Quote of the year shortlist

December 10, 2013

The 10 shortlisted finalists in Massey’s annual Quote of the Year competition have been chosen and are open to public vote:

Dr Heather Kavan,  Massey’s speech writing specialist, started the competition three years ago because she found her speech-writing students had trouble identifying memorable lines.

. . . “The quotes I knew were too old for the students. Edmund Hilary’s “We knocked the bastard off” was said in 1953. Muldoon’s one-liner about Kiwis going to Australia “raising the IQ of both countries” and Lange’s “I can smell the uranium on your breath” quip were both said in the 1980s.

“I thought there must be some good contemporary New Zealand quotes, but no-one is collecting them.”

Dr Kavan and her judging panel narrowed down several dozen entries nominated throughout the year by Massey students and the general public to a top 10.

She describes the judging criteria: “Memorability is paramount. The gay rainbow line with its colourful imagery is a good example of this. However, many of the quotes appealed for different reasons. The GCSB one stood out because it was funny and most people can relate to having a frustrating experience with a government department.

“We were also keen to get quotes that were relatively spontaneous, such as Winston Peters’ ‘What didn’t he know and when didn’t he know it?’

“Another criterion was context. We chose ‘He’s an extraordinarily lucky cat’ because Moomoo’s story made international headlines and even the word ‘extraordinarily’ seemed like an understatement.” . . .

The shortlisted quotes are:

If there was a dickhead that night, it was me – MP Aaron Gilmore reflecting on how he got intoxicated and called a waiter a ‘Dickhead’ at the Heritage Hotel in Hamner Springs.

Why are you going red, Prime Minister? – Kim Dotcom at the Parliamentary enquiry into the GCSB spying on New Zealand residents.
I’m not, why are you sweating? – Key’s reply to Kim Dotcom.

The GCSB, the only government department that will actually listen to you – Unknown origin but repeated on social media.

Male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel – Man Booker prize winning novelist, New Zealand’s Eleanor Catton.

I’m not a spreadsheet with hair – Auckland singer/songwriter Lorde.

What didn’t he know and when didn’t he know it? – Winston Peters querying John Key’s knowledge of the Parliamentary Service’s actions.

In New Zealand nobody takes you seriously unless you can make them yawn – author James McNeish at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.

That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer – Gareth Morgan’s Cats to Go campaign website.

He’s an extraordinarily lucky cat – Massey University veterinary surgeon Dr Jonathan Bray after removing a crossbow bolt from the head of Wainuiomata cat Moomoo.

One of the messages that I had was that this bill was the cause of our drought. Well, in the Pakuranga electorate this morning it was pouring with rain. We had the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate – Cabinet minister Maurice Williamson in his speech to Parliament supporting the gay marriage law.

To vote for the 2013 Quote of the Year, visit Massey University’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/masseyuniversity or http://on.fb.me/1dY9SUC

Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday December 19, with the winner announced on December 20.


Going graciously

May 14, 2013

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for the gracious way in which you expressed yourself in your personal statement to parliament today.

The opposition and media who were hoping for fireworks would have been disappointed.

I am sure party members, both the volunteers and MPs, would have appreciated it.

You aren’t the only one who has learned from this experience and that is the silver lining to what has been a very cloudy couple of weeks.

I hope you find work that makes use of your undoubted skills and that the path you take from now leads to both happiness and success.

Yours sincerely

Ele


Was it MMP’s fault?

May 13, 2013

MMP has been given some of the blame for the inability to kick Aaron Gilmore out of parliament.

Is that fair?

No.

Both list and electorate MPs can be sacked from their caucus and party but if they don’t resign they stay in parliament until the next election when voters give their verdict.

However, while a voters can ensure an MP doesn’t win an electorate they have no influence on where a candidate is on their party’s list. That means they can vote for someone else in the electorate but still find the person they rejected has got into parliament.

This is an aspect of the system on which many people submitted to the review of MMP, arguing that if an MP loses a seat, or contests it and fails to win it, s/he should not be able to enter parliament on the list.

I disagree with that.

Standing in an electorate ensures candidates face the voters and get to know the people whose support they are soliciting and learn about their concerns.

If they take it seriously, and given it’s the party vote which really counts they’d be stupid not to, they gain an understanding of the individuals, groups and communities on whom their policies will impact.

The goods ones don’t just stand in an electorate they stay in touch with it, working with and for the people in it. And failing once or twice doesn’t prevent later success.

Eric Roy* and Nicky Wagner, for example, failed to win electorates but got in on the list, worked hard, earned the support of the people and won Invercargill and Christchurch Central respectively.

Others like Chris Finlayson and Michael Woodhouse have stood in dark red seats they have little hope of winning, but even those who don’t share their political views would be hard pressed to criticise their performance as MPs and Ministers.

I have no doubt that standing in electorates has helped them in their work.

That not all list MPs who stand in seats perform well in parliament is not a reason to change the rules to prevent dual candidacy.

MMP is not my preferred electoral system but the advantages of dual candidacies outweigh the disadvantages.

One valid criticism of the system is that list MPs aren’t directly answerable to constituents. Dual candidacy at least means they have to front up to voters.

Good MPs will ensure they don’t squander the goodwill they earn by doing so by continuing to work in electorates whether or not they have any chance of winning them.

But to return to the original question of whether it’s MMP’s fault that Gilmore could have stayed in parliament had he not chosen to resign.

It’s not. But it is the system which enabled him to be there in the first place and that system has given less power to people in electorates and more to parties.

If parties get an electorate selection wrong, voters can ensure the candidate doesn’t get into parliament. They can’t do that with an individual list MP.

* Eric first entered parliament in 1993 by winning the seat of Ararua which disappeared when MMP was introduced. He stood unsuccessfully for Invercargill twice but stayed in parliament as a list MP. He missed out on the electorate and list in 2002 but won the seat in 2005.


Gilmore going

May 12, 2013

A reporter phoned me this afternoon asking me questions, on or off the record, about Aaron Gilmore.

I replied, truthfully, that I didn’t know the answers.

The call however, proved that the media was still digging.

Whether anything more had been found is probably not relevant because he has announced he’s resigning:

“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I announce my intention to resign from Parliament,” Mr Gilmore said in a statement. . .

I think this is the best thing he could have done for his own sake.

It is possible to make mistakes and put them behind you, as other people have done, but the phone call today suggested the media had not yet reached that point and matters may well have got worse.

It is also better for the government, the country and the National Party.

Side shows like this don’t really matter but they do distract from things that do.

 


What will it take?

May 9, 2013

Dear Aaron,

If you were at the Mainland Conference in Hanmer to the end you’d have heard West Coast Tasman based list MP Chris Auckinvole’s final words.

You might remember him talking about the importance of the two wings of the party, the MPs and the volunteers,  and the good that can be achieved when they’re working in unison.

That was before we knew you hadn’t been at the conference dinner as any MP who took his responsibility to the party seriously, and respected the volunteers, would have been.

The party understands the competing demands on MPs – parliamentary duties, electorate work, family commitments – but just one weekend a year we ask you all to come to your regional conferences.

It’s an opportunity for volunteers to discuss policy with you, air concerns, get to know you. The social functions are an important part of that.

That you chose not to grace the conference dinner with your presence might have been overlooked. Your behaviour at the dinner you did attend can’t be and everything that’s happened since has made it worse.

I was part of the committee which met in 2011 to rank the party’s list.

Our deliberations are confidential but the rankings are not.

You were the lowest ranked sitting MP and anyone with any humility would have worked out why.

Once a list is ranked and put before the public at an election the party can’t change it. But someone can, as Paul Quinn did, turn down the opportunity to take up a place with his dignity intact and get on with his life.

You didn’t take the hint from your list placing and claimed the vacant seat. Why?

You’ve been reported as saying that you have enough money to live  on without needing to work so it can’t be the salary.

I don’t know if you did any good in the few weeks you’ve been back as an MP but in the last few days you’ve done immeasurable harm.

John Key and National have retained a fairly high and reasonably constant level of popularity in polls for several reasons. One of those is party discipline.

Both the wings Chris talked about have been strong and flying in unison.

Your antics are threatening that.

The Prime Minister has lost confidence in you and the president says the party is disappointed.

That is putting it very, very mildly.

If there’s one thing that gets volunteers riled  it’s an MP who doesn’t understand the importance of discipline and unity, doesn’t uphold the standard of behaviour expected and puts himself before the party.

What on earth are you thinking?

If your words and actions are anything to go by it’s not what’s best for the government, the party, parliament or the country.

What will it take to make you understand what you’ve done wrong and what’s the only thing you can now do to make it right?

Yours in disappointment,

Ele


Gilmore back

February 15, 2013

The Electoral Commission has declared Aaron Gilmore to be elected to Parliament from the New Zealand National Party list.

He fills a vacancy created by the resignation of former speaker Dr Lockwood Smith.


Final count – Nats lose seat, MMP stays

December 10, 2011

National has lost an MP in the final election result.

Aaron Gilmore was the last on the list to gain a seat on election night. He lost that at the expense of the Green Party which gained an MP, Mojo Mathers, our first deaf MP.

Polling Places Counted: 6,660 of 6,660 (100.0%)
Total Votes Counted: 2,257,336
Party Party Votes % Votes Electorate Seats List Seats Total Seats
National Party 1,058,638 47.31 41 18 59
Labour Party 614,936 27.48 23 11 34
Green Party 247,370 11.06 0 14 14
New Zealand First Party 147,544 6.59 0 8 8
Māori Party 31,982 1.43 3 0 3
Mana 24,168 1.08 1 0 1
ACT New Zealand 23,889 1.07 1 0 1
United Future 13,443 0.60 1 0 1
Conservative Party 59,236 2.65 0 0 0
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 11,738 0.52 0 0 0
Democrats for Social Credit 1,714 0.08 0 0 0
Libertarianz 1,595 0.07 0 0 0
Alliance 1,209 0.05 0 0 0
70 51 121

Nicky Wagner has gained the Christchurch Central seat with a majority of 45 votes over Brendon Burns and Carmel Sepuloni has won Waitakere by 11 votes from Paula Bennett.

Prime Minsiter has the highest majority – 21,066 followed by Amy Adams on 19,451, Simon O’Connor with 17, 786 and Tony Ryall with a majority of 17,760.

All winners and their majorities are:

Electorate Result Winning Candidate 2nd Place Margin
Auckland Central 100.0% KAYE, Nikki (NAT) ARDERN, Jacinda (LAB) 717
Bay of Plenty 100.0% RYALL, Tony (NAT) DEVOY-HEENA, Carol (LAB) 17,760
Botany 100.0% ROSS, Jami-Lee (NAT) WU, Chao-Fu (LAB) 10,741
Christchurch Central 100.0% WAGNER, Nicky (NAT) BURNS, Brendon (LAB) 45
Christchurch East 100.0% DALZIEL, Lianne (LAB) GILMORE, Aaron (NAT) 5,334
Clutha-Southland 100.0% ENGLISH, Bill (NAT) LOO, Tat (LAB) 16,168
Coromandel 100.0% SIMPSON, Scott (NAT) KININMONTH, Hugh (LAB) 12,740
Dunedin North 100.0% CLARK, David (LAB) WOODHOUSE, Michael (NAT) 3,489
Dunedin South 100.0% CURRAN, Clare (LAB) HAYES, Joanne (NAT) 4,175
East Coast 100.0% TOLLEY, Anne (NAT) MACKEY, Moana (LAB) 4,774
East Coast Bays 100.0% McCULLY, Murray (NAT) GOLDSMITH, Vivienne (LAB) 14,641
Epsom 100.0% BANKS, John (ACT) GOLDSMITH, Paul (NAT) 2,261
Hamilton East 100.0% BENNETT, David (NAT) ORGAD, Sehai (LAB) 8,275
Hamilton West 100.0% MACINDOE, Tim (NAT) MORONEY, Sue (LAB) 4,418
Helensville 100.0% KEY, John (NAT) GREENBROOK-HELD, Piers Jeremy (LAB) 21,066
Hunua 100.0% HUTCHISON, Paul (NAT) HILLS, Richard (LAB) 16,797
Hutt South 100.0% MALLARD, Trevor (LAB) QUINN, Paul (NAT) 4,825
Ilam 100.0% BROWNLEE, Gerry (NAT) PARSONS, John (LAB) 13,312
Invercargill 100.0% ROY, Eric (NAT) SOPER, Lesley (LAB) 6,263
Kaikōura 100.0% KING, Colin (NAT) COLLYNS, Liz (LAB) 11,445
Mana 100.0% FAAFOI, Kris (LAB) PARATA, Hekia (NAT) 2,230
Māngere 100.0% SIO, Sua William (LAB) HAUITI, Claudette (NAT) 15,159
Manukau East 100.0% ROBERTSON, Ross (LAB) BAKSHI, Kanwaljit Singh (NAT) 15,838
Manurewa 100.0% WALL, Louisa (LAB) CALDER, Cam (NAT) 8,610
Maungakiekie 100.0% LOTU-IIGA, Peseta Sam (NAT) BEAUMONT, Carol (LAB) 3,021
Mt Albert 100.0% SHEARER, David (LAB) LEE, Melissa (NAT) 10,021
Mt Roskill 100.0% GOFF, Phil (LAB) BLUE, Jackie (NAT) 7,271
Napier 100.0% TREMAIN, Chris (NAT) NASH, Stuart (LAB) 3,701
Nelson 100.0% SMITH, Nick (NAT) STREET, Maryan (LAB) 7,088
New Lynn 100.0% CUNLIFFE, David (LAB) GROSER, Tim (NAT) 5,190
New Plymouth 100.0% YOUNG, Jonathan (NAT) LITTLE, Andrew (LAB) 4,270
North Shore 100.0% BARRY, Maggie (NAT) CLARK, Ben (LAB) 15,228
Northcote 100.0% COLEMAN, Jonathan (NAT) GILLON, Paula (LAB) 9,379
Northland 100.0% SABIN, Mike (NAT) STEWART, Lynette (LAB) 11,362
Ōhariu 100.0% DUNNE, Peter (UFNZ) CHAUVEL, Charles (LAB) 1,392
Ōtaki 100.0% GUY, Nathan (NAT) FOSTER, Peter (LAB) 5,231
Pakuranga 100.0% WILLIAMSON, Maurice (NAT) KAUSHAL, Sunny (LAB) 13,846
Palmerston North 100.0% LEES-GALLOWAY, Iain (LAB) HAPETA, Leonie (NAT) 3,285
Papakura 100.0% COLLINS, Judith (NAT) MIKA, Jerome (LAB) 9,890
Port Hills 100.0% DYSON, Ruth (LAB) CARTER, David (NAT) 3,097
Rangitata 100.0% GOODHEW, Jo (NAT) BLANCHARD, Julian (LAB) 6,537
Rangitīkei 100.0% McKELVIE, Ian (NAT) PAGANI, Josie (LAB) 9,382
Rimutaka 100.0% HIPKINS, Chris (LAB) FLETCHER, Jonathan (NAT) 3,286
Rodney 100.0% MITCHELL, Mark (NAT) CRAIG, Colin (CNSP) 12,222
Rongotai 100.0% KING, Annette (LAB) FINLAYSON, Christopher (NAT) 9,047
Rotorua 100.0% McCLAY, Todd (NAT) CHADWICK, Steve (Stephanie) (LAB) 7,357
Selwyn 100.0% ADAMS, Amy (NAT) McLEAN, Jo (LAB) 19,451
Tāmaki 100.0% O’CONNOR, Simon (NAT) BAKULICH, Nick Iusitini (LAB) 17,786
Taranaki-King Country 100.0% ARDERN, Shane (NAT) BARKER, Rick (LAB) 15,089
Taupō 100.0% UPSTON, Louise (NAT) CAMPBELL, Frances (LAB) 14,115
Tauranga 100.0% BRIDGES, Simon (NAT) MAHUTA-COYLE, Deborah (LAB) 17,264
Te Atatū 100.0% TWYFORD, Phil (LAB) HENARE, Tau (NAT) 5,416
Tukituki 100.0% FOSS, Craig (NAT) HAYDON-CARR, Julia (LAB) 9,660
Waikato 100.0% TISCH, Lindsay (NAT) SUTTON, Kate (LAB) 14,198
Waimakariri 100.0% WILKINSON, Kate (NAT) COSGROVE, Clayton (LAB) 642
Wairarapa 100.0% HAYES, John (NAT) BOTT, Michael (LAB) 7,135
Waitakere 100.0% SEPULONI, Carmel (LAB) BENNETT, Paula (NAT) 11
Waitaki 100.0% DEAN, Jacqui (NAT) MONKS, Barry (LAB) 14,143
Wellington Central 100.0% ROBERTSON, Grant (LAB) FOSTER-BELL, Paul (NAT) 6,376
West Coast-Tasman 100.0% O’CONNOR, Damien (LAB) AUCHINVOLE, Chris (NAT) 2,539
Whanganui 100.0% BORROWS, Chester (NAT) McDOUALL, Hamish (LAB) 5,046
Whangarei 100.0% HEATLEY, Phil (NAT) NEWMAN, Pat (LAB) 12,447
Wigram 100.0% WOODS, Megan (LAB) COLLINS, Sam (NAT) 1,500
Hauraki-Waikato 100.0% MAHUTA, Nanaia (LAB) GREENSILL, Angeline (MANA) 5,935
Ikaroa-Rāwhiti 100.0% HOROMIA, Parekura (LAB) RAIHANIA, Na (MAOR) 6,541
Tāmaki Makaurau 100.0% SHARPLES, Pita (MAOR) JONES, Shane (LAB) 936
Te Tai Hauāuru 100.0% TURIA, Tariana (MAOR) PEKE-MASON, Soraya Waiata (LAB) 3,221
Te Tai Tokerau 100.0% HARAWIRA, Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene (MANA) DAVIS, Kelvin (LAB) 1,165
Te Tai Tonga 100.0% TIRIKATENE, Rino (LAB) KĀTENE, Rāhui (MAOR) 1,475
Waiariki 100.0% FLAVELL, Te Ururoa James (MAOR) SYKES, Annette Te Imaima (MANA) 1,883

Kiwiblog has the figures on the demographics of the new parliament.

MMP was confirmed with  57.77% suport and 42.24% voting for change.


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