Archive for the ‘NZ Politics’ Category

It’s election day

September 20th, 2014 at 12:01 am by David Farrar

It’s now election day so no discussion of NZ politics until 7 pm please. This especially includes preferred outcomes, how people should vote or how you voted.

And if you haven’t already voted, make sure you get out there and vote.


Smallest net migration to Australia since 1995!

September 19th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stats NZ reports:

“New Zealand had its highest-ever net gain of 43,500 migrants in the August 2014 year,” population statistics project manager Susan Hollows said. “The previous high of 42,500 migrants was in the May 2003 year.”

The new net migration record was driven by more arrivals and fewer departures of permanent and long-term migrants.

Migrant arrivals reached a new high of 103,900 in the August 2014 year. The increase in arrivals compared with the August 2013 year was led by more students, particularly from India, and more New Zealand citizens arriving from Australia.

The fall in migrant departures was primarily due to fewer departures of New Zealand citizens to Australia (down 15,100), compared with the August 2013 year. The net loss of 6,500 people to Australia in the August 2014 year was the smallest since the January 1995 year (6,200).

Here’s a graph of it:


It’s great to both see the number of Kiwis leaving to Australia almost halve, but also greater numbers of people coming here from Australia. Let’s keep New Zealand a place people want to move to, and stay in.


Walker won’t endorse Mallard

September 19th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Trevor Mallard wrote yesterday:

Key has confirmed Hutt South is close race. I’m lucky that Holly Walker has said she only wants party vote. I’m asking green supporters to vote tactically and support me to stop National winning electorate.

Today Holly Walker responded:

To the lovely voters of Hutt South. Thanks for supporting me these three years. I’m stepping down for now, so even though my name’s on the ballot, I don’t want your candidate vote. It could be close, so make sure a vote for me doesn’t get in the way of your preferred local MP.

This is very different to many other seats when the Green candidate is openly encouraging people to vote for the Labour candidate.

Tags: , ,

McCaffrey on ACT

September 19th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Peter McCaffrey writes:

Tomorrow I will cast an absentee vote for ACT from Canada because I thinkJamie Whyte would contribute significantly to New Zealand’s Parliament, and of all the various party’s list candidates who are on the margin of getting elected, he is by far the best.

Having said that, ACT’s campaign has been woeful.

David Seymour and Jamie Whyte were the fresh faces the party needed, and have done well in their various media appearances, but for some unknown (and ultimately devastating) reason they decided to leave the campaign strategy and organisation to the same people who have failed the party miserably since about 2009. 

As most will know, I served on the ACT board for several years.

ACT never has been able to decide whether it is a libertarian or conservative party because despite almost all of the membership being libertarian (or at least liberal), for several elections ACT relied on many conservative voters come election time.

However, since Colin Craig set up the Conservatives, ACT has lost its few remaining conservative members, and almost all of its conservative voters.

This reality presented the party with a fantastic opportunity to finally become properly liberal, to campaign on some new policies (drug reform, civil liberties, etc) and look to slowly and steadily grow the party.

In short, the party was too risk averse, too worried about the few votes they might lose, and never considering the votes they might win – a disappointing ignorance of Bastiat’s principles of the seen and the unseen, for a supposedly economically literate party.

Rather, the senior party strategists believed they could win back conservative voters from Colin Craig, which was clearly never going to happen. …

David Seymour will win Epsom, and will be fantastic in Parliament.

If he is ACT’s sole MP, he will have some hard decisions to make about the future of the party. …

In short, you still probably should give your party vote to ACT, in hopes of getting Jamie elected.

Once the election is over, the caucus run the party again, not the campaign strategists.

But I don’t blame you if you can’t bring yourself to do it.

I would like to see Jamie Whyte in Parliament, and see ACT operating as a clearly classical liberal party.


Tags: ,

The truth on water

September 19th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Got sent this e-mail by a reader. I have not fact checked it myself, but it seems to be accurate, and is a useful counter to the hysteria over water quality.

Are the Greens telling you the Truth?

1. A recent OECD survey measured the cleanliness of all major rivers that flow through farmland in OECD countries. Of the three New Zealand rivers measured, where did the Clutha, Waitaki and Waikato, respectively, place?

a)    87th, 89th and 90th

b)    42nd, 58th and 76th

c)    1st, 2nd and 4th

Answer:  Of all major rivers in the developed world that flow through farmland, the OECD found Clutha rated 1st, the Waitaki 2nd and the Waikato 4th for cleanliness.


2. Compared with other developed countries’ major rivers, the OECD study found New Zealand’s three longest rivers contained what levels of nitrates and total phosphorous, respectively?

a)    very high and relatively high

b)    relatively high and high

c)    very low and relatively low

Answer:  Our three longest rivers were found to have very low levels of nitrates, and relatively low levels of total phosphorus.


3. The latest Commission for the Environment report said what percentage of New Zealand rivers are getting cleaner?

a)    20%

b)    50%

c)    90%

Answer:  90% of our rivers are getting cleaner. There are river care and land care groups on all main and many small rivers across New Zealand. They’re spending millions of dollars to improve water quality. They include farmers, Fonterra, Dairy NZ, NZ Beef and Lamb, Landcare NZ, Federated Farmers, Iwi, fertilizer companies, universities, and regional councils.

4. How did the Greens interpret the Commissioner for the Environment’s report?

a)    They told the truth and congratulated farmers on the 90%.

b)    The lied and said only 50% of rivers were getting cleaner.

c)    They lied and said water quality was getting worse.

Answer:  Russel Norman lied and said water quality was getting worse, when the Commissioner for the Environment said 90% of rivers were getting cleaner overall.
5. How many of New Zealand’s 1000 rivers did the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment classify very poor for cleanliness?

a)    326

b)    17

c)    2

Answer: Only 17 of our 1000 rivers are still rated very poor for cleanliness. But the Commissioner for the Environment reports that each one is getting cleaner.

6. Compared with the OECD average of 11%, what percentage of available fresh water does New Zealand use?

a)    43%

b)    11.2%

c)    1.2%

Answer:  We use only 1.2% of our available fresh water. That’s nearly the lowest in the OECD. South Korea uses 43%. (North Korea’s not saying.) 

7. How many kilometres of rivers and streams have farmers so far fenced off?

a)    20,000 km

b)    30,000 km

c)    45,000 km

Answer: Farmers have so far fenced off 45,000 km of rivers and streams (note: the 20,000 km being quoted by National is Fonterra farmers only), as well as doing a great deal of planting alongside waterways.

8. What percentage of New Zealand dairy-farm rivers have farmers so far fenced off?

a)    30%

b)    60%

c)    90%

Answer:  Farmers have so far fenced off 90% of New Zealand rivers that run through farmland.

9. What has made farmers fence off so many rivers at their own expense?

a)    Government regulation

b)    Local and regional council regulation

c)    Their concern as practical environmentalists

Answer: As dairy farm income has risen, farmers have been able to afford to help clean up our rivers, and are doing more fencing and planting all the time.

 10. How do the Greens plan to reward farmers for their voluntary efforts?

a)    Tax them less

b)    Tax them the same

c)    Tax them more

Answer: The Green want to tax farmers more, making it harder for them to continue their fencing and planting.

11. How much are farming-related groups spending per year to solve the leaching problem?

a)    $2.5 million

b)    $12.5 million

c)    $25 million

Answer: Over $25 million per year is going into research to solve the leaching problem. The effort is constrained only by the number of available scientists.

12. Where are New Zealand’s worst affected stretches of rivers:

a)    downstream from farms

b)    downstream from towns

c)    downstream from Green Party offices.

Answer:  Our worst-affected stretches of river are downstream from urban, not rural, areas.

13. What is the Greens’ solution to improving river water quality?

a)    Recognise that farmers are practical environmentalists, and encourage them to finish their fencing and planting.

b)    Provide state assistance to help speed up the process

c)    Ban all new dairy farm conversions

Answer:  The Greens have said they want to cap dairy farming at its current level.

14. What will be the result of the Greens stopping new dairy farming?

a)    More export income

b)    Better schools, better hospitals – and a cleaner environment

c)    The loss of precious new export income that would allow us to afford better hospitals, better schools, and a cleaner environment

Answer:  The loss of precious new export income that would allow us to afford better hospitals, better schools – and a cleaner environment.

15. With their very public “dirty dairying” campaign, the Greens have:-

a)   helpfully improved New Zealand’s international reputation

b)    made no difference to New Zealand’s international reputation

c)    deliberately sabotaged New Zealand’s international reputation

Answer:  By loudly exaggerating problems with our clean, green image, the Greens have deliberately sabotaged New Zealand’s international reputation.


To say that farmers pull their weight for New Zealand is a massive understatement. Together these 60,000 hardworking and innovative men and women earn 52% of our export income.

And frankly, they’re hurting at the torrent of unjustified criticism from the Greens that they don’t care about our rivers.

They want you to know the facts.

There are river care and land care groups on all main and many small rivers across New Zealand. They’re spending millions of dollars to improve water quality.

These groups include farmers, Fonterra, Dairy NZ, NZ Beef and Lamb, Landcare NZ, Federated Farmers, iwi, fertilizer companies, universities, and regional councils.

The Greens’ unfair “dirty dairying” campaign has done much to sabotage New Zealand’s international reputation. You have to wonder whether these people are New Zealanders first, or more committed to the Socialist International goal of bringing down capitalism.

The fact is, thousands of New Zealand farmers are heavily committed financially and ethically to making our rivers cleaner.  (A commitment which started long before the “dirty dairying” campaign.)


So why do we have this problem with our rivers? It goes back to the early days of our farming and industry. The upside of those pioneering efforts was that farmers gave New Zealanders the highest standard of living in the world.The downside was that, with no practical alternatives, they had to use the rivers as a means of disposal. Everyone accepted that. There was little or no dissent.

Then in the 1960s, attitudes changed. And work began on cleaning up.

We’re happy to acknowledge that the Green movement was a part of that attitude shift. We respect the Greens as environmental watchdogs. But their solution to every problem is more state control. Their latest list of policies reveals them to be more concerned with socialist redistribution than about the environment.


We remind you who built the farming industry on which New Zealanders still depend for their high standard of living. It wasn’t the state. That’s why we say innovative, commonsense farmers have a better record of fixing environmental problems related to farming than heavy-handed bureaucrats from Wellington.

These are just a very few of the many waterways that have community groups working hard to clean them up:

Ngongotaha Stream, Bay of Plenty. This stream is benefitting from restoration work that began decades ago. A whole-of-catchment plan led to 90% of the river’s banks being fenced and replanted. Result: much less sediment entering the stream, less particulate nitrogen and phosphorous – and less E coli.

Watercress Creek, Tasman. A Fonterra-financed farm river plan is reaping big benefits. The creek is now fully fenced and the Fonterra factory’s waste no longer overflows into it. Council, schools, communities and farmers are all beavering away replanting.

Rai River, Marlborough. At one time, during the dairy season there were three million cow crossings a day in this catchment. After 20 years of huge expenditure on bridges and culverts, the number of cows in the water at any one time is close to zero. Result: E coli levels are way down.

Shag River, Otago. Various farmer organizations and the regional council shared with farmers information about best practice. Farmers then invested heavily in reticulated water, fencing and new practices. Result: an impressive drop in E coli levels.

Please don’t misunderstand us. We applaud the Greens for alerting us to problems. We just have a big problem with their heavy-handed state solutions.


There are three sources of pollution in waterways: pathogens (faeces), sediment (erosion) and nutrients (mainly phosphates and nitrogen).

Every year the pathogens and sediment problems have got better. And we’re now seeing a reduction in phosphates thanks to the efforts of farmers, the government,  regional councils and other groups.

Only nitrogen now needs to be beaten and we’re on track to knock it out too as millions are poured into research and development.

Something you should know when you hear the word nitrogen. Nitrogen occurs naturally in waterways – if it didn’t we’d have a much bigger problem.  Life in the water would die.

Rivers can handle quite heavy loads of nitrogen.  There’s no real problem until blooms appear. That’s a rare occurrence in New Zealand’s 1000 rivers.

NIWA’s Dr Davies-Colley had this to say about our improving water quality:

  • “The fact that some heavily polluted rivers – mostly in dairying areas – have turned the corner in recent years gives us cause for optimism for the future.”

“A relatively few urban- and mine-affected rivers in New Zealand probably have the worst water quality because of mobilisation of toxic contaminants such as heavy metals as well as severe habitat modification.”


If you party vote Labour and the Left wins, in a couple of weeks 30% of the Cunliffe cabinet will be Green. Russel Norman and Metiria Turei will be Joint Deputy Prime Ministers. Ex-communist Norman is going to be driving a hard bargain to get his hands on the Finance portfolio. We’ll have up to seven Green ministers.

Is that what you want?

If not, there’s only one thing you can do about it. Don’t vote Labour because Labour means 30% Greens.

 Authorised by: John Third for The Opinion, 61 Ironside Road, Johnsonville.

I don’t agree with all the rhetoric in the e-mail, but I do absolutely agree with the salient points about how the Greens are misleading over the issue, and that their policy to cap the number of cows in New Zealand is the wrong one.



Idiot Mana protesters

September 19th, 2014 at 12:21 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

John Key’s day got off to a tense start at Rotorua’s Central Mall as his walkabout was hijacked by angry Mana protestors.

Mr Key, Minister Steven Joyce and local MP Todd McClay had been taking photographs with locals for around half an hour before the group turned up, waving flags and becoming increasingly vocal.

Mr Key continued smiling as the black and red-clad Mana crowd surrounded the National Party entourage, but he ended up cutting the visit short as the atmosphere became increasingly unsettled.

He scuttled out of the mall with support from police, mall security and Diplomatic Protection Services.

Much of the protestors’ anger appeared to stem from the Tuhoe raids, which took place within the electorate.

“You’re on stolen land,” one woman yelled repeatedly.

Such idiots.

For the records the raids took place under Helen Clark’s Government. It was the John Key Government that negotiated a historic settlement with Tuhoe which has seen some of their lands returned.




This is disgraceful. The same protesters are now in front of an advance polling place.

Also someone has pointed out to me that the land they were protesting on is in fact owned by the local Ngati Whakaue, so their geography is as crap as their history.


Projected MPs for 2014 Parliament

September 19th, 2014 at 10:19 am by David Farrar

This is a projection of who may be in Parliament based on the average of the polls, and using the seat projections of iPredict (I don’t actually agree with all of them, but they are the only complete source of public predictions so I use them).

Those in bold are not current MPs.

National – 58 seats, 40 electorates, 18 list

  1. Auckland Central – Nikki Kaye
  2. Bay of Plenty – Todd Muller
  3. Botany – Jami-Lee Ross
  4. Clutha-Southland – Todd Barclay
  5. Coromandel – Scott Simpson
  6. East Coast – Anne Tolley
  7. East Coast Bays – Murray McCully
  8. Hamilton East – David Bennett
  9. Hamilton West – Tim Macindoe
  10. Helensville – John Key
  11. Hunua – Andrey Bayly
  12. Ilam – Gerry Brownlee
  13. Invercargill – Sarah Dowie
  14. Kaikoura – Stuart Smith
  15. Maungakiekie – Pesata Sam Lotu-Iiga
  16. Nelson – Nick Smith
  17. New Plymouth – Jonathan Young
  18. Northcote – Jonathan Coleman
  19. Northland – Mike Sabin
  20. North Shore – Maggie Barry
  21. Otaki – Nathan Guy
  22. Pakuranga – Maurice Williamson
  23. Papakua – Judith Collins
  24. Rangitata – Jo Goodhew
  25. Rangitikei – Ian McKelvie
  26. Rodney – Mark Mitchell
  27. Rotorua – Todd McClay
  28. Selwyn – Amy Adams
  29. Tamaki – Simon O’Connor
  30. Taranaki-King Country – Barbara Kuriger
  31. Taupo – Louise Upston
  32. Tauranga – Simon Bridges
  33. Tukituki – Craig Foss
  34. Upper Harbour – Paula Bennett
  35. Waikato – Lindsay Tisch
  36. Waimakariri – Matthew Doocey
  37. Wairarapa – Alastair Scott
  38. Waitaki – Jacqui Dean
  39. Whangarei – Shane Reti
  40. Whanganui – Chester Borrows
  41. List 1 – Bill English
  42. List 2 – David Carter
  43. List 3 – Steven Joyce
  44. List 4 – Hekia Parata
  45. List 5 – Chris Finlayson
  46. List 6 – Tim Groser
  47. List 7 – Michael Woodhouse
  48. List 8 – Nicky Wagner
  49. List 9 – Paul Goldsmith
  50. List 10 – Melissa Lee
  51. List 11 – Kanwal Bakshi
  52. List 12 – Jian Yang
  53. List 13 – Alfred Ngaro
  54. List 14 – Brett Hudson
  55. List 15 – Paul Foster-Bell
  56. List 16 – Jo Hayes
  57. List 17 – Parmjeet Parmar
  58. List 18 – Chris Bishop

Labour – 32 seats, 27 electorates, 5 list

  1. Christchurch Central – Tony Milne
  2. Christchurch East – Poto Williams
  3. Dunedin North – David Clark
  4. Dunedin South – Clare Curran
  5. Hauraki-Waikato – Nanaia Mahuta
  6. Hutt South – Trevor Mallard
  7. Ikaroa-Rawhiti – Meka Whaitiri
  8. Kelston – Carmel Sepuloni
  9. Mana – Kris Faafoi
  10. Mangere – Su’a William Sio
  11. Manukau East – Jenny Salesa
  12. Manurewa – Louisa Wall
  13. Mt Albert – David Shearer
  14. Mt Roskill – Phil Goff
  15. Napier – Stuart Nash
  16. New Lynn – David Cunliffe
  17. Palmerston North – Iain Lees-Galloway
  18. Port Hills – Ruth Dyson
  19. Rimutaka – Chris Hipkins
  20. Rongotai – Annette King
  21. Tamaki Makaurau – Peeni Henare
  22. Te Atatu – Phil Twyford
  23. Te Tai Hauauru – Adrian Rurawhe
  24. Te Tai Tonga – Rino Tirikatene
  25. West Coast-Tasman – Damien O’Connor
  26. Wellington Central – Grant Robertson
  27. Wigram – Megan Woods
  28. List 1 – David Parker
  29. List 2 – Jacinda Ardern
  30. List 3 – Clayton Cosgrove
  31. List 4 – Sue Moroney
  32. List 5 – Andrew Little

Greens – 16 seats, 16 list

  1. List 1 – Metiria Turei
  2. List 2 – Russel Norman
  3. List 3 – Kevin Hague
  4. List 4 – Eugenie Sage
  5. List 5 – Gareth Hughes
  6. List 6 – Catherine Delahunty
  7. List 7 – Kennedy Graham
  8. List 8 – Julie Anne Genter
  9. List 9 – Mojo Mathers
  10. List 10 – Jan Logie
  11. List 11 – David Clendon
  12. List 12 – James Shaw
  13. List 13 – Denise Roche
  14. List 14 – Steffan Browning
  15. List 15 – Marama Davidson
  16. List 16 – Barry Coates

NZ First – 10 seats, 10 list

  1. List 1 – Winston Peters
  2. List 2 – Tracey Martin
  3. List 3 – Richard Prosser
  4. List 4 – Fletcher Tabuteau
  5. List 5 – Barbara Stewart
  6. List 6 – Clayton Mitchell
  7. List 7 – Denis O’Rourke
  8. List 8 – Pita Paraone
  9. List 9 – Ron Mark
  10. List 10 – Darroch Ball

Internet Mana – 2 seats, 1 electorate, 1 list

  1. Te Tai Tokerau – Hone Harawira
  2. List 1 – Laila Harre

Maori Party – 2 seats, 1 electorate, 1 list

  1. Waiariki – Te Ururoa Flavell
  2. List 1 – Marama Fox

ACT – 1 seat, 1 electorate

  1. Epsom – David Seymour

United Future – 1 seat, 1 electorate

  1. Ohariu – Peter Dunne
Tags: , ,

The 2014 election polls

September 19th, 2014 at 9:30 am by David Farrar



This table shows the last five polls from the five public pollsters. The average is shown, as is the weighted average (which takes into account recency and size).

National is projected to get between 44.5% and 48.2%, which is a a range within the margin of error. Note though these polls only partially include polling since the “Moment of Truth” on Monday night.

Labour is projected to get between 24.0% and 26.1%.

Greens are projected to get between 11.0% and 14.4%.

NZ First are projected to get between 6.6% and 8.4%.

Conservatives are projected to get between 3.3% and 4.9%

Internet Mana are projected to get between 0.9% and 2.0%



These seat projections take the party vote figures from each poll, but a standard assumption for electorate seats of the status quo.

National is projected to get between 56 and 61 seats.

Labour is projected to get between 30 and 33 seats.

Greens are projected to get between 14 and 18 seats.

NZ First are projected to get between 8 and 11 seats.

Internet Mana are projected to get between 1 and 3 seats.

In terms of coalitions, the findings are:

  • No polls predict National can govern alone
  • Two out of five say National could form a CR Government with ACT and United Future (if they win their electorate seats)
  • Four out of five say National could form a CR Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party, if the Maori Party hold their seats and decide to go with National
  • No polls show that Labour, Greens and NZ First could form a Government
  • One poll says that Labour, Greens, NZ First and Internet Mana could form a Government
  • The average of the polls predicts National could govern either with NZ First alone or with ACT, United Future and the Maori Party (status quo)
  • The average of the polls predicts Labour could govern, but only with the agreement of Greens, NZ First, Internet Mana and the Maori Party

These options are very finely balanced. A change in the party vote of just 1% would make a difference to what sort of government can be formed. If the Maori Party win less than their current three electorate seats, or if ACT, Mana, or United Future do not hold their electorates – that will have a significant impact on the possible shape of a Government.

Labour’s decision to rule out any ministerial roles for the Maori Party may turn out to be an incredibly stupid move for them, as it makes them far more reliant on support from Internet Mana. A Labour-Green-NZ First combination (Cunliffe’s stated option) is between three and six seats short of a majority in the polls. On average they are four seats short. This means that they realistically can not govern or pass laws (if they form a Government) without the agreement of Internet Mana. Internet Mana would of course support them to be Government (even if not Ministers) but they would have a effective veto on every law.

These polls show every vote could count. A change of just 1% could mean that NZ First hold the balance of power. If you have not voted, bote today or vote tomorrow.

Tags: ,

Marwick’s predictions

September 18th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Felix Marwick writes on his predictions:

Party Vote.

National: 45-47%

Labour: 24-26%

Greens: 11-13%

New Zealand First: 7-9%

Conservatives to miss the 5% MMP threshold.

Internet Mana to poll under 2%

ACT and United Future to both be under 1%


National to win Palmerston North.

Labour to win Napier, Christchurch Central, Tamaki Makaurau, and possibly Waimakariri

Internet Mana to hold Te Tai Tokerau (just)

Maori Party to hold Waiariki and Te Tai Hauauru.

Possible surprises results/seats to watch: Port Hills, Hutt South.

We’ll find out on Saturday!

Tags: ,

Former Alliance MP applies for charter school

September 18th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Opening a charter school in Mangere is a “strategic decision” that will help turn around Maori achievement, Willie Jackson says.

The Manukau Urban Maori Authority chief executive welcomes the Government plan to open four new charter schools next year, including two in South Auckland. The schools will cost $15.5 million over four years.

Jackson’s organisation will sponsor Te Kura Maori o Waatea, a primary school based at Nga Whare Waatea Marae.

Good to see more applications for charter schools, as run properly they can make a real difference with some kids who are not succeeding in the current system.

Tags: ,

Do we need a competency test for voting?

September 18th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reported:

The family of an intellectually disabled woman is alarmed her carers are supporting her to vote in this year’s election – despite her having the mental age of a 2-year-old.

But disability advocates are backing her caregivers’ actions, saying the voting rights of people with intellectual disabilities should be protected.

Patricia Hallett’s family was informed via text last week that her carers planned to take her to a polling booth to vote.

The 62-year-old lives in Auckland under the permanent care of IHC subsidiary Idea Services.

Nephew David Hallett, of Ngahinapouri, said it was “ridiculous” the law allowed his aunt to vote and feared others with severe intellectual disabilities could be unduly influenced at the voting booth.

Patricia Hallett was left brain damaged after contracting meningitis as a child.

Her affairs were managed by her brother under power of attorney.

“My aunt can’t make any kind of decision whatsoever and should be a disqualified voter,” David Hallett said.

“My 2 -year-old child has more cognitive ability in terms of reasoning but I know how easy it is to influence him with a little suggestion.

This is a difficult issue. Obviously many people with intellectual disabilities are capable of making an informed vote. But others are not. How do you protect those incapable of making an informed vote from coercion?

Should there be a competency test? Or is the small number of people involved insignificant?

UPDATE: This issue has become more significant. Stuff reports:

A large-scale provider of care for the intellectually disabled has been accused of openly influencing the voting of residents in their care.

A former community support worker at Idea Services said carers actively encouraged residents to vote Labour and schooled them on what boxes to tick on their ballot paper.

The Waikato-based worker, who declined to give her full name for fear of reprisals, said Idea Services management pressured carers to vote Labour and also directed them to influence how residents voted.

Idea Services is a subsidiary of IHC.

“By the time they [clients] get taken to the voting booths, they already know the colour that they have got to vote for,” the former staffer said. “They get told things like you can vote for whoever you like but Labour is the only political party that cares what happens to you.”

That’s disgraceful, if correct.


Tags: ,

Vote Bishop to save Davis!

September 18th, 2014 at 12:46 pm by David Farrar

Danyl McL blogs:

I voted today at the VUW advanced voting booth. I voted for the Greens and (strategically!) cast my electorate vote for the Labour candidate in Ohariu. But as I contemplated the ballot boxes for the other Wellington electorates I reflected that if left-wing Hutt South voters cast their electorate vote for the National candidate and Trevor Mallard loses Hutt South, then Labour will get a  list MP who will – probably – actually give a shit about the Labour Party. Vote out Mallard and you might save, say, Jacinda Ardern. AND in three years time you’ll get a new Labour electorate MP you can vote for who also, hopefully, will give a shit about their own party.  So that’s a strategic vote worth considering.

Ardern is at no real risk of not coming in on the list, but Kelvin Davis is on the cusp on current polls. He’s part of the future of Labour.

If Labour voters in Hutt South vote for Chris Bishop, then they help Kelvin Davis stay in Parliament. And this is what Trevor wants, by his own words:

Even Trevor says Labour needs Kelvin Davis in Parliament. So if you’re a Labour voter in Hutt South, vote for Chris Bishop to keep Kelvin Davis in Parliament.

Tags: , ,

Seven year high in GDP

September 18th, 2014 at 11:30 am by David Farrar

Stats NZ has just released their GDP figures for June 2014. They include GDP growth of 3.5% (highest since 2007) and manufacturing GDP growth of 3.1% for the year

Stats NZ comments:

Strong growth in service industries saw gross domestic product (GDP) rise 0.7 percent in the June 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

“Services make up about two-thirds of the economy and all 11 services industries increased this quarter,” national accounts manager Gary Dunnet said. “The biggest increases were in industries that include advertising, employment services, and software development.”

Overall, services increased 1.4 percent, the highest growth since the December 2006 quarter. Business services (up 4.2 percent) was the main driver, although accommodation and food services increased 3.0 percent. These increases were partly offset by a 3.1 percent decrease in primary industries, where agriculture, forestry, and mining all fell.

GDP growth for the year ended June 2014 was 3.5 percent. This is the highest annual growth since the September 2007 quarter.

Do you think we’ll have a stable growing economy if we have a Government comprising Labour, Greens and Winston – and propped up by Internet Mana? Labour trying to govern with only 25% of the vote or so?


Peters says he would vote for Kelvin Davis

September 18th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Winston Peters will spend Thursday campaigning in Northland, and while he will not be endorsing Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau, he isn’t far away from it. Peters yesterday rejected the idea of endorsing the Labour candidate, even though NZ First doesn’t stand in the Maori seats and his belief that Davis is a ‘‘fine man’’ who any party, and Maoridom in general, should be proud of. He said if he was on the Maori roll in the seat he would vote for Davis. But he wasn’t endorsing him, he said.

Hone has sold his party out to Kim Dotcom. It would be delicious if he lost his seat for doing so.

Tags: , ,

3rd Degree on Kim Dotcom and his staff

September 18th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

It should have aired months ago, but better late than never.

3rd degree interviewed three former staff of Kim Dotcom’s. The programme revealed testimony from former staff which included:

  • Dotom constantly referred to New Zealanders as cheap ass farmers
  • Dotcom hates John Key (no surprise that one)
  • The three staff have claimed they are owed $367,000 in wages
  • Dotcom has an explosive temper and would yell at them
  • Staff worked a minimum 16 hours a day, and one staffer worked for two days straight attending Dotcom as he played video games
  • Staff worked on average 90 hours a week and got paid an average of $5 an hour – almost a third of the legal minimum wage
  • Staff rarely had a day off
  • One staffer was sacked for questioning his pay
  • Dotcom has refused to supply a certificate of employment to his former staff
  • They only got around a third of their backpay as Dotcom said he needed to deduct tax. This suggests he may not initially have been deducting tax as required, but also suggests he has deducted it at a higher rate than he should have

Dotcom in response said:

  • admitted he sometimes yells at his staff
  • says it is acceptable to yell at his staff when they make serious mistakes
  • says he is like their family father, and it is like when your child does something stupid
  • He cares for them, and they are like family to him
  • He never gave written warnings before dismissals
  • says he loves New Zealanders
  • says in regard to his staff “We’re all on a first name basis, they call me Sir”

So where is Helen Kelly and the CTU? Where are the unionists in Labour and the Greens? Where is that champion of worker’s rights – Laila Harre? They’re all silent on this, because Dotcom and his party is their route to power.  Imagine Dotcom had given $4 million to the ACT Party? They would be insisting that he be charged with breaching labour laws, putting out press releases non stop.

So the next time the CTU and the parties of the left go on about workers, ask them why they were silent on Dotcom’s alleged employment abuses. While this story only went to air this week, the allegations have been well known for months.

Dotcom has enough money to give $4 million to Laila Harre and Hone Harawira to help get them into Parliament. But not enough money to pay more than $5 an hour to his staff, according to them.

Tags: ,

Conservatives’ MacGregor quits two days before election

September 18th, 2014 at 9:43 am by David Farrar

NewstalkZb reports:

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and his press secretary of two years have parted ways – just two days out from the election.

Rachel MacGregor has told Newstalk ZB she’s left the party as of this morning. …

“It’s really difficult to read too much into it given that there’s simply a very upset press secretary without giving any reasons why she resigned, so it’s really out there. She’s taking public relations advice now, and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story.”

It is an extraordinary time to quit, especially to do so publicly.

Tags: , ,

Clark and Privacy Commissioner also say there is no mass surveillance

September 18th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Privacy Commissioner has blogged:

The third development is that I have convened a meeting, which I hope to become regular, of the agencies responsible for overseeing security and intelligence agencies. That includes my office, the IGIS, the Chief Ombudsman, and the Auditor-General. Together we will be able to ensure that our efforts are as informed and coordinated as our respective legislative schemes permit.

To date, I have seen no evidence of mass surveillance being undertaken by GCSB that would contradict this assurance given by the Director at our Privacy Forum [PDF, 83 KB]earlier this year.

I look forward to continuing to play a role in providing assurance to New Zealanders that the activities of our security and intelligence agencies are lawful and proportional.

And Stuff has reported:

Labour leader David Cunliffe has been given assurances by former prime minister and party leader Helen Clark that New Zealanders weren’t been spied on under her leadership.


So those saying there is no mass surveillance include:

  • The PM
  • The former PM
  • The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
  • The Privacy Commissioner
  • The GCSB Director
  • The former GCSB Director

I believe them over Kim Dotcom, and his Moment of Truth circus.  Don’t let Dotcom distract from the real issues of our economy, our hospitals, our schools, our welfare system and our justice system.


Two more polls

September 17th, 2014 at 6:48 pm by David Farrar

Two more polls out today, on Curiablog.


The weighted average is above, of the last five polls. The CR has 62, CL 50 and centre parties 11.


Dotcom wants to force Labour Govt to give Snowden asylum

September 17th, 2014 at 4:27 pm by David Farrar

NewstalkZB reports:

There could be another fugitive from US justice in New Zealand should there be a change of Government this weekend.

Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom has tweeted that if voters oust the National Party, Internet Mana will work with Labour and the Greens to get Edward Snowden asylum in New Zealand.

Snowden faces up to 30 years jail in the US for revealing the NSA’s secrets.

He’s currently in hiding in Russia.

Why stop there? Why not Julian Assange also?

Tags: ,

Issues that matter – law and order

September 17th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The final of my series on issues that I think matter to New Zealanders. The other four have been the economy, health, education and welfare.



The youth crime rate has declined 36% since 2010. This is not prosecutions – but recorded offences. This is important as if you get into crime as a youth, you often stay there.



Burglaries are traumatic for those who have had their homes invaded. The rate was static under Labour and has fallen 10.4% since 2008.



Robberies are even more traumatic for victims. The rate has fallen 26.4% since 2008.



Violent crimes such as assaults are some of the worst crimes. They are also the most likely to be reported. The violent crime rate climbed from 2004 to 2009, and has declined since. It is now 15.9% lower than in 2008.



There are relatively few homicides, so in any one year the numbers may change a fair bit. But over the last four years there were 331 homicides, compared to 394 from 2005 to 2008. That is a reasonable drop.



And the reduced crime rates are starting to show in the prison population, which has been declining since 2011. There are now 235 fewer prisoners.



The three strikes law (which Labour and Greens want to repeal) has been a stunning success to date. While 3,721 offenders have notched up a first strike, only 29 have gone on to do a second strike (by end of 2013) and so far there have been no third strikes. The certainty of no parole and long prison sentences for 2nd and 3rd strikes has a deterrent effect.

UPDATE: As of August 2014 it is 4,585 first strikes, 44 2nd strikes and no third strikes.



And perhaps the most important stat of all. The reoffending rate has fallen from 32.3% to 26.3%. A focus on rehabilitation is working.

Tags: ,

The most marginal seats according to iPredict

September 17th, 2014 at 1:51 pm by David Farrar

Here’s the 16 most marginal seats according to iPredict.

  1. Port Hills – National and Labour both 50%
  2. Palmerston North – Labour 55%
  3. Te Tai Hauauru – Labour 60%
  4. Waimakariri – National 62%
  5. Hutt South – Labour 69%
  6. Te Atatu – Labour 69%
  7. Tamaki Makaurau – Labour 69%
  8. Te Tai Tokerau – Mana 70%
  9. Ohariu – United Future 75%
  10. Christchurch Central – Labour 75%
  11. Hamilton East – National 80%
  12. Waiariki – Maori 82%
  13. Maungakiekie – National 83%
  14. Napier – Labour 85%
  15. Wairarapa – National 85%
  16. Epsom – ACT 87%

The two most marginal seats are both Labour held. iPredict is predicting Labour pick up two Maori seats despite being marginally behind in the polls in them.

Tags: , ,

A reader on Five Eyes

September 17th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

A reader e-mails:

… one point that you might like to make is that it is true that New Zealanders are being subject to mass surveillance.  Multiple governments are listening to every phone call we make, every e-mail we send, and watching every website we visit.  But thanks to the “five eyes agreement” we know that the US, Canada, Britain and Australia are not on the list of governments.  But China, Japan, Russia, Korea, some of the ASEANs, Taiwan, Israel and some of the Arabs all have the capability and incentive to be listening in.  “Five eyes” helps ensure that all they are monitoring are our private conversations because of government communications are subject to the heaviest encryption around.  And “five eyes” keeps an eye on those doing the spying on us.

Of course our own domestic GCSB legislation means our own government is not allowed to monitor our private communications without a warrant.  Of course it is being picked up, every electronic communication in the world is being picked up.  But it cannot be read by our government or the four other partners.

There is no NSA presence in Auckland or north of Auckland.  They may sweep the US Consulate from time to time in the same way GCSB sweeps our Embassies around the world.  And they may have the occasional person seconded to NZ to work with GCSB as we have GCSB people seconded to DSD, GCHQ, NSA and the CSE.  If they are here they are working for GCSB while in NZ.

I note that many of those so worked up about the possiblility of the GCSB or NSA intercepting communications, were loud cheerleaders for the rights of criminals to hack bloggers and have that material published. They’re not very consistent.

Tags: ,

O’Sullivan on Dotcom

September 17th, 2014 at 11:33 am by David Farrar

Fran O’Sullivan writes:

John Key goes into the home straight of the election campaign with his integrity publicly intact after the Kim Dotcom fiasco and voters well placed to make a judgment when it comes to the Key Government’s management of the NZ economy.

Key has been roundly attacked for declassifying documents to prove his point that the GCSB has not been involved in widespread surveillance of New Zealanders.

Bizarrely, it is somehow seen as perfectly all right for Dotcom and his associates to use stolen National Security Agency files to try to prove the Prime Minister a liar on how his Government has administered national security, but not for Key to declassify New Zealand’s own files to prove he isn’t a liar.

This is utter madness.

It is madness. They claim a moral right to use stolen partial documents, and they complain when the Government responds by releasing documents to prove they are wrong.

Key saw Dotcom coming and released the Cabinet document which backed his statements before the Internet Party visionary’s Moment of Truth fiasco.

Key had intervened to stop a surveillance plan because it was too intrusive.

“There’s no ambiguity. No middle ground. I’m right. He’s wrong,” Key said.

Dotcom’s failure to produce a smoking gun to comprehensively prove Key lied over the circumstances of the US extradition moves against him did not surprise.

Far from comprehensively proving Key lied, he produced an e-mail that looks like something a not very bright five year old might try and pass off as a genuine e-mail.

Kim Dotcom has tried to hijack this election. I hope he fails.

Tags: ,

Large donations in 2014

September 17th, 2014 at 11:26 am by David Farrar

For those interested below are the totals of large donations to political parties in 2014. A large donation is one over $30,000. It includes the $1 million Kim Dotcom says he gave to the Internet Party prior to their formation and excludes donations from estates (as that is a donation vecause someone died, rather than a donation specifically made for this election).

  1. Internet Party (incl Internet Mana) $4,539,480
  2. Conservatives $1,736,000
  3. Maori $210,000
  4. ACT $201,000
  5. National $187,340
  6. Labour $164,999
  7. Greens $108,295



IGIS says no indiscriminate interception of data

September 17th, 2014 at 9:12 am by David Farrar


This screenshot is from Felix Marwick.

Ms Gwyn is a former Deputy Solictor-General and Deputy Secretary of Justice. Her appointment was made after consultation with Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee which includes Russel Norman and David Cunliffe.

And in case anyone thinks she is some ideological friend of the current Government, I would point out she was a member of the Young Socialists and was involved with the Nicaragua Solidarity Committee, which included Nicky Hager and Keith Locke! I trust Ms Gwyn when she says she has not identified any indiscriminate interception of New Zealanders’ data.

Tags: ,