Opposition speeches & ‘Roads of Madness’

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, January 30th, 2013 - 54 comments
Categories: assets, class war, Environment, greens, hone harawira, housing, mana, Maori Issues, Metiria Turei, nz first, poverty, public transport, same old national, winston peters - Tags:

Yesterday, the PM’s speech, as Zetetic says, was a “do nothing” speech as the country drowns.   Actually Key sounded like a drunken sailor doing an after dinner speech in a stand-up comedy mode.

john key drunken sailor seaman

However, there were some more significant, sober, coherent and well articulated speeches in response from the opposition benches.  Winston Peters summed up Key’s speech well:

Mr Speaker –

Sometimes we have the privilege of watching a great political event unfold. Sometimes we hear a speaker inspire us with a great vision.

Sometimes a great leader shows us the way to a better and brighter future for our country.

Sadly – we’ve missed out on all three today.

The best part of the Prime Minister’s speech today was the part where – he sat down. The rest of it consisted of the same old same old neo-liberal/free market pixie dust.

It sounded like he wrote it in the shower or in Antarctica or somewhere.

I wasn’t so keen on his criticisms of the government with respect to claims by Iwi groups for customary title.

Rather than respond to the PM’s do nothing speech, Hone Harawira outlined the issues and policies that Mana would focus on in 2013: support for Labour and The Greens’ affordable housing policies, plus a strong focus on the need for more state housing; Hone’s ‘Feed the Kids Bill’ coming up next month; a Hone Heke tax; continued opposition to asset sales; plus Maori interests in water, on which Harawira said:

In particular I would like to thank MANA president Annette Sykes who was a critical player in the Tribunal hearings last year and remains a key player in the Supreme Court hearings due to start later this week.

He also said:

I have no aspirations to lead the Maori Party – those calls have come from Maori Party members themselves.

I am comfortable and proud to lead MANA – a vibrant and active political force with a clearly identified constituency, te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the dispossessed, and policies aimed specifically at addressing their needs first, because people matter more than profit.

Metiria Turei was also dismissive of Key’s do-nothing speech, and then went on to outline the Green Party agenda for 2013, covering much of the same stuff as in her other recent speeches.  She stressed repeatedly that New Zelanders’ sense of identity was associated with the environment, making it extremely important that we care for and protect our natural environment:

Their hands-off economic conservatism benefits their wealthy backers and runs counter to our country’s proud history of economic egalitarianism and fairness.

Their cold hearted social policies run roughshod over our decades-old social contract, of supporting people when they need help and our loving commitment to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.

And their short sighted view of our beautiful environment, our rivers and beaches, forests and National Parks, as nothing more than irritating impediments to their exploitative economic agenda, is like stabbing a knife into the heart of our national identity.

And for the Greens, an important part of a sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach, is to improve public transport, especially in the cities.  Julie Anne Genter showed herself to be a quality performer in the House last year.  And, if her speech in the House yesterday is anything to go by, she’ll be as good, or better this year.  She demolished the financial logic used to justify Joyce’s  RONS, or “Roads of Madness” as Genter called them.  And provided a solid argument for improving public transport, especially in Auckland.

(h/t the Auckland Transport blog for bringing the video to my attention)

Genter explained that the Roads of Madness are not going to increase economic productivity or to reduce congestion.  She said that the Key government had not invested in any new infrastructure in Auckland for buses, trains, walking or cycling.  The $6m (approx) that the government refers to, was committed under the Labour Government.  Labour’s investments have increased public transport use, and contributed to keeping kept road traffic volumes down in Auckland.  Genter also cites evidence of the need for the central city rail loop, to prevent road gridlock in the near future.

No new ideas from the government: plenty of good analysis and ideas from the opposition parties.  This government needs to be removed from office, ASAP!

54 comments on “Opposition speeches & ‘Roads of Madness’”

  1. Colour Me Blind 1

    Any reason you didn’t comment on Shearer’s contribution Karol?

    • karol 1.1

      It wasn’t one of the highlights as far as I’m concerned. I’ll leave it for others to make what they will of Shearer’s speech.

      • Colour Me Blind 1.1.1

        I dunno, when something is titled ‘Opposition Speeches’ in response to the PMs first statement of 2013 you’d expect a comment on them all. Even if you don’t like the guy, he talked about some important issues.

        • karol 1.1.1.1

          He didn’t say anything that was new. I’m despondent that he may become the next PM. Key’s lot must go … but…

          And Shearer is already getting discussed on other threads today – and I’m limiting the amount of critical comments I make on Shearer – let the Labour Party sort themselves out.

          I am more hopeful of the direction of the Labour Party membership and their influence on policy.

          Genter made a stand-out speech. Winston was his usual standard of oppositional critique with quotable statements, even though I don’t like many of NZ First policies. Hone clarified his position with respect to the Maori Party, and gave a heads up on Annette Sykes. Turei made a very good speech integrating the Green’s environmental, social and economic policies – with solid left wing values.

        • Colonial Weka 1.1.1.2

          “Even if you don’t like the guy, he talked about some important issues.”

          So tell us what you think about his speech.

          • xtasy 1.1.1.2.1

            Winston just happens to be the ultimate “political animal” in NZ Parliament, like Karol I do not share that much with his party, but he is highly experienced, a real fighter, debater, and he is the real down to earth polly debater that anyone would want to respect, who has some understanding of political debate.

            He hammers home, he attacks, he knows all the side angles and more, so he is “the expert” in “the House”, while Shearer is the apprentice that is struggling to learn the basics. That is the bloody difference. And for the Greens, they try to be pure, nice, fair and correct, all the time, which is good and fair, but does not look like “fighting”.

            For the rest work it out yourself.

  2. fenderviper 2

    The “road of madness” through my area (Kapiti) is to be built on land that will be compromised by rising sea levels, even a conservative 7m rise will see the road wrecked. Considering the current co2 concentration is locking us into a 23m sea level rise, the existing location of state highway one will be be inundated also.

    This waste of billions is a crime and certainly deserves the “madness” tag to describe it.

    As far as Keys “speech” goes, embarrassment is the only word I can use to describe the garbage this fool comes out with. He’s a disgrace and a danger to this country.

    • Andre 2.1

      Brownle VS Genta. Woodwork teacher VS Transport academic Enough said…….

      • Lightly 2.1.1

        Not just an academic. She was a transport design consultant before Parliament.

        • Andre 2.1.1.1

          Thanks lightly. Brownle as i have just reserched read the ladybird book 3b on cars when he was 7….

        • mike 2.1.1.2

          You mean she’s an MP who might know what she’s talking about? I can’t quite get my head around it…

          On the other hand once you’ve been a woodwork teacher you can pretty much do anything. Rebuilding a major city like Chch shouldn’t be too hard.

          • David H 2.1.1.2.1

            No, Julie Anne Genter is an MP who KNOWS what she is talking about!

            • McFlock 2.1.1.2.1.1

              you crazy! A bombshell like that needs to be gradually introduced, not just dropped on us all of a sudden!

              MPs who know what they’re talking about – what will the world come to next? I cannae get my head around it. Next you’ll talk about “competent ministers” or “prime ministers with integrity and a genuine empathy for those in need”. You a madman!

    • One Tāne Huna 2.2

      Fenderviper, seven metres by the year 3,000 or so.

      • Andre 2.2.1

        I sat in a building of 2200 years of age .. . In 2200 years time no one will sit on that road or anywhere…

      • fenderviper 2.2.2

        Oh thats a shame, I was hoping my little bungalow would be beachfront well before then.
        If the ice-caps were to melt completely and sea-level rise by 80m, do you know how long we need to wait to witness this?

        • One Tāne Huna 2.2.2.1

          I’ve had a bit of a look around and once again Real Climate covers the topic best.

          In short:

          …no-one (and we mean no-one) has published an informed estimate of more than 2 meters of sea level rise by 2100. Tellingly, the statement in the paper that suggests otherwise has no reference.

          There have certainly been incorrect assertions and headlines implying that 20 ft of sea level by 2100 was expected, but they are mostly based on a confusion of a transient rise with the eventual sea level rise which might take hundreds to thousands of years.

          • Andre 2.2.2.1.1

            Ok i will as Noah says ‘Get a boat.’ Its a bit more than water?

          • Colonial Weka 2.2.2.1.2

            OTH, do you realise that link is 4 1/2 years old?

            • Andre 2.2.2.1.2.1

              Back to roads. Got enough thanks Now, how to make are city work better and cleaner. Labour Greens are the only ones who care . As seen in Q T on TV today , Key knows this is a subject he has no answer for. Above all we have a great coalition as the speeches tell.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.2.2.1.2.2

              Weka, yes, and also that previous estimates have proven too conservative. I’m waiting to see what AR5 says.

              • Macro

                Indications are that the West Antarctic ice shelf may in fact be more susceptible than previously thought and that dramatic increases are possible once things “let go”. But who knows…

    • xtasy 2.3

      Has Key ever been to Bangla Desh or Kiribati???
      Sorry, NO casino there, maybe that is why?

  3. Michael 3

    I watched Shearer’s speech. It was of his usual standard.

    • alwyn 3.1

      Oh dear. Was he really that bad?
      I see why no-one wants to talk about it.

      • fenderviper 3.1.1

        I only saw the small clip on the 6pm news, and although Shearer isn’t my first choice for leader, he is more PM material than that atrocious Key.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    Julie Anne Genter: one very smart MP.

    Thanks for introducing your readers to her.

    The Greens have 14 MP’s. Labour has 34. The Greens look like they have the quality and hopefully after the next election they will have the quantity, too.

    • karol 4.1

      Thanks, AmaKiwi. However, Genter needs no introduction from me to readers of this blog. Many have praised her here last year.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    When your party’s members select the leader(s) and the list instead of dinosauers choosing them, you can get smart, articulate, young MP’s like Julie Anne Genter.

    She made an utter fool of John Key. Will the MSM pick up on it?

    • Scintilla 5.1

      +++1 Amakiwi

      Gentner’s dignity and eloquence made Key look very shouty-silly.

      Karol – thanks, I hadn’t seen much of Gentner either, only heard the odd snippet on RNZ. I suddenly feel a burst of optimism! Clock’s ticking, Labour.

    • Andre 5.2

      Only way to get on MSM is Caticide or as the media awards show” A cuppa” Smart policy is for nerds

  6. bad12 6

    Another clever smart speech form yet another Green Party MP who ‘knows’ exactly what she is talking about,

    It was actually ‘mad motorways’ that triggered the Slippery little Shyster we have as Prime Minister to spit the dummy and make a State of the Nation speech to the House which contained all the grace of a 4 year old throwing the wildest of tantrums,

    That and the Green Party plan for affordable housing which served at the start of the political year to
    whip the carpet out from under the Prime Ministers feet, apparently the jibes have been flowing freely and at one point responding to a jibe about how the Green Party policy would be paid for the reply that the Green Party would simply cancel a couple of the ‘mad motorways’ and have a bucket-load of cash left over has the National Party seeing red,

    The way He reacted tho, the Prime Minister that is, you would think that all the road builders must have an agreement that all the donations made to National Party central would have to be refunded if these roads were not built, but stuff like that doesn’t happen in New Zealand does it, that’s American style politics and it only happens over there right,

    Julie-ann tho got it right, building motorways OUT of cities might get the traffic congestion cleared away a few minutes faster going thatta way BUT build any section of motorway into a city like Auckland that has multiple points of entry along with a huge volume of people all trying to criss-cross the city at the same time and you simply invite gridlock,

    She, Julie-ann that is, highlights in Her speech to the Parliament what will take the pressure off of the Auckland City roading network and that is the Inner City rail loop along with a far enhanced park and ride system from major transport hubs placed all over that City,

    i have seen how this works in Wellington with the Kapiti Rail line, double the size of the carpark at Porirua Station and within 2 weeks the car park is full again every day and train use rises,

    Double the size of the car park at the Paraparaumu Rail Station and within a couple of weeks the car park is full every day and use of the trains rises,

    Given that, the erection of a couple of carpark buildings at both those rail stations would go halfway to alleviating the highway congestion from both Porirua and Kapiti making Transmission Gully a white elephant of giant proportions you have to wonder tho why anyone would want to build the thing, it aint for the fuel savings coz hauling a vehicle up what will be a longer steeper incline than the Ngaraunga Gorge will suck tanks dry big-time especially for the truck and trailer units…

    • David H 6.1

      They could do the same at Levin as well.

      • Te Reo Putake 6.1.1

        And a bypass from just south of Levin to the Waiterere Beach turnoff would make the town a much nicer place and the main street a lot safer and easier to shop in, David. I’m looking forward to lunch at the always excellent Sponge Kitchen tomorrow, as it happens!

        • David H 6.1.1.1

          MMMmmmmm now I may just have to take a walk/bike ride to go and get me some nice cakes. Or I can always bribe the misses to bake me some home made bikkies instead lol.

  7. xtasy 7

    So, Mr Shearer, so dear Mike Smith, dear Anthony and a few remaining “faithful” in the foot in the mouth mission: I just happened to see and hear David Cunliffe’s speech tonight, just after 08 pm this Wednesday, 30 Jan. 2013.

    Forgive me, where do you live???

    Forgive me, what do you guys want to defend and cling to?

    I saw and heard, THE BEST SPEECH IN THE WHOLE DEBATE ON THE PRIME MINISTER’S STATEMENT SO FAR!!!

    Surely, I am NOT a Cunliffe fan, I never have been, I still treat him with caution in some respect, but hey, that was a man tonight, he spoke like the John F. Kennedy of New Zealand!

    So he is sitting back there in caucus’ “Siberia” on the back bench?

    Do get bloody real, mates, this is the dumbest kind of scenario I have Labour in Parliament ever seen.

    This is a man, highly skilled, he is the best speaker of the whole Labour caucus, he should definitely be returned as economics spokesperson to the front bench RIGHT NOW, as he knows, where NZ needs to go, and where an alternative government must take hands-on steps to improve the lot of this so small, often globally forgotten and overseen place.

    Get a wake-up call, David Shearer, get some honesty into you, show real dignity, and step down! I am known here for bagging Labour as of recent, and I have long ago given up on a Shearer led Labour. If there is any hope, get a vote coming, give others a chance, caucus members swallow your false pride, accept talent, work together, and bring about the only last chance of a change for your party, or you will endure years of being in opposition, become second to the Greens or another party, and you will betray your heritage. I really am concerned and afraid, something must happen.

    To have such a great speaker with great ideas condemned onto the bare, wooden back-seat, condemned and shunned, that is not making sense at all. I still am not a Cunliffe fan, but give the man a second chance at least, or 2014 will pass with yet another disappointment.

    As one so dependent on goodwill of any government, I dread Nats to push through this horrible welfare and other “reforms”, they are digging NZ and NZers spirit more than 6 feet deep under. Wake up NZers, this is a cross-roads for your country’s history and future!

    • karol 7.1

      Yes. It’s a prime ministerial speech – fiery, passionate (toeing Shearer’s party line), but there’s the stuff about listening to the people, and Labour will be doing a bottom up government, not top down like Key’s lot.

      And Cunliffe’s speech can be seen and heard here.

      • Andre 7.1.1

        I saw the speech Brilliant as always .Boy that man has passion

        • xtasy 7.1.1.1

          THAT is what LABOUR NEEDS, and the whole opposition, passion, conviction, direction and resolute action to get there. So where is David Cunliffe’s seat on the frontline, please?!

      • fenderviper 7.1.2

        How can such an obvious leader be overlooked, it’s a crime!

        Great speech, though I wonder about the “bottom up” stuff, not sure Shearer would approve.

        • xtasy 7.1.2.1

          Excuse me, if Shearer had any integrity, he would just f*** off now, for the wellbeing of Labour at large. Bottom up is just what he picked as a kind of verbal comparison to what may be needed in some ways. So whatever that may mean for Shearer and the ABC, I do not know, but hey, do we want personality contests, or a “leadership” that takes Labour somewhere positive?

          I think that speech today has answered most people’s questions, but sadly few in public will be aware of it. That is where Key AND Shearer get away with incompetence.

          • fenderviper 7.1.2.1.1

            Yes that was my point. I think there is a gap between D.C. and “bottom up” leadership and D.S. “new direction” (his).

            D.S. has the “new direction” planned out and all he wants is your vote so he can have his way with you.

        • Scintilla 7.1.2.2

          “Doing politics with the people, not to the people.”

          Epic speech. I’m seeing a dream team here, Cunliffe, Gentner, Turei, Norman, Hague …. oh, wait.

          • xtasy 7.1.2.2.1

            Scintilla – I agree, I still see a need for some Greens to get a bit more experience and expertise, but there is, for sure, at least good enough potential, to compete with the dumb-lost no-hopers, do the same as told brigade for the last few decades in National.

            Forget Banks, he and ACT are virtually “dead”, that Ohariu hairdo opportunist and swing allegiant no-hoper will also go, same as at least most of the Maori Party. Key and Nats are on the looooooosing streak now, and they know it.

            What NZ needs is a truly social democratic, environmentally focussed, future orientated, more like central European spirited government, that makes a real difference down under.

            Asia is hanging out for environmental alternatives, it is LOGICAL to make supposedly “clean green” NZ the new Netherlands, Denmark or Germany down-under, promoting, devoloping, harbouring and selling the highest tech alternative energy technology to the region around it.

            Enter into partnerships with some leaders, or develop more here, hire top skilled experts, NZ has that “clean” and “green” brand, it is STUPID not to use and develop it.

            More milk-powder, meat and wool will not deliver, I am afraid. Maybe get drunk on wine made here, that may also not sell all the time overseas? What a bloody prospect.

            Smart government is NOT what we have.

            • xtasy 7.1.2.2.1.1

              And I am NOT a Cunliffe confidant here, but I noticed, he did a study tour around Denmark and other countries last year. I come from near there, I know what Scandinavian countries are like and about, and I know also, that NZ has at leat at times (depending on governments) aspired and adored the Scandinavian model and achievements.

              Now, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway are not just some mythical places beyond our reaches, they are REAL places, with real people in real countries.

              And most of them do pretty well, in a global and competitive world, and they do it by investing in education, smart tech, high skills and the likes. Now, only the dumb idiots, or the old colonial type landlords wanting to suck the blood out of their working slaves, would hate that kind of society. That is though where NatACT is taking NZ.

              Scandinavian countries are having their ups and downs too, but generally they have and are doing a lot better than NZ.

              Also small countries like Singapore do OK, better than NZ, without creating slave labour.

              Much can be learned, introduced and so forth, so what do we wait for. We could at the same time afford retirement incomes for those from 65 years and to look after sick and disabled, who by the way, in NZ, do not number higher at all than in comparable countries. Sickness and Invalids Beneficiaries here are on a per centage basis much lower than in the UK and other countries.

              That tells you what this government is about, waging war on beneficiaries, like the Nazis did on disabled, sick and jews decades ago. There is NO justification for that persecution and benefit cuts a la Bennett.

              • Scintilla

                Yes, I agree that the Greens need a bit more experience. I would love to see a consolidated push from the Greens, Labour, Mana and NZF to get the Nacts out. They don’t have to agree on everything – there’s plenty of common ground – and right now NZ is bleeding.

                OTOH, if Cunliffe chose to jump wakas and join the Greens – woohoo! He brings that political gravitas. Is there anyone else in Labour who could bring a bit of nous?

                • xtasy

                  My ideal is to bring together a solid left of centre front, kind of social democratic, with solid social focus, but equally strong environmental focus, plus a NZ “first” approach to economic development. That would more or less bring all the opposition parties, or at least the bulk of them together “under one roof”.

                  That is what I feel is better than having 3 or 4 separate parties, competing, sharing some, but not enough, to offer an alternative. The main issue will be of course, how to address tangata whenua matters, where Winston is rather antagonistic, but Hone expects certain assurances. Also the Maori Party expect from involvement with National that a common, new constitutional system gets agreed to, incorporating the Treaty.

                  That will be the biggest challenge, how to integrate all that into one left of centre force, which would win the election tomorrow, really. I still believe it can be done, but agreements must be made by opposition parties before the next election.

                  For sure, it must be possible to integrate some core “treaty” interests into a constitution, but the Treaty as such will endlessly be debated, also between left, right and centre.

                  That indeed I see as the biggest political fighting ground coming up in NZ, how to deal with TOW while trying to bring in a kind of constitution.

                  And that is one of NZs biggest problems: DIVISION!

    • CV - Real Labour 7.2

      but hey, that was a man tonight, he spoke like the John F. Kennedy of New Zealand!

      Ah yes, I tend to agree, but that didn’t end too well in the US did it.

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    Much A roha to Hone and Annette (sorry about the “disappearance” but there arose ausog jotuns /
    hvelsveg himins; Time for a d&c?; oops, Flame on)

  9. Colonial Weka 9

    Ae, nice to see Mana well focussed too.

  10. BLiP 10

    .

    Cunliffe? Pfft . . . here’s our next Minister of Finance.

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