One of New Zealand’s most secretive military organisations has opened its high-security doors for a 93-year-old woman.
Tonight, it was a meeting of war heroes when New Zealand’s Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata kissed 93-year-old Pippa Doyle, one of the great if unknown secret agents of World War II.
Apiata was in the audience as Pippa â€“ otherwise known as Phyllis Latour Doyle â€“ received France’s highest decoration: the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, the Legion of Honour (knight class).
It is fast becoming time raise the prospect that Local Government is an outdated form of bureaucracy and should be dissolved in favour of simple asset management organisations that deal with infrastructure.
Local Government was fine 80 years ago and perhaps it is sufficient to argue that it was fine in the 80’s when typewritten letters were still in use. But as technology has advanced so have the manners in which we behave. Business is now able to remotely operate in all parts of the world with a single head office creating huge efficiencies and savings in cost.
For a country of four million people and five major cities the question has to be asked as to why we have 30 odd local government jurisdictions. All of which are repeating the same processes and tasks albeit rather poorly.
The amalgamation of Auckland has raised the spectre that perhaps Local Government is simply too inefficient and consumed with inward navel gazing whilst dreaming wistfullyÂ of utopian paradises. Auckland Council is a dysfunctional and toxic environment that is bloated, heavily in debt and unable to perform its functions and duties.
Rather than labour through the pain of birthing even more of these monstrosities perhaps its time to suggest that we don’t need Local Government at all.
Rather what we need is simple municipal organisations that are responsible for and manage infrastructure. In Auckland Watercare Services is an excellent example of the structure implied. Its responsibility is to manage water and sewerage infrastructure. Pretty easy. Auckland Transport – whilst somewhat confused about what it does, can easily deal with roads and trains and buses.
And one to manage parks.Â Read more »
Fiji’s new democratically elected government has sat in parliament for the first time, and the Speaker has been elected.
The new Fiji parliament is in the old renovated parliament buildings, it has had a full makeover in preparation for the return to democracy. Astonishing that none of the media in New Zealand and people like David Farrar were constantly saying the government had no intention of holding elections and returning to democracy, when anyone who bothered to go to Fiji could see for themselves all the preparations for the return, like the makeover of the Old Parliament buildings.
SODELPA even tried to use the renovations to denigrate the PM by stating the dome on the clock tower was signifying that Fiji was to become a Islamic nation governed by Sharia law, despite the fact the dome has always been there and was only more visible after a good water blast and cleaning job.
Dr Jiko Luveni, the former Minister for Women in the Bainimarama Government was nominated and appointed today as the Speaker to the House of Parliament.
If brains were dynamiteÂ Ro Teimumu Kepa wouldn’t have enough to blow her nose.
Fiji’s main opposition party has pledged to move a motion to launch a parliamentary inquiry into last week’s election.
Opposition parties claim they have evidence of irregularities, including ballot box tampering, broken seals and extra materials in boxes.
The leader of the Sodelpa party, Ro Teimumu Kepa, says a bipartisan, independent parliamentary inquiry needs to be launched into aspects of the election, where the public can be given the opportunity to come forward and give evidence.
“This will be the first test of transparency and accountability for the Bainimarma government. If their victory is legitimate then they have nothing to fear from such an inquiry.”
Ro Teimumu Kepa says the evidence is being collated into a report for the National Executive Committee.
A preliminary report by the multinational observer group has said the elections were credible.
Fiji has had the election that was promised, it was declared free and fair by international observers but still New Zealand continues to insult Fiji via MFaT.
Frank Bainimarama has been sworn in after being democratically elected and still MFaT is meddling with advisories.
On MFaT’s Safe Travel website they state:
And these words of warning:
Some government departments and statutory authorities are still headed by ex-military personnel.Â The government also has a degree of influence over the judiciary and some media outlets remain cautious about reporting anti-government views.
The security situation in Fiji is currently stable, however the elections and process of formation of a new government may result in increased political tensions. New Zealand citizens throughout Fiji are advised to be security conscious at all times and to avoid any demonstrations, large gatherings and areas of military activity.
What a load of horse shit. Frankly that is insulting.Â Read more »
The election is finally over in Fiji and Fiji First won 32 out of 50 seats, with nearly 60% of the vote.
Fiji’s former military ruler was sworn in as prime minister after winning 60 percent of the vote in the South Pacific nation’s first elections since he seized power eight years ago.
Fiji, a tropical archipelago about 3,200 km (2,000 miles) east of Australia, has suffered four coups since 1987, the latest in 2006 led by former army chief Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama, whose Fiji First Party will hold a wide majority 32 of the 50 seats in the new parliament.
Wednesday’s election was broadly praised by a 92-member international observer group, despite opposition accusations of fraud and allegations the regime had used its control of state media to boost Bainimarama’s campaign and ignore opponents.
“I will serve the country as the prime minister of all Fijians,” Bainimarama told Reuters following a swearing-in ceremony at Government House in the capital, Suva.
The election has been closely watched by neighbours Australia and New Zealand, the region’s economic and diplomatic power houses, eager to welcome the country back to the fold of normal relations after eight years of isolation.
Some diplomats I spoke to in Fiji were hoping there would be a thaw in relations with NZ.
That is unlikely.
Fijians are very upset over the way they have been treated by the NZ and Australian governments.
Fiji has made new friends now….ones we let in the door with our intransigence.
The country now has emphatically rejected the racism of the past, and has embarked on a new beginning.
This election was billed as the social media election by Â many pundits, and some political parties.
The Internet party in particular banked their success on social media.
Kim Dotcom and his little band of failures including Callum Valentine, a supposed social media genius, all told us that their much vaunted apps would secure them victory.
They also told us that their masses of Facebook likes and Twitter followers were going to get them over the line.
They were wrong.
Matthew Beveridge even had an entire blog devoted to analysing and writing about the social media election. He was wrong too.
Matthew has written a blog post about the effects of social media, where he finally cottons on to what I have been saying for a very long time.
I am a huge fan of social media. I love how it allows candidates, MPs and parties to talk directly to voters. I love how it allows people, who would never otherwise meet, to interact with each other and to learn from each other. But it has its limitations. It is very much a self selecting environment. It is incredibly easy to end up with a timeline that is nothing but an echo chamber.
For a number of people on the left, and even some parties on the left. I have a feel this is what has happened. They have seen all the talk about how it is time to change the government. About how the media is biased. How about dirty politics will resonate with the electorate. As well as about many other issues. But they forget that social media in general, and Twitter in particular, are not accurate representations of the rest of the electorate. I blogged earlier about how when dirty politics was being talked about on Twitter, it wasnâ€™t really connecting with the electorate. The articles that were being read on TVNZ, Herald and Stuff were not the ones about dirty politics. They were about the every day things that mattered to, or interested, average voters.
While I was in Fiji the foreign media, including NZ media were complaining about “censorship of media by the regime”.
It was a constant low grade whine for 3 days….the duration of the media blackout on reporting the election.
The refrain back in NZ by idiots like David Farrar and Barry Soper was the same. “Media need to be free to report”, “this is an outrageous restriction on media freedoms.”..all calls made by various media, and commentators like the idiot from Amnesty International.
Of course they all forgot that we have a media blackout in New Zealand too, it is just that ours is only one day.
Under the Electoral Act, it is an offence to influence a voter in any way on polling day.
This covers who they should or shouldn’t vote for and statements which might influence a person to abstain from voting.
Political parties and the media are included in this, meaning news outlets must not run stories which are likely to influence voters.
Political coverage can start again when voting closes at 7pm.
The left wing in New Zealand, ably assisted by a biased media have constantly harped on about Fiji holding elections, returning to democracy and doubting that Frank Bainimarama would even hold elections.
Well he has, they were free and fair and he won!
So what do they now say?
Malcolm Harbrow shows just exactly what the left wing actually thinks about democracy:
Fijians went to the polls yesterday in the first democratic elections in eight years. And with slightly more than half the ballots counted, it looks like they’ve given dictator Voreqe Bainimarama a clear majority. There’s been no allegations of fraud, so it looks like the result is the clear will of the Fijian people.
I’m appalled. I thought Fijians were better than that. Bainimarama seized power at gunpoint, silenced the media, and used intimidation, beatings and torture to retain power. And Fijians voted for him? I guess you get the government you deserve…
Fiji voted yesterday.
It was a clear and beautiful day. The streets were quiet except around the polling stations, where a positive buzz wasÂ felt as people voted.
There were concerns on Tuesday night about thuggery and intimidation but the Police were out in force, and the streets of Suva were very peaceful, even at 2:00am when I walked back to my hotel.
At that point last night Fiji First and Bainimarama were in front comfortably with more than 15% of the vote counted.
Overnight they have advanced their vote to over 60%. Â Read more »