Strategic voting is a bad thing unless you live in Epsom

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, July 30th, 2020 - 49 comments
Categories: election 2020, electoral commission, electoral systems, national, nick smith, same old national - Tags:

There is a suggestion before Parliament that electors should be able to switch between the European roll and the Maori roll more regularly.  Currently this option can only be exercised every five years with the census.  And given our MMP system you would have to wonder why the option should not be exercisable every election cycle.  You would think that like enrollment the decision of which roll you should appear on should be a regular occurence.

Nick Smith disagrees.  From TVNZ:

National has blocked a move that will allow Māori to more frequently switch between electoral rolls over fears of “manipulation”, despite the Electoral Commission saying it would be a good idea.

Currently, Māori are only able to switch between the general and Māori roll every five years at the Census. The number of Māori and general electorates is then set using results from the census and the subsequent Māori Electoral Option which allows people to choose which roll they want to be on.

The Electoral Commission recommended that be changed at the last election in 2017. It told the Justice Select Committee Māori should be able to change rolls once every three years.

Government members of the select committee supported the changes, but National Party members did not.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said: “I certainly think there should be a more flexible arrangement that allows them to make the choice to change.”

However, he said there was more work to be done to ensure allowing the switching wouldn’t impact the integrity of the electoral system.

National spokesperson on electoral reform Nick Smith said allowing for frequent switching would open up the possibility of strategic voting.

“In our view, it would be open to manipulation,” he said.”

I do think you would have political parties where you have key seats encouraging people to change one way or the other.”

Of course we should be wary of manipulation of the electorate system.  Every vote should be worth the same as every other vote.  For instance the electors of a wealthy electorate should not be able to support a puppet third party just so that their party has an extra seat in Parliament.

But that is the situation we currently have in Epsom.

Do I conclude from this that National believes that rich inner city Aucklanders voting strategically is a good thing but Tangata Whenua being able to enroll strategically is a bad thing?

49 comments on “Strategic voting is a bad thing unless you live in Epsom ”

  1. Gosman 1

    There is NOTHING wrong with strategic voting in an electorate to increase the amount of representation from the part of the political spectrum you like (Although this has not been the case in regard to Epsom since 2008). If Labour wants to do a deal with the Greens in relation to Auckland Central more power to them. That is DIFFERENT to changing the fundamental set up of the electoral system itself. The number of Maori seats are set based on the number of voters who enroll. If they then swap to the general roll AFTER this time you can get a perverse situation where the number of voters in a Maori seat will be much less than for a general seat.

    • froggleblocks 1.1

      I agree, these are obviously separate situations.

      I share Andrew Little's concern, if the number of Maori / General electorates stay fixed but the number of people on the roles can change each election, that seems tricky. Similarly if the Maori / General electorates are changing every single election because of roll swapping, that also seems undesirable.

      I think at minimum the choice to change between rolls should apply if someone who is eligible to be on the maori roll (whether they are or not) moves their permanent residence between elections so they would now be in a different general electorate. That catches the cases where someone used to be happy in general electorate X voting for candidate X, but have now moved to general electorate Y, don't like any of the candidates and would rather vote in the maori electorate. This still allows for a justified change in roll without so much chance of manipulation, and would greatly reduce the number of people changing between rolls in any given election.

    • Stuart Munro 1.2

      There is NOTHING wrong with strategic voting in an electorate to increase the amount of representation from the part of the political spectrum you like

      Except to the degree that it reduces the representation of other groups, especially if they are poorly represented. Tax evaders are already overrepresented in parliament.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    That photo of Nick trying out his campaign speech on the grass is heart-warming. Obviously he has gone green. Looks like the grass cracked a joke in response, to which Nick is happily reacting…

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    I like Micky’s suggestion for Māori voters moving roll, to do so in sync with General Elections, i.e. 3 yearly rather than 5 yearly.

    As for Epsom, while Incels should be entitled to political representation–which they surely get from ACT–the arrangement with Nats is a travesty of democratic intent imo, though it is totally permissible with current MMP rules.

    Various parties and submitters did try to lower the threshold in the last MMP Review under the Key administration, partially to try and negate or lessen the benefits of “coat tailing”, but NZ National would not entertain that.

    • Gosman 3.1

      The threshold rule should be done away with completely. Any political party that can get the percentage equivalent of 1 MP out of the total number of MP's in Parliament should be able to be represented. There is no logical reason why we have the 5% threshold rule other than that is what the Germans have. It would not have made a substantive difference to the make up of most of the different Parliaments over the years if we had done away with it.

      • Incognito 3.1.1

        Thought experiment for you:

        Four candidates vie for an electorate. Three candidates receive 7,000 votes each and one candidate receives 7,100 votes and is declared the winner. Should this candidate represent their electorate in NZ Parliament? If yes, can they claim to be/represent ‘a party’?

        • RedBaronCV 3.1.1.1

          We'd need something like single transferable vote between candidates to make some thing like that fairer.

          • Incognito 3.1.1.1.1

            The F-word gets thrown around a lot these days 😉

            I’d be inclined to frame it in terms of democratic representation in a national parliament. In other words, from the PoV of voters and electorates and not of individual candidates.

            • RedBaronCV 3.1.1.1.1.1

              True – us voters all want an equal say but we also want to move on the ones we don't like – such is our consistency
              I dream of STV for the Nelson electorate

              • Incognito

                For me, it is not about like/dislike but about proper democratic representation and I think there are ways to improve MMP without going too ‘radical’ if we want to stick with a representative democracy. That said, I think there are better ways of achieving this, again without going too ‘radical’ but those would mean moving away from the current MMP system that we have.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Green Party policy is for preferential voting in electorates so, the more votes for the Greens, the more chance that you will get your wish.

      • Tricledrown 3.1.2

        The Germans have it to stop fringe groups holding parliament to hostage ie fascist ingels.

  4. Bearded Git 4

    …..or Auckland Central

  5. Ed1 5

    I'm inclined to think that selection of roll should be aligned with the review of electorates. All electorates have movement in number of voters through deaths, new voters and changes in residence. Perhaps we need more frequent reviews of electorates, but that should apply to all electorates, not just some. My priorities for electoral reform would be: Removal of the coat-tailing rule, then reduce or remove the threshold, and then consider a 4 year term.

  6. Chris 6

    "Justice Minister Andrew Little said: “I certainly think there should be a more flexible arrangement that allows them to make the choice to change.”

    So current rules give the option of registering on either the Maori or general roll, but once you've made the choice you're locked in for five years, even though the electoral cycle is three years? That's not really a choice then, is it? But of course, it's only Maori Mr Smith, so it doesn't really matter, does it?

    (One thing, though, Mr Little – what's with the "them"? We might expect that kind of language from the likes of Bennett and Collins et al but the sooner we jettison this way of talking the better.)

    • Gosman 6.1

      No change to electoral law should be made without broad support from parties represented in Parliament. Otherwise it is at risk of being seen to be done for partisan reasons.

      • Incognito 6.1.1

        Change to electoral law should be made. Otherwise it is at risk of being seen as maintaining status quo for partisan reasons.

        FIFY

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        Change to electoral law should happen when it is proven to be wrong and that the change has broad support by the people.

        Leaving it to get broad support in the political parties would delay necessary change as the politicians seek to protect their power.

    • Gabby 6.2

      Do you know what the preceding sentence was?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      So current rules give the option of registering on either the Maori or general roll, but once you've made the choice you're locked in for five years, even though the electoral cycle is three years? That's not really a choice then, is it?

      Why should it even be a choice?

      An interesting point about the Māori Electorates and how they came about.

      Back in the 19th century, not long after NZ became a democracy, the politicians realised that only allowing male land-owners to vote broke faith with the Treaty as Māori didn't own land individually as the British did and thus Māori males couldn't vote. To address this the Māori Electorates were created which allowed Māori to vote.

      But, this is important, it considered only a temporary fix and that they were to be disestablished once a better system was put in place. That better system came about not too long after when everyone, male and female, was given the right to vote whether landed or not.

      So, nearly 130 years later, why do we still have Māori electorates?

      • Chris 6.3.1

        Perhaps the purpose of having Maori seats has changed since then? And it’s now a matter of seeing value in maintaining the Maori seats?

      • solkta 6.3.2

        What crap. You think a first past the post electorate based system would give Maori representation?

        We still have the Maori electorates because Maori want them and it gives just a small portion of what actually honouring the Treaty would be.

        • Chris 6.3.2.1

          The ability to party vote may provide a modicum of rebalance in terms of the Treaty, and the Maori seats might provide that little bit more again, but things are still far from fair. The problem with DTB's analysis is that it assumes giving everyone the vote fixed the problem the Maori seats were intended to fix temporarily. And it's likely that our belief in the importance of affirmative action/positive discrimination is much stronger now, too.

          • solkta 6.3.2.1.1

            The thing is that the Treaty does not just guarantee them representation but rather absolute chieftainship over their land, people and all their treasures. The 'problem' that the Maori seats were created to fix was not the problem as Maori understood it.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.1.2

            The problem with DTB's analysis is that it assumes giving everyone the vote fixed the problem the Maori seats were intended to fix temporarily.

            It did fix the problem that the Māori seats were a temporary fix to – the inability of Māori to vote in the elections.

            We now have the problem that electorate seats, especially Māori electorate seats, cause in misrepresentation:

            https://teara.govt.nz/en/nga-mangai-maori-representation/page-3

            In 2014, 22% of MPs were Māori, while Māori were 15% of New Zealand’s total population.

            The Truth about the Māori Seats

            The 1986 Royal Commission, perhaps wisely, did not specifically consider these wider questions. That said, the Commission did note that its recommendation to abolish the Maori seats would“be of real benefit in helping break down separateness and division within our community in the sense of encouraging Maori and non-Maori to look to the interests of the other.”299Yet, as we have seen, the seats were not abolished. Separatism and division still remains.

        • Incognito 6.3.2.2

          Only about half of all Māori are on the Māori Electoral Roll.

  7. Peter 7

    You conclude right.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    You would think that like enrollment the decision of which roll you should appear on should be a regular occurence.

    And here's me thinking that being Māori would be, like, permanent.

    Of course we should be wary of manipulation of the electorate system. Every vote should be worth the same as every other vote. For instance the electors of a wealthy electorate should not be able to support a puppet third party just so that their party has an extra seat in Parliament.

    If you’re concerned about that then get rid of electorates.

    • RedBaronCV 8.1

      There are some of us who have skin in both games so to speak. But having switched I'm likely to never go back. Although it might be tempting if I moved to an electorate where I wanted to get rid of a particular MP. Nelson?

      However I have thought that electorate selection could be by tribal links not geographic but that could be a little hard to administer.

    • Incognito 8.2

      If you’re concerned about that then get rid of electorates.

      Yes, excellent suggestion.

      • Enough is Enough 8.2.1

        To get rid of electorates would be to get rid of local voices. What the good people of Gore want of their government is probably not the same thing as what people living in Parnell want of their government.

        It is important that the people of Gore, and every other region have a voice in Parliament, otherwise we will be left with 120 professional politicians who live in the Thorndon bubble.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1

          There are ways to ensure that the local voice is heard even if electorates are removed. Of course, those ways do require more democracy such as referendums.

          And local issues should be addressed by the local council.That's what they're for.

          • Enough is Enough 8.2.1.1.1

            A referendum would not in any way help a regional community with a small population that is ignored by Wellington and the rest of the country.

            Local representation ensures their voice is at the very least heard.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Local representation ensures their voice is at the very least heard.

              No, really, it doesn't.

              1. An MP can only make decisions at the national level. That's as it should be. Making decisions at the local level is not an MPs job.
              2. There is no referendum in the present system to actually allow the local voice to be heard. Yes, a referendum is required every time to hear the local voice.
              3. As it stands, the local MP is going to listen to the loudest voices and that won't be the locals. That will be businesses.
              4. Most MPs are Backbench MPs and the only MPs really listened to are the ones in cabinet – the ministers.

              So, no, local representation doesn't get the locals heard.

              • Enough is Enough

                I think we are taking about different things.

                I am talking about local voices being heard for decision making at a national level. Local matters like the day rubbish gets collected can sit with the council, I'm not arguing against that.

                I know you don't believe in representative democracy, and prefer participatory democracy so, I think we can just agree to disagree,

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I think we are taking about different things.

                  Nope. Our system really doesn't allow local voices to be heard in parliament no matter how much you want to believe that it does.

        • froggleblocks 8.2.1.2

          I'd be more in favour of just having 120 electorates with STV used in all of them.

          Or failing that, 60 electorates from which 2 members each are elected, again with an STV-style ranked choice, so the top 2 candidates from each electorate go to parliament.

          I'm not so keen on the list MPs we have in parliament, a lot of them seem like wastes of space, and the idea of being able to 'vote a badly performing mp out' is better retained when everyone has to win an electorate to get in, vs losing an electorate and getting in on the list anyway.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.2.1

            Electorates, especially as they are now, get in the way of democracy.

            And a badly performing list MP can be removed, as long as the waka jumping laws are kept, by the party.

            Whereas electorate MPs get to stay there until their term is up even when they're removed from the party that they got voted in with.

            • froggleblocks 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Disagree, local voice is important as said by EiE.

              Another thing to consider is if you had 60 electorates with 2 MPs each, there would be cases of getting 2 MPs from different parties to represent electorates. Those MPs are likely to work together to better support local views (turning up at events together, that sort of thing), which would overall likely foster greater co-operation amongst MPs and thus parties in Parliament, rather than the entirely adversarial system we have now.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Disagree, local voice is important as said by EiE

                Local voices aren't heard in the present system.

                Another thing to consider is if you had 60 electorates with 2 MPs each, there would be cases of getting 2 MPs from different parties to represent electorates. Those MPs are likely to work together to better support local views

                Nope, they won't. If that was going to happen then we would already see it.

                • froggleblocks

                  Local voices aren't heard in the present system.

                  They are on conscience votes, and electorate MPs can lobby for things to be done in their electorates – see also Shane Jones and his bribery of Northland for a crass example. Making sure all MPs are electorate MPs is part of moving to a system where local voices are heard more than they are now. Hence why changes to the "present system" are required.

                  Nope, they won't. If that was going to happen then we would already see it.

                  So you think when structural changes are made to the system, it will have precisely 0 affect on how elements within that system operate. All I can say is Wow.

                  You need only refer to Sarah Dowie’s valedictory speech to see how a more collegial atmosphere across parliament could help, as well as the cross-party women’s group that have just made gains against FGM.

                  Constructing a system that forces MPs from different parties to cooperate together more does not seem like a bad idea. The Greens have long been dispirited about the un-cooperative and competitive nature of Parliament and this is a suggestion that would help to foster the sort of attitude they want to see in politics.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Making sure all MPs are electorate MPs is part of moving to a system where local voices are heard more than they are now.

                    1. No it won't as it doesn't now
                    2. That's a really bad idea. There's a reason why we moved from a full electorate system. Going back to it will make things just as bad as they were then.

                    So you think when structural changes are made to the system, it will have precisely 0 affect on how elements within that system operate. All I can say is Wow.

                    I didn't say that structural change wouldn't make a difference. I said that the structural change that you've outlined won't make the difference that you believe.

                    We do need a more cooperative system but that's not what you're going to get from having more electorate MPs. What you suggest brings about more competition and hung parliaments. Its a worse suggestion than bringing back an upper house.

                    • froggleblocks

                      That's a really bad idea. There's a reason why we moved from a full electorate system. Going back to it will make things just as bad as they were then.

                      Except I'm not suggesting going back to what we had.

                      We do need a more cooperative system but that's not what you're going to get from having more electorate MPs.

                      Which is not the only thing I'm suggesting.

                      I get the impression you haven't actually read what I wrote.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I get the impression you haven't actually read what I wrote.

                      I read what you wrote – its stupidity writ large.

                      I now question if you understood what you wrote.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Nick Smith one of the purring National pussies; 'Don't change anything unless it suits Me, Me.' Acshually theres a song for him and his keen electoral supporters, mostly aged men and mostly well comfortably off. Nick has always been good with money.

    Down in the boondocks is about the 'other' people who want to make changes. Oh sorry, you're not on the list of people who I listen to – (to whom I listen?).

  10. Ken 10

    The Nats don't have the luxury of voting for other parties when their own party is in danger of sinking without a trace.

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    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    6 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    6 days ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    6 days ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    7 days ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – CO2 is the main driver of climate change
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting Prime Minister David Seymour.
    When it came to David Seymour, Jacinda got one thing right, and another wrong. What is the sacrilege, I hear you ask? In what world in relation to David Seymour was our Jacinda ever wrong?Subscribe nowAs you no doubt remember, and personally I think there should be some sort of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • More democratic abuse from National
    "Abuse of democracy" seems to be the emerging theme of this government, with bills rammed through under urgency or given pathetically short select committee submission times seemingly designed to limit and undermine public engagement. And today we have another case, with the public given just nine days to submit on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the curse of being politically moderate about everything
    Nigel Farage’s initial reason for not standing in the British election – because he wanted to be a Trump adviser – never looked very convincing. His perfectly timed “change of mind” though, has won him extensive media coverage, and he’s now plunging into the election campaign as the rival candidate ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, June 4
    Placards at a 2018 rally for better funding for new cancer drugs. National’s pre-election promise to do so may have won it votes, but the attempt to quietly drop the plan has now ignited a firestorm of protest. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The Government is now being engulfed in a firestorm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 Highlights
    Last week the government delivered their first budget and while there’s been plenty of other discussion about the main aspects of it, I was particularly interested to look at what it meant for transport. Before getting into too much detail, the chart below shows at a high level where transport ...
    1 week ago
  • Jeff Masters and Bob Henson give us the low-down on the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Samantha Harrington (Background photo credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project / CC BY 2.0 DEED) To kick off hurricane season, Yale Climate Connections editors Sara Peach and Sam Harrington sat down with meteorologists and Eye on the Storm writers Jeff Masters and Bob ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 3
    TL;DR: The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, which consumes over 15% of the motu’s renewable electricity, has struck a deal to stay open for another 20 years. This will delay Aotearoa-NZ’s transition to carbon zero and make it more expensive and unfair for the 100,000 households who currently can’t afford their ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • maBaguette
    Today we rolled through troglodyte caves and ate a fresh roast chook by the river, the mighty Loire River, the still quite angry-looking Loire River. The Loire is not itself because it has been raining here for the last seven months without a break, the locals have been telling us, ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Empty Promises.
    Fighting out of the blue corner, wearing a pale pink jacket, a half hearted smile, and a lot of flack from the left and the right, it’s your Finance Minister - Nicola Willis.Her challenger will probe the Minister for answers. Armed with boyish charm and tricky questions, the last remaining ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22
    A listing of 33 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, May 26, 2024 thru Sat, June 1, 2024. Story of the week Sometimes one story is not enough. Our ongoing 2023-2024 experiences with lethal heatwaves, early wildfires and a threatening Atlantic hurricane season ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treaty Principles Bill: Smokescreen for sweeping change?
    Much has been said about how the coalition government’s Treaty Principles Bill distorts te Tiriti o Waitangi. However, it could also serve as a Trojan horse, installing an extreme libertarian agenda. We don’t know the intent driving the proposed Bill; however, many serious effects may ensue. Far from simply clarifying the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Fact Brief – Have climate models overestimated global warming?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Have climate models overestimated global warming? Climate ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt strengthens COVID-19 preparedness
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says additional supplies of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests (RATs) will enable New Zealanders to continue testing this winter.  “In January, we announced an extension of public access to free RATs until the end of June,” Dr Reti says.  “I’m pleased to confirm that Health New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Fiji commit to strengthening partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has met with his Fijian counterpart, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, and discussed how New Zealand and Fiji can further strengthen their partnership.  During their bilateral talks in Suva this morning, Mr Luxon and Mr Rabuka canvassed a range of issues including defence and regional security, trade, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to invest in New Zealand
    The Associate Minister of Finance David Seymour has issued a new Ministerial directive letter to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to make consent processing timeframes faster under the Overseas Investment Act.  “New Zealand is currently rated as having the most restrictive foreign direct investment policy out of the OECD countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $30m investment for faster access to radiology services
    New Zealanders will now benefit from free access to radiology services referred directly by their general practitioner, resulting in faster diagnosis and improved health outcomes, says Health Minister Dr Shane Reti. “Our Budget last Thursday delivered the foundations for a thriving New Zealand economy, but also for better public services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Pacific Economic Development Agency – Pacific Business Trust
    Good afternoon everyone, and warm Pacific greetings. Thank you for your lovely introduction Mary Losé. It’s wonderful to be here today at the Pacific Economic Development Agency - Pacific Business Trust. I want to acknowledge the chair Paul Retimanu and chief executive Mary Losé, your team and the many business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress for fixing the Holidays Act 2003
    The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Brooke van Velden says this Government will improve the Holidays Act 2003 [the Act] with the help of businesses and workers who will be affected by changes to the Act.  “Change has been a long time coming, and I know there are many ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Niue mark special milestone
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Niue Premier Dalton Tagelagi have agreed to enhance the special relationship that exists between their two countries, as Niue marks 50 years of self-government in free association with New Zealand. Mr Luxon and Mr Tagelagi held formal talks this morning and released a Joint Statement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation kicks off first sector review – Early Childhood Education
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour today announced the terms of reference for the sector review into early childhood education (ECE) by the new Ministry for Regulation. This will be the first review by the Ministry.   “Issues with affordability and availability of early childhood education, and the complexity of its regulation, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $36 million commitment for local catchment groups
    The Government is backing farmers to improve land management practices with a $36 million commitment to support locally led catchment groups, $7 million of which will go directly to catchment groups across the country, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has announced. “Budget 2024 provides $36 million over four years for regionally based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $43 million commitment for local catchment groups
    The Government is backing farmers to improve land management practices with a $36 million commitment to support locally led catchment groups, and an additional $7 million direct investment into catchment groups across the country, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has announced. “Budget 2024 provides $36 million over four years for regionally based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Communities reap rewards of regional investment
    The success of regional investment in the Far North has been highlighted with the opening of two community projects that benefit their communities, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones attended a dawn blessing for the $10.16 million Te Hiku Revitalisation project, which has provided much-needed community infrastructure improvements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government to sign groundbreaking Indo-Pacific agreements
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