The decapitation strategy in play now

Arts, lifestyle and travel blogger, David Farrar, writes:

I’ve blogged the latest Roy Morgan poll at Curia.

It has Labour at 23% which would see them get just 28 MPs in a House of 120. As they hold 27 electorates it means on that poll they would get just one List MP – their leader Andrew Little. If they drop just 1% more, then Little loses his seat. Alternatively if they pick up one more electorate seat then again Little loses his seat.

Other List MPs such as Jacinda Ardern and David Parker are toast on this result.

It is always useful to compare polls to the same time period in the previous election cycle. So how are National and Labour placed in November 2013 and November 2016?   Read more »

Harman on Leggett defection

Richard Harman at Politik discusses the defection of Nick Leggett.

Both Nationals and Labour should be able to claim a victory of sorts after former Porirua Mayor and Labour Party member  Nick Leggett announced his decision to try and seek National’s nomination for Mana.

For National, any defection from Labour has high propaganda value.

And for Labour, the loss of Legget, a right wing thorn in the caucus’s side,  vindicates Andrew Little’s attack on him as a right winger when he stood unsuccessfully for the Wellington Mayoralty.

The question now is whether anybody else will follow him.

He doesn’t seem to think anyone will.

“I think actually a lot of people have just melted away from Labour and I suspect there are very few people left like me,” he told POLITIK.

Read more »

Michael Wood’s only selling point: I’m trained by, and just like… I’m Phil 2.0

From the rhetoric at Labour candidate Michael Wood’s street corner meetings you might think that Phil Goff was still actually standing for Mt Roskill.

Wood invokes Goff’s name frequently as he stops off at corner after corner in the state house heartland of the electorate which will go to the polls this weekend.

He goes as far as to say that everything he learned about politics he learned from Goff.

Even the van that accompanies him on his trek is the same one that Goff used when he was the MP.

And he says that people want a continuation of the kind of strong representation that Goff gave the electorate over the 35 years he was in Parliament (except for 1990 – 93 when National held the seat).

As to policy issues, he says housing is number one.

“Virtually every person wants to talk about housing, whether its ownership or rental or social housing issues,” he told POLITIK.

“Transport problems are just unavoidable in Mt Roskill and then, and this issue has really up, is crime and law and order.”

Mt Roskill is a state house suburb; 37% of the houses in the electorate are rented, most off Housing New Zealand.

A quick drive-past down Housing New Zealand streets, reveals houses which show few signs of any recent maintenance. Most are occupied by immigrants. 40% of the electorate are classified as Asian; either Chinese or Indian. 60% of the electorate’s school children are non-European and non-Maori.

Yet perhaps paradoxically, unemployment is low at 4.3% and most of the electorate have white collar jobs, albeit many as sales or administrative assistants.

But the picture is one of the immigrants who have arrived with limited resources but who have begun the upward climb in New Zealand society. Read more »

So, you want a higher minimum wage…or even a living wage?

Then welcome to the dole queue. When faced with ever increasing wage bills with little or no improvement in productivity it gets to a point where employers simply replace workers altogether with machines.

It’s official: McDonald’s says that every one of its 14,000 stores nationwide will be replacing cashiers with automated touch-screen kiosks. They’re starting with stores where minimum-wage laws mandate the highest rates, such as Florida, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

According to CNNMoney:

So the fast food giant is rolling out self-order kiosks, mobile pay options, an updated interior design, even table service. The changes are already starting to show up at locations in Florida, New York and Southern California, where 500 restaurants have been updated. Restaurants in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, D.C. and Seattle will get upgrades in early 2017. Now, McDonald’s loyalists will be able to place their customized order on a touch screen, take a seat and have their meal brought right over. Next year, they’ll even have the option of mobile ordering.

That means that, eventually, more than 20 million customers every day will place their own orders at a kiosk or on a mobile device and then have them delivered by a human to their table. And it’s just a matter of time before those humans will be replaced by machines as well.   Read more »

Well done Michael Wood, parking in a disabled spot

via Twitter


Typical entitled labour candidate.

I told you he was a weasel.

Is the Trump victory the first signs of Gen X as a political force?

A reader emails:

Hi Cam,

As a political tragic, I have been following the US elections closely and as the race progressed Trump’s message resonated with me, even though I am a kiwi and couldn’t vote. I felt the same connection with Brexit but what struck me as odd was just how much I cared about both results. To me, it was clear if Hillary won and Britain remained our way of life would be gone.

So now as the dust settles people are trying to define these Trump supporters and Brexiters. You here all sorts of labels, Alt right (whatever that means), White Nationalism, Nationalists, Populists and worse but none of the labels fit the bill.

And then it struck me. Could it be that this wasn’t a vote from the generally disaffected and disenfranchised, the basket of deplorable’s, but in fact a generation finding its voice? Could the reason I cared so deeply about the results be because it was my fellow Gen Xers that were so unhappy with the status quo?

So who are they?   Read more »

Legal signals that the dodgy socialist dam is rooted

After the moratorium on progressing the dodgy socialist Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme was voted on and won, there was some other interesting news.

News, that if true shows the extraordinary lengths the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, under Fenton  “Jong-un” Wilson, were prepared to go to force the dam through come hell or high water.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has today laid charges against the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council in relation to its wastewater treatment plants in Waipukurau and Waipawa.

CHB District Council faces three charges of breaching its consent conditions in relation to discharges of contaminants from its Waipukarau and Waipawa wastewater treatment plants.

The CHB District Council’s resource consents allow for a certain number of exceedances during a 12-month period.

HBRC claims the district council has passed that limit at both plants.   Read more »

The dodgy socialist dam is doomed

The first steps of ditching the dam have started:

The moratorium is subject to consultation between the council and HBRIC, to be completed by 14 December.

If the moratorium was put in place, HBRIC would stop any further expenditure on the dam and not take any further steps to acquire protected Department of Conservation (DOC) land for the dam.

Councillor Peter Beaven said the request shouldn’t cause any problems because HBRIC had already indicated it had put spending on hold.

Councillors voted 6-3 in favour of seeking a moratorium.

Read more »

Lusk praises a Labour MP

My mate Simon Lusk schools the old dodderers at Trans-Tasman:

Subscription political service Trans Tasman gives MPs an annual rating. It weights the way MPs work in Parliament, often ignoring the hard work electorate MPs do in their electorates.

It also struggles to understand that MPs are whipped. No matter how much they want to raise their own profile, the party leader gets all the publicity, sharing a little with a few of the other front benchers. Back benchers are not permitted to grandstand at the expense of their leader.

These two realities mean that Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri’s rating of 2/10 and comments show exactly how out of touch Trans Tasman is.

“Many outside of Parliament have never heard of her. Needs to change this, or she’ll be forgotten inside Parliament as well”.

Anyone who follows Meka on Facebook knows she travels huge distances in her electorate, which stretches from East Cape to Wainuiomata. She does the hard work in the electorate, meaning that her crucial constituency, her own voters, know her well.   Read more »

Well done Mr Little, you’ve turned another died-in-the-wool Labour man to National

Nick Leggett has really turned his back on Andrew Little’s Labour.

Porirua’s high-profile former mayor Nick Leggett is leaving Labour to join National and has set his sights on becoming an MP.

Mr Leggett wants to stand in Mana, the Porirua seat held by Labour’s Kris Faafoi, in next year’s general election, Fairfax reports.

He said Labour MPs had become distant from the party’s voter base.

“They take their heartland for granted and sadly fail to understand the ambitions and challenges of working New Zealanders,” he said.

Mr Leggett contested last month’s local body election, seeking to become Wellington’s mayor, and ran second to Justin Lester.

Read more »