Moana Mackey

Labour at sixes and sevens over oil prospecting

Labour seems to splitting over oil prospecting.

Stuff reports:

The standoff over deep sea drilling off the Raglan coast is threatening a split in Labour.

Labour MP Shane Jones has backed oil drilling giant Anadarko in a move which puts him at odds with other members of the caucus, including environment spokeswoman Moana Mackey who today called for a slow down in the mineral exploration programme.

Jones has made no secret of his pro-mining stance and has taken potshots at the Green Party over its anti-mining stance.  But he could also find himself increasingly at odds with many in grassroots Labour as well.

Speaking on Maori TV’s Te Kaea tonight, Jones was outspoken about attempts to stop Anadarko from deep sea drilling and said the protesters should remember that the company had a statutory right to be there.

“Protesters need to bear in mind we are buying oil out of the Gulf of Mexico and other far-flung places when we should be focusing on making an industry in our own country.”

Anadarko was spending a million dollars a day on its programme and that was good for New Zealand, Jones said.  Read more »

Time for Labour to have a cleanout as well

Under Helen Clark there was almost no renewal…after 9 years of her government pretty much the same faces existed…then there were the 3 years of Phil Goff again with no renewal.

While National cut dead wood and encourages retirements Labour is looking like going into the next election with the same old tired faces.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has been crowing about the growing number of National MPs who have decided to stand down in 2014, likening it to rats deserting a sinking ship. Instead of seeking to make political capital out of his opponent’s obvious drive to bring in new talent at the next election, he would do better to follow suit and start sending the underperformers and time-servers in his own caucus the message that it is time to move on.

Rejuvenation is critical to all political parties. It allows them to bring in new blood to remain fresh in the eyes of voters. However, all too often it is not the parties themselves that do the job, but the electorate, via crushing defeats which see large numbers of sitting MPs turfed out of Parliament.

That is what is so significant about the rejuvenation underway in National. So far, seven of its 59 MPs – nearly an eighth of its caucus – have indicated they will not seek re-election, and there was talk last week that up to six more are considering whether to stand again.   Read more »

Another sneaky Cunliffe backflip. When is a promise not a promise?

Cold hard economic reality is coming back to bite Labour in the arse after all their false promises.

You may remember the wailing from the left last year when Kiwirail mothballed the Gisborne-Napier rail line, after it was revealed it would need taxpayer subsidies of $6 million a year to operate – translated as a whopping $37,000 in subsidies per trip.

Labour, of course, rushed to promise it would re-open the line as an election promise.

But…..Oh, dear. What’s this?

“The Government has said it won’t fix the rail line and an earlier Labour Party promise by transport spokesman Phil Twyford and Gisborne-based list MP Moana Mackey, to reopen the line if Labour is voted into Government in 2014, has been retracted and replaced with a desire to do so by new Labour leader David Cunliffe.”   Read more »

Labour members still focussed on Man Ban

Despite David Shearer’s order to Ban the Man Ban, the Labour wimmin are still pushing ahead with discussions about it.

It would seem that they intend to ignore David Shearer.

Greetings [REDACTED]

New Zealand Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth invites you to join her and the Labour Women’s Council for our Conference this coming weekend.
Interested in building womens leadership by supporting other women or taking a step up yourself? There is still an opportunity to take part in this important and exciting conference.

On Friday you can join Labour MPs Nanaia Mahuta, Sue Moroney, Carol Beaumont and Moana Mackey for a special community event – Building for Habitat for Humanity.  Read more »

Hardly overwhelming David, time to fess up

I’ve been thinking a fair bit about David Shearer’s leadership.

To my mind he is doomed. The much heralded and signalled…well required…leadership vote was held and afterwards Labour rather embarrassingly announced that David Shearer was endorsed as leader in a ballot that had only one candidate by “an overwhelming margin“.

That got me thinking and it got me scratching around my Labour sources…that didn’t sound right…”an overwhelming margin”…what does that even mean?

Then I was emailed by a reader who heard Katie Bradford-Crozier talking to Justin duFresne this morning on NewstalkZB. She said that int he leadership vote there were 10 abstentions.

This confirms what I have heard too from my Labour sources. Ten abstentions.  Read more »

Creepy Sloth Lookalike Says “discrimination is ok”

The Creepy Conservative Creature from North Shore has had another brain fart. He’s kicked off his bigoted 2013 attention seeking campaign with a pearler this time, stating that society has a right to discriminate against gay relationships, not just marriage. What Colin Craig fails to realize (or accept) is that he is trying to slam the barn door shut well after the horse has bolted. Times have changed but cringeworthy Colin is still stuck in the stone age.

colin the sloth

Read more »

Shearer’s appalling lack of talent – A Guest Post

A leader with mediocre talents weighed down by a caucus whose bitterness is only matched by its shallowness. That is the plight of the Labour Party, and David Shearer’s next moves will entrench that perspective.

In light of his summary execution of David Cunliffe for failing to be a devout disciple in the face of sagging poll numbers, Shearer now faces the task of welding together a shadow cabinet. This task will be a study of the man’s ability to think about what’s best for himself and his party.

Cunliffe was arguably Shearer’s strongest asset on the front bench, a point Cunliffe himself knew only too well. Ironically he will now sit on the back benches with one man who is clearly the equal or perhaps better than most of the government’s front bench: Shane Jones.

Post Cunliffe, Shearer’s options are limited. Grant Robertson is deceptively smart, but he is the Environment spokesperson. Environment is not about green issues; rather it is about the apportionment of property rights in a world where human progress intersects with nature. What’s the point of ranking the Environment to number two in the caucus rank when Labour has no analysis of private property rights, let alone how those rights ought to be upheld?

Shearer is heavily reliant on David Parker in both Finance and now Economic Development. Parker is a clever politician, a lawyer by trade and has experience as a Cabinet Minister in the latter stages of the previous Labour government. But Parker’s is hog-tied to a party that is either incapable or unwilling to wean itself off a diet of big spending commitments. Why for example is Labour committed to KiwiBuild, a strategy that would see the state involve itself in the construction of 200,000 new homes? (More than three times the total stock of Housing New Zealand properties).

Shearer places great faith in Jacinda Ardern in Social Development. Aside from being disliked and isolated from the majority of her female caucus colleagues, Ardern is both linear and doctrinaire. Her default position is to argue every issue from an ideologically left perspective, something that more adept operators like Annette King and Phil Goff would periodically avoid. As a result Ardern has little in common with blue collar conservative voters, many of whom consider welfare to be an unfair wealth transfer from the battlers to the bludgers.

Clayton Cosgrove is a formidable debater in Parliament. But like Robertson he struggles to make an impression due in part to Labour’s lack of analysis for the ownership of assets or the future of New Zealand’s capital markets.

Maryan Street continues to be overrated and ineffective both inside Parliament and on the hustings. Labour has been completely outgunned by Tony Ryall in Health, and Street’s perseverance in that portfolio (while earnest) fails to close the yawning gap between the Labour and a historic Achilles heel for any government.

Nanaia Mahuta has never been popular with her caucus colleagues.. Nicknamed “the princess”, Mahuta has done well to hang on to her Tainui constituency. But she has performed poorly in Education, and is consistently bettered by her junior colleague Chris Hipkins. The trouble for Shearer is demoting Mahuta will send a signal to the Kiingitanga movement that their designated representative in Parliament is less valued, a tough sell coupled with the fact that Mahuta is a Cunliffe supporter.

William Sio is not to be underestimated for his links within the Pacific community. But Sio is a social conservative in a party that is seeking to redefine marriage to allow men to marry men and women to marry women. This strategy both offends and tests Labour’s ties with the Pacific community, a point that Sio himself has made publicly.

Phil Twyford has done well to dig in in Te Atatu and has scored headlines on local government and transport issues. But that in itself is small fry compared to the task of building an alternative government.

Beyond that Shearer has a caucus of candidates who are in the twilight of their careers (e.g. Parekura Horomia, Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and Annette King), or who are simply too lightweight to be taken seriously (e.g. Sue Moroney, Moana Mackey, and Louisa Wall). Some options are simply not trustworthy (e.g. Charles Chauvel and David Cunliffe himself), or have yet to make an impact (e.g. Claire Curran).

Shearer could and probably will promote Chris Hipkins and Andrew Little. But neither man has any reason to show loyalty to Shearer long-term, particularly if Shearer is unable to reverse Labour’s sagging poll ratings.

Labour’s caucus is the by-product of a party and a selection system that rewards cronyism over talent, gender and sexual orientation over competence and union-dominated fiefdoms over political smarts. That is why Darien Fenton rather than Kelvin Davis or Stuart Nash sits behind Shearer at question time. The lack of talent means Shearer turns up to a gunfight with John Key holding a bread and butter knife rather than a loaded firearm.

It’s no wonder Labour’s rank and file members are itching to have a go at shaping that party’s leadership. Maybe they should start with their own MPs too.

Labour’s leadership woes – Guest Post

What a shambles.  What a disgrace.

Labour’s circular firing squad reveals many things about the state of that party.  Firstly it reveals a lack of character on the part of its leader, a man incapable of leading by example, by stature, or by design.  Secondly it reveals a lack of cohesion between the caucus and its wider constituent bodies.  Thirdly it reveals the jealousies that exist at all levels of the party.

Shearer’s ritual dismissal of Cunliffe is not a new strategy.  Shearer and his lieutenants Trevor Mallard and David Parker have taken a leaf out of Julia Gillard’s book.  When faced with destabilisation from Kevin Rudd, Gillard wheeled out her caucus surrogates to denounce Rudd as a demagogue unfit to lead his party or his country.  Whereas Gillard had Wayne Swan, Simon Crean and Nicola Roxon, Shearer had Hipkins and Faafoi front the media to denounce Cunliffe as a destabilising force within the caucus.

Next Shearer demanded endorsement at the point of a gun, no debate, no dissent.  Having achieved ‘unanimous’ endorsement from his colleague, Shearer then dismissed Cunliffe to the back bench.  In effect Cunliffe is now the excuse for low opinion polls, a man who is to serve as toilet paper for Shearer’s failed leadership, languishing at the bottom of the Labour Party’s political long-drop.

The problem with this scenario however is Cunliffe alone is not to blame.  Labour has yet to move to a level of political support it realised when it lost office in 2008.  This is extraordinary.  Students of history will know Bill Rowling lost the 1975 election, but outpolled Robert Muldoon in 1978.  Mike Moore led Labour to a landslide defeat in 1990, but he came within one seat of winning in 1993.

Shearer leads a party approaching its fifth year in opposition and he shows no sign of leading a recovery.  Relying of a coalition of friends based on Russel Norman and Hone Harawira is a declaration of defeat, the conclusion of a failure of leadership that he Shearer’s responsibility and Shearer’s alone.

The leader of the Labour Party is incompetent, mangles his words, struggles with basic policy concepts, and has little or no feel for human behaviour.  How does he expect his diminishing band of party members to raise money and knock on doors when he has just thrown their preferred candidate for leader under the wheel of a bus?

And Shearer need not think his so-called KiwiBuild policy will make a blind bit of difference.  Communism-meets-lotto housing based on cheap homes situated on cheap land around train stations is hardly going to motivated 200,000 mortgage-paying voters to switch their party vote from National to Labour.

Cunliffe is no better off today than he was last week.  Yes he has been demoted off the front bench, but in a caucus of 34 led by David Shearer, it was never likely that Cunliffe was going to feature in a government any time soon.  Once Shearer accommodates Norman, Turei, Harawira, Sue Bradford, and a mandatory quota of feminist unionists and others from the Rainbow sector, what role would a white heterosexual male possibly have in a future Labour-led government?

However Cunliffe alone deserves the odium that he is coping.  A weak-kneed to Shearer’s ultimatum is a disappointing end.  Yes, Cunliffe should not have hedged at the weekend conference; the smart thing would have been to publicly endorse Shearer there and then.  But having been called on to front up, Cunliffe should have done just that and tested the resolve of the Labour caucus.  Having lost, he could have then resigned and moved to the back bench rather than being dumped by a political featherweight.

Cunliffe has been unwise to rely upon the likes of Charles Chauvel, Moana Mackey and Louisa Wall.  None of his core supporters represent the aspirations of mortgageville New Zealand, and none of them were likely to have the fortitude to go through the fire on behalf of their candidate.

Cunliffe is a vain and flawed man, and someone who is deserves to be disliked by his colleagues.  But Shearer is ten times worse, a leader who seeks strategic direction from Trevor Mallard.

Well might Labour members throw up their hands in horror.  As John Key rightly points out, how can they run the country if they can’t even run a conference?

The correct response now is for Labour’s rank and file to force all MPs to face selection contests.  A contest of ideas is the only way to force its caucus to align with the party that carries it.

The New York Times on Shit in our Rivers, Ctd

A reader responds to my earlier post with a nuanced, somewhat ranty, dissenting view:

The Green Taliban are all giddy with excitement that NZ is the 14th best country on earth for the environment and number one as the dumb marketing slogan says.  Then again has anyone told Massey’s Eel Man, Mike Joy, Eugenie Sage, Moana Mackey and the corporate bludgers at Pure Advantage, that 100% Water is sterile and nothing lives in that because it is, well, umm, sterile.

But New Zealand’s reputation as a pristine place might not be exactly warranted. Since European colonization 150 years ago, as much as 90 percent of the country’s original wetlands have been drained to make way for towns, farms and roads. The wetlands are considered to be of international importance for supporting numerous species of birds, fish and plants.

So no mention then that Maori did a much more impressive feat of forestry clearance by burning out forests from crops and to flush out Moa and goodness nows what else?  Of course NZ was a paradise until the evil white man turned up and created things like  National Parks!  Nothing like this happened in North America of course.  The catalogue of woe continues:

Last month, the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment released a survey showing that more than half of the country’s freshwater recreational sites were unsafe to swim in. Fecal contamination of waterways, caused largely by dairy farming — the source of 13.9 billion New Zealand dollars, or $10 billion, in annual exports, nearly a quarter of New Zealand’s total — was widespread.

Unsafe?  Not really.  When that socialist Amy Adams popped up on State Television’s Close Up, the things that fell out of it is that the difference between very good and very poor is a few percent.  That’s it.

Now I don’t like cows shitting into rivers but wait a minute.  Wellington is a shit-place as we know but its water is far shittier than the stuff up the road in the Manawatu that goes right by dairy farms.  The Manawatu was labelled in the Dom Post as one of the dirtiest in the west so someone is shitting here and I don’t think it is all down to daisy.  I mean, been to a camp site and seen a treatment pond?  Even before God declared war on Christchurch, the Avon had the dubious distinction of NZ’s crappiest river and no one ever tipped me off that daisy was the cause.

Of course the Herald Tribune cites Massey’s Eel Man Mike Joy who sucks on the tit of taxpayers as a paid up member of Massey’s academic Green Taliban.

The Greens are predictable in wanting us to drink straight from the Waikato River and dance around the maypole but what gets me are the corporate bludgers from Pure Advantage, pissing all over our reputation as a place to visit:

Pure Advantage, a nonprofit group promoting green business, estimates that the country will overtake the United States in per capita emissions in less than eight years, putting it almost into the world’s top 10. But total emissions in New Zealand, which has a population of 4.4 million, are far lower than those of the United States, with 312 million people.

That sort of shit PR is the stuff you spend millions trying not to get.

So who backs Pure Advantage?  Why Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe, Villa Maria founder George Fistonich and former General Motors chief financial officer Chris Liddell along with the king of imported Chinese tat, Sir Stephen Tindall.  So guys, it seems your organisation is saying don’t visit NZ because we are a crap place and flying there or making movies will increase emissions anyhow (great one Fyfe).  Oh, what is the carbon footprint of bottled wine (Fistonich), let alone losing millions making gas guzzling SUV’s until Obama & the US taxpayer had to bail out GM (LIddell)?

Then again the true colours of the eco-Nazi who write the piece is found here:

This month, New Zealand refused to commit to a second round of emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 international agreement on reduction of greenhouse gases. Instead, it will align with several of the world’s largest emitters, including the United States, China and India, in negotiating an alternative agreement. That could be approved by 2015 and in effect by 2020.

That gets Moana Mackey’s knickers in a right twist.  No one can tell me from the left why President Obama is an enviornmental lucifer and that we are damned by getting into his team:

“This is a day of shame for New Zealand. Our reputation as a good international citizen has taken a massive hit,” Moana Mackey, a member of Parliament who is the climate change spokeswoman for the opposition Labour Party, said in a statement.”

Someone ought to remind her how you can save manufacturing jobs if you tax the crap out of them for the emissions they produce.  See you later manufacturing under Labour and the Greens.

All in all, the salesmen at Tourism NZ and the Tourism Industry Association must be spitting tacks at Pure Advantage for managing to tell well-heeled yanks we are a shit country so don’t spend your dollars coming here:

A recent report by Pure Advantage said New Zealand’s environmental record was worrying for the country’s economic future. One of New Zealand’s main priorities, it said, should be giving legitimacy to the “100% pure” branding. “These rankings will come as a shock to those in New Zealand who believe our country prides itself on its clean, green image,” the report said.

The most honest comments come from Gregg Anderson of Tourism New Zealand.  Speaking from LA, it seems his comments were bolted on after this crap hatchett job was written:

“We put our hands on our hearts and say New Zealand does not have a completely untouched environment,” he said, “but we are better than most.”

In a similar vein, Bruce Wills from Feds says something that will get many of us nodding in agreement:

New Zealanders often saw themselves as “the very best at something or very worst.”

My response is f*ck all this Green PR spin and crap. It ain’t worth a cent to NZ apart from giving santimonious pricks something to bang ourselves over the head with.  It is all a 100% Pure Wank.

Tweet of the Day

Steven Joyce comments on Shane Jones and Labour’s response to Jones wanting jobs:


Good 2 see Shane Jones in favour of exploring growth & jobs for Nthland. @ sez rest of Labour against. #Labournotreallyaboutjobs
@stevenljoyce
Steven Joyce