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Showing posts from June, 2017

National, Dead Party Walking...

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The National Government probably passed its "use by" date well before the last election. It has held power through clever PR and an affable Prime Minister, despite achieving little of note over nine years. However, John Key is no fool, he resigned because his money trading, sixth sense told him the odds of winning another term in 2017 were not great. The years of mismanagement were being increasingly revealed and the election would be the Opposition's to lose.

The Government is rapidly running out of excuses for its lack of competence. After nine years it is hard to blame the previous Labour Government for things that are happening now. The Global Financial Crisis occurred in 2007-2008 (a decade ago) and the Christchurch earthquake happened seven years ago. Whatever the country is dealing with now is largely down to National's governance.

What I find interesting is the eventual demise of this Government may be triggered by Melanie Reid's investigative work on th…

Todd Barclay exposes National Party as liars and bullies

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The illegal taping of a long-serving and widely respected employee by MP Todd Barclay has revealed much about the National Party's true character. What makes this latest revelation most concerning is the fact that good, honest, grass roots stalwarts of the party have been callously sacrificed with such little regard. This story has been well covered by Newsroom journalists and I think it deserves more than a passing mention.

Much has already been written about the National Party's underhand tactics. Nicky Hager exposed the use of the Exclusive Brethren to discredit rival parties in The Hollow Men (2006) and then in Dirty Politics (2014), where the use of shock jock bloggers to take out rivals was revealed. Although shocking and factual in content (Hager has never been successfully challenged about the accuracy of his work), neither book has really seriously impacted on National's vote. Many people see elections as a battle between political tribes and dirty tactics has be…

NZ now ranks at bottom of developed world

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The latest Unicef report has us languishing at the bottom of the developed world in relation to the health and welfare our children and youth. This report was based on the data our government collects and concerningly, with regards to child poverty, a ranking wasn't provided because of a refusal to follow standard practice (an admission of failure?). In many documented areas we are seriously neglecting our young people (ranking numbers are determined by the data provided from a maximum of 41 developed countries):
Child Poverty (41/41?) I consider that we must be by far the worst in the developed world for child poverty when the Government refuses to use the same measures as other countries so that we can be ranked. Our Children's Commissioner and the Child Poverty Monitor currently state that 14% of our children suffer from material hardship. We have a much higher threshold to determine this and require 7 elements to recognise hardship, while most other countries use only two.…

New Zealand treats women badly

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New Zealand is no Saudi Arabia, women in New Zealand can drive and we were the first in the world to give women the vote. However, despite having had two female Prime Ministers and a history of women achieving high office, we are hardly a society that can really celebrate true gender equity.

One of the reasons I decided not to stand as a candidate again was to give some of our talented women a better chance of success. New Zealand does not provide a level playing field in terms of gender and the one of the best ways of achieving that is ensuring that we have have more female legislators. So many excellent bills that would have helped women achieve greater equity and opportunities have been vetoed and voted down because our New Zealand Parliament is predominately male. While I consider myself a feminist, women would be more effective advocates for themselves.

Female representation at local, regional and central government level has not improved for the last twenty years and, under a Na…

Maggie Barry's Fake Facts!

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Metiria Turei challenged the National Government's woeful funding of the Department of Conservation and claimed that since 2008 there had been a cut in real terms of $422 million dollars. This concern was expressed in the context of Environment Commissioner Jan Wright's recent report that stated that 80% of New Zealand's native bird species were in bad shape and 35% were in serious trouble (close to extinction). Some populations are so small that grandparents are forced to mate with grandchildren and inbreeding within many populations is a major concern.

True to form, Maggie Barry resorted to a personal attack:

"I guess because the member has never been anywhere near Government she doesn't understand very much about the budget process. The increase in spending in DoC is at $107 million dollars this year, it has been a 20% increase since 2008. The member's wilful misrepresentation of the figures is pretty pathetic, even by that member's standards."

Wh…