Phil Goff for president? Yeah nah

via ODT

via ODT

Whaleoil reader “Aucky” writes

I was driving between Adelaide and the Barossa on Tuesday in full holiday mode and full of the joys of spring when the ABC talkback host announced that he would be interviewing a prominent Kiwi politician after the news.

Who should come on but the one and only Phil Goff moaning about the Aussies’ position on deportation of Kiwi crims and then about the lack of civil rights for Kiwis working in Australia. Read more »


Reshuffle kerfuffle

Richard Harman shares some of Wellington’s more persistent rumours:

There will be a Cabinet reshuffle early next year.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully yesterday announced that the current Charge d’Affaires in Washington, Carl Worker is to be appointed the Ambassador for Counter Terrorism early next year.

Mr Worker is currently the acting head of New Zealand’s mission to Washington.

The Ambassador, former Labour leader, Mike Moore, is incapacitated following a stroke.

He is not expected to return to his post.

Mr Worker has effectively been filling in for him.

The Trade Minister Tim Groser, who is anxious to depart politics, has long been tipped to be the next New Zealand Ambassador to Washington.

Yes.  It has been offered to others, but they didn’t want the job.   So it looks like Groser is going to get a cushy retirement post in US.   Read more »

Prisoner raped woman while on day release. That just has to be another Serco thing, right?

Nope.  Apparently these things happen all the time on Corrections’ watch.

A prisoner has raped a woman while on a release to work programme, sparking a major internal probe by Corrections.

The 35-year-old has pleaded guilty at Christchurch District Court to the rape which happened in May last year.

Since the shocking incident, Corrections has “significantly strengthened” the rules around its Release to Work (RtW) programme.

The inmate, serving a two-year, eight-month sentence at Rolleston Prison for injuring with intent to injure, had a placement with a local employer from February 25 last year.

During his placements, a woman visited his unsupervised workplace to have sex with him.

But during one of the visits, they argued and the prisoner raped her in a car, according to Fairfax Media.

Ian Bourke, Corrections’ regional commissioner for southern region, said the department was contacted by police about the allegations on May 6 last year. Read more »


Live in Auckland? Your household’s share of Len Brown’s debt is $20,000

" Our Debt is this big "

“Auckland Council’s Debt is this big “

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance has been crunching the numbers and revealed that the Auckland Council’s liabilities, if equally divided between every Auckland household, work out to $20k per household.

Last week it launched the first of its Ratepayer Briefings where it examines the Council’s debt since amalgamation. If you would like to read it in full you can click here. 

Auckland Council's ticking timbomb

Auckland Council’s ticking timbomb

Read more »

Bob McCoskrie loves the Streisand Effect


via 3 News

Hayden Donnell at 3 News has noticed that Family First frequently boosts the publications or events they protest against due to the Streisand Effect.   He had an email exchange with Family First director Bob McCoskrie:

“Hi Hayden. The problem with your thesis is that you’re suggesting that if we just stay silent, the problem will go away.

Anything but!

It’s when these events happen that we can raise the concerns that so many have about, for example, the harms of porn and the pornography industry,” he wrote. Read more »

Comment of the Day

Whaleoil reader ‘seriously?’ writes

Some of the recent posts has me thinking the left is dead, but so is the right. In fact, I now doubt whether the left/right political spectrum has any remaining validity, especially in New Zealand.

The mass of voters have no pallet for extremes, left or right, they want what I’d call pragmatists rather than centrists – they don’t care which ideological perspective an idea comes from, provided that it works. To a degree, Key is giving them that.

I think we substantively abandoned the old left/right divide as a part of adopting MMP. Unlike some other MMP style countries, the voters here have a sensible aversion to complicated coalitions. We want one main party to lead the way, even if they have a few hangers on. As a result, National and Labour faced a decision with MMP – move to the center or cease to be a main party. Labour under Clarke drifted toward the center. National under Key have taken the center by force, and claim it as its own.

It is only smaller bit players that are able survive and still be ideological, the extreme left positions held by Greens are a good example (but we may see them abandon that over the next few election cycles). But even those small ideologues struggle to survive (think ACT, or Mana pre Dotcom).

If Labour want to maintain its shift back to being the ideological party of the left, then they best get ready for a minority interest in politics, and a greater proportion of years in opposition than even they are used to.

New Zealand has, more or less, had the same government now for the last 15 years.  Even though there are hot button issues like asset sales, smacking, gay marriage and so on, the fundamentals of how we live our lives and how our economy functions remains the same.

I always keep an eye on the markets around elections, and it never fails to amaze me that no matter who wins the election, the market doesn’t rise or plunge sharply because of it.  It means that the people who have their financial bits in a vice are not concerned about New Zealand’s general stability and direction.   Read more »

E tu Part 2: Jonathan Coleman comes good


The launch of the new E Tu union showed us that at least one member of the National Cabinet actually gets it.

Both the EPMU and the SFWU were affiliates of the Labour Party, and there was a strong anti-Government feeling at today’s launch, fuelled by acting leader Annette King.
“Ministers like Minister Jonathan Coleman say unions are our political enemy… they should be our political allies,” she said.

Yes Annette, Jonathan Coleman is right. The unions are the political enemy, they have absolutely failed to provide you with candidates who can win seats from National, or the money required to win elections. They demand Labour oppose all sorts of things that the New Zealand voter does not care enough about to change their vote on, handicapping Labour as much as they do when they send people like Sue Moroney or Carol Beaumont to Parliament to represent their interests.  Read more »


E tu Part 1: Where have all the union members gone?


Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The Service & Food Workers Union and the EPMU have amalgamated to form a new mega union with 50,000 members.
The 2014 Union membership stats show that the two unions had the following membership:
SFWU 21,346
EPMU 33,203
Yet in 2010 the two unions had:
SFWU 22,447
EPMU 39,371
In four years the combined unions lost 7000 members. Why?
What has happened to make unions less relevant?

Read more »


Trotter has gone Deep retard. Never go Deep retard

Someone should have a sit-down with Chris and tell him to stop thinking so hard

IT IS NOW CLEAR that Helen Clark’s Trans-Pacific Partnership advocacy in New York was just the beginning. The opening move in a chess game that will end with the Labour Party knocking over its King and returning to the bi-partisan fold on the issue of Free Trade. To achieve this turnaround will require the mobilisation of all of the non-elected elements of the New Zealand political system.

Applying the maximum of public pressure to Labour will be the responsibility of the news media and the numerous business lobby groups. Behind the scenes, however, Labour MPs will find themselves on the receiving end of one-on-one briefings from old friends and colleagues (senior civil servants, leading academics) “deeply concerned” that Labour has positioned itself in the wrong place, on the wrong issue.

These “old friends” of the Labour Party will warn Caucus members that their failure to support the TPP will only end up driving Labour further and further to the Left. Just as they were beginning to make up much-needed ground, the party will spurn Middle New Zealand for the tin-foil-hat-wearing brigade. Not only will this render Labour unelectable, but it will also serve as an invitation for the news media to start casting about for a Caucus member who’s prepared to act in a more responsible fashion.

That such individuals exist within Labour’s caucus is indisputable. That money and resources will, very swiftly, begin flowing in the direction of these TPP supporters is equally certain. Metaphorical megaphones will also be handed to TPP supporters within the wider labour movement. Expect to see them popping-up again and again on radio and television.

It gets better.    Read more »


‘I didn’t get into Parliament to be a bit of f***ing arm candy’

Now this is interesting, and I’ll tell you why after you’ve read this

Female Tory MPs are apparently outraged at being lined up as ‘arm candy’ to walk alongside Prime Minister David Cameron at this year’s party conference.

According to The Spectator, there are a number of predominantly new female MPs who have been told to stand and walk alongside the Prime Minister as he makes his way between events at this year’s Tory conference in Manchester.

Some of the women are said to be unhappy with the arrangement, which is said to have become apparent when the special rota on who will accompany Mr Cameron on his visits was published among the team.

Mr Cameron has long tried to shake off the Conservative party’s ‘pale, male and stale’ image.

He has also long suffered from a problem connecting with female voters, not helped by his own crass behaviour at times.

Gaffes such as publicly dismissing the Tory MP Nadine Dorries as ‘frustrated’, and telling a Labour shadow minister to ‘Calm down, dear’ during PMQs have hardly boosted his appeal. Read more »