Peter Dunne

The Bully Brigade, Ctd – Crisis meeting in Wellington

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Looks like the boys at the New Zealand Fire Service are reading Whaleoil.

There is a “crisis meeting’ in Wellington today to talk about the serious issues raised on the blog.

The NZFS Strategic Leadership Team and the Operational Leadership team know they have a problem.

Are they worried? They should be.

The tip-line has received numerous emails from people within the NZFS very keen on airing their stories about the bullying behaviour by the likes of Brad ‘the Munter’ Mosby, Tim “The Tool’ Evans, Brendon Nally, Ron Devlin, Stu Rooney…

Whaleoil’s investigation into these allegations has opened a floodgate of people wanting to have their say.   Read more »

Trouble in coalition land?

We’ve had two terms when the National-led coalition government did a pretty good job at presenting a united front.  With the exception of Peter Dunne, who already went troppo over the last few years (did this coincide with legal highs?), the other partners didn’t openly defy National.

That has changed.  In spite of National being returned with a record-breaking 3rd term majority under MMP, its coalition partners and indeed National itself are now openly fighting in front of the kids.

There won’t be a referendum on national super while John Key is Prime Minister.

He has shot down ACT leader David Seymour’s call for the people to decide how superannuation should be funded.

Mr Seymour told his party’s annual conference on Saturday the current scheme wasn’t viable in the long term and there had to be changes to make it financially sustainable.

He wants an expert group appointed to come up with options for a referendum, and says raising the age from 65 isn’t the only one available.

Mr Key isn’t interested and says Mr Seymour, a government ally, didn’t talk to him before raising the issue.

“I read about it in the newspaper,” he said.

“There won’t be a referendum. The National Party is clear on super – the age should stay at 65 and the entitlement at 66 percent (of the average wage).”

During the 2008 election campaign, which he won, Mr Key pledged that if there was any change to national super under his watch he would resign from parliament.

There you go.  “Don’t broadside me in the media, son”, says Key to minnow David.   “We do these things behind the scenes where I can tell you to stop playing games.”

Says one commenter:

John Key has no problem spending $26 million on flag referendum but unwilling to spend any money on one as important as the future financial security of our country and how to fund superannuation.

But add this to Peter Dunne and the Maori Party being extremely vocal against sending New Zealand troops to Iraq, and in public at least, this coalition government looks far from a cohesive team.

I don’t get a sense this is by design.   Key’s having trouble with his back bench, can’t see eye to eye with Joyce who wants to keep giving money away to SkyCity and Team New Zealand no matter the public opposition, had to pull the plug on Parata’s charter schools, is getting constant static from Bill English over delivering a surplus, and he’s now bickering with coalition partners through the media.

To seasoned observers, these are interesting developments.

- NZN via 3 News

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National cabinet to approve troops for Iraq today

The controversial issue has split Parliament – and even some of the Prime Minister’s allies are vehemently opposed to intervening in the Middle East.

A deployment would conclude months of increasingly bellicose rhetoric since the general election as John Key ramped up talk of New Zealand’s need to intervene.

Labour defence spokesman Phil Goff said it seemed Mr Key had privately decided months ago to deploy troops to fight Isis.

He said New Zealand’s Western allies, rather than the Iraqi government, were driving the push to send Kiwi troops to the Middle East.

“My problem, and the Labour Party’s problem, is the avenue Key has chosen is likely to be the least effective way of dealing with the problem.”

He said that was because the Iraqi army was corrupt, had a “pathetic” leadership and was itself a cause of sectarian tensions and subsequent grievances Isis used to win support.

Mr Goff said Isis needed to be contained and isolated, starved of funds, weapons and personnel, and its victims given help.

I don’t know about you, but I think we should send Phil Goff to sort this out.  He seems to know exactly what to do.   Read more »

The Bully Brigade – Who’s Who, Ctd

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L-R Brendan Nally, Ron Devlin, Brad ‘The Munter’ Mosby

On Saturday I posted about the level of noise being generated from the dodgy bullying that is happening within the New Zealand Fire Service.

A few key names keep reappearing on the tip-line. But the problems don’t just sit with Brad ‘The Munter’ Mosby, or Tim ‘The Tool” Evans at Kaiapoi. They go much deeper, right into the halls of power at NZFS HQ.   Read more »

Legals Highs II – the return of Dunne’s Vengeance

Local New Zealand councils are feeling the pressure to act as licenses to sell legal highs become available in the coming months.

The products were stripped from the shelves last year but even with a change in law selling legal highs is still possible.

It now falls to local councils to decide where products could be sold and to try and restrict sales in their communities.

“All we are legally allowed and obliged to do is pinpoint the retail spots where these products can be sold,” says Linda Cooper from the Auckland Council.

“We can’t ban it, the legislation doesn’t allow us to do that.”

In Auckland its proposed large areas won’t be able to sell legal highs including schools, hospitals and more deprived areas.

I have a solution.  Allow them for sale at sea or in wilderness areas at last 5km from any legal road.   Read more »

Introducing the Bully Brigade: Crisis in Kaiapoi

CORRECTION:  This article ran with a photo that was not Pete Nicolle.  The person in the photo remains unidentified, but our apologies are extended for getting it wrong.  Thanks to the person who highlighted this error.   The photo below has replaced the erroneous one, and is of Pete Nicolle.  

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You wouldn’t want your house catching fire in Kaiapoi right now. The tip line is red hot with information including leaked emails from within Fire Service National HQ that the local fire brigade is falling to bits. Whaleoil will keep you updated as the story develops because things are turning for the worse. But in the meantime here’s the backstory.

Everyone outside the big cities knows the big issue in the fire service. On one hand, there’re the decent community people who join up as Volunteers, give their time for free, do the training, help out round the station and get up in the middle of the night when there’s a fire.   Read more »

Trotter is onto it with the loss of Russel Norman

Chris Trotter thinks the bloodless coup within the Greens is a move to push the Green party towards the right.

I think he is right…and as usual wrong at the same time.

RUSSEL NORMAN’S DECISION to step down as the Greens co-leader reflects the party’s longstanding determination to reposition itself rightward. For eight years Norman’s personal energy and political discipline succeeded in turning aside the pleas of a clear majority of the Greens’ membership to break the party out of its left-wing ghetto. Only by exploiting to the full his party’s consensus-based decision-making processes was Norman able to keep the Greens anchored firmly on the left of New Zealand politics.

For eight years Norman strove to fashion a Green Party manifesto that was not only compatible with the Labour Party’s policy platform but would, to a remarkable degree, serve as its inspiration. His astonishing and largely successful mission to master the challenges of contemporary economics; an effort which allowed him to participate in policy debates with an authority sadly lacking in his predecessors, and to drag Labour along in his wake, is probably the most impressive achievement of his leadership.

It was this ability to render the Greens’ left-wing policies economically intelligible that allowed Norman to spike the guns of the Greens’ very sizeable “moderate” (for want of a better description) faction. The latter had demonstrated its power by installing Metiria Turei as co-leader – rather than the overtly left-wing Sue Bradford – following Jeanette Fitzsimons’ retirement in 2008. Had the rules made it possible, this same faction would have radically repositioned the Greens as an ideologically agnostic environmentalist party of the political centre; one capable of forming a coalition with either of the main political parties.

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Is Andrea Vance miffed she wasn’t invited on the helicopter?

Andrea Vance has her knickers in a bunch over the use of a helicopter by Nick Smith to take some of the family members of Pike River victims to…and here’s the kicker…places that can only be reached by…yes your guessed…helicopter.

No-one is objecting to the source of funds.

Bernie Monk not only says its ok, he says it’s necessary

Andrea Vance needs to report what the news is, not what she would rather it was.

Cabinet minister Nick Smith has chartered another helicopter for television cameras – this time using tax-payer cash set aside for the families of the Pike River victims.

Last year Smith used $6344 of Department of Conservation money to send up a chopper for a photo opportunity with ministers Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell.

Today he was back on the West Coast for a press conference about the future of the Pike River mine site.

Families of the victims want a walking track and visitor centre to mark the place where 29 men died in 2010.   Read more »

RMA reform will be an uphill battle

Apart from ACT, all political parties have expressed that they are against Nick Smith’s RMA review

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says it will do nothing for house prices in Auckland.

Local authorities wanted a law that was simple and less complex to manage and one that provided better outcomes for communities and economy, Local Govt New Zealand (LGNZ) president Lawrence Yule said today.

LGNZ represents the authorities whose role is to implement the Resource Management Act.

Mr Yule, who is also the Mayor of Hastings, said there was too much process prescribed by the current planning law.

“We need an act that creates more affordable housing, builds jobs and creates business and economic growth, within an environment of managing our natural resources.”

Environment Minister Nick Smith set out 10 areas of reform that will change the way councils carry out planning law.

So, to summarise:

The Green Party have gone all sulky with Genter saying there is absolutely no point working with National on RMA reform as they won’t be listened to.

The Maori party are against it, as they see Maori natural heritage under threat.

NZ First don’t like it because it doesn’t attack real problems, like immigration pressure on house prices and other RMA managed resources.

Peter Dunne’s against it, and I got too bored to understand why, but he’s not on the team.

And Andrew Little has done exactly as I predicted:  he says reform is just a ‘smoke screen’ (I used Trojan Horse) for the government to slide in the legalised rape an pillage of natural resources, all the while selling it as something that will make houses cheaper. Read more »

What on earth is wrong with Peter Dunne?

And why aren’t hordes of women and leftie liberals not demanding his head?

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