You can be a leader of nothing!

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, June 6th, 2013 - 67 comments
Categories: leadership, Parliament, united future - Tags: , ,

Well it turns out I was wrong – you can be a leader of nothing!

The Speaker has ruled that Peter Dunne keeps all his leaders perks, despite having no party to lead.

Trevor Mallard, and the whole New Zealand First caucus have walked out in disgust. NZF fair to ask why their allowances were cut when Horan was stood down, but Dunne gets to keep his?

The speaker is refusing to release the “substantial” advice that he claims to have received.

Looks like simple cronyism, and Parliament brought into disrepute.

67 comments on “You can be a leader of nothing!”

  1. Poission 1

    Redo the headline it has the news immediately affected the NZ dollar

  2. TheContrarian 2

    Total fucking chaos in the House today

  3. Here is the basic problem and why the opposition is incensed. Rule 34 of Parliament’s Standing Orders states:

    “(1) Every political party registered under Part 4 of the Electoral Act 1993, and in whose interest a member was elected at the preceding general election or at any subsequent by-election, is entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.

    (4) Any member who is not a member of a recognised party is treated as an Independent member for parliamentary purposes.”

    United Future is no longer registered under part 4, ergo it is not entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.

    It should be that simple.

    • xtasy 3.1

      I think David Carter has just signed his de-facto resignation for the role of Speaker of the House!

      This is very serious stuff, contempt of the law, by a Speaker, that is what it looks like to me, and hence the resolute walkout by New Zealand First. Peters is an old hand, well experienced with all this stuff, he would know what he is doing in this case.

      Parker was extremely incensed, so were others. While Parker was told off repeatedly by Carter, Mallard expressed his fury and walked out voluntarily. I was expecting that perhaps the whole Labour caucus and possibly Greens were also close to walking out in protest, but they later stayed.

      Yes, Dunne is indeed Mr “Done” now, this is more than embarrassing stuff.

      The Speaker quoting vague advice, refusing to disclose where he got what advice, and giving United Future defacto party status for many weeks to come, until Dunne presents his numbers and a final proof they have 500 members, seems to breach the law. Money is continued to be appropriated for UF as a legally non-existent party, this is adventure territory the Speaker is walking on.

      Carter must take his hat, I suspect.

      Dunne is now the leader of chaos in the House, nothing more. This leaves the legislative body in disarray and disorder.

    • TheContrarian 3.2

      “It should be that simple.”

      Of course it is that simple. Carter has made a ruling based on advice he refuses to share with anyone.

      Simple

      • Pascal's bookie 3.2.1

        What’s interesting about his ruling is the part where he gives Dunne a bit of time to get re-registered. There is no need for that if being de-registered doesn’t matter.

        It’s entirely up to the speaker as to whether the prty is recognised by parliament, as I understand it. But he is having a bob each way there, saying ‘no, he oughtn’t be considered a leader but we’ll just let it slide for a while because it would unfair to follow the rules’ or something similar.

        All a bit shit really.

    • Robert M 3.3

      |There is an even more real issue than Winston and Mallard are raising at the moment. Did Act and United First have 500 paid up members at the date of the last 2011 election or even 500 signed paper members in the case of Unitedfirst . Secondly if Dunne and Banks claim they have to point 1 and 2 have they tampered with either electronic recordings of membership subsuquently or paper records. There will be data and meta records of dates of any subsequent changes and alterations so various paper and electronic trails will exist, if Labour and Greens want to be in Govt. I suggest you change leader fast to David Parker, because he alone will secure an adequate majority needed in turbulent and probably dangerous times and second is administratively competent which Shearer isn’t and Cunliffe may have to settle for Finance.

  4. ianmac 4

    Rob. Word missing “advice” 2nd to last line?

  5. ianmac 5

    The Speaker seems to dig himself a hole then digs deeper. Mr Dunne’s status may also affect the vote that he gives in the House?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “Mr Dunne’s status may also affect the vote that he gives in the House?”

      No, he’s an independent MP. Or at least, should be considered as such, Speaker’s machinations aside.

  6. Zorr 6

    I would be curious as to whether, when becoming an Independent MP, whether or not his confidence and supply agreement with National becomes null and void? Because isn’t the agreement between two *parties* for support, not between National and the MP known as Peter Dunne? And if that is the case, doesn’t it leave National without an actual majority and potentially open to a vote of no confidence by the members of the house?

    • Chris 6.1

      I admit I don’t know anything about a vote of no confidence but wouldn’t it need a majority to pass? So it would still need Peter Dunne, John Banks or someone in National to ‘defect’ wouldn’t it?

      • Jackal 6.1.1

        No! A vote of no confidence is basically based on a government not being able to pass legislation (you need a majority to pass legislation). National has a one seat majority, meaning they would only need to lose the support of one vote for no confidence to be successful.

    • Jackal 6.2

      Probably not… The Confidence and Supply Agreement (PDF) would stand even though United Future no longer exists. The signatories to that agreement are still in the House of Representatives, and until the now “independent” Dunce or National party declares the agreement null and void, the agreement would stand.

      The issue here is that the biased David Carter has chosen to flagrantly disregard Standing Orders. In providing additional funding to Dunne that he isn’t entitled to, National hopes to provide one of their allies with the tools to promote their defunct policy direction… Don’t forget United Future was instrumental in gaining some support for the now failing asset sales agenda.

      Either Dunne is being viewed as an invaluable tool for National to use (which is a complete joke), or he has something damning that could bring down the government. I can see no other reason for Carter to disregard the rules and provide an extra $122,000 per year of public money to a politician who is well past his use by date.

  7. aerobubble 7

    Worse. The Speaker has failed three times by my count,
    i.) ignoring the fact that Dunne was told months ago his registration was not in order,
    ii.) ignoring the fact that voters loath the list party loophole that allows a party to get list seats
    immediately,
    iii.) and most egregiously, the fact that even Dunne considerably cheapens parliament by failing to keep his registration in order which returns huge trinkets of office,

    Now today, the Speaker seems to be arguing that at the time of the appropriations the United Future party gained financing and so now that the terms have changed, United Future needs to be given time to get its membership in order. That’s richest of all, given mortgagees who fail to pay, then are given time to set matter correct fail to do so, and then aare foreclosed. The Speaker should foreclose on the United Future until the next election. It had a duty to keep its affairs in order, and should not be reward by the now obvious bias of the Speaker not only to the governing coalition but to the policy of Key to not end the list party loophole.

  8. aerobubble 8

    we know how lockwoodsmith didn’t want to fund a deaf MP, public pressure came to bear.

    Dunne has had months to get his membership in order, he reaps a huge windfall from being a leader of one (oxymoronic) and now he doesn’t even tell parliament but has the speaker writing to him!!! how contemptuous of parliament.

    Its a farce, the list party loophole that for no extra democratic mandate a single MP can sit as equals to the leader of real parties who have made real efforts. No wonder Peters is livid. He got more votes than Dunne and didn’t even get into parliament!!!! When Peters was forced out due to electioneering problems, he worked hard to come back, but their Dunne sits smugly claiming the trinkets of list party leadership.

    What a joke the Speaker has made of parliament.

    • Chris 8.1

      Just to throw it out there since you brought it up twice United Future haven’t had a member come in on the list since the 2005 election.

      • aerobubble 8.1.1

        So he and Banks are leaders of zero list MPs and for this they need extra resources, while Winston who got more votes than them both combined was with any parliamentary representation.

        Oh, I’m so angry. Why was the previous Speaker being such a bitch about funding a deaf MP? There were adequate resources…

        • Chris 8.1.1.1

          Yeah it seems pretty strange (also Hone Harawira is in the same position). I guess it is done that way to avoid the obvious question if the law was not this way of how many list MPs do you need to qualify for funding.

  9. karol 9

    “These are children playing children’s games”

    The Hairdo calling calling Liberace “all show no substance”..

    • freedom 9.1

      Mr Mallard also described the decision as a “farce”

      The article misquoted Mallard.

      Mallard plainly stated “This Parliament is a farce”

      I may be off base here but I believe that to be a far more serious declaration to the House with particularly serious ramifications for the Member who says it. To fully censure the Member who made the statement would demand some serious investigation of the circumstances leading to the outburst, which obviously the Government do not want to see happen, so unsurprisingly the Speaker let the statement roll out the door along with Mallard.

      I don’t care who is in Government on days like today, the Speaker’s behaviour was a stain on the proud efforts of so many who have laboured at the role. His ongoing manipulation of the House cannot be allowed to continuously degrade the quality of our Parliament. But what can anyone do when discussion of an admitted precedent making event is shut down before it is allowed to develop.

    • Alanz 9.2

      “Speaker will not give us his so-called legal opinion or the basis on which he made that decision”

      Carter is bringing the Office of the Speaker into disrepute and is making the processes opaque. The rot has been spreading fast, starting at the top of the government from the PM and now eating into the legislative chamber. It is a dark day for this administration with the House being dragged down so very low.

    • Tigger 9.3

      Indeed, there are games here but they’re not childish and they’re not being played by NZF and Mallard.

  10. vto 10

    Exposes Carter’s shortcomings. Really not very bright.

    • aerobubble 10.1

      What’s needed is a letter campaign from voters to the Speaker decrying his mistake.

  11. freedom 11

    Whether it is the refusal from the Speaker to share advice; the ignoring of basic definitions of words such as registered or de-registered; the stubborn denial of dialogue despite the Speaker admitting it was a precedent issue, there is something that is almost worse than the diabolical shenanigans David Carter has now let loose in the House.

    That is, how Peter Dunne did not even attempt to stand to defend his position or his [de-registered] party. He just sat staring into his own chest, mumbling quietly. Perhaps he was trying to say something and parliament’s sound system failed, again? Perhaps he was incanting favours from deities on high hoping the ground would open and swallow him whole. Perhaps he was simply singing the age ol’ classic. “i’m in the money’.

    What was certainly interesting was just how quickly Gerry Brownlee jumped up and defended the indefensible. Why would National be defending a mute UF unless votes were at risk?

    Speaking of mutes, it is incredulous there is not some sort of manipulation occuring with the microphones in the House. There has been growing disquiet in recent months with the Speaker’s inability to hear the Government when it interjects (and you often see the animated list-puppets flailing around yet nary a whisper is heard). So it is a little odd that whenever a member of the opposition shuffles a sheaf or moves in their bench, you can barely hear the question being asked. ( a slight exaggeration obviously, but I know enough about mics and sound systems to know when an audio desk is being manipulated.) We had Peters’ progressive mic failure then twice today, when King Gerry spoke, the sound seemed to kick in almost a good two seconds after he began talking, which is a dead giveaway of a late level adjustment or a slow mute release.

    There seems to be a hell of a lot of manipulation of processes in our Parliament right now and today was disturbing to say the very least

  12. Pete 12

    Are the Speaker’s rulings subject to judicial review?

    • Jackal 12.1

      You would think that there’s some legislation in place incase a Speaker of the House breached standing orders… Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case.

      A select committee will only consider a breach of privilege or contempt if the matter is forwarded by the Speaker to the Registrar… That’s simply not going to happen in this case.

      The Judiciary is pretty much only permitted to interpret the laws passed by the house of representatives, and cannot take action unless a specific law has been breached.

      Your best bet is to write to the Governor-General, who although has to follow the advice of ministers, also has the option of independent judgement.

      Being that constitutional convention has obviously not been followed by David Carter, there should be a presidence for Jerry Mateparae to rule against the Speakers decision. However considering who exactly the Governor-General is, a ruling against anything the current government does is unlikely.

      Thankfully the Speakers decisions are subject to public review.

      • prism 12.1.1

        Jackal I don’t like the idea of presidents in NZ so hope you are not thinking of Jerry M as a possible. I think you meant precedent.

        • Jackal 12.1.1.1

          LOL! It appears that the Governor-General isn’t the only person who has authority in this case, as Trevor Mallard has already lodged a complaint with the Auditor-General Lyn Provost.

          • prism 12.1.1.1.1

            That’s good Jackal. I’m glad that Trevor can put his fighting skills to good use again. I have the feeling that the NACTs think they can make up the rules as they go along. It becomes more like a computer game every day.

            Actually there may be something in that. Running our country being an interactive computer game I mean. With changeable rules. It would be riveting as each day the measures that had been introduced yesterday get overturned and replaced. Endless fun and fascination. Don’t know how much to charge for the game kit though.

          • lprent 12.1.1.1.2

            Of course. It involves the proper expenditure of government funds.

    • Nope Parliament is supreme and its processes cannot be questioned in a Court of Law. Doesn’t stop voters marking their opposition to what is happening however.

      • Pete 12.2.1

        I wouldn’t say the decision of the Speaker is the law of the land, I recall a case where the Speaker trespassed some protestors from Parliament grounds and that was later reversed in court under the Bill of Rights Act.

        Anyway, judging from what Andrew Geddis says, there’s no way to appeal this ruling.

  13. Ed 13

    Presumably Parliamentary services are responsible for arranging payments to MPs. As UF has been deregistered, surely it would be illegal to continue payments that are only available to the leader of a registered party?

    Could someone seek an injunction against the government or the public service to prevent them making the payments?

  14. Disraeli Gladstone 14

    “The rules aren’t explicit, but the better view is that as written, the rules entitle Peter Dunne to party and leaders funding in Parliament.”
    – Graeme Edgeler

    I really have to agree with our blogosphere’s master of law, Mr Edgeler. I don’t particularly like Dunne. And the rules aren’t clear. But I believe he’s probably entitled to to the funding. It’s just a pity that instead of concentrating on the budget or the horrible constitutional breaches that have occurred recently, everyone is getting into a partisan circlejerk over Dunne.

    • freedom 14.1

      It was repeatedly raised by Parker that the rules state ‘registered parties’. As UF is officially not a registered party at this juncture, at the very least the Speaker should have suspended all relevant payments until the issue is properly resolved. He would not have needed one iota of advice to do that. Once sorted, any monies due could be paid retro-actively to the date of suspension, not exactly a foreign concept to Parliament.

      If it is found that UF do not qualify for the contested funding, The Speaker’s actions have run the risk of creating a criminal offence for the Leader of UF, that of being in receipt of illegally obtained appropriation funds.

      All a bit of a mess really

  15. Hah, they probably just cost him Ohariu with this little stunt.

    • Pasupial 15.1

      United History.

    • johnm 15.2

      Hi Matthew
      I wouldn’t bet on that! Dunne’s Ohariu supporters would vote for him even if he decided to wear a Nazi uniform fulltime! lol There is literally no getting through to them, bloody hopeless! 🙁

      • Ben 15.2.1

        I live in the electorate in question and I’ve been wondering if there’d be value in running a “tactical voting” exercise to get rid of Dunne at the next election.

        According to Wikipedia, in the 2011 election Dunne received 14,357 votes, Charles Chauvel 12,965 and Gareth Hughes 2,160. So if there was a tactical voting campaign encouraging Green voters to give their vote to the Labour candidate, Dunne could be unseated.

        (As an aside Katrina Shanks received 6,907 votes – a significant number, and that suggests to me that National voters aren’t getting “the message” that they should vote for Dunne.)

        I want rid of him.

  16. Jacobin 16

    Given that registered parties receive about $100,000 a year in funding and the speaker has given UF 6 weeks to “sort things out” after it has already been de-registered for 2 weeks, the Speaker of the House David Carter has effectively used his discretion to spend $15,000 of taxpayer money to ensure United Future can acquire enough financial members to re-register.

    Outrageous. Where is ACT to argue against this lavish Parliamentary excess?

    • Hennie van der Merwe 16.1

      Whilst the party has only been de-registered for two weeks, I would like to know for how long was it registered illegally? When exactly did it run out of the required number of members?

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Very good questions.

        • Hennie van der Merwe 16.1.1.1

          Thank you CV but where do we get the answers?

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            The only documentation proving things one way or the other would be internal UF documents. Unless there was an investigation by the Electoral Commission or a police complaint, I don’t think that UF would ever front up with their records.

            • Robert M 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Thats the critical point Act and the United First Party of Dunne must have electronic or papers records of how many paid or signed members they had at critical points like the 2011 election. If their on the internet and their is an electronic signature they will never be fully erasable. And as the Kitteridge report confirmed with such naivety , intelligence or stupidy the crucial indicator is the meta record of the date of changes to the membership record. The intelligent will be able to draw pretty acurate indicators from that to probably legal levels proof.
              Can labour gets its house in order. And does it want to govern. Key may decide to dissolve the house and go for an election at any point. Has Labour a leader who can win or govern.

              • gobsmacked

                Forget about going back to 2011. The Electoral Commission is not interested (see end of Radio NZ report):

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/136951/united-future-complaint-laid-with-chief-auditor

                The most likely outcome here is … nothing much. At most, a pro rata deduction from United Future’s allocation – a few thousand, covering a few weeks of “non-existence”. The government’s majority won’t be touched.

                For the opposition, the political question is “Does this fit a wider narrative”? And yes, it should. We’ve had countless examples of arrogance-slash-corruption, especially over the past few months.

                Trouble is, when this is pointed out (e.g. Norman’s weekend speech) the “leader” of the opposition looks at his shoes. He wants to campaign on so-called bread and butter (“Stuff is expensive, isn’t it? Stuff shouldn’t be so expensive – Vote Labour!”).

                For the wider public, it has to be about the government’s trampling of their rights (as opposed to MPs’ rights, which they don’t care much about). That means making the connection, day after day, week after week, speech after speech, from now to election day. And I don’t mean on blogs.

                So don’t get your hopes up.

                • Robert M

                  I don’t think its as clear cut as that. I’m sure that their was a TV new doco on 1 or 3 sometime within the last year examining whether Act has actually had the numbers to be a legitimate party for some time- and it was more doubtful. Its seems in recent years their has been no actual check by the electoral commission to check whether the parties books and electronic records where in order and had 500 listed members or that they had paid subs within the specified year. It would apply to UF as well as Act. They just relied on Acts word and possibly UFs.
                  After all Act appears to have been an illegitimate trying to bring Brash and Issacs in to the house as a threesome

      • felix 16.1.2

        Winston also brought that up today.

      • Chrissy 16.1.3

        Wondering that myself.

    • Nick K 16.2

      Act was out campaigning against the illegal use of taxpayer money by the Greens on their failed state asset sale referendum.

  17. DS 17

    Nitpick: United Future is still a political party, just not a registered political party. As such, Dunne is still a party leader. However, as Rule 34 of the Standing Orders refers to registered political parties, Dunne gets treated as a de facto Independent for parliamentary purposes (even though he technically isn’t), and thus the Speaker is wrong.

    • felix 17.1

      Yep, it seems pretty clear. The Speaker is essentially granting himself the power to suspend Standing Orders as he sees fit.

      Very dangerous precedent.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Best to come will be the rewriting of Standing Orders as he sees fit.

  18. Blue 18

    It would be interesting to know if this applies only to recently deregistered parties that the Government needs to prop up their desperately slim majority, or if anyone can use it.

    What is to stop any MP from ditching their party or being sacked, then declaring themselves the leader of the Nutjob NZ Party and claiming funding as the leader of that party?

    If there’s no requirement for the party to be registered, then it’s a free-for-all.

  19. Jenny 19

    “…….Leader of the United Future Party Peter Dunne” Every time the Speaker of the House David Carter uses this title to refer to Peter Dunne, opposition MPs should raise a point of order.

    I imagine that Carter and all his Nact cronies would get sick of it pretty quick. Such a concerted campaign should raise a few laughs at least.

  20. aerobubble 21

    Had Dunne had any honour, he’d immediately have called a membership meeting of his party and get reannointed as party leader, and the obvious 500 membership numbers. Instead because he was incapable of getting former members to pay up (probably because they are sick of Dunne backsliding on asset sales promises at the election), he declares his duty bound obligation to tell the regulator as a notch for rather than against his good standing.

    The Speaker has injected himself into the affairs of a political party, the members of a party have a mandate to give or take away, they have taken away their mandate of Dunne.

    The Speaker should be impeached.

    As for the media, how disturbing they have yet to interview one former mebmber of the United Future party and provide a balance coverage. Had this been Shearer they’d be all over the rank and file, demanding he stand aside. Yes, funny that, Dunne suggestion that other parties membership rolls are not uptodate, and the follow on, on how those parties would have been treated by the media, just underlies the rightwing nature of our media.

    The Speaker should be impeached.

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    For the past decade and a bit, I've been working as a computer technician and sales rep. During that time, I've seen the desktop and laptop computer go from being the main method people get on the Internet, to an ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration
    Orcon IRL’s election special took place Sunday evening, and it was a right time. Kiri Allan mesmerised crowds in te reo. Stephen Berry knocked Rock Enrol. Chloe Swarbrick spoke of a Green future. And I disrespected Russell’s authority and went ...
    2 days ago
  • Meanwhile, in Poland
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Privacy, not “secrecy”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • General Election Debate on Transport – Campaign for Better Transport
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    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    2 days ago
  • The Real Reason for Housing Unaffordability
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Renting in New Zealand (and what politicians are promising to change)
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    2 days ago
  • National fails miserably on housing
    I don’t know about you, but I’m not very happy with all the homeless people wandering the streets and sleeping rough in the cold, some of whom are dying on park benches. But instead of blaming the victims, I think ...
    2 days ago
  • Check this out
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    2 days ago
  • Loading Docs: Asian Men Talk About Sex
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    2 days ago
  • “Let’s Tax This?” – “Hell, Yeah!”
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    2 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce – Asshole of the Week
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    2 days ago
  • Letters from America, take three: a scab got picked.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Timing is everything for Ardern & Labour
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Pouring gasoline on the housing fire
    Yesterday, Prime Minister Bill English announced that he would encourage the Reserve Bank to remove the loan to value ratio (LVR) rules that it put in place to take the heat out of rising house prices. As reported in Newsroom: ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Inferno VII: The circle of capitalists
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    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why Labour isn’t responsible for Barnaby Joyce
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    2 days ago
  • Media Release: TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES
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    Closing the GapBy Marino Smith
    3 days ago
  • Ardern stands up for kiwis
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Editors put the boot into National
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    3 days ago
  • Civil Disobedience Against Big Irrigation
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    3 days ago
  • Climate change: The Cullen fund divests
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Dirty farmers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
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    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
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    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
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    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
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    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
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    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
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    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
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    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
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    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
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    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
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    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
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    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
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    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
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    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
    The last week in New Zealand politics has been extraordinary. But there’s one political party in particular that appears to be missing in action… the National party.The unelected PM Bill English has failed to gain any real traction in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
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    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
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    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
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    4 days ago

  • Government must apologise over rebuild debacle
    The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. "For too long the interests of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
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    18 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
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    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better homes for Maori under Labour
    Labour’s vision is that Māori enjoy an equal playing field and have the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Today Labour is proud to announce a detailed Māori housing policy from South Auckland’s ...
    3 weeks ago

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