The racist party

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, March 15th, 2011 - 93 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.

93 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?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Coalition Circus of Chaos – Verbal gymnasts; an inept Ringmaster, and a helluva lot of clowns
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The Curtain Closes…You have to hand it to Aotearoa - voters don’t do things by halves. People wanted change, and by golly, change they got. Baby, bathwater; rubber ducky - all out.There is something ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 hours ago
  • “Brown-town”: the Wayne & Simeon show
    Last week Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown kicked off what is always the most important thing a Council does every three years – update its ‘Long term plan’. This is the budgeting process for the Council and – unlike central government – the budget has to balance in terms of income ...
    4 hours ago
  • Not To Cast Stones…
    Yeah I changed my wine into waterHad a miracle or four since I saw youSome came on time, some took a whileLocal Water Done Well.One of our new government’s first actions, number 20 on their list of 49 priorities, is the repeal of the previous government’s Water Services Entities Act 2022. Three Waters, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 hours ago
  • So much noise and so little signal
    Parliament opened with pomp and ceremony, then it was back to politicians shouting at and past each other into the void. Photo: Office of the Clerk, NZ ParliamentTL;DR: It started with pomp, pageantry and a speech from the throne laying out the new National-ACT-NZ First Government’s plan to turn back ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 hours ago
  • Lost in the Desert: Accepted
    As noted, November was an exceptionally good writing month for me. Well, in an additional bit of good news for December, one of those November stories, Lost in the Desert, has been accepted by Eternal Haunted Summer ( for their Winter Solstice 2023 issue. At 3,500 words, ...
    13 hours ago
  • This Government and their Rightwing culture-war flanks picked a fight with the country… not the ot...
    ACT and the culture-war warriors of the Right have picked this fight with Te Ao Māori. Ideologically-speaking, as a Party they’ve actually done this since inception, let’s be clear about that. So there is no real need to delve at length into their duplicitous, malignant, hypocritical manipulations. Yes, yes, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    15 hours ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Dec 3, 2023 thru Sat, Dec 9, 2023. Story of the Week Interactive: The pathways to meeting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C limit The Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of keeping warming “well below” ...
    22 hours ago
  • LOGAN SAVORY: The planned blessing that has irked councillors
    “I’m struggling to understand why we are having a blessing to bless this site considering it is a scrap metal yard… It just doesn’t make sense to me.” Logan Savory writes- When’s a blessing appropriate and when isn’t it? Some Invercargill City Councillors have questioned whether blessings might ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    23 hours ago
  • Surely it won't happen
    I have prepared a bad news sandwich. That is to say, I'm going to try and make this more agreeable by placing on the top and underneath some cheering things.So let's start with a daughter update, the one who is now half a world away but also never farther out ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • Let Them Eat Sausage Rolls: Hipkins Tries to Kill Labour Again
    Sometimes you despair. You really do. Fresh off leading Labour to its ugliest election result since 1990,* Chris Hipkins has decided to misdiagnose matters, because the Government he led cannot possibly have been wrong about anything. *In 2011 and 2014, people were willing to save Labour’s electorate ...
    2 days ago
  • Clued Up: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    “But, that’s the thing, mate, isn’t it? We showed ourselves to be nothing more useful than a bunch of angry old men, shaking our fists at the sky. Were we really that angry at Labour and the Greens? Or was it just the inescapable fact of our own growing irrelevancy ...
    2 days ago
  • JERRY COYNE: A powerful University dean in New Zealand touts merging higher education with indigeno...
    Jerry Coyne writes –  This article from New Zealand’s Newsroom site was written by Julie Rowland,  the deputy dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland as well as a geologist and the Director of the Ngā Ara Whetū | Centre for Climate, Biodiversity & Society. In other ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Ain't nobody gonna steal this heart away.
    Ain't nobody gonna steal this heart away.For the last couple of weeks its felt as though all the good things in our beautiful land are under attack.These isles in the southern Pacific. The home of the Māori people. A land of easy going friendliness, openness, and she’ll be right. A ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Speaking for the future
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.MondayYou cannot be seriousOne might think, god, people who are seeing all this must be regretting their vote.But one might be mistaken.There are people whose chief priority is not wanting to be ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • How Should We Organise a Modern Economy?
    Alan Bollard, formerly Treasury Secretary, Reserve Bank Governor and Chairman of APEC, has written an insightful book exploring command vs demand approaches to the economy. The Cold War included a conflict about ideas; many were economic. Alan Bollard’s latest book Economists in the Cold War focuses on the contribution of ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Willis fails a taxing app-titude test but govt supporters will cheer moves on Te Pukenga and the Hum...
    Buzz from the Beehive The Minister of Defence has returned from Noumea to announce New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting and (wearing another ministerial hat) to condemn malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government. A bigger cheer from people who voted for the Luxon ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • ELIZABETH RATA: In defence of the liberal university and against indigenisation
    The suppression of individual thought in our universities spills over into society, threatening free speech everywhere. Elizabeth Rata writes –  Indigenising New Zealand’s universities is well underway, presumably with the agreement of University Councils and despite the absence of public discussion. Indigenising, under the broader umbrella of decolonisation, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the skewed media coverage of Gaza
    Now that he’s back as Foreign Minister, maybe Winston Peters should start reading the MFAT website. If he did, Peters would find MFAT celebrating the 25th anniversary of how New Zealand alerted the rest of the world to the genocide developing in Rwanda. Quote: New Zealand played an important role ...
    3 days ago
  • “Your Circus, Your Clowns.”
    It must have been a hard first couple of weeks for National voters, since the coalition was announced. Seeing their party make so many concessions to New Zealand First and ACT that there seems little remains of their own policies, other than the dwindling dream of tax cuts and the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 8-December-2023
    It’s Friday again and Christmas is fast approaching. Here’s some of the stories that caught our attention. This week in Greater Auckland On Tuesday Matt covered some of the recent talk around the costs, benefits and challenges with the City Rail Link. On Thursday Matt looked at how ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • End-of-week escapism
    Amsterdam to Hong Kong William McCartney16,000 kilometres41 days18 trains13 countries11 currencies6 long-distance taxis4 taxi apps4 buses3 sim cards2 ferries1 tram0 medical events (surprisingly)Episode 4Whether the Sofia-Istanbul Express really qualifies to be called an express is debatable, but it’s another one of those likeably old and slow trains tha… ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Dec 8
    Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro arrives for the State Opening of Parliament (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)TL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s political economy that we wrote and spoke about via The Kākā and elsewhere for paying subscribers in the last week included:New Finance Minister Nicola Willis set herself a ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Witchcraft Laws: 1840/1858-1961/1962
    Sometimes one gets morbidly curious about the oddities of one’s own legal system. Sometimes one writes entire essays on New Zealand’s experience with Blasphemous Libel: And sometimes one follows up the exact historical status of witchcraft law in New Zealand. As one does, of course. ...
    3 days ago
  • No surprises
    Don’t expect any fiscal shocks or surprises when the books are opened on December 20 with the unveiling of the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). That was the message yesterday from Westpac in an economic commentary. But the bank’s analysis did not include any changes to capital ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #49 2023
    113 articles in 48 journals by 674 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Diversity of Lagged Relationships in Global Means of Surface Temperatures and Radiative Budgets for CMIP6 piControl Simulations, Tsuchida et al., Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-23-0045.1 Do abrupt cryosphere events in High Mountain Asia indicate earlier tipping ...
    4 days ago
  • Phone calls at Kia Kaha primary
    It is quiet reading time in Room 13! It is so quiet you can hear the Tui outside. It is so quiet you can hear the Fulton Hogan crew.It is so quiet you can hear old Mr Grant and old Mr Bradbury standing by the roadworks and counting the conesand going on ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • A question of confidence is raised by the Minister of Police, but he had to be questioned by RNZ to ...
    It looks like the new ministerial press secretaries have quickly learned the art of camouflaging exactly what their ministers are saying – or, at least, of keeping the hard news  out of the headlines and/or the opening sentences of the statements they post on the home page of the governments ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Xmas  good  cheer  for the dairy industry  as Fonterra lifts its forecast
    The big dairy co-op Fonterra  had  some Christmas  cheer to offer  its farmers this week, increasing its forecast farmgate milk price and earnings guidance for  the year after what it calls a strong start to the year. The forecast  midpoint for the 2023/24 season is up 25cs to $7.50 per ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • MICHAEL BASSETT: Modern Maori myths
    Michael Bassett writes – Many of the comments about the Coalition’s determination to wind back the dramatic Maorification of New Zealand of the last three years would have you believe the new government is engaged in a full-scale attack on Maori. In reality, all that is happening ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Dreams of eternal sunshine at a spotless COP28
    Mary Robinson asked Al Jaber a series of very simple, direct and highly pertinent questions and he responded with a high-octane public meltdown. Photos: Getty Images / montage: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR The hygiene effects of direct sunshine are making some inroads, perhaps for the very first time, on the normalised ‘deficit ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: Oh, the irony
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Appointed by new Labour PM Jacinda Ardern in 2018, Cindy Kiro headed the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) tasked with reviewing and recommending reforms to the welfare system. Kiro had been Children’s Commissioner during Helen Clark’s Labour government but returned to academia subsequently. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Transport Agencies don’t want Harbour Tunnels
    It seems even our transport agencies don’t want Labour’s harbour crossing plans. In August the previous government and Waka Kotahi announced their absurd preferred option the new harbour crossing that at the time was estimated to cost $35-45 billion. It included both road tunnels and a wiggly light rail tunnel ...
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Presents: Jurassic Park on 35mm
    Hi,Paying Webworm members such as yourself keep this thing running, so as 2023 draws to close, I wanted to do two things to say a giant, loud “THANKS”. Firstly — I’m giving away 10 Mister Organ blu-rays in New Zealand, and another 10 in America. More details down below.Secondly — ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Prime Minister's Dream.
    Yesterday saw the State Opening of Parliament, the Speech from the Throne, and then Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s dream for Aotearoa in his first address. But first the pomp and ceremony, the arrival of the Governor General.Dame Cindy Kiro arrived on the forecourt outside of parliament to a Māori welcome. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • National’s new MP; the proud part-Maori boy raised in a state house
    Probably not since 1975 have we seen a government take office up against such a wall of protest and complaint. That was highlighted yesterday, the day that the new Parliament was sworn in, with news that King Tuheitia has called a national hui for late January to develop a ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Battlefield Earth – How War Fuels Climate Catastrophe
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). War, conflict and climate change are tearing apart lives across the world. But these aren't separate harms - they're intricately connected. ...
    5 days ago
  • They do not speak for us, and they do not speak for the future
    These dire woeful and intolerant people have been so determinedly going about their small and petulant business, it’s hard to keep up. At the end of the new government’s first woeful week, Audrey Young took the time to count off its various acts of denigration of Te Ao Māori:Review the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Another attack on te reo
    The new white supremacist government made attacking te reo a key part of its platform, promising to rename government agencies and force them to "communicate primarily in English" (which they already do). But today they've gone further, by trying to cut the pay of public servants who speak te reo: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • For the record, the Beehive buzz can now be regarded as “official”
    Buzz from the Beehive The biggest buzz we bring you from the Beehive today is that the government’s official website is up and going after being out of action for more than a week. The latest press statement came  from  Education Minister  Eric Stanford, who seized on the 2022 PISA ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Failed again
    There was another ETS auction this morning. and like all the other ones this year, it failed to clear - meaning that 23 million tons of carbon (15 million ordinary units plus 8 million in the cost containment reserve) went up in smoke. Or rather, they didn't. Being unsold at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Government’s Assault On Maori
    This isn’t news, but the National-led coalition is mounting a sustained assault on Treaty rights and obligations. Even so, Christopher Luxon has described yesterday’s nationwide protests by Maori as “pretty unfair.” Poor thing. In the NZ Herald, Audrey Young has compiled a useful list of the many, many ways that ...
    5 days ago
  • Rising costs hit farmers hard, but  there’s more  positive news  for  them this  week 
    New Zealand’s dairy industry, the mainstay of the country’s export trade, has  been under  pressure  from rising  costs. Down on the  farm, this  has  been  hitting  hard. But there  was more positive news this week,  first   from the latest Fonterra GDT auction where  prices  rose,  and  then from  a  report ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    5 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH:  Newshub and NZ Herald report misleading garbage about ACT’s van Veldon not follo...
    Rob MacCulloch writes –  In their rush to discredit the new government (which our MainStream Media regard as illegitimate and having no right to enact the democratic will of voters) the NZ Herald and Newshub are arguing ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Veldon is not following Treasury advice ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 for Wednesday, December 6
    Even many young people who smoke support smokefree policies, fitting in with previous research showing the large majority of people who smoke regret starting and most want to quit. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Wednesday, December ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Eleven years of work.
    Well it didn’t take six months, but the leaks have begun. Yes the good ship Coalition has inadvertently released a confidential cabinet paper into the public domain, discussing their axing of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).Oops.Just when you were admiring how smoothly things were going for the new government, they’ve had ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Why we're missing out on sharply lower inflation
    A wave of new and higher fees, rates and charges will ripple out over the economy in the next 18 months as mayors, councillors, heads of department and price-setters for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and parking ramp up charges. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Just when most ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • How Did We Get Here?
    Hi,Kiwis — keep the evening of December 22nd free. I have a meetup planned, and will send out an invite over the next day or so. This sounds sort of crazy to write, but today will be Tony Stamp’s final Totally Normal column of 2023. Somehow we’ve made it to ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealaders  have  high expectations of  new  government:  now let’s see if it can deliver?
    The electorate has high expectations of the  new  government.  The question is: can  it  deliver?    Some  might  say  the  signs are not  promising. Protestors   are  already marching in the streets. The  new  Prime Minister has had  little experience of managing  very diverse politicians  in coalition. The economy he  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • You won't believe some of the numbers you have to pull when you're a Finance Minister
    Nicola of Marsden:Yo, normies! We will fix your cost of living worries by giving you a tax cut of 150 dollars. 150! Cash money! Vote National.Various people who can read and count:Actually that's 150 over a fortnight. Not a week, which is how you usually express these things.And actually, it looks ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Pushback
    When this government came to power, it did so on an explicitly white supremacist platform. Undermining the Waitangi Tribunal, removing Māori representation in local government, over-riding the courts which had tried to make their foreshore and seabed legislation work, eradicating te reo from public life, and ultimately trying to repudiate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Defence ministerial meeting meant Collins missed the Maori Party’s mischief-making capers in Parli...
    Buzz from the Beehive Maybe this is not the best time for our Minister of Defence to have gone overseas. Not when the Maori Party is inviting (or should that be inciting?) its followers to join a revolution in a post which promoted its protest plans with a picture of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Threats of war have been followed by an invitation to join the revolution – now let’s see how th...
     A Maori Party post on Instagram invited party followers to ….  Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!  Nationwide Action Day, All details in tiles swipe to see locations.  • This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 for Tuesday, December 4
    The RBNZ governor is citing high net migration and profit-led inflation as factors in the bank’s hawkish stance. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, including:Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says high net migration and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Nicola Willis' 'show me the money' moment
    Willis has accused labour of “economic vandalism’, while Robertson described her comments as a “desperate diversion from somebody who can't make their tax package add up”. There will now be an intense focus on December 20 to see whether her hyperbole is backed up by true surprises. Photo montage: Lynn ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    6 days ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    7 days ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    7 days ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    7 days ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    1 week ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume III
    Time to revisit something I haven’t covered in a while: the D&D campaign, with Saqua the aquatic half-vampire. Last seen in July: The delay is understandable, once one realises that the interim saw our DM come down with a life-threatening medical situation. They have since survived to make ...
    1 week ago
  • Chris Bishop: Smokin’
    Yes. Correct. It was an election result. And now we are the elected government. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago

  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    3 days ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    4 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    5 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    6 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    7 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    7 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    2 weeks ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    3 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2023-12-10T23:16:38+00:00