We need a new version of MMP

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, October 1st, 2017 - 124 comments
Categories: democratic participation, electoral systems, MMP, Politics - Tags: ,

The election has revealed how, apart from a handful of seats, the party vote is really all that matters. The Labour surge of ten points may have provided it with an extra 13 seats – but they made a net gain of just two electorate seats.

The minor parties were culled or shaken up, and some now talk of New Zealand ditching the system that is only 24 years old, though, tellingly, those reasons seem somewhat confused and irrational.

MMP should stay but it needs to be refreshed. Minor parties are important because they provide representation to views and policies that cannot always be accommodated in the two super parties. It is in both Parliament and the voter’s interests that they be given a fair pathway into the Beehive.

There is an alternative and I look to Scotland and Wales for their national parliaments for how this can be done better. All it would take is a small but crucial change.

In these national parliaments (as I will call them for simplicity, but Wales has an assembly), there are electorates (constituencies) and a party vote.

In Scotland there are 129 MSPs, 73 of whom are elected on the first-past-the-post system, the remaining 56 via the list. In the Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru there are 60 AMs (40/20).

On the surface it appears those voting systems are identical to the one in Aotearoa, without the Māori seats, of course.

However, the party vote in both Celtic countries is divided along regional lines. In Scotland there are eight regions, each having 8-10 constituencies and 6-7 top-up places.

The effect of this is that voters have a closer relationship with the list MPs. While voters in Invercargill are picking candidates from all over the country, in one of the Scottish regions, Glasgow, voters only select candidates from the city. The connection will clearly be less so in the large rural regions, but even in the Highlands and Islands, for example, the choice is to pick a Highlander.

Sensibly, there is no 5% threshold and no one-seat ‘top-up’.

This system can, and has, allowed Independent or single issue candidates from contesting the regional vote. In the past SNP renegade Margo MacDonald won a place in Holyrood this way, as did the Scottish Senior Citizen’s Unity party, but the latter, in particular, would have no chance whatsoever of success under the one-size-fits-all national vote.
Smaller parties, such as the Greens and the Scottish Socialists, have required about 6-7% in a single region to gain at least one MSP. This means those parties have been able to use their support in liberal city and industrial areas to their advantage, and not hampered so much by conservative rural and suburban areas.
In New Zealand, changing MMP could be split into seven or eight regions. For example, in Wellington and beyond, the eight seats from Rongotai up to Wairarapa and Otaki could come under the one umbrella.

While there is no guarantee such a method would aid the left it would create closer List MP-voter connections and rid us of the low high threshold and one-man bands that our MMP system allows.

John Innes


lprent: I edited a word in the last paragraph which didn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the post. It should be obvious.

124 comments on “We need a new version of MMP”

  1. Dan 1

    My memory may be failing me but I have an idea when the MMP system was put to the country, the Nats chose the worst option available in the expectation it would be voted out and FPP would prevail. The better models of West Australia and I think Germany were not offered, or talked down. However people voted for change and change we got.

    • tracey 1.1

      We were offered MMP but with more MPs than under FPP. I cynically thought at the time it was cos they bet on us hating the idea of more pollies more than fair representation. They were wrong.

      • To be fair to the electoral commission, they actually needed to scale up the number of politicians to keep electorates to a reasonable size for single-members under MMP, as we essentially dropped 39 electorates with the transition. I imagine that was the real reason for the recommendation, as it was made independently from Parliament, and it was considered a radical reform at the time by politicians.

        I’ve done the numbers for a discussion paper I want to hand in to the Greens soon, and if we had kept the ratio of seats-to-population we had in 1993, we would have added another 11 seats since we changed to MMP, so we’ve effectively already “eaten up” the extra seats through population growth. (that said, the need for additional seats probably does grow more slowly than population, so the ratio should really be considered either as a square root or logarithmically)

    • We essentially have the German model, but scaled down to a New Zealand size.

      The high 5% threshold is a German “innovation,” intended to make it harder for nationalists to move into their federal parliament, and our 1-electorate lifeboat rule is a copy of their 2-electorate lifeboat rule (Their 2-electorate rule is actually much easier to meet, as they have about 700 Bundesbesitzender, or MPs in our terminology) to make it slightly less silly and disenfranchising.

      It’s true we don’t have regional lists, but that’s because New Zealand has never really had a formal regional seperation into states like Germany does as a federal republic. Despite using regional lists, Germany also uses a national-level seat allocation, and then applies a sainte-laguë distribution again on each party’s seats based which of the states each Party Vote came from, to determine which state list an MP is elected from. (this is why their formal name for the party vote is actually “state list vote” translated into English, and “party vote” is given as its informal name)

      While we could do this in New Zealand, I think a better electorate vote system to represent New Zealand with regional proportionality is probably a more rational way to go. (right now, most electorates tend to go to National even in a close election, and it’s actually quite difficult for parties that aren’t National or Labour to win a plurality of votes in a seat that isn’t “safe” and “gifted” to a party ally like ACT) I would propose keeping the closed list half of our mixed system, but replacing the constituency half with either multi-winner STV or a Re-weighted Range Vote. Both have larger electorates where typically three to seven winners are chosen “at large,” meaning you can come in third and still win a seat. Both allow you to either rank or evaluate multiple candidates and don’t exactly suffer from vote-splitting as such. (they have their own strategic quirks, of course) This would mean medium parties would likely win several electorate seats just by competing aggressively for the party vote with strong local candidates, and that minor parties going for electorate seats would find it easier as they don’t need to dominate an entire electorate, just come in somewhere between the top seven and top three, depending on the size of their electorate.

      The reason I say this is because there are actually parties that do a better job at regional representation through their existing party lists than a regional list system would allow them to. The Greens, for example, would consist almost entirely of urban representatives from Wellington and Auckland in such a system.

      • tracey 1.2.1

        Germany has much greater regional identity than us from culture to accents/dialect. At times in the past they ruled independently so it doesnt directly convert to NZ. We also have the Maori Seats.

        I would hate to see FPP back. It tended to give us lurches depending on whether Labour or Nats ruled. MMP has given voice and influence to diverse quarters which has seen the edges integration as policy by the big parties.

        The drawback is the status quo is perhaps held on to for longer

        • KJT 1.2.1.1

          We voted for MMP, to counter the ideological lunacy of the 80’s and 90’s Dictatorships. Slowing down Government legislation was a desired feature.

          Unfortunately that part hasn’t worked to well, with National gaming the system to ensure they had sycophants in their minor adjunct parties.

          Yet another reason why Swiss style binding referenda are the minimum requirement for real democratic participation. Not going to happen though, because the majority will vote for increased taxes on the rich and a fair go.

          • Dialey 1.2.1.1.1

            Referenda only work when you have a civically educated and engaged voting public. I’d hate the likes of Mike Hosking to determine any referendum outcome due to his celebrity status

            • KJT 1.2.1.1.1.1

              The same objection applies to our present system.

              I might add. It also only works when politicians and their media outlets, tell the truth.

  2. Andre 2

    Even simpler to just lower the threshold and abolish coat-tailing so we don’t get rorts like Epsom. Y’know, just implement the recommendations of the 2012 review.

    http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2012-mmp-review/results-mmp-review

    It’s also occurred to me that if we disqualified overhang MPs from confidence and supply votes, the incentive for Epsom and Ohariu type rorts would be reduced.

    • Pretty much. All of those need to be implemented by next election.

      I’d also like to see the threshold dropped to the percentage required to get one seat and Preferential voting in electorates.

    • Phil Saxby 2.2

      Almost all the NZ experience of overhang seats has been with the Maori seats, when the Maori Party won lots of electorates (far more than its party vote would qualify it to hold).

      Ohariu was an overhang seat in 2014-2017, but no other general electorate has been an “overhang”.

      People who live in Ohariu, and have voted for Peter Dunne as their MP election after election, don’t consider they were “rorting” the system. Maybe their votes should be respected as genuine and legitimate?

      I am an Ohariu voter myself…

  3. ianmac 3

    The threshold should be demolished.
    Coat-tailing as in Act abolished. Act with .5% in. TOP 2.5% out. Wrong!

    • weka 3.1

      Given TOP would probably support a coalition with National a la the Māori Party, or possibly even go with National and prevent a LW government, this election was the first time I seriously thought against lowering the threshold (I’ve previously been in favour). I’m sure I’ll come round again, but it was sobering.

      • Roy 3.1.1

        That is as much an issue with campaign funding. What got Gareth so many votes? His amazingly forward policies? His handsome, electable mug hung all over the place? Or his millions?

        • tracey 3.1.1.1

          It helps that as a white middle aged dude who has an economics background and ran a business he gets a head start with an assumption he must know everything about everything cos of those factors

          • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1.1.1

            More than anything, we need the money taken out of elections.

            So far we have had these rich white guys trying to form their own parties:

            Colin Craig
            Kim Dotcom
            Gareth Morgan

            And to make it easier for new parties to form out of an agreed philosophy and MO.

            • mikesh 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I understand there are rules about how much a party can spend. I doubt if he broke those rules.

            • tracey 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Alan Gibbs and Doug Myers = ACT

            • Phil Saxby 3.1.1.1.1.3

              I helped start the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 1996. We had no money, but we did get enough support to qualify for two MPs, that year.

              What killed us was the 5% threshold.

              Money is not the issue; our restrictions on advertising are sufficient to provide a fair contest.

              What we need, to improve the representative-ness of Parliament, is a 2% threshold (at most). At present, all our small parties are being throttled to death (or near-death in the case of the Greens and NZ First).

        • Andre 3.1.1.2

          “What got Gareth so many votes?”

          It was his warm empathetic manner in patiently explaining the nuances of his policies to everyone who suggested there might be flaws in them.

        • weka 3.1.1.3

          Do you mean that we could have laws that prevented Morgan from using the amount of money he did, and that this would put TOP on a more even playing field with other smaller parties. e.g. we’d have a range of small parties that would be available for coalition building.

        • mikesh 3.1.1.4

          He had the best policies, though not necessarily the most popular ones.

      • bwaghorn 3.1.2

        so you only like democracy when it suits you?

        • weka 3.1.2.1

          We get choices of different kinds of democracy. I’m not a great fan of what we have now, I think we can do better, but it’s certainly better than other kinds.

          I think we need to look at that in the context of centrist parties and how they control MMP esp in NZ’s history. Also the finance factor discussed above. If we were going to truly democratise our system, we should do so, and as I said above I’m sure I’ll come round to lowering the threshold again, but it is sobering to understand that voting TOP might hand National a 4th term.

          If you think examining all that means I only like democracy when it suits me, then you’re really not paying attention. Or perhaps you have a problem with my critiques of TOP. It’s hard to tell.

          • RedLogix 3.1.2.1.1

            Your critiques mainly focus on smearing Morgan because he is rich, white and male and in the heat of an election campaign he didn’t politely respond to you on twitter; when I carefully point out the substantial overlap of policy interests TOP has with the Greens you go all silent.

            Dirty Politics 2017 style

            If TOP have it so very wrong then exactly what are your objections to ideas and motives expressed here?

            http://www.top.org.nz/top4

            • tracey 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Rich white and male… cos they are already under represented in the discourse. We need more, much more

              • RedLogix

                11 of 26 TOP candidates are women; not too shabby for first time out of the block.

                http://www.top.org.nz/candidates

                • tracey

                  I never heard or read anything from any except Morgan

                  • RedLogix

                    Much the same applies to all the other parties. In the case of Labour and National they naturally have a bit more depth at a senior level, but still how much did we hear from your average back-bencher from ANY party?

                    That’s not a comment on TOP, but more a about our personality-driven media circus.

                    Oh and if you are interested there are a range of TOP contributors here:

                    http://www.top.org.nz/blog

                    • tracey

                      No. I hear regularly from Gentner… and others. Morgan was always spokesperson.

                      He has some policies I favour and some I do not. But he needs to beware the one person party. He had sufficient money to command higher coverage than many small first time parties get. I understand he used his “image” to gain traction for a fledgling brand but even having a coleader would have help with the look of a one person party. And male led. We have lots of these. People deserve and need to see themselves reflected in their leaders ( which means all those seeking to represent us not just the party leader per se).

                    • RedLogix

                      Probably because being a Green supporter you listen for Green voices; equally I heard a bit from Geoff Simmons, Shannon Smith and Andrew Courtney. And being on their email list I was asked to participate in three or four different policy formation surveys. I certainly never had the sense TOP was all about Morgan and no-one else.

                      This is an example of the difference between values and interests. Its clear that you place a high weighting on ‘inclusiveness and diversity’ of representation, and mark down TOP because they haven’t front footed that dimension. (Still if you look at their candidate list, for just 26 people they seemed to get a fairly representative slice of NZ.)

                      When it comes to policy interests there is a lot for the average Greenie to identify with … but when intangible values outbid concrete interests … the result is a stalemate. And equally I guarantee you there is at least one or two Green party policies you don’t quite gell with, but your happy to discount that because you place a high value of the manner in which the Greens operate and the values they project.

                      This is all quite normal. Almost everyone is like this; we mostly vote for people who we like, people who we feel align with our own values and vision for our lives. I quite like GM; he’s the kind of grumpy, generous, flawed bundle of contradictions I like in a man, so I don’t have the same values resistance to TOP that you do. I get that.

                      But if we place 100% weighting on values and personalities we’re only doing tribalism. The actual work of politics is about the pragmatic negotiation of interests, the framing of the agenda, promoting ideas and grinding out the details of policy.

            • weka 3.1.2.1.1.2

              Attacking me and misrepresenting my views instead of engaging with the ideas seems to be your default position at the moment Red. The more that happens the less likely I am to respond to your comments about TOP.

              Your critiques mainly focus on smearing Morgan because he is rich, white and male…

              Not really. e.g. if you look at the post on the Youth UBI, it’s mostly about the problems with the policy. You can attempt to write off my critiques as smears, but I’ll stand by my history and ability to argue the points on TS.

              … and in the heat of an election campaign he didn’t politely respond to you on twitter;…

              Again, not quite right. The first attempts were earlier in the year, and it wasn’t just me, it was lots of people. Politeness, lol, I’ve been on TS for years. Again, you’re trying to marginalise may actual arguments by writing them off as something they’re not.

              …when I carefully point out the substantial overlap of policy interests TOP has with the Greens you go all silent.

              Since when has anyone on TS been obligated to respond to anyone else’s random comment? The comment you link to is a reply to Draco.

              There are so many problematic things about TOP, but my experience of discussing TOP with you is that a chunk of the time you engage well, a chunk of the time you don’t, and in the end you resort to this sort of bullshit undermining.

              It’s also been my experience that instead of addressing the points raised, often in conversations about TOP it becomes about how they’re Good. I’m much more interested in addressing the problems.

              • RedLogix

                Attacking me and misrepresenting my views instead of engaging with the ideas

                Snap.

                • weka

                  Red, I literally took what you wrote and responded to it by pointing out where I think you are wrong and telling you what I think instead. If you think I am wrong in my view of your comment, then by all means address the points. Otherwise all I’m seeing is you writing off my long term critiques with misleading statements that I’ve clarified.

          • mikesh 3.1.2.1.2

            In other words we should choose rules that prevent parties that you happen not to like don´t get in. That´s pretty undemocratic of you!

          • bwaghorn 3.1.2.1.3

            no i don’t mind you having a prob with top . i was thinking about the threshold the other day and think 5% is fine

            • weka 3.1.2.1.3.1

              My main problem is that there are still too many NZers who don’t really understand how MMP works (and the reasons why that is), and that we’ve had a pretty macho/powermongering version of MMP in large part thanks to Winston Peters. Those are cultural problems, rather than structural ones like the threshold %. I think the system can be improved but only if we address the cultural side as well.

        • rob 3.1.2.2

          Certainly like a little democracy in ECAN!

      • Rae 3.1.3

        TOP is an odd mixture of ideas. What could be more left wing than a UBI?

        • Andre 3.1.3.1

          UBI gets a lot of support from right-wing types as well. Because it makes it easier to implement … ahhh … business-friendly flexible employer-employee relations.

          • RedLogix 3.1.3.1.1

            Like any policy tool a UBI can be used or abused. For instance, just because welfare has been set below liveable levels by a succession of governments, doesn’t justify any argument for abolishing it. It just means we’re doing it wrong and it needs fixing.

            business-friendly flexible employer-employee relations

            The other way of looking at a UBI is that it gives households more flexibility in how they participate in the labour market. While the UBI may not by itself be enough for a individual to live on long-term; combined with other tax reform it would make a big difference to people choosing not to be in paid employment for a period … for whatever reason.

            This would give workers more options around walking away from abusive or shitty employers, the option to take time re-training, re-creation, re-investing socially in whanau or community and so on. It also fundamentally recognises the contribution of child care and allows parents flexibility in choosing how they want to arrange the balance between work and family.

            Viewed this way a UBI can be a very worker-friendly policy.

            • Andre 3.1.3.1.1.1

              Agreed. I’m quite an enthusiast for UBI, as lefties understand it. But I also think it’s important to understand what’s attractive about UBI to some right-wing types and how they might try to abuse it to their own ends.

              • RedLogix

                Not all right wingers are abusive arse-holes. If fact most aren’t; it’s just they place a different weighting on values and interests than lefties do.

                Politics is essentially a negotiating of interests; understanding what is attractive and valuable to all the people around the table is vital. Conservative, business-friendly, change averse people are not ever going to dissappear, they will ALWAYS be part of the political landscape.

                Attack someone and they will most likely respond in kind; make them an offer you can both work with, that appeals to their better instincts and you are always more likely to get a durable result. It’s just a matter of designing and implementing a UBI so that everyone sees something in it of value to them.

                • Sure, but a UBI in the hands of a right-wing government is could potentially be Ruthanasia on steroids. You don’t need all right-wingers to be abusive, you just need one or two in an influential position to start crushing the poor, or anyone else in need of state assistance.

                  • RedLogix

                    Should send someone back in time to Mickey Savage’s government and tell them that they shouldn’t introduce the welfare state because Ruth Richardson?

      • patricia bremner 3.1.4

        I agree Weka. It should be difficult for hard right or hard left to get established.

        Rorts should be removed with a one cycle warning. To have a party should be at least 2 members or 4%. No extra funding ’till that threshold.

        • mikesh 3.1.4.1

          [ It should be difficult for hard right or hard left to get established. ]

          Don´t you think the electorate should have the chance to decide for themselves the question of who gets in.

          By the way TOP are hardly ¨far right¨. They advocate taking a stronger position on combatting global warming, and also on other environment issues. They are also strongly in favour of recognising maori rights and the treaty. Their main thrust is tax reform, where they advocate measures far more equitable than the system we have at present.

        • weka 3.1.4.2

          “It should be difficult for hard right or hard left to get established.”

          I disagree with that though. My point was about the hard centre 😉

          I think it’s far better to have Act exist rather than them be assimilated into the National Party. Noticed how many fundamentalist Christians there are in National now that the Conservatives are gone?

          Also, I want parties like Mana in parliament. The more representation we have the better. The problem is how power gets shared. At the moment NZ has a history of small parties having a lot of power. But we’re also stuck in a FPP mentality re the N/L duopoly.

    • tracey 3.2

      I do not mind coat tailing. We just need to have all parties suggesting it otherwise indquality happens. And ACT at .5% and with lots of money and contacts then get a disproportionate amount of media coverage

      • Andre 3.2.1

        So all minor parties should become craven supplicants to a major party in hopes of being gifted an electorate seat?

        • tracey 3.2.1.1

          So when Labour and Greens didnt have an agreement for Greens to not stand in Ohariu that was not ok? See, I think it was.

          • Andre 3.2.1.1.1

            I’d much rather get rid of the threshold and change to a modified St Lague for allocating seats. Or at least dramatically lowering the threshold. But failing that, I agree that left parties should become just as pragmatic as the right about working with the quirks of what we have.

      • mikesh 3.2.2

        Coat tailing is not unfair in itself, inasmuch as it allows a party with less than 5% of the vote to receive the number of seats appropriate to its party vote if it wins a constituency seat. What is unfair is that parties who don´t win a constituency seat (and don´t get 5%) miss out altogether. If we reduced the threshold to zero all parties would receive the seats their party vote entitled them to and coat tailing would become a non issue.

        • tracey 3.2.2.1

          Agree. And agree with a comment from Red blooded on this thread in this light.

          Regardless of what I might think of the Conservative Party it got 4% of the vote and the voices it represented got nothing. ACT on .5% got bully boy rights on all minor debates, disproportionate media exposure for its single rep and associated mouthpieces. That is inherently wrong.

    • ACT doesn’t coat-tail anymore. They have 1 MP, “coat-tailing” is what the Māori Party did to bring Marama Fox into Parliament.

      I think setting the threshold reasonably low (between 0.8%-2%) would allow for the demise of weak parties like ACT while still making it possible for smaller parties to enter Parliament directly via the list with a strong campaign.

      Looking at TOP, who barely scored over 2% with millions of dollars donated from Gareth Morgan, I would call 2% still a relatively high threshold to cross for a new party, and would recommend starting at 1% (a number so low that clearing it almost guarantees a second list seat) and consider lowering it to 0.8% later. (Approximately the amount of the vote you need to win a list seat outright)

      • tracey 3.3.1

        Agree @ 2%. I embrace the idea of TOP, or any party over 1.5/2% having a voice.

        • I would personally consider even 2% to be aggressively high and simply a sop by Labour and National to the continued existence of the Greens and New Zealand First, rather than a proper reform of the threshold. 1.5% is probably the highest I’d want to compromise. Remember, TOP had millions in donations to get above 2%. For comparison, the Internet Party didn’t manage it, the Māori Party hasn’t polled above 2% twice in a row for years, and MANA never got that high, yet arguably they all deserved representation in Parliament at one point or another.

          The advantage of going lower is that you can actually then start reforms to stop small parties highjacking electorates as a way to get into Parliament, like abolishing the lifeboat rule, and even perhaps requiring single-seat candidates to run as independents if they want to be seated purely on their electorate vote.

          • Tracey 3.3.1.1.1

            Fair points

          • solkta 3.3.1.1.2

            But if the threshold were lower then the probability of a party reaching it would be improved and more people would then be prepared to gamble their vote on the better odds. Had the threshold this election been 2% and with TOP pulling 1 to 2% in the polls it is probable they would have got more like 3 or 4%.

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.3.1.1.2.1

              This is true, but we don’t know how much that effect is likely to happen, and TOP is probably the ideal best case for a new entrant party under the current system, that wasn’t hamstrung by being seen as engaging in shady electorate deals or electoral alliances, and whose message was only somewhat undermined by the eccentricity of its wealthy party leader who aggressively bankrolled its campaign. I’ve argued before that we could lower the threshold to 2% with a further independent review to decide if it should go down again, which I’d be happy with, but I will point out that the last independent review blatantly ignored sensible submissions on the threshold and recommended a highly conservative posture of lowering it to 4%, citing concerns with “stability” unironically. If the threshold prevented unstable parties from entering Parliament we wouldn’t have NZ First.

          • mikesh 3.3.1.1.3

            Some consider a party with only a single MP ineffectual, whereas a 2% threshold would ensure that any party getting in on the party vote would normally have at least three MPs. There is something to that argument, but I still would prefer a zero threshold as that would encourage voting for very small parties inasmuch as it would minimise the ¨wasted vote¨ factor.

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.3.1.1.3.1

              A non-threshold means you can get elected with 0.4% of the vote. ACT could lose Epsom in such a system and stay in Parliament right now. Joke parties have also done well enough in the past to be allocated a single list seat with no threshold at all.

              0.8% is a reasonable approximation of winning a List Seat outright. (ie. a one seat threshold) 1% is a simple number that is low enough to allow smaller parties in without impeding their ability to grow, and is pretty close to the 1.25%ish point where 2 MPs is all-but-guaranteed. (it can be as low as 1.1% depending on the wasted vote) If you want to guarantee an actual caucus, a threshold around 1.3-1.5% is probably reasonable. There is still no need for a 2% threshold, although I could support it as an interim measure if it’s necessary to bring Labour onside with electoral reform.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    I think too that some consideration needs to go into reducing the power of parties to whip tightly, and to restoring the possibility of independent MPs.

    For all that our minor parties have not always covered themselves in glory, it is the draconian abuses of power by major parties that have created most of our contemporary problems.

    I can scarcely believe what a fuckup successive governments have made of what was once an enviably good and decent country.

    • Yeah, I think that’s reasonable. Technically MPs can simply notify their party that they intend to vote against a party vote measure and they are obliged to record it as such, but in practice whips often “don’t allow it.”

      I’ve often said we should consider every issue a conscience vote and that parties should have to construct their lists carefully to balance between their legislative and electoral priorities, and to make whips a meaningful part of Parliament. (it would also mean that you’d really have to trust your colleagues to hold your proxy in order to abandon late sittings of Parliament like is currently the practice in both larger parties)

  5. McGrath 5

    I feel that the 5% is too high. I’d reduce it to a 1% threshold and just have a 100 list seat parliament. Not sure on the stability but it would certainly be representative.

    • Pat 5.1

      potentially a parliament of 100 Auckland based MPs….truly representative

      • In practice the regions actually do pretty well for their population, Pat, and are arguably over-represented.

        • Pat 5.1.1.1

          whether that is true or not under current settings is irrelevant to the proposition put forward by McGrath

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.1.1.1.1

            I wasn’t replying to McGrath, I was replying to your assertion that lists pay no attention to regional NZ and are just huge amounts of Aucklanders, which is still relevant to his discussion because how representative the lists are of all New Zealand is relevant to how fair his proposal is.

            Your assertion isn’t true, there are plenty of regional MPs and MPs from other cities, too, who get elected purely from the list, or are put in a winnable list position in case they lose their electorate races, and list construction would be even more carefully considered for regional proportionality in a system with no electorate candidates, because failing to do so would lose you votes in regional NZ. Even the Green Party, which gets most of its votes from urban centres, tries to include a proportional number of South Island MPs on its list, because it wants to represent the whole country.

            • Pat 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “I was replying to your assertion that lists pay no attention to regional NZ and are just huge amounts of Aucklanders, which is still relevant to his discussion because how representative the lists are of all New Zealand is relevant to how fair his proposal is.”

              well then you are arguing out of context for I never stated that…my post was in reply to Mcgraths proposition as is clearly indicated….that you placed a mistaken context on it is not my problem

              • Except if you read my explanation carefully, you will see I am very much preserving the context of his suggestion that we go to a Closed List system. (a Closed List system is the party vote half of MMP, basically) I defended Closed Lists to you, saying they would not be all about Auckland, (although successful parties would likely give Auckland a fair number of MPs for its population, which is roughly equal to that of the entire South Island) and attacked the idea of reducing the size of Parliament to him as denying our growing population, as you will see in reply 5.4.

                Good grief.

                • Pat

                  good grief is right …you charge in making assertions about what you wish to believe i have claimed and when shown TWICE you are operating under a mistaken belief still refuse to acknowledge the error of judgement….if you are looking for an argument then at least have the nous to pick one that makes sense

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      The number of MPs should increase with population, so as to ensure that there is a reasonable level of access to representatives.

    • Paul Campbell 5.3

      Why not simply reduce it to 1/120th (or whatever the size of one seat is) make it independent of the issue of how big parliament should be. (my preference)

      Or you, if you like the idea of small, but representative, parliaments you could make parliament of varying size depending on the votes – “enough members such that it is the minimum number so that every party with 1% or more is represented within 0.75% of their actual party vote numbers” – that would let you have ACT with their 0.25% but a electorate seat, and Top with it’s 2.5%

    • So you support the same ratio of MPs-to-population that we had in 1993 then, right?

      In that case, we should be expanding Parliament to 131 MPs. 😉

  6. red-blooded 6

    I’d have to give more thought to the regional lists idea, but on first glance it doesn’t seem to me to make much difference. After all, the parties would still choose the lists, and there would be more MPs from more densely populated areas, in order to maintain the regional coverage. It seems to me that small cities like mine (Dunedin) wouldn’t do too well under this system. It also seems that it would be much easier for people from “safe” areas to make it into party leadership positions, regardless of whether they were the best people for the job.

    I’m all for following the recommendations of the Royal Commission. They did a decent job. I shudder to think of the Conservatives making it in last time, but I guess the alternative is to think that 4.4% of kiwis didn’t have their views represented in the way they had chosen in the election. If the threshold was 4%, NZF wouldn’t have had time out after the fuss about funding, and the Greens wouldn’t have been so scared this time. I’d even consider something like 2 or 3%. I don’t think we should entirely dump the threshold (should a party with 1000 votes be represented?) but it should be more achievable. It’s a bit worrying that the only new parties in recent times have either focused entirely on specially defined electorate seats (Māori Party) or have had rich backers (Conservatives, TOP, Internet…).

    • Yep, in fact, unless parties with strong urban votes deliberately moved regional candidates onto their stronger urban lists, you’d end up with less regional candidates. Seems like a poor idea for New Zealand where we don’t have large, populous states/regions like Germany or Scotland.

  7. Bill 7

    And does the writer favour the d’ Hondt system for seat allocation from the regions?

    I’m not going to try explaining it. Here’s a link 🙂

  8. Sabine 8

    how about you first help all people in NZ understand the principle of MMP and then go about changing it every few years to suit the needs.
    And then educate our so called educated class about the principles ofMMP, the system is not at fault just because National is bad at building a social network within its work place and other then that are also really crappy managers in day to day business.

    The only thing really wrong in this last election is Act somehow managing to get in while well below the threshold. So that is in my view the only thing that needs to be changed, reach 5% or else out. As for TOP, well they can spend the next three years filing out their policies, maybe even appear to not shout over people that may have a different opinion, find supporters, grow the Part and get in next time? OR would that be too hard to ask? As for the Maori Party, same thing do some soul searching as to why people did not vote for you. Maybe its literally to do with the well being of people and their ‘aspirations’ for their families and themselves that were generously overlooked over the last 9 years.

    • mikesh 8.1

      There is no overhang at the moment – though the specials may change that – so ACT must have received sufficient party vote to support one seat. We probably should find some way of getting rid of overhangs, perhaps by giving an overhang seat to the candidate who came second rather than to the candidate who came first.

      • ACT received about half the vote necessary for a single seat if you consider that number to be 1/120th of the party vote, but was rounded upwards to a list seat because Sainte-Laguë is quite generous to smaller parties, and if you win a single electorate you only need about 0.4% of the party vote to not have an overhang, and about 1.1-1.2% to earn your second list seat.

  9. Foreign waka 9

    We don’t need a new version of MMP – we need new MP’s. Big difference.

    • tracey 9.1

      New attitudes toward MMP and the consensus/relationships it requires with those with whom you do not agree on all things. Too many MPs and media applying FPP rationale to MMP. Onherently flawed thinking imo

      • mikesh 9.1.1

        A coalition between National and Labour would have some advantages. Each of the two would look for support from the minor parties to achieve its policies, so each policy would have to have majority support from parliament as a whole. Also, people would be more likely to vote for a minor party if they knew that their favoured major party would be part of the coalition. Not only that but there would be no small party in a ¨kingmaker¨ position.

        The idea of two major parties opposing each other is very much FPP thinking.

  10. chris73 10

    I’m not in favour of MMP as it is, even though I think Winston will go with National, that we’re in the situation of one party on 7% of the vote deciding the make up of the next government just isn’t right

    He can decide the following (well he can decide more but this should make my point)

    National/Act/Winston
    National/Winston
    Labour/Green/Winston
    Labour/Winston/severely neutered Green

    and not even adding the option of sitting on the cross benches or giving c&s…could even go back to the polls if he really wanted, I mean sure he wouldn’t but thats a helluva lot of power for one person to wield

    So any attempt to change MMP would be supported by me because its not like this is the first time we’ve been in this position

    • Foreign waka 10.1

      Chris, the fact that no one is particular impressed with WP is not really the issue with the way a country is governed. It was the voters bid that created the situation. Obviously National has not the majority and hence has to govern in a coalition. Not the majority means that more people than 50% of the vote do NOT like to be governed as they were. And that is democracy. Anything else would be called a different name.
      As for NZ, it does has a somewhat bastardized version by having electorates MP in Parliament despite not getting through the threshold, i.e ACT. The amount of money that goes to the parties via donation opens it up for corruption too. So the system as such in terms of MMP is not the issue, but the amendments to make it work for the establishment is.

    • tracey 10.2

      NZF in conjunction with one or more parties determines our next government. Our next government will be represented by

      1 party with 46% and 1 with 7.5

      Or

      1 party with 35 and 1 with 7.5 and 1 with 5.9

      Both of those are more representative of the diversity of our country than

      Nats plus ACT plus UF were.

      Or is the underlying objection that people have a game not a consensus mentality and want to know the winner? Lets be patient. Wait to see what negotiations reveal and then start hand wringing.

    • But one marginal electorate comprising about 1-2% of the country deciding the fate under FPP was okay? We have actually progressed a lot in terms of distributing out the centre of power under MMP, and now it belongs less than ever to critical electorates and more to the Party Vote, where it should be.

      7% of voters being critical because they voted for a centrist party that refused to align itself with a bloc pre-election is what New Zealand voted for. I think it’s actually very anti-democratic to say that MMP is the problem there so much as the fact that people keep supporting NZ First despite their refusal to commit to any formal and transparent process of determining who they’ll support, and that they only announce it after the election.

      There is no reasonable change to MMP that would reduce NZ First’s power. It comes of being a significant centrist bloc (or rather, a conservative-leftist party that can work with either our liberal-centreleft party and its bloc, or our moderate-rightwing party and its libertarian hanger-on. It’s a little tricky to place NZ First economically as they’re left-wing on spending but right-wing on taxes, lol)

      Just because 90% or so of the country passionately hates winston right now doesn’t mean that 7% deserve to lose their representation. If we really want Winston gone, we need to run a campaign that convinces his voters he’s a poor option.

      • Baba Yaga 10.3.1

        “There is no reasonable change to MMP that would reduce NZ First’s power. ”

        I agree. The problem with much of the media commentary at present is that it is still steeped in FPP thinking, and it’s implication that there should be an evident single party ‘winner’. We are not well served by much of the media analysis, regrettably.

  11. CoroDale 11

    This regionality is a good idea, but NZ is difficult to divide. For 8 regions like Scotland, or less, would Northland go with the Bay of Plenty? Similar complexity with the West Coast and South Island.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    One obvious reform to our existing version of MMP is to more tightly define what is, and what is not, a party leader. This was exploited by the incumbents to distribute public monies to undeserving ‘leaders’ like Peter Dunne and David Seymour.

    At the very least a leader should have followers. Dunne had had none in living memory, and Seymour’s party suffers from an oversupply of aspiring leaders and a dearth of loyal followers.

    I think a regime where the party leader pay bump required a second MP would not be unduly onerous – though it might be fair to credit vigorous contestation of a number of electorates in lieu thereof.

  13. The Chairman 13

    “We need a new version of MMP”

    Only if you want to tinker around the edges.

    If you genuinely want the state to be more representative of voters, a form of Direct Democracy is what we should be looking at.

    • Direct democracy is appropriate to trial at local levels.

      There are significant problems to using it for high-stakes issues at a national level, especially for issues that include human rights concerns. (think how many liberals in Australia are opposed to a referendum on marriage equality, for instance, because they believe that straight people should not be allowed to vote against gay people’s rights. That is the sort of situation direct democracy lands us in frequently.)

      • The Chairman 13.1.1

        A logical form would incorporate safeguards such as the human rights act, The Treaty, etc… to overcome and protect against those concerns.

        • And you trust direct democracy to objectively handle things like appointing people to run the various ministries, and making swift emergency responses?

          It’s just not a practical system to make every single national decision by popular vote and get good decisions out of it, especially because even passionate and informed voters suffer decision fatigue. You require some sort of delegation to a representative, if not, say, 120 of them. 😉

          You realize some people already complain that one general election every three years is too many and they don’t like it? Imagine how ticked off those people would be with every little issue going to referendum.

          • Stuart Munro 13.1.1.1.1

            Short term citizen juries have the virtue that they tend to be less compromised than career politicians. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9248.00250/full The Netherlands have used them I understand.

            • Incognito 13.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s correct, it is called “burgerjury”. Still experimental though – the Dutch are experimenting with democracy, citizen participation & say, local governance. I guess in that country there’s more potential conflict that requires more and different creative approaches, i.e. it is borne out of necessity I believe.

          • KJT 13.1.1.1.2

            Switzerland already has a working system of direct democracy.

            Parliament still makes day to day decisions. But they have to ensure they are well supported and effective or they can be overturned by referenda.

            • Matthew Whitehead 13.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah, Switzerland makes DD work as a supplementary measure which I could respect, but I’m not particularly in favour of because it’s SO easy to mis-manage.

          • The Chairman 13.1.1.1.3

            A logical (thus practical) form would still have an elected representative party, thus wouldn’t have every minor issue or ministerial appointment going to referendum. Lessening the chance of voter fatigue.

            Exemptions could be made for emergency responses, with issues being revisited once the need for urgency ceases.

            While improvements could be made to MMP, if we genuinely want the state to be more representative of voters we have to consider how voters can have more say on the major issues. Sure, there will be hurdles, but if we put our heads to it, we could construct a form to overcome them. Delivering a more inclusive and more democratic system than what we currently have. Which, of course, should be our aim.

      • KJT 13.1.2

        And you trust it with 61 politicians?

        • I think 60ish would be too few if you didn’t drastically decrease their workload, and also make it difficult to get a representative cross-section of NZ in all the relevant areas.

          But no, I’m not a huge fan of it on a national level. I think we should let the representatives do their job there, and delegate more decisions regionally and locally, and make THOSE authorities more democratic first.

  14. RC 14

    I think MMP needs a good overhaul every election is run like it is FPP rather than a coalition of parties forming a government and thats because of the voters not electoral system. Just look at Northland if you want to see brain dead tribalism in action. I’m not so sure it is the elderly or mostly the elderly who want a return to FPP either because plenty were smart enough to vote for NZF and get their gold cards in the past so it makes me wonder how well Kiwis in general are being educated on MMP.

  15. Incognito 15

    Very good post, thank you!

    MMP should stay but it needs to be refreshed.

    I’d abandon MMP for a single-vote proportional representation system without a threshold altogether. This is likely a step too far for New Zealand as it won’t allow for regional representation.

    However, as it stands, regional politics encourage tribalism and are often dominated by the major parties in an FPP run-off way.

    At the same time, national politics is way too centralised and too much power is taken away from the people and local communities.

    Therefore, I’d strongly favour a shift of power & responsibilities to local and regional/provincial level.

    It ain’t gonna happen, of course, as NZ is intrinsically a politically-conservative nation (I won’t even mention courage and leadership) – it didn’t use to be …

    Minor parties are important because they provide representation to views and policies that cannot always be accommodated in the two super parties.

    Again, I’d go further and say that very rarely major parties strongly advocate for minority views & interests and funnily enough when it happens it usually coincides with election time …

    But this is indeed a very strong argument for the presence of more minor parties in Parliament and against ‘broad churches’.

  16. From the number of comments there is a lot of interest in our electoral system. And a lot of individual opinions. How, as New Zealanders, do we come to an agreed position or at least a position we can all live with for the time being. Could we not assign the task of coming up with modifications to MMP to a citizens’ assembly chosen by lot? Before everybody jumps in with opinions recall that such assemblies, though never tried in New Zealand, are widely used and widely respected as showing that randomly chosen citizens’ assemblies or juries perform responsibly and well, and that the sponsoring authorities, whether local or central government, often implement the resulting recommendations. We need to see whether, and how, such assemblies might work in New Zealand, by trying them out before we sound off.

    • Andre 16.1

      Or we could set up a commission to examine that question, call for submissions from the public, have the commission make provisional recommendations based on public feedback, get public comment on those provisional recommendations, submit a final report and recommended changes for Parliament to consider. Oh, wait…

      • John Stowell 16.1.1

        The difference is that a people’s assembly or jury is selected by lot, not appointed, and listens to experts, stakeholders etc as part of informing itself before getting into discussion. The sponsor,usually a public body, government minister or the like, undertakes only to respond publicly and in detail to each and every recommendation. Experience has shown that in many cases recommendations have been acted on and found to be highly acceptable in democratic terms. Again, it is quite different from soliciting public submissions to official proposals, which is often done without any commitment to feedback from authority and is usually highly unrepresentative of the population at large. Of course, government can ignore recommendations, and often does. But if we can build up a body of evidence that people’s assemblies produce good recommendations with good democratic credentials then we may in time be able to improve the way our government works.

    • lprent 16.2

      If we don’t “sound off” then nothing ever gets presented, demolished and argued about well before anything ever happens. In other words – coming up with the kinds of ideas and examining them in public.

      Besides, as far as I can see such “assemblies” look like an excellent way to presuppose desired outcomes by “sponsoring authorities” because of a lack of previous analysis looking for holes.

      After all if you look at things like the committees for the flag referendum, various commissions, various forums, and various inquiries over the decades – the defining characteristic has usually been that they come out with the expected results because that was the way that their terms of reference were framed. Certainly this last government has been well known for creating things like the productivity commission, land and water forum, and a number of others to come up with implemented results that look to have been predetermined by the government.

      Perhaps you’d like to put up some links to good examples of your assemblies so that others can dig out the criticism of them. Let us make up our own minds rather than just having you pontificate…

  17. and for a summary of experience in Canada and Australia (there being no experience in New Zealand to be summarised) go to Claudia Chwalitz’s paper, which can be downloaded as a pdf from the Policy network site. It also summarised the salient characteristics of people’s assemblies, how they work and how they are organised.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    16 hours ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    17 hours ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    18 hours ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    2 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    2 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    2 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    3 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    3 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    4 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    4 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago