Northland

Cunning Winston

Winston Peters knows how to get people talking about him, and there is no better way than to challenge the PM to a $100,000 bet.

Winston Peters has offered to pay $100,000 to the Prime Minister’s favourite charity if John Key can find evidence that the New Zealand First leader has been fishing in his Northland electorate.

The challenge was issued after Mr Key ribbed Mr Peters in Parliament over the amount of time the Northland MP spent in his electorate, describing him as the “member of fishing”.

Mr Peters was questioning Mr Key about the Northland Economic Development report and the PM responded: “I dare say that Minister [Steven] Joyce now knows more about Northland than the member does. In actually having been there once this year, he has probably been there more than the member has.”   Read more »

Why is Kelvin Davis not campaigning against this with all his energy?

Instead of pandering to criminals in Australian detention centres, or cuddling criminals in our prisons here, why isn’t Kelvin Davis campaigning against this feral behaviour in his own electorate?

Six Northland children were physically abused by their mother over an eight-year period, mostly for failing to complete household chores.

On one occasion, the Whangarei District Court heard, her pre-teen son fell to the ground and blacked out momentarily after he was beaten with a jagged stick that broke when she struck him.

The woman, who was granted name suppression to protect her children, had used a household needle and cotton to stitch her son’s wound, striking him when he flinched from the pain. A medical centre was just down the road.

The woman was jailed for four years and 11 months when she appeared for sentencing in the court yesterday.

She had earlier admitted assault with intent to injure, injuring with reckless disregard, assault with a weapon, wounding with intent to injure and seven charges of assaulting a child.

The children were abused from 2006 to 2014.

The eldest daughter and son received the worst beatings.  Read more »

Winston and Kelvin Davis need to get their facts straight

Yesterday in parliament Winston Peters and Kelvin Davis led a shameless and more to the point dead wrong attack against a local company in Northland.

They are trying to link Judith Collins into the attack and Nick Smith didn’t really help her with his hesitant responses.

Kelvin Davis : Has he discussed the issue of swamp kauri exports with Judith Collins, whose husband, David Wong-Tung, and good friend Stone Shi are directors in the chain of shell companies that owns the Ruakākā mill, the ultimate ownership of which is obscured by a lawyer’s nominee company?

Mr SPEAKER : In so far as there may be some ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I thought that this member was above getting involved in that sort of murk.

Kelvin Davis : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did ask a question, and it was not addressed.

Mr SPEAKER : Yes, and I said that the Minister could answer it in so far as there was ministerial responsibility. There was very little connection there with ministerial responsibility. I allowed the Minister to answer it the way he did, and that is acceptable.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Is he denying what is well known to locals in Northland: that swamp kauri is being exported illegally and that his ministry’s lax enforcement of the law is because people high up in Oravida are major donors and players in the National Party, and there are the photographs of the logs, all being exported illegally?

Mr SPEAKER : Again, I will invite the Minister to answer if he sees ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : The law in respect of the export of indigenous forests was passed in 1993, with that member’s support. It was softened in 2004 by colleagues adjacent to him, with his support. My advice is that the law is being followed.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. He cannot get up and accuse me of supporting a law when I was not a member of the Government. He did it on both occasions—1993 and 1994. We all know that. He is just telling lies.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] No, I do not need further help with that. That is certainly not a point of order. I will invite the Minister, if he wishes, to add further to his answer in order to complete it before we go to further supplementary questions.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I would invite the member to check the Hansard as to how New Zealand First voted in 1993 on the Forests Amendment Act, and, again, as to how the party voted in 2004 when the law was changed.

They are running off their mouths under the protection of parliamentary privilege.    Read more »

Simon tells Northland to build a bridge and get over it…oh wait

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A bridge was the undoing of Ted Kennedy at Chapaquiddick, Simon Bridges’ problems are far worse politically than a dead girl in the car.

National is giving Northland the middle finger for dumping them during the by-election.

National has no money for the bridges and is hoping the NZTA will help out…but unless they can magic up some deaths or safety issues quick smart those bridges are not going to be built this century.

Only four of the 10 bridges the Government promised to double-lane in Northland will be worked on in the next three years – and some may never be upgraded.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has announced a $13.9 billion plan for spending on roads and public transport across the country over the next three years.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges promised the bridge upgrades during the Northland by-election earlier this year and said the work would be done over six years.

He said today that NZTA had ruled out double-laning three of the bridges.

Those bridges are Hallahans Bridge, Lowes Bridge, and Darby and Joan Bridge, which is between two large kauri trees and which the agency says cannot be double-laned.

Mr Bridges said he was not breaking his by-election promise.

Read more »

Do you want a home for $200,000 or less?

Are there any affordable homes in New Zealand for $200,000 or less? I let my fingers do the typing and searched Trademe for properties for sale for $200,000 or less. Previously I have blogged about houses for sale for $100,000 or less.

Screenshot-Whaleoil.co.nz

Screenshot-Whaleoil.co.nz

A 20% deposit on a $200,000 house is $40,000.

The fortnightly payment on a 30 year table loan for $160,000 is $440.85

Read more »

Do you want a home for $100,000 or less?

Are there any affordable homes in New Zealand for $100,000 or less? I let my fingers do the typing and searched Trademe for properties for sale for $100,000 or less.

Screenshot-Whaleoil.co.nz

Screenshot-Whaleoil.co.nz

A 20% deposit on a $100,000 house is $20,000. To pay off a mortgage of $80,000 it will cost you $220.42 a fortnight if you choose a table loan over 30 years.

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.

“Parties 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,” Mr. Leonard said. “Parties 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.”

Read more »

Winston to the rescue!!!

The so-called Darby and Joan Bridge in the Waipoua kauri forest is on the list of 10 one-way bridges to be upgraded – an announcement National made during the Northland by-election.

Te Roroa Treaty settlement negotiator Gary Hooker said no one from National asked what iwi thought.

He said if they had, they would have discovered the bridge was flanked by two iconic kauri.

“The only way it could be done, as far as I can see, is for one or both of the trees to be moved, which in itself could be quite an undertaking,” Mr Hooker said. Read more »

Fat Tony on Northland

Mike Williams aka Fat Tony has a column in the Hawkes Bay Today about Steve Joyce’s Northland debacle.

MAKE no mistake, the outcome of the Northland byelection last Saturday is a political boilover of seismic proportions.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters won one of the National Party’s safest seats with an election night majority of more than 4000 votes, erasing a National Party majority of over 9000 votes in the general election just a few months before. Winston Peters’ final majority is likely to increase when the nearly 1000 newly-enrolled special votes get included in the total.

This 13,000 vote turnaround is unprecedented in our political history, but it is the internal dynamics of Peters’ triumph that should give Prime Minister John Key and National Party campaign manager Stephen Joyce pause for very serious reflection.

Apart from a governing party losing a safe seat, two statistics set this contest apart from any previous byelection. About half of the voters chose to cast their ballot before election day and the level of participation was huge.

The early voting phenomenon is unprecedented, and it exceeds a trend in recent polls.

The turnout level is a genuine abnormality. It has been a rule of thumb for years that byelection turnout levels are half of the previous general poll. The Christchurch East byelection saw 13,000 electors vote compared with the 28,000 who had voted in the previous general election.

This is the established pattern.

Northland broke that mould. With 28,000 voting in the byelection, this wasn’t much short of the 34,000 that voted in the general election five months before.

Read more »

The shamelessness is off the scale

kauri_leaves

Winston Peters says he’d climb a threatened kauri tree in his electorate, to save it from the chainsaw.

Two ancient trees will be under threat if the Government keeps its by-election promise to widen the Darby and Joan bridge. Read more »