The end of ACT

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, August 13th, 2018 - 238 comments
Categories: act, david seymour, democracy under attack, democratic participation, election 2017, national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

David Seymour is clearly searching for relevance.

The ACT party had its annual conference last weekend.  From the look of the video there might have been 30 people there.  I have been to bigger meetings of the New Lynn Labour Party.  It seems that ACT is struggling for relevance.

To try and gain some relevance Seymour came out with this big new announcement, that ACT will seek to reduce the number of MPs to 100 and the size of the executive to 20.  It will also seek to do away with the Maori seats and require all list candidates to campaign for an electorate seat and to then set up an office in that seat if they are successful.

From ACT’s website:

New Zealand has too many politicians for its size. Our Government costs more and delivers less than it did 20 years ago.

“The Smaller Government Bill will cut the size of Parliament 100 MPs, bringing us into line with other developed countries.

“It will also restrict the number of high-paid Ministers to 20. Our Executive is far too big – currently standing at 31 people.

“Almost half of the Government MPs hold a position in the Executive. We have too many pointless ministerial portfolios. They are not improving the lives of New Zealanders and this bill will do away with them.

“The bill will also remove the Maori seats. New Zealand is a modern, diverse democracy. There is simply no longer a place for one group of people to be treated differently under the law.

“We now have 27 Maori MPs, 20 of whom were elected through the general roll. Even without the seven Maori seats, Maori would still be proportionately represented in Parliament.

“Our plan would also require all parliamentary candidates to stand in an electorate, and all elected list MPs would be required to open an office in the electorate in which they stood.

“List MPs serve an important function in our democracy, but they should be required to serve New Zealanders and solve real problems, not just collect a salary and spend their time in a Wellington office.

The executive reduction policy is, what is that word, hypocritical.  Seymour complains that there are 31 members of the current executive.  This number includes Parliamentary undersecretaries.  Seymour was one in the last Parliament.  He was paid $175,600 per annum for the privilege and also received further resources.  Maybe he has a point.

The numbers proposal is playing a very predictable political game.  Getting rid of the Maori seats is just racist dog whistling.

In terms of overall numbers it is wrong to compare New Zealand’s unicameral system with the more complex arrangements that are in existence in overseas countries.  But that is getting into detailed analysis whereas ACT just wants to cash in on the general dislike there is for politicians.

I can see there being a compelling case for the removal of one MP from Parliament.  For the last three elections there has been an overhang of one seat, mainly due to National party sweetheart deals.  Change the law so that this cannot happen and hey presto the number of MPs will be reduced.  And maybe there are too many MPs.  After all there was a recent incident where an opposition MP took extended time out of his work to go dancing with the stars.  If he was a beneficiary he would have been subject to sanctions.

And meanwhile Simon Bridges has been casting some serious shade ACT’s way:

And National cheerleader Mike Hosking thinks that ACT is going nowhere.

ACT only survives because National is happy to subvert proportionality to gain political advantage.  Could it be that the end of ACT is nigh?

238 comments on “The end of ACT ”

  1. Andre 1

    Sorry this is a bit of a diversion from the main point of the OP, but ” … a compelling case for the removal of one MP from Parliament. For the last three elections there has been an overhang of one seat, mainly due to National party sweetheart deals. Change the law so that this cannot happen …”

    I’ve come to the opinion that overhang seats should stay and can be a valuable part of democracy. But I think an MP in an overhang seat should not be allowed to participate in confidence and supply votes.

    There may be cases where an electorate MP can be an effective voice for that electorate’s concerns, yet fail to achieve any nationwide support. In his later terms, it appears the hairdo from Ohariu met that description.

    Representing local concerns is important, and maybe even the major point of having any electorate MPs at all. But determining who is the government is only fairly done by aggregating nationwide opinion, as expressed in votes. So allowing electorate MPs who don’t have sufficient nationwide support to help choose who is the government is a distortion of democracy.

    This applies whether it’s ACT’s rort in Epsom, or if Jim Anderton had ever been in the position to do the same in Wigram, or the Maori Party winning more electorate seats than their nationwide vote would result in.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      The problem with the Ohariu and Epsom overhang seats is that they were clearly designed to help National. Paradoxically as their national vote disappeared the advantage to the right increased. I am not opposed to overhang seats per se but this particular version is undemocratic.

      • Andre 1.1.1

        I’m not opposed to overhang seats in principle either, since it allows an MP that’s a particularly effective voice for local concerns to do so even when his/her nationwide support is negligible.

        But I do object to the way an MP that hasn’t earned enough nationwide support to get that seat allocated in the same way as the other 120 MPs nevertheless gets to participate in the single biggest decision affecting the entire nation: who is the government.

        Seems to me a distortion of democracy is a problem that should be addressed, regardless of whether it is deliberately engineered or happens by chance through a flawed system. YMMV

        • Draco T Bastard

          Seems to me a distortion of democracy is a problem that should be addressed, regardless of whether it is deliberately engineered or happens by chance through a flawed system.


      • Gosman 1.1.2

        Given ACT is back up to 1.1 percent on the latest polling (just shy of the 1.2 percent required for a second seat) you should be fine with the overhang rule and also support the proposal to reduce the number of MP’s as it will reduce the chance of ACT getting another MP.

        • mickysavage

          It is still an advantage. Other parties have to hit the 5% threshold to get representation.

      • dukeofurl 1.1.3

        The election in 2014 was only an Ohariu overhang, Epsom has never been an overhang seat. ( it just scrapped in normal allocation in 2017).
        In 2008 there were 2 overhang seats , both were from maori party.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Didn’t Seymour’s electorate seat mean the Nat+ACT coalition got one extra seat? Which party lost out proportionally?

          • Gosman

            Not in 2014

            • Carolyn_Nth

              Yes, but ACT got a seat in 2014 and 2017.

              That still meant Nats could top up their electorate seats in keeping with the proportion of their vote overall. So did Nats actually lose a seat they would have got if Goldsmith had won the electorate vote?

              • dukeofurl

                Yes they are a sort of distortion of the 5% rule but not overhangs as when the Sainte-Laguë distribution is done they are counted in.

                • dukeofurl

                  What should change is the ability of parties , under 5%, who get extra seats based on getting 1 electorate seat.
                  That happened in 2014 when the Maori party got an extra list seat and
                  earlier for Anderton when he bought Robson in from list. There was much anguish when Harawira lost his seat and Mana/Internet could have had 2 extra Mps.
                  And Seymour is thinking that when he talks about current polling bringing one or more extra Mps.

                  While we cant really prevent people winning an electorate seat, distorting the 5% proportionality rule can be changed. It might even be lowered to 4% or some number that allows say 4 seats

                  • Gosman

                    Ditch it altogether. Allow any party that receives enough votes for an MP to get in to Parliament.

      • Wayne 1.1.4

        Whereas Sydenham wasn’t? They are all in exactly the same situation. An MP defeats the larger party, then does a deal to retain the seat in subsequent elections that they initially won off the larger party.

        You might not like it, but I don’t see how it could be constitutionally prevented, if there is to be any regard to electors rights.

        • mickysavage

          Anderton won Sydenham fair and square. There was no cup of tea …

          • Andre

            Arguably there was not even a metaphorical cuppa tea for Rodders in Epsom in 2005 either. At best, the Nats were just a bit half-hearted about rolling out the big guns and full array of dirty tricks for Richard Worth. The mad hatter tea parties came in the subsequent elections.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.5

        I am not opposed to overhang seats per se but this particular version is undemocratic.

        A change in electorate voting from FPP to a preferential vote would probably alleviate that. It would get rid of the wins that only have plurality.

        Or we get rid of the electorates altogether.

        Or, drop the electorates, keep the number at 120 and have 120 electorate offices around the country and have each MP responsible for an electorate. Or we have 60 electorate offices with two MPs in it.

        IIRC, there was an article on here showing that we actually need more MPS for the same level of representation that we had in the 1980s.

      • alwyn 1.1.6

        Ohariu and Epsom were not overhang seats.
        The only overhang seat in the last Parliament was the second member of the Maori Party.

        • mickysavage

          I am using the word incorrectly. I meant to say “seats that distort proportionality”.

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.2

      There may be cases where an electorate MP can be an effective voice for that electorate’s concerns, yet fail to achieve any nationwide support.

      List MPs can still be a voice for local concerns. Tracy Martin in Rodney comes to mind – I’ve seen her at local Warkworth events in support of local community events.

      But an electorate MP doesn’t voice concerns for ALL of any electorate. I live in Seymour’s electorate. He doesn’t represent my local concerns – especially not VERY local concerns. I live in an area of the Epsom electorate where there are a lot of us renters, mainly because there are a fair amount of small to mid-sized blocks of flats.

      I’m glad there are Auckland-based Lab and Green list MPs I can go to with my concerns – especially when they are human rights and humane concerns that are not necessarily reflected in majority political party views and affiliations in an area.

      • Andre 1.2.1

        Well, yeah. But those are all the results of us choosing flawed humans to represent us. They will always have their own priorities and agendas, and varying degrees of willingness to step beyond those to do the job they are elected to do.

        Maybe we should vote for AI algorithms instead. Or not.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Ah. No. It’s the result of majority votes in an electorate and of the ways list MPs work. List MPs tend to have regional affiliations as they HAVE to live somewhere.

          Basically it’s to do with representative democracy, and especially how it works under MMP.

      • dukeofurl 1.2.2

        Does Parker have an electorate office in Epsom ?

        • Carolyn_Nth

          It’s not necessary to have an electorate office in an area for a list MP to be contacted about local issues. Depending on the local issue, I would select one of the Green MPs over David Parker – most likely Genter. Parker doesn’t really focus on Auckland issues, and is too far to the right of Labour to represent my interests.

          But thanks to the MP list system, I do have a choice.

          Curiously, Paul Goldsmith locates himself in Epsom:

          His web page is headed:

          Working hard and delivering for Epsom

          I get spam from him delivered to my letter box about local issues.

          • dukeofurl

            Goldsmith has an office (taxpayer funded) in Epsom.

            Surprised you say regarding Parker -” I can go to with my concerns ”

            Seymour is making a fuss about not all list Mps with electorate offices ( Joyce and English didnt have one either as list Mps)
            I remember the situation when Prebble was leader of ACT and all its list Mps ,except Hide, had their electorate offices in the same building in Wellington.

            • alwyn

              Perhaps you can find an Electorate Office for any of the Green MPs.
              I can’t track them down.

              • dukeofurl

                They are too grand for electorate offices ! They only stand in electorates so they can boost their party election spending limits.

    • You_Fool 1.3

      I am of the opinion that electorate MPs should be independent, not party affiliated, and that their primary (and almost sole job) is to represent the local electorate. In this they shouldn’t be on the executive at all… In this Seymour almost qualifies so is ok (sweetheart backdoor deals aside)

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        That’s an interesting idea.

        What a friend of mine calls a “ponderable”.

        • Andre

          The downside shows up in places like the Auckland Council, where the groupings are a bit looser and use different names than the nationwide parties.

          It makes it a lot more work to figure out who you might want to vote for and who you definitely don’t want.

          It’s hard enough getting people to engage with democracy as it is, we really don’t want to make it harder unless there’s a really big upside to a change.

  2. roy cartland 2

    We need more representation as population increases, not less. I reckon we could consider a bit of a reduction in MP pay, or sensible tax rates, to shut the cost-saving bunch up. But reducing representation is idiotic – why wouldn’t we just have a king and be done with parties? How about David Seymore?

    • Gosman 2.1

      What do you mean by “or sensible tax rates, to shut the cost-saving bunch up.”?

      • roy cartland 2.1.1

        I expect Seymore’s only argument is that Parl costs too much, so reduce MPs to reduce costs. His hypocrisy has been acknowledged in the post, but a better way is to get MPs pay more in line with others like, as Pete says, teachers, nurses, cops. Then you could afford more reps for same money.

        • Gosman

          I presume they are on the same tax rate as everyone else earning what they earn. Unless you have evidence to the contrary?

        • Wayne

          In 1996, when I was first elected, MP’s were paid the same as Associate Professors (my previous job). Now it is about 35% more. Though in 1996 there were a lot more “perks” which have now been rolled into the salary. Even so the relative gap has increased, probably by 25%.

          • Dennis Frank

            Are you able to explain why, Wayne? My tenuous grasp of the wage-indexation principle is that it’s meant to retain parity of income in relation to inflation – sort of a social-equity retention principle.

            So why has the apparently-independent bunch of people who award parliamentarians regular increases in income not been operating in accord with this logic?

            • RedLogix

              The big difference is that in general most similarly responsible professionals have a reasonable degree of tenure/security, whereas an MP is essentially on a three year contract with no expectation of renewal.

              • Kevin

                Thats why its public service Red.

                Last thing I want is my elected representative having any sense of tenure or security in that role.

                • RedLogix

                  Exactly. You could make the argument that as a ‘public service’ MP’s should not be paid at all (or at least a minimal living wage); they should do it as a personal sacrifice. I can well visualise an ideal world in which this idea has merit, but I’m not sure anyone is seriously advocating it in the current setting.

                  I was merely suggesting that because the job as MP is essentially a short-term contract, that it’s reasonable for the pay rate to be somewhat higher than similarly responsible professions.

                  • Kevin

                    Yep, agreed.

                    I have no problem with what they are paid, i do have a problem with them taking time off, while on the tit, and doing shit like ‘Dancing with the stars’.

                  • McFlock

                    I’d index it to other service roles – fire, police, ambulance, NZDF.

                    They might have more secure employment, but they also get big physical and psychological health hazards. I don’t hear of too many politicians dealing with dead and injured as part of their job.

                    I don’t think pollies should be remunerated at a rate that basically makes the job a folly for people rich enough to afford it, but nor should they be paid so much that they lose touch with the people they’re supposed to serve.

                    And fucking ditch entourages. One PA and one security/driver should be all they get without a clear threat.

                    • RedLogix

                      Not a bad comparison McF; yet I’d suggest that if any of us were to spend a week with an actual MP, we’d be reasonably impressed at the long hours, complex workload and high degree of professionalism demanded of them.

                      Sure some MP’s fall short of expectations, many don’t shine, but most make a decent fist of it. NZ$175k looks impressive, but in the bigger scheme of things I don’t think it’s grossly excessive.

                    • McFlock

                      I suspect they should probably meet other public servants half way – i.e. teachers etc get pay rises and mps get a pay cut.

                      Don’t forget the cache many of them make with “MP” in their CV, too.

                      There are lots of people in NZ doing it tough – I don’t think multi-termers should entirely forget what that’s like.

    • Pete 2.2

      Go back to the old times where backbench MPs were paid the same as teachers and see who wants the job. Would Seymour be there?

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        Are you claiming he would be earning more money somewhere else?

        • roy cartland

          Not if the people legislating were lower paid and had an interest in taxing higher brackets. And especially unearned income.

          • Gosman

            Ummm…. right leaning MP’s would not be interested in raising taxes generally. That leaves the left leaning ones as the only group who may well be interested in raising taxes but because of personal circumstances wouldn’t put it forward. Are you claiming left leaning MP’s are not interested in representing the needs of the electorate due to personal greed?

            • roy cartland

              Sure, or at least enough of them to want to stay away from the issue, given the numbers of the right-leaning. Personal greed is not something that only afflicts the right, you know – they just don’t acknowledge it.

        • Stuart Munro

          His secondary earnings as a taxi dancer must be pretty high.

      • arkie 2.2.2


        It’s a simplistic idea but how ’bout tying MP renumeration to the median wage? That would be an incentive for all MPs to raise all workers pay.

        • Gosman

          Or perhaps the MP’s are reflecting the general view of their support base. Are you claiming right leaning voters are desperately keen for the people they vote for to raise the median wage but the people they vote for are ignoring them?

          • arkie

            No gosman I’m not claiming that, because i’m not disingenuously JAQing off. I am here to engage in political conversation, not to crop dust threads with inane, tangental hypotheticals and demand other people do all my research for me.

      • Chris T 2.2.3

        Would a lot of National and Labour MPs?

        • arkie

          Possibly not, sort the wheat from the chaff, good riddance to those only looking to line their pockets on all sides.

          • Gosman

            Ummm… you would still have the same number of MP’s from all parties. You just might not get some people who feel that they can’t make the sacrifice of a drop in income. You might well not see that as a problem but if you reduce the pool of potential MP’s you also reduce the quality of who serves. It is a given.

            • KJT

              Funny how we need high pay to get good MP’s, but Teachers are expected to do it for love.

              Originally high MP’s pay and pensions was to enable lower paid people, not just wealthy businessmen and Lawyers, to afford to be MP’s, and reduce the influence of bribery after MP’s leave Parliament, on their decisions in Parliament.

              The last thirty years, have shown how well that works.

              Can’t see any good reason, now, why our Prime Minister should be paid more than a school head Teacher.

              • Gosman

                The ACT party actually agrees with you. That is why a key policy was a 20,000 dollar a year salary increase (on average) for every teacher in the country to try and attract more talent to the profession.

                • KJT

                  Doesn’t agree with their actual stated policies.

                  Which was to cut the pay of most teachers, and pay a few “Stars” a lot.

                  Unfortunately, performance assessment, doesn’t even work in the private sector. “The Peter Principle” is correct.

                  • Gosman

                    No. ACT never stated that any teachers (let alone most) should have their pay cut. You are essentially making up stuff to try and win an argument. It is like the time you claimed the Moon was made of cheese which was eaten every week by a giant space mouse.

                    • Kevin

                      “It is like the time you claimed the Moon was made of cheese which was eaten every week by a giant space mouse.”

                      Quite possibly the most worthwhile comment you have made on here Gos. Well done 🙂

                    • KJT

                      Best you can do Gossie. Misquoting and out of context.

                      We are, however all aware that the practical effect of ACT policies, is too decrease wages and destroy infrastructure and education. As has been so neatly demonstrated in the USA.

                    • Tricledrown

                      Straw mouse argument gossipboy.
                      ACT want cheap nasty infrastructure while their supporters drive only the best cars and only live in the best suburbs.
                      Fringe politicians barking mad.

              • Blazer

                Before the rise of neo-lib nonsense a back bench M.P earned roughly the same as a teacher.
                Today the M.P earns 3 times as much.

  3. Bill 3

    Reducing the number of MPs and abolishing the Maori seats were two of the questions asked in a phone poll by Farrar’s Curia last week. So, if Seymour’s running off the back of that…

    The other questions to do with parliament that I recall were a Fixed Term Act, alongside increasing the parliamentary term to four years.

    Would be nice if someone ran with the Fixed Term idea – maybe that’s National’s bag?

    • KJT 3.1

      Fixed term, Five years? so long as we get BCIR and recall elections.

      Maori seats should be retained until, if and when, Maori decide they are unnecessary.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        Why would Maori ever decide that? Having guaranteed representation is always going to be preferred by any group. The questions that you should be asking yourself is why do Maori need guaranteed representation and if the reasons for guaranteed representation no longer matter why don’t we get rid of it?

        • Dennis Frank

          I disagree with MS that Seymour is dog-whistling on this one. If his math is correct, he’s making the valid point that Maori are currently over-represented in parliament on a proportion of the population basis.

          Doesn’t that math inform us that they have collectively proven that they are now able to get elected without the crutch that the Maori seats were designed to provide? I’ve always supported the Maori seat design, but could be Seymour has got it right. Reached their use-by date?

          • marty mars

            When Māori decide the day of these seats is over then that is the day they are over. Do you think Māori are capable of deciding this at the appropriate time?

            • Gosman

              Nope. Just as any special interest group with guaranteed representation is unlikely to vote against those rights. It would be like arguing that White only seats in South Africa should only be eliminated at the point Whites decide they don’t want them.

              • marty mars

                Luckily most people aren’t like you – you’re attitudes are minority and minor.

                Plus your argument is pathetic in the extreme – you equate Māori with white south Africans- what an idiot – you’re a dumbarse boy.

                • Gosman

                  I think it is your views that are very much in the minority. Certainly I don’t think too many people agree with the view that Maori people can’t be racist.

                  • marty mars

                    9 years and still bleating like a sheep lol no wonder you come to the left for your fix lol

                    • Gosman

                      Because you are all sheep?

                    • marty mars

                      You tell me? Is this where you get at least some intellectual discussion and humour – must be like barren wasteland intellectually on those rightie blogs – talk about boring trev.

                      Anyway you’re pretty harmless – a bit like a pet really – onya.

                    • Bewildered []

                      He has a point Marty why should a minority politically advantaged group been maori (and not all Maori that is with more Maori on general role) vote against its self interest. If the Maori seat are deemed no longer necessary based on their original reason to be and are plainly umdemocrstic and raced based they should be gone Saying that the only one who can make this decision is the minority’s who have a vested interest not to remove them does not cut muster on many levels before even considering the vast mojority of Maori have voted with their feet already

                    • McFlock

                      Because it’s doubtful that even a majority vote solely towards their self interest.

                      A hefty chunk of national voters consistently vote against their self interest, for example. Tax cuts for a bracket they aren’t in, that sort of thing.

              • KJT

                Not everyone is as lacking in principles as you, Gossie.

                I can see a day when Maori decide that they really do have equality with Pakeha, in New Zealand, and Maori seats can be dispensed with.

                Until then, I think it is those who are most disadvantaged, should decide.

            • Dennis Frank

              Yes Marty, I do. Te Tiriti binds us into a bicultural frame even more than the Treaty does. So although I’m fairly sure Brash or Seymour would say all kiwis ought to be able to decide this, I don’t agree. It terms of the Greens Charter principle of appropriate decision-making, it ought to be made by the people most affected by the consequences.

              So I’d expect the appropriate way to do it is for a pan-tribal initiative to happen. Maori folks ought to discuss the best way & reach a consensus on the method, eh? Once the collective will of Maori is known, parliament ought to enact legislation accordingly.

              • solkta

                The collective will of Maori is already known by the number who choose to stay on the Maori roll. The Maori seats would cease to exist if Maori people chose the general roll instead.

              • Gosman

                Who implemented the Maori seats in the first place? Was it Maori?

                • Tricledrown

                  Gossipboy colonial settlers shut Maori out of the Democratic process.
                  Only land owners were allowed to vote
                  Maori were mostly land owners so colonists allowed Maori only 2 seats so they would not be out voted.
                  NZs history would have been totally different.
                  But like ACT you refuse to acknowledge the real history of NZ.
                  Where Maori were denied the rights and protection’s as British citizens.
                  Conferred to them under the Treaty of Waitangi!
                  Association of Conmen and Tax dodgers!

          • Bill

            …he’s making the valid point that Maori are currently over-represented in parliament…

            Or then again, since “Treaty” and “partnership” and what not that revolves around culture, it’s reasonable to suggest that Maoridom is massively under represented and should constitute 50% of parliament.

            ‘Course, if you want to go down the “multi-cultural NZ” path, then…yeah well, have fun working that one out in terms of NZ essentially having monolithic government structure.

            Oh, I know!

            Bang on about bi-culturalism and multi-culturalism, but insist on assimilation. 😉

            • Dennis Frank

              Asians now 40% of Ak? Could be wrong but thought I heard that on the msm in the past 24 hours. Anyway regardless of the actual numbers, we can see that Aotearoa has been morphing from biculturalism into multiculturalism in the new millennium.

              So, how soon till Asian MPs start to point out in parliament that the privileged position of Maori as tangata whenua, as provided by the Treaty, effectively prevents Asians being included on an equity basis?

              If they were to launch a class action against government on the basis that the Treaty is a breach of their civil rights under the HRA, how could anyone argue against that?? If I was a constitutional law professor, this is an essay task I would give to my students.

              • Gabby

                Are they not nonMaori denny? As nonMaori are they not included along with all nonMaori?

              • McFlock

                Asian rates of negative health outcomes are generally comparable to NZEuropean/Pakeha.

                Maori and Pasific rates are usually much higher.

                How’s that for equity?

              • solkta

                The founding document of the country is the trump card. Legally speaking we are bi-cultural. If the Pakeha side wants to make “Pakeha” mean multi-cultural that is up to them, but that does not change Maori rights.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Bang on about bi-culturalism and multi-culturalism, but insist on assimilation.


              Understand that when two or more cultures intermingle they will adapt and change to the point that there is only one culture which will have bits of all the previous cultures.

              Understand that culture is just another word for a set of social rules and that we can’t have multiple sets of rules in a single nation.

              Which rules should be kept because they work best?
              Which rules should be dropped because they’re an injustice?

              • RedLogix

                I’ve posited this many times over the years, but always get shouted down because this entirely normal process is labelled ‘assimilation’.

                It also implies that identity politics isn’t an enduring fundamental, because identity itself morphs over generations … but that too is a verboten thing to say.

                And finally when NZ becomes a dominant Asian nation, what relevance will ToW have to a majority of people who were never party to it?

                • Bill

                  Nothing “normal” about colonisation Red. It’s predicated on domination, and forced assimilation in the first instance is easy enough to discern from even the most cursory glance at history.

                  Now, after the dust has settled as it were, the dominant culture insists on retaining its dominance and – well, up step Molyneux and Southern et al spouting (essentially liberal, not fascist) shit about that dominance being “natural” or “inevitable” or “grounded in science” (eugenics anyone?). And then going on about how it’s under threat from “lesser” or “undesirable” quarters – just the same old liberalism that brought us all the justifications for colonisation and enclosure and what not in the first place

                  • RedLogix

                    Absolutely colonisation is a normal part of history; it literally is almost the entire cloth from which our recorded narratives is cut. There is nothing you or I can do to re-stitch a single thread of that. Moreover cultural dominance is a usually a simple consequence of demographics. (Although to be clear, technological and military superiority can yield a short-term advantage, which is what we generally refer to when we think of the modern era European dominated ‘colonisation’ enterprise that more or less started with Spanish and ended with the Americans.)

                    Incidentally white Anglo culture is now very much a minority in a global perspective. It’s a nonsense to persist in viewing the world as some kind of white colonial enterprise. The beginning of that end came with WW2, and nearly 80 years later its well done and buried.

                    Visit any nation on earth where white people are a minority, and you will find yourself immersed in a local dominant culture that you have to adapt to. If you want to live in a Hispanic nation (as I’m doing right now), you learn Espanol or Portuguese, you chill out and learn to work with their ways because imposing your Anglo expectations on them doesn’t work. Why? Because the numerically dominant locals organise their societies in the way that suits them, that works for them best. It would be entirely odd if they did not.

                    No matter what domain of human life you examine, there is always dominance of some form. Whether within the family, your local sports club, the marae, the workplace, any arts or music scene, you name it, there is always some people with more status, accomplishment, recognition, power and authority. Properly viewed dominance is an absolutely essential and fundamental aspect of life.

                    up step Molyneux and Southern et al spouting (essentially liberal, not fascist) shit about that dominance being “natural” or “inevitable” or “grounded in science”

                    Nah … after watching the left play identity politics for 50 years, the right thought ‘we can play that game too’. Southern, Molyneaux and Brash are just doing identity politics with a different skin tone. And if you don’t think it’s pretty … well surprise yeah I totally agree with you. It’s what CV and I kept getting into shit for saying all these years.

                    • Bill

                      Absolutely colonisation is a normal part of history; it literally is almost the entire cloth from which our recorded narratives is cut.

                      Yeah, but there was nothing natural or inevitable about it – which is where my use of “normal” was going. And fewer “white faces” doesn’t alter the dominance of the culture that was set in place by European liberals. Anyhoo…

                      …watching the left play identity politics for …

                      The compassionate liberals dumped any notion of class. But then, liberalism never recognises class. That’s the beginning and end of it really. And it means that what your referring to as identity politics were elevated and also set adrift – lacking an essential component of context (and that rubs both ways btw – class analysis that ignores what you’re calling identity politics is hugely limited).

                      Look back to the original political and philosophical arguments for liberalism (as opposed to other liberatory schools of thought) , and you’ll see the same arguments and positions that Southern and Molyneux are spouting – no room for class, and all the room in the world for individualism, as long as it’s the “correct” and “superior” individuals we’re talking about.

                      And yes, it cause me no end of dark mirth that self identifying liberals get their knickers all in a twist when very basic liberalism’s being held up to them – “fascists!” they scream?!! 🙄

              • marty mars

                No that doesn’t happen. Look around at the real world and see diversity in humans in ethnicity and nature. There IS no blending – that is rubbish. Some want everyone to be the same – lol like them – they never want to go the other way though notwithstanding their overdone suntans.

                • RedLogix

                  Fair enough, as individuals humans are endlessly diverse, and culture is but one aspect of that. Even within a single monoculture people vary enormously; in a bi-cultural or multi-cultural setting the range of possibilities expands even more. The relationship between individuals and culture can be compared to the one between weather and climate, the former being highly variable and stochastic, the latter quite predictable and stable.

                  But culture (like climate) itself is not necessarily a fixed thing; it’s centre of gravity changes over time. History clearly demonstrates that when two peoples meet, it always changes both to some degree.

                  For example it’s reasonable to suggest that with the passage of generations the notions of ‘Maori and Pakeha’ as separate fixed identities will have little more relevance that say the terms ‘Saxon and Norman’ might have in modern day Britain. Yes these terms may retain a certain social cache in some circles, but the modern Briton is a diverse creature no longer exclusively Celtic nor French … but something that over centuries has blended multiple influences from all over the globe.

                  • marty mars

                    We’ve discussed this for years and we don’t and won’t agree. I really can’t be bothered doing it again because it is utterly a waste of time.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK fair enough, but you never really come out and state your view clearly. If you insist there never can be any blending of cultures, then exactly what are you left with? It seems to defy the social reality that Maori and Europeans are the most inter-married cultures in the world, and that many smoothly transition from one world to another with skill and flair. That there are almost no established families in NZ that cannot point to a strong connection across this divide you seem to insist cannot ever be bridged.

                      And if you insist that Maori culture is something sacred and set in stone, exactly what form are you going to preserve and at what date?

                      In the absence of anything of substance from you marty, I risk building mere strawmen from what I’m left grasping.

                    • marty mars

                      Fuck you. You don’t get it and then blame me. It’s because you are a bigot red quite simple really. You dont get to try and shame me you wanker. Stop replying to me- I think you’re a fake from top to bottom start to finish.

                    • greywarshark

                      When Maori on a 90% basis of all over 15 want to drop the Maori Roll then that is their decision. Until then it will be a favourite of the old privileged white brigade that can be viewed as seeking more advantage and shrinking and slinking back from the future.

                    • RedLogix


                      WTF? Are you trying to provoke me into giving you the kind of malicious, sneering shit that you’ve routinely dished out to me for years?

                      You can’t even be consistent on your own terms. You asked me to stop replying to you over a month ago, and I’ve obliged by not doing so. But then YOU broke that implicit agreement and replied to me above. Unless you want to insist that only YOU have the right to speak to me, and I do not … then you only have yourself to blame for yet another acrimonious little exchange.

                      On the other hand I have to accept responsibility for imagining there was anything more to you than empty posturing for ill-effect. I’ll go back to not responding.

                    • marty mars

                      I replyed to draco not you.

                      I’m happy to leave it. We all make mistakes and i wondered wtf you were up to. No trust you see. I only want good things for you and I don’t want anything else. Apart from zero interaction please.

                    • RedLogix


                      Well I guess I owe you an apology on that count.

                    • marty mars

                      yeah you do

                      but don’t worry because your abuse is worse and I don’t expect you to own that or apologise.

                      I’ve said my piece to you now I just want you to leave me alone.

                  • McFlock

                    I suspect that part of the disagreement is that “assimilation” and “blending” can be different things.

                    Scifi can help us: I think people like S&M were looking more for “blending” in the way of 1960s-1970s scifi: maybe some of current-day western “minorities”, but everyone spoke US/RP english and were pretty similar.

                    Then there’s Blade Runner “blending”: polyglot languages and cultures and subcultures, all retaining their sense of self, but largely functioning as a society.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Very subtle point you got there. Made me realise that assimilation to me is based on how it worked well after WWII & produced the multiculture I grew up into.

                      That Bladerunner culture, Mad Max etc scifi scenario has trended into reality somewhat, eh? In terms of human relations, much more superficial but if that’s what the zeitgeist delivers, gotta go with it.

                      Then again, perhaps hobbit culture will ultimately anchor pakeha close to the ground despite all them space war fantasies the yanks keep bombarding us with…

                    • RedLogix


                      And just to make it even more complex, each person over a lifetime may well try on quite a few sub-cultural identities for size.

                    • McFlock

                      I was thinking more of the culture not the other aspects of it (haven’t seen BR2049 yet. Will get around to it some day). I’m not sure how superficial their relationships actually were compared to today or even what I gather of the 1950s.

                      But the thing is that nobody was particularly fazed by the myriad of languages or food (I’m fat. I judge a society by its food lol). Maybe black and white were ganging up on silicon, but it was more attractive to me than a homogeneous society.

                      edit: and an old line is whether you prefer a blended meal or a salad 🙂

                • Draco T Bastard

                  There IS no blending – that is rubbish.

                  Of course there’s blending. It cannot be any other way.

                  We see it happening all around us if we bother to look. How many people in NZ now will know which mountain you’re talking about if you mentioned Mt Egmont?

                  When a person comes into contact with another culture it is impossible for them not to be influenced by it.

              • Bill

                What do you mean “nope”?!

                It’s the default position, unthinkingly adopted by far too many people.

                If, as you suggest, New Zealand was the product of two cultures intermingling and mutually adapting, then current day New Zealand would not have been a place I could have waltzed into without any culture shock whatsoever (as was the case).

                New Zealand is the product of the “greater” more or less consuming the “lesser” – very much in line with all colonial projects everywhere – at least, in instances where the “lesser” hasn’t been obliterated altogether.

                I don’t have time today, but banned languages, one culture’s idea of law, one culture’s racist projections onto the other, one culture forcing it’s “world view” on the other…you reckon that’s all some happy hand holdy process of “intermingling and mutual adaptation”?!

                I’d say it’s quite amazing that Maori culture exists to the extent it does given the history of European settlement.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  If, as you suggest, New Zealand was the product of two cultures intermingling and mutually adapting, then current day New Zealand would not have been a place I could have waltzed into without any culture shock whatsoever (as was the case).

                  I said that they adapt – I didn’t say that they did it equally.

                  And Māori culture is becoming resurgent as we learn that English capitalist culture is pretty much a failure. We’re looking for better options and we’re finding a lot of them in Māori culture to a large extent.

                  I’d say it’s quite amazing that Maori culture exists to the extent it does given the history of European settlement.

                  True. Testament to its resilience and its adaptation to changed circumstances.

                  • marty mars

                    Lol yeah as long as it isn’t appropriation or misappropriation to be accurate. Too many think they have a right to cultural aspects of Māori just because they live in the land of indigenous Māori. Weird.

                    • Gabby

                      Not the same too many who resent having Maori culture rammed down their throats marty.

                    • marty mars

                      yeah – luckily we have many modes of transport for people to leave if they don’t like it.

                    • McFlock

                      Not the same too many who resent having Maori culture rammed down their throats

                      mmmm hāngi mmmm

              • solkta

                Understand that culture is just another word for a set of social rules

                Ummm, no, “laws” is another name for rules. Culture is something different again.

                You sound like Margaret Thatcher when she said that there was no society only boroughs.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Ummm, no, “laws” is another name for rules. Culture is something different again.


                  We’ve been told that Māori culture doesn’t allow women to sit at the front at huis or whatever. That is a rule.

                  This applies across many points that have been described as ‘culture’. About the only place where culture isn’t a rule is in artistry.

                  • McFlock

                    But there are many cultural things that aren’t rules.

                    Dialect (“on Ickly Moor bar t’at”).
                    Some humour.
                    Things that bind identity – costume, national treasures, treasured literary works.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I did say artistry.

                      Things that bind identity – costume, national treasures, treasured literary works.

                      Does that mean that I’m USian because I watch US movies?
                      Or Japanese because I watch Japanese anime?
                      Or English because I actually have read LoTR?

                      Or am I simply a NZer because I, like everyone else, refer to Mt Egmont as Taranaki?

                      Those things that bind us together are the things that we have in common. They are of both Māori and English extraction now and will, at some point in the future, have those things that are of Asian extraction as well.

                      And at the base of it all will be one set of rules that those things revolve around and those rules will change as we learn more which will lead to changes in other aspects of the overall culture.

                    • McFlock

                      It means that your NZ subculture has elements of other cultures.

                      But the “artistry” (and I’m not sure things like dialect or even some cooking come into that) is the bulk of a culture. Social rules on whether to shake hands or bow or personal space, I believe, comprise less of it.

                      But just because your subculture has some elements of another culture, it doesn’t mean that you are necessarily of that culture. Just that your subculture has some elements in common with another culture.

                      I’m not sure there’s any such thing as being “simply a NZer”. Sure, it’s handy for passports and mass media, but I suggest that, for example, Brash is culturally closer to a number of rich Aussies than most high-deprivation NZers.

                  • solkta

                    That’s an incredibly ignorant answer. Culture is mostly language and concepts and how a group sharing those understand and make sense of the world around them. You are responding at a primary school level.

            • KJT

              I think my grand children will assimilate themselves. Being comfortable in two or three different cultural settings, they will take want they want and need, from each.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Doesn’t that math inform us that they have collectively proven that they are now able to get elected without the crutch that the Maori seats were designed to provide?

            This is a misunderstanding of why the Māori seats were implemented.

            The Māori seats were implemented because the voting system at the time only allowed males that owned land to vote but Māori didn’t own land as it was held collectively. This meant that Māori couldn’t vote at all.

            With the advent of Universal Suffrage in 1893 the Māori seats became an anachronism that should have been phased out a century ago. With the advent of proportional representation there’s an even bigger reason to remove them as individuals can definitely vote for those that they think best represents them.

            • Dennis Frank

              Thanks DTB. I forgot that.

            • marty mars

              No there is a lot more to it than that and you know it bastard. Once again YOUR way or the highway – sorry it ain’t going to happen – there are other choices.

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, there really isn’t.

                This diversity has indeed come predominantly from party lists (see figure 2 below). Under MMP more women and Māori have been elected to Parliament, the majority as list MPs despite there being more electorate MPs overall. Of all MPs elected to Parliament from party lists, 43% have been women. By contrast, only 24% of MPs elected from electorates have been women. More Māori are elected from party lists than electorates, even with the existence of the Māori seats. That
                is, 21% of all list MPs have identified as Māori compared with 14% of all electorate MPs – Māori and general electorates.

                So even having Māori electorates didn’t do much for Māori representation while having MMP did.

                I just want the way that provides the best democracy rather than the best dictatorship that money can buy.

                • marty mars

                  I say again there is more to it than what you are presenting and you are presenting your position well – maybe act or nzfirst could get a call from you.

            • solkta

              You left out the bit about how the Treaty was not honoured and Maori had their Tino rangatiratanga stripped from them.

    • Chris T 3.2

      Forgive my ignorance but what do they mean by Fixed Term Act?

      I was under the impression that was a British thing that was just getting rid of some archaic law saying the Queen/King can dissolve parliament and changing it to they can’t and it dissolving every 5 years (unless there is a forced election)

      If it’s listed amongst those other questions, does it mean something else here?

      • Bill 3.2.1

        It means that a 3/4 majority of MPs need to vote to dissolve parliament if the fixed term is not to run its course.

        It means that a budget which does not pass does not result in new elections.

        It means an end to that horse trading that takes place in the formation of coalition governments.

        It means smaller parties can stay true to their principles and not become mere adjuncts to larger parties.

        Here’s a wiki link to the UK legislation and here’s a previous post done on it from a NZ perspective.

        • Chris T


        • dukeofurl

          You missed out the second bit where a vote of no confidence does lead to an
          early election.
          “If the House of Commons resolves “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”, an early general election is held.

          A budget that doesnt pass is a no confidence vote.

          For the UK all they removed was the PMs ability to call an election on their own bat, usually for political advantage, even in an election year the timing was in the PMs gift.

          • Bill

            You’ve got it wrong.

            The vote of no confidence requires (in the UK instance) a 3/4 majority.

            A budget that doesn’t pass simply gets jigged and altered until it garners the support of +50%. (Example being the SNP minority government in Holyrood a few years back, also operating under a Fixed Term regime.)

            • dukeofurl

              The wiki item you link to gives the 2 separate instances

              1) if a no confidence vote is lost ( no mention of the numbers)
              2) If 2/3 of the commons votes for an early election.

              Why have 2 instances if they are the same thing ? Thats because they arent. A no confidence motion is well understood to be a pass or fail situation, not requiring a super majority.

              We saw the maneuverings about losing a possible confidence vote after the last election. The DUP wouldnt agree till the last minute to have support in place so that the Tories postponed the official opening until they had cast iron guarantees from the DUP ( difficult enough in ordinary times).

              The US system of course doesnt have early elections for the whole congress under any circumstances , nor does it have a no confidence votes, Even when they have stalemates for the budget.

              • Bill

                When an election is held and a party attempts to form government, there’s a vote.

                If that vote is less than 50%, then another party can try to get 50% + and form government.

                Obviously, any vote of less than 50% for a party attempting to form government is “a vote of no confidence”.

                There is then 14 days, during which time parliament must vote in a government or face new elections. (That was the DUP malarkey and is explained in the subsection 3 stuff I’ve pasted below)

                Once a party of government has been secured the 50%+ of parliament, it takes 2/3rds of parliament voting to end their governance and usher new elections.

                Here’s the couple of clauses that comprise the “meat” of the Act. It’s not complex.

                Dissolution of Parliament
                (1)The Parliament then in existence dissolves at the beginning of the 17th working day before the polling day for the next parliamentary general election as determined under section 1 or appointed under section 2(7).
                (2)Parliament cannot otherwise be dissolved.

                Here is the entire section relating to “Early Parliamentary Elections”

                Early parliamentary general elections
                (1)An early parliamentary general election is to take place if—
                (a)the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in subsection (2), and
                (b)if the motion is passed on a division, the number of members who vote in favour of the motion is a number equal to or greater than two thirds of the number of seats in the House (including vacant seats).
                (2)The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) is—
                “That there shall be an early parliamentary general election.”

                (3)An early parliamentary general election is also to take place if—
                (a)the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in subsection (4), and
                (b)the period of 14 days after the day on which that motion is passed ends without the House passing a motion in the form set out in subsection (5).
                (4)The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(a) is—
                “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”

                (5)The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(b) is—
                “That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”

                (6)Subsection (7) applies for the purposes of the Timetable in rule 1 in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983.
                (7)If a parliamentary general election is to take place as provided for by subsection (1) or (3), the polling day for the election is to be the day appointed by Her Majesty by proclamation on the recommendation of the Prime Minister (and, accordingly, the appointed day replaces the day which would otherwise have been the polling day for the next election determined under section 1).

        • Draco T Bastard

          To be quite honest. I’d really hate to have that.

          Having the date fixed unless the government fails would work but we don’t want to continue on with a failed government.

          • alwyn

            “we don’t want to continue on with a failed government.”.
            But I thought you were quite happy with the current ship of fools in the Beehive? Apparently you aren’t.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The current government hasn’t failed. It can still pass its policies.

              • alwyn

                Ah. Clearly your definition of failed is a great deal more specific that is mine. By your definition Neville Chamberlain’s Government never actually failed, did it?
                After all he retained a majority of 81 after the “Norway debate”. It was well down on his normal majority of 200 but he still won the vote.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The problem is that your definition of failed is Is not National or Act or any other RWNJ party.

        • te reo putake

          A two thirds majority (not 75%) is required to call a fresh election, Bill. 2/3rds is roughly 430 MP’s.

          Alternatively, the Government of the day falls if there is a successful vote of no confidence passed by a simple majority (half the sitting house, plus one vote*).

          It’s been speculated that the latter is most likely to happen when a Government deliberately brings itself down to trigger a snap election, defeating the point of the fixed term Act.

          *as Sinn Fein don’t take their seats, ‘half’ of the 650 MP’s is actually around 322 MP’s, not 325. Currently, the opposition (Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens) muster 310 votes. There are a handful of independents as well. The Tory/DUP coalition have 325 seats.

          • Bill

            Yup, doing things from memory. So 2/3rds. (Or whatever threshold any given country’s parliament would set)

            But you “alternatively” isn’t a thing.

            The Act specifies that early elections can be held only:

            if a motion for an early general election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the whole House or without division; or
            if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the Commons within 14 days.

            So, for example, a budget that fails to get 50%+ endorsement does not lead to the fall of a government or new elections. All that happens (the example being from when the SNP formed a minority government) is that the party of government has to go back to the drawing board and come up with something that gets 50%+

            • te reo putake

              My ‘alternatively’ is covered in the bit of the Act you quoted, Bill:

              “or, if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the Commons within 14 days.”

              It’s not automatically a new election, but the Government does end. If some new governing arrangement can’t be put together in 14 days, then there is an early election. Looking at the current UK Parliament, there doesn’t seem to be any chance of a Labour led government getting up if the Tories collapse, so they’d be off to the polls.

              • Bill

                That only applies in the period after an election and before a party assumes the role of government.

                Once a government is in place, it needs 2/3rds to dissolve parliament.

    • dukeofurl 3.3

      Curia doing a phone poll for ACT ?

      I thought there was ‘no other parties’ rule of Farrars ? It seems to be more than Curia as well as you cant be sure one parties results dont ‘leak over’ to another party if are ‘working for both’ ?

  4. Puckish Rogue 4

    “that ACT will seek to reduce the number of MPs to 100 ”

    If nothing else thats not a bad idea at all

  5. greywarshark 5

    I am sure that someone else has referred to Seymour’s likeness to Rimmer from Red Dwarf. Seymour has even the same mannerisms. After seeing him dancing are loopy people really saying ‘We want to see more of him’?

    • Gosman 5.1

      This is the David Seymour equivalent of Godwin’s law. Any internet discussion involving David Seymour will eventually include a reference to Red Dwarf by some pillock who thinks they are the first to ever bring up the likeness between one of the main characters and David Seymour. Congrats, you are that pillock.

      • solkta 5.1.1

        Yes, but its still funny after all these years. As greywarshark says, he no just look alike.

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.2

        Greywarshark clearly stated that he didn’t believe himself the first to notice the similarity:
        “I am sure that someone else has referred to Seymour’s likeness to Rimmer from Red Dwarf.”
        Your slighting him, “you are that pillock.”, for his comment based on your expressed criteria,
        “Any internet discussion involving David Seymour will eventually include a reference to Red Dwarf by some pillock who thinks they are the first to ever bring up the likeness between one of the main characters and David Seymour.”, should now be followed by an apology, Imo.

        • Gosman

          Then he’s a bigger pillock for raising an irrelevancy when he knows someone else has already made the comparison in the past.

          • Robert Guyton

            It’s not an irrelevancy at all and any new readers here might enjoy having their attention drawn to the hilarious likeness. Calling greywarshark a pillock, then doubling down, Judith Collins’ style by calling him an even bigger pillock makes you look ungenerous, to say the least; crotchety would be a better descriptor, perhaps, or frost-bitten maybe; churlish, snippy, intemperate, snarly, pinched, I don’t know…bilious?

            • Gosman

              Considering the whole “David Seymour looks like a character from a UK television show” is infantile I’m quite happy that my response is keeping with the appropriate level of the discussion.

              • solkta

                FUNNY, the concept you try to grasp is funny. If you don’t understand humour it is very hard to learn.

                • Gosman

                  Nice you think my response is funny.

                  • solkta

                    No, i don’t think it is funny that you don’t have a sense of humour. That is no laughing matter. Keep trying though.

                    • marty mars

                      Ive noticed over the years that almost without fail rwnjs have no sense of humour. It is a good indicator imo – no sense of humour = no leftie.

                    • McFlock

                      Once gos figures out human mannerisms, abstract expressions and humour, it will know enough to begin replacing hu-mons with mechanical clones

                    • RedLogix


                      I recall CV pointing out something similar a ways back; that personality types who respond strongly to disgust (an important evolved limbic response to protect from dangerous pathogens), are strongly predictive of a right wing political viewpoint. People who are strongly orderly, who place a strong weighting on rules or boundaries are expressing a similar trait.

                      There is way more to all of this than we generally give credit to; indeed the diversity of fundamental personality types seems to be a crucial component of our success as a species. Or to put it simply; it really does take all types.

            • Stunned Mullet

              Quite right Robert calling Greywarshark a pillock is quite ungenerous.

              I’m of the opinion that, like you, Greywarshark is more correctly described as a disingenuous cunt.

              • Robert Guyton

                ACT fanboy, are you, Stunned? There are so few of you, yet you create a lot of fire and brimstone!

              • Robert Guyton

                And btw, “disingenuous” is a bit offensive! Tone it down, for the sake of those delicate souls who like to browse these pages looking for inspiration.

        • greywarshark

          Good to see you Robert G. Firing on all cylinders. Spring coming on down there I should think. Christmas….?

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.3

        “This is the David Seymour equivalent of Godwin’s law”
        You seem , Gosman, to be somehow equating David Seymour with Adolph Hitler – surely that’s a step too far and much, much worse than likening the dancing fool to Rimmer???

    • KJT 5.2

      That is why I am all for “freedom of Speech” for nut jobs like Seymour and Brash. The more they open their mouths…………..

      If Brash had kept his mouth shut, he may have been Prime Minister by now. Horrifying thought!

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        I get the feeling that Putin is very closed mouth, his photos indicate that.
        I think he thinks and notices a lot. That might be why he hasn’t been toppled yet.

        The wise old owl sat on an oak.
        The more he saw the less he spoke.
        The less he spoke the more he heard.
        Why don’t we copy that wise old bird.

  6. Anne 6

    I note that all the ACT originals have long since left the sinking ship including Roger Douglas who was reported to have said last year he was hoping a Labour-led government would be elected. The one exception is Rodney Hide but since he’s always been a stickler for punishment that’s not surprising.

    • Gosman 6.1

      Ummm… where is your evidence Roger Douglas ever stated that?

      • Anne 6.1.1

        Oh shut up. You asked me that once before. Sure it was you.

        It…was… reported… in…a … news… item…a…few… months… before… the… election.

        Got it?

        I don’t know which news site now, but It must have been seen by others. As I said before, don’t be lazy and go hunt for it yourself.

        • Gosman



        • Gosman

          Do you have a problem understanding the concept of burden of proof Anne?

          • Robert Guyton

            Gosman – did you ever provide proof that you were supportive of the publication of The Hollow Men and Dirty Politics, as you claimed recently?

            • Gosman

              No, I think the question was did I object to Nicky Hager publishing those books not that I was supportive of them. I have never been hugely supportive of Nicky Hagers literary efforts. I did state I had no objection to him writing them at the time. Given the evidence of this no objection would be me providing you with nothing you have your evidence. If you think I did object then find the objection and post if here and make a liar out of me.

              • Robert Guyton

                I’m not thinking you are a liar, I’m asking you to provide evidence to support your claim, just as you have asked Anne. I suppose you posted comments somewhere at the times the books were in the news and doubtless your views will support your claim.

                • Gosman

                  I have. I have provided you with evidence that I did not object to Nicky Hager publishing his books. You have it above but I will repeat it in the following line immediately below this one:

                  Happy now?

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Aside from your self-assessment, no, you haven’t, but I don’t mind; now I can decide for myself , based on the comments I have read from you, whether you would have whined and grizzled about Nicky Hager and his books at the time they and he were in the news.

          • Anne

            Gosman do you have a problem understanding that a year down the track it is not uncommon to recall something but not able to remember where you saw it?

            You are in luck by dear chap. Took a while but I have remembered. It was a soundbite on a TV news item either One News or Newshub. Douglas was approached and asked to comment on the up-coming election. It may have been when Andrew Little was still leader. He said he was “hoping for a Labour led government” and that’s all he said. I expect he gave an explanation but it wasn’t included in the item.

            I haven’t seen Roger in years but I once knew him quite well. He’s not the ogre some paint him to be. Sure, he fell for the neoliberal line and believed in the “trickle-down theory” but time has proven that theory to be bullshit.

            He is not devoid of empathy for those at the bottom of the heap ( he comes from a well known Labour family and his father was a long serving Labour MP) and I expect his reasoning was: it’s time for the less well off to get a share of the cake and Labour is the only political party that will do it.

            How about an apology for inferring that I was lying.

            • Gosman

              LOL! you have still not provided any evidence. You’ve just rephrased your view that he stated what you claimed he stated with more unverifiable information added for effect.

              • McFlock


                At least Anne’s opinions and recollections are most likely honest and delivered in good faith.

                Unlike yours.

              • RedLogix

                Over many years I’ve never had reason to think Anne has been anything other than 100% authentic and sincere. While you may well snipe at the lack of a linky to prove the point, I’d suggest it more gracious to accept her recollection on good faith.

                • Anne

                  While your’e here Redlogix could I ask a favour of you?

                  Early this year you linked to a brilliant weather prognosis chart for the South West Pacific during a period of intense cyclonic activity. I like to keep my hand in and do a bit of analysis for my own use and that chart was exceptional.

                  I’ve lost the link address. Could you advise me where I could easily find it? Thanks.

                • Ed

                  Gooseman spends a fair percentage of his time on this site asking people to complete research for him.

                  • RedLogix

                    It’s not an unreasonable gambit; asking people to backup their assertions is fair game if it’s contentious enough. Although I agree the Gos does overegg it from time to time.

                    Equally it can be said that a lot of the pointless abuse that’s heaped on him is unjustified, so it’s far from one way traffic.

              • Give it a rest, Gosman. Anne’s reckons are preferable to your trolling any day. If she said she heard it, she heard it.

                Anne has mana and credibility.

                You? Not so much.

  7. One Two 7

    How many years is it since the same ‘proposal’ was voiced?

    99 MPs was the reduced target number, as I recall…

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      Would make it nice and simple and thats never a bad thing

      • Carolyn_Nth 7.1.1

        But reducing the number of MPs concentrates power in fewer hands – never a good thing – especially as we don’t have an upper house to act as a check on abuses of power.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Hmm good point, I hadn’t considered that

        • Robert Guyton

          Pucky would like to see just the one politician, Judith Collins, deciding our shared fates. As I’ve said before, Kali.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Well you’re not wrong there, in fact I just watched a bit of a tv series based on Judes life. Pretty good I thought, the actress wasn’t quite as physically attractive as Jude (but then who is) but she did a good a job as could be expected

            Interestingly enough the actor they cast for me (the older blond guy) is a pretty good representation

            *Just in case anyone is scared of boobies there’s some boobies shown*

            Here’s a small clip:


            • marty mars

              Your stuff is creepy not funny – just saying in case you thought you were funny. Objectification is so last century.

        • Chris T

          This is true, but it is a bit of a push to say most of the list MPs in parliament have any actual power short of rocking up to the house for 3 days a week to yell “Aye!” or “No!” a few times and even that is a pointless job as it always goes to a party vote

        • Draco T Bastard

          Upper Houses don’t act as a check on abuses of power but certainly assist in them when both houses are held by the same party.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        Perhaps people who need smple are not adequately gifted enough to vote?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Anyone can make things more complicated, it takes real brains to make complicated things more simple

    • bwaghorn 7.2

      With our sky rocketing population the No of mps to residents is reducing every year ,if we cut the no of mmp mps we have maybe we should create more electorates

    • alwyn 7.3

      Tsar Winston promised that there would be a binding referendum on getting rid of the Maori seats just one year ago.
      He also promised that the number of MPs would be reduced to 100.

      As he told his Party Conference.
      “At his party’s annual convention in Auckland, Mr Peters said he pledged a mid-term binding referendum on whether to abolish the seven seats, if the party was part of the next government. Voters would also decide whether to reduce the number of MPs in Parliament to 100.”

      Like all his other promises the drunken dwarf has forgotten about it.

      The referendum you were talking about was held at the time of the 1999 election. There was an overwhelming majority in favour of cutting the number of MPs from 120 to 99 with 81.47% voting in favour.
      The Turkeys in the house at the time naturally refused to vote for an early Christmas and refused to take any notice of the people’s views.

  8. AB 8

    Bridges should walk away from ACT.
    Stand up and say in his best soimon-speak: “Under my leadership National will never be an extremist party or support extremists. We are ending the Epsom arrangement”
    Purging ACT in this way may open National up to having new friends – at the moment their only friend is the crazy kid who tries to blow up the chemistry lab and push the disabled students under buses.
    It would also have the benefit of throwing the gauntlet down to Judith.

    • Chris T 8.1

      Are you saying Labour shouldn’t have gone with Winston, because up until the election they were his policies as well?

    • Dennis Frank 8.2

      Nah, gauntlet would send the wrong message. His signal was on Q+A last night: he declared that her tweeting fake news “isn’t a hanging offence”.

      Reassuring her that he’s not gonna call for the return of capital punishment (& that particular form for fake news tweeting), plus letting everyone know he’s a cool dude who uses emotional intelligence to keep his female colleagues in line.

  9. jpwood 10

    Fact check (or is that Actcheck)
    On the proposition that reducing the number of MP’s will bring New Zealand in line with other developed countries. On the assumption that this means other western democracies, and making a comparison with similar sized countries this is where New Zealand sits:
    pop seats people per seat
    Finland 5,503,132 200 27,515
    Slovakia 5,444,218 150 36,294
    Norway 5,254,694 169 31,092
    Ireland 4,726,078 218 21,679
    NZ 4,660,833 151 30,866
    Croatia 4,213,265 151 27,902

    So currently in no way lower per person representation than with comparable countries and if anything tending to the higher end. If Parliament was reduced to 100 MP’s then we would have a person per seat of 46,608, which is demonstrably out of kilter with comparable developed countries.

    Proposition: FALSE

  10. peterlepaysan 11

    A few more overhangs may well be a good thing. Reducing the 5% threshold would be a start. It could encourage various vexed party supporters to emerge and voters would have a better view of candidates and parties.

    2% seems like a good place to start. The Maori, Cannabis, Morgan, ACT etc parties could all have a shot at influencing govt actions.

    The real key though is neutral party funding. Without that there is no democracy.

  11. corodale 13

    Or bring back a small but progressive Upper House?

    Intellectual folk, to rubber stamp bills and give sustainability reporting, with Maori representation. Could also tidy up issues regarding Attorney and Governor General powers.

    But guess an Upper House is too old/new/complex for the public to grasp. And money-power would intervene and corrupt the detail anyway.

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