An amusing and at times apt speech by Peter Dunne to his electorate AGM. Some extracts:
One reason I am very confident National will lead the next government is that Labour, at this point in the political cycle, is not a viable, functioning alternative.
Actually, I am being polite here.
Events of recent times bring the term ‘cot case’ to mind.
With no new faces on their front bench, they are essentially going into this election with the re-heated caucus that New Zealanders threw out three years ago, and as one would expect, they seem bereft of new ideas.
It is not really possible to generate new ideas when you have yet to accept that your old ideas have been rejected.
All too true.
When I first turned my head to this speech, Rodney Hide was still leader of ACT and Osama bin Laden was still in ensconced in his Pakistani fortress.
They have both since met merciless fates, one at the hands of the US Navy Seals, and the other at the hands of a force considerably more scary.
One is now a bloodied corpse; the other at the bottom of the sea.
There is another thing that Middle New Zealand does not want.
And I am going to speak his name: Winston Peters.
His obfuscations, half-truths, dancing on the head of a pin and, ultimately, his destructiveness, finally caught up with him in 2008.
My only concern about Winston Peters in 2011 is a very simple one: that people will have short memories.
Actually, he relies on that.
He counts on it.
One can only hope that his recently auctioned ‘No’ sign goes on a national tour later this year, stopping in every town hall and Grey Power meeting five minutes after Winston Peters darkens its doorstep.
It may not be the original, but you can bet NO signs will be appearing most places Winston does.
People need reminding in one simple word of the destructiveness and duplicity that Winston brought to New Zealand politics.
There is no more apt reminder of why New Zealanders should not have Winston Peters back – ever – than that sign.
That sign said it all, but in a way that he never intended. It should be his political epitaph. ‘No.’
I salute John Key for ruling him out yet again as a potential coalition partner.
It was bold and it was principled, just as it was in 2008.
Running a country is hard enough; you need to do it with people whose word today means what it meant yesterday, and will mean the same tomorrow.
The wink, the grin and a good deal of opportunistic fact-free scare-mongering should never again be enough for Winston Peters to re-enter a House that has been more honourable for his absence.
Absolutely.Tags: Peter Dunne
Ohariu MP Peter Dunne did a good public service by getting the WCC to release a list of buildings that may not fully comply with modern earthquake standards (note some may now comply, so don’t make hasty decisions based on this info – ask landlords for more info).
Luke Howlison has put those buildings onto a map, which makes it very easy to use.Tags: earthquake, Luke Howlison, Peter Dunne, Wellington
Brian Fallow in the Herald reports:
The Government is to abolish gift duty, confident any risks to creditor protection or the targeting of social assistance programmes can be met by other laws.
The 125-year-old tax has brought in an average of $2.2 million a year over the past seven years, and on a declining trend.
But officials estimate it imposes $70 million a year in compliance costs on taxpayers, or rather on non-taxpayers, as only about 900 or 0.4 per cent of the 225,000 gift duty statements filed to the Inland Revenue a year disclose a liability to pay the tax.
A sensible move by Peter Dunne. Peter has been a revenue Minister in three separate governments, and has actually a achieved a lot of useful reform.
The good news with the law change is that Kiwblog readers can now donate more than $27,000 per annum to me, without attracting gift dutyTags: IRD, Peter Dunne
Peter Dunne has done a PR:
Zealandia’s proposed rotenone poisoning of the upper lake and tributaries of the Karori wildlife sanctuary is quite literally “short-sighted, ideologically driven extremism”, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne said today.
“The fact that Zealandia – with the backing of DoC and Wellington City Council – is poised to flush a waterway system with rotenone within the city boundaries in the name of conservation is almost beyond belief,” said Mr Dunne.
“To poison a lake and all of its tributaries in order to kill some introduced trout, which most people see as a positive recreational resource, just because they are an exotic species is just crazy.”
It does seem over-kill, literally.Tags: Peter Dunne, Zealandia
Peter Dunne has released some options for change. A summary document is here. There seem to be two major changes proposed:
- That child support payments should take account the income of the parent with majority custody, not just the parent who has to pay.
- That there should be more recognition of the amount of time non custodial parents spend with the kids. AT present if it is under 40% you get no credit – they propose that if the kid/s spend more than 14% of the time with you, this should be reflected in how much child support you pay.
Some non custodial parents get a raw deal at the moment. They split with their partner. The partner gets custody against their wishes, so they lose their partner and their kids. They are earning say $35,000 a year. The partner is earning $100,000 a year, and getting child support payments from the non custodial partner on $35,000 a year. And even if the $35,000 a year partner looks after the kids every weekend, they get no credit for that.
Now many custodial parents also get a raw deal, where the other parent disappears overseas, and pays nothing. That is a harder problem to fix.
A new blogger at Gotcha, Blondie, has some issues with the proposed changes:
Secondly, under the proposed formula, if the custodial parent’s income increases, the child support liability decreases. Thus, if the custodial parent works harder to get a payrise, their ex – not themselves, not the child, but their ex – benefits. This just doesn’t seem right. It would reduce the incentive for custodial parents to be productive – after all, why strive for a payrise if you won’t benefit from it?
I presume the abatement rate will be fairly low, so that any payrise for the custodial parent will mean they still receive benefit from it.
It will grate some that their payrise means their ex will benefit, but this is already what happens with the non custodial parent. They get a payrise and the ex gets more money. What this change will mean is that if either ex-partner gets a payrise, both they and the ex will benefit (but not to the same degree).
The Herald editorial is supportive:
Reform along some of the lines suggested in a Government discussion document is overdue. Eighteen years have passed since the system was last overhauled. Much has happened subsequently to warrant change.
The document, Supporting Children, has an array of options. One of the most eye-catching is that the income of both parents should be taken into account when childcare payments are set.
That seems a reasonable notion given more women are now in the workforce, especially in part-time jobs. Additionally, it is right in principle that parents should provide financial support according to their capacity to do so, whether or not they are living with their children.
Indeed, such a change would echo the situation if the parents were still together.
You can share your views direct with IRD at their dedicated website. The online survey is well done, as it makes it far easier to complete than sending in a formal submission.Tags: child support, Gotcha, Peter Dunne
Labour has announced four selections, reports the Herald:
Labour has already chosen its 2011 election candidates for Auckland Central, West Coast-Tasman, Ohariu and Maungakiekie.
First-term list MP Jacinda Ardhern will contest Auckland Central and Carol Beaumont, also a list MP, will contest Maungakiekie. Both are held by National.
List MP Damien O’Connor will try to take back West Coast-Tasman, the seat he lost to National in the last election.
Senior MP Charles Chauvel, another list MP, will contest Ohariu, which is held by United Future leader Peter Dunne.
I wonder why Labour did not open nominations for NZ’s most marginal seat of New Plymouth? Is it because Andrew Little plans to parachute in there later, as that is his home town?
There were four nominations for Waitakere, the seat held by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, and a selection meeting will be held on March 20. The nominations were Ann Pala, Carmel Sepuloni, Hamish McCracken and Phil Twyford.
It will be pretty devastating to Twyford’s career if he fails to win the nomination, after having been scared out of both Mt Albert and Auckland Central.
He is a more polished politician than Sepuloni, but Labourites may not be keen to put up a “white middle aged male” against the young at heart fiesty Paula Bennett.
McCracken is a perennial candidate – his list ratings have been in 1999 he was no 60, in 2002 no 52, in 2005 no 49 and in 2005 no 50. I can’t see him beating one, let alone two, MPs to the nominaton.
Ann Pala is a Fijian immigrant who was President of the Waitakere Ethnic Board, a director of Winmac Computer Solutions, member of the Islamic Women’s Council. To her great credit she has criticised her party’s association with Winston Peters.
Less agreeably, Pala called for an “ethnic ward” for the Auckland Council, which would elect two or three Councillors. Pala seems to be the only actual West Auckland standing for the Waitakere nomination.
Meanwhile the Dominion Post reports:
United Future leader Peter Dunne faces a tough battle for his Ohariu seat after Labour kicked off its campaign and National vowed it would not stand aside to give him a free ride.
List MP Charles Chauvel will begin door knocking and leaflet drops within weeks after he was the only nomination as Labour’s candidate.
The seat is the eighth most marginal in the country. It was held by Mr Dunne by just 1006 votes at the last election – well down on his 7702 majority in 2005 and the 12,000-plus margin he racked up in 2002. …
Mr Dunne won 12,303 votes in 2008, compared to 11,297 for Mr Chauvel and 10,009 for Ms Shanks.
I expect National will vigorously contest the seat. The reality is that if both National and Dunne stand, then it is possible Chauvel could win the seat due to vote splitting. However if Peter retires from Parliament, then it would be a safe seat for National. Take a look at recent election results.
In 2008 National’s party vote was 17,670 to 12,728 for Labour. In a clear two way contest National should win the seat by 3,000 to 5,000 votes (depending on if many Greens tactically vote).
The split voting statistics tell a story in Ohariu. This is where Dunne has picked up votes in the last three elections:
- 2002 – Dunne got 47% of Labour voters and 57% of National voters
- 2005 – Dunne got 34% of Labour voters and 52% of National voters
- 2008 – Dunne got 16% of Labour voters and 44% of National voters
Peter used to pick up strong support from Labour and National voters. However from 2002 to 2008, he support from Labour voters declined by two thirds. Ironically it was during this period he supported them with confidence and supply, so there is no gratitude in politics!
Now that Dunne can’t attract large number of Labour voters, the main impact is to split the electorate vote of centre-right voters between him and the National candidate. Hence why Chauvel would have a reasonable chance of winning, if Dunne stands in 2011.
But if Dunne retires, then Ohariu should become the only National held seat in Wellington.Tags: Ann Pala, carmel sepuloni, Charles Chauvel, Hamish McCracken, Labour, Ohariu, Peter Dunne, Phil Twyford, Waitakere
The Herald reports:
United Future leader Peter Dunne has given up on his annual list of worst-behaved MPs, saying Speaker Lockwood Smith’s reign has ushered in a new era of dignity and propriety.
To be fair, I think the absence of Winston helps also. But the House has been a far less toxic place this year.
Mr Dunne did honour Labour’s Trevor Mallard with a lifetime achievement award in bad behaviour “for services to melodrama, fisticuffs, and generally aberrant behaviour”.
When Lockwood orders him to apologise, you can actually see the supressed rage in his eyes!!
The Herald does find a few insults though:
Labour’s Moana Mackey apologised for referring to Hekia Parata as “Lady Parata” and “her royal highness”. National’s Paul Quinn was pulled up for calling Labour’s backbench “monkeys”.
I’d rather be called Lady Parata than a monkey I have to say – well if I was a female Parata that is!
For saying of Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee, “the notion of him and energy is a mathematical impossibility”.
For claiming another “fiddled the books” in ACC and Housing; for wishing the Speaker would use a 90-day eviction order on Trevor Mallard.
For North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams’ “madness”, for calling Trevor Mallard “the angry one”.
Isn’t truth a defence?
For claiming Green MP Metiria Turei thought Phil Goff was “racist”. She had said his speech was “the worst kind of politics”.
So worse than racism?Tags: Andrew Williams, Gerry Brownlee, Hekia Parata, John Key, Lockwood Smith, Metiria Turei, Moana Mackey, Parliament, Paul Quinn, Peter Dunne, Phil Goff, Phil Heatley, Rodney Hide, Shane Jones, Trevor Mallard
The New Zealand Republic Handbook is being launched at Parliament tonight.
The Handbook is a guide to creating a New Zealand republic and covers the issues of New Zealand becoming a republic plus the arguments for and against republicanism in New Zealand.
The launch is in the Grand Hall at Parliament. Drinks and nibbles start at 5.30 pm and speechs are from 6 pm to 6.30 pm. Speakers are Hon Peter Dunne from United Future, Phil Twyford from Labour, Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta and Green MP Keith Locke plus Republican Movement Chair Lewis Holden. And so long as my dentist appointment at 10 am today doesn’t end up involving anaesthetics, I am the MC for the function.
MPs, parliamentary staff and press gallery are all welcome to attend. Around 30 MPs, from pretty much every party, have already RSVP’d but there is no need to do so if you work in Parliament. If you do not work at Parliament and would like to attend e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so your name can be given to security.
After that Parliament should be debating the 1st reading of the VSM Bill which will restore to tertiary students the right to decide if they want to join a student association or not. Not that many laws result in more freedom, not less, so worth supporting.
And later that evening, we have Backbenches at the Backbencher, with live filming from 9.10 pm. MPs are:
- John Boscawen, ACT
- Keith Locke, Greens
- Damien O’Connor, Labour
- Pesata Sam Lotu-Iiga
Topics include how to spell Wanganui and what should be on Letterman’s Top Ten for John Key.Tags: Backbenches, Keith Locke, Lewis Holden, Nanaia Mahuta, Peter Dunne, Phil Twyford, Republicanism
What if everything you knew about politics came from the internet? What if people based their vote on which politician was the most popular on Facebook or Bebo? It’s unlikely and a bit of a nightmare scenario really but on-line sources of information are becoming increasingly important for voters.
To test my vague theory in New Zealand politics, I searched on Facebook for each party leader and examined the groups supporting and, in some cases opposing, them. Here are the results:
John Key (National) – 14,388 supporters. Interestingly the “I HEART John Key” and “Scientologists for John Key” groups have exactly the same number of members. I’m presuming they are the same people.
Helen Clark (United Nations) – 5, 408 supporters.
Phil Goff (Labour) – 1,112 members of a group wanting him to be Prime Minister in 2011 and 3 in a quite different group who think he is a DILF. Look up what it means at your peril.
Rodney Hide (Act) – 719 supporters.
Russel Norman (Green) – 567 supporters. His on-line presence grew significantly when I spelled his first name correctly in the search field.
Metiria Turei (Green) – 339 supporters.
Winston Peters (Retired) – 236 supporters for Prime Minister, 11 supporters for next year’s Dancing with the Stars. Both quite terrifying prospects really.
Jim Anderton (Progressive) – 17 supporters, much higher than expected.
Pita Sharples (Maori Party) – No Facebook groups supporting him but a couple which are worryingly opposed (and in apparent breach of Facebook policies).
Tariana Turia (Maori Party) – No Facebook groups supporting or opposing her. There is one offering to be a support group for Mrs Turia going back to school but the tag is “just for fun – outlandish statements.”
Peter Dunne (United Future) – Mr Dunne does not have an official supporters group. The group “I lost my phone drinking in London – numbers please!!! (Peter Dunne)” is almost certainly not him. Peter Dunne does not strike me as the kind of man who, under any circumstances, would use three exclamation points.Tags: Facebook, Helen Clark, Jim Anderton, John Key, Metiria Turei, Peter Dunne, Phil Goff, Pita Sharples, Rodney Hide, Russel Norman, Tariana Turia, Winston First
A very good blog post from Peter Dunne:
Politics and public discourse today have become dominated by passions and feelings, rather than rational analysis of the issues involved. Evidence and the facts have long been overtaken by interpretation. For their part, politicians increasingly take electoral success to mean not only endorsement for their policies but also their personal prejudices. Funnily enough, when we observe such trends in the Muslim world, we decry them as “fundamentalist”, but when the same thing happens in our world we tend to admire it as “principled”.
To my way of thinking, both are as bad as each other. There used to be a classic slogan from the old radio crime dramas of “the facts ma’am, just the facts” which is worth remembering here. How refreshing would factually based public debate be!
It is sadly often lacking.
Take a couple of contemporary New Zealand examples. The Auckland supercity debate is being completely sidetracked by “feelings” – the perhaps understandable upset of a handful of Mayors who see themselves being put out of a job, and the “outrage” of some tangata whenua that they will have to compete for electoral preference on the same basis as everyone else. Both blame the ideology of the Minister of Local Government for their predicament (a highly superficial assessment at best), and invoke all sorts of emotion in support of their respective cause. Neither seem interested in a rational and critical assessment of what is best for Auckland.
I have yet to see any serious analysis about how six local Councils would be better for local communities than 20 to 30 local counnity boards.
Then there is the matter of a separate penal institution for Maori. Again, the argument is focused on the emotion rather than the facts. The Labour Party screams “separatism” (somewhat ironic I would have thought given its record) while the Minister of Maori Affairs defends it as “good for Maori.” Where is the analysis about whether such institutions work, by helping rehabilitate offenders and reduce recidivism? That is the criterion on which or otherwise of this proposal should be judged.
Indeed. Will it work is a key question? If it leads to fewer people being beat up, killed or raped by lowering reoffending, then it is worth doing I would say.
As a liberal, I believe very strongly in the primacy of reason, where decisions are based on the evidence not the prejudice, and where we do things because they work, not because they look or feel good. That is why as Associate Minister of Health I want to see more collaboration between the public and private surgical sectors to reduce elective surgery waiting lists, not because of an ideological view that private is better than public, but simply because it strikes me as dumb to have surplus private sector surgical capacity while the public system is hopelessly overloaded and waiting lists are growing.
I couldn’t agree more.
It is why I want see our alcohol and problem gambling policies focus on dealing with those adversely affected by abuse of those products, and not curtailing the opportunities of the overwhelming majority of people who enjoy them, and will never suffer any problems.
Again – absolutely agree. Target those who have a problem, and support them. Don’t punish the vast majority who do not.Tags: Peter Dunne
Calls to scrap the controversial new internet copyright law are increasing ahead of the Government’s March 27 deadline for a decision on its future.
United Future leader Peter Dunne, the minister of revenue, today compared it with the ill-fated Electoral Finance Act (EFA).
“The EFA arguably started out with good intentions but those became overwhelmed by the impracticalities of the legislation,” he said on Radio New Zealand.
“In the end it became a pariah, it literally brought a government down and Parliament has now repealed it. I would have thought we would have learned a lesson.”
The Government would be wise to listen to Peter Dunne. Peter has decribed his initial support for the EFA as the worst mistake he has made in politics.
With goodwill a scheme can be put in place that helps rights holders and will reduce online infringing. But s92A is not adequate and needs to be amended at a minimum.Tags: copyright, Peter Dunne
The growing debate over the NZ Super Fund, is an excellent example of how politics has to manage perception, as much as reality.
I doubt even Dr Cullen would disagree that if we did not already have his “Cullen Fund”, he would not propose one in today’s circumstances.
I mean could you imagine getting up, just at the time credit rating agencies are warning that they may downgrade our credit rating, and saying “Hey I have a great idea – let’s borrow an additional $20 billion over the next ten years, so we can invest it in a loss making fund”? I mean, you would get laughed out of the House.
The NZ Super Fund was agreed to on an assumption that we would have a permament structural surplus, and out of that surplus could put aside around $2 billion a year. Maybe there would be the occassional year of deficit, but the consensus was that from 2000 to 2020, there would be lots of large surpluses, and hence why don’t we save some of that money to help pay for the cost of future superannuation from 2020 onwards, when an ageing population will make it harder to cover the cost.
So the whole idea was to save money now, to avoid having to borrow money later.
But we have the stupidity (highlighted by Michael Littlewood this week, but something I have been campaigning on for some time) of borrowing $20 billion over the next decade, to put into the NZ Super Fund. So we are borrowing money, so we can save money, so we won’t have to borrow money? Confused? You should be. Sounds more dodgy than a hedge fund.
But we now have the politics. In an ideal world, everyone would understand that continuing to borrow money to put into the Super Fund will not in any way affect whether or not future pension levels stay the same. John Key has made a “promise to resign” signed pledge that he would resign if they ever cut the pension level. And in fact his atx cuts have helped boost pensions.
But if he does the sensible thing and say “Oh it is stupid to borrow money (and risk a credit downgrade) to try and save money” and we are going suspend contributions until the books are back in surplus”, then Labour and others will launch a campaign of fear and confusion (remember their 2005 one about National evicting state house tenants) telling pensioners that this means their future pensions are at risk. And some people will believe them.
We see this today in the Herald with Phil Goff demanding the PM come clean on his plans for the Super Fund. And this is simple because Key said they have not changed their position, but they have yet to discuss the issue yet.
John Armstrong warns National to tread carefully:
John Key and Bill English ought to think very carefully before tampering with the New Zealand Superannuation Fund – even if the political risks of doing so may seem relatively slight at first glance. …
A short-term stop on contributions would avoid English having to borrow the money to fund the annual payment into the six-year-old fund. That would make it just a little easier for him to write a Budget which gets international credit rating agencies off his back. It might not be too difficult to convince people that it does not make much sense to borrow money to build up the fund – especially when world financial markets continue to nosedive.
Indeed. But …
There are further reasons not to tinker with the contributions. The first is whether the Government will have the political wherewithal to restart them them once they have stopped. More important, however, is the (mostly) all-party consensus on superannuation policy. It took an age to reach. It will not take much to dissolve it. …
Labour know it is daft to borrow money to save money. Phil Goff is not stupid. But Phil Goff wants to be Prime Minister. So sure as hell he’ll try and politicise what should be a sensible non-controversial move (a temporary suspension of contributions until we are back in surplus) into the equivalent of slashing pensions.
And Martin Kay in the Dom Post reports Peter Dunne is saying don’t do it:
Government support partner Peter Dunne is urging National not to tamper with the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, warning that it would again make state pensions a political football. …
“There’s an argument that because, at the moment, this might have to be funded out of borrowings rather than surpluses, it’s a bit dumb to be doing it. There’s some truth in that, but at the same time, it seems to me that if you’re going through a slow patch economically, given the role that superannuation has long-term, this is the one time not to be putting its future into some jeopardy or doubt.”
So you have the perception in conflict with the reality. You know borrowing to save money achieves nothing in terms of making future super more sustainable. But you know it will lead to a nasty campaign of fear if you suspend contributions.
So I guess you ask, the question the other way around. Sure borrowing to save money doesn’t actually achieve anything, but does it actually do any harm? The cost of the borrowing will be pretty close to the returns from the fund. So it isn’t like a bad policy which actually costs the taxpayers money. It’s just a bad policy that achieves nothing.
So maybe it just isn’t worth the hassle? Just keep the stupid status quo.
Mind you, I’d like a journalists to aggressively ask Phil Goff some questions, such as:
“Mr Goff, if you think the Government can guarantee superannuation by borrowing $2 billion a year to put into the Super Fund, why don’t you advocate the Govt borrow $20 billion a year to put into the Super Fund? Then we could triple the pension”
“Mr Goff, why did your party call for a WINZ staffer to be reprimanded for suggesting a beneficiary borrow money to pay off her debts, yet you advocate the Government borrow money for much the same thing ?”
“Mr Goff, do you think households should follow your advice and borrow money to pay off their mortgages, rather than suspend contributions temporarily”
I suspect the Government will stay with the status quo, as it is just too much hassle for too little gain.
UPDATE: I’m impressed and a bit amazed. The Greens have come out supporting a suspension of contibutions (as have ACT). NZPA report:
And Greens co-leader Russel Norman said any responsible government would reconsider contributions.
“I think people will understand we’re in a very difficult position,” he said on Radio New Zealand.
One can support the principle of the Super Fund, yet agree that it is stupid to currently pay into it, when we are forecast to have to borrow every cent we invest into it for the next decade. Will Goff now accuse the Greens of trying to undermine superannuation?
Very pleaed to see Peter Dunne come out and call on the Government to discard the new copyright law – or at least S92A. The Herald reports:
The section will see people’s internet connections “cut on unproven accusations of piracy”, Mr Dunne said today.
“All of us who brought in this Act last year believed we were protecting artists from piracy and illegal downloads.
“However, it is now clear that we have a situation where internet users are vulnerable to the mere accusation of piracy, and that is simply neither fair nor just.”
The Government should defer the section’s implementation for three to six months with a view to discarding it, Mr Dunne said.
They should indeeed do this. The TCF is trying to get conensus on a code of practice to try and make a pretty unworkable law workable. But some of the rights holders groups are insisting that they want the power to be prosecutor, judge and jury and decide who has infringed and have the power to instruct an ISP to terminate a customer.
Congrats to Peter for speaking out on this law. As I joked yesterday, you know a law is in trouble when Peter condemns it, after having earlier voted for it
Off memory every party but the Green Party voted for this law. The Greens do get some things right!Tags: copyright, Peter Dunne
Peter Dunne has blogged his wishlist/policy for constitutional issues. Worth taking them one at a time.
A referendum on the future of MMP, in 2010, to allow the New Zealand people to review the effectiveness of the system to date
Is going to happen as was an election promise. Timing not certain though.
A referendum on the future of Maori seats in Parliament to be held in conjunction with the MMP referendum, with a view to abolishing the seats by 2014. This would give effect to the recommendation in the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System.
I do support implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations, but you need to do all three of their outstanding recommendations – reduce the threshold from 5% to 4%, waive the threshold for Maori parties and then abolish the Maori seats. I think a waived threshold is a superior way to have Maori representation than separate seats.
Moving towards New Zealand becoming a republic within the Commonwealth by 2017, with a referendum in this term of Parliament on having our own Head of State.
No surprise I support this one, but I doubt a referendum will occur in the near future.
Establish a New Zealand Day separate from Waitangi Day to celebrate our nation’s history, multicultural society.
I support this one strongly. I think Waitangi Day should stay, but it would be good to have a New Zealand Day also that is celebrated like national days are in Australia, France and the US. A possible date for this would be Dominion Day in mid September.
Investigate an extension of the Parliamentary term to four years, with a fixed election day.
Again support both of these. The second one is a bit harder than the first, but not impossible. A longer term would lead to much better policy making.
Introduce a Multicultural Act, similar to Canada, for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in New Zealand.
Not so sure on this one. We are already obviously a multicultural society and have anti-discrimination laws. I’m sceptical of the benefits of such a law.
Ensure that school pupils understand their civic rights and responsibilities, the structure of the New Zealand Parliament and of Local Government and their means of access to them.
I would hope this gets covered in senior years already.
Nationally televise the Youth Parliament to give credence to the efforts of young people to lift the bar.
Now we have in house TV in Parliament, I would hope this could be done for almost no cost on Sky.
Require immigrants to take a civics course as part of becoming a New Zealand citizen, to promote civics understanding and teach immigrants what it is to be a “Kiwi” & what the norms & expectations of New Zealand society are.
Very good idea. Ideally some of this should be done even before they apply, so immigrants get as much information as possible to decide if they will be happy here.
Introduce a graded system towards citizenship to develop the idea that citizenship is a privilege and not a right.
Yes, but more than that we need to look at whether certain entitlements should be reserved to citizens, rather than all permament residents. There is little incentive for people living here to become a citizen.Tags: constitutional issues, Peter Dunne
The Wood Chipper has an excellent blog on what will happen to Ohariu in 2011.
This graphic is an excellent way of showing what has happened to Peter’s vote, from the high in 2002. It has gone from attracting support from all parties, to mainly support from National voters only. Somewhat ironically, as from 2002 to 2008 Peter backed a Labour-led Government.
If Peter does not stand in 2011, then this graph shows pretty clearly that it should become a very safe National seat.Tags: Ohariu, Peter Dunne, Wood Chipper
NZPA report through Stuff that Peter Dunne will chair the Climate Change Committee. I think this is a very good idea, as Peter will do the job very conscientiously, and his background as Revenue Minister will be helpful when considering taxes vs trading schemes. It also depoliticises it to some degree, and that is welcome.Tags: Climate Change, Peter Dunne
Whanganui had a 3% lead in the party vote in 2005, and this expanded out to 22% in 2008. And the 3,500 majority for Borrows goes to 6,000.
Rangitikei sees a 25% lead in the party vote and Simon Power moves his majority from 9,000 to 11,000.
Tukituki has an 18% lead in the party vote, and a 2,600 majority for Craig Foss gets a boost thanks to Labour’s sacking of the local District Health Board to over 7,000.
Palmerston North has been held by Labour since 1978. The party vote was narrowly won by National but Labour’s Iain Lees-Galloway held off Malcolm Plimmer by 1,000 votes.
Wairarapa has National 17% ahead on the party vote. And John Hayes turns the seat safe with a 2,900 majority converting to 6,300 in 2008.
Otaki was a huge battle. I’ve door knocked Otaki in the past and it is not natural National territory in the Horowhenua parts. So winning the party vote by 8% is good for National after trailling by 3% last time. Darren Hughes put up a huge fight to protect his sub 400 majority but Nathan Guy grabbed the seat by almost 1,500.
In Wellington, Labour does a lot better starting with Mana. Labour remains 6% ahead on the party vote but reduced from 18% in 2005. Winnie Laban’s 6,800 majority shrinks only slightly to 5.300.
Rimutaka was the last hope for NZ First. Labour won the party vote there in 2005 by 11% and in 2008 by 0.3%. On the electorate vote just as narrow with Labour’s Chris Hipkins pipping Richard Whiteside by 600 votes. Ron Mark got a credible 5,000 votes but stll trailed by 7,000.
Hutt South is home to Wainuiomata and Trevor Mallard. Trevor delivered a party vote margin for Labour of 4% and a 3,600 majority for himself. In 2005 the party vote margin was 14% and the personal majority 6,600 so some movement there.
Rongotai is now the home of the Labour Deputy Leader. But even before her ascension, Rongotai gave Labour a massive 11% margin on the party vote – 43% to 32% for National. And her personal 13,000 majority in 2005 was only slightly dented to just under 8,000. If that is her low tide mark, she’ll be happy.
Wellington Central saw in 2005 a party vote for National of just 33%, Labour 43% and Greens around 16%. In 2008 it was National 36%, Labour 34% and Greens around 20%. Marian Hobbs had a 5,800 majority and Stephen Franks cut that to 1,500 against new MP Grant Robertson with some Green party votes giving Robertson their electorate vote to keep Franks out.
Ohariu was assumed by almost everyone to be safe as houses for Peter Dunne. But it got close this time. First on the party vote, National beat Labour 43% to 40% in 2005. This time it was 47% to 33%. On the candidate vote Peter Dunne dropped from 45% to 33% making him vulnerable. National’s Katrina Shanks lifted her vote from 21% to 26% and Labour’s Charles Chauvel from 26% to 30%. The Greens candidate got 7% of the vote and may have ironically saved the seat for Dunne.Tags: Annette King, Charles Chauvel, Chester Borrows, Chris Hipkins, Craig Foss, Darren Hughes, Election 2008, Grant Robertson, Hutt South, Iain Lees-Galloway, John Hayes, Katrina Shanks, Malcolm Plimmer, Mana, Marian Hobbs, Nathan Guy, Ohariu, Otaki, Palmerston North, Peter Dunne, Rangitikei, Richard Whiteside, Rimutaka, Ron Mark, Rongotai, Simon Power, Stephen Franks, Trevor Mallard, Tukituki, Wairarapa, Wellington Central, Whanganui, Winnie Laban
If people want a change of Government on Saturday, there are only three parties you should vote for. Any other vote may help bring about a Labour/Progressive/NZ First/Green/Maori Party coalition that would be the most left wing Government in 70 years.
The three parties that will lead to a change of Government are National, ACT and United Future. I invoted all three party leaders to send me something on why people should consider vote for them. First is Peter Dunne:
If the polls over the past year, talkback radio, comments on the campaign trail and my own political experience are to be relied upon, then the New Zealand electorate is in the mood for a political change.
This means that on Saturday, the voters will deliver a right-leaning Parliament and National will hold the majority of seats.
Having made that fundamental decision, voters will face the second choice: what flavour of right-leaning, National-led government do they want?
The parties that provide that flavour are UnitedFuture, ACT, the Greens, the Maori party and the Progressives (assuming this is New Zealand First’s final campaign).
The other small parties like the Kiwi party, the Family party, the Legalise Aotearoa party and all the other single issue parties are focussed on single issues like hitting children or getting stoned and can be dismissed as wasteful depositories for your party vote.
The Greens and the Progressives are locked into Labour, so a vote for them is not a vote for change.
That leaves us and ACT committed to working with National, with the Maori party dodging about in the middle.
By elimination therefore, the strategic choice is between UnitedFuture and ACT.
ACT is claiming it will put backbone into National, but it looks more like an ideological straitjacket from where I stand.
Roger Douglas’s 20-point plan that ACT is offering dates from 1987 and represents yesterday’s solutions to yesterday’s problems.
By contrast, UnitedFuture promotes ideas, not ideologies and is focussed on policies that promote jobs and the welfare of families – the cornerstone of our society.
Instead of looking backwards and yearning for yesteryear, we look forward to a simpler, fairer tax system; a health system that uses all its public and private resources so all New Zealanders get first-class healthcare; a tertiary education system that loads up our graduates with knowledge, not debt; a business environment that encourages innovation and growth; and a physical environment that’s clean and healthy for New Zealanders to revel in.
The conclusion is straightforward: party vote UnitedFuture for a change in government, a change you can trust will lead New Zealand forward.
Next up will be ACT.Tags: Election 2008, Peter Dunne, United Future
Audrey Young looks at possible roles in a National Government:
United Future leader Peter Dunne would be the prime contender for Speaker if National formed the Government after Saturday’s election, the Herald understands.
I’ve heard of this possibility for some months. It depends I suspect on how well United Future goes. If only Peter is returned, then Speaker would make a lot of sense. If he gets one or more MPs coming back with him, a Ministerial role makes more sense. For my 2c I think Peter could be a very good Speaker, and very impartial. But he has also proven himself as a competent Minister.
Act leader Rodney Hide could be put in charge of prisons – as well as Inland Revenue.
Hell that is a good idea. Rodney could well sort out Corrections and I love the idea of him being in charge of IRD! It would also allow ACT input into tax policy which I fully support.
And new National MPs Steven Joyce and Hekia Parata could leap-frog incumbent members straight into the Cabinet.
The day they announced Steven’s list ranking, I concluded he would go straight into Cabinet. I’ve also regarded Hekia as the only other new entrant who could credibly go straight in. Not as certain as Steven but definitely a possibility.
If, however, National or Labour needed a support agreement with the Maori Party, co-leader Pita Sharples would be likely to get Maori Affairs and Associate Education.
The Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia, would be likely to get a portfolio within the Ministry of Social Development, and Associate Health.
Tariana in welfare would be great. And Sharples in Maori Affairs could lead a devolution of government spending in key areas to Maori providers rather than the state.Tags: Audrey Young, Hekia Parata, National, Peter Dunne, Pita Sharples, Rodney Hide, Speaker, Steven Joyce, Tariana Turia
Phil Kitchin (and Oskar Alley) shows his independence by revealing that Peter Dunne also gets a mention in the Meurant papers with a $5,000 donation linked to his vote on a UN fishing plan. Dunne is denying a link.
While on a much much smaller scale than Winston (who appears to have had his entire policy process for sale), even one case like this is a cause for concern.
I agree with the Greens with their call to have a commission of inquiry into the Winston Peters cash-for-policies allegations. It goes without saying that any party implicated, should also be included in the terms of reference.Tags: Oskar Alley, Peter Dunne, Phil Kitchin, Ross Meurant, Vela Family
One News revealed tonight that Winston Peters aggressively pushed for Owen Glenn to be appointed Consul to Monaco, despite denying he did so. The Government has refused for eight months to release this information, but finally the Ombudsman forced it out of them.
The documents show Peters on multiple occassions asked for progress and was reported to be testy that MFAT were taking so long to do it. Watch the video for the full details. MFAT concluded:
A report prepared in November concluded that the position was marginal and if it did go ahead they recommended another candidate named Franco Repetto, saying he lived in Monaco full time while Glenn was there just three months a year.
Now it has been established that Winston Peters knew about the donation when it was made in 2005. It was also cleared with Mike Williams at the time, and Helen Clark knew about it either also at the time, or at the latest in February 2008.
Clark sat on this info for at least six months, claiming not to know if it was true. This is despite the fact she would have been aware that Peters had been aggressively pushing for Glenn to be appointed Consul.
Did Clark notify the Cabinet Secretary or the MFAT CEO about the (then alleged) donation from Glenn to Peters? Did she tell them that Owen Glenn had confirmed to her he made a donation?
Clark’s ethics are amazing. She is aghast at Gerry Brownlee having 1,000 shares in Contact Energy several years ago, yet she has no problem with her Foreign Affairs Minister receiving $100,000 donations from individuals and then aggressively pushing to give them a diplomatic appointment.
This is not an isolated case. Clark knows that the Vela Family have donated around $250,000 to NZ First and indeed $40,000 to Peters personally (paying off the Clarkson debt). And she knows that Peters forced her Government to agree to very generous funding of the racing industry, against advice of officials.
And what is her response to this? Totally unconcerned. She keeps paying Winston a Ministerial salary even though he won’t even front up to a debate on foreign policy. She says she’ll happily work with him after the election, so long as it increases her chances of desperately clinging to power.
The hypocrisy of her suggesting Peter Dunne should relinquish a Ministerial warrant for expressing a post-election coalition preference, while keeping Winston on despite multiple proven lies, false evidence and basically corrupt behaviour.
This is Helen Clark’s world. If you are willing to vote for her to remain Prime Minister, she will turn a blind eye to any amount of misdeeds or worse. Hence in her mind there is nothing wrong with calling for Peter Dunne to resign his warrant, but keeping Winston Peters on.
This reinforces for me why we need an Independent Commission against Corruption. She covered up over Taito Philip Field with an inquiry given no powers. She kept quiet for months about Winston, and the latest stuff with Shane Jones is being dealt with by way of a Departmental inquiry which by definition can not investigate the Ministers involved.Tags: Gerry Brownlee, Helen Clark, Independent Commission against Corruption, MFAT, Monaco, Owen Glenn, Peter Dunne, Winston First
I thought it was interesting how restrained everyone was. Winston, for example, was being very constructive and making serious points. Maybe they all realised the usual squabbling would sit badly with voters in such uncertain economic times.
Not sure if there are any winners or losers from it. How did others find it?Tags: debate, Election 2008, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Jim Anderton, Peter Dunne, Rodney Hide, Tariana Turia, Winston First