New Zealand National Party

Even the Huffington Post has McCully’s number

NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully


Read more »

Total and utter horseshit from ACT

So yesterday Audrey Young breathlessly reported something that actually wasn’t true and set off a media frenzy that was sparked by an outright lie in the ACT email newsletter.

Former Act leader Don Brash made an approach to Act president John Thompson recently to ask whether National’s Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson could join the party, Act leader David Seymour has revealed.

Mr Seymour said the board had unanimously rejected any such notion.

Mr Seymour also said he believed the approach by Dr Brash would have been authorized by Mr Williamson.

Mr Williamson was forced to resign as minister in May last year when Herald Investigations editor Jared Savage revealed Mr Williamson had contacted a high ranking police officer about domestic charges against a wealthy businessman with close ties to him.

Mr Seymour said taking someone into the party because they were having problems with their own party was the worst possible reason for getting a new MP.

Read more »

Sir Brian Talboys, RIP


Sir Brian Talboys has died aged 91. I think I actually met Sir Brian at one time in the 80s.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Brian Talboys has died at the age of 91.

Sir Brian, who represented the Southland electorate of Wallace for eight elections from 1957, served as a Minister in the National Governments of Sir Keith Holyoake and Sir Robert Muldoon. He was Deputy Prime Minister under Muldoon from 1975 to 1981.

Born in Whanganui in 1921, Sir Brian served in the air force during World War II. After the war, he settled in Southland as a farmer and entered politics, winning the Wallace seat in 1957.

He was agriculture minister, science minister and then education minister under Holyoake, before becoming deputy leader of the National Party in Opposition in 1974, under Muldoon.

After National’s victory in the 1975 election, he became deputy prime minister and served in that role for the first two terms of the Muldoon Government, retiring in 1981.

National’s Maori Caucus Gap

Thanks to seriously and serially inept planning and non existent leadership by National Party President Peter Goodfellow there are now only five members of caucus who are Maori.

Paula Bennett
Hekia Parata
Simon Bridges
Tau Henare
Jami-Lee Ross

Left caucus:

Georgina Te Heu Heu
Aaron Gilmore
Paul Quinn

Thanks to the hopeless candidate college National has become whiter, blokier and less representative of New Zealand. Heads should roll for this, as it is the basic function of the party to bring through good candidates who represent New Zealand.

Great Campaign Ads, Ctd

From New Zealand this time. The famous Dancing Cossacks advert from the 1975 election:

The National Party’s 1975 ‘dancing Cossacks’ advertisement is probably the most famous – or infamous – piece of election advertising in New Zealand’s political history. In the first campaign held after the introduction of colour TV, National’s advertising agency, Colenso, engaged the famous American cartoon studio Hanna-Barbera to produce a colourful, animated advert.

National was trying to?turn voters against the Labour government by suggesting that the latter’s recently introduced compulsory superannuation scheme might lead to Soviet-style Communism (conveniently ignoring the fact that the Cossack peoples had traditionally been opponents of the Bolsheviks). It did the trick too, helping sweep Robert Muldoon’s National Party into power in a landslide victory.

Is Joycification Killing National?

Pedro Gower coins Nationals poll driven pragmatism as ?Joycification? int he latest Metro Magazinr. What he does not do is go into how Steven Joyce is quietly killing off National by refusing to engage on the electoral referendum.

Rather than writing hagiographies of Joyce, journalists should be asking the same questions this blog has been asking. Under MMP who will National?s coalition partners be after 2014? Will National become the Natural Party of Opposition? How does Joyce expect to hold power in 2014 if ACT, United Future and the Maori Party all die?

It will be interest to see if Steven Joyce is warmly welcomed to the National Party conference in 2015 if National win 46% of the vote but end up in opposition because they have no coalition partners.

Brash's extremist policys seen as sensible in Australia

John Key likes to label Don Brash’s policies as extremist. However in Australia these policies are seen as sensible.

If anyone doubts how left-wing New Zealand has become, one need look no further than the recent pronouncements of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. You won?t read it in most newspapers, but Ms Gillard, ex-Trotskyite and left-wing factional heavy, has much in common with a resurgent New Zealand political figure; so called ?extreme right-winger? Dr Donald T. Brash.

The comparison shows how far New Zealand has drifted down a path of fuzzy, socialist sentiment, with little hard analysis of policy. That Dr Brash is labelled an extremist reflects a malaise in economic and political thought in this country. Quite the paradox considering that in 2005, 39% of New Zealanders gave their primary vote to Dr Brash, a higher percentage than Ms Gillard received from the Australian public last year.

The mistake that National and?sycophantic?National supporters mistake is that they think that Don Brash will not appeal to mainstream New Zealand. They of course forget their history and forget the results of 2005. Sure Don Brash didn’t win but he still got 39% which is far from the extremes of the minnow parties.

For a start, consider the 2025 Taskforce, which Dr Brash chairs. The central recommendation in both of its reports is to reduce government spending in to 2005 levels. This is hardly ?slash and burn? stuff, and aims to reverse the enormous increases in total government expenditure since 2005 to around 35% of GDP, from its currently staggering level of 45% (causing the government to borrow $300 million per week). By comparison, Australians consistently spend between 33 and 35% of GDP. The target Dr Brash is aiming for is still modest compared to Australia, and does not represent ?extreme right wing? values.

Consider the Gillard government?s position on budget surpluses: the Australian Labor party (ALP) is committed to digging itself out of deficit and producing a budget surplus by 2012/13 ? despite budget profligacy under Kevin Rudd. This will require cuts, which the electorate is being softened up for now.

45% of GDP for total government expenditure is banana republic stuff. Australia, which?Labour?constantly refers to and also John Key as supposedly a better place to live because of all their largesse to the workers actually spends a whole lot less as a government. No wonder the gap is widening and not shrinking.

Consider Julia Gillard?s position on health reform in Australia. Although the ALP?s health reforms have been widely derided as weak and ineffective, Gillard has been on record talking about introducing price signals in health. Considering that healthcare is a budgetary bottomless pit of costs (since 2000, it has increased in New Zealand from $6 billion to $13.5 billion), this is wise. But the only person in New Zealand politics who would adopt that sort of language is Dr Brash.

The retirement age: the Gillard government is committed to lifting the retirement age to 67 due to Australians living longer, healthier lives, and to help the offset the pension burden this entails. Dr Brash agrees. Prime Minister John Key has pledged this will never happen under his premiership ?deferring the inevitable decision.

Take welfare dependency: Ms Gillard and her government plan to tackle long term welfare dependency, particularly those on disability and sickness benefits, whose rolls have grown inexorably over the past two decades, despite better health outcomes nationally. Dr Brash made similar suggestions as National Party leader.

Lots of similarities there. Don Brash doesn’t look so extreme, in fact John Key is the one looking extreme with the continuation of structural spending locked in by Labour off of the back of alleged structural surpluses which mysteriaously disappeared after the change of government.

Last night we saw Don Brash labelled extreme on raace relations by Hone Harawira, himself and extremist. But is Don Brash really an extremist.

The one major difference is in indigenous politics. Compared to Ms Gillard and the ALP, Dr Brash is not only not extreme, but looks positively wet: he supports equal rights, one law for all and the continuing redress of historic injustice. The ALP continues to support the Northern Territory intervention to revive dysfunctional remote communities. It has largely eschewed reparations for past injustices. Indeed the only real action the ALP has considered is a referendum on acknowledging of indigenous Australians in the constitution. And even this gesture is only being adopted at the behest of the Greens.

Perhaps not.

Finally, both Ms Gillard and Dr Brash support mining, and resource exploration. There is a perception in NZ that Australia is laden with resources in the desert that can be extracted with no protest, or disruption whatever. This is untrue. There are environmental hoops, indigenous issues and protestors to contend with ? the difference is that governments in Australia tend to be pro development. Yet in New Zealand, the government has already backed down once on mining some of the 40% of the nation in the conservation estate. To be in favour of mining where a reasonable case can be made is hardly extreme.

I am glad that Don Brash has re-entered politics. At least we will now at least have a debate about the important things.



Fran(k) spanks Rodney

In today’s Herald Fran(k) O’Sullivan spanks Rodney Hide…hard.

Rodney Hide – dubbed ‘the little corporal’ by his growing number of opponents within right wing politics – would definitely meet his political Waterloo if a credible candidate stood against him for the Epsom seat at the November elections.

That’s the clear takeout from secret polling done by the potential backers of a new “alternative support party”.

The polling shows that former Auckland City Council mayor John Banks would easily trounce Hide. So, too would other alternative candidates such as former National Party leader Don Brash, and, Colin Craig, the third placed candidate in the recent Auckland mayoral race.

And to really rub salt into this purulent wound, let’s toss in Hide’s bete noire Winston Peters. According to the indicative polls conducted by South Island-based Research First, even the NZ First leader is likely to do down better with Epsom voters than their canary coated MP.

That is a factor which might persuade Peters to contest the seat to try to bring Act down in revenge for the merciless campaign that Hide waged against him just before the 2008 election.

I’m not convinced that John Banks is even contemplating standing, though I do understand that he and Don Brash are busy fundraising and seeing?the?same donors that Peter Goodfellow has neglected the past couple of years. On who’s behalf, I’m not yet sure, but I am sure it is happening.

In the circumstances, Hide should do the decent thing and clear the way for a credible candidate to stand in Epsom for Act. But my sources suggest that Hide’s colossal ego is such that he is more likely to want to do down in a heap than put Act first.

Banks would stand “in a heartbeat” if Act asked him to do so, says one well-placed intermediary.

Brash – who had gone to cover in Hawkes Bay – was staying clear of the speculation ahead of his own speech to the conference today. But he’s recently been pressured by a number of players – including former National finance minister Ruth Richardson – to re-enter the political fray. He’s very tempted (not that he would need much seduction) as he believes the Government should be doing much more to get the economy on the right track.

The big question facing Banks, Brash, their allies and backers is whether they can reach an accommodation with Act or whether they should go ahead with the new party. Act is an established – if damaged brand.

It has a constitution and a membership base; not all its financial backers have deserted it.

I’m not sure who Fran(k) is talking to, especially with the “in a heartbeat” comment because the people I have spoken to who know John well say this simply isn’t the case. For John banks to stand in Epsom would mean a massive falling out between him and Aaron Bhatnagar. Aaron is the presumptive candidate for National in Epsom being the current electorate chair and National not having a representative for Epsom since Richard Worth fell on his sword.

I think that Banks and Brash though may well have poached?the?financial backers of Act. I am also pretty sure that banks and Brash know that electorally they are rat poison as candidates. They are both pensioners with Brash over 70. They also both know that their best years politically are behind them.

Colin Craig though is a whole new kettle of fish.

When Labour first got wind that Epsom voters were being polled over whether they should vote for Hide or Banks, Banks denied any knowledge of the phone poll.

In fact, it was Craig who commissioned the December polling. Respondents who identified themselves as centre-right or swing voters were asked if they were in favour of a new partner for John Key in place of Act, “given Act’s decline in popularity and internal problems”. The upshot was that just over 50 per cent either agreed or strongly agreed with the need for a new partner. About 22 per cent were in the disagree or disagree strongly camp.

Another question asking all poll respondents to rank their preferred leader for a new party in place of Act, put Banks at the top with 37 per cent. Craig had 27 per cent, Brash 21 per cent, Peters 16 per cent and Hide was on 14 per cent,

Colin Craig has got money, he has got business skills and had he obtained good credible?political?advice may well have given Len Brown a decent run for his big?corporate?money. Colin Craig is certainly best placed to take a truly independent campaign to the streets of Auckland and have a better than even chance of tipping out Len Brown, who is proving to be as useless, if not more so than Dick Hubbard. I’m not sure that running for parliament is the right thing for Colin Craig but I reserve judgement until I see who else he has enlisted for support.

If that support is a bunch of disaffected Act loonies then his campaign will be doomed. There is room for a decent, right of centre party of?principle, there isn’t one for a loony fringe of collected single issue drum beaters.

One thing is certain though, unless Act can connect then their days are numbered. This much Fran(k) has right.





The lies and record of Peter Goodfellow

Peter Goodfellow - Playing with the botox needles?Peter Goodfellow has finally put out a letter to delegates (Will they even recognise you). It is only just hitting main centres so very likely most delegates will miss getting it. The mark of a true campaign amateur.

I promised I would stop calling Peter Goodfellow to account when he stopped telling lies about his achievements. I also promised I would prove everything I said if he kept on lying. Well his letter to delegates is nothing short of an orchestrated litany of lies. Therefore I will prove what I have been saying all along.

In the documents which are attached below I have redacted non-essential names and electorate or branch details. I have left the rest intact so you can see what I am talking about when I say that fundraising has exclusively been from the Victory Fund and/or levies.

Board Minutes June 2010

Board Minutes July 2010

Victory Fund Allocations 2011

Electorate Levies 2010

You will see that the finances of the party are in good heart, but you will also see that they are in good heart, not through the actions of the President but rather through the hard work of the members in each electorate or branch.

Now onto Peter Goodfellow’s letter to delegates.

Peter Goodfellow - Lie 1

Peter Goodfellow - Lie 1

Well excuse me if I don’t die laughing. Point by point: reliable membership system, bought and implemented by Judy Kirk, they showed it all off at the last conference. Fundraising? what fundraising? Reinvigorated policy involvement, uhmmm there is ONE remit being debated at conference, doesn’t sound particularly re-invigorated to me. Full campaign readiness….excuse me? You only just appointed the campaign chair last month and advised in the minutes of the board meeting you were going to have a talk with him, plus the candidates college hasn’t met for a year, if you think that is campaign ready then you are as fake as your botoxed forehead.

Peter Goodfellow - Lie 2

Peter Goodfellow - Lie 2

Active involvement in the party at all levels? oh please Peter, why tell such big whoppers. The simple fact is you got drunk and dirty in young nats, buggered off overseas, came back and did nothing until you decided to pad out out your very thin CV with Chair of Publicity Committee, held no meetings during your tenure of the Publicity Committee and then plopped yourself down on the board where your sole contribution was to stay awake and nod vociferously at everyone elses ideas. I hear Judy Kirk, bless her, had to implore you, beg even, to get you to comment on board decisions. You’ve got President of the National Party on your CV, now run along and annoy some other group with your indolence.

Peter Goodfellow - Lie 3

Peter Goodfellow - Lie 3

So what are you saying Peter? That the other Regional Chairs aren’t committed to the party at all levels, nationally and locally? Balance? Does that mean you dribble out of both sides of your mouth? If National must run a strong nation-wide campaign then why are you out there talking about a two-ticks campaign? Surely you were awake at all those board meetings with Judy Kirk, bless her, where she said nothing else other than “party Vote National”. It seems you are doing more of the bidding of caucus than the party, that’s why there is just ONE remit for conference and no debate on things like the ETS and why caucus are running interference behind the scenes for you. You would do well to remember it is the party that elected you to the board, not caucus.

Peter Goodfellow - Lie 3

Peter Goodfellow - Lie 4

It’s always about Peter Goodfellow first isn’t it? You just shafted the hard-working regional chairs with your snarky back-handed comment about focus and now you are asking for those same hardworking people to put you first. The party is smarter than that. They should put you last and send you out to pasture. The fact that you have Michelle Boag and Murray McCully (Is it true that she has been telling delegates that she is the “Auckland Mafia”? I mean really, why would you say that?) running interference for you as well now should put the shivers up most delegates.

I didn’t want to publish the details of party communications and finances, but I had to because Peter Goodfellow keeps claiming the hard work of other people as his own. Dear Lord, have you even written a speech for this year considering you had to nick Roger Bridge’s last year for your acceptance speech, yes Peter I have spies everywhere. No one likes a liar, and no one likes someone who claims other peoples work for their own. Put Peter Goodfellow last and select the other three hardworking candidates for the board positions. Peter’s claims are as fake as his wondrous new persona. We need real party members on the board not plastic or card-board cutout fakes. A weasel without a moustache is still a weasel.