Archive for the ‘NZ Politics’ Category

The delusional left

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The results by bloc

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

Vote by Bloc

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

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

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

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

He would not have got out under three strikes

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A gang member with an extensive history of violence has avoided a sentence of preventive detention for the second time.

Robert Winterburn, 47, has spent most of his adult life in jail, with convictions for manslaughter and attempted murder.

When he appeared before Justice Potter in 1997, she warned him that if he ever appeared in court again there would be no option but a sentence of preventive detention.

But when the Waipukurau Mongrel Mob member appeared for sentencing on his latest raft of offences before Justice Joe Williams in the High Court at Napier yesterday, he was instead jailed for 11 years and four months, with a non-parole period of five years and four months.

The offences included rape and threatening to kill, after he drove his girlfriend to Pukehou cemetery, near Waipawa, last year, telling her she was “never going home again”. He forced her to undress because he thought she was wearing a police bug, and raped her.

If three strikes had been in place previously he would have got a life sentence with no parole for the manslaughter in 1997.  As well as the manslaughter he also stabbed another prisoner five times. I doubt he will ever not be a danger to the community and he should have got preventive detention. Three strikes means that on your third serious violent or sexual offence you get the maximum sentence without parole.

2014 election results vs 2011

September 22nd, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar


This tables shows the votes and seats for each party in 2014 and 2011. The first thing that strikes me is how little things changed. The biggest increase was 2.3% (NZ First) and biggest drop 2.8% (Labour).

In terms of change in vote, the significant parties that did best in order were:

  1. NZ First
  2. Conservatives
  3. National
  4. Mana
  5. Maori
  6. ACT
  7. United Future
  8. Greens
  9. Labour

In terms of change in seats, the parliamentary parties that did best in order were:

  1. NZ First +3
  2. National +2
  3. ACT, United Future, nc
  4. Greens, Maori and Mana -1
  5. Labour -2

But even a small change can make a difference, and it has.



Who made these predictions?

September 22nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

One highly paid political strategist and pundit made the following predictions for the election. They were:

  1. ACT will lose Epsom
  2. Maori Party will lose all their electorate seats
  3. Maori Party will not gain enough party votes for a List MP
  4. Dunne may hold on, but it will be close
  5. NZ First will get 6.8%
  6. Greens will get 13% to 15%
  7. Conservatives will not make 5%
  8. National will get 43% to 45%
  9. The Government will be Labour-NZ First supported by the Greens
  10. The polls showing National winning by a landslide are wrong

One out of ten!

If you wonder who made these predictions, the answer is on Whale Oil.

$577 a vote!

September 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Chris Keall at NBR writes:

The big man has managed to win at least one Election 2014 race, spending a record amount of money for every vote gained by the party he founded.

In 2011, the stony-broke Mana received 24,168party votes, or 1.08% of the total.

Last night, the expanded Internet Mana got 26,539 (1.26%) and Hone Harawira lost his seat.

Not much of a return for the $3.5 million Kim Dotcoom “invested” (his word) in the Internet Party. 

There are still 293,130 special votes (12.2% of total votes) to be counted.

Let’s assume Internet Mana wins 1.26% of those. 

That would take its 2014 tally to 30,232 or 6064 more than 2014.

That means Dotcom paid $577 for each of those new votes.

This is an under estimate.

Dotcom has said he put another $1 million into the Internet Party before it was registered. So $4.5 million divided by 6064 extra votes is a staggering $742 per vote.

I think the result is a great testament to the common sense of New Zealanders that they can’t be swayed by money alone. Money can help, but if the core proposition is rejected by New Zealanders, no amount of money can get people to support it. Not even $742 per vote!

How the pollsters did

September 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar


These tables are from Grumpollie. The Herald DigiPoll was closest for National, One News Colmar Brunton for Labour, Herald Digipoll for Greens and NZ First.



On the provisional results, the Herald DigiPoll was exceedingly accurate. A wee way back were One News Colmar Brunton, Roy Morgan and Fairfax Ipsos. 3 News Reid Research was noticeably further out.

However overall not too bad a result overall for the public pollsters. Grumpollie notes:

  1. Well done DigiPoll.
  2. Looking at these results, I see no evidence of the ‘National bias’ that some people talk about.
  3. If there is any poll bias, it appears to be toward the Green Party.
  4. The landline bias/non-coverage issue is a red herring.

Hopefully we’ll hear less now of how the landline polls over estimate National!

Cunliffe calls for full leadership vote

September 21st, 2014 at 12:15 pm by David Farrar

I said yesterday to a few people that if David Cunliffe loses, and wants to stay leader, he needs to call the leadership vote himself, and he effectively has done so.

He knows caucus would no confidence him in the vote scheduled post-election. And having been no confidenced by caucus, he could never be credible as the leader, even if he won the members and union vote.

But by saying he wants a full vote himself, that is a signal he will not accept responsibility for their disaster, and will fight to keep the job. It is all on. David Shearer made it pretty clear he was not ruling out a challenge, and Robertson said he was considering it also.

But Labour’s challenge is not just the leadership. It is also about their strategy and direction. As Kelvin Davis said you can’t be relentlessly negative for three years, and then put on a positive face for two months and expect people to buy it. Also they need to learn that victory lies in the centre, not in competing on the hard left with the Greens.

Danyl McL on the result

September 21st, 2014 at 12:02 pm by David Farrar

Danyl McL blogs on the election result. A few extracts:

  • The phone was not off the hook for Labour. Twelve months ago, just after Cunliffe won the leadership of his party Labour were on 37% with the Greens on 12%. There’s a cliche that oppositions don’t win elections, government’s lose them, but Labour lost this election. Cunliffe is probably the worst campaigner in New Zealand political history.
  • I think that the best way forward for Labour is for Cunliffe and ‘the old guard’ – Goff, Mallard and King – to resign. They’ve been at war for six years now and they’re tearing their party apart. I doubt this will happen though. The civil war will drag on for another parliamentary term. That party is dying.
  • The Greens will be despondent. I’m despondent for them. But – I can finally say this now – their billboards were really fucking weird. Their problem of having their final vote underperform relative to their polling is growing more acute, and their great challenge for 2017 is to determine why this happens and focus their party on addressing that problem.
  • If New Zealand First goes into coalition with National then that’s a win for Labour who can concentrate on winning back those left-leaning socially conservative older voters. (Er, Grant Robertson might not be the best choice for this job). If they don’t then that is an (additional) nightmare scenario for Labour.
  • The Internet Party will go down as one of the most disastrous failures in modern political history. Their final party list result is only slightly higher than Mana’s was in 2011. $4.5 million dollars and it only bought them a couple of thousand votes. They didn’t even cannibalise support from other left-wing parties.
  • What they did do is scare the crap out of middle-New Zealand and frighten them into voting National so that the party filled with screaming, chanting, scary lunatics backed by a malevolent German criminal didn’t get a say in running the country
  • I’m sad to see Harawira leave Parliament. I think he’s an important voice. But I’m thrilled that I won’t ever again have to listen to Laila Harre on Morning Report braying about how much integrity she has and how wonderful everything she does is.

Danyl notes:

I’m disappointed by the scale of National’s victory and the poor result for the Greens, but I also think we dodged a bullet last night. I think that Cunliffe would have been a very poor Prime Minister, that his party is unfit to govern, and that any Labour/Greens/NZFirst/Internet/Mana coalition would have been an anarchic, unmanageable disaster for the country.

On that we agree.

2014 election winners and losers

September 21st, 2014 at 10:47 am by David Farrar

Big Winners

  • John Key – highest vote for National since 1954 and the first ever majority under MMP
  • Kelvin Davis – the most popular person in New Zealand today, for ridding New Zealand politics of Kim Dotcom

Small Winners

  • Winston Peters. Got a very good 9% and 11 MPs. Already trying to claim title of Leader of the Opposition. Would be a big winner if he had got to hold the balance of power
  • Sue Bradford – the only high profile Mana member with integrity, who quit rather than accept Dotcom’s millions
  • David Shearer – may become leader again, and all the talk is how he left Labour 10% higher in the polls than they got on Saturday
  • Peter Dunne – kept his seat, will be a Minister again
  • David Seymour – not only retained Epsom for ACT, but got a very respectable majority. May become ACT Leader
  • Trevor Mallard – despite David Cunliffe’s best efforts, still an MP
  • Nicky Wagner, Nikki Kaye and Sam Lotu-Iiga who retained marginal seats
  • Stuart Nash, the only Labour candidate to win a seat off National
  • Ruth Dyson, Phil Twyford, Iain Lees-Galloway for retaining their seats against strong National candidates
  • Peeni Henare and Adrian Rurawhe for returning two more Maori seats to Labour
  • James Shaw – the only new MP for the Greens, but a potential future co-leader who can expand their appeal to moderates
  • The public pollsters – the average of the public polls was pretty close to the results for National and Labour
  • Steven Joyce, Jo de Joux, Greg Hamilton and Cam Cotter – the nucleus of National’s campaign team, who kept the focus and discipline, despite all the distractions

Winners and Losers

  • Colin Craig. He didn’t make 5% but got a very respectable result, and well placed for 2017. He is in this for the long game.
  • Te Ururoa Flavell. He kept his seat easily, will be a Minister again, and got a List MP in. However the Maori Party may never be able to win back the other six Maori seats and have an uncertain future

Small Losers

  • Russel Norman and Metiria Turei. Despite the good polls, they got fewer votes than 2011, and have a sixth term in opposition
  • Nicky Hager – wrote a book designed to get National thrown out of Government, and instead helped National get a third term as the media furore over his book pissed off ordinary New Zealanders who got sick of it, and crowded out Labour and the Greens. Only a small loser though, as he probably has made a six figure sum from the book!
  • iPredict – were highly accurate in 2011, but were well off the mark this time. Did pretty well on electorate races, but had National too low by 4%, Greens too high by 5% and NZ First too low by 2%

Big Losers

  • Kim Dotcom – he threw $4.5 million into his per parties, and destroyed the Mana Party, stillborn the Internet Party and personally helped boost John Key into a majority in Parliament. He has gone from being a figure two years ago who many NZers had sympathy for, to a reviled figure for many many NZers.
  • David Cunliffe – the worst result for Labour for generations, 3% lower than their disaster of 2011. Gave a Kevin Rudd like pseudo-victory speech on the night which was tone deaf.
  • Hone Harawira and Laila Harre. While their politics were never mine, I (and others) respected them as principled advocates for their beliefs. On a personal level I previously quite liked them. But their decision to take millions of dollars from a former donor to right wing politicians, who was a convicted criminal, under extradition proceedings, and with well publicised allegations of not paying staff and creditors while living a life of luxury – well their reputations are massively tarnished, and may never recover.
  • Jamie Whyte – failed to get into Parliament, and ACT’s future is uncertain, as is his leadership

The 2014 MPs

September 21st, 2014 at 7:42 am by David Farrar

On the provisional results these are the 121 MPs of the 51st New Zealand Parliament

National – 61 seats, 41 electorates, 20 list

  1. Auckland Central – Nikki Kaye
  2. Bay of Plenty – Todd Muller
  3. Botany – Jami-Lee Ross
  4. Christchurch Central – Nicky Wagner
  5. Clutha-Southland – Todd Barclay
  6. Coromandel – Scott Simpson
  7. East Coast – Anne Tolley
  8. East Coast Bays – Murray McCully
  9. Hamilton East – David Bennett
  10. Hamilton West – Tim Macindoe
  11. Helensville – John Key
  12. Hunua – Andrey Bayly
  13. Ilam – Gerry Brownlee
  14. Invercargill – Sarah Dowie
  15. Kaikoura – Stuart Smith
  16. Maungakiekie – Pesata Sam Lotu-Iiga
  17. Nelson – Nick Smith
  18. New Plymouth – Jonathan Young
  19. Northcote – Jonathan Coleman
  20. Northland – Mike Sabin
  21. North Shore – Maggie Barry
  22. Otaki – Nathan Guy
  23. Pakuranga – Maurice Williamson
  24. Papakua – Judith Collins
  25. Rangitata – Jo Goodhew
  26. Rangitikei – Ian McKelvie
  27. Rodney – Mark Mitchell
  28. Rotorua – Todd McClay
  29. Selwyn – Amy Adams
  30. Tamaki – Simon O’Connor
  31. Taranaki-King Country – Barbara Kuriger
  32. Taupo – Louise Upston
  33. Tauranga – Simon Bridges
  34. Tukituki – Craig Foss
  35. Upper Harbour – Paula Bennett
  36. Waikato – Lindsay Tisch
  37. Waimakariri – Matthew Doocey
  38. Wairarapa – Alastair Scott
  39. Waitaki – Jacqui Dean
  40. Whangarei – Shane Reti
  41. Whanganui – Chester Borrows
  42. List 1 – Bill English
  43. List 2 – David Carter
  44. List 3 – Steven Joyce
  45. List 4 – Hekia Parata
  46. List 5 – Chris Finlayson
  47. List 6 – Tim Groser
  48. List 7 – Michael Woodhouse
  49. List 8 – Paul Goldsmith
  50. List 9 – Melissa Lee
  51. List 10 – Kanwal Bakshi
  52. List 11 – Jian Yang
  53. List 12 – Alfred Ngaro
  54. List 13 – Brett Hudson
  55. List 14 – Paul Foster-Bell
  56. List 15 – Jo Hayes
  57. List 16 – Parmjeet Parmar
  58. List 17 – Chris Bishop
  59. List18 – Nuk Korako
  60. List 19 – Jono Naylor
  61. List 20 – Maureen Pugh

Labour – 32 seats, 27 electorates, 5 list

  1. Christchurch East – Poto Williams
  2. Dunedin North – David Clark
  3. Dunedin South – Clare Curran
  4. Hauraki-Waikato – Nanaia Mahuta
  5. Hutt South – Trevor Mallard
  6. Ikaroa-Rawhiti – Meka Whaitiri
  7. Kelston – Carmel Sepuloni
  8. Mana – Kris Faafoi
  9. Mangere – Su’a William Sio
  10. Manukau East – Jenny Salesa
  11. Manurewa – Louisa Wall
  12. Mt Albert – David Shearer
  13. Mt Roskill – Phil Goff
  14. Napier – Stuart Nash
  15. New Lynn – David Cunliffe
  16. Palmerston North – Iain Lees-Galloway
  17. Port Hills – Ruth Dyson
  18. Rimutaka – Chris Hipkins
  19. Rongotai – Annette King
  20. Tamaki Makaurau – Peeni Henare
  21. Te Atatu – Phil Twyford
  22. Te Tai Hauauru – Adrian Rurawhe
  23. Te Tai Tonga – Rino Tirikatene
  24. Te Tai Tokerau – Kelvin Davis
  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 – 13 seats, 13 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

NZ First – 11 seats, 11 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
  11. List 11 – Mahesh Bindra

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


MPs who failed to be re-elected were:

  • Brendan Horan (NZIC)
  • Steffan Browning (Greens)
  • Asenati Lole-Taylor (NZ First)
  • Hone Harawira (Mana)
  • Maryan Street (Labour)
  • Moana Mackey (Labour)
  • Raymond Huo (Labour)
  • Carol Beaumont (Labour)

The 2014 election records

September 21st, 2014 at 7:30 am by David Farrar

Over 2.1 million New Zealanders voted yesterday, and the two weeks prior, and NZ continues its incredibly rare record of being an unbroken democracy. We had 15 parties contest the election, and while we get divided by out personal choices and preferences, we stand united with accepting the will of our collective decision.

It was a hard night for people who supported parties of the left. I know what it is like to be passionate about your politics and belief, and to not get the result you want. Elections are not just about MPs and candidates, but the tens of thousands of volunteers and activists who give up their time and money to get involved in an election – with no regard for self-interest, but a strong regard for the country’s future. With a few exceptions, we’re all better off for their efforts – regardless of which party they supported.

I would also pay tribute to the many candidates. Most candidates are motivated by a strong desire to serve New Zealand. Candidates for Labour, National, Greens, NZ First, Maori Party, ACT, Conservatives and United Future are generally decent people who do want to contribute to a better New Zealand. Many of them take weeks or months off work, and spend thousands of their own dollars on their campaigns.

It was beyond doubt a very good night for supporters of the National Government. Again, my sympathies go out to the many good people who did want a change. The one thing inevitable in politics is change, and it is a matter of when, not if. But 2014 was a resounding result for National and John Key

This election saw a number of election records. They are:

  • National first government to increase its vote and seats in three consecutive elections since the Liberal Party did the same in 1902, 1905 and 1908
  • Worst result for Labour since 1922 when they got 23.7%
  • Best result for National since 1951 when they got 54.0%
  • Highest result for any party under MMP (in fact since 1972)
  • First ever absolute majority under MMP (may change on specials)
  • Best result ever for a third term Government
  • The three highest party votes under MMP were National in 2014, 2011 and 2008, then Labour in 2002 (41.3%)

The focus will now go on the impact of special votes. The 120th list quotient is held by Labour, 121st National and 122nd NZ First. There could be a one seat change on the specials, but not two seats. Hard to see National falling below 60 seats.

The other focus will be government arrangements. There will beyond doubt be confidence and supply agreements with ACT, United Future and the Maori parties. Does David Seymour become a minister or is ACT better to try and build its brand (if it can) without being a member of the Executive. No doubt Peter Dunne will remain a Minister, and that Te Ururoa Flavell will become one. I doubt their second MP will though.

Then there is the possibility of co-operation agreements with NZ First and/or the Greens, where National and those parties may agree on some areas they can work together – even if no agreement on confidence and supply.

If the ministry stays at 28 and assuming Dunne and Flavell are Ministers, then there is room for 25 or 26 National Ministers. There are currently 23 so I would expect at least two or three new Ministers – maybe even slightly more.

2014 General Election

September 20th, 2014 at 7:00 pm by David Farrar

Won’t be blogging too much tonight as people will be getting their results directly from Election Results. Also I’m on Radio NZ National Radio from 7 pm tonight, and also on TV3’s The Nation from 8 am tomorrow. But will try and do the odd update, as I can. Generally just use the comments to report on what is happening.

I hope everyone voted!

UPDATE: Around a third of the votes counted (mainly advance) and National doing well and Labour badly. National will drop off in the next few hours, but hard at this stage to see how Labour could form a Government. They are very unlikely to even match the 27.3% they got last time, and that was their worst result since WWII.

One can not rule out Winston may hold the balance of power. He is doing very well at present. I think we can rule out the Conservatives making it.

Hone leads by only 96 votes in Te Tai Tokerau. Too early to call, but Kelvin Davis says West Auckland booths yet to report, which favour him. It will be wonderful if the result of accepting $4.5 million from Kim Dotcom, is it destroys their party.

UPDATE2: Kelvin now in the lead!

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.

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.


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

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.

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!

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.

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.


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.