NZ First conference – the kingmakers?

Written By: - Date published: 4:48 pm, July 15th, 2014 - 50 comments
Categories: act, colin craig, conservative party, election funding, mana-party, maori party, MMP, national, nz first, peter dunne, Politics, same old national, united future, winston peters - Tags: , , , ,

It looks like I’ll be able to head to the New Zealand First conference at Alexandra Park racecourse on the weekend as media. In this election the position of NZ First party members is probably going to be crucial for any coalition that forms.

Colin James in “The crowded field of would-be kingmakers” has some fun looking at coalition options this time around. You just have to laugh at his first few paragraphs…

Journalists’ ideal result for New Zealand First on September 20 is 5.01 per cent in the party vote on the night, with the balance of power, and 4.98 per cent in the final count two weeks later. If New Zealand First then requested a judicial recount, election uncertainty would make news well into October.

The best New Zealand First result for National would be 4.8 per cent, too low for a recount and swelling the wasted vote to 6-6.5 per cent, cutting the vote share needed for a majority to about 45.5 per cent plus David Seymour and Peter Dunne.

The best result for Winston Peters would be upwards of 5.5 per cent and bargaining power between two sides if John Key’s charm falls short of 47-48 per cent. New Zealand First has averaged 4.6 per cent in polls this year (4.2 per cent recently), so another term is likely, especially if Labour can’t climb out of its pit.

Certainly, Peters will talk up the prospects this coming weekend at the pre-campaign conference at Alexandra Park Raceway where he launched the party 21 years ago come Friday.

The point about the closeness of NZ First to the magic 5% threshold is crucial. As Dimpost said a couple of weeks ago.

Big difference for New Zelaand First. What we don’t know is whether the polls just prior to the 2011 election underestimated the level of support for New Zealand First or whether the teapot tapes saga swung voters from National to New Zealand First after the sample periods ended. Also, what impact will voter turnout have on that party’s chances of getting back in? He could get the same number of voters, but if turnout is higher still drop below 5%.

His polling bias corrected graph shows this at present. I think I have the legend right, I wish Danyl would provide a key. The poll bias corrected has a level of uncertainty in it. However it is probably less the than the consistent uncertainties that show up at election time between the various polling companies and the actual results. A adequate rough cut.

  • Black = NZ First
  • Yellow = Act
  • Blue = Conservative
  • Red = Internet Mana
  • United Future?
  • Māori Party?

But even the non-bias corrected chart must worry the hell out of people who want to see NZ First fail this election. According to most of the comments from the right around here and most other blogs, it sounds like they’d prefer to not be in government if it means cuddling up to National. There were a lot of people who got badly fooled by National’s smear campaign fronted by Act’s Rodney Hide in 2008, and who still haven’t forgiven NZ First for surviving.

Based on past elections National are highly unlikely to retain their 50% polling coming into the actual election. They are no-where as high as they consistently were before the 2011 election  or as the right were before the 2008 election. Come close to the election and on election night their vote contracts as the undecided, wavering, and uncontactable  people make their decision plain. At present I’d guess that they will get between 43% and 46% of the vote depending on what happens in the next 67 days.

The Steven Joyce tactic of hoovering up almost all of the right vote into their monolithic party has left them with few solid coalition partners.

Only NZ First looks like getting over the 5% and they have to do it because they aren’t likely to win any electorate seats. They will alos be an uneasy partner for National.

But lets look at the other options for coalition partners for National…

 

United Future

In Ōhariu electorate a recent Tally Room assessment showed a 0.29% margin for United Future against  Labour after the boundary changes are in effect. This is based on booth analysis from the last election. Arguably the selection of Virginia Anderson for Labour has provided a candidate who is aligned with the voters of that electorate, just as Charles Chauvel was. Brett Hudson for National seems like a weaker candidate than Katrina Shanks as a sitting list MP was last time.

The Tally Room assessment is

Peter Dunne’s political career, and the political survival of United Future, rely entirely on the result in Ōhariu. United Future has been polling so poorly that it would not even qualify to win a single seat, so without a successful Ōhariu campaign the party will be out of Parliament, ending Dunne’s 30-year career.

Labour will be campaigning hard to win Ōhariu, but may be hampered by the loss of Chauvel, who has increased the Labour vote from 20.4% in 2002 (when Chauvel was not a candidate) to 34.8% in 2011 (35.9% on the new boundaries).

Dunne has been in alliance with National for the past six years. It is not yet clear whether National will fight to win the seat, or if they will see a benefit in running dead to allow Dunne to retain his seat. If United Future (as polling has suggested) polls so poorly that they qualify for zero seats, his election in Ōhariu would effectively create a ‘bonus’ seat for the centre-right government, whereas a National candidate winning the seat would see the number of National list MPs reduced by one.

The National Party won almost 50% of the party vote in Ōhariu in 2011 (48.8% on new boundaries). Labour and Greens will be hoping to knock down the centre-right vote in 2014 if they are to have a hope of forming a centre-left government.

My guess is that it just depends on how well National can convince their remaining stubborn National voters (about 19.65% in 2011 based on the new boundaries) to flip to United Future. But based on the performance of Peter Dunne in recent elections, he doesn’t look that viable. Hopefully Labour will put some on the ground effort into that electorate to help their relatively inexperienced candidate.

 

Act

Despite National making a pretty valiant attempt to be invisible to voters in the Epsom electorate in 2011 – see “Goldsmith removing Goldsmith signs” as the National candidate then and now removed his own signs.
goldsmith1He appears to be doing the same thing this time. As Michael Wood, the Labour candidate in Epsom, explains ina guest post at The Daily Blog.

Campaigning in Epsom requires a keen sense of the absurd. Here in its tribal heartland, the party of government, who came a narrow second three years ago, are nowhere to be seen. The incumbent party pretend that nothing odd is happening, and of are of course established masters in the art of wilful blindness, affecting confusion and distress at any association between themselves and the man who was until one month ago, their sole parliamentary representative and political lifeline.

goldsmith2Of course the amusing farce masks a grimier reality. ACT is a political corpse, a party of no value or dignity who exist only as an electoral prop. With no sense of irony, the ACT Party who speak the language of ‘pull your socks up’, ‘do it yourself’, ‘no handouts’, law of the jungle free-market capitalism, is on its knees begging to be gifted a parliamentary seat.
There is nothing else like it. Spurious and tiresome comparisons are made by the thin troop of defensive men who uphold ACT’s public honour these days – Anderton in Sydneham or Hone in Te Ta Tokerau they say are examples of similar strategic vote scenarios that show that ACT is simply ‘playing the MMP game’. Utter nonsense. There has never been a case of a party so weak and unelectable in its own right being propped up in an electorate by the otherwise dominant party. Consider this – in 2011, the ACT Party vote in Epsom was 2.5%. New Zealand First was a more popular party than ACT in Epsom in 2011, and there are six times more Labour Party voters than ACT Party voters in the electorate. Like a rotten borough, Epsom in 2011 was gifted to a party that otherwise had no future.

And on the ground people know it. The overwhelming sense that our campaign picks up from Epsom voters as we canvass them on the doorstep and at local shops is that a line has been crossed since 2011. Loyal National voters we speak with simply roll their eyes now at the mention of ACT. They are embarrassed by the association and simply want a return to an honest local electoral competition in which they are able to choose their own local representative on the basis of competence and fitness for the job.

Yep. I live across the border from Epsom. I’d say that “the fuck you National factor” in Epsom is now very very high after seeing the sitting Act MP John Banks dropping out of Parliament after being judged guilty in a campaign donations scandal. They rather liked Rodney Hide in 2005 and he worked like hell with a larger than life personality. But the Act candidate this time is viewed as being a colourless what’s-his-name.

As the Tally Room says about tactical voting in that electorate

At the 2011 election, a majority of National voters switched to vote for ACT for the electorate vote. A majority of Green voters, and a large number of Labour voters, likewise switched to vote for the National candidate.

It is not yet clear how willing the National Party will be to assist the new ACT leadership in retaining Epsom, or whether centre-left voters will prove more willing to vote tactically to knock out ACT – in 2011, more than twice as many voters cast votes for the Labour and Green candidates than the ACT-National margin.

One thing to bear in mind is that the ACT party vote has collapsed, compared to previous elections. In 2008, ACT’s win in Epsom brought in another four list MPs, and there was some expectation that the same could have happened in 2011. After the party only qualified for a single seat in 2011, and considering current polls, there is a high risk that a win for ACT in Epsom could fail to bring in any more list MPs, and the National Party may consider it not worth the effort to drag in a single ACT MP.

 

Conservatives

And of course there are Conservatives with Colin Craig. They aren’t bankers and company directors in East Coast Bays. I don’t think that regardless what directions National tries to give them, they simply won’t vote in large numbers for him. As Colin James says

Some think Colin Craig might help Peters into retirement by purloining some of his populist support. But Craig is not a populist in Peters’ blokeish-centrist way. He pitches a conservative-Christian line on social and moral issues, in effect stretching a conservative strand within National so far beyond the boundaries of National’s broad church that large numbers in that party won’t have a bar of him.

And Craig has acquired a difficult-to-shake media caricature of him as caricaturing himself as an oddball. His task at his Conservative party conference this coming weekend is to put on show people to whom a wider public than 2-3 per cent can relate.

Craig has also to give Key some wiggle room. Large numbers in the National party figure there is no choice but to give him East Coast Bays as insurance against the likelihood that Key plus Seymour plus Dunne do not make 61 seats.

 

Māori Party

And Colin James on the Maori party.

Of course, there is always the Maori party. Actually, there was the Maori party. Its two icons are going, it came third in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election and has trailed Labour in polls of Maori electorate voters. If Te Ururoa Flavell has the call on who governs and he goes with National again (which he kept open in his keynote on Saturday at the party’s tenth anniversary), even if at barge-pole length with cast-iron concessions, the party risks suicide.

The party was born negatively in anger at Labour’s foreshore and seabed legislation. On the positive side, it also responded to a logical wish for the Maori electorates to be Maori, not a Labour subsidiary. And it got from John Key a policy gain of substance in whanau ora, which is now established and would endure across a change of government.

But the party is unlikely to have a twentieth birthday. Labour and the Mana bit of Dotcom’s cash venture have stronger pitches now. If Labour could learn that the seats should be Maori seats that happen to be Labour and not the other way round it might re-attach voters back for a time.

Personally I think that Annette Sykes from Mana is likely to defeat Flavell. She got bloody close last time with only 7 weeks of campaigning after selection because she is such a strong high profile local candidate. Māori electorates these days are absolute hotbeds of tactical voting. The message of voting for electorate and party separately has embedded itself into the Māori roll voters to an astonishing degree.

While I’m sure that if they could get three Māori MPs off the seat, then they’d try that. But since that isn’t feasible it becomes a question of who they think will represent them in parliament, and the Flavell lost a lot of ground in 2011.

I don’t rate the Māori parties chances in the other seats. From what I have been hearing their campaigners have been deserting them for Labour or Mana with the standing down of their existing MPs.

 

Conclusion

I’ll bet that somewhere in National there is a now a plan that says “who needs bloody coalition partners?”.  If enough vote gets wasted by parties failing to get to the threshold and failing to get an electorate seat, then a high vote for National would probably get them over the line through redistribution.

What they would need to do is to cripple NZ First so they got 4.8% and hoover up the remaining Act, United Future, and as much of the Conservative vote as possible. Then hope that the redistribution favours them.

But it really is too risky. They have tried all this before with their sockpuppets like Rodney Hide and hysterical mouthpieces in the blogs and media. Back in 2008 and 2009, I tried to tell the raving lynch mobs that they weren’t going to kill NZ First politically because they had a constituency. It was one that refreshed itself as ornery and stubborn cusses  became grandparents in each decade and looked up from their working lives at their kids kids. Now that particular tactic barely worked in 2008, and it sure ain’t going to work again.

What National desperately needs to do is to finesse NZ First into a confidence level coalition or cross bench arrangement.  But really how likely is that?

So having a look at the NZ First party activists en-mass this weekend is going to be really interesting. My pick is that after the dust settles Winston Peters will be heading where his party members will allow him to go. I think I’d like to get to know them a bit better than the few dozens of their supporters I know now.

They’re cynical and ornery critters. What in the hell are they going to be like in a group?

50 comments on “NZ First conference – the kingmakers? ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    lprent, see if you can’t spend a bit of time hanging out with the under 35 “Young” NZ First crowd and see what you make of them. If you can, corner that cad Curwen Rollinson and ask what a supposed socialist like him thinks he is doing in a party like NZ First.

    The other question that you might take to the conference is – when Peters finally goes, will NZ First also.

  2. greywarbler 2

    Unfair to Winnie. He’s a poster boy and why put him up scowling when he looks so much better in his normal pose.

    • lprent 2.1

      Fixed. It was the only one that looked up to date in the media library.

      I squared the official image off the NZF website.

      • Clemgeopin 2.1.1

        @lprent, not sure what you meant by ‘fixed’ and what you did ‘fix’? I don’t see any picture of Winnie.

        And another point:
        I don’t seem to get the ‘subscribe’/Confirm email these days.
        [Also, sometimes the ‘edit’ button does not work as it says ‘loaded successfully straight after posting. Not sure if you are aware of these issues. My last post had a duplicate.]

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    My guess is that NZFirst will cross 6% this election while Internet -Mana will cross 5% along with two electorate wins, Hone and Sykes. The Conservatives will struggle to win electorate or threshold.

    The two parties whose vote will collapse would be National (44%) and the Maori party.

    In my opinion there is a higher chance of a Labour led coalition government than a National led government.

    • lprent 3.1

      Personally I think that IMP are pushing tomato sauce uphill if they try to get to the 5% threshold. I’m not detecting any particular interest in their target demographics except amongst the usual activist suspects and the fashion obsessed.

      Call me deeply cynical but this youngish soft voter strategy has been done a number of times before in various guises and it is freaking hard to get turnout from. The basic issue is that most people don’t get particularly interested in politics until they start getting into settled relationships, having kids, and wanting to buy houses. Then they often get pretty interested in it because then they’re both paying taxes and paying substantial bills. It tends to gel an interesting almost instant value for money mentality when they start getting really serious about living.

      What the IMP are seeing right now is the “new and cool” name recognition effect. What my sister disdainfully called the “fashionistas” when she was at AGGS. They went off to the springbok tour protests dressed for attracting the appropriate gender because it was the “cool” thing for the moment. Bit like that great portrayal of Rick from the Young Ones. Their staying power was pretty pathetic and you really couldn’t rely on them for much.The more things change, the more they look exactly the same when it comes to human behaviour.

      If they do in the next 67 days, then it will be a useful lesson in tactics. But right now I’d class that as simply being wishful thinking. But I suspect that the IMP will get between 2 and 3%.

      Hone I suspect will beat out Kelvin. But he will have to work at the electorate to do so. I actually think that Annette Sykes will have an easier job in a lot of ways.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        3% and 4 MPs would be a big win for IMP. They aren’t likely to get any more than that. More importantly, they need to find and develop a couple of hundred extra activists who will then help take them into 2017.

      • swordfish 3.1.2

        Yeah, I’d have to say the idea of a party polling at the sort of level IMP has this year then going on to cross the 5% threshold is pretty much unheard of.

        I’m thinking 2.2 – 3.2%. They’ll be very happy if they can get above 3%, I’d say. The very best I can imagine them reaching is 4%, but only if Dotcom’s huge war-chest is able to do wonders and mobilise a whole swathe of younger voters who would normally stay at home on Election Day. But that would be the absolute optimum and from this vantage-point still seems unlikely.

        IMP Poll Support this year

        Jan ………0.5……….0.3……….1.5

        Feb………0.3………1.5…………0……….0.5

        March…..0.1……….0………….0……….1.5……….1

        April………2……….2.5

        May……..0.5………1.5………..1………..0.8……….1

        June……..2.5………1.4………..2.1……..1.8……….2………2.5

        • lprent 3.1.2.1

          That would be my call as well. Could marginally rise above 3%. Don’t think they will get less than 2%. I’d be freaking surprised if they got to 4% in the next 67 days at the election vote.

          I’m sure that they will get a lot of vocal support and a comparatively disappointing result

          • Jenny 3.1.2.1.1

            This is my take too. Purely anecdotal, but quizzing young professional IT people I come across in my daily life and work I find little interest in mainstream politics at all and none in IMP.

            I don’t agree with the cynical fashionista assessment of this demographic’s motives. But it contains a grain of truth, in that it will take a huge social/political movement to lift this groups eyes above their laptops and workstations to see the bigger picture and become interested in politics.

          • You_Fool 3.1.2.1.2

            It is almost like the IMP is the new early-mid 2000’s Green Party – where it was the “cool” option to say on any phone poll, but always lost about 40-50% of that support in an actual election.

            • lprent 3.1.2.1.2.1

              Yeah. But the Greens got serious. It’ll be interesting to see if they have lost that drop off factor now.

      • marty mars 3.1.3

        I’m calling you deeply cynical 🙂 Check out the crowd – a less likely group of fashionistas you’ll never find https://twitter.com/InternetPartyNZ/status/488955303291916288?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=grantbrookesnz&utm_content=488970929553170432

        I agree getting the Party vote up to 5% is wistful thinking but that is what we need – too often some give up before the race is run, too often a persons past experience is extrapolated to how they see the future, too often the dream is just too small.

        There will be IMP representatives in the next Parliament and we will all be better off because of that.

        • lprent 3.1.3.1

          Aspirational goals are useful.

          However as you can see from my post, I’m just having a hard headed look at what is likely post election rather than what is aspirational.

          There will be IMP representatives in the next Parliament and we will all be better off because of that.

          One is there already. And I have to say that I’m looking forward to seeing Annette Sykes there. If she survives the first couple of learning curve terms, then I suspect that she will make some good contributions.

          • karol 3.1.3.1.1

            And I have to say that I’m looking forward to seeing Annette Sykes there. If she survives the first couple of learning curve terms, then I suspect that she will make some good contributions.

            Agreed.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.4

        The basic issue is that most people don’t get particularly interested in politics until they start getting into settled relationships, having kids, and wanting to buy houses. Then they often get pretty interested in it because then they’re both paying taxes and paying substantial bills.

        I think it’s significantly different now. Those young people are trying to get ahead with tens of thousands of dollars of Student Loan and pretty close to no hope of a job to pay for it. So a party that comes out and says that they’re going to get rid of student loans and push innovation in NZ is going to get their attention.

        • karol 3.1.4.1

          So a party that comes out and says that they’re going to get rid of student loans and push innovation in NZ is going to get their attention.

          You mean The Green Party? Policies they have had for a while.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.4.1.1

            But is the Green Party actually saying that? They have the policies but we’re not hearing about them.

            • karol 3.1.4.1.1.1

              Some of that is due to selective media coverage.

              Some of it may be due to the different priorities of both parties.

              The Greens have done a lot of media and other engagements focusing on their “smart green” approach to business innovation. Gareth Hughes and Russel Norman being particularly strong on that.

              The Greens have a while raft of interwoven, and quite well-developed policies that they have been talking about for a few years.

              On education, the priority has been to focus on early childhood and schooling. So they have promoted their tertiary policy less. Working towards debt-free tertiary education has been a part of their policy for a while. It is focused on ending student loans as soon as possible, making teritiary education accessible to all, and making student allowance available to all, while having a well-worked out plan to make it happen:

              Green Party policy on these issues will remove the need for a student loan scheme.

              In order to address the legacy of more than a decade of the student loan scheme, the Greens will institute a programme to write off student debt for all those who contribute to our society.

              Laila Harre came out and stated that the IMP will get rid of student debt and fees, when IMP didn’t have a policy to do it, nor a well worked out way to make it happen. Now loads of people, with no real understanding of what is required, assume the IMP will magically make it happen.

  4. Te Reo Putake 4

    Great post, lprent! A couple of observations:

    The Maori party are stuffed. I attended Adrian Rurawhe’s campaign launch in Ratana last week. The hall was full of enthusiastic supporters, the vibe was upbeat and it’s clear that Adrian has the chops to be a great MP. It’s not just activists that have come back to Labour in Te Tai Hauauru, Adrian himself has returned after being disillusioned around the seabed and foreshore mess. It’s heartening that he sees Labour as the future, again.

    If Labour want to win the majority, maybe all, of the seats, David Cunliffe should go to Ratana himself and say “we got that wrong”. It would be the right thing to do.

    Secondly, National’s contempt for their coalition partners is obvious. Even Matthew Hooten referred to the Nat’s lacklustre beano a couple of weeks ago as “the Government conference”. Sure, it was probably a slip of the snakey tongue, but the fact is that the other 3 parties are just make-weights to the Tories. Which is why I think they will read the writing on the wall and concede East Coast Bays to Craycray Craig. It’s his time to shine, a little nugget of fools gold in the pan of an increasingly desperate Key.

  5. bad12 5

    Strangely enough i am going the other way from my 2011 pick for NZFirst, my pick for the party at the election 4.3%,

    Two reasons, one being the ‘tactical vote’ from 2011 will not be as apparent in NZFirst’s vote as it was in 2011,

    The second, Winston just hasn’t had the fire in the latter part of the current Parliament that has been the usual feature of His politics, this is n entirely personal view, but, previously when Peters began the trumpeting of something ‘scandalous’ i would sit up and take notice,

    These days tho, such words as ‘conspiracy’ and ‘scurrilous’ from Winston are met here with a large Yawn, i doubt i am alone in that view,

    Last election a vote for NZFirst, because of the attempted kiss of death delivered by Slippery the Prime Minister toward NZFirst leading into the 2011 contest was both a vote for a larger more potent opposition, and, a very large Fuck You to the PM,

    Peters has openly invited the left of NZFirst and the 2011 tactical voters who cast one for NZFirst to go elsewhere with His, usual, vows of silence surrounding His preferred options after the election,

    This stance in this particular election i would suggest will cost NZFirst dearly and had Peters declared early exactly which side of the divide He intended to take NZFirst, had it been toward the Left Bloc i would again suggest that this would have ensured NZFirst a place in the Parliament post September’s election,

    Even should National be able to cobble together a third term Government, it will, leaving aside the policies and scandals for the moment, simply as that third term administration, be looking at being caned severely at the 2017 election, anyone, should that include NZFirst, as the stage prop for such a Government will suffer at the hands of the electorates on a far greater scale…

    • lprent 5.1

      I’d agree about the fire. However I also think that there is a constituency not just for Winston, but also the party. I find I run across them in all of the weirdest places.

      …should that include NZFirst, as the stage prop for such a Government will suffer at the hands of the electorates on a far greater scale…

      The question is if NZF wants to be in that position.

      • karol 5.1.1

        I have heard comments – anecdotal, on the ground – of some ex-Labour female voters planning to vote either NZ First or The Greens. Unsupported by any verification or documented evidence, but curious.

        But I would be interested to see what the appeal of NZ First is for left-leaning women voters.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          I was contemplating a couple of responses to that. However I decided in the end that that raising the John Rowles factor (for those who are old enough) was probably a bit dangerous to raise.

          😈

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Considering NZFirst’s recently released transport policy there’s absolutely no way that they could go with National. That policy is diametrically opposed to what National want to do and I think that applies to more than just one of their policies.

  6. Sable 6

    Winston Peters strikes again and good on him. He may have his flaws but he delivers on his promises to voters and that’s what counts..

  7. swordfish 7

    NZ First supporters preferences

    Fairfax-Ipsos have polled on mood for a Change of Government, but unfortunately haven’t provided a breakdown for this measurement by Party Support. The only Polling Company that appears to have polled specifically on whether respondents want a Labour-led or National-led Government (and provided breakdowns by Party Support) is Horizon Poll.

    I know all the arguments made against treating Horizon Polls as bona fide (and I agree with some of those criticisms), but I will say that – although their results need to be treated very cautiously – they do weight not only by a range of demographic factors but also, importantly, by 2011 party vote (and I suspect they’re the only Polling organisation in NZ that does that – in stark contrast to the UK, where all but one Polling group does). So, that is a form of quality control on Horizon’s part.

    Their latest (late May / early June) poll suggests 63% of NZ First supporters prefer a Labour-led Government, with 37% wanting a National-led one.

    Like I say, needs to be treated very cautiously, but……

    It’d be nice if one or two of our 5 more conventional public polling companies could manage to do something similar. I can certainly remember at least one (possibly Colmar-Brunton ?) doing this a few Elections back (2005 ?, 2008 ?).

  8. Chooky 8

    @ CV…lol…”If you can, corner that cad Curwen Rollinson and ask what a supposed socialist like him thinks he is doing in a party like NZ First.”

    …I know a young thing who was very impressed by Mr Rollinson!…and this young thing is pretty skeptical and critical and hard to please !

    ( I see NZF supporters as lefty/conservative cynics …with a plague on “all the political scumbag bastards’ political houses” mentality…Winnie fits their mood…wiley and comes out swinging and showing them up)

    ( btw the reply function doesnt seem to be working and in order to leave a comment you have to log in each time because it doesnt remember who you are…not that I am complaining.!..but just saying that maybe a grinch has got into the computer works)

    • lprent 8.1

      Ok will check. But it might be time for you to find your cookies in your browser and kill them for thestandard.org.nz

  9. deep throat 9

    I think every racing kiwi will have a bob each way on winston!

  10. lefty 10

    Don’t forget Labour is campaigning on raising the pension age and Winston is seen by many as the defender of older people.

    Labour has a tin ear on this issue but in my experience it is much discussed in the workplace and unfortunately Winston is looking good to many workers who are already battered by the precarious existence that has become the norm for lower income and young people both here and internationally.

    Labour needs to realise that many people in the modern workforce are in and out of work so the pension is going to be the first time in their lives they have a secure income free from harassment from Work and Income or constant chopping and changing of hours by their employer.

    Threatening to make them wait longer for it is certain way of forcing them to find someone else to vote for.

    Be prepared for a surprise in the level of support for the awful NZ First from people who would not otherwise look at them.

    • Jenny 10.1

      +1

    • karol 10.2

      Agree. As a semi-retired person, I find I have less resilience for soaking up the inevitable work-place stresses. But, it helps me relax a little to remember I now have other sources of income, and am very unlikely to need to go to WINZ for additional income.

    • SPC 10.3

      Labour can and should defer the issue. Specify no change until 2030. Then an increase in age from age 65 to 70 from 2030 to 2050 – 3 months each year over 20 years.

      Guaranteeing income security with super rate benefits for the unemployed over age 65 and under the raised super age (which should have been done with the increase from age 60 to age 65).

      Pandering to the middle class media on the issue with disregard for the circumstance of the aging poor working class reminds one of the Douglas era.

  11. Winnie has a good bone (shipley and brash) to gnaw here

    New Zealand First’s Peters attacked the business and banking credentials of both former politicians, saying well-known names were being used to add a veneer of respectability.

    “I’m concerned about what I call economic treachery in New Zealand political figures allowing us to be used in this way,” he said. “It’s appalling.”

    Peters said Shipley had “no grasp” of the Asian currency crisis when she was deputy prime minister, and “no understanding” of the Bank of New Zealand privatisation.

    “For anyone who understands . . . they’ll know just how spurious this appointment is,” he said.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/10270498/Shipleys-bank-role-treachery-says-Peters

    I can’t stand winnie or his party but he is useful in attacking enemies as long as you realise he’ll turn on you at the drop of a hat if he wants to.

    • lprent 11.1

      I suspect that he has the trait that I have. I work well with people and a great deal of fun arguing and discussing. However I react to attacks in a rather intolerant, completely over the top, and quite long-term fashion. It is as much a strategy as a personality trait.

      Winston displayed those traits after Shipley did the dirty on him at the end of the 90s. I suspect that he views John Key in a similar fashion after 2008.

  12. SPC 12

    ACT are finished, their policy is to end school zoning – that is not going to play in Epsom.

    All Labour has to do is inform Epsom voters of this policy and the ACT MP would be unelectable.

    ACT is trapped between its convictions and its dependency on an electorate deal with National in Epsom. It is a trap it cannot survive.

  13. aerobubble 13

    Lets play. Imagine every Labour voter staying true in the seats yet party voting Green. Who would have won the last two elections? Well Lab-Green would. No. No Key, no Peters the KingMaker.

    Our electoral system is setup to split the governing block and force any PM to form an alliance between separate seat and list parties.

    National desperately want a list party or to become a list party. NZF doesn’t hack it, as its a one personality party.

    If you haven’t done the sums. Image Greens getting 40%, and Labour taking 30 seats. That means (40% * 130) + 30 = 70 of a 130 seat parliament. Of course, Greens would lead the alliance.

    So if you want Key out, PARTY VOTE GREEN, and vote Mana in the Maori seats and Labour in the general seats. Its just that simple. No Key, No Peters.

  14. Tracey 14

    The ACT candidate for Epsom recently sent us a letter. He said he had been knocking on alot of doors to find out what matters most to those in his electorate. His conclusion? Unsolved burglaries.

    Same day the Greens wrote to us and said the most important issue facing Aucklanders is transport.

    • lprent 14.1

      Perhaps he should ask the local police about a few of them. He might find that they have been marked down to mere incidents.

      It helps the crime stats ya know..

  15. Jenny 15

    Winston Peters has recently been saying some interesting things about climate change lately.

    I have thought that Peters would return to his conservative roots for what looks to be his last Hurrah.

    But I could be wrong. Climate change could be the deal breaker.

    Lynn if you get the chance to buttonhole the NZF leader, quiz him about climate change.

    (Winston Peters is the climate change spokesperson for the New Zealand First Party)

    • lprent 15.1

      I usually don’t bother with politicians too much. Party members and activists are usually more interesting.

      • Jenny 15.1.1

        More interesting, but less crucial.
        An ancient internet meme reads: “An army of sheep led by a lion will always defeat an army of lions led by sheep.” And never truer in a party were many of the portfolios are held, and all of the decisions are made by just one man. Will this old lion lead his flock in the fight against climate change?

        Will this be the bottom line in a deal with the Nats?

        There should be environmental bottom lines. Our outstanding wild and scenic rivers need protection from damming. New Zealand is lucky too, in having a technologically advanced, export-oriented forestry industry, that can play a major role, both in waste wood being a sustainable energy source, and in trees also providing a level of carbon sequestration, in the short term.

        In this well understood situation, and with many sustainable energy sources being available, negotiated performance standards, government assisted R&D, and a carbon tax incentive to change, are much better options than the uncontrolled financial machinations of an emissions trading scheme, where there is no opportunity for a plan of managed change and improvement.

        The bottom line is that the proposed ETS will incur a very large cost – $2 Billion – that can be much better used to repay debt. Another advantage of targeted R&D, and managed change, is that potential new sustainable industries are likely to be developed, providing competitive export and import substitution advantages, and also allowing New Zealand companies to sell these to the world.

        A further disadvantage of an ETS is the likelihood that New Zealand technological advances that create intellectual property rights, are likely to be lost to our economy.

        Both issues discussed today are of the most serious importance. As we close towards the election, and facing the worst economic signs of my lifetime, New Zealand needs, not false optimism and bland promises of muddling through with aspiration, but a serious reality check and a hard examination of the facts.

        New Zealand can make it to a better tomorrow but not following a direction littered with red lights warning failure.

        Winston Peters

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1111/S00276/winston-peters-speech-climate-change-yes-ets-no.htm

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