Don Brash

Don Brash attracts near-universal derision just suggesting One Law for All

Karl du Fresne is somewhat taken aback by the cross spectrum venom on display

It’s hard to recall a more concerted gang-up against a public figure than the one that followed last week’s launch of former National Party leader Don Brash’s Hobson’s Pledge movement, which wants an end to race-based preference.

The mild-mannered Brash is no stranger to public kickings, but even he must have been taken aback by the sheer venom of the backlash.

Maori broadcaster Willie Jackson said he was crazy. Labour leader Andrew Little called him racist (now that’s original). Prime minister John Key, Brash’s successor as National leader, belittled him by saying he sounded like a broken record.

Almost without exception, the media reaction was contemptuous. One political editor dismissed Brash as a jack-in-the-box – “wind him up and out he pops, shouting ‘boo’ over race relations”.

Columnist Toby Manhire suggested Brash and his supporters should start a colony on Mars. Hone Harawira labelled him a redneck – the default option for Maori activists stumped for a proper argument.

Media interviewers, including Radio New Zealand’s Mihingarangi Forbes and TV3’s Lisa Owen, were openly hostile. There was no pretence of the journalistic neutrality once required of broadcasters. No surprises there.

It is remarkable that wanting a non-apartheid solution to New Zealand legislation can produce that much upset.   Read more »

Brash v Fox

Newshub via NBR

Newshub via NBR

 

Outspoken former National Party leader Don Brash has gone head to head with Māori MP Lousia Wall over his latest attack on perceived preferential treatment for Māori.

He told The Nation Māori chiefs signed away their right for sovereignty more than a century ago and it’s about time the Government realised it.

“There can be no basis for special privileges for any race, no basis for government funding based on race,” Dr Brash said back in 2004, when he was National Party leader. Read more »

Brash visits a charter school and is “blown away”

Not so long ago I visited South Auckland Middle School, one of two partnership schools with a total enrolment of 280 operated by the not-for-profit Villa Education Trust.

Because I had read of President Obama’s recognition of the benefit which partnership schools have for disadvantaged Afro-American kids, I was predisposed to like what I saw.

At the same time, I had heard of the strong opposition to such schools on the part of the teacher unions, and I assumed that at least part of their opposition was motivated by genuine concern for the effect of such schools on the children who attend them.

If that opposition is indeed based on a genuine concern for the children, they should visit South Auckland Middle School with an open mind.

I was blown away by what I found.

Yes, the school is effectively bulk-funded, in principle enabling the school to employ unregistered or unqualified teachers. In reality, all their teachers are fully registered and fully qualified. Classes are limited in size to 15.

The school provides a school uniform and all basic stationery without charge, and no fees or “donations” are charged.

Erm.  Question:  How can they have smaller class sizes, registered teachers, school supplied uniforms and no need to “donate” anything.  Another question:  How are state-run schools not able to do this?   Read more »

Former Reserve Bank Governor: Auckland house prices will crash

What goes up, must come down. Don Brash tells us what we all know, but politicians dare not speak:

Dr Don Brash says house prices in Auckland have to fall if they are to get back to affordable levels but politicians of both the left and right are terrified of saying so.

“I cannot see how indefinitely we can continue in cloud cuckoo land. That’s where we are now.”

Brash said it was impossible to go from the current situation in which Auckland median house prices were 10 times the median household income to a more affordable ratio of three or five without a fall in prices.

“Politicians on the right and left are terrified of spelling out the implications of that.”

Brash, a former Reserve Bank Governor and a former National Party leader, said the house prices in Auckland were a huge problem, both economically and socially.

“People on average wages in Auckland simply cannot remotely aspire to own a house,” he said.

“That is a very damaging situation socially – overcrowding, health problems, people not having enough income after rent or mortgage interests are paid to keep body and soul together.”

And yet it has its parallels in other cities around the world where land supply has been artificially curtailed. Sydney, Toronto and even Queenstown are examples of this. You can’t escape the supply-demand curve.  Read more »

Winston and Don ride against Maori preferential treatment in the RMA reforms

Don Brash and Winston Peters have joined forces, unofficially, opposing Maori preferential treatment in the RMA reforms.

Brash, best known for his controversial Orewa speech in 2004 arguing against special status for Maori, told the committee that the National Party had always accepted fundamental reforms to the RMA were needed.

“If I was asked what single measure the Government could take to raise living standards in New Zealand, I would without hesitation answer, ‘Reform the RMA’.”

However, the proposed legislation was “pitifully limited” and would do little to resolve the existing problems, Brash said.

“By widespread consent, these reforms barely scratch the surface of what is needed.”

In addition, the “extremely modest” changes had been “bought at the cost of greatly extending the rights of those with a Maori ancestor to have a preferential involvement in the decision-making process”.

The proposed legislation would vastly extend the preferential treatment already offered to Maori in the RMA process through the iwi agreements, Brash said.

“This is surely a recipe for further delay, for corruption, and for anger on behalf of the rest of the community…

“It is incomprehensible to me how a National Party-led government could propose a bill which violates the very principle of democratic governance.”

Read more »

Man with PhD in Dirty Politics tells John Palino off for dirty politics

Phil-Goff-clown-photo

Phil Goff is at his sanctimonious and hypocritical best.

He has told off John Palino and warned him about dirty politics.

Auckland mayoral hopeful Phil Goff has told fellow candidate John Palino he should not engage in dirty politics.

Mr Palino launched his second bid for the mayoralty yesterday, and after a brief speech to supporters, engaged in a heated question and answer session with nearly a dozen media.

[…]   Read more »

INCITE: Politics Summer Edition released

pablo (5)

Our latest edition of INCITE: Politics has been released. It will be in subscribers’ inboxes as you read this.

In this month’s edition we have contributions from Chris Trotter, Don Brash, David Farrar and Jock Anderson, as well as the usual contributions from Simon Lusk and myself.

  • Chris Trotter asks a very hard question
  • David Farrar provides some long-term predictions
  • Don Brash investigates Auckland’s affordable housing issue
  • Jock Anderson discusses a very interesting case before the courts

Read more »

Summer Edition of INCITE: Politics almost ready

INCITE

We are just putting the final touches to the Summer Edition of INCITE: Politics.

Our designer and proofer was enjoying a much-earned holiday this weekend but it should be ready for delivery later tonight or tomorrow morning.

In this month’s edition we have contributions from Chris Trotter, Don Brash, David Farrar and Jock Anderson, as well as the usual contributions from Simon Lusk and myself.

  • Chris Trotter asks a very hard question
  • David Farrar provides some long-term predictions
  • Don Brash investigates Auckland’s affordable housing issue
  • Jock Anderson discusses a very interesting case before the courts

Read more »

Summer Edition of “INCITE: Politics” nearly completed

INCITE

We are just finalising copy for the Summer Edition of INCITE: Politics and it will be ready shortly for dissemination to subscribers.

In this month’s edition we have contributions from Chris Trotter, Don Brash, David Farrar and Jock Anderson, as well as the usual contributions from Simon Lusk and myself.

We will also be looking at potential leadership options, what Labour can do about their dead wood and John Key’s not-so-secret strategy that is bleeding resources and support from Labour.   Read more »

Totally awesome

There are few people in politics who are truly awesome.

Most people involved are slimy weasels and very few wear their hearts on their sleeves.

One of Tony Abbott’s staff is one of those people.

One of the first words Malcolm Turnbull heard after being named Australia’s 29th Prime Minister on Monday night was a four-letter expletive, not fit for publication, hurled by one of Tony Abbott’s junior staffers.

The story of Richard Dowdy’s spill night insult has already become legend in Coalition staffer circles.

Mr Dowdy has been a staffer for Mr Abbott since late 2009, when the Member for Warringah knifed Malcolm Turnbull for the Liberal Party leadership.    Read more »