Thursday, February 28, 2013

"I've said my piece, who's next?"

English: David Shearer, New Zealand Labour Par...
English: David Shearer, New Zealand Labour Party candidate for the seat of Mount Albert in the 2009 by-election. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
David Cunliffe at the NZ Open Source Awards, 2007
David Cunliffe at the NZ Open Source Awards, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The so-called political left are more interested in philosophical matters than establishing an alternative to the present fascist National Government. They are more interested in furthering the political interests of David Cunliffe than cementing up the parliamentary Labour Party to work for and represent the working class and the poor in New Zealand. In their blogs they consistently and regularly try to undermine the leadership of David Shearer.  Shearer has been selected as leader through to the next general elections. Do you get that??

If he is successful he will be the next prime minister of a Labour/ Greens/Mana and perhaps NZ First as well, government. If he is unsuccessful his political career will be virtually over. There would be so much blood-letting that it would destroy the Labour Party as a viable political entity. Yes, and David Cunliffe may become the darling of the left -  a bitterly divided one that wouldn't be able to organise a barbeque  in a flea-market.

So that is really what is at stake - the future of New Zealand society.  Success of a Shearer-led coalition government would see the political right in the wilderness for a generation. I have a new philosophy if you like -  no prime minister should be allowed more than two consecutive terms in government. So in relation to the last democratic government in power here -  Helen Clark should have stood aside for Michael Cullen after two terms. Labour would have survived the 2008 election, and David Cunliffe may have become prime minister in 2011 after Mike Cullen had his two terms.

I'm an old fellow now and voted Labour from the Big Norm Kirk government in 1972 through to 1990 when I voted Jim Anderton's New Labour as a protest against the Free Marketeers spear-headed by  Mike Moore and Roger Douglas. Labour got its arse well and truly kicked by a smart politico in Farmer Jim Bolger!

As that anti-drink driving ad goes, "I've said my piece,who's next?
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Today the house must not win - David Cunliffe...

Red Alert

Today the house must not win

New Zealand is a small, remote country with an unfortunate reliance on imported capital to maintain our standard of living. A crucial insurance for the economy is New Zealanders’ hard-earned reputation for having the lowest level of government corruption in the world.
Or at least that’s something we had.
I write this post with the heaviest of hearts because I know how completely National has jeopardised the economy. I know how foreign investors will be frightened by the truth. Their reaction could see more hardworking and innocent Kiwis turfed on the unemployment scrapheap.
Ultimately, though, there is an overwhelming public interest in having on record just how low Prime Minister John Key and his factotum Steven Joyce have sunk in their bid to trade our country’s laws for a casino’s cash.
Yesterday the Deputy Auditor-General released her report into the tender process for the SkyCity convention centre. At 71 pages it is among of the longest and most damning auditor’s reports I have seen. John Armstrong, writing in the New Zealand Herald, assessed the tender as “verging on banana republic kind of stuff without the bananas.”Armstrong was too polite.
Labour leader David Shearer summed the report up more completely: “Kiwis know [Key] was donkey deep in this entire process. The deal with SkyCity was his idea. He knew exactly what was going on and was pulling the strings behind the scenes.”
I have followed the convention centre tender since it first came to public light in 2010 – months after John Key had a cozy dinner with the casino company’s board and (in the PM’s own words“discussed a possible National Convention Centre and they raised issues relating to the Gambling Act 2003”.
As time has passed I have become more and more outraged by what was transparently a stacked process seemingly designed to ensure SkyCity was the only tenderer left standing at the end.
All throughout the National Government have obfuscated, played cat-and-mouse games with the Opposition and the media, and denied multiple Official Information Act requests on the most specious of grounds.
Not only did ministers refuse to answer more than 100 of my parliamentary questions on the SkyCity deal – but they even took to using the SkyCity deal as a supposed reason to refuse answering dozens of questions which were quite unrelated to the casino!
The Commerce Select Committee (which I am a member of) even had to take the most extraordinary step of recalling Ministry of Economic Development/MoBIE officials to a second testimony session, following their failure to answer legitimate questions as part of the committee’s 2011/12 financial review.
As the years passed and the stench of the rotten tender grew overpowering, the sole explanation Key and Joyce offered for their preference for SkyCity was that taxpayers wouldn’t foot the bill for the conference centre. But that was an outright lie – $2.1 million of your dollars were diverted from the Christchurch earthquake recovery effort and other economic development programmes to support the convention centre design!
Finally, when the Deputy Auditor-General prudently announced a probe into the whole sordid affair, Steven Joyce vowed to push on in contempt of her. In my time in Parliament I have never seen anything like it.
But now the auditor has published her report. Her findings are damning and they back up what I have been saying and what my Labour colleagues have been saying since 2010. It is beyond comprehension that Steven Joyce did not resign from the ministry immediately after receiving the report.
The Deputy Auditor-General’s findings include (and I quote):
  1. We do not consider that the evaluation process was transparent or even-handed (p5).
  2. SkyCity was treated very differently from the other parties that responded [to the tender] and the evaluation process effectively moved into a different phase with one party… the steps that were taken were not consistent with good practice principles of transparency and fairness (p5).
  3. The Prime Minister/Minister of Tourism… annotated the [tender] briefing [paper by hand, stating that “we should close off the SkyCity angle first” (p15).
  4. It was well known among officials that SkyCity had met with various senior Minister in the previous months. In our view, there was an obvious risk that SkyCity would have a better understanding of the Government’s thoughts than other participants (p45).
  5. There were a number of flaws with the way the evaluation process unfolded during 2010 (p50).
  6. Given the nature of the responses, it is likely that the SkyCity proposal was always going to be the most attractive (p51).
So what are the broad consequences for New Zealand?
Has the opaque and unfair SkyCity deal been scrapped? No.
Instead National has thumbed its nose at the auditor’s office and is about to restart the negotiations. They have to finalise pesky details such as how anyone will receive the television news once a hulking great pokie palace is plonked where our state broadcaster has some of its studios.
Has the Government promised not to change the law to flood central Auckland with very low-taxed pokies, while taking money out of high-taxed pub pokies which fund kids’ learn to swim programmes and quit gambling programmes?
It’s a no to that too.
As my Labour colleague Ruth Dyson succinctly put it “The convention centre will not be ‘free’. The social cost for New Zealanders and their families battling problem gambling will be significant.”
So National seem quite happy to plough along with their trade in our laws, whatever the consequences. Well Labour will fight them every step of the way. I can only hope that the government’s support partners in the Māori and United Future parties will do the right thing and join us.
Ultimately, though, this is not only about one shady deal – although one shady deal is clearly one too many.
This speaks to the whole world about what sort of country New Zealand is in our collective soul. It speaks to the truth about whether we have a clean government which stands up and stops corruption wherever its finds it. Or whether we don’t.
And it speaks to our longstanding core values of egalitarianism and equality. Labour MPs face the human casualties of the National government’s economic mismanagement in our electorate offices every week. We know the despair felt by ordinary, honest kiwis who can plainly see that John Key’s ‘brighter future’ means one law for them and sweet deals for his mates at the big end of town.
The casino deal is a total disgrace. Clearly John Key and Steven Joyce don’t care.
So, in light of the Deputy Auditor-General’s report, I am publicly calling on SkyCity to formally withdraw their current tender. That should trigger the entire process to restart from the beginning, so it can be run fairly and transparently.
I look forward to SkyCity’s quick, positive and public response.

New poll shows the beginning of the end for National...

NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

A  Labour-Greens alliance would need only a handful support from other parties...

Labour could have the numbers to form the next government, according to a new poll that shows the party is slowing gaining on National.
A Fairfax Media-IPSOS poll, released on Wednesday, puts National on 44.9 per cent support, a drop of 1.3 points since December, while Labour has picked up that support and more, rising 1.9 points to 36.3 per cent support.
The Greens are up 0.2 points to 10.7 per cent - and together the parties would have 47 per cent support.
The poll sees NZ First fall back one point to 2.8 per cent - well below the five per cent threshold it needs to cross to get back into parliament at the 2014 election.
The Colin Craig-led Conservative Party, which is outside parliament, is on 1.6 per cent, followed by Mana on 1.4 per cent and the Maori Party on 1.3 per cent.
ACT is on 0.4 per cent support while United Future is on just 0.1 per cent.
Based on the poll, and assuming ACT loses its Epsom seat, National would win 57 seats in parliament, while Labour would get 46 and the Greens 13.
That means National would need five more seats from support partners to form the government, while Labour would need just three.
The poll also finds most voters (60 per cent) think Prime Minister John Key made a mistake keeping Hekia Parata as Education Minister.
Just 22 per cent think she should have stayed in the job, while 18 per cent are unsure.
In Canterbury, the number of voters thinking Ms Parata should have been sacked was 71 per cent.
The result is similar to a One News Colmar Brunton poll, released on Sunday, which found 59 per cent of respondents thought Ms Parata should have been booted from cabinet in last month's reshuffle, while 21 per cent said Mr Key was right to keep her on, and 20 per cent were unsure.
That poll saw a better result for National, jumping five points to 49 per cent support, while Labour and the Greens both dropped back two points, to 33 per cent and 11 per cent.

Acknowledgements:  NZN
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Parata should have been dumped from Cabinet - new poll...

Fifty-nine per cent of voters polled believed Prime Minister John Key made the wrong decision by keeping Ms Parata. Photo / Ben Fraser
Fifty-nine per cent of voters polled believed Prime Minister John Key made the wrong decision by keeping Ms Parata. Photo / Ben Fraser
A majority of voters think Education Minister Hekia Parata's poor performance should have seen her dumped from the Cabinet last month, according to a TVNZ/Colmar Brunton poll.
Ms Parata will tomorrow announce the Government's final decisions over the future of 31 Christchurch schools, with the prospect of a number of closures fuelling disapproval of her handling of the education portfolio.
Fifty-nine per cent of voters polled by Colmar Brunton believed Prime Minister John Key made the wrong decision by keeping Ms Parata as Education Minister in last month's Cabinet reshuffle following a torrid time during which she oversaw the class size backdown, the Novopay debacle and the breakdown in communications with Education Secretary Lesley Longstone and her subsequent departure.
But the poll also had good news for National, with a 5 percentage point jump in support taking them to 49 per cent. Prime Minister John Key also gained five points, according to the preferred prime minister measure, giving him 44 per cent. Labour was on 33 per cent and the Greens 11 per cent.
By Adam Bennett Email Adam
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Sunday, February 10, 2013

John (JT)Tamahire wants to return to politics...


BEHIND THE MIC: As part of his Radio Live double-act with Willie Jackson, Tamihere is well known in the streets of South Auckland...
Everyone is pissing in everyone else's pocket," declares John Tamihere. "People even have to whisper at their own barbecues. That's what I think is wrong in this country - everyone talks in hushed tones."
Not that Tamihere shouts. His is a rather soft voice, punctuated by a girlish, Billy T James giggle, and a winning smile. But what he says has plenty of impact. It seems, sometimes, he rather wishes it didn't.
"Gareth Morgan says kill all the cats, how does a man get away with it? If I said it . . ." he trails off, pondering the thought. "What's wrong with pointing out my truth?"
It's nearly a decade since Tamihere somewhat sabotaged his own political career with his indiscretions (the Labour frontbums etc) to Ian Wishart; just a couple of months since his putative comeback was marked by calling National minister Paula Bennett a fat girl and TV3 reporter Tova O'Brien a silly little girl.
He resiles from neither criticism. "Do you want me to say she's morbidly obese? You don't say that. Do I have to be so dumbed down and talk in this grey language?"
Tamihere reckons it's not what he says, but how he says it that gets him into trouble. He reckons people know he's saying the right thing, "but they might be far more genteel or academic [how they say it]. I'm not".
And so, in the course of an hour, he casually insults Helen Clark, most of Labour's front bench, radio broadcaster Danny Watson, Bennett (again - still fat), TV3's Tova O'Brien (again - still silly), former Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey, Wishart (scumbag), the Act Party (also scumbags), the Maori Party (incompetent), the unions (lazy), academics (timid), me (loser), and himself....

Read more:
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A seismic change in public attitude - but tell that to the pollsters Frank...

English: A seismic survey on Pine Island Glacier
English: A seismic survey on Pine Island Glacier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Smile and wave has lost its public support. The New Zealand National Government is in such a hell of a mess its hard to really know what the public thinks? A seismic change indeed! Keep writing Frankie.
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

NZ is still someone else's country...

Union rally, Dunedin
Union rally, Dunedin (Photo credit: Hickey/Scott)
English: New Zealand Labour Party logo
English: New Zealand Labour Party logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When will we take back our country? When will we demand that the opposition parties act in our interests, not just those ambitious for power. Let us tell NZ Labour and the NZ Greens this is their last chance to give us back our country. If they don't we will create a new party and take it back. We can't guarantee it to be peaceful.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A huge no to an extension of the parliamentary term to four years...

English: David Shearer, New Zealand Labour Par...
English: David Shearer, New Zealand Labour Party candidate for the seat of Mount Albert in the 2009 by-election. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Reunión con Primer Ministro de Nueva Zelanda, ...
Reunión con Primer Ministro de Nueva Zelanda, Japón. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no way the people of New Zealand will support an extension of the parliamentary term to four years. Even the Aussies have not been stupid enough to go down that track. We don't have a second higher chamber to curb the excesses of the present three year termed governments of either hue anyway. MMP while promising, has not delivered the controls we expected. No way Jose. Three years is more than enough when you consider the actions of incompetent and irresponsible prime ministers and their cabinets. John Key's Government needs the support of 75% of parliament. David Shearer will be told in due course not to give it to him; not if he wants to become the next prime minister. You have just two years at the most John key; hope you have found another job - the World Bank, IMF etc.
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Hope you had a great Waitangi Day holiday...

Maori protest during Waitangi Day, national da...
Maori protest during Waitangi Day, national day of New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Busby's residence, Waitangi, South West
Busby's residence, Waitangi, South West (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Waitangi House, Waitangi, Bay of Islands, Far ...
Waitangi House, Waitangi, Bay of Islands, Far North, Northland, North Island, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Traditional maori Waitangi Day celebrations at...
Traditional maori Waitangi Day celebrations at Waitangi, Paihia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A letter from the next prime minister of New Zealand, David Shearer MP.
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