Louise Upston

Louise Upston, Michele A’Court and Feminsism – A reader’s view


A reader emails about Michele A’Court’s column and Louise Upston’s comments regarding feminism. It is fair to say she is extremely annoyed.

Dear Cam,

I am not usually one to get angry at things I read in the paper. Nor am I a feminist. At least, not a feminist in the modern sense of the word.

Having read Michele A’Court’s recent article regarding Women’s Affairs Minister Louise Upston’s recent statements about her not branding herself a feminist, I was surprised to say the least at her supposedly ‘feminist’ interpretation of the Minister’s speech. I cannot for the life of me reconcile in my head what I hold to be true feminism and the drivel she spouted; and it was the final straw.

Let me clarify some things. I am, indeed, a woman. I may be young, at 22, but I do pay attention to world events and take the time to formulate my own opinions about our society. This is what I believe ‘feminism’ should be about: choice. A woman (in fact, any one) should have the right to choose what she would like to do with her life. She should be able to choose to perform in a beauty pageant without censure from others, and to feel good about herself in what she does; just as a woman should be allowed to choose to be a stay-at-home mother without such censure. I know personally I could not stay at home all day, but that does not mean that as a ‘career woman’ I should censure those who do make that choice. Just the same, I don’t think I would like to perform in a beauty pageant, but that does not mean I should hurl abuse at those women who do wish to participate and perhaps for them, it is their expression of themselves as a woman. When did feminism become reduced to a bunch of extremists censuring other women for doing what they want to do? Isn’t that what women in previous generations have fought against?  Read more »

Gee, I wonder who The Standard is supporting



The Standard has a special menu item just for Nanaia Mahuta…and when you click on it you get precisely one article, one written to announce her intention to be leader.

The reality of the challenge though is that mathematically if she survives the first round then she could actually go on to win.

Can you imagine the electablility of a party with a woman whose sole objective in life thus far has to been to find a big trough and slurp it up while also trying to spend copious amounts of time on leave.

If you thought David Parker’s domestic arrangement were creepy then wait until somebody works out what Nanaia Mahuta’s arrangements are.   Read more »

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

You would think Louise Upston would know better, but this is often the way with MPs after a few terms, they simply get out of touch and the entitlement mentality sinks in.

Often it is the smuggest of MPs that make the stupidest of mistakes. This week it was Gerry Brownlee who must not be liking MPs throwing his own words about how easy it is for top MPs to damage themselves back at him.

And now it is Louise Upston, National’s chief whip, who is thoroughly disliked in the caucus, creating the wrong sort of headlines.

Would you struggle to find a hotel room in Auckland or Christchurch for under $210 a night? Spare a thought for MPs who believe a $30 boost to their taxpayer-funded accommodation just won’t cover it.

The hard-done-by politicians are also asking for 30 free flights a year for their spouses, partners or children – on top of their at-least $150,000-a-year salaries.

A review of expenses by the Remuneration Authority, which sets MPs’ pay, is proposing the amount they are allowed to claim for hotel rooms while in Auckland and Christchurch on business be increased from $180 to $210. Outside of those cities it would rise from $160 to $190 a night.   Read more »

Parliaments Five Biggest Troughers

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

Just before easter MPs expense claims were released so no one would notice.

As expected Hone Harawira bludged the most, busy trying to secure funding for the Mana Party by arse kissing Kim Dotcom…problem is the big fella is out of cash…and nearly out of time.

Next in is Winston Peters, who’s elderly and bewildered fan club around the country demand he visits them so they remember who he is when they enter the voting booth.   Read more »

A proper whip

I can imagine Louise Upston doing this…but not Chris Hipkins.

Imagine if the snivelling little ginga trying that on with Shane Jones. Mallard could get away with it…I’m told his abuse of backbenchers is legendary…he will be regretting unleashing that sort of behaviour on David Cunliffe in the house repeatedly, regretting and hoping that Cunliffe doesn’t become leader. Once such incident was over stopping David Cunliffe tweeting while in the house. The expletives issued were heard by numerous MPs surrounding Cunliffe’s seat.

The next step is delivery. Or as it is experienced by backbench MPs, enforcement. A strong whips’ office is vital in tight votes. A Cabinet minister who served in both the Blair and Brown governments retells his first encounter with Labour whips. Newly elected, he was walking through the corridors of the House when he was accosted by one. He was pushed against the wall, his testicles grabbed and twisted sharply – and painfully. “Son, you’ve done nothing to annoy me. Yet. Just think what I’ll do if you cross me.” That is how you manage backbenchers.  Read more »

Sounds familiar?

Watching Labour completely stuff up the snap debate yesterday I was reminded of a scene from “In the Thick of It”….where Malcolm Tucker is facing an inquiry about leaks…

Read more »

Who is next in line for a Ministerial Promotion?

Hekia ParataThere are a number of MPs potentially in line to become a minister, and depending on how long it takes for John Key to work out that useless ministers need the arse there might be a few promotions next year.

David Carter’s coronation as speaker means that Nick Smith can be rehabilitated back into caucus after getting caught out lying about some sordid little personal details. That’s if someone doesn’t upset things and demonstrate to John Key his one seat majority is an one seat majority so he is pretty rooted if he tries to bully MPs who are willing to sit on the cross benches.

Nick is probably the most capable outside the ministry and having done time he could easily be rehabilitated into a difficult portfolio like Education.

The word in Wellington is that after Nick gets promoted Nikki Kaye is next in line. She has laid off the booze for long enough to be considered, though this would be a bold move as the rest of the back bench regard her as a vacuous airhead with no real world experience or particular talent except greasing those who make decisions. The one seat majority means passed over and pissed off MPs could cause Key trouble if he promotes Nikki.

Michael Woodhouse has been an effective whip although widely disrespected in Dunedin for spending too much time with his family and not enough working when he goes home. This blog is clear that it supports MPs making this kind of decision as they are parents first, and MPs second and this should not be held against Michael. National has a history of promoting whips so he is a reasonable bet.

Junior Whip Louise Upston may be promoted but it would be surprising to see her leapfrog the senior whip. Louise would be a safe pair of hands in any portfolio but would be an equally good senior whip if Michael is promoted.

Todd McClay and Sam Lotu-Iiga are also contenders and both have done well in their select committee roles. The chatter is not so much about them as it is about the top brass deciding to promote Nikki so they are probably outsiders.

Angry Bird

Angry Birds was Phil Goff’s favourite game during the election and now I think it should be the nickname for Trevor Mallard after his little outburst in the house last night. Obviously still smarting from his “Banks Spank” at question time he reacted quite irrationally.

Mallard plays this churlish little game and purposively mis-pronounces Jami-lee Ross’ name. He got pulled up by the Chairman last night and then chaos ensued as Jami-lee Ross stood and said he didn;t take offence at Angry Bird not remembering his name, he realises that Angry Bird has early onset demetia.

What you see next is 5 minutes of vein popping anger…looks like his anger management classes need to be retaken.

Of course Angry Bird forgets that he is 58 and clearly an older New Zealander, and hypocritically after just attacking Jami-lee Ross for disrespecting older New Zealanders sets about disrespecting John Banks who at 65 is older than Angry Bird.

Poor old Angry Bird…after sticking up for Jacinda repeatedly last week, and for Clare Curran today they left him adrift to be out sledged by the youngest National backbencher.

Louise Upston gets up him later with a lsedge mentioning his “Banks Spank” on question time…before he gets onto trying to have a go at Judith Collins.

He really needs to get his anger sorted….otherwise “Angry Bird” is going to stick

Which National Caucus Members will Still be in Parliament in 2022

Following on from my post earlier today about the future of National the type of MP I think will be around in 10 years time is based on historical precedent. MPs with safe blue seats will still be there, but they will also be under 60 and obviously it depends on whether National is in power or not.

This means:

Mike Sabin
Phil Heatley
Mark Mitchell
Simon O’Connor
Jami-Lee Ross
Simon Bridges
Louise Upston
Amy Adams

Most of the other safe blue seats are held by MPs who have been around for ages and will retire, or who are too old to expect to be cabinet ministers in 2022. Some may hang around, and it will also depend on who is leader. There are younger MPs who took seats from Labour in recent elections, and they will probably not last another three elections. The exception to this is Louise Upston who has benefited from boundary changes and now has a safe blue seat.

List MPs, no matter how powerful now, will not make it back for three elections. David Farrar has pointed out that there are no List MPs from 1996 still in parliament as List MPs, and there have been no List MPs who have made it to Prime Minister.

From along term perspective, and whatever you think of their merits, the 2011 intake did not have many people like Bill English, Tony Ryall or Nick Smith who will do two terms of government at least. Age discriminates against Maggie Barry, Scott Simpson and Ian McKelvie who will in extremely advanced years in political terms in 2022.

There is going to be a major generational change in the National Party when long serving MPs like McCully, Williamson, Ryall, Smith and English move on, and older MPs in safe blue seats like Hutchinson, Tisch, Ardern, King, Wilkinson, Brownlee and Dean will also be replaced by new MPs by 2022. The big question is will they be replaced by people who can make it into cabinet like McCully, Ryall, Smith and English?

Is Matthew Hooton Out of Touch?

In an otherwise good article explaining why Nick Smith won more Politician of the Week awards than anyone else based on his principles and willingness to have a dust up with anyone over ideology, Matthew Hooton has a shocker when describing potential replacements.

The tragedy of his departure is that, like too many of the appointments after the 2011 election, he is likely to be replaced with a below-average-intelligence, grey, provincial yes-man, unwilling to challenge the status quo and valued simply as a safe pair of hands.

Hooton seems to think that the provinces are inhabited with troglodytes who haven’t succeeded in the real world based on intellectual rigor and their own hard work.

In Tauranga Simon Bridges is Oxford Educated, which not many westies are, and he is far to refined to have leopard skin on his car. In Rotorua Todd McClay build a substantial lobbying business in Brussels, which is arguably not the real world but it was bloody successful, created links with many New Zealand businesses and did a lot of diplomatic work for Pacific nations. And succeeding in lobbying at one of the biggest parliaments in the world may not be my idea of success but it is better than being a successful unionist in a backwater like the New Zealand union movement.

Louise Upston’s mastery of policy details and background in leadership training means she is a safe pair of hands and has the potential to lead, not to just to administer.

From Hawkes Bay Chris Tremain turned a moderately successful family business in to a highly successful one, at the same time as making huge contributions to sports in HB. He is not in parliament “safe pair of hands”, going on record to upset the small minded in Napier, challenging the status quo on amalgamation. Craig Foss may have a gay ute but he was as successful in banking on an international scale as John Key before entering parliament.

Chester Borrows is a bit too wet on law and order, when he could man up and back the prevailing wisdom which is working world wide. His willingness to take a stand that is unpopular in National show he is not “unwilling to challenge the status quo”.

In the Wairarapa highly intelligent former diplomat John Hayes has well over 40 years of standing up for what he believes in, and not being afraid of a turn up for a good cause. At Lincoln he tried to remove the students association from the New Zealand students association, allegedly because they were a pack of communists, radicals, pooftas and other misfits. John can rest easy at night knowing he fights the good fight and is not one of Hooton’s “below average intelligence”.

Further South Amy Adams has shown herself to be willing to take on difficult issues, and no one has ever accused her of being a “yes-man”. Jo Goodhew is hugely popular in her electorate, and it is a travesty for Hooton to describe her as grey.

Michael Woodhouse may not be favored by the voters in Dunedin but he came to parliament with a track record of success in a difficult industry, where challenging the the status quo is an important part of success. Anyone that knows Michael knows he has a fine intellect, and is definitely not “below-average-intelligence”.