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Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, May 4th, 2009 - 95 comments
Categories: greens, mt albert - Tags: , , , ,

It was deeply depressing to wake up this morning to the sound of Russel Norman running National Party attack lines on Radio NZ. For a party that has the best policy by far on how to deal with the huge economic and environmental challenges we face, it’s disappointing to see the Greens voluntarily descend into right-wing smear and misrepresentation. Gordon Campbell sums up my views perfectly:

So David Shearer is to be the Labour candidate in Mt Albert. The claims by Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman on Morning Report that this leaves Norman as the only progressive candidate on offer in the Mt Albert by-election were singularly depressing, as an index of how the Greens plan to fight this campaign. To reach that conclusion, Norman has willingly bought into the distortion of Shearer’s views on mercenaries in extreme Third World hot spots. He has also resurrected the bogey of the right wing leadership of the Labour Party, and claimed Shearer to be the creature of that faction and thus discredited as a ‘progressive’ candidate.

Is it hard to see anything progressive in this array of smear tactics. For one thing, Shearer has spent a good deal of his professional life in humanitarian work in the Third World, some of it while Norman was kicking back safely on Waiheke Island. Secondly, Shearer’s views on private armies have been wildly distorted. In one paper, written 12 years ago, he had been saying that in Sierra Leone the private army involved had helped to end a hideously brutal civil war. Subsequently, Shearer’s position has been that such private armies are a fait accompli that has to be regulated which would mean that the likes of Blackwater could no longer enjoy legal immunity for their actions inside Iraq. That, I would have thought, was a progressive position that Norman himself would endorse.

The only thing I’d add is that Norman’s line about Shearer being imposed by Labour’s central office is a flat out lie, and he knows it. I’ve long been a critic of Labour’s selection processes, but the fact is Shearer’s selection was unanimous among the six delegates on the selection panel (half head office, half local party) and he won the floor vote by a clear majority in a field of eight candidates. That’s a pretty clear mandate by any standard.

Stick to policy Russel, and stop damaging the Greens with your amateurish game-playing. I’m not going to switch to Labour in a hurry, but at the moment I’d rather piss my vote away on the Alliance than support your lot.

[Shearer’s interview is available here. Plunket goes him pretty hard, well worth a listen.]

95 comments on “Progressive?”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Interesting point, Tane. I have heard that Shearer didn’t get the floor vote. There certainly were some dissenters who walked out of the selection in a very unhappy mood.

    • Tane 1.1

      Okay, that’s not what I heard. I asked some of my contacts in the party and they told me it was a clear majority in the floor vote. I can’t say whether there were groups who were unhappy with the selection because I wasn’t there, but I’d say it’s to be expected in a tough race like this.

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.1

        I take your word for it Tane. I don’t doubt that your contacts are much better than mine. I heard it from one source and I can’t confirm the veracity of that source, because that person was unhappy with the outcome. But it’s either a yes or a no as to whether Shearer got the floor vote.

        If he didn’t get the floor vote, I think that is a big issue.

        • r0b

          Just for the record Tim – is it a big issue that Key is going to steamroller through Melissa Lee as National’s candidate, over local toiler Ravi Musuku? Is that a “big issue” at all?

          • Tim Ellis

            Key isn’t a delegate, r0b. DPF has a very useful explanation about the Mt Albert selection process.

            There isn’t any steam-rolling going on. Whoever wins tonight, whether it is Musuku or Lee, will be the person who wins the majority of local Mt Albert delegates tonight.

          • r0b

            That’s not an answer Tim.

            Ms Lee’s candidacy is pretty much a foregone conclusion, as per the media assumptions quoted below. She is being steamrollered through by National head office.

      • TS 1.1.2

        I was there Tane. The poppies on the photos of returned servicement were a nice touch. The lhaksa and the pea and ham soup were nice. The apples were floury.

        No way did shearer win the floor vote. You have been misinformed.

        There were a lot of angry people leaving that hall yesterday. Might as well have been the National party for all the democracy of the selection.

        [lprent: probably there]

      • edoze 1.1.3

        Man you got ripped a new one over at Tumeke.

        Christ Tim’s cool!

        • r0b

          Tim (Selwyn) at Tumeke isn’t “cool”. Cool people don’t write things like:

          he deserves to be summarily executed and/or tortured in the same way other victims of the military have under the aegis of his protection – that is the fate he courts. Let that day come soon.

          and so on – see here: http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2009/05/slops/
          The following comments mention Tim’s “outbursts of mysogynism and xenophobia”. Hmmmmm.

    • r0b 1.2

      That’s what you get with a field of excellent candidates and a genuine democratic process Tim.

      National it seems can only muster two candidates, the genuine local one (about to get shafted), and the one picked by Key.

      The interesting selection

      • Daveski 1.2.1

        This four legs good, two legs bad stuff is highly entertaining. Keep it up.

        The selection of the candidate for a high profile by election sends clear messages.

        For Labour, it shows they plan to take on National in the centre, Goff’s natural ground. Goff got his guy (a nice piece of alliteration there!) and clearly he will be judged on his performance.

        The fact that Labour and the Greens (or in fact Labour and any other party) can’t work together doesn’t say much about Labour’s long term aspirations either.

        • r0b

          Labour can’t work with other parties? Except for, you know, running successful minority governments for the last 9 years? Do please take time to run a basic sanity checker over your comments…

          • Daveski

            I think you’ll find that the Greens and particularly the Maori Party would more readily agree with my pov than yours r0b.

            Perhaps “can’t” is a bit strong but certainly Key has shown a refreshing political pragmatism to both Labour and particularly past National leaders.

          • r0b

            Key’s “refreshing political pragmatism” is not at all new. Labour was entirely pragmatic – working with UF and NZF – doing what it could with The Greens in a context where UF and NZF categorically excluded them. Labour even worked with National on occasion (s59 reform). No, you can’t accuse Labour of not being pragmatic – quite the opposite – a bit too much pragmatism for my taste!

            In short – Helen Clark wrote the book on how to do MMP government. Key is just following the recipe.

        • Tane

          For Labour, it shows they plan to take on National in the centre

          That’s the line Farrar and co are pushing, but I wouldn’t be so sure.

          From what I’m hearing from inside the party they’re looking leftwards, just taking their sweet time about it. Of course, anything could change by the time they get their act together.

          • Daveski

            Obviously, I don’t hear any whispers from that direction 🙂

            Key successfully (at least in November) positioned National more towards the centre. Whether he can continue to do so will be interesting but the extended honeymoon shows that it is possible.

            It will be fascinating to see what happens, particularly if/when Goff goes. Not just for Labour but for the Greens as well.

            For the record, I think Labour simply has to win the by election and Shearer does appear to be a very strong candidate.

            For the record 2, I don’t run Farrar’s lines but if I note something at KB, i will reference that.

          • The Baron

            Yes well any direction would be a good one. Right now the campaign seems to be a retread of last years…

            It will be interesting to see which way Labour actually plays this one. Acid test for Goff’s leadership, methinks – does he have a new vision for Labour? Will it be articulated in this contest? If so, will the core like it (if not, Russel is a-waitin!).

            Or are we just gonna see a rerun of last year’s campaign? If so, that would beem to me to be a great sign that Goff’s got nothing…

      • Tim Ellis 1.2.2

        A genuine democratic process in which the media are excluded, the floor vote of local party members only counts for one of the seven votes, and the floor vote is ignored, r0b? You really are taking a ludicrous line.

        National’s selection process is decided by 60 delegates. The media is included on selection night.

        • r0b

          A genuine democratic process in which the media are excluded,

          The media are excluded from all sorts of things Tim, for various reasons good and bad.

          the floor vote of local party members only counts for one of the seven votes, and the floor vote is ignored,

          If the floor vote counts for one of 7 in what sense is it ignored Tim? It can be a tie breaker. In total the local branch gets 4/7 votes.

          r0b? You really are taking a ludicrous line.

          No, a ludicrous line would be if I tried to present comments from blogs as “evidence” of some political party’s position Tim.

          National’s selection process is decided by 60 delegates. The media is included on selection night.

          The media don’t need to show up – National’s process is so democratic that they already know the outcome – eg here:

          Greens co-leader Russel Norman is standing for his party. Labour selects its candidate tomorrow. Melissa Lee is expected to stand for National.


          List MP, and this country’s first Korean MP Melissa Lee, is expected to get the nod.


          Nominations for Labour close on April 22, and about eight people have said they are interested. National is expected to stand Melissa Lee.

          and so on. Why don’t you ask Ravi Musuku if he thinks National’s process will be democratic?

          • Tim Ellis

            Rob, I didn’t present comments from blogs. I presented comments from Labour Party activists who comment on the Herald’s comments section as evidence of Labour party feeling towards Russel Norman.

            The media aren’t excluded from National Party selection meetings. They are excluded from Labour Party selection meetings. I wonder why?

            Could it be because the floor vote in a Labour Party selection meeting, involving 200 local voters, gets ignored by the head office delegates? Could it be because the Labour Party doesn’t want the public to know that the single local voice is ignored?

            I think so.

            I don’t know Ravi Musuku. Have you got a quote from him that suggests that he doesn’t think that the National Party selection will be democratic? Surely, since you’re making the allegation, it’s up to you to produce evidence of the claim. Didn’t think so.

          • Pascal's bookie

            How about that Whaleoil saying:

            Ravi needs to get with the programme and fall in behind like the loyal soldier he is. If he plays nice the party will play nice. If he plays dumb he will get mowed down. Simple really

            Sounds awfully grassroots democratic. And Whale actually is a well connected a Nat activist, rather than a random commenter on ‘your views’.

            I’m sure the media will see the party faithful do as they are expected though. They’re tories after all, and they know the party has a veto, mustn’t make a fuss you know.

          • r0b

            Rob, I didn’t present comments from blogs. I presented comments from Labour Party activists who comment on the Herald’s comments section as evidence of Labour party feeling towards Russel Norman.

            Just listen to yourself Tim!

            The media aren’t excluded from National Party selection meetings. They are excluded from Labour Party selection meetings. I wonder why?

            Because Labour members like to be able to air their views in genuine debate without the media present? If National members don’t have any significant debate then of course they don’t care if the media are there to observe the non event. Similarly Labour members get to develop Party policy in an active process at conference, a genuinely democratic process National abandoned long ago. Similarly Labour is the only major party to publicly publish its accounts each year, as it has nothing to hide (pity National can’t say the same eh).

            I don’t know Ravi Musuku. Have you got a quote from him that suggests that he doesn’t think that the National Party selection will be democratic? Surely, since you’re making the allegation

            I’m making the allegation based on the preordained nature of Melissa’s candidacy, as per the media quotes sampled above. Currently Ravi is palying the good soldier and letting John Key do the talking for him:

            Ravi Musuku says he is keen to have another shot after losing to Helen Clark in 2005 and 2008.

            “I have been working for the past five years in the electorate,” Mr Musuku says.

            But he wouldn’t comment further, leaving it up to National’s leadership to make an announcement in the coming weeks.

            Be interesting to hear what if anything he has to say after he gets shafted tonight.

          • r0b

            Rob, I didn’t present comments from blogs. I presented comments from Labour Party activists

            Oh and just by the way – speaking of evidence for claims, how about your claim that the commenters are “Labour Party activists”?

            You described one as “a frequent pro-Labour commenter”, not an activist, and you didn’t describe the other at all. So do you have any evidence that they are Labour Party activists, or are you just making shit up (again)?

          • gobsmacked

            Update from those democratic, transparent Nats:

            Radio Live has just reported (4 pm bulletin) that, ahead of the “selection”, National have accidentally released a document announcing Melissa Lee as the candidate.


        • George Darroch

          The media aren’t excluded from National Party selection meetings. They are excluded from Labour Party selection meetings. I wonder why?

          There are plenty of party procedures in other parties where the media are excluded – often so people can speak their minds and act freely. It doesn’t make them any less democratic, and often more so.

    • lprent 1.3

      No-one knows including me. Rose from my sickbed to go there.

  2. George Darroch 2

    Oh dear. When Norman said that Shearer was right, I thought that he had some other evidence, apart from the distorted pieces on mercenaries. It appears not.

    Shearer might be right wing Labour member. He’s a friend of Phil Goff, after all. But I haven’t seen much yet for or against the proposition. Does Norman have unrevealed evidence to support his claim? Unlikely.

    Will somebody please get the Greens some strategists and a proper campaign team?

    • Agreed George

      This debate is somewhat frustrating. Someone spends decades doing humanitarian work overseas in some of the most difficult areas in the world and get branded because of one paper they wrote 12 years ago addressing a humanitarian crisis by means of the use of mercenaries, a few comments in which are taken out of context.

      This does not mean he is right wing. The years of humanitarian work mean that he is very likely to be a solid leftie.

      The right are using the US right’s tactic of running those simple lines to brand someone or an idea and by that means defining an argument.

      We should respond from now on by calling David Shearer “Dave the humanitarian worker” to put some reality back into the argument.

  3. Personally I’d like to have seen Meg Bates chosen as they both appear to be top caliber candidates, sheer how ever more likely to pull a good list placing. Ahh well, I guess now we just sit back and enjoy the ensuing shit fight go on among Nationa.

  4. Kevin Welsh 4

    I am curious, if Melissa Lee is chosen as the NACT candidate, does she have to resign as a list MP first?

    If she does and loses the by-election, is she then out of parliament?

    • Tim Ellis 4.1

      Perhaps Graeme or one of the legal beagles can confirm this Kevin, but my understanding is that answer is no, they do not have to resign from Parliament before the election. A List MP winning the by-election will resign their post from Parliament after the by-election, but before the return of the writ. That will create a vacancy for the next person on the List. After the return of the writ, the former MP will then be sworn in again as an electorate MP.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.2

      No she doesn’t have to resign, if she loses she retains her list seat.

      As I understand it, if she wins, National gets the next person off their list into parliament, (who is that BTW?) Same scenario with the Greens, and ACT.

      • gingercrush 4.2.1

        Cam Calder PB.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Thanks ginger

          • logie97

            How does that affect proportionality in the house – surely it would increase National’s election night majority if they won the electorate seat and added a list MP

          • Tane

            Yes, it would. Labour would lose one MP (Helen Clark’s seat) and National would gain one MP (Cam Calder off the list).

  5. Byron 5

    “I’m not going to switch to Labour in a hurry, but at the moment I’d rather piss my vote away on the Alliance than support your lot.”

    An improvement on your comments recently where you were considering joining Labour after National’s MoU with the Greens. If people keep voting for (or joining) parties in parliament we keep getting the status quo, I’ve never voted for a sitting party and have never pissed my vote away, I always vote for the party who’s views best match my own, if I were to vote for a party that didn’t I would be giving them a mandate to carry out policies I disagree with, the idea of a ‘wasted vote’ is one I’ve only seen pushed by supporters of parties already in parliament, I think its a bigger waste to vote for a lesser evil than it is to vote for policies you want.

    Captcha: dabbed workers

  6. Red Horse 6

    Bates made Shearer look like a bumbling rank amateur at both at the Q and A session and the selection meeting.

    But don’t take my word for it – ask the other candidates. It was pretty obvious.

  7. Jasper 7

    I actually feel sorry for Ravi. There were murmurs last year of moving Chauvel out of Ohariu as he’d not managed to take it in 05, or in 08.
    It seems to be a strange affliction with all political hues, if they lose two, time to try another.
    Good thing with Chauvel is that he’d drastically reduced Dunnes majority. Dunne hosting his “election launch” at a seedy cafe in Auckland didn’t help his vote in Ohariu, considering they’re the only reason he’s still in Parliament. Doofus.

    As for National, If Cam Calder gets in, and then Worth gets fired as he no doubt will… the spectre of Stephen Franks rears his ugly head.
    That is something I’m not looking forward too.

  8. SPC 8

    Greens need progressive Labour votes to contest the seat.

    The question is whether voting for Shearer delivers their agenda or whether voting Green would do it better.

    If National win the seat, but only because of a split Labour Green vote and a large trend to the Greens (on progressive issues such as democracy in Auckland), it might deliver a stronger message than a simple retention of a safe seat by Labour.

    • Tane 8.1

      The question is how much do you actually know about Shearer? I have to admit not knowing much about him myself, but I think it’s extremely naive to base your opinion on a couple of selective quotations from old journal articles that have been dug up by politically motivated National Party operators.

      I’d be interested to see if you have any hard facts to back up your comments.

      • SPC 8.1.1

        Tane are you disputing that Greens need progressive Labour votes to win the seat?

        Are you disputing that progressive Labour voters will have to decide whether to vote for Shearer or send a message by voting for the more progressive party (Greens).

        This is obviously indisputably the case – so what facts are at issue?

        You imply that my line is premised on some view about Shearer himself and his politics – it assuredly is not. No matter whether he is progressive (or not) he would be only one voice in the larger less progressive party.

        If you want my opinion on the privatisation thing – as I have already commented elsewhere. He is for an acceptance of responsibility to guarantee the well being of the public – by the means available. That would mean by public services where available and if not then by another means. That Labour have yet to refute and bury the National line on this is poor media management (and that is not the Greens fault). My opinion on Shearer is that he would be a fine addition to parliament (and a loss elsewhere) and the best Labour campaign line is – you get Shearer and Norman in parliament now by voting for Shearer in the seat.

        But that said the more progressive result would be a strong swing to Greens (nothing personal against the Labour candidate OK).

        • Tane

          SPC, my dislike of Russel Norman’s style of politics aside, I’d vote for the Green candidate if I thought they had a good chance of winning. But it seems far more likely that Norman will only make a National victory more likely. I just can’t see any swing for the Greens being strong enough to make a difference in an FPP-style contest.

          That’s the reason I gave my party vote to the Greens in 2008 and my electorate vote to the Labour candidate. It was the more progressive option to vote for Grant Robertson over Stephen Franks. Similarly with Shearer over Melissa Lee, despite the Hooton-inspired nonsense that Russel Norman is spouting.

          Of course, as I’ve already stated Norman has every right to stand even if I personally wouldn’t vote for him. It’s how fully he’s bought into National Party attack lines that’s got to me. How do you feel about his dishonest and sectarian attacks on Shearer? Do you think those are the actions of an intelligent and progressive politician?

          • SPC

            It’s obvious that many on the centre-left have supported the Greens as a progressive partner for Labour. It has been part of an attempt to have the best of all worlds – a Labour party with enough centrist appeal to win elections regularly while they themslves have a party they have more in common with (can identify with on the centre-left).

            The Greens however do have a policy interest (environment) which they would have to become mainstream (Labour and National governments). This is not about left or right politics – and those who would work with the Greens as a centre-left party need to accept the wisdom of Churchill on this – if it is about achieving ones greater purpose you work with even the political enemy (to Churchill Stalin, to the Greens Key).

            To attack Norman for an agreement with National (or for competing to win an electorate seat) is like attacking the Greens for actually being a “green” party and not sacrificing this for left wing solidarity with Labour.

            It’s like attacking Churchill for working with the enemy against the greater threat – and Greens think there is a threat to the sustainability of our society if we don’t get the Green thing sorted.

          • Tane

            At the risk of going around in circles, I don’t see the Green deal with National as achieving anything of real substance. For a few crumbs they were going to get anyway the Greens have sold out their principles and emboldened a party that is no friend of the environment.

            The MoU serves no greater purpose than Russel Norman’s ego. If you’re going to make ridiculous WWII comparisons you might as well compare him to Quisling as Churchill. But as I said, that would be ridiculous.

  9. toad 9

    Tane said: It was deeply depressing to wake up this morning to the sound of Russel Norman running National Party attack lines…

    Tane, don’t you see that the political landscape has changed.

    The Greens and Labour are competing for the centre-left vote.

    What do you mean by “National Party attack lines” Tane? From my listening to the interview, it was all Green Party attach lines – which is fair enough by me. There is a byelection going on you know.

    The Greens aim to win the Mt Albert byelection (yes, I know Russel’s the underdog, and so does he) but we’ll give it a good shot. And the Greens aim to significantly increase our vote at the 2011 election at the expense of Labour.

    We can do this in the knowledge that now NZFirst is out of the way and United Future have only one MP each and are unlikely to recover support, Labour have no-one else to turn to but the Greens to form a Government.

    So the Greens can afford to be far more assertive in the way we campaign. We can afford to much more clearly paint Labour as what we’ve always believed it is – much closer to National than to the Greens policy-wise. We can attack them much more strongly where their policies are anti-environment, anti-beneficiary, and inadequately support low-income workers.

    And surely even you admit that the elevation of Goff, who was very close to Prebble and Douglas in the fourth Labour Government, to the Labour leadership is a shift to the right.

    Being Labour’s puppy dog is never going to get the Green vote to the level that many of the policies you and I support will be implemented.

    • Good luck Toad

      At a grassroots level Labour and the Greens have got on quite well over the past 10 years. Auckland City and Waitakere local body elections are examples about what can be achieved by cooperation.

      It works because at an activist level both groups realise that they have a lot in common and given the dynamics of FPP elections cooperation is vital. The Byelection is going to be run on an FPP basis.

      MMP requires a different mindset and some differentiation is possible and understandable. Although progressive parties can afford to be different they did not have to attack each other.

      Things appear to have changed. Greens are meant to be principled gentle dedicated people who want to save the planet. The recent MOU with National and the attacks on Labour suggest that the principle chip has been turned off.

      Being Labour’s “puppy dog” achieved, an Emissions Trading Scheme, a biofuels system, a fund for retrofitting, a ban on the construction of thermal power stations, a significantly enhanced spend on PT, upgrade of Auckland rail and plans to electrify it amongst many other things.

      Being National’s poodle has done nothing to reverse the destruction of these policies and also has given the Nats good publicity on the day they should have been roasted for their Auckland governance decision.

      This is the bit that I don’t understand. You side up with the party that is undermining so many environmental policies and you attack the party that put these policies in place?

      By all means go for it and be as assertive as you want. Do not complain if Labour then seek to get your members to come over.

      • gobsmacked 9.1.1

        Let’s cut to the chase.

        The Greens have decided on a strategy. Fair enough.

        Having decided, they then need to make the facts fit the strategy. So they attack Shearer as Goff-Grey-Right. Conveniently ignoring his entire life story. Under different circumstances, Shearer would be getting public plaudits from Keith Locke. But hey, it’s party politics.

        Let’s not pretend that it was the other way round, and they based their attacks on the evidence, only once the candidate had been selected. Norman had already announced he was running.

        I’ve got no problem with the Greens playing politics like every other party, but spare us the bullshit about why you’re doing it.

    • The Baron 9.2

      Wow, Toad – if this is for real, then that is a genuinely interesting change of approach…

      The gauntlet is thrown, Labour.

  10. toad 10

    micky, there is no siding up with National. The Greens were always accused by the right of siding up with Labour between 2002 and 2005 too, when we were actually officially in opposition. We’re an independent party who make our own decisions. The fact that there are only three items of substance in the MoU with National actually shows just how vast the policy gulf is between the Greens and them.

    And remember that the arrangements with Labour didn’t prevent us from getting a free trade agreement with China, didn’t get legislation to encourage multi-employer collective agreements, didn’t get the minimum wage anywhere near $15 an hour, didn’t prevent the enactment of the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Act, didn’t stop our streams and rivers being further polluted, didn’t curb massive industrial dairy expansion and its consequent greenhouse gas omissions. Oh, and remember that while Labour was maybe less captured by the road transport lobby than National, they would have blown $3b on the Waterview SH20 tunnel that woaul be completely uneccesary with decent public transport in Auckland and spent a portion of Auckland’s regional fuel tax on PENLINK rather than public transport.

    • r0b 10.1

      Agree with gobsmacked above, the Greens are perfectly entitled to run this hard line strategy, but for goodness sake don’t abandon your damn principles. Parroting dishonest right wing attack lines against Shearer is disgraceful.

      My concern (here) is that there simply aren’t any votes in it for the Greens. 2002 election the Greens ran hard against Labour (the whole GM fiasco) – result, 7%. 2008 elections the Greens almost endorsed Labour (ruled out working with National) – result 6.7%.

      Running hard against Labour is likely to damage the Left vote on the whole, without bringing any more votes to the Greens. United we stand, divided we fall and so on. But if you feel you must run hard, at least be honest.

  11. So Toad

    Why are you attacking Labour and signing MOUs with National?

    Labour may not have been perfect in your eyes but the current Government is far, far worse.

  12. bobo 12

    I think with the supercity debate forefront on voters minds, Labour needed a local candidate to run , I guess this will be an indirect bi-election on Goff’s leadership and I’m curious why would Shearer would want to move from the UN to NZ politics, its hardly Blood Diamond in Mt Albert.. but best of luck to him.

  13. The Voice of Reason 13

    Got a nice letter from Russel the other day, begging for money. I told him to piss off, in a nice way, because of the MoU. The next time he asks I’m going to tell him to piss off in a much less nice way because he is clearly an ego driven twat.

    If, as Toad suggests, the Greens are in competition with Labour for the centre left vote, I’d suggest he has a look at the scorecard. Last time I looked Labour was winning hands down. How many seats have the greeens got? Bugger all. How many will the have in the future? Bugger all.

    Russel may not be a Trot formally anymore, but the Aussie DSP’s line of Labour being the real enemy pervades his recent behaviour. It’s a shame, it’s a fraud and it’s going to set your party back, Toad.

    Labour are going to win Mt Albert comfortably, but the greens have already lost more than they could ever have gained just by pissing off folk like me who are, or at least were, natural allies, regular supporters and occasional voters.

  14. Tom Semmens 14

    toad, I am trying to work out what your post above actually means. Russel Norman seems to have inherited Tariana Turia’s sense of entitlement as well as the massive chip on her shoulder. You guys JUST made it over the 5% threshold at the last election… And the election before that now I come to think of it…

    In terms of policy, you managed to get from Labour exactly what your voting percentage deserved.

    You then have a whine about the China FTA, minimum wage, wah wah wah wah… Yet it seems all the things in your list would have been a lot worse had your new chums in National been in power. So what is your point?

    The Greens want to take on Labour. Fair enough. But know this: The Greens are 20,000 or so votes from electoral oblivion. Labour might need the Greens to actually govern, but the Greens need Labour not to launch an all out attack on them to be in parliament at all.

    Labour made significant policy moves that favoured the Greens and took a massive poll hit over Sue Bradford’s section 59, and yet the Greens are responding with a petulant tanty now.

    To me Russel Norman’s version of the Greens carry on like an ex-hippies emo teenager throwing themselves around the living room because dad won’t lend them the car keys.

    • Kevin Welsh 14.1

      “To me Russel Norman’s version of the Greens carry on like an ex-hippies emo teenager throwing themselves around the living room because dad won’t lend them the car keys.”

      Couldn’t agree more Tom.

      I think the Greens MOU with NACT was a pretty desperate roll of the dice to somehow achieve electorate credibility. They saw the electorate lurch to the right and tried to jump on the bandwagon.

      To the overwhelming majority of voters out there, the Greens are still viewed as slightly lunatic fringe. I feel quite safe in saying overwhelming majority, because the electoral results are the proof.

      To their credit they have a solid core of voters who will continue to back them based on environmental issues, but until they lose the tie-dyed hippie image, they will never get beyond that 7-10% of the vote.

    • bobo 14.2

      Russell Norman has always come over arrogant from what Ive seen of him, is this grudge all because they never got a cabinet position under Labour but still got the ETS and home insulation 1 billion if Labour had got in this time around?

      I’ll admit I voted Greens once as Rod Donald was one of my favourite MPs who communicated clearly and seemed positive and able to talk to anyone no matter their political leanings, Russell Norman seems to have an ego with a high carbon footprint..

  15. toad 15

    TVoR said: If, as Toad suggests, the Greens are in competition with Labour for the centre left vote, I’d suggest he has a look at the scorecard. Last time I looked Labour was winning hands down.

    Which is the problem, TVoR. Many people who post here say they support Green policy over Labour, but still vote Labour. Look at their respective policies. Which is more pro-environment? Which is more pro-worker? If this site purports to be the blog of the Labour movernment, you’ve got to admit the Greens beat Labour hands down on pro-worker policies.

    I would suggest Labour focus on winning back the votes it lost to Key last time instead of getting preoccupied with a document between the Greens and National on which we ageree on only three things.

    • IrishBill 15.1

      Toad, I’ve voted green every election since the Alliance folded. I’ve put up Green hoardings, I’ve spent countless hours of my time delivering Green materials and I’ve endorsed the Greens and their policies in repeated posts on the standard.

      I’ve also come to the conclusion that the Greens under Norman have bought into the argument he’s been making for years: that left and right no longer exist nor matter. They do and until he realises this or the Greens get rid of him all those good left wing policies will come to nothing.

      There are a lot of greens like myself who are pretty pissed off about the MOU and see the justification of it under the pre-election vote as an anti-democratic use of a loophole.

      In the old days the ruckus caused by this would have had the Green’s parliamentary arm rushing back to its members to apologise and try to fix it.

      Nowadays you tell us too bad you voted for it and if you complain you’re wrong. That’s not good enough and it could finish the Greens. I sincerely hope it doesn’t but you’ve lost me and a lot of other valuable members and activists.

  16. outofbed 16

    So who now Bill ?
    look at the voting record of the Greens on the other thread
    I think you are over reacting
    Still I do hear what you are saying
    I shall be at The AGM later this month good chance to gauge the feeling.
    could even do a post eh?

    • Tane 16.1

      oob, you’re always welcome to do a guest post. and if you want to defend the mou or norman in mt albert or anything, the floor is always welcome. broad church, comrade.

    • IrishBill 16.2

      Yep, you could. Feel free to do one and we’ll publish it. Have a discussion about whether people think the MOU really fits with the intent of the pre-election consultation.

      I don’t think I’m overreacting. I’ve spoken at length about my concerns with several senior and active green party officials and I’m hearing they share my concerns.

      I’ve also been around long enough to see more than one party I’ve been involved with stray from its members and that’s what I’m seeing here.

  17. The Voice of Reason 17

    “Many people who post here say they support Green policy over Labour, but still vote Labour.”

    I think that should be Green policies, not policy. Some folk round here appear to support some aspects, to a greater or lesser degree. There are some attractive policies within the wider green manifesto, but not enough to sway people to vote Green in preference to Labour, who are the most likely to deliver on their policies because they will always be the major player in any non-right government.

    Labour deliver, with or without the Greens. I hope you keep getting 5%, but with this current level of political immaturity, it’s hard to see how you’ll ever get any major policy taken up by the next Labour led government.

    Captcha: “O’ anthill”. Indeed!

  18. Tane 18

    This is what I’m talking about. From Norman’s Twitter feed:

    Just did interview with mathew hooten and mike king where hooten officially endorsed shearer as the most right candidate. Strange days

    Hooton is obviously being mischevious. Farrar and others in National have been running this line for days in an attempt to open up ground for Norman on the left and thereby split the Left vote. The only reason they’re doing this is because they know that if it works it’ll hand the seat – and the PR victory that comes with it – to National.

    So, is Norman aware of what’s happening but running National’s spin anyway, or is he really that stupid? Either way, it reflects poorly on his judgement.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      “Strange days”. ffs.

      Norman had better of contradicted Hooten right bloody smart.

      If he wants to paint Labour as ‘grey’ and the greens as the true left, he needs to attack National every day, harder than Labour does. Every day.

      His criticism of Labour should be that they are timid, or too soft, or too conservative. That way he takes votes from Labour’s left, while not burnishing National’s centrist credentials, and not pissing off Ex Labour voters that already vote green. This attacking Labour and reinforcing National’s framing just drives Labour sympathetic Green voters back home, and reinforces national’s messages about Labour, driving centrist Labour voters over to National.

      The Greens don’t owe Labour anything. Labour doesn’t owe the Greens anything. But if the Greens want to be in power, ever, they need to a) help Labour win centrist votes by painting National as right wing, and b) take votes from Labour’s left wing by advocating left wing policy.

      In the current recession, with National out of step with international opinion, and preparing it’s environmental reforms, that shouldn’t actually be all that hard. But it will take time. I was actually slightly confident about the lefts chances in the next general. Not so much now though.

  19. SPC 19

    So the National tactic is to allow the Greens to run as the left wing party and Labour as the centrist party. This is after all our reality – so why should not the progressives in Labour accept this and vote Green. A National win in which the Green and Labour share rises from the 2008 vote would be hardly convincing and might even pressure National back to the centre ground.

    • Tane 19.1

      National’s strategy is to split the Left vote in Mt Albert, nothing more, nothing less. It suits Russel Norman’s personal interests to do so and boost his own vote. I don’t think it serves the Left’s if it means National wins the seat.

      When it’s general election time then I’m all for the Greens taking votes off Labour, that’s why I vote for them. I just hope this sectarian crap Norman’s pushing comes to an end, and quickly. Only National wins from the Left being divided against itself.

  20. SPC 20

    Its an MMP parliament – in the end its the growing of the centre left Green and centrist Labour party vote which builds a future government. So what if National win an electorate seat on a split vote, if this shows the two parties on the centre-left are on the way to build up their vote to win power in 2011.

    • Tane 20.1

      That’s where we differ I guess. Aside from the extra seat National would win (could be important in conscience votes) you’ve got the huge PR victory National would get if they won former Prime Minister Helen Clark’s old seat, Labour stronghold Mt Albert. It would be seen as a vindication of everything National has done.

      I don’t see how that is in the interests of progressive voters or helps set up the centre-left for power in 2011. Quite the opposite I’d have thought. Particularly if it comes about from Russel Norman running dishonest National Party attack lines designed to personally smear Labour MPs.

      • Pascal's bookie 20.1.1

        It would be seen as a vindication of everything National has done.


        If “National win the by-election”. That win will be the story, with a side order of “Labour’s vote collapses in Helen’s fortress”. A Green showing of 15 percent or whatever will be on page 6 with Norman skiting about his high profile.

        That doesn’t win centre voters for Labour, nor will the next 6 months of leadership rumours and antics, or the fact that the by-election will be constantly referenced as a part of ‘National’s glorious first year in office where they showed their mastery of MMP by forging deals with all the parties in the house excluding the hapless, friendless left wing Labour Party.’

        If Norman can’t see that script being written already, then he is probably stupid enough to actually believe there is no difference betwixt N and L. It might take a second NACT term with privatisation a go go to make him see it. yay. us.

        And yes I”m a green voter. And no, I don’t like being told to shut up and like it without it being explained, or my worries addressed.

  21. SPC 21

    Is the problem what “National” said, or the lack of response from Labour?

    Greens are perfectly right to wonder out loud about “privatisation” of security – its up to Shearer to (now a candidate to bed the issue). If he cannot do so then the Greens are right to campaign on this. If he can, then the Greens and Labour can campaign together against National on the issue.

    • Tane 21.1

      Did you listen to Morning Report this morning? The interview’s at the bottom of this post. There have been plenty of other explanations elsewhere. Gordon Campbell and Russell Brown have both written pieces putting it into context too. It’s a National Party beatup.

      Norman knows all this, he’s just playing it for partisan reasons and hoping you won’t bother to read any further than Kiwiblog. Have you bothered to read further than Kiwiblog?

      • SPC 21.1.1

        Tane, it is up to Shearer to do so. Failing that, the only other person who can do effectively is Goff – with due respect to “commentators” in the wider media.

        And to suggest that Green supporters are to be associated with Kiwblog when they don’t show subservience to Labour interest is low, very low Tane.

        • Tane

          I’m not sure you read my comment properly. Listen to the Morning Report interview I linked to. Read Russell Brown’s piece. Read Gordon Campbell. Don’t rely exclusively on Kiwiblog and Matthew Hooton for your information.

          • SPC

            Now you claim that I am reliant on Kiwblog and Hooten for my information. FFS nasty Tane.

          • Tane

            You edited your comment after I replied to it, hence the misunderstanding.

            Feel free to show me where you’re getting your information that Shearer is some right-wing stooge for private mercenaries. If he is the right-wing plant you’re suggesting then let’s see the evidence. I’d sure like to see some before condemning the man.

            As it stands, Russel Norman’s attack lines about Shearer wanting to privatise the army and being a right-winger imposed by some Phil Goff led right-wing faction of the Labour Party are pure Kiwiblog and Hooton. It’s what they’ve been running for days, and it’s this meme that Russel Norman is playing off. You’d have to be blind not to see it.

      • SPC 21.1.2

        As I am unable to find a reply tag for your 9.09 post, I will reply to it here.

        The bottom line for the Greens is that they are Green party – and whether you think home insulation/energy efficiency is important or not (or the health of the New Zealanders in hard to heat homes), they have every right to see sustainability as an issue which they want to mainstream – and to work with left and right wing led governments to achieve this as best they can.

        What a number of people are learning here is that the Green party does not exist to replace the Alliance party as an ally to the left of Labour. It is not just an independent party as the Alliance was with its own interests independent of Labour, it is also a party with an environment purpose also.

        To fail to appreciate that the Green Party has to work indepndently of the left right divide on environment policy at least, is to fail to respect its independence and role.

        • SPC

          “Feel free to show me where you’re getting your information that Shearer is some right-wing stooge for private mercenaries. If he is the right-wing plant you’re suggesting then let’s see the evidence. I’d sure like to see some before condemning the man.”

          Now you are confusing me for Kiwiblog Hooton and attributing to me what you claim about them.

          You know damn well what I wrote about this earlier on this thread – at 7.54pm as you replied to it.

          You imply that my line is premised on some view about Shearer himself and his politics – it assuredly is not. No matter whether he is progressive (or not) he would be only one voice in the larger less progressive party.

          If you want my opinion on the privatisation thing – as I have already commented elsewhere. He is for an acceptance of responsibility to guarantee the well being of the public – by the means available. That would mean by public services where available and if not then by another means. That Labour have yet to refute and bury the National line on this is poor media management (and that is not the Greens fault). My opinion on Shearer is that he would be a fine addition to parliament (and a loss elsewhere) and the best Labour campaign line is – you get Shearer and Norman in parliament now by voting for Shearer in the seat.

          But that said the more progressive result would be a strong swing to Greens (nothing personal against the Labour candidate OK

          “As it stands, Russel Norman’s attack lines about Shearer wanting to privatise the army and being a right-winger imposed by some Phil Goff led right-wing faction of the Labour Party are pure Kiwiblog and Hooton. It’s what they’ve been running for days, and it’s this meme that Russel Norman is playing off. You’d have to be blind not to see it.”

          It is a simple truth that the Green Party has the more progressive policies and that the candidate of the more progressive policy party is Norman.

          You may not like the way Norman works off what is in the media, but Norman and the Greens probably find the media less to their liking than Labur does. He is just taking an oportunity to make his point (in the media the way it is) about being the more progressive canadidate. It was and still is up to Shearer to clarify his own position.

          As you resort to the same political tactics as others, this leaves you no wriggle room on the fact that one is a more progressive candidate than the other and the attacks on Norman reflect the problem for the pro Labour left, this is true for every electorate seat and every party list vote.

          • Tane

            So you are defending Norman’s wilfully dishonest misrepresenations of Shearer as perfectly acceptable? And you have no problem with Russel Norman running National Party attack lines for short-term partisan gain?

            Fine, you’re welcome to it. But as Gordon Campbell said, I don’t see anything progressive about that.

            Oh and as for this “blah blah you’re just pro Labour” line you’re running, you’ve missed the point entirely. I’m angry because I support the Greens’ policies. As you’ll know if you read regularly, I don’t have much time for Labour. They’re too cowardly and too commited to neoliberalism for my liking. It breaks my fucking heart to see what’s happening to the Greens. And I’m not the only one.

          • SPC

            “So you are defending Norman’s wilfully dishonest misrepresenations of Shearer as perfectly acceptable?”

            Am I?

            We all deserve to hear Shearer refute the line of Hooten – more so Labour voters.

            It’s not Norman’s fault if Shearer did not think (or Goff?) doing so would have aided his selection chances in Mount Albert.

            “And you have no problem with Russel Norman running National Party attack lines for short-term partisan gain?”

            I have no problem with Greens trying to win the seat. And that includes asking which party – Greens or Labour was more likely to be involved with privatisation. Which party has a track record – and which does not?

            “Fine, you’re welcome to it. But as Gordon Campbell said, I don’t see anything progressive about that.”

            A bit desperate, but when all your progressive political credibility is tied up in not being National – I suppose Labour apologists do not have not much to go on.

            At least it suggests they want to beat National. Good.

            So the once naive and innocent Greens dare to both stand up for their party cause and also say to Labour we are the real party of the left in opposition to National. Got a problem with that. Get used to it.

          • r0b

            we are the real party of the left in opposition to National.

            See, that line works a bit better when you aren’t, you know, helping to prop National up, and running their attack lies.

            Got a problem with that. Get used to it.

            Very macho. Feel better? I sincerely hope the Greens are still with us after the next election.

          • SPC

            “See, that line works a bit better when you aren’t, you know, helping to prop National up, and running their attack lies”

            The Greens as an “environment is important” party cannot refuse to work with any government on this.

            Unlike Labour, Greens are not about winning power but getting the mainstream parties to adopt their environment policies.

            This does not change the fact that the Greens are otherwise a part of the left.

            They are a more effective left wing party for the fact they are as committed to these policies as they are to their environment policy and thus will not moderate or sell out to win power.

            The association of Norman with the National attack line is overdone – perhaps because Labour’s response to it has been so poor.

          • r0b

            The Greens as an “environment is important’ party cannot refuse to work with any government on this.

            I agree, but they need to get real gains, or they are just being used to “greenwash” a government that stands for everything they are supposed to oppose.

            Unlike Labour, Greens are not about winning power but getting the mainstream parties to adopt their environment policies.

            That might have been true once.

            The association of Norman with the National attack line is overdone

            Is it? Did you listen to Morning Report? The Greens screwed up. Don’t deny it, fix it.

  22. George Darroch 22

    its up to Shearer to (now a candidate to bed the issue).

    It’s up to Shearer to bed the claims that he’s right wing. Being humanitarian is very worthy, and I have a lot of respect for his work – I’d like to congratulate him for that. But he’s not running for a position at the UN, he’s running for a seat in the NZ Parliament, and it’s his positions on domestic issues that matter (although his foreign policy views are sure to have some sway on Labour if he’s elected, and from what I can tell it would be good advice)

    • Tane 22.1

      I agree with you there George. I’m just not willing to convict him as a right-winger based on the politically motivated word of Matthew Hooton and David Farrar. Let’s wait and see what he’s like before accusing him of reactionary politics.Especially when that’s exactly what the Right want us to do.

  23. ripp0 23

    Shearer’s selection was unanimous among the six delegates on the selection panel (half head office, half local party) and he won the floor vote by a clear majority in a field of eight candidates.

    Weere these votes taken independently viz head office wasna known to local party reps and others prior their votes.?

    If not, why not?

    I ask because I believe democracy better served by its due and adjudged process more than position and its influencing.. certainly at that level..

    On the subject of progressive there has been a good deal of off-message from both Norman and commenters here. IMO won’t do an ounce of good for the former who day-by-day hath the appearance of doing exactly another’s bidding in that party’s desired elimination.

  24. outofbed 24

    What i fail to reconcile with Tane and Bills view about “out of control Russ”,
    is the GP caucus. I can’t see them acquiescing to the type of stuff that you attribute him
    Sue would have apoplexy 🙂

  25. BLiP 25

    Interesting to see that however convoluted the election of a candidate is, it is only the National Party that announces the outcome before the process is complete.

    Little wonder, then, the National Party’s behaviour in relation to the Super City. I hear that the City and Ratepayer Councilors are already telling council staff what Hide’s legislation will and will not include.I suppose at least they treat their own with a much disdain as the rest of the country.

    • bilbo 25.1

      You’re a bit behind the times …….

      “….. the paper that’s got it wrong. I’ve got a copy of the official programme and it says:

      Address by Mt Albert’s List MP Melissa Lee.

      Note the difference between Mount Albert candidate which she may or may not be after tonight’s selection, and Mount Albert’s list MP which she is.”

      From Homepaddock blog

      • BLiP 25.1.1

        Wriggling and squirming in the fine print only exacerbates the situation. Didn’t you know list MP’s don’t have electorates?

        • bilbo

          What, so Phil Twyford hasn’t been Labour’s list MP for Auckland Central since the beginning of the year?

  26. Kevin Welsh 26

    I am curious…

    Within the topic, but a different tangent, is there likely to be any radical change in the number of MP’s in parliament following the by-election? I do not have time to do the research, but I seem to remember a couple of parties were very close to getting another MP by only a small number of votes.

    • logie97 26.1

      Seems Tane has given the answer to that above. If the Parties standing list MPs win the electorate, the next person on the list comes in. So ACT, National, and Greens all stand to gain an extra MP through the list. That changes the proportionality of the election night result. National, ACT, or the Greens, would have one more seat than their percentage of the vote warrants…

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    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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