It’s the Anglican Church, not Gerry, who decided on the Cathedral

November 5th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

NewstalkZB reported:

Cabinet Minister Gerry Brownlee’s Catholic background has been brought up at the Labour Party’s annual conference in Christchurch.

Local Labour MP Megan Woods has noted Mr Brownlee’s St Bede’s education while discussing the potential demolition of the city’s historic Anglican Cathedral.

“So if you get the chance, delegates, I’d like you to remind Gerry that they stopped giving out papal knighthoods for destroying Anglican cathedrals several centuries ago.”

That’s so sad. Trying to stir up resentment against Gerry because of his religion, but even worse trying to blame him for a decision which was not his. It is the Bishop of Christchurch who made the decision.

Is Ms Woods stating that if she was in Government, she would have legislated to over-turn the decision of the Anglican Church? Is that what she thinks Gerry should have done?

Labour on Dunne and Nazis

June 27th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A Labour MP drew parallels between the National Party and Adolf Hitler as controversial legislation allowing partial asset sales passed by a single vote.

The Opposition benches cried “Shame!” yesterday as National’s junior whip Louise Upston cast the decisive proxy vote of UnitedFuture MP Peter Dunne, which saw the legislation pass by 61 votes to 60.

Mr Dunne was not at Parliament for the vote because he was attending the funeral of his son’s girlfriend’s mother.

In a statement, he said he had intended to speak in favour of the bill at its final reading, which was in the “best long-term interests of the country”.

Opposition MPs continued to insist Mr Dunne had misled voters over his views on the partial asset sales plan.

Labour’s state-owned enterprises spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said Mr Dunne’s vote was “a travesty of democracy” because he had said he was against the sale of water resources before last year’s election.

Labour are trying to rewrite history. Not a single voter in Ohariu thought a vote for Peter Dunne was a vote to stop asset sales. Dunne’s reference to water resources was about water supply companies, not about power companies that use water.

Check  this thread out from May, where you have quotes from leftie activists before the election about how they need to stop Dunne as he is a vote for asset sales, plus this explicit quote from Peter Dunne:

in the event National puts up its mixed ownership model for the electricity companies and Air New Zealand we would be prepared to support that, provided the maximum was 49%, with a cap of 15% on any indivudual’s holdings

So Labour is clearly lying when they say Dunne misled voters. In fact that is exactly what they are doing, and are masters of.

Some believe the Government has no mandate for the sales because several polls have shown a majority of voters are against the policy.

Labour’s Wigram MP, Megan Woods, said yesterday: “Hitler had a pretty clear manifesto that he campaigned and won on … does this make what he did OK?”

Oh dear, where do we start with Dr Godwin.

Let’s even put aside the implicit comparison of partial asset sales (a policy scores of left wing governments around the world has also implemented) to the Nazis, Hitler and the Holocaust. Frankly if Dr Woods want to make such stupid comparisons, I urge her to carry on doing so. They reflect far more on her and Labour, than anyone else.

But what really annoys me is her woeful knowledge of history. Only those with a superficial scraping of history repeat the line that Hitler was democratically elected, as if he won a majority of seats. He was and did not.

In July 1932 the Nazis got 37.3% of the vote and just 230 out of 608 seats. In November 1932 the Nazis got fewer votes at 33.1% and 196 seats only. They made up only three of the 12 Cabinet members. He then seized power through various ways.

Also the assertion that Hitler had a clear manifesto he implemented is also woefully ignorant of history. Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party campaigned as an anti-big business and anti-capitalist party, with a later focus on anti-semitism and anti-marxism. Their 25 point plan did say Jews can not be citizens, and would be foreign guests who could be expelled. But that is a long way from saying “Oh yeah, we will exterminate them also”. People may be interested in some of their other policies:

  • We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
  • We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
  • We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
  • We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

UPDATE: Dr Woods has apologised.

Labour Maiden Speeches

February 15th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The draft transcripts of the four Labour maiden speeches is here. I used to e-mail MPs asking for a copy of their maiden speeches but now the draft transcripts are out in 150 minutes, I just wait for them.

First some extracts from Dunedin North MP David Clark:

Politicians do not exist to rubber-stamp what the electorate has already decided, but to articulate and share a vision of a better society. I will describe the better society to which I aspire. It has similarities with what founding members of the Labour Party described as an “applied Christianity”. It is a society where accident of birth does not dictate one’s station and prospects. It is a society where every citizen can get ahead by dint of hard work that builds on their natural endowment. It is one where all have free and equal access to high-quality education, a society where all have the ability to develop their talents sufficiently to ensure fulfilling and enriching lives. It is one in which choices are not driven by fear, but are afforded by opportunity, in which everyone has access to legal representation, regardless of their means. 

I agree with those sentiments, even though I suspect we disagree on how to achieve them.

I would describe how we might consider financial transactions taxes, gift and estate duties, and a capital gains tax in order to broaden our tax base.

Broadening the tax base is good, if it leads to lower rates. Not good if it leads to the state growing in size and crushing the private sector.

And I don’t support taxing people for dying, or gift duty which cost three times more to administer than revenue it took in.

A third reason that greater equality makes pragmatic sense relates to public investment. Infrastructure is an example—witness growth in China’s high-speed rail network. It is 12 times bigger than it was in 2008, four times larger than in any other country, and still growing at an astonishing rate. It is hard to imagine this happening in the USA today. Where a critical mass of the truly wealthy exert undue influence on the political process, investment in infrastructure, education, research, healthcare, and other matters related to the common good dwindles …

Oh nonsense. China is growing its rail network because it has 10% economic growth and the cost of labour is so low. To suggest that the USA is not growing its rail network at the same pace because of the wealthy is batty.

Andrew Little:

This year marks the centenary of one of the most bitter and violent industrial disputes in New Zealand’s history: the Waihī miners strike. It is an important part of the Labour story. A young Scottish union organiser was witness to that dispute and saw how workers who wanted nothing more than decent pay and a fair go were intimidated, divided, and—after a striking miner was beaten to death by those opposed to the strike—run out of town. Those dark events led to that organiser and many others realising that justice would be achieved only when working people reached beyond the workplace for influence and had a direct say on the laws and policies they were subject to. The union organiser was Peter Fraser, who later became a Labour Prime Minister.

I found the Waihi link to Peter Fraser quite interesting. Fraser is my favourite Labour PM.

New Plymouth is a great city with, I might add, a great mayor and I enjoyed campaigning there last year, although I remain intrigued by a question I was asked at one of the first meetings I held: what my position was on the merger of Air New Zealand and NAC. I said that Labour was taking a “wait-and-see” approach.


Megan Woods:

In my previous role at Plant and Food Research, I observed firsthand the real difference science and innovation can make. We need more businesses to access and utilise the exceptional knowledge that is being created in our Crown research institutes and universities. And we need a proper commitment to the fundamental research that underpins this. To improve this we must commit to adequately fund science and innovation to create jobs and lift wages. …

 I am a New Zealand historian by training who has worked in science and innovation. I am a former community board member who believes in the power of communities and the grassroots. I am a Christchurch native who grew up in the ravages of a user-pays world, who, despite being glued to the royal wedding in 1981 believes in the desirability and inevitability of our country becoming a republic in my lifetime, who celebrates the diversity of modern New Zealand. I am here because I have a strong belief in social justice. I am here because I believe that there are always real alternatives in working to ensure that hope, opportunity, and being all you can be, is not an accident of birth for the privileged few but the birthright of all New Zealanders.

And finally Rino Tirikatene:

Eighty years ago, in this room, maybe even in this chair, my grandfather Sir Eruera Tirikātene stood before this House as the member of Parliament for Southern Maori. Forty-five years ago, in this room, maybe even in this chair, my aunt Whetū Tirikātene-Sullivan stood before this House as the member of Parliament for Southern Maori. Today, I stand before the House as the member of Parliament for Te Tai Tonga. At the time my grandfather rose to address the House for the first time, the Māori population numbered a mere 82,000. We were at that time a rural people, still recovering from the ravages of land sales and the scourge of introduced diseases. We existed at the very margin of the country’s economy. What income we were able to earn as unskilled labourers in the agriculture and forestry industries was supplemented by gardening and foraging. The land development assistance programme introduced by Sir Apirana Ngāta in the 1920s, which eventually gave rise to the Māori incorporations and trusts of today, was in its infancy and poverty was all pervasive, especially among those communities that had been left landless by confiscation and land sales. Statutory recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi, the claims of Ngāi Tahu, Waikato, and Taranaki, and poverty were my grandfather’s main concerns.

We have made some progress since then.

[Today] more than 1 in every 2 Māori was living in a household with a combined income of more than $50,000, and well over 1 in every 3 in a household with a total income of $70,000 or more. What we are witnessing is the steady growth of a Māori middle class. On the collective front, we are witnessing the rise of the Māori economic authorities, Māori land trusts and incorporations, and iwi authorities.


Life and prospects for Māori are so much better than they were 80 years ago, but Māori know better than anyone that much remains to be done. We are still overrepresented at the bottom of the wealth pyramid. We will, on average, die sooner than our Pākehā mates. We will, more so than our Pacific cousins, end up in prison, and, unlike any other group in Aotearoa – New Zealand, we now receive more in transfer payments than we pay in tax. Too many of use remain locked into a cycle of dependency and poverty.

I am glad he mentioned dependency as well as poverty. The two are linked.

Wigram Woods

September 20th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Press reports:

The woman who put up a strong challenge for the Christchurch mayoralty three years ago is Labour’s pick for the Wigram seat, either in a by-election or next year’s general election.

Megan will be the next Labour MP for Wigram. Little doubt of that.

But I would caution media from applying labels which are not that accurate.

In 2007 Woods only got 32% of the vote in the Mayoral election, despite being the centre left candidate in a fairly leftish city. Parker got 45% and Jo Giles (former ACT) got 14%.

A member of the Spreaydon-Heathcote community board between 2004 and 2007, she put up a strong challenge for the Christchurch mayoralty that year, polling 34,000 votes, about 10,000 less than Parker.

She polled 32,821 votes and it was not about 10,000 less than Parker – it was about 14,000 less.

Labour’s nominations

September 8th, 2010 at 7:06 pm by David Farrar

Labour have announced:

Labour Party organisations in these electorates will hold their confirmation meetings shortly:

• Bay of Plenty Carol Devoy-Heena

Lost in 2008 by 17,604 votes. Ranked 76th (2nd bottom). I think Tony Ryall can relax.

• Botany Koro Tawa

Ranked No 65. Lost by 10,872 in 2008. Not a lot of new blood coming through is there!

• Christchurch East Lianne Dalziel

An MP since 1990.

• Coromandel Hugh Kininmonth

Lost by 14,560 in 2008. Ranked 75th (third bottom)

• East Coast Moana Mackey

Lost by 6,413 to Anne Tolley. List MP since 2003.

• East Coast Bays Vivienne Goldsmith

Lost by 13,794 to Prince of Darkness. Ranked No 67 in 2008.

• Hamilton East Sehai Orgad

2007 President of compulsory Waikato Student’s Union. Stood for East ward of Hamilton City Council in 2007 and came 10th.

• Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta

MP since 1996

• Helensville Jeremy Greenbrook-Held

Very appropriate Jeremy stands against John Key as he writes so many letters to the editor complaining about the Government.  2005 President of the compulsory VUWSA. Is standing for Henderson-Massey Local Board in 2010 elections.

A little known trivia fact is that a few years ago Jeremy and I co-authored a petition to Subway asking them to reverse their sacking of an employee for sharing a free $2 staff coke with a friend.

• Manukau East Ross Robertson

MP since 1987.

• New Plymouth Andrew Little

Former President of compulsory VUWSA, and NZUSA. Labour Party President.

• Rotorua Steve Chadwick

Lost her seat in 2008 by 5,065 votes. MP since 1999.

• Selwyn David Coates

Lost in 2008 by 11,075 votes.Ranked No 74 (fourth bottom) on list.

• Taranaki-King Country Rick Barker

Now this is weird. Barker presumably can’t get nominated again in Tukituki, so desperate to carry on has headed to the west coast. Has been an MP since 1993.

• Waimakariri Clayton Cosgrove

MP since 1999. Holding on with a 390 vote majority.

• Wellington Central Grant Robertson

Former President of compulsory OUSA and then NZUSA.

• Wigram Megan Woods

2007 Mayoral candidate against Bob Parker.

If the list above, is Labour rejuvenating, then someone has a sick sense of humour. Their only new candidates are from compulsory student associations.

Of their 2008 candidates, the ones standing again were all ranked in the bottom dozen, and lost by huge majorities.  Where are the Kate Suttons, Michael Woods, Conor Roberts, and Louisa Walls  who all actually have some talent?