lowering the 5% threshold and National chose to ignore that advice so their puppets ACT and United Future could have disproportionate influence. Rort is exactly what they’ve done.

      • Norfolk Traveller 7.2.1

        Many things have been recommended, including the removal of the Maori seats. How do you feel about that recommendation?

        • Booker 7.2.1.1

          That’s not on the review: http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2012-mmp-review/results-mmp-review

          If anything, the commission highlights needing to do something about declining diversity and proportional representation.

          • Norfolk Traveller 7.2.1.1.1

            I didn’t say it was on the review. But it was on the Royal Commissions recommendations. How do you feel about abolishing the Maori seats?

            • Booker 7.2.1.1.1.1

              How can it be one of their recommendations when their recommendations are in the review?

              • McFlock

                Our traveller travels through time.

                Fucko’s referring to a recommendation from the 1980s that was not adopted. At least I suspect that’s what the jerk is referring to, we’re lucky he didn’t regurgitate some government recommendations from the 1880s.

                Although, as you point out, that recommendation was not reiterated in the review of how MMP worksin practise.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                I didn’t say it was in ‘their’ recommendations. Here is my wording exactly:
                “Many things have been recommended, including the removal of the Maori seats. How do you feel about that recommendation?”

                Are you going to answer the question?

    • Without the gnat endorsement those 2 parties wouldn’t exist. This is the opposite of similar to the left. Pretty101 stuff, pity the brains that chose not to get it – for political reasons of course.

      • Norfolk Traveller 7.3.1

        Labour have similarly accommodated both the Alliance and the Greens in the past. Short memory?

        • marty mars 7.3.1.1

          No they haven’t. Long memory.

          • Norfolk Traveller 7.3.1.1.1

            Coromandel.
            Sydenham.

            • Psycho Milt 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Can you point us to anything showing Labour ran candidates in Wigram but asked the constituents not to vote for their Labour candidate but to vote for a different party’s candidate instead? Because I don’t remember that happening, and I think your claim that Labour did that in Wigram is wrong.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                (For example – in 2008, Labour won 40% of the Party Vote, but only 15% of the electorate vote).

                (From my post below. It is obvious what Labour did. I was smart politics. But clearly only if Labour do it!

    • It is clever politics, and well within the rules of the absurd electoral system we have.

      “It was within the rules” has been National’s catch-cry since 2008. In most cases, the scam they’re pulling is “within the rules” only because the politicians wrote the rules – in this case, the self-serving MMP threshold rules.

  8. Chris 8

    How is this different to Labour and the Greens getting together and ditching the Green candidate, to not split the left vote?

    [we’ve just been through this in Open Mike. If you have evidence that the Greens have ditched a candidate, please tell us the candidate’s name and electorate. If you have evidence that the Labour and Greens worked together on seat deals, please link to it. If not, then take more care with how you describe things. – weka]

    • Chris 8.1

      Ok

      If not ditched a named candidate, certainly not standing one is tactical

      As Shaw has said. See below

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/89355662/Greens-step-aside-in-Ohariu-to-help-Labours-O-Connor-despite-misgivings

      “The Greens have dropped any plans to run a candidate in the Ohariu seat in a move aimed at giving Labour’s Greg O’Connor a better chance of winning the marginal seat – despite Green misgivings about his past views.

      Green co-leader James Shaw said the decision was taken in the interests of changing the Government, which was the party’s priority.

      “We have been very clear with our supporters and the public about that since we signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Labour last year,” he said.

      “Not standing in Ohariu increases the chances that we will be in a position to change the Government in September – it’s as simple as that.””

      • weka 8.1.1

        Yes, that’s not news (your link is from Feb). It also says,

        Labour leader Andrew Little said the Green move would be very helpful to O’Connor but he said the Greens had not consulted with Labour before making the decision, though they had told Labour before making it public.

        So we’ve established that the Greens haven’t dropped a candidate, and there is no evidence that Labour and the Greens did a deal. I think we’ve also established that yet again righties will mislead in order to gain political advantage.

        • Norfolk Traveller 8.1.1.1

          Hi Weka.
          Chris’s claims were a bit of a stretch, but to be fair, in the past Labour have done ‘deals’ similar to the one between National and Act…
          “Helen Clark openly encouraged Labour supporters in the Coromandel to give their constituency vote to Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons[3] and their party vote to Labour.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_general_election,_1999

          But as I pointed out before, these deals are part of the MMP landscape. Like it or not.

          • weka 8.1.1.1.1

            They did it once, 20 years ago, and they haven’t done it since.

            I’m actually in favour of concessions. But saying that Labour and the Greens do the same as National is just factually wrong.

            • Norfolk Traveller 8.1.1.1.1.1

              No, it’s not. Labour assisted Jim Anderton in Sydenham in both 2005 and 2008. (For example – in 2008, Labour won 40% of the Party Vote, but only 15% of the electorate vote). That they haven’t done this type of deal more recently is more a commentary on their woeful electoral position than anything else.

              • weka

                What did Labour do in those two elections?

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  Ran a ‘one tick’ campaign to help Anderton get elected. The same tactics National are using in Epsom.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You have provided precisely zero evidence of that.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      In 2008, Labour won 40% of the Party Vote, but only 15% of the electorate vote. Explain that away.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The electorate did something. That doesn’t mean Labour prompted them. You made an assertion of fact. Put up or shut up.

                  • weka

                    What did the campaign do exactly? Can you please show some evidence of that?

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      It resulted in:
                      “In 2008, Labour won 40% of the Party Vote, but only 15% of the electorate vote. Explain that away.”
                      Quite successful. Ah, those were the days eh Labour.

                    • weka

                      OAB already explained that away.

                      So, you made up the bit about “in the past Labour have done ‘deals’ similar to the one between National and Act…”

                      Glad we got that sorted, now I can just call you a liar. Or you could be more careful in how you make comments instead of trying to mislead people.

      • Rae 8.1.2

        Yes and good job, this all could have been avoided if National had adopted the recommendations that came out of the review of MMP and got rid of the coat tailing rule. They cynically flipped the bird at the whole thing, and if that means, finally, that Labour and the Greens get together and use this the way National intended, so be it and if it comes back and bites the Nats on the bum, they only have themselves to blame

  9. weka 9

    National have told Māori to give their vote to the Mp not Labour, but haven’t said they will give the Mp a coalition deal. That’s pretty humiliating for the Mp. Hard to know what Māori will make of National telling them where to vote.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    “Prime Minister Bill English has called for National voters to back ACT leader David Seymour in Epsom and United Future leader Peter Dunne in Ohariu.”

    See?

    PM Bill English is obviously terrified that those who don’t want this National-led Government returned are understanding ‘strategic voting’!

    ie: In Epsom – the strategic vote to get rid of ACT / David Seymour, is give your electorate vote to National candidate Paul Goldsmith.

    In Ohariu – to get rid of United Future / Peter Dunne – vote for for Labour electorate candidate
    Greg O’Connor.

    The word is spreading, and PM Bill English is obviously PANICKING.

    Good.

  11. Dean Reynolods 11

    Let’s get a grip & stop being so prissy – all Labour & Green supporters in Epsom should give the Nat candidate their electoral vote but give Lab/Green their Party vote. This would wipe out the shitty little Act party forever. Isn’t that worth achieving?
    Dunne is a goner in Ohariu because there’s no Green candidate to split the Left vote – that’s how strategic voting works under MMP.
    We do whatever it takes to rid NZ of this appalling Nat Govt.

    • srylands 11.1

      That shitty little ACT Party is the only classically liberal voice in parliament. New Zealand would be worse for its absence. Hopefully they will get enough votes to have two additional MPs join Seymour in parliament.

      • You_Fool 11.1.1

        Maybe if they were a liberal party that would make sense; but ACT are basically the extreme right-wing of the National Party… maybe one day they will grow up and be a real party, but I think those days are gone..

        Also they should consider supporting Labour, I mean they don’t want to be seen to be beholden to National right? Maybe that would increase their support.

  12. Tanz 12

    And the Electoral Finance Act wasn’t a red-handed rort? Or the pledge card fiasco?
    Pot meet kettle.
    So, MMP is not so great after all?

    • Rae 12.1

      MMP is way, way better than FPP, but it could be better, could have been better if National had not arrogantly thrown out all the recommendations after the review of it. We got a say, we said what we wanted, they ignored it.

  13. Tanz 13

    The worst parts of MMP are both the post-election backroom deals and the fact that voters fire MP’s and they stay in anyway , due to the list. A total slap in the face to the voters and to democracy. FPP delivered stable governments, not beholden to fringe groups.

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    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    4 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    6 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
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  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
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    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
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    2 weeks ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Underwhelming
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
    David Pomeroy, University of Canterbury; Kay-Lee Jones, University of Canterbury; Mahdis Azarmandi, University of Canterbury, and Sara Tolbert, University of Canterbury Academic streaming in New Zealand schools is still common, but according to recent reports it is also discriminatory and racist. Also known as tracking, setting and ability grouping, streaming ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 weeks ago

  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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