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The face of asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, December 12th, 2011 - 151 comments
Categories: assets - Tags:

Now the Maori Party are off the hook for voting for asset sales, John Key’s government needs Peter Dunne if it is to sell out assets.

As the Greens point out, Dunne has no mandate for asset sales as he did not campaign on the issue.

If he had, I suspect he’d have lost Ohariu. It’s likely he’ll go down in history as the man that sold our assets.

One thing’s for sure though – his role in this fiasco means he’ll not be back next term.

151 comments on “The face of asset sales”

  1. lprent 1

    Yep, the theme of the billboard campaign for Ohariu is going to be pretty straight forward to select. It isn’t even going to be a confidence vote, so he will be clearly supporting something he didn’t campaign for.

    • kriswgtn 1.1

      I remember Dunne saying UF were against Asset sales on leaders debate

      Following day jokeyhen was on tv saying Dunne would do as hes told basically

      and sure enough its all in the wording eh

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        I seem to recall Dunne campaigning against asset sales too. Or maybe he was against asset sales up until election night, when he became in favour of them and certain baubles?

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          I suggest a renewed anti-asset sales campaign in Dunne’s electorate. Nothing like a couple of hundred letters from annoyed constituents to change an elected representative’s mind.

          Yes, Dunne now has the power to leave a lasting legacy of good in NZ.

      • Hilary 1.1.2

        I remember that clearly, and also in local meetings. He probably had his fingers crossed when he said that on the TV debate- or had some little unspoken brackets in his head (unless John Key tells me to).

    • mikesh 1.2

      I remember him saying on TV that the only asset sales he was opposed to were water and Kiwibank.He didn’t seem to be opposed to selling power companies.

  2. Count down for the appearance of Petey George.  Counting 3, 2, 1 ,,,

    • Dunne has been consistent on asset sales – United Future had no policies to sell assets but made the point that the most supported party had a right to progress it’s key policies.

      UF made it clear what it’s bottom lines were on asset sales, and it was also clear that it wasn’t strongly opposed to partial sales of some assets. I’ve got no problem with the party position on this.

      Personally I’ve also got no problem if we do part sell some assets (nor do I mimd if we don’t). I’d be quite happy if my Kiwisaver fund invested in power companies.

      I recall a Herald poll on asset sales that gave a number of options – and partial sales of some assets was the best supported. I think while in general the public is against ASSET SALES it’s not strongly opposed to, or mildly accepts, some part sales of a few assets.

      • kriswgtn 2.1.1

        Dunne said on TV on the minor parties leaders debate

        THAT UF WERE OPPOSED to any asset sales

        fool

        • Pete George 2.1.1.1

          Can you prove that? I don’t think that’s what he said.

          • kriswgtn 2.1.1.1.1

            Can you prove he didnt>>/? I know what I saw fool

            • Frida 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I recall him saying that too Kris, on the TVNZ minor leaders’ debate. Surely someone can find a link?

            • Pete George 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I think you’re only fooling yourself.

              Dunne says we need a conversation that is more detailed rather than just saying yes or no on the sales.

              “We need a conversation that is more detailed and drills down into what New Zealanders really think are acceptable bottom lines,” he said.

              http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/dunne-calls-debate-over-asset-sales-4458237

              Peter Dunne has been consistent with that approach to asset sales. It should and will be debated more over the next year or two, hopefully to more than a superficial ideological level.

              • The Voice of Reason

                Er, what does any of Dunne’s vacuous shite mean, Pete? The bottom line is that we Kiwis are opposed to asset sales by a clear majority and Dunne has just tried to have a bob each way in public, while stitching us all up in private.

                The post is dead right; Peter Dunne is the true face of asset sales. He’s like the kid in the crowd watching a schoolyard fight; ‘I tried to make them stop, but they wouldn’t, and they’re much bigger than me, so I thought the next best thing was to film it and put it on youtube. Don’t blame me, I’m just the innocent bystander’

              • So, is Dunne insisting that that “conversation” be had before he supports the sell-off of power SOE shares? Is it part of the agreement with National? 

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        What a load of quisling bullshit. “The most supported party had a right to progress…” Only treachery, or intravenous injections of stupid can explain this shite.

      • Half Crown Millionare 2.1.3

        I would say that is having a bob each way.
        Lets face it, the prick would agree with anything by any party providing he got his arse on a cabinet seat. United should be renamed ” I agree with anything by any party providing I have got my arse on a cabinet seat Dung” party.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.4

        “I’d be quite happy if my Kiwisaver fund invested in power companies.”

        Of course, that same dividend revenue would have been going into the government pot to pay for superannuation now, and in the future by making contributions to the superannuation fund.

        Now instead it’s going to go into some people’s kiwisavers accounts. Too bad if you don’t have one.

  3. burt 3

    Isn’t this where National say: We won you lost – eat that….

    • Galeandra 3.1

      Isn’t this where National say: We won you lost – eat that…

      Not quite.

      Try: Isn’t this where National say: We won NZ lost – eat that….

    • seeker 3.2

      burt- shouldn’t you be saying to the poor and vulnerable of the country: national won you lost,eat that. – now how does that feel you big ‘national’ man you?

  4. Gosman 4

    The disdain for the democratic process by members of the left is a wonder to behold. You just can’t accept that more people voted for the National party than the left. It is quite simple. Peter Dunne made clear that he would support a National led government after the election and National made clear that partial asset sales was the thecornerstone of their policy for the next term.

    • ropata 4.1

      i agree, democracy is not about freedom of speech it is about obedience to john key

      it was very unpatriotic of fifty thousand people to walk down queen st protesting against mining national parks

      never mind numerous polls that show 70-80% opposition to asset sales

      we all know jkey has a mandate to do whatever the fuck he wants

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        “we all know jkey has a mandate to do whatever the fuck he wants”

        A more moronic statement by a lefty would be hard to find even on this site.

        The National party only campaigned on a few key policies during the last election but the main one was the partial sale of equity in certain SOE’s. They won the election and have been able to form a Government. Labour, which campaigned strongly against National’s proposal lost quite badly. That is a democratic mandate.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Oh as a champion of democracy, you would support a democratic referendum on asset sales then! Excellent!

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1

            We did. It was called the election. The National party got enough support to form the government and push through it’s policies it campaigned on.

            Would you prefer a situation where Governments are elected and then have to subject key policies they wish to promote to referendum? Interesting concept. I wonder if the Labour Party would agree to doing that with such policies as raising the age of eligibility for Superannuation or extending working for families credit to non-working families if they win the right to form the government at the next election.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              You have the wrong thread Gosman. This one is not about the policies National campaigned on, it is about the United Future campaign policy where it said they were opposed to asset sales.

              Now UF may well be a vanity party comprising one MP, but that doesn’t make them exempt from holding them to account for saying one thing before the election, and doing pretty much the exact opposite afterwards.

            • Reality Bytes 4.1.1.1.1.2

              I don’t think it’s possible to decide all the mandates for major issues based on a single election once every 3 years… it would be a shame to simplify it all down to a single democratic event to represent us on all the major issues.
              Let’s be realistic, most kiwis don’t support Nat’s ‘Asset sales will save us all plan’, including a lot of Nat voters, but that wasn’t enough to sway them.
              I do not know a single Nat supporter that supports asset sales, and yet I know plenty of Nat supporters. The Asset sales were the biggest threat to the Nats losing the the election.

              We had a referendum on the anti-smacking laws, which was ignored. So why can’t we have a referendum regarding asset sales?

              I’m more than happy for a hundred million or so to be earmarked for enhancing democracy and allowing for a few referendums (in reality it should be way cheaper because of the Internet).

              Why should any party with the best intentions not support that even if they oppose the results. They can explain why they think their way is better and take their chances come next election, or they can respond and adapt to the will of the people. But either way in the meantime we get a realistic view on how we feel as a nation about important issues, and not how some low-brow half-baked biased tiny-sample media story guesses how we should feel.

        • mikesh 4.1.1.2

          There are only sixty seats out of 121 favouring asset sales if you exclude Peter Dunne, who appears to be neutral and is only supportive for the sake of his coalition agreement. Hardly a mandate.

          • Sweetd 4.1.1.2.1

            mandate. shamdate. Nats el al are in govt, left is not. You want to do something about it, get more people to vote for you next time.

            • Gosman 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Apparently it isn’t a mandate because the lefties disagree with the Government. It is only a mandate if they agree with the policies and they are implemented by a left leaning Government.

              • RedLogix

                When Labour was in power until 2008 you were all over this blog attacking things that they were doing. Arrogance some?

                • Gosman

                  That statement is completely without merit.

                  • RedLogix

                    Then so is your whining about the left attacking policies of a National government.

                    • Gosman

                      I only had a couple of issues with the last Labour led government. Much of their economic policies were quite sensible and middle of the road. The issues that I had with them had nothing to do with what they were elected on in 2005 beyond pointing out that they increased the size of the state quite significantly.

          • In Vino Veritas 4.1.1.2.2

            In the words of Labours revered ex Minister of Finance: “We won, you lost, eat it”. And eat it you shall mike.

            • mac1 4.1.1.2.2.1

              I must say the current bill of fare is greasy, distasteful and not nutritious, IVV, but then we who have been around for an election or fifteen know that just desserts taste pretty good, especially when washed down with a good wine. Now, there’s a truth in that!

        • ropata 4.1.1.3

          not particularly left gos, i just favour democracy over dictatorship. voted jk last time around.

          funny thing happens when tories stay in power, they think they have the right to sell stuff that isn’t theirs

          NAT/UF were elected to govern responsibly, instead they throw the nation to the “free” market

          and we all know how great that’s been working out around the world lately

          rogernomics fucked up this country, please stop.

          • Gosman 4.1.1.3.1

            Yo do realise that National is a party of the right of the political spectrum and that this usually involves supporting free market policies don’t you? So when you voted for the National party you were expecting what exactly? Perhaps you expected John Key to nationalise all the means of production did you? What right leaning policies do you support then if you actually did vote for John Key?

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.3.1.1

              that this usually involves supporting the wealthy don’t you?

              Come on we know what “the right wing of politics” really means these days buddy.

            • ropata 4.1.1.3.1.2

              short memory huh gos?

              nat’s 2008 campaign promise was no asset sales

              when i voted that way last time i was hoping for, ya know, governance

              not 3 years of shitty policies favouring the wealthy and endless photo ops

              silly me, won’t do that again

              • Gosman

                Governance without policy is not politics but just administration. You may as well do away with elections and just allow the civil service to run things if that is all you were looking for,

                What specific differences did you expect a National led government would have over the previous Labour led one i.e. what was it about National that attracted you to them over the other parties in 2008?

                • ropata

                  back then jkey seemed like something he wasn’t, turned out to be a professional bullcrapper

                  • Gosman

                    See below for the questions I have asked you on this, specifically the one about which National party policies did you support in 2008.

                    • Frida

                      Gosman for the first time ever and probably the last time (smile) I totally agree with you here. People like ropata made me SO angry in 2008 and they have made me SO angry this time. What the HELL did they think they were voting for by voting National? If they didn’t take the time to read National policy and only voted for John Key’s supposedly nice face they have no right to complain now. The only people who have a right to moan now are those like myself who knew full well what voting for National meant and therefore refrained from doing so!!!!

                    • rosy

                      Back then people were voting National for a different face. Key refused to drop Labour social policies, or put interest back on student loans. Anything Labour said Key said ‘me too!’ and he refused to sell assets in the first term of government. he did not campaign on any right-wing policies – said he was centrist and all the right-wingers called him ‘Labour-Lite’. Short memory Gosman.

                    • ropata

                      Frida, yes it is frustrating but i am a hell of a lot more interested than 90% of the population who don’t even know this blog exists, and don’t even read the news. also i am getting sick of this stupid diversion into my personal voting habits.. that is actually private information. but just fyi, I voted labour in 1987 1999 2002 2005 2011 so you can get off your high horse now

    • RedLogix 4.2

      The disdain for the democratic process by members of the left is a wonder to behold. You just can’t accept that more people voted for the National party than the left.

      What is astounding is your disdain for the very basics of how our Parliament works. A government is formed when a party or coalition of parties can demonstrate to the GG that is has a majority of seats in the House. Not the “most votes”… that’s obsolete FPP thinking.

      National did not win this last election. It was however in a position to form a coalition government with UF, ACT and MP to form a government.

      If for example an election had the following not implausible result:

      National: 45%
      Labour: 33%
      Greens: 22%

      and for simplicity I’ll assume no other Party had any seats… then the government would clearly be formed by a coalition of Labour and Greens, despite the fact that “National won the most votes”. That has been the reality of multi-party politics since the introduction of MMP almost 20 years ago. Try and keep up Gosman.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        Okay let’s take your fantasy leand scenario through to a logical conclusion.

        Labour campaigned on raising the age of eligibility to supperannuation to 67 (a great idea in my mind). The Green party did not have this policy but did say it prefered to go into government with Labour than National.

        So, following the logic of some here, if Labour formed the Government in conjunction with the Greens they would have be obliged to subject this key election policy to a referendum and not come to some arrangement with the Green’s on the topic.

        Good luck with pushing that model of government.

        • RedLogix 4.2.1.1

          Okay let’s take your fantasy leand scenario through to a logical conclusion.

          For a start it’s not a fantasy. I agree I’ve simplified by leaving out the smaller parties, esp NZ1… but overall this last election only needed a 3% swing to the centre-left and it would have been Phil Goff forming the government… even though National received the most party votes.

          Everyone who looks only at the gap between National and Labour, or which party has the “most votes” is simply guilty of irrelevant and obsolete FPP thinking.

          As for the rest of your comment. IF in your scenario the Green leadership had clearly indicated that that “in principle we would keep the retirement age at 65” during the campaign, then I would fully expect the Opposition to point up the inconsistency if they then subsequently formed a government with Labour and supported an increase to 67.

          What the hell else would you expect?

          • Gosman 4.2.1.1.1

            You kind of miss the point of coalition forming under MMP. There are bottom line policies that I would expect parties to stick to. For example I wouldn’t expect the Green’s to forego their committment to increasing investment in Green energy solutions and a strengthened ETS, (or at least some other form of Carbon reduction), in any coalition agreement in the scenario you describe. But all parties have to accept that there has to be policy compromises. The Green’s haven’t stated that raising the age of entitlement is a bottom line policy and I wouldn’t expect it to be so. Hence I am sure there could be some arrangement where they got more influence in one other area of policy by giving up their opposition in this less important area. That is standard negotiation techniques and it is incredibly naiive to suggest that it shouldn’t happen.

            • RedLogix 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Yah… so we can agree that UF has probably done a policy ‘compromise’ over asset sales. (Which given the profile this issue had in this election is no small beer.)

              Now can you understand that it is exactly this sort of policy ‘compromise’ that it is the job of the opposition to point out and to make life uncomfortable for the ‘compromisees’ as it where?

              It’s incredibly naiive to suggest that there should be no price to pay for this sort of ‘negotiation trade-off’.

              • Gosman

                I wouldn’t expect anything else but there is a huge leap from attacking Peter Dunne to trying to claim that National doesn’t have a mandate to carry out a key element of their policy programme based on Peter Dunne holding a rather non-commital position on the topic. Mike Williams is on RNZ at the moment and he has no problem accepting National has a mandate to carry out the programme they promoted in the election. I think it would be far more mature to accept this fact and try and defeat the National party at the next election rather than try to call into question the democratic legitimacy. When you do this you therefore run the risk that you call into question the entire system. This might be fine when the other side is in power but it goes both ways remember.

                • RedLogix

                  I wouldn’t expect anything else but there is a huge leap from attacking Peter Dunne to trying to claim that National doesn’t have a mandate to carry out a key element of their policy programme

                  Ummm… no-one has said anything about Nationals position here. That was always perfectly clear.

                  Peter Dunne holding a rather non-commital position on the topic.

                  Well then… that’s what all this is about. Getting the man to make a committment. If Dunne is anything like his acolyte Peter George; that’ll prove a difficult task.

                  I think it would be far more mature to accept this fact and try and defeat the National party at the next election rather than try to call into question the democratic legitimacy.

                  The problem here is simple. Many things that governments do are what you might call ‘reversible’. If it turns out that one government’s decisions where wrong or had bad effects in hindsight, then usually a new government can make the required legislative reforms without too much pain.

                  Asset sales are very, very difficult to reverse. There is an inherent assymetry at work here.

                  You only have to look at the enormous difficulty Dr Cullen encountered while trying to undo the totally failed sale of KiwiRail for a recent and highly pertinent example.

                  Because if it turns out that selling these assets was a very, very bad idea… like many other things right-wing governments have done in the past, like well… selling state assets, de-regulating the building and mining industries, dismantling the first NZ Super Scheme and so on… then undoing this mistake will prove very difficult.

                  That’s why this isn’t just a ‘business as usual’ political matter. At some point in the future a left-wing government is going to faced with the bad consequences of this folly… as we have already had to do once already.

                  • Matt

                    Being from California I can tell you a bit about what happens when private economic interests start having their way with critical public utilities, things like the electricity crisis of 2000-01 happen. When the interests of shareholders and customers are different, the customer always loses because what, you’ll go without electricity?

                    National will tell you “this time it’s different”. but people always say that and it never is, is it? It’s always the same story, patch a short term hole in the budget at the long term expense of everybody. Well not everybody, since someone will profit handsomely from these deals, just not us. If National really cared about mums and dads owning these companies we wouldn’t be having this conversation, because those mums and dads already own them.

                • Colonial Viper

                  With only 59 seats, National has no mandate to make a move as large as selling off this country’s strategic energy assets.

                  Especially since a majority of votes cast on Nov 26 were for parties who were against asset sales (or who have no policy of asset sales lol Pete George and UF)

                  If National wants to seek a true mandate it can put the proposition to a referendum.

      • In Vino Veritas 4.2.2

        And therefore Red, Labour had no mandate to increase tax rates in 2000 after they’d come to power in 1999. So, the the cut in tax rates by National was simply righting a historical wrong. Perhaps National don’t have to mandate to sell assets, and therefore Cunliffe’s plan to re-purchase those assets sold will be righting a historical wrong. And in future, a government that does not govern by majority, will have no mandate. Brilliant!

        • Gosman 4.2.2.1

          Good point IVV. Does anyone on the left of the political spectrum wish to discuss why raising Tax rates is fine if there isn’t a democratic mandate to do so but selling assets after a party has won an election where they campaigned specifically on them requires a referendum?

        • mikesh 4.2.2.2

          I don’t think that a mandate is possible for increasing taxes since no party ever campaigns on that platform. However, if a governing party increases taxes and doesn’t get chucked out at the next election, I guess it could claim a sort of retrospective mandate.

    • IrishBill 4.3

      The most important part of the democratic process is accountability. Dunne will be held to account for his decision to sell our assets. If his constituents think that’s okay they’re democratically re-elect him. If they don’t he’s down the road. Democratically.

      • Gosman 4.3.1

        Sure. I will look forward to a robust campaign to unseat Dunne in 2014. Until then you will have to restrict your opposition to rather ineffectual protests such as writing letters to him. I’m sure he will be quaking in his boots at the thought.

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1

          Ah the arrogance of The Hair!

          • Gosman 4.3.1.1.1

            Far less than the arrogance of the left to actually think that National does not have a mandate to implement the policies they campaigned on and that they should be subject to a referendum.

            As stated above, would you support this rather idiotic idea for all policies a Government wishes to implement or just the ones you personally disagree with?

            • ropata 4.3.1.1.1.1

              NZ is a country of 4 million people, not jkey’s personal plaything.

              a sensible democratic government would seek a clear mandate before fundamentally changing the future of a nation.

              we are talking about assets owned by the whole community not just the self important remuera clique

              the whole debt/asset sales issue is bullshit invented by jkey so that his mates can have tax breaks AND monopoly power, hurrah old boy

              • prism

                ropata
                I think that in the dim recesses of the brains of right wing financials there lurks the unsettling conclusion that the world especially the financial one is deteriorating seriously, that climate change will affect general business seriously, and that now is the time that prudent moneybags should get serious and ensure that they are on the upper rungs of the ladder. Tax breaks without delay and unfettered and diligent activity to grab and stash any useful resource they can get before they lose out and end up along with all the traumatised hoi polloi.

              • Gosman

                So what specific policies of the National party in 2008 did you support then?

                From what I can tell the reason you voted National in 2008 was along the lines of ‘ I quite like John Key’. Surely you can’t be that moronic can you?

                Did you not read their policies such as those involving Tax cuts and National Standards?

                Did you not think you were voting for a party who generally supports free market solutions to the problems of Government?

                I find your position truly bizarre if you are really stating you had no idea that National is more right leaning than Labour.

                • ropata

                  sigh. old news gos.
                  people grow older, re-consider ther values, and change their minds.
                  as “labour-lite” the gnats seemed unthreatening. things sure have changed haven’t they?

                  it took a while to recognise, but the ugly reality is that smile and wave johnny boy is a wall st bankster first, a corporate crony second, and a PM last

                  • Gosman

                    I’ll ask again as you seem to be avoiding the question for some reason. If you are having difficulty understanding what I am asking you then let me know which part you don’t understand and I’ll attempt to rephrase it to make it easier fot you.

                    Which policy or aspect of the National party in 2008 meant that you voted for them versus another political party?

                    Simply stating ‘Well they were Labour lite’ doesn’t cut it. What part of their policies that made them lighter than Labour meant they were more attractive than just voting Labour?

                    • ropata

                      you sure are asking a lot of strange and irrelevant questions gos. but to humour you perhaps i was swayed by personality more than policy. i felt that the gnats were more in line with my christian values. This was until i realised 80% of christian values are propaganda from the right wing nuts in America. The Good Book says that helping your neighbour is more important than being a rich asshole

                      merry christmas (for the elite anyway)

                    • Gosman

                      So essentially National didn’t move away from your political view point. Your political viewpoint changed to become more left leaning. That is fine. It happens a lot and both ways. However it is entirely inaccurate to paint the picture as National suddenly changing tack after they got elected to soemthing you didn’t expect. You admitted you had really no idea what you were voting for. More fool you.

                    • ropata

                      more fool the poor voters of NZ. the nats ran a very effective marketing campaign
                      3 years of key adulation in the media, lovely royal photo ops, and not forgetting the RWC

                      plus a few disasters kept people nicely distracted from the ballooning cost of living, the entrenchment of inequality, and the nats fiscal irresponsibility

                    • ropata

                      PS: talking of false pictures … http://keyholes.co.nz/

                      Even Ian Wishart, one time Key supporter has changed his tune, see Daylight Robbery 2012 edition.

                      We need a new Winebox inquiry to bring jkey’s finance sector mates to justice (banks, brash and hujlich for example).

        • seeker 4.3.1.2

          With any luck Dunne might get the sack for suppressing a really important document/report on alcohol use as mentioned on TV3 last night. His action was disgraceful and probably wilfully negligent. Definitely woefully negligent anyway.

      • In Vino Veritas 4.3.2

        Quite correct Irish. And that is why Labour was held to account in 2008, and again, in an even more spectaclular manner, this year. Labour are being held to account for their actions 1999 – 2008. Democratic accountability, you’ve got to love it.

        • RedLogix 4.3.2.1

          and again, in an even more spectaclular manner, this year.

          Repeat of the big lie. This government saw it’s majority in the House fall from 69 to 64 (only 61 with UF and ACT) and the proportion of it’s votes fall to a the slimmest of majorities… 50.40%.

          It was nothing like a ‘spectacular win’.

          Democratic accountability, you’ve got to love it.

          In which case you can’t possible object to it being applied mutatis mutandis …can you?

          • In Vino Veritas 4.3.2.1.1

            Red, your reading and interpretation of what you read are going to pot. I was referring to Labour’s spectacular demise, not National’s win, and made it quite clear: “Labour was held to account in 2008, and again, in an even more spectaclular manner, this year”

            Try the following:

            Labours Election Results

            Seats Vote %
            2005 50 41.10%
            2008 43 33.99%
            2011 34 27.48%

            Now that’s whats called being held to account, in spectacular fashion. That would be a 47% decrease in seats 05-11 and a 50% decrease in votes 05-11. I believe its called “taking a bath”.

            Your “repeat of a big lie” is just a nonsense smoke screen to try and make an argument unrelated to my post. At this rate, the Green’s will be called upon first to form a Government in 2014 – imagine that, Labour being a secondary party!

            • RedLogix 4.3.2.1.1.1

              Irrelevant FPP thinking.

              I don’t care how the proportion of party votes falls out on the left. For instance it is inevitable that as the Greens do better, then some of that vote will come at the expense of Labour. What matters is which parties can form a government.

              And given that I’m a paid up member of the Greens AND I donate substantially to Labour… I’ve put my money where my mouth is.

        • ropata 4.3.2.2

          even jkey knows that most kiwis are basically left leaning. the concept of a fair go is still valued.

          that is why labour are making every effort to reconnect with their disenfranchised voter base

          and why national are trying to disenfranchise them even further?

    • Colonial Viper 4.4

      Hey Gosman, you champion of democracy you, let’s get together and petition for a nationwide referendum on asset sales shall we?

      I love democracy as much as you do, and although it might cost $9M or so to run such a referendum that’s only around 0.1% compared to the $5B to $7B the asset sales might bring in.

      Let’s do it!

      • Gosman 4.4.1

        Hey Colonial Viper, how about we put our weight behind a plan to subject all major policies to be decided by referendum? Then we could do away with the need to have politicians and the day to day running of the country can be left in the hands of the Civil service.

        • Colonial Viper 4.4.1.1

          So you’re for a referendum on Asset Sales! Cool!

          • Gosman 4.4.1.1.1

            So you are for puting all key policies up for a referendum and doing away with the concept of parties being elected on a platform to govern in a particular way are you? Quite a radical change away from what we now have don’t you think?

            • prism 4.4.1.1.1.1

              Gosman Keep to the point of the discussion – that of holding a referendum on a vital issue, asset sales – weakening our control over assets that the rest of NZ, not just little you, have funded out of their taxes small or large.

              • Gosman

                So Air NZ was built up by the NZ Government was it? Because I am pretty sure it was nationalised by the Government after originally being privately owned (I’m talking back when it was Union Airways and TEAL). Air NZ as a distinct government owned entity was only established in the 1960’s and was sold off in the late 1980’s so it has had private equity involvement for about half the time it has been in existence. Your irrelevant logic would be like trying to argue that BNZ was built up with taxpayers money and thus should be renationalised. The same applies to the former assets of Petrocorp or a multitude of other commercial enterprises either created by the State or Nationalised at one time or rather. Simply having State involvement in something doesn’t mean that they are somehow the property of the state for all time.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Anything which constitutes core strategic infrastructure necessary for NZ society should be Government owned and operated.

                • RedLogix

                  The answer to your question is interesting.

                  Some things that governments do, nutty libertarian sentiments aside, are clearly state functions for all time, eg, running Parliament, Courts, Police, core Ministries like External Affairs and so on.

                  At the other extreme, as Arnold Nordmeyer famously asked a group of students once, “should the State run corner-dairies?”. Obviously no.

                  So the question is; how do we determine whether an enterprise should be public or private sector? The answer is essentially political.

                  When the Dutch airline KLM failed in the 90’s (IIRC) the Dutch government did not bail it out. Why not? Because Europe is full of airlines and Holland as a nation could function perfectly well without one. It may well have been a blow to their prestige, but one they could cope with.

                  By contrast when Air NZ was on the verge of failing (yet another failed asset sale)… it would have be unacceptable to any NZ government to allow the critical flows of reliable air freight service and tourism routing to have fallen entirely into the hands of Qantas and SAL. Therefore Air NZ was re-nationalised.

                  The pivotal question is; “What happens if this enterprise fails… in any form?”. If the answer is “Who cares”… then it’s a private sector enterprise. If the answer is that ultimately it is the taxpayer who has to carry the risk… then it should have been a taxpayer owned enterprise all along.

                  • Gosman

                    So Fonterra should be nationalised then?

                    That would be great to see the left argue for this. Just seeing so many farmers up in arms at the prospect of a Socialist confiscation of their assets would be wonderful.

                    How about Fletcher Construction? That is pretty big as well and I’m sure someone will miss it if it went belly up. Or perhaps the forestry companies? Yeah, they all need to be nationalised along with the banks and all the transport companies.

                    Why isn’t this Labour party policy again?

                    • ropata

                      Selective amnesia gos?

                      Once upon a time, the BNZ, Telecom, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Energy were publicly owned and operated for the good of the country. BIllions of $ in asset value, skills, and revenue were lost when ACT and National started selling every damn thing that wasn’t nailed down.

                      Only their purpose is mad!

                    • Gosman

                      And once upon a time many of those so called businesses weren’t contibuting to the Government’s coffers but were actively draining them.

                      If State owned enterprises actually worked better than the private sector over the long run the best companies in the world would be largely State owned. The fact that the vast majority of the top companies have aspects of private equity suggests the model is crap. You just need to see many of the problems in Greece to see this.

                    • felix

                      “If State owned enterprises actually worked better than the private sector over the long run the best companies in the world would be largely State owned.”

                      When you say “best companies” I assume you mean the ones that return the most profit to the owners.

                      If so, you haven’t really understood the discussion.

                    • mikesh

                      The banks need to be nationalized since the are part of our infrastructure. However, if Fonterra or Fletchers went belly up, only their respective shareholders would be affected. The rest of us may be affected indirectly, but that’s true of almost any economic activity which fails.

                    • ropata

                      Public assets aren’t supposed to be high flying global corporations gos.

                      They are public utilities built up by generations of taxpayer hard work and sacrifice, for the public good, not a capitalist bonanza.

                    • RedLogix

                      So Fonterra should be nationalised then?

                      If the government of the day would be politically compelled to either bail Fonterra out or buy them up, then the answer is yes. Because ultimately in this case it is the taxpayer who is taking the risk. Any other scenario is essentially a recipie for privatising profit and socialising the losses.

                      If the answer is no… then it can remain happily the socialist co-operative it is, but given the history of the farming lobby to immediately apply for government assistance the moment any of them get into enough trouble due to droughts, floods, disease etc… then I’d be not surprised if they suceeded in persuading a National govt to bail them out.

                      All your other examples are interesting, but I’d guess that most governments would allow them to fail. By contrast the moment the lights went out… any government would be under immediate pressure to rescue a power company.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      How about Fletcher Construction? That is pretty big as well and I’m sure someone will miss it if it went belly up. Or perhaps the forestry companies?

                      Fletcher Construction can be folded back into a renewed Ministry of Works if needed, especially the components critical to rebuilding Christchurch.

                      And most of NZ’s major pine forests were planted by the Government in the first place so retaking them is no biggie.

    • Half Crown Millionare 4.5

      The only reason why that self seeking prick said that was, he read the the election results right and knew he would get his fat arse on a cabinet seat if National won. If labour were leading in the polls before the election he would have said exactly the same thing about labour. And he did say he was against Asset sales, and if I remember rightly after the election he said” I am against assets sales, but can compromise if need be” Yeah right. The pricks main concern was getting back in Keys cabinet

    • Lanthanide 4.6

      “You just can’t accept that more people voted for the National party than the left. ”

      Actually more people voted against National than for them.

      Nevermind all the people who didn’t vote at all.

      • Gosman 4.6.1

        People who don’t vote don’t get to directly influence government policies under our system. If they wanted their opinion to matter then they should have voted.

        You missed the bit where I stated that National got more support than the left. You can hardly claim that the left of the political spectrum includes ACT, NZ First, United Future, and the Conservatives and be expected to be regarded as a rational human being. That is not stating you won’t do it though.

      • In Vino Veritas 4.6.2

        And Lanth, a significantly higher number of people voted against Labour, so their policies and ideas have been rejected even more forcefully than Nationals.

    • Ianupnorth 4.7

      One word for the Trollmeister that is Gossy

      EPSOM!

      Was that true democracy?

      • Gosman 4.7.1

        It is a factor of our MMP electoral system and is no different to other agreements made in the past by a multitude of parties. I seem to remember Labour had some sort of unspoken agreement in relation to Jim Anderton’s electorate. Are these things only an issue if they involve the right?

        • Puddleglum 4.7.1.1

          Speaking as someone who has lived in the Wigram and – previously – Sydenham electorates for most of the years between 1969 and the present, I can say that, from the perspective of a voter, no accommodation occurred, either spoken or unspoken.

          Anderton won Sydenham for Labour, won it when he formed New Labour, entrenched his majority and, so far as I could tell, Labour continued to field candidates and campaigned in much the same way as they did in other electorates where they thought they had only a slim chance of winning. 

          But you may have some inside knowledge? 

        • Lanthanide 4.7.1.2

          As Puddlegum states, there is no evidence that any deal was done between Labour and Jim Anderton at any election in Wigram.

          On the contrary, National and ACT have had numerous cups of tea and John Banks was even out campaigning for the John Key led government.

          Jim Anderton won his seat on his own personal merits. John Banks did not. Rodney Hide didn’t really either. Richard Prebble did not.

        • mikesh 4.7.1.3

          The Wigram voters voted for for someone they wanted. The Epsom voters held their noses while they voted.

      • In Vino Veritas 4.7.2

        And Ian, you could add the following words:

        “MAORI SEATS”

        Are they true democracy?

        • ropata 4.7.2.1

          yes we have certain democratic traditions unique to this country.
          we don’t blindly follow the example of westminster, thank God

  5. Spratwax 5

    Everyone knows Dunne is a carreer politician- he’s been there since 1984, so he’s a survivor. He will do anything to keep his job. If that means contradicting himself then so be it. If that means pleas*ing John Key then it’s a Dunne deal.

    • Hami Shearlie 5.1

      And people talked about Winston Peters wanting the baubles of power! Dunne and the MP are just as bad, probably worse, yet no-one says it about them!

  6. Dunne and United Future have been entirely consistent pre-election and post-election on asset sales.

    a) no party policy to sell assets
    b) bottom lines on not selling specific assets or more than 49%
    c) recognise the right of the best supported party and major partner in a coalition to progress it’s key policies

    This was all very clear during the campaign to anyone who wanted to take any notice.

    We’re now seeing the beginnings of a new campaign by minority parties – one with not much more than half the votes, the other with less than a quarter the votes of the leading party – to impose their ideology by any means.

    • Gosman 6.1

      Seems pretty clear to everyone except the hard core lefties who have a problem with the National party winning the right to form a governement and implementing it’s policy programme after democratic elections. It seems many lefties like democracy unless it produced an outcome they dislike. Then they want to change the system such as what Colonial Viper is suggesting with regard to subjecting key policies to referendum.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        The problem for you Gosman is that National was only just able to form a government. The centre-right vote is just 51%… and far less than that if you include all those who didn’t bother to vote because the right-wing media told them the result was a foregone conclusion. That is a very, very thin excuse for a ‘mandate’.

        Worse still the pollsters have told us that a large majority of New Zealanders don’t like the asset sales policy. That undermines your ‘mandate’ even further.

        This is politics Gosman; the Opposition’s job is to challenge the Government of the day … and on this issue we believe National’s position is weak and we have every reason to speak up on it.

        • Pete George 6.1.1.1

          What level of ‘mandate’ should a government have before it proceeds with any of it’s policies?

          Worse still the pollsters have told us that a large majority of New Zealanders don’t like the asset sales policy.

          Can you point to polls that tell us that ” a large majority of New Zealanders don’t like” the National asset policy?

          • Puddleglum 6.1.1.1.1

            “What level of ‘mandate’ should a government have before it proceeds with any of it’s policies?”

            I guess that depends upon whether such a government sees itself as a centrist, moderate, get the population on side kind of government or a radical government intent on pursuing its policies with the slimmest margin of power it has under its control.

            I suppose we now see clearly that John Key is not a moderate, centrist and, instead, is happy to push ahead despite the clear divisions over asset sales in the population. This seems odd since, in the first term and during the campaign, ‘listening to New Zealanders’ seemed to be something Key claimed he did. Should I have not believed him?

            Also, on the question of asset sales the parties line up in interesting ways. Positively for asset sales we have National and Act. Indifferent to asset sales (ignoring the labyrinthine and evasive statements) we have UF. 

            Against, we have Labour, the Greens, NZF, Maori Party and the Conservatives.

            When it comes to asset sales, is their a popular mandate – assuming the word ‘mandate’ means something more than ‘the structural power’? 

        • Gosman 6.1.1.2

          Did you see Pete George’s reply detailing UF position on Asset sales?

          What part of National planned programme of Asset Sales was UF not supportive of prior to the election?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3

          The centre-right vote is just 51%…

          Hmmm. In fact, less than 50% of valid votes cast were for pro-asset sales parties. National plus ACT doesn’t even go near to crossing 50% of valid votes cast.

    • vto 6.2

      ” recognise the right of the best supported party and major partner in a coalition to progress it’s key policies”

      ha ha ha, that’s the second time you have said that. All that statement is is a big easy out for Dunne and his malleable morality.

      It means “we will bend over and shine our arse to the sun for whoever needs us – don’t worry, we have no bounds and we can flex and bend and wobble wherever one desires”.

      Such a strong useful positive contribution to our nation Pete G – well done.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1

        It reminds me of working in central Wellington and being accosted by transvestite prostitutes on the way home. United Future, the Party that pays for its own lubricant.

    • Campbell Larsen 6.3

      (a) ‘no policy’ is just meaningless weasel words
      (b) ‘bottom lines’ totally contradicted by (c)
      (c) merely affirms UF’s true role as Nationals lapdog.

      Have they got you on some sort of apologist retainer Pete? I hope so for your sake.

      • Pete George 6.3.1

        ‘No policy’ is not meaningless, it’s a simple fact.

        UF didn’t have a policy on lifting 100,000 children out of poverty, but the party will still work on poverty issues. Etc etc.

        • fender 6.3.1.1

          Are you sure you have the time to spin on this site Pete? Don’t you and Dunne have another hole to dig, theres bound to be results of another study that need burying somewhere, like the alcohol one your Dunne tried to suppress.
          UF is a joke party. Dunne will sell everything to keep his comfortable chair.

        • Puddleglum 6.3.1.2

          UF didn’t have a policy on lifting 100,000 children out of poverty

          Now that’s a glaring omission – or is that ‘admission’? 

          Revealing, either way. 

    • Galeandra 6.4

      Lord Haw haw.

      • uke 6.4.1

        Right on.
         
        The privatisers and their apologists (and all those who voted for them) are basically traitors. Nothing less. Willing to sell out NZ’s sovereign independence and for what. To keep their unsustainable “lifestyle” going a bit longer while the world burns.

  7. Hilary 7

    With the news of the suppression by Dunne of an important report on attitudes to alcohol, I suspect he will not have an easy ride this term.

    • Galeandra 7.1

      He isn’t riding, he being ridden. Just a hack for the Tory huntsmen.

    • RedLogix 7.2

      Indeed. Ohariu-Belmont is a somewhat unusual electorate; a high educational and income profile… and a large number of active churches with a “middle of the road” flavour. Many are civil-servants, IT types, generally well connected into their communities and contribute actively to them.

      The abuse of alcohol is by and large an anathema to them. It concerns them both personally as families, and as a society they worry about what they see as a rising tide of bad consequences arising from it. This is an issue they are concious of.

      If Dunne really has mis-handled this report.. then the fallout will not be forgotten.

    • Chris Oden 7.3

      I am sure that john key will be able to make it all go away.

  8. ianmac 8

    Some clever person could track down the video of the Leaders Debate and extract Dunne’s comment on Asset Sales. That could be embarrassing for Mr Dunne, and even critical.

    • seeker 8.1

      Am trying Ianmac. Taking me ages to go through my untitled(stupid me ) recordings of everything election 2011, including news clips and items of interest. Who would have thought I would have needed Dunne and his little cartoons. Were they not on the Standard?

      • seeker 8.1.1

        I think this may be what you are looking for Ianmac.
        I think it contains a Dunne ‘assets statement,’ but I can’t hear it as I have no speakers and my headphones are broken. It is the Multi -Party debate on one news election2011.
        clip

  9. seeker 9

    Wow how did that happen ?

  10. RedBaron 10

    If a referendum on asset sales is only $9M then we should go for it. That is small change compared to the amount that has already been paid to the Merchant Bankers to “ready it for sale” $101M wasn’t it? Actually, if the government had instigated a referendum then us taxpayers will be ahead by $90M.

    As for Peter Dunne and his so-called family policies – if he really belived in them then why does he spend his time cuddled up to the party that spends it’s time bashing single parents.
    Whether or not he likes it, these are the parents doing the work of childcare, taking the huge lifetime financial hit of being that parent, and all too frquently removing children from violent situations.

    So what is his policy here, he’s goimg to take money from them and make them even more dependent on the state. Perhaps he should spend his time chasing up the do nothing, pay nothing parents.

    • seeker 10.1

      All good points RedBaron . Is some one going to organise a referendum? Jeannette Fitzsimons was saying she would help somewhere, but I can’t remember where.

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  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    7 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago