BIG NEWS: 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Labour Party President Mike Williams is to resign this week

A party president’s job is to maximise the party vote at a general election. In mid 2007, Labour Party President did not believe that National had a significant coalition partner

It never needed one – because whoever gets the Maori seats on side is the government. Mike Williams badly miscued that one and he is now stepping down from the presidency . He failed to do his job. He failed to build a liaison with the Maori Party and he failed to engage his grassroots support – instead he tried to go for the rich people to give money to Labour. He also thought that a smear on John Key would be an election winner.

It was – for National. I wonder if Williams will be told to resign from the company boards he is representing the government on – a government headed by the man he tried to smear. The companies being:
Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited
Genesis Power Limited
Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA)
Transit New Zealand
Waitakere Enterprise
New Zealand Railways Corporation (Ontrack)
North West Auckland Airport Limited


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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Greens are hypocrites..again

Apparently the Green Party supports electoral reform in the hands of politicians only if they are the politicians having a disproportionate amount of influence.

The Greens supported the Electoral Finance Act only with the promise of a wide ranging review of electoral reform, driven by a citizens jury. That's not going to happen now. Instead of the Greens withdrawing support for the EFA, it is moaning that the panel has been disbanded.

The Greens supported partisan, self serving law making. If a citizens jury is appointed again, and National does not consult with other parties, the Greens will be the first to complain. But they didn't complain when Labour appointed the experts to that panel without consultation, because they thought they`d get more money from state funding of political parties.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


There's this tagging thing that's going around.

I have been tagged by Busted Blonde from Roar Prawn so that means I guess I have to provide seven things you don't know about me. So I may as well play ball, given that tagging is a legitimate art form, and that there is history and social commentary behind these art forms.

1. I was caught, and given an official warning by a cop, after breaking the speed limit while riding a skateboard at age 9.
2. I ran out of petrol in the car I was driving twice in one year – but strangely enough, ran out in the same place on the street both times.
3. I used to DJ live techno raves under the name of "Dave the rave".
4. I drove off in someone else's car thinking it was mine - not once but on two separate occasions in different cars when my own key fitted both times.
5. I own, and can ride a unicycle.
6. I currently work for a polling company.
7. I got married on an election day and we ended up pictured in the front page of the paper voting in our wedding gear.

So the rules are:
* Link to the person who tagged you
* Post the rules
* Share seven random or weird facts about yourself
* Tag 7 random people at the end of the post with their links

I`ll tag No Right Turn::: The Fundy Post::: Tumeke::: Gonzo Freakpower Brains Trust::: Frogblog::: Truthseeker, and NZ Conservative


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Banning gay adoption is unconstitutional

A judge ruled yesterday that a strict Florida law that blocks gay people from adopting children is unconstitutional, declaring there was no legal or scientific reason for sexual orientation alone to prohibit anyone from adopting.Florida was the only state with an outright ban on gay adoption.

Meanwhile the Parliament of the small country of Burundi in Eastern Africa has criminalized homosexuality. The legislation – which makes homosexual activity punishable with two years' jail – is now expected to be approved by the senate.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reforming bail laws

National wants to reform bail laws under urgency so that people would not be given bail if they posed any risk to the community, not just "real or substantial risk" as at present. This will increase the numbers of those remanded in prison, because it is likely that more will be denied bail. National tried to introduce the laws in the last parliament but Labour blocked it.

Remember, those denied bail are in custody before they've even found out whether they are guilty or not. What happens if their court case takes a year to come up and they are found not guilty? They are not criminals, but have been wrongfully imprisoned for a year. Punishment without trial is unjust but it is currently happening in this country before a decision on whether to grant bail has even been considered.

An application for EM bail ( electronic monitoring of defendants on pre-trial bail) takes up to 15 working days, meaning that those accused of a crime could be in custody for three weeks before they even find out if they get bail. For many, it's they first bail application. In effect, EM bail is monitored home detention without trial. Police also oppose more than 80 percent of the granted applications last year, because they are unfamiliar with the judicial processes around EM bail and so they just oppose it. And given that a role of the Police is to prove that an accused should not get bail, they are not doing a very good job proving these cases.

You'd think the risk would be lessened if they were electronically monitored while on bail. Then if they get home detention nothing much changes. If they are not convicted they don't lose their freedom. If they are imprisoned, they do their time for their crime - but after they have been found guilty. But why should they wait in custody for up to three weeks if they are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? Unlike parole, bail is a right until someone proves in a court that a person has committed a crime and should be sentenced to imprisonment for it. It is not a privilege and a person should not be in custody awaiting to hear if he or she has got human rights in this area purely because authorities can't keep up with the paperwork. They should be out on bail until they do. If they do reoffend, make their sentences cumulative, not concurrent.

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More Helen Clark meddling in sporting fixtures

It was not enough for Helen Clark to cast spells on our top sporting teams by turning up to important fixtures.

She had another strategy with regard to games she couldn’t attend: Get her ministry to hire a Private Investigator to record the games.

Even though we had a Rugby World Cup Minister - and Michael Cullen as an acting minister - it was Clark's Ministry of Culture and Heritage that decided to hire a PI to investigate, watch and record Rugby World Cup games to see if advertising was run during the programmes.

The first game investigated was the NZ France game.

We lost.

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Agenda to end?

On Radio NZ this morning Denis Welch said that TVNZ is cancelling Agenda, our best political current affairs programme. It was the highest rating TV show on November 9. The last show will be in two weeks according to the Agenda researcher I spoke with today. Agenda is produced by Front Page, which is headed by Richard Harman, who is not talking. It appears that TVNZ want to keep such a show in house. There's no official word as to when (or whether) it will be replaced, but many are hoping that TVNZ will provide something in its place. But it is not a good sign for production houses that produce such shows.

But I rang TVNZ. I spoke with a person who said that it will be back in the new year - in January. Given I've been giving conflicting stories I am making further inquiries.

Update If Agenda is back in the new year Front Page won't be doing it.


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Monday, November 24, 2008

Highlighting child slavery

This is good. It's Radiohead's movie of All I need and highlights child slavery very well. Hat tip jonny baker.


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What would happen if we repealed the Foreshore and Seabed Act?

Four years ago today, on November 24 2004, the Foreshore and Seabed Act received the royal assent and became law. Now with the Act under review by the new National-led government, No Right Turn asks a relevant question; what would happen if we repealed it? His post is reproduced in its entirety , and with the writer's consent.

The Foreshore and Seabed Act was passed in response to the Court of Appeal ruling in Attorney-General v Ngati Apa ([2003] 3 NZLR 643). As a result of a long and convoluted dispute between a coalition of South Island iwi and the Marlborough District Council over customary fishing and aquaculture rights, the Court was asked to rule whether there was any legal barrier to land below the high water mark - the foreshore and seabed - being declared Maori customary land. It found that there was not. Whether a particular piece of foreshore or seabed was in fact Maori customary land was a question of fact, to be determined by the Maori Land Court - but the Court unequivocally had the power to make such determinations.

This rather narrow ruling was immediately misinterpreted by Maori and Pakeha alike as saying that Maori owned the beaches, and its limited scope and careful caveats were drowned in a tidal wave of hysteria and fear. The then-opposition (and now-government) engaged in an outright campaign of fearmongering, raising the spectre of a flood of claims and of successful claimants restricting public access and stopping people from going to the beach. It worked. Within four days the government announced its intention to legislate to "clarify that in fact the seabed and foreshore is owned by all New Zealanders in the form of the Crown". And they proceeded to do just that - without any serious attempt to consult Maori.

The resulting legislation did three things: it permanently and retrospectively vested ownership of the foreshore and seabed in the crown; it removed the jurisdiction of the Maori Land Court to hear claims for ownership of the foreshore and seabed, and limited the courts to granting only customary usage rights which could not amount to full ownership; and it created a system for recognising and managing those customary rights. While motivated primarily by a desire to avoid an electorally damaging backlash from Pakeha, the legislation was justified by two arguments: the need to preserve public access to what was generally assumed to be a communal space, and the need to prevent uncertainty to business. The possibility of repeal will no doubt raise these issues again. So how much of a problem are they?

While there is a great deal of fear over public access, it seems that it is largely unjustified. The heat and fury of the debate has masked a vital fact: it is not the actual beaches in question, but the intertidal zone - the sand that is wet by the tide. In its report [PDF] on the issue, the Waitangi Tribunal noted that there is a significant practical question of how access to this area could really be limited when the land above it is - and again, this has never been in doubt - public space. Regardless of who owns the foreshore, no-one is really going to be able to put up a toll-booth and charge anyone taking a dip in the water.

As for the legal question, the Court of Appeal noted that iwi would likely be able to show only limited usage rights, and that claims for full ownership would face "a number of hurdles in fact and law". Even if those hurdles were passed, many iwi have publicly stated that they have no intention of limiting access if their claims were successful - they are about the recognition of mana and kaitiaki, not the exclusion of others. While land successfully claimed could be sold to owners who were not so generous, this is even more unlikely, and would violate Maori cultural norms. The Waitangi Tribunal suggested the "threat" could easily be addressed by legislating to prevent such alienation - legislation which, if done properly, would be likely to enjoy the widespread support of Maori.

The business uncertainty argument is more interesting. In their "proposals for consultation" booklet, the government argued that allowing the legal process to proceed

also has the potential to create significant legal and administrative confusion and uncertainty, because it is not at all clear how private ownership of the foreshore and seabed would affect development and activity in the sea itself, and other legal rights. How would freehold ownership of the seabed under the Land Transfer Act be reconciled with the rights of commercial and recreational fishers? Or with tourist operators who have a licence to visit particular areas? Or with the internationally recognised right of innocent passage for vessels through New Zealand’s territorial sea?

This fear was echoed in responses from the public. [PDF]

Business investors were concerned that recognition of customary rights may compromise the viability of some operations. The potential for there to be additional hurdles to overcome in the consent process, occupancy fees, requirements for partnership and profit sharing with Maori, and a breakdown in race relations that would undermine cooperation, were among the risks they identified.

In their report, the Waitangi Tribunal questioned whether these uncertainties were really significant, or so dire as to justify an instant fix which undermined the rule of law. While claims might take years to work their way through the courts, because of the way our legal system works nothing would change in the meantime. And because the courts would be highly reluctant to negate existing permits and usage rights which had been legally granted, they would not be immediately affected even if a claim was successful. The worst "uncertainty" commercial operators would face is that conditions could change when their permits or licences came up for renewal - exactly the same as they face now. This hardly seems compelling. And while nervous businesses could be more reluctant to invest in coastal development until the legal situation was resolved, that would hardly be the end of the world. As the Tribunal noted, the government had imposed a three-year moratorium on aquaculture development to allow it to finalise policy, without any real ill effects.

So what would happen then if the law was repealed and the situation returned to the status quo ante on November 24 2004? Nothing much. Iwi and hapu would file claims, and these would work their way through the courts. And as cases were decided and appealed, the courts would gradually establish a framework for granting customary rights and a threshold for full title. Local bodies and government departments would then work out and establish a consensus on how to recognise and protect those rights within the RMA and other legislation. The net result would likely end up looking similar to the deal just signed with Ngati Porou [DOC], which recognises and protects their customary rights by granting the iwi effective co-management of the coast, complete with consultation rights on fisheries and conservation decisions and a veto on resource consents which would interfere with customary activities. We would end up pretty much where we are now, but without trampling all over the rights of Maori.

This suggests that we have nothing to fear from repeal. It would result in a legal process which would take time, but that's hardly the end of the world. And if the government wants a quick resolution, it can always settle. That's what it did last time something like this happened - when the courts ruled that the government could not allocate fishing quota in the 1987 fisheries cases. In that case, the government had agreed an interim settlement within two years and a final one - the Sealord Deal - within five. It could do the same with the foreshore and seabed. Both government and iwi would benefit from the certainty of a settlement, which because of the inherently local nature of customary rights, would have to focus on creating a framework for their recognition and interaction with existing rights. The resulting legislation would likely look very similar to the existing sections 3 and 4 of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, allowing the acknowledgement of mana whenua, recognition of customary rights, and co-management. It could even include a public vesting, but the big difference is that it would all be done with the consent of Maori, rather than without it. And that would make all the difference in the world.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

The next rugby world cup is next week in Melbourne

The next rugby world cup is in Melbourne next week. It is the Homeless Rugby World Cup and we're making our debut this year, given that we have so many asylum seekers and homeless people here now. All those in drug or alcohol rehabilitation are also included so if we had proper drug rehab in this country we'd have more people to chose from and could have been in with a real chance of winning.


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Clark goes - and we have a world cup

Well, what do you know. The last time our national team won a world cup in any rugby code was just before Helen Clark entered the Labour leadership. We had to wait until she left the leadership until we won our next one - the Rugby League World Cup. Congratulations to our team for winning the World Cup - it's a fine moment. Now, put the game on replay on free to air TV, please.

Just to recap, our national team has never won any World Cup in any rugby code - or come close in any other team sport - while Helen Clark was PM or leader of the Labour Party. We have only won one other - rugby - but Clark was a mere minister. We've played one other Rugby League Cup final - but lost it - Clark was in Labour leadership, then. Since Helen Clark was PM, we lost the netball world cup, suffered our worst performance in the Rugby World Cup, the Black Caps have been a failure at every world cup since Clark was PM, Team New Zealand lost the last race in the last Americas Cup after Helen Clark showed up.

The curse is lifted. Ding, dong, the witch is dead and we are the champions of the world. We have a much better chance of winning the Rugby World Cup in 2011 because now that Clark has gone we have the best rugby team in the world.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Green’s gain a seat, National loses one

Kennedy Graham is an MP now that the final election result is in. The Greens have always done well on specials - in fact in 1999 they got seven extra MPs on top of their election night count.

Cam Calder misses out and the Bill and Ben Party has the highest number of votes of all 2008 non-parliamentary parties – although NZ First was knocked out of Parliament. Fewer people voted the Family Party than Destiny Church has members. Brian Tamaki is preparing tomorrow's sermon this afternoon on exercising the right to vote.

But as Farrar notes, had 22 more National voters voted Labour, National could have lost another seat and Damien O’Connor would have kept his place in Parliament. Had Helen Clark not been Prime Minister that would certainly have happened.

Aaron Gilmore can breathe a sigh of relief.


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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The preferred model of family

Here's some questions in light of the Nia Glassie and Kahui abuse cases.

Should marriage and commitment be promoted among Maori instead of merely condoning living arrangements of kids who live within extended whanau with one of their parents who shacks up with whoever they please?

Anybody want to comment that a preference for a model for the family should be mum and dad and their children? Should this be encouraged and supported in public policy as it is likely to be the most stable type of family - just as Maori children who live with two adults that are not both their mum and their dad are more likely to be abused than any other children?


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nia Glassie: case closed according the the Children's Commissioner

Last year Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said she was "keeping her finger on the pulse" of the Nia Glassie case, but would not begin any investigation of her own until the police inquiry and court action were completed.

She never intended to do an investigation. No point "keeping her finger on the pulse" then, is it.

I've just been told that the Nia Glassie case is not going to be investigated by the Children's Commissioner. The OCC do not receive reports on all child abuse cases where children are taken away from their parents. As far as I'm aware the OCC is not investigating any cases of child abuse or following up any CYFS cases.

The OCC has only 15 staff. It is not doing anything to reduce child abuse - but it does write lots of reports. The latest report is on child maltreatment. The whole Commission needs an urgent review.


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Inside the chaotic home of Nia Glassie

It's sad reading about the household Nia Glassie lived in. Have a read of this. It's a tragic story of a dysfunctional whanau - it makes the Kahui's look tame.

Nia Glassie's mother Lisa Kuka and her partner Wiremu Curtis met at her nephews 21st and quickly moved in together after Kuka's former partner Glassie Glassie left her for a thinner girlfriend. They moved into the house with Nia around April last year after Curtis' father William,a Black Power gangster, kicked them out of the place they were living in with him, his daughter, his son and his sons partner and their child. All but Lisa Kuka were unemployed.

The couple had met when he was 15 - she's twice his age. William Curtis' partner "TT" left him, but his son Wiremu (Kuka's partner) was brought up by "TT"s sister and her husband. William Curtis has five children. Two of these are from his first relationship, and one killed himself as a teenager.

Lisa Kuka has 16 brothers and sisters. She also has six children to three different men, the oldest of whom is a year younger than her former partner Wiremu Curtis.

Living in 13D Frank St, Rotorua was Wiremu's brother Michael Curtis and his partner Oriwa Kemp who moved in a couple of months prior. None of them have jobs. Kemp was expelled from school, got pregnant to Michael Curtis at 14 and it is understood their daughter lived in the house - the only child in the house that lived with mum and dad. Also living in the house was Kuka's sister Louise, her unemployed son Michael Pearson who was convicted of assault, and two of Lisa Kuka's other children, Esther and Jessie, who never went to school last year and are currently in CYFS care with a family member. The rest of Kuka's children are living with another sister, Donna.

So, Michael Pearson was convicted of assault for his wrestling moves on his three year old cousin. His mother, Louise Kuka , hosted the 21st where Kuka and Curtis met, and was the person who took Nia to hospital, but then went clubbing with Lisa and another sister Linda "to take their mind off it". Then Louise spoke to the media saying she believed Lisa knew what was happening to Nia. No kidding - the two sisters were flatmates, clubmates and friends. "I'm so angry with her. She knew. She knew," she said.

Everyone in the flat knew. Everyone except Nia, because she was in a coma.

Louise Kuka can't have been very angry the night the women went clubbing. She should have been angry with her son, who has now been convicted of assault. So why wasn't she? Louise's sister Lisa was convicted of manslaughter. Lisa's partner was convicted of murder. So was his brother. Nia Glassie died on August 3, three months after moving into the house.

More than a year ago Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said she was "keeping her finger on the pulse" of the Glassie case, but would not begin any investigation of her own until the police inquiry and court action were completed.

Well, it's finished now. Let's see if she can find her finger. Had she investigated Lisa Kuku several years ago when CYFS took away one of her children after she suffered a head injury, this whole sorry episode may not have happened.

Not one of the people who lived in that house who got themselves into relationships are married. None of the adults currently live with their partners. Not one of their children live with their mother and their father.

Neither did Wiremu Curtis. He didn't live with either - then flatted with his dad in a house full of children fathered by different people at a time he should have been sitting level one NCEA.

Also check out The preferred model of family.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This is why the Office of the Children's Commissioner needs to go or be radically changed

Most would have heard of the news that Wiremu and Michael Curtis have been found guilty of the murder of Nia Glassie, with her mother, Lisa Kuku, guilty of manslaughter. Curtis had been in a relationship with Kuku The brothers were found guilty of spinning the child on a clothesline and guilty of wilful ill-treatment by putting her in a tumbledryer.

The Office of the Children's Commissioner say that justice has been done. But then this:
New Zealand has a high tolerance to violence and much of the violence towards children is perpetrated in the name of discipline. There are no acceptable ways of hitting children.
“To protect children we need to focus on quality parenting.
It is utterly disgraceful linking this case to discipline and parenting when one of the people who fatally kicked Nia Glassie in the head was not even the parent. But I spoke with Josie Vidal from the Office of the Children's Commissioner and she told me that it was her opinion that in many cases like this, children suffer such abuse after being disciplined. Instead of abusing kids, parents should seeking parenting advice. How?
by picking up the telephone, visiting one of these offices in their area, or searching on the Internet for courses that might suit them.
That's the only advice the Office of the Children's Commissioner can provide. If you beat up your kids and want help you can pick up the phone or search the Internet. That is utterly disgraceful. Of course many don't want help or are not their parents - so won' be eligible for parenting courses. What do they do.

The answer is obvious - they kill kids. And what does the Children's Commissioner do? Write a media release after the decision from the judge and move onto the next item on the agenda.

Read more here

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Diddums Trottsky: National won, Labour lost, eat that

Chris Trotter is still bitter that his beloved Labour has lost the election. He is still in mourning. He attacked Tariana Turia in the Sunday Star Times last weekend because he believes that Maori are pawns of the Labour Party and therefore the Maori Party should not have gone with National. He has become a joke that nobody should take seriously.
How ironic, then, that a political party whose very name pronounces its ambition to speak for and on behalf of all Maori should end up throwing its support behind the direct political descendants of the colonial authorities who enlisted the kupapa.

Will John Key erect a statue in your honour, Tariana Turia? He should, because you, and the once-proud party you are dragging behind you, have just voted to become his ‘‘Loyal Maoris’’.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Tariana, this column is not patronising you – it’s attacking you.

Your people move forward on the road they laid with Labour, Tariana, not with National.

And, you do not recite National’s whakapapa correctly. How do you dare cite te kohanga reo, one of the most outstanding and independent cultural initiatives of modern Maoridom, as a National Party achievement?

Your people will not easily forgive this turning away, Tariana. When unemployment and homelessness and poverty bite. When the prisons are full of your rangatahi. When National’s true whakapapa stands revealed.

They will curse your name.

Kwiiblog has the entire column here. Go Tell Chris Trotter what you think, over at his new blog. He’s blogging here now. He says
I'm finding it really difficult to adjust to the reality of being on the losing side of the recent electoral battle.
On his site, he notes comments which are “defammatory, vituperative, snide or hurtful will be removed, and the commentators responsible permanently banned”.

Trotter should really learn how to spell. But then, he's a Labour supporter, so what do you expect. He is willing to attack people thorough his newspaper column but don't dare attack him in his blog comments or hurt him with your words because he'll ban you.Permanently.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

The police lied

Remember Navtej Singh. He was killed in his Manurewa liquor store and police said that the 30 minute delay in getting in to the store was merely procedural.

They lied.

Police with access to the weapons cache required to secure the scene took the wrong set of keys to unlock it and were forced to wait for an officer to get the correct keys from the police station. That caused the delay, but the police didn't want to tell you that. Furthermore another officer thought it was better to take a colleague to the police station with an offender before attending the fatal shooting.

Bloody outrage, the Sunday News screams. Damned right it is.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Confidence and supply agreements

Click on the following to read the agreements signed with National.
United Future.
Maori Party.

Will comment later.
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My picks for the election

I have done fairly well with my election predictions. Here's my best ten. I correctly predicted:
1. The election date.
2. The demise of NZ First out of Parliament.
3. A National minority government with Act and United Future having ministerial roles.
4. Maori Party winning at least five of the Maori seats, but not all. (Although to be fair I had predicted six earlier in the year and later revised it).
5. Maori Party siding with National and having ministers outside cabinet.
6. Maori Party not going into formal coalition with any party.
7. Pita Sharples as Maori Affairs Minister.
8. Tariana Turia in a welfare role.
9. A ministerial role in Education and Health for the Maori Party.
10. Maori Party in confidence and supply.

That's not bad, if I may say so. Particularly as some of the predictions were made last year. The big one I missed out on was I predicted Act to have three seats, not five. Had Act got three seats, I would have been pretty much bang on, given that I predicted the Greens would get 8 seats, with United Future and Progressives 1 each, which they all did. I also correctly predicted that the Christian Parties would get no MPs, but that wasn't particularly hard. I thought Act may have a co-operation agreement, not confidence and supply. I also think Dunne will be Minister of Revenue again but I expected him to be in cabinet. Still, I though the picks were impressive.

updateIt's just been announced Dunne is Revenue Minister and associate Health Minister. I forgot to predict the latter. Sorry.
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At the Maori Party consultation hui

I was at the Maori Party hui yesterday. I am not a Maori Party member nor am I Maori – but I was welcomed in. This should please Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia immensely, given his disapproving assertion that the hui was open to Maori Party members only. The hui was more about getting support of the Maori Party leadership as opposed to support of the deal, as the deal was not specified.

The Maori Party was disappointed at the numbers of Maori who voted on November 8. Here’s why: Had a few hundred more came out and voted for Labour and voted for the Maori Party candidates in the two seats it didn’t win, the Maori Party would have won all the Maori seats and Helen Clark would still be Prime Minister.

Perhaps that is why the Maori Party was a little disappointed with the election result. It wanted to go with Labour. So did its supporters. That came across in the hui I attended yesterday in Wellington, where president Whatarangi Winiata outlined the reasons why the Maori Party negotiated an agreement with National, with two ministers outside cabinet and policy gains. Policy gains are better than warming cross benches. All media were asked to leave, but not all bloggers. However new MP Rahui Katene was aware there was a blogger in the marae. Prominent lawyer Donna Hall also spoke. Katene, a lawyer, used to work with Hall.

National didn’t have to approach the Maori Party, but the party is pleased that it did. No mention was made as to what portfolios the Maori Party leaders will get, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pita Sharples was to get Maori Affairs and Tariana Turia a welfare role. The Party sees Act as a bigger threat than either National or United Future, even though it is Act who is the only one of the three who supports entrenchment of the Maori seats. In fact Act is more of a competitor than the Greens in terms of policy direction.

The Maori Party will be the key to National remaining in power long term – whoever has the Maori seats onside is the Government. Labour knows this and this is why it is trying to derail the relationship between the Maori Party and National. The Maori Party will be wise to remember that it is not a treaty partner: that role is the Maori people. But given that the Maori Party consists of Maori, it is in the party’s best interests to ensure that the relationship with National is the best at can be –and that is the very thing it has to make its top priority if this arrangement is to work.


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Crown refuses to offer evidence in smacking case

A man hit his son on the bum with a wooden spoon. The boy rings the police. So when the police lay six charges, what does the Crown do?

It refuses to offer evidence believing the boy's own complaint is not in his best interests in proceeding with a conviction, despite the police deciding that it was. The Crown decided not to give evidence after appearing before a judge. But nobody bothered to tell the accused why the Crown failed to give evidence.The judge discharged him.

The police said this was a clear case where the interests of the child had to take precedence but waited to say that after the Crown appeared before a judge, several months after the offences. So why weren't the charges dropped? Can't have been a very clear case - at least to the police. If police believe the offence is in the best interests to prosecute, but the Crown doesn't think it is in the best interests of the child to offer evidence, that is police or Crown incompetence at best and harassment at worst.

Family First's Bob McCoskrie should be making some PR mincemeat out of this case rather than merely adding it to his growing list of smacking prosecutions.

update: The man has now lost custody of his son even though charges are dismissed. Child, Youth and Family (CYF) has interim custody of the boy. His father can't contact him without consent and supervision. The boy is living with the man's sister in Nelson.


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Friday, November 14, 2008

Dodgy survey reporting from Children’s Commissioner

Oh this is classic. The Office of the Children’s Commission commissions a survey on smacking and concludes that most parents approve of the law change amending section 59 of the Crimes Act because respondents think that the law should treat the beating of an adult the same as child assault.

This is despite the survey stating that most who gave an opinion support physical discipline of children, with just 20 percent opposing smacking.

The survey asks should children be entitled to the same protection from assault as adults.

Well, of course they should. Just like my neighbour should not slap my kids if they nick his tomato plants, and I shouldn't punch my neighbour in the face if he pokes his tongue out at me. Both are entitled to the same legal protection, and always have been. But the survey doesn’t ask should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?.

We all know why. They wanted to conflate assault with smacking again, given that most don’t think smacking is assault.

Among the 750 respondents surveyed by UMR were Maori and Pacific Islanders. But the sample of Pacific Islanders chosen was less than the margin of error and the sample of Maori chosen was just over double the margin of error, and the question order was a shambles.

So, respondents were asked whether they supported the law, then once they said they did, they were asked how much they knew about it. Of those that knew about the law change, most supported it. Of those ignorant about the law change, many knew that smacking was now illegal. So some were ignorant of the law but could state some of its provisions? That’s just weird.

What surprised me is that 30 percent said that physical punishment should be part of child discipline. That’s high. The rest were split pretty much evenly between disagreement and neutrality. But the report of the survey says that parents do not have absolute right to treat children as they wish – negating the opinions of at least a third of respondents.

So the survey admits that the sample is not representative of the population and then reports as if it is, while misrepresenting responses and conflating smacking and assault. How dodgy is that? Never trust surveys from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. The Commission should be scrapped.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Horomia is mischief-making

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia is mischief-making. He is annoyed that, as a Maori, he is not allowed to go to the hui discussing negotiations with National because he is not a Maori Party member.He claims that the Maori Party is reluctant to include all Maori as part of its consultation process and is shutting some out.

He’s wrong – nobody will be turned away from any hui – Maori or non- Maori. Except media. That is a fact. So Horomia can turn up and scoff all the pies he wants to.

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Eat that

Much has been made by others in the blogosphere of Colin Espiner's comments that if the Maori Party was to go into coalition with National he'd eat his blog. He said.
the Maori Party will not go into a coalition government with National. If I’m proved wrong after the election, I’ll print out this blog and eat it, live on webcam.

Note that I’m not saying the Maori Party won’t offer confidence and supply to National (although I think this, too, is highly unlikely) or that it wouldn’t consider abstaining to allow National to govern. But I believe a coalition is out of the question.
Now, I agreed that the Maori Party would not go into coalition but I disagreed with Espiners later point that the party will not offer confidence and supply, because I thought it would.

Espiner doesn't need to eat his blog as the Maori Party will not go into coalition with National. Had he offered to eat his blog if they were to go into a confidence and supply agreement, I would have live streamed his webcam stunt live on this blog and suggested scampi as a side dish.

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Goff is pissed off with Maori Party

Labour Leader Phil Goff has said that the Maori Party is going against the wishes of Maori voters by going with Labour and is pissed off that the Maori Party has sided with National. I voted for the Maori Party for the very decision that it is making this weekend - to go with National and I am glad that it has. I predicted it would go with National, and also predicted the arrangement - ie a couple of ministers outside of cabinet but not a formal coalition.

But Goff is as silly to say that the Maori Party is going against the wishes of Maori voters as it is to say that Labour went against the wishes of non-Maori voters by governing in 2005 - most of whom did not vote Labour. The Maori Party is a political party. Sure some may have voted for Maori Party candidates and voted Labour, but it is also silly comparing the Maori Party decision with NZ First's decision to go with National in 1996 - as Goff also does - as the Maori Party is not going into coalition with anyone, and it was the voters of NZ First that wanted to go with Labour. Maori Party voters, on the whole, are voting for the best way forward for Maori. They are not voting en masse for Maori to go with Labour - as if Maori Party voters in the Maori electorate really wanted to go with Labour they would have voted Labour and split their vote.

Perhaps Goff would have a point if his party bothered to get his supporters in the Maori electorate to get out and vote.

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Intelligent people vote Green

I see Frogblog links to a Times article that says that intelligent people are likely to vote Green. Cleverer children are more likely to vote for the Green Party or the Liberal Democrats in a general election than other parties when they become adults, research suggests.

The research [abstract is here] was based on interviewing 6,000 10 year olds and seeing who they voted for in the 2001 UK election and who they may vote in 2004.

Actually, university students and graduates are more likely to vote Green. Intelligent people are more likely to go to university and the general ambience of it makes students more aware of issues like civil liberties and green issues. The authors say there is also a correlation between high childhood intelligence and an above-average interest in politics.I suspect that may partly explain the figures, because people who are apathetic about politics may be unlikely to vote Green or Liberal in the first place.

Clearly these kids were not tested on their political intelligence when they were 10. They're probably as intelligent as leaders of a political party that said it would not go with National - but wanted to be in Government.

Oh that was the Greens. Morons.


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Government to be finalised in days

It's hui season for the Maori Party and on Sunday it will be all over. The party has an agreement with National and is consulting members and supporters. The season started this morning at 9am at Waimanoni marae. The Wellington hui will be at the Victoria University marae on Saturday and although open to all Maori Party supporters it is closed to the media. The Maori Party has an agreement to take to the hui and no doubt it will be ratified and the Maori Party will get two ministerial positions outside cabinet as well as policy gains.

All will be revealed on Tuesday at the latest, as Key wants to have the Government sworn in on Wednesday. Looks like there will be five ministers from the minor parties: Dunne, Hide, Heather Roy (with Consumer Affairs), Turia and Sharples. Good.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Goff - lets review the EFA

New Labour leader Phil Goff has decided that the Electoral Finance Act needs a review now that Labour didn't win the election. I wonder what his new deputy Annette "common sense" King thinks of that, given that it was she who rammed it through.

It needed a review the day it was passed.

Goff said he'd like to see a system where democracy works but does not rely simply on the power of the dollar.

Easy, concentrate on democracy, not the dollar. Make democracy work and the rest will follow.

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Wake up, Maori

Whats the point on Maori going on the Maori electoral roll when just under half of them don't even bother to vote? I

It appears that Maori go on the Maori roll not to vote, but to elevate the number of Maori electorates and that is something the Maori Party should be concerned about given that it is the Maori Party who is pushing the Maori electoral option. According to the pre-election polls, about 15-20 percent of Maori in the Maori electorate hadn`t decided who to vote for, with most of the balance deciding on either the Maori Party or Labour.

Now if a third of those polled that say they would "vote if an election were to be held tomorrow" and subsequently don't vote at all, there's something wrong with Maori attitude to democracy that needs fixing - starting now.

Perhaps we should put polling booths in pubs and in Marae.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Mum

It was my mums birthday on Saturday. Happy birthday Mum. I hope you like your present. I got you a new government. Sorry you had to wait until 11:30pm to get it, but I think you could have guessed what it was..

Incidentally, the last time the government changed - 27 November 1999, was the day we got married. We voted too - in our wedding gear.


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Monday, November 10, 2008


John Key was born on August 9th, 1961. Barack Obama was born on August 4th, 1961. Obama won the US election on Tuesday 4th November. Key won the NZ election on Saturday 8th. So Key was younger than Obama was when he won - by just one day.
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

The wasted vote came third in 2008

Thanks to NZ First not getting a seat or over 5% but getting more than 88,000 votes, the wasted vote was bigger than the Green vote. The wasted vote was third this year - and that's the first time it has been ranked so high. More than 6.5% of the vote (137,472) was wasted, and had there not been a 5% threshold that would have gone down to 1.28% (26,983).

The wasted voted is vote for a party that does not get 5% or an electorate seat.

So you can see how important it is for a minor party to win an electorate seat and what influence a 5% threshold has. Since 2000 just two minor parties have got both at least one seat and more than 5% of the vote in the same election. That's all.

Interestingly NZ First got more votes in 2008 than in 2002, where it got 4.26% of the vote and four seats – it got 4.21% this year. Also Destiny got more in 2005 than Kiwi got this year. Destiny is now the Family Party. The Family Party got well under half what Destiny got in 2005.

If I get some more time to do some more numbers I'll add to this.

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What role will the Maori Party have?

As many will know, unlike these amateurs, I have picked all along that the Maori Party will side with National outside of a formal coalition. And it will.

John Key is to meet the Maori Party tomorrow to discuss what role it will have in the next government. The Maori Party has already prepared a policy paper. I'm hoping the Maori Party won’t seek a coalition agreement - there would be too many “agree to disagree” clauses – particularly with Dunne in there. In 2005 Labour already had the numbers to form a government and was not prepared to meet enough of the party's bottom lines to win its support, so I’m hoping this doesn’t happen this year.

Key should get a good agreement with the Maori Party and give it some responsibility if he doesn’t want his new government to be a one term government. I’d like to see the Maori Party with ministerial roles in Education and Health and I recon they will - with Georgina Te Heu heu to have Maori Affairs. But I don't think the latter will happen. Yet education is an important portfolio for the Maori Party to have some influence over as 46% of Maori are under 20.

National is not abolishing the Maori seats in this parliamentary term and so the seats should not be an issue – therefore a bill from the Maori Party to entrench the seats should not be too much of a dead rat to swallow if push comes to shove.

But I don’t think it will. Perhaps in return for some good budgetary roles National will convince the Maori Party to delay introducing its bill on the Maori seats. After all, getting a good education and securing employment is more important than having a choice of electoral rolls. Mana motuhake and Whanau ora is more important than entrenching seats that aren’t going to be removed any time soon.

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Parliament where Bill or Ben holds the balance of power

There have been calls for the removal of our 5% threshold to allow for a more democratic government which will reflect the will of the people.

If the 5 percent threshold was removed in our MMP system and the Maori Party went with the Left, the Bill and Ben Party would hold the balance of power today – and if it had chosen the Left it would have been a hung parliament.

Here’s how. The following shows the number of seats each party would have held, with the current seats in brackets. That’s assuming of course that the votes held – which is a huge assumption. Interesting though.

New Zealand National Party - 55 seats (59)
New Zealand Labour Party - 41 seats (43)
The Greens - 8 seats (8)
New Zealand First Party - 5 seats (0)
Māori Party - 5 seats (5)
Act New Zealand - 4 seats (5)
Jim Anderton's Progressive - 1 seat (1)
United Future New Zealand - 1 seat (1)
The Kiwi Party - 1 seat (0)
The Bill and Ben Party - 1 seat (0)

So, National would have lost some seats to NZ First and Katrina Shanks and Stuart Nash would have been out of Parliament.

Now lets look at the party groupings if the Maori Party was to side with the left

National, ACT, United Future, Kiwi Party - 61 seats
Labour, Progressives, Greens, New Zealand First, Māori Party - 60
Bill and Ben - 1

In order for a party to get a seat without a threshold, it must have an elected MP or get 0.5% of the vote. Bill and Ben got 0.51% of the vote and had it chosen Labour there would have been hung parliament due to 215 odd Bill and Ben voters.

Bill and Ben’s policy is to promise to promise nothing, and that although realising that by promising no promises they are actually making a promise, that’s the only promise they are going to make. Promise.

Imagine having them choosing our government if the Maori Party was to go left. Any other option by the Maori Party would have led to a National – led Government.

hat tip Graeme, who beat me to it.

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Election result

This election was about trust and we don't trust Labour or NZ First. Hopefully we now have a government who we can trust, a government that will lead without lying, cheating, and stealing. For the first time in ages National and Labour could both be led by males after Helen Clark stepped down from the Labour leadership. It should be a better government provided Act is kept in check and the Maori Party has a role.

Interesting that the Bill and Ben Party polled better than the Family Party.

National 45.4%
Labour 33.7%
Green 6.4%
NZ First 4.2%
Act 3.7%
Maori 2.2%
United Future 0.9%
Progressives 0.9%
Kiwi 0.56%
Bill and Ben 0.51%
ALCP 0.36%
Family Party 0.33%
Pacific Party 0.33%
Others 0.25%

National 59
Labour 43
Green 8
Act 5
Maori 5
Progressive 1
United Future 1


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Saturday, November 08, 2008

I voted today

I voted in the Ohariu electorate today as is my duty. I took my six-year-old with me. He told me to vote National because his mum was going to. Last night his mum said she was going to vote Act, but she may well have voted National - she voted this afternoon before she went to work. Now voting is one decision we don't make together.

My son told me not to vote for Peter Dunne because I wasn't stressed. I wondered why he said that and when I got home I realised why he said that - Peter Dunne had a mailout that as headed "Families in times of stress" and he read it.

I used both my votes. I split them. I had to - I voted the Maori Party. This makes it the fourth party I have voted for since 1996. We both got stickers afterwards, but not before my son, just after I had made a tick, said in a loud voice, "Why did you vote the Maori Party". I think the whole polling booth must have heard.

But I'm glad I took him, he'll enrol on the electoral roll and vote shortly after he turns 18. I wish more young people would do that - and it would be nice to see more parents take their kids when they vote so they can see democracy at work.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

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Unacceptable breach of privacy from the Greens

The Green Party has a website called vote for us where people can make billboards. Many have. But last week the Green Party sent an email to all those who made billboards asking if they would give permission for the billboards to be used in a newspaper advertisement - but it revealed everyones addresses in the process - meaning everyone who made a billboard could see who else had made one as well. That is an invasion of privacy.

But the Greens are sending more unsolicited emails from a different Green Party address asking for people to vote for them - meaning they now have a data base consisting of e-mails that they are using for purposes for which email addresses were not given.

That is unacceptable behaviour.


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No Right Turn thinks the election is about democracy. It is. He maintains the choice on offer is a party that wants to get rid of MMP and a party that wants to keep it. He’s wrong there, at least in terms of the next parliamentary period.

National will not get rid of MMP in the next parliamentary term, that’s for certain – its not even National’s policy to do that, so a vote for National’s policies in 2008 is not a vote for scrapping MMP – but a vote for National in 2011 may well be. So its not the choice on offer in 2008 and No Right Turn is flat out wrong to claim that it is.

We need to reform our electoral system, not change it - and I don't necessarily mean changing to the Supplementary Member system of PR. No Right Turn knows that full well and he’d be better putting his energies towards promoting reform if he really cares about a democratic electoral system, rather than dissuading voters from voting National due to a policy that will not be implemented in the next parliamentary term.

There are other policies that National can be criticised for that are intended for the next parliamentary term - and that's the period that matters when you cast your vote tomorrow.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Peter Dunne for Speaker? Yeah right

Audrey Young is normally pretty onto it, but she interviewed her typewriter this week and her typewriter said that Peter Dunne is tipped for a Speakers role after the election.

Problem is, he isn't. Why on earth would a party leader like Dunne want to be a speaker? I just happened to bump into Dunne in the local mall - as one does - and he said he does not want to be speaker, and the rumour is false. He's going to be a Cabinet Minister.

So, that settles that, then.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Working with Obama

Helen Clark congratulated Obama on his victory.
The New Zealand Government very much looks forward to working with the new Obama administration.
She's right. But in Clark's case, she'll be waiting a rather long time, because she won't be Prime Minister when Obama is sworn in early next year.

Obama's victory speech is here

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Boobs on bikes

Boobs on bikes is happening on Friday in Wellington and it looks like it will be a good day for it. Gordon Copeland has just put out a media release that calls on Parliament to step in and stop the parade. He said he would support an amendment to the Summary Offences Act to deem such parades " offensive".

Copeland is an MP. If he was so serious about this he would have written a bill years ago after the first boobs on bikes parade in Auckland. He still has time to write one and lodge it before the weekend. He should do so if he is serious.Copeland has been concerned about parades such as boobs on bikes for years. Empty words and complaining by press release mean nothing. You don't change the law by issuing media releases - you do it by amending legislation. Bills are one way of changing legisalation.

Why hasn't Copeland lodged a bill in the ballot that would amend the Summary Offences Act? Because it hasn't been written, that's why. And you know what the next question is.


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Reforming our electoral system

Philip Temple makes a lot of sense in the Herald this morning.
National, odds on to lead the next government, has promised a referendum on MMP by 2011 on the following terms: "The referendum will give people a choice between retaining MMP without any further consideration or having a further vote on MMP alongside another electoral system or systems".

Without any further consideration means that we will be given no chance to discuss the kind of Mixed Member Proportional representation we now have, or could have in the future.

No chance to debate whether we should change or improve our New Zealand version. Because, unlike the antique First Past the Post (FPP) system, MMP can be modified to suit the needs of the electors. And it is those needs that are paramount.

You don't like the fact you can't change the party lists? You think the threshold is too high or too low at 5 per cent of the vote? These and other matters can be debated and fixed. The electoral system belongs to us, not the politicians, and we should be properly consulted on what we want before any kind of referendum is held. The National Party's "without any further consideration" suggests they have no intention of doing that.

What we need is not an ill-defined, ad hoc referendum but a new Royal Commission on the Electoral System, a generation after the last, to enable a considered examination of all aspects of the voting system - including the electoral cycle, electoral financing and the Maori seats - so that all sectors of the community can have input and influence in bringing about much-needed reform.

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Nats to check whether smacking persecution exists

Although there is no real evidence that police are persecuting parents over new smacking legislation, National will be checking to ensure that a smacking zone is a persecution free zone for parents who commit the crime of smacking kids - and then get investigated by Police and CYFS for it.

Cos, folks, these crimes should not be investigated, because that's the intent of Parliament. There's no point having two or three police cars sent to investigate crimes that they are not allowed to prosecute.


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More Labour hypocrisy

Trevor Mallard has set a challenge to National. It wants National to publish the bills it says it will introduce to Parliament before Christmas if it wins the election so that the electorate can see what the party intends to do. But Labour doesnt want to tell the electoate what it intends to do with its mini budget until after the election and if it wants to be elected on trust, they should at least be trustworthy before they come out with hypocricy as well.


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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We hood! We votin' - and throwin' it up!

It's the US elections tonight. Guess who I want to win. Now, if only political parties or the Electoral Commission would make videos like this to encourage people to vote.

With a nice sample from Ice Cube's classic Today Was a Good Day, and a very repetitive refrain ("We hood, we votin', and throwin' it up"), this track is likely to get stuck in your head -- which may well be the point.


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Voting Labour

I'm an undecided voter. I've shifted to the left a bit in the past two years. But if I was to decide to vote Labour on Saturday, I can't think of a reason why I should.

Can you help me.


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Labour needs the Maori Party: The Maori Party doesn’t need Labour

So, the Greens have said it won’t work with Winston Peters in Cabinet. NZ First is not looking like it will be in Parliament, let alone in Cabinet after November 8. That is why you’ll see Helen Clark moving to encourage NZ First supporters to vote Labour to avoid wasting their vote or voting National. But Clark’s real hope of regaining power is to cosy up to the Maori Party. She just doesn’t know how to.

Lockwood Smith’s references to Pacific Islanders needing to be taught how to use toilets and showers has all been forgotten now that Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala, from the Labour heartland, have endorsed the National Party. Michael Jones said he wants to get address the deficit model, particularly with education and, that’s exactly what the Maori Party wants to do as well. Education is a key to work and future prospects and its clear that a change of direction is needed to empower Maori and Pacific Islanders to manage businesses, not just to be employed in factories. Labour wants people to get NCEA level 1 credits, calling that an education, National wants people to get an education that will lead to jobs, not a TOP course.

It is something for the Maori Party to consider when they decide to go with National after the election. The party will be making the wrong decision for its people if it was to support Labour after the election.


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Monday, November 03, 2008

Most Maori will vote for Maori Party candidate - but all Maori electorate MPs could hold onto their seats

More than half of voters in the Maori electorates are going to vote for the Maori Party candidate - but less than a third will vote the Maori Party, according to surveys released by Maori Television. But 11% don't know which candidate they`ll vote for and 16% have not decided on a party yet – but that includes some non voters. What is interesting that all Maori electorate MPs could hold onto their seats - both Labour and Maori Party MPs.

But there's not much between Parekura Horomia and Derek Fox in Ikaroa Rawhiti. In the most recent survey taken, Horomia gathered 50 per cent, Derek Fox, won 45 per cent support. That's within the margin of error. Seven percent are undecided. But half said they'd support Labour with just 33 percent supporting Fox’s Maori Party. That’s in contrast to the Marae digipoll this month. That’s an increase in support for the Maori Party and a similar increase for both candidates - but the undecideds were unknown.

In Hauraki Waikato, Nanaia Mahuta is on 56 percent with the Maori Party's Angeline Greensill on 43 percent, with Labour on 47 percent and the Maori Party on 36 percent. In the Marae digipoll Mahuta is ahead of Angeline Greensill by 0.6%.

In total, of the seven Maori electorates surveyed by Maori Television, more than half (58%) Maori are going to vote for the Maori Party candidate and less than a third (29%) will vote the Labour candidate. The party vote is different. About 35% will vote for the Maori Party and 45% for Labour. This compares with 20% for the Maori Party and 52% for Labour at the beginning of the month.

So although the Maori Party vote has more than doubled in the past month, the Labour Party vote hasn't halved as there are a higher proportion of Maori who are undecided. Many are former Labour voters who don’t like Labour as much but won’t commit to the Maori Party. In Waiariki, one in five are undecided which party they`ll vote for and one in 10 are undecided as to which candidate they`ll vote for. In Te Tai Tonga nearly one in five voters don't know which candidate they’ll vote for. Many will vote Labour in the party vote.

So, it will be interesting if those undecided voters vote on Saturday. The Maori Party may not get the seven seats they hoped for. The last minute deciders, if most vote, could sway things in key electorates.


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Two more Maori electorate polls due tonight

Maori Television has decided to release the last two political polls for the Maori electorates of Hauraki Waikato and Ikaroa Rawhiti tonight, rather than on Wednesday. I'll have those after 8pm tonight.

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Maori Party responds to Labour's entrencement announcement

[BTW, Winston Peters will not be a minister after the election.]

Yesterday Helen Clark announced that Labour's policy is to entrench the Maori seats, when last week Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia said entrenchment "wasn't necessary".

The Labour Party's stance is all about getting the Maori vote, and questions are arising whether it is signing up to policy it is not committed to. The Maori Party wants to get the Maori vote, ans so far it appears to be doing quite well with around 40% of voters on the Maori electorate indicating they will vote the Maori Party..
“The Maori Party’s view is that the Maori seats reflect the Treaty relationship in Parliament, so they are a constitutional matter, not to be abolished at the whim of any political party. Our policy is the Maori seats should have the same protection as other seats in Parliament, and entrenchment does that,” said Dr Sharples and Mrs Turia.

According to the Maori Party, the Prime Minister’s suggestions of a cosy relationship is painting a picture that’s not quite accurate.

So, will it be Haere ra Helen or Kia ora John after November 8?

update Full media release here


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Sunday, November 02, 2008

The reason behind Helen Clark's image

Looks count for women running for office. Women had better appear attractive as well as competent if they want to be elected to political office, according to research published on Thursday. Everyone had to seem competent to get a vote. But while men needed to appear approachable to get an edge, women had to be good-looking, the researchers found. But the researchers relied on photographs.

Guess which of the two photographs Helen Clark would have chosen.

The report is here.


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Maori Seats to be entrenched only if Maori Party goes with National

Helen Clark said on TV today that she'd support entrenchment of the Maori seats. Not just entrenchment of the Maori Electoral Option. If so that brings her position more closer to the Maori Party, but it draws her party further away from being in power later this month.

As Tumeke says
If the Maori Party go with Labour then National already have an official policy of not entrenching the seats and will oppose it. Since Parliament must pass the 75% entrenchment provision with 75% at some point in the process National can and will veto it. So no entrenchment.

But,if the Maori Party go with National - and the only reason they would is if they agree (along with all their other demands) to entrench the seats - then Labour must back entrenchment or lose all the Maori seats - perhaps for a very long time. So they will be entrenched.
I think he's right. If I was in the Maori Party this is one of the key messages I'd be promoting at the post-election hui. Furthermore, the Maori Party wouldn't have to go into coalition if it didn't want to.

Act backs entrenchment, so do the Greens. However, United Future doesn't so Peter Dunne could be in sticky situation thanks to the Maori Party should National gain power.

It takes a 75% to entrench legislation. Over at The Standard Steve Pierson says it doesn’t take a 75% majority to entrench legislation. "The section of the Electoral Act that lists the entrenched sections can be amended by simple majority".

So? Read this (from here)

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Did Helen's fall straighten out her teeth?

Here's Helen Clark's famous fall. This version is the 30 second version. The one on YouTube is six seconds and doesn't show who she kissed before she fell. She was very lucky the thing she collected on the way down wasn't closer or otherwise her next public engagement would have been the dentist.


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Herald journalist to vote National

John Roughan has decided to vote National, but would have voted the Maori Party if he thought his vote would count in getting a Government that has Maori Party influence. But the Maori Party is likely to get more seats than the proportion of the vote allows it to so all a vote fore the Maori Party will do is assist in reducing overhang as long as others think similarly - and it's not like Roughan can vote for an electable candidate of the Maori Party.

See if anyone will respond to this: Which minor party should a centre-left person vote for if they want a change of Government and want their party vote to count in influencing a National government? Suggestions welcome.


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Winston Peters and the evidence

Why did Winston Peters say this?

The court that I will stand before is on Saturday, 8 November [election day]

Because it is the only court that does not hear evidence - and therefore adjudicators cannot make an informed decision. Unless they they read this and the related links on the sidebar.

Perhaps all these articles should be pasted on every polling booth wall in the country on November 8 so that we can rid our Parliament of corruption.

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