THOMAS CRANMER: Three Waters and He Puapua

Despite the protestations of the Minister, the recommendations of the controversial He Puapua report are deeply embedded in Three Waters.  THOMAS CRANMER reports –

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the current government’s policies concerning co-governance, that the recommendations set out in the controversial report, He Puapua, are deeply embedded in the Three Waters reforms – particularly in relation to the operation of Te Mana o te Wai.

He Puapua is a report prepared for the then Minister for Maori Development, Nanaia Mahuta in 2019. It was commissioned by Cabinet to be the pathway for New Zealand to meet its commitment to the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples. Essentially, it is the road-map for Maori co-governance by 2040, the 200-year anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

As we now know, Minister Mahuta directly appointed her family member, Waimirirangi Ormsby, to the working group which authored the report, with another family member, Tamoko Ormsby, featuring as a contributor. Amongst the numerous contracts and appointments awarded to family members of the Minister over last 3 years, it is this appointment that Act’s David Seymour identified as being “a clear breach of the Cabinet Manual”.

Continue reading “THOMAS CRANMER: Three Waters and He Puapua”

Perhaps Peters will be a kingmaker – but let’s see what happens to the Nats’ support in future polling

After   five   years of  Jacinda  Ardern    as  Prime  Minister,  a  nostalgia  for  politicians  of  another  era   is  breaking  to the  surface.  The Dominion-Post,  for  example,   rushed  on  to  the  front  page  a  news  item  headlined  “The  return  of  the  Kingmaker”,   while   the  NZ  Herald  featured   a learned  piece  by  Dr  Jarrod  Gilbert headed “Why I’d  be  pleased  to shout  Bill English  a  beer”.

And   there’s   seldom  a  week  when  John  Key  or  Helen  Clark  don’t  get  a  mention,  either to recall their  deeds  or  tap into their  political  skills.

So who’s  “the  kingmaker”   the  Dom-Post  thinks  is  on  the  way  back?

Why,  none  other  Winston  Peters.   The  old  lion, who  has  been  resting  in  his  lair  in  Northland, is  apparently  ready  to re-emerge on   to  the  political  stage, judging   by the  newspaper’s headline. Continue reading “Perhaps Peters will be a kingmaker – but let’s see what happens to the Nats’ support in future polling”

Ardern is right – Peters is politicking, but it’s rollicking politicking as he denounces co-governance and separatism

Returning from the political wilderness, New Zealand First leader  Winston Peters  delivered  what  some  commentators   described   as  a  “withering  attack” on the  government. He said the Labour Party was pursuing “woke, virtue-signalling madness” and a “separatist agenda”.

The government, furthermore, was scattering the “seeds of apartheid” through New Zealand’s laws and institutions.

“The [government’s] basis is  malignant  paternalism  arising from  paternalism  and  inverse  racism”. 

And:

“Co-governance, separatism, and the seeds of apartheid are being scattered throughout all of our laws and institutions.”

He said he knew nothing of the Government’s co-governance plans when he was in coalition with Labour, and now

“… with no handbrake, they are ramming it down your throats”. Continue reading “Ardern is right – Peters is politicking, but it’s rollicking politicking as he denounces co-governance and separatism”

Bryce Edwards: Can NZ First once again fill the vacuum at the centre of politics

DR BRYCE EDWARDS,  director of the Democracy Project, looks into support for New Zealand First in opinion polls, the politicking of Winston Peters and the party’s 2023 general election prospects.  

They don’t get much media coverage at the moment, but the New Zealand First party could be central to the next year in politics and determine the shape of the next government.
 
The latest opinion survey out yesterday – leaked from Labour-aligned pollsters Talbot-Mills – has New Zealand First on 4.4 per cent. The party has been edging up in the polls all year. The last few Kantar-1News polls have had the party on 3 per cent.
 
This level of support is relatively high for the party, which tends to do poorly between election years and then have a surge of support during campaigns. So, it’s certainly not out of the question that Winston Peters’ party could soon register 5 per cent and suddenly become a real force in next year’s election.
 
This would change everything. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards: Can NZ First once again fill the vacuum at the centre of politics”

Pitching for poll support becomes puzzling when a populist politician (does that describe Peters?) opposes a public holiday

Buzz from the Beehive

It sounded like a double dose of news of the sort that is apt to lift a Prime Minister’s popularity in political opinion polls and boost support for her party.

One goodie was a public holiday, the other the relaxing of Covid constraints.

This certainly looked like a vote-winner to the political pundits at Point of Order.

But the populist Winston Peters, leader of New Zealand First, has pounced on  what he presumably perceives to be an opportunity to pick up support by expressing opposition to the public holiday.

The other big statement of the day was that the COVID-19 Protection Framework, also known as the traffic light system, was to be removed from 11.59pm last night, Monday 12 September. Continue reading “Pitching for poll support becomes puzzling when a populist politician (does that describe Peters?) opposes a public holiday”

Polls and Peters’ political sensors prompt him to pounce on co-governance – and depleted pay packets – in pitch for support

So  is  Winston  Peters   ready  to  step  back on  to the  hustings?.

He  showed  every  sign  of  it  when he fronted  on  the Robert  Bolt show on Australia’s  Sky TV channel  this  week. As  the  interview  ended the  egregious  Bolt  wished  him  well in  his  campaign.

Bolt  had  invited Peters to  appear  on his prime-time  talk-show, clearly agitated by the Ardern government’s  moves towards implementing co-governance.

It was a  theme Peters  relished, and, belying  his 77 years, he  gave a  fair  thrashing  to  what  he called   “manifestations of Labour’s race-based co-governance agenda”. He  said the policy  will lead New Zealand to “become a separatist state”. Continue reading “Polls and Peters’ political sensors prompt him to pounce on co-governance – and depleted pay packets – in pitch for support”

Improved local government legislation? Not when Mahuta wants to make it mandatory to consider more Māori wards

When Nanaia Mahuta talks about improving local government processes, alarm bells should ring.

In a statement earlier this week, the Minister of Local Government said improvements to processes for electing councils at the next local government elections in 2025 have been introduced to Parliament in a measure called the Local Government Electoral Legislation Bill.

The legislation covers decisions about Māori wards, the number of councillors at Auckland Council, more consistent rules for a coin toss if an election result is tied, and filing nominations electronically, amongst other issues.

“The overall objective for the changes is to improve the processes for individuals and communities to participate and be represented in local elections,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“The Local Government Electoral Legislation Bill brings together a range of diverse issues for improvements as an omnibus piece of legislation. It picks up recommendations that followed inquiries into the local elections in 2016 and 2019.”

Mahuta had a bit more to say about Māori wards. Continue reading “Improved local government legislation? Not when Mahuta wants to make it mandatory to consider more Māori wards”

A question about the $55m media fund made Ardern laugh… but not for long

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This article was written for The Democracy Project by Graham Adams, a journalist, columnist and reviewer who has written for many of the country’s media outlets including Metro, North & South, Noted, The Spinoff and Newsroom.

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Surprisingly for a Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson is an ebullient, jolly sort of fellow and it is not unusual for him to barrack from his seat next to the Prime Minister in Parliament to support her.

This week, Judith Collins had barely finished putting a question to Jacinda Ardern about media funding when he guffawed derisively.

Collins asked:

What does she say to people who are concerned that her $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund — which includes numerous criteria for media to adhere to — is influencing the editorial decisions of media outlets in New Zealand?”

The Prime Minister — perhaps encouraged by her deputy’s derision — rose from her seat to reply.

“Mr Speaker,” she declaimed emphatically, “I would abso-loot-ely reject that!”

With Robertson continuing to chortle at the ridiculousness of Collins’ question, Ardern was emboldened.

“But, better yet, Mr Speaker,” she said, grinning broadly and stifling a laugh: “I would put the question to the media and ask whether they agree with that sentiment.”

Despite the Prime Minister’s obvious glee and that of her colleagues, this was an exceedingly stupid retort. Presumably she is not acquainted with Mandy Rice-Davies’ contribution to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations as a result of the Profumo scandal in 1960s Britain. When legal counsel pointed out that a peer had denied having had an affair with her or even having met her, Rice-Davies uttered the immortal line:

“Well he would [say that], wouldn’t he?” Continue reading “A question about the $55m media fund made Ardern laugh… but not for long”

Peters found much to scorn (and the Nats should be finding fault with the govt too) but Ardern’s popularity is hard to puncture

The country’s politics  are  in  an  interesting   phase. Labour,  despite  a  litany of policy disasters, is  still  riding the  top  of its  wave, buoyed  by  the  incandescent  popularity  of  Jacinda  Ardern.

National  is  plumbing  the  depths, as  it  has  done  before  when  it  has  suffered  a  massive defeat.  ACT, in contrast,  believes  it  is  climbing  out of  the  shadows   to  win  broader, and more  permanent, support. And  Winston  Peters  has emerged, once  more,   from  the political  wilderness and  struck the  themes  which could propel  NZ  First   back  into  the  role  which it has  played  so  often  before.

Peters  scored  direct  hits  on  the  kind of “woke” politics and policies currently in the ascendancy under the Ardern government, delighting in  verbal sprays on the “woke elite” or “Ngati Woke”, cancel culture, the Auckland cycle bridge, the He Puapua report, ditching referendas on Māori wards, the decision to buy the land at Ihumātao, increased state usage of te reo Māori and especially “Aotearoa”. Continue reading “Peters found much to scorn (and the Nats should be finding fault with the govt too) but Ardern’s popularity is hard to puncture”

Climate could provide Peters and his party with a platform for warming voters and bouncing back at the next election

Peters  is   back,  the  headlines  shouted.

Well,  not  quite.  Winston Peters  may  have  stepped  into  the political  limelight  again, after  a  spell  in political  darkness – but he  and  his  party  are a  long  way  from  Parliament.   And  even  though  he  looks  fit  and  well,   can he – at the age of 76 –  find  the  spark  which  will fire  up  the  NZ  First  engine  again?

His  disciple,  Shane Jones,  is  firmly  convinced  he  can.  Furthermore, Jones believes the  party can forge a  new  crusade  out  of  the  “perfidy”  of  what  the Climate  Change  Commission is  doing  to  NZ.

Jones   sees  the  commissioners  as  “ideological  termites”,  who  hold  sway  over  the  government  with  “mad  ideas”  of the sort that could  required us all as if we  are  all  going to  ride  bikes

Jones  cites the  example  of 10,000 bikers in  Birkenhead  exerting  their power  on the  government  to build a bridge  for them over  the Auckland  harbour.

Continue reading “Climate could provide Peters and his party with a platform for warming voters and bouncing back at the next election”