National’s bad fortnight

Written By: - Date published: 2:03 pm, March 14th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: election 2008, national - Tags: ,

drop-the-ball.JPGA bad week last week from John Key got worse this week as other National MPs joined Key in a game of drop the ball.

Last week, Key didn’t know his party’s Waitangi and Maori seats policies, and was slippery on the Auckland Airport issue before finally coming down on the unpopular side of the issue, supporting foreign control of New Zealand strategic assets. This week, he was determined not to repeat the mistake. When the New Zealand Fast Forward R&D fund was announced to universally acclaim, there was no slipperiness. Key adopted the unpopular position immediately; opposing the Fund. He then made some comments about the Fund getting the money from the Reserve Bank that are truly bizarre coming from a guy who’s meant to know something about money.

Following Key’s example over the ‘wage drop‘ quote, other National MPs tried to expunge telling quotes from the record. David Carter told the Rural News that National would privatise Landcorp. When that was printed he was straight on the phone to the reporter attempting to have the quote retracted. Bill English, announced National would re-sell the railways if they are bought back off Toll and criticised normal government bond issuing before finding himself ‘pleading‘ with Barry Soper to not play an interview in which he let slip that ‘we aren’t that worried about whether the Crown needs to borrow a bit of money [for] tax cuts’. APN management helped Key cover-up his ‘wage drop’ quote, to journalists’ chagrin, but Carter and English have had no luck getting their damaging quotes ‘clarified’.

To top it off, Key’s ‘we won’t hire more prison guards and we’ll have doctors doing their own filing’ speech was overshadowed by National MP Brian Connell’s ‘fuck you, no fuck you’ interview with Kris Faafoi.

With the Golden Boy mask slipping, Key looks horribly underdone and inept under pressure, and his colleagues don’t look any better. Is this guy up to the task of campaigning, let alone being Prime Minister?

33 comments on “National’s bad fortnight”

  1. Daveo 1

    Don’t forget the AIA fiasco…

  2. Daveo 2

    Well fancy that- you had that after all. What about Bill saying he’d sell off the trains again?

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    oh yeah. cheers daveo.

  4. rjs131 4

    And dont forget the hammering in the polls. Whats the gap to Labour averaging out at?

  5. mike 5

    “Don’t forget the AIA fiasco ”

    Funny you mention that now it’s turned nasty for Helen…

  6. Daveo 6

    So right wing activist Bruce Sheppard doesn’t want the airport sale blocked. He was complaining before the vote and now he’s complain after. What’s new?

  7. Steve Pierson 7

    mike. I’m a shareholder and Bruce Sheppard doesn’t represent me. In fact, none of the AIA shareholders I know sold out to CPF. It was the institutions, not the people.

    rjs131. We haven’t had any polls since this last fortnight, but the gap narrowed in the lastest poll from Roy Morgan (see under polls)

  8. mike 8

    “mike. I’m a shareholder and Bruce Sheppard doesn’t represent me. In fact, none of the AIA shareholders I know sold out to CPF. It was the institutions, not the people.”
    So its OK for the Govt to have the last say in who you sell your shares to then Steve.
    Also 27’000 shareholders sounds like “people” to me.

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    yes. when i am an owner of a strategic asset, it is ok for the elected government of this country to say ‘hey, if you do that it will be bad for the country, so we won’t let you’, if that is the decision they make according the due process.

  10. mike 10

    Hey its your money Steve, I’ll stick to being a slum landlord….

  11. the sprout 11

    i thought Key dumping on Connell was another stupid move. there’d be plenty of politicians, National included, and voters, who would’ve thought “good one Brian” for him telling Faafoi to go take a flying feck.

    it really just looks like Key is taking a cheap swipe at Connell because he’s on the outer anyway, at the price of being seen to side with the media against one of his own. bad for morale, bad for the facade of loyalty, and bad for Key when he loses his rag over being hounded by a cameraman outside the dunny.

    Faafoi is defintely one of the better guys, but he wasn’t doing much for journalistic standards that day. Connell, dork that he is, was within his rights to bite back after such persistent badgering.

  12. BeShakey 12

    I think you underestimate English. I suspect this will be the start of an extended period of questioning around government debt. The aim isn’t to show that government debt is spiralling or that the government is borrowing to fund tax cuts, the aim is to confuse people and the media about what is going on (if you look at Hansard the discussions are fairly technical and I doubt many, including the media, would have followed them). Once that confusion is in place, National can announce that they are going to borrow to fund tax cuts but that its rich for Labour to criticse them for it when Labour is doing the same thing – to prove them wrong the media are firstly going to have to wade through all the detail, and secondly going to have to make it both accessible and interesting for the public.

  13. Scribe 13


    You’re free to write whatever you like (obviously), but you do nothing to advance your opinions when you embellish things or misrepresent people.

    Yes, it’s been a tough couple of weeks for National. And it’s legitimate to provide a list of the errors made.

    But, as far as I can tell, Connell didn’t drop the F bomb when interviewed by Faafoi (and I did a google search to check). Maybe you’re getting him confused with Steve Maharey in the House a few months back.

    And you know you’re misrepresenting Key when you allege he said “we won’t hire more prison guards and we’ll have doctors doing their own filing”.

    Bashing National is fine, but at least bash them based on facts, not embellishment or outright deceit.

  14. Steve Pierson 14

    Scribe. whenever one writes a post you know there are certain trivial phrases on the side that some rightie will pick up and run with, rather than addressing the core of the post. You didn’t disappoint me:

    a ‘fuck you, no fuck you’ conversation is just short hand for a conversation that descends into trying to insult and embarrass the other person, rather than be constructive.

    Prison guards are part of the core public service that Key won’t expand, and if you hire more doctors but not more support staff, who will do the filing?

  15. sdm 15

    How about a post on 27,000 shareholders who acted despite Cullens political interference in a deliberate slap in the face?

  16. Steve Pierson 16

    sdm. if you think shareholders make the decision to buy or sell shares to slap politicans you’re in a dream world. Remember too, the Government changed the rules as a result of the Airport board changing its position on the CPF bid, it knew there was a good change of the bid gainng the support it needed, that’s why it needed to act.

    and if you want to see a post on that issue, write it on a blog of your own. It’s real easy to do.

  17. sdm 17

    Bruce Sheppard seems to think it played a large part. And when the government announced it, the AIAL share price dropped dramatically, making the Canadian deal seem more attractive.

    I decided to sell my shares after Cullen intervened.

  18. Macro 18

    Good on you sdm I see you don’t give a stuff about the country either! In the second world war germany and britian tried to smash each others airports out of existance. why? Because they were vital infrastructure. Now we don’t need to bomb them – we just need to buy them. I’m not saying the canadians will do anything untoward with our most used port of entry into the country, but we know that they will have a different take on what’s best for nz when it comes to maintenance and upgrading. Just like our Aussie owners of our railways and rolling stock have done. Their take on the assets is TAKE TAKE TAKE and stuff the people who were foolish enough to sell them in the first place.
    And that’s why the Govt quite rightly said you might buy some of it – but you sure as hell arn’t going to have any say in how its run.

  19. sdm 19

    Macro you are a moron. Its Labour and their allies who are looking to undermine NZ through the installation of policies that are anti-nz. Anti-business, anti-Kiwi

    As for take take take – try tax tax tax. The government can piss off – its not their asset to dictate how its run. Labour is anti-NZ, they are anti the shareholders, anti investors. They intervened only because they saw their were votes in it – however the polls show their support is dissappearing. Nobody has yet put forward an argument as to how this deal is bad for NZ.

    Oh and btw: I worked on the last two labour campaigns. Maybe I should air their dirty laundry, of which there is plenty…..

  20. CM Burns 20

    SDM labour and the Standard can be summed very well in this post by Robinsod.

    “Hey righties – if you want to talk “personal responsibility’ then you better send me a cheque asap ‘cos it’s my taxes that paid for your education. Oh and while you’re at it you better add in the dollars that paid for your doctor’s subsidies, the public infrastructure you use and maybe some interest as well.’

    Can’t you just hear the loathing in his post ……excellent !!

    [lprent: Once is enough (this is the second time I’ve seen it, See here). It gets the point you want to make across. Three times and I start thinking of you as a troll, and take what I consider is appropiate action (what you think is your problem). Is that clear?]

  21. r0b 21

    Macro you are a moron. Its Labour and their allies who are looking to undermine NZ through the installation of policies that are anti-nz. Anti-business, anti-Kiwi

    sdm, you say you used to support Labour. I’m sorry that something has made you so angry with them.

    As for take take take – try tax tax tax.

    This is a right wing lie you have been sold sdm. NZ does not have a high overall rate of personal taxation. See the graph in:

    … NZ is 3rd lowest of the 30 plotted.

    Labour is anti-NZ, they are anti the shareholders, anti investors. They intervened only because they saw their were votes in it

    You may not agree with Labour, but I don’t think you can argue that they are “anti-NZ” or “anti-Kiwi”. (Even if only on purely logical grounds, how can it be anti NZ if there are so many votes in it?).

    Nobody has yet put forward an argument as to how this deal is bad for NZ.

    Yes they have sdm, the debate has covered this same ground many times. You don’t want to hear the arguments, but they have been stated.

    Anyway, peace be with you, and goodnight.

  22. milo 22

    Not a bad post.

    I think the problem is that, to somebody like me, any criticism of Key rebounds to thoughts of what the incumbent government and its politicians have done. It’ll be interesting to see the polls. You are right, that there have been many missteps for National lately, but it just makes me think “Yes, Key is flawed. But you know what, anything but another term of the current mob.” Actually, I’d rather vote for the Maori party the the current government. At least Hone Harawira often makes sense.

  23. sdm 23

    “sdm, you say you used to support Labour. I’m sorry that something has made you so angry with them.”

    Well these things happen. In 2005 I was on a trail for Labour, worked very very hard. There are issues, for instance I feel that the power has corrupted, too many scandals, and its probably time for a change.

    As for the tax thing – I think having your top tax rate kick in at 60K is awfully restrictive.

    Anti-kiwi was perhaps a little harsh. I think they are about envy – oh well if you can afford to own shares you don’t matter. One does wonder why the Cullen fund sold its shares to the canadians and yet the government may veto it.

  24. r0b 24

    There are issues, for instance I feel that the power has corrupted, too many scandals

    I completely disagree there sdm. What scandals? I know that National have done a good job of creating the illusion of scandal where none exists (e.g. the “Owen Glenn affair” – what exactly did he do wrong again?). I know that Labour have passed some legislation that has been contentious, and the Kiwiblog Right have whipped up an orgy of pseudo indignation about it. But I don’t think there is substance to any single accusation of scandal.

    and its probably time for a change.

    I think that is the weakest of all possible arguments. We’ve had years of good government, falling unemployment, rising wages, sensible foreign policy. So, what, for no other reason “time for a change”. Let’s try a government of Hollow Men (if you want real scandal), that will privatise assets, keep a lid on wages, follow America into foolish wars, and all the rest. Why? Why? Why?

  25. higherstandard 25


    What scandals – HBDHB as the most recent scandal although the doctored report will no doubt exonerate all it has a particular stench about it.

    Next how about the crisis in the hospitals in NZ at present despite the increases in funding poured into Vote Health the basic flaws in the system remain.

    And lets add in Labour’s illegal pillaging of the public purse for pledge cards – not just hollow completely fecking transparent

  26. r0b 26

    What scandals – HBDHB as the most recent scandal although the doctored report will no doubt exonerate all it has a particular stench about it.

    I haven’t been following this one HS, as I understand it there are accusations leveled at both National and Labour individuals, but no suggestion of central / government “scandal”. From the outside it sounds like politics as usual.

    Next how about the crisis in the hospitals in NZ at present despite the increases in funding poured into Vote Health the basic flaws in the system remain.

    New Zealand has one of the world’s best health systems. See for example a 2004 report issued by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund. Their survey ranked New Zealand’s health system second among the six developed countries it covered. Germany is ranked first. We came in ahead of Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. See the report here:

    Now the demand for health services is endless, the funding is limited, and so the system will never be perfect. But it is damned good. And all these beat up attempts to make political capital out of its occasional failures should be recognised for exactly what they are.

    And lets add in Labour’s illegal pillaging of the public purse for pledge cards

    National did the same for various pamphlets (not to mention it’s illegal GSTR overspend), and all parties (except the Progressives) overspent at the last election because the AG changed the interpretation of the rules after the event. No “illegal pillaging” involved, and though not legally required to, Labour has paid the money back.

    You want scandal HS? Have you read The Hollow Men? What do you make of John Key trampling on free speech by gagging a journalist?

  27. higherstandard 27


    So politics as usual consists of AK partner being employed at the HBDHB despite advice that this could lead to perceived conflicts of interest issues and the current debacle where a board member gets to ammend and comment on a tender prior to its issue and then ends up winning the same tender.

    The failings of both King and Hodgson, but also Lind and Clarke seem numerous. Deleted e-mails, official advice ignored, preferential treatment, secret recordings, appointments without interviews, to name a few. – well if that’s politics as usual we’re in a worse state than anyone imagined.

    There’s coverage of this in that famous right wing publication the listner if you care to have a look.

    “New Zealand has one of the worlds best healthcare systems”

    I note you quote the commonwelth fund report – while I have not read this thoroughly I see that it ranks the countries in terms of patients’ reports on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care. While focusing on a limited slice of the health care quality picture—patient perceptions of care received—as well as a limited number of countries.

    Interestingly I see we come last in terms of Effectiveness: The indicators of effectiveness in the 2004 and 2005 surveys were grouped into four categories: prevention, chronic care, primary care, and hospital care and coordination. Compared with the other five countries, U.S. patients fared particularly well on receipt of preventive care and care for the chronically ill, although all countries had considerable room for improvement. Canada scored well on primary care, and Germany ranked first on hospital care and coordination. Across the indicators of effectiveness, the U.S. ranked first and New Zealand ranked last.

    I would question whether they are also aware of our current issues with severe staff shortages in hospitals and continued reliance on overseas trained medical staff some of whom are excellent some of whom are appalling.

    rOb I work in health sector this is not some right wing rant, the health system is in a very very serious situation and it is one area I’d like to see all the parties come togther and solve the very real issues that exist.

    Your ascertation that National did it to in terms of the overspending of public money somehow making labours specdig on the pledge card OK is beyond me and Yes I have read Hollow Men but only the TS Eliot version

  28. r0b 28

    HS: So politics as usual consists of …

    As I said HS this is not an issue I have followed (or intend to follow). You’ll pardon me if I don’t take your perception of events as gospel – I understand that there are accusations of impropriety all over the political spectrum. Instead of rumor-mongering let’s wait for the report eh?

    I note you quote the commonwelth fund report – while I have not read this thoroughly I see that it ranks the countries in terms of patients’ reports on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care.

    Yup, and true it’s only a limited range of countries, but coming in second and ahead of Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, doesn’t seem like the “scandal” that you want it to be.

    rOb I work in health sector this is not some right wing rant

    From the time you spend posting here can I take a guess that you work in health administration? What do you make of Key’s attack on the “back office” workers in the public sector?

    Your ascertation that National did it to in terms of the overspending of public money somehow making labours specdig on the pledge card OK is beyond me

    I’m not saying that two wrongs make a right, I’m saying that two (in fact many) wrongs show that the rules were not clear (specifically that the rules were not as the AG retrospectively decided that they were). For goodness sake, Rod Donald drafted the election spending legislation, and the AG later decided that Rod and the Greens (and Labour and National) interpreted it incorrectly. WTF?

    and Yes I have read Hollow Men but only the TS Eliot version

    Then with the greatest of respect, you know nothing about the biggest scandals of recent NZ political history, or the character of the National Party front bench.

  29. higherstandard 29


    Misrepresenting my post is typicaal of the left – Yes I’m actually a medical professioanl so can comment on the DHB crisis

    ‘Let’s wait for the report’ which one the original or the doctored cak that will be released

    The commonwealth report …….

    You seem to have ignored the fact that in this report NZ was last YES last in the most relevant measure – effectiveness (prevention, chronic care, primary care, and hospital care and coordination).

  30. r0b 30

    Misrepresenting my post is typicaal of the left

    When did I do that HS? I said I was guessing, I guessed incorrectly, hardly a misrepresentation. Please calm yourself, it’s too nice a day for high blood pressure.

    Yes I’m actually a medical professioanl so can comment on the DHB crisis

    Anyone can comment on the DHB “crisis” (as you would have it).

    You seem to have ignored the fact that in this report NZ was last YES last in the most relevant measure – effectiveness (prevention, chronic care, primary care, and hospital care and coordination).

    NZ came second overall, but by all means pick the scale that we did worst in and focus on that! Read past the Executive Summary HS, and you will see that in sub scales of effectiveness we did very well (second best on “prevention”), and that in general the differences are minor – all the countries surveyed are effective at this level.

    I’ll say again, demand for health services is endless, the funding is limited, and so the system will never be perfect. But it is damned good. And all these attempts to beat up a “crisis” and make political capital out of it should be recognised for exactly what they are.

  31. AncientGeek 31

    Like rOb I haven’t particularly bothered following whatever is happening in Hawkes Bay district health board. From what I did read or hear, it looked to me like the DHB was over-spending, and Cunliffe removed the board and put in a manager to resolve the problem.

    Been done before for exactly the same reasons, eg in Auckland health board by Helen in the 80’s. Was an effective response then, and probably will be in the Hawkes Bay.

    Apart from that, it sounds like there is the usual local politics going on. Sounds like some of the board wanted to get rid of a member and found an excuse to do so. I’m more concerned about the over-spending.

  32. Ever so slightly wrong AncientGeek – this might put you straight….

    or this…..

    read with an open mind, and you might see why there are a few people on all sides of the political spectrum who are concerned about this.

  33. AncientGeek 33


    The problem with both of those links is that they don’t address what I’m interested in – the over-spend. I’d have to look it up, but I remember it being in the order of 8 million over budget. The previous DHB over-spends I’ve seen have been considerably less. Points to something being very out of control in that board.

    stuff article

    In his list of reasons Mr Cunliffe singled out Mr Atkinson’s comment last week that “It was never a realistic goal to cut $5 million from the board’s costs, but it had factored that expectation into its budget to simply get the sign off from the health minister”.

    If I saw that statement from any budgeter, I’d willingly sack them in an instant. It shows a serious lack of integrity to write budgets that you do not intend to try to achieve.

    Neither of your links deal with the budgeting or financial problems at that DHB at all. They deal with Hausemann who, from what I understand, was stood down off the board at the time that budget was done.

    There may or may not be problems with conflict of interest. But at present that looks to me to be a smokescreen to prevent too close a look at the governance incompetence of the HBDHB board. It’d be interesting to look at the blowouts in the previous budgets vs reality of the board.

    BTW: You’re right in your implicit assumption that I don’t trust either McCully or Whale as being trustworthy sources. IMHO both have shown a track record of twisting anything to attack their opponents.

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    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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