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Public politics

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, November 2nd, 2008 - 46 comments
Categories: activism, election 2008 - Tags:

In today’s Herald six prominant NZer’s nail their political colours to the mast:

Sir Paul Reeves: electorate vote Maori party, party vote Labour; “Labour will still get his party vote, and he would prefer that the Maori Party formed a government with Labour, rather than National”

Graham Lowe: “ending a 40-year relationship with Labour to vote ACT…”I like Helen, and John Key seems a nice bloke, too. But a lot of their policies seem similar and they both seem to be playing catch-up football. Rodney has gone out on the attack

Oscar Kightley: “is a Labour man. “I’ve always been reluctant to show my colours, but I’m getting older and realising the importance of standing up for something,” says Samoan-born Kightley. “Election day is the only day everyone is truly equal.”

Miriama Smith: “now she’s joining fellow thespians Robyn Malcolm and Miranda Harcourt in publicly backing the Greens…It helped that the party has named Labour as its preferred coalition party.”

Michael Hill: will vote for the National Party. “We’re over-governed here to such an unbelievable degree. You can’t even make a decision for yourself any more and that’s a very sad state of affairs.”

Bevan Docherty: the usually-Labour voter is switching to National.Yes, Helen Clark’s done a great job, “but she just surrounds herself with idiots…He likes National’s approach to sports funding, and derives hope from shades of “Think Big” Muldoonism.

Three centre/left, three centre/right – all have their reasons. And that’s why it’s so hard to make the call. And that’s why getting people out and voting will be so important.

46 comments on “Public politics”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Are the Greens and Act now centre left and centre right respectively ?

  2. deemac 2

    not surprising that rich bastards like Hill support National; heartwarming that some comfortably off people nevertheless support Labour and the Greens; a pity more working folk don’t understand where their class interest lies – the bosses sure do.

  3. Daveski 3

    deemac – what a joy you are

    Why wouldn’t you celebrate someone like MH who has made his fortune later in life through hard work and a vision? His business employs 100’s of people who are better because of him.

    So he’s a bastard because he’s rich? What a joke. What a destitute view of life and NZ and your mates here have the gall to talk about the Nat’s socalled NZ sux campaign.

  4. smiley 4

    Far be it for me to criticise anyone else’s success but didn’t Michael Hill rip-off insurance companies ? No great fortune without a great crime eh Michael? Yeah we can see why he votes Natz.

    [lprent: Link? If you make an assertion like that, then you should also put in a link. Otherwise it is usually regarded as unsubstantiated trolling ]

  5. Haha, you guys should have pulled a Farrar and ignored Graham Lowe, Michael Hill and Bevan Docherty.

  6. worthdyingfor 6

    Sorry? Does this mean we should be slavishly aping David Farrar or do I mean slaving after that ape David Farrar or aping the slave Farrar? Maybe I just mean – get a life, who cares what slobberer Farrar thinks about anything

  7. higherstandard 7

    Got a link for that smiley or do you just enjoy defaming people you disagree with.

  8. Ari 8

    Including Act in a “centre/right” block is like putting a tomato in the vegetables section. Just because people say it’s a vegetable doesn’t mean it isn’t an extremist fruit 😛

  9. “worthdyingfor
    Sorry? Does this mean we should be slavishly aping David Farrar or do I mean slaving after that ape David Farrar or aping the slave Farrar? Maybe I just mean – get a life, who cares what slobberer Farrar thinks about anything”

    Sorry, I was just pointing out (in an attempt at humor) that its good that both sides get considered here, unlike kiwiblog

  10. Daveski 10

    KITNO – I think this is a first when we’ve agreed – yes, i did like the way Dancer didn’t take the party line and focus on the centre left views. It does create a richer and more robust debate too and a more interesting thread.

  11. Stack 11

    So Bevan Docherty, as well as pining for the dear old days of Think Big, likes the Nat’s approach to sports funding.

    Check out Richard Boock’s column in the SST today: “National Off-key . . .” for some trenchant and damning analysis of said sports policy.


  12. max@gmail.com 12

    Depressing isnt it when thats a representative sample of the great and the good and their reasoned assessment of the issues at hand i.e . 5/6 dont seem to have a clue at all.

  13. Daveski 13

    Stack – Planet Boock is in a galaxy far far away.

    The asset sales weren’t National’s claim to fame, nor did volunteerism die out in teaching as he claims. There are other issues that he clearly is ignorant of that changed teachers and volunteerism – the wider range of sports, the focus on broader teacher skills rather than sporting, particularly the increased commitment from internal assessments.

    Boock does try to be inflammatory but an attempt at including some facts would have helped.

  14. max@gmail.com 14

    Stack, you mention SST and analysis in the same sentence. Ha ha ha.

  15. outofbed 15

    Nationals polling numbers in the last 3 local polls

    Palm Nrth Latest poll 36.0% 2005 election 36.69
    Nelson Latest poll 40.4% 2005 election 37.01
    West Cst Latest poll 44.7% 2005 election 39.59
    AVG 40,36 AVG 37,63

    Doesn’t look to me as a major shift to National

  16. How much tax payers money has Oscar Kightley’s projects received from NZ on Air under the Labour Government? and how much would his projects receive under National?

    That could be influencing his votes?

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    Sure Brett you’re absolutely right every voter only thinks about their own pocket when voting…wait a minute only you do.

  18. Felix 19

    Good point Brett – except that National say they’ll maintain arts funding at current levels.

    Do you think they’re telling the truth?

    Or do you think there’s a National policy hidden away somewhere stating that “only art that Brett likes will get funding”?

  19. maxg 20

    robinsod making an ass out of himself again

  20. Hey expat – you seem to have strayed from the bog. Don’t worry mate, you’ll find your way back if you follow the smell of impotent rage and fear…

    Or maybe you’ll just end up back in your own house…

  21. John 22

    Sorry Stack, but SPARC are appalling. They get $100 million in funding yet only $40 million approx actually reaches the sporting bodies.
    Salaries, Push Play, money to Regional Sports Trusts (for salaries) all suck up a huge amount of money. Most sporting bodies in NZ are broke and are forced to apply for pokie money to stay alive. That is one of the main reasons that volunteers burn out.. because of the stress in trying to keep their clubs afloat.
    Does anyone else find it obscene that the head of SPARC earns over $400,000 per annum?
    Richard Boock was way off the mark in his article today.

  22. max@gmail.com 23

    Dont go all feral and homie on me robinsod.

    ball not the man.

  23. But dude – you’ve got no balls…

  24. Rob, your marvelous blog has a higher ranking than the multi million dollar push play site..

  25. Chris G 26

    “Most sporting bodies in NZ are broke and are forced to apply for pokie money to stay alive”

    Oh, is that why Johnny Friendly is gonna give more money to private schools for sports equipment? (I know he proposes money to public aswell before u rabbit on)

    Wait, why does a private school need more money?

  26. max@gmail.com 27

    robinsond displays his usual talent.


  27. Chris G.would you agree that all children deserve equal government funding for their education? if so please explain why labour have not upped the public payments towards private school pupils at the same rate as public pupils… Just because some people prefer their children to be educated outside the public system should not mean they are punished financially for doing so.

  28. deemac,

    Rich is rich; wealthy — something else again! Yay, I’d say there is more wealth around than rich..

  29. Janet 30

    Ironic that Bevan Docherty and the other Olympian athletes are huge beneficiaries of targetted SPARC elite athlete funding, which has increased a great deal in the last 9 years. As are the Paralympians – they were given funding and a target and they delivered (only one medal under the target). But there was also a great deal more attention on the Paralympics this year than usual because of the SPARC attention, and this probably also had a lot of good effects in terms of role modelling for other disabled people, and showing that disabled people can be effective sports competitors. And let’s not forget the SPARC no exemptions for disabled kids and the Push Play campaigns for the less active. Both these groups are not welcomed by regular school sports teams and will again be ignored if the funding is devolved.

  30. Janet 31

    And barnsley bill – private schools are a choice parents make. They don’t have to make that choice. After 9 years of huge investment in teaching, schools, and equity, NZ state schooIs wherever they are, provide high quality education. I object to any money going to private schools while state schools still need funding.

  31. Chris G 32


    No not in the circumstance of Private vs Public. You choose to go to send your kids to a private school you are opting in to a user pays environment, you are at your own devices and the government should have NO obligation to provide you funding. I am adamantly opposed to the funding of private schools.

    “Just because some people prefer their children to be educated outside the public system should not mean they are punished financially for doing so.”

    Private schools clearly cost Thousands of dollars, you know what sorta cash hole your getting yourself in to. There’s no Imposed punishment, if anything its self inflicted.

    Not to mention that most kids who go to private schools already come from wealthy families so why should they get the same amount of money as a school in porirua where the parents have very little money to throw around on education?

    Finally, the parents who for some odd reason have issues with the public system, get a hold of yourself. Many many public schools are perfectly fine environments for learning. eg. the guys from Scots College I know in Wellington are not all geniuses, they perform just as well at uni as everyone else. Only difference is their education cost $15,000+

  32. Janet, your argument denies funding for the students. each and every child is entitled to equal funding (decile variables are a separate system) irrespective of where they are schooled. Labour have not done this and pushed the burden onto the children’s families. They are effectively being unfairly punished financially for not using the state system. your argument also makes a mockery of the way the public schools are forced to extort “donations” from parents… of course born to rule labour candidates refuse to pay these “donations” because socialists never ever dip into their own pockets do they?

  33. I should add at this point that none of my children have gone through private schools.
    The envy and eat the rich dogma is fair dripping from your comments..

  34. And janet.
    Your comment;
    “After 9 years of huge investment in teaching, schools, and equity, NZ state schooIs wherever they are, provide high quality education.” Is a fantasy.
    Do not confuse social engineering and tens of millions growing the wellington bureaucracy with providing high quality education.
    And on that point I will wish you all good night.

  35. Chris G 36


    “of course born to rule labour candidates refuse to pay these “donations’ because socialists never ever dip into their own pockets do they?”

    Okay mate, get over yourself and this ridiculous speculation. Your comments are dripping of anti-socialists albeit misguided rage.

    Why on earth you think Private schools need more funding is beyond me. You pay them thousands of dollars, why dont you tell the school to work ‘more efficiently’ with the cash they are given so you don’t get ‘burdened financially’ You opt in to that schooling environment, deal with it, why should the government help these schools (Profit makers) out?

    Plus, go and look at any private school, they’ve got all the sporting equipment they need SOURCE: my experience

  36. Aqualine 37

    My children attend private schools and I have no wish to see struggling schools get a smaller slice of the pie because I knowingly and with all free will chose private schooling. I knew my childen had an education cap under Labour as do most parents. Frankly we pay so much in fees per annum I feel the school has a damned cheek expecting more from the taxpayer. Perhaps the investors could expect a little less in dividends. Besides the parent group is stacked with business people who can raise funds at the drop of a hat. Many public schools just do not have parents with those skills so need more of the public purse for new halls, books, sport and music equipment. I have never disagreed with Labour capping funds for children attending private schools.

  37. John 38

    This is where blind ideology clouds reason.
    Private schools are the choice of the parents and they should pay the lion’s share of the fees, however there are currently two mitigating factors:
    1. A significant number of private schools pay more in GST on fees than they receive from the govt for funding , something that Labour neglects to mention.
    2. In the current economic climate many students will leave private schools. Our state schools are already stretched to the max.. by driving the private schools under you actually place the public system under inordinate stress. Cutting off your nose to spite your face perhaps?

  38. Janet 39

    barnsley bill

    Remember in 1999 bulk funding was dividing schools and school communities? There had been little investment in new buildings for decades. Private teachers colleges were turning out teachers who couldn’t teach, Schools in poor areas were being allowed to fall over. Since Labour came in there has been large increase in staffing and teacher salaries have gone up a huge amount and there have been improvements in training, career paths, employment conditions, junior class sizes etc. Virtually every school in NZ has had a building programme. ERO has got its act together much more and actually tries to help schools in the areas they are having difficulty with. All schools now have much better governance, annual planning etc etc. Many schools now have funding for school nurses and social workers. And they expel and suspend much fewer kids. Of course they will always need more, but a party full of teachers has made huge improvements. Based on a belief in equity that wherever you live your local school should provide quality equitable education. What a waste and stupid policy of National to give money instead to the elite already well resourced non accountable private schools, just because their kids go to them..

  39. Springbank school in kerikeri is in exactly this situation now. both local primaries and the high school had to suddenly absorb 50 students between them after the most recent school holidays. The student cap only works when times are good. As we are now facing a decade of deficits the labour parties dogma driven parsimony towards private students will put strain on the public system.
    What is next? Denying southern cross members public health services?
    Don’t scoff, labour pluck most ideas from Gordon Brown’s labour party and this is one of theirs.

  40. Aqualine 41

    Which schools pay more in GST than they receive in funding, and if this is the case then those lucky schools would not need more of the tax take, would they?

    The latter argument is preposterous. Capped funding is hardly driving private schools under. Parents going broke in current financial conditions may mean children leave a private school yes, but not because of capped funding. The schools meanwhile just add another thou or two to the annual fees. They certainly never ask investors to tighten their belts which would be the case if your argument held any water.

  41. John 42

    Aqualine.. you miss the point.
    Capped funding is exactly that.. capped! Not inflation adjusted , not adjusted for wage increases for teachers.
    Ideological hatred of the premise of private schools drives this policy, plain and simple.
    As a result fees invariably rise and eventually the schools go out of business or shrink because the student numbers decline. Net result, more students attending an already under resourced state school system. People who send their kids to private schools also pay taxes for a state education that their children do not receive.
    As for investors??? Most of these schools are charitable trusts with no beneficiary other than the students.
    As I stated.. blind ideology clouds reason.

  42. “ChrisG
    the guys from Scots College I know in Wellington are not all geniuses, they perform just as well at uni as everyone else. Only difference is their education cost $15,000+”

    Actually in first year they tend to do slightly worse than public educated kids.

    Another consideration, I know its quite weak but if the the government were too give private schools more funding then they would have to raise taxes, which as is the nature of the progressive tax system the burden of which would fall more upon those in a position to send their children to a private school than those not able to. To some extent its just swings and roundabouts for the purpose of massaging some bodies ideology.

  43. Jared 44

    And yet if the public school was to accept the burden of the kids currently in private education, the already stretched funding would collapse, literally. Would you be complaining about raising taxes then?

  44. Aqualine 45


    Sorry I do not accept your argument at all and believe it is ideologically driven. I see no hatred of the private school system in Labour’s cap policy and find such arguments emotionally driven and illogical. I see Labour’s policy as a sensible manoeuvring round the inevitable shrill outrage from corporate mainstream media should the wealthy be taxed more directly as they should be and if I had my way, only the wealthy would be paying tax. The enormous income disparities in New Zealand have created nothing but crime and mayhem in our society. (It is not only the poor who have noticed the huge rise in crime since the introduction of the free market, you see. ) National’s answer is to transfer more public property to the wealthy and build a bigger prison/justice system ( more tax payer burdens) for those alienated and disadvantaged who fall through the cracks of the society. Labour has to be flexible, be ahead of the game, outthink and outclass the corporate media while providing a decent education for as many as possible.

  45. Janet 46

    GST and schools. My understanding is that state schools get a lot of their GST back anyway. Private schools and the whole private education sector (eg early childhood and tertiary providers as well) are private companies with shareholders who are not the public tax payers so they have to operate under the rules of private companies. It is their choice.

    State schools negotiate a roll size and zone with the ministry which is revised every year so if there are sudden increases in numbers as parents can no longer afford private school fees and the kids go to their local school instead (which is a great human right in NZ and needs to be safeguarded) then there are processes to deal with this.

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