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Nats scrap citizens’ jury on electoral reform

Written By: - Date published: 5:49 pm, November 28th, 2008 - 41 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?

41 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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    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 mins ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    31 mins ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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