Nats scrap citizens’ jury on electoral reform

Written By: - Date published: 5:49 pm, November 28th, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags:

Frogblog reports:

The Green Party initiative to have electoral reform reviewed and managed by a citizens’ jury has been scrapped by the National government today. While not surprising, it does mean that electoral reform falls back into the hands of the politicians – putting the wolves back in charge of the hen house. The press release came at the usual ‘don’t look now’ time of 4 pm on a Friday, a trick that both National and Labour use to hide unpopular announcements.

Attack on democracy, eh?

42 comments on “Nats scrap citizens’ jury on electoral reform ”

  1. Robin Grieve 1

    I don’t remember The Standard defending democracy against the Labour Green outragious attack on democracy when they passed the Electoral Finance Act that had a chilling effect on democracy. This is the citizens forum appointed just before the election when convention requires no appointments be made.
    Labour got kicked out for their arrogenc eand their attacks on democracy, may be you could remind us what The Standard said about the EFA at the time.

    [lprent: I personally always find it amusing when some crazy person thinks that a program has opinions. Perhaps you’d be better addressing it to a person? Otherwise it is all just empty assertions aimed at no-one by someone dumb enough to think that a program has a mind. That is a characteristic I view as being symptomatic of a troll – see Rules. ]

  2. sweeetdisorder 2

    And, as Simon Power says in his press release

    Government disbands EFA Expert Panel
    Justice Minister Simon Power today announced that the Government has disestablished the Expert Panel on Electoral Administration which was established by the Labour Government two months ago.
    The panel was to have reviewed the administration of the electoral system under the Electoral Finance Act and whether or not political parties should be state funded.
    Its terms of reference included convening a Citizens’ Forum of 70 people to consider the findings of the panel. The cost of the Expert Panel and the forums had been budgeted at $4.57 million.
    The three members appointed to the panel were Associate Professor Andrew Geddis (Chair) of Otago University, Dr Jean Drage of Canterbury University/Victoria University, and Professor Stephen Levine of Victoria University.
    Mr Power says he has written to the panellists advising them of the decision to disestablish the committee and thanking them for their willingness to contribute their “considerable expertise’.
    “The Electoral Finance Act 2007 was passed without a broad base of support across parties represented in Parliament. Similarly, the Expert Panel was established without wider political consultation. National opposed both of these measures.
    “So we are disbanding the panel and will start this whole process afresh.
    “The next phase in the Government’s plan is to repeal the EFA as an interim measure, as promised during the election campaign.
    “We want to return to the spirit of bipartisanship on this issue which till recently had shaped electoral reform in New Zealand.
    “The Government has been sufficiently encouraged by statements made by the Leader of the Opposition since the election which suggest there is now a willingness to participate in a constructive approach toward the reform of electoral administration.
    “Following the repeal of the EFA, we will start work on a new law that will seek as broad a range of parliamentary and public support as possible, to provide an enduring framework for the administration of elections.’
    Ends

  3. djp 3

    Apparently they will “start this whole process afresh”. So it doesnt mean that there wont eventually be a citizens jury.

    Part of it was to look into state funding of political parties so I will be happy to see that go.

    And in the interim the EFA will be repealled so good news all round really.

  4. gingercrush 4

    Not an attack on democracy just an attack on a failed Labour policy. Not even Labour agrees with the EFA now. Funny that.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    Well a “Citizen’s Jury” was better than “block our ears and go lalalalala we won’t listen to anyone who doesn’t agree with us”, which was Labour’s “consultation” on the issue.

    But I’d still rather a wider alternative than 70 people making the decisions for me, too. Especially since they’re likely to have been made up of well-meaning cardigan wearing “joiners” who devote themselves to do-goodingness mixed with despotic little toffs who’d see it as an opportunity for a bit of gerrymandering.

    Power does say National “will start work on a new law that will seek as broad a range of parliamentary and public support as possible”. There is, sadly, no detail – yet – as to how that will happen and how broad they envisage. Nor whether they’ll go beyond simply looking at the relatively narrow range of issues covered by the EFA and give us a proper review of MMP, the functions and rules of Parliament, the need for a constitution and proper Bill of Rights, opportunities for greater citizen participation in decision making and whole host of other stuff.

    So I’m still waiting and seeing…

    I suspect I’ll be back here complaining when it eventually starts to clarify. Not that I don’t trust them on thse issues because they’re National. I don’t trust them because they’re politicians.

  6. Ianmac 6

    Transparency of Donations was the main reason for the EFA. Yet I still don’t know where the money came from for the 08 Election. Must have been Millions somewhere. I wonder if the transparency will still be the thrust of future EFA?

  7. Quoth the Raven 7

    GC – The panel was going to look at the EFA. Aren’t you always talking about public consulatation? Who do think is better to look at electoral law reform politicians with their vested interests or impartial experts.

  8. Janet 9

    At the same time why not raise the voting age, tighten the criteria for voting, try a bit of gerrymandering, bringing back the rural quota, maybe even a property franchise?

    Administration of elections? Why not let Rodney the Razor into the process and cut out elections altogether and just have a president for life. I’m sure John K would be happy to oblige. Much cheaper. And the Herald will think it’s a great idea.

  9. Felix 10

    Brett?

  10. gingercrush 11

    QtR because National campaigned on getting rid of the EFA so why have public consultation on something National never was going to keep. The EFA was a mess and why anyone defends it is beyond me. Its been attacked by most political commentators including those on the left.

    Janet – You really must be desperate if you’re trying to scare people with silly assertions. Either that or trying to be comedian. Just you’re not that funny.

    Iprent – Relax. If people say The Standard you know they’re not talking about the processes and programming languages that make up a blog. They’re merely stating why don’t the people who write pieces on The Standard do such and such. It isn’t trolling saying The Standard. When something is written in a newspaper large articles etc have people’s names attached to the article. But generally most people don’t use the persons name, they just refer to NZ Herald.

    That and most people would see The Standard as a blog not a program. Yes a blog is made from programming languages but still.

  11. Quoth the Raven 12

    GC – Gerrymandering is exactly what the National party’s rural arm, federated farmers, recommended. Here’s what the head of federated farmers had to say.

  12. gingercrush 13

    QtR – Grow up.

  13. Ari 14

    Ianmac- It looks suspiciously like only the Greens and Act declared their large donations from individuals. If you feel like investigating you could probably burn both the major parties pretty badly with a good leak.

    This is bad forshadowing that they simply plan to game the rules for themselves. I hope you fellows and fellesses are ready to make a lot of noise.

  14. lprent 15

    gc: You’re completely mis-representing the left’s position.

    If I understand the crap (trying to get definite policy apart from headlines from them is hopeless) that NACT are putting out – we’re going back to the EA 1993 with a couple of tweaks. The act that has far more flaws than the 2007 act.

    What people on the left would like to do is to fix the flaws that became evident. What NACT want to do is to move to a system that allowed them to spend their election money at the start of an election year so it is not attributable as an election expense. In other words if I understand the NACT’s ‘policy’ – to make it possible for them to gerrymander a MMP election (in their traditional style).

  15. Monty 16

    Good. the Greenies also better get used to being ignored and becoming irrelevant. The Nats needs to reject every policy initiative and every members ballot for all the next three years. Give these loonies no oxygen and see their support fall below 5%. Hopefully next election the Greenies will be a distant memory.

    On the matter of electoral reform – I would give no voice to those who supported the insideous EFA. The Greenies support of the EFA was a disgrace and they realised it soon after the Bill was voted into Law. Now we have Goff who wants it tossed out – what a bunch of tossers. NZ First has also been punished for their support of it (as well as much else).

    National have the mandate to get rid of the EFA. Labour need to come clean and apologise for bringing it into Law.

  16. Johnty Rhodes 17

    Why not keep the EFA?

    Sure, it needs time to work I reckon. Some parts need to be tightened up I know, such as third parties being able to spend $120K like the EPMU did in the past election. Everyone knows the EPMU=Labour in effect, Andrew Little is in the top echelons of both parties. This will make the playing field more equal.

    No state funding is required also, if you want to be in power surely you should have the means to raise the money yourself.

    [lprent: Damn – removing you from moderation. That is actually a reasonable (if misguided) argument]

  17. Johnty Rhodes 18

    Thanks Iprent:) But tell me why it is mis guided? IIRC the contribtors on this blog were all in favour of the EFA a couple of months ago. What has changed? Being in opposition maybe? I am often a cynic so I reckon keep the EFA. National can use this to use state funded advertising in the months before the election like Labour did. The EFA is opposition un-friedly. But I know that NACTional will repeal this awful legislation and offer bi-partianship in forming new legislation.

  18. lprent 19

    Still checking the javascript comments.

    JR: The reason is not the approach. The problem is the logic.

    EPMU==Andrew Little==Labour

    On that basis I’d have to insist that federated farmers, the NBR, the EMA, and a large number == National

    SST == Act

    etc…

    Now I don’t think that any of those is true.

  19. gingercrush 20

    Iprent I am not mis-representing the left’s position since I never even talked about the left’s position. I merely said the EFA was a mess (an opinion) and that it had been criticised by political commentators with leftish persuasions.

    As for your point about what National is planning to do, that is legitimate for the left to be concerned about. And as people campaigned against the EFA likewise one would expect the left to campaign, if National puts in something they don’t see as disagreeable. But National campaigned to get rid of the EFA and since National has gotten itself into government it has said the EFA will be gone. Likewise, Phil Goff the new leader of the Labour party has said that the EFA was a mistake. Had National said, no wait a minute we’re keeping the EFA I can just say see people from the left saying: “National went back on its word”.

    The fact is the EFA is gone and finished, National has said they’ll work with other parties, Labour has called for National to work with the other parties. And likely that is what will happen something Labour should have done with the EFA.

    Labour wanting to change policy in electoral finance was fine but it was a reckless not well thought out piece of legislation. They didn;t do enough public consultation, they didn’t work with other parties. And it seemed to me, they wanted to fix it so National would be hurt by the act. As you accuse National of gerrymandering I believe Labour was doing the same. That is why I could not agree with the EFA.

    National should be careful not to enact legislation to replace the EFA with something that favours them and instead should legislate something that is good for the democratic process. When that happens and you feel what replaces the EFA isn’t good for the democratic process feel free to criticise.

    And had National said wait a minute we’ll keep the EFA I can just picure SP making a new post saying National failed for not keeping a promise.

  20. lprent_test 21

    Now checking re-edit and javascript comments

    In other words, the misguided part is to equate that fact that some people are in both organizations – like that SST lawyer – who is now an Act MP – and saying that means that the organizations are the same because of it.

    That just leaves it wide open to the national smear unit and others to try and muddy the issue. Of course it will eventually get thrown out of court like the EPMU case that Farrar maliciously brought earlier this year. That was a rather interesting attempt to destroy the law regarding ‘natural persons’ (or whatever it was called).

    It is like saying this site is paid for by the NZLP – when they have never put a penny towards it.

    Now trying re-edit. Ok get the old one there. I may have to code to make that work

  21. Testing in IE6 running on windows 2K inside of virtualbox on OpenSUSE

    Ok – that largely works. Have to say that IE6 looks more ugly everytime I see it.

    I’m not going to make major attempts to IE6 proof this site. Annoy your IT managers…

  22. lprent as anon 23

    Testing on Safari 3.1.2 on Mac OSX 10.4.11

    OK that works as well. Except that the reedit got rid of the formatting damnit

  23. Tim Ellis 24

    Hey LP while you’re testing, just wanted to say that this format is really cool, especially with the window where you can format anything you want to write.  Just a thought if you haven’t done it, might cause a problem with spam, but can you remove the restriction on only linking to one post in a comment?

    EDIT: for some reason the underline and strikethrough stuff doesn’t work.

  24. lprent 25

    gc:

    Its been attacked by most political commentators including those on the left.

    I assumed that is what you meant from that. They didn’t attack the whole EFA – they attacked some parts of it. Repealing it and only fixing a few things that they used to attack NZF with, is a repeal – it isn’t a fix.

    Bugger: blockquotes don’t work.

    I’ll get back to this later, I should have done more testing on the backup server… A bit busy now…

  25. gingercrush 26

    The first step towards repealing the Electoral Finance Act will be taken before Christmas, although new provisions around party donations will be retained.
    National Radio

  26. lprent 27

    Testing Bold Italic Underline Strike

    TE: I don’t think it’d cause spam problems – that gets checked at a different layer. It would probably cause issues with trolls, for instance whenever Wishart has a new revelation, we’d get maniacs trying to multi-link it into all 2000 odd posts…

  27. lprent 28

    Testing link to policy and about

    TE Actually I think that you need to upgrade your browser….

    If you think that this is good, you should have seen what I gave the authors 🙂

  28. Tim Ellis 29

    testing link to the hand mirror and norightturn external sites.

    Let me guess, LP.  You created a separate interface with a spellcheck, just for Steve.

  29. lprent 30

    Bit more than that (he’s had that for a while). Try this link
    It will give you an idea of the additions.

    I’m sure that everyone will welcome the ability to put in tables to add to the charts ( 😈 )

  30. Ianmac 31

    Anyway, I believe that the intent of the EFU was OK. It was some detail that was tricky difficult to manaage. Bath with the bathwater sort of thing. Wah! Wah!

  31. Rex Widerstrom 32

    Lynn using IE7 on XP (SP3, patched), using the “add link” button opens the box, but when I type the data and hit “insert” the box just reloads empty.

    Seems like I can’t add links manually by typing code? 🙁

    Yeah yeah, I know it’s my fault for using the Evil Empire but some of us get told what to do by high priced “IT consultants” who don’t know anything other than how to read a bloody MS manual.

    [lprent: I’ll look at it today – laptop still has XP (and I have zilch vista). There is also meant to be a button appearing giving the option of going back to pure HTML]

  32. Haven’t read all the comments but perhaps someone could answer these questions.Does National have an agreement to implement Green Party policy?Did National campaign on Green Party policy over Citizens’ Juires?If it’s No and No, case closed, and another beat-up from Tane.

  33. Chris G 34

    inventory,

    Can one not express dismay at a favourable policy being dumped? re citizens jury. Or should we all keep our traps shut and let the tories pump through any legislation they want?

    Cos you can bet your bottom dollar ill be expressing some dismay when they start limiting the power of unions.

  34. higherstandard 35

    If you really want to see an attack on democracy look no further than the Brits at the moment ………… what on earth were they thinking ?

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23594274-details/Ordeal+of+MP%27s+family+as+nine+anti-terror+officers+raided+home/article.do

  35. Ari 36

    Haven’t read all the comments but perhaps someone could answer these questions.Does National have an agreement to implement Green Party policy?Did National campaign on Green Party policy over Citizens’ Juires?If it’s No and No, case closed, and another beat-up from Tane.

    So wait… they’re dismissing the citizen’s jury and experts’ panel on electoral law, most likely very consultative and non-partisan methods of review… in order for a more multipartisan review?

    Yeah, obviously a beatup. *rolls eyes*

  36. higherstandard 37

    Ari

    Perhaps if the Greens had not voted for the EFA they could take the high ground.

  37. Ianmac 38

    What happened to those convenient easy-to-use editing functions? They were there at 11:19pm.
    Will the Govt trash every idea that is not their own? So Working for Families should be trashed for no other reason than Labour thought of it? Sounds petulent to me.

  38. Janet 39

    There was a citizens’ jury used by Wellington City Council in the 90s about whether to sell Capital Power (the WCC’s own power company – and how wealthy we would be if we had kept it!). I can’t remember what happened to the process (and I think the decision came out strongly against the sale) but the new mayor Mark Blumsky went ahead and sold it anyway for idealogical reasons.

  39. Westminster 40

    How about a Royal Commission on the whole shebang?  Funny, over the past twenty years, I have heard politicians banging on about “agency theory” and the idea of those with an interest in the outcome influencing an outcome.   In keeping with the politicians’ paranoia, I suggest letting politicians anywhere near the electoral process is likely to end in a result that is compromised.  The community’s interest in an electoral process is slightly different to the interests of politicians.  It is time for a fundamental consideration about all aspects of our electoral system.  Getting a Royal Commission in place would be an effective way of ensuring the politicians’ influence is moderated.  The only caveat is to not let politicians set the TOR.  That’s precisely how we ended up with MMP.  Palmer skewed the TOR to favour “strong parties” and from that little acorn grew the huge oak of MMP and the pre-eminence of political parties.  We could easily opted for STV or some other proportional system that de-emphasised the influence of political parties but for Palmer’s clever sleight of hand.

  40. Ari 41

    Ari

    Perhaps if the Greens had not voted for the EFA they could take the high ground.

    So you’d accuse someone who’d take water instead of milk when they’re dying in a desert of not being thirsty? Because that’s pretty much how the Greens felt about the EFA.

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    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    5 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    6 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    7 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    7 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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