Vote for MMP, anything else is just crazy

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, November 24th, 2011 - 40 comments
Categories: electoral systems, First Past the Post, MMP, Supplementary Member - Tags:

I see that the Nats in drag anti-MMP campaign have brought space on our banner. Now I know the mood of the authors on this subject.  They like MMP, really don’t want anything else, and would like to fix some of the rough bits. They regard this years referendum as a monumental waste of time and resources. So my first thought was to simply boot the irritating and outright noisy junk off our site. But then I looked at their pathetic ad. I decided that it was more effective to take their money, counter it (like the Standards enhanced logo?) and comment on it.

As their banner showed, the anti-MMP’s only effective tactic is that of some rather pathetic scare tactics which completely ignore the real issues with MMP. They don’t say anything about the advantages of their preferred options. The tinkering with MMP we will get to deal with next election after we have to finally put the crazies pointless referendum to death this election. This years referendum is a just a waste of time. The one in 2014 is where we can fix MMP, which appears to be the only thing that the anti’s ad appears to actually want us to do.

In my opinion, no-one in their right mind would want to go back to the arbitrary fait governments that first past the post (FPP) (and its ridiculous cousin supplementary member (SM)) would give us again. Giving minority governments that had well less than 50% of the vote, and often well less than 40%, absolute control over the country caused some of the worst economic and social mistakes in this countries history. It allowed very small cabals of people who were essentially not beholden to anything apart from their gerrymandering party to make major decisions without more than minor consideration of the voters. The system excluded ‘losers’ in each electorate because they wound up effectively not being represented by anyone in parliament.

This culminated in the Muldoon government’s stupidity trying to withstand the forces of external change but doing it 20 years too late, and doing it against technical advice. Followed by the Act cabal’s arrogance inside Labour wanting to change everything too damn fast and not being careful enough about the damage that caused to the following generations (my mother volunteering at Woman’s Refuge is still picking up the intergenerational damage decades later). The Richardson National government ineptly playing copycat as a followup wasn’t exactly a great example of the benefits of a first past the post system. They were voted in not to do that type of widescale economic change – they did it apparently simply because they could..

Effectively we had more than 25 years of absolute chaos where small groups inside our government played simplistic and abrupt games with the economy ignoring the screaming as our society was stretched to the breaking point. That was why when the politicians finally gave us a chance to change voting system it was emphatically changed to a system that requires a higher degree of voter agreement. It makes the process of change in response to external changes much more gradual and a lot more consistent. For all of the political conniption since MMP was introduced. The abrupt changes in the economy that tore our society to pieces from the early 70’s to the mid-90’s have largely ceased. We’d managed to pay back our governmental debts caused by successive governments experiments in how to rapidly shed value, and were in really good shape to withstand the current global meltdowns – well at least until John Key started smiling and waving on Letterman.

Now I’m a pragmatic person and quite conservative (especially as far as my younger relatives are concerned). When the original referendum was held, I didn’t vote for MMP. I voted for a change to anything apart from the terrible FPP system whose original purpose was to keep idiot aristocrats in power. On the second vote I voted for single transferable vote largely because the aussies had shown that it sort of worked, and the fervor and rhetoric of the MMP advocates sounded more like the religious flagellation1 than something used in the real world.

Ok – I was wrong. Not about the nutters. They still sound just as hysterical now as they did then – just more right wing than they were then*. But MMP is great for expressing a democracy within the current available technology (ie periodic voting for representatives). It forces politicians to spend a lot of time talking to each other and to the electorate. You have to work the public opinion, and these days you have to work it in a environment where anyone could potentially start up a blog or facebook page and enter the political discourse directly.

Because if you don’t carry at least a major part of electorate forward with you and get the implied acquiescence of must of the rest then you will suffer the fate that National and its coalition parties will have this year. Effective political extinction of one or more parties as being irrelevant to the voters purposes, and the reduction of a major political party to scrabbling for votes in the house. This isn’t a bad side effect of MMP. This is the whole point of MMP. A politicians job is not to order, it is to communicate and convince because if you don’t carry the other side then you merely cannibalize the votes of your coalition parties as National is doing.

The implied checks and balances inside MMP are quite awesome if you’re a person like me who specializes in building stable systems. It makes most common political manipulations quite ineffective over the medium term. You cannot lock large amounts of vote in ineffectual protest parties as used to happen with Social Credit or the Values party. They either get big enough to get into parliament or they die out over a few election cycles. If they get into parliament then their effective power is limited both by their seats in a classic representative style, but also relative governmental experience. There is no real point in new party or new MP trying to jump the promotional queue during coalition negotiations. It is a sure way to lose seats (as the Maori party appears to be finding out).

Half arsed political tactics like the rights attempted staking of Winston Peters in 2008 that would have worked3 in a FPP environment don’t work for long in MMP. The voters will revive them if they have a constituency. Politicians are forced to compromise with the idiosyncratic mood of the voters, and with their occasional idiocies (including in my opinion the resurrection of Winston).

Which leads us back to the purpose of this pointless referendum on MMP. To me there appears to be the single argument behind this years pointless referendum. The supporters of FPP and SM are just nostalgic for the old days when little cabals of political figures could sit around and plan to take over a corner of the world without bothering to do much more than suckering the voters with elegant spin. It isn’t a point that goes down too well with the public who really don’t want to pushed around by the older versions of those pimply arrogant jerks. Since that particular wet dream isn’t popular, nothing else really makes any sensible reason to shift back to the 1960’s, so we get strange scare ads like the one that was playing on our blog as I wrote the post.

So I enhanced our logo with a ad from the pro-MMP side and wrote a post about why…

 

1: The type of flagellation that ACToids and other similar nutters expect others to do for them

2: And I have to say that dogmatic lefties of faith (think of Bryce Edwards) were preferable to dickheads like Cameron Slater attempting ‘humor’ and bumbling through this new fangled concept of thinking. In the dinosaur days that he belongs in, they’d have just shipped the failures to the colonies. I’d like to point out that whilst the NZLP isn’t nasty, I sure as hell am. And I have reasons to be especially nasty to a hypocrite like him.

3: There are lots of examples of this. Problem is that I’m writing this after midnight and after I have spent a long day building e-day targeting profiles on my ‘holiday’. Look then up yourself.

40 comments on “Vote for MMP, anything else is just crazy ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    I’ve been having fun telling younger voters about Rob Muldoon. Most are taking MMP for granted now, but are horrified when they realise Muldoon was governing this country with less than 2 out of 5 voters supporting his Government. Let’s not go back.

  2. weka 2

    Lynn, can you make the ad in the TS banner linkable to http://www.campaignformmp.org.nz/ instead of to TS? That way if people get distracted by the ads they have the option to go to http://www.campaignformmp.org.nz/ instead of the anti-mmp one, without having to scroll down and find the other pro ad lower down.

    • lprent 2.1

      Umm. A lot of people including me us that area to go “home”. But of course they can just use the Home link for a couple of days.

      Done. (and I bet that increases the traffic to campaignforMMP for a bit).

      • weka 2.1.1

        Thanks. I use the TS logo to go to the home page too, but agree it’s worth the sacrifice 🙂

      • felix 2.1.2

        How about an image map with both links? Me and my habitual clicking…

        • lprent 2.1.2.1

          I was thinking about it at 1am this morning. But I have two electorates still do some work on, and I’m off holiday today and back to work (setting priorities on threads right now).

          Ain’t going to happen right now. But I will set it up so that can be done the next time I have to use this.

  3. Blue 3

    I think it needs to be pointed out again that you don’t have to vote for any of the alternative systems on the ballot paper.

    You can just tick the box to keep MMP and not bother with Part B.

    • lprent 3.1

      Usual thing though. If there are enough crazies, then do you want the choice to be between MMP and FPP in 2014. Wouldn’t it be better to be between MMP and STV?

      I’m one of those people who has as a mantra that “Murphy is an optimist – he should have just said that things will go wrong. They will always go wrong in ways that you cannot predict.”

      • rosy 3.1.1

        I’m thinking between MMP and FPP would be best because we know that MMP can beat FPP. There are no new ‘facts’ that can be thrown around in that debate.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          I’d tend with lprent on this one, better to set it up so that there is no ‘lose’ option on the ballot paper.

          Rather tory strategy I know but thats what they do.

          • swordfish 3.1.1.1.1

            Yep, 1prent’s hit the nail on the head.

            If all of us voting to RETAIN MMP in the first part of the referendum vote STV in the second part then we set up a brilliant insurance policy. In the event that more than 50% opt to CHANGE SYSTEMS in the first part (still possible given that MMP tends to win by a plurality rather than absolute majority in opinion polls), then we set up a 2014 Referendum between two entirely proportional systems. Lose-lose for the Nact-Business Roundtable nexus.

            Mind you, it’s probably far too late to get that message out now. You’d really need the overwhelming majority of MMP supporters to go STV in Part Two. But good to see that people here have picked up on this ! Does my heart good, so it does.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        If we look at the 4 sorts of outcomes where MMP is rejected by part 1 by a narrow margin (51/49):

        1. Lots of people voted to keep MMP and fewer people vote in part 2
        2. People vote for FPP in part 2 (already the clear leader in opinion polls)
        3. People vote for STV/PV in part 2 to muddy the waters
        4. A large proportion of people vote for STV/PV

        In the case of 1, while we would have “less legitimacy” in the result of part 2 should part 1 fail, this doesn’t actually mean squat in reality and at best could only result in another referendum (say all 49% of people who voted to keep MMP refused to vote in part 2), so in practice we’d end up with MMP vs the most popular of the part 2 options.

        In the case of 2, we set up a run off between MMP and FFP, which MMP will almost surely win.

        In the case of 3, we make a more even field between the part 2 options so there is no distinctly clear winner. Like in the case of 1, it seems that this could result in another referendum (say the results were 24.9%/25%//25%/25.1% or 33/33/33/0) or a choice between MMP and the most popular one.

        In the case of 4, we set up a run off between MMP and STV/PV, essentially a ‘win-win’ outcome from our perspective.

        In order of outcomes where we must choose between MMP and another system, I’d say we’d like 4, then 2, then 3, then 1. Given FPP’s existing lead, I think #4 simply won’t happen, even if that’s the best outcome. We’re more likely to end up with #3 or #1 than we are #4, but #2 is preferable to both of #1 and #3 (and is the likely outcome of those anyway).

        On that basis I’m just going to go with the flow and vote FPP because I know it’ll fail.

        Probably the worst outcome we could have is MMP vs SM, so voting for FPP will help prevent that.

        • Deuto 3.1.2.1

          Morning Lanth. I am probably just being thick, but cannot work out the difference between your two STV/PV options at 3 and 4. If someone votes to retain MMP in Part 1 of the referendum and then for STV or PV in Part 2, which is this in terms of your options 3 and 4?

          • felix 3.1.2.1.1

            Yes, I’m quite thick about that too. What do you mean, Lanth?

          • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1.2

            The differences between #3 and #4 are simply the actual outcome of the 2nd vote.

            At the moment FPP is streets ahead with something like 40% of the vote, STV on 17%, SM/PV on 5-6% and the rest being undecided.

            If we assume that most people are going to vote with FPP, then a portion of the population who want to keep MMP and so deliberately vote for the ‘least-bad’ option of STV in part 2 would result in a #3 outcome. The only time a #4 outcome would happen is when most people in the electorate make a clear choice of STV. That is highly unlikely to happen, based on current polling.

            So given a choice between #1, #2 and #3, I think you should pick #2 and vote FPP. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy in that if no one votes STV then #4 can never happen, but I suggest that #4 is already so unlikely that we’re better off preventing #1 or #3 from happening because we can be quite sure that, should it come down to it, MMP will beat FPP were they to go head to head. Certainly voting for FPP is better than voting for SM as MMP vs SM would be a much closer race.

            It’s not so much a case of “vote FPP because you like it” but “vote FPP in order to make sure that SM can’t be the run-off vote”. Really it’s like Epsom: vote Goldsmith to keep ACT out, not because you actually like him, because the majority vote is going to be split between these two choices anyway. Voting for STV/PV would be like voting for Labour or Greens: idealistic, but doesn’t really stop Banks from winning the seat.

            • deuto 3.1.2.1.2.1

              Thanks – I now understand and will think about it. Definitely a case of “hold my nose’ when voting if I go with FPP in Part 2.

              Re not filling in Part 2 (which I was orginally thinking of), will definitely be doing so after thinking it through. Also, all good advice I have seen and heard recommends doing so in the (unlikely but still possible) chance that MMP does not win out in Part 1.

              Was particularly impressed with the RNZ National programme the other day on the MMP referendum and various options, where it was recommended to do so. [Not impressed with RNZ National over recent months, but this was a goodie.]

    • Vicky32 3.2

      “I think it needs to be pointed out again that you don’t have to vote for any of the alternative systems on the ballot paper.”

      That’s good to know! 🙂

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    There’s been an anti-MMP campaign? Not a chance it will go. MMP is the devil we know, and makes sense on a general fairness test. With some minor tweaks it will be fine. As someone said (was it Phil?), Germany seems to get by quite well with it.

  5. A long time ago I got really fed up with singing and dancing ads everywhere so I got some pretty good adblocking and I never knew you even had a banner until you mentioned it now.

    Message to your advertisers: I don’t even see them. Let alone read them.

    • lprent 5.1

      I think that they are aware of that *grin*. What they are also counting on is that most people simply don’t bother. I tend to mostly just ignore ads.

    • Vicky32 5.2

      “Message to your advertisers: I don’t even see them. Let alone read them.”

      That’s true for me as well, I have Adblock Plus. Awesome! (Cos I have dial up..)

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The advertisers have got one thng right: Winnie cannot be trusted to promote the common good. On the other hand, he can be trusted to play the system to the hilt for personal gain.

  7. g says 7

    we must be moving into the age of irony.
    mr key upset with being recorded against his will after passing the search and surveillance bill (despicably abled by the labour party).
    teflon john, by his mismanagement of the fall-out from the tea tape, has ressurected live into the winston first party.
    and now the anti mmp crew whos best example of all things wrong with mmp ís the act party (the convulutions in epsom and their leader who was elected from which electorate?)
    you have just got to laugh

  8. deuto 8

    Lol – good on you, lprent! But just watch that workload and bp; we don’t want a repeat of you know what.

    If it is of interest (given the various views on methodology), Horizon released a poll on the MMP referendum yesterday – http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/186/mmp-50-say-keep-it

    They should be releasing their last election poll results today as all polling and results must cease at midnight tonight according to their site – http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/183/final-election-poll-vote-now

    [I have finally worked out how to include two links in one comment – learning is slow but steady!]

  9. Key, caught out fibbing again. This time on MMP and SM: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/election-eleven-thursday/

    I was going to end by asking, “Has this man no shame?”

    But I’d get laughed at. Obvious answer, really.

  10. randal 10

    national love confusing people.
    while people are trying to understand all nationals broken promises and sheer lack of ability they are getting dragged into a stupid argument on MMP that has been totally mangled by the press who seem to have beome illiterate on anything that isnt about style or accoutrements.
    we have a ninny government and a ninny press to support them.
    ugly dude.

  11. chris73 11

    “Want a good reason for not voting MMP. Look at the people who are telling you to.”

    http://rwrnz.blogspot.com/2011/11/elections.html

    • NickS 11.1

      /facepalm

      Oh fuck off, the phrase you’re disingenuously misusing refers to looking at the majority of the anti-MMP crowd, rather than merely cherry picking one example, like you’ve done. Furthermore one of the features of representative democracies is that all views get a chance for representation in parliament, even the ones that can be seen as repugnant.

      • chris73 11.1.1

        Also unions, the Greens, Labour and Mana support MMP which are all good reasons to dump it

        • NickS 11.1.1.1

          Because better levels of representation in democracy is such a bad thing…

          So in other words, you think we should go back to FPP, which is highly prone to being unrepresentative and prone to gerrymandering for what reasons exactly?

          • chris73 11.1.1.1.1

            So in your warped world view its MMP or FPP, maybe you and your leftie looney friends should stop looking at everything as if its a tribal battle.

            • NickS 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, you haven’t even bothered suggesting what we should change to, and the alternatives the anti-MMP crowd have suggested other than FPP are generally just FFP in drag with similar problems, while the rest of MMP-like alt’s all allow for minor parties to get into parliament easily. Furthermore, you’re trying to dodge teh question.

        • NickS 11.1.1.2

          /yawn Eh, I’m almost back to being able to work fulltime, but had to pike today due to a build up of fatigue that not even a quad-coffee cuts through, so onwards to some cluebatting!

          Also unions, the Greens, Labour and Mana support MMP which are all good reasons to dump it

          Why? It’s almost like you’re saying these three groups are teh evilz and thus anything they put forward is “bad” right off, instead of using ye olde critical thinking to examine their reasons and the costs/benefits and evidence etc.

          Also, wtf is so bad about unions? They’re mostly responsible for a whole range of stuff that has made work a lot less dangerous and much better paying and force businesses (and the government) to justify cuts to pay and other things.

  12. lprent 12

    Looks like the anti-MMP crowd don’t want to advertise here anymore – I wonder why?

  13. chris73 13

    I’m voting for Supplementary Member, I agree with proportional representation but I feel that electorate MPs provide better value and are more important then list MPs so this is a good way to change the ratio

    I really just didn’t like the heading and some of the comments is all

    • lprent 13.1

      Figure out something like

      Greens get 10% of the vote, fail to win an electorate seat because their support is countrywide rather than localized. So they get 10% of 30 seats = 3 in a parliament of 120.

      Their 10% of the vote gets 2.5% of the seats in parliament under SM. Under MMP it would get 12 seats = 10%

      I guess you don’t actually support proportional representation after all. John Key likes it because it wastes votes…..

      • chris73 13.1.1

        No system is perfect (except for fascism as long as I’m in charge) but I’d also drop the number of MPs to 99

        I think an electorate MP has more of a mandate (not to mention being held accountable) than a list MP

        • lprent 13.1.1.1

          Different story to make it deliberately as imperfect as possible. That is just poor workmanship.

        • fmacskasy 13.1.1.2

          “I think an electorate MP has more of a mandate (not to mention being held accountable) than a list MP”

          Really?

          Let’s take the Rongotai Electorate in the 2008 election…

          Annette King (L) got 19,614 electorate votes

          Chris Finlayson (N) got 10,594 electorate votes

          But Finlayson also got 11,950 Party votes

          In effect, Finalayson’s TOTAL Party and Electorate votes were greater than the Electorate votes that King won.

          So how does one have a “mandate” and the other doesn’t?

          Let’s be honest here; SM is simply FPP + Add Ons.

          SM returns total power to just one of the Big Two parties.

          And SM makes smaller parties irrelevant. In fact, why bother with paying for ineffective small party’s MPs at all? They won’t achieve anything. We might as well call a spade a spade and opt for FPP.

          Then we can have repeats of absurd election results where Labour won MORE votes than National – but FPP gave MORE seats to National.

          It’s not just downright unfair, it’s nonsensical. Who the heck supports an electoral system that doesn’t represent the will of the people in a fair and rational manner?

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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
    Tis the winter solstice! The shortest day and longest night of the year. The good news: we’re on our way back to summertime. Here’s another roundup of stories to brighten up your Friday. Our header image is from CRL and shows Waihorotiu Station lit up for Matariki 2024 The ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    5 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    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). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    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 ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago

  • Government introduces Three Strikes Bill
    The Government has introduced a Bill today to restore the Three Strikes sentencing law, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says. “New Zealanders are rightly concerned about violent crime. We are delivering on our commitment to introduce a revised Three Strikes law as one of our key law and order priorities.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
    The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) are together committing an additional $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government actions strengthening Māori success
    Tākina Puanga. Ko Puanga kei runga. Ko Puanga e Rangi. Tākina mai te ara o Puanga nui o te rangi. Tākina ngā pou o te tau. Ki te whai ao ki te ao marama. Puanga or Rigel celebrations reflect a renewed energy across our communities – to acknowledge those who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
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