The Hamilton West by election

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 pm, December 10th, 2022 - 95 comments
Categories: by-election, elections, labour, national - Tags:

The polling booths are closed.

Who will be the next MP for Hamilton East?

It will not be Gaurav Sharma.  He is the classic example of why political ambition should be analysed carefully.

The next MP should be National’s Tamaka Potaka.  Labour’s Georgie Dansey is really good and anyone who continues to campaign with a dislocated shoulder deserves respect.

But the chances are not good.

Potaka and National should review the rules on election day campaigning because it looks like they may have issues.

If Labour wins this then I will be really surprised.

95 comments on “The Hamilton West by election ”

  1. I must admit that I've found it rather amusing that everyone is claiming to be an underdog in this election.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/an-underdog-story-inside-the-byelection-battle-for-hamilton-west/GPCWPBBHUFA3HCZWBJSNSUZBEM/

  2. Labour_Voter 2

    Why are you sounding so defeated even before the counting has started?

  3. swordfish 3

    .

    57.1% counted

    Potaka (Nat) 4597

    Dansey (Lab) 3026

    McDowall (ACT) 976

    Sharma (NZMP) 827

    current margin 1571

  4. AB 4

    Labour’s Georgie Dansey is really good

    She's the one who actually sounded like a normal human being, right?

    • Labour_Voter 4.1

      She did well in the debate.

    • observer 4.2

      The TOP candidate sounded pretty good, but it made no difference. Being reasonable gets drowned out in debate when slogans and failed "solutions" are grabbing the headlines.

      • Belladonna 4.2.1

        In what is effectively a FPP election – there is really little point in voting for anyone other than the main right or main left candidates.

        Anything else is just virtue signalling, and a wasted vote.

        In that environment, I'm surprised that the TOP candidate got as many as 337 votes.

  5. pat 5

    "With 91.4 percent of the vote counted, Potaka has 5938 votes, with Labour's Georgie Dansey trailing with 4042 votes."

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/480491/hamilton-west-by-election-national-s-tama-potaka-cruises-to-victory

    Looks like less than 20,000 bothered

  6. observer 6

    The result was predictable, and predicted (not Captain Hindsight) …

    https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-07-11-2022/#comment-1919884

    In by-elections candidates try to say nothing. Sam Uffindell did that very well (in the campaign itself).

    But now that he's elected the duct tape can come off. Potaka will be an uncomfortable MP in National's caucus. And even more so in a hypothetical Nat/ACT government. Watch this space.

    • Sacha 6.1

      Potaka will be an uncomfortable MP in National's caucus.

      How so?

      • observer 6.1.1

        See the links in my comment above.

        And today … Potaka's (and his wife's!) comments in the Herald

        The vision of "boot camps" from Luxon/National is red meat for the blue base. Very different from Potaka's perspective. He doesn't see "wraparound" as "kumbaya, mush", those are Luxon's words.

        It's a fundamental difference in world view. It's direct experience (Potaka) versus glib slogan (Luxon). One gets it, the other doesn't care.

      • observer 6.1.2

        This is not going to get a standing ovation – or even a nod of recognition – at a National/ACT conference:

        We have to have a space where identity and society and whanaungatanga are foundation stones for a successful economy. Or you can say, actually, it’s not about the economy. It’s about our planet and society — and the planet and society constitute what are really important.

        The economy is a means to enable a better place, but it’s not an endpoint in and of itself. You’ve got to have commercial, environmental, social and cultural touchpoints to create a sustainable community and planet.

  7. Peter 7

    14-15,000 voted compared to 40,000 in 2020.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      What I am seeing is ACT on 10.1% – which is close to their recent polling nationwide. That suggests that despite the low turnout this by-election is probably not too far away from a General Election.

      Nat+ACT would wind up with a 56% bloc. A dominating position.

      Notably there is no Green Party candidate here so combining the Lab and NZMP vote the left would have a 38% bloc. Which again lines up with general polling which have Lab+Grn at about the same number. I do not get the sense the numbers here are outliers.

      It is going take more than a few tweaks and window dressing to recover from this. There really is only a 6 – 8 month window of opportunity left.

      • Mike the Lefty 8.1.1

        The result doesn't surprise me, I expected the National candidate would win. But the low turnout does surprise me. With all the heat being poured on the government at the moment from the official opposition and the nutters opposition you might have expected a large turnout to "give a message to the government". It didn't really happen. National can claim victory, but it is far from a stunning victory and consequently Chris Luxon's leadership is still under question. And where was NZ First? If Winston is serious about making a comeback I would have thought this is where it would have started.

        • Alan 8.1.1.1

          I would think that a 33% swing against the government is fairly clear message.

          • Mike the Lefty 8.1.1.1.1

            To try and make meaningful analyses on such a low turnout I think is stretching credibility a bit. The fact was that despite the dirty politics and right wing bile the turnout was pathetically low. The fairly clear message here is that people weren't particularly interested in this by-election, even the media were pretty indifferent to it. Of course the fact that no result would have made any tangible difference to the government probably paid a part too.

            • Belladonna 8.1.1.1.1.1

              I think that (regardless of the turnout figures) the fact that the results reflected pretty closely the current nation-wide polling figures – in what has always been a bellwether seat – should give Labour very much cause for concern.

              I agree, that only the politically committed (I mean the people who vote out of overwhelming political conviction, as well as those who vote out of civic duty) voted – hence the low turnout.

              The remainder of the electorate (who are likely to vote in the general election – setting aside the terminally uninterested) – appear to be split fairly evenly across the political spectrum – so are unlikely to change the ratios much.

              This result will, no doubt, fuel the changes in policies that Ardern has already signalled for the new year.

              https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/12/prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-confirms-labour-mps-to-retire-government-to-pare-back-some-reforms.html

              She has to do something substantial, or Labour will be sleepwalking into opposition in 2023.

              • barry

                It seems to be "a plague on all of their houses" People may not be enamoured of the government, but not many could bother to turn out to vote against them.

                Based on this result I think next year's election is wide open. More bad economic news will probably sink Labour, but if inflation slows (which is likely with the higher dollar) and housing stats improve (lower house prices can be a winner), then I think Labour can pick up support.

          • joe90 8.1.1.1.2

            I would think that a 33% swing against the government is fairly clear message.

            Yeah, astonishingly Labour polled at the same level they polled at in 2017 in an electorate National won in 2017, 2014, 2011 and 2008.

            //

        • Thinker 8.1.1.2
          1. Swing to National could have been predicted

          2. Low turnout is a vote against people's expectations that any government will put their needs first, imho. It suggests people are unhappy with the calibre of government of all colours.

          3. Where was Winston? You are correct in thinking this would have been a Pandoras box for NZ1. Having a seat in government going into the election would have given more credibility to them on election day. So, either they didn't fancy their chances of polling like a mainstream party, they haven't got a groomed, credible candidate for the seat yet, their campaign chest needs careful management going into 2023, or they helped one or another party's chances by staying away. IMHO, anyway. I can't think of other reasons.

          • Belladonna 8.1.1.2.1

            I'm quite sure Winston had a good hard look at H West – and decided that there was no chance of taking it.
            Their only option would have been to put him in (no one else would have a snowball's chance) – and he has zero connection with the area (and is very probably unwilling to develop any – moving there, for example).

            Winston doesn't waste money on campaigning in un-winnable electorates.

            And, while a seat would have given NZF a better platform for 2023 – losing the campaign would probably have done more damage to his chances.

          • Anne 8.1.1.2.2

            Low turnout is a vote against people's expectations that any government will put their needs first, imho.

            Given its close proximity to Xmas (two weeks prior) I think it was inevitable. Who in their right mind thinks about politics at this time of the year? Addicts like us that's who. 😉

        • coge 8.1.1.3

          I suspect the low turnout could extend into next year's election. There is a vast bloc of voters who feel they haven't been represented fairly by any of the incumbent elected parties and candidates. If somehow they can be convinced to participate, we might be in for a few surprises.

    • Christopher Randal 8.2

      A turnout of 14,000 in an electorate of ~49,000.

      Wow – that's getting into Local Government election territory

      • swordfish 8.2.1

        .

        New Zealand Election Study flow-of-the-vote stats (over the decades) suggest when Labour voters are disillusioned with their Party they tend to move into non-voting … whereas disenchanted Nats are much more likely to swing to other parties.

        Does the low turnout in HW presage traditional Labour voters staying home on Election Day next year ? … hard to be sure but maybe.

  8. Mike the Lefty 9

    The nutters party (Vision NZ) must obviously have a big support base to gain a whopping 57 votes!

    Just wait for the claims that they actually won and it was Jacinda who changed the numbers.

  9. tsmithfield 10

    I think the big problem for Labour from now is how to turn this around.

    Big spending promises are really off the table because they are inflationary by nature, and inflation is the problem at the moment. And, there has already been a glut of borrowing and spending, and the evidence of that in terms of inflation is there for all to see.

    I think voters are likely to be looking for a bit more in the way of austerity and reprioritising spending this time around in order to bring the economy back under control. And these are both areas that Labour traditionally would struggle with, I would think.

    • Craig H 10.1

      Reworking the tax system, or brackets at least, would be popular and not necessarily inflationary if it was done to be revenue-neutral.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        Agreed. And that would gazumpt National. At tax bracket change would not be immediately inflationary because it would take quite awhile to have an effect.

        But it would be against character for Labour to start cutting taxes…

      • MickeyBoyle 10.1.2

        That's literally Nationals policy.

        If the only way to win is to do what National are planning to do, then what the hell is the point?

        Taxes should be increased, not reduced.

        • Gosman 10.1.2.1

          I would love it if Labour raised taxes. It would confirm the end of them being in government.

        • Craig H 10.1.2.2

          Who pays the tax and what taxes are paid could be rebalanced significantly while still being fiscally/revenue neutral.

          National has one proposal, but there are plenty of other options e.g. TOP is proposing significant changes.

          A simple example could be a 0-tax threshold. Another could be a decrease in GST. As part of raising additional tax to pay for either of those, a proposal could include increasing the top income tax brackets and introducing new taxes e.g. inheritance, land etc.

    • Sacha 10.2

      Public spending on the wrong things is inflationary. However Robertson is not brave so your prayers will be answered.

  10. Corey Humm 11

    Tsmithfield. There's loads of non inflationary and targeted spending options available to the government that don't put money into the economy.

    Kiwis themselves actually have cut spending down , appearing to have listened to the RBNZ governor. I've long said the govt should handle the economic crisis like they did any other crisis with regular but not daily public briefings in plain language speaking directly to the public and a bit of the old come together to fight xyz propaganda.

    Every Labour mp and supporter will tell you they messed up their coms badly this year, instead of the short one sentence answers they were famous for answers were usually long drawn out monologues or cagey non answers.

    Govts rarely win by elections in swing seats, so it's no surprise Labour lost this, however Labour needs to fight and hard.

    Yesterday I was at a labour mps Xmas party with many mps present (I know how am I allowed in these things) they'll all concede this was a bad year and that next year is going to be a real grueling fight but I truly believe they are up for it.

    I think labour got a bit arrogant and thought they couldn't lose, they seem to have eaten a lot of humble pie and are ready for a fight.

    I personally think they can win if they really fight to win the public back.

    Time will tell but here's hoping the left can get it's shit together, the last thing NZ needs is an economic agenda driven by the act party.

    • Anker 11.1

      Interesting Corey.

      Unfortunately for me, the Labour MPs you speak of believe they can turn it around have missed the point.

      For me they are like the boyfriend who hasn't listened, who indeed has treated me with contempt when I raised real issues. The boyfriend who continued with wasteful spending even though I said wait, we don't need more debt, stop spending on items that are non essential we need to find the most practical way of spending on things which will get us what we need.

      Now that said boyfriend realizes he is under threat of being ditched, he will do whatever it takes to win me back. Sorry. Too late. Your attempts to change when you are on the brink of being dumped, only show how self serving you are.

      • Tony Veitch 11.1.1

        And you seriously think boyfriend Christopher will treat you better?

        Then you must be one of the 1% or their 9% enablers, for he sure as hell has no empathy for bottom-feeders.

        I think you are going to be unlucky in love – again!

        • Peter 11.1.1.1

          Ah, but it's the boyfriend who comes up with the notion of housing people in motels, a really clever bugger. One who has the Midas touch (with the gift of the gab I'll grant you), as shown by magically turning a terrible 'housing crisis' into a wonderful 'Comprehensive Housing Plan.'

        • Anker 11.1.1.2

          Ha ha well played Tony Veitch.

          Who said I was going to take up with boyfriend Christopher? There's quite a field on offer and I could also go boyfriendless and just look after my own situation.

          My mother would have said to me, "Anker, you know what he's (Labour) like so don't settle. Even if friends tell you the other fish in the sea might not be too hot. When he (Labour) has let you down and shown himself to be a pretty useless boyfriend, who won't listen and treat's you with contempt, time to move on"

          I may consider a temporary liaison with boyfriend National, knowing its a means to an end to get rid of boyfriend Labour, but would go into it with no expectations.

          C'st la vie

          • Louis 11.1.1.2.1

            Your mother could have said to you, "Anker, you know what he's (National) is like, he has form, so don't settle and don't forget how many times he (National) has let you down and as it turned out, after arrogantly and contemptuously telling everyone else how useless they are, showed himself up to be the useless one and that he (National) is all talk and no action.

            So don't forget the history son, why court his (National) broken promises and heartbreak? He (National) will leave you shattered, empty and hollow like last time.

            • Anker 11.1.1.2.1.1

              Ha, ha. Who would have thought the Standard would have veered into so much dating advice!

              • Tony Veitch

                More dating advice – stay a barge pole away from David as a boyfriend.

                As your mother might say, 'Daughter, he's got some wacky ideas from the last century. He'll cause you more grief than he's worth!'

                Your present boyfriend may not be perfect (what man is?) but his heart's in the right place, more so than anyone else you're flirting with.

                No charge for this advice!

                • Anker

                  Thanks Tony V. Nice to have some light hearted banter.

                  “Heart in the right place” always seems to me to be one of those things you say about someone who is misguided and/or hopelessly incompetent

                  • Robert Guyton

                    You're giving off a strong "scorned" vibe, Anker!

                  • Tony Veitch

                    While not conceding that your current boyfriend is misguided or hopeless, I think I might prefer that to malignant animosity and lack of empathy which some of the other potential boyfriend display towards bottom-feeders.

                    Choose the wrong boyfriend and you might find yourself being belaboured by a wooden bed-leg in the middle of the night! (metaphorically speaking!)

                    • Anker

                      Swordfish made a comment below that when Labour voters don't vote Labour they stay away from the polls. Less so for National voters.

                      I have come to the realisation over the last 18 months, that I did chose the wrong boyfriend, Labour.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Given your old flame the flick , Anker?

                      Why then, do you persist here?

                      Running down your ex seems … unnecessary.

      • Patricia Bremner 11.1.2

        Remember Christopher Luxon is not a romantic Anker, and he doesn't rate anyone less rich than him.

        • Anker 11.1.2.1

          Ha ha Patricia.

          I think it is unfair to say that Luxon isn't looking for romance. He seems to be very romantically involved with himself and his own vanity project of becoming PM.

    • Louis 11.2

      Even the PM has acknowledged that comms have been bad, but "a bit arrogant and thought they couldn't lose" nah I'm not seeing that at all.

    • tsmithfield 11.3

      I agree there are things they could do that are not inflationary. The tax reduction on fuel prices for instance was a move I applauded at the time. It takes the pressure off inflation, and I am sure is a popular policy with voters.

      From the government's perspective, though, they have painted themselves into a corner with this policy. I suspect they would like to reverse the policy, but that would feed back into inflation, and certainly would not be a good vote winner in election year.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.4

      I hope you are right Corey, for all our sakes.

  11. Ad 12

    I have zero respect for the person who resigned to cause this by-election. It has been a stupid waste of taxpayer money. No citizen has been served by it, other than just the one who won the election itself.

    • AB 12.1

      Candidate selection processes need to specifically look for and exclude the self-aggrandising, the paranoid, and anyone with a Messiah complex. Problem is that such a thing is difficult, and ironically, the better such a filter becomes, the more likely it is to mean that no-one is left.

      • swordfish 12.1.1

        .

        Candidate selection processes need to specifically look for and exclude the self-aggrandising, the paranoid, and anyone with a Messiah complex.

        Precisely the qualifications selection panels prize most.

    • Anker 12.2

      Agree Ad. We are desperately short of Drs. I hope he goes back to that.

      And before anyone says "well I wouldn't want him as my Dr" I would say you may not have too much choice. See him or no one

      • Belladonna 12.2.1

        For that matter, I wouldn't have the faintest idea of the political party my GP supports (if any), or any other information about her political views. Nor would I expect to. Our conversations are strictly medical in nature – as they should be….

    • observer 12.3

      Agreed, totally unnecessary and pure self-indulgence.

      The one plus is that Sharma's deluded Facebook posts will no longer make the news. "Current MP says shit" is a headline, because s/he is in Parliament. "Brendan Horan* says shit" is not.

      (*Brendan who? Well, exactly).

  12. Tiger Mountain 13

    And the winner… (of the petulance, self aggrandisement, entitlement & party undermining Award) is…Gaurav Sharma!

    Losers…almost everyone else

    Various Parliamentary parties have made selection mistakes of course, in unlikely to win seats, or lowly list placings…but this one by NZ Labour was a classic, I guess at least Mr Sharma did not beat a defenceless teen with wooden bed legs…

    • ianmac 13.1

      It was reported that Sharma visited the winners quarters to congratulate Potaka, and when he entered he was greeted with applause by the Nats assembly. Wonder what that meant?

      • Tiger Mountain 13.1.1

        Mr Sharma seemed to be on some sort of revenge driven “last chance power drive” quest, and his role as a useful tool for the Natzos has now been fulfilled.

      • Incognito 13.1.2

        Quite possibly, Sharma’s political career is not over yet.

  13. Anne 14

    Saying "thank you" to him for being an a******e and resigning so they could grab the seat off Labour… who were more than happy to relinquish it and be rid of the petulant, self centred, entitled, party undermining dipshit. 🙂

  14. observer 15

    Before everyone forgets about Sharma (and we soon will), a reminder that many media voices, and indeed some people commenting on this blog, insisted that there would have been no issue if only Labour had held a magical "independent inquiry". Then Jacinda would have said sorry and Kieran would have been sacked and everyone would have had respect for misunderstood whistle-blowing victim/hero Gaurav. He only wanted to stop bullying and do what was best for everyone.

    Given all that's happened since, there is no longer any doubt about the stupidity of that take. It's amazing how many fell for it – or rather, pretended to.

    • Incognito 15.1

      The Left likes to point the finger up, the Right points the finger down, but finger pointing is what many people do almost instinctively (it is learned conditioned behaviour, of course) with gusto.

      • Anne 15.1.1

        Yeah… but its an easy way to either agree or disagree without having to put any effort into it. 😉

  15. Ffloyd 16

    I have wondered, now that bed legs have been mentioned, why it is that Cluckson has refused to release the findings of the review on the actions of Uffendull in his formative years, you know, when he and other like minded non thinking Neanderthals decided to, you know, terrorise a much younger school pupil with wooden bed legs, you know, just a jape. WHY? Because they could. They knew there would be minimum repercussions. PRIVILEGE. Nasty young thugs. Looking at him now does not inspire any great thoughts of redemption and humility. He will do as he is told. Bought and paid for. This new guy for Ham West. Chasing cars. You have to be kidding me.

    • Barfly 16.1

      Being a Nat MP he is probably chasing parked cars

    • Gosman 16.2

      You can demand the report all you like but it is essentially yesterday's news and the public is interested.

      • Tony Veitch 16.2.1

        and the public is interested.

        I completely agree Gossie! The sooner Luxon comes clean, the better – but I'm not holding my breath!

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  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

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