Don Brash

Total and utter horseshit from ACT

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.

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What is rule number 1 in politics John?

Leadership should be a truism. You are the leader because there is no other alternative.

When it no longer become s a truism then your leadership is in question. It may be still solid, but questions are now being asked.

And when those questions are asked you get forced into breaking Rule Number 1 in politics.

Prime Minister John Key has scotched speculation he could stand down this term, telling National Party faithful in Northland that he is just as determined to lead National in 2017 as he was in 2008.

Mr Key’s speech to National’s Northland regional conference at Waitangi was his first on home soil after a torrid fortnight dominated by questions about his pulling a waitress’ ponytail.

He avoided directly referring to that incident in his speech but made it clear he did not intend to quit: “I am just as committed today to leading National to victory at the next election as I was when first taking up the role as your leader in November 2006.”

If John Key is having to explain to his members that he is definitely sticking around then there are problems.   Read more »

Hooton: Andrew Little sides with terrorists

Matthew Hooton points out the obvious…that Andrew Little has sided himself and Labour with head-hacking terrorists.

As Mr Minto and his comrades argued at the time, it would not do to claim apartheid-era South Africa was a long way away, that what happened there didn’t affect us and that it would be dangerous to put oneself in harm’s way against the Red Squad.  They argued that to go to a game was to tacitly support the South African regime even if one claimed to oppose apartheid.  For those young enough, fit enough and brave enough (like Mr Minto and Murray McCully, now John Key’s foreign minister) it was seen as an important withdrawal of consent to be bloodied by Ross Meurant’s PR24s.

For his efforts, Mr Minto was labelled a “principled fanatic” by the SIS. With his background as a bland, middle-of-the-road union bureaucrat, no one will ever use that noun to describe Andrew Little. And now, after his despicable conduct over the training mission to Iraq, no one will ever use the adjective to describe him either.

Under Mr Minto’s formula, it is not enough for the Labour leader to say ISIS is evil but a long way away, nothing to do with us and too dangerous to oppose anyway.  His failure to support even the minimal contribution Mr Key has authorised – falling well short of what the Iraqi government sought – is to tacitly support religious barbarians so extreme that even Al-Qaeda has distanced itself from them.  Were he a Michael Joseph Savage, a Peter Fraser or even a Helen Clark, instead of bleating that Mr Key’s decision might put New Zealanders at risk, he would instead be attacking the prime minister’s minimalist response as cowardice.

Mr Little had a choice to stand beside Mr Key or Mohammed Emwazi, Jihadi John.  He chose the latter.

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Don Brash’s Orewa speech the media wouldn’t report

The other day Don Brash and Gareth Morgan fronted at Orewa. Contrary to the media reports it wasn’t actually the Orewa Rotary Club but only its premises that was used.

The media reported extensively the nonsense that Gareth Morgan spouted but barely mentioned what Don Brash had to say.

So I called up Don and asked if I could publish his speech.


NOTES FOR REPLYING TO GARETH MORGAN, 4 FEBRUARY 2015

Thanks for inviting me here today, and for the opportunity to comment on what Gareth has said. I didn’t see the speech in advance of course, so these comments are just immediate reactions based partly on what Gareth said a few days ago in a speech to a Ngapuhi audience.

Let me say first that there are some of Gareth’s views with which I agree. He said in his Ngapuhi speech that he is opposed to separate Maori electorates, Maori wards (and by implication the Maori Statutory Board in Auckland) and quotas for Maori in educational institutions. Granting any group special rights is contrary to Article 3 of the Treaty he said, and I totally agree with that.

It’s also patronising, and implies that Maori aren’t quite competent enough to have their voices heard in the political arena without a special leg up. Of course that is nonsense: when I was in Parliament, there were 21 Maori in Parliament – roughly the same percentage of Members of Parliament as Maori are in the wider population – only seven of them elected in the Maori electorates. The other 14 were elected in general constituencies or were placed in a winnable position on a party’s list.

Similarly in Auckland: the first election of councillors after the super-city was established in 2010 saw three people of Maori descent elected – not in Maori wards but on their own merits – and again three Maori out of a total of 20 councillors meant that Maori on the Council were in roughly the same proportion as Maori in the general population.

But as explained in his Ngapuhi speech his basic position seems to be that –

“.. the Treaty is whatever a reasonable person’s view of the following four taken together leads them to – not any one taken in isolation, but all taken together:

  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Te Tiriti O Waitangi
  • Principles of the Treaty
  • Post-1975 Consensus on the Treaty.”

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Only 19 turn up to listen to the The Great Whinger

Gareth Morgan has been banging on for weeks about his ‘solutions’ to race relations in this country.

After slagging off Don Brash publicly he fronted up at Orewa yesterday and just 19 others bothered to come listen to the old fool…there were more media than there were Rotary Club members.

The views that propelled the National Party close to government a decade ago were “harsh and intolerant,” philanthropist Dr Gareth Morgan told a small audience in Orewa today.

The man who gave those views – Dr Don Brash – sat in the audience to hear his famous 2004 speech described as being a “harsh and intolerant view that is intolerant of anyone who is different”.

“We still have a faction in our midst who see admitting culpability… is giving Maori the upper hand. This section of the community is clearly filled with fear.”

As Treaty of Waitangi celebrations began in the North, the two Pakeha men attempted to solve the problems of the past 175 years in front of small audience of people largely in the same age range. A total of 19 people gathered to hear the pair speak -and almost the same number of media representatives.  

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He could form the Whinger Party with Eleanor Catton

The problem with moaning liberal elite luvvies and socialist “entrepreneurs” is that they like to hear the sound of their own voice.

Last week it was Eleanor Catton bleating on about how un-loved she is and assisting us all to now why.

This week we have Gareth Morgan having another rant.

Of course he’d never want to test his never-ending opinions on almost everything with the voting public would he?

Gareth Morgan is heading to Orewa to confront what he calls the “ignorance of Brash-think”.

The venue and name are a nod to former National Party leader Don Brash, whose 2004 speech in the town led to a heated period of debate about the Treaty of Waitangi.

Dr Morgan is stepping into those uncertain waters tomorrow when he speaks to the Orewa Rotary Club.

He said he had deliberately chosen to speak at Orewa because it was where Dr Brash gave “one of the most damaging speeches ever made in terms of Treaty relations”.

“It’s exactly the cohort I’ve been talking about as having a high level of ignorance on Treaty matters.”

He says there was a hotbed of ignorance which needed to be confronted because of the need for an ongoing relationship with Maori after all Treaty of Waitangi settlements are finished.

“There are still large tracts of people who indulge in Brash-think on this topic. I want to expose that.”

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Guest Post – Phil Hayward on Auckland and the RMA reforms

by Phil Hayward

The Auckland Unitary Plan Submission process is underway and we should soon know whether it is a charade with outcomes pre-determined and impervious to evidence. The usual suspects are also claiming once again to be able to “debunk” the latest Demographia Report on housing affordability, and even the government is embarrassed over the dismal ineffectiveness of its trumpeted “Housing Accords”.

My previous essays on this forum could usefully be read or re-read now by anyone interested in this subject.

The prevalent mythology is that Auckland already sprawls too much at low density, already has built too many roads (and that is why it is congested), is letting the floodgates re-open too much towards more new sprawl and not enough new intensification (60% of growth to be via intensification is the plan), the ramp-up in building now is major, and intensification will provide for affordability.

In fact, Auckland is around 3 times as dense as Boston, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville and dozens of other US cities; is the second densest city in the Anglo New World after Toronto (pop. 6 million); is one of the densest first world urban areas of only 1 million people; is close to Amsterdam’s density and is denser than Lyon, Marseille, the Ruhr Valley and many urban areas in France and Germany, especially those with around 1 million people or less.

We have never actually had US style low density sprawl; very little of our suburban development was ever even ¼ acre sections. That always was a “dream” for most, and now nearly every such section has already had townhouses built on what was the backyard. In the USA, suburbs are common with minimum lot size mandates of 1 acre to 4 acres.  

Michael Bassett and Luke Malpass (NZ Initiative) “Priced Out: How NZ Lost its Housing Affordability” (2012) show that NZ and Auckland were during the period from the 1960’s to the 1980’s, building as many as twice as many new dwellings as now. Most of that was greenfields suburban development, albeit at considerably higher density than US-style sprawl. We now have congestion problems because there was inadequate planning of road capacity, not because we did the roads we did.

I have estimated from TomTom Traffic index data and Google Earth imagery, that Auckland has 1/3 the highway lane miles and 1/5 the arterial lane miles of Indianapolis, which has a similar population. Indianapolis in the TomTom Traffic Index, scores a congestion delay of 15 minutes per 1 hour of driving at peak (other comparable US cities are similar) versus Auckland’s 45 minutes. Of course its house price median multiple happens to be stable at around 3 as well, in spite of being truly low density, unlike Auckland.   Read more »

Can Phil Goff Raise Enough Money to Win a Mayoral Campaign?

Phil-Goff-clown-photo

Phil Goff is being talked up as the next mayor of Auckland.

The problem for Phil and his booster is that he is dead set useless at fundraising.

Despite spending most of his life in Parliament he has never built a donor base, and he does not have a fundraiser who can bring the money in to fund a campaign.

To run an effective mayor campaign a candidate either needs a weak opponent or about $800,000.  Read more »

Did anyone hear anything about Andrew “Who?” Little?

On Friday we asked readers to listen out for any unprompted mentions of Andrew “Who?” Little over the weekend.

Yesterday we asked for comments about whether anyone had heard his name come up in conversation over the weekend. The results were resounding. Almost no one is talking about Labour’s new leader, and those that are have been underwhelmed.

Labour seem to have selected a grey and boring leader to go next to their previous grey and boring leaders. New Zealand will not start listening to Labour until they get a leader who is actually interesting.

Note this is not just a Labour problem.

When National had Bill English as leader he was more grey and more boring than Labour, and he managed to totally tank National’s vote in the election.    Read more »

It’s time for a chat

sycophant-3I note in the comments today in the flag issue that some commenters think I am attacking JohnKey by suggesting his $30 million campaign to change the flag is wrong.

Let me tell you something dear readers…I am sick of this sort of silly accusation that somehow I am against John Key.

I am not nor will ever be in the pay of the National party. I am not even a member.

If you come to this site for a party political broadcast on behalf of the National party, or in the belief that I should operate this site in blind obeisance to St. John Key then you are in the wrong place.

I was brought up surrounded by politicians from Rob Muldoon, to Jim McLay, to Jim Bolger, to Winston Peters, to Jenny Shipley , to Bill English to Don Brash and yes to John Key….plus many supporting characters.

I have witnessed the rise and fall of many politicians. I even helped draft the caucus resolution to chuck Winston Peters from the caucus one windy, rainy Wellington night. They are gone and I am still here.

The one thing that I was brought up with was a healthy disrespect for politicians, and that healthy disrespect was encouraged and nurtured by my mother.

I watched her regularly destroy a politicians argument with reason and logic. She never cared what their position was and never shirked from telling them when they were wrong.

I learned from her that it was ok to go against the ideas and wishes of a party leader. I watched her tell off Muldoon, remonstrate with Aussie Malcolm, mock Jim Bolger and quietly whisper to Jenny Shipley…plus many others.

It is not sacrilege to oppose the flag debate…it is after all a debate…just because I am not on the side of St. John key doesn’t mean I am on the side of evil. I have simply chosen a side of a debate. David Farrar has chosen another side, it doesn’t mean we aren’t friends.

In a vibrant democracy sycophancy must be discouraged, instead reasoned and logical debate must be pursued.

John Key is not infallible, this might be news to some of you, but he isn’t. He actually does make mistakes, and you know what people are allowed to point those out.   Read more »