Trevor Mallard

Mallard and Dyson shafted by their own team in boundary redraw

It is looking increasingly like Labour’s own advisor to the Electoral Commission has worked very hard at shafting Ruth Dyson and Trevor Mallard. So much so he has missed some strange looking boundary adjustments in other areas.

Jadis has performed some very good analysis of the changes over at the lifestyle, travel and arts blog of David Farrar. From the looks of it there are no winners on the left side of politics.

And most of the losers are Labour.

Losers:

Ruth Dyson, Port Hills – Dyson is the biggest loser in this boundary review.  Her majority has been reversed with the Nats stronghold of Halswell moving into the seat, and Anderton’s old stomping ground of Sydenham moving into Christchurch Central.  Dyson will have a real battle to hold this, even with the Nats putting in a new candidate.  How winnable the seat is very much depends on the strength of the Nat candidate, but a good candidate could take the seat with a 2000 majority.  I’d be gutted if I was Dyson as Pete Hodgson (who did the boundaries for Labour) is a good mate of hers.  Perhaps this is Labour’s new (poor) strategy of retiring MPs.

Trevor Mallard, Hutt South – This is the surprise of the final boundaries.  Mallard has gained all of the  Western Hills (good Nat territory) and lost super red areas of Naenae and Rimutaka. Labour should have been able to stop this occurring but appear to have put up no fight.  Mallard should be furious with his party for failing to keep Hutt South a real red seat.  Why didn’t Hodgson fight hard for Mallard?  Was it a directive from on high?  Realistically, Mallard should hold the seat but he’ll be working hard for it and never should have been put in this position. I expect Mallard’s majority to be pegged down a few.  Read more »

No news today – just Labour continuing to be hypocritical

Labour, and particularly Shane Jones, are shameless with the brouhaha over a fundraising dinner John Key attended organised by the Maori Party.

Back in October, wasn’t it Labour selling access to MPs at its party conference?

Their conference material offered:

 An opportunity to meet 1:1 in a short meeting with your choice (subject to availability) of Members of Parliament and senior Party officials (further information regarding this will be sent to you on payment).

I think we need to step back and consider very carefully Labour’s stance on this.

Paying to go for a dinner where you’ll likely  get some face time with John Key = bad/evil

Paying to meet one-on-one Labour MPs = just fine.  Read more »

Wanting to find oil isn’t a sacking offence, but cuddling unions is

Greenpeace, the dodgy ratbags who expatriate most of their money and avoid paying taxes here want to run a campaign to sack Simon Bridges.

They want Simon Bridges sacked for wanting to explore our countryside for signs of oil and other minerals…explore mind you not actually mine for them. They consider this to be a sacking offence.

The NZ Herald reports:

Greenpeace has launched a campaign calling for the sacking of Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges, saying “he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing”.

“On April 2, New Zealand’s largest forest park was offered up for possible drilling and mining. Then a few days later Simon Bridges admitted that he didn’t even know it existed,” says the campaign press release.

At the time of going to press, almost 5000 emails had been sent to Prime Minister John Key, calling for him to sack his minister.   Read more »

Rodney Hide on a dodgy union rorts and National’s lack of courage in taking on the unions

Rodney Hide discusses the dodgy union rort going on in the PSA:

For years government departments have been running a scam for the unions. The amounts involved total in the millions. The scam diverts your tax dollars away from their proper purpose to the union movement. The scam thereby indirectly assists Labour. It’s shonky.

The latest Government outfit engaging in the scam is Parliamentary Service. This is surprising. Parliamentary Service employs MPs’ staff and the many legions of people who make Parliament work. That includes MPs’ electorate agents, their office staff, the librarians, the cleaners and the messengers. To ensure a sound democracy and proper government the Parliamentary Service must be scrupulously fair and even-handed.

And here’s where it has fallen down. Badly.

The service has just settled a new Employment Agreement for all MPs’ support staff. The deal involves a kick-back for joining a union. There’s no other word for it. Staff who are members of the union receive a one-off payment of $1000. Non-union members receive a one-off payment of $500. The result is a $500 bonus for joining the union.

The two unions involved are the Public Service Association (PSA) and the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU). The $500 bonus more than pays the annual membership fee.

Parliamentary Service dresses up the union bonus as reflecting “the significant input of union members to the process of developing and agreeing the terms and the agreement itself”. But that’s phooey. The payment’s purpose is to pump union membership and fatten union bank accounts.

These unions are highly politicised and the Service and Food Workers Union directly affiliates to the Labour Party and pays levies for the privilege. The union even had a vote in choosing David Cunliffe as the new Labour leader.

The union’s webpage runs the banner, “Let’s Change the Government!”  Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

How does Labour’s policy on wood match their ETS policy?

Labour has decided that they want to give tax breaks to forestry companies. Their premise is that it will build capacity in the industry and increase their ability to produce higher grade products that are worth more.

They don’t extend this to other industries though, and bizarrely the policy which would necessitate the chopping down of more trees is in stark contrast with their ETS policy which penalises people who cut down trees. They use weasel words about encouraging growth, but the mechanism involved heaps penalties upon landowners if they cut down their own trees.

As trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it as wood (with forests therefore sometimes being referred to as ‘carbon sinks’). When forests are felled, they release carbon.

Forestry is rewarded under the ETS. That is because forests, as carbon sinks, have a big role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and in helping New Zealand meet its international climate change obligations.

Labour will therefore encourage increased forest cover, and particularly the planting of native forest that will not be harvested.

Labour will encourage landowners to plant forests to act as carbon sinks, and provide incentives and information on suitable trees to plant.

Several schemes are already in place to encourage the planting of forests. However, trees vary in their ability to capture and store carbon. There are also biodiversity issues to consider when determining the optimal mix of planting.

Is that going to change or are the new tax breaks a case of giving with one hand and taking away with the other?  Labour’s ETS policy says nothing of promoting wood as a produce, which by necessity must come from trees, which they want to grow more of. The two policies are incompatible.

The ETS is a red herring in forestry terms – overly complicated – but the forester is largely revenue neutral providing they replant… however, the processing industries that Cunliffe is promising tax breaks to are not neutral and will pay through the nose.  So there is a question about how much of the tax breaks they’ll actually see once Labour’s super-charged ETS is imposed on them.

Read more »

Shane Jones outed as another Dotcom visitor

Shane Jones has been outed as yet another politician who has been out to the mansion, and more importantly is it was a recent visit as Jones informed his leader David Cunliffe.

Adam Bennett reports:

Labour’s Shane Jones said he visited the mansion late last year. But the discussion was limited to rap-music – and he had told leader David Cunliffe about the visit.

This confirms information that I have received from business interests concerned about Shane Jones’ actions with regard to Kim Dotcom. Labour insiders assure me that Jones is not doing any sort of deal with Dotcom, but I’m not convinced yet. After all who travels from their luxury accommodation at SkyCity all the way out to Coatesville to talk about rap music….surely they could have done that over Skype or the phone?

Journalists though now have further confirmation of Dotcom’s meddling in the politics of New Zealand and also confirmation that David Cunliffe has been aware of visits by his own MPs.   Read more »

Groucho Marx’s Labour party

Groucho_Marx_on_Politics

This accurately sums up the state of the Labour party.

You can see the evidence of this in their ham-fisted attacks and smears on Judith Collins and now John Key. Aided by their pals in the compliant media, like Patrick Gower and Corin Dann they really are making a mockery of politics, their party and journalism.

The excuse making and justifications of Gower’s recent behaviour in Shanghai, by journalists like Russell Brown, just make that sort of scurrilous reporting available to all.

I look forward to Patrick Gower invading the office of Selwyn Pellett and rummaging his drawers, fridge and bookshelves looking for evidence of his cozy relationship with Labour and the unions. Of course that won’t happen.

Since the departure of Helen Clark the party has been stagnant, and now since the arrival of the entirely false and contrived David Cunliffe in freefall in the polls. The current state of the Labour party can be sheeted home entirely to the legacy of Helen Clark.  Read more »

Another Labour fail. Making a claim, then having it destroyed in seconds

Yesterday Labour and their proxy blogs made the claims that the Problem Gambling Foundation had lost its funding because it opposed the government deal with SkyCity.

Once again Labour has been caught out.

Labour claims funding for the Problem Gambling Foundation has been stopped because the foundation opposed the deal to increase the number of gambling machines at SkyCity Casino.

But the Government has confirmed the new holder of the contract to provide health and counselling services for problem gamblers throughout New Zealand is the Salvation Army, which also opposed the deal.

Labour’s Internal Affairs Spokesman Trevor Mallard said the foundation was being forced to close its doors because it vocally stood against the deal between the Government and SkyCity to increase the number of pokies in the Auckland casino, in return for building a new national convention centre.

“Staff will this morning be told the foundation has lost its Ministry of Health funding and will close its 12 offices nationwide,” Mallard said.  Read more »

Sledge of the Day – Maggie Barry

Maggie Barry sledges out Trevor Mallard…hard.

Read more »