National Party

Maori making grab for water and Nick Smith & Bill English appear to be helping them

Maori are going to go after water as the next grievance claim….and it appears that Bill English and Nick Smith are entertaining their claims and negotiating with them instead of telling them to piss off.

Maori leaders have mounted a bid for effective ownership of a share of the country’s¬†freshwater.

This would allow them, and other with water rights, to onsell it to those who need water for irrigation, hydropower and other commercial uses.

Talks between the powerful Iwi Leaders Group and the Government, fronted by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith, are at a critical stage after ministers rejected a nationwide ‘Waterlords’ settlement along the lines of the Sealords deal over¬†Maori¬†commercial fishing claims.

The Government is adamant it will not hand over rights in perpetuity to Maori Рbut it may compromise by allowing regional councils to do local deals with Maori.

Farmers are worried that there will not be enough water to go around if significant quantities of freshwater are set aside for Maori.

In¬†a Cabinet paper, Smith points to possible “catchment by catchment” deals at a regional government level. The Crown has acknowledged¬†Maori¬†interests and rights¬†in¬†freshwater¬†but their extent and nature is at issue. The Government may set criteria by which local iwi can get preferential access to water, catchment by catchment, Smith says.

Ministers and iwi leaders held a summit at Waitangi during the February 6 commemorations, in a swift response to an iwi- commissioned report proposing radical ways to deal with freshwater and Maori claims. The report, by research group Sapere, proposed a nationwide settlement, an end to 35-year renewals of water consents. and a move to permanent rights and a market in tradable water rights.

It argued the regime would not only be a boon for Maori but would add $2 billion to the value of power-generating assets, $5.5b to the primary sector and boost the overall economy, while helping reduce the effects of drought through more efficient use of water. It would also open the way for the Government to levy resource taxes on income from using the water.

If National wants to lose more than just Northland they will keep on going with this process under the control of Bill English and Nick Smith. ¬†¬† Read more »

Northland, polls and polling vs final results

Arts, Lifestyle & Travel blogger David ‚ÄúPinko‚ÄĚ Farrar has a very brief post on the Northland polls.

  • Winston Peters NZF 16,089 54.5%
  • Mark Osborne NAT 11,648 39.4%
  • Willow-Jean Prime LAB 1,380 4.7%

Those polls were pretty accurate.

Read more »

An insight into why Northland was lost

Most observers have struggled to pinpoint just precisely what went wrong in Northland.

I must confess to being flummoxed myself as well, that is until I read an article in the NY Times about the problems with modern political parties.

The article looks at the continuing demise of larger parties in Europe and Britain, and gives some insights to Labours problems here and also National’s problems.

Part of the reason for the decline is Socialism’s success, in the last century, in winning key protections for the working class, from trade unions to pensions and national health care, that are hard to finance in an aging population. But the right, which used to represent the landed and corporate rich and those who felt affinity to them, has suffered its own decline.

‚ÄúParties of the left, which used to be anchored in the working class, in the trade union movement and factories, are now increasingly dominated by public-sector employees and creative industries like the media,‚ÄĚ Mr. Leonard said. ‚ÄúParties of the right, which used to stand for the aspirational classes, are now more elitist and metrosexual. The countryside is disgusted by the metrosexual cosmopolitanism of the conservatives and the workers are disgusted by the new left.‚ÄĚ

Read more »

The vacuity of Andrea Vance’s analysis, Ctd

Andrea Vance’s very shallow analysis suggested that Lindsay Tisch would be told not to run again. This shows a very poor understanding of the National Party constitution.

To kick Tisch out requires a lot more than giving him the arse card.

If he decides to dig his heels in he can likely hold his seat for life because Waikato has high membership. High membership matters because for every 10 members there is one delegate allocated. There must be 60 delegates, so if your electorate has less than 600 members the regional chair gets to top up the delegates to make 60.

A National selection requires a majority. In the event of a tie between the last two candidates the regional chair gets to make a casting vote, but this rarely happens. The classic way to stitch up an electorate selection is to have low membership then for the regional chair to put forward a whole lot of people who know which way to vote, as they did in Helensville in 2002.

Any electorate with much more than 300 members usually controls the selection themselves, although to be on the safe side it is better to have more members in case some of your delegates switch sides. ¬†¬† Read more »

The vacuity of Andrea Vance’s analysis

Andrea Vance was spreading propaganda for the Joyce faction in her recent column, but she needs to understand some basic facts about the National Party. Otherwise her opinion is based on factual errors and flawed logic. In the interests of getting decent journalism from a paid journalist there will be a series of posts pointing out the errors in her analysis.

The first point is that the National Party leadership is decided by the National caucus.

To win the leadership you have to have the support of the majority of the caucus. There are no formal rules, and previous leadership battles have either been concessions of defeat or a two candidate race. In the event there are more than two candidates it is expected that the leadership race will be run the same way as selections, with the lowest polling candidate dropping out and votes taken again until there is a winner by majority.

The contention that Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett are presumed replacements for John Key needs to be checked against whether they would win votes from half of caucus. ¬† Read more »

Vance kicks a speculator, boots it dead on the full

Andrea Vance likes to think she is a player in¬†the¬†press gallery…the mover and shaker with her finger on the pulse.

Today in the DomPost she writes what could best described as a speculator article based on every bit of rumour and gossip floating around Wellington, not much of which is true.

According to a story doing the rounds, National pollster and blogger David Farrar was recently invited to spend some time with Murray McCully.

Widely expected to step down by the end of this term, the foreign minister mischievously let slip he had no intention of retiring from politics – just to see how long the news took to reach his senior colleagues.

Farrar insists the rumour is not true. But it gives a few clues as to what is occupying the minds of National MPs.

One of the parties says it is b.s. but hey let’s run the speculator anyway. That story is old by the way and was running before Christmas.

McCully is not the most imminent departure from party ranks. Wellington’s worst-kept secret is that Trade Minister Tim Groser is shortly off to relieve Mike Moore as New Zealand’s ambassador in Washington.

Also likely to be waving goodbye to Parliament in 2017 is Assistant Speaker Lindsay Tisch, whether he likes it or not. No-one would be surprised to see Finance Minister Bill English take his leave, once he has delivered the long-promised surplus.

Read more »

Trotter on Nash and the Greens

Finally a Labour MP that doesn‚Äôt want to do dumb stuff that doesn’t get people elected.

This means he will probably get a good hiding at the next Labour caucus meeting, and sent away on sensitivity training.

But Chris Trotter nails it:

IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to Stuart Nash.

Speaking yesterday (31/3/15) at the big oil exploration industry conference at Sky City, Labour‚Äôs energy spokesperson warned his audience that the tiny minority who opposed oil drilling was ‚Äúalways in our ear‚ÄĚ. What‚Äôs more, he said, ‚Äúthey‚Äôre very media savvy‚ÄĚ. ¬†¬† Read more »

The Silence of the Lambs

Well National’s caucus was a non-event.

After a¬†25 minute tirade from John Key it can best be summarised as “National was always going to lose the campaign, but ran a good campaign…really it was a good one…but because it was a by-election it has no effect…nothing to see here, move along“.

Not one MP spoke out about the dreadful result or the cast of characters responsible for the debacle.

It was Silence of the Lambs…and those lambs are now being led to the slaughter.

To cap it all off they all congratulated themselves and all those who worked so very hard for the…uhmmm…loss.

Are these muppets on a different planet to me? ¬† Read more »

What is Winston’s price for cooperation? Is it to see Key go?

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Prime Minister John Key is “acting like a spoilt brat” by saying he doubted Mr Peters would work constructively with National.

Mr Key said yesterday reforms to the Resource Management Act would have to be scrapped or diluted because National no longer had the numbers to pass them. He said he doubted Mr Peters would work with National on such issues even if they benefited Northland because Mr Peters was an oppositional MP.

Mr Peters said National had not even put anything in front of him to consider. “I’m not going to have Mr Key roaring when his toys have been taken out of the cot, as they were last Saturday, making these sort of protestations. What you’re getting now is protestations of innocence and good faith which don’t exist. The National Party has not come to us.”

It’s payback time alright. ¬† Read more »

Herald Editorial “suspicious” of Key’s keen scuttling of RMA reform

The Prime Minister was quick to “rip up” the Government’s intended reform of the Resource Management Act after the Northland byelection. Suspiciously quick. He may be oddly relieved to lose the numbers he would need in Parliament to force National’s policy into law. It wants the act’s guiding purposes to include economic development alongside its present list of environmental and heritage protections. It seems reasonable both should be on the RMA’s scales but this is not the first time Mr Key has backed off the idea.

He spent much of the previous term trying behind the scenes to persuade partners Peter Dunne and the Maori Party to drop their opposition to the measure. Last May he publicly announced he had failed to get their support and he said he would take the issue to the election in September. But sometime between May and September the party decided not to make it an election issue and the subject was barely heard in the campaign. Read more »