The racist party

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, March 15th, 2011 - 91 comments
Categories: act, racism - Tags: ,

3-time election loser Don Brash spoke at the ACT conference on the weekend. It was an attempt to revive the Owera days with an anti-Maori speech. When he made a ‘they don’t know how lucky they are’ reference to how Australians used to “shoot the natives”, a ACT member yelled “bring that back” and the audience laughed.

You can hear the audio here at about 2.25. here

No wonder Roger Douglas is keen to get away from this bunch. There’s a lot to say that’s bad about the man but we can give him this: he is a principled liberal through and through, both socially and economically. The party that he created, however, was taken over by reactionaries, starting with ‘tough on crime’ Richard Prebble and sinking to ever lower depths under scumbag Rodney Hide.

John Key, however, wants to work with this bunch of racist bigots so badly that he has told National’s Epsom branch “his need for coalition partners overrides any local desires for Epsom to return a National MP to Parliament”. But even such political trickery might not be enough – “National’s soundings in the electorate are understood to show Hide is running well behind an as yet unselected National candidate, in part because he’s extremely unpopular with female voters” according to John Armstrong.

I suspect that Douglas, like the rest of us, won’t be too sad to see ACT die at this election. But he might shed a tear for what it could have been.

91 comments on “The racist party”

  1. Rich 1

    It’s fairly inevitable that hard right parties will go down the bigotry route.

    Most people have at least some concept of voting for their own self-interest, so a party that fairly clearly aims to make Rod Petrevic and his mates richer and everyone else poorer isn’t going to get much traction.

    So appealing to rednecks is always going to be an attractive path for such groups, even if it conflicts with their ideology.

  2. bbfloyd 2

    while i agree with the main points of your post,, i’m a bit in the dark on the”3 time election loser” thing… if you could clarify that i’d appreciate it,,, if only to fill in gaps in my education 🙂

    • Bright Red 2.1

      Eddie’s got a long memory by the looks

      “Brash’s first entry into politics came in 1980 when the National Party selected him to stand as its candidate in the by-election in the East Coast Bays electorate. Brash’s attempt at the seat, however, failed — some believe that this resulted from the decision by Robert Muldoon, National Party Prime Minister, to raise tolls on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, an important route for East Coast Bays residents. The seat went to Gary Knapp of the Social Credit Party.”

      that’s the first

      “Brash again failed to win the seat at the general election of 1981.”

      That’s two

      “Following the counting of the special votes the gap widened, with Labour taking 41.1% of the vote to National’s 39.1%. Dr Brash conceded defeat on 1 October”

      makes three

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Ah – I forgot those ones. When National stopped putting him up as a candidate, they stopped losing to Social Credit 🙂

      • Jim Nald 2.1.2

        As NACTs love to say: three strikes and you’re out !

        For this context, they can be reminded to throw away the Key.

    • lprent 2.2

      I think Eddies education is at fault myself.

      He was only involved in two elections to my recollection (and wikipedia) – the 2002 one as an MP and the 2005 one as opposition leader. He resigned from parliament in 2006.

      It could be that Eddie is counting the internal election that rolled him as leader of the National party?

  3. Anne 3

    I suspect that Douglas, like the rest of us, won’t be too sad to see ACT die at this election. But he might shed a tear for what it could have been.

    That will be correct. I can’t agree with his politics (he was captured back in the 80s by the hard right business elite), but he is a principled liberal especially in the social sense. Can’t imagine why he went back into parliament as an Act MP in the first place.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      It was his party, no one else would have him and maybe, just maybe, he thought he could steer it back to what it once was when it was getting double digit support in the electorate. Not that that would have made any difference as it hasn’t really changed – it’s that people have woken up to the fact that it has a radical, hard right, authoritarian ideology.

      • Anne 3.1.1

        There were two factions in the Act Party. The first included liberal socials who were also economically dry. Roger Douglas belonged to that faction and in the beginning they were in the ascendency. But it wasn’t long before the hard-right racists and bigots started to appear out of the woodwork, and they eventually got the upper hand. It started under Prebble’s stewardship and was sealed in perpetuity by Rodney Hide.

        I think you’re right DTB. Douglas thought he could steer it back to what it once was… but it was always doomed to fail.

  4. Nick K 4

    I know the Left is lost, clueless and worried when it starts to revert to cries of racists and bigots.

    • lprent 4.1

      I thought those were the cries in the audio?

      Whatever columnist wrote that they were ‘groans’ obviously was sitting close to one of the few people that did.It does sound like overall from the mike in the front that there was more supporting laughter than groaning at the interjection.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1

        Maybe the press journo’s were sitting near comm’s team. They’d be groaning.

        • lprent

          Who’d want to be sitting that close to Fran 😈
          She sometimes does seem like the Act’s parties best communications asset.

  5. John Key… has told National’s Epsom branch “his need for coalition partners overrides any local desires for Epsom to return a National MP to Parliament”.

    Which is exactly the kind of slimy gerrymandering and backroom deal-doing that is not just mandated by, but can become compulsory (if you want to survive politically) under MMP.

    If Epsom were part of a multi-member STV electorate, for instance, good luck in knobbling the will of the people then.

    • wtl 5.1

      Or we could just remove the 5% threshold – if a party gets enough votes from the party vote for at least one MP, that MP should be there. If this results in a ‘joke’ MP being elected, so be it.

      • William 5.1.1

        Or we could have the best of both worlds. Remove the 5% threshold for the party vote AND have STV for electing the electorate member.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          I like this, but I still think it needs to be multi-member, at least until people start to get used to the idea of a few independents in Parliament. That way they have the safe, cuddly feeling of voting for their preferred party candidate and might feel like living a little and giving an independent a go as their second or third MP.

    • wtl 5.2

      I’ve seen your previous comments on the multi-member STV system and really don’t see it working as well as you think in practice. The main reason for this is that voters are ultimately restricted in their choice based on who is standing in their electorate. While it will work ok if there are enough quality candidates for you to vote for ones you really want, in reality there probably won’t be enough of these candidates and your choice is constrained by that. The only way around this I can see is for the candidates to be members of political parties, and therefore your voting can be guided by this, as at least you like what the party stands for (to some degree), even if you don’t particularly like the candidate. Of course, this goes against your reasoning that it will allow us to eliminate parties from the mix.

      A more workable way of eliminating parties from the system would be to weight MPs votes in parliament by the number of votes they receive from the electorate (e.g. the vote of an MP with 20000 votes would be worth 2x the vote of an MP who got 10000 votes). While there are obvious flaws in this system (it will probably result in the election becoming even more of a popularity contest that it is now), it will largely eliminate the above problem, as each voter will only need to select one candidate they particular like. Of course, to ensure the number of MPs in parliament is still a reasonable number, some vote threshold will need to be set before an MP gets elected at all. Therefore electorates will have to be large to ensure this threshold is not set too high (which would cause many wasted votes), e.g. a nation-sized electorate.

      The main advantage of such a system is that it will allow you to select a candidate who’s views particular align to yours, ensuring that your views are well represented in all votes in parliament. In theory, it should provide a good approximation of direct democracy while being more workable. IMO, the main argument against direct democracy is that people do not have the time to make properly considered decisions regarding all votes in parliament (it really is a full time job) so many votes will be based on ‘gut feelings’ – this is often not the best way to make important decisions.

      • Pete 5.2.1

        No matter what poitical system is used it will have quirks and anomalies and will be open to exploitation and abuse. Rather than tinkering with the mechanism, wouldn’t it be better to work out how to get better quality candidates?

        I’m in Dunedin North electorate. Almost certainly the new MP has already been chosen, with the vast majority of potential voters having no say at all in who that will be, except for rubber stamping or futile protesting at the election in November.

        That candidate has probably been chosen for how they fit with party ideals and who knows who and who’s back was scractched. I don’t know how much consideration has been given to how well they will represent all the electorate constituents, nor how capable they might be at administering the country if they are promoted to dual roles.

        This is replicated in many electorates around the country. Some electorates are lucky enough to actually have a bit of a contest.

        MMP, FPP, STV, they might all make only a slight difference for electorate MP selection.

        The blimmin List is another story altogether.

        • Colonial Viper

          You’re advocating a move to a Primaries system of electing candidates?

          If you wanted a say in how Dunedin North elected its candidate David Clark you should’ve got active in the Labour Party. And as far as I know, Clark was up against stiff competition at his Selection so what’s your problem again?

        • Mac1

          Pete, get involved in a political party, of your choice obviously, and find out about the process fully rather than sitting on the sidelines saying ‘probably” or “I don’t know how much consideration” or “how capable.”

          It is called participatory democracy. If you get involved, you can complain about the process. If you sit outside the process, then all you have is vague wonderings.

          MMP really depends on widespread involvement to avoid capture of parties by tiny organised groups. Get in, and enjoy working with people of like minds (in our case, the other lot don’t have minds 😉 ) I’ve been ‘in’ for thirty eight years. Some would say that alone would mess with your mind……….

          • lprent

            Sure does. But at least you get a say in the candidate, and even sitting MP’s listen closely to their local party activists if they want to survive.

          • Pete

            I don’t want to get involved in a political party and be tied to one flavour. I’d rather keep a free choice, and want to be able to choose the best person for an electorate, not just for a party.

            Parties have a vested interest in trying to force anyone wanting any say in selection to join, so they will obviously be reluctant to open it up to wider selections.

            We need a non-tiny organised group that will promote more independence and more independent MPs. Of course parties don’t want that, they want the control themselves, they don’t want the people to actually be able to properly exercise democracy.

            Parliament should serve the people. Parties should serve the people. Not control them to maintain their own power.

            Edit: yes, time of day for Rex to appear.

            • Rex Widerstrom

              *pops up on cue*

              We need a non-tiny organised group that will promote more independence and more independent MPs.

              Yes please. Count me in. If you want to kick something off, give me a yell.

            • lprent

              There is absolutely nothing apart from a small amount of money stopping anyone from standing for an electorate. A party is not required, and there are a bloody lot of independents all over the country every election.

              Being a candidate for a 50k person electorate is a *lot* of work and requires a *lot* of volunteers. Moreover you have to do this every 3 years. A lot of the work is simply getting to know your electorate. The one I have done most of the political work over a number of decades still has places that I simply don’t understand. And I have access to the data collected across decades and I grew up in in that electorate. It is also one of the smallest electorates in the country in area.

              It was bad enough when the electorates were 20k people. Now they are 50k you need a lot of computer skills just to keep up with the changing demographics.

              I’d hate to have to also do the fund raising, finding volunteers, sitting through interminably boring meetings, attending schools, getting corflutes, talking to the election controller for the area, and all of the other thousand and one things that get done get the candidate into parliament.

              Once you delegate all of those tasks out – why we seem to have a party.

              This is also why independents always lose. They have to build all of this expertise from scratch. It either takes enormous amounts of money (damn those spending limits) or a organisation like a party that conserves skills between elections.

              • There is absolutely nothing apart from a small amount of money stopping anyone from standing for an electorate.

                True. There’s also nothing stopping me putting my arm through a sausage machine other than the fact I don’t like enduring agony for absolutely no positive outcome.

                No independent will ever make it in NZ unless they first join a party, then betray that party while at the same time positioning themselves as an invaluable coalition partner to a major party and being willing to abandon whatever principles got them into politics in the first place (not that they usually have any). c.f. Peter Dunne.

                Once you delegate all of those tasks out – why we seem to have a party.

                When I stood in ’93 the incredible people I had doing all that stuff for me were primarily there for me, not NZF. I was the envy of other NZF candidates as I even had a driver… they were out outting up their corflutes themselves.

                If independents had a fighting chance, they could get practical support from people who supported them as individuals. But just as no one will waste their time standing, nor will anyone waste theirs working for an independent.

                That’s the fault of many things: the MMP system above all else; the MSM; lethargy (it’s easier to pick the red or blue box than to think), etc.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Rather than tinkering with the mechanism, wouldn’t it be better to work out how to get better quality candidates?

          Which we won’t, ever, because the nature of parties is to look for people who are most like the people that make up the majority of those already in the party. So you either get warring factions (as in Australia) or people with passion who’d inject new ideas getting fed up and splitting off into minor parties which may or may not ever get anywhere (c.f. Hone Harawira, Mat McCarten maybe, one of these days…)

          And is why we should do away with parties… they stifle genuine debate and compromise. Ironically only Act seem not to stage manage their annual conference (or at least not stage manage it enough if clowns like the one we’re discussing haven’t been whipped into line).

          And when I’m King, that’ll be my first decree… 😀

          • Mac1

            King Rex? Tautology.

            It’s human nature to form alliances, coalitions, parties. If I’m on a committee and I need a seconder for a motion, if I organise that, then I’m on the way to having a party, at a simplistic level. I have an idea or set of ideals, then I will seek support.

            I believe that the system you describe, Rex, is of the FPP old style party. MMP should slough off the warriors and the splitters. You do want a party of like-minded people who can compete for the vote with like-minded people of a different persuasion. Quite frankly, I can get enough of the impassioned at times with their single issue nuttiness- some of them. A bit of time tempered in a party sorts out people, too, because the nutters should become more obvious and treatable, before they get to be candidates.

            • Rex Widerstrom

              If I’m on a committee and I need a seconder for a motion, if I organise that, then I’m on the way to having a party, at a simplistic level.

              I’ve seen that sort of thing work well at local council level, before the national political parties started infecting that arena. There were natural alliances between people who thought alike on most issues but, because no one had a party banner to defend, they felt able to approach those not so ideologically aligned on issues with which, perhaps, their usual allies disagreed.

              Do that in Parliament and your party will call in the lawyers, a la Hone, Winston and other examples I’m too busy to think of now.

              At the level you describe, alliances are a useful means of getting things done. It’s when they morph into tribes, who punish heresy with banishment, that they become the very antithesis of the motives that led to their formation. And the thing is, they always do.

              Not that I’m really advocating their banning. If people want to get all tribal about politics, fine. But we need a system in which the tribes are just a part, not the whole, and which they cannot gerrymander to their own advantage to keep out independents.

              • Mac1

                Interesting, Rex. I wonder how much our thinking is coloured by the size of the parties that we are experienced with, me with one of the two major parties and you with NZF, and then further with the relative age of the two in terms of internal experience and organisation, as to how much we fear and can deal with either nutters, short-term one issue folk, apparatchiks or the conservative heresy-hating banners, and thereby keep a vibrant, fresh, people-friendly organisation.

        • Bunji

          Best I can tell, (for your example, Dunedin North) David Clark was chosen (as cv says, from a tough selection field) because he a) showed true belief in party values, but also b) showed he would be good for representing all his electorate – and would thus be likely to be elected. The ODT thought he’d be good for cabinet minister duties if he were to get the chance, so capability for higher office is somewhat of a criterion too.

          But the more people that get involved in their local political parties the more voice they’ll have and the better for democracy. Participation is the most important part.

          • grumpy

            ……and he had the unions on side…….that helps…..

            • Loco

              “……and he had the unions on side…….that helps…..”

              um no Glenda Alexander was the union favourite. The Dunedin North selection was very much down to how many party members each candidate got to support their nomination.

              • Clint Heine

                I have a few friends from the Dunedin North branch and many of them were left disillusioned with how that nomination ended up. They wouldn’t tell me what exactly happened, (them knowing I would tell everybody) but there was bullying and all sorts of stuff going down to get the “right” candidate.

                Why do the main parties do this?

      • wtl, I agree with your definition of the problem, but not your solution.

        At present List MPs get no votes, so it looks like you’re suggesting we’re rid of them. With that I wholeheartedly agree.

        But giving an MP a “vote power” based on the number of votes they received worsens the disenfranchisation (is that even a word?) of those who didn’t; it encourages votes for “major” party candidates… “I’d rather my second choice National canddiate get to wield my vote against those horrible socialists than to risk wasting it on my first choice Act candidate”… and so on.

        It also gives safe seat MPs – who are often little better than many List MPs in terms of intelligence and energy – a greater “vote power” than those from marginal seats, who are often amongst our best.

        the main argument against direct democracy is that people do not have the time to make properly considered decisions regarding all votes in parliament (it really is a full time job) so many votes will be based on ‘gut feelings’ – this is often not the best way to make important decisions

        That one’s easy. A 20 question (factual, set by the independent electoral authorities) multi-choice test on the topic to pass before you vote. If you fail you’re not disenfranchised, you can go away and study the issue and try again, till polling closes. But the wilfully ignorant don’t get to vote. Thanks for playing, Radio Live listeners.

        • wtl

          But giving an MP a “vote power” based on the number of votes they received worsens the disenfranchisation (is that even a word?) of those who didn’t; it encourages votes for “major” party candidates… “I’d rather my second choice National canddiate get to wield my vote against those horrible socialists than to risk wasting it on my first choice Act candidate”… and so on.

          This is ultimately determined by the ‘vote threshold’ and the size of the electorates, as I outlined. The way I see it, each voter only gets 1 vote and the ‘power’ of the vote is transferred to their preferred candidate. In the situation where the ‘preferred candidate’ does not get enough votes to meet the threshold, you could use a ranking/transfer system to give that vote power to the second most preferred candidate, or third and so on. However, the system still needs to be set up so that the preferred candidate of most voters is elected, otherwise you are right, only major candidates will be elected. This is why I suggested a nation-sized electorate, which would also eliminate the problem with safe seats, as all candidates are on a level playing field that is not determined by geographic area.

          That one’s easy. A 20 question (factual, set by the independent electoral authorities) multi-choice test on the topic to pass before you vote. If you fail you’re not disenfranchised, you can go away and study the issue and try again, till polling closes. But the wilfully ignorant don’t get to vote. Thanks for playing, Radio Live listeners.

          In theory this is a good idea. But:
          1) Good luck selling this to people 🙂
          2) You could get to the situation where polling is dominated by special interest groups that all vote in certain way and ensure their votes are always counted by sending short ‘study guides’ to their members (or even lists of answers, once polling has begun).

          • Rex Widerstrom

            you could use a ranking/transfer system to give that vote power to the second most preferred candidate, or third and so on

            Ahh… so preferential voting, as used in (some elections) in Australia. Okay, that makes it viable and potentially fair. But the size of the ballot paper for a whole-of-nation electorate is potentially huge.

            Anyone have a number for the total number of candidates in a general election?

            special interest groups that all vote in certain way and ensure their votes are always counted by sending short ‘study guides’ to their members (or even lists of answers, once polling has begun)

            Study guides, fair enough. If you take the time to be informed, your vote should count, even if you happen to be a member of a lobby group. Those who are worried a lobby with ideas opposing their own should do the same thing.

            “Cheats”, not so good. A random test of 20 questions drawn from a much larger range, so each time someone logs on they get a different mix, perhaps.

            • Pascal's bookie

              these tests seem like a *really* bad idea to me. How is it any different from the tests used during Jim Crow to disenfranchise sectors of the electorate?

              How would it account for the diferences of opinion that the vote is supposed to decide on in the first place? eg AGW. How could you design a 20 q test that would qualify someone to vote, that would not also disenfranchise one side of the debate?

              • I agree there’s fish hooks Pb. In something as contentious as AGW I suspect the questions would need to be agreed to by both “sides” of the debate to ensure they weren’t biased.

                But the questions I’m talking about wouldn’t go to bias. They’d first ascertain some basic general knowledge about NZ and its political system and then some questions round the topic.

                Trust you to choose probably the single most difficult topic on which to create unbiased questions 😛 Perhaps the answer would be to ask questions about the biases of each side… “Denialists think that… a/ b / c”

                We’d need to be careful not to disenfranchise one side of any debate, but I’m unashamed in admitting that the process is designed to disenfranchise anyone who’s formed an opinion on anything based on bugger all (“Michael Laws said on radio that…”).

        • KJT

          “the main argument against direct democracy is that people do not have the time to make properly considered decisions regarding all votes in parliament (it really is a full time job) so many votes will be based on ‘gut feelings’ – this is often not the best way to make important decisions”

          Don’t make me laugh. The level of incompetence, lack of thought and lack of general knowledge and real consideration of the issues evidenced in Parliaments decisions is breath taking. Do you really imagine the general public could possibly do worse.

          As the Swiss example shows, after the initial idea of people power settles down, it is those who have a interest in the particular issue who vote on it. Politicians also have an interest in informing voters as they will not get policies through without general support.

          At the moment our Government is representative of these people.

          They have proved they have no conscience as the take an income paid for by NZ taxpayers while robbing us and selling us out.

          How could democracy possibly be worse.

    • felix 5.3

      “Which is exactly the kind of slimy gerrymandering and backroom deal-doing that is not just mandated by, but can become compulsory (if you want to survive politically) under MMP.”

      Then why is it not more widespread? Why is it only ACT in Epsom?

      For a systemic problem it’s a fairly isolated one.

      • That’s but one example, at an electoral level. I’d say sticking both fingers in your ears and going “lalalala can’t hear you” while your coalition Foreign Minister behaves like like a pimp also counts.

        Also, more principle on the left (so far). I don’t think the Greens would sell out. Though as the Jeanettes (the people whose principle caused them ro stumble into politics) get replaced by the Russels (the people whose political ambitions required they hitch their star to the party closest to their principles), I don’t know.

        Someone like Matt McCarten, for instance, would be more amenable to such a deal on the left I suspect. I admire Matt immensely, but he’s come up through that system of compromise. The belief is it’s better to get something rather than everything – which is a valid perspective, but only if you see the system which dictates such compromise as the best we can achieve. I don’t.

  6. Rich 6

    Could someone explain to me why my vote should be worth much more if I happen to live near all the other people who vote the same way?

    And why an MP elected by a group of people living together is somehow more “legitimate” than one elected by people throughout the nation?

  7. higherstandard 7


  8. RobertM 8

    Act have never been a legitimate party. |Essentially their a right wing cult- an offshoot of the l960s and 70s left wing movement. What Douglas and Brash advocates is effectively mafia Russian style robbery when applied to a country like NZ, which lacks a real capitalist middle class or much of a share market.
    Surely its time for the Nats to ditch Act. Most of the cabinet must hold their noses at the Hide racist speak.

  9. Pete 9

    I understand that joining a party could give me political privileges and influence – I don’t want that, I don’t think I should have to join a cosy club to get preferential treatment in a supposed democracy.

    I know there’s little chance of changing the system much, it’s a cosy arrangement for those that toe the lines on offer so parties are not going to give that up easily.

    But there are possible ways of using the system as it is to promote a more even democracy. That will mean accepting a continuing major influence of parties as they are, but if an independent alternative could prove itself and gain a small foothold, and develop from there, it could make a decent sort of difference.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      I understand that joining a party could give me political privileges and influence – I don’t want that, I don’t think I should have to join a cosy club to get preferential treatment in a supposed democracy.

      This is so stupid and wrong headed I’m not sure its worth wasting time to refute it.

      Suffice to say you seem to believe that democracy works better when ordinary people don’t get involved in politics directly, and when ordinary people can’t be bothered to put time and effort into their local political formations.

      What a load of idiotic BS Pete.

      • Bob 9.1.1

        Well said CV , if Pete cant be bothered applying himself to anything , anyone or anycause then thats his loss . Have friends like this , they dont want to commit but will put in the boot , sad really.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          I don’t know Pete from a bar of soap but that’s a huge assumption.

          I work my arse off for a lot of pro bono stuff, mainly in the justice area. I estimate I spend a minimum of 20 hours a week helping out in ways that range from web design to court appearances. I don’t, however, have any active engagement in a political party.

          Why? Because nothing fits, not because I “can’t be bothered applying myself”.

          If the political parties to which you subscribe offer nothing to the likes of Pete and your friends and me, you might want to think about whether the failure lies with us, or them.

          • lprent

            Personally I don’t bother too much if the party fits – they’re always going to be awkward beasts. I tend to make it fit around me by working on what I want to, working on what I think it needs, and expressing opinions when I feel like it. I just listen, ask nasty questions, and occasionally offer up ideas that are often workable. I support who I feel like supporting to the extent that I can.

            I generally just have fun. Of course that means that I never take formal positions inside the party because those make garden parties look interesting. But I’m quite unconcerned about political influence. That just sort of accumulates over time.

            Mostly what I’m interested in is making sure that the politicians can’t screw up too badly on any side. So I spend quite a lot of time looking at the idiots.

            I could have done many of those things in areas outside of politics. There are an awful lot of ways that you can affect things if you take enough time at it.

        • Pete

          Both Bob and CV are jumping to wrong conclusions. It’s not that I “can’t be bothered” applying myself. I choose not to apply myself to one organisation that doesn’t, in practice, come close to fit with my ideals. As I have already said I get really annoyed at the childish “us good, them bad” approach many party people seem to be keen on.

          And, commenting on political blogs is one small way of “being involved”.

          I intend to become more involved, I have been researching ideas and looking for opportunities to become more involved. That that is not a traditional involvement of joining an existing party doesn’t necessarily make it an idiotic approach. I think the traditional approaches are often idiotic.

          Single party governments have not worked well for New Zealand.
          Small parties in coalition have struggled to be remain relevant and in one piece.

          I think an alternative approach that recognises that large parties will dominate in the foreseeable future so will compliment and support the current system and parties is worth trying.

          An approach that has a much better connection with all of the voting public, and isn’t slanted towards privileged members of one cliche. An approach that balances the need for an individual representative to to be true to themselves with being true to their constituents and country. And welcomes real diversity.

          Connecting with other people with similar ideas, and getting other people to think outside the political square and do something about it is a bit of a challenge. But it’s not that I “can’t be bothered”.

          Anyone interested in exploring this – gmail address of nzindiepol

          • Rosy

            “I get really annoyed at the childish “us good, them bad” approach many party people seem to be keen on”

            You might want to sort out the MSM on this, I remember shortly after Goff became leader of Labour he mentioned he supported something Key did, it was pretty non-controversial (sorry can’t remember details). The MSM ridiculed him about not knowing how to be a leader of an opposition party – that it was not his role to agree with government. The whole parliamentary system and news gathering and reporting relies disagreement. Unless you want to end up as Dunne there is a whole system to re-organised before political parties can work in a non-adversarial way.

            • Pete

              The MSM are a major party of the problem. Trivialising, sensationalising, presidentialising, overexposing, ignoring and self importance are a few things that come to mind.

              But MSM and politicians use each other and feed the frenzy.

          • Colonial Viper

            I notice that in his reply here Pete completely avoided mentioning the original reasons he gave for not joining a political party – that it would lead him to a position of “privilege” and “influence” within a “cosy club”.

            What BS

            You know that people can scroll up and see what you’ve written, right?

            • lprent

              I really found Pete’s attitude incredibly naive and outright divorced from reality. Politics to me is notable for how much frigging unpaid work I volunteer for. Same with everyone else that I know who does it apart from the politicians and HQ staff. Watching the paid workers and MP’s over the decades would convince anyone that it is a lot easier to find other work. They’re nuts to do such a pain in the arse job that chews every waking hour.

              To give a sense of scale.. Before my heart attack I’d routinely do 10 hour paid work days. Usually that was for 5 days. But I’d get often get rushes and do 6 or 7 days a week for months at a time (that happened in 2009 for about 6 months). I’d then fit in 10-30 hours of volunteer and blogging work on top of that per week. Fortunately Lyn has almost as full on a schedule as well with a full-time paid job and building and promoting a documentary (damn near a full-blown business) on top of that (otherwise I’d be in deep shit).

              I wouldn’t do the work of any MP or paid party worker voluntarily. Their hours routinely dwarf mine, and they have to be nice to people – something I personally find to be one of the more stressful jobs around. It was basically why I dropped out of management a few years after the MBA and went into programming – it made work fun again.

              Pete obviously hasn’t been around MP’s or political parties

              • I think what’s happening here is that lprent and others who’re busy in the bowels (excuse the analogy) of the political machine hear “party” and look around them at all the other people working just as hard as they are.

                When Pete (and to some extent, me) say “party” we’re talking MPs and a small group of upper-level influencers (varies from party to party but usually includes the President). And that’s what most voters think of as “the _____ Party”.

                And they don’t like what they see; they see what Pete sees – a privileged club. Which is why they are not joining in record numbers.

                They know very well that – to choose a random example – Goff’s new found embrace of lynch mobs wasn’t run past the people beavering away in the bowels of the party, because they can see the angst of those very people displayed in places like this.

                They know that a privileged elite around Goff is calling the shots, and that if they sign up and pay their membership then they too will end up working the kind of hours lprent describes, while being taken for granted by a bunch of incompetents in the Goffice.

                That’s the reality – at least as perceived by a lot of people and expressed here by Pete – and if the parties are simply going to get prickly and defensive in response then it’s their own funeral. In which case I’d better start polishing my dancing shoes…

                • lprent

                  Which is why you find that sites like this or NRT operate so well. I know that the many of the Labour activists of the computer generations seem to read them quite a lot generally with quite a lot of approval. The political operatives find that they have to take notice of it and often do so with a certain amount of trepidation. It means that they have to start looking at things other than opinion polls.

    • lprent 9.2

      I understand that joining a party could give me political privileges and influence – I don’t want that, I don’t think I should have to join a cosy club to get preferential treatment in a supposed democracy.

      What strange ideas. What it mostly gives you is a large amount of unpaid work for quite some time. Your influence inside parties pretty much depends on how much respect others give your opinions. How do you earn that respect? You work for it.

      People will not only look at what your opinions are, they will also look at what you do. The latter usually counts for far more than the former. We’ve all seen a vast range of useless blowhards coming through who aren’t prepared to do the yakka. If at all possible we try to send them to NZF or Act where such people belong. Some parts of the Alliance used to be good as well before it crumbled.

      If we can’t then we find them a nice title and a group of similar minded people to deadlock each other with rules and meetings and all of the paraphernalia of the pre-net age. Then those who work form the smaller groups that gets everything organised with the minimum of fuss and effort and a lot of input from everyone who is useful via e-mail.

      It is no different from something like this blog. People judge others based on how coherent their arguments are, how agile they are in adapting to stuff that they haven’t looked at, how much interesting linked material they dredge up, and how much fun they have with the annoying people getting in the way of a good argument.

      Blogs and political parties run on the respect you have for others and hard work.

      BTW: Talking about blowhards – I haven’t seen Clint Heine here and he usually reacts to posts about Act. Hopefully he has been listening to Katie and is determined to stay away..

  10. Descendant Of Smith 10

    Alternatively someone could form a party called something like the coalition of independents that could both be a party and have a clear philosophy of conscience voting and no party votes.

    Part of our democracy however also involves the right to organise and so like minded people should also be able to form parties – that’s not undemocratic – that’s just one form of exercising it.

    Equally I should not be able to only influence my local MP but also who the government of the day is = that’s why MMP is so appealing I have much more choice in influencing both.

    Take for instance the number of candidates who voted Tremain for an MP in Napier but also voted for Labour. The numbers were quite substantial.

    Part of your problem Pete (and the problem for many rightwingers) is that you seem to think that everyone is driven by self-serving motivation when many people are much more altruistic and want better communities. Once you see the world full of self serving people I’m not sure that it’s that easy to turn back – unless occasionally there is some personal life changing event.

    Maintaining a belief in the inherent goodness of people and in a commonality of purpose can often be hard work.

    • Pete 10.1

      Why are you assuming I’m a rightwinger? I don’t think “everyone is driven” or any of your other absolute generalisations.

      I have an inherent belief in the goodness of many people. But I’m not blind to the fact that many people are inherently selfish. A lot just tick away in their own lives and don’t care too much about the wider world as long as they’re ok, and will vote on fairly trivial criteria.

      Politicians can be and often are selfish and self interested. It’s partly necessary to get to that level – and under the current system it means canoodling your way up the party somehow. Some that make it will genuinely work for the good of others and the good of the country – and some are not so generous with their efforts.

      My biggest gripes are with a lack of genuine democratic process, and with the party first mentality that is quite prominent on the surface at least. Maybe underneath all the partisan bullshit it’s all “commonality of purpose” but it certainly ain’t obvious.

      And – altruistic idealism might have more of a genuine message if it weren’t so one-sided – the “them bad, us fantastic saviours of the country” divide is really quite apparent.

      • Descendant Of Smith 10.1.1

        I didn’t say you were a right winger hence the brackets and the and – read the sentence more carefully. I also said “seem” which stops it from being an absolute.

        Maybe if you did make the effort to work within a party you might be pleasantly surprised. As it stands you are pretty disparaging of pretty much everyone – voters, politicians, parties, the process. I think it’s called active disengagement.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.2

        My biggest gripes are with a lack of genuine democratic process

        You are so full of shit Pete, you’ve been going on about how people shouldn’t get involved in political parties because they would end up getting some kind of cushy preferential treatment and hear you cry that you are all for democracy.

        How does keeping people away from being involved in grass roots democracy help a genuine democratic process?

        Not only full of shit, but a hypocrite to boot, one imitating a paid astroturfer.

        • felix

          Kudos to Petard for his imitation though, it’s very convincing.

        • Pete

          you’ve been going on about how people shouldn’t get involved in political parties

          No I haven’t. If people want to get involved in poitcal parties that’s up to them, I haven’t said anything against that, but it’s not what I want.

          Many many people think they are screwed by a largely futile democratic process, and see it as crap, just less crap than any alternatives. Some people are happy to be involved with it as it is. Some others, including me, lok for ways of tweaking or using the system to make it better.

          My ideas accept and rely on the main parties continuing much as they are (but encouragedto be ] more co-operative and positive). A few independents where quality of candidate is foremost would actually help the main parties, or at least the party that gets the most seats, because it would give them more options, and more flexible options, for forming coalitions and for governing.

          But I know it is difficult to change people’s ideas on how to do things – especially those with an entrenched interest in the current way of doing things.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          you’ve been going on about how people shouldn’t get involved in political parties because they would end up getting some kind of cushy preferential treatment

          I seem to have taken on the role of Pete’s defender. But see my comment above. Most people involved in parties get less influence than a member of the general public because their loyalty is taken for granted – a function of the “the tribe will brook no heresy” thinking I alluded to earlier.

          But the people Pete’s referring to, I think, are those who achieve a certain positon within the party, usually not having worked their way up – look at Fa’afoi… no Labour loyalty, job in the Goffice done not esepcially comptently, straight into safe seat.

          They quickly become a privileged elite. They’re a monority, sure, but they’re what the public sees, and that’s what Pete is reflecting. CV and felix, you’re usually not so ready to dismiss someone without at least considering where their pespective may be coming from… if parties mean so much to you, you really ought to think about the perspective that Pete’s seeing things from because it’s one shared by a lot of others beyond the blogosphere.

          • lprent

            They quickly become a privileged elite.

            And if they act that way and don’t grow into the job, they have rapidly diminishing electorate majorities because their electorate activists find better things to do. You find them working in other electorates.

            Actually the best example I know of is Richard Prebble. When I decided that I’d better get involved in the LP, I was in Auckland Central. As you know I’m a pretty conservative character and had a newly minted MBA at the time so I looked at Prebble in 89. Didn’t like his way of working his supporters. It showed a distinct lack of respect for people.

            And that is why I went to work for Helen Clark in my home electorate in 1990 despite disagreeing with her on most policy matters in the abstract. She talked to her supporters without all of the pissing around that Prebble played with.

            • Rex Widerstrom

              they have rapidly diminishing electorate majorities because their electorate activists find better things to do

              …and then, provided they’ve been good little foot soldiers doing as they’re told, they get rescued by the list so they don’t have to worry about those annoying plebs at all.

              /Cue rant about why I hate MMP…

              • lprent

                Not likely. If they are lousy electorate MPs then you tend to find that they rapidly drop on the list as well. The people who vote on the list positions in the regional conferences are those activists. They prefer people that do some work. Sure there is a party element as well and a lot of lobbying. But in the end the list isn’t there for supporting people who cannot support themselves. We’d prefer some new blood.

                It isn’t hard to think of MPs who have been severely disgruntled about their list placing from both big parties

                There are exceptions in the list of course. But they tend to those like Cullen who are wanted for specific skills.

              • Colonial Viper

                Hi Rex, I’m not a big fan of party politics. Its partially responsible for a loss of colour, vigour and personality in politics today, as far as I can see. Ideas which should be discussed with the public don’t, simply because no party is interested in broaching the issue and individual MPs dare not.

                Not sure what the alternatives are. Especially since the media love to pick up on any MP who sounds like they might be a dissenter from the rest of the party solely through having their own opinion and then make a news circus out of it.

                The old line that caucus is where vigorous debate is held and then a unified front presented to the public is pretty stupid as well. What good does that do for the public’s understanding of what is happening and what the alternative viewpoints were.

                • Not sure what the alternatives are. Especially since the media love to pick up on any MP who sounds like they might be a dissenter from the rest of the party solely through having their own opinion and then make a news circus out of it

                  Use that to establish your independence rather than letting have the desired effect of hammering you back down to a level with all the time servers.

                  Rally people behind you who’ve had a gutsful of the party system and the colourless, vapid, system it produces and which sustains it, and get them thinking about breaking out of their old voting habits.

                  Like Hone did. Then when he got it, didn’t know what the hell to do with it *sigh*

              • Herodotus

                Rex you are taking it that those in party politics also want to engage with the public and for the public to seek info. IMO and difficulty I have with one LP individual there is no desire for engagement. Take a few personel cases this year I have written to 7 Mp’s from PM and Phil down. Only got 2 cases of acknowledgement. At least with HC and M Cullen not only acknowledgement but responses. The policies from both Nat and Lab are very thin in any substance (That is if there is any) and when questioned response (from go away to banning). No wonder Nat are still so strong in the polls. You want superficial and a diet on reality TV you get superficial, and Lab cannot even register on this scale. Then we get the womens mag story of the glam girls battling it out for Jafa Cent, both the parties and the 2 respective women go with it, a spirl that goes down !!

                • No I’m not asuming that, in fact I agree with what you’re saying. Most MPs once elected quickly realise where their loyalty lies and thus who gets the most attention and – unless they’re in a marginal seat – it’s not with their electors.

                  I just don’t see happening what lprent says happens… that usless MPs incur the wrath of party workers and get dumped. There are many, many MPs across both major parties that are either doing a damned good job of buttering up the local activists while actually doing bugger all for the wider population, or it’s simply not happening the way he thinks it is.

                  And yes, I’m saddened, appalled, but not surprised that those involved in the “Battle of the Babes” (a phrase that makes me throw up in my mouth) seem to relish or at least condone that attention. As Lhaws teaches us anew every week, any publicity truly is good publicity in this climate…

                  • lprent

                    It isn’t just activists, the voters, msm, and even the blogs get into the mix. But losing the support of your activist supporters, the ones that deliver phamplets through to running campaigns, and who are there campaign after campaign is the absolute surest way to oblivion.

                    Brown nosers are invariably useless except for simple tasks and are often outright disruptive – you don’t win campaigns with them.

                    Activists are usually pretty damn hard to butter up. The older ones are outright cynics. After all most of them started as idealists and the ones who survive the disillusionment stay because they have thought through exactly why they endure the grind.

                    Most have been around many politicians and worked across a number of electorates. The political trick of charming them is usually about as effective as making them believe a campaign will be easy or fund raising is fun.

                    Look in the mirror som time…. 🙂

              • Pete

                Interesting stuff. Once the jousting calms down I don’t think I’m that far away from a few others here, aye CV. In somethings anyway.

                The big question is how to do something about it

                * I think the best but by far the hardest option is to get a few high calibre independent MPs.

                * Lobby MSM hard to get their act together and do a lot more decent political journalism. Like it or not the media has a lot of influence, they pick the few things that get high exposure, and a lot of politicking has a major eye on how to use or avoid the media. Entrenched ideas and self promoting would be hard to change.

                * Set up a direct to MP lobby system, with a good wide connection with the public. Name and praise, name and shame, whatever it takes to promote what’s good and diss what’s not.

                I’m not against parties – on the contrary, unlike (I think) most I’d like to see more strength in more parties, across the spectrum. Getting precious about one choice and wanting to try and eliminate all others is unrealistic and immature. The better quality candidates and MPS across the board the better our parliament will be no matter who is waxing and who is waning.

  11. prism 11

    Don Brash is our Sarah Palin.

    Wise antispam – discouraging

  12. todd 12

    HRC says Racism is A OK

    Recently I made a formal complaint to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) concerning racist statements made by Michael Laws on RadioLive. Here is the HRC response…

    • Marty G 12.1

      this is just linkwhoring mate. Don’t mind you linking to a post of yours in a comment but that comment has to be more than a title, link, and excerpt.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    Interesting discussion guys.

    One thing that hasn’t come up is the fact that people actually really do disagree with each other. A lot. There are some broad agreements but even amoung those that agree there will be profound differences on other issues. Parties form in response to this dynamic. They are essentially compromise platforms based on the ranked priorities of the issues. If I agree with a bunch of people on something that I consider to be important, I will compromise away my disagreements on the things I consider less important.

    When looked at like this, the problem of independents is shown in a different light. They are people that essentially either reject that notion of compromise, or are not prepared to do that compromising prior to being eected, in which case how could voters know what sort of policy a govt of independents would deliver?

    Further, there is a related strain of thought in some of the arguments here that says that people who diasgree about the way forward must necessarilly be acting in bad faith and simply seeking power for their party.

    I don’t see the diference between saying that ‘ if only the parties would stop putting themselves ahead of the good of the nation’ and saying, ‘if only everyone would agree with me about the right way forward we would be sweet’.

    The simple fact is that there is no agreement about the right way forward. There is, in fact, wide and honestly held disagreement. This is why we have politics in the first place, asking that people put aside those disagreements in favour of ‘the good of the nation’ is a profoundly undemocratic idea that presupposes that what is ‘the good of the nation’ is a clear cut thing known to umm, whom exactly? Whose good of the nation idea is it that we are supposed to be putting ahead of our own ideas?

    • …independents… are people that essentially either reject that notion of compromise, or are not prepared to do that compromising prior to being eected, in which case how could voters know what sort of policy a govt of independents would deliver?

      I think that’s very unfair. I’d love to be an independent MP because it would give me the chance to research issues as they arose, debate them with others who’d done their own research, modify my ideas, perhaps get them to modify theirs, maybe agree on a conclusion, maybe honourably disagree – exactly what I do when I come here.

      Then I’d get to vote in what I genuinely believed were the best interests of the country.

      Compare that to what a party MP faces. The position is worked out by a subset of MPs (the Cabinet) and I’m told my vote will be cast in its favour. Unspoken but obvious is that if I speak or – God forbid – vote against the decision taken for me by others I’ll be ostracised and deselected from my safe seat and / or lose my List ranking.

      I want independence not because I don’t want to compromise, but because I do… but only if my mind, my heart and my conscience tell me it’s right; not because my Party Whip tells me to.

      Genuine debate – debate which changes minds and brings people closer to acceptance of one another’s perspective, even if that acceptance isn’t complete – is the essence of good lawmaking. It’s also exciting and stimulating, at least to me – and I know what that says about my level of political tragicness.

      I’m merely asking to do in Parliament what I do each day here and on Kiwiblog and other places… test my ideas and those of people of good faith who may disagree with me, modify my own beliefs to the extent I think appropriate, and behave accordingly.

      I see none of the tinge of megalomania Pb seems to see… but then again, maybe I’m so megalomaniacal I can’t spot my own faults 😀

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        I’m nothing if not unfair, but I think we are talking past each other a bit.

        I’m trying to work out, in my head, what parties are for. Why did they arise, and persist, under a system actually designed to present the sort of independent mps you are talking about?

        I also try to think about from the view of what works for voters, not mps. MPs and parties are to me, as a voter, policy delivery devices. I want an mp that will fight as hard as they can to get the sort of things done that I would like to see done.

        You seem to be telling me that i should vote for you simply because I think you are an honest thoughtful sort of a chap who has the best interest of the country at heart. I do think this about you, but it’s not actually enough. Such a chap could well be outmaneuvered by the nasty grasping little shits that all the other people choose to vote for. What if they lie to you and change your mind on something by doing so? How can I predict what you are going to do as an mp in terms of how you will vote in the house?

        I think parties, for all that they are hierarchical and everything else you describe, add to democracy in that they allow voters some input and control* and more importantly, predictability when compared to the alternative. There is a baby there, hiding in the mucky water.

        * the level of control will depend obvs on how much time and effort the voter is prepared to spend on getting involved and actually engaging with the process. My problem with pete’s line is that he thinks he ought t have some sort of control over who a party selects as its candidate even though he rejects the notion that he should show even a token level of solidarity to the party in return. this is the selfish angle I hinted at, the lack of compromise.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          I want an mp that will fight as hard as they can to get the sort of things done that I would like to see done.

          Me too, so the debate is about how to achieve that. I’d posit as a starting point on which we could hopefully both agree that a prerequisite is accountability… the more that MP is answerable to you, the more s/he will do what you want them to do. That rules out safe seat and list MPs and leaves a minority of marginal seat MPs. It’s no coincidence that the holders of these seats often turn out to be our best and brightest.

          I’ll try and do your other questions justice without a 1,000 word essay *takes deep breath*…

          Such a chap could well be outmaneuvered by the nasty grasping little shits that all the other people choose to vote for.

          Yes, but as long as he stood by his principles and fought for the position he’d told you he’d espouse on your behalf he’s done his democratic duty. That’s more than you get from your average MP now.

          What if they lie to you and change your mind on something by doing so?

          The only thing I’d hope they’d convincingly lie to me on was their voting intentions and if they kept that up they’d very quickly find no one trusted them and their position was untenable. Look at Winston.

          In terms of information on which to base my decisions I’d do my own research, have staff who challenged me (that’s one thing I’ll say for Winston – I could say “you’re being a dick” and he’d listen, not take umbrage) and rely on my friends in the blogosphere, like Pb 🙂 Even back in ’95 I spent a good deal of time on NZF’s message board and in nz.politics for that very reason.

          How can I predict what you are going to do as an mp in terms of how you will vote in the house?

          That one’s easy. I’d tell you, and you could ask me. And if neither of us had thought of the question and it arose, you’d be able to ask me via the web, on which I would spend several hours a day as I do now (despite working 60 – 70 hour weeks).

          In fact Google my comments across here, Kiwiblog and PA and you’ve probaly got 75% of a platform.

          Hell, I might even publish a manifesto which actually committed me to stuff, unlike the vague mutterings and photo ops favoured by the parties you prefer 😛

          Oh, and I might offer to subject myself to recall, whereby if you got the signatures of 51% of those whom I represent to say they no longer want me, I’d resign. Of course legally I could tell you to stick it, but that’d be the end of me at the next election for sure anyway.

  14. Vicky32 14

    Just hearing on 3 News that ACT MP Hilary Calvert has shamed herself. Again. Racism rules!

    • grumpy 14.1

      Pretty easy accusation to make. From what I’ve seen reported her points have validity.

      • Vicky32 14.1.1

        Ironically yes, I think one of the points she made did – but if I hadn’t had such terrible connection problems, I would have added that her attempt at pronouncing Tariana Turia’s name was just pitiful!
        Much as I despise Tariana Turia, I still think it’s just common courtesy to learn to pronounce someone’s name correctly!

    • mcflock 14.2

      Nice to see that their newest MP is continuing the tradition of go-getting success and political ability that has made ACT so popular.

  15. Nick K 15

    You’re a racist misogynist Deb.

    • Vicky32 15.1

      Misogynist, I absolutely am not. I am racist, at least according to QoT, although no one has ever pointed that out to me before.
      From what I have seen, you’re a RWNJ… 🙂

      • QoT 15.1.1

        Fuck you’ve got a chip on your shoulder about that argument we had, Deb. Quick, tell us again how you can’t be racist because your kids are part Maori but we should totally be grateful to you for not being racist because you could be if you weren’t such a wonderful person.

        (oops, there I go “bullying” you by quoting your own comments at you again)

        • Vicky32

          You’re simply an attention-whore, and I am not going to play your reindeer game.

  16. Adele 16

    Teenaa koe, grumpy

    Could you please enlighten me as to what those valid points might be?

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    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 days ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    2 days ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    2 days ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 days ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    3 days ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    4 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    5 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    5 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    7 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    8 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    10 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    16 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    1 day ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    1 day ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 week ago