Red Alert

Archive for the ‘national’ Category

By The Numbers

Posted by on September 11th, 2012

Yes, I am trying to steal David Clark’s thunder- but I’m not the only one.
A few weeks ago at the Women’s Expo in Tauranga, the National Party had a stall.
They decided they needed a fresh idea – a “hook” to get women interacting with them.
They needed something to get attention, something that would let women know they were on their side.
Problem was, National are out of any new ideas of their own and their current policies are bad for women.

So here’s what they chose to ask the women of Tauranga about :-

“Should Waitangi Day and AnzacDay be Mondayised when they fall on a weekend.”

Expo-goers were asked to put a dot under “Yes or “No” and I have it on good authority that it was a landslide to the Yes vote.

I wonder of the Nats will now reverse their opposition to this excellent Labour Bill after this feedback from the good folk of Tauranga. Or will they continue to ignore them?

Meanwhile, around the corner, the Labour stall was promoting another excellent Labour Billl – my proposal to extend paid parental leave to 6 months which was also enjoying great support.

So, “by the numbers” when it came to great plans for the future embraced by the people of Tauranga:

Labour – 2
National – 0
Women of Tauranga thinking about Labour’s great policy ideas – Heaps!

National’s priorities

Posted by on June 20th, 2012

This morning I’m at the Government Administration Select Committee. We’re currently holding a public hearing on the Estimates for Vote Prime Minister and Cabinet. Officials have just confirmed that this year’s Budget has allocated about $6.5 million of new money for a new IT system that will allow Ministers to get their Cabinet papers online.

I asked whether they had been asked by the PM to find this money by ‘reprioritising’ their existing spending. Apparently not. It seems DPMC are subject to a different standard of accountability than the rest of the public sector.

Not a great look for the PM to find $6.5 m of taxpayers money to fund a new filing system for cabinet papers in the same Budget they hiked up taxes for paperboys, a move that is only going to raise $14 million over the next 4 years. Shows where John Key’s priorities lie…

Nat Board has a no Lusk policy

Posted by on May 8th, 2012

Every now and again infighting gets so bad in the Nats that some gems are delivered to me. In this case it is a set of their Board and Board committee minutes.

You can view these documents from the Audit Committee here, the Communications Committee here, and the Board here.

The Audit committee outs McCully and his organisation as being slow to pay their levy. And Hunua too though less relevant when it comes to National Party leaks.

The most interesting section relates to their unofficial trainer Simon Lusk. See some of his previous history including his involvement in Nat pre selections and the failed anti MMP campaign here.

Candidates College
Michael reported that he has had a discussion with those MPs that have had an involvement with Simon Lusk. He has let them know that it is not appropriate for any MPs to engage with any alternative Candidates’ School that is not sanctioned by the Party. He said that this has been understood by all.

He noted that these discussions had given rise to further discussion about the Party’s Candidates College and the gap in content that it potentially has.

He reported that Simon Lusk is running a further meeting purportedly aimed at educating local body aspirants. This has led some in Caucus to ask where the Party is positioned with local Body politics particularly in Auckland. Some Caucus members feel that they should be involved in this training programme. Michael believes however that they should remain distant and will have that discussion with those MPs.

Update on Simon Lusk
Michael reported a disturbing discussion that he has had with Simon Lusk that highlighted his motivations and a very negative agenda for the Party.
It was agreed that light needs to be shed on these issues with key influencers within the Party.
It was further agreed that his agenda represents a serious risk to the Party and this issue will be followed up with a further meeting between the President and the Whip.

There is a bit further into the minutes that relates to a Hutt South strategy. I’m honoured.

Filed under: national

What Key said as Oppo leader – contrast with his action today

Posted by on April 30th, 2012

Key on Peters and Clark

“Governments and Ministers must enjoy the confidence of the Parliament and, ultimately, the public. Faced with today’s revelations, it is no longer acceptable for Mr Peters to offer bluster and insults where simple, courteous, honest answers are required.

“It is no longer acceptable or credible for Helen Clark to assert a facade of confidence in her Foreign Affairs Minister and to fail to ask the plain questions of him that she has a duty to the public to ask.

“Faced with today’s revelations, Helen Clark must stand Mr Peters down as a Minister. That is what I would do if I were Prime Minister.

Apology to Minister

Posted by on April 2nd, 2012

Received via intermediary an email (part of one of a series, copied below) which caused me to review my suggestion that Joyce was involved in the Lusk/Act coup.

I have subsequently looked at my posts and thought again about the material I received at the time. I relied too heavily on one source and was probably wrong. The (partial) email below slaps me a bit so I thought I should share it.

Boag is close to senior Ministers and party figures. The Collins/Lusk camp needed to get her out of the way to then use her relationship with the others to target them. I won’t name who they are but the Collins/Lusk endgame is for Collins to emerge as the leader of the party, and Lusk to take over running of the party organisation. Yes, it is that insane.

Simon Lusk is the organiser behind Collins’ machinations. He is persona non grata within most elements of the National Party. Mallard fingered him in the House last year for his involvement in the Brash coup in Act, which he did organise. However Mallard got it spectacularly wrong when he claimed there was a secret deal between Joyce and Lusk for Lusk to take over Act. Joyce hates Lusk and was happy for Lusk to be severely embarrassed when it backfired.

So while I don’t think Joyce is a good Minister I was probably wrong in this instance and for that I apologise.

Filed under: blogs, national

Herald gutless but suspect should out himself

Posted by on March 29th, 2012

The Herald this morning reports that a former National MP is under investigation for assault.

A former National MP allegedly punched another customer in the face as shocked tellers looked on at an inner-city Wellington bank after an argument over a parking space.

Wellington police yesterday confirmed receiving a complaint from a man alleging he had been assaulted by another man on Monday last week in Courtenay Place. They said the incident was still under investigation.

Westpac spokesman Chris Mirams said there was an incident in the bank’s Courtenay Place branch that day and said Westpac was co-operating with the police.

The Herald has spoken to the victim of the alleged assault who said the incident arose from a disputed car park outside the bank.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said he had parked his car in a space outside the bank which another motorist had been intending to use. Words were exchanged, and while he was retrieving items from his car the other motorist, who had by that stage parked his vehicle elsewhere, tried to shut the car door on his legs.

Although “it didn’t really hurt at all”, the man said they exchanged further words when both were in the bank a few moments later.

However once the motorist completed his transaction “he just turned around and gave me a good old whack … a swinging right arm across the face”, the man said.

I’m not sure when former MPs deserve the protection that members of the public get while their cases are being investigated – but the problem with this story is that dozens of former MPs are implicated. While it is unlikely that Simon Power or Simon Upton were involved they are in that group of male former Nat MPs. I didn’t mention Don McKinnon because the suspect was driving and Don seems to be driven these days :)

The Herald should have named the suspect.

And if the suspect is on the Nat list John Key should get on the phone and tell him to do the decent thing.

Children must not watch. The Finns on Brownlee

Posted by on March 27th, 2012

H/t TV3. Warning – this is not for kids to watch.

What the Finns think of Brownlee.

The Sad State of Key’s Nation

Posted by on January 27th, 2012

There is an old joke about the politician who dies, and arrives in heaven to find that market forces have taken hold, and that heaven and hell are offering one day trials so that he can decide where to spend eternity. The politician takes up the offer and spends a delightful, restful day in heaven listening to harp music. He goes down to Hell and has a great time partying, eating, drinking and generally having fun. He goes back to heaven and tells St Peter his decision’s made, its Hell for him. When he gets back there he finds none of the fun, but just a brutal, cold, barren landscape. He seeks out Satan, and asks what’s happened to the Hell he saw the day before, and Satan says, ” you’re a politician you should understand, yesterday we were campaigning, today we’re in office.”

In the election campaign we have just had, the paying down of debt and the return to surplus were big issues. The “show me the money” moment was just one where John Key brandished his credentials to lead us to the promised land of surplus by 2014-15. It was a certainty, and it could happen even earlier. Yet, six weeks on, the dampners are on. Key now says its only a “reasonable probability”. Another $1 billion have been knocked off the forecast. Truth is little is different in the challenging global environment now from when the promises were made, except the PM is not campaigning any more, he is in office. Not for the first time he gave the public the message they wanted to hear about economic growth, but now its time to lower expectations.

The so-called State of the Nation speech from the PM yesterday was a dull and miserable affair. Gone is the brighter future we were all promised just a few weeks ago. What plan there is has at is centrepiece more cuts to the public service. Regardless of the wisdom of those, they will be a drop in the bucket of improving the government’s finances.

No one is underestimating the challenge in front of the government. But what’s happened to the sunny optimisim of our PM? Actually there is every reason to be optimistic about New Zealand’s future if the government is prepared to do things differently. The world has changed, will the government? There is opportunity to reset fiscal and economic policy, and make the investments that will support innovative growing companies, grow our skills base and ensure that everyone reaches their potential.

But there was none of that in the speech. Not just a lack of economic vision either. And as Pita Sharples (yes, he is a Minister in the government) points out nothing on dealing with poverty or inequality. Nothing on the issues that need to be dealt with to unlock the potential of thousands of New Zealanders.

It was a defeatist, sad and tired effort. A bit like an old joke.

this is what Craig Foss says is – Campaigning at Tommo’s round-a-bout Hastings.

Posted by on November 22nd, 2011

Craig Foss


so the campaign to which no one came :)

Filed under: national

Housing letter

Posted by on November 22nd, 2011

Nats and their mouthpieces are upset. Hooton raving, whale lost direction and beached and even the penguin making an idiot of himself.

It is an absolute lie to say National is reviewing all state house tenancies. The policy clearly says only *new* tenancies will be placed on periodic review.

I’m going to accept Heatley’s word. He is the Minister after all. From Q + A.

  PHIL Well, yes, and the second step.  So the first step is for any new tenant from the 1st of July this year.  After the election if we’re re-elected, we’re going to be rolling this out for current tenants.  .

The demise of Brand Key

Posted by on November 17th, 2011

Credit where it is due. The creation of the ‘brand’ that is John Key has been impressive. The state house “back-story”, the “just one of us” media strategy complete with beer slugging and commercial breakfast radio japes, the pragmatic, “relaxed” approach to the job.

But it seems in a few short days, under the pressure of an election campaign, much of the good work has unravelled. This morning on Firstline Duncan Garner made some very interesting observations that John Key seems to have ” lost all the character of the past in showing spontaneity”, “never seen him like this in the past, starting to see the changing face of the PM”.

Key has, as other PMs before him, assiduously worked the media, and has made them his friends. Over the last few days he has shown the worst of a ‘politician’ response to a self made political disaster, all but accusing them of having a conspiracy against him.

John Armstrong sums it up in the Herald this morning. The PM has lost control of this issue and is trapped by his tactic of referring it to the Police. But more than that his approach is running totally counter to the brand developed over the last few years

Key’s abrupt ending of his press conferences looked like the pressure is getting to him. It made him look shifty and weak

And shifty and weak is not part of the brand strategy. As they say, a week is a long time in politics.

Key’s worst day ever ? Runs away from the media.

Posted by on November 16th, 2011

Filed under: media, national

anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear – john key

Posted by on November 15th, 2011

Maybe the leader of the national party should take his own advice.

He made it very clear that he didn’t care about  privacy breaches.

He said :-

“Anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear”.

To see his views go here.

Or maybe it is just one of those things he says when he is not involved.

Key – minister in charge of cover-ups

Posted by on November 14th, 2011

Key’s team seems to be at the centre of an awful lot of cover ups over the last week.

1.  Party aide seeks $6000 in gang case

In April this year, the owner turned to John Key for help. He wrote: “Black Power seizing back the property makes a mockery” of seizing assets from criminals.

He asked the Government to buy back the building, and included information about Cooper receiving cash.

An email back said the information would be sent to Justice Minister Simon Power’s office. A spokesman for Power’s office said it had no record of receiving the information. Key’s office did not respond to calls for comment by deadline.


2.  PM blocks release of chat tape


3.  Blogger shut down over Rena postings


4.  John Key covers up the facts on minimum wage?


6 DPS 11 other police and no one noticed a package on the table

Posted by on November 13th, 2011

I reckon the Commissioner will be doing some apologising pretty soon.

Key endorsing act is weird

Posted by on November 11th, 2011

I agree with most of what Vernon Small writes when he describes the Key Banks date as a mistake on Key’s part.

He is absolutely right when he says that any extra Act vote will come from National.

What he doesn’t say is that if Act get the 1 or 2% they would get without Key’s intervention and don’t get into Parliament then National on current polling would effectively get 50% of that wasted vote.

So he has decided to encourage two old racist codgers into Parliament, both surefire causes of trouble for no net gain.

And he will delay the development of a genuine modern party of the right by at least three years.

I’m glad he’s dating Banks but just don’t understand the logic. Maybe there is none.

Nats prepare to welcome brash back

Posted by on November 11th, 2011

In an interesting move preparing for the cup of tea the National Party has decided that Brash is to be rehabilitated – they have even gone to the extent of turning on their 2005 website which features him.

Weird really.

I didn’t think he was that much of an asset but clearly their polling has him a a vital cog in their machine.


Go here to send some of your own.

Simon says step up John

Posted by on November 9th, 2011

Link here to OIAs to John Key and Steven Joyce asking about correspondence from and to the member for Tauranga. Vital pars below.

Copies of all email correspondence received by you, your staff or officials working in your ministerial office from Simon Bridges where Mr Bridges expressed concerns about your response to the Rena disaster, how it was being managed or calling on you to step in or otherwise involve yourself.

Copies of all email replies from you or your office to Mr Bridges regarding his concerns, including any expressing a view that the Prime Minister needed to be kept out of such correspondence in order to keep him clean or out of the matter.

This year the choice is clear billboard

Posted by on November 8th, 2011


Quinn – one of the Nats’ more eloquent backbenchers

Posted by on November 3rd, 2011

Thought I would share a bit of the action from Hutt South during the campaign. As lots of people know I personally pay Paul Quinn to be my opponent. Or more accurately donate to his campaign. I hope this helps Labour people understand why.