NZ First

Why is it Kiwiblog has the best posts when Farrar is away?

Lifestyle, arts and travel blogger David Farrar is away again.

Kiwiblog has again reverted to a blog of David’s mid-life crisis and travels.

Not content with his own travel blogging, he also now has guest travel blog posts.

However he does have a guest post from Kiwi in America that is very good. Why is it Kiwiblog’s best posts are while he is away?

Regular readers of Kiwiblog will recall my lengthy essay posted on Easter Friday about the recent history of Labour; some of it based on my time as an activist there until the mid 90’s attempting to explain Labour’s present day conundrum.

In a nutshell it said that an attempt by the left of the party to seize permanent control of Labour after the massive post Rogernomics ructions under the leadership of Helen Clark, led to a gradual purging of activists from the centrist and right wings of the party. Clark, and her followers in the Head Office and regional hierarchies, ensured the selection of candidates in winnable electorate seats (and after the introduction of MMP, also the party list) that not only ensured she could topple then leader Mike Moore after the 1993 election but also cemented her power base inside Labour guaranteeing her an unchallenged 15 year reign as Labour’s leader. This handed power in the party to an increasingly narrow base of sector and interest groups such as academics, trade unions, progressive feminists and the rainbow coalition gradually driving out activists who were more likely to be white, male, socially conservative, small business owners and church going people of faith. After Labour’s 2008 election defeat, former members of the harder left New Labour Party, homeless after the dissolution of the Alliance, the demise of Anderton’s Progressives and the rise of the Greens, began to come back to Labour assisting in the movement of the party more to the left.

This trend culminated in the amendment to Labour’s Constitution at its 2012 Annual Conference giving 40% of the vote for Party Leader to the party membership and 20% to the affiliated unions leaving only 40% in the hands of the Parliamentary caucus. This new formula enabled David Cunliffe to win the first full leadership primary in 2013 despite having only minority support in caucus – the first time this had ever happened in Labour’s history. The result of his elevation to the leadership was Labour’s third successive and even more disastrous defeat.

When you drive out of the party its more centrist activists, you leave a vacuum that has been filled by harder left activists. When these same activists, alongside the more traditionally left wing trade union leadership, have control of the party’s candidate selections, its policy formation and now the election of its leader, over time you end up with a party, candidates and policies that no longer appeal to middle NZ and a party that is no longer the broad church it used to be. The party may be truer to its left wing principles but it now produces candidates, policies and campaigning rhetoric out of step with the aspirations of floating middle NZ voters that decide elections. National’s moderate centrist direction under John Key has become the natural repository for various key demographic groups that once used to strongly vote Labour and accordingly, Labour has ended up falling further behind National in each subsequent election post its 2008 defeat culminating in its second lowest vote this election since its formation in 1916!

Labour is now undertaking yet another review of why it was defeated and another likely more bruising leadership primary.

Read more »

Is this the civil society you were talking about Curwen?

Curwen Rollinson is a NZ First activist and former board member, he is also an arch socialist who like to dress in 1940s army clothes.

He writes occaisonal TL;DR rants at The Daily Blog, and today has a post about creating a “civil society”.

I’ve read it so you don’t have to, but here is his main thrust:

It’s my contention that just as civil society was able to propel environmentalism along with widespread concern for privacy rights and opposition to mass surveillance into the political limelight previously; there’s now a present need and vacancy for civil society to do something similar with economic nationalism.

Preaching about a “civil society”…hmmm, civil like this?

Is this the civil society that Curwen Rollison wants?

Is this the civil society that Curwen Rollinson wants?

Read more »

No double dipping from Ron Mark

Good on Ron Mark, he has resigned as Carterton’s mayor so he won’t be a double dipper.

It does cause a by-election but that is the price of electing someone who won;t double dip.

Ron Mark is to step down as Carterton mayor today.

Having been returned to Parliament on Saturday on the New Zealand First Party list, Mark told Wairarapa News yesterday he would resign as mayor.

He was expected to tender his resignation at this morning’s full council meeting. Doing so will force a by-election with the vacant mayoral position going to a district-wide postal vote.   Read more »

Are you willing to play the Winston Peters Lottery?

Get used to it:  Winston Peters will be part of the government come September 20.

The problem is, he won’t tell you which side he’ll back.

In fact, he’s just as likely to go with Labour.  After all, they are operating an open chequebook election, whereas National is trying to come off as much more responsible.

If you want to boot the National Government out next Saturday why on earth would you vote for Winston Peters and NZ First?

On the other hand, if you want to keep National in power after the election, why would you opt for Peters and his party?

The truth is you wouldn’t.

If you want certainty Peters doesn’t come into it.

Voting for Peters is a big, blind, gamble: he won’t tell you what he plans to do.

He claims that’s up to voters to decide. Rubbish. Read more »

The Clown of Campbell’s Bay won’t get any answers until after the election

There is nothing so shameful as an out of sort MP trying to sue a party that doesn’t want him.

No surprises that this is Andrew Williams.

The High Court at Auckland will wait until after the election to hear a claim from New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams that his party has unfairly axed him from the party list.

Mr Williams is seeking a judicial review, claiming that the way he was treated breached the party’s constitutional requirement for fairness.

He was originally dropped from three to 13 on the draft party list, and then dumped from the official list altogether.

Mr Williams said in a statement today that his case had been set down for November 27. He had wanted a court date after the election so it would not be a distraction for the party during the election campaign.

After the draft list was leaked, Mr Williams complained to the media and blamed party deputy leader Tracey Martin for his low placing.

Not only was he dropped down the list then rinsed completely after he whinged but it seems now he has been chucked out of the caucus and party as well.   Read more »

Has Labour lost South Auckland?

Yesterday I wrote about the condescension of David Cunliffe when speaking to Pasifika audiences.

Today in the NZ Herald they discuss how Pasifika have found their political voice and no longer just vote red.

Could this mean that Labour’s fortress of South Auckland has broken walls now?

For a long time – generations, even – the Pasifika vote has always gone to the party draped in red.

In the old days, vans and buses were organised all around South Auckland to make sure as many people as possible turned up to the voting booths. The majority of those Tongan, Samoan, Niuean, Fijian, Cook Island and Tuvaluan voters were completely decked out in red, holding red balloons and wearing red lei.

These days, however, something is changing within the community.

Although there is still a very strong Labour following, there is now growing support for National, as well as a shift to vote for other parties – something almost never heard of before amongst Pasifika.

Community leaders and seasoned politicians admit that people are starting to look at what other parties are offering; meaning the Pacific vote is starting to look a lot more colourful this election.

Over the past few months, the National party has gone in strong into places that have traditionally been Labour’s stronghold and, in earlier years, would have seen anyone in blue practically booted out.

Read more »

NZ First is a racist party. No it’s not. Yes it is. Eh?

Winston-Peters-at-Sir-Wilson-Whineray-s-funeral--Getty-Images

via Newstalk ZB

On page 3 of Bay of Plenty Times (28 August) the NZ First candidate is quoted saying, “The only parties we won’t work with are ones with race based policies …”

On the same page, in the article below, the NZ First leader repeated his criticism of foreigners buying NZ land and assets.

Isn’t a foreigner typically someone from a different race or ethnic background? Wasn’t Winston’s recent outburst over the Lochinver sale because the buyers were Chinese?   Read more »

The Empire Strikes Back: Official resistance to New Zealand investment in China

The Markets and Banking reporter for the NZ Herald, Christopher Adams has this story

A high-profile Chinese dairy commentator is calling for China’s government to block Fonterra’s investment in Hangzhou-based infant formula maker Beingmate, showing criticism of foreign investment isn’t a purely one-sided affair when it comes to the business relationship between New Zealand and its biggest trading partner.

Foreign investment, particularly from China, has returned to the forefront of public debate in this country since it emerged that Shanghai Pengxin, the owner of the Crafar Farms, wants to purchase the more than 13,000 hectare Lochinver Station in the central North Island.

Opposition parties have opposed the potential sale and NZ First leader Winston Peters has gone as far as vowing to buy back strategic farmland from foreigners.

But it looks like New Zealand is copping a bit of its own medicine in China.

Time for the Labour, Green and NZ First hypocrites to take their medicine.  They are all very happy about Fonterra sticking it to them foreigners, but lo and behold if we were to let them buy stuff here!

It’s simply dog whistle politics that is fueled by the xenophobia that used to be Winston Peter’s personal brand, but has since been adopted by the Greens and Labour as well.   Read more »

This circus doesn’t need another clown

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NZ First MP Andrew Williams had a hissy fit over being positioned 13 on the NZ First partly list and ran off.

Then he cooled down, and did this:

NZ First MP Andrew Williams has started legal proceedings over being dumped from the party list ahead of the election.

Williams is seeking a declaration that the party breached its constitution when it determined the list, removing him as an electorate (East Coast Bays) and list candidate.

Williams had been ranked number 3 on the party list in 2011, and said he was given no reason for his demotion.

“I regret that I have no other option other than to take my party to Court to protect my reputation”, Williams said.

He had been “mistreated” by the party.

“I do not, however, wish to derail NZ First’s campaign, so I am asking for an urgent hearing following the election. Read more »

Labour refuse to confirm leaks on Asset buy-back fund

Winston Peters is the one who lacks principles

Winston Peters is the one who lacks principles

Andrea Vance’s sources have her convinced Labour have set aside $100M to buy back NZ assets.

Labour leader David Cunliffe is refusing to be drawn on whether the party will announce plans for a new asset fund, but says he “stands behind public opinion” in opposition to asset sales.

The party is understood to be planning to set aside funds to buy mainly New Zealand assets, partly to woo NZ First leader Winston Peters into coalition.

Labour would likely need the support of both the Greens and NZ First to form a government. It has said a policy costing about $100 million a year is yet to be announced.

$100M a year doesn’t stretch very far.  But it would allow Labour the high road claiming they are “buying back our assets as we can afford it”.   Read more »