The courage of his convictions

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, May 20th, 2010 - 56 comments
Categories: budget 2010, class war, gst, maori party - Tags: ,

Hone Harawira does not want to vote for the ‘don’t be jealous’ budget and he doesn’t think the Maori Party will be standing true to its principles or supporters if it does:

“I’m having difficulty supporting a tax increase that made things easier for the wealthy at the expense of those in need.

“GST hits poor people the hardest because nearly all of their money is spent on things that you pay GST on food, petrol, electricity so any increase is going to really hurt them.”

“Maori people … voted for us because they believed in us and they will be struggling to put the picture of the Maori Party they voted for together with the picture of their MPs voting for an increase in GST.”

Harawira sought permission to cross the floor and vote against the Budget. Tariana Turia, who is awfully comfortable in the back of her Crown limo, refused fearing it would imperil the deal she has with a Prime Minister who makes jokes about her people being cannibals and breaks his promises to them.

Says Harawira:

“My caucus colleagues don’t like the GST increase either but they argue that we’ve done too much to jeopardise what we’ve achieved so far and what our people want us to achieve in the years ahead.”

The GST increase and the rent increases to pay for the ‘rich man’s bonus’ undo at one fell swoop any gain one can claim from Whanau Ora, DRIP, and the flag (nevermind the ETS,Fire at Will, mining, the Tuhoe debacle, the Supercity…).

Turia can’t ultimately force Harawira to vote one way or another. If he wants to cross the floor he can. Will he have the courage of his convictions and stand up for working Kiwis against this wealth grab for the rich?

Let’s hope so.

56 comments on “The courage of his convictions”

  1. Lew 1

    Harawira’s already in a safe seat, and it could become the safest seat in the country if he turns against the Nats like this. The party therefore has little leverage against him. They would be fools to expel him as a consequence, and should support his right to cast his own vote, simply as a matter of emphasising that there’s still a core of principle there (even if acting on it is constrained by being part of a government).

    I’m not convinced it’s the best move in terms of progressing the long-term agenda, but that’s his decision to make. It also plays into the Nats’ hands somewhat, permitting them to make the party’s internal division the issue when it’s not, really, and highlighting the nasty old “troublesome radicals” versus “loyal natives” dichotomy.

    But bring it on. The whole world’s watching. Or the whole country, at least.

    L

    • Pete 1.1

      I agree with everything you’ve said Lew.

      My preference would be for Harawira to cross the floor, at least to show that the Maori Party (or part of it) are still there to represent Maori.

      After all, Harawira was elected to his electorate to represent the people in it – surely crossing the floor would be fair representation.

      • Lew 1.1.1

        Yeah. The most valuable thing about holding a safe seat is the ability to say “or what?”

        L

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          but what about the coalition agreement

          That collective mP agreement competes with his right to cast his own vote to the extent that if the mP wants to honour it’s agreement, and Hone can’t do that with his vote, then he has to leave the party.

          No?

          • Bright Red 1.1.1.1.1

            Or the Nats and MP could just not let Hone crossing the floor destroy their agreement. that decision would be in Key’s hands.

          • Lew 1.1.1.1.2

            The party could sack him, but this would be a poor move on their part.

            According to my reading he would be in breach of the C&S agreement, but need only resign if the Nats or his party demand it. As with Key’s breach of the ACT C&S agreement regarding the DRIP. Also, the mP could argue that Key’s decision over Te Urewera was a breach of the “no surprises” provision.

            The government is not on strong ground here. Requiring his sacking would be a big call over a budget which will pass anyway, and what seems more likely is that they’ll apply pressure behind closed doors beforehand in an effort to get him to back down, and they might succeed. But I think they would be reluctant to follow through for fear of being held hostage by ACT.

            L

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Fair enough. I’d just be worried about relying on coverage to extend beyond

              Ohmigod Hone Bloody Harawira Crosses the floor! Only on the Bloody Budget!!!, FFS, Failed to call Anyone a Motherfucker, Yet. Updating. omigod ohmigod ohmigod.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.3

            Could he not abstain? That’s a nice middle-ground option.

            • Lew 1.1.1.1.3.1

              Now that really would be a half-arsed lily-livered not-standing-for-anything-really position to take, and I can’t see Hone taking it.

              L

            • ClarityJones 1.1.1.1.3.2

              Hone ‘middle ground’? middle aged perhaps,….
              The Middling Party?

        • Anita 1.1.1.2

          WRT to Harawira “holding a safe seat”.

          What would Labour’s response to Harawira leaving the MP (opr being suspended) over this be? Call for a by election and try to win it? Call for a by election and give Labour supported a nod and a wink to support Harawira? Support Harawira as an independant without a by election?

          A

          • Lew 1.1.1.2.1

            Shane Jones needs a safe electorate, but they wouldn’t stand him unless they thought he could win. Kelvin Davis needs one too, and he’s a more likely prospect to stand — but not to win.

            But what they’d actually do is anyone’s guess.

            L

    • HitchensFan 1.2

      Agreed. Do it, Hone.

  2. colonel rabuka 2

    I’m in agreement with what Hone is saying, in that this budget flies in the face of the wider Maori electorate.

    However, if Hone were to cross the floor it would ultimately do more harm that good. All the coverage would simply paint, as Lew points out, Hone as one of those pesky radicals rather than actually seriously looking at the budget issues that might have promoted the walk.

    The MSM would just beat it up and feed that angle to mainstream New Zealanders, who, unfortunately, let’s face it, are quite happy for John Key to u-turn on Tuhoe and make racist jokes in the days after the deal fell through.

    The Maori Party have to suck up the pain of this budget as this was the bed they chose to lie in. National taking care of the rich ahead of the middle class and poor. It’s hardly an earth shattering revelation, is it?

  3. Alexandra 3

    Marty, Turia may be awfully comfortable at the back of the Limo, however, I dont think that is what motivates her given she gave up associate ministerial benefits when she left Labour. The ongoing assertion that the Turia and Sharples are in it for the Limo’s may be a reasonable if pakeha MP’s of all stripes were subject to same assertion. That said, Turia leaving Labour on a principle does not excuse the MP for supporting law which is harmful to most of their constituents.

  4. Alexandra 4

    Nice BR, Like dont be hypersensitive.

    • Bright Red 4.1

      didn’t mean for you to take that badly. It’s just that the limo thing isn’t solely being directed at Tariana and Pita.

  5. kriswgtn 5

    If Hone had any balls and was concerned HE could have just done it==NO BALLS HONE

    Saying blah blah blah and then voting in favor is a copout and YOU know it

    You have sold our people Hone and next year @ the ballot box YOU WILL PAY

  6. Alexandra 6

    BR- if you read my comment properly, you may see that what I am saying is that the ongoing assertions that the MP deals with the government are somehow motivated by limo’s is unreasonable and give my reason why. I dont recall reference to limos being used in same the fashion in relation to pakeha. If you type “limo maori” in the seach box and then just “limo” you might see that my complaint has some substance. You might notice that the tone of the discussions are somewhat different. It is that difference that I think is unreasonable, at best!

  7. Alexandra 7

    YEAH!

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Well Hone might be a rebel but a rebel with a good cause if he crosses the floor ! That rebel would soon become” Likable Rogue” and that could really work for him and the Maori Party who’s supporters are starting to feel a bit let down.

    Winston’s pulled off saying things that are quite racist for years( usually about asians I know not about white folk) but then makes a good point ( not always a correct point in my view but hey) and finishes it with a smile for years. While Hone may not be as smooth as Winston its hard to beat that Maori boy smile which he can do really well.

    While Hone has made some mistakes he could be the Maori Parties saving grace, as they say a week is a long time in politics.

  9. Tigger 9

    Crossing the floor was just a show. MP gets to have a ‘radical’ arm while still helping National stomp on the poor.

    Hone, what has the MP actually achieved for Maori. Actual achievements that mean something. Nothing of substance. Nothing that makes the marriage with National worth it.

    It’s like staying in an abusive relationship because you think it will be good for the kids. It never is.

    • Lew 9.1

      Why does anyone other than the government even bother turning up, then? Their votes don’t matter, so they might as well all just go home. Ferchrissakes.

      L

      • Tigger 9.1.1

        Big difference between voting against the government and being part of it, Lew. Hone’s now got a bob both ways.

        • Lew 9.1.1.1

          You’ve got one both ways as well, Tigger. If he votes against the government, it’s symbolic and doesn’t matter. But if he votes for the government — despite the fact that it’s symbolic and doesn’t matter since they have the numbers regardless — then he’s a traitorous turncoat.

          The fact is that symbolism matters. It might not be a substitute for meaningful policy progress, but when there’s minimal hope of achieving meaningful policy progress, you exert what influence you can. If he goes through with it, this one action will do more to undermine this budget than a month of Labour complaining about it. To look that gift horse in the mouth is just churlish. Even Labour aren’t being churlish about it, and thank goodness for that.

          L

      • Rex Widerstrom 9.1.2

        Yeah, pretty much, which is why the system needs a radical overhaul that minimises the influence of parties and ties MPs to a defined electorate (not necessarily a geographic one though).

        But hey, let’s all pretend MMP has, and will, make these tools actual tools.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Where’s the story that Hone has “crossed the floor”? He’s spoken out, but he hasn’t voted yet – nobody has.

    • Bright Red 10.1

      yeah. someone got a bit ahead of themselves it seems.

      • Craig Glen Eden 10.1.1

        I did say “IF” which I think is along shot because I am not sure he has the balls but hey he could prove me wrong.

    • Michael Foxglove 10.2

      I think it was just a bit of confusion because Scoop was late at publishing Hone’s press release. I’ve taken the update off :).

  11. kerry 11

    good on him……hes gone up hugely in my estimations.

  12. subPrime minister for hire 12

    People can vote on wehter they think GST should be raised to 15% on Hone Harawira’s website: http://www.hone.co.nz/

    go to:
    Kōrero Mai!

    Do you agree with the Govt’s decision to raise GST to 15%?

    on the right hand side of the page. so far 100% is against (3 votes)

  13. Lew 13

    Five votes in favour at the motion to read. That’s Hone voting aye to the budget.

    L

  14. Alexandra 14

    Im disappointed and getting tired of defending snow flakes. I thought Hone might have backed the rhetoric with a meaningful gesture, or cynically protected his brand. Either way hes failed on both counts and has let himself down. Ive recently heard Hone described as a blow arse. His performance today shows that he is.

  15. Jenny 15

    It’s all very well to challenge Harawira to cross the floor.

    But cross the floor to what?

    To being pushed to the margins by both major parties?

    As far as I know the Maori Party is still considered by Labour to be “the last cab off the rank”.

    It is all very well to criticise, but unless you are offering anything better, what do you expect?

    I have followed your posts Marty, as you rejoice at the trouble that the Maori Party is having trying to get along with a right wing party. But what choice do they have. Become the last cab on the rank by both Labour and National?

    Schadenfreude is a negative emotion.

    How about offering up something positive?

  16. subPrime minister for hire 16

    according to the radio he was in Northland and not parliament – so he did not vote.

    • Nope. Maori Party, five votes in favour. He’s one of the five, no matter where he goes to sulk. Still, at least he gets to share the shame with four other sellouts.

      • Jenny 16.1.1

        I’m sure if there was some positive alternative the Maori Party and particularly Hone would probably take it.

        Those who attack the Maori Party MPs as sell outs, without offering any positive alternative, are in effect asking the Maori Party to go quietly into the political wilderness and stay there to be shunned and ignored by both major parties.

        This is a very big thing to ask of any political movement. After all, even Jesus couldn’t spend more than 40 days and nights in the wilderness.

        • They have an alternative, Jenny. They could walk. Admit they got it wrong and get their sorry butts off the limo seats and into the opposition benches. But they won’t because they are conservative MP’s from a conservative party and they feel right at home in a dimwitted right wing coalition.

          • Jenny 16.1.1.1.1

            Ad hominem abuse, with no facts to back it up.

            VOR you claim that the Maori Party are a conservative party at home in a right wing coalition.

            I don’t think that they are at home there.

            Maybe you would like to back up your claim with some facts.

            • The Voice of Reason 16.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re kidding right? They are in a right wing coalition, with Ministerial responsibilities. If you check their voting record, it mirrors National and Act almost exactly. I think I’ll stick with the facts, Jenny, but you’re welcome to your fantasy.

              • Jenny

                Thanks VOR for your prompt reply.

                Could I bother you to provide the proof that shows that the Maori Party and National and Act voting record is “almost exactly” the same.

                Depressingly as a consequence of being in coalition with the Nats. you are probably right on the recent Maori Party voting record.

                But I would like the facts never-the-less.

                If you could, I think it would also be interesting to see a breakdown of how the Maori Party voted before they were in coalition with National as compared to after.

                It may be interesting to compare how the Labour and National Parties voted during the same period, (and since), as well. As when it comes to claims of where different parties fit on the political spectrum, nothing is in isolation.

                When it comes to the studying the voting record on the issues of the day, it pays not to study just one party’s direction but necessary to compare it to the all the others as well.

                I think that such a study of the facts might reveal that the Maori Party is not as right wing as you think.

                VOR in your claim that the Maori Party “are conservative MP’s from a conservative party”, “at home” in a “right wing coalition.” Again I challenge you to back up your argument with facts, not just opinion.

                I admit that it is possible, that as you say, I am under a “fantasy” that the Maori Party is not conservative party. (or at least, not as conservative as National or ACT).

                I am reliant on you, or others to convince me.

                If you could refrain from ad hominen slurs or sectarian attacks, and just stick to the objective facts while you are doing it, I would appreciate that as well.

                Thanks Jenny

  17. Carol 17

    Jenny, when the Maori Party originated I was hoping it would be a party I (a Pakeha) could vote for, as I strongly supported them on the Foreshore & Seabed issue, and have always been critical of the Labour Party for how they betrayed the long support large numbers of Maori had given them.

    I don’t know about the MP’s general voting record, but I do remember one social issue when they took a conservative line. As a lesbian, I have never forgotten that they generally did not support the Civil Union Bill, and in a way that stuck me as being due to some underlying homophobia.

    As a lesbian leftie, I felt there was no other party other than the Greens for me to support. They support the MP on most issues that affect Maori directly, but also actively support the GLBT community, and on this, I think they are in tune with more Nats than people in left parties.

    I have been left with a lingering feeling that the MP is conservative on GLBT issues. I’d be very happy if someone could prove me worng on this.

    • Jenny 17.1

      Carol I agree with you on this one. Though I do believe there has been some movement on this.

      At the time you mentioned, there was only one Maori Party MP in Parliament.

      The Maori Party like all political movements is greater than the sum of it’s parts. And in my opinion needs to be objectively judged on the totality.

  18. Jenny (above):

    The Maori Party are currently tied to a deal which causes them to vote in favour of all Government legislation. I understand they have limited ability to vote differently on Private Members’ bills, but I’m not aware of instances where they have in opposition to their mates.

    Far easier to point out times when they have done something progressive for their supporters. There’s the flag on the Auckland Harbour bridge for example. And Rugby on Maori TV instead of seats on the Auckland Super City. And the BMW’s, almost forgot them. Leather seats! Choice!

    If you can think of any left wing policy they have put into place, please let me know, Jenny. I’d happily be corrected, but I’m thinking it’s all been sellouts so far. Think of their history. Formed in opposition to a centre left party. Vaguely nationalistic, in a racially based way. Entered willingly into a conservative coalition. In Parliament, have done nothing for their supporters, but lapped up the bawbees of office, while whining that their hands are tied to a deal they themselves advocated.

  19. Jenny 19

    Surely VOR you have heard of this.

  20. Carol 20

    Well, I’ll wait and see, Jenny. I’m not likely to vote for them in the near future, but I’ll support them, for what it’s worth, on the things I agree with.

    I understand why they did a deal with National, in the first place, though I’m not keen on some of the outcomes. They got some good things out of it. Labour lost their trust too, so it’s partly their fault.

    Brash, Orewa & the Labour Party all set this trajectory in motion.

    At the moment, the Greens is the party I can feel most comfortable with. And Metiria Turei is impressive.

    • Jenny 20.1

      I agree with everything you say Carol. I myself will probably not vote the Maori Party either. But the fact is a significant number of (mainly Maori), people will.

      When headlines in a Main Stream Media franchise like stuff.co.nz label the Search and Surveillance bill “Chilling” you just know that it’s gonna be bad.
      Chilling surveillance bill delayed till next year

      The stakes are high, the current recession is not over, and there is the threat of a new double dip recession starting.

      The policy of the Nats, as we see in the budget, is to instead of cushioning the affects of the recession for the majority of New Zealanders, the Nats seem hell bent on increasing inequality by just protecting the few. National’s policies are all about protecting the elites and bugger the rest of the population.

      It couldn’t be more serious. John Key has made it clear that if National is returned to the treasury benches next year, he will claim an electoral mandate for some extreme right wing policy spearheads.

      The second Key government will I fear be a very different beast.

      Not only can we expect more attacks civil liberties, but we can also expect to see the sell off vital state assets to the benefit of John Key’s rich mates. This privatisation agenda will seriously undermine the material base for the provision of social services by the state, and usher in much greater user pays in health care and education. And all this at a time when recession will be making the social need for these state provided services more vital than ever.

      In my opinion the Labour party will be guilty of being childishly sectarian and irresponsible if they don’t, in the interests of their own supporters and all other grass roots battlers, objectively explore the possibility of an electoral accommodation with the Maori Party if that is what it takes to keep National out.

      Like all political parties the Maori Party has a left and right wing.

      In my estimation, at the moment the conservatives in the Maori Party have the ascendancy. But the make up of the membership of the Maori Party (like the general population of Maori,) is overwhelmingly working class and as we have seen around the 90 day bill have the ability to over rule their leadership when they try to back right wing legislation in the house.

      Hone Harawira is the defacto head of the left wing of the Maori Party, and as such his position is tenuous, the conservatives are just looking for the slightest pretext to expel him.

      This is why I support Harawira’s decision to abide by the majority decision of the Maori Party caucus and vote for the rise in GST. To not do so will see him expelled from his party and thrown into the political wilderness without any mandate to affect the future path that the Maori Party will take after the next election and into the future.

      Without the counter balance of Hone Harawira inside the MP caucus, the conservatives will try to stick with National, no matter what.

      Hone Harawira I believe will be a lightning rod pole of attraction for the flaxroots activists inside the Maori Party, that the conservatives could not dismiss lightly. If for instance the Labour Party wished to seriously engage with the Maori Party, or even put up some positive alternative to coalition with National, this is more likely to get a fair hearing with Harawira in the Maori caucus, than if he was marginalised and excluded.

      I feel that an objective analysis of the Maori Party, free from subjective name calling and sectarian spite is vital. Despite the fervent wishes of some in the Labour Party for it’s demise, the Maori Party exists and will continue to exist because it fulfils a very material need for an independent Maori voice in parliament. And if as I predict the Maori Party vote holds up in the elections next year, there is a very real possibility that along with the predicted collapse of the ACT vote, the Maori Party will wind up as the Kingmakers for our next parliament.

      Let us all hope that the Labour Party supporters can put aside their narrow sectarianism and find the vision and the courage to put out a hand of friendship to the Maori Party.

  21. just saying 21

    I agree with you about the urgency of “Labour putting their hand out” to not just the Maori Party, but to the Maori people. The soc con, right wing of the Labour party just has to ‘get over itself’ on this before it is too late.

    The overwhelming majority of new Zealanders are robbed when the right prevails. Our health, wealth, (in the full taonga sense), dignity, communites, security, environment, and committment to each other is pillaged, to increase the wealth and power of a minority.

    The ‘us’ that needs the left is broad and diverse – but we have way more interests in common than in conflict. I believe we are mostly people of good will. I hate the way the right continues to manipulate us by turning us agaisnt each other, and it infuriates me that too many of those driving the Labour party are so eager to dance when National whistles the tune.

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    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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