CPAG calls for policies that already exist

September 24th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Prime Minister John Key has asked his officials for fresh ideas on tackling child poverty.

On his first day back at Parliament since being re-elected on Saturday, Key said he had ordered Treasury and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet officials to start presenting new ideas.

‘‘The recognition I think we all have is that there are some extremely poor children who are missing out,’’ Key said yesterday.

‘‘And so then the question is how do you resolve those issues, it’s not straightforward but there will be more you can do.’’

Key said it needed to be done without narrowing the gap between the incomes of those on benefits and those working, to ensure people were still encouraged into work.

Breakfasts in schools, free doctors’ visits for young children and tax credits for low and middle income families were examples of policies that could be used to tackle the problem, as could programmes such as Whanau Ora.

Last week, National released its welfare policy, which included a trial of financial incentives for beneficiaries who come off benefits into work as well as to help with childcare costs while they looked for work or upskilled.

Professor Innes Asher of the Child Poverty Action Group said to tackle child poverty, benefits and Working for Families tax credits needed to be tied to inflation, while the minimum wage needed to catch up to the increase in the cost of living.

Professor Asher doesn’t seem to realise this is already the case. Does this mean CPAG will come out and say they are happy?

Benefits are already inflation adjusted. In fact National passed a law to guarantee this.

WFF payments have been inflation adjusted also. Not 100% they still are, but they have been.

The minimum wage has gone up 19% since 2008 (and 27% after tax) while inflation has been just 14%, so the minimum wage has gone up more than the cost of living.

It doesn’t say much about the credibility of a lobby group, when they get such basic stuff wrong.

It would also be nice if the media fact checked claims.


Green Councillor confirms against any large roads

September 24th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

The council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee today vested four pieces of land in Tawa to the Crown for the purpose of building the $850 million motorway north of Wellington.

Doing so was little more than a formality, given the New Zealand Transport Agency’s ability to acquire the land if the council did not willingly hand it over.

But acting committee chairman and deputy mayor of Wellington Justin Lester said, somewhat jokingly, it was the council’s last chance to stop Transmission Gully, which was first mooted in 1919.

”In my personal capacity, I wholeheartedly support it,” he said.

”We [councillors] do look forward to the project getting underway.”

But not everyone on the committee shared that view.

Councillor Iona Pannett said that even though the land transfer was a formality, she would not support it.

”I’m voting against this as a matter of principle because I’ll never never support mega road building,” she said.

”If there’s anything I can do to frustrate that, I will.”

Iona’s views are the views of most elected Greens. They are against roads, no matter what. They will never never support them. It is not about cost effectiveness, road safety or congestion. It is a near religious belief that cars are bad.

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Parliamentary Demographics 2014

September 24th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I’ve done an initial analysis of the demographics of the 51st New Zealand . This is based on provisional results. I apologise if I have any ages wrong – most are based on public information, but for a few I’ve had to guess.

2014 MPs


  • 82 (-1) Males, 68%
  • 39 (+1) Females, 32%

There is one more female MP than was elected in 2011, but two fewer than were in Parliament at the end of the 50th Parliament.

Compared to the end of the 50th Parliament, National has gained two female MPs, Labour lost two, Greens lost one, NZ First lost one.

Labour has only 37.5% of their caucus female – well under the 45% quota set in their constitution. They have a lower proportion of female MPs now than they did without a quota – it has dropped 3.8%.

National increased their female proportion from 25% to 28%.


  • 83 (-7) European, 69%
  • 26 (+5) Maori, 21%
  • 7 (+1) Pacific, 6%
  • 5 (+1) Asian, 4%

Compared to their share of the adult population, Maori MPs are over represented by 8%, Pacific MPs are dead on, and Asian MPs under represented by 7%. It’s great to see a diverse Parliament, but hard to argue you need Maori seats to ensure Maori MPs are in Parliament.

The Maori Party have two Maori MPs, Greens three Maori MPs, Labour seven Maori MPs and National nine Maori MPs.

National have two Pacific MPs and Labour five Pacific MPs.

NZ First has one Asian MP and National has four Asian MPs. Labour have no Asian MPs.


  • 2 (nc) 20s, 2%
  • 21 (+7) 30s, 17%
  • 45 (+8)  40s, 37%
  • 43 (-5) 50s, 36%
  • 10 (-9) 60s, 8%
  • 0 (-1) 70s, 1%

A fairly young Parliament.


  • 36 (-5) Auckland, 30%
  • 17 (+1) Wellington, 14%
  • 14 (nc) Christchurch, 12%
  • 25 (+3) Provincial Cities, 21%
  • 29 (+1) Rural, 24%


  • 91 (+1) North Island, 75%
  • 30 (-1) South Island, 25%


  • 114 (nc) “Straight”, 94%
  • 4 Gay (nc), 3%
  • 3 Lesbian (nc), 2%

Year Entered

  • Before 2000 18, 15%
  • 2000 – 2007 16, 13%
  • 2008+ 87, 72%

So 72% of MPs entered since John Key became PM.


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Jarrod was right

September 24th, 2014 at 1:55 pm by David Farrar

May have some carrots to eat.

I had an exchange with Jarrod Gilbert in August about the proportion of crimes caused by gang members, in reference to his disputing a statement by Anne Tolley.

I blogged:

Is Dr Gilbert Saying the Corrections Department is lying when it says 28% of the prison population are gang members? They supplied the data, and I see no reason why they would make it up.

I’ve just been told that the Corrections Department figures do include associates and family – something they did not make clear at the time.

So Dr Gilbert was quite right that the Minister was not comparing apples and applies, as one figure included associates, and one did not.

UPDATE: of course I apologise for doubting when he says Police and Corrections were using definitions of gang members. They were!


Gareth Morgan calls for a Bluegreen Party

September 24th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Gareth Morgan writes:

But for me, the most frustrating aspect of the election result is the entrenched inability of the Green Party to grasp that the environmental message is something that appeals to middle-of-the-road New Zealanders, not just Lefties.

Sadly the Green Party’s policies for environmental sustainability have always come with a nasty fishhook – the out-dated edict that social justice can only be achieved by rehashed socialism. This has rendered the Green Party a real melon to mainstream New Zealand – a watermelon to be precise, far too red on the inside for middle New Zealand to stomach. …

The time is overdue for a Bluegreens political party, one that is happy to work with whoever is the senior party in government, and is focussed properly on improving our environment, society and economy together. Without this there is a large swathe of voters who are not represented adequately in Parliament. Can the Green Party assume that role? I doubt it very much, theirs is very much a socialist heritage and they exhibit an ongoing reluctance to get real on the importance of the economy. With their voter support capped at 10% (about the same as the craziest party in parliament, Winston Peter’s conspiracy theorists), the electorate continues to see no hope for the Green Party – the adverse impact on jobs and incomes is unpalatable. …

A Bluegreen party would emphatically express New Zealanders’ preference for clever and clean as the way we want our dollars earned, while leaving National and Labour to fight over how social justice is best promoted – via National’s preference for capacity building through education and training, delivering more flexible employment and wage-setting practices; or via Labour’s penchant for widening and lifting of social assistance, greater progressivity of income tax, widening the tax base on income from capital, and greater protection of labour in the workplace.

That is why today I am calling for a Bluegreen party – a party with a true environmental focus rather than a socialist party in drag. Tomorrow we will look at some of the policies such a party could pursue, policies that without a Bluegreen party are being left off the political agenda completely.

I’d love there to be a Bluegreen party that could constructively work with National to continue to improve our environment and conservation estate. It would be great.

However I should point out such a party has existed in the past. It was called the Progressive Greens and got 0.26% of the votes in 1996. While we have the socialist leaning Green Party, it would be hard to get much oxygen for a Blue Green Party. But if someone can do it, goon on them.



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This is a good time to abolish the SIS and GCSB!

September 24th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Green Party policy is to:

We would therefore institute a select committee enquiry into whether the SIS should be abolished and its responsibilities returned to the police. …

we will abolish the GCSB and close its two signals intelligence bases at Waihopai and Tangimoana immediately.

Meanwhile in Australia:

A TEEN terror suspect under investigation for making threats against Prime Minister Tony Abbott was shot dead by police last night after stabbing a Victorian police officer and a federal police agent.

The injured officers, both from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team, are in hospital in a stable condition. …

Senior intelligence sources confirmed that the terrorism suspect had been among a number of people whose passports were recently cancelled.

It is believed that the man was well known to police, and had displayed Islamic State flags in the local Dandenong shopping centre.

And globally:

A 42-minute audio recording by an ISIS spokesman was released on social media Sunday, in which the group calls on Muslims to kill civilians in countries that belong to the anti-ISIS, U.S.-led coalition.

If you can kill a disbelieving American or European, especially the spiteful and filthy French, or an Australian, or a Canadian or any other disbeliever, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” an ISIS spokesman says.

Note the reference to “any other disbeliever”.

The Herald editorial notes:

What should New Zealand do? Does this country have malcontents who would embrace even ascetic religious fundamentalism for the sake of a cause? Have any been with Isis and returned? Should this country, too, offer special forces to assist Iraqi troops on the ground? That depends on whether the new Iraqi Government is better than the last, and whether US air support alone might be effective, as it was in protecting Kurdistan. The decision must not be influenced by the possibility of terrorism at home. As Australia has shown, good intelligence can keep us safe.

This is worth reflecting on.

That doesn’t mean that the GCSB should be allowed to do what it wants. Absolutely not. I am against mass surveillance of New Zealanders (which does not occur in NZ). But be aware the Greens are not just against mass surveillance – their official policy is to abolish the GCSB entirely – and look at abolishing the SIS also. They take an unbalanced view on these issues, and that view has dangers as our closest neighbour comes under attack.

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Caucus in Charge

September 24th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Carnage. After a seven-hour crisis meeting with his caucus, Labour leader David Cunliffe emerged bloodied and weakened. The caucus is now firmly in charge after foisting its choice of Whips on the leader, including Chris Hipkins.

Whips are supposed to be the leader’s loyal lieutenants, their eyes and ears in the caucus. Hipkins is a known enemy who was demoted in one of Cunliffe’s first acts as leader.

The MPs also imposed their will on Cunliffe over the timing of the next leadership vote, outmanouvering him over his plan to steamroll the vote through before Christmas.

It was a Mexican stand off. Cunliffe wants a leadership ballot but won’t resign. Hence he effectively is demanding the caucus sack him, so the ballot is triggered. And they will sack him – but on their timetable. They have until 20 December to pass a confidence vote.

3 News reported:

By saying he wants a no confidence vote, Mr Cunliffe is getting in ahead of his own enemy MPs doing it. There are 32 Labour MPs. A no confidence motion requires 20 MPs, which is 60 percent of the caucus plus one MP, as the rules require.

The “anyone but Cunliffe” camp is made up of 19 MPs, which is 59 percent. They are almost there.

3 News has got this wrong. The caucus don’t need 60% to sack him. Cunliffe needs 60% to survive. Caucus only needs 40% to sack him. Just 12 of the 32 MPs can sack him.

Camp Cunliffe has just seven MPs, or 22 percent, and the views of five MPs are unknown. Just one needs to be anti-Cunliffe and he is gone.

The leader has only 22% support in his own caucus. Unheard of. When they do sack him, imagine if he wins the members and unions vote. He’ll them preside over a caucus where he can trust just one in five.


The wrong reason to make someone a Minister

September 24th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Mr Key gave the strongest hint yet that Mr Seymour would get a ministerial portfolio despite being a new MP, because it would give the party greater resources – “otherwise we’d have an MP pretty much on his own with an [executive assistant] and it is very difficult to manage that party-to-party relationship”.

Mr Seymour is expected to get Associate Education Minister, responsible for partnership schools, the official name for charter schools negotiated by Act in the last Government agreement.

Making David Seymour a Minister so he gets extra staffing resources is the wrong reason to make him a Minister.

Also he will get more than just an executive assistant if he is not a Minister. He gets:

  • An executive assistant
  • Two out of Parliament staff
  • $164,320 for leadership funding
  • $22,000 for party funding
  • $64,260 for for electorate funding

David Seymour should only be appointed a Minister, if he is deemed capable of being an effective Minister. Not because the ACT Party in Parliament needs greater resources.

Now David is a former ministerial staffer and a policy wonk. He was the staffer who did most of the detailed work on charter schools. In a policy sense, he would be a capable Associate Minister.

But being a Minister is about more than policy. It is also about being able to handle the accountability that goes with it, through scrutiny in the House and select committees. It is also about being able to work with officials, agencies and other Ministers as a team to get things implemented. In those areas Seymour is untested, and it is a risk to make a novice MP a Minister.

The last two novice MPs who were made Ministers were Steven Joyce and Margaret Wilson.  One was a highly successful CEO and the other was a Law School Dean.

From a policy point of view, I’d like to see David as a Minister, helping implement more charter schools (and making sure that only the successful ones continue to be funded). But there are risks with making a novice MP a Minister, and he will be ruthlessly targeted by Chris Hipkins in the House.


Jones on Cunliffe

September 24th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Sir Bob Jones writes:

Two months ago I wrote that the election was done and dusted and that David Cunliffe – the most disliked political leader in this country’s history, loathed by his caucus but foisted on them by extremist elements controlling the party – was leading Labour into a terrible disaster.

I suggested caucus should change the leader then and there if they were to save their party from a catastrophic outcome.

That produced a flood of bitter abuse from their nasty bloggers, cowardly hiding behind pseudonyms, accusing me of being a die-hard National voter. I last voted National in 1981, but did so this time with gusto, although giving Trevor Mallard my candidate vote.

Hager had the temerity to say right bloggers are attack bloggers, and ignores the left bloggers who don’t even post under their own names.

Serial apologiser Cunliffe should put aside his sorrow at being a man and do the manly thing, namely apologise to his battered party and resign, as convention demands. Unsurprisingly, he refuses to do either which says everything about him.

Never before in NZ political history have we had a leader who has so little support in his caucus, yet refusing to go.

A party that produced the two greatest reforming 20th century governments, namely in 1935 and 1984, has now been brought to its knees by Cunliffe. He will go, even if ignobly, and thereafter Labour must re-organise their structure to take control from the minority interest factions now in the driving seat, and then pursue a new centralist liberal position.

I doubt that will happen. The unions simply will not give up their new powers.

The best line of the night belonged to TV3’s grossly ill-mannered, pushy interviewer who so rudely hammered Cunliffe, but she was partially forgiven when she asked loony Laila: “Is this your Moment of Truth?”

That’s Rebecca Wright :-)

But, most of all, congratulations are due to John Key. His likeable, everyman demeanour, cheerful outlook and genuine humility stood in clear contrast to Cunliffe’s sheer awfulness.

Possibly more than any other factor, this landslide was attributable to a leadership contest.

The winner is more humble than the loser. Says a lot.

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General Debate 23 September 2014

September 24th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

The Mclauchlan Hierarchy of Political Needs

September 24th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar


Danyl Mcl blogs:

Almost all the left-wingers in my twitter feed are bewildered as to how the country could endorse the Key government with its dirty politics and child-poverty and pollution economy, but the non-left-wing activists I’ve talked to about the election were also utterly bewildered as to why anyone would have voted for the inevitable anarchy of the Cunliffe-led Labour/Greens/New Zealand First/Internet-Mana alternative. The left were comparing National and Labour and only seeing the top of the pyramid. Everyone else was looking at Labour’s bottom and judging it pretty hard.

The fratricidal gaggle of enemies had a seven hour caucus yesterday!


Smart work by Spark

September 23rd, 2014 at 10:32 pm by David Farrar

Cameron Slater blogged on Saturday about problems with cellphone coverage and how he was considering swapping telcos to get better coverage.

Cameron blogs how soon after that he got a call from the CE of Spark Home, Mobile and Business (Chris Quin) asking if they can help find a solution. And Quin phoned him from Singapore!

The following day, a solution had been installed.

Obviously Cameron got preferential service, as he has the most read blog in NZ. But that makes the response even smarter. A phone call from the CE has led to great publicity for Spark, and shows their senior management to actually be in touch.

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Labour’s woes increasing

September 23rd, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Rotorua Daily Post reveals that the former Chair of the Rotorua Labour Party voted National!:

A former Rotorua Labour Party spokesman says he has become disillusioned with the party and spent Saturday night celebrating with Rotorua MP Todd McClay.

Rotorua Weekender columnist and local businessman Fraser Newman said he had given up his Labour Party membership, saying the party had lost its way.

Mr Newman said he also voted for Mr McClay on Saturday saying he was an effective local MP who worked hard and had delivered for the city.

“It’s time for Labour to think about its future.

“Does it want to be a small left wing minority party or a centre-left party that appeals to middle New Zealand?”

Again this is from someone who was an electorate chair for them not very long ago.

And you know Labour has troubles when even Steve Maharey says the party has become too left wing!!

Labour moved left to secure what it assumed was its base and never moved back. Over six years it failed to effectively oppose the Government and propose a coherent policy platform that won the support of 40 per cent of voters. It persisted in arguing New Zealand was on the wrong track (which it may well be) when most voters thought the opposite.

In addition, it confused voters by vacillating between behaving like a major party and then like just the largest of a left grouping. When it began arguing that it really was a major party it was too late.

Maharey makes the point:

It should start by understanding that in New Zealand politics the foundation for victory is in the centre. A party seeking to form a stable, strong government has to have a message that appeals to around 40 per cent of these voters.

The Labour leadership contest forced the candidates to try and compete with each other to come up with the most left wing policies they could, to appeal to the base. Their strategy was to be hard left to energise the base and the million non voters. It totally failed as a strategy. They claim they were also trying to target centrist voters – but you know what – you can’t really do both – as the voters are not stupid.

Chris Trotter gets into the metaphors:

Overall, the image presented to the electorate was one of John Key as the embattled matador. Alone in the arena, he faced charge after charge from a seemingly never-ending succession of bulls. But with every twirl of his cape and flash of his sword, the pile of dispatched cattle-beasts grew higher.

The crowd cheered. The roses rained down. “Bravo!” shouted 48 per cent of New Zealand. “Three more years!”

As the dust of combat settles, the identity of the matador’s defeated attackers is revealed. Among them is the political corpse of the redoubtable Hone Harawira, his thick hide pierced by multiple lances. And, sprawled alongside this mighty bull of the North, his blundering sponsor, the massive German beast called Kim Dotcom.

Some distance apart lies the slim political carcass of the brave little steer known as Colin Craig – his wide-eyes still staring imploringly up at the crowd. (Missing from the pile are the bodies of those bulls whose horns actually drew the matador’s blood: Nicky Hager, Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden.)

But in all that vast arena, the most pitiful sight is that of the old bull called Labour.

Its ancient hide is pierced and bleeding; around its mouth a bloody froth. The matador’s sword has penetrated the unfortunate animal’s lungs and heart, but the poor creature still stands there, defiant. Panting noisily, quivering legs about to fold beneath its battered body, Labour seems unaware that its wounds are fatal. That it is dying on its feet.

And Stacey Kirk blogs on today:

So that press conference was a train wreck. Cunliffe says he takes “full responsibility” for Labour’s loss, but they may be hollow words to the caucus as he refuses to take the blame.

He won’t be apologising to his caucus, and he’ll be asking them to trigger a new leadership primary under their constitution.

He’ll effectively do that by asking them to pass a vote of no-confidence in him, (which many would probably gladly do) but then have every chance of regaining the leadership with the backing of the unions and wider party.

That would hardly bring stability to Labour.

And no less than five minutes after Cunliffe spoke of his “disappointment” in Labour MPs speaking to media on their strife, were two MPs speaking to the media – David Shearer and Phil Goff. (I’ve got videos clips of boths of those – I’ll post shortly)

The party is in disarray.

Time to order up a three month supply of popcorn!

UPDATE: John Armstrong reflects:

An extraordinary morning in the Labour Party’s wing of Parliament Buildings. There were only two words to describe things – absolute mayhem.

And that was even before Labour MPs had even begun their crucial post-election caucus meeting, at which there was expected to be some very blunt language during a preliminary post-mortem on last Saturday s crushing defeat.

David Cunliffe is fighting tooth and nail to hang on as leader. His chances of doing so would seem to deteriorate further with every wrong tactic and mistaken ploy he uses to shore up his crumbling position.

Time is Cunliffe’s enemy. He needs an early party-wide vote to refresh his mandate as party leader before the true awfulness of Labour’s thrashing really sinks in and his support among the mass membership and trade unions affiliated to the party which backed him in last September’s leadership ballot rapidly erodes.

Other senior figures like former leader David Shearer are arguing vociferously that the leadership question be left in abeyance until a proper and fundamental review of the party’s failings and the reasons for its dreadful showing in last week’s general election are thoroughly examined. The results of such a review are unlikely to reflect well on Cunliffe.

Cunliffe wants caucus to roll him now, so he can have a quick members ballot. But the craft ABCs won’t play along, and they have three months before they have to have a vote.

UPDATE2: The Labour caucus meeting has now been going for seven hours. Generally they last two hours. It must be brutal in there.

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John Oliver on Eminem vs National

September 23rd, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

I can’t embed it but go to You Tube and look at John Oliver on the election result and Eminem vs National.

Especially love his mocking of NZ accents, but especially Steven Joyce for saying he thinks it was “pretty legal”.


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The fun police

September 23rd, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Press reports:

A University of Canterbury student club has offended “everyone possible” with cars and costumes poking fun at women, Islam, Malaysia Airlines and the deadly ebola crisis.

The RoUndie 500, organised by the Engineering Society (Ensoc), has caused a stir with newly-formed feminist club FemSoc after its members saw a car showing images of about 30 women ranked by supposed desirability.

It was then discovered the club was encouraging participants to choose themes “the more inappropriate the better” on its Facebook page ahead of last weekend’s event.

One of FemSoc’s 400 members, Annamarie Moot, 20, said the event “ticked off every bad thing in the book”.

There were also teams using themes around ebola, Malaysia Airlines and Islam.

“They’re just offending everyone possible,” Moot said.

Yep, that is what offensive humour is about. Shall we ban 7 Days, because it also has offensive humour?

She had heard some girls pictured on the car were friends of the team and would have known about it “but it’s still very degrading”.

So she’s offended on behalf of the girls – even though the girls may actually have approved themselves.


MP won’t say who he works for

September 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

The lowest-ranked NZ First MP is refusing to say what job he did before politics.

And his leader Winston Peters is also refusing to say what his 11th-ranked MP Mahesh Bindra does for a living.

“I can tell you, he’s not a spy,” said Mr Peters this morning.

Mr Bindra, who came in at number 11 on the party list, is currently employed in the public service but will not say which department he works for.

“The (public service) Code of Conduct doesn’t allow me to say the department I worked for.”

Total crap. It does not. Scores of other public servants have stated what their current job is, when they stand for Parliament.

Mr Peters said he believed Mr Bindra had signed an agreement with his employer which stopped him from disclosing where he worked.

“When you are working for a government department, they sign a confidentiality form. If you’ve signed a document, you’re still caught by the document you have signed.”

Mr Peters said he would not disclose Mr Bindra’s employment because doing so would break a confidence.

I suspect Mr Peters has been misled. No department would include in a confidentiality agreement that you can’t reveal you work for them – except the SIS.

He said it was “utterly correct” the public should know about any candidates employment background and hoped it could be revealed tomorrow.

After the election!j

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I said the economy was an issue that matters

September 23rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Consumers voted with their wallets at the weekend.

National was a vote for good economic times but a vote for Labour-Greens was risking bad times, according to a bank survey.

The latest Westpac McDermott Miller survey of consumer confidence shows 46 per cent expected good times for the next three years under a National government.

But under a Labour-Greens government just 14 per cent would have expected good times ahead, while 40 per cent would have expected bad times.

“The stark contrast in expectations of good economic times over the next three years under the two putative governments must have been a major factor underlying the return of a National-led government,” McDermott Miller managing director Richard Miller said.

It was. When only 14% of consumers think they will have good times under a Labour-Greens Government, of course they’re not going to do well.

The economy matters to people. It is not an abstract issue. The health and education systems matter. The welfare system matters, and having safer communities matters.

As Lew points out on Kiwipolitico, National ran a campaign based on reality.

The Westpac survey found consumer confidence was a net positive +27% if National won, and a net negative -26% if Labour/Greens won. It is not surprising that New Zealanders did not vote to have a government and an economy that they thought would leave them worse off.


More election stats

September 23rd, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Some more election stats:

  • Labour won the party vote in only five general electorates, down from 14 last time
  • National beat Labour by 23.4% nationwide, 22.7% in Auckland, 13.7% in Wellington, 24.9% in Christchurch, 25.0% in provincial NZ and 40.9% in rural NZ
  • Labour’s party vote dropped by 3.4% in Auckland and Wellington and 2.4% in Christchurch
  • Greens got 16.6% party vote in Wellington. Conservatives got 5.2% in rural NZ
  • Internet Mana went up 0.5% the three main cities but dropped 3.3% party vote in the Maori seats. Maori did not like selling out to Kim Dotcom.
  • The best party vote for National was Tamaki at 66.6%
  • National got over 50% party vote in 35 seats while Labour were below 20% in 23 seats and unbelievably below 15% in 13 seats!
  • NZ First got over 5% in 66 of 71 seats
  • Greens got 28.1% party vote in Wellington Central
  • The Conservatives got over 5% party vote in five 19 seats (typo)
  • Labour came third in the party vote in four seats – Bay of Plenty, Helensville, Tauranga and Wellington Central

Berners-Lee on net neutrality

September 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A quarter-century ago, Timothy Berners-Lee designed the world’s first Web browser and server, kicking off a thing that people started calling the World Wide Web.

In a visit to The Washington Post, on Thursday, Berners-Lee said that system is now in danger from Internet service providers (ISPs) who stand to amass too much power over what was intentionally built as a decentralised network – one where no single actor could dictate outcomes to everyone else.

Berners-Lee pushed back against opponents of net neutrality regulation who argue that applying new rules on ISPs is tantamount to regulating the Internet.

There’s a difference between regulating providers of broadband and the services that run on top of it, said Berners-Lee. Strong net neutrality rules would help preserve that line dividing the two and limit the incentive of ISPs to meddle in the market for services.

I agree with Sir Tim..


Two post-election mistakes that will haunt Cunliffe

September 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

David Cunliffe had a reasonable chance of not being challenged for his job despite the loss, but he has made a challenge almost inevitable. It wasn’t foregone as Grant Robertson is incredibly nervous about standing and losing for a second time.

The first mistake was Cunliffe’s election night speech. It sounded like a victory speech at times.

Stuff reports:

Leader David Cunliffe’s demeanour will fuel their rage.

Cunliffe found many factors to blame for Labour’s defeat – the economy, being starved of oxygen by dirty politics, the Dotcom bomb and secret surveillance, and the party’s utter failure to fundraise.

But the one finger he did not point was at himself.

Another Stuff article reported:

Behind the scenes, the finger pointing began in earnest, with some in the caucus questioning Cunliffe’s commitment to win the election.

One suggested he gave up on the election campaign weeks ago and shifted his attention to manoeuvring to launch a primary campaign as quickly as possible.

This is the other big issue that has pissed the caucus off. Cunliffe gave up on winning the election and started focusing on how to remain leader.

The Herald reported:

In an apparent attempt to get a headstart on any likely rival, Mr Cunliffe effectively started his re-election campaign on election night by sending out an email to the party members and unionists who vote on the leadership.

In that email, obtained by the Herald, he said the party needed to refresh and modernise. “That’s why I will be seeking a new mandate from the party, the affiliates and the caucus by the end of the year.”

So get this. He actually had the e-mail written declaring he wants to stay on as leader, before the election, and his focus on election night was not what went wrong, but how to keep his job.

These two things have galvanised the caucus, and many activists. Former President Mike Williams has effectively said he thinks Cunliffe should go, and Mike is a very astute and connected observer of Labour.

The Herald further reports:

Labour MPs will demand David Cunliffe release potentially embarrassing internal polling results on his popularity to them in caucus as part of a brutally frank post-mortem of Labour’s dismal election campaign.

The party’s new caucus will meet for the first time today to review what went wrong and Mr Cunliffe’s wish to put his leadership to the vote. Mr Cunliffe will face calls to release Labour’s tightly guarded internal polling and focus group research – something that could be potentially embarrassing to him.

Several MPs said with the rest of the party under scrutiny over its performance, caucus should be also able to assess how much of a factor his own leadership was in the result. Labour’s polling company, UMR Research, polls on how favourable voters’ impressions are of the party leader and other key MPs – but the results are closely held by the leadership team.

If David Cunliffe won’t share Labour’s polling with his caucus, maybe the Labour MPs should ask National if they can see National’s polling on leader favourability. Steven Joyce might be quite co-operative :-)

Stuff looks at the contenders for leader and deputy:

  • David Cunliffe
  • Grant Robertson
  • David Shearer
  • David Parker
  • Jacinda Ardern
  • Andrew Little
  • Stuart Nash
  • Nanaia Mahuta
  • Annette King
  • Sue Moroney
  • Chris Hipkins

So over one third of the Labour caucus fancy themselves as leader or deputy leader. This is going to be fun!


General Debate 23 September 2014

September 23rd, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

The delusional left

September 23rd, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A petition has been set up demanding a recount of the election, as it was rigged:

Something doesn’t seem right with recent the New Zealand election. Evidence of fraudulent voting and it makes no sense that people would local vote left and party vote right. Is this another case of Electoral Fraud?

First of all it is sad the petition creator and signers do not understand MMP. This is exactly how it should work.

In 2002 the reverse happened with National. National got 31% electorate vote but only 21% party vote. However you did not see delusional national supporters demanding a recount.

The sadder thing is that 8,357 delusional people have signed the petition. The reason for this will be they live in enclaves. They will not have any friends who vote National. In fact they won’t have any friends who do not hate the Government. If you don’t share their strong political beliefs, then they won’t associate with you.

So they live in their little bubbles, and when an election result occurs which shows that New Zealand as a whole is different to their little enclave, they don’t wonder if they need a wider circle of friends – they conclude that the election was rigged.

I’ve got many friends who do not share my political views. Some are swinging voters. Some are Labour activists or Green activists. I count a NZ First MP as a mate. I’m involved in organisations where we have a huge diversity of political opinion on the boards. I’ve been involved in many multi-party campaigns such as Keep It 18 and Marriage Equality.

Some of my favourite nights out have been with members of Young Labour, where we debate politics until 1 am in the morning when the poor Chinese restaurant we are at finally throws us out.

Most on the left are not enclaved. But a fair few are. I don’t think it is healthy to effectively be detached from the wider community. And alleging the election was rigged, because you don’t like the result just makes you seem demented.

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Farrar v Farrier

September 22nd, 2014 at 3:41 pm by David Farrar


Poor David Farrier from TV3 has been getting abused on Twitter by angry lefties. To help reduce the confusion we posed for this explanatory photo.

It would be preferable if angry lefties didn’t abuse anyone at all (or just self abused), but if they do have to abuse someone, at least get the right person.

I am @dpfdpf on Twitter and Farrier is @davidfarrier for future reference.

David Farrier writes at 3 News about the confusion:

On Twitter, things were more violent. Left-leaning members of society were less puzzled and more angry:

“Are you happy now you National twat”, and “F**k you and Whaleoil”.

On Sunday morning, no doubt after a rousing night out on the town, I got a message from Farrar:

“So sorry for all the abuse you got, meant for me. If you’re around this pm, I’ll shout you a drink.”

It seemed like a good idea, if only for the chance to figure out a way to spread the message that we are two very different people. The evening rolled around and I was given the address of the private residence where he was staying.

Now, this was all a sort of off-the-record affair, but what I will say is that I walked in to a beaming array of National Party faces: all radiant, all excited, and all victorious.

They were well-groomed and smelt delicious. I was an unkempt mess, dressed in jeans and a hoodie. I felt like I had taken a wrong turn somewhere. I believe I got a small pang of what Goldilocks perhaps felt as she walked over the threshold.

I was welcome with open arms. I wine was put in my hand and a wonderful spread awaited me at the table. It looked like a feast fit for a king. I was later informed it was leftovers.

For me – not particularly well-versed in the intricacies of politics – it was a fascinating insight.

We talked bloggers, TV coverage, left, right, Dotcom, Colin Craig. We all seemed to be having fun. I felt like I had teleported into someone else’s body, sitting at that table. I imagine that to them, I was like an amusing jester who’d arrived for some light relief.

Towards the end of our evening, I got out some post-it notes and a vivid, and then we took a photo in the kitchen.

As you can tell, we are definitely different people. But like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins, we had a nice time together. Our movie probably wouldn’t do as well at the box office though.

Hopefully there will be less confusion in future!

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The results by bloc

September 22nd, 2014 at 3:27 pm by David Farrar

Vote by Bloc

Thought it would be also interesting to look at the votes by blocs. In terms of change, both the centre-right and centre blocs gained support and the centre-left fell by almost 4%.

But what is interesting is that the CR total is 53% and CL total is just 36%.

Unless the centre left want a future Government to be dependent on the whims of Winston Peters or the Maori Party, they need to lift their vote from 36% to 48% or so. That’s a huge shift,

This is the challenge for Labour’s next leader. Sure one could lift Labour from 24% to 29% and be in with a chance of Government if Winston plays along. But Labour really needs someone who can lift them to 36% or so, allowing Labour and Greens to be in a dominant position to from a Government.  But lifting your vote by 12% is not an easy thing. That means convincing around 300,000 extra New Zealanders to vote for you.


Kiwiblog in Iran

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar


This is what you get if you try accessing Kiwiblog in Iran! I guess I’m blocked :-)

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