Another year has passed and it is time to again reflect on what has happened and for this site what attracted readers’ attention. To be frank the discussions are probably the most important part of the site, even more important than the original post much of the time. Occasional poster Matthew Hooton regards the Standard as a go to site if he is wanting to work out what the broad left is thinking and the discussions that occur regularly show how an initial proposition may develop.
The tenth most commented on post with 329 comments was Weka’s post Kaupapa Pākehā where she carefully dissected Andrew Little’s claim that the Māori Party was not kaupapa Māori. The post highlighted Labour’s position concerning the Maori Party that they were opponents and could not be negotiated with and suggested that a more nuanced respectful approach may have been better.
Ninth with 338 comments was Mike Smith’s post Yellow Peril? He noted recent hysteria concerning the actions of the Chinese Government and suggested the approach was somewhat hysterical. Most of the comments agreed, noting that China is clearly a reemerging superpower who had not thrown its weight around the way that others had. The mention of National MP Jiang Yang caused some discussion however.
Eighth with 357 comments was Anthony Robins’ post Immigration debate – Peters goes full racist. He responded to Winston Peters’ attack on two Asian Herald reporters and did not hold back on his criticism.
It’s important to understand the state of immigration in NZ, and its important to understand the different data sets with their strengths and limitations. Peters could have made that point and it would have been a useful contribution. Instead he went for the cheap dog-whistle, probably assuming that he would pick up more votes than he lost. I hope he’s wrong.
The ongoing discussion heightened the tension between those wanting a pluralistic multicultural society and those thinking that current immigration levels are too high.
Seventh with 360 comments was another Anthony Robins post Labour considering Unconditional Basic Income. The concept is something that has been the subject of a number of posts at the Standard. Comments were mostly supportive although a few pointed out this had been Green Party policy for a while.
Sixth was my post the day after election night which attracted 361 comments. I managed to muck up my calculations on who was in on the list but I will claim credit for noting that Labour-Green are now a good 42% chunk of the electorate and after special votes are counted I expected them to head towards 44% of the vote. I also said that one more seat for the left is almost inevitable and two more seats are a possibility.
Fifth was my post on the return of Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party and the NZ journalist seeking asylum in Russia which I posted on January 2. The story, a New Zealander Suzie Dawson seeking political asylum in Russia seemed to me to be newsworthy. Dawson subsequently became the leader of the Internet Party which did rather disastrously in this year’s election. There was also the prediction by Kim Dotcom that two terabytes of hacked data would be released and the real reason John Key resigned would be made public. Neither happened.
And Suzie Dawson herself popped in for a chat. Along with a number of Kiwiblog regulars who responded to a typical hatchet job performed by Mr Farrar.
Fourth was my post so there was a housing crisis after all which noted that official figures presented for incoming Minister Phil Twyford indicated that there was a shortfall of 45,000 houses in Auckland and 71,000 nationwide.
I concluded by saying this:
It is great that we now have a Minister of Housing who understands the problem and is determined to do something so that kids no longer have to sleep in cars. But it is appalling that a New Zealand Government let a crisis develop and did nothing about it. National’s sense of indifference to the crisis and its refusal to acknowledge that it was happening clearly shows that they were not fit to hold office.
From the tenor of the responses most of you agreed, with the exception of a few energetic trolls who kept trying to say it was all Labour’s fault.
Third with 403 comments was the Notices and Features post put up announcing that David Clendon and Kennedy Graham had withdrawn themselves from the Greens Part list as a protest to their call for Metiria Turei to resign as leader. Given subsequent events the decision was a spectacular own goal although arguably also helped the Jacinda surge that eventually caused the change of Government. I do not believe the public has heard or appreciated all that was going on in the Green Party at the time.
Second was my post The Next Prime Minister Is posted immediately after Peters announced he was supporting Labour into Government. The post obviously was prepared in anticipation. There was another, lest positive, post also ready to go. I said “[l]et the attacks from the right about how unfair it is that a minority party did not ascend into Government and how MMP needs to be reformed begin. For the rest of us – this is a time of hope”. It seems that National took the comment about how unfair it all was as an instruction.
The post attracted 416 comments most congratulatory but some of concern about where the Greens fitted in and what this meant for them as a party.
And the most commented on post in 2017 is … [drumroll] …
The Notices and Features post on election night 2017 with 419 comments. The comments captured the agony and the ecstasy of the night well with attention being drawn to a number of tight and interesting races.
Stay tuned tomorrow when the most popular posts of 2017 will be revealed.