web analytics

Polity: I am still holding out for a three-way

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, April 22nd, 2014 - 108 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, national, nz first, political parties, Politics - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnRob Salmond at Poliity has a post here on how he sees the next government.

David, Winston, and the Greens up a tree. G O V E R N I N G.

Some of the commentary over Easter has focused on a supposed strategic conundrum for the Greens. If Peters is in a position to decide the next government, pundits argue, he would only agree to a deal with Labour if that deal keeps the Greens outside the Cabinet. Otherwise he would go with National, because being the junior partner is much grander than being the junior junior partner.

I think the pundits misjudge Peters. I think he wants a major, polity-based legacy in the 2014-2017 term, as well as baubles. Only the left can offer this. With the left, Peters can be The Man who Saved the Power Companies. National cannot compete with that. Which gives everyone on the left, including the Greens, some leverage.1

Think about a simple hypothetical: New Zealand First has 7% and the balance of power. What then? Here are my picks:

First, Both sides offer Peters pretty much whatever baubles he wants, including:

  • For Winston himself, any major Ministerial portfolio other than PM, Deputy, or Finance, plus a couple of more minor ones if he wants.
  • One more total cabinet place than New Zealand First’s House seats deserve, with a second New Zealand First MP on the front bench as well.
  • Moderate policy gains regarding the Super Gold Card and one or two other things

Remember, both sides are likely to be offering this, which makes it pretty much a draw.

Then the left offers an additional policy gain. A big one. One that all the parties on the left agree on. A long-term, fiscally responsible strategy for returning the recently pawned state assets to public ownership. Peters likes that idea, we know that already. And National can’t match it directly. Does National have a similarly large-scale legacy project it can offer for New Zealand First? I can’t think of a good one.

I expect at that point Peters would have some further conditions for Labour and the Greens at that point, such as not technically working “for” a Green, which means no Green Deputy PM.2 In the name of changing the government, I think a left-leaning consensus can be forged along those lines. And I think this deal is more attractive to Peters than a two-way more-of-the-same deal with National.

So count me out of the consensus that Winston in Cabinet means no Greens in Cabinet. I see a feasible three-way deal on the horizon.

  1. To be sure, if Labour took a completely short-term view and decided to entirely the Greens because they can rather than because they have to, it could still shut the door on the Greens. But I’d like to think Labour is taking a longer term view of this: entirely shafting the Greens when it is not necessary only leads to more right-leaning governments in the medium term, and a smaller Labour party in the long term.
  2. By the by, I think this realization underscores Metiria Turei’s weekend musing about co-Deputy Prime Ministers, which I imagine she knows is simply not going to fly in 2014. Now that she has floated the idea, it gives the Greens another thing to “very reluctantly give away” in the negotiations.


108 comments on “Polity: I am still holding out for a three-way”

  1. BM 1

    Personally I think the non-vote will be massive.

    Huge numbers of Labour voters are going to sit this one out.

  2. Mary 2

    That might be right but unless the disaster that is Cunliffe and Labour sorts itself out it will be a very volatile therefore an extremely flimsy and vulnerable union.

  3. Have you guys been listening to Marxist Brendan O’Neil presently in Australia over the Easter break?

    He says the biggest brake on Labour getting elected is their alliance with the Greens.

    He says the Greens are anti Labour in that they wish to kill off everything that creates jobs and makes things.

    I think he is right, and if he is, John Key’s left wing bent and the influence in the Nats of Nick Smith’s “BlueGreens” has provided a great opportunity for Labour. To grasp that opportunity they need to divorce themselves totally from the Greens and start advocating for changes that will bring NZers jobs and investment.

    Cunliffe needs to say to hell with the Greens. They are causing abject poverty all over the West.

    Dave wants votes and the best way to get them is get out and provide well paying jobs for the working class.

    Divorcing the Greens and focusing on rebuilding an economy that is crippled by the scare mongering these religious idiots promote will bring him a mountain of votes that would otherwise go to National.

    While Labour stays married to the job destroying Greens, the middle class and much of the lower class will back the Nats.

    If the Nats stay tied to their environmental policies, and Labour comes out against the Greens, votes will flow the other way like a river.

    • blue leopard 3.1

      Are you a comedian?

      • lprent 3.1.1

        Close. He is a fossil left over from the cold war looking for new enemies to rail against.

        You will find his comments going back to close to the start of the site.

        • Redbaiter

          What is self described Marxist Brendan O’Neil then?

          • weka

            Yawn. Who cares? Your comment is just another round of self-serving concern-tr*lling. Of course you want Labour to move away from the GP, because that’s a move to the right 🙄

          • lprent

            What is self described Marxist…

            A person with a political philosophy – just like you.

            But the only political philosophy that I actually agree with is my own. Apart from that it just becomes a question of who I’m working with to achieve my objectives.

            Personally I find that that way that people people describe themselves makes bugger difference to me. It is simply meaningless noise most of the time. I prefer to see what they do and say.

            People that throw around political labels about other people I tend to feel pity for. I’ll always offer them a hankie to wipe the dribble off their chins. They appear to be better at understanding mindless propaganda for the positively stupid rather than how politics actually operates in a pluralistic society.

            • Redbaiter

              I could read that last paragraph as an endorsement of my own views.

              • lprent

                Ummmm. It is my impression that many if not most of your comments over the years would cast a political label on to someone else.


                That was just off the top of my head (and it is late in the day – code has preempted words from my head).

                A sheet perhaps?

          • Murray Olsen

            Brendan O’Neill is a remnant of the Frank Furedi fan club, who shifted from ultra-left cultism to some weird mixture of far right libertarianism and authoritarianism. He hates the Greens because he has some weird image of the working class as being racist thugs, and thinks this is a progressive trait. He is very, very strange.

        • blue leopard

          lolz! (two laughs in one thread – pretty good going)

        • You_Fool

          I remember trolling the Redbaiter troll back on some NZ politics email list in the very early 2000’s… He hasn’t changed from then.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.2

        Redbaiter is performance art.

      • georgecom 3.1.3

        No, he is a noddy who longs for the days or Rodney Hide leading ACT and then got pissed off as he watched Hide flush the party down the toilet.

      • georgecom 3.1.4

        No, he is a noddy who longs for the days of Rodney Hide leading ACT, before Hide flushed it down the toilet and ACT got desperate and insignificant.

  4. lprent 4

    Sounds feasible to me even at a realpolitik level.

  5. I am telling you that to the NZ middle and working classes, the Nat’s Archille’s heel is their subservience to the (Blue) Greens and the Maoris.

    If Labour attack them on these two issues, and drift away from them themselves, they will get the votes that they are presently finding out of reach.

    • Tracey 5.1

      nats subservience to the greens… have you been booked in edinburgh yet?

      • RRM 5.1.1

        Baiter is 100% correct there. (Jesus H.C.)

        But for some perverse reason you don’t want to hear that message, so of course you will continue with the Labour party thing of pronouncing what you believe working New Zealanders want, without actually asking them.

        Of course, such delusion only deepens your confusion when labour goes from bad to worse in the public polls and you can’t quite understand why.

        I really thought the 2011 election defeat would be the turning point where Labour pulled their heads out from where they are stuffed, and started actually listening to people. Listening to real people, not the vocal hardcore of far left lunatic activists. But I was wrong, and the delusion still continues on as we see today in the pronouncements of Cunliffe and on these threads.

        If/when Cunliffe’s team loses harder in 2014 than Bill English’s team lost in 2002, maybe THAT will be the point that Labour finally decides to start listening more, and talking less?

    • Tracey 5.2

      yes, what labour needs is to become more…

      like ACT

      • blue leopard 5.2.1

        Yeah…Nah … I suggest that if Greens are such an Archille’s Heel for National. It is National that should be positioning themselves closer to Act.

        This wouldn’t be hard – they just need to drop the thin veneer.

        I strongly recommend National do this. ( I don’t know why they haven’t already). Act have such popular political principles.

        And let’s face it the Greens would encourage a healthy environment – that is no good for profits – profits don’t grow on trees or in the fields you know – we need more concrete, polluted rivers and toxins in order to thrive. Profits are far more important at this stage of the game. How about it Nats? I reckon this is the best way forward.

        • Redbaiter

          ACT was formed from the Labour Party, and its original intent was a bare boned govt structure designed to put more money in the actual worker’s pocket.

          It failed because it drifted from this course and became primarily a socially liberal party.

          Today its still apparently concerned more with social issues than economic ones. So its not going to go anywhere.

          Here’s the news. The trend (or momentum) is away from social liberalism and back towards social conservatism.

          That’s another thing Cunliffe could draw votes on if he and his advisors ever developed the political perspicacity to discern it as truth.

          • blue leopard

            So are you saying that National shouldn’t align with Act because Act is too socialist and not focussed on business and financial matters for National?

            • Redbaiter

              I can’t tell the Nats what to do because they are hopelessly ideologically adrift.

              Nat supporters are so befuddled by Key they are prepared to back every silly idea out there if they perceive it as supporting him.

              The Nats have moved into Labour’s territory, so Labour has to move into (roughly speaking) the Nat’s old territory if they seek to attract votes off National.

              Cunliffe would do well saying he would do away with Maori seats, divorce himself from the Greens, and advocate for the growth of industry that will bring jobs for workers.

              In politically strategic terms, this is just outflanking the Nats, and if you look at the battle map, there aren’t really any other options for Labour.

              • blue leopard

                You appear to have omitted answering the question in my previous comment. I think that Act is pretty keen on financial matters, considering some of the wealthiest people in the country – possibly all 10 of their supporters fall into that category – and really we shouldn’t be worrying about Labour because it is a ‘foregone conclusion that they have lost’ already – so moving right on – I think it is altogether better that National take your advice -and not Labour – because that way you get the type of government that you appear to desire – and that is the main thing, really isn’t it? – that you get the policies that you are promoting into power….

                • Redbaiter

                  You appear not to have learnt the lesson that Cunliffe had to learn and that is that debasing wealth is a two edged sword, given that Cunliffe and Helen Clark (for example) would be a couple of the most wealthy people in NZ.

                  And all without once having to shovel a gram of coal, or dragging one log out of the bush or tripping one bit out of a 4000 metre oil well. A far cry from Mickey Savage and Norman Kirk.

                  As for your thesis upon my own ambition, yes, I would like to see NZ move away from Progressivism. That is why I want Labour to defeat National by swinging to the right yes. And after that defeat I hope National will see the error of its ways and dump the pretender Key and return to its founding principles yes.

                  You could always remain on the opposition benches if this is your preference.

                  • blue leopard

                    Considering Cunliffe is wealthy, I don’t see that he has much of a problem with wealth. Unless he is full of self-loathing – which I’ve noticed a lot of wealthy people are – must be all that swallowing back their real views and principles in order to follow their masters commands that gaining wealth generally involves.

                    Nor do I have a problem re wealthiness – although too much of it for one person is clearly bad for the personality and health – so I think it better that wealth was spread about a bit for all our sakes. Perhaps Clark and Cunliffe are of that opinion too?

                    You appear to believe that wealth has something to do with hard work – what a quaint notion! Obedience is a more accurate quality required for wealth gathering.

                    As for my being on the opposition benches – I’m not planning on a career in politics anytime soon – so no probs there, thanks for your concern, though.

          • MaxFletcher

            “The trend (or momentum) is away from social liberalism and back towards social conservatism.”

            What a crock of shit

            • Pete George

              The most prominent trend is away from politicalism.

              I think most people don’t understand and don’t care about socialism or libertarianism or conservatism or whateverism.

              • Paul

                Thought you were very busy today?

                • That’s right. Only time for a few quick flicks. Why your concern? Not long ago you seemed to not want me commenting here. Bemusing to think that you might be missing me.

                  Unless you’re just another damned if I do, damned if I don’t types.

            • Redbaiter

              Max- You weren’t working for Decca when they rejected the Beatles were you?

      • Paul 5.2.2

        Yes that was a really good plan in the 80s wasn’t it?
        Destroyed the country and people’s trust in the Labour Party.
        Unless Labour rids itself of its neoliberal rump, it will be going nowhere and, more importantly, will not be serving the needs of working NZ.

  6. captain hook 6

    I dont give a shit as long as this gang of lowbrow tory nitwits gets the boot and good riddance. They have had their turn and its time for them to go.

  7. George 7

    Unless the average voter thinks that “Labour” is going to “win”, the average voter will sit it out, or vote for National. That’s what happens.

    By positioning themselves as at the mercy of Winston, they inflate his vote, depress theirs among those who dislike Winston (there are quite a few), and depress theirs among those who are led to focus on Labour’s dismal primary numbers. 32% looks a lot worse than 45%.

    • blue leopard 7.1

      I hate to argue this point, however I can’t help considering the possibilities…. if Labour are positioning themselves ‘with NZ First’ that makes them more centrist and if anything puts them in a position to take votes off NZ First – more so than if they position themselves further left.Therefore this might end up bringing them more votes – the further left people will be switching to Greens and Mana.

      If NZ First still get good amount of votes – Labour are more in the position of being a viable option for NZ First. If NZ First bomb – Labour and Greens and Mana have a lot of commonality – and would form a government if that is the way people voted.

      Just a thought – goes against where I would like to see Labour positioned – yet perhaps this is one way of looking at it and ultimately I fully agree with Captain Hook’s sentiments at comment 6.

      • George 7.1.1

        Labour are positioning themselves …that makes them more centrist… more so than if they position themselves further left.Therefore this might end up bringing them more votes – the further left people will be switching…

        This is a terrible way of thinking about voters.

        • blue leopard

          What is terrible? That voters would choose to vote Greens or Mana if Labour position themselves closer to the centre?

          Or the view that Labour being positioned at the centre might bring in some centrist voters?

          Perhaps it is that I said Labour might bring them ‘more votes’ – I could have worded that better.

          How about changing that to ‘Labour might get some centrist votes that they wouldn’t have otherwise got and they might lose left votes to Greens and Mana while doing so’

          Is that better? 🙂

          • George

            I’m quite fond of left-right designations for policy, and for parties.

            However, voters exist in low and ultra-low information environments, and value different things than do party activists.Voters tend to associate parties with a combination of image, person, and specific policy (which is usually but not always in the interest of that voter).

            Though the Greens are to the left of Labour on most but not all policy, perceptions of the Greens are such that they can appeal to voters who would choose National. They can also appeal to voters who would not choose Labour, but would not choose National. Lastly, they can appeal to voters who would choose Labour. This works equally in reverse with Labour taking Green voters who would consider one of the other two major parties; the three parties are competing for large pools of the same voters with large overlaps. This is one of the reasons why they’re not able to section, and why Labour is so nervous about coalitions and losing its own ground.

            • blue leopard

              I’m remain unclear what you meant in your first response to me – you haven’t responded to my question. What was it that was so terrible in what I put forward?

              • George

                TLDR: voter behaviour very weakly correlates with the left-right positioning of political parties over short to medium timeframes. Really.

                • blue leopard

                  Yet your first comment was saying that if ‘the average voter’ doesn’t think Labour will win they won’t bother voting, or will vote National – you appeared to be commenting in a very binary fashion.

                  • George

                    You still appear to be thinking that moving anywhere on the political spectrum wins you votes.

                    There isn’t a magic vote machine which shovels votes to the Greens whenever Labour moves to the centre, or siphons votes from National.

                    • blue leopard

                      “Voters tend to associate parties with a combination of image, person, and specific policy (which is usually but not always in the interest of that voter).”

                      Where a party is ‘positioned’ is simply a shorthand way of summing up the type of policies they are likely to pursue when in government.

                      If voters are making choices in the manner that you state (quoted above) then where they sit on this spectrum is one factor of that decision.

                      It would be preferable to make clear your views rather than putting forward strange comments re ‘magical machines’ incorrectly implying that has anything to do with what I have presented.

                    • George

                      Where a party is ‘positioned’ is simply a shorthand way of summing up the type of policies they are likely to pursue when in government.

                      No, it is not.

                    • I doubt that many voters think much or care much about political positions or spectrums, consciously at least.

                      Self interest on policies sometimes plays a part, interest free student loans being a significant one in 2005 but it was much more complex than that.

                      Most people only see brief bits of politics and politicians and I think a lot of judgements are made on body language and perceptions of personality. Understanding of issues and policy details is usually very scant.

                      Outside of political forums I don’t hear people say “I won’t vote for them because they’re socialist/tory” or “I prefer their degree of liberalism with the right balance of conservatism”.

                      You’re far more likely to hear “I won’t vote for that prat” or “I quite like him/her”.

                    • blue leopard

                      What is it then?

                    • blue leopard

                      Hi Pete George,

                      There were some questions someone was asking you that you haven’t answered yet:


                    • Hi blue leopard

                      Questions I ask often go unanswered too, there’s no guarantees on blogs, it’s all voluntary.

                      I might have a look when I get more time. If it really concerns you you could help by studying the whole thread, filter out all the noise and giving me a short summary, that would help.

                    • blue leopard

                      Hi Pete George,

                      No that is fine, I don’t think it would be possible for you to come up with any reasonable response for why you disagree that NACTs promote bene bashing, low wages and enable welfare dependency for their rich mates because there is nothing genuine you can say to justify that view.

                      Just be nice if you admitted that that is your problem, that is all.

                    • There may be smatterings of National promoting “bene bashing, low wages” but that’s not substantially what they do. All Governments “enable welfare dependency”, but welfare dependency does not help people get rich.

                      You (and others) seem to be convinced of a contradiction.

                      Could you understand and admit that National promoting “bene bashing, low wages and enable welfare dependency for their rich mates” would be bad for business?

                    • blue leopard

                      Hi Pete George,

                      Thanks for the response.

                      Enabling welfare dependency has no real advantage, however it is about keeping wages low and this helps a small amount of people make profits at the expense of many.

                      “Could you understand and admit that National promoting “bene bashing, low wages and enable welfare dependency for their rich mates” would be bad for business?”

                      Yes I thoroughly agree – that is why I wouldn’t ever vote National.

                    • I don’t see how keeping wages low is good for business generally. It might help some businesses compete better or make more profits but overall business must benefit from better incomes. The more people have to spend the more business activity there will be.

                      So I don’t agree that National deliberately want to keep wages low, I don’t think they are that dumb.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      I don’t see how keeping wages low is good for business generally. It might help some businesses compete better or make more profits but overall business must benefit from better incomes. The more people have to spend the more business activity there will be.

                      Yes I agree.

                      So I don’t agree that National deliberately want to keep wages low, I don’t think they are that dumb.

                      I suggest this paragraph needs more thought.

            • Paul

              Hi Pete George

              When I asked you to answer weka’s questions this morning, you said you were busy today.

              You seem to have a lot of time spare. Maybe you could answer the questions.

  8. George 8

    I think this realization underscores Metiria Turei’s weekend musing about co-Deputy Prime Ministers, which I imagine she knows is simply not going to fly in 2014. Now that she has floated the idea, it gives the Greens another thing to “very reluctantly give away” in the negotiations.

    I believe Metiria was utterly sincere.

    Labour will not give the Greens so much as a dead rabbit on a stick voluntarily, and both sides know this. It will be the numbers that matter (or don’t, so much as we look likely to stay in opposition again).

    ETA: any governing arrangement will have to be approved by the membership of the Greens, through a delegated SGM. They will approve certain things, and vote down others. It is not safe to assume that governing arrangements that give the Greens insufficient say over the next government would be approved.

    • bad12 8.1

      Voting for a cozy little ‘business as usual’ arrangement for Labour and NZFirst to Govern while tossing the Greens the odd crumb is not an option…

    • lprent 8.2

      It will be the numbers that matter (or don’t, so much as we look likely to stay in opposition again).

      Yep. That is why all parties need to campaign for their OWN principles and policy platforms. The voting population are effectively showing the compromise weights.

      • George 8.2.1

        Yes. But in this case campaigning alone is campaigning with Winston tied to your leg. That’s not the image that voters find appealing. If Labour can cut the cord, then you’ll do well. But Labour have almost run out of time to do that.

        I accept that not everyone agrees just how toxic he was to the image of Clark’s last term, and how much damage he did to Labour, and continues to be. But the polls don’t lie – he’s got huge negative associations. (There isn’t a NZF in the public minds beyond Winston.)

        • lprent

          Still has a significiant support level. They will almost certainly be represented in parliament because that is what a significiant portion of the voters want. They are also likely to be represented in a government the way the polls are going.

          BTW: You do realise that effectively you’re just arguing the exact same case as redbaiter does about the Greens voters. Except in your case it is about ignoring the NZF voters.

          BTW2: About the only Green politician most voters know about in the Greens is Norman.

          • George

            Yes. I accept that the Greens have negative associations. But the negative associations for NZF are far higher among Labour voters and potential Labour voters. (The skew is about 6-1 among polled voters, from memory). The Greens also have positive associations among potential Labour voters, and those are lost by distancing.

            It’s too late for Labour to argue NZF are an irrelevancy, as Key has deliberately consistently done for the last 12 months. Watch every doorstop in which he is asked about Peters. National are almost as dependent on NZF, but have allowed themselves to be defined independently. The only way that Labour could have done that was to allow themselves to be defined as a unit alongside the Greens, with all that this entails.

            Most voters can name half a dozen politicians on a good day. I’m glad the Greens have one of them, a result of several years of hard work.

        • Anne

          I accept that not everyone agrees just how toxic he was to the image of Clark’s last term.

          It sounds to me George like you fell for the right-wing spin of the time. I have never been a fan of Peters, but I can usually tell the difference between truth and lies. It wasn’t Peters who was the problem. He did a very good job of Foreign Affairs and was openly recognised by some of his overseas counterparts as being an effective F.A. minister.

          You seem to have forgotten the obsessive campaign against Winston Peters by the “hard right” and in particular Rodney Hide. Hide’s obsession with Winston began in the mid 1990s because of Peters’ bid to expose the Winebox saga. Many people who were involved in that sordid affair were determined to seek their revenge for his ultimately successful effort.

          The real target was never Peters anyway. It was Helen Clark. Her mana was such that the only way they could destroy her credibility was to destroy the persons in her team they perceived to be the weakest links. In Peters case it was because of his background and the fact the perennial liar, Owen Glenn was only too happy to assist them. Mike Williams, who was Labour’s president at the time, has a different story to tell than the one presented by Hide, Glenn, the Nats and the media. And I know which one was telling the truth and that was Mike Williams.

          • MrSmith

            And for anyone interested in reading more about the Winebox try. Thirty Pieces of Silver
            By Anthony Molloy QC

            • Anne

              Very dry but well worth the read MrSmith.

              I was told by a senior political source of the day that the perpetrators were tipped off to get out of the country because the police would not chase them up once they were gone. That would explain why they all seemed to depart around the same time and nearly all of them ended up in Geneva.

              • mickysavage

                Fay went to Ireland and Richwhite went to Switzerland. The common feature of both nations is that New Zealand does not have an extradition with them …

  9. Geez, don’t you guys mix with any real workers?

    I spend a lot of time with them (as opposed to bubble living media stars and loafing academics) and I am telling you that across NZ the political party they hate the most, far more than National or Winston or anyone else, is the Greens.

  10. Hey Tracey, why do you think the Oil and Gas guy gave money to Shane Jones?

    Or to put it another way, why did Shane Jones take money from the Oil & Gas guy?

    I’ll tell you. Shane knows those workers need jobs.

    And the Oil & Gas guy obviously isn’t that impressed by National’s new Blue Green influenced legislation.

    • Tracey 10.1

      i know your name is red baiter but…

      spent a few days with two different business owners in new plymouth. both lived there all their lives and worked there for over 35 years. they both acknowledge the contribution of oil and gas but say its like living on a rollercoaster and the city has grown because of the realisation it isnt a reliable source of ongoing vitality and not because it is there per se.

      . it is ironic that he appears to appeal to both the big business schmoozers and the so called worker, by which it appears you mean male… cos thats what shane means.

      just cos jones has swallowed the bs and money that says we need to drill and mine more is not evidence that drilling and mining more will be some kind of workers panacea. remind me how pike river worked out and why?

      • Redbaiter 10.1.1

        Pike River was badly managed for sure, and the workers paid a heavy price. My son could have been down that mine.

        We should not forget though that a lot of the difficulties that company was struggling to cope with were a result of Green influences.

        • Tracey

          you mean like short cuts on safety to save money?

          promising large numbers of jobs that never quite materialise.

          govt depts fucking up?

          oh wait, nothing to do with the greens. in fact brownlee had more influence, but who resigned.

          ah, you son could have been down that mine so youd think youd want a better and more reliable future for him than coal mining

          • Redbaiter

            He’s actually earning around $NZ2000/ day in the oil industry. But overseas. National and Labour and the Greens have knackered that industry in NZ.

            • Lanthanide

              Not sure if you’ve noticed, but all recent oil exploration wells in NZ have turned up dry.

          • Ian H

            That mine should have been open cast as was originally proposed. Dig the coal out safely then put back the rock and dirt, reshape the land, cover with soil, and replant with natives. If done properly much safer for the workers and in the long run no more damaging to the environment. Underground mining in that kind of wet coal seam was always going to be a dangerous proposition.

            [lprent: Always nice to see a engineering idiot making a dickhead of themselves. Have you looked at the overburden on that seam? There is a bloody mountain on top. Where were they going to dump that – a fool like you would probably suggest the rivers.

            I suspect that you are too mindless to comment here. Perhaps you should go to the home of the stupid morons with Cam. Basically you have been failing the first time comment intelligence tests]

  11. fisiani 11

    All these wet dreams about portfolio allocations is based on the fact that Labour plus Greens plus NZF plus Mana is more than 50% but less than 55%. Assuming this is so then Winston can insist that the Greens and Mana are excluded since they would have to vote with Labour-NZF Government anyway. The Greens and Mana have lost all bargaining power yet again.
    I cannot understand where such optimism comes from. It ignores the fact that no poll this year has had that combination come close to being over 50%.
    It also ignores that National have the support of the Maori Party (3 seats?) ACT (3 seats) United Future (1 seat) and at a pinch if the polls are close the Conservatives (4 seats) That’s another 11 votes to add to the 55 to 60 National MP’s. ACT will never be hugely popular but 2.5% is surely attainable in a campaign that that is tough on crime and masterminded by Richard Prebble. The Conservatives currently polling 2.5% could easily rise to 3% and thus 4 MP’s.

    • scotty 11.1

      ‘It ignores the fact that no poll this year has had that combination come close to being over 50%.’

      Except March 17 -30 at 51%

      So keep on dry humping Nationals’ leg – Fisiani.

      You never know – you might get bumped up from pamphlet deliveries yet.

    • “The Conservatives currently polling 2.5% could easily rise to 3% and thus 4 MP’s.”

      There’s signs that Colin Craig may be left out in the cold by National. That makes his chances of an assisted electorate very remote. Which makes his chances of winning an electorate very remote.

      And the 5% threshold is going to be a big hurdle. Roy Morgan since July 2012 has had them 1-2.5% mostly. It’s hard to see them getting an NZF type surge.

  12. Rogue Trooper 12

    Murray Grimwood at interest.co .nz

  13. fisiani 13

    Shane Jones stepping down from politics. Sees the writing on the walls

    • Paul 13.1

      At last the right wing are going.
      Maybe too late though.
      Did Claire Trevett get that scoop?

      • fisiani 13.1.1

        I told you the Right in Labour were being sidelined. Labour lurches further Left. I was right again. Labour now (5-50 on political scale) Well past the tipping point to oblivion.

  14. Tracey 14

    god save us from days when pg has time to post

  15. Anne 15

    The big positive of Shane Jones’ resignation? Kelvin Davis is next on the list. A big hurrah!!! I only met Kelvin a couple of times, but a nicer person you could not meet. Apart from his passion to improve the education of ALL young people – and he has proven credentials in this field – he has no illusions of grandeur about himself. He does not regard himself as being any better than anyone else and he is very much a team player.

    • Tracey 15.1

      amen to that

    • Putting Davis too far down the list was a major miscalculation and he was a big loss for Labour. His return should genuinely be welcomed and getting back into Parliament for the campaign will also help Labour. And perhaps it will put a bit more pressure on Hone Harawira.

      • Anne 15.2.1

        Putting Davis too far down the list was a major miscalculation and he was a big loss for Labour.

        Indeed it was a major miscalculation. But then you see… as far as I could tell, Kelvin steered clear of factions. He is the sort to judge people on their merits and not to which faction they belonged. That may have been his downfall.

        Not all Labour members wear rose tinted spectacles. At least not all the time. 😉

  16. dave 16

    I don’t care who fighting with who I want rid of this bastard government simple as that and as for the none voters they better vote because there about to loose the roofs over there heads or already lost there homes as home o owners who are in process of interest rate hikes banks don’t give a hoot about you either they made commission on the loan they make on forecloseing to either way your. Up the river.

  17. Kahukowhai 17

    You must be dreaming if you think returning the part privatised assets to public ownership would be an important policy for the first term of a Labour government. Maybe 2nd or 3rd term but it’s hard to see the billions of dollars needed being available in the first term or a really important priority.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • A charge on plastic bags – debunking some myths
    The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    12 hours ago
  • National’s $1trillion property sandcastle
    The National government's failure to fix the housing crisis has seen the ballooning and unsustainable property market touch the $1 trillion mark, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. "Labour wants an economy that creates high wage work that is based ...
    13 hours ago
  • Government failure on housing crisis drives Reserve Bank to add tools
    If the Government was delivering a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, it is unlikely that the Reserve Bank would be continuing to pursue debt to income limits for lending for housing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    1 day ago
  • International embarrassment for NZ likely over National’s failure to protect Maui dolphin
    New Zealanders who care about Maui dolphin should prepare to feel embarrassed: the Government is about to be put to shame on the international stage for its lack of action to protect Maui’s dolphin. The International Whaling Commissions’ 66th Biennial ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    4 days ago
  • Why don’t we spend $1b to keep people out of jail, rather than spending it on keeping them in?
    Earlier this week, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the government’s ‘solution’ to our burgeoning prison population. It seems that most, if not all, of Bill English’s hard-won surplus is going to disappear into another round of prison-building.  That must be ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    5 days ago
  • PKE Ship Sent Packing – Not Too Soon
    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    5 days ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    6 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    6 days ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    7 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    7 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    7 days ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    7 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    1 week ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    1 week ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 week ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago