Open mike 16/01/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 16th, 2024 - 148 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

148 comments on “Open mike 16/01/2024 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Imagining Golriz explaining herself to her co-leaders yesterday:

    "I felt I needed to be an authentic left-winger. Property is theft."

    J: "Greed is good." M: "That's actually rightist." J: "Then how come Labour have been doing it since the mid-'80s?" M: "That's just neoliberalism. Simulation works real well in politics." J: "Tell me about it. Why do you think I had to do a decade in the London corporate scene, not to mention wearing short back & sides all the time?"

    M: "Just copy the establishment. And make sure you help yourself – when Maoris went to the Chathams & helped themselves to all those Moriori slaves, they did it in an English sailing ship. They didn't use a waka. Fast learners."

    G: "Yeah, so I went into up-market fashionista places & helped myself. Took each item into a suburb where the poor & needy live, found one the right shape & size & told her I don't need this garment any more but would only give it to her if she absolutely needed it a they always said "Oh, absolutely!" so the strategy worked really well."

    J: "Clever. The Robin Hood ethos has worked for centuries." M: "Authentic left-wing praxis! So you're intending to do a Metiria & tell the truth?" G: "Damn right I am!"

    • Res Publica 1.1

      I imagine it less as a discussion about left wing praxis, and more James gently banging his head against a desk and regretting every life decision he made to get him to this point.

      The poor guy just can't catch a break. All the while, the party is imploding around him under the weight of its own self-righteousness and general political naivete.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        James has a great deal more depth to him than your comments indicate you enjoy, Res. He's caught plenty of breaks in his time as Green leader and has attracted a spectacularly good team which has, with few exceptions, functioned exceptionally well over the period of his leadership, most notably, leaving the Opposition side of the House and gaining influence in Government – hardly a fail, for the party, or for James. This presently-unfolding situation will be testing all involved, but your glee at their discomfort isn't going to affect them in the slightest.

        • Res Publica

          I think you may have misinterpreted my comment.

          I think James has been an incredibly effective leader and is a key reason the party has been able to survive a couple of incredibly tough electoral cycles.

          I also believe the latest cohort of MPs is the strongest and most capable the party has ever had.

          However, I worry the Greens have a long-term problem around not having robust or effective enough processes for dealing with MPs that either underperform or waste the political capital so many volunteers have spent so long building up.

          There's far too many Metirias, Elizabeths, Riccardos and Golriz's and not enough Chloes or Te Anaus.

          We also have to bear in mind the main driver of the Greens share of the vote is people drifting left from Labour, or abandoning them when they inevitably tack towards tepid incrementalism.

          As such, the fact the party currently has 15 MPs is more down to circumstance than solid or effective political strategy.

          • Robert Guyton

            "I also believe the latest cohort of MPs is the strongest and most capable the party has ever had."


            "the party is imploding around him under the weight of its own self-righteousness and general political naivete."

            Your 2 statements seem … at odds …

            • Res Publica

              That's what makes being a Green Party supporter so damned difficult. I've never been so simultaneously hopeful, yet so anxious about the direction the party is going in.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.2

        Golriz will quickly resign and be replaced by Celia Wade-Brown. The worse part is that these are all such high-end luxury stores that does not fit with the Greens social image so whether the charges are proven or not she has to go.

        The Green Party will move on-its a great time in the electoral cycle for this to happen….in 3 years nobody will remember.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          "…its a great time in the electoral cycle for this to happen….in 3 years nobody will remember."

          That is actually a very good point.

      • weka 1.1.3

        All the while, the party is imploding around him under the weight of its own self-righteousness and general political naivete.


        They've lost two MPs via controversy in a 12 month period, which compared to other parties and MMP history seems relatively normal.

        Meanwhile, as you have agreed, they have a very strong caucus currently.

        What are you on about with the imploding?

        • Res Publica

          2 MPs out of a caucus of at most, 15 after the last election. From a party that prides itself on being above the fray.

          Given the size of caucus and uphill battle the party faces to get a clear, consistent message across in the face of cashed up, hard right government parties, I'd argue that one scandal is one too many.

          We can't afford to fall into the trap Labour did and assume our support amongst certain chunks of the electorate is locked in forever.

          • Robert Guyton

            The party prides itself on its ethical behaviour, quite correctly.

            That doesn't inure it, or any party, from "out of party" behaviours by an individual MP, such as shopping, that might not meet the party's expectations.

            To expect politicians to be perfect is unrealistic and I believe The Greens know this well.

            In any case, we don't yet know for certain what has happened.

            Question for you, Res: what was the other scandal you mention?

            • Res Publica

              @Robert Guyton

              I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect an MP to not commit petty crimes.

              Or, if they're accused of committing said petty crimes, for them to either front up with a clear explanation or else resign before the allegations cause too much political damage.

              Like Plutarch wrote: "Uxorem Caesaris tam suspicione quam crimine carere oportet"

              • weka

                So no other scandal then?

                Have you considered there might be a reasonable explanation for not fronting up immediately?

        • Cricklewood

          Fairly high given the number of mp's?

          • weka

            dunno, I still remember the MMP era of Koopu and whole parties being formed by waka jumpers. Maybe add in timeline?

            • weka

              I mean if they lost 2 MPs every 12 months, I would agree. They've lost 5 MPs over 8 years. No-one would think that's great, but it's hardly the party imploding especially when we look at how they have recovered from the 2017 fallout. They have strong, stable co-leaders, and caucus is a mix of experienced MPs (including Ministerial experience), MPs gaining experience, and new incoming MPs. Looks good to me.

              I'm not particularly bothered if Ghahraman leaves. Celia Wade Brown is next on the list, so there's another experienced politican coming in.



              • weka

                2017: 8 MPs

                2020: 9 MPs

                2023: 15 MPs

              • Cricklewood

                Definitly not an implosion, probably indicative of a need to look at candidate selection and support as the party and number of mp's grows.

                Political life is a particulary brutal one especially when you advocate for minority causes and I suspect plenty of candidates are ill prepared. Perhaps more so coming from an activist background rather than a cut throat corporate background parties on the right prefer. They usually self destruct when their arsehole tendancies come to the surface.

                • weka

                  Definitly not an implosion, probably indicative of a need to look at candidate selection and support as the party and number of mp's grows.

                  maybe. Of the five controversial resignations since 2017, I think Kerekere is the only one that was unfit to be an MP.

                  Ghahraman has now resigned, the RNZ piece below is pretty good. I don't think the solution to bad behaviour from extreme stress is to only choose hardnut candidates, I think it's to change the culture of parliament and politics.

                  I'm sure all parties, including the Greens need to continually review their support of MPs. We're not the same country we were when Ghahraman became an MP either.

                  • Res Publica

                    maybe. Of the five controversial resignations since 2017, I think Kerekere is the only one that was unfit to be an MP.

                    I think Steffan Browing also counts. Although he jumped before he was able to be pushed.

                    I definitely agree for the need to change our culture in Parliament in particular and our discourse around politics in general.

                    But we also have to deal with the political reality for us in the meantime. Parliament will continue to be extremely robust (read: toxic) and across the left, we need to ensure we select candidates that are able to withstand the hurly-burly of retail politicking in an environment that's inimical to our interests.

                    When it came to my list ranking at candidate conference, my rubric was always to pick who was likeliest to make their National/ACT party counterpart break out in sweat whenever they got asked a question in Parliament then went from there.

                    • weka

                      I don't think Browning does count, nothing particularly controversial about him leaving, he was no longer a good fit and he resigned.

                      When it came to my list ranking at candidate conference, my rubric was always to pick who was likeliest to make their National/ACT party counterpart break out in sweat whenever they got asked a question in Parliament then went from there.

                      That's why we have macho politics. As long as people want hardman politics that's what we will get.

                      I don't think that has much to do with Ghahraman though. Everyone has a breaking point given enough stress. You saw what Ardern looked like when she resigned. Politics destroys some people, the smart ones get out early because they can see it happening. We don't have to do politics like that.

                • Res Publica

                  As someone that was a delegate at candidate conferences over 3 or 4 election cycles, I definitely think the Greens need to seriously look at their candidate process.

                  We've thrown away a lot of talent in the name of building a caucus that reflects only a very narrow section of the party's base. Yet one that wields an outsized influence when it comes to list ranking time.

            • Res Publica

              That was a wild time!

              It's interesting how quickly the political landscape has crystalized into a (kind-of) equilibrium with between 5-7 parties depending on whether NZ First makes it in or not.

              We haven't had a new party make it into Parliament since the Greens in 1999. And the history of parties created by defections is just as bad. The last one I can remember surviving the subsequent election was Mana back in 2011.

              We also somehow seemed to avoided the fragmentation of our traditional broad-church parties into harder left or right organisations à la most of the EU.

    • Anne 1.2

      If you think that taking the mickey out of… what is starting to look more and more like a very sad case Dennis Frank then you have failed.

      Unlike the so-called experts who have weighed in thus far, here is one whose views I respect:

      It would seem that the choices on offer to the Greens over this case are not as simplistic as some would have us believe.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        Good to see him advocating my take from several days back onsite here. yes

      • Anker 1.2.2

        I don't condone shop lifting at all, but I seriously hope Golriz is getting support.

        How come things haven't progressed from the police complaint in Wellington in October? How long do these things take?

      • weka 1.2.3

        that would have to be one of the better MSM pieces I've read on the situation, thanks.

        If she is guilty, I hadn't considered that she might try to stay on against the wishes of the party. It won't affect the party much given they're not in government, but would be unfair on the next person on the list. I'd be surprised if she did that though.

        Don't really know how it would work if she says she is not guilty and wants to stay on, and what the party would do.

        I have however considered that she might be having a huge personal crisis and that working through that alongside the MP issues and their internal process might be why the party is taking its time before speaking publicly.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    "Doing a Metiria" means telling the truth?

    What's the world coming to??

    A politician’s lips are moving and they are not lying???

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Worth his salt, this guy:

    "Salt said he believed the email, sent on July 10, 2023, came from a person associated with Sovereign Citizens, a growing group across Aotearoa that sociologist Paul Spoonley said posed a threat in its right wing extreme views that elected governments do not have legitimate authority."

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Salt of the Earth, eh? Very trad. I see Stuff is featuring an old friend from the early Green Party, Steve Hart. I'd be disappointed if he really is in anthropogenic climate-change denial. Had a good old rave for a couple of hours with him last winter & don't recall him adopting that stance then.

      The pandemic state threat to freedom of choice has split the old alt-Aotearoa scene wide open. Any complex system is vulnerable to such indeterminant shifts anytime, just needs a catalytic trigger. We survive by adapting, after the initial eye-roll.

    • Macro 3.2

      As a constituent I am very impressed with our current Mayor – his communications to the community are great and a really breathe of fresh air after our previous incumbent.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    I know it seems weird, but I would actually like to say something in support of the Greens.

    I have been hearing the media going ballistic about why the Greens haven't fronted about the shoplifting allegations, and that their only response is that the matter is in the hands of the police.

    But, actually, what more can the Greens say about the matter? They aren't qualified to determine matters of criminality. And, the police are the appropriate organisation to determine whether there is a case (or cases) to answer.

    So, I think the media needs to STFU and leave things to the police to do their job.

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      It's good of you to express your support, tsmithfield.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        Putting all the politics aside, I think the media should have its main concern to be be the mental health of Golriz rather than salacious media headlines.

        Firstly, if these allegations are true, then it just seems weird behaviour not typical of someone thinking rationally. Secondly, the huge media pile-on must be extremely distressing for her, and can only be exacerbating any mental health issues she may have.

        The last thing anyone would want to see is Golriz sinking into deep depression, or committing suicide or such. So, I think the Greens are doing the right thing by saying as little as possible and leaving it to the police.

        The media disgust me sometimes.

        • Anne


          It's looking more and more like a mental health issue and should be handled with compassion and care. – something I suspect the Greens are trying to do.

          Considering her MS condition and the vile racist/misogyny she has been subjected to, it is not surprising she has [perhaps] had a breakdown of some sort. My heart goes out to her.

        • weka

          this is pretty much my thinking too. Let the Greens sort out their internal process and attend to whatever needs attending to re Ghahraman's wellbeing. She's not doing any portfolio responsibility work atm. The police will do due process as well, and when they have, we will know more about the situation.

          I don't think it's necessarily a mental health issue, apart from the huge stress of the situation. It could be of course, or if she did shoplift then it might be another reason. But agree either way that the MSM should calm down.

          Meanwhile, the right wing shit stirrers are all in a frenzy in their toxic soup on twitter. I'm hoping Ghahraman is well protected from that and that someone else is screening her social media, phone and email.

          • Anne

            I don't think it's necessarily a mental health issue, apart from the huge stress of the situation.

            Agree from personal experience. She must have been under enormous stress given what was happening to her body and the psychological effect of the abuse she was receiving. Stress can cause a person to behave in all sort of ways that are uncharacteristic of them.

            • James Simpson

              Please stop with the speculation based on absolutely nothing but suspicion and right wing shit stirring.

            • weka

              that wasn't actually what I meant. What I meant was that the accusations becoming public and what has happened since then are hugely stressful in and of themselves, and that would have mental health impact on anyone.

              I agree with James here that there's nothing useful or appropriate about trying to assign meaning and motive to alleged actions that we know very little about.

              • Incognito

                One way or another, a PR vacuum formed and this is now deepening & widening and turning into a PR nightmare for some and a PR wet dream for others. This hole draws in stupid speculation and ‘commentary’, as always and very predictably, that serves no other purpose than to damage, yet ironically, it is now starting to come from different sides too, it seems. Next thing we’ll hear is that Green MPs are not allowed to window-shop in certain places because it doesn’t befit their ‘social image’, FFS!

        • yes 100% agree. We have no understanding of the pressures brought by her previous life, and the new hostilities may have tipped her over the edge.

          Theft is theft, though any reason for drawing this out may have other political dimensions. imo.

          The links to DP seem greater than coincidence. So we wait.

    • observer 4.2


      In addition, the views of the Ponsonby shop owners have also been conveniently ignored by the media. They did not seek publicity and have given no interviews, despite intense pressure from the media. How very inconsiderate of them!

      It is ironic that on this (alleged) crime story, the (alleged) victims don't seem to matter much.

  5. Peter 5

    Charter schools are back on the agenda and myths, propaganda and nonsense are along for the ride.

    Those schools apparently are going to be free, not be restricted and stifled by rules and regulations.

    So, a Government which thinks people running schools should have the freedom to make choices, and so do a better job, is in power. And their first big thing?

    Take away freedom and choices, restrict, limit, stifle by telling schools mobile phones are banned? Or are we to have the insanity of Seymour's charter schools allowed to have mobile phones and ordinary state schools not? All overseen by the Minister of Regulation?

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Nor required to teach an hour each of maths, reading and writing.

      Dog's breakfast.

    • tsmithfield 5.2

      I think Charter Schools are similar to home schooling in that there will likely be a lot of variability depending on the quality of teaching etc, programs run etc.

      So, in the case of home schooling, parents who are great at teaching and engaging their kids in education are likely to see great results whereas kids are unlikely to do well where parents are hopeless.

      In both cases, an analytical study that looks only at the average results of these teaching methods will likely find no benefit, or even negative outcomes. But, that doesn't mean that well designed teaching and education programs in these settings can't work well.

      • Robert Guyton 5.2.1

        There will be a lot of viability, tsmithfield, that's why accreditation's important. Parents are protected from poor quality schooling by assurances given by a certified agency, except where charter schools operate. If you buy eggs, you want to be protected from illness by a certification programme that is followed by all producers. If charter schools do not require certification in their teaching staff, how can parents be assured of basic quality of teaching?

        • tsmithfield

          Robert, I think the criticism of Charter Schools misses some important points.

          I agree that most kids will likely best served by public schools for the reasons you give.

          But, I know from my involvement on the board of Crossroads Youth with a Future that there are some children who simply do not engage with formal educatoin at all, and tend to drop out of school, or end up being expelled.

          So, for such children, the standard cookie-cutter system does not work for them at all. That is where I think Charter type schools can work because they can be designed tackle directly the complex issues that prevent these kids from succeeding in standard education.

          It also changes what we mean by "works". So, if these kids made zero progress in a standard learning environment, but some progress in a Charter School, then I guess it could be said that the programme "works" even if that does not show as such in a statistical study.

          • Robert Guyton

            Yes, I understand that purpose-built schools have some advantages, tsmithfield; they are not an entirely bad idea 🙂

            Question: does Crossroads Youth with a Future have certified teachers?

            • tsmithfield

              We don't deal with the education aspect. But we do have qualified youth workers.

              One of our functions is to run a program called "Stay Real". This program is for kids who the schools are on the verge or expelling. basically/

              The program starts with total acceptance of the kids, warts and all. It aims to help them realise that they have choices in life, and that their past doesn't have to define their future.

              One of our youth workers actually came through our program. She now has a diploma in youth work. She is the first person in her family to have any qualification, or even have a job. So, a fantastic achievement for her.

              • Robert Guyton

                That's good, tsmithfield; my son does something very similar.

                Charter schools though, aim to educate, including standard NZ Curriculum material. At least, it is hoped they will do that.

                Wanting to make a joke about the Liz Gunn School of Cookery, but won't.

          • Robert Guyton

            Btw, tsmithfield, the schools you lable, "the standard cookie-cutter system" are not, in fact, that. They have built-in programmes and approaches that accommodate the varying needs of students, teachers, locations and communities.

            Cookie cutter they are not.

            • tsmithfield

              Sure. But not all. And I don't think there is any talk of Charter Schools becoming main stream. They will always be niche, and cater for a few students only I expect.

          • David

            Great to hear about your work at Crossroads. And I agree with you about the criticism of partnership/charter schools.

    • Res Publica 5.3

      National's philosophy of individual choice and personal responsibility at its best:

      Yes, we'll absolutely use the coercive power of the state to ban your kids from using their cell phones at school.

      But hey, at least they'll be able to choose to smoke, and we've protected you from all that nasty governmental overreach.

      And no, you're not allowed to point out the hypocrisy of this you filthy socialist peasant. New Zealander voted for change, so we have a mandate to do whatever we like without criticism. Learn to respect your betters.


    • Craig H 5.4

      We already have private schools which are largely unregulated compared to state schools. I'm not a fan of private or charter schools, but it's not like all schools are currently bound by whatever curricular pronouncements the government make.

      • Robert Guyton 5.4.1

        Are private schools required to employ only teachers who are certified conventionally?

        • David

          The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that there are teachers across the spectrum of school types in NZ (Types of schools and year levels – Education in New Zealand) who are un-registered and who work under a Limited Authority to Teach (For Limited Authority to Teach :: Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand). There are also, at any one time, a number of teachers who are practicising but awaiting registration.

          In the ECE sector, centres can employ a combination of registered and unregistered teachers, with the resulting combination being a factor in their funding.

          • Robert Guyton

            That's right, David. So you might be able to tell me whether Charter Schools will be required to only hire registered teachers or Limited Authority teachers as conventional schools are. Perhaps you will also know how compliance to those requirements will be managed – ERO or no?

            • David

              I would expect the 2024 partnership school model to be different from the 2014 model (a decade has passed, and unfortunately educational standards in NZ have continued to decline), but primarily in areas around student assessment.

              The 2014 model was a contestable model, and placed strong accountability on the schools through a contract that was monitored by ERO. I would not expect that to change.

              As to teacher registration, that was not a requirement in 2014 for partnership schools, however this report BIM-release-Partnership-Schools-Model-and-Options-for-the-Future.pdf ( stated that "There is some use of non-registered teachers, although not usually for core subjects."

              Interestingly, in the same report, the authors noted that the partnership schools all used the same curriculum as mainstream schools, ("although one of the schools opening in 2015 is developing an interesting combination of the Steiner approach and kaupapa Māori within the framework of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)"), and that the school day and year are similar to those of state schools.

              I am involved in the education sector, although I have had no involvement with partnership schools. I saw enough in their previous tenure to support their reintroduction.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Good news…

    11. Breakthroughs on new medicines

    Two powerful new drugs, Donanemab and Lecanemab, heralded a turning point in the fight against Alzheimer’s, the decades-long campaign to make insulin less expensive scored a major victory when the world's three biggest manufacturers lowered their prices, a new meningitis vaccine raised hopes for a disease that kills about 250,000 people a year, and Australia became the first country in the world to classify psychedelics as medicines, approving their use to treat some mental health conditions.

    Chalk one up for them suit-wearing short-haired Oz radical legislators!

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      smiley the lord will provide is a stance that recycles feudal subservience…

      Wilkerson recites a favourite psalm from memory:

      “I love this line,” he said, shaking his head and grinning: “‘Whatever he does’” – a righteous man, that is – “‘prospers’. Prosperity follows him.”

      The American prosperity gospel is a materialist practice full of (sometimes unaware) poseurs, a bit like Trump himself. It is not a matter of faith or morality.

      The writer can't see faith in Wilkerson?? Or morality? I see a typical christian. Obviously their faith is rewarded whenever the faithful donate them dollars.

    • observer 8.1

      Very sad.

      There's a lot in that statement, but this should not be overlooked:

      Ghahraman also thanked Scotties Boutique "for the kindness and empathy they have shown me", and asked for space and privacy so she could get better.

      Respect to Scotties, and none at all to the reporters who complained that they didn't want to talk about it.

    • Dennis Frank 8.2

      Good. Well-handled by her in the fraught circumstances…

      "The mental health professional I see says my recent behaviour is consistent with recent events giving rise to extreme stress response, and relating to previously unrecognised trauma," she said.

      She said she had fallen short of the high standards expected of elected representatives, and apologised. "I have let down a lot of people and I am very sorry," the statement said. "It's not a behaviour I can explain because it's not rational in any way, and after medical evaluation, I understand I'm not well. The best thing for my mental health is to resign as a Member of Parliament and to focus on my recovery and to find other ways to work for positive change in the world."

  7. Ad 9

    Golriz resigns, no other call to make.

    Wish her full recovery.

    • Robin The Goodfellow 9.1

      Yep, done the right thing

    • Incognito 9.2

      The bloodhounds are still running around and this won’t be the end of it.

      • Robin The Goodfellow 9.2.1

        Time to leave her out of it but focus on why this happened, where were her support structure, who else was around but didn't help etc

        Someone dropped the ball big time

        • observer

          Oh, that's the new line of attack is it?


        • Incognito

          There it is

        • weka

          Someone dropped the ball big time

          What makes you think that?

          • Robin The Goodfellow

            I'm assuming she's on meds for her illness, I'm assuming those meds have an effect on mental health

            What were the supports put in place for her

            Where were her friends, supporters etc

            I'd be very surprised if there were only these 3 incidents and, given the increased spotlight on MPs mental health, why was no one checking up on her

            • weka

              when you change your email address TS thinks you are new commenter and holds the comment back for manual approval. Please pick one email address and stick to it.

          • Robin The Goodfellow

            No one looking out for her?

            No friends, supporters etc

            She's on meds and has a major illness and no one's checking up on her?

    • Kay 9.3

      Very sad to hear that is the case. Definitely the right decision, but a great loss to parliament.

  8. Sanctuary 10

    what a massive disappointment Golriz Ghahraman turned out to be. I hoped she could go all the way in politics, but she has proved unable to make the transition from activist to MP and clearly her mental health is in tatters.

    There does seem to be a case to be made for a certain psychological fragility amongst all these MPs whose previous job experience has largely been in the third sector. Their previous experience seems to leave them unprepared/unsuitable to the demands made of them as MPs.

    I am not sure what this says more about – the nature of parliament or the nature of the candidates, but both Labour and Greens have to think about it seriously because the third sector provides the vast majority of their candidates these days.

    Anyway, best of luck to her and I hope she gets the rest/rehab she needs to make a full recovery. Who is the next batter up?

    • weka 10.1

      it's the nature of parliament, but also the nature of politics in NZ.

      She was a refugee as a child, she's experienced trauma and seems to have ongoing affects from that, she has a major physical illness that has a pattern of relapses and remissions, she works in a very high stress job, including during a once in a lifetime global health crisis (hardly anyone is talking about the mental health impact of that), she's been subjected to the worst misogyny and racism as well as sustained attacks from the right on social media and probably via Dirty Politics.

      This doesn't mean she hasn't made mistakes (imo she has, and there is a political naivety but probably arrogance as well running through that). It means that no-one's mental health is going to be unaffected by all that. Women, brown women in particular, cop a kind of political abuse that others don't.

      There's a lot we could do to change parliament and the political culture.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        That's a long way to fall. There will have been tears. I expect there is support for her in place now. It's a tragic story.

    • Kay 10.2

      I would hope it's the nature of parliament, and add into the mix the appalling behaviour of our media and certain factions of the general public, especially towards female MPs, which is only going to get worse.

      Do we really want all our candidates to be professional politicians with no life experience, or areas of true specialty, and ability to relate to specific sector of our society? In Golriz's case, Human rights and a first hand understanding of being a refugee and having a disability. Is it any wonder that, with the exceptions of her and Mojo Mathis, we've never had MPs with (openly acknowledged) disabilities? Not because they're not capable of running or doing the job, but honestly, who would put up with all this crap?

      I don't want to see more candidates who know nothing except for politics and law. Of course any candidate goes into this being aware of the pressures involved, but there does seem to be a reasonable amount of quitting on mental health grounds (including a certain Nat leader).

      So the real question is, how can parliament stop being so toxic?

      • Stephen D 10.2.1

        Media have a huge role to play here.

        If they didn’t republish every racist, misogynistic tweet or press release every one would be the better for it.

    • Muttonbird 10.3

      A dispassionate summation. It points to yet another inbuilt advantage the right wing and the right of the left wing have because their candidates mostly come from elite, privileged, establishment backgrounds, and if not are fundamentalists supported by the elite, privileged establishment.

      Those robust, entitled influences didn't help Todd Muller or Nikki Kaye who both melted under very little pressure. But they did help Sam Uffindel who learned how to dominate others with threats and violence from a young age.

  9. Descendant Of Smith 11

    With 65% counted votes the main players in Iowa are

    Trump 50.6%
    De Santis 21.4%
    Haley 19.7%

    If De Santis or Haley pulled out early or maybe did a deal on a joint ticket – if I win you can be VP then it might be more interesting. May be too early but I guess time will tell.

    • Morrissey 11.1

      They would both pull out immediately if they had any sense. This is a replay of 2016, when Trump led from the very beginning, and never relinquished his lead. The corporate media kept repeating that a "sensible" Republican candidate would eventually see off the upstart.

      Unfortunately, the "sensible" candidates were "Low Energy" Jeb Bush, "Little Marco" Rubio, and most disturbing of all, Lyin' Ted…

  10. Ad 12

    We haven't an actual Labour media release on anything since December 13th.

    Could someone please wake the fuck up.

  11. joe90 13

    Lol at all the….. marginalized status-seekers.


    Why are some people motivated to circulate hostile political information? While prior studies have focused on partisan motivations, we demonstrate that some individuals circulate hostile rumors because they wish to unleash chaos to “burn down” the entire political order in the hope they gain status in the process. To understand this psychology, we theorize and measure a novel psychological state, the Need for Chaos, emerging in an interplay of social marginalization and status-oriented personalities.


    We outline a theoretical framework about an overlooked psychological strategy for acquiring social status—the incitement of chaos—and demonstrate the relevance of this strategy for contemporary politics. We build on research showing that status-oriented personality traits combined with social rejection can push people toward an escalation of aggressive motivations (Krizan and Johar Reference Krizan and Johar2015; Twenge and Campbell Reference Twenge and Campbell2003). We argue that such motivations, when sufficiently strong, take root as a general destructive mindset. Next, we develop and validate the novel Need for Chaos scale to measure this mindset. Across eight well-powered studies (including representative studies of the U.S. population), we find evidence that the Need for Chaos emerges in an interplay between status-oriented personality traits and social contexts of real and perceived marginalization and is a strong predictor of willingness to share hostile political rumors, over and beyond partisanship. Overall, our findings imply that a challenge facing modern society is the existence of marginalized status-seekers who wish to incite chaos by spreading hostile rumors.

  12. Robert Guyton 14

    I can hardly believe what I'm hearing /sarc

    "Goldsmith ruled out action on some recommendations, including:

    • Lowering the voting age to 16
    • Allowing all prisoners to vote and stand for Parliament
    • Freezing the ratio of electorate to list seats, which would lead to an increase in the number of MPs over time
    • Repealing the offence of 'treating' voters with refreshments and entertainment."

    • Rolling-on-Gravel 14.1

      I support lowering it to 16 and enfranchisement of prisoners and more MPs because we need more types of democratic voices. If 100 years old people can vote so can 16 years old people; if you are free or imprisoned then you need a voice in society that pertains to your welfare and rights as well.

      Having more MPs in that context would mean a less fragile and more resilient sort of society and theoretically increases the level of engagement both ways politically.

      I know nothing about the fourth policy being abolished however if it's anything like democracy sausages in Australia then go and make it even more of a ritual to vote! It would ensure a more civic sort of society and that genuinely matters in this day and age really.

    • Robin The Goodfellow 14.2

      Lowering the voting age to ridiculous so I'm glad that's gone.

      I'd raise it to 21 if I could

      Prisoners lose rights (as they should) when they go to prison, voting is one of them so I'm glad about that

      The rest I'm ambivalent about

      • James Thrace 14.2.1

        People go to prison as punishment, not for punishment.

        putting them under lock and key already curtails them of their freedom.

        there is no good public policy reason why prisoners should not be able to vote. Taking away one of their civil rights when they are already being punished is just further punishment.

        • Robin The Goodfellow

          Part of the punishment is you lose some of your civil rights

          Voting is one of those civil rights which you then get back at a later date

        • David

          "Taking away one of their civil rights when they are already being punished is just further punishment."

          No, it's part of the primary punishment.

          • Robert Guyton

            Only because some tight-minded Rightwinger declared it so.

            It's not Natural Law 🙂

            • David

              Loss of privileges is an appropriate part of the consequences of someone breaking the laws of the society they live in. It's part of the social contract. Losing the privilege of voting is, and should be, part of that loss.

              • Incognito

                Of course, but I’d argue that voting is a right, not a privilege. Which is one of the reasons why it was recommended to give all prisoners voting rights.

                • David

                  Good point, but 'rights' can also be taken away (or restricted) under certain circumstances. What are human rights? | OHCHR

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Why stop at voting? Why not take away prisoners rights to drinking water? A mattress to sleep on? Air?

                    Who makes those decisions, David?

                    Not you, thank Gaia.

                    • David

                      Because people in prison are entitled to the necessities of life, Robert. That they lose certain liberties and privileges is simply part of the social contract.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Who decides, David and by what measure of fairness?
                      Is a phone call to a spouse a necessity? To a lawyer? A view of the sky?
                      Who decides, David, and by what measure?

                    • David

                      "Who decides, David, and by what measure?"

                      Society decides, on how we view the social contract and its breaches.

                  • Incognito

                    Indeed, some rights are taken away temporarily when imprisoned and this is reasonable and justifiable. However, taking away voting rights serve no clear purpose and are not reasonable.

                    • David

                      I guess it comes down to how we see voting rights. I see them as part of a person's liberty. When a person breaks the law to the extent they are imprisoned, that liberty (in its many forms) is lost.

                    • Incognito []

                      I see voting rights as a right. Some rights cannot be taken away unless under very special and specific circumstances and for very special and specific reasons. Arbitrarily removing prisoner voting rights from some prisoners fails these basic and fundamental criteria. Suffice to say, the fundamental principle of rights is protected in several Acts that ought to be consistent with each other.

                      In any case, similar arguments exist if you view voting rights as a liberty. In your view, it appears that there’s a low hurdle for this liberty to be arbitrarily removed when imprisoned.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    David writes:

                    "I guess it comes down to how we see voting rights. I see them as part of a person's liberty."

                    But not if you are 16, right?

                    No liberty till you're 18.

                    Yours is a very confused position, David.

                    • David

                      My position is entirely consistent and logical. I don't consider a 16-year-old to be an adult, so I do not consider them old enough to vote, or go to jail.

                      But now the consistency of your position becomes interesting. You support lowering the voting age to 16. So do you support 16 year olds going to jail?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      You see consistency in your position; I see simplistic thinking.

                      There is no logical number where these things become right; each circumstance has to be looked at with regard multiple factors, which change over time. Taking advice from a wide range of thoughtful sources usually produces the soundest result on any issue. Applying the ruler of logic by ideologues at one end of the spectrum is the worst way to make decisions such as voting age etc.

                    • David

                      "There is no logical number where these things become right; each circumstance has to be looked at with regard multiple factors, which change over time. "

                      Over time, I have seen nothing to convince me that 16-year-olds should be eligible to vote, or that we should extend the privilege of voting to people who have committed offences sufficient to have them serving time in jail.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Nothing, I expect, would convince you, but of course you are not the decision-maker. The issues were publicised and opinion collected. This Government squashed those particular proposals because, like you, they are ideologues who seek to suppress those who are not like them.

                    • David

                      "…like you, they are ideologues who seek to suppress those who are not like them."

                      Labelling people you disagree with as 'ideologues' is not an argument, nor is it a rational position to take. If there is a law that removes the franchise from people serving a custodial sentence, then the offender has suppressed that privilege voluntarily. No-one else.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      That law was made by ideologues. It can change and still be the law.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Losing the privilege of voting is, and should be, part of that loss.

                I prefer a rational balance between the rehabilitative and punitive aspects of custodial sentences. A multi‐jurisdictional survey for Penal Reform International, published in 2016 (PDF, page 7), concluded:

                Disenfranchisement can be viewed as counter-productive to the purpose of imprisonment and the role of a penitentiary system which – as outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the UN Nelson Mandela Rules – is to rehabilitate offenders and thereby reduce recidivism.

                Kiwi prisoner disenfranchisement isn't currently a lottery that depends on the length of time between the date a sentence of <3 years is handed down, and the date of a general election – nor should it be, imho.

                The Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act was passed in June 2020. The Act allows people in prison who are serving prison sentences of less than three years, to enrol to vote in the General Elections. Prisoners on remand have always been able to vote.

                Corrections’ role is to facilitate participation in the voting process.


                It seems that our current government has no plans to make regressive or progressive changes to prisoner voting rights, but time will tell.

                'This really needs to change': Electoral review head criticises government's refusal to let prisoners vote [17 Jan 2024]

                • David

                  "Kiwi prisoner disenfranchisement isn't currently a lottery that depends on the length of time between the date a sentence of <3 years is handed down, and the date of a general election – nor should it be, imho."

                  Then just leave the law fixed that people serving time in prison lose the privilege, or the right, to vote. Then there is no lottery.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    My preference would be to extend the opportunity to participate in electoral processes to all prisoners in Aotearoa NZ (then there is no lottery), but I'm comfortable (for now) with the current level of prisoner disenfrachisement which reduces the lottery aspect of punishment.

                    It appears that you see the reintroduction of regressive prisoner disenfranchisement legislation as the preferred solution to the problem (of being too soft on Kiwis serving custodial sentences?) – that's not for me, and we can agree to disagree.


                    • David

                      Drowsy just to be clear, I don't see prisoner franchise as being related to any notion of being too 'soft' on sentencing. I see it more as a logical extension of the removal of liberty generally.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    I don't see prisoner franchise as being related to any notion of being too 'soft' on sentencing.

                    I was thinking less "'soft' on sentencing", and more 'soft/friendly on rights and conditions' while incarcerated.

                    Reintroducing universal disenfranchisement for prisoners would increase the lottery aspect of deprivation for those serving sentences <3 years – being deprived of the right to vote in a general election would subsequently depend on when in an electoral cycle a prison sentence started. AFAIK, our coalition government hasn't indicated that they plan to reintroduce universal disenfranchisement for prisoners.

                    Not that many Kiwi prisoners vote anyway, and I can imagine the beneficial effects of being encouraged to do so. The debate will continue in Aotearoa NZ, and elsewhere.

                    • David

                      I see the 'lottery' aspect (as you've described it) as simply a consequence of offending. However there are obvious compromise positions that could be reached.

      • Robert Guyton 14.2.2

        Right wingers seek to narrow the band to keep power in the hands of their own tribe.

        Narrow thinking. Shallow thinking.

        • Robin The Goodfellow

          Left wing parties, especially in NZ, appeal to convicted criminals

          Funny that

          • Robert Guyton

            Of course, they're the only chance any criminal might have of redemption and rehabilitation.

            Why would they vote for the whip-wielders?

            • Robin The Goodfellow

              Yes that's the reason, nothing to do with the left being soft on crime

              • Rolling-on-Gravel

                Being tough or soft on crime has nothing to do with enfranchisement of various groups in a democracy.

                Am I happy that there might be some new sources of right-wing votes that comes with democratic enfranchisement of new groups? No. I do not have to be pleased about that. That's inevitable. I'll get over it anyway. You never know, they could surprise you.

                However in the spirit of democracy, it is necessary to give voice to more crops of groups that might be affected by any policies by any political parties led by any politician.

                A civic society that is afforded more democratic rights and more say in things is a civilised society.

                And that is what matters to me. It is not worth enduring a society that would deprive others of rights and a say in things. That is not a way to progress things.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  I see it as simple as if the state has the power to imprison you then you should have the ability to vote for those who decide the extent of that power and how it is enforced.

                  The three strikes law is a perfect example of disproportionate impact invoked by politicians that impacts directly on people in or having previously been in prison.

                  Also many prisoners have not been convicted of anything and will be found innocent or cases will fall over.

              • Robert Guyton

                Correct. Your thinking is becoming a bit clearer as you spend more time on The Standard.

  13. Mike the Lefty 15

    Petrolhead Simeon Brown gets his chance to shaft all those left voting EV owners. He is like a infant in charge of a Rolls Royce.

    • Muttonbird 15.1

      The bit I read was that RUCs might be about $1000/yr plus charging costs. Clean car rebate also gone. Petrol for most users is maybe $2000 – $3000/yr so the vehicle types are now much more even. Do we expect EV sales to plummet?

  14. Robert Guyton 16

    I drive an electric van belonging to a not-for-profit group, distributing produce around a 165km "loop" in Southland. We chose electric because the lower fuel costs were within the scope of what we could manage, financially.

    I have thoughts about Simeon and his backward-thinking mates, that are not generous.

    • James Simpson 16.1

      Do you think EVs should be exempt from paying, firstly, for the roads they drive on and secondly, ACC levies (which are currently charged at 6c per litre of fuel).

      If so, why?

      • Robert Guyton 16.1.1

        It's only irksome in light of the relatively free ride heavy trucks get. Tractors too. As well, the cessation of incentives to buy vehicles that don't burn fossil fuels is annoying. I think privileging electric vehicles for a longer period would have benefitted us all and the loss of income for the Government a small price to pay for behaviour change.

        Also, I don't like Simeon's manner 🙂

  15. gsays 17

    I am of the opinion that better 100 guilty folk walk free than one innocent person be incarcerated.

    This is an article on the miscarraige of justice that was the conviction of Allan Hall for the murder of Arthur Easton.

    There are some serious allegations that appear to border on corruption.

    It also includes a link to sign a petition for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the wrongful conviction of Allan Hall.

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