Turn off turnout – National’s 2014 strategy?

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, August 27th, 2012 - 41 comments
Categories: community democracy, democracy under attack, democratic participation, election 2014, electoral commission, racism, same old national, us politics - Tags:

Depress turnout among low-income voters by changing the enrolment rules – voter suppression is an old right-wing trick.  The Republicans are doing it in the US –  voter enrolment rules are set at State level and Republican-led States are moving to require voters to produce photo ID.

The US Presidential election is going to be very close, with a few key States determining in the outcome, as Florida did for George Bush in 2000 via the hanging chads and the Republican-appointed Supreme Court. Blacks and Hispanics overwhelmingly supported Obama in 2008. Many low-income voters do not have photo ID. So Republican strategists aim to change the rules and change the game in their favour.

New Zealanders have now decided that MMP is here to stay. National’s majority in Parliament is down to one, and our next election is also going to be very close.

It appears that some in National are already looking at how they may change the rules to their advantage. Andrew Geddis at Pundit has pointed to the possibility of systematic gaming of responses to the Electoral Commission’s proposals to improve MMP.

I suspect there may also  be a systematic approach to proposals to close off enrolment early. I got a hint of this after I had given my own submission to the Committee, when I listened to Toni Millar on speakerphone argue  that all voters should be enrolled a month before election day. She said that she had visited many polling booths last election day, and after a question from Lianne Dalziel MP said that this was because she was visiting for the National Party. She is presumably the same Toni Millar as stood for selection in Tamaki (by the way receiving faint praise from Whaleloil.)

Prompted by Andrew Geddis’ post,  I had a look at all 56  submissions to the election review. Eight had raised issues relating to the roll, and one of the eight was a form submission from ten named individuals.

There were some noticeable similarities among these eight submissions. Six commented on the dormant roll, five spoke of dubious voting practices without providing any evidence, four advocated early closing of the rolls, with the form submission advocating a return to the three-month closure. Three had made submissions after hearing about these issues at a meeting.

There was also strong National Party representation in these eight submissions. The form submission did not reveal any names on the Parliamentary Select Committee webpage. You had to open it to find that it came from Gary Kircher, David MacKenzie, David Hiatt, Dan Dolejs, Robyn Broughton, Colin Truman, Jim Gerard, Grant McKenna, Charlotte Kerse and Frank Brenmuhl, all from South Island locations. Jim Gerard is a former National Cabinet Minister, Robyn Broughton is Dunedin South National co-chair, Gary Kircher is National’s Waitaki electorate chair, and Dan Dolejs wished Key all the best for the election.

Other submissions came from Elspeth Ludemann, who blogs as Homepaddock and is National Regional Co-Chair; Karl Varley who is Chairman of the National Party Christchurch Central Electorate; and Kate Hazlett who was 2009 Southern National Chair and  is now a current member of National Party Board of Directors.

Labour and United Future made submissions, the National Party did not. No other submitters to the Select Committee saw the dormant roll as an issue requiring comment. I’ve scrutinised a few vote counts and the electoral officials are scrupulously competent. The largest group of submitters in fact called for more civic education in schools, a very good idea.

It may be that National’s real target is the removal of continuous enrolment,  introduced in 2002  as a way to encourage turnout.  Early closure of the rolls, advocated by the form submission and others in the above group, inhibits enrolment in the election campaign period. The Electoral Enrolment Centre’s submission to the review showed that 57,196 voters were enrolled between writ day and election day for example.

National’s minority report on the 2002 legislation introducing continuous enrolment contained in the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election  predicted that it would “endanger the very validity of elections”; there would be “greatly increased risk of multiple voting through fraudulent votes cast for people who are deceased”; that “constitutional government would be imperilled”; “people will not believe that governments are properly elected”, “respect for law and constitutional government will be diminished”; and “our democracy endangered.” They also opposed early vote counting as “the thin end of the wedge.”

The sky hasn’t fallen in on constitutional government or democracy. But National may with justification fear that it’s chances at the next election are under real threat. And there is no doubt that a much  greater threat to democracy than continuous enrolment comes from voter suppression.

That looks like National’s plot. It should not succeed.

41 comments on “Turn off turnout – National’s 2014 strategy?”

  1. Tim G. 1

    Fuck’s sake…

  2. Roy 2

    “greatly increased risk of multiple voting through fraudulent votes cast for people who are deceased”
    RWNJs love to roll out the bogeyman of fraudulent voting. The Repuglicans roll out the same bogeyman in the US, but in reality it is a miniscule problem.

    • Mr Burns 2.1

      But, but the republican measures mean that less poor people vote and increase the power of rich industrialists.
       
      If they did not do this there would be rampant democracy and people would start having wild thoughts like having a proper social security system, or universial medicare or proper environmental standards.
       
      Then the Government would stop paying subsidies to oil companies or, gasp, nuclear power station owners and then we would have utter social chaos. Sure poor people would get adequate medical treatment but the sales of BMWs would plummet overnight.
       
      You must be one of those hippy communist sorts Roy.

  3. Ianmac from Vietnam 3

    Here all votes are scrutinised carefully long after polling day. One by one with the covered number uncovered and name checked against that register used by each polling booth. If there are signs of multiple votes by one person the police check out the who and where. In NZ fraud is almost non-existent and we do not even need a drivers license to enrol or vote. So long may it stay that way.

    • Glg 3.1

      Voter fraud almost unheard of in the States too, but that hasn’t stopped the Republicans. Remember, it doesn’t have to be true, as long as the accusations have a sound of ‘truthiness’, and it serves to inflame the public.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    I think in Australia , the rolls close on the 7th working day after the election writs are issued. So its fairly early there as well

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Except in Australia, you’re legally required to vote or risk being fined, and they do actually enforce it.

      • Akldnut 4.1.1

        Yep I know a few who got stung for not voting when I was in Aussie!

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.2

        But you cant vote if you arent on the roll !

        • Carol 4.1.2.1

          But it is also compulsory to register if you are a citizen (when I lived there I wasn’t allowed to vote, but got letters asking why I wasn’t enrolled).

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_registration#Australia

          So I think it’s not that easy to avoid registering to vote.

          • Maui 4.1.2.1.1

            Australian voting booths were like community events compared to the empty school hall in which I voted at around 10 AM in Wellington during the last election.

            I would support compulsory voting in NZ if it were feasible, but know the NATs and their allies will ferociously oppose it for the reasons given above.

            What happened to notions of civic duty on both sides of politics ?

  5. Anne 5

    So that’s why the Nat ministers love tripping off to the States. They’re looking to study and emulate the latest Republican Party electoral rorts. Hey… is that why John Key couldn’t attend those two soldiers’ memorial service the other week. 🙂

  6. captain hook 6

    Yeah the right is so thick here they have to buy their ideas from the right wing think tanks in the US and then get neanderthals like big red hooton to spin it for them.
    they cant even do that for themselves on the stump..

    • Anne 6.1

      Hooton isn’t a neanderthal captain hook. He’s a smart cookie with an analytical mind. Trouble is, he’s ideologically well to the right, and he’s willing to spin any spurious and spiteful crap necessary to promote his political cause which is the election of right wing Nat. based governments in NZ.

      • DJ 6.1.1

        Ah not like you ideologists who swing extremely left ……. hmmmmmmm

        • Anne 6.1.1.1

          OMG. He calls the centre-left extremely left. There are some people whose brain cells are so few and far between, that it’s too hit and miss to really be worth bothering about. 🙄

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    You raise crucial points Mike. National must not be allowed to game our democratic processes and effectively disenfranchise large numbers of voters.

    But one thing you said that I don’t get:

    New Zealanders have now decided that MMP is here to stay. National’s majority in Parliament is down to one, and our next election is also going to be very close.

    So what I want to understand is, why do you think our next election is “going to be very close”?

    Indeed, why is Labour not tipping towards 40% on the polls, given Key’s erratic handling of issues? His complete disregard for our service personnel? The behaviour blowouts of his support parties? The fact that asset sales are the most widely disliked Government policy for two decades? The complete screw ups in Education and the mean spirited handling of portfolios covering Corrections, WINZ and more? The fumble which is the Christchurch rebuild, and the fact that more Kiwis than ever are leaving this country, petrol is at nominal record highs, and youth unemployment remains at critical levels?

    And after all this, you conclude that our next election “is also going to be very close”? Who exactly is National up against in the next election? Poorly warmed up left overs?

    With all due respect…what the???!

    • You_Fool 7.1

      Green + Labour are close to National who will have no support partners next election, Act is dead and gone and the conservatives will ensure more people move left.

    • DJ 7.2

      “petrol is at nominal record highs”

      Ah you forgot a few off your list. Of course there are more earthquakes now, there have been some volcanos erupting, there has been a lot of rain lately and even some surfable waves on the North Shore.

      National have to go ……….

      • lprent 7.2.1

        Sounds as sensible as “we want a taxcut for the wealthy even if we can’t afford it, and besides I’m tired of the same old faces (especially Winston)..” which was pretty much what happened in 2008 once you remove the excuse memes that wandered around.

        Voters eh! They know what they want….

  8. Raymond A Francis 8

    A couple of anomalies show up in the comments, apparently Right wing are:
    “So thick here they have to buy their ideas from the right wing think tanks in the US and then get neanderthals like big red hooton to spin it for them.”

    While the Left’s voters or at least the ” low-income voters ” who are expected to support Labour, are so dumb they can’t be bothered to get off their arses to enrol or vote

    Now I am a little reluctant allow my future to be determined by people like that but if you think the system is going to be rorted

    Get off your arses, organise, get the people enrolled, to the ballot box and put in your submissions

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Get off your arses, organise, get the people enrolled, to the ballot box and put in your submissions

      Sensible suggestions. But has Labour given up on the huge non-turnout voter? In favour of targetting the disloyal ‘it’s all about me’ middle class “swing” vote?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      That’s the problem with disenfranchising of voters by parties not being representative of them – they don’t get anyone to vote for. It’s not that they’re “dumb” but that they’re looking and can’t see any benefit in voting when the choice they have is between tweedledum and tweedledummer.

      Get off your arses, organise, get the people enrolled, to the ballot box and put in your submissions

      Yep. Still won’t work if the parties don’t represent the people that they’re trying to get to vote.

  9. Mike Smith 9

    @CV re your 40% I don’t think polls move that fast – the exception being Brash on one law for all. The trend line is more important, and the things you mention take time to work their way through to a wider perception in the electorate.
    Have a look at the latest Roy Morgan poll – http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4810/
    He provides a trend graph which shows Greens + Labour ahead of National on August 10; more importantly, Labour and Greens are trending up and National is trending down.
    Morgan’s comment is “If a National Election were held today today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll suggests an election result would be ‘too close to call.” And there are still two years to go.
    That is why I think National are worried, and why they are trying to change the rules to their advantage.

    • lprent 9.1

      I see why you mean. The GCI looks like it plateauing, but at levels that would make any government quail.

      The polls have got to be good. Yep…

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Labour is getting a lot of expensive, frequent internal polling done, which to my mind is like driving with one eye glued to the rear view mirror.

        One of the worst electoral outcomes I can think of in 2014 is a one term, one seat majority Labour (-Greens) Government which is too meek to do anything of lasting substance (i.e. busy trying to stay good with the ‘centre’) and which is then subsequently run out of office for another 2 (or 3) Tory terms.

        @CV re your 40% I don’t think polls move that fast

        The Roy Morgan charts show that polls have no trouble moving 0.5% per month or more on average, for sustained periods. 24 months to the next elections. How much worse does National have to do before Labour gets traction?

        Of course, what I am implying here (none to subtly I admit) is that this is not really about National at all. After all, if 2014 really is a close election (when Roy Morgan says that it is already too close to call *today*) it will only be because Labour has leisurely meandered its way there.

        • fatty 9.1.1.1

          Labour needs to be well ahead of National 6 months before the election. If Labour continue to stick with the guitar-strumming mumbler, then they need to account for getting owned in the pre-election leaders debates.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think relying on Labour is a viable option. They’re still to attached to the neo-liberal/classical school of economics despite the fact that the GFC just proved that entire theory doesn’t friggen work and they’re chasing the centre while ignoring about 30% of the population that also happen to be the most vulnerable and need good representation in parliament.

        • Tracey 9.1.1.2

          “getting a lot of expensive, frequent internal polling done, which to my mind is like driving with one eye glued to the rear view mirror. : this also sums up our current “leadership” and explains the lack of plans, including Plans B and C to asset sales. IT’s as though the assets will be sold, and hey presto the work is done, surely there must be plans to come after the sales???

    • We certainly need to be aware Mike. The Tories will do anything to win.Im picking that they will make the Maori water issue a ” them or us ” debate Just watch the red-neck vote ( which Im sad to say is big ) increase
      The Iwi /Kiwi type advertising Core-Flutes will be swamping the countryside. Alrteady cunning Key has stated that no one owns water.
      Be vigilante !

  10. Glg 10

    The number of people who are still talking National vs Labour still haven’t got their head around MMP. Having said that, that’s how the media are still playing things as well. Labour on its own are in big trouble. They all sat around during the last election, believing the old FPP chestnut that National would get two terms. If they had got off their behinds and worked in Watakere and South Auckland, they might not be in opposition now. Having said that, if Labour are busy being National Lite, and bashing beneficiaries, why would the poor and the dispossessed vote Labour?
    And while I am at it, why do Labour not challenge the propaganda that there is no money for social program’s, but plenty of money for consultants, and dumbass roading projects. How about a few simple graphs people can understand? Of course then you would have to get them out to the bought and paid for media.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      you are dreaming surely ?

    • tc 10.2

      Woah enough of the simple stuff that people can understand along with some hard work.

      Geniuses like mallard/pagani and co know better than that (you know the folk behind the 08 and 11 losses) and with candidates like the one in my electorate who lost by an even bigger margin to a lazy, deceptive and dishonest Nat MP, what was a safe labour seat till going blue in 08.

      She couldn’t answer the question as to why, in public debates she didn’t challenge his lies, gave a diversionary answer and moaned he does it all the time. At least she’s not sucking a list teat this term.

  11. Raymond A Francis 11

    I think you are being too negitive about the Lefts ability long term to have the majority of voters support
    Most of the Rights vote comes from those who can say “I am all right Jack” and as long as National rules they think they will be but as time goes by under the present World conditions they will be a disappearing breed, that is what the polls are tell us now IMHO

  12. captain hook 12

    The civil society has come to mean don’t talk back to your betters.
    And the best way to ensure that there are more losers for the winners to laugh at is to use the power of privilege and money to skew the vote so only the “betters” get a vote.

    • DJ 12.1

      What a load of drivel. Everyone gets a vote. Why is it someone else’s fault when the uninspired don’t get off their arses and influence the results.

      But to be honest ….. what was there to vote for? Left to right (in my opinion) …… Mana, Greens, Empty Void, NF, National, ACT, Conservatives

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        Your Empty Void needs to be moved to the right and needs to read United Future. *I* would never call P Dunne an Empty Void but I will die for your right to do so.

  13. captain hook 13

    they dont get a vote if they have been removed from the roll without their knowledge.
    and the Labour Party is the only party with a social conscience so it suits the tories to remove those people who have most to lose.

  14. Wisewoman 14

    Grant McKenna is a former South African who lives in Dunedin, is a strong supporter of the National Party and is fairly petulant about any decision that is not conservative. He was like that there; he’s like that here too.

    SIGNED: another very embarrassed South African

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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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