What would they do differently?

March 13, 2014

Labour is threatening to tinker with the Reserve Bank Act to keep interest rates down.

They are conveniently forgetting that interest rates have been at an historic low for three years and interest rates were far higher when they were last in government.

The OCR increased by 5.00 in November 1999, went up and got to 6.50 in May 2000, stayed there until March 2001, went down to 6.25 and continued to drop until it got to 4.75 in November that year.

It was all up from there reaching 5.75 in August 2002 before going down again and getting to 5 in July 2003.

The reserve Bank increased it to 5.25 in January 2004 and it climbed from there, reaching 8.25 in July 2007 and staying there until it went down to 8 and was at 6.5 by October 2008.

National won the election in November and the OCR went down from then, getting to 2.5 in April 2009, increasing to 2.75 in June 2009 and 3 in July. It stayed there until March 2011 when it went down to 2.50 where it’s stayed until today.

OCR 2007-2009

Several factors have influenced the low rate, including the global financial crisis.

The government had no influence over that but it has had influence over its own spending which is another big influence on the OCR because of its impact on inflation.

National has been very prudent with its spending and intends to continue that as the economy grows.

Labour and its potential coalition partners appear to have no familiarity of the concept of fiscal prudence and should they get into government, their high-tax, high-spending policies would fuel inflation and drive up interest rates.

Labour couldn’t keep interest rates down last time it was in government.

What would it do differently if it was in power again?

It’s not going to rein in its own spending and tinkering with the Reserve Bank Act would do more harm than good.

It would lead to higher inflation which would do far more harm than the small increase in interest rates we got this morning.

Hat tip for chart: Keeping Stock.


Three smogs and you’re . . .

March 11, 2014

First there was a tweet from Labour leader David Cunliffe complaining about rising power prices which clearly show they rose far more steeply when his party was in government:

:power prices

Hat tip: Keeping Stock

Then there was the tertiary education spokesman who didn’t check his spelling:

spelling

And yesterday there was this:
Photo: Making false election promises already...

Three SMOGS – social media own goals – and you’re not looking like a government in waiting.

As someone with an unfortunate propensity for typos, I know how easy it is to make mistakes.

But a political party ought to ensure other eyes to check their tweets and Facebook posts before they hit publish to save themselves from SMOGs.


She got there on merit

January 10, 2014

The majority of people surveyed by Herald-DigiPoll  are opposed to Labour’s policy to have a female quote for its caucus.

The survey asked respondents whether they believed Labour’s target of achieving 50 per cent by 2017 was a good idea, or too restrictive.

Overall, 54 per cent said it was too restrictive, while just 38 per cent believed it was a good idea. Among the women respondents, 52 per cent said it was too restrictive while 42 per cent believed it was a good idea.

About 57 per cent of men did not like it, compared with 33 per cent who said it was a good idea.

Graeme Edgler tweeted that’s more people supporting the policy than the party.

A spokeswoman for Labour leader David Cunliffe said it was a matter for the party. Party president Moira Coatsworth and secretary Tim Barnett were overseas and could not be contacted.

Ms Coatsworth has previously said the target of 45 per cent of women in 2014, and 50 per cent in 2017 would be achieved by structuring the party list so the goal was reached if there were enough women candidates in safe seats. . .

Electoral law requires parties use democratic processes to rank their lists, does rigging it to get a gender quota count as democratic?

. . . Former Labour candidate and party member Josie Pagani said she was not surprised at the poll result because it was not an issue that affected most people’s lives. She believed the targets had drawn attention from other, more universal gender equity issues such as equal pay which Labour had strong policies on.

“The Labour Party doesn’t have a problem particularly with female representation in its caucus. It just put the focus on something that people aren’t sure is a problem at all.”

It’s worse than this.

Keeping Stock used the story as an opportunity for a Tui billboard competition.

This policy has gifted opponents a damaging one: She got there on merit. Yeah right!

Whether or not Labour’s female candidates were selected on merit, the policy raises the question – are they there because of their ability and what they can offer as MPs or just because they’re women?

Plenty of men have got into parliament without being the best candidate, but none have had their position undermined by the suggestion they are just there to make up the numbers.

 

 

 


2013 in review

January 1, 2014

The clever WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 370,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 16 days for that many people to see it. . . 

The top referring sites were:

  1. nominister.blogspot.co.nz
  2. keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz
  3. kiwiblog.co.nz
  4. nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz
  5. twitter.com

The most prolific commenters were:

  • 1 TraceyS 1383 comments
  • 2 robertguyton 811 comments
  • 3 Andrei 722 comments
  • 4 Viv 629 comments
  • 5 Armchair Critic 448 comments

Thank you to the people who write the blogs which refer readers here, the people who visit and the people who comment.

Click here to see the complete report.


No need to tighten foreign ownership of farm land

December 6, 2013

Labour is proposing tightening rules round the sale of farm land to foreigners.

The sale of farms to overseas investors will be restricted under proposed new legislation, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill Phil Goff says.

“My Overseas Investment (Owning our Own Rural Land) Amendment Bill will be debated by Parliament after being drawn from the Member’s Ballot today.

“John Key once said ‘New Zealanders did not want to become tenants in their own land’. He never did anything about that; this Bill does.

“It stops wide purchase of New Zealand land by foreign investors unless significant benefit to New Zealand can be proven.

“Labour believes Kiwis are concerned about farms being sold to foreign buyers when there is no benefit to New Zealand. . .

Over at Keeping Stock Inventory 2 points out the hypocrisy in this when Labour had no qualms about selling the equivalent of 122 rugby fields a day when it was in power.

If those sales had caused problems a change of heart would be understandable but this policy isn’t based on principle, it’s appealing to emotion and is an attempt to out-Winston NZ First for the xenophobic vote.

Existing rules are already very tight and and place strict requirements on the purchasers.

This can provide more benefits for New Zealanders than if the land was sold to locals by, for example, requiring public access.

Foreigners might have more capital for development than locals too.

Property near us has just had Overseas Investment Office approval for sale to foreigners.

Their development plans require at least five new houses for extra staff. They are also planning to build another dairy shed which will require more staff and another couple of houses.

That will provide significant economic and social benefits.

They will be getting water from the North Otago Irrigation Company which requires independently audited farm environment plans each year which will ensure they look after water and soil quality too.

Labour’s trying to reconnect with the provinces but this policy is more likely to appeal to city people who never come closer to farming than a fast journey down the open road on the way to somewhere else.

Those of us who live in the country know it’s not who owns the land but who lives on it and what they do with it which has nothing to do with where they come from.


Poll for progess

November 24, 2013

One of the reasons Taranaki is making so much progress is the benefits it’s getting from oil exploration off its coast.

It’s been happening for years with none of the disasters that are being used to scare people into opposing more explanation.

But while the people opposing progress are getting headlines, they’re not necessarily reflecting the views of most people.

Yahoo is running a poll which asks do you support drilling off New Zealand’s coast?

When I voted yes a few minutes ago, 52% shared my view, 44% voted no and 4% were undecided.

Of course it’s self-selecting and not scientific so it would be foolish to read too much into this.

But it’s a reminder that views which dominate the news aren’t as widely held as those promoting them would like to think.

Drilling brings risks but it also brings rewards and providing best practice is followed the risks are far, far smaller than those portrayed by the anti-drilling people.

Hat tip: Keeping Stock.

 

 


Learning to be leader

November 12, 2013

As  backbencher you can pick your fights. An opposition leader can too but has to be careful about which s/he picks.

On the lists of things you should be above are attacks on a by-election candidate in a seat your party is expected to win but David Cunliffe made the mistake of getting stuck in to Matthew Doocey, National’s candidate for Christchurch East.

That has provided Doocey with the free publicity of a letter to the editor:

I am writing to express my surprise at the personal and desperate attack on me by the Leader of the Labour Party. I was not given the opportunity to respond to comments from David Cunliffe which were published on Friday November 8.

For the record I have expressed no interest and am not even thinking about any other election other than the one taking place right now in Christchurch East. I have been working hard nor for a number of weeks in what to date has been a positive campaign: my Facebook page demonstrates this.

Mr Cunliffe has inadvertently given my campaign another confidence-building boost, as I attempt to make history and take thsi seat from labour.

It was only one week ago  that the prime minister launched my campaign and it would appear I am already seen as a threat the the Opposition leader. Surely this must be some kind of political record.

For Mr Cunliffe to target me as some sort of carpetbagger is both insulting and wrong. I grew up in Christchurch and I”ll be here long after the by-election. Unlike other candidates I was was not parachuted in from Auckland at the expense of local nominees.

I’m running a strong campaign in Christchurch East and have had tremendous support from almost all of the senior MPs in John Key’s National caucus.

I can only assume Mr Cunliffe’s outburst is a symptom of desperation and.or poor polling for Labour in Christchurch East, where the community is questioning where the nearly 100 years of Labour representation has got them. Matthew Doocey, National candidate Christchurch East.

As is the way today, the free publicity doesn’t stop with The Press.

The letter has been picked up by CoNZervative, Kiwiblog and Keeping Stock.

When a mammoth attack a mouse and loses, the mammoth looks much smaller.

An aspiring Prime Minister shouldn’t even notice a by-election candidate from another party, let alone launch a personal attack on him.

This is the second time in a week Cunliffe has got publicity for looking less than leader-like.

The first was for his refusal to appear on The Farming Show with Jamie Mackay in case he didn’t get a fair hearing and would be made fun of.

I covered that here and the story has also been picked up by Keeping Stock and Kiwiblog.

When you’re opposition leader you can pick your challenges but an aspiring Prime Minister wouldn’t turn down a regular slot on nationwide-radio for fear of being made fun of.

This was a mistake on several counts, the three biggest being that the slot is now taken by Green co-leader Russel Norman; that he’s supposedly rediscovered the regions and is trying to appeal to them and that’s where the show gets blanket coverage; and  it makes him look like a lesser leader.


10 candidates for Chch east by-election

November 5, 2013

The Electoral commission has released the names of the 10 candidates for the Christchurch East by-election:

Candidate Name Party
BAKER, Leighton Conservative Party
DOOCEY, Matthew National Party
GASKIN, Ian Independent
HOLLAND, Adam Independent
LAMBERT, Paula Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
LICHTWARK, Jenner Democrats for Social Credit
MOORHOUSE, David Green Party
PARK, Sam Independent
VEALE, Gareth ACT Party
WILLIAMS, Poto Labour Party

Keeping Stock has found Labour has been a mite premature about the outcome:

This is a red seat and the odds favour Williams but it is good manners to wait until the voters cast their ballots before claiming to be an MP.

#gigatownoamaru is taking nothing for granted in the race to become the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest town.


Apathy front-runner in council elections

October 4, 2013

Only 15.5 percent of eligible voters in Wellington have voted in the local body elections halfway through the election voting period.

The return rate is even worse in Auckland with only 12.6% of eligible people having voted so far.
Local body elections rarely get the same participation as general elections do but participation in both has been dropping.
The reasons for that are many but I think postal voting, and particularly the length of time people have to vote, might have some impact on council elections.
It’s too easy to miss the envelope or put it somewhere intending to get back to it then forget about it or lose it.
This must be very frustrating to candidates who are putting serious time and money into campaigning.
Some, perhaps many, of those who haven’t voted yet might intend to, but it looks like apathy is the front-runner in council elections at this stage.
There is no easy answer to turning that around, though Keeping Stock points to a Facebook Page Roy Williams for Mayor which seeks to spice the Wanganui mayoral race with satire.

Too early

September 29, 2013

Wanted – alive and well – an extra hour of light in the morning.

Just for another three or four weeks, then there will be enough to share between both ends of the day.

This time last year we were in Argentina to watch the All Blacks vs Los Pumas.

When we got home the confusion between body and clock was due to jet lag so an hour here and there made little difference to how we felt.

But we still noticed the clocks had been put forward.

Before we’d left just over a week earlier we’d been waking up to daylight around 6am, on our return it was dark until around 7.

That’s how it is this morning and will be for another three or four weeks.

The spring equinox was only a week ago so we’re getting only a few minutes more than 12 hours of day light.

The extra hour before sunrise this evening comes at the cost of an hour more of dark this morning.

If daylight saving was delayed until the end of October, which is when the clocks went forward when it was first introduced, we’d have 14 hours between sunrise and sunset and it would be light for longer at both ends of the day.

I’ve said all this before  and started a Facebook page but at least this year I know I’m not alone.

I was listening to talk back while driving home on Thursday evening when Kerre McIvor voiced my thoughts – it’s too soon and too cold for daylight saving.

If we’ve got to put up with the effect of jet lag in the morning without having had the fun of a holiday, then it should be when it’s warm, and light, enough to get the benefit in the evening.

temps

Update:

Keeping Stock takes the contrary view but PM of NZ is on my side.


More CV questions

September 26, 2013

The first question over David Cunliffe’s CV was about  voluntary work. The reference has now been removed.

The second was about claims he’d done consultancy on the formation of Fonterra.

He’s produced a time sheet to confirm that he did work for the company between October 1997 and January 1999.

But Keeping Stock raises a question over that:

. . .  we can’t help but wonder; how could Mr Cunliffe’s work in that period be being billed to an entity which didn’t come into existence until October 2001 after legislation was passed by Parliament, and an entity that was only given the name Fonterra on 27 August 2001?

It is possible the name was used long before the company was formed but a name isn’t usually used that early in case a leak spoils the eventual launch.

Even if it was, Matthew Hooton who raised the issue said:

. . . He doesn’t want to get into a prolonged argument with Cunliffe, but said: “I just don’t think that doing a paper on research and development in the dairy industry can be described as helping with the formation of Fonterra.

“He obviously thinks that the paper he wrote … was in some way crucial to the creation of the company but I don’t think it would be a view shared by the industry leaders who lead the creation of Fonterra in 2000/2001.” . . .

It does seem to be gilding the lilly.

But whether or not the claim is justified, Andrea Vance has raised more questions over Cunliffe’s CV, this time about his academic record.

He’s often been credited with a degree from Havard, but that’s not right:

. . . A biography posted on the Labour party website until recently said: “He was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School, where he graduated with a Master of Public Administration.”

The implication from that is that the MPA was from both but:

On Monday the website was refreshed. The biography now reads: “He held a Fulbright Scholarship at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government in 1994-1995, earning a Master of Public Administration.”

His Wikipedia entry still says:

He was a Fulbright Scholar and Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School in 1994 and 1995, earning a Master of Public Administration.

A Google search came up with several more references which confirmed the belief he graduated from Havard Business School including:

. . . Outside politics, the Harvard business graduate is intensely private, living in a Herne Bay mansion. . .  at TV3

And at Facebook:

https://m.facebook.com/david.cunliffe.labour?v=info&expand=1

To connect with David Cunliffe, join Facebook today. Join Log In. David Cunliffe …. School of Government and Harvard Business School, where I graduated with 

And the Vancouver Sun:

Cunliffe is a former diplomat and health minister who has a master’s degree from Harvard Business School.

And GayNZ:
He has tertiary qualifications in social science and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard Business School.
And the Labour archive:
He was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School, where he graduated with a Master of Public Administration.
All of which confirm the impression he’s not, until now, bothered to correct, that he is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
He isn’t responsible for what other publications say about him, but he must have been responsible for the original entry from which the others were taken.

A CV shouldn’t be ambiguous and whether it was deliberate or intentional Cunliffe’s was.

It’s been corrected but it still leaves a question over why he felt the need to embellish his  record.

An employee who did as much would be at risk of losing their job.

If we can’t trust him to tell the truth about himself, can we trust him at all?


Irony or hypocrisy?

September 15, 2013

Is this irony or hypocrisy?

Grey Power has been campaigning against the partial privatisation of a few state assets, among which are a couple of power companies.

It fronted the petition to get a politicians’ initiated referendum on the issue.

But it chose a private company with which to negotiate a deal for its members.

There’s both irony and hypocrisy in that.

 

 


Mega hurdle for mega wannabe MP

September 2, 2013

Another man with an over-inflated view of his own importance is considering standing for parliament.

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom appears poised to run for parliament.  

The German millionaire, who is fighting extradition to the United States where he faces copyright charges, took to Twitter today to acknowledge his plans to enter politics. 

“My embryonic NZ political plans leaked by whistleblower. Still looking for partners. Not ready yet,” Dotcom tweeted. . .

But Keeping Stock points out there is a mega hurdle for the mega wannabe MP – he’s not a citizen.

Residents can vote but only citizens can stand for parliament.

1.2          Candidate eligibility

To be a candidate you must:

  • be enrolled as a voter,
  • be a New Zealand citizen, and
  • not be disqualified from enrolling.

There’s another hurdle too:

The main grounds of disqualification for enrolment that could affect eligibility to be a candidate are:

  • the person is a New Zealand citizen who is outside New Zealand and has not been in New Zealand within the last three years,
  • the person has been sentenced to imprisonment.

Dotcom received a suspended prison sentence.

The very capable PR people Dotcom employs probably wouldn’t be bothered by electoral law in their quest for publicity but you’d think a journalist might do some basic cheques checks on eligibility before publishing the story.

Update – A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Graeme Edgeler has corrected me – overseas convictions don’t count and NZ ones only count while the sentence is being served.


Labour like Labor

August 31, 2013

Kevin Rudd’s opinion of himself as Labor’s, and Australia’s, great hope is not shared by voters.

With just a week to go until election day in Australia, Labor is almost certainly heading for a landslide defeat.

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Gay Alcorn writes:

. . . I have been around too long to predict election outcomes, but it is looking as though September 7 will be a day of reckoning for a party that has come close to destroying itself. Labor seems so hollowed out that perhaps it had no choice but to grasp onto an American-style campaign centred around one man, Kevin Rudd, the man who more than any other contributed to the party’s predicament.

Perhaps Rudd’s elevation will mean that Labor will avoid the ”catastrophic defeat” it faced under Gillard, and it will console itself with that. But there is so much heaviness in Labor’s campaign, weighed down as it is by bad memories and bad blood. . .

Put a u in Labor, change the leader’s name and this could have been written about the Labour Party here.

It too is hollowed out, weighed down by bad memories and bad blood.

It will have a new leader in a couple of weeks but it won’t have a new culture.

Hat tip: Keeping Stock


Clark part of Auckland housing problem

July 29, 2013

The imbalance between supply and demand for houses in Auckland which is the biggest factor behind swiftly rising prices there didn’t happen overnight.

It has been building for more than a decade and local and central governments should have been addressing the issue years ago before it got this bad.

Who was leading the government for nearly a decade as the prices soared?

Oh yes, Helen Clark and she’s part of the problem of houses owned by foreigners.

Rob Hosking points out:

It’s a mark of how bogus the housing debate has become that Labour’s figures about foreign owners of New Zealand houses almost certainly include former leader Helen Clark and her four houses. . .

Labour says more than 11,000 foreigners own houses here they don’t live in.

. . . What Mr Shearer didn’t say is the figure comes from “non-resident” taxpayers who pay tax on houses they own in New Zealand.

Most of those are ex-pat Kiwis who are renting out property they own here while working overseas.

How could Labour put out a policy so badly researched?

This conversation on twitter explains it:

 

  1. Shearer’s ‘foreign investor’ figures are mostly expat Kiwis – people like Helen Clark & her four houses [PAID] http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/shearers-foreign-investor-figures-are-mostly-expat-nzers-rh-p-143493 …

     
  2. .@robhosking This is frustrating. It took you less than a day to find the holes – why aren’t Labour peer reviewing before policy release?

     
  3. @MeganCampbellNZ Own arse. Both hands. Lack of a GPS navigational device not to mention basic hand/eye co-ordination.

But it gets worse – Labour’s policy is not only based on faulty figures, it also contravenes the Free Trade Agreement with China that was negotiated by the last Labour government.

  1. Lemme get this right. Labour’s housing ban stops expat Kiwis from buying homes here but the FTA lets Chinese buy, along with Aussies? WTF?

     
  2. @BillyRalston very slightly rushed out policy, you reckon?

     
  3. @toby_etc I think someone in Shearer’s office had a brain bypass.

     
  4. @CactusKate2 @BillyRalston @toby_etc C’mon you can’t put this FAIL on the ‘office’. Good politicians ask questions &understand own policy

     
  5. @MeganCampbellNZ @CactusKate2 @BillyRalston @toby_etc EXACTLY. Blaming minions is what Aaron Gilmores of this world do, not would-be PMs.

Oh dear, faulty figures based on incomplete understanding and no idea about the FTA a Labour government negotiated – is anyone in Labour thinking?

Hat tip: Keeping Stock

P.S. – in case you think I’m guilty of Clark derangement syndrome.The post is to show Labour’s shortcomings – in government for not recognising and acting on the growing imbalance between supply and demand of houses and now for this ill-thought out policy -  not to comment on her investment decisions about which I have no criticism.


Making a fuss not a difference

July 27, 2013

Hone Harawira was appealing to his constituency when he protested the removal of state houses from Auckland.

He ended up in court and was found guilty of failing to comply with police instructions.

That might not do him any harm with his supporters but they might not be so impressed when they find out where those state houses were going.Paula Bennett FB (2)Some of those houses have been relocated to Kaitaia where they’re being relocated for families who’ve been living in cow sheds, lean-tos and condemned houses.
Keeping Stock points out:. . . What the He Korowai Trust is doing in Kaitaia is impressive; so impressive that it merits a post all of its own later in the day. But well done to Paula Bennett for pointing out that whilst the MP for Te Tai Tokerau swans around the country at considerable expense to the taxpayer and makes a lot of noise whilst achieving little, others in his electorate are rolling up their sleeves and actually doing things to improve the lot of some of Te Tai Tokerau’s less fortunate.
Harawira isn’t just guilty of failing to comply with police instructions. He’s guilty of making a fuss rather than making a difference to people in need in his own backyard.


Some chances should go by

July 22, 2013

The song says never let a chance go by . . .  and the Green Party obviously follows that advice.

Keeping Stock has a graphic over the name of Green Party MP Gareth Hughes making political capital out of the Cook Strait earthquakes.

If the  party eschewed all forms of transport fuelled by fossil fuels the message would have some credence.

But they’re prepared to use fuel from all sorts of places, many of which will have far lower safety and environmental standards than New Zealand so this is just a particularly opportunistic form of NIMBYism.
They’ll use fuel from someone else’s backyard but do their best to stop the economic growth and jobs which would come from extraction in ours.
There are some chances which should go by and this opportunity for a cheap political shot was one of them.

Shearer no-show

July 9, 2013

Mike Yardley was filling in for Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB yesterday evening and expecting to interview David Shearer in the regular spot after the 6pm news.

Shearer didn’t show.

By 7pm Mike and his team still hadn’t been able to get hold of him at any of his contact numbers, including his office.

Was he unavoidably delayed without access to a working phone?

Was he ill and anybody who would normally have fielded calls too busy looking after him to explain the no-show?

Is he still the leader?

Or was it that Mike made it clear he wanted to discuss the man-ban and this is now a no-go area for the no-show Labour leader?

Tweets from Patrick Gower thoughtfully copied at Keeping Stock suggest that the last option is the correct one although the whole man-ban debacle makes it more likely the answer to the third question is possibly not for much longer.


The colour of slime

June 4, 2013

Green rhymes with clean but it is also the colour of slime and Green co-leader Russel Norman showed the dirty side of his politics in a speech at the weekend comparing John Key to the late Sir Robert Muldoon.

In doing so he reminded us he’s Australian which wouldn’t matter at jot if this comparison didn’t show he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Karl du Fresne who admits he’s no cheerleader for the current PM and did know the former one well said:

None of the prime ministers we’ve had since Muldoon could be compared with him, for which we should be grateful. He was a vindictive bully who cleverly exploited the politics of fear and division, and never more so than during the 1981 Springbok tour.

In fact I would suggest that in terms of personality, Key is the least like Muldoon. Anyone old enough to remember the political unpleasantness of the late 1970s and early 80s – which probably excludes a lot of Green voters – would have reacted with astonishment to Norman’s bizarre attempt to compare the two men. . .
Norman’s tirade wasn’t just bizarre.
Over at Keeping Stock, Inventory 2 points out it was contrary to his party’s statement of values among which is engage respectfully without personal attacks.
Norman isn’t the first to attack the PM personally – Labour has had several attempts to throw mud at him and each has ended with them looking dirty.
Mud sticks to the hand that throws it and until recently the Green Party had clean hands.
That was one of its strengths and one of the reason the party appealed to some people who might well be National voters, including women for whom environmental concerns are important.
The PM also rates well with women and one of the reasons for that is that he is unfailingly warm, genuinely interested in people and moderate.
Norman showed none of those characteristics at the weekend.
It was a speech which appealed to his dark green adherents but would have been another  turn-off for the floating voters in the middle he needs to convince if he’s to be part of a LabourGreen government.

Better to know bias

May 23, 2013

Shane Taurima, general manager of TVNZ’s Maori and Pacific Programmes and Q + A interviewer, is seeking to be Labour’s candidate in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election.

He  said he wasn’t a member of the party last week which, as Keeping Stock, points out, means he will have to get a special waiver from the party’s ruling council.

The party’s rules allow that, and I would be surprised if other parties don’t have a similar rule.

If they are sensible, it’s not one they’d employ often.

Taurima blames his non-membership on his job:

He said Horomia, who died last month after battling a number of health issues, had spoken to him in the past about entering politics. . .

. . . “Given my career choice and the absolute need to be impartial, apolitical and professional I would politely decline his approaches and he respected me for that. It wasn’t my time back then. I wasn’t ready. But I am ready now.” . . .

The need to be impartial, apolitical and professional in his work is unquestioned. But is that achieved by hiding strong support for a party?

Wouldn’t it be better for someone in his position to be upfront about his political leanings?

Isn’t it better for viewers to know about a bias and be the judge of whether that affects his work than to hide it and have them wondering?


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