Blackham on Heartland Tour

August 18th, 2012 at 3:30 pm by David Farrar

 blogs:

’s “heartland” tour was an artless, and now dead, act of sloganeering.

One of the most profound mistakes in modern politics is what I call ‘sloganising the strategy’. This is when politicians openly describe their political strategy – believing that by announcing it, they make the strategy happen. Nope.  Strategies are internal. They guide what you say and do to bring them about. If you publicise the strategy, you’re revealing, and reveling in, the artifice.

Yes, you do a heartland tour without announcing that it is a heartland tour.

The artless next step was to turn that tactic into a branded campaign; the heartland tour. Energy has been put into branding and imagery. The campaign identifies regions, lists what is wrong with them, proposes broad happy talk solutions, and then has a little form for people to give their “ideas”. Underwhelming.

As bloggers have pointed out, it is reminiscent of many other tours by Labour MPs to see the ‘real people’.

Like they were animals in a zoo :-)

In fact I was responsible for perhaps the first MP regional tour back in 1991. That tour was the model of substance. It was conducted without fanfare by Labour MPs who would later become main members of the Clark Cabinet  It was about shutting the hell up and listening. It gave us all an appreciation of the views of our prospective voters, and gave us real-life ammunition against the National government and for policy formation.

The crux of what was effectively a three month tour was meeting real people in real life situations. Meeting them where they lived, worked and played. I can’t recall any speeches. 

Look, listen and learn.

Modern politicians dislike the risk of random interactions with the public. They prefer arranged meetings where they can talk. But can you imagine how hard it is to set up presentations from MPs few people have heard of, from a Party currently irrelevant?

Thus, the Heartland tour does not have a lot of substance. They aren’t doing walk-abouts, and they’re giving speeches to small groups of people.

In fact, it’s probably now been all but abandoned, given the Party implosion and  fighting over, er, something.

Mark worked for the Labour Party leader from 1989 to 1993.

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100 Responses to “Blackham on Heartland Tour”

  1. s.russell (1,650 comments) says:

    A very accurate description of the tour. It was not about listening, but a condescending effort to harness the parochialism of the peasants to Labour’s cause. Its cynicism was blatent even to the peasants.

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  2. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Despite their obvious differences at the moment Labour here have a similarity with The Standard – they aren’t interested in listening, they just try and push controlled messages. In doing so poorly they are failing the party’s wide objectives plus they are dramatically failing internally. Neither seem capable of communicating with each other, so it’s not surprising they aren’t seen as credible more widely.

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  3. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    Bit harsh. At least he’s made some attempt to connect with people. compared to many I could mention in and out of the Labour Party.

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  4. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Labour actually doesn’t represent working people anymore. Most of the Labour party just looks like fish out of water talking with normal people outside of the beltway. They’re a weird academic breed who just kind of talk vaguely about ‘workers’ but don’t know what they’re on about. The only one I know who can claim some realness is that Dunedin lady. Even though Hillside is terribly run. Me and my mates got a whole lot of free rubber when they just threw out 160 thousand dollars worth of rubber because they over ordered. For most of them they’ve only experienced real life through books.

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  5. nasska (12,111 comments) says:

    Most Labour MPs look & act like fish out of water when trying to connect with provincial New Zealand. Occasionally there is something of substance behind the red rosette but by & large, politicians of the left are creatures of unions or universities & are out of their comfort zone away from a city.

    As the commenters above have pointed out, venturing into unknown territory then opening ones mouth for the Nor Wester to blow ones tongue around seems piss poor strategy.

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  6. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    lol, great take on labour.

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  7. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Labour is the great New Zealand political movement.

    State housing, public education, welfare, working for families and kiwisaver.

    While the National Party has gone about destroying New Zealand society, Labour has been building it.

    Congratulations Labour.

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  8. Keeping Stock (9,384 comments) says:

    Correction Hamnida; Labour used to be one of the great New Zealand political movements. Michael Joseph Savage would be spinning in his grave at the antics of this pack of union hacks, teachers and academics, as would Norman Eric Kirk.

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  9. axeman (252 comments) says:

    “Labour is the great New Zealand political movement: You are kidding Hamnesia? Take a look at the real bad things they have accomplished in recent history (and this is a long list) :

    1) Having Jim Anderton and other MPs (quite possibly illegally) remain in Parliament after they broke the law they (and Labour) voted for requiring MPs who leave their parties to resign their seats.
    2) Calling a snap election because of an extra 10 minutes a day question time (due to points of order related to the above) supposedly made Parliament unworkable.
    3) Cancelling the New Plymouth by-election by retrospectively changing the law to allow Harry Duynhoven to stay in Parliament, when he had no legal right to be there (due to a previous law requiring MPs to resign if they applied for citizenship of a foreign country)- a constitutionally outrageous action.
    4) Spending $800,000 on the pledge card in possibly in breach of the Public Finance Act (we will never know because Labour in point 8 passed retrospective legislation to stop the courts ruling on this area)
    5) Choosing to breach the electoral act and have the pledge card come out at election time, putting their spending over the limit. And this wasn’t a simple mistake. THEY WERE WARNED THREE TIMES (YES THREE TIMES) IN WRITING BY THE CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER THE PLEDGE CARD WAS AN ELECTION EXPENSE.
    6) Broke a lie they told to the Chief Electoral Officer the pledge card would be included as an election expense. They told this lie to stop the public knowing of their overspending before the election.
    7) Refused to pay the money back until a public outcry forced them to. Passed retrospective legislation to make the pledge card illegal, and wipe out a court case by Bernard Darnton against the pledge card for breaching the Public Finance Act (see point 4).
    9) After all the above, had the gall to complain about National agreeing to a deal to repay GST owing on broadcasting money as escaping the legal consequences of its illegal actions.
    10) When allegations first surfaced about Taito Philip Fields corruption, took no action
    11) When a public outcry resulted from this, set up a toothless inquiry, into whether he acted improperly as a minister, and since Taito Philip Field held no portfolio for Immigration, it could only find there was nothing he did wrong as a minister, and could not look at the bad things Field did outside his ministerial portfolio.
    12) When the above report came back, despite listing all the bad things Field did, Labour defended him. Michael Cullen and other MPs praised Field as a model MP. Cullen saying “the only thing Field is guilty of is trying to be helpful to someone”.
    13) Continuing to defend Field, despite a public outcry.
    14) Having Field expelled from the Labour Party, not because of his corruption, but because he threatened to stand against Labour in the 2008 election.
    15) Phil Goff releasing notes taken in confidentiality from a meeting between Brash and some US congressmen, including the disputed “gone by lunchtime” quote.
    16) Rewriting our election rules to their partisan political advantage in the Electoral Finance Act, which was done under then Justice Minister and now Deputy Leader Annette King.
    17) Defending and standing by Winston Peters, despite all the Owen Glenn claims against him.
    18) Having the government spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising promoting Working for Families, and other achievements of its, around the 2005 election (maybe to win votes?)

    This list is only unethical behaviour, and does not include bad policy, like high taxes and the anti-smacking bill. And gives Labour the benefit of the doubt on who leaked the Brash e-mails to Nicky Hager for the Hollow Men book, or the fact that Damien O’Connor had a close relationship with Field as Minister of Immigration, and almost definitely knew about the corruption of Field, and covered this corruption up.

    What’s worse, is the list is only the beginning, and if it covered every issue, such a Paintergate, Doongate, David Benson-Pope, the political interference in the sacking of Madeline Setchell, one could write a whole book. Oh wait, Ian Wishart in ‘Absolute Power’ already has.

    It should be remembered that they were elected in 1999 on a promise to bring new standards on ethics and integrity into government. That is one of the few promises they kept.

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  10. Akaroa (615 comments) says:

    Great post Axeman!!

    We need someone like you to keep reminding us of all those great Labour-in-power transgressions and chicanery.

    (One o’clock in the morning isn’t the best time to get readership though.)

    Looking for more of the same, please!!

    (PS – Loved your final line!!)

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  11. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    As former Labour voter and senior activist I can only snort at your nostalgia about Labour’s glory days. They WERE a great party. Axeman gave a superb but by no means exhaustive summary of Labour’s recent shabby tactics and conduct.

    Labour have become hamstrung by political correctness and dominated by unionists (who represent a small and dwindling percentage of workers), ivory tower bound academics, radical feminists who are out if step with middle NZ and the rainbow coalition which again represent the activist gay community comprising a small percentage of the maybe 3% of the population that reputable non agenda driven surveys say are gay. When your party heirarchy, your actvists, your policy making councils and your list ranking committee are dominated by these groups who comprise such a small percentage of New Zealanders is it any wonder that Labour’s caucus and leader (regardless of which David) are so out of touch and banging away on policies aren’t capturing voter’s enthusiasm.

    Labour’s disconnect from mainstream reality was vividly demonstrated by the internal vilification by the left of Shearer and the Paganis as they tried to speak sense about the need for welfare reform. When 90% of Close Up viewers prepared to spend .75c on a text poll support the government’s drug testing of beneficiaries, it’s a quick snapshot of public opinion that ought to guide Labour as they seek to reform their party. Just as the entrepreneurial middle class is fleeing California for low tax states leaving behind welfare beneficiaries and the liberal super rich to continuously vote in high tax high spending governments that are bankrupting the state, so Labour over the decades has driven our of its ranks the small c conservative, small business owning white male working class background demographs that were once its electoral bedrock and could be counted on to bring balance to policy. Labour is incapable of reforming itself to any extent that will make it electorally appealing because it’s activist core thinks the only thing wrong is that they didn’t explain their policies well enough and that all they have to do is wait for NZers to see the light of their progressive nirvana.

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  12. hj (7,184 comments) says:

    UpandComer (273) Says:

    “The only one I know who can claim some realness is that Dunedin lady”
    …..
    On interest.co.nz Powerdown Kiwi reported a discussion with Clarre Curan where she expressed support for the idea that countries like NZ should allow poor people from crowded countries to spread here. Great for living standards of New Zealanders; we could be like Bali without the warm weather.

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  13. hj (7,184 comments) says:

    Labour falls down because it lumps beneficiary with worker (whereas in the past beneficiaries were genuine workers we now have a layer of welfarism) and by lumping foreign workers with local workers.

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  14. hj (7,184 comments) says:

    Labours Third World Solution
    http://www.gmi.co.nz/news/514/labours-third-world-solution.aspx

    Government Policies blamed for House Prices- You did it Cunliffe (and Carry-on National).
    http://www.gmi.co.nz/news/514/labours-third-world-solution.aspx

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  15. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    hj,

    See if you can work an anti-immigration, “I’m alright Jack” slant in here somehow.

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  16. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Both sides of the political spectrum could make outrageous claims about their opponents.

    The difference is that Labour’s mistakes (the true ones) have been well-meaning and made in the best interests of New Zealanders.

    Some recent National examples of corruption:

    1. Bill Englishs’ $60,000 a year housing allowance claim
    2. Privacy breaches by Bennett and Parata
    3. Key’s great GST lie
    4. Key’s great PAYE lie after 2008 election
    5. National pushing for re-counts that could go either way in Waitakere and Christchurch Central
    6. Don Brash Hate Speech
    7. Cup of Tea recordings
    8. Douglas Graham convictions
    9. English polling 21% in 2002
    10. And the biggie – continuation of Neolib policies that have failed New Zealand for more than one generation. These policies divide New Zealand as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    This Government MUST be stopped. The only answer is Labour – a proud party founded on values New Zealanders hold.

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  17. BeaB (2,165 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    That list is a joke. You think that is corruption? What kind of bubble are you living in?
    I know you live on Planet Labour but to those of us who have grown up with the legends of state houses, welfare state etc – and from families who have benefited from them – the sight of that smug front bench in their designer clothes is repulsive – nobody from small businesses, nobody from a true workingclass background, nobody with a true heart for the everyday lives of most of their countrypeople. Nobodies in fact.
    Parliament wasn’t meant to be a playground for the privileged middle-class but Labour has made it into one – on their side anyway.
    It makes me ill to watch the antics of buffoons like Mallard and King. As one sickening example – have you ever heard their derisive mocking of Gerry Brownlee for having been a lowly teacher?! God forbid anyone would be so stupid as to want to teach kids.
    Norm Kirk, John A Lee, Sonia Davies etc etc would die of shame.

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  18. Paulus (2,712 comments) says:

    Hamnida

    You are a poor desperate bugger !

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  19. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    Lets compare your list with Labour’s.

    English’s housing claim was not an act of dishonesty but a misunderstanding of the parliamentary services rules surrounding out of town allowances. When challenged on the claim English paid back the claimed allowance and ceased making any more claims. The Clark Government illegally used more than ten times this amount of tax payers funds to pay for their pledge card and would not even countenance paying back the money until effectively forced by the Auditor General to do so and then they passed shameless retrospective legislation to legalize it after the event. No comparison.

    Bennett’s privacy breaches were to refute lies told by a beneficiary to the media – Goff breached long stand national security protocols that have been adhered to on a bipartisan bass for decades by leaking private discussions with diplomats for political gain. Goff furhermore lied about not being briefed by the SIS DG over the Israeli backpacker incident. No comparison.

    Key said he would never raise GST to get more revenue – the GST rise was a fiscally neutral package of tax changes offset by tax cuts. Clark flat out lied about the speeding to the footie and hung the DPS drivers out to dry and lied that she’d painted pictures that she hadn’t. Again no comparison.

    Labour has sought recounts – they are part of the Electoral Act and any MP has the right to call for one. Accessing a right enshrined in law doesn’t compare to unions donating $100,000s to Labour’s campaigns by allocating full time paid workers and vehicles to the task of campaigning and not declaring this as donations or all the money spent on KFC ‘helping’ Polynesians in South Auckland to vote.

    How does Don Brash claiming there should be one law for all come even remotely close to being corrupt – unlike Philip Taito Field who according to your lot was only guilty of helping his constituents and who is the only MP in NZs history to actually be found guilty by a jury of his peers of real life bona fide corruption – 11 counts under section 103 of the Crimes Act! Oh and Doug Graham’s convictions occurred 13 long years AFTER he retired from Parliament. Again no comparison.

    To the left the ends always justifies the means – no rort, no smear, no underhand tactic, no lie, no frivolous lawsuit, no vicious name calling is ever wrong if it serves the progressive cause aye hamnida.

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  20. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Hamnida.

    It wasn’t 60k, that figure is just made up. Bill had a unique situation, and chose the cheapest option for the taxpayer. He was the sole scapegoat for sentiment that was against overseas rorts that could find a target due to the National parties unprecedented transparency and reform around Ministerial services. Mallard is typically wrong and stupid with his arguments about Bill. Bill is now the only MP with a non-Wellington electorate who does not get the accom supplement in recognition of this. Bill is also now the cheapest minister NZ has ever had, because he gets no accom supplment or cleaning, or anything. So you’re wrong on that count.

    Bennett’s privacy ‘breach’ was in response to what most people would call fraudulent cynical claims by a bludger who was being exploited by the Labour party. A Helen Clark inspired firing of a member of the public service sleeping with a National party voter it is not. Nor is it a Helen Clark inspired breaching of whistle-blowers in the public service.

    That last above forgets Madeline Setchel, the acting Labour Party Presidents THREE board memberships, and the general intimidation/politicisation/stifling of the public service, as well as the millions wasted on taxpayer funded health lobbyists – remember ‘push play’? They paid Tana Umanga nearly as much money as those adult night classes cost – remember all the bleating about pottery class?

    Key did change his views on GST, but that budget was the most well-received ‘austerity’ budget ever, so a lot of people agreed with him didn’t they.

    Not sure what you’re on about with PAYE – the tax changes were fiscally neutral at the time and put an end to our retarded decoupled tax system.

    National pushing for recounts, one of which they won against that bitter lemon lady? How is that a ‘thing’ anywhere except on plant Labour?

    Don Brash hate speech – you must be referring to the Orewa speech that was like a million years ago? Sure, I disagreed with Brash being disingenuous in that speech, but his sentiment was well received and it did highlight the fact that the treaty industry, like the public service, grew a bit too large.

    The ‘tea tapes’. Apart from the fact that Labour seems to have many creepy people going about with cellphones to take surreptitious photos and recordings, there was nothing in those tapes of any consequence was there? Aside from a few amusing comments re Winston that only some hypersensitive pols major twit would get his panties wet over.

    Doug Graham being convicted for being a lax manager? Sure that was bad on his part. But how does that reflect on National exactly? this was long after his excellent work with Maori and involvement with the National party.

    Bill polling low in 2001? Again, how is that a ‘thing’? Sure, the public were upset over the 90’s reforms, the reward of which they reaped from 2001-2005 in 5% growth before your auntie fucked up the economy when she overruled Michael Cullen. Bill was a very young leader, facing active insurrection from McCully, Brownlee, the Act party, everyone who knew Don Brash, Simon Power. He also was facing three parties/leaders on his side of the house in their primes or near primes – Winston Peters, Peter Dunne, Richard Prebble. National had been in government a long time previously. Everything Bill said then, JK says now and National sits on near 50%. He was ahead of his time, and all the scheming schemers like Brash etc have been flushed out by their own incompetence, or realised they need to put the party first. I will say for Brownlee the earthquakes have brought out the best in the lazy man.

    You are also an idiot re our ‘neolib policies’. They were only necessary because of the utter failure of the other side of the coin. Without them, NZ was going to go broke, do you comprehend that bro? That’s what you can learn if you study economics and have a look at our economic history from 1975 to now.

    Lets add the Owen Glenn saga, and the history of lies from the Labour party, i.e. that they are the ‘environmental party’ LOL.

    I could provide you a list of about 50 egregious things Labour did that we know about, but it’s ‘all right because they were in the interest of New Zealand’. That my friend summarises the Labour attitude to best practice in one foul smelling phrase.

    FInally, bro above you forgot the Electoral finance Act, the stunning crown jewel of useless and deeply cynical execution of the Labour party, utterly indefensible and defended until the end.

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  21. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Excuses, excuses.

    The fact is – there have been both scandals on the Right and Left, in National and Labour. You can hardly say Key and English are more trustworthy than Clark and Shearer.

    Another fact – National’s Neolib approach has gutted New Zealand society. It is time for a change. Labour will lead that change as it has throughout New Zealand’s history.

    “Utter failure of the other side of coin” – What planet are you on? U.S and U.K v Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway.

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  22. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    At least Labour had the decency to admit they were wrong with the Electoral Finance Act.

    I don’t see National saying Neoliberalism has been a failure and changing their minds.

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  23. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Labour doesn’t give a **SHIT** about the poor.
    If Labour TRULY cared about “the poor”, it would move heaven and earth to get them ***off welfare** and into work.
    Dear David Shearer – please tell me how throwing an extra $60 per week at beneficiaries (extending WFF to them) will magically make them want to get off their backsides and work. Of **course** it won’t. It will make them more determined than ever to stay on the benefit.
    Why do orchardists and farmers have to bring in people from Fiji and the Philippines to do work when there are hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries out there who are perfectly able to do it? Because they “can’t be arsed”, that’s why, and even worse, WINZ does NOTHING about it.

    Labour brought in WFF for ONE reason, and one reason only.
    It was a guaranteed vote-buyer for the gullible poor. It actually does f**k-all for the poor, but that doesn’t matter (for Labour) – it doesn’t HAVE to work.
    What matters is the “song and dance” – “Oh, we’re doing something for beneficiaries”.
    What matter is the ***facade*** that “it works”.
    Beneficiaries buy into that facade and farce and continue to vote Labour.

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  24. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I guess it says something about National supporters when the Don Brash Hate Speech nearly wins them an election.

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  25. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    Over the pledge card issue Labour stalled, ignored, obfuscated, denied, deflected and defended it for month after month and only apologised FINALLY when forced to by the Auditor General’s report. I think those are called Clayton’s apologies.

    The vast bulk of “neolib” reforms you decry were introduced and implimented by the 4th Labour government of which Clark, Cullen and Goff were all Cabinet Ministers.

    Please quote the precise “hateful” phrases from Don Brash’s Orewa speech. Extreme epithets from the left are never accurate summaries of any speech or policy.

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  26. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I agree with you 100% that the Fourth Labour Government was responsible for the start of neoliberalism in New Zealand. That, however, is no excuse for any government continuing with policies that are destructive for the bulk of New Zealanders.

    The only winners under neoliberalism are the rich. What’s worse, children from poor families suffer, often stuck below the poverty line, which National refuses to even acknowledge exists.

    The Brash Hate Speech was hateful because it attempted to divide New Zealanders along race lines for political gain. By dividing Maori and non-Maori, Brash thought he could gain votes and win an election. That is both hateful and unforgivable. Thank god he failed in his attempt to win an election based on hate.

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  27. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    I asked you to quote the hateful phrases. Your sloganeering doesn’t make it so. You can say he gave a speech for political gain – aren’t all speeches given for the same reason. You can disagree on the policy but if you are going to say what he said was hateful then go online, read the speech and come back here and show us the hateful parts.

    Labour had nine years to reverse the evil ‘neolib agenda’ as you put it and reduce child povery and after all the billions they threw at welfare they did not reduce child povery one iota. What makes you think that a 6th Labour government could improve on what the 5th couldn’t manage to do.

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  28. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I can tell you what is worse than the pledge card:

    1. Key winning an election on a tax cuts pledge, and then simply breaking the promise and taxing New Zealanders more by increasing GST.
    2. Bill English and his fraudulent accommodation costs claim. Does anyone really think his main home was not in Karori? The family go to school in Wellington while Mrs English works in Thorndon.
    3. Max Bradford promising lower power prices under privatisation, and then the cost goes up 400% during the 1990s leaving the poor and elderly cold.
    4. Trying to raise class sizes for 95% of New Zealand children, while the children of Cabinet Ministers remain unaffected in private schools.
    5. Using the Maori Party as a political toy.
    6. The undemocratic way candidates in Epsom and Ohariu run soft campaigns to force other MPs into parliament. In the case of Epsom, a right wing extremist was elected.

    You Neolibs have a lot to answer for. Take a look at the Arab Spring.

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  29. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    KIA (and others)

    I know I should be thankful that there are people willing to devote time and energy to providing detailed, coherent and logical rebuttals of the sort of brain-dead taunts uttered by Hamnida.

    However, if those taunts were ever effective we would long ago have seen a return to an “old-style” Labour party and the types of state-managed economy they built.

    If Hamnida and other sad dregs are all that remains of Labour’s support base – and they’re pushing a combination of one-sentence taunts and far-left cant as turgid, stale and predictable as these – then National might even win the 2017 election.

    All that remains now is for “Neolib” policies to be injected into the remaining bastions of health, education and welfare and – as was the case with the public failure of public businesses in the leadup to the 4th Labour government – the increasing failure of those public institutions will make the argument for the “Neolibs”. It already has in the area of pensions, witness Kiwisaver.

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  30. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    kiwi in america – What do you think will happen in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida?

    Inequality did decrease slightly under the Fifth Labour Government. Not as much as it should have though.

    At the next election, I hope New Zealanders ask themselves one question before voting – Am I better off now than I was in 2008?

    Child poverty in New Zealand is a national disgrace.

    I think every one knows the meaning of the Don Brash Orewa Hate Speech – its meaning is well known across the country.

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  31. hj (7,184 comments) says:

    wat dabney (1,798) Says:
    August 19th, 2012 at 9:50 am
    hj,

    See if you can work an anti-immigration, “I’m alright Jack” slant in here somehow.
    ………………………..
    New Zealanders don’t have an obligation to give space to over population elsewhere Wat (although in your libertarian world there is no such concept of over use or depletion, just: “the market wasn’t allowed to sort it all out”.

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  32. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    But KIA, how do you know the next few billion thrown at it mightn’t be enough to fix everything? The last few bil just might not have been enough.

    Early Labour governments threw a lot of money at the welfare state and it has made a big difference comparing the levels of poverty up to the 1930s and now.

    Of course there is a risk that impoverishing the country to unimpoverish some might be a result, but hey, we won’t know if we don’t try.

    Seriously, blanket money throwing (after extensive blanket money throwing) is quite likely to cause more problems than it solves.

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  33. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    tom hunter – the proof is in the pudding.

    Neoliberal policies have failed New Zealanders since 1984.

    The Western European nations that rejected neoliberalism have been successful at the same time.

    You Neolibs are allowed to promote your policies, after all we live in a democracy. But you should do so knowing how destructive they are, especially to poor families, children living below the poverty line, workers and the elderly.

    It is great to see Grey Power take a strong stance against state asset sales.

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  34. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Neoliberal policies have failed New Zealanders since 1984.

    Have you given any thought to what New Zealand would be like if the changes in the eighties hadn’t been made? HFor example how do you think agriculture would be doing now if it was still highly subsidised?

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  35. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    I don’t agree with this guys sunny conclusions about the future of the Euro, but as a French economist he makes a number of interesting points in this WSJ article. But this one in particular is amusing:

    As with Europe, Mr. Sorman takes a longer view. Upon coming to power in 1981, France’s first and last Socialist president, François Mitterrand, nationalized industry and banking, thrice devalued the franc and threatened to pull France out of the European common market. Two years later, he reversed course.

    The current crop of Socialists “are not extremists anymore,” says Mr. Sorman. “The big difference today with the 1980s is that nobody believes in socialist solutions. This alternative has disappeared. The only alternative is status quo—or a return to traditions of French entrepreneurship.”

    Even with their “Heartland” tour the current crop of “socialists” in the Labour party demonstrate that they too don’t really believe in socialist solutions. Unfortunately that leaves them believing in nothing but a desire to get back into power and focus on the ephemera of gay marriage and such like. It’s quite telling that even this pack of doofuses get the point, but that True Believers like Hamnida do not (more likely, cannot) get.

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  36. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    There is an easy explanation for your attitude Hamnida. you’re sucked in to the: “But you must caaare message/(cult)”. The only way for the left to garner votes these days when the right is as likely to be as progressive and liberal as the left, is to point the finger at the nasty capitalists. Unfortunately you generally have complete tits as journalists who can’t find the balancing angle. Probably because they are paid fuck all.
    Some examples are Campbell Soup and that Gower; they wouldn’t know reporting “balance” if an olympic gymnast fell off the balance beam and landed on their cocks.
    How do you know that National voters don’t care as much as Labour voters? Always question “given facts”. What Thor42 said x3

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  37. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Pete George – I can’t say I’m an expert on agricultural subsidies. I thought this was mainly Muldoon trying to control the economy and keep the rural vote up.

    There are some policies I would keep from the Fourth Labour Government, for example, floating the $NZ dollar and some state sector restructuring.

    There are many I would through out – Privitisation, Tomorrow’s Schools, Lower tariffs on car imports to name a few.

    My main point is – politicians on both sides of the house should acknowledge neoliberalism has failed New Zealand and introduce new policies.

    We all know what’s going to happen with asset sales – power prices will go up, affecting the poor more than the rich. The rich can buffer themselves against increased power prices by purchasing shares in the companies. I don’t want to live in a New Zealand where the poor and elderly struggle to pay power bills or just stay cold.

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  38. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    HA HA. You mean like Greece Hamnida? is that an example of a successful Western nation that rejected Neoliberalism? I am wondering and I don’t mean to be a cock here, but have you ever been out of New Zealand? In some ways that may not help as intellectual behemoths like Green Kennedy and David Shearer have spent time in foreign countries but they haven’t actually lived outside the UN. When you live outside an intellectual collective, and outside your birth country, you can actually see what works and what doesn’t IN THE REAL WORLD.
    Ever lived off a foodbank?

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  39. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    It is time to re-build New Zealand.

    A New Zealand for all New Zealanders.

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  40. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    the proof is in the pudding.

    Neoliberal policies have failed New Zealanders since 1984.

    In 1984 our economy was quite rightly described as a “Polish shipyard”, in which almost everybody was rapidly getting poorer. I was one of them, on a crimped salary and with little to look forward to but government regulated increases for years to come. Similarly, as Richard Prebble pointed out about the vaunted “railway workers”, their pay was crap and had been increasingly so for years. Same with other industries. I would love nothing more than for us to be doing better than we are now – but going back to running an economy in the manner you wish would be an unmitigated disaster, as every communist and neo-communist economy has done.

    Fortunately, almost everybody knows this, even in my example from one of the countries in your list- France – even if they’ve not yet acted on correcting their socialist structures. That includes almost all Labour Party people – apart from a tiny cohort like you who not only still believe but who deny the reality of the past and think the clock can be wound backwards to the 1960’s. It has not and it never will be.

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  41. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    There are many I would through out – Privitisation, Tomorrow’s Schools, Lower tariffs on car imports to name a few.

    How do you know yesterday’s Schools would have been any better?

    Would you go back to 18% mortage rates?

    My main point is – politicians on both sides of the house should acknowledge neoliberalism has failed New Zealand and introduce new policies.

    How do you know they failed? There is no way of knowing if any alternatives would have failed any less.

    It’s pointless looking back at one period, labelling it, and then saying we have to do different now because of it. We have to have well reserched reasons based on present conditions for making future changes.

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  42. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    tom hunter – I am not promoting pre 1984 Muldoonist New Zealand.

    I am promoting a new 21st Century New Zealand.

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  43. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Hamnida being a pols student knows all about ‘false equivalence’.

    It is ‘false equivalence’ saying ‘oh, well there have been scandals on the left and right so… whatever Labour does, it doesn’t matter because it’s in the best interest of New Zealand, and Max Bradford did something sometime’. You ignore the fact that prices rose more then 70% under Labour. Actually if you read the standard today they’re saying you shouldn’t buy shares because prices are going to drop, kind of missing the irony there.

    As Bill English said, it was just a bad look. He was a special case, and ultimately took the rap for all NZ politicians who scurried about changing their affairs quickly while Bill was under the gun. What you forget is that Bill did everything practical to minimise costs to the taxpayer, such as buying a house rather then taking a ministerial home, and also not flying all day every day up and down and got punished for it.

    Nothing anyone has done beats the Electoral Finance Act Hamnida. That was just tops.

    What is most infuriating to a lot of people is that Labour people still think, like you think, that they have done nothing wrong. Nothing has been misguided, nothing has been mistaken, nothing has been cynical, nothing has been self-serving, nothing has been mistruthful because “It’s all in the best interests of New Zealand”. You think it’s not ideological, that it’s just ‘common sense’. What didn’t work didn’t work because it doesn’t work, we need to do it harder. You think 80’s NZ was a socialist utopia. You think NZ is the same as Austria/Norway etc, and was the same in the 80’s.

    You also think New Zealand = America and conflate National policy with American foreign policy so you say stupid things like ‘you neolibs have a lot to answer for, take a look at the arab spring’.

    What happened to child poverty and NZ society under Labour exactly? … nothing. We didn’t move one bit. Even Labour party activists sit in the Finance Minister’s office and say they wholeheartedly support the welfare reforms.

    Hamnida you are wrong about a lot of stuff mate. But you won’t ever admit it, and that makes you a waste of time. Labour didn’t admit that the Electoral Finance Act wasn’t the best idea until long ‘after’ they were in opposition. Please review the months and months of justifications, rationalizations and heartfelt defenses while they still stood to gain by it. Also witness the heartfelt anguished rhetoric regarding asset sales, the pathos, the bloviation, and note that THEY WON’T EVEN BUY THEM BACK BECAUSE THEY ARE HYPOCRITES AND KNOW IT IS BETTER THEN THE ALTERNATIVE HAMNIDA LOL.

    National knows all about the poverty line, that’s why it’s bringing people out of it, not just throwing more money at them and bringing back 1970’s industrial policy, because that really really works doesn’t it.

    Seriously Hamnida you need to spend some time with some successful people. You might change your childish views a bit.

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  44. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    I am promoting a new 21st Century New Zealand.

    Cool. So you’ll agree that we need better quality MPs in all parties? People that aren’t straightjacketed by old fashioned political ‘ideals’?

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  45. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    tomorrow’s Schools Hamnida? You mean you’d wind back to the days where parents had no say at all in what went on with their children’s education? I think there is a lot of parents who would throw that one out for starters.

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  46. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    I am not promoting pre 1984 Muldoonist New Zealand.

    I am promoting a new 21st Century New Zealand.

    That’s just plain, stupid, one-eyed partisanship and, yes, you actually are promoting a pre-1984 Muldoonist New Zealand. Muldoonism (and I voted twice against the bugger) was simply the end stage of the type of socialism built up by the Labour Party and cooperatively “managed” by National for the previous four decades.

    It was the perfectly logical endpoint of such stupidity, where failed government intervention and controls begat even more government intervention and controls. All of it managed by a guy who thought he was smart enough to pull it off – which is also what large-brain mammals like Tizard thought, and what Jim Anderton still thinks.

    There is nothing 21st century about trying to recreate the Savage-Nash-Holyoake-Kirk-Rowling-Muldoon economy. But what the hell – you keep banging that drum Hamnida; it’s been a dynamite election winner over the last 30 years. As the French economist says above, even in his country nobody believes in socialist solutions.

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  47. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    I think the most telling problem with the left is this comment “U.S and U.K v Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway”.

    Lets focus on the Scandinavian nations – what are some of the differences between NZ and those countries aside from the fact that Hone Harawira would find them racist because they wouldn’t put up with his crap or the crap of his unfortunate followers. Think about that for a bit Hamnida, about why it is that NZ was not Austria in the 80’s, and will struggle to be Austria now.

    Also think very hard about why it is that the UK had to adopt really really harsh austerity (note that those policies are actual austerity policies). Use temporal logic, i.e. what was the product, and what was the precursor – what necessitated what.

    Finally, think hard about what the issues are in the United States and whether or not they spring from capitalism and free markets, or other paradigms/concepts.

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  48. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    New Zealand must not continue to fall down the OECD ladder by continuing to implement failed neoliberal policies.

    Do we want a future where the underclass simply grows? Of course not.

    Just as Muldoonism begun to fail, so has neoliberalism. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past.

    Progressive thinking MPs, not those stuck in the past.

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  49. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Monique – Of course parents should have say, but schools should not be forced to compete against each other. A focus on teaching and learning, not marketing and advertising.

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  50. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    UpandComer – I have always acknowledged Labours failings. The fact they started neoliberlaism in New Zealand, the Electoral Finance Act, I am sure there are more.

    That said, the Left are much better about reflecting on their mistakes and making sure new ideas are implemented instead of failed old ones. This is currently demonstrated by Cunliffe and Parker undertaking research into what makes other OECD nations more successful than NZ.

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  51. BeaB (2,165 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    Schools are not ‘forced to compete’. Most of them relish the chance to show what they are capable of and to attract the recognition they are due for superior performance. Competition – especially before Labour caved in gutlessly and brought back zoning again – led to enormous efforts to improve so students didn’t vote with their feet.
    Coming out from under the thumb of local and Wellington bureaucracies was wonderfully liberating for most schools. I was familiar with both systems and having control of funding, major decisions, and even the dreaded bulkfunding allowed us to flourish. But too much freedom for the plebs was too scary for the Stalinists and the unions and schools have been reined in again.
    What a silly world you live in. Do you do anything constructive? Or are you just the wanker you appear to be?

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  52. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    Just as Muldoonism begun to fail, so has neoliberalism.

    Oh god – straight back into what KIA described as “sloganeering”.

    Since it’s a wet, gloomy Sunday and I have nothing better to do, how about you tell us what the difference was – in an economic context – between Muldoonism and Kirkism, Holyoakism, Nashism, and Savageism.

    Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past.

    Progressive thinking MPs, not those stuck in the past.

    More sloganeering. Too funny. But in this case I’ve seen AG and Dim put forward similar arguments so perhaps I should not scoff too much. Repeating the past was exactly what NZ did throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s as it desperately tried to make the old Micky Savage economic model continue to work. And it is beyond irony that a person could describe people who want to return to that 1940’s model as Progressive thinking MPs” – ones who are, “not stuck in the past”.

    I have always acknowledged Labours failings

    No! You have merely acknowledged that they strayed from your old left-wing path, abandoned your ancient economic model of NZ in the 1980’s, and never really returned to it.

    Perhaps you should be waging this war over on Red Alert? That’s where you need to win this argument.

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  53. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    It is time to re-build New Zealand.
    A New Zealand for all New Zealanders.

    So, fascism then.

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  54. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    You’re lucky I’m having a rare Saturday night at home. You really are a walking Labour party pamphlet. In the 9 years Labour was in power NZ dropped 3 places in the OECD rankings – was that because they were too ‘neolib’?

    The reforms of the 4th Labour Government were essentially bipartisan. Even a party of the left (and a PM from the left – Lange) saw no alternative because of the perilous economic path NZ was on by the early 80’s – had Muldoon won in 1984 the Quigley McLay Richardson faction would’ve rolled him and implimented the same reforms. Space does not permit the reasons why they were so necessary. Deregulation saw 5,000 workers in the Railways doing the same work that 22,000 did, a new domestic airline allowed to set up transforming near 3rd world service from Air NZ into meals on board and airbridges overnight, TV3 chased stodgy TVNZ into the 80’s, high tariffs were a tax on the working class forcing them to spend far more of their income on clothes, shoes, cars and consumer goods. The removal of tarrifs has enabled even the poor in NZ to afford things hitherto the preserve of the middle class and above. Removal of agricultural subsidies laid the foundation for world class efficient dairy farms and the world beating Fonterra.

    You cite various countries as the anti neolibs. Switzerland is the ultimate small government nation with low taxation and a minimal welfare state. Sweden has maraculously bucked the trend of slow to no growth since 2008 not because of more socialist style welfare statism but the exact opposite (slashing taxes, paring back the welfare state and lifting regulatory burden on small business), Norway is a special case due to the massive oil royalties flowing to only 5 million people – it’s government can act like the oil rich Emirates. The US is sputtering along with the slowest worse recovery since the great Depression precisely because of the poorly conceived and largely failed trillion dollar stimulus, a growing burden of government debt and rafts of aggresive anti business regulations and uncertainty over new regulations and taxes inherent in Obamacare and Dodds Franks. Germany alone in the Euro zone is prospering because it too implimented major reform to its welfare state and aggresively pared back entitlement programmes. The French are about to see the futilty of the Cunliffe future you dream of for NZ – one of my business partners here is French and he says his family know dozens of wealthy French entreprenuers planning to flee Hollande’s new rich prick tax.

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  55. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    BeaB – The pre 1989 education system in New Zealand was run regionally, by local education boards. It was not run by “Wellington bureaucracies”.

    I am suggesting parental and community involvement continues, but instead of a hard working school boards of volunteers focussing on advertising and marketing, they concentrate on education. After all, schools are about education.

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  56. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    tom hunter – I am not suggesting we look to the past. I am suggesting we look to the future for a 21st Century economic model.

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  57. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    wat dabney – No, not facism, the complete opposite.

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  58. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    kiwi in america – I think we have very different recollections of history and the socio political divide, especially the examples you have used for Switzerland and Sweden. The OECD database I use show both as high tax, high spend governments. Perhaps Switzerland’s various forms of local canton based smaller governments within the federal system have confused you.

    I suspect you are right about 1980s reforms in NZ though. If it wasn’t the Fourth Labour Government, it would have been National.

    Health care reform and economic stimulus are the two things I respect most about Obama. I think he is an excellent President and he will easily defeat Romney/Ryan. The extreme right wing views Ryan displays will put off many ‘middle of the road’ voters in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida.

    No one will leave France, why would you? Hollande is right, who needs more than 250,000 Euros a year? I think they should be taxed 110% just to make sure they don’t do it. That kind of income is obscene.

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  59. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    I am not suggesting we look to the past. I am suggesting we look to the future for a 21st Century economic model.

    Your ideas are the past – the 1930’s and 40’s to be precise – there’s nothing modern about them at all – as is shown by another of your comments:

    … who needs more than 250,000 Euros a year? I think they should be taxed 110% just to make sure they don’t do it.

    You are beyond parody. How exactly would someone be taxed at 110% in practice? And what on earth is with that phrase – just to make sure they don’t do it? As a crypto-Marxist you undoubtedly think the economy is a zero-sum game, so that a person could only get that income by others getting less. That has to be the thinking (if it can be called that) behind that bitter, envious, attitude.

    On the other hand – given that I’d love to see the government shrink by more than half – perhaps I should support your policy, as it would actually vaporise the majority of income tax revenue for the government, since it’s “the rich” who pay the overwhelming proportion of it. So you would actually cut off your nose to spite your face, which is why even modern left-win politicians don’t follow such dopey advice and have not since JFK went tax cutting.

    By the way – your “excellent President” and his wife have “earned” way more that 250,000 euros per year for the past few years, and if Bill Clinton is anything to go by, will earn even more after he leaves the job. Must make you feel good supporting such an obscene capitalist.

    Once again, all of this same old rubbish was tried and found wanting in the 1970’s. That you cannot comprehend this is shown by the fact that you have been unable to explain the ways in which the economic practices of Muldoonism were fundamentally different to those of Micky Savage.

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  60. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    @hamnida,

    Tax them more than they earn – that’ll learn them for working won’t it? Can’t have them getting ideas above their station.

    You are a parody.

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  61. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    I know I’ve mentioned this several times, but I think everyone needs to remember – what Hamnida is saying is John Minto’s policy, and therefore Mana’s policy.

    John Minto is on record as saying nobody should earn more than $250,000. And his policy would see 100% tax rate imposed on earnings over $250,000.

    Hamnida can perhaps be excused, but John Minto is a driving force in a political party. Should you ever meet anybody who is contemplating voting for Mana, please ensure you explain this to them. John Minto HATES the thought of anybody being successful, and should Mana ever hold any real power we should all be very afraid of what they will do to this country.

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  62. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    Minto is nothing more than a mass of anger seething at the end of a megaphone. He is about as likely to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament as Robert Mugabe is.

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  63. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    But what happens when he comes in on Harawira’s coat-tails?

    People vote for Mana, because they are deceived by Harawira.

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  64. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    With some 300 comments by now I think we can simply collect the most idiotic statements of Hamnida and copy and paste them in response to whatever he/she says in future. But that demand for 110% tax on income greater than 250,000 euros – just to make sure they don’t do it – is going to take some beating. I wonder when Hamnida will realise that 110% of zero is …. zero.

    Then there’s this one, written with the same, breezy, frothy air of soundbite sloganising that characterises almost everything that Hamida writes

    No one will leave France, why would you?

    Umm …. because if you stay you’ll get screwed?

    It’s a fairly ordinary human response that we’re talking about here – no great economic theorising needed. You can read about the actual response of wealthy French people – rather than more airy Hamnida assertions – in this Financial Times article

    Inquiries from French clients had risen by roughly 40 per cent since the speech, says David Blanc, a partner at Vestra Wealth, a London-based wealth manager.

    “I have definitely seen strong interest in what could be done to protect assets both for people resident in France but also for French nationals who are UK resident,” said Mr Blanc, a former UBS executive.

    The prospect of a Gallic diaspora of high earners was backed up by Knight Frank, the property agent, which said numbers of French web users searching online for its prime London properties online in the past three months had risen 19 per cent compared with the same period last year. The equivalent figure for Europe as a whole fell 9 per cent.

    So Hollande’s stupidity is likely already cutting into his tax revenue, making the deficit worse, and shafting his plans for expanding the state. Brilliant.

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  65. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    graham,

    If Mana get enough votes to bring a third person in, the country is screwed irrespective of whether it is Minto or not.

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  66. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    the really funny part is that hamnida is a mirror of the hard left union idiots trying to roll shearer because they feel shearer is damaging brand labour…

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  67. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    I know I’ve mentioned this several times, but I think everyone needs to remember – what Hamnida is saying is John Minto’s policy, and therefore Mana’s policy.

    Well that Hamnida-Minto link makes sense in light of one of his earliest comments on Kiwiblog:

    Minto is the greatest New Zealander of all time.

    Yes! Really!

    Comedy Gold.

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  68. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    A guy from Timaru created the zombie survival game ‘DayZ’. It costs $30 per subscription. So far it has about 30 million subscriptions.

    Hamnida/John Minto/Hone Harawira want to take all of the money this man has earned in the crazily tough gaming market down to 249k, and give it to Hone’s family, Minto’s entourage and gang members in Northland, effectively, as well as DPB recipients.

    He has done exactly what NZ needs to do, created a high tech product that is not a traditional commodity export with an incredibly high and unique marginal value. The solution? Take all his money off him and give it to your mates at University, fucking about doing politics majors at University pretending you know something about somewhere.

    Hamnida, dere you go again.

    You still won’t explain why it is that when the top marginal rate went from 39 to 33% tax revenue went up. I’m not against living in a country like Austria at all, but you need to explain why it is hard for NZ to emulate, for instance, Austrian petrochemical and automobile manufacturing.

    Cunliffe and Parker are doing that now? Why now? Why bother? Why didn’t they just ride the wave of 5% growth from 2001-2005, why fuck that up?

    You also apparently won’t have an honest think about just why it is very difficult for NZ to emulate the economies of Denmark/Sweden//Norway. I will be genuinely interested to see what the Davids come up with. Thing is, everyone’s known for 30 years, but you can’t do anything when you have a decade of deficits and centralised planning. The worst thing in the world for NZ will be if Russell Norman gets into a position where he actually can act on his assumption he can “pick winners”.

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  69. BeaB (2,165 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    You are wrong. Local education Boards were mainly for primary schools and exercised iron control of staffing, spending, property etc.
    Secondary schools were overseen from Wellington or regional offices of the Department of Education with slightly greater autonomy but still tightly controlled.

    I have never ever met a board of trustees that focuses on advertsing and marketing. That’s such tired old nonsense.

    Not a good idea to try to rewrite history when there are still many of us who lived through it and have better memories than yours and direct experience.

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  70. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    tom hunter – 110% tax is simple – 100% being your salary and/or income stream, plus 10% penalty for being greedy. You would need to find that out of savings or the Department of Labour could apply it as a fine against the employer.

    If you are earning over 250,000 Euros or NZ$420,000 I am sure you have some savings to pay the fine or extra tax.

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  71. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    UpandComer – the zombie game guy can draw a fair salary from his business without facing a 100% tax rate. To avoid high tax, he can re-invest into his business, employ workers to increase his costs, or make tax deductable donations.

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  72. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    BeaB – Can’t avoid the truth. Both primary, intermediate and secondary teachers (even principals) were employees of local education boards pre 1989.

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  73. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Mana – I think they are a one seat party (two at the very most). They could get 4 or 5% if the Greens did not exist. If the new MMP rules pass, having Hone win a seat wouldn’t bring in 4 – 6 extra MPs in any case.

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  74. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    So what’s the incentive to work in New Zealand then Hamnida? At all? Why shouldn’t I just go offshore where I get to keep all my salary and fuck yous all? Do see what I’m getting at Hamnida, and how those bookends Cullen and Clark screwed the country? Just as my generation was starting to get a decent wage in the workforce.
    Let’s say $420,000 is arbitrary. It is arbitrary as back in 1999, this logic was applied to the greedy rich pricks earning (was it over $60.00)
    Is $60,000 a lot if money to raise a family on Hamnida? It is not.

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  75. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    100% being your salary and/or income stream, plus 10% penalty for being greedy.

    I am sure you have some savings to pay the fine or extra tax.

    Until your savings are destroyed.

    the zombie game guy can draw a fair salary from his business without facing a 100% tax rate.

    “Fair” apparently being your abitary figure of $NZ420,000. But why should “fair” not be a lower amount. Perhaps as low as yours?

    To avoid high tax, he can re-invest into his business, employ workers to increase his costs, or make tax deductable donations.

    Why bother doing that – with all the extra worry and effort involved in the risk that the business will go down the tubes – when he can just get an ordinary, plonking job for your salary. Why would you take the risk when the reward is no different to what Hamnida gets?

    That is where this collectivist approach leads of course and it’s quite incredible that you just don’t get it. Once again, we’re not talking about fancy economic theory here: this is simple human nature. In your insane world nobody would ever take the risk of starting anything new or acting on a new idea for business. Eventually there’s nobody left who is willing to start the new businesses that are the wealth creation engine of a capitalist economy and the economy slowly dies. Of course if you want a communist economy then it makes sense – but given the god-awful, endless, grinding poverty those slowly decaying economies created, who but a complete retard would want to travel that path.

    But I think the following sums up your contributions on this matter – and others – much better than any rebuttal could. It’s a clip from the gameshow portion of the movie, Billy Madison, and one of the comments is the most appropriate for you:

    Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.

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  76. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    “…To avoid high tax, he can …. employ workers to increase his costs…”

    Whaaaaat?

    Hamfisted’s ‘solution’ includes a business employing unnecessary staff so the business can increase costs / decrease profits and as a result pay less tax…..?

    OMG! [gulp] Best stick to your day job, Hamfist…. because economics is not your forte.

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  77. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Totally agree $60,000 not much to raise a family. I am talking $420,000, not $60,000. Under my system, people earning $60,000 would pay less tax.

    I have no sympathy for anyone earning $420,000 or a firm paying it.

    That is an obscene salary while 20% of New Zealand children are cold and hungry.

    Even on $200,000, you could save $100,000 a year and pay off a $500,000 mortgage in 5 years.

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  78. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Elaycee – employ workers to expand his business, not to do nothing.

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  79. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    tom hunter – How much money does the zombie guy need? More than $420,000?

    Children in New Zealand are starving and live in cold houses.

    He could do this:

    Revenue from Zombie game sales $1,000,000

    Less expenses:

    Zombie man salary $400,000
    Two other employees $200,000
    Depreciation on hardware $50,000
    Donations so poor children can have computers in homes $150,000
    Other expenses (travel, internet, power, office space) $100,000

    Total expenses $900,000

    Taxable Zombie business profit – $100,000

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  80. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    I wonder twat Hamnida thinks of Kim Dotcom?

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  81. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I have a lot of time for Kim Dotcom.

    Mr Dotcom made a $1,000,000 donation to the Redcross shortly after the February 22nd 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

    People like Dotcom and the Morgans are decent folk. They recognise the current NZ tax system is corrupt and try to remedy it by donations. They openly advocate it would have been better just to pay their fair share of tax.

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  82. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    How much money does the zombie guy need? More than $420,000?

    Barack Obama apparently needs much, much more than that, and apparently his being so greedy does not prevent you thinking that he’s excellent.

    Children in New Zealand are starving and live in cold houses.

    Emotive appeals work better when there are links. It might be more accurate to say that there are hungary children in NZ – and I grew up in a cold house, as did all my friends; it was a NZ tradition that is slowly changing. Funnily enough my wife has just left on her weekly food delivery schedule for poor families in our neighbourhood – and this while the government occupies 40% of the economy! Which rather raises the question of whether shoveling additional tax dollars to them would actually make things any better.

    As far as your example is concerned you’ve deliberately missed the point (as you did with my question about how Muldoonism was economically different from Mickey Savage’s): why would anybody take on all the extra risk and worry of starting a new business if their income was going to be capped at $400,000 per year? Better to just get a government job for $100,000 per year and leave the job creation and charity efforts to someone else.

    BTW – I presume there’s no tax on the company profit? Excellent!

    Perhaps we can start on that now! You can start a business and you can see if you can work it the way you imagine. You’d better be quick about it though since tax revenues will be falling as people like me escape your insanity and put our feet up in our new ordinary jobs. Chop, chop!

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  83. BeaB (2,165 comments) says:

    Hamnida
    More hot air. I was a secondary school teacher pre-1989 in the country and the city and was employed by the Department of Education through the Board of Governors of the schools I was in and which appointed me (unlike primary schools where staffing was done for them).

    I have NEVER been in the employment of an education board which were set up to tell primary schools who to appoint and how much they could spend on pencils. Right little dictatorships they were too and primary principals and school committees were kept well away from the important decisions.

    Very few would ever want to go back to that kind of control but I guess for some people giving power and autonomy to parents and schools is a big scary thing. I for one am hugely grateful for the hard work, wisdom and dedication of school trustees and I know many parents have found the role to be rewarding and satisfying. Our schools have done well under Tomorrows Schools apart from a very few where things have gone wrong but that will always happen.

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  84. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Why can’t the poor children get their parents to buy them their own fucking computers? Is it because Clark and Cullen screwed the country so their parents can’t be employed because the corporates who might have employed them have left the country?
    Hamnida, the trick is to take away the moral judgement. Who knows why some pricks have more or less than others? It just is. Just like some people waste themselves into the ground on alcohol or drugs, others make a shitload of money and your type assume they are BAAAD people?
    Why?
    Money is inanimate. you’re attributing power to money that it doesn’t have.
    You have to look at behaviour. If you have a poor arsehole who beats his kids and he wins lotto, chances are he will just turn into a rich arsehole who beats his kids.
    Meanwhile the rich guy down the road looks after his kids, employs 100 people and brings new innovations to market every week is a lesser human being in your eyes.
    One last point. I acquired a fair whack of property in New Zealand before leaving for less socialist shores. It’s nothing to write home about; causes me no end of trouble and bleeds cash. But I enjoy tinkering and I expect it will all turn cash-flow positive in time to pay me a wage in retirement.
    Every time I have offered to talk another individual through acquiring a rental property they have said no. They, (without exception) prefer to occupy the higher moral ground of being assetless while telling themselves that rich pricks own rental property.
    And that is the crazy attitude that pervades New Zealand today. There is more reward in slagging off the rich than in taking risks and building wealth.
    Alright guys,I’ve given it everything I have to stop Hamnida carrying on with that socialist rubbish. Before my eyeballs bleed I’m off to unwind with a computer game.

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  85. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    One problem (of the many) is that you are choosing an arbitrary figure of $420,000 Hamnida. According to you this is “obscene”.

    Why?

    Why is it obscene? Because you have decided that this particular figure is too much? Hell, at least John Minto had some reasoning for stating a figure of $250,000 – he based it on the minimum wage being around $25,000, and stated that the maximum wage should be no more than 10 times the minimum. Of course that’s still an arbitrary figure; why not just state the maximum wage should be no more than 5 times the minimum, or $125,000? Heck, let’s just say you’re only allowed to earn $100,000. There we go, all of New Zealand’s problems solved.

    … until everyone starts leaving New Zealand in droves because they’re penalised for working hard and being successful …

    … and donations from wealthy individuals disappear, because there are no wealthy individuals …

    … and those who stay are lack-lustre and half-hearted in whatever they do, because they know that no matter how hard they work or try, they will only be allowed to succeed up to the point that John Minto or Hamnida decides is appropriate for them …

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  86. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    People like Dotcom and the Morgans are decent folk.

    Are they now? But they’ve both been earning vastly greater amounts than a piddling $NZ420,000 per year, and have being doing so for ages – which means that they’re being “greedy” (very, very greedy) according to you and should be punished for it – while also being “decent folk”.

    You really are utterly incoherent.

    As to charity, that $1 million donation of Dotcom’s represented a vastly smaller proportion of his wealth than your desired example. And while Gareth Morgan gave away the $45 million that he obtained from the shares in his sons TradeMe business, he already had his own business – Infometrics – which he started from scratch in an old bus, and which has been delivering to him an annual salary far in excess of your capped figure for years now, which is why he’s able to go tooling around the world on motorcycles.

    I’m not aware that his son has done anything comparable with his vastly greater chunk of the $750 million. What he does appear to be doing is investing that money in new business ventures in NZ, which will hopefully employ ever more people and pay them good wages. That’s great, it’s what I want him to be doing since it’s the heart of capitalist wealth creation, and the longer it continues the more money will be available for your desired outcomes of increased tax revenues and increased charitable donations.

    But all of these good outcomes this would be strangled at birth by your ideas. No Dotcom. No Infometrics. No TradeMe – and no taxes or massive charitable donations.

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  87. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Hamnida – how much tax will someone on a salary of $420,000 be paying?

    And how much nett tax (PAYE less tax credits) will a family on $60,000 be paying? And how much would you suggest their tax is reduced?

    I know a family earning less than $50,000 pa who manage quite comfortably. They are currently looking for a house to buy.

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  88. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    BeaB – I have every respect for the overwhelming majority of school board office holders. The policy change I am suggesting would see them focus on education instead of advertising and marketing. There are a myriad of ways of achieving this policy goal.

    One example – Instead of a secondary school board fighting for year nine intake students from local primary and intermediate schools, they would focus on pastoral and curriculum policies that improve students’ experiences at school by streamlining the transition years.

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  89. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Peter George – $420,000 50% tax, income over $420,000 100% tax.

    $60,000 17.5% tax.

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  90. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    income over $420,000 100% tax.

    So by your own definition, incomes above that level will simply vanish in NZ – along with the tax they would have contributed at lower rates.

    Do you think that the people who are earning that amount and more, or are capable of it, will stick around in NZ to earn less and contribute to your societal tax base? “Decent folk” like Dotcom and the Morgans?

    Just having a fun exercise here, trying to get you to actually think through the consequences of your rules. You are capable of thinking this through, no?

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  91. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    The consequences are well understood. Earn an obscene amount of money by way of drawings, salary or wages and pay 100% tax (NZ$420,000 under my policy).

    Here are some options for those who earn over $420,000, but want to remain as New Zealanders:

    1. Income deductable donations (you have say on where your income goes instead of the government). Examples include: Redcross, SPCA, a new school hall/gym, Salvation Army.

    2. Re-invest and grow your business through increased capital instead of drawings.

    3. Advocate a for a pay structure within your organisation that sees more equitable use of wages and salaries. For example, CEO goes from $500,000 to $350,000 p/a while cleaners go from $13.50 to $20 an hour.

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  92. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    $60,000 17.5% tax.

    Are you aware that a family with two young children on $60k currently pay about 10% nett? And with three children it’s 5%? And with four children it’s 0%? (With no children it’s 20% PAYE+EP on $60k)

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  93. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Pete George

    I think you are incorrect, here are the rates for this tax year ending 31 March 2013:

    up to $14,000 10.5 cents 12.20 cents
    from $14,001 to $48,000 17.5 cents 19.20 cents
    from $48,001 to $70,000 30 cents 31.70 cents
    $70,001 and over 33 cents 34.70 cents

    The use of “nett” by you is irrelevant, as I would keep WFF with a 17.5% rate for $60,000.

    Plus free health care, no school ‘donations’, etc.

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  94. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    The use of “nett” by you is irrelevant

    Tax credits are not irrelevant, they affect how much tax you pay. The nett tax paid on earnings of $60k is about 20% (no children), and with WFF tax credits it drops to 10% with one child etc.

    You’re just quoting the tax bands, not tax paid on those earnings.

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  95. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    2. Re-invest and grow your business through increased capital instead of drawings.

    Once again (and for the billionth time) – why would any entrepreneur stick around to do that when they could simply earn a basic salary and let other people like you “grow the business” – or when they can depart overseas to build their business. You think they’re going to invest that degree of sweat and worry and risk into a business merely to feed and water your vision of society? You think NZ is that much of a paradise that people would bend to your rules to that extent.

    You seem to be utterly incapable of understanding the ordinary people around you and their motivations. In this you are exactly the same as the people who ran places like East Germany – and who had to build a giant deathtrap of a wall through a city just to prevent their own citizens from escaping your dreams (and their nightmares).

    I think this will be the last time I communicate with you. Why should I bother trying to help you gain a better comprehension of economics – or more importantly – people. Much better to leave you howling these insanities to the microscopic echo chamber that is the far-left of Minto and company. You’ve lost ground endlessly now for decades around the world because of a simple inability to understand your fellow man and you will continue to lose.

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  96. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I propose someone on $60,000 pays 17.5% of their income in tax.

    If they have children, they receive WFF.

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  97. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Including or excluding EP?

    Are you proposing different flat tax rates for different incomes? That would be a very unusual way of doing it.

    I presume you won’t be proposing those earning less than $48k are taxed at 17.5%.

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  98. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    $60,000 would pay a real rate of 17.5%, so it could be under $30,000 is 10%, over $30,000 25% if you are looking at progressive tax brackets.

    Including earner premium.

    I would keep ACC at 2008 policy settings.

    How many people in NZ earn over $420,000 anyway? Maybe 50 people. I just can’t see how the CEO of Telecom is worth $5,000,000, while a restaurant worker gets paid below the minimum wage. Does a CEO really need over $420,000 a year, or would the board still get high quality candidates if they advertised the job at $350,000 plus up to $50,000 bonus?

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  99. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    So based on that everyone that earns up to $60k would pay between 13% and 30% less PAYE+EP, and with EP being about 10% of the total at that rate it reduces the PAYE component more.

    Some of the difference would be offset by reduced tax credits, but I take it you haven’t looked at how much this would reduce the overall tax take.

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  100. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Maybe we are talking at cross purposes or you know a lot more about the taxation system than me.

    I thought earner premium was about 1.7%, so I mean PAYE 8.3% plus EP 1.7% = 10%, or PAYE 15.8% plus EP 1.7% = 17.5%, or PAYE 28.3% plus EP 1.7% = 30%.

    Taking Telcom as an example, I think we could have hot home grown talent for under $420,000 that would have been better than Reynolds for $5,000,000. Remember the botched XT network.

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