Open Mike 27/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 27th, 2016 - 93 comments
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93 comments on “Open Mike 27/12/2016”

  1. The Chairman 1

    The Greens standing a candidate in February’s Mt Albert by-election presents disgruntled Labour supporters an opportunity to send Labour a message by voting Green.

    It was interesting to hear Labour’s campaign manager using one of Key’s lines, stating the party was “relaxed” about the Greens’ decision.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/87898480/green-party-to-stand-against-labour-in-mt-albert-byelection

    • Jenny Kirk 1.1

      Labour supporters in Mt Albert won’t be disgruntled – Chairman – they’ll be pleased to see the two parties working cooperatively together, but they won’t forget their main target will be to retain the seat for Labour.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        Very confident and complacent there, Jenny.

        But of course, you don’t speak for all Labour supporters in Mt Albert.

        A big turnout for the Greens may just be the wake up call Labour requires.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.2

      Green is no longer my color of choice. Any party who wants increases in refugee quotas (remember it isn’t just them, it’s also the people they get to sponsor into the country) when we can’t even house our own is unacceptable.

      • The Chairman 1.2.1

        Labour are also committed to raising the refugee quota.

      • mauī 1.2.2

        The problem isn’t the refugee quota of 1,000 its minuscule compared to the immigration number that’s being used to keep the ponzi economy afloat. We probably need additional people anyway with declining birth rates.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.3

        IIRC, the Greens are looking at limiting the number of people who can enter as immigrants.

        • The Chairman 1.2.3.1

          It’s another area that sets them apart from Labour which they can highlight and let the voters decide what they prefer.

      • aerobubble 1.2.4

        Nonsense, the economy is booming from immigration the problem is National managing the housing situation, i.e none for purely ideological grounds. Which leaves the market to rort everyday kiwis out of the dream. Aspirational failure that Key rightly read and you cant, Key failed, he jumped, you can never fail, never conceed, even to the reality that growing world population and stagnating kiwi birthrates due to neolibs ising cgild rearing costs, feed into the fear of invasion less we keep up our pop. growth, i.e if we dont they will come on their terms not ours.

        • Macro 1.2.4.1

          The economy is not booming from immigration – in fact when taking the increase in numbers from immigration into account the gdp per capita remains static. Not that that is any more a measure of an effective economy than any other.

          • McFlock 1.2.4.1.1

            The economy should be booming, period.

            Government mismanagement means it isn’t.
            A housing market so overheated that thousands of homes aren’t rented out is government mismanagement.
            Immigration and refugees have nothing to do with it, other than bringing new skills, new demand and economic activity.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.4.1.1.1

              Immigration and refugees have nothing to do with it, other than bringing new skills, new demand and economic activity.

              That’s just it. They’re often not bringing new skills and in some cases the skills they bring are sub-par.

              What I’m saying there is that if we trained up some of our people we’d get better skills.

              • McFlock

                Every single person brings in new skills and new ways of doing things. We just need to make sure society (if we insist on a market economy) is positioned to adapt and utilise those skills in a way that provides income to the immigrant.

                Food is always the go-to starter, but trade and overseas connections also contribute from an early stage. Society also needs to ensure speedy certification that meets NZ standards in more formally qualified areas, such as building and surgery, so those skills don’t atrophy in taxi drivers or kitchen hands.

                But really, you’re talking a false dichotomy: certifying immigrants and training current citizens (immigrants are “our people”, too) should be done together, not as one or the other.

                More people, from home and abroad, should mean more productivity and activity. That’s what people do. NZ is still incredibly over-resourced per capita, looking at our land and seas. If we can’t handle <100k immigrants in an otherwise aging population, that's a travesty in economic mismanagement.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But really, you’re talking a false dichotomy: certifying immigrants and training current citizens (immigrants are “our people”, too) should be done together, not as one or the other.

                  No, that’s not what I’m doing. Immigrants are being brought into NZ for their skills – skills that we already have here thus there’s no new skills brought in. Construction is a good example of this.

                  More people, from home and abroad, should mean more productivity and activity.

                  That’s a rather stupid and ill-informed opinion. The only way to get higher productivity is through automation. Through the removal of jobs and replacement of them with machinery.

                  NZ is still incredibly over-resourced per capita, looking at our land and seas.

                  Actually, we’re probably at the limits of what we can handle sustainably. The filth in our waterways is proof enough of that.

                  If we can’t handle <100k immigrants in an otherwise aging population, that's a travesty in economic mismanagement.

                  /facepalm

                  That’s a massive misunderstanding of reality.

                  To handle 100k+ immigrants per year requires that the productivity to build the infrastructure to support them needs to be diverted away from supporting everyone here. That diversion isn’t happening in the first place and there’s no productivity increase from them to allow it to happen.

                  • McFlock

                    Our waterways are the result of poor management, not overproduction.
                    Doing the wrong things in the wrong way on the wrong land type.

                    Automation increases individual productivity. Immigrants increase the number of individuals who can be that productive.

                    Construction is an excellent example, I agree: we have thousands of vacant homes in aspeculator’s market, import hundreds of construction workers, have thousands of unemployed and young people who can be trained in construction, and yet we still have a massively overpriced housing market alongside homeless people. That’s a broken system, and immigration has nothing to do with it.

                    Immigrants come in, obey the law, build new businesses, and buy stuff to live and love. Just like everyone else: they’re not a drain on society, they’re a tap flowing in. They’re not the proble: incompetent government is the problem.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Our waterways are the result of poor management, not overproduction.
                      Doing the wrong things in the wrong way on the wrong land type.

                      There’s still a limit to how many people we can pack into the land area that we have. No amount of wishful thinking is going to change that.

                      Automation increases individual productivity. Immigrants increase the number of individuals who can be that productive.

                      Wrong. Automation doesn’t increase a person productivity at all. It shifts it from doing one task to doing another. Of course, that new task may result in more of the original task being done.

                      That’s a broken system, and immigration has nothing to do with it.

                      And yet immigration is seen as it’s solution as we import more builders. Those imported builders don’t bring new skills or higher productivity.

                      Just like everyone else: they’re not a drain on society, they’re a tap flowing in.

                      To cater to their needs requires diversion of resources. This is a physical fact. We need to build more houses for them, more roads, and more power stations. All of these takes resources that could be utilised elsewhere. That’s basic real world economics.

                      Immigration has a cost – that’s a given. The question is if it has any benefits and so far we’re not really seeing any.

                      You, like many people, have this idea that immigration == good and you simply don’t question that even going so far as to make up BS to justify it like like having increased numbers of dishes available at the local takeaway which simply doesn’t happen because we all don’t buy takeaways on a daily basis in this country which is what’s needed to support having a large number of takeaways.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, there are physical limits to population density. We’re still sparsely-populated compare tomany nations around the world.

                      And if automation doesn’t increase a person’s productivity, why do farmers buy tractors?

                      You pointed to Hickey talking about wage depression caused by immigration. Completely true, because our labour market is incompetently managed. Go to a minimum wage level that equals the living wage, tie visas to DoL rather than individual employers as soon as a personal grievance is filed, and crack down on things like employer-provided accommodation charges and kickbacks. There’d be no employer incentive to prioritise unskilled immigrants over local youth, and therefore less incentive for immigrants to choose NZ in the first place.

                      Your problem is that you think there’s a difference between immigrants and people born here. There isn’t, really. We all have the same potential to produce more than we consume as a trace percentage of GDP.

                      Oh, and yes – at the street corner I have a Chinese takeaway. Close to work I can buy korean, cambodian, turkish, thai, japanese, phillipine, french, and italian food. There’s even a roast meat & vege takeout place with kumara and everything. Or I skip it all and just have an espresso from another place. I try to avoid the american chains also in the area. Most of those places weren’t in town thirty years ago. Nobody eats at every place on every day,, but somehow they all manage tobe going concerns.

                      I’m hungry.

            • aerobubble 1.2.4.1.1.2

              GST went up, it was neutral for the poorest yet grew in lower taxes for the wealthy. Just like economies do better when fuel is getting cheaper, that it looks like tax cuts cause growth, rather the opposite i think. So, massive investment in alternative energy cuts into growth, which in tern means taxes cuts, Keys great tax switch raised the cost of living for nz, hurt business startup, underwrote the wealrhiest debt by giving them more in their pocket to pay mortgages, etc, and so kept the housing market booming. Key then failed to address structural rorts in housing that force prices higher, from few players in the market, etc,

              National have never been good managers of the economy, that requires a long view when they are hired by, funded by shorters.

      • Sacha 1.2.5

        “Any party who wants increases in refugee quotas (remember it isn’t just them, it’s also the people they get to sponsor into the country) when we can’t even house our own is unacceptable.”

        You would be ignoring their announced housing policies then. Some parties are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

      • GregJ 1.2.6

        I’d rather we cut immigration to about 5,000 year and offer half of the those 5,000 places to refugees myself. The extra cost of support for refugees as they come into the country would be a worthwhile investment.

        I’ve been fortunate over the past 20 years to have offered employment to 3 refugees – 2 of whom it was their first position in NZ and were ludicrously over-qualified for the roles (to the point I was almost embarrassed offering it to them). They were excellent employees – motivated, hard-working and enthusiastic. Once they got some NZ experience they, of course, moved on to better things (I’ve acted as a referee for all 3). They are all high functioning, integrated and proud NZ citizens with families who are successful and genuine Kiwis. In my experience bring on more refugees.

    • mac1 1.3

      Heavens, The Chairman, using a word that another man has used is not unusual, since we share a common language and there are only so many words available to fit a concept or context.

      I mean, John Key used a word that I used at a regional Labour conference when I said that I was so relaxed about a remit not being adopted that I could almost fall over. That was about 1987.

      • Wensleydale 1.3.1

        So… Labour did it toooo?!

        According to Chairman, whenever anyone uses the word ‘relaxed’, they’re running one of Key’s lines, and should probably pay him royalties for the privilege. But why stop there? What about other Keyisms, like “Look, most Nu Zillanders…”, or “Akshully, I think you’ll find that…”? There’s money to be made here, and it would be most remiss of the former PM to let such a potentially lucrative opportunity pass him by.

        • mac1 1.3.1.1

          “So… Labour did it toooo?!”

          One of the great excuses. “They did it too.” Absolutely absolves one of all blame, and personal accountability.

          Heard it all the time as a teacher.

          Key’s use of the word relaxed could mean “don’t care/not interested/don’t want to be held to a position/do care but don’t want to be seen to be disturbed by it”.

          His actual use of language was not relaxed, but carefully constructed, even in its lack of definition and meaning, to allow double meaning and wriggle room.

          Imprecision in language also endeared him to many of his listeners.

          Of interest now only to political pundits, historians and linguistic academics.

      • The Chairman 1.3.2

        To differentiate themselves from National, Labour should try to avoid using Key’s well known line.

        Nevertheless, I doubt Labour are relaxed about it.

        Losing to the Greens would be a heavy blow Labour would want to avoid and the rivalry will further impact upon Labour’s war chest.

        • mac1 1.3.2.1

          “Labour should”

          Another attack line, disguised as an even handed attempt to help.

          “You should” and “You orter” are often not used to be offer assistance, but the opposite.

          This whole thread, The Chairman, is an attack on Labour, but disguised. Also known as, I believe, concern trolling.

          Be open, man.

          • The Chairman 1.3.2.1.1

            Of course it’s an attack line. However, what’s been overlooked is it’s an attack designed to strengthen and improve, not destroy.

            It’s better for Labour to get the wake up call now than it is to lose in the general election.

        • Gabby 1.3.2.2

          ‘Hey Labour, stop using our cool ideas.’
          Ennathaday, pfft.

    • Jenny 1.4

      That the Green Party is putting up a candidate to stand in the Mt Albert by-election is intriguing and interesting, considering that Labour and the Greens have a Memorandum Of Understanding to work together.

      That this agreement doesn’t stop the airing of differences between the two parties is a good thing for democracy.

      In the Northland by-election the Green Party issued what amounted to a free pass to the Labour Party to continue supporting deep sea oil drilling in Northland without any challenge.

      By standing down in Northland the Green Party made sure that this issue was never discussed by the remaining main contenders, because Labour, National and New Zealand First, were all in agreement over this contentious and hot local issue denying the locals from hearing the debate on the pros and cons of deep sea oil exploration and drilling in their electorate.

      In my opinion by standing down in Northland the Green Party did the voters of Northland a disservice by not allowing a discussion and evaluation of the merits or not on this hot topical issue.

      Obviously deep sea oil drilling off their coastline will not be the burning topical issue that it was in Northland.

      So what will be the main bone of contention in the debates between the two main candidates, in the Mt Albert by-election?

      Presumably because both parties position themselves in the Left/progressive part of the political spectrum they will be in broad agreement on most other topics.

      But the Labour and the Green Party still disagree about climate change and the need to urgently transition away from fossil fuels. So could this disagreement, which has become concretised around Labour’s fanatical support for deep sea oil drilling, be a topic of debate in this rather unlikely arena?

      Could the Mt Albert by-election be made into the first ever electoral race in this country where climate change featured as a major election issue of difference between the two candidates?

      Could the Mt Albert by-election become a referendum on deep sea oil drilling and climate change?

      It is possible.

      It all depends on how the Green Party approach this contest.

      I would urge them to take up this strategy, (and for several, maybe not so obvious reasons).

      Firstly; the Mt Albert by-election is a safe forum where this difference could be aired and debated without risking this division giving advantage to the National Party, (who are not standing a candidate), so whatever the result, there is no chance of it upsetting the proportionality parliament.

      Secondly; polls cited by Greenpeace HERE indicate that 80% of the population are opposed to deep sea oil drilling. So the Green Party candidate should be onto a sure winner if she agressively took up opposition to deep sea oil drilling in her campaign, as opposed to the Labour Party’s support for deep sea oil drilling.

      Thirdly; polls indicate that over 50% of the population want more government action on climate change, so if the Green Party made signifcant gains with this strategy it would be a serious whip for the government, which is dragging the chain on climate change.

      And lastly; climate change is the most pressing issue of the 21st century it is well past the time it had a proper airing during an election in this country.

      • Karen 1.4.1

        +1 Jenny.
        I think that the Labour Party stance on deep sea oil may have changed a bit now Goff and Shearer have gone (at least I hope so), but having a Green Party candidate means there will be more discussion about climate change and, as you say, this is a good thing. Genter and Ardern will be able to show how their two parties can have some policy differences but still work together amicably.

        • Jenny 1.4.1.1

          I agree Karen.

          Another positive sign, Phil Goff voting against deep sea oil in this country in his new role leading role as Mayor of our biggest city.

          A respectful and collegiate contest in Mt. Albert where this major policy difference between the two parties is openly and fully thrashed out, and then put to the electorate for their decision. Could, depending on the result, strengthen the MOU putting, it on a more solid basis, putting the Labour Green coalition in a much stronger position to tackle the governement.

          After housing, climate change is the governement’s worst performing portfolio. The Green Party and the Labour Party generally agree on housing issues, if they could also get agreement on climate issues then they would have two major agreed policy positions to challenge the government over.

        • Red 1.4.1.2

          It will.be a conversation between themselves, I suggest nobody will be listening including the media, waste of time barring protecting the democratic process so unfortunately a necessity

          • The Chairman 1.4.1.2.1

            With National withdrawing and the Greens standing, the by-election has now become a contest between the left, thus the media will be watching. Most enjoy a fight.

            And if the Greens give this a good crack, they have a lot to gain.

            • garibaldi 1.4.1.2.1.1

              Red,it’s a waste of time talking to RWNJs anyway, but I do take your point about our inept, corrupt, commercially owned media.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.2.1.2

              Most enjoy a fight.

              If they do it right, and I think that they will, it won’t be a fight. It’ll be an open discussion which will show which way the country as a whole want to go with environmentalism.

              • The Chairman

                If they do it right it will be a good clean fight/political debate, with both trying to convince voters of their merit.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Neither a fight nor an argument as neither produces a better, more informed outcome.

                  No. They’ll have a discussion that includes the people of Mt Albert.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.2

        A really great exposition as to why Representative Democracy doesn’t work. The people don’t actually get to discuss and decide – the bought and paid for politicians do.

        • Andrea 1.4.2.1

          Agreed: “Representative Democracy doesn’t work. The people don’t actually get to discuss and decide – the bought and paid for politicians do.”

          But.

          This country does love its ‘winners, losers, battlers’ story. There’s fair amany would prefer FPP so they can snuggle up with their popcorn and opinions.

          Change on this is slower than snails sliding backwards…

      • The Chairman 1.4.3

        “Could the Mt Albert by-election become a referendum on deep sea oil drilling and climate change?”

        Indeed it could, Jenny.

        The Green economy could also be further promoted as a way to boost skills, employment and exports.

        The Mt Albert by-election presents the Greens with an opportunity to differentiate themselves from Labour, highlighting all the issues they believe Labour solutions are lacking.

        They’ll need to select a strong candidate that is competent and up to the task.

        • Jenny 1.4.3.1

          “Could the Mt Albert by-election become a referendum on deep sea oil drilling and climate change?”
          Indeed it could, Jenny…..

          …..They’ll need to select a strong candidate that is competent and up to the task.

          The Chairman

          The suggested front runner Julie-Ann Genter is certainly a strong candidate, I have heard her speak, she is a strong and principled speaker, no doubt about it, Genter would give a very good account of herself against Lucinda Adern.

          But if the Green Party really wanted to make a statement, and shake things up, I would suggest that the Green Party put up their spokesperson for climate change as their candidate in the Mt Albert by-election.

          And who is that you might ask?

          None other than Green Party leader James Shaw. The Green Party has reserved the climate change portfolio to leader, the only political party to do so, showing the importance that the Green Party regard this issue. Though National come close giving this portfolio to their Deputy.

          Labour on the other hand have ranked this issue very low in their list of important portfolios to hold. So low in fact that their last holder of this post, Moana MacKey, got bumped off the bottom of the list. The current holder of this shadow portfolio for Labour is mid-ranked Dr Megan Woods.

          Putting up their leader to challenge for the Mt. Albert seat is admittedly a high risk strategy, but like most high risk bets, if it is successful carries the biggest pay off.

          Putting up the Leader will certainly raise the stakes, show that the Greens take this by-election seriously and provide the necessary high profile shock value that will grab the attention of the media and the voters, and indeed the country.

          Climate change is the biggest political and moral issue of all time. It is about time that we gave it the profile and attention it deserves.

          And if the Greens throw everything they have at it, this is the most likely strategy to succeed in taking the seat off Labour.

          Anything less will be just another Ho Hum by-election with low voter and media interest with the resultiing low turn out.

          The stakes have never been higher.

          So let the contest begin. And may the best candidate win.

          • The Chairman 1.4.3.1.1

            Putting up the Leader will certainly raise the stakes, Jenny. And it’s something the Greens should seriously consider.

            But how will that leave them for Wellington?

          • swordfish 1.4.3.1.2

            (1) Who the flying feck is “Lucinda Adern” ???

            Any relation to Jacinda Ardern ???

            (2) At the last Election, National successfully portrayed the Opposition parties as hopelessly divided. The MOU was supposed to undermine that strategy. Why do you assume a conflict-obsessed media focussing entirely on Opposition party divisions as Labour and the Greens go aggressively head-to-head in Mt Albert – constitutes strategic genius ??? As opposed to, say … oh I don’t know … complete fucking madness ?

            • Draco T Bastard 1.4.3.1.2.1

              Well, Labour and Greens could make it so that it’s an obvious coalition with them talking about how they’ll work together to address climate change.

            • The Chairman 1.4.3.1.2.2

              “At the last Election, National successfully portrayed the Opposition parties as hopelessly divided”

              Indeed.

              “The MOU was supposed to undermine that strategy.”

              Only to an extent. The MOU ceases at the end of the election.

              This working together while also opposing each other does undermine the perception of a united front, thus reinforces the divided perception National portrayed so well.

              Perhaps an insider can better explain the rationale behind the strategy. Personally, I think it leaves voters confused.

          • Gabby 1.4.3.1.3

            It would be an interesting test of the climate change as election winner theory.

      • The Chairman 1.4.4

        Tell you what Jenny, if this strategy is successful in Mt Albert, Robertson will be worried Shaw will repeat it in Wellington.

        • Jenny 1.4.4.1

          From the time stamp on your comment, Chairman, you made it before my preceding comment. And you are right. If Genter makes a good run in Mt Albert and lifts the Green Party vote running with a climate change, deep sea oil campaign. Then Shaw would be right to try the same strategy in Wellington against Robertson. The downside will be that this will all be lost in the background of a General Election.

          What I have since suggested, is that Shaw doesn’t wait for Wellington but strikes now, when he will virtually have the stage to himself and will be able to grab the attention of the whole country.

          • Jenny 1.4.4.1.1

            Desperate times require desperate acts.

            http://www.boomerwarrior.org/2016/12/unsettling-ominous-climate-alarm-bells-2016/

            “Unsettling and Ominous – Climate Alarm Bells of 2016”

            Climate alarm bells should be going off in every country, every city, every household. We are losing ground as we struggle to fight climate change and global warming. The climate action trends witnessed in 2016 are both unsettling and ominous.
            Without heroic — but improbable — efforts, the 2 °C world is but magical thinking…..

            “……actions speak louder than words.
            After giving lip service to climate change by meeting with Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, Trump then proceeded to name three staunch climate deniers to key positions, leaving little doubt about climate policy during his term of office. It should be crystal clear that Trump will take a wrecking ball to Obama’s climate legacy….

            ……Trump is visibly not the kind of leader the world needs at this crucial time in human history.

            But while the world needs the climate change equivalent of Winston Churchill, we just elected Neville Chamberlain. And that may well be exactly how future generations will remember him if he leaves behind a world of ever-worsening climate impacts. (Joe Romm)

            Maybe New Zealand could give that Churchillian climate change leadership that the world needs.

            Afterall despite our size, we gave a world lead on the Welfare State, we gave a world leader on Women’s Sufferage, we gave a world lead on anti-nuclear, we gave a world lead in isolating apartheid South Africa, and we have just given a world lead in calling out Israel on their illegal annexation through settlements of Palestinian territory.

            Let us not go through another election cycle where climate change barely rates a mention but instead becomes a major battleground of contention between the major parties before the voting public.

            The Mt Albert by-election could represent the first salvo in the battle to make New Zealand a world leader on climate change.

            The stakes could not be higher

            • Jenny 1.4.4.1.1.1

              “Putting up the Leader will certainly raise the stakes, Jenny. And it’s something the Greens should seriously consider.

              But how will that leave them for Wellington?”

              The Chairman

              Personally I don’t see a problem.

              If Shaw becomes the MP for Mt Albert, Green Party stock would be greatly increased and the Greens could stand Genter in Wellington with a the chance of making a really good showing.

      • Sacha 1.4.5

        Mt Albert voters will not have climate change at the top of their concerns. Some mix of housing, transport, education, employment and crime seems most likely. Parties will campaign accordingly, just as they did in Mt Roskill.

        • The Chairman 1.4.5.1

          Climate change is a rather major issue, therefore it’s illogical to assume a number of Mt Albert voters wouldn’t see it as one of their top concerns.

          Moreover, as it’s one of only a limited number of differences between the two opposing parties, it will be a defining matter.

          The Greens stance on cannabis (which Little personally opposes) will result in less crime and no doubt be another (defining matter).

        • Jenny 1.4.5.2

          “Mt Albert voters will not have climate change at the top of their concerns.”

          Sacha

          That would require leadership.

          Of course the majority of Mt Albert voters dont’ have climate change as the top of their concerns.

          Strangely neither was apartheid top of New Zealanders concerns before 1981

          (And apart from the ranting and raving from one lone back bench Independent Constitutionalist Party anti-Socialist MP for Epping). The threat of facism in Europe, was not the top of the British people’s concerns in 1938′ 39′. Bread and butter issues related to lifting Britain out of the Great Depression was the main political concern of the day. Most British people could barely have pointed out Poland on the map.

          The thing that brought these seemingly, (at the time), neglible issues to the forefront of public attention was leadership.

          Just this week New Zealand has shown a flash of this rare quality on the world stage in the UN.

          World wide, leadership in fronting up to the threat of climate change, is the single biggest missing incredient needed, before we can begin to properly address climate change.

          Time will tell if our New Zealand political leaders are up to the task of providing that leadership.

          • Sacha 1.4.5.2.1

            By-elections are locally focused. You would need visible impact of climate change in the electorate already or a well-publicised imminent happening like a contentious rugby tour, resource interruption or national military threat to galvanise voters above their more day-to-day pressing concerns.

            • The Chairman 1.4.5.2.1.1

              While by-elections are generally more locally focused, it doesn’t mean voters totally overlook wider issues. Especially when they are one of the defining issue between the two.

              And speaking of being more locally focused, as Russel Norman once said, Green issues are Auckland issues.

              • Jenny

                This would also be a view held by our current Mayor who voted with the majority of his councilors against deep sea oil drilling.

            • Jenny 1.4.5.2.1.2

              “By-elections are locally focused. You would need visible impact of climate change in the electorate already or a well-publicised imminent happening like a contentious rugby tour, resource interruption or national military threat to galvanise voters above their more day-to-day pressing concerns.”

              Sacha

              And/Or, one other thing.

              Leadership

              Remarkable*

              Uncompromising

              Fearless

              Leadership

              That is all it will take and that is what is the missing ingredient.

              Sacha even, if all the other things you mentioned happened all at once and together – without leadership to hi-lite and and channel them into a coherent narrative and direction, it would still be business as usual.

              And I don’t buy it that it has to be a local issue. With the internet everything is local. And Zero degrees C at the North pole in the Northern winter heralds something terrible in the wings for humanity.

              http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/87891043/temperatures-around-north-pole-leap-close-to-melting-point

              *(meaning, remarked on)

          • Jenny 1.4.5.2.2

            Large Numbers

            https://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/404/large-number

            “Large numbers concerned by and will act on climate change”

            “A strong majority of New Zealanders are concerned about climate change and taking actions that reduce household emissions, according to a recent survey. 
             
            Researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, an independent, not-for-profit research institute, and Victoria University of Wellington designed the survey of about 2200 New Zealanders aged 18+. The survey was conducted by Horizon Research Limited from 28 July to 1 September 2014 with support from the Sustainable Business Council.
             
            The survey showed that about 87% of New Zealanders are at least somewhat concerned about the effects of climate change on society in general.
             
            63% are concerned or very concerned about the societal effects of climate change and 58% are concerned or very concerned about the personal effects.

            “Mt Albert voters will not have climate change at the top of their concerns. Some mix of housing, transport, education, employment and crime seems most likely. Parties will campaign accordingly, just as they did in Mt Roskill.”

            Sacha

            Pretty uninspiring assessment of the opportunities opened up by the Mt Albert by-election, by Sacha.

            While “large numbers” of New Zealanders will look to the stars, some would keep us looking at the ground.

            National has stood down, and the two remaining Left Parties have a rare unencumbered chance to put their differing visions of the future to the voters. Will they take it? Or will they stick with Sacha’s grey lifeless formula for this election.

            • Sacha 1.4.5.2.2.1

              Just a dash of realism about prospects in a byelection. Hoping for more from the general election, certainly.

              • Jenny

                Sorry to break the news to you Sacha, but as for the prospects for hoping for more from the general election. It is not looking good.

                Rather than break new ground, it looks at this stage to be same ‘ol same ‘ol.

    • Cinny 1.5

      Chairman you make me smile. Labour and Greens supporters will be thrilled, because they have a choice, both candidates are intelligent, switched on, classy ladies.

      National party voters are going to be the ones whom are disgruntled, they have no choice, none, nothing, nada. Their government has abandoned them, spinning the narrative of ‘strategy’ LMFAO… any whom buy in to that excuse are either simply naive or desperate to have a reason that justifies the action.

      Labour and Greens have the opportunity to not only enlighten voters about their party policy, but also to show the public how well they work together, and these classy ladies will eliminate dirty politics from this by election.

      It’s MMP baby 😀 I’m a Red/Green voter, and I love being able to choose two parties. Some may vote for one candidate, because they best represent their electorate, but they may vote for another party in the general. And that’s the beauty of it. It will be a difficult choice, because both ladies are outstanding in Parliament, but either way it’s a win thanks to the MOU.

      • garibaldi 1.5.1

        So what would happen if the Natz told their supporters to vote Green in the by-election? Labour would throw their toys out of the cot.

        • Jenny 1.5.1.1

          How would Green and Labour Party differences over climate change and deep sea oil drilling work themselves out? The differences between Obama and Trudeau over climate change and arctic oil drilling may be of some relevance.

          https://www.desmogblog.com/2016/12/23/arctic-drilling-ban-reveals-crucial-difference-between-obama-and-trudeau-climate

          “Arctic Drilling Ban Reveals Crucial Difference Between Obama and Trudeau on Climate”

          The historic announcement by President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau that both countries would ban oil and gas development in Arctic and Atlantic waters was a major victory to protect our oceans and the people who depend on them, and a real victory for our climate.
          But the difference between how the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office explained this announcement reveals a major rift between the leaders in their understanding of how to address the climate threat.
          At the end of November, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed a key test of his understanding of what is required to stop climate change by approving the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines. During his speech he defended his actions:

          “I have said many times that there isn’t a country in the world that would find billions of barrels of oil and leave it in the ground while there is a market for it.”

          But just weeks later, the U.S. did exactly that. As part of President Obama’s announcement to permanently ban oil and gas development in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, the White House released a fact sheet explaining its justification. 
            
          “…if lease sales were to occur and production take place, it would be at a time when the scientific realities of climate change dictate that the United States and the international community must be transitioning its energy systems away from fossil fuels.”

          In essence, the White House is saying that further offshore oil and gas development in these areas fails a climate test — that these projects aren’t in line with the action needed to meet international goals to fight climate change. This is a crucial signal that President Obama and his team are finally beginning to understand that action to restrict the supply of fossil fuels is ultimately required to reach a safe climate future.
          Notably, the joint statement from both leaders on their effort to block Arctic drilling mentioned climate but failed to point out this crucial justification for the decision. This points to the fact that Trudeau isn’t aligned with Obama on climate action.
          Prime Minister Trudeau continues to cling to an ideological and dangerous assertion that his government has no responsibility to restrict fossil fuel supply in the middle of a global climate crisis.

        • Cinny 1.5.1.2

          Garibaldi, do you really feel that the Nat’s are going to ask their voters to vote for an opposition party?

          Crikey Nat’s haven’t even got the balls to stand a candidate, ummm we are too gutless to stand a candidate because we prefer if you vote Greens, lmfao yeah right. So your question appears to be invalid.

        • The Chairman 1.5.1.3

          @ garibaldi

          I wouldn’t be surprised if some of their supporters became a little mischievous.

      • The Chairman 1.5.2

        @ Cinny

        Not all Labour and Greens supporters will be thrilled. There are a number of disgruntled Labour supporters out there.

        With National out of the game and with Labour expected to win this safe seat, it’s an opportunity for them to send Labour a message while ensuring the seat remains left.

  2. saveNZ 2

    Auckland Transport and other dimwits are trying to change the intercity bus terminal to Manakau 22 km away from the CBD.

    Nice to see that Kiwis and tourists are going to be dumped off so that high roller gamblers can be accommodated more easily with public money at the convention centre. 100% pure inconvenience to travellers, but don’t worry about that!

    Nice time at Xmas to dump bad news. Someone should look into the legality of this bake and switch.

    Previously, Auckland Transport communications manager Sharon Hunter said: “The bus terminal was a condition of the resource consent for the existing SkyCity and its removal would require a change of condition under the Resource Management Act.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11247034.

    So two issues there, the push by Sky City to remove it the public Intercity bus terminal and why this is being allowed.

    And WTF what dimwit idiot thought that Manakau was a good place for an interchange 22km away???? That’s right, the ‘brains’ of Auckland Transport – that’s what 1 billion of public money a year buys us!

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/12/21/just-when-you-couldnt-despise-auckland-transport-or-corrections-anymore-than-you-currently-do/

    • The Chairman 2.1

      Britomart would have been an ideal spot but apparently it wasn’t future proofed when built and is now overloaded with buses and at full capacity.

      • adam 2.1.1

        That be banks once again, what a guy! I see the original plan had it, but the idiot in a cost cutting measure, removed it.

        Got to love the neo-cons, putting con into almost everything.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Lots of interchanges are now at full capacity. This is what happens when bus routes are expanded to meet the present demand but there’s been decades of neglect.

        In other words, the problems that AT are facing are an accumulation of decades of building for cars and ignoring public transport.

    • Jenny Kirk 2.2

      Extraordinary lack of commonsense, let alone thinking on that one, saveNZ. Hope the new mayor gets onto it ….. and gives whoever it was the dunce’s cap.

    • James 2.3

      Where in the herald link does it say that Auckland transport want to do this ? It’s all sky city – and I think they will be pushing shit up hill.

      • Sacha 2.3.1

        One of the earlier Herald/Fairfax stories claimed SkyCity had not asked for this; AT was pushing it. Lord knows why. Good chance for new Mayor to remind them for whose interests they work.

    • Macro 2.4

      Have you ever used the existing Manakau “interchange”? Or should I say “bus stop” or more correctly 3 person bus shelter outside the Manakau Mall on a wet and windy day waiting 20 mins for your intercity bus to come along – if your lucky and it hasn’t been gridlocked on the way south.
      I don’t care if the Interchange is to be the central hub or not – Manukau NEEDS some form of bus interchange and it needs it NOW.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      This is the year when we were finally forced to acknowledge what we have exiled.

      No. This is the year that we rejected the agreements that we made with the serpent 30+ years ago. This is the year that neo-liberalism got rejected by the people and the rich and powerful are upset by it.

      But she does not kill the serpent. Instead, she reveals its true nature, and in doing so she changes it and everything around it.

      And so how the monetary system really works is now out in the public domain. How the corruption of the rich is seen for what it is and is then rejected by the people.

      Yes, these things are now known and changes are coming because of them.

  3. Bill 5

    From the New York Times back in 2013…

    Nusra’s hand is felt most strongly in Aleppo, where the group has set up camp in a former children’s hospital and has worked with other rebel groups to establish a Shariah Commission in the eye hospital next door to govern the city’s rebel-held neighborhoods.

    The entire article makes for interesting reading if you’ve any interest in the development/shift in the story we were told about Syria.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/world/middleeast/islamist-rebels-gains-in-syria-create-dilemma-for-us.html

  4. adam 6

    Wes Clark Jr. what a legend! Be warned some of the language is a bit rough.

  5. Fisiani 7

    Labour versus Greens is not a picture of collaboration but of a fight amongst the Left. Totally dysfunctional.

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  • Too many cows
    Waikato's dairy farmers - the dirtiest in the country - are protesting in Morrinsville today to defend their "right" to keep pumping their shit into our rivers and their piss into our wells. Meanwhile, to get an idea of how ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Upgrading Takapuna’s heart
    While the beach may be the soul of Takapuna, Hurstmere Road is perhaps it’s commercial heart. Working in Takapuna, it’s a heart I know well (in fact at the time this post is published I’m probably walking along it to ...
    4 days ago
  • Cameras on boats will wreck ‘way of life’ – fisherman
    Push back against plans for surveillance on the high seas.       Fishing boats lined up along Bluff wharf. Photo: The Wireless/John Lake For Bluff cray fisherman Jayce Fisher, working the ocean is a way of ...
    4 days ago
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... SkS in the News... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus... ...
    4 days ago

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    16 hours ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    19 hours ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    2 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    2 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    3 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    3 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    3 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    4 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    6 days ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    7 days ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    1 week ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Making renting secure and healthy
    Labour will move to make renting a more stable and healthy experience for families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago