Politics of New Zealand

Maori party reacts to Hone and his “waharoa tiamana”

The Maori party president Naida Glavish has issued a stinging press release telling Hone Harawira just exctly why he is wrong in entertaining Kim Dotcom and his vanity political party.

“The Maori Party has every right to ‘butt in’ when Hone Harawira talks about playing a confidence trick on Te Tai Tokerau voters to use their Maori seat as a ‘waharoa tiamana’ (a German gateway) to get Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party into Parliament,” says the Maori Party’s president, Rangimarie Naida Glavish. She was responding to Hone Harawira’s call for the Maori Party to “butt out” of his Mana Party’s invitation to Kim Dotcom to speak to the Mana annual general meeting in Rotorua this weekend.

“At a time when the Maori Party has had to work hard for the billion dollars of Whanau Ora and other benefits for te iwi Maori, Dotcom has no kaupapa other than dodging extradition to the United States. The Maori Party will not butt out of its responsibility to point out that Dotcom offers nothing to our people,” said Ms Glavish.  Read more »

Cry-baby Cunliffe upset over royal visit

David Cunliffe has put his sooky pants on today and started crying a river of tears because he isn’t going to meet the royals as much as John Key.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has taken a swipe at John Key over the royal visit, suggesting the prime minister is milking the extra “facetime” with Prince William and his wife, compared with his own limited meetings.

He also described a possible visit to the White House as “pre-election PR from the prime minister ” who was “stage managing the calendar of the year as it suits him”.

But he conceded “it may not be the first time prime ministers have stage managed international visits”.

Cunliffe said it was very  important that the treatment of the royal visit was as even-handed as possible between the government and the opposition, and also that the visit was well-spaced from the election.

The split between the government and the opposition should be as even as possible – but it wasn’t, he said.

Labour was positive about the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and they were very welcome in New Zealand.

“We are not going to play politics with it,” Cunlifee said. He would  “leave it for New Zealanders to decide” if there was sufficient gap between their visit and the election.  Read more »

The Key to defeat

Luke Malpass at The Spectator has an interesting article on how it is that John Key will be defeated…and ironically John Key’s decision to only provide a lacklustre opposition to MMP may bite him.

John Key is the most popular leader in the western world. Not by a little, but a lot. His net approval rating (approvals minus disapprovals) has consistently been around 50+ per cent. That compares with Tony Abbott at 10+ per cent and Bill Shorten at 8+ per cent. Julia Gillard was somewhere down in the -20 territory. Barack Obama and David Cameron are both around -10 per cent. So why on earth will Mr Key and his government struggle to get re-elected on 20 September? The answer is simple: Mixed Member Proportional.

This electoral system, reconfirmed at the 2011 general election, is a blight on New Zealand politics. In the same way the Hare-Clark system in Tasmania delivered the recent Mickey-mouse, tail-wagging-dog government, so MMP does in New Zealand. It entrenches minority government at the expense of stability and introduces obfuscation where accountability should reside.

The left wing is an assortment of average to failing parties of little support, but group them together and the most popular government and PM in modern history may well lose…beaten by a coalition of losers.

In theory, according to its advocates, MMP is great. As it is extremely difficult to get a majority of the primary vote (1950 was the last time it happened) there can be no ‘elective dictatorships’. Because you vote for an electorate and a party, you can split your vote and elect a local candidate you like, without necessarily voting for their party. Party lists allow highly competent people with little political appeal to be elected. Parties have to constructively get along, and no government can get too far ahead of the people.   Read more »

Tim Watkin on the reality of polling and mandates

Tim Watkin is not someone I normally agree with, but occasionally he does come up with some good analysis, even if he is too afraid to go on air with me at NewstalkZB.

His latest post at Pundit is a good one.

Two regular Pundit-visitors Ian and Richard have tsked tsked me on my previous post, warning me not to believe the “National spin” and “slogan” around National’s large lead over Labour. Their argument is that under MMP a 15 percent gap between the major parties doesn’t matter. Here’s why they’re wrong…

First, I’ll challenge them to read the post again because Ian’s point that “we are in MMP now. Remember that the minor parties can also make a difference” is (sorry Ian) not a very good one given current political conditions.

First, even under MMP 15 percent between the two major parties is a large gap. No party has had that kind of a lead under MMP and not formed the next government, so for the centre-left to be contenders – and for swing voters to feel turning out and voting for change is worthwhile – it has to be closer. And that goes for making the volunteers work hard and even the MPs to pull their fingers out. It’s just psychology.

This is what I have been saying. I can say it from experience because this is what happened to National in 2002. With a large gap and a perception of losing the mPs all de-camped to their electorates and ran electorate vote campaigns to save their skins. Labour is going to have this happen, it already is.  Read more »

Revenge is not a policy platform

We all know now that Kim Dotcom is a vengeful character. He has stated that he will “destroy anybody” who he thinks will “harm his family”. That means that if you call in the lawyer to get you wages paid that he will destroy you, mock you on Twitter and mount and expensive legal battle. He is motivated by revenge.

Rodney Hide notes that is not a platform for a sustainable political party.

Motive matters, especially in politics. Voters want to know the “Why” just as much as the “What”. And that’s where the internet Party falls down. Kim Dotcom is driven entirely by revenge. And his fight with the US Government.

His beef is with the Prime Minister. Dotcom holds John Key personally responsible for the raid on his home and the taking down of his internet business. Hence the internet Party.

In the absence of the raid – and the threat of extradition and conviction – there would be no internet Party. That’s its point.

The party therefore lacks uplift. It’s not in any way inspiring. It lacks any underpinning philosophy or guiding principles. That’s a must-have for political parties. It’s what generates the passion and the drive that politics demands.

Paying people might get a ‘job’ done, but it does not pass through to enthusiasm.

Not surprisingly, those involved desperately lack passion and belief. The internet Party’s chief executive Vikram Kumar jumped from Dotcom’s Mega company.

He says his job now is that of a “start-up” and of taking “a concept to market”.

That’s not the stuff of politics.   Read more »

The Disneyfication of NZ Politics

Paul Thomas writes at the Herald:

Meanwhile the Disneyfication of our electoral politics continued with the launch of the Internet Party or, as cynics call it, the Society for the Prevention of Kim Dotcom’s Extradition.

In what may be the ultimate test of the notion that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, Dotcom revealed that he’s the — presumably proud — owner of a signed copy of Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical Nazi blueprint, Mein Kampf.

A columnist in this paper thought Dotcom might be just the fellow to wrest the country from John Key’s evil clutches.  Read more »

If Hone has bolted then who is the mystery MP or is Kim Dotcom just making it all up?

It look like Hone Harawira has realised the problem inherent in bending over for Kim Dotcom and declared the deal is off.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has said they would not look to work with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party any time soon.

In a statement released tonight, Mr Harawira said liaising with Mr Dotcom’s party – to be launched on Thursday – would not be in Mana’s best interests.

With the Herald editorial and the Dompost editorial out right hostile, perhaps he has done something smart for once in his life.

Small parties need friends, and so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at Mana’s flirtation with the Internet party. MP Hone Harawira has tried to broaden his appeal since he split with the Maori Party. He came up with Mana, a collection of brown and white radicals that got a little more than 1 per cent of the vote in the 2011 election. That was roughly what ACT got.

In other words, the Mana experiment is not working and something else is required. But Kim Dotcom can’t be the answer to Mana’s problem. Politics makes strange bedfellows, but this couple would be grotesque. The party of the poor and the dispossessed hooks up with a German tycoon? The party of justice and redistribution beds down with the man from Megabucks Corp?

[...]  Read more »

Rudman takes a break from theatre reviews and talks about Kim Dotcom and Mana

Bless Brian Rudman, he takes a momentary break from calling for subsidies for his luvvie mates in theatre to have a crack at Hone Harawira, Mana and Kim Dotcom.

Hone Harawira, Mana Party leader, champion of the down-trodden and scourge of “White motherf***ers [who] have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries” is caught in bed – figuratively speaking – with an alien millionaire, negotiating a political marriage of convenience for the upcoming election.

This is the same Mr Harawira who split with the Maori Party because he couldn’t stand its decision to cuddle up to the right-wing National Government.

Eighteen months ago, after the slap-stick bumbling and embarrassing forelock pulling by New Zealand authorities to their United States counterparts was revealed, I was moved to wonder if Dotcom was in fact a computer virus, slowly infecting our senior politicians and agencies of state, and transforming them into figures of fun.

Whether he is a virus, or a puckish imp, sent by the gods to mock those who would rule over us, Dotcom continues his uncanny facility to bring out the ridiculous in them.

Mr Harawira is only one of several who have succumbed to Dotcom’s Internet Party project. But with a seat in Parliament, and a chance of being re-elected in this September’s general election, he is the prize catch.  Read more »

Trotter on Cunliffe’s lack of voice

Chris Trotter has gone from writing off Labour to pleading that someone, anyone, helps David Cunliffe find his political voice.

The political voice he uses now is different depending on the audience he is speaking ot. On radio he lowers his voice and appears conciliatory, yet promising or saying nothing. It is literally boring. You can hear that he has dropped what there is of his chin onto his chest and is looking down as he speaks…nodding at the phone as he speaks…close your eyes next time he is on radio and remove all distraction and see if I am right.

His stand up voice is smug and smarmy, he again drops his chin, but not as much and talks down, imperiously to journalists, but usually over their heads to someone else, though there is no one else there. Again his body language is all skew whiff, nodding when he should b shaking his head, shaking his head when he should be nodding, and he has this disastrous quirk where he tilts his head on its side in an attempt to make his mouth seems straight but only serves to give the impression he is sneaky and lying….which he probably is.

His final voice is the his Avondale market voice which is a toffs version of bro-speak, interspersed with little snippets of Maori to impress the natives. It is as fake as his CV.

So which voice is it that Trotter wants to hear?

DAVID CUNLIFFE’s biggest problem is his voice. Not his actual voice, which is fine, but his political voice: the way he is heard by the voting public. It’s a problem because the one he’s using at the moment isn’t working. It doesn’t ring true. And until it does he’s not going to be able to engage with the people he needs to make him Prime Minister.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Cunliffe is a fake. One-on-one, eyeball-to-eyeball, in small groups, he can be utterly transfixing. In the discussions I’ve had recently about the Labour leader’s “voice” problem, this ability to inspire has been attested to over and over again. And I know it’s true because I’ve felt it myself. When Cunliffe fixes his eyes on you and speaks about the things that matter – both to him and to you – he can be utterly compelling.

Unfortunately, all that communicative power and authority is lost whenever Cunliffe is required to address a hostile and/or sceptical audience – most particularly the news media. At these moments he becomes the political equivalent of Iron Man. In the blink of an eye the high-tech suit of armour snaps shut around the vulnerable person inside and his communication, while factual and fluent, loses all colour, all life. It becomes, in a word, robotic.  Read more »

NewstalkZB, interview with Larry Williams about Kim Dotcom

I was on NewstalkZB last night with Larry Williams talking about Kim Dotcom and his threats to his underpaid security guards.

I’m waiting to see what the parade of left-wing  politicians who bent their knee to Kim Dotcom say now after it has been revealed that he is a slave wages scumbag employer.  Read more »