Politics

Told ya, now they are coming for your food

I have always said that health campaigners will move on from tobacco and start coming after whatever they want to control next.

Be it fast food, or sugar or fat they want to apply the same tactics of control to those products like they have for tobacco.

Less than two years ago I gave a speech tot he Food and Grocery Council and told them that if they didn’t back the fight against plain packing in tobacco then they were going to be next.

Many of them scoffed at me…I’ll bet they wish they’d listened now.

Aaron Shultz, an Australian health campaigner, is calling for plain packaging featuring health warnings for junk food. He has posted a picture on Facebook of what he believes the packaging could look like – dropping the branding in favour of a picture reminding people of the price they could pay for a junk food habit.

Shultz is a health campaigner, who runs an organisation called Game Changer. It has a broader aim: to halt the promotion of alcohol, junk food and gambling through sport. He argues that by associating sport with these unhealthy brands, it normalises junk food, and contributes to the growing obesity problem in Australia.    Read more »

PAYE for business, an idea worth exploring

Todd McClay has announced he is looking at the possibility of PAYE for business.

Long awaited tax modernisation proposals were unveiled today by Revenue Minister Todd McClay.

A form of business PAYE, along with greater use of withholding taxes to deal with fringe benefits, interest and other investment income has been flagged.

The government is also looking at reversing the move, made in 1998, to allow most New Zealanders to no longer file tax returns.

[…]    Read more »

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Another registered teacher before the courts

If you listen to Chris Hipkins having teachers registered is to protect the kids. They oppose charter schools because there is no requirement to have every teacher registered.

Yet almost daily we hear of registered teachers before the courts…they have replaced the Catholic Church as the haven for kiddy fiddlers and sex pests.

A male teacher has denied sending photos of his penis to a 16-year-old student, but admitted sending inappropriate messages, including: “U shw me first”.

The Lower Hutt teacher – who has interim name suppression – was accused of sending the girl photographs of himself and explicit images of his genitals during an inappropriate Facebook exchange.

The teacher was asked to tutor the teenage girl in 2013, an arrangement that continued until the end of school year.    Read more »

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 »

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 »

Want to know who will win an election? Ask a bookie

We have iPredict but it isn’t really betting in the true sense…In the UK however they do have bookies and they are allowed to bet on elections.

It turns out that betting is a more accurate predictor of an election process than polling.

[W]here should we be looking for our best estimate of what is actually going to happen, to the polls or to the markets? It’s a question that we have been considering in the UK for nearly 30 years.

We can trace the question to July 4 1985, the day that the political betting markets finally came of age in this country. A by-election was taking place in a semi-rural corner of Wales, with Labour and Liberals the key contenders. Ladbrokes made the Liberals odds-on favourite. But on the very morning of the election a poll by Mori gave Labour a commanding 18 percentage point lead. Ladbrokes kept the Liberal candidate as the solid odds-on favourite. And who won? The Liberal — and anyone who ignored the pollster and followed the money.    Read more »