Post election commentary

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, December 2nd, 2011 - 51 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags: ,

A lot has been written in the aftermath of the election. I want to quickly note two excellent pieces that you might have missed in the rush.  The first is by Nick Hager at Pundit:

I’ve just been internalising a really complicated situation in my head

Here’s the bullet-point version, to begin:

  • National won about the same number of votes it did three years ago (it got a higher percentage of the total vote owing to falling voter turnout)
  • National has an almost unmanageably thin majority in Parliament; party insiders are not at all happy
  • Winston Peters is back as a fly in the National Party’s ointment, in a large part because John Key and Steven Joyce mucked up over the Epsom tea party
  • MMP is here to stay, meaning governments need to win a real majority and not just a high single party vote
  • 50% of voters voted against National, despite its popular leader
  • Many National votes were won because of its apparently easy-going and centrist leader, not because people necessarily support its policies
  • Well over 50% of the public opposes key National Party policies such as privatisation (‘asset sales’)
  • The ACT Party, National’s most important coalition partner, died on election night
  • There are signs that National has passed the high point of its popularity and will now start to decline
  • There are signs that National leader John Key has passed the high point of his popularity and will now start to decline.
  • The coming three years will be the playing out of these things. It is going to be very different to National’s first three years in government.

That’s the summary. If you’d like the long version, read on.

Read on indeed, it’s well worth your time.  The second piece of note was by Bryan Gould in The Herald:

Labour must fight smarter against Key, starting now

There are never any final battles in politics. No one should begrudge John Key his moment of triumph on Saturday but – as he will be well aware – the campaign for the next general election has already started.

A 48 per cent share of the votes cast was, on the face of it, an outstanding achievement. But we should bear in mind that fully two-thirds of New Zealanders eligible to vote did not give their support to National, either failing to register or vote, or voting for someone else.

This was not, in other words, a coronation. Not everyone loves Key. Yet we can already see the “elective dictatorship” syndrome in Key’s claim that he has a mandate for asset sales, despite the incontrovertible polling evidence that the policy is opposed even by National voters.

The election campaign was at times an unhappy experience for Key. It revealed to his supporters, among voters and in the media, a politician whom many may not have seen before. The images of an uncomfortable and defensive Key, clearly irritated at being challenged and having to answer questions he would prefer to have ignored, will remain in the memory for a long time.

Nor is it the case, as some have suggested, that Labour’s poor showing means that the next election is already a lost cause. We should not forget that, in 2002, National’s share of the vote dropped to just 22 per cent, yet three years later, under the leadership of that “strange fellow” Don Brash, National very nearly pulled off a win. …

Labour’s new leader needs to think hard about the politics of being in Opposition. If they are to do better this term than last, there has to be a carefully planned, developed and staged strategy so that, by the time the next election campaign starts, the groundwork has been properly laid. …

There are, in other words, three stages in a successful campaign.  First, changing – through hard work and relentless pressure – the public perception of Key as a leader who can be trusted. Second, taking enough time, well before the election, to build support for policies that opponents can easily misrepresent. And third, launching vote-winning policies so as to generate momentum through the election campaign.

A new leader and a strategy like this could make for a very interesting election in 2014.

Once again well worth reading the original to fill in the gaps, there’s plenty in there for Labour to think about.  As we go through the process of choosing a new leader, the most important question that I think the candidates can be asked is – what are your plans for Labour over the next three years?  No waffle allowed, let’s hear a detailed plan.

51 comments on “Post election commentary”

  1. queenstfarmer 1

    Yet we can already see the “elective dictatorship” syndrome in Key’s claim that he has a mandate for asset sales, despite the incontrovertible polling evidence that the policy is opposed even by National voters.

    Absolute nonsense from Gould (and others). The only “incontrovertible polling evidence” was the General Election last Saturday that handed a huge victory, with an increased majority, to National. Despite Labour basing almost it’s entire campaign on blindly ideological opposition to asset sales.

    Gould and others are now claiming that a Government’s mandate in a general election is somehow limited by pre-election opinion polls involving anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand people at best, and (from what I’ve seen) not actually asking about National’s specific policies. And these are the same opinion polls that many here claim are based on “dodgy methodologies” etc.

    If Gould is saying we should be using binding citizens referenda , then he should say so – and I would agree with him. Until then, a certain phrase of Michael Cullen’s comes to mind.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      “…an increased majority…”

      Yes, because dropping from 69 to 61 is an increase, isn’t it? No wonder the National Party finds you so easy to deceive.

    • Blighty 1.2

      what increased majority?

      What majority?

      • queenstfarmer 1.2.1

        Forgotten after only 6 days?

        • Lanthanide 1.2.1.1

          For National to have had a “majority”, they would have needed more than half the seats in the house. They did not have this before the election, and they do not have it after the election.

          • queenstfarmer 1.2.1.1.1

            You have asserted one meaning of “majority” as the only meaning.

            Meaning 3(c) in the Merriam Webster is “the greater quantity or share”.

            The two meanings in the Cambridge Dictionary of British English (which I think it’s fair to assume is the prevailing language we are using) defines it as: “the larger number or part of something; in an election, the difference in the number of votes between the winning person or group and the one that comes second”.

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1.1

              So now you’re using a definition of ‘majority’ with which National can pass no laws in the House?

              Clever.

              No wonder National strategists are pissed.

              • McFlock

                With any luck, they will have a similar “majority” next time: 54 seats, no coalition partners.

              • queenstfarmer

                I don’t know about clever, but it is correct. National would certainly struggle to pass laws if every other party in the House opposed them. Same with every other post-MMP government. Is this news to you?

                • felix

                  “National would certainly struggle to pass laws if every other party in the House opposed them”

                  Unless they had a majority in the house. Which they don’t.

                • Ari

                  Since when can majority be used for anything less than 50%? A quick search for “48% majority” finds nobody agreeing with you- they’re all talking about 48-year trends or 48 votes requiring a majority. Whoops.

                  While nobody denies that National won the election fair and square, it was because voters were not engaged or excited to turn out, not because they have some sort of commanding support.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Since when can majority be used for anything less than 50%?

                    I don’t know, you’d have to ask Merriam Webster and Cambridge University who say it can.

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.2

          MSM coup continues after the eleciton, first never criticizing Key, then after the election downplaying the obvious talks Key is having to have with Dunne and Maori Party.

          Only a fool would believe Key has enough votes to get his budget past alone.

          All it takes is one Natonal MP to say no to asset sales.

          • queenstfarmer 1.2.1.2.1

            All it takes is one Natonal MP to say no to asset sales.

            And all it will take is a few more National MPs to defect to Labour and install Shearer as Prime Minister! Each scenario is equally as plausible.

    • RedLogix 1.3

      Your idea of a ‘huge majority’ qstf is rooted in obsolete FPP thinking.

      Let’s hypothetically tweak last weeks result a little. What if National’s party vote was reduced a small amount to say 45% and Labour’s increased to 30%? And every other result remained the same. In other words a mere 3% swing from National to Labour.

      Still a “huge majority” for National according to you … but of course significantly short of being able to form a government. In fact on the result above a left wing coalition would pretty much romp in.

      So no.. not much of a majority at all. But then I guess either you know that or choose to say the opposite for some other reason only you understand.

      • Lanthanide 1.3.1

        “choose to say the opposite for some other reason only you understand.”

        Same reason he insists on saying partial privatisation isn’t privatisation, I guess.

    • Below is a petition to demand a binding referendum on asset sales.

      http://www.averagekiwi.com/?p=674

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Nicky is great, one of NZs few public thinker/researchers. Even though his talents are usually employed on the nats and spooks he sometimes gets less than his due from the left. He is not doctrinaire enough for marxists but doesn’t cosy up to Labour either.

  3. Thomas Forrow 3

    General Election last Saturday that handed a huge victory, with an increased majority, to National

    Hm About the same vote to National as last time and National will end up with 59 seats out of 121
    with with UF and Act. that is 61 out of121
    That is as close as it could possibly be.. 1 seat…
    I can”t see how that is a huge victory, a very narrow victory methinks
    half a percent more to the Greens and it would have been a different story

    • nobody has mentioned that they also have to vote in a speaker . that makes one less seat .
      Im picking they may pick Sharples .

      • queenstfarmer 3.1.1

        Not under MMP. The speaker votes as per usual under MMP.

        • I think you will find Mr Speaker only has the deciding vote .However if you are right Mr Speaker still is not allowed to take part the debate. In other words the Nats are one down in debating Chamber. Lets also remember that after the special votes the figure may change.

          • queenstfarmer 3.1.1.1.1

            No, my statement was correct (naturally :-)). From the Parliament website:

            The Speaker’s vote is included in any party vote cast and the Speaker votes in a personal vote, though without going into the lobbies personally – the Speaker’s vote is communicated to the teller from the Speaker’s chair.

            So the speaker gets a normal vote. And you are also mistaken about the casting vote. The speaker does not have a casting vote under MMP.

  4. mikesh 4

    Labour needs to bring into the light of day its core values. I would suggest
    1. A fair tax system, which would in principal mean a progressive tax system. eg Get rid of GST which as far as I can see serves no useful purpose other than to make the overall tax system less progressive.
    2. Ensure that infrastructure is owned by the state and operated for the benefit of the people and not for profit, not even government profit. I would be thinking in terms of buying back state assets already sold and, perhaps, replacing the current banking system with a state owned system.
    3. A commitment to welfare.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “1. A fair tax system, which would in principal mean a progressive tax system. eg Get rid of GST which as far as I can see serves no useful purpose other than to make the overall tax system less progressive.”

      GST is a consumption tax. It helps discourage wanton waste of resources. In the bleak looking future when we have to do more with less, waste is something we’re going to want to control wherever possible. Most countries in the world have some sort of sales tax.

      Removing GST of fresh fruit and vegetables was stupid, though. They should’ve removed GST off all food sold in supermarkets – essentially GST on food would be relegated to restaurants and fast food only.

      Removing GST off local rates is something I’d also support, although it could be limited to only the family home to reduce the foregone revenue while also targeting the support at where it is really needed.

      • mikesh 4.1.1

        I doubt if \GST discourages consumption if income tax rates are reduced to compensate. Technically it should encourage saving. but we still have a savings problem so it hasn’t solved that problem.

      • Anthony 4.1.2

        I’d argue to remove GST off everything deemed a base necessity of modern life: food (supermarket), water, and power.

        • Ianupnorth 4.1.2.1

          +1 – remove it from rates (why are you taxed on a tax?), remove it from domestic power.
           
          Whilst we are at it, I would like them to firstly do away with car rego’s – put the cost on the price of fuel, that way all the evaders pay their share, also clamp down on ‘perks’ – the company car and fuel cards; both abused, both paid for by those who don’t have them (indirectly)

      • Ari 4.1.3

        Actually, I like the GST removal policy as it is. An incentive for people to become vegan or vegetarian.

  5. ianmac 5

    At 7687 readings it suggests credibility for Nicky Hagar at Pundit.

  6. Anthony 6

    I agree with Nicky tbh, definitely resembles the left’s 2005 result (if not worse), and lack of any coalition partners will be very worrying for the Nats come 2014. National needed about 55% and a stronger showing by their coalition partners in this election to get good odds in 2014.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    The interesting bit is that when all the votes are counted National will have about 2.5% more of the votes cast than 2008

    Which was the same increase Labour got in 2002 !

  8. tc 8

    so 48% of was it 68% turn out is 33% of eligible voters…..no surprise it’s a money trader claiming that as a mandate to plunder.
    1 + 1 is whatever you want as I’ve got an opinion that says so, probably differs from yours but it’s a dinimmic world.

  9. Peter 10

    I think the most fun will occur, when New Zealand doesn’t return to surplus and just gains a larger deficit. Nationals claim they can reduce revenue, and cut taxes and produce a surplus is just as silly as their claim they could fix the ‘underclass’ or reduce the wage gap with Australia. ROFL @ National voters, that think John Key will save the country, let alone provide the economic growth his corporate masters crave.

    • aerobubble 10.1

      Assets sales will only buy time for the private debt problem, by pushing up the currency as foriegn investors (and kiwi expats) buy NZ dollars to pay for the assets.

      • Peter 10.1.1

        I doubt kiwi expatiates will buy into assets (only wealthy NZ’ers who will then sell their shares on for profit to foreign multinationals), and if last time is the judge then the assets will likely end up in the hands of the personal friends of the government (or the National party), and foreign multinationals. Prepare for more price gouging than ever before i.e. higher electricity prices.

  10. swt…so we’ve seen the last of Mallard as a strategist then ?

    Give Robertson the job i reckon.

  11. Im picking utter chaos in about a year. Even the great unwashed non voter is going to rise in anger. Facism is not far away. Just consider .Unemployment out of control. Kids being paid slave wages , police armed with guns .pepper spray.and stun guns. The likes of Garth McVicar telling the police what to do. I hope I’m wrong but I am seeing the signs of disorderly mass uprisings on the horizon. So what do we do ?
    Key will just piss off to one of his mansions ,most likely as Sir John.He wont care a stuff.How did we deserve this lot?

    • Peter 12.1

      All we can do is get out and vote next time, so there isn’t a repeat of this years election, if National stuffs up the country too much it might die off with the Act party…if we are lucky (but there will still be those that believe in the mythical free market paradise where human resources are squashed under foot by the boots of big corporations).

  12. The Auckland figures are interesting.  Labour lost 3.15% of the vote in the Auckland urban area and the greens gained … 3.21% of the vote in the Auckland urban area (excluding Maori seats).
     
    National’s increase was 2.31% which was about what ACT lost.  NZ First gained at the expense of Labour.
     
    All in all it was better than anywhere else in the country.  I predict that Auckland will be where all of the action is next election.

    • gingercrush 13.1

      Its always been presumed that the dominance of the three South Auckland seats would be damaging to National and no doubt they can. But electorates such as Tamaki and Epsom and to a lesser extent Pakuranga and Botany (still a bit unsure of Botany as it has a very large Asian population who have a tendency to swing) can be or are just as strong for National as South Auckland is to Labour.

      Next election the West Auckland electorates will be a primary factor in who gets the Auckland vote. Northcote too has been prone to swings. Maungakiekie is always prone to swings. Though if I was Labour I’d be more concerned with its lost of vote in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin than I would be with Auckland. Its those three cities that I suspect will determine the 2014 election.

      The mistake for Labour would be to simply consolidate the left-wing vote and regain those votes that came from the Greens.

      • mickysavage 13.1.1

        Agreed GC in that the South Auckland seats (bless them) now have the problem of turn out rather than proportion.  All Labour has to do is make sure people get to the polling booths in these areas.

        West Auckland is now more complex.  Parts of each of the seats have become much wealthier and these areas vote National.  The Henderson Heights area in the Waitakere seat for instance may have saved Paula.  Everywhere else voted Carmel but this area voted heavily for Paula.

        It reminds me of the saying about the first Labour Government.  The people waked to the polls to vote them in and drove to the polls to vote them out … 

        Agreed also that Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington in that order need to be focussed on and that Labour needs to make inroads into the soft National vote rather than the Green vote. 

        • lprent 13.1.1.1

          We had to solve that problem in Mt Albert in the 90’s and did. The trick is really really knowing your electorate using databases and numbers. Use it to focus the people contact where it will do the most good doing what Labour does best. Turning up and talking to people who don’t vote regularly or who swing a lot.

          To do that effectively you have to canvass for knowledge rather than forever chasing votes. Chasing your own supporters all of the time is an exercise in futility. You have to canvas Nat and swing voters so you know who they are likely to be. You need to know what combinations of factors indicate or will push people one way or another. Then you can target your candidate and volunteers a lot more effectively.

          And you need to treat getting electorate votes as being a side effect of getting party votes. Paradoxically it is the easiest way of getting electorate votes.

          The paint by the numbers campaigning during the election campaign with numbers of volunteers is simply not viable any more regardless how many electorate organizations cling to the 70’s techniques. Having ‘feel’ for an electorate is massively enhanced by using numbers to look at them as well. It is the story of the 21st century.

          You get best results using small teams of volunteers working throughout the election cycle collecting and storing information. Where the selection of what information to collect is always designed to enhance your knowledge about the changing electorate. Then when you have larger numbers of volunteers available, you target them in on the types of people you need to contact to get them to go and vote for your party and maybe even your nice candidate.

  13. After the fiasco performed by Epsom voters I can only asume that the majority of Epsom voters are a bit short of Grey cells. Im just glad I dont live among these far right racist anti working class bigots. However they do as they are told dont they .?big brother is watching them so they better keep in line.

  14. DS 15

    2008:

    Right (National + ACT + United Future): 64
    Left (Labour + Greens + Progressives): 53
    Other (Maori Party): 5

    2011 (before specials):

    Right (National + ACT + United Future): 62
    Left (Labour + Greens + Mana): 48
    Other (Maori Party + NZ First): 11

    Noting that National may well lose a seat on specials, 2011 was a small swing away from the Right, and a larger swing away from the Left, with NZ First benefiting. So National’s ability to control the House has actually got weaker.

    That said, on the question of asset sales, Key campaigned on them, and emerged with a parliamentary right-wing bloc in favour of them, so regrettably he does have a mandate to do it. At some point NZers have to take responsibility for electing a government which *said* that it would sell the family silver.

    • Ari 15.1

      I don’t buy this BS that winning an election gives you a mandate for your unpopular policies. If he can’t even convince his own supporters on asset sales, there’s no way that’s the reason people voted for him. If he pushes them through it will be highly undemocratic, and IMO, the death blow to his hopes of a third term.

  15. mikesh 16

    I doubt if United Future favours asset sales.I think Peter Dunne, who is opposed to the sale of Kiwibank, is supporting the policy in order to keep onside with National. If National falls back to 59 seats Dunne has an opportunity to block the sales, but probably won’t for purely venal reasons. If this is how things pan out I would say shame on Peter.
    ps: Under current rules a motion is lost on a tie, and the Maori Party are also opposed.

  16. GW 17

    Now I’m not saying these elections have been fiddled with, but how does a record low voter turn out
    result on voter loses for parties that aren’t national. Shouldn’t they have taken a hit as well?

    I have been fascinated with the finer points of the less than fair elections that seen to happen in other countries, but boy it seems to be hard to find much online about NZ’s boundry antics under national when Piggy Muldoon was around.

    One this we could do to increase public confidence is to physically publish the actual totals at every polling station on a visible sign outside, that is updated regularly as counting progresses.

    As far as I’m aware there aren’t any real exit polls in NZ, is that right? Should there be?
    I think the above idea is great as you only need to publish a picture online of the count totals for all to see and these can be compared to the centrally counted ballot.

    For those who are interested, there is a doco about Texas election boundaries that goes through the methods, which it seems are all about chasing the close counties and close margins.

    Thoughts?

    • lprent 17.1

      It is a paper election, so running totals won’t work. It is also disturbingly honest – I have been around enough to know.

      The shenigans occur outside of the vote, and these days are very limited by a proportional system. Mostly sweetheart deals on the electorate seats to bypass party threshold limits – which failed miserably as an effective tactic this year. Voters gave the sweetheart parties a party vote of almost exactly one seat in a collective sense of ironic humor.

      Broadly speaking, the left vote split between the Greens and Labour. The right vote effective consolidated into National and the other right parties remained or became shells.

      The usual protest votes of the populist NZFirst and not voting increased a lot. The NZF vote was probably in part due to a collective response to the political machinations that knocked it under the party vote threshold last election.

      National at best (they are still ironing out agreements with other parties and special votes), have wound up with a coalition that is smaller than last time and much much more fragile. The parties that they are going into coalition with know that they have to differentiate themselves from National, or they will fully probably die next election. National are likely to really struggle to pass much of their policy agenda.

      Between now and the next election, we get to review the few flaws of our MMP system

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    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    4 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    5 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    5 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    6 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    44 mins ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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