Open Mike 20/08/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 20th, 2018 - 254 comments
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254 comments on “Open Mike 20/08/2018”

  1. Jenny 1

    democracy
    noun de·moc·ra·cy \di-ˈmä-krə-sē\

    Definition of democracy
    plural democracies

    1a : government by the people; especially: rule of the majority

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy

    Rule of the Majority, or elected dictatorship?

    How much democracy do we actually have?

    If we had ‘rule of the majority’ in New Zealand, Parliament would be subservient to the people.

    If we had ‘rule of the majority’ in Parliament, Government would be subservient to Parliament.

    If we had ‘rule of the majority’ in Government, Government would be subservient to the Caucus.

    If we had ‘rule of the majority’ in politics, the Caucus would be subservient to the party.

    But in New Zealand, currently, we have it the other way round

    In politics, the majority in the party, is subservient to the minority in Caucus.

    In government, the majority in the Caucus are subservient to the minority in Cabinet.

    In Parliament, the majority in Parliament are subservient to the minority in Government.

    And the majority of the people are subservient to the minority in Parliament.

    (Some have described this situation as being an elected dictatorship).

    Looked at it this way, our so called representative system of government, really doesn’t allow much majority rule at all. And what it does allow, is slowly being eroded away. This lends to a tiny minority of very wealthy, but completely unrepresentative lobbyists a lot of power to pressure, and manipulate, and persuade that tiny minority that rule us, to their bidding, not ours. And this lobbying which is all done behind closed doors by wealthy lobbyists who enjoy special access to our parliamentarians, possessing the swipe cards and necessary security passes to the Beehive, is often against the majority will

    But why is this relevant to the latest debate going on inside the Green Party?

    Good Guys Finish last

    Jeanette Fitzsimons expresses disappointment that the Green Party Caucus has been given power to over rule the party*

    Fitzsimons was more disappointed about a rule change to the way MPs  were bound by the decisions of the wider party, but wouldn’t elaborate further on that change as it was not yet public.

    It wasn’t clear exactly what that rule change was. Asked if she was disappointed in the caucus decision to support Waka Jumping, Fitzsimons said “I’m more disappointed in the fact the party rules were changed to mean that [we] can now do that legitimately any time [we] want to, I think that is much more serious.”

    My parentheses J.

    Fitzsimons’ use of words is telling. Which is why I have put parentheses around them.

    When Fitzsimons says ‘we’, what she means is, ‘they’ (meaning the caucus). But doesn’t want to say it.

    The choice of worlds represents that Fitzsimons is trying to inhabit her customary role in the party of peace maker between political divisions inside and outside the party. This is a role that Fitzsimons has played throughout her political career. She is clearly not comfortable with confrontation, and will back down in the face of it. (As she did with Clark over the ETS, when she gave the ETS her backing in spite of her own reservations and despite deep opposition against the ETS in the Greens.)

    The choice of the word ‘we’ indicates that Fitzsimons is attempting to bridge the division, between the membership and the Caucus giving the impression, ‘we’ are all one, in handing the Caucus the power to rule over the membership.

    In line with her self appointed role of peacemaker, Fitzsimons indicates that she has become resigned to the new state of affairs.

    Though Fitzsimons thinks that this new power, this new ability of the caucus to legitimately do ‘that’ any time they want to, is “much more serious”.

    In line with her self appointed role of peacemaker, Fitzsimons indicates that she has become resigned to the new state of affairs.

    Green Party co-founder and former leader Jeanette Fitzsimons still wants the party to pull their support for the Waka Jumping bill – but says she has hit a “brick wall”….

    ….“It would be great if [a motion was passed] but I think we have tried everything we can try and we have been met by a brick wall. I think we have to move on.”

    “I’m disappointed in that decision that was made but I’m not going to dwell on it for the rest of my life,” Fitzsimons said.

    Fitzsimons said there were tensions to be worked through at the conference, but she was proud of the work the party had done so far in Government.

    *(That battle has been won and lost inside the Labour Party, a long time ago. And was never fought inside New Zealand First. Because NZ First has always been run as a fiefdom from its inception).

    • Ed 1.1

      Excellent Jenny. Thank you.

    • solkta 1.2

      I’m really glad that we have the rule of law rather than simple majority rule. Had we had the latter then Maori Treaty rights would not have been recognized but rather the document would have been ripped up long ago. Had this happened NZ most probably descended into the kind of violence we saw in places like Northern Ireland in the 70s.

      As far as Jeannette and the Greens is concerned you invent your point:

      When Fitzsimons says ‘we’, what she means is, ‘they’ (meaning the caucus). But doesn’t want to say it.

      What evidence do you have for putting words in her mouth? How do you know this when the changes to party processes have not been made public?

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        In identity politics someone may have different identities in different political contexts. The royal “we” has long been employed by leftists when they self-identify as part of the whole. In this instance I believe she is using it to refer to her inclusion as a member, therefore caucus members are implicitly included in that whole.

        Referring to parliamentarians as “they” kicks in when the common-interest frame doesn’t apply: when the common interests of caucus members differ from the common interests of party members who aren’t in caucus! There’s a tension at this interface. Members will inevitably feel that when MPs operate independently as a group, their accountability to the party as a whole comes into question.

        I’m intrigued by Jenny’s statement that “the Green Party Caucus has been given power to over rule the party”. I’d like to see some evidence that it’s true (rather than merely a personal interpretation). Having just returned from representing my local branch as a delegate at the conference, I encountered no such evidence.

        • The Chairman 1.2.1.1

          The following is from Henry Cooke via Stuff.

          The review was not complete at the time of writing, but its likely that it will give MPs a little bit more freedom to act without consulting members on every decision.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/106388785/bruised-green-party-go-back-to-basics-at-annual-conference

          Did you call them out on lying, Dennis? If so, what was their response?

          • Dennis Frank 1.2.1.1.1

            I’m the kind of person who would object to lying if circumstances were appropriate, but no such applied at conference. Depends what you are referring to. Often what one person thinks is a lie, another sees as spin or (mis)interpretation.

            It was a very tightly-organised event, carefully designed to cater for lowest-common-denominator democracy only. That’s good when you want efficient production of consensus as output. It’s frustrating for folks like me who also want to steer the gathering in a particular direction at times, when vital points are not being considered.

            • dukeofurl 1.2.1.1.1.1

              In other words you were in a minority and didnt like the result

              ‘designed to cater for lowest-common-denominator democracy only’

              Dont they have a separate policy process which is more ‘talk fest’ oriented and produces a more specific outcome?

              • Dennis Frank

                I’ve spent most of my life being in a minority & not liking the result! But no, the organisers cleverly designed their process to avoid polarisation.

                Yeah, talk-fest has been normal for the Greens & still happens somewhat (summer policy conferences) but is better-facilitated towards constructive outputs & efficient time-management now.

            • The Chairman 1.2.1.1.1.2

              I was referring to them claiming their hands were tied re the waka jumping bill.

              It’s a shame more vital points weren’t able to be discussed/considered, thus I understand your frustration.

              • dukeofurl

                Fitzsimmons has become a bit like Roger Douglas in her old age- obstinate as hell.

                Was she the main reason Greens couldnt get a ministerial post during the Clark years ?

                • Dennis Frank

                  RNZ: “Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill.”

                  Hard to believe either Jeanette or Sue would be that naive, eh? If true, though, it does indicate an unwillingness to consider the other side of the coin. And in politics, reluctance to weigh the merits of both sides of an issue are likely to make you seem incompetent. Retirement is therefore sensible, and lobbying from retirement only a good idea when you operate on a sound basis.

              • Dennis Frank

                Audrey Young: “Labour insisted on having an insurance policy – a clause in both agreements requiring the Greens and New Zealand First to act in good faith to allow the other’s agreements to be complied with.”

                Obviously this ought to have been acknowledged at the press conference (instead of tossing a dead rat at the media on behalf of the leftists in the party). So we got weeks of hoo-ha in which journos claimed the coalition agreements did not bind the Greens. Either they can’t read, or Audrey is wrong. Which?

                • The Chairman

                  The advice given to the Greens from the Cabinet Office states good faith is a political statement around how the Greens endeavour to work with the Government. It commits them to work through areas of concern in good faith, but does not bind them to support everything set out in the Labour/New Zealand First coalition agreement.

                  Therefore, Audrey is wrong.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Looks like you are correct in your diagnosis. She could also be framing her (mis)interpretation to reflect a similar view adopted by the Green caucus. This is just another perception/reality thing. Even lawyers don’t agree on what the law means half the time.

                    Also, our caucus isn’t necessarily being disingenuous. Choosing to take Cabinet Office advice as more precise than the vagueness implied by your description of it serves the purpose of making the government operate on a consensus basis. I side with our caucus on this.

                    • The Chairman

                      While I agree lawyers don’t agree on what the law means half the time, this is rather clear cut.

                      Acting in good faith doesn’t mean one is obligated to approve of everything in negotiation. If it did, they wouldn’t have to act in good faith as everything would have already been agreed upon by agreeing to act in good faith.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      All I’m saying is that they are interpreting it as more binding than you are so as to show they are team players rather than separatists. Naturally some leftists got enraged by the spectre of collaboration: those to whom separatism has become a way of life. An addiction. Other leftists are proving they understand that the left can only be successful nowadays via consensus.

                    • The Chairman

                      They may well be interpreting it as more binding, but they weren’t bound by it as they claimed.

                      Albeit this Green lot don’t have much fight, I understand they are required to make compromises from time to time. But they don’t have to lie about it.

                  • Wayne

                    Audrey is not wrong. There is an expectation (perfectly reasonable) that all parties in a coalition will work together to achieve the key points of their respective policy objectives. To do otherwise would quickly destroy a government.
                    From what I can see that is what happens with the current government. Each of the parties has got something that is important to them and they expect their partners to support that, not frustrate it, even if it is not something they would specifically want.
                    Outside of those agreed things, no doubt it is all negotiable, though presumably they all have to be sufficiently ok with it. After all, any one of the parties can prevent something happening. For instance repealing three strikes was abl to be stopped by NZ First. That is they said they would not vote for it.

                    • The Chairman

                      While there is an expectation that all parties in a coalition will work together to achieve the key points of their respective policy objectives, good faith doesn’t mean they have to comply with all those key points as Audrey implied.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Advice from cabinet office ?

                    Sounds dodgy to me , as its the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

                    Good faith in a context of industrial relations – which is very familiar to a lot of labour people- means NO absolute no nos as far as to finding an agreement.
                    ie an employer saying they are opposed to a collective bargaining agreement ‘on principal’ is definitely not in good faith.

                    Greens not budging on waka jumping in principle is definitely NOT in good faith

                    • The Chairman

                      They only have to consider it in good faith, they are not bound to support it.

                      Supporting it to this stage was a show of good faith.

      • marty mars 1.2.2

        + 1 yep – a lot of ‘and this means…’ without evidence – it may be true or not.

      • Jenny 1.2.3

        Hi Solkta. You are right it is an assumption. But I think it is a reasonable assumption, mainly because it makes proper sense, (and meaning), of the sentence.

        “I’m more disappointed in the fact the party rules were changed to mean that we can now do that legitimately any time we want to, I think that is much more serious.”

        Jeanette is talking about something she doesn’t like, and not supported by her, that lets ‘they’, meaning the caucus, do things the Party, don’t support, but uses the word “We”, meaning the caucus. I can’t think of anyone else Jeanette might be thinking of, who can now over rule the party in parliament. She also says that she thinks that this is “much more serious”. (Than letting the caucus sack dissenting MPs)

        • solkta 1.2.3.1

          No, it is very clear to me that the “we” refers to the Party but Jeanette is not happy about the rule change. The fact that she disagrees does not make her suddenly not part of the party.

          that lets ‘they’, meaning the caucus,

          Where is the “they” in the sentence you quote? If she had meant “they” as in the caucus she would have said “they”. Jeanette is extremely articulate and is always careful to say what she means.

          • Jenny 1.2.3.1.1

            “The fact that she disagrees does not make her suddenly not part of the party.”
            solkta

            I would certainly hope not.

            Solkta, I think that as I tried to explain before, in my opinion, with her choice of words, Jeanette was trying to straddle the difference between the Caucus and the Party.

            Jeanette also expressed resignation that these changes were inevitable.

            I was of the opinion that instead of being resigned to these changes and trying to cover over the difference opened up by them, Jeanette should have openly challenged them.

            I would have hoped that openly challenging the rule changes, (not yet public), that she disagrees with, would not have entailed her leaving her party.

            If it had, things are much worse than I thought.

            Personally I hope that I am wrong about all this, and the Green Party Caucus will not be become distant from their membership, and/or isolated and contained in parliament.
            Though they now will have a harder time of it, I hope the Green Party Caucus will still strenuously lobby the other MPs in the Government for the legislative changes their members want. And that despite the efforts to constrain them, that the Green Party MPs will be able to get some more wins for the environment and especially the climate on the board.

            God knows we need them.

            • solkta 1.2.3.1.1.1

              You keep seeing this as a caucus versus party issue when it is really a party versus party issue. Some members, like Jeanette, think the Party should never compromise on policy while others, the majority, think that some level of compromise is acceptable to achieve wider goals.

            • cleangreen 1.2.3.1.1.2

              yes Jenny we need the greens to back NZ First to get ourb regional rail going again after 20 years of neglect.

              See this as the reasons.

              We hope this new agency ‘EMA’ Shane Jones yesterday announced to plan our ‘inferstucture’ – recommends regional rail to take trucks off the roads that are now the most danerous roads in the developed world now.

              One truck wears the road surface 9600 times faster than one car does according to a US study from engineers, according to a US gov’t GAO study.

              https://www.vabike.org/vehicle-weight-and-road-damage/

              Vehicle Weight and Road Damage
              admin December 2, 2009 @vabike 22 comments
              Heavy trucks obviously cause more road damage than cars, but how much more? According to a GAO study, Excessive Truck Weight: An Expensive Burden We Can No Longer Afford, road damage from one 18-wheeler is equivalent to 9600 cars (p.23 of study, p.36 of PDF).

              The study assumed a fully loaded tractor-trailer at 80,000 pounds, and a typical passenger car at 4,000 pounds. That’s 20 times difference in weight, but the wear and tear caused by the truck is exponentially greater.

              Food for thought: a bicycle and rider at 200 pounds is the same 20 times less heavy than a 4000 pound passenger car. Similarly, the wear and tear caused by that bike and rider would be exponentially less than a passenger car’s.

              Virginia has already figured out that it’s cheaper to move trucks off our highways and onto trains, than to support those trucks on our roads. Let’s also think about getting motorists out of their cars. Wide shoulders, wide outer lanes and bike lanes, and off-road paths and trails for bicyclists may seem like extra expense, but they’re cheaper than supporting the car trips they can eliminate.

    • corodale 1.3

      More serious in the respect that it had to happen?
      Because the number of plants in the Greens has grown to the point where they need to give more power to the top? Because there are too many bloos and joos in middle ranks? Plenty of wisdom in the Greens, it will take more than dirty politics to stop them from rising.

    • Gosman 1.4

      This deserves a post all of it’s own. Instead we have some irrelevant article about a potential challenge to the Australian PM.

    • Jenny 1.5

      Jeanette Fitzsimons of course, is not the only ex-Green MP to warn against these changes.

      We should really listen when someone like Sue Bradford, who has successfully achieved getting more bills passed from a minority position, than any other MP in our democracy’s history, also warns against these constraints on party and parliamentary democracy.

      From Wikipedia:

      Bradford has successfully pushed through three member’s bills: removing the defence of “reasonable force” when corporally punishing or smacking children; letting mothers in jail keep their babies for longer; and making the adult minimum wage apply to 16- and 17-year-olds. It is considered an achievement for a backbench MP to pass a single member’s bill, let alone three.

      It can be strongly argued that if the MPs from other parliamentary parties had been under the hammer of their executives and the possibility of being dismissed from parliament, if they strayed from the party line, that all of Bradford’s bills would have died in committee.

      • solkta 1.5.1

        On the contrary. Labour backed the Bill while National gave their MPs a conscience vote. If there had been any crossing of the floor it could only have been Labour MPs to oppose it.

        • Jenny 1.5.1.1

          “Labour backed the Bill while National gave their MPs a conscience vote.”
          Solkta

          The reason Labour backed minority Green Party MP Sue Bradford’s Bills, is because she and other Green MPs were free to aggressively lobby and win over, Labour (and National Party) MPs without repercussions to these MPs.

          Would Sue Bradford have been able to win these Labour Government MPs, (and even some National MPs), to support these Green Party Bills’ if they knew their Party leaders could sack them for supporting a Private Member Bill of a minor non-government party?

          This new law will make the Green Party’s job of getting the MPs of the other Partes in parliament to support or take up their policies that much harder.

          • solkta 1.5.1.1.1

            Bollocks, the Bill won’t prevent MPs from talking with each other.

            • Jenny 1.5.1.1.1.1

              I think you mean, ‘the Bill won’t prevent MPs from whispering with each other.’

              • solkta

                No. I meant what i wrote.

              • veutoviper

                What a load of bollocks above, Jenny.

                As for the waka jumping Bill, “Almost too late, almost too late” she said.

                Read all about it at tonight’s Daily Review.

    • Dennis Frank 1.6

      Your concern and framing of it in the context of democracy is appropriate & I share it. Newsroom: “Some of the party’s well-known rifts were no doubt aired in these closed sessions.” Not sufficiently, that’s for sure.

      Always on the watch for traces of closet-stalinism, I would agree with any member who felt that the agenda was designed to minimise the possibility of members criticising party decision-making in our closed sessions. OTOH I’d also agree with anyone who saw that design as a sophisticated way of inducing a focus on common ground and how to progress via learning better ways of framing issues. Encouraging to see conference organisers deploying diversionary tactics so cleverly. Perhaps Exec & caucus will realise the same expertise can be applied to the media.

      • The Chairman 1.6.1

        “I would agree with any member who felt that the agenda was designed to minimise the possibility of members criticising party decision-making in our closed sessions”

        Silencing dissent within the ranks will only lead to more resentment.

        So much for healing and strengthening the party.

        • Dennis Frank 1.6.1.1

          Yep, the road to hell (see http://altaotearoa.blogspot.com/2015/06/on-road-to-hell.html) but they did design for the healing & strengthening sessions quite well, so readers ought not to get the impression they failed.

          My take is that they had too tight a timeframe to allow for venting. The formal AGM structure & business took up half the conference. The rah-rah team-building slots for MPs took up a couple of hours, scattered throughout the schedule to avoid overkill. Did we really need them? Yes & no. Humans get too negative on criticism easily, so reminder of our historic policy achievements in the current govt is a good strategy to balance that tendency.

    • Dennis Frank 1.7

      The necessity for the Greens caucus to do rapid decision-making that requires divergence from GP policy in order to progress our government on the basis of a three-party consensus provoked whatever rule change has happened: support for the waka-jumping bill to the next stage of parliamentary process.

      Herald: ” The sweetener for the Greens has been a commitment by the cabinet to compensate for that dead rat by an extension of the Bill of Rights Act – it will give courts the statutory authority to declare a law inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act (authority which is disputed at present) and when they do, Parliament will be required to review that law. One can only hope that once the courts’ new powers are conferred that the first law to be declared inconsistent with the Bill or Rights Act will be the party-hopping bill.”
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12108919

      The journo’s hope seems based on the assumption of poor legal drafting. Winston’s a lawyer, so why would anyone expect him to fall into that trap?? But yes, the option provided by the govt is a good sensible check on party dominance. Democracy was designed for power-sharing, so a balance of powers in governance is necessary.

      I’m still waiting to see if amendments to Winston’s bill have emerged in the select committee process to balance the rights of party and electors against the right of an MP to dissent and then jump the waka. We need an integral design satisfying the common interests of all.

      • greywarshark 1.7.1

        If MPs are allowed to fly free when they have sucked up to a Party and its supporters long enough to get elected, nothing is certain except that more bad time wasting acrimonious and self-centred attempts will be made to ram through legislation with doubtful importance compared to the big, becoming unsolvable problems that hang in the closet like disintegrating smelly corpses.

        There needs to be time given for bills or deemed legislation to remedy bad social problems that show up and should be dealt with quickly, even by following a procedure agreed on, monitored for benefit and suitability as a pilot scheme.
        Having MPs flying round madly on their own trajectories like those flying click beetles near a light, is not of benefit to our human rights.

        Have a look at Australia where they have often had trouble with Independents and take note of the latest insect that has crawled through a hole in the wall there. He has gopt into government through them having imperfect legislation allowing a band glued together by negative feelings towards others as Pauline Hanson’s One Party is, then the guy went independent, then joined another small party the Australia Party. He indicates how dangerous and degrading of government independents can be; so narrow minded they are toxic. He is preaching the White Australia Policy return.
        Fraser Anning: How only 19 people voting for him secured Senate gig
        https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/…/f8d8aaa83f0c2bcab53626455a3698d6
        5 days ago – In his offensive and dangerous maiden speech, Senator Fraser … took a pit-stop as an independent, and then joined Katter’s Australian Party.

    • dukeofurl 1.8

      “(As she did with Clark over the ETS, when she gave the ETS her backing in spite of her own reservations and despite deep opposition against the ETS in the Greens.)”

      I understood it was the ETS or nothing. NZF would have been happy with nothing at the time.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.9

      In Parliament, the majority in Parliament are subservient to the minority in Government.

      You’re heading in the right direction but this is wrong: It’s the majority in parliament that makes up the government.

      And the majority of the people are subservient to the minority in Parliament.

      That’s how Representative Democracy was designed. The rich were concerned that the majority would vote to make them poor.

      Of course, we can’t afford the rich so we do need to legislate them out of existence.

      Asked if she was disappointed in the caucus decision to support Waka Jumping, Fitzsimons said “I’m more disappointed in the fact the party rules were changed to mean that [we] can now do that legitimately any time [we] want to, I think that is much more serious.”

      Fitzsimons is misrepresenting what has happened and what it allows.

      … in handing the Caucus the power to rule over the membership.

      The caucus hasn’t been given power to over-rule the membership.

      • Jenny 1.9.1

        Kia ora Draco.

        I thought carefully before including the line; “….Parliament are subservient to the minority in Government.”

        In a narrow sense, Yes of course you are right: “It’s the majority in parliament that makes up the government.”

        But if the government lose that majority on some issue during their term; under Standing Orders the Government can invoke a right of Financial Veto. Effectively over ruling Parliament.

        The past National Government used Financial Veto to over rule the majority of Parliament to oppose extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks.

        Finance Minister Bill English on Thursday vetoed proposed changes to extend paid parental leave after the bill passed its second reading with 61 votes to 60 a fortnight ago.

        Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party, NZ First and United Future all supported the bill while National and ACT were opposed.

        The third reading is expected to take place later this month but there will be no vote now that English has lodged a certificate of financial veto.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/81138922/Government-has-used-the-financial-veto-to-stop-an-extension-to-paid-parental-leave

        Not allowing a vote, in parliament is not democratic, it is rule by fiat.

        It is what I mean by the term elected dictatorship.

        • Jenny 1.9.1.1

          P.S. As to your other point, that, “Fitzsimons, is misrepresenting what has happened and what it allows”

          As the details are being withheld, I suppose time will tell whether you, or jeanette are right. As Jeanette was probably privy to this information, my guess is that her estimation would be more accurate than yours.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.9.1.2

          I’ve been using the term Elected Dictatorship to describe Representative Democracy for some time.

          There are many examples of the government going against the wishes of the populace when they act to protect profits.

    • Jenny 1.10

      The Herald Editorial yesterday makes some very pertinent points about the Waka Jumping Bill:

      Every supporter of the New Zealand First Party ought to be embarrassed by the “waka jumping” bill. No respectable political party in a democracy needs a law to keep its elected legislators loyal to it.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12109864

      Indeed

      Labour and the Greens are real political parties. That is, they are organisations of like-minded people who can channel their values and views into a coherent political programme to put to a public vote. They choose their candidates for Parliament through internal votes that produce competent and usually reliable MPs.

      New Zealand First is different, as it has effectively declared with this bill. It cannot rely on its MPs to remain loyal to the party that put them in Parliament and needs a law that will allow its caucus to expel a member from Parliament who will not go along with something the party intends to do.

      Labour and National have both had MPs who “crossed the floor” on rare occasions and though it can bring down governments, neither has felt the need of a law to prevent it. They are parties in the Westminster tradition which values the ultimate right of elected representatives to act on their personal sense of what is right and what is in the nation’s interests.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12109864

      Just as the Herald Editorial says; No self respecting party sure of its vision (which feed into its candidate selection process) need worry about Waka Jumping.

      I also think it is a mature position for any political party to hold to accept that sometimes the minority may be right.

      In relation to the case of Alamein Kopu, which is always brought up as a reason for the need for a Waka Jumping Bill.
      What that snafu revealed to me, was a weakness in the Alliance candidate selection process, resulting from a lack of a united cohesive political vision inside the Alliance. A weakness that expressed itself in their selection process.

      It was this lack of a united cohesive vision that led to the Greens Alliance split, and ultimately to the split between the membership and the leadership over New Zealand troop deployment to Afghanistan, (the final dispute that finished them off).

      You can’t take the analogy too far but I think that there is a resemblance between New Zealand First and the Alliance, in that both were formed as reactive offshoots to the perceived betrayal of their respective birthing parties, (National >> NZFirst, Labour >> Alliance), One from the Left and the other from the Right.

      Both parties encompassed differing political streams under one roof. And both parties were led by stubbourn charismatic leaders who brook no insubordination to their top down style of leadership in each of their respective parties. (Peters more successfully so than Anderton).

      Though the party recently celebrated 25 years of existence it remains a one-man band.

      It has not developed a body of principles and people larger than allegiance to its founder. It remains difficult to imagine the party existing without Winston Peters.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12109864

      Just as the Alliance didn’t survive the departure of their leader (Albeit under likely very different circumstances)

      A party such as this is not good for democracy or stability of government. Allegiance to a person rather than a party is shallow, as we have seen in NZ First over the years. Peters has fallen out with a number of his MPs and his need for this legislation suggests his latest caucus is no more reliable.

      A few days ago we learned they have all been obliged to sign an agreement to pay the party $300,000 if they resign from its caucus or are expelled and do not leave Parliament within three days. It is an abject disgrace that Peters can require that of those he brings into Parliament with him but it is their business, it is less of a public concern.

      Legislation to impose the same sort of rule on all MPs, minus the fine, is of most serious public concern. It offends our deepest political principles. We elect people to Parliament, not stooges.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12109864

      Labour and the Greens ought to be embarrassed too that they are obliged to support their governing partner on this bill. Green Party members, to their credit, have made their distaste for it very clear before and during their annual conference at the weekend.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12109864

      Too bad the Green Party members didn’t carry the day. Our democracy will be the poorer for it.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.10.1

        Indeed

      • solkta 1.10.2

        You mean the Green Party members who strongly opposed it. The majority of members did “carry the day”.

        • Dennis Frank 1.10.2.1

          It may seem so, but the decision was made by caucus and the Executive didn’t provide delegates at conference with the opportunity to either endorse or reject it, so the numbers supporting the government never got counted!

          • solkta 1.10.2.1.1

            The thing has been discussed at every level of the Party for eight months now. The only voting members on both the Exec and Policy Committee are the Province reps. Delegates can take control of an AGM if they are of a mind to. Remits can also be prepared in advance. If the majority of members were opposed it could not have happened.

        • Jenny 1.10.2.2

          Don’t wobble the waka.

          It seems that members (and ex-MPs), opposition to the Waka Jumping Bill, was not discussed at the conference. Leading Jeanette Fitzsimmons to air her misgivings to the media in a break during the conference.

          Jeanette Fitzsimons gives warning of “speed wobbles”
          Lucy Bennett – NZ Herald, August 20, 2018

          ….But Fitzsimons, who co-led the Green Party from 1995 to 2009, said the Greens’ support for the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill was a low point. “It’s wrong it denies MPs’ basic freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of thought. It’s contrary to the Bill of Rights and it’s contrary to our policy.”
          Efforts to prevent the caucus from voting with Labour and New Zealand First had “hit a brick wall”, Fizsimons said.
          Despite that, the bill was not discussed at the meeting……

      • Dennis Frank 1.10.3

        Amusing to see the editor of the Herald putting NZ first while criticising NZ First: “They are elected on the brands of political parties but their first allegiance should be to New Zealand.” Bullshit, of course. It’s what the Herald always provides.

        In our representative democracy, the first allegiance of MPs has long been to parties, and the second allegiance to those who elected them. To prove the Herald claim valid, the evidence of an allegiance requirement to the nation would have to be produced. Citations from any employment contract that current legislation applies to them or party rules would suffice.

        • Jenny 1.10.3.1

          My Party right, or wrong?

          “In our representative democracy, the first allegiance of MPs has long been to parties, and the second allegiance to those who elected them.”
          Dennis Frank

          Hi Dennis, I disagree.

          God save the rebels!

          Dennis, I would like to ask you to consider the consequences of letting party leaderships impose an undemocratic sectarian straight jacket, on our elected MPs.

          In my opinion our MPs have an allegiance to the people and the welfare of the nation above sectarian allegiances.

          We should guard the right of our elected leaders to obey their conscience.

          Let me ask you this Dennis; If a democratically elected MP, feels their leaders or their government are betraying the people who elected them, and then is moved to act on their conscience by crossing the floor or abstaining on some government bill or action they disagree with, that they then should be removed from parliament?

          Are you happy to give this power to party executives without any democratic checks and balances from their grass roots party members or the voters?

          Wouldn’t you agree that this is undemocratic?

          Do you think that Jim Anderton should have been undemocratically thrown out of Parliament when he disagreed with the Lange/Douglas administration over their undemocratic imposition of neoliberalism on the country?

          Do you think that Mike Minogue and Marilyn Waring should have undemocratically thrown out of parliament when they disagreed with the Muldoon administration over nuclear ship visits?

          It can be strongly argued that these rebels were more in touch with the democratic will of the people and their party grass roots than their party leaders.

          • Dennis Frank 1.10.3.1.1

            Hi Jenny, perhaps you haven’t noticed my earlier comments on this where I endorsed the principled position that you, JF & KL have taken. I’ve just been trying to established a balanced view in support of our current government.

            Excessive focus on one side of the issue defeats the consensus process which is essential to successful governance.

            So although MPs must have freedom of speech and conscience, and must retain the right to jump the waka when necessary, parliamentary rules and party constitutions must preserve democracy by including the electoral contract to balance their duties and responsibilities. Trust in democracy is vital. Denying it is a fatal design flaw. My concern is to ensure that the select committee produces an integral design instead of a zero-sum design which favours one side and discriminates against the other. Let’s be inclusive!

      • Dennis Frank 1.10.4

        Jenny, the flaw I see in your analysis is that the status quo allows parliamentarians to betray their electors. Trust is a vital part of parliamentary democracy. We ought to have electoral law that enforces accountability for such betrayal. Winston’s design is inadequate and the select committee process ought to improve it. However this has been raised numerous times already in this forum in recent years so I regret having to reinforce the need for balance!

        • Jenny 1.10.4.1

          Dennis, the flaw I see in your analysis is that the Waka Jumping Bill allows political parties to betray their their members, the nation, and the electors. And to silence any MP who objects on pain of dismissal.

    • Jenny 1.11

      Otago University law lecturer and Professor, Andrew Geddis on the Waka Jumping Bill:

      ‘Waka jumping’ law a cost to democracy
      Andrew Geddis – Radio NZ, 25 October 2017

      One of the more surprising matters included in the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement is their joint commitment to pass a ‘Waka Jumping’ Bill”. Such legislation effectively requires any MP who leaves her or his party, whether willingly or not, to also leave Parliament…..

      …..Such a law seeks to freeze representation as apportioned at the last election, by saying that the reason an MP may have for wanting to leave (or the reason why an MP is forced to leave) his or her party is irrelevant and so the MP also must leave Parliament.

      Consequently, where you have a genuine, irreconcilable clash of ideology within a party, there is no way to resolve that split neatly by separating the party into new, clearly distinct political organisations – unless one or the other disaffected groups is prepared to walk out of Parliament altogether.

      ……If the MP has done something really bad, then fair enough. But note that this approach puts an awful lot of power into the hands of a party leader (assuming that she or he still has the backing of her or his party). And where there is power, then there is the temptation to use that power in ways bad as well as good……

      ……If the MP has done something really bad, then fair enough. But note that this approach puts an awful lot of power into the hands of a party leader (assuming that she or he still has the backing of her or his party). And where there is power, then there is the temptation to use that power in ways bad as well as good.

  2. Incognito 2

    A book review of sorts of Capitalism vs. Freedom by Rob Larson: https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/08/the-meaning-of-freedom

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      In his new book Capitalism vs. Freedom, economist Rob Larson further develops a “left” idea of freedom. But in doing so, he departs from the usual way of framing the “positive-negative liberty” debate. Often, the left says something like “Free market economies may provide ‘negative’ liberty, but they do not provide ‘positive’ liberty.” Larson says that they do neither. In fact, he says, capitalism both restricts people’s ability to act and acts upon them against their will.

      Capitalism isn’t about freedom for everyone. It’s about freedom for the capitalists to negatively affect everyone else.

      • soddenleaf 2.1.1

        Capitalism, started, for example, when instead of say mining ore, paper wealth was created instead of actually mining more ore. The price of the existed mined ore went up as the interest in digging for it was depressed, see you could own gold without actually holding it. It was at its core Green, since the planet did not get polluted as much. It’s politics that force new mines, etc upon us, to grow wealth. What we need is less talk about capitalism, more talk about abusing it, since at its core capitalism stops every duck mining, farming inefficiently.

        • soddenleaf 2.1.1.1

          When you can’t burn anymore oil, you’ve essentially found all the gold there is, capitalism stalls as everyone knows the paper wealth has no clothes. Why have we moved into fake news, coz simple, the reality is capitalism has hit the planetary limit, it’s all bollocks now. Less some with a clue, no interest in current value, no call on future wealth, systemically detached, create new avenues, green ways to allot wealth that has no connection to limits. oh I know, the virtual economy, which currently is in the pre economic historical stage, ruled by warlocks and mystics. oh the joys of the pre history.

          • soddenleaf 2.1.1.1.1

            When you can’t burn anymore oil, you’ve essentially found all the gold there is, capitalism stalls as everyone knows the paper wealth has no clothes. Why have we moved into fake news, coz simple, the reality is capitalism has hit the planetary limit, it’s all bollocks now. Less some with a clue, no interest in current value, no call on future wealth, systemically detached, create new avenues, green ways to allot wealth that has no connection to limits. oh I know, the virtual economy, which currently is in the pre economic historical stage, ruled by warlocks and mystics. oh the joys of the pre history.

            Your data is your soul,Google is God now, theocracy of the cloud.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Capitalism, started, for example, when instead of say mining ore, paper wealth was created instead of actually mining more ore.

          No, capitalism started when some arsehole said that he owned a bit of land and a few people to work it and nobody disagreed with him.

          Capitalism, by its very nature, its very structure, is corrupt.

      • Jenny 2.1.2

        “Capitalism isn’t about freedom for everyone. It’s about freedom for the capitalists to negatively affect everyone else.”
        Draco T Bastard

        The gory freedom of free foxes in a free chicken run.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      And this:

      Ironically, the concentration of capital means that one of the great fears about socialism—that decisions about what to sell would be made by small, unelected groups of bureaucrats, rather than determined by competition—is increasingly coming true under capitalism. As Larson writes, “rather than the ‘planned economy’ of socialism that haunts Hayek’s dreams, it is corporate monopoly and oligopoly, and their industrial organizations, that are the main source of today’s central planning.” Instead of the government determining which speech will be heard, and which product features will be offered, the decisions are made by Mark Zuckerberg and “Jack,” who nobody ever voted for.

      What we have is a plutocracy.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Book is available at the Auckland Public Libraries.

  3. SaveNZ 3

    Milking it: NZ’s milk price: Who’s getting rich?

    Consumer NZ estimates that for every $3.56 bottle of milk (an average retail price at present), about $1.19 would go to the farmer, $1.91 to the processor and retailer and 46c to GST.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/106140079/nzs-milk-price-whos-getting-rich

    What interests me about the above statistic is that a lot more of the price of milk is going to the processor and retailer than the farmer. You can understand the farmers costs a lot more, they have to pay rates, mortgages and the price of land is increasing, as is the cost of vets, labour, feed, cost of the animals to produce, etc.

    But the majority is going not to the farmer but the processor, retailer and GST

    When so many in the grocery business are getting on the rich list with just one store you have to wonder why the neoliberal obsession with the price the farmers are paying versus the middle men, (processor and retailer) who seem to be creaming off the profits but often escape scrutiny as why their costs are so high!

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1

      Need to by direct from the cow. There are co-ops around just not convenient

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        Finding a cow who won’t haggle is the trick.

        • OnceWasTim 3.1.1.1

          I think there are plenty of cows that’ll turn tricks. There’s a whole opposition in parliament that can attest to that
          Treat them with a bit of respect and they’ll at least happily produce enough for the daily cup of chai.

    • Koff 3.2

      I’m in New Caledonia at the moment. There’s French and NZ milk on the supermarket shelves. The French milk is 75% of the price of NZ milk. Go figure! At least there’s a choice.

    • SaveNZ 3.3

      It would be interesting to work out the milk processing charge, separate from the milk retailer charge and also who is the processor (is that Fonterra?).

      Saw an article about horticulture and they were saying that the supermarket used to pay for the cartage and a whole lot of other costs but have gradually forced all the costs back on the producer as well as being very picky and telling the producer what they want them to produce.

      The commerce commission did not do a very good job investigating supermarkets because they seem to be the one that has managed to get control over the food chain well over the small amount of work they do as middle men.

      They have also found that fruit and veg has about 30% less nutrition that a generation ago possibly co inciting with the rise of supermarkets, exported food instead of local production and their obsession with shelf life and profits.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      But the majority is going not to the farmer but the processor, retailer and GST

      Who also have to pay rates, mortgages and other expenses.

      How much is going to pay interest from both the farmer and the processor?

      That’s the big question and why the banks are slowly being seen as the major drain on the economy (Why we can’t afford the rich, and a few other things I’ve read).

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/106296981/calls-for-pm-to-bring-nauru-refugee-kids-to-nz

    Let’s make a bet. 112 refugee children are taken in by NZ, housed, and their extensive mental health taken care of before disabled are funded properly and basic needs are met.

    • marty mars 4.1

      It’s not either or – we can do both. Stop demonizing innocent people.

      I have taken what you say to mean these refugees will get better treatment than citizens. Happy to have got it wrong if that isn’t the case.

  5. Gabby 5

    You think Pedaduddin will release his hostages sleepy?

  6. mac1 6

    From the ‘”Gawd help us, can you get dumber than this” pages’…

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/08/expenses-leak-came-from-a-govt-that-wants-to-distract-simon-bridges.html

    Mr Bridges says that the leak came not from his side but from the Government which was trying to distract the public.

    The dumbest thing was that he was unable to nominate from what the government was trying to distract attention.

    The Leader of the Opposition is unable to say what the government might have got wrong enough to want to misdirect voters!

    No wonder he has flagged away winning in 2020. He’s like the Wallabies after their 25 point walloping, hands on knees after his exhausting tour of the provinces, his front row collapsing, unable to retain his own ball (singular) even on his own throw in, and kicking possession away for his opposition to run back at him, fumbling, bumbling, and unlike the Wallabies now blaming the opposition.

    I bet he will soon be blaming Referee Mallard and the touch judges. The ball boys might even be suspect, someone will have spiked the drinks, and they were bullied even before the game started, the media asked questions, the crowd stayed away and it wasn’t a level playing field……..

    • Puckish Rogue 6.1

      Well it might have however I would have advised him not to talk about it until the investigation is done

    • ianmac 6.2

      On Morning Report this morning, Bridges came close to blaming Mallard for the enquiry. He also seemed to not understand that the enquiry that he insisted on, would cost a heap of money which could be seen as hypocritical given his complaints of money being spent on other Government enquiries.
      In short he was more over the place in this morning’s interview. Not so cocky.

      • dukeofurl 6.2.1

        They will walk back from the enquiry for sure. Brownlee who is leader of the house for the Nats was harumping about the ‘eternally sacred private communications between Mps and constituents’ , which for me meant they wont allow access to emails, but they might allow access to ‘network traffic’ or some other way to obstruct finding a culprit. Much like Dunne did for his ‘leaking’

        I think they have found’ leakers from cabinet’ before and thats a main reason why some ‘successful’ Mps have ‘retired early’.

    • mauī 6.3

      He is “not, not open”…

      lol how can nearly half the voting public follow and then vote for this idiot.

      And his recent statement that dealing with the dumping of tyres would be just another tax by the Greens. Just proves that his party does not give a shit about paptuanuku.

  7. The Chairman 7

    This is interesting.

    A new movement called Organise Aotearoa, to the left of the Greens, has sprung up to soak up some of those who might be less comfortable with the compromises.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/106388785/bruised-green-party-go-back-to-basics-at-annual-conference

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      So will this new party be more environmentally focused or social issue focused do you think?

      • The Chairman 7.1.1

        I know nothing more about it at this stage. But I can’t see why it can’t be focused on both.

        Perhaps someone out there can give us so more details?

        • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1.1

          Well if it was to happen, and as Dennis Frank just stated it won’t, having two parties offer pretty much the same thing generally would mean both would fail to hit 5% and Labour would gratefully pick up the rest of the votes

          But one focusing mainly on social issues and one focusing on Green issues might, still probably wouldn’t, just be able to pull it off especially if one party did a deal with Labour

          Well theres always TOP I guess

          • The Chairman 7.1.1.1.1

            Some would say Labour and National offer pretty much the same thing and they both have no problem getting over 5%.

            Let’s face it, the Greens have been a shambles so it wouldn’t take much to out perform them and take their support.

      • Dennis Frank 7.1.2

        Not a new party. It’s a network within the Greens. Think of it as a pressure group. In the unlikely scenario of these leftists proving they can work together in common cause, it will become a lobby – perhaps even what the yanks call a PAC.

        • Puckish Rogue 7.1.2.1

          Thanks for that

        • The Chairman 7.1.2.2

          Thanks, Dennis.

          Do you know who is fronting it?

          • Dennis Frank 7.1.2.2.1

            No, don’t recall names easily at my age & never seen him before. Shaved head, probably late twenties or thirties at a guess, skinny, slightly-built. The way to connect would be via either a branch networker or provincial networker for your area, but failing that an email request to Greens head office. Sometimes such emails take a while to elicit a response.

            Asking a Green MP via their online email address may work also – could try one of the younger ones not committed to ministerial duties…

          • mauī 7.1.2.2.2

            An Egg?

    • Dennis Frank 7.2

      Splitters. It’s what leftists do. It was announced by the convenor to the conference as a new network – nothing wrong with that. There’s already a rainbow network, a disabilities network, around half a dozen networks concurrently, although sadly the wild greens network Nandor once led may have lapsed into dormancy.

      Given the left still control the party at the top level, this splitter initiative indicates primarily that any kind of pragmatic compromise to build the GP voter base in the center between left & right is anathema to members who are so sectarian they are unable to focus on the common good. Power-sharing is incomprehensible to closet-stalinists! Under-privileged folk must rule everyone! Tacit stuff like this is very powerful in some activists. Self-defeating, but they’ll only figure that out after years of bitter experience…

      • marty mars 7.2.1

        They sound like a good crew thinking and doing good work – well done to those left activists – diversity of opinion is what is needed – within the green framework of course.

        • Dennis Frank 7.2.1.1

          True. Well-intentioned and a vital part of the whole. I just wish they could see the big picture…

          • Puckish Rogue 7.2.1.1.1

            “I just wish they could see the big picture…”

            Like maybe if they could see the whole of the moon perhaps? 🙂

            • Dennis Frank 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Ah yes, the dark side. Jungian shadow projection: if we follow Monty Python & always look on the bright side, what’s the cost of such denial? Deep philosophical vortex in the discourse there that it’s best for us to sail around..

      • solkta 7.2.2

        I can’t see what this issue has to do with left and right or Stalin. This is an issue of how tightly the party should hold to principle versus compromise to achieve wider goals. This was always a question that would need to be worked through once the party was actually part of a government.

      • Carolyn_Nth 7.2.3

        “Organise Aotearoa” is not specifically a Green Party group, unless there’s two groups using that name.

        It was first mentioned as a group working with the radical left think tank (Economic and Social Justice Aotearoa) in February this year, as co-organiser of their conference.

        Registration is now open for The Return of Economic Planning, a conference co-hosted by the think tank Economic and Social Research Aotearoa and Organise Aotearoa, a new organisation organising against capitalism and its symptoms in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

        It also got a mention in April this year on this left wing blog post:

        True, a new communist organisation under the opaque banner of ‘Organise Aotearoa’ has apparently been formed, I hear with as many as 80+ members. But the group is in a half life, apparently made public too early with little information available and erstwhile members seemingly left in the dark. Until there is something more to go on (as far as I know rumors of this ‘new communist party’ have been around since 2014) I don’t know how much this organisation could count. This is only one metric of measuring the matter, however.

        ESRA was Sue Bradford’s idea, but I understand she has now left it.

        I do think Organise Aotearoa sounds more left and including green politics, rather than affiliated with the Green Party. Henry Cooke’s article says it’s a new movement to the left of the Green party.

        And I do think NZ needs a new strongly green left movement and party.

        • Dennis Frank 7.2.3.1

          Ah, okay. Looks like we have had an inadvertent conflation of two different groups (that may have over-lapping membership). I can clarify that the label Organise Aotearoa was not used when the network was introduced to the conference, nor by the convenor when he outlined what the network was for. It was just called the leftist Greens network, from memory.

          • solkta 7.2.3.1.1

            There has been a Left Greens Network in the party like forever.

            • Dennis Frank 7.2.3.1.1.1

              Not in capital letters as such. Perhaps that’s why they decided to make it explicit. Factions don’t work, but they are traditional leftist praxis…

              • solkta

                Yes in capital letters. The correct name is: GreenLeft Network

                Nothing wrong with this or any of the other network.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Okay, interesting. Perhaps, then, the explanation could be that it had fallen into disuse? Maybe the speaker & introducer were both unaware of that, since neither mentioned that it was being revived. However you could indeed be right that there has been continuity, and the sense I got that it was new was due to the framing used. That network was not evident at the summer policy conference this year, nor the one in 2015 I attended, nor in the 2015 AGM so far as I can recall.

  8. SaveNZ 8

    Andrew Little was very good on Q&A last night talking about transforming the justice system. As usual MSM tried to spin that it was political suicide, but actually most of the panel was supportive and so were the public comments.

    As usual the MSM seem to think the public are stupid and hysterical, but actually I think when you look at the low calibre of discourse coming from parliament and MSM journo’s and commentators with their “lock em up” discourse, it is not supported by the average Joe when many people understand something is wrong when suddenly over the last 5 years of the Natz, prison sentences have gone up 30%, coinciding with National’s attempts to build private prisons and fight clubs (now rape clubs by the look of it), National taking away prison votes effecting Maori in particular, rise of Meth, National removing people from receiving benefits, and skyrocking the cost of living while hiding it behind a massive immigration drive of many low and medium income workers and low level course study foreign students who are competing with the poorer NZ’er’s for everything from housing to jobs.

    Also of course if you artificially increase the population dramatically you will have the rising levels of crime, especially if the government is not too picky and leaving it up to “market forces” about the people who are coming into NZ to study or work or launder money here (nothing done for example when China’s most wanted gambled over 500 MILLION at Sky City and arguably if he had never got involved with Dot com he would not even been prosecuted as that was not considered a problem).

    Also the last 10 years of educational “reforms” making the focus of foreign students, schools making money rather than educational outcomes, possibly at the detriment of struggling students who are now in their teens and twenties and functionally illiterate.

    • millsy 8.1

      I don’t think it is a coincidence that our prison population reaches an all time high 25 years after Ruth Richardson’s austerity budget and the subsequent bonfire of government services. National broke a generation.

      • SaveNZ 8.1.1

        As a note to the Waka jumping, it was made easier for Jenny Shipley to destroy the country when she managed to get Alemein Kopu on board, so due to that, I support the Waka jumping bill. It is more sickening when betrayal comes from places you don’t expect.

        • Gosman 8.1.1.1

          What legislation did Jenny Shipley pass as a result of having Alamein Kopu’s vote?

          • arkie 8.1.1.1.1

            In August 1998, Shipley sacked Peters after a dispute over the privatisation of Wellington International Airport. Peters tore up the coalition agreement soon afterwards. However several New Zealand First MPs, including deputy leader Tau Henare and most of the ministers, opted to leave the party and continue to support National. They, mostly now in a new party called Mauri Pacific, and a renegade Alliance MP, Alamein Kopu, formed a new coalition which allowed National to retain power until the 1999 election.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_National_Government_of_New_Zealand#The_National-New_Zealand_First_Coalition

            You will find answers if you look for them.

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1.1

              No, I specifically asked what piece of legislation did Jenny Shipley’s Government pass with Alamein Kopu’s vote. I did not ask how did Alamein Kopu come to be linked with her Government.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.1.2

        I am glad that NZ, and NZ politicians, have learnt that extremes are not required for NZ.

        18 years of centre left and right politics have convinced that while it might be to everyone’s cup of the tea the alternative, hard right or left, would be even worse

        Which means that yes Helen Clark gets a well done

        • marty mars 8.1.2.1

          Yeah I love my cup of tea luke warm yum yum. There would be no middle unless there was the extremes. The middle muddle and the hard left fight the hard right and the muddle sit there counting how much money they’ll die with. I can’t stand the middle or the people who thrive there. But that’s just me…

          • Puckish Rogue 8.1.2.1.1

            “I can’t stand the middle or the people who thrive there. But that’s just me…”

            Good luck with that:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_general_election,_2017

            National: 44.45%
            Labour: 36.89%

            the middle account for over 80% of the vote so you might be a little lonely up there on your pedestal

            • marty mars 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Happy with the few who think the same. I don’t need external validation on that one.

              I’m a minority in most things – I feel comfortable there tbh.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Fair enough

              • bwaghorn

                It’s a yin n yang thing . And the middle provides that . Balancing capitalism with socialism is the angle I come from .

                • RedLogix

                  @ bwaghorn

                  Yup … the left/right spectrum is a real and concrete aspect of human social life. Any enduring and sustainable political model has to be capable of encompassing and engaging with most people, most of the time.

                  This is a reality extremists lose sight of. Certainly we’ve lived through 40 years of unconstrained capitalism and the balance urgently needs to shift; but just like an over-due earthquake, the risk is when the fault line does release there will be a catastrophic overshoot.

                  Because demanding the ‘end of capitalism’ is directly akin to nuking the village and declaring it peace.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.2

          I am glad that NZ, and NZ politicians, have learnt that extremes are not required for NZ.

          We’ve been extreme right-wing for the last 30+ years.

          18 years of centre left and right politics have convinced that while it might be to everyone’s cup of the tea the alternative, hard right or left, would be even worse

          Which is a load of bollocks because we’ve been hard-right for the last 30+ years. Muldoon can be considered the last centrist PM.

          Reality has a hard Left bias.

          We really do need to live within our means but that’s got nothing to do with money but has everything to do with what resources we have and the environment that keeps us alive.

          The ‘centre’ path that you advocate for destroys both of those to make a few people rich with money.

          • SaveNZ 8.1.2.2.1

            “We’ve been extreme right-wing for the last 30+ years.”

            I agree, in particular to do with Laissez-faire free market economics where in which transactions between private parties are free from government intervention such as regulation, privileges, tariffs and subsidies….

            Laissez-faire has also been modified so that the government seems to be starting to worship private parties and corporations and expect the public taxes to pay or give free public money or resources (aka water) to them, aka wage subsidies, free water, money to invest etc etc…

            Create public companies that have zero accountability, run like private businesses but are paid for by the public taxes and resources, aka state owned enterprises and council COO’s like ports of Auckland and Auckland Transport.

            • RedLogix 8.1.2.2.1.1

              umm no. The real right wing extremists have been grumbling the whole time that we’re still a polish-shipyard socialist hell-hole. They hated John Key because he was far too liberal. So who to believe?

              While I’m agree our policy settings and welfare state are indeed too conservative; compared to most other developed nations NZ is still within the ball park. To describe us as ‘extreme’ or any kind of outlier flies in the face of simple observation.

              • Draco T Bastard

                While I’m agree our policy settings and welfare state are indeed too conservative; compared to most other developed nations NZ is still within the ball park.

                That only works if you think that the every other nation is centrist when they’re actually extreme right-wing as well.

                Every nation that belongs to the WTO is extreme right-wing as the WTO itself is based upon extreme right-wing ideology. The delusional idea that lowering tariffs is what’s needed for free-trade when actually free-trade requires tariffs. It requires a mechanism to ensure that costs are properly accounted for between nations and that’s what tariffs do.

          • millsy 8.1.2.2.2

            “Muldoon can be considered the last centrist PM.”

            I look at writings, quotes and footage from that era, about people going on about how right wing Muldoon is, and that he plans to privatise everything, ban unions, cut benefits and close schools and hospitals and I think “you dont know how good you have it at the moment, Going to be a lot worse in 10-20 years”.

            Geoffrey Palmer actually accused the Muldoon government in Parliament of running “Thatcherite monetary policies that would increase unemployment”. LOL

        • Stuart Munro 8.1.2.3

          That depends on how you characterize shades of left and right.

          The moderate left governance of my youth would now be painted by trolls such as yourself and the execrable Gosman as hard Left, when they were nothing of the kind – no optional gulags for treacherous scoundrels like Douglas were on offer.

          More’s the pity.

          • Puckish Rogue 8.1.2.3.1

            ” trolls such as yourself and the execrable Gosman”

            I don’t know what you’re talking about 🙂

        • Siobhan 8.1.2.4

          I’m guessing you rushed out for your copy of the NZ Womans Weekly this month?

          https://www.nowtolove.co.nz/lifestyle/career/dame-jenny-shipley-and-helen-clark-talk-about-their-friendship-38775

  9. Jenny 9

    What I mean by Elected Dictatorship.

    Here is a link to a post by a British conservative thinker, I disagree with his conclusions that to overcome the excesses of an elected dictatorship we need to give more power to the courts the Civil Service and the permanent heads.

    Nevertheless, though there is much that I disagree with in this writer’s treatise, and the UK First past the Post system is different to our MMP system, his post contains incites into the very real lack of genuine democracy and an acknowledgement of voter alienation and a general breakdown in public confidence in the political elite, caused by this lack of democracy.

    Against the background of a general breakdown of public confidence in the political elite, politicians on both left and right have seen themselves not as part of a broader governing elite but as outsiders,…..

    …….the end point of this doctrine is an impoverished political ecology in which the only actor is an omni-competent centralised executive, constrained only by periodic popular election.

    There is a very widespread view in Britain that our political culture is dysfunctional. According to the survey carried out for the Hansard Society’s 2013 Audit of Political Engagement, two out of three citizens believe that the present system of governing Britain is in need of significant improvement. When asked how this might best be achieved, a large majority of respondents favoured action to increase the transparency of politics and the popular accountability of elected representatives…..

    ….. In its narrow sense, democracy means only the appointment of government by popular election…

    ….It is an intrinsic feature of democracy in the broad sense that executive authority is not absolute. Many of the rules and institutions which constrain the actions of elected governments are by their nature not democratic – in the narrow sense – because they are not subject to popular endorsement.

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/elective-dictatorship-democratic-mandate/

  10. millsy 10

    TOP is back. Simmons has taken over, and full steam ahead.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/106397329/the-opportunities-party-decides-it-isnt-riding-off-into-the-sunset

    Good to see that saner heads have prevailed. Looking forward to them making a contribution.

    • dukeofurl 10.1

      What seat has Bridges offered ? Epsom and Wairarapa have been promised to others, not all have accepted – yet.
      Im wondering if a fairy godmother to replace Gareth Morgan has been conjured up by National- not that they will admit yet.

      • mauī 10.1.1

        I don’t think Gareth is going to want to give up pulling the strings. This is his parliamentary baby. Can’t see National getting along with a partner that is into evidence based policy either.

        • dukeofurl 10.1.1.1

          national isnt interested in a new partner

          Its a pipe dream that they could get over 5%, however if they take say 2% away from greens , maybe just maybe push them below 5% as well

          Now thats a minor party national could do business with.

    • marty mars 10.2

      Yeah another act coming up – only good for the gnats and their accolytes.

    • bwaghorn 10.3

      Interesting .I’ll be watching them . Although if they openly align them selves with national it will be a no go for me

      • Puckish Rogue 10.3.1

        If they’re smart they’ll keep their options open like WinstonFirst, if they’re dumb they’ll be like the Greens and openly commit for one side only

        I hope they’re smart

        • bwaghorn 10.3.1.1

          If center lefties were smart they would be getting a few bright stars into tops ranks . With the greens coming up with odd things like more expensive dumping small potatoes around water bottling and expectant mums on bikes they are dog tucker .

          • Carolyn_Nth 10.3.1.1.1

            TOP leans right no matter how they try to deny it. It’s in the party’s MO and policies: it is a top down, party modelled on the way corporations operate.

            And it’s all about a guy wanting political power.

            Similarly the Green Party leans left – it is a more collaborative effort. It has a bottom up democratic MO, and focuses on the whole community – basically community values lead economics.

            • RedLogix 10.3.1.1.1.1

              Compared to the Greens ALL other parties are ‘fundamentally right-leaning’. By itself this doesn’t tell us much; just how the Greens tend to view the world.

              The problem you have is that less than 10% of the population will reliably vote for you; that means in order to ever be an effective political force you need to find ways to work with the other 90% wherever the opportunity (pun belatedly intended) arises.

        • bwaghorn 10.3.1.2

          Tops a progressive party that must align them with labour far more than nact

          • marty mars 10.3.1.2.1

            But labour are dead to you so nzf?

            • bwaghorn 10.3.1.2.1.1

              Hehehe yes they are (although I’ve been known to forgive on occasion )
              I voted top last time .

          • Puckish Rogue 10.3.1.2.2

            No, they need to keep their cards close to their chests so as to maximise their votes…or do a deal with National

            • bwaghorn 10.3.1.2.2.1

              I was thinking negotiation time . How a forward thinking lot like top could go with the nats if a labour deal was possible is beyond me .
              But yes they need to out winny winny and hoover up votes from every were.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I’d find it hugely funny if, next election, it was a Labour/Green/Top government especially if Winston got over 5%

              • RedLogix

                If TOP make it to the next election in decent shape they will have an impact; one is that Winnie will likely retire and this will weaken the nz1 vote substantially. Secondly the Greens will struggle with the usual fate of minor coalition parties (to some degree) and at 5.8% are too damned close to the threshold for comfort.

                It’s entirely feasible to think it’s Labour who could need the mmp partner, every bit as much as National. TOP are a fundamentally progressive party (or at the least reformers) and share a good deal in common with the moderate left.

                Withdrawing Morgan as a quirky and polarising front face could be a constructive move; but equally it will be hard to decouple his name from the brand image of the party entirely. Long way to go.

    • SaveNZ 10.4

      I predict TOP will be toppled because Gareth Morgan was probably the person driving the TOP votes, without him as leader and just Simmons, I think the end is probably nigh.

      • bwaghorn 10.4.1

        I don’t know I think Simmons will appeal to the younguns with a brain .

        • RedLogix 10.4.1.1

          Simmons is only an interim Leader. Part of the plan may well be to try and attract some new recognisable faces. Building a Party without Morgan as their front face will solve some problems, but create some obvious new ones in their place.

          It all points to how steep the 5% threshold really is. It’s only there because the people who designed MMP in this country, didn’t really believe in it.

  11. marty mars 11

    I don’t eat fish, even the babies, so doesn’t affect me but I know lots who do and whitebaiting is a cultural activity now days. Nevertheless I think banning commercial sales should happen now, today.

    “Whitebait is the only endangered species you see on the average menu, something Forest and Bird’s Cohen says is morally and practically wrong.”

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/food/16-08-2018/you-wouldnt-eat-a-kiwi-so-why-is-whitebait-okay/

  12. bwaghorn 12

    If their is to be a referendum on the Maori seats maybe it should be just voted on by Maori electorate voters . It should be there choice imho .

    • marty mars 12.1

      Good idea.

      • bwaghorn 12.1.1

        ÝAs you noticed the other day I hate people cutting people rights by decree . And with probably easily 50% of the general roll anti the Maori seats the get rid of them mob will win .
        It needs to be Maori choice to drop them when they are ready .

        • dukeofurl 12.1.1.1

          Surely when more than 50% of maori elect to join the general roll, thats a clear sign.

          • marty mars 12.1.1.1.1

            No it is not a clear sign of anything imo. You are extrapolating into unknown territory. If you want the question answered then ask it. Don’t pull stats out and say whoa lookee here.

            • dukeofurl 12.1.1.1.1.1

              So the maori on the general roll will be excluded from any choice about the maori seats because ….?

              • marty mars

                They aren’t on the Māori Roll – based on the speculative position put by waggy. Perhaps you should just spell out what you want to say instead of trying to be clever.

                When the question is asked re Māori seats I’m sure Māori will answer.

      • marty mars 12.2.1

        No it isn’t.

        • dukeofurl 12.2.1.1

          Maori on maori roll 247,494 (52%)

          Maori on general roll 224,755 (48%)

          Once it was it was closer to 60% of Maori were on Maori roll, so yes its been dropping
          https://www.elections.org.nz/events/maori-electoral-option-2018/results-statistics

          • marty mars 12.2.1.1.1

            That is no indication of anything other than the roll has dropped. Certainly nothing in connection to waggys point.

            • dukeofurl 12.2.1.1.1.1

              if less maori , as a proportion, are on the maori roll , its a drop.

              Thats all he was saying , while you are in denial.

              What will your reaction be when it gets below 50%, more denial ?

              • solkta

                Many people who identify as Maori also identify as Pakeha. All Maori are bicultural to some extent, they have to be to function in a society dominated by Pakeha institutions. Just because some Maori choose to lean to the Pakeha side when deciding what electoral role to join, this does not negate the rights of those Maori who lean to the Maori side in that decision.

              • marty mars

                No denial and I agreed it was a drop. I said it didn’t relate to – ‘in a way it’s already happening’

                I can’t really see what your malfunction is here.

  13. SaveNZ 13

    On water bottling in the US…

    “For one, the companies that bottle water often do so cheaply, which means companies are pocketing the vast majority of those billions, instead of sharing them with the cities from which they take water. In the case of Nestlé’s operations in Michigan, the company was paying just $200 in extraction fees, according to a 2017 investigation by Bloomberg. And a price tag was conspicuously absent from news reports on the additional bottling rights Nestlé secured in Michigan this month. In other states like Maine and Texas, the Bloomberg article notes, absolute capture laws allow landowners—whether they’re an average joe or a multinational corporation—to suck every ounce of groundwater beneath their property, free of charge.
    In already-arid places like Texas, these loosey-goosey water rights pose clear problems. As groundwater is rapidly depleted across the United States, drought looms ever larger.”

    https://www.popsci.com/flint-michigan-nestle-bottled-water

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Bottled water is an insane product. It’s 100% pure plastic waste in every sense of the word. I’d be totally happy to see it banned.

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.1

        In countries where water is an issue it is sold mostly in 5 gallon bottles, which are reused. Bottled water is a trash commodity like carbonated drinks.

      • SaveNZ 13.1.2

        They are bringing back water fountains in London due to the extreme pollution of plastic bottles during the heat wave.

  14. Puckish Rogue 14

    So I’ve been made redundant from the NZDF (well our entire section has, not just me) and Lockheed Martin are taking over and I’ve just finished my interview with them.

    What made it interesting though was this morning when I went to print my CV off and the printer wasn’t working, in fact it wasn’t working over the entire camp.

    But you know its no big deal I mean I’ve got it on my phone if I need to reference it but ripping my pants while putting on my shoes 15 minutes before the interview was a doozy

    No suitable replacement trousers and, when walking, it was pretty obvious but the interview went well so alls well that ends well

    Maybe 🙂

    • RedLogix 14.1

      Good luck. Wish you the best!

      • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1

        All done and dusted, the decision is out of my hands now 🙂

        Its interesting watching things like this happen though because I’ve never been made redundant before and watching a company like Lockheed martin come in, makes for interesting times

        • McFlock 14.1.1.1

          Good luck – I hope the restructuring process was pretty quick, too. The stress of not knowing whether your job’s “in scope” is the worst bit.

          • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1.1.1

            I do have more than enough sick days saved up if I need to take stress leave 🙂

        • marty mars 14.1.1.2

          Yes good luck. Not much fun going through the process of redundancy – hope it all goes well.

          • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1.2.1

            I’m picking most will get picked up (I mean we already know the processes) but one or two probably won’t

    • Dennis Frank 14.2

      I hope you got a good redundancy package. It’s been in the news lately that employers no longer hire on the basis of cvs. Too many faking them, plus it takes too long to check their validity.

      Re pants ripping, it worked big-time for PJ Proby (depends who’s looking). So how come a US defence contractor is taking over part of the NZDF??

      • Puckish Rogue 14.2.1

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3166107/Lockheed-Martin-wins-huge-NZ-Defence-deal

        Been on the cards a while now and the rational is to standardise procedures across the entire NZDF, so its going to happen to everyone eventually

        I was going to post a clip of Lenny Kravitz splitting his pants during a performance but then I thought maybe not everyone wants to see his old fella 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          More loss to NZ both in skills and money.

          • Puckish Rogue 14.2.1.1.1

            Well i have my views on it but it might work out well for me…maybe

            • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Can’t say I think this is a good move. A nation’s defence forces run on their logistics and now they’re at the mercy of a foreign corporation that belongs to a nation that we may end up opposing at some point.

              What happens if our government again proposes sanctions on Israel and Trump decides to sanction us and every other nation that supports?

              No, this is a bad move no matter which way you look at it.

    • millsy 14.3

      Very interesting there Puckish? What did you do there?

      I just checked the web, and they are advertising for drivers, etc.

      • Puckish Rogue 14.3.1

        Very hush hush stuff you know, you don’t have the security clearance to know…

        Just kidding, I’m a storeperson

        • millsy 14.3.1.1

          Where you employed directly by the NZDF or another contractor?

          • Puckish Rogue 14.3.1.1.1

            Directly by NZDF

            • millsy 14.3.1.1.1.1

              Hmmmm. Not good. Im picking the contact was signed when National was in power, I doubt that this government would have signed off on this.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Lockheed Martin have been around for longer than you think and there are plenty of foreign contractors already at work

                https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11932974

                “The 52-year-old aircraft are nearing the end of their operational life and although manufacturer Lockheed Martin says it is currently doing work for the New Zealand Defence Force on how many flying hours the five planes have left, the need for new planes is getting more pressing.”

                https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/53964/forty-picked-to-lose-jobs-at-army's-trentham-base

                The $145 million deal with Lockheed Martin replaces one held with the Australian company SPEL, which covers the maintenance and warehousing of army equipment and vehicles at Trentham.

                • dukeofurl

                  Why do they need a very high overheads company like LM to run maintenance around an Army base.
                  We are talking building maintenance here , where the most complicated stuff is the heating/cooling system. Its not an f….ing submarine.
                  Employing carpenters/electricians/ plumbers /painters must be in the wit of NZ companies.

                  I bet the top execs of the LM NZ company are all ex Defence uniformed personnel and that its ‘who you know’ that meant they got the contract

                  • David Mac

                    I think you might of misread that Duke.

                    “…covers the maintenance and warehousing of army equipment and vehicles at Trentham.”

                    Not the buildings but artillary, radio gear, spare parts etc. There would be gear that only a few people would be skilled at keeping in ‘Ready to go’ shape.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Thats an old contract at Trentham, 2010. You might want to read your links date

                      Hercules is a replacement choice not maintenance. Not sure if that maintenance handled by Airbus NZ ( was SAFE air) or Air NZ at Christchurch

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      There would be gear that only a few people would be skilled at keeping in ‘Ready to go’ shape.

                      And I’d expect them all to be in our defence force as part its normal operations.

                • Anne

                  PR, I’m interested in your comments re- Lockheed Martin. Do you know for how long they have had links with the NZDF?

                  In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was a civilian working on a RNZAF base and found myself the object of suspicion over the suspected leaking of information to the [then] Airways Corporation over some matter involving Lockheed Martin. It was bullshit. I didn’t even know anyone in the the Airways Corp. Never did find out what it was about.

    • SaveNZ 14.4

      Good luck PR. Modern times, eh, when jobs stability is a thing of the past and it is not to do with how good you are, but current thinking and policy within a corporation and who gets the tender.

    • Cinny 14.5

      All the best Pucky.

      • Puckish Rogue 14.5.1

        Theres a feeling, and its not a bad one, where everything is completely out of your hands and theres nothing you can do about it

        I have that feeling right now and I’m quite liking it…won’t last long though 🙂

        • McFlock 14.5.1.1

          Some of my colleagues have had restructuring looming over their heads for the last few years, like the sword of Damocles. The feeling palls after a while.

  15. Carolyn_Nth 15

    Alison Mau regrets, in hindsight, not being more overtly critical of Paul Henry’s bigotted “jokes”

    But if I had my time on the Breakfast couch again (never going to happen) I like to think I’d play it differently. Tell Mr Henry in stern terms that his little “joke” was puerile (although he already knew that) and shut him down altogether. Better to live with the knowledge that you’ve had the full-blown barney, than the regret of knowing you could have done more.

    • McFlock 15.1

      I don’t read her opinions regularly, but she has done some stuff like this that I think hits nail on head.

      I especially like the “I like to think I’d…”. We hope and try to be better people, but sometimes the opportunities pass us by before we react differently.

  16. marty mars 16

    Carbon farming? For some reason I’m not getting a great feeling from this – could be the planting pine trees ffs, could be the people involved.

    “Sir Mark Solomon is looking for 150,000 hectares of Māori land suitable for forests.

    He’s part of the new Māori Carbon Foundation, which unveiled its plans in Kaikoura last week.

    Other members include former MPs, Hone Harawira, and Murray McCully, former National Party president Michele Boag, technology entrepreneur Maru Nihoniho and communications strategist Jevan Goulter.”

    https://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_news/MTk5MDk/Solomon-plan-to-boost-carbon-farming

    • Bill 16.1

      Can’t get your link to open, but from David Fisher (Herald), there is the claim that returns from trading carbon will be about seven years off down the track. Not long then.

      And, of course…

      The fastest returns were on exotic trees, such as Douglas fir and pinus radiata. Some native trees were suitable but took longer to grow, so produced slower returns.

      So, a pile of plantations (green deserts) and Fonterra looking to run bio-fuels in its coal milk drying plants…

      The only time I looked at burning wood in lieu of coal, it was meant to be debris from forestry and/or sustainably managed natural woodland. The result has been the decimation of the “everglades” in the US – and that was for one conversion of coal to bio-fuel (The Drax power station in the UK). Oh, and there’s the suggestion that coal would have been less damaging, given the huge (fossil fueled) harvest and transport operations required for the “green” alternative.

      • marty mars 16.1.1

        Yes the exotics are the money makers. An interesting connector from plantations to biofuel – seems likely .

        Checked link – worked.

      • Robert Guyton 16.1.2

        Venture Southland have made huge steps in establishing waste-wood boilers for heating in Southland industries. As well, local engineering firms have produced the needed boilers and are leading the market.

        • Bill 16.1.2.1

          Waste wood is a nice subjective term though Robert, and beyond PR, there’s every reason to expect trees to be chopped for burning.

          And….well, there’s no room for burning up carbon emitting bio-fuel in the AGW situation that we’re in. Energy has to be carbon free, not “green” carbon.

  17. Cinny 17

    And it’s for reasons like this that I am so very proud of our PM….

    “The Prime Minister has announced the government will freeze MPs’ salaries and allowances for a year.”

    I say that any MP’s that have a problem with this news are nothing but greedy, get on ya bike simon.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/364495/mps-salaries-to-be-frozen-for-a-year

    • McFlock 17.1

      hah – nice. Small gesture, but it counts.

    • Puckish Rogue 17.2

      A good start but for the entirety of her time as PM might have been better idea (read into that how you like)

      • Cinny 17.2.1

        For sure Pucky, but like you said it’s a good start.

        I wonder what the limit is for an opposition leaders allowance? lmao, checkmate simon?

    • Dennis Frank 17.3

      Very unlabourlike! Therefore will impress voters. I’m interested in the technicalities around it: given that a supposedly-independent body sets that income for them, how has the government achieved this freeze? Ah, I see. It intends to enact the freeze via legislation. The lesson here: the remunerations gang has become addicted to a continual escalation regime. Perpetual growth, just like the capitalists! Who the hell are these people?? There’s only three…

      • Dennis Frank 17.3.1

        Fran Wilde is a former Minister, Mayor of Wellington, and Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council. She was also the CEO of the NZ Trade Development Board … currently Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Transport Agency, Deputy Chair of the Capital Coast District Health Board, Chair of the National Military Heritage Trust and a director of various companies. She is a Chartered Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors.

        Geoff Summers was an owner, director and Principal Consultant with Strategic Pay, a market leader in strategic remuneration and performance management before appointment to the Authority. In addition Geoff has significant experience as Director of Human Resources within state sector organisations and experience in all aspects of employment relationships and human resources policy development. Geoff is a Past President of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand

        Len Cook was the National Statistician of the United Kingdom from 2000 to 2005 and the Government Statistician of New Zealand from 1992 to 2000. Prior to this, he worked in various roles at Statistics New Zealand from 1971, becoming Deputy Government Statistician in 1986. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Social Policy in 1987-88… appointed Families Commissioner in 2015 and Chair of the board of Families Commission. He is Past-President of the Institute of Public Administration.

  18. Morrissey 18

    British Jews in the Labour Party, Speak Up! A Call for Testimonies
    August 19, 2018
    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/08/19/british-jews-in-the-labour-party-speak-up-a-call-for-testimonies/

    The misnamed Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has stated that its goal is the eviction of Jeremy Corbyn from public life.

    To this end, the CAA has referred the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) alleging ‘institutional antisemitism’.

    The Chief Executive of the EHRC already stated in 2017 that Labour ‘must do more to establish that it is not a racist party’. She did so on the basis of hearsay that had not been investigated and in fact was false.

    Notwithstanding its reckless and cavalier record on this issue, the EHRC’s judgement is likely to carry weight in public discussion.

    The CAA is now soliciting testimonies from Labour Party members in support of its complaint.

    The Time Is Now for the Silent Majority of Labour Jews to Stand Up and Be Counted!

    Resist the Cynical Attack on the Labour Party!

    Resist the Trivialisation and Instrumentalisation of Antisemitism!

    Defend Our Party and Its Democratically Elected Leadership!

    If you believe Labour is being misrepresented and traduced, now is the time to speak up.

    We need your testimonies about your experiences in the Labour Party to submit to the EHRC.

    Send them ASAP to: EHRCtestimonies@gmail.com by Friday 24 August 2018.

    • Dennis Frank 18.1

      Excitement! Brain police attack Labour!! Will they produce evidence of “institutional antisemitism”? Will they fake it? Watch the next thrilling installment!!

      “The Equality and Human Rights Commission is Great Britain’s national equality body and has been awarded an ‘A’ status as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) by the United Nations. Our job is to help make Britain fairer. We do this by safeguarding and enforcing the laws that protect people’s rights to fairness, dignity and respect.

      As a statutory non-departmental public body established by the Equality Act 2006, the Commission operates independently. We aim to be an expert and authoritative organisation that is a centre of excellence for evidence, analysis and equality and human rights law. We also aspire to be an essential point of contact for policy makers, public bodies and business.”

      The board has 13 members. Five are officers of the Empire (https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/who-we-are/our-commissioners-committees-and-governance). So actual imperialists mixed in with the busybodies.

  19. eco maori 19

    Good morning The Am Show Duncan did your mother teach you manner’s It does not look like it to me.
    I say national have troll’s who target your poll’s and your emails and tx there are not that many red neck’s in Aotearoa .
    There standard are not very high Amanda .
    The stats show there is some thing majorly wrong with the Justice system you no how it is keep telling a lie and a lot of people takes its to be the TRUTH..why do you think trump keep’s up his line’s I can see right through lairs.
    I agree with Chester Borrows the media have a hand in the mess of the Justice system jumping on all the negative story’s and not much positive about the people who get sucked into Justice system I no you are being played like a flute and they don’t like ECO.
    Wow that’s a mean tornado that hit Ohope and the Naki that shot from Ohope I have seen that view before .
    shonky was a talented lier full stop .
    The way I see it with all these state worker strikes and protests these people are being manipulated by there ceo neo librals how else do you explane this phenomenon coincidence yea right.
    I won’t comment on Australian politics one would all ready know my view’s just with me ECO Maori Ka kite ano P.S you know that the police and crime are a small part of our society and you are talking about them all day every day who dredge te Winz lady up

  20. eco maori 20

    Here you go a good hounest Kiwi professor he describes our dollar and the exchance rate in layman’s terms Ka pai E ho link below

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/106399122/exchange-rate-reset-will-breathe-new-life-to-agriculture P.S the situation now is that most primary producers will get to enjoy the gain’s and not just the biggest

  21. eco maori 21

    fox news slandering a awsome socialist country this show’s me fox true colors
    what’s wrong with having high tax’s and nearly all the people are happy ka pai
    These people did not listen to the capitalist lies Link is below ka kite ano

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/destinations/europe/106427484/tourism-booms-in-a-socialist-hellhole-denmark

  22. eco maori 23

    Good song Thane & Dunc It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll Eco Maori rock and roll’s and I will get to the top Ka pai E ho Ka kite ano

  23. eco maori 24

    We can not let the Human caused Climate Change deniers win All the intelligent people around Papatuanuku have to stand up and vote for Goverments that care about the Future of the Mokopunas and Papatunuku Kia ha ka kite ano link below.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/20/summer-weather-is-getting-stuck-due-to-arctic-warming

  24. eco maori 25

    This person does not even trust what come’s out of his OWN mouth very very intelligent YEA RIGHT that’s the way Eco Maori see’s this link Ka kite ano.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/20/donald-trump-robert-mueller-inquiry-interview

  25. OnceWasTim 26

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/364586/public-service-performance-bonuses-scrapped

    Not a bad idea (for starters)
    Maybe bring them back when senior management / CEOs actually start performing (or not), instead of running Ministries and Departments like their own little feifdoms.

    Can anyone think of a Ministry or Department that’s actually been run well over the past decade?
    Most public servants work in spite of their senior management masters rather than because of them.

  26. eco maori 27

    Good evening Newshub It’s awsome that we are looking at reforming our Justice System because it’s the whole Justice system that is causing more Tangata Whenua O Aotearoa to be incarcerated than 99% or other cultures on Papatuanuku that’s reality.
    That’s a good out come for those people in Christchurch It is correct that they get compensated for the loss of there property ka pai
    Yes I had pet baby marsupials and a few birds to let them go when they we able .
    Ka kite an

  27. eco maori 28

    Good evening The Crowd Goes Wild James and Mulls Retalick had a good game.
    Josh who would have guest it thought you were ———- music .
    Sore face that’s all I am going to say lol. leg over,
    That was a good game of cricket Indian & England
    another soreface. E ho James trying to sing Ka kite an

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