David Parker

What 22.5% means to Labour

Labour’s poll number of 22.5% means that there is a very real chance that Labour will not have any List MPs in parliament after the election.

Labour will almost certainly hold all its own seats, and looks likely to pick up Tamaki Makaurau, Napier, Te Tai Hauauru and Waimakariri. This would give them 27 Electorate MPs.

Percentage PV         MPs without wasted vote
20%                            24
21%                            25
22%                            26
23%                            28
24%                            29
25%                            30
26%                            31
27%                            32
28%                            34
29%                            35
30%                            36

Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

underpants-stealing

Credit: SonovaMin

Garner on political xenophobia at election time

Duncan Garner writes:

So suddenly we’re all against selling off farms to foreigners.

Well, it’s not really just foreigners, is it. Let’s be honest – we’re worried about the Chinese buying our farms. They’re not like us. There you go, I said it. Clearly many are thinking it.

Cue Opposition politicians lining up to scratch our collective itch. Nationalism? Racism? Xenophobia? All of the above?

The reality is we’ve been hocking off our farms to overseas buyers for years and no-one seemed too fussed. Australians, Germans, Russians, the Swiss and the Americans – no worries.

But the Chinese are interested now. They have money. They stand out. They want good land to produce protein. And we’ve got huge chunks of lands for sale.

The argument against selling to foreigners lacks all logic and is driven purely by emotion and fear. These are powerful emotions,  and Prime Minister John Key  finds himself in unusual surroundings, on the wrong side of public debate.

Key prides himself on being on the right side of the popular argument. But on this issue he’s isolated and cornered.

It is pure politicking on behalf of Labour, Winston Peters and Colin Craig. The land isn;t going anywhere, and it only seems to be Chinese buyers that these shameless politicians attack.

There has been economic consensus for decades between National and Labour that foreign investment is generally good. It brings in money and jobs that normally wouldn’t be here.

That agreement has convinced foreigners and their companies to continue to invest in and own larger slices of New Zealand.

According to the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, foreign direct investment or ownership of companies in New Zealand  has increased from $9.7 billion in 1989 to $101.4b last year. That’s about 48 per cent of our entire economy.

Foreigners own us, they pay us and they provide jobs in our country. We’re mostly grateful and don’t really say much.

Read more »

Why We Need A Low Flat Tax Political Party

I don’t care about any other policy when I vote than the comparative taxation rates.  The rest of the election issues are woolly woofter nonsense to me.  The lower the tax rate the better, which is counter-intuitive for someone in my industry as the size of my wallet depends entirely on people wanting to find solutions to paying these higher taxes.   Lower tax makes us redundant.

Bill English loves tax.  He must do as in his time as Finance Minister he has not once looked like making the slightest amount of tax reform that New Zealand needs to make it more internationally competitive.

So when ACT released their company rate policy to slash company tax from 28% to 12.5% it was immediately poo-pooed by the farmer from Dipton.

“You can’t open up too big a gap between the company tax rate and the personal tax rate. You just invite people to dodge taxes by setting up structures that make them look like companies instead of people.”

Right.

So the top tax rate on individuals is 33% and the company tax rate in New Zealand now is 28%.  The trust rate is 33%.  There currently is a 5% differential between a company rate and the top individual rate.

Thing is, all his farming mates (including himself) actually can and have paid less taxes by setting up structures that make them look like companies instead of people.  You know, the married couple on a small farm who operate it themselves.  Everyone knows what they are doing when they set up a structure in this way.  It is to pay less tax.

But Bill of course doesn’t want anyone else to be able to do this.

Well I have news for him.  Everyone who can do this already is.  And the salary and wage earners in New Zealand cannot actually tell their bosses they want to be contractors and set up companies so they never will be able to take advantage of it.

ACT of course needs to now come out and say that they have taken the Finance Minister’s fabulous advice and propose that company and individual tax rates should be the same – 12.5%.  That’s what their policy at the last election was and it was a damn good one.  A growing proportion of New Zealanders are not even net taxpayers at all.  Why should the already beaten up middle classes take the brunt of excessive government spending. No matter if it is packaged in Bill English blue or David Parker red?

Labour’s hypocrisy over farm sales laid bare

The Labour party has come out saying they would block the sale of Lochinvar station in the Central North Island.

Never mind that it was previously owned by Americans, currently owned privately by Kiwis and now being sold in a private sale. No…they would block it.

Which is in stark contrast on how they handled the sale of the neighbouring station, Poronui, back in 2007.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen and the Minister for Land Information David Parker announced the sale of the American-owned Poronui Station today, to American company Westervelt Sporting Lodges Ltd.

Westervelt Sporting Lodges Ltd had applied to the Overseas Investment Office to purchase the 6500 hectare property, which borders the Kaimanawa Forest Park.

[...]

Michael Cullen said: “We welcome foreign investment that has real benefits for New Zealand. Westervelt plans to expand the hunting business and market the lodge more aggressively overseas, which will help our tourism profile.

“This is further proof that the process introduced by the Overseas Investment Act in 2005 to ensure land sales benefit New Zealand is working.”  Read more »

Unfortunately Tracy there is nothing to like and even less to trust

Tracy Watkins writes about The Cunliffe and his likeability and trust issues with the electorate.

Labour leadership is a brutal job. If Helen Clark had been made of different stuff she never would have survived Opposition.

Her colleagues tried to roll her just months out from the 1996 election and with good reason.

Labour’s polling under Clark was disastrous. Support for her as preferred prime minister was laughable. Voters thought she was arrogant, aloof and out of touch.

Everything about Clark – her hair, her teeth, her mannish voice – was picked over and dissected as another reason for voters to reject Labour. They were the worst years of Clark’s life. But when a delegation of Clark’s colleagues knocked on her door asking her to resign she stared them down.

There is said to be a desk somewhere around Parliament that still bears the scars from Koro Wetere digging his fingernails into its surface during their faceoff.

The story even had an (almost) happy ending when Clark took Labour close to winning the 1996 election – though perhaps not as close as her supporters believed on the night.

It was largely thanks to Winston Peters and MMP that she was able to keep Labour’s hopes alive before Peters opted to do a deal with National. But it was enough to secure Clark’s leadership. Three years later she led Labour to a sweeping victory and nine years in power.

Is Clark protege David Cunliffe made of the same stuff?

The difference between Helen Clark and David Cunliffe is two-fold. She had balls and a spine, both things that are sadly lacking from The Cunliffe. His self doubt is immense and hasn’t been helped with former leaders knocking on his door at parliament and assuring The Cunliffe that he shouldn’t worry, the polls will come right, chin up.

Labour’s poll ratings have sunk like the Titanic under Cunliffe’s leadership. The latest Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos political pollhas Labour marooned in the mid-20s.

Forget about winning – avoiding an old-fashioned drubbing has become the priority. Only MPs with seats in Labour bastions like Manukau seem safe.

It is not at all far-fetched to imagine Labour sinking to National’s low point in 2002 – 21 per cent.

Under that scenario the damage to Labour could be immense. Unthinkably, even finance spokesman and number two on Labour’s list, David Parker, could be at risk. So too would stars like Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little.

The only difference between now and 1996 is the election date. When Clark’s colleagues knocked on her door in May 1996 the election was still five months away. Even if Labour wanted to change its leader now, it probably couldn’t. Voters would punish such a visible display of panic and disarray just two months out from an election. Many in Labour’s activist base would revolt.

Cunliffe was their man, their nuclear option against a caucus that did not reflect their world view. A change of leader now would bring to the surface all the things voters reject – panic, a party in disarray and disunity.

Read more »

No one likes The Cunliffe

Cunliffe - Sh_t

David Cunliffe aka The Cunliffe, isn’t as popular as Greg Presland thinks he is.

In fact the Fairfax Ipsos polls shows that Labour would do better without him.

Vernon Small delivers the bad news.

Labour would get an immediate lift in the polls if it dumped leader David Cunliffe, a new poll suggests.

The stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll reveals that Cunliffe may have become Labour’s biggest liability, with a significant number of voters saying they would be more likely to vote for Labour if someone else were leader.

Click here for full poll results in graphics.

The effect is sizeable, making a 13.5 percentage point difference to Labour’s vote.

Although a similar effect is seen on National when asked the same question about John Key, it is much smaller.

The finding will plunge Labour further into crisis after yesterday’s poll result cementing Labour’s support in the mid-20s.

Privately, Labour and the Greens now acknowledge that it would take an unprecedented swing against National to force a change of government on September 20.

Some Labour MPs were yesterday privately canvassing leadership options, even at this late stage.

But they believe Labour would be even more severely punished by such an outward sign of panic.    Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

The Cunliffe wants to remain as leader after election, citing Clark precedent

I have been picking up this talk all week, from my Labour sources.

That The Cunliffe believes and is working towards retaining 60% support of caucus to keep the leadership even if Labour suffers a humiliating defeat under his leadership.

This discussed in Claire Trevett’s revealing article in the Herald in The Cunliffe.

[The] Cunliffe says he intends to stay on if Labour is in Opposition after the election when he faces a confidence vote. His supporters agree – Tizard points to Helen Clark staying on after losing in 1996. But some former ministers say Cunliffe’s situation is different. Clark had a strong core of experienced supporters behind her, ready and able to keep caucus in line. Many of Cunliffe’s supporters are relatively new to Parliament or junior other than Nanaia Mahuta and Sue Moroney. Cunliffe names his ‘kitchen cabinet’ – the group he calls on when there is a sticky matter at hand – as David Parker, Grant Robertson and “the venerable and formidable” Annette King. None were Cunliffe supporters in the past.

This is all The CUnliffe is focussing on at the moment…oh that and skiing…as he seeks to shore up his leadership ambitions going forward.

Labour have abandoned any pretense of achieving 40% in this election and even 35%, instead The Cunliffe is now talking about being happy at or around 30%.

That is no position to attempt to pretend you can lead a government, when you can’t even command a third of the population to your way of thinking.

David Cunliffe though is seriously deluded if he thinks that he has the support that Clark had in attempting a two election strategy to gain the premiership. For a start he doesn’t have the leadership skills, and never will, that Clark had. Then there is his inherent laziness and poor planning. The Cunliffe is a classic type of person that resides in any large organisation…a shadow dweller who leaps into prominence when wins are on offer, or to claim a key role in a victory of some sort.    Read more »

It’s all a matter of trust. Or soundbite politics. Or something… #votepositive… maybe

DC:  Hey guys!  Let’s launch THE flagship policy of the election during my Congress keynote speech ok?   Read more »