NZ

Is Winston Peters the only opposition leader with moral authority?

Winston Peters win in Northland means that he is the only opposition party leader who actually has won a seat.

He put his name on the ballot and got elected, rather than getting the arse from the electorate like Andrew Little, Metiria Turei and whichever of the four leadership aspirants of the Greens win a seat.

So now Winston joins ACTs Seymour and United’s Dunne and the Maori Party’s Flavell as well as National’s John Key as having a mandate from an electorate.

Winston should challenge the other wanna-be opposition leaders to win a seat like him, prove they can do the hard yards in an electorate and prove that they can actually get people to vote for them.   Read more »

Prime Minister Key v King Winston

This happens for Question 11 at question time yesterday.

And there he goes… raising the problem of sexual violence in Northland.

Will Angry Andy give Carmel Sepuloni’s welfare spokesperson job back?

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The fact that Carmel’s mum’s been convicted of benefit fraud is not relevant to Carmel.  Well, it shouldn’t be, if it wasn’t for the fact Angry Andy took some of her responsibilities away because it would be a conflict of interest. Read more »

Faces of the day

Cousins Kelly McKay, 15, left, and Payge Olds, 16, right, helped to rescue a man who almost drowned in Wellington Harbour last night. Photo / Supplied to NZ Herald

Cousins Kelly McKay, 15, left, and Payge Olds, 16, right, helped to rescue a man who almost drowned in Wellington Harbour last night. Photo / Supplied

Forget the stereotypes about beautiful girls, today’s faces of the day are brave and beautiful. They are so young yet they stepped up because if they didn’t the man was going to die. They are real Kiwi heroes and role models.

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Is Lawrence Yule’s legacy project rooted?

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Local Government NZ chairman and Hasting Mayor Lawrence Yule has staked his legacy on amalgamating the Hawkes Bay Councils. He has faced vigorous opposition from the three other mayors in Hawkes Bay, and a well funded, well run anti amalgamation campaign by Labour MP Stuart Nash.

Yule got sledged by Napier Mayor Bill Dalton, and was too slow witted to come back with the obvious response that the status quo was proven not to work.

Dalton is staunchly opposed to the proposal, Yule very supportive. Yule said the big issues were not each council’s debt, or a fear of losing representation, which he said was unfounded. They were competition, climate change and global trends.

He listed some of the statistics in which the region features poorly compared to others: youth unemployment, GDP and population growth.

Yule said the region could tackle all those issues more effectively if it worked as one, rather than as various parts.

Dalton wasted no time in dismissing Yule’s claim that amalgamation would help this occur.    Read more »

Trotter on the effects of Northland on Labour and National

Chris Trotter has always been a keen observer of Winston Peters and in his blog he comments on what the victory in Northland means for Labour and for National.

To hold Northland will NZ First be required to veer to the Right – thereby alienating the thousands of Labour supporters whose votes provided the foundation for Mr Peters’ upset win?

Will the National Government, looking ahead to 2017 and beyond, begin to re-position itself as NZ First’s future coalition partner?

How will Mr Peters’ Northland victory influence Labour’s political positioning – especially its relationship with the Greens?

Good questions which Trotter goes some way to explaining.

Labour, if it is wise, will seize the opportunity provided by Mr Peters’ victory to put even more distance between itself and the Greens. In his continuing effort to “re-connect” Labour with its traditional constituencies, Andrew Little must already have marked the numerous ideological affinities that draw non-National provincial voters towards one another. These are conservative people, whose personal morals and political values often place them at odds with the more “progressive” voters of metropolitan New Zealand.

The extent to which Labour’s Northland voters defected to Mr Peters indicates that, at the very least, the NZ First leader’s political values presented no insurmountable barrier to Labour’s people following their own leader’s tactical advice. Indeed, just about all the insurmountable barriers to the re-connections Labour must make if it is to regain the status of a “40 percent party” have been raised in the cities – not the provinces.

Even in the cities these obstacles persist. Labour’s traditional urban working-class supporters have more in common with their provincial brothers and sisters than many Labour Party activists are willing to admit.

Shunting-off their social revolutionaries to the Greens might decimate the ranks of Labour’s membership, but it could, equally, swell the ranks of those willing to vote for the party in 2017. Shorn of its radical fringe, Labour not only becomes a much more comfortable fit for NZ First – but also for working-class New Zealanders generally.

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Good luck with that approach Little Andy

Andrew Little thinks he is in charge of the opposition and he says he is going to start to work closely with Winston Peters.

Labour leader Andrew Little plans to pave the way for a closer relationship with NZ First leader Winston Peters when they meet this week.

After a win by more than 4000 votes in Saturday’s Northland by-election, Peters has made life more difficult for the Government to govern.

Little told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report on Tuesday that it had been weeks since he had met with Peters, but he intended to do so this week.

“As leader of the Opposition, it’s my job to forge as best a relationship as possible with all the parties,” he said.

“I’ve been working with the Greens and will work more closely with NZ First now the by-election is out of the way.”   Read more »

The Silence of the Lambs

Well National’s caucus was a non-event.

After a 25 minute tirade from John Key it can best be summarised as “National was always going to lose the campaign, but ran a good campaign…really it was a good one…but because it was a by-election it has no effect…nothing to see here, move along“.

Not one MP spoke out about the dreadful result or the cast of characters responsible for the debacle.

It was Silence of the Lambs…and those lambs are now being led to the slaughter.

To cap it all off they all congratulated themselves and all those who worked so very hard for the…uhmmm…loss.

Are these muppets on a different planet to me?   Read more »

Isuzu D-Max – still astonishing fuel economy

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With all my boxing training and running around for the past 8 weeks I’ve spent quite a bit of time in my Southern Autos provided Isuzu D-Max.

Up and down the motorway to training, in and out of traffic and the D-Max never missed a beat.

What amazes me and still does every time I fill up is just how far I can travel on a tank of gas….sometimes over 1000km, but mostly between 875km and 950km depending on what I’ve been doing.

You actually need the fuel indicator because stops at the service station are so few.

I’m not kidding. My old Hilux needed a top up every week, this truck not so much…in fact I think I fill it up about every second or third week.    Read more »

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Everybody please take a deep breath – everything is just fine

New Zealanders are becoming more confident about the outlook for the labour market, despite some regions losing some of their optimism in the three months ended March.
Overall, the Westpac McDermot Miller Employment Confidence Index lifted 2 points in the March quarter to 108.5.

The present conditions index rose 0.7 to 102.9 and the employment expectations index rose 2.9 to 112.3.

Perceived job security by workers also increased in the quarter.

Mr Ranchhod said employment confidence last year appeared to have been weighed down by concerns about the impact of the drought and lingering softness in global demand.

While those factors had slowed the economy, their impact did not appear to have been as severe as initially feared. Much of the March quarter’s increase in employment confidence occurred in rural areas.

”We’re not surprised to see employment confidence picking up in early 2015. Conditions in the domestic economy are looking very positive.”

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