A frustrated champion of transformation will retire – now let’s wait for Peters to declare his intentions

The  Labour-led  coalition  may have to generate  a  second  wave  of  Jacindamania  if  it is to  win another term in the Beehive.

Re-election  is   not  an   impossible  dream, despite  the failure of   Labour to deliver   what  many of  those  who  voted  for it  in 2017  expected.

Retiring   Green  MP   Gareth  Hughes  summed it up when he  told reporters  the government  had not  delivered  “transformation”.

The pace of change, he reckons,  has not matched what he sees as the problems facing the country.

“Across my 10 years here, things have actually got worse. Emissions have increased, homelessness is growing.  I don’t think the government has been transformational.  There’s been pockets of transformation, but I don’t think historians are going  to look back and  say ‘This was a turning point on the scale of the 1930s or 1980s’.  And I think that’s desperately needed. It’s a disappointment that we aren’t seeing the change I think we need”. Continue reading “A frustrated champion of transformation will retire – now let’s wait for Peters to declare his intentions”

Here’s why a disappointed blogger is proposing a pay cut for MPs on Parliament’s Justice Select Committee

Malcolm Harbrow, at No Right Turn, has picked up on an important governance issue which our web search (a brief one, we acknowledge) suggests was missed by the mainstream media.

The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from Parliament’s Justice Select Committee yesterday. Harbrow would have been monitoring its progress because he was one of around 15 people who made submissions to the committee.

Today he reports:

But there’s no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn’t bother to produce one.

They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which includes 4 National MPs), and National’s opposition to the bill, they couldn’t pass one. Oddly though they couldn’t even produce a “we could not agree, but let’s fix the typos” report which is usual in such circumstances.

The net result: if you submitted on this bill, congratulations: you wasted your time.   Continue reading “Here’s why a disappointed blogger is proposing a pay cut for MPs on Parliament’s Justice Select Committee”

Don’t go looking for Treaty principles in the Treaty – they come from the courts and DoC is grappling with a new set of them

A Supreme Court judgement in August last year has led to the Department of Conservation undertaking partial reviews of the Conservation General Policy and the General Policy for National Parks, to give better effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

And what are these principles?

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage told Point of Order:

“The principles of the Treaty of Waitangi are not explicitly stated in the articles of the Treaty itself.”

Nope.

“They have evolved primarily though jurisprudence…”  

They also have significant governance and constitutional implications.

Another stage in this evolutionary process was the Supreme Court’s ruling which   buttressed an iwi’s claim to exclusive rights to conduct commercial tours for at least five years on the Rangitoto and Motutapu islands in the Hauraki Gulf.

Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki went to court to challenge DoC’s issuing five-year tourism concessions to Fullers and the Motutapu Island Restoration Trust on the islands. Continue reading “Don’t go looking for Treaty principles in the Treaty – they come from the courts and DoC is grappling with a new set of them”

Labour said “let’s do this” in 2017, the “year of delivery” was 2019 – and next year voters might consider a fresh approach

 With  a general election  due  in  less  than  a  year,  party  strategists are   already  perusing  poll results  intently,  testing  political  trends and working on  how to  frame   the shape of the  campaign itself.

This  could  be  especially    difficult for   those in  the  Labour camp. The  problem   is the  long  list    of policies   unfufilled,  stacked  up    along   the   promise    of   the  2017  slogan:  “Let’s  Do This”.

Voters’  memories  are   short,   but  not  so   short  that  they won’t  recall Labour  was  going to  solve  the  housing “crisis”  with KiwiBuild,  eliminate  child  poverty,  make the tax system  fairer  with a capital  gains tax,  repair  the  “broken”  welfare  system,  and    “fix”  the health sector  after  “nine years of  neglect”.

As well,  there was  the  commitment  to  invest  in  public transport   rather than new   highways.

And  just  as  2019  began, Jacinda Ardern  in her role as  Prime  Minister   promised  it  would be the  “Year  of Delivery”   Continue reading “Labour said “let’s do this” in 2017, the “year of delivery” was 2019 – and next year voters might consider a fresh approach”

Failure to lift the wellbeing of our public health service helps explain slippage in Labour’s poll support

Diabetes amputations  top 1000” :  so ran a headline in  the  NZ  Herald over a  report  on  what   is becoming  one of the  public health disasters  in this   country.

Public health  is the  science  and art of preventing  disease, prolonging  life and promoting health  through organised  efforts of  society, says Professor Sir David  Skegg, one of  NZ’s most respected  epidemiologists.

Unfortunately NZ’s performance  in this is even less adequate  than its treatment services”.

He cites   weak leadership and a  lack of  political  will as fundamental problems  for public health in  NZ. Continue reading “Failure to lift the wellbeing of our public health service helps explain slippage in Labour’s poll support”

Voters (focussed on the govt’s performance at home) are not dazzled by Jacinda’s stardom on the global stage

The  latest  political  poll from  Newshub Reid  Research  appeared  to  show  a  huge  swing  from  its  previous  sampling in  June,  with a   9.2% fall in  support  for Labour  (from  50.8%  to  41.6%)   and a 6.5% surge in support for National  (from 37.4%  to  43.9%).

Back in  June, Labour  was enjoying a  post-Budget  surge. Subsequently in  July, Colmar Brunton polling rated  National  at  45%   and Labour  43%.

So this  swing in Reid Research’s work could be seen as a  correction—-except   the overall trend  is as  worrying for  the coalition as  the slump  in the  Prime Minister’s rating  from 49%  to  38%.

This  is  also reflected  in UMR’s polling for Labour which has shown her  popularity  declining for  five  consecutive  months. Continue reading “Voters (focussed on the govt’s performance at home) are not dazzled by Jacinda’s stardom on the global stage”

PM’s triumph on the world stage takes the spotlight off shabby stuff at home (at least, for now)

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the meeting between the Prime Minister and the US President in New York this morning is a diplomatic coup.

“Securing a 25-minute long meeting with the US President during the UN Leaders Week is an achievement in its own right given the pressure on the President’s scheduleAll the more remarkable was the level of attendance on the American side. The President was accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the newly appointed National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.What is clear is a very positive discussion was held on a range of international issues and areas of shared interest, including on advancing our bilateral trade interests.

“In the world of diplomacy, this level of engagement is gold. The President’s meeting also followed a meeting with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the Prime Minister’s representation of NZ on climate change, and the Christchurch Call.The so called mega-Monday has been a very good day for delivery of NZ interests on the world stage”. Continue reading “PM’s triumph on the world stage takes the spotlight off shabby stuff at home (at least, for now)”