Only 6/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.
Colin James’ poll of polls:
After this week’s stream of polls, including TV1’s poll published on the evening of September 5, National is back in the box seat with 50.2% on the latest four-poll average.
(Explainer: The POLL of POLLS is an arithmetical average of the four most recent major polls since mid-June from among: TV1 Colmar Brunton, TV3 Reid Research, Fairfax Media-Ipsos, NZ Herald DigiPoll, Roy Morgan New Zealand and UMR Research, which is not published.*)
Labour plunged to a new four-poll average of 25.0%, its lowest since at least 2008 and probably since the mid-1990s.
The Greens slipped to 12.0% as a high rating in a Morgan poll dropped out of the average.
National’s lead over Labour and the Greens combined climbed to 13.2%.
The two winners from the dirty politics furore, New Zealand First and the Conservatives, were at 5.6% and 3.3% respectively. Internet Mana was 2.2% and the Maori party was 0.9%. ACT was 0.3% and United Future 0.2%, levels at which David Seymour’s and Peter Dunne’s seats, if they win them would be “overhangs” and push the number of seats in Parliament to 122.
National’s high rating is unlikely to translate into that level of support from voters and it will almost certainly need some coalition partners.
. . . National Party campaign chairman Steven Joyce said the party’s popularity following publication of the Dirty Politics book showed a disconnect between what the public and media focus on.
Mr Joyce told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report programme that despite strong polling, National was not assuming it would govern alone. National was not expecting the kind of result shown in the polls on election day, and having partnerships with several parties created a stronger more stable Government.
“If you just say you need a particular party to get over the line then obviously that particular party has a lot more leverage over the larger party.
“What we’ve shown in 2008 and 2011 if you have options then you can form good strong stable relationships and nobody gets too carried away.” . .
The stronger National’s vote is the more options it will have and the less it can be held hostage to minor players.
Labour is so weak it will be in a very poor bargaining position which would enable potential coalition partners to extract far more concessions in exchange for their support.
Its support could keep dropping if people decide it won’t be able to lead the next government or would have to give away too much to the wee players to enable it to govern .
Jandalising – vandalising with flip flop damage, creating doubt using conflicting information.
Hat tip; Gravedodger
All change this election -Andrew Hoggard :
This election hasn’t been the best advertisement for democracy. I cannot recall when a Minister quit Cabinet during an election campaign but the actions of bloggers, hackers, emails and a political feeding frenzy, distract us from the real issues.
I’m pretty certain my Grandfather, who spent close on four years inside POW camps, would be spitting tacks if he were still around today and saw the impact a German playboy was having on our democracy.
After the election we could see political parties giving two fingers to the traditional baubles of office in favour of what’s called the cross-benches. What that means in practice is that the Opposition cannot afford to attack you while the government has to go cap and hand on every single policy. It makes for electoral gridlock. A tyranny of the minority.
I’d like to give this farce a wide berth but it impacts upon what farmers do. . .
World is a step closer to low-emission sheep – Jamie Morton:
The world is a step closer to a low-emission sheep, thanks to leading work by Kiwi and US researchers.
Methane belched from sheep and other ruminants, such as cows, accounts for around 28 per cent of global methane emissions from human-related activities.
The methane is produced in the rumen by microbes called methanogens and the work targeting these organisms is aimed at reducing methane emissions from ruminants.
New Zealand has the largest methane emission rate — six times the global average — and this primarily comes from enteric fermentation in ruminant livestock, with sheep the greatest single source. . . .
Move to save yarn business – Alan Williams:
Primary Wool Co-operative (PWC) group has confirmed its bid to save the last wool-spinning business in the southern hemisphere, Christchurch Yarns (NZ).
It has given itself less than a month to raise $3 million in equity to fund the purchase of the operating assets of Christchurch Yarns from the company’s receiver.
Directors and main shareholders Bay and Hamish de Lautour are putting in $150,000 between them to a new company, NZ Yarn, as a show of confidence to other potential investors. . . .
On September 4 Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Rural Technology Development Centre (CRTD).
CRTDC sits under the Ministry of Science and Technology. They are committed to promoting technological progress for all aspects of rural development in China by maintaining close ties with relevant rural science and technology management authorities, research institutes and universities in China as well as other international organisations.
The MOU focuses on improving the cooperation between New Zealand and China in terms of agricultural policy research, technology training and livestock breeding and encourages cooperation and communication of the governments, universities and corporations of both countries, to improve global agricultural sustainable development. . .
Butter futures reached an all-time high in Chicago as Americans’ rising appetite for the fatty dairy spread and rising exports erode US inventories.
Domestic consumption is projected to rise 0.8 per cent to 788,000 metric tons in 2014, according to the US Department of Agriculture. That would be the second-highest ever in data going back to 1965. Shipments in the first six months of the year were up 42 per cent from 2013.
Demand is rising as milk production trailed analyst expectations, while fat content, used to make butter, is also dropping, according to Eric Meyer, the president of Chicago-based HighGround Dairy. . .
Nominations for the 2014 Fonterra Elections closed at 12 noon today.
The candidates for the Fonterra Board of Directors’ Election will be announced on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 following the completion of the Candidate Assessment Panel (CAP) process.
The Returning Officer, Warwick Lampp, confirmed there will be no election for the Directors’ Remuneration Committee, as Shareholders Murray Holdaway and Philip Wilson have been elected unopposed.
Nominations were also called for candidates for the Shareholders’ Council in 22 wards. An election is required in four wards, as follows: . . .
Wool research behind the farm gate was important but needed to be attached to work already being undertaken in the wool industry, says Wools of New Zealand in its wool levy position paper released today.
The grower owned wool marketing and sales company says while it is important for all growers to have their say, they need to be “armed with the facts relating to costs, benefits and possible alternatives before they vote.”
While WNZ agrees there is a need for additional training and tech transfer both inside the farm gate and beyond, it believes these functions can be provided by existing agencies such as Tectra and AgITO while there were also other options to creating yet another structure in an already cluttered industry. . .
David Cunliffe walked into a bank to cash a cheque, went up to a cashier and said, “Good morning, Ma’am, could you please cash this cheque for me?”
Cashier:” I’d be happy to sir. Could you please show me your ID?”
Cunliffe: “Truthfully, I did not bring my ID with me as I didn’t think there was any need to. I am David Cunliffe, leader of the Labour Party and the Parliamentary Opposition.”
Cashier:” Yes sir, I know who you look like, but with all the new regulations and monitoring of banks because of impostors and forgers and requirements of legislation, I must insist on seeing ID.”
Cunliffe: “Just ask anyone here at the bank who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am.”
Cashier: “I am sorry, Mr. Cunliffe , but these are the bank’s rules and I must follow them.”
Cunliffe: “Now c’mon, I am urging you, please, to cash this cheque.”
Cashier: “Look Mr. Cunliffe, here is an example of what we can do. One day, Lydia Ko came into our branch without ID. To prove she was Lydia, she pulled out her putter and made a beautiful shot across the bank into a cup. With that shot we knew it was Lydia and cashed her cheque.
“Another time, Kiri Te Kanawa came in without ID. She sang Hine E Hine for us. On the strength of that we accepted she was Kiri and cashed her cheque.
“So, Mr. Cunliffe , what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you?”
Cunliffe stood there, like a stunned mullet, thinking, and thinking, and finally said, “Honestly, my mind is a total blank…there is nothing that comes to my mind…………… I can’t think of a single thing. I have absolutely no idea what to do, I don’t have a clue . . .”
Cashier: “Will that be large or small notes, Mr. Cunliffe
The NBR has interviewed tax experts who say that Labour’s expert panel couldn’t sort out the complexities of the CGT in time to prevent a revenue hole.
The print edition has fuller coverage by Rob Hosking which says that wishful thinking and invention play too large a part of Labour’s fiscal policies.
. . . The questions do not just involve the much discussed capital gains tax – although this certainly features prominently.
Also under question are assumptions about an unspecified tax crack-down which is supposed to net $200 million ain extra tax revenue a year.
But more critical is the framework of all this – something highlighted by Labour leader David Cunliffe’s floundering response to a challenge by Prime Minsiter John Key in this week’s leaders’ debate in in Christchurch . . .
One over-riding problem with the plan is the need for the panel to resolve technical issues and tax changes ready for the next financial year.
“I just can’t see them being able to do that,” says Ernst & Young tax partner Aaron Quintal. . . .
Deloitte technical director of tax Robyn Walkers . . . also warns the capital gains tax could be higher than Labour is promising. . .
Labour’s policy is for 15% CGT but the Green and Internet Mana parties want it to be levied at the individual’s marginal tax rate which will mostly be the top one.
The other question that could affect that narrow surplus target is promises for even bigger tax crack-downs that Inland revenue has been running in recent years.
Labour’s budget plan involves an assumption this crackdown will bring in $200 million a year in tax revenue.
“That is just a made-up figure says Deloitte tax specialist Alex Mitchell. . .
The other ‘revenue hole’ comes back to the capital gains tax and this is to do with the gap between rhetoric and the reality of such a tax.
The political and emotional attraction of a CGT is that it will combat inequality but it doesn’t gather enough to do that.
“Capital gains taxes do not raise much revenue,” Mr Quintal says. “In the UK it is around 1% of the tax take: in Australia it is half of 1%. . .
” . . . In New Zealand realistically we are only looking at something around $500 million a year probably.
“That is not going to do what they say it is going to do.”
The $200 million in extra revenue isn’t the only thing that’s been made up, so is the assertion that IRD have been consulted on the CGT.
Duncan Garner asked David Cunliffe if he’d consulted the IRD on Labour’s capital gains tax.
Cunliffe said he hadn’t personally but the party had.
Garner asked IRD and got a response saying they’d had no discussions on it:
Labour’s big spending promises are based on more and higher taxes based on rhetoric which won’t be matched in reality.
That would be bad enough if the party was able to govern alone. The higher spending and tax policies of the mis-matched group of parties it would need to from a government make the outlook under a labour-led government even more dire.
If the numbers don’t stack up nor will any of the other policies which depend on them.
John Armstrong says Labour is the living dead after its tax fiasco.
It’s suffering from a variety of self-inflicted wounds, not least of which is that its numbers don’t stack up.