Nat will can electoral law panel

September 6, 2008

Bill English says National won’t proceed with the electoral law panel which Labour appointed without consultation.

He issued a media release in which he says:

“Labour and the Greens have learned nothing from three years embroiled in controversy over electoral law, including their anti-democratic and draconian Electoral Finance Act. 

“It has become clear that should they be re-elected, they intend to continue in their partisan, self-serving ways.

 

“The only way forward is a multi-party process that ensures no political party can screw the scrum in their own favour. 

 

“The EFA was passed by a Labour-led majority and strongly opposed by National and others.  It has been an unmitigated mess, and has been roundly criticised by the chief executive of the organisation that is supposed to oversee it.

 

“National has now not been consulted on the appointments to this electoral law panel, nor the process it will follow.

 

“This election will give voters a choice between electoral law biased by left wing parties and backed with taxpayer funding for political parties, or a multi-party agreement based on fair rules that encourage people to take part in elections.”

 

Mr English says Labour and the Greens need to answer questions about the panel.

 

“These are significant appointments, made within the three months of a general election.  Labour has flagrantly broken the convention around such appointments*.

 

“The public is sick of seeing Labour screw the scrum in its favour with electoral law.  First it was the illegal pledge card spending, then the EFA, and now a partisan review panel has been appointed in a process that involved nobody else.”

 

Constitutional matters are too important for party politics, they need broad cross party and public input.


Slowed but not stopped by superficial siderosis

September 6, 2008

Trish Hill is New Zealand’s most successful female wheelchair athlete.

Her husband Dave coached her and helped many other athletes with disabilities. Now he’s facing a debilitating illness – superficial siderosis himself.

Sally Rae tells the story here.

And Dave has set up a website here.


Saturday smiles

September 6, 2008

In spring a woman’s mind turns to wardrobe shrinkage so this, which came in an email from a friend who got it from a friend who got it from a friend . . . seemed appropriate:

In the beginning God covered the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God’s bountiful gifts, Satan created desserts. And Satan said, “You want hot fudge with that?” And Man said “Yes!” and Woman said, “I’ll have another with sprinkles.”

And God created the healthy yoghurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane, and combined them. And Woman went from size 12 to size 20.

So God said, “Try my fresh green salad.”  And Satan presented crumbled blue cheese dressing and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, “I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them.” And Satan brought forth deep fried coconut shrimp, butter dipped lobster chunks and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man’s cholesterol went through the roof.

God then brought forth running shoes so that his Children might lose those extra pounds.


And Satan came forth with a cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And man and woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretch jogging suits.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition. Then Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them in animal fats and added copious quantities of salt. And Man put on more pounds.

God then gave lean beef and lamb so that Man might consume fewer kilojoules and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald’s and the double cheeseburger.

 

Then Lucifer said, “You want fries with that?” And Man replied, “Yes! And super size ’em!” And Satan said “It is good.”

And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan created DHBs.


Words will be on line

September 6, 2008

The internet makes it much harder to deny what you’ve said because if it’s been published it can be found.

Google has just made it much easier with a new feature on its news search page which enables you to, for example, search news for Winston Peters  which gets you to this page  and from there you can go to a page like this:

The party intends to clarify some very simple issues giving rise to a misrepresentation in the public arena,” Peters said in a brief statement, without elaborating.
 
Sep 3, 2008  International Herald Tribune  (15 occurrences)
“I’ll talk to the Prime Minister about this later today with the concrete evidence that she will know that these allegations are vile, malevolent, malicious and wrong,” he said on Radio New Zealand. “I’m going to talk to the prime minister…
 
Aug 28, 2008  National Business Review  (20 occurrences)
“If they had the courtesy to talk to me, this matter would have been cleared up in a few minutes,” Peters said. “We will meet this investigation head on.”
 
Aug 28, 2008  AFP  (16 occurrences)
“I am prepared to wait on the court steps for them and if they don’t turn up they can go away for ever,” Mr Peters said.
 
Aug 27, 2008  National Business Review  (15 occurrences)
“I’m saying no,” Mr Peters said at the time.
 
Aug 6, 2008  Stuff.co.nz  (10 occurrences)
If staff had had the courtesy to talk to him, the matter “would have been cleared up in a few minutes”, the minister said. “They did not even have the courtesy to tell me about their decision – I heard it on the radio.”
 
Aug 28, 2008  New Zealand Herald  (20 occurrences)
Mr Peters described the announcement of a fraud investigation as “ridiculous in the extreme” and that the fraud office had not spoken to him.
 
Aug 28, 2008  Melbourne Herald Sun  (20 occurrences)
Peters described Hide’s complaint to police as “obsessive, compulsive, grandstanding behaviour” and a “waste of time”.
 
Sep 4, 2008  The Age  (7 occurrences)
“I’ve had a conversation this afternoon that tells me exactly what time this conversation happened, why it happened, who it happened with and what Mr Glenn said,” he told Parliament. “I know the dates and the times, and I’m going to be…
 
Aug 27, 2008  3 News NZ  (10 occurrences)
Peters described Hide’s complaint to police as “obessive, compulsive, grandstanding behavior” and a “waste of time.”
 
Sep 3, 2008  International Herald Tribune  (3 occurrences)
The party intends to clarify some very simple issues giving rise to a misrepresentation in the public arena,” Peters said in a brief statement, without elaborating.
Sep 3, 2008  International Herald Tribune  (15 occurrences)
“I’ll talk to the Prime Minister about this later today with the concrete evidence that she will know that these allegations are vile, malevolent, malicious and wrong,” he said on Radio New Zealand. “I’m going to talk to the prime minister…
Aug 28, 2008  National Business Review  (20 occurrences)
“If they had the courtesy to talk to me, this matter would have been cleared up in a few minutes,” Peters said. “We will meet this investigation head on.”
Aug 28, 2008  AFP  (16 occurrences)
“I am prepared to wait on the court steps for them and if they don’t turn up they can go away for ever,” Mr Peters said.
Aug 27, 2008  National Business Review  (15 occurrences)
“I’m saying no,” Mr Peters said at the time.
Aug 6, 2008  Stuff.co.nz  (10 occurrences)
If staff had had the courtesy to talk to him, the matter “would have been cleared up in a few minutes”, the minister said. “They did not even have the courtesy to tell me about their decision – I heard it on the radio.”
Aug 28, 2008  New Zealand Herald  (20 occurrences)
Mr Peters described the announcement of a fraud investigation as “ridiculous in the extreme” and that the fraud office had not spoken to him.
Aug 28, 2008  Melbourne Herald Sun  (20 occurrences)
Peters described Hide’s complaint to police as “obsessive, compulsive, grandstanding behaviour” and a “waste of time”.
Sep 4, 2008  The Age  (7 occurrences)
“I’ve had a conversation this afternoon that tells me exactly what time this conversation happened, why it happened, who it happened with and what Mr Glenn said,” he told Parliament. “I know the dates and the times, and I’m going to be…
Aug 27, 2008  3 News NZ  (10 occurrences)
Peters described Hide’s complaint to police as “obsessive, compulsive, grandstanding behavior” and a “waste of time.”
Sep 3, 2008  International Herald Tribune  (3 occurrences)

It might be amusing if it wasn’t for the seriousness of the issue and the damage it is doing to our international reputation for a lack of corruption.

Hat tip: Whaleoil


Maori in the middle

September 6, 2008

The power under MMP is in the middle.

It’s a lesson the Green Party has failed to learn. If they were moderate on social and eocnomic policy they could ensure at least some of their environmental policy was implemented in a coalition with either National or Labour.

But because they are water melons they sacrifice their green outside to the red inside and will only support Labour.

They should learn from the Maori Party which has stayed independent, focussing on what really matters to them and their supporters because as John Armstrong writes that puts them in a very strong position:

The Maori Party does have the advantage of representing a niche market, rather than having to compete with all and sundry. But at some point it must start delivering the goods.

This election would seem to be the opportune time to do so, given National’s lack of viable partners and Labour’s likely need for any partner it can get.

The Maori Party shares National’s views on property rights, the importance of education and concern about welfare dependency.

Maori are disproportionately represented in negative economic and social statistics so are more vulnerable in a recession. Labour has squandered the opportunities for economic growth available in the last nine years so can’t be trusted now that the economy has turned. In contrast, National’s programme for economic growth provides another reason for the Maori Party to turn to the right rather than the left.

Busted Blonde at Roarprawn  adds a Maori perspective and admits she has a bet riding on this.


High NOon

September 6, 2008

 

The cartoon is from Stuff.

And more payments from the Spencer Trust to New Zealand First have been revealed.


You can’t eat lifestyle

September 6, 2008

In seven of the last 10 years more than 20,000 people have left New Zealand permanently.

That’s around the population of the whole Waitaki District.

The concerning thing is not just the numbers but the reasons  people are going with family ties now adding to the pull of higher wages.

Council of Trade Unions economist Peter Conway said that while money was an important factor for workers, migration to Australia was becoming generational and ingrained behaviour for New Zealanders.

“The really concerning thing about the numbers we have now is that it’s starting to look like a long-run trend,” he said.

“It’s not the fact we’ve lost over 30,000 in any one year, because that’s happened before. There is a gravity effect around this.

“If you go to Sydney and you need a bed for the first couple of weeks, chances are you are going to know someone; you’ll have a cousin there or something.

“It’s just become so much easier to go back and forth. Fifty-two per cent of our long-term immigrants go to Australia … and it’s not really overseas to people any more.”

Conway has studied wages on both sides of the Tasman for several years.

Taking into account annual exchange rates and purchasing power disparities, there was a 36.4% gap between Australian and New Zealand wages.

“People say it’s all about mining, but if you take mining out of their productivity figures and take agriculture, forestry and fishing out of ours, you have still got a huge gap with Australia,” he said.

“They are a bigger economy so they get a bit of an agglomeration effect, but also they have kept investing in capital and kept investing in skills, and they have had a better way of investing the rewards.”

Those all make significant impacts on the differences between here and there. Another is that year after year the Australian government has given tax cuts, allowing people to keep more of their hard-earned money.

But there are other factors taking people across the Tasman:

New Zealand Institute of Management chief executive David Chapman said retention of executive-level staff had been a long-term problem.

“There would be a lot of New Zealand families and mine would be no exception where the bright young people head off to Sydney and so forth because that’s where the bank wants to take them because that’s where the big jobs are,” he said.

“That’s been a worry for a while now. It’s a bit like the drift from Wellington to Auckland, but now it’s the New Zealand-Australia drift.”

Chapman said the Kiwi lifestyle was no longer enough of an incentive for managers to stay in New Zealand compared with their career ambitions.

“What drives managers is the companies that they work for, and the problem in recent times is that the ownership of a lot of those companies has moved to Australia and that has tended to relegate New Zealand to branch office operations,” he said.

“That means a lot of our good management talent gets taken to Australia to the headquarters of these companies. That has been going on for a few years now.”

And Australian companies are moving to Asia …


%d bloggers like this: