New Zealand First

Trotter: ‘the phrase “Labour/Greens government” does not pass the plausibility test’

Chris Trotter explains why David Cunliffe has pushed the toxic Greens out into the cold.

The answer, I believe, is to be found in the voters Labour’s campaign strategists (most particularly the political scientist and polling specialist, Rob Salmond) have identified as the primary target of Labour’s election campaign. These are not the legendary “missing million” who declined to cast a ballot three years ago, but a much more manageable group of around 300,000 men and women who have voted for Labour in the past (2005, 2008) but who, for a whole host of reasons, sat out the General Election of 2011.

Salmond’s argument is that these voters can be readily “re-activated” if Labour presents them with a plausible pitch for their support. The key-word there is “plausible”, and outside Labour-held electorates in the main centres there is every reason to believe that the phrase “Labour/Greens government” does not pass the plausibility test.

The evidence for this comes, paradoxically, from the National Party. Simon Bridges’ ridiculous comments about the 50-odd mining permits issued on Russel Norman’s watch is only the most extreme example of what is obviously an agreed Government strategy to conflate Labour and the Greens into a single, politically extreme, electoral bogeyman. David Farrar’s polls and Crosby-Textor’s focus-groups have clearly thrown up a powerful negative reaction to the idea of Labour joining forces with the Greens. So much so that National is doing everything within its power to imbed the idea deep in the electorate’s psyche.

And, if National’s voter research is picking up this negative anti-Green vibe, how long can it be before Labour’s own pollster, UMR, and its focus-group convenors start detecting similar sentiments in their own samplings? And if they do, is it really credible to suggest that Labour should simply ignore them? If the party’s whole electoral strategy is based on persuading those 300,000 former Labour voters to return to the fold, and the Labour/Greens proposition is going to make that less likely, then what possible motive would Labour have for accepting the Greens’ invitation?  Read more »

“Obsequious subservient photo-opportunity behaviour”

Winston Peters gets bonus points for using my all time favourite word, but he too is playing cry-baby.

Politicians should show “a bit of elegance and a bit of taste” rather than chasing photo opportunities with the royals, NZ First leader Winston Peters says.

“I’m starting to feel really sorry for baby George and it’s only day one,” Peters said today after being asked about the amount of “face time” Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader David Cunliffe were getting.

“I just would hope that we don’t see this obsequious subservient photo-opportunity behaviour. You can guarantee I won’t be part of it.”

In reference to Key’s infamous “three-way handshake” at the end of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Peters said: “You are going to have a multiple handshake now, possibly of five people at a time.”

He called for “fewer politicians screaming to get attention just because the royals are here”.

To the best of his knowledge he had no “face time” with the royals.  Read more »

Hooton calls out Peters on foreign land ownership

Matthew Hooton calls out Winston Peters on foreign land ownership and his past record in this regard, especially his claims that restriction on foreign ownership of residential land has ALWAYS been a bottom line for NZ First.

Homeowners, farmers and property investors should heavily discount Winston Peters’ statement yesterday that stopping sales of residential properties and farms to foreigners will be and has always been a bottom line for NZ First.

He has no intention of implementing such a policy and nor has he ever done.

Anyone who owns or is thinking of owning property in New Zealand should take time to understand his record and his political imperatives as outlined below.

Twice in recent history, in 1996 and 2005, Mr Peters has held the balance of power and had the ability to choose the prime minister. In neither case did he make foreign ownership of residential properties or farms anything like a bottom line.

Check out his 1996 coalition deal with Jim Bolger: There are no new restrictions on sales of residential properties to non-residents.  The changes to the rules for farmland do not restrict ownership only to residents but allow purchases by others who “will make a material contribution to the local or New Zealand economy.  Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

House-of-cards

Winston Peters and his own conflicts of interest

Jan Trotman and Winston Peters

Jan Trotman and Winston Peters

Winston Peters is always the first to claim that other members of parliament have conflicts of interest and last week was front and centre in whipping up a storm over a glass of milk.

WOBH can exclusively reveal that Winston Peters has his own conflicts of interest, some going back many years.

Some basic facts first so that what is revealed can be put into context.

  • Winston Peters long time partner is Jan Trotman.
  • From 1993-2006 Ms Trotman was General Manager of Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson.
  • During this period, Winston Peters and other members of his caucus asked many very specific questions in relation to the pharmaceutical industry regarding Pharmac funding and in particular in relation to Janssen products.

Here is the evidence.

In October 2001 Winston Peters asked in Question 4 what reasons there are for not publicly funding a range of other drugs and treat Alzheimer’s disease other than with the Aricept drug. He further asks why is it that Exelon has also been on Australia’s publicly funded pharmaceutical benefit scheme list since February 2001, and Reminyl (a Janssen product) is to be added from tomorrow, while New Zealanders suffer not having the benefits of these drugs.

In 2003 he asks more questions (Q9 ) on these Alzheimer’s drugs in the House about why the government was doing a trial on the efficacy of Alzheimer’s drugs when they have been proven and are publicly funded in other first world countries.

9. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Prime Minister: Does she have confidence in the Minister of Health; if so, why?

Rt Hon HELEN CLARK (Prime Minister) : Yes, because she is a hard-working and conscientious Minister.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: If she is such a hard-working and conscientious Minister, why is she a Minister who says that the efficacy of Alzheimer’s drugs has not been proven, when Canada, UK, Australia, USA, Latin America, and Western Europe all make those drugs publicly available; or is this just another example of inexcusable, inexplicable, heartless cost-cutting?

Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: No, none of the above. This country has very careful mechanisms for assessing what drugs it is appropriate to fund, and I am not aware that those mechanisms and procedures have changed substantially in recent years, at all.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why does the Prime Minister not inform herself of the facts before she rises and makes a statement like that, when Canada, UK, Australia, USA, Latin America, and Western Europe—nearly all the First World—recognise that those drugs do work, and make them publicly available, whilst her Minister is demanding that Pharmac do a trial to find out what everybody else in the world knows and is prepared to spend money on, excepting her heartless Government and Minister?

Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I can only repeat that getting value for money is very important, and that does not mean paying any price for any drug that a pharmaceutical company wants.

Dr Lynda Scott: Is the Prime Minister aware that these drugs are the only treatment available to patients with Alzheimer’s, and why will they not be funded?

Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: I suggest the member put down a question on notice with specific reference to the question of Alzheimer’s drugs. It is this Government’s determination to provide proper treatment for people across the range of conditions. It is also a fact that we consider health sufficiently important to have it as a front-bench portfolio.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister might think that health is important enough to have it has a front-bench portfolio, but being informed about it is not what she is demonstrating today. She should not—having attempted to answer two questions already—then pretend that she has adequately answered this House by suggesting that the member “put down a written question”. She has been asked why the only drug proven worldwide is being denied to the thousands of sufferers in this country, and—   Read more »

Hooton on the addled thinking of Winston Peters

Matthew Hooton has no love for Winston Peters…once calling him a word that is no longer used on this blog, on television.

He writes in the NBR about what it is that Winston Peters may or may not want.

The left is in despair.

Eminent left-wing scribe Chris Trotter says the election is “all over bar the counting.”  He fears a collapse in both turnout and Labour’s support, humiliating David Cunliffe and resulting in an “unparalleled National victory” for John Key.

From his comrades’ perspective, he is undoubtedly too curmudgeonly.

With the exception of 1999, all MMP elections have gone to the wire.

Even in the weeks before Bill English’s nadir in 2002, there was a mathematical possibility of a National/NZ First/UnitedFuture/Act coalition, limiting Helen Clark to one term.

In 2005, National’s Don Brash, along with the leaders of Act, UnitedFuture and the Maori Party, held talks with Winston Peters about forming a government but Mr Peters chose to give Ms Clark her third term.

More recently, Mr Key scraped home in both 2008 and 2011 by the narrowest of margins.

If Ms Clark hadn’t so slavishly backed Mr Peters through the 2008 Spencer Trust fiasco, she would have won a fourth term.

Similarly, only the go-slow by Mr Cunliffe and his supporters in the last weeks of the 2011 campaign stopped Phil Goff from making Mr Key a one-term prime minister.

If unemployment stays higher than forecast, wage rises are a bit lower, doubts emerge over the fiscal surplus and the official cash rate is closer to 4% than 3% in September, then the gap between National/Act/UnitedFuture and Labour/Green/Mana will narrow.  Mr Peters will again decide who will be prime minister.  Read more »

Is Shane Jones rehearsing for leader?

As David Cunliffe stumbles  and trips over his own actions and words another Labour Mp is making loads of headlines, some good and others not so good.

Could be be auditioning for leader…and after today’s headlines is it for labour or for NZ First?

Winston Peters is 69 this year…at the next election, if he makes it, he will be 72…there is no natural replacement for Winston Peters. Could Shane Jones be looking at re-creating a centrist party to straddle the middle ground?

Claire Trevett covers his latest outburst against foreign students:

Auckland University is in danger of slipping from a “storehouse of knowledge to a foreign warehouse” because it is increasingly catering for international students from Asia at the potential expense of New Zealanders, says Labour MP Shane Jones.

Mr Jones said the focus on increasing fee-paying students from China, India and other Asian counties was turning universities “into institutions designed to educate international populations rather than ourselves”.  Read more »

Something for Labour to remember as they hammer Judith Collins today in parliament

Helen Clark and Trevir Mallard with Labour's biggest donor, Owen Glenn,  at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Helen Clark and Trevor Mallard with Labour’s biggest donor, Owen Glenn, at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Labour is going to attack Judith Collins today in parliament…over a drink of milk…apparently this is the worst indication of corruption seen in New Zealand.

We know this because Mrs Mallard (Jane Clifton) has signalled it in her column today (not online).

But Labour should remember a few things of their own.

They are making a huge fuss over a photo and some chinese text written by someone offshore. They need to remember that politicians pose for photos all the time.

But their own behaviour isn’t that flash either. As the photo shows above Helen Clark was happy to open a building paid for by Owen Glenn, named after him when he was their single biggest donor ever. On top of that he was also a large donor to NZ First at the time.  Read more »

Fresh from cuddling fat Germans, Winston’s now slagging off Asians again

We all know that Winston Peters is a race-baiting political charlatan and a proven liar.

When he isn’t cuddling up to fat Germans he is attacking Asians and today is no different. The NZ Herald reports:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has claimed the world-famous Huka Lodge near Taupo has been sold to Chinese buyers and suggested Prime Minister John Key had a hand in smoothing the process.

Peters made the claim during his state of the nation address on Auckland’s North Shore this afternoon.

“While you’re here media, let me tell you something, Huka Lodge has just been sold to the Chinese … and I want you to go and ask John Key what role you had in this?

“Was it not true, Mr Key, that you assured them `there won’t be a problem, we’ll smooth it out for you’.”  Read more »

Roy Morgan poll increases pressure on Cunliffe

I don;t normally report on Roy Morgan polls, mainly because of their inconsistency.

However the left wing has clung to the Roy Morgan poll results with the same tenacity of a drowning man to a life preserver. It is the one poll that they think is accurate.

This is yesterday’s result.

5437-nzvote-large

[The] New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows National (48%, up 1%) increasing its lead over a potential Labour/ Greens alliance (42%, down 2%). Support for Key’s Coalition partners shows the Maori Party 0.5% (down 1%), ACT NZ (1%, up 1%) and United Future 0.5% (up 0.5%).  Read more »