Helen Clark

Knock me down with a feather, Tracy Watkins agrees with John Key

Tracy Watkins agrees with John Key.

She thinks the the organisers of Te Tii marae are “mickey mouse” as well.

John Key launched National’s third term in office with a plan to craft his legacy by changing the flag. Would a more lasting legacy be gifting us a national day free of acrimony that everyone can celebrate?

After a week of will-he won’t-he politics, Key’s decision to turn his back on Te Tii marae will probably come as a relief to Kiwis who have spent much of the last week rolling their eyes at the usual threats of protest and conflict that accompany our only national day each year.

The Prime Minister’s description of the to-ing and fro-ing over whether he should be welcomed onto the marae as “mickey mouse” was as on the money as it was overdue. The row has exposed the same egos, tribal divisions and personality clashes that have marred Waitangi Day for years.

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Poor Helen, the Aussies look like they might drop support for her bid to be boss of the UN

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The Aussies look like they are changing their mind in their support of Helen Clark for the replacement of Ban Ki Moon.

Speculation that Australian support for any Helen Clark bid for the top United Nations job could be overturned comes amidst jostling by potential candidates, Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer says.

Malcolm Turnbull’s Australian cabinet may overturn a commitment given by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to back Helen Clark for Secretary General of the United Nations if she becomes a candidate, according to The Australian newspaper.

The paper revealed that Mr Abbott and Prime Minister John Key committed in letters to conduct a joint strategy to promote Ms Clark as the successor to Ban Ki-Moon whose term ends at the end of this year.

But that commitment looks set to be compromised by two factors: Mr Abbott did not consult his Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, before giving the undertaking to Mr Key.

And former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has made it known he is interested in the job.

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Labour’s leaders on the TPPA

Arts, lifestyle and travel blogger David Farrar is blogging like he used to.

The frigid polar air has done him wonders.

Last night he posted this image:

labourtpp Read more »

Fact: Waitingi Day grandstanding by Ngapuhi has changed nothing

Divided Ngāpuhi leaders will gather next week to decide if the Government will be blocked from going on to Te Tii Marae on Waitangi Day.

Last week, iwi kaumatua Kingi Taurua threatened to block the Government from Waitangi’s only marae if it signed the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

But Mr Taurua says not everyone agrees with his stance.

“The idea is we need to talk to the tribe, bring the tribe together, and see if we can come to some common agreement,” he says. “There are some who think the Prime Minister should come on and there are some who say no. The whole idea of the hui is I want to get a consensus.”

Mr Taurua says he won’t be changing his mind, despite opposition from some iwi leaders.

“I will be there and I will be on the other side if they want the Prime Minister to come on,” he says. “There’s a possibility that I will be with the protest group who will try and stop them from coming on. I am not going to change my stance.

“What do they want to talk to the Prime Minister for? And that’s the message I’m trying to get across to the rest of the tribe, because the horse has already bolted and I don’t see any reason why we should talk, there’s nothing to talk about.”

Here’s an idea: the government should simply say “we won’t go where we’re not wanted”, and instead join any of the positive Waitangi celebrations around the country.  Places that aren’t captured by the bitter and twisted handful of Ngapuhi “elders” and their feral brood. Read more »

And why wouldn’t he? There is no serious threat from Labour to stop Key getting his 4th term

John Key has said he intends standing again in the 2017 election, and why wouldn’t he?

Labour certainly haven’t got much chance (around 36%), as we found out – in our January edition of INCITE: Politics – from David Farrar.

The Prime Minister is launching into 2016 with plans to stand for an historic fourth term.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Weekend Herald about the year ahead, John Key confirmed his intention to fight another election and remain in office. “My stock standard position has been that I intend to stay for as long as I think I can add value and the party wants me,” he said.

“That’s my position. It’s not something where I’ve gone away and actively considered but that is my position at the moment.”

There are three goals that John Key has his heart set on.

The First is a knighthood. That is a given now as he completes three terms as Prime Minister. Convention dictates he be given the knighthood, but convention also dictates that it shouldn’t be bestowed by his own government, although Muldoon did that.

The Second is to win four terms and he is on track for that.

The third and most difficult achievement is to last as Prime Minister to hold the record as longest serving National Prime Minister. He has no chance of achieving the longest serving PM title.   Read more »

Is the TPPA a threat to Little and to Labour?

Chris Trotter believes that the TPPA may well be a threat to Andrew Little and to Labour and their very survival.

ANDREW LITTLE has failed to make Labour’s response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) a “leadership issue”. It’s a failure that threatens not only Mr Little’s credibility, but also that of the Labour Party itself. As matters relating to the TPPA unfold over the next few weeks, it will become increasingly clear that much more is at stake here than a trade agreement.

In part, Labour’s stance on the TPPA has become a matter of protecting legacies. Labour’s embrace of free markets in the mid-1980s necessarily embraced the dogma of free trade. The 1999-2008 Labour Government’s success in negotiating the China-NZ Free Trade Agreement (China’s first with a recognisably “Western” government) is held up as its most important achievement. Certainly, Helen Clark regards the China-NZ agreement as the jewel in the crown of her political legacy.

Just how important Labour’s free trade stance is to Ms Clark became clear on 1 October 2015, in New York, when she stood alongside the National Prime Minister, John Key, and joined him in singing the praises of the TPPA. This endorsement by Ms Clark struck the anti-TPPA movement like a torpedo amidships, leaving it dead in the water.

Few New Zealanders grasped the significance of Ms Clark’s intervention. As a senior United Nations’ official, she is bound by the strictest protocols from intervening in the slightest way in the domestic politics of a member state. That she was willing to run the risk of being accused of breaching that protocol speaks volumes about how much personal and political capital she has invested in Labour’s continued adherence to free trade policies.

If Ms Clark fails in her attempt to become the United Nation’s first woman Secretary General, her intervention in New Zealand’s domestic TPPA debate may well turn out to be one of the deciding factors.

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Rodney Hide gives Helen Clark a good kicking

Some days I do miss Rodney Hide’s intelligent debate, especially when he is off his personal crusades and kicking the crap out of socialists.

He gave Helen Clark a good kicking in the NBR over her COP21 comments.

Such is the Left’s conceit that it thinks it can dial up economic growth as a policy decision and not only hit a target but specify the features of the growth.

The most recent egregious example is from the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, our very own Helen Clark. (See here)

Winging her way to Paris to battle climate, she took the trouble to provide a bit of uplift for the rest of us toiling away to feed and house our families.

Her hope for Paris was “to put our economies and societies on a path to green, risk-informed, and inclusive growth, and move us all toward a zero-carbon, sustainable future.”

Ms Clark assumes world leaders can decide growth by type and size and resorts to nonsensical political babble by way of explanation.

What is a sustainable future compared to one that isn’t? Who exactly is pushing for an unsustainable future? Clearly, everything to date has been sustainable – we are still here. And we did that without Paris.

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It’s OK when the left do it – Labour Leader version

via Herald Sun

via Herald Sun

Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten has been forced to apologise after he was caught on camera using his phone while driving.

The opposition leader was filmed using his phone while driving at 40kmh on Melbourne’s Kings Way in a white 4WD.

The video was taken on August 23 but has only just been made public.

Shorten apologised for the indiscretion on Thursday night.

“Like most drivers, I always try to do the right thing,” he said.

“But there’s no doubt that using your phone while driving is the wrong thing to do. There’s no excuse for it. I shouldn’t have done it and won’t do it again.” …

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Perhaps she could stop breathing to assist the cause

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Helen Clark has decided that she must share her pearls of wisdom on a zero-carbon Planet.

Soon I will be making my way to the Paris Climate Conference where it is hoped that a new global climate change agreement will be concluded. The Paris Agreement has the potential to put our economies and societies on a path to green, risk-informed, and inclusive growth, and move us all towards a zero-carbon, sustainable future. The world must seize this opportunity.

The main purpose of the climate conference, called COP21, is to agree on a comprehensive deal which places all countries on the same long-term development path. This bears repeating: Paris itself will not solve climate change. Instead, Paris will lay out the pathway towards that ultimate goal, the course we need to stay on in the years and decades to come.   Read more »

Trotter: Andrew Little’s deck of cards

Chris Trotter writes about the problems with Labour and their candidate selection issues.

IT’S LIKE RESHUFFLING a deck of cards with all the face cards missing. No matter how often Andrew Little shuffles and cuts, cuts and shuffles, he’s never going to deal himself a winning hand. Labour’s failure to develop a simple and democratic method of selecting electorate candidates and drawing up its Party List has, finally, rendered it all but unelectable.

To become a Labour MP in 2015 one must first negotiate a multitude of competing interest groups: Women, Maori, Unions, Youth, the Rainbow Council. This is every bit as difficult as it sounds, with numerous compromises and trade-offs to be made all along the way.

Getting through this labyrinth leaves Labour’s candidates with an extremely detailed picture of the Left’s ideological landscape, but only the sketchiest notion of the world in which 95 percent of New Zealanders go about their daily lives.

It’s a process that also puts a lot of potentially excellent Labour candidates off. Someone confident in their understanding of industry, agriculture, science, or (God forbid!) running a business, rightly feels affronted at the prospect of being figuratively pinched, poked and prodded by people whose experience of the world is often extremely limited and narrow.

Not surprisingly, narrow and limited candidates have a head start!

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