Death by Assimilation
National have returned to their traditional governing style, managing other parties’ ideas. Labour promised to introduce a capital gains tax and build houses, the Greens promised to deal with child poverty, New Zealand First promises to do nothing on Superannuation, and Peter Dunne promises to do nothing on the RMA. National are now, to an extent, doing all of that.
Bill English (7/10)
Bill is the policy architect of this government. He provides his colleagues with the alternative to government by pork barrel, and often succeeds. He has managed to refocus the civil service on achieving outcomes instead of consuming inputs. The biggest disappointment was that his courage cutting the $1000 Kiwisaver kickstart wasn’t matched on fixing Superannuation. As a result, a generation is paying twice.
Andrew Little (1/10)
Free Press feels sorry for Little. His speech has been panned as the worst ever. Some would have sat down upon running out of material, so we are giving him one point for speaking right through his time allotment. He talked about a ‘rooster on heat’ and then about ‘fiscal gender reassignment.’ Clearly Little needs biology lessons. But he’s got bigger problems too.
What he Needed to Do
Little theoretically wants to be the Prime Minister. His 20 minutes of rage showed he is out of touch with the country – New Zealand in 2015 is not exactly at a low point in history. Unless he’s proposing a total revolution, he could have spent five minutes talking positives. That would have given him fifteen minutes to lay out Labour’s alternatives. Read more »
Roy Morgan came out last night. In short, National up 3% at 54%. Labour down to 25.5% (Greens and NZ First down also).
This poll was taken after ponytailgate, and before the budget. Some budget details were already known, but not the increase in benefits.
Every time the left and the media go troppo on a National issue, they over-egg the pudding and end up driving voters back to National.
Labour was rejected by the electorate during the election at 25.5%.
At this stage, Andrew Little is adding no value over David Cunliffe and taking away value from where Phil Goff and David Shearer left Labour. Labour, once again, have failed to capture the public’s imagination with their latest union muppet.
They did have some help from the man that poo-fingers everything he touches. I’m talking of course about Martin Martyn “Wrongly Wrongson” Bradbury. Donkey deep in Dirty Politics, he got a National Government elected with an increased majority.
As an encore, he returns with ponytailgate and pushes National beyond their election win, and plummets Labour back down to their worst election loss over seventy years. Read more »
So yesterday Audrey Young breathlessly reported something that actually wasn’t true and set off a media frenzy that was sparked by an outright lie in the ACT email newsletter.
Former Act leader Don Brash made an approach to Act president John Thompson recently to ask whether National’s Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson could join the party, Act leader David Seymour has revealed.
Mr Seymour said the board had unanimously rejected any such notion.
Mr Seymour also said he believed the approach by Dr Brash would have been authorized by Mr Williamson.
Mr Williamson was forced to resign as minister in May last year when Herald Investigations editor Jared Savage revealed Mr Williamson had contacted a high ranking police officer about domestic charges against a wealthy businessman with close ties to him.
Mr Seymour said taking someone into the party because they were having problems with their own party was the worst possible reason for getting a new MP.
Today’s face of the day has written a guest post over at Kiwi Blog that is well worth a read. You will remember Alwyn from my Charter school Perception series. He points out a few home truths about the PPTA and the Labour Party that deserve further sunlight. Charter schools have the goal of improving outcomes for the exact same students that the PPTA and The Labour Party say they care about. I suspect that the genuine reason behind their opposition to Charter schools is that it wasn’t their idea in the first place. They seem to oppose for the sake of opposition instead of acknowledging that Charter Schools can be an effective solution to the very ills that they demand be addressed.
…You would therefore think that any major disparity in University Entrance results would have opposition politicians, teacher unions and educationalists raging – and parents on the street.
The PPTA used to campaign on this. In a 2009 report they stated:
New Zealand has a tail of students with low academic achievement. Although internationally standardised test data for literacy, numeracy and science show New Zealand does very well in terms of its average performance, we have high quality but low equity achievement. Almost all of the students “at risk” are found in state schools, the highest proportion of which is in lower decile schools. The skewed nature of educational disadvantage correlates with family income and ethnicity. However, there is increasing evidence that genuine solutions can be found to reduce this problem.
The Labour Party manifesto in 2011 acknowledged the problem:
Some children are missing out on a quality education. A good education is a human right and we will work to make sure the most vulnerable students don’t miss out: Māori, Pasifika, children from low-income families, children with special needs, victims of bullying and violence, and those who struggle to achieve academically and don’t have a clear post-school pathway to work or higher education.
However, after the 2011 ACT/National agreement to introduce Charter Schools as a small part of a solution to address the problem for priority learners the issue stopped being of importance. Any effort to point it out might be seen as an endorsement of a policy that the Opposition and associated unions had chosen not to like. Since that moment almost all of their protest energy has gone into trying to eradicate Charter Schools as opposed to trying to find solutions to the huge disparities in the outcomes of young people in NZ. This expensive, false, and misdirected protest finally reached the point of outright comedy when Labour and the unions raged about how a Charter School spent money from multiple sources on a waka. They currently say very little about the outcomes for priority learners in many of our high schools. These schools that receive tens of millions of dollars every year. They have tied their own hands with the mantra of “world-class” that they dreamed up to imply that there was nothing to see here and no need for change. They have fallen silent about inequitable outcomes when this generation needs them to stand strong.
Recently the NCEA and UE qualifications data was released for 2014.
Loses it a bit towards the end, but the beginning is worth your time. David looks like he’s comfortable and in the right place. I think National can take the training wheels off him now.
Why is Fairfax protecting a terrorist enabler?
A New Zealand woman who travelled to Syria last year for what were believed to be humanitarian reasons is understood to be trying to negotiate with Australian officials to return to Sydney.
The woman, who has dual New Zealand-Australian citizenship, was said to be offering to help authorities with information about networks in the region.
The woman, who Fairfax has chosen not to name over fear for her safety, lives in Sydney’s Bankstown and was previously married to a man from the city.
She is the latest in a string of people who have travelled to the troubled region who now want to return home. One member of Islamic State (IS), a former health worker from Victoria, has reportedly told Australian authorities he wanted to return and warn would-be jihadists against joining the terror group. Read more »
Lianne Dalziel reckons she is sorry…for doing nothing.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel has made a tearful apology to residents of east Christchurch, who feel she has let them down.
Dalziel made the emotional apology on Saturday in response to hundreds of submissions from east Christchurch residents on the council’s proposed 10-year budget, known as the draft Long Term Plan. The submissions expressed frustration at the slow pace of recovery and the lack of proposed spending in New Brighton and the eastern suburbs.
Dalziel’s voice cracked with emotion as she apologised. Read more »
Some people need a cup of HTFU. Thanks to the bullying by anti-alcohol wowsers Jennie Connor and Steve Child, a bunch of entrepreneurs have wimped out and are now in hiding.
Last week you may recall the post #DIRTYPOLITICS WOWSERS NOW HATE ENTREPRENEURS. Fairfax reporter Chloe Winter raced around getting the usual spiteful comments from Alcohol Action NZ and the NZ Medical Association chair. Read more »
Richard Harman at Politik reports of a stoush going on inside the National caucus.
I had heard details of this, but not at the level Harman has. He’s been around a long time and his network of contacts is impressive. If he says there is a stoush on, then there is.
A political row within the National Party could ignite this week if a Select Committee does not make major modifications to a one of the Government’s most complex pieces of legislation which will impact every business, workplace and farm and even sports events in the country.
The Health and Safety in Employment Reform Bill is proposing a substantial overhaul of the way businesses, workplaces and farms manage health and safety issues.
It is expected to be reported back from the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee on Thursday.
The Bill has the potential to anger National’s small business and farming heartland and already its worrying some MPs.
There are reports that one backbencher, Maurice Williamson, has already signalled his opposition to the Bill at a National Caucus meeting.
One source even suggested he could cross the floor and vote against the Bill if it was not changed.
However though one senior Minister discounted that claim he told “POLITIK” that “a number of us” agree with him on his concerns about what is in the Bill.
Insurance is a sensible device for managing risk. We use it everyday for peace of mind and dealing with unforeseeable and catastrophic events. The premiums we pay are based on very well researched information. The competitive market requires car insurers for example to know a great deal about various models of car, which ones are susceptible to theft, cost of repairs and much more.
It would be unthinkable to have annual premiums where the cost exceeded the amount agreed to be paid out. Or would it? President Obama thinks its OK.
In a recent speech to the military he outlined his plans for reducing CO2. His aim is an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. The costs of achieving this are horrendous, even if you use the most optimistic calculations. One government-based assessment has it at US$13,000 trillion – whatever that amount is. Reality says it is impossible to even hazard a guess that is going to come in close. We know from Germany’s very short flirtation with renewable energy, that electricity consumers there are now paying three times more than they were. The USA situation is potentially much worse, because of their greater dependence on fossil fuels. And that’s just one aspect of the cost. An even greater cost is the loss of food production to ethanol production. Who really cares though about starvation in Haiti or Sudan? Certainly not the well-fed, cosseted, do-gooder alarmists. The US Navy has already calculated that biofuels will cost more than four times their present fuel budget.
The proponents of “doing something” are not concerned about the cost. They argue any cost can be justified. Read more »