Northland region

Winston and Kelvin Davis need to get their facts straight

Yesterday in parliament Winston Peters and Kelvin Davis led a shameless and more to the point dead wrong attack against a local company in Northland.

They are trying to link Judith Collins into the attack and Nick Smith?didn’t really help her with his hesitant?responses.

Kelvin Davis : Has he discussed the issue of swamp kauri exports with Judith Collins, whose husband, David Wong-Tung, and good friend Stone Shi are directors in the chain of shell companies that owns the Ruak?k? mill, the ultimate ownership of which is obscured by a lawyer?s nominee company?

Mr SPEAKER : In so far as there may be some ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I thought that this member was above getting involved in that sort of murk.

Kelvin Davis : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did ask a question, and it was not addressed.

Mr SPEAKER : Yes, and I said that the Minister could answer it in so far as there was ministerial responsibility. There was very little connection there with ministerial responsibility. I allowed the Minister to answer it the way he did, and that is acceptable.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Is he denying what is well known to locals in Northland: that swamp kauri is being exported illegally and that his ministry?s lax enforcement of the law is because people high up in Oravida are major donors and players in the National Party, and there are the photographs of the logs, all being exported illegally?

Mr SPEAKER : Again, I will invite the Minister to answer if he sees ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : The law in respect of the export of indigenous forests was passed in 1993, with that member?s support. It was softened in 2004 by colleagues adjacent to him, with his support. My advice is that the law is being followed.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. He cannot get up and accuse me of supporting a law when I was not a member of the Government. He did it on both occasions?1993 and 1994. We all know that. He is just telling lies.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] No, I do not need further help with that. That is certainly not a point of order. I will invite the Minister, if he wishes, to add further to his answer in order to complete it before we go to further supplementary questions.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I would invite the member to check the Hansard as to how New Zealand First voted in 1993 on the Forests Amendment Act, and, again, as to how the party voted in 2004 when the law was changed.

They are running off their mouths under the protection of parliamentary privilege. ?? Read more »

I can’t believe Andrew Little still has not spoken to Winston Peters

Unbelievably, since Andrew Little has become Leader of the Opposition, he has barely spoken to Winston Peters and even more unbelievably he hasn’t het met him since Steve Joyce’s Northland debacle.

Claire Trevett highlights the bizarre situation.

The member of Parliament-elect for Northland, Winston Raymond Peters, returned to the House this week, a Phoenix rising, a man transformed.

Strangely, the result has quite gone to Labour’s head. It is acting as if it won the byelection. For the past two days, Labour MPs have strutted in and asked a number of Northland-related questions in Parliament.

Leader Andrew Little and other Labour MPs dedicated their general debate speeches to rubbing National’s nose in the dog poos that was its campaign. Little has also talked about working more with Peters to build a united, strong Opposition. Labour seems to think sending its voters Peters’ way has bought it coalition insurance, a strong comrade-in-arms.

Little best invest in a long spoon before he starts attempting to spoon Peters.

Labour voters did help Peters but at least 9000 of his 15,400 votes did not come from Labour.

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A reader emails about Northland

A reader emails some back of the envelope calculations about Northland.

There is another way to look at the Northland by election.? Rather hypothetical and pointless but interesting.

In 2014 there were 35,000 votes cast in Northland.?? In the by election there were 28,500 or 81.5% of the 2014 result.

Labour got 8,969 votes in 2014.? In the by election they got 1,315.? 8,969 ? 1,315 X 81.5% = 6,238.? That?s a reasonable calculation of the Labour votes that got given to Peters.

The Greens got 3,639 votes in 2014.? No candidate in the by election. Their votes apparently also went to Peters.? 3,639 X 81.4% = 2,962.? Total of Labour and Greens transferred vote 6,236 + 2,962 = 9,198.

If we deduct the 9,198 from Peters? 15,359 we have 6,161.? That is 5,186 less than National got.? Peters on his own didn?t get many votes on his own.? In fact he was trounced by the National guy except that National deserted their own.? Where did Peters? 5,186 votes comes from? ?? Read more »

Why complacency won’t be an option for John Key

John Key and Steve Joyce are fobbing off concern over the debacle in Northland.

They are apparently unconcerned because the polling numbers for National nationwide don’t appear to be affected…which is strange considering Steve Joyce was saying Farrar’s numbers were wrong for Northland, but are surprisingly right for the country.

But this sort of complacency is bred by arrogance…and if they haven’t learned from the shellacking Winston Peters handed out to them on the weekend then there is more pain to come.

Asked how he would deliver, Mr Peters said the Government could not afford to ignore the result and would be “on the road to oblivion” if it didn’t listen to the message Northland sent. He predicted other regions would pick up the discontent in Northland and punish National in the same way.

He spoke about boosting the three Fs of regional industry – farming, forestry and fisheries.

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Key had more pork barrels lined up but bottled it

If you thought the bridge bribe was bad enough, John Key had even more pork barrels lined up for delivery into Northland, but bottled rolling them out after polling showed the voters weren’t pleased.

And stupidly John Key has admitted it.

Prime Minister John Key has admitted National deliberately pulled back from rolling out more promises in the Northland by-election after a backlash to plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on local bridges.

National is in a fight for its life in Northland where local candidate Mark Osborne has been blindsided by NZ First leader Winston Peters, who polls show well ahead.

Key reacted to Peters challenge in the early stages of the campaign with a promise to upgrade 10 one way bridges – a bug bear in Northland where infrastructure has been a key issue in the by-election campaign.

Key had also signalled here would be more spending commitments announced before the campaign was over.

But since the bridge announcement National has only rolled out reheated announcements from the last election.

At a Kiwifruit packing plant in Kerikeri, Key admitted the campaign team decided against rolling out further spending promises after the initial reaction to its announcement on one way bridges..

“Probably on balance we decided there were a few things we wouldn’t announce and instead do them after the by-election.”

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Burning bridges not even built

What an omnishambles.

Bill English has caused confusion in parliament with his cute answers over the 10 bridges that National has promised to build in Northland.

The Government was asked to reaffirm its commitment to upgrade Northland bridges after comments by Finance Minister Bill English caused confusion in Parliament today.

The National Party has promised to upgrade 10 one-way bridges in Northland as part of its byelection campaign, which polls indicate will be a close-run race between National’s Mark Osborne and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Answering a question in the House today, Mr English indicated the completion of the bridges upgrade could depend on the byelection outcome.

“A political party has made an undertaking in an election – the Northland byelection. Whether it can be executed may well depend on the outcome of that election,” Mr English said.

Pressed by Labour’s Grant Robertson on whether he could confirm the 10 bridges would be upgraded under the current Government, Mr English still left room for interpretation.

“That is certainly National’s view … but in order to achieve a majority in this house you have to work with other parties. ? Read more »

Desperate National keep doing dumb stuff

National are desperate in Northland and just keep on doing dumb stuff.

The latest cock-up is to suggest that Winston Peters doesn’t care about Northland because he opposes a Free Trade Agreement with Korea.

National is running hard today with the message that Winston Peters does not have Northland’s interests at heart because he is opposed to the free trade agreement with Korea that would demonstrably help avocado and kiwifruit growers and farmers in Northland.

Acting Prime Minister Bill English also suggested that a bill sponsored by a New Zealand First MP could block the legislation associated with the free trade agreement going through.

National candidate Mark Osborne mocked Mr Peters’ promises made yesterday while campaigning for Saturday’s byelection on the streets of Kaitaia that he would back a referendum on cannabis, a pledge he withdrew an hour later.

And ministers at Parliament today have attacked Mr Peters as “Machiavellian” and “unpredictable.”

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An email from a Northland voter

Commenters wonder why I am critical of Steve Joyce’s campaign in Northland…despite not being a member of the National party I get the feeling that some of our readers would prefer sycophancy instead of me calling things how I see them.

Sycophancy is how political parties lose their edge. I don’t want a Labour government but if John Key and Steve Joyce don’t sort their crap out, then that is precisely what we will get.

I’m not anti-National?for the sake of it…I am anti the attitudes that have been allowed to creep in and I call it so they can wake up.

Last night I received this email from a reader about Northland…it should be a wake up call for National, but I suspect it won’t be.

It was the result of a roadside discussion in Wellsford between the writer and Tim MacIndoe and Mark Osborne. The writer is clearly thinking of voting for Winston Peters. As requested by the writer I have removed identifying details

Subject: Why I am finding it hard to vote National
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 19:11:54 +1300
From: [redacted]
To: Tim MacIndoe
Cc: Mark Osborne

Hi Tim,

Following up on our conversation on the side of the road at Wellsford, my Mum who attends Holy Trinity , told me off for thinking voting Winston, going back in time I spent a couple of months with [redacted]?doing the hall alterations at Holy Trinity,?it was about the time [redacted]?started his [redacted]?Business. He needed one customer a week.

Over the time I have lived up in Northland for twenty years.

The biggest issue is?scattered populations and economics resulting on what Northland is and having lived in other areas I can see the differences in a nutshell. ? Read more »

Seems Northland voters aren’t as dumb as Winston thinks they are

Winston Peters is a political charlatan, he will say and do whatever it takes to score a political point, even if he wrong.

He said he never received donations from Owen Glenn…he lied. He said Huka Lodge was sold to dirty foreigners…its isn’t.

And those are but two examples.

He has been campaigning in Northland and promoting spending on ports that are no longer active, and for infrastructure no one wants. He is taking Northland voters for chumps

Problem is…they aren’t.

Far North voters have voted more than two to one against the introduction of Maori wards.

Mayor John Carter called the poll over the opposition of iwi, who expected today’s result. ? Read more »