Red Alert

Archive for October, 2011

Labour’s broadcasting policy

Posted by on October 31st, 2011

Will be public tomorrow

#Keyhole for fact check

Posted by on October 31st, 2011

Tonight’s debate has a parallel website. It is designed for you to fact check because there have been problems with the leader of he national parties veracity.

It is at (thanks Draco).

the leader of the national party even hiding from granny herald live chat

Posted by on October 31st, 2011

Key & English have declined an offer of a live chat with Herald readers.


Missed this to get it out in time for David’s chat. But thought the pattern of the skipper skipping possible hard questions is instructive.

Jacinda to upset

Posted by on October 31st, 2011

BUSES, TRAINS, AUTOMOBILES-OH MY: As our largest city it makes sense that Auckland has the largest transportation woes, too. City Rail link—how should it be funded? Should we be investing more on rail? Are we too focused on roads? Can the current transportation options keep up with expected population growth? Is Auckland walking/cycle friendly? What should we be doing to improve Auckland’s transport?

SMALL BUSINESSES: Auckland has thousands of small businesses—how are our current employment laws affecting these businesses? Do we need to make changes to our employment laws? What about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour? Are small businesses and self-employment the backbone of our economy? How do we create an environment for job creation?

LIVE pub politics from the BRITOMART COUNTRY CLUB, AUCKLAND (updated): Wednesday, 2ND of November. Our Panel: ACT Party Candidate David Seymour, Green Party Candidate Denise Roche, Labour Candidate Jacinda Ardern, and National Candidate Nikki Kaye.

iPredict getting tighter

Posted by on October 31st, 2011

Key Points:

* Act once again forecast to win Epsom, but still highly marginal

* Labour again forecast to win West Coast-Tasman, after Damien O’Connor featured in party’s opening advertisement

* National, Labour and Green party votes improve

* Probability Key will win 2011 election down to 90%, but with an improving probability of winning again in 2014

* Inflation forecasts worsen markedly

* Other economic indicators remain broadly unchanged

* June 2012 economics stocks now trading


Filed under: ipredict

Who pays for Rena – the questions the leader of the national party has to answer

Posted by on October 31st, 2011

On Day 23 of the Rena Disaster, Skipper Key sailed into Tauranga last week to view the ship on the rocks.  There were no “Mission Accomplished” banners though, because with hundreds of tonnes of oil and 1300 containers, some with poisonous chemicals, still on board there is still a great risk to the livelihoods of the people of the Bay of Plenty, birds and marine life in and around this reef that was once teaming with life.

John Key was asked about the total cost of the clean-up and gave one of his usual less than confident answers: “It’s a big number. $70 million, $80 million or $100 million maybe”.  Of course, as usual, he failed provide was an answer to the hard question:  Who is going to pay for the costs of this disaster?

John Key and Steven Joyce were adamant in the early days that the owners were liable for all costs but that all changed when reality caught up to the spin.  That hasn’t stopped Mr Joyce from spinning some more.  Yesterday he reminded us that the owner’s insurers have said they will meet their liability.  But that is no assurance at all, because the owner’s liability is limited by law and as a result the taxpayer will have to pick up the a big chunk of the tab.

This was not just an accident. It looks as if the grounding was an act of negligence and that fault was involved.  Someone other than the taxpayer should be liable for the consequences. (more…)

You Can’t Hide if You are Prime Minister #2

Posted by on October 31st, 2011

Let’s be absolutely clear, Radio New Zealand’s flagship show Morning Report said this morning that they had invited John Key and Phil Goff to debate each other. Phil Goff said yes, John Key said no. John Key said they are debating on some other occasions, and “because of the time needed to prepare he was not going to do any more”. (Simon Mercep says this in the first few seconds of the link below).

I am sorry? To start with that is a stupid excuse, because the issues being raised in any given debate will be similiar, so preparation can not be used. And it is not as if this is a community radio station in Twizel. This is the most listened to morning news programme in the country. This is disgraceful. John Key said you can’t hide if you are the Prime Minister. Well he seems to be giving it a good go!

The two leaders will now have seperate interviews (obviously Mr Key could squeeze that into his schedule). Phil’s was today, and you can listen here

@NZNational says it was a real town hall meeting

Posted by on October 31st, 2011


Nek Minnit National – Leadership ?

Posted by on October 31st, 2011

Tweet of the Week

Posted by on October 30th, 2011

Tweet of the Week: The election campaign kicked off proper with the party political broadcasts. Aside from the dreadful lighting and persistent buzzing sound John Key’s suit did seem to blend into the backdrop…

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 5.14.54 PM

The Twitter-sphere seemed to agree that regardless of which way you might vote the Labour opening address was far superior

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And again regardless of voting preference there seemed to be general surprise at how underwhelming the National Party effort was.

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 6.58.04 PM

There were many tweets along this line :)

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Wally of the Week: Tau’s erudite response to Labour’s opening address.

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 6.45.17 PM

I do enjoy the smaller party opening addresses though…

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 4.34.53 PM

I must admit I did think he was almost shouting at the camera

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 4.55.17 PM


Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 4.55.03 PM

Press Tweet of the Week: Couldn’t resist :)

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 4.28.40 PM

Nationals’s campaign launch today was a full on Crosby-Textor onslaught to spin asset sales as a major positive for the country because the one off hit of money would be spent on schools and hospitals (that the ongoing revenue from these assets is already being spent on)

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 7.16.43 PM

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And a very good point re: the spin about asset sales funding “modern schools”

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 3.16.03 PM

And finally – the $60 million dollar question of which political party gets the all powerful John Rowles celebrity endorsement has finally been answered!

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 7.20.54 PM

Everyone’s talking about asset sales, including National

Posted by on October 30th, 2011

Is anyone else surprised that National devoted their launch to talking about asset sales, a policy that the Sunday Star Times tell us this morning only 14% of the population support? And to top that off, they tried to dress up a previously announced money-go-round as some kind of new fund. We have been saying asset sales is the defining issue of the election, good to see National making sure it is.

Labour with Auckland will deliver City Rail Link

Posted by on October 30th, 2011


When National set up the Auckland super city they loved to say they were doing it so Auckland could speak with one voice. Well Aucklanders have spoken. They want a world class transport system, starting with the City Rail Link. But National is not listening.

Labour is. At a rally today at Beresford Square, just off Karangahape Rd and site of a future underground rail station, Phil Goff announced Labour in Government will contribute one-half of the cost of the City Rail Link ($1.2 bn). The other half will be the responsibility of Auckland Council.

The Rail Link is the centrepiece of the Auckland Council’s draft plan. It will double the capacity of the city’s rail network by making Britomart a through-station, and adding underground stations at Aotea (Wellesley & Albert), K Rd, and Newton. And as the Council’s internationally peer-reviewed study showed, it will transform the city centre.

To pay for it we will cancel Steven Joyce’s pet project, the Puhoi-Wellsford holiday highway, freeing up $1.69 billion, and quickly implement the $320m Operation Lifesaver plan to fix the highway’s crash black spots and bottlenecks.

As Phil Goff said at the rally to announce the pledge, the city rail link is the next step in building a modern Auckland public transport system. Without it, Auckland will never meet its ambition of being the world’s most liveable city. Aucklanders know we simply cannot continue building more and more motorways.

Aucklanders now have a clear choice: a vote for Labour is a vote for the City Rail Link, and a partnership between central government and the Auckland Council to deliver the world’s most liveable city. A vote for National is a vote for motorways and sprawl, and a Government doing its best to sabotage Auckland’s desire for a world class transport system.

More detail on the policy here.

TVC to get rail link vote Labour

Posted by on October 30th, 2011

Support Labour’s campaign here.

National sleepwalking – see this months activity plan

Posted by on October 30th, 2011

Even the Nats are getting pissed off with their own campaign. Thanks to whoever sent this – and yes this is the total event plan for the Nats for our region for election month :-

Date: Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Subject: National events in your area

Upcoming events


Following is a list of all events scheduled in the Lower North Island region for the next month.

Ohariu November Friendly Forum

Organising Group:

Venue Information:
The Caucus Room, Parliament House
Molesworth Street
Members Only

Party Speaker:
Katrina Shanks

View full details at
If your event is not included on this list, please email us at and we will have it added to the website.

If you no longer wish to receive notification of upcoming events in your area please login to the National Party website and unsubscribe via the following link:

Thank you for your interest in the New Zealand National Party. For more information on the National Party, event details, or policy information, please visit:


John Key and National want 100% of kids above average

Posted by on October 30th, 2011

National Party

100 per cent

Most of us know that we are amongst the leading group of OECD countries for education results.

Most of us are not satisfied and want improvement. That’s why Labour spent tens of millions of dollars financing the development of the world leading aSStle assessment system. Since abandoned by the Nats.

aSStle had a vital post assessment component. It suggested next steps for the kid. It didn’t matter whether they were average, in the top 10% or in the so called tail. It allowed us to push all kids.

Now under National standards we have a system where the standards are so low Key and the National Party expect every kid to pass.

If a standard is that low it is not worth having.

Filed under: education

English flicks Merrill Lynch excesses

Posted by on October 30th, 2011

So which risk taker was English referring to :-

Finance Minister Bill English yesterday expressed empathy with some of the ideals of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but says New Zealand has already moved to stop some of the financial excesses driving the protests.
Speaking at Otago University Vote Chat, hosted by Bryce Edwards, Mr English said the Occupy Movement, particularly in New Zealand had a wide range of objectives including the end of capitalism.

While he believed calling for the end of capitalism was wrong, he supported the ideal that financial risk-takers should be responsible for the consequences of bad investments.

The issues driving the Occupy Wall Street movement were well understood and there was discussion about what to do about them.

New Zealand was moving in the direction of making the banking system “more boring but safer”, he said.

So far, the financial system had allowed people to take risks which, if they worked, allowed those investors to pocket large profits. But if they failed, taxpayers were left picking up the loss.

“That is bad economics, bad politics and should change. You can’t take outlandish risks and expect the taxpayers to pick up millions of dollars of losses.”

The previous Labour administration had introduced a retail guarantee deposit scheme which had seen this Government cover about $2 billion of losses from financial companies.

By the end of this year, New Zealand would be one of the few countries in the world that would have no financial guarantee backed by the taxpayer, Mr English said.

“Let’s say a bank gets into trouble, the people who own the bank and the people who lent it money will take the hit, rather than the public.”

Asked by Dr Edwards whether he would be prepared to talk to the Occupy Movement in Dunedin’s Octagon, Mr English said he would, but the discussion would need to be around what would replace capitalism if it ended.

Filed under: national

Nek Minnit National – The Economy

Posted by on October 30th, 2011

might even be worse than that.

Filed under: national

Selling stuff and cutting stuff: Nats plan

Posted by on October 29th, 2011

I just watched the National Party’s opening address played on TV last night. Well. Actually I didn’t watch it all. I got bored.

I would say that.  I’m a Labour MP. But I’ve also got an eye for what makes good communication. So if it had gripped me I would have watched it all even if I didn’t agree with it.

I couldn’t watch it live as I was participating in an election forum in Dunedin. I’ve done a few now. From what I hear, National’s plan is this:

We’re going to sell stuff and cut stuff. And then we’ll get the nation to a surplus. And then we’ll have a brighter future.

I dunno about you but while I know they’ll certainly sell stuff and cut stuff, I don’t believe they know how to get our economy moving and they are definitely dodging the big issues facing NZ. It certainly won’t be a brighter future for all Kiwis.

It’s clear there’s a real choice for NZ’s to make on 26 November.

Labour does know how to get our economy moving and we are tackling the big issues: Inequality. A fair tax system. Unemployed young people. Savings. Our plan is based on values. Values that come from a party that’s got a rich history of taking the decisions that provide a better life for all of us. Not just some of us. I’m proud of our party and what it stands for. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch our opening address.

We aren’t scared. And we are more interested in making stuff and saving stuff, than stuffing things up.

Policies not PR.

People not PR.

Filed under: #ownourfuture

Nek Minnit ACT Party – Decriminalising Marijuana

Posted by on October 29th, 2011

again very good

Filed under: act party

Trade policy released

Posted by on October 28th, 2011

I released our Trade policy this evening, as promised. Trade is a bipartisan issue because both National and Labour recognise that we are too small and our electoral cycle is too short to risk our exporters’ efforts and foreign direct investment in our industries, by potentially pulling the policy rug out from under them every three years. So we both promote New Zealand’s trading interests overseas equally.

So it will come as no surprise that we wish to build on the international market access we have gained in recent years, particularly in Asia after the successful FTA with China, signed by Phil Goff.

Labour will support the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations as they proceed but Pharmac remains a bottom line for us. It works for the public good of New Zealanders and should not be compromised, despite pressure from large multinational pharmaceutical companies.

We need more openness and better engagement of civil society in our trade relationships, and so we will establish a Trade Advisory Commission to give contestable advice to the Minister about trade relationships. This Commission would comprise union, business, exporter, academic and NGO interests.

Where we differ from the National Party however in the Trade area is in the fundamentals of monetary policy which underpins the environment in which our struggling exporters work. We will alter monetary policy by introducing a Capital Gains Tax which will moderate interest rates, which will in turn take pressure off the exchange rate. We will broaden the Reserve Bank’s objectives to include employment and the health of the export sector amongst other things in its brief. We will put an exporter on the Board of the Reserve Bank to represent their interests.

And more besides……to see the whole policy, go here.