NZ Politics Thread

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Muttonbirds
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Muttonbirds »

Fat Old Git wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:49 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:56 am
booji boy wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:30 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:27 am
Dark wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:58 am

I sometimes like to think of my self as a well blanced guide to life's many humps in the road.
Cryptic as ever. What makes you think you are well balanced? Nothing you post supports that belief.
Pot, kettle and black springs to mind.
:? When have I ever said I'm well balanced?

Well balanced is people on a see-saw, or a circus tightrope walker. There's nothing "'well" about balance in politics. Centrists are the worst of the lot for getting nothing done.
They get as much done as any other competent government when competent, and as little done as any incompetent government when incompetent. It's just that their solutions are likely to factor in that life and society is more complicated that those at the extremes of the political spectrum might have us believe.
Typical centrist reply. It's a bit of this, it's a bit of that, got to take everything into account, it's complicated. :roll:

EDF will be humping the couch, reading it.
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Fat Old Git
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Fat Old Git »

And that's a typical response from someone who fails to understand what is really means. You can't argue against it so resort to dismissive BS.

Remember the discussion earlier about how silly labelling everything as either left or right was? The same applies to the centre.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Eugenius »

Yet your argument is that this ‘the centre’ is more sophisticated than either ‘extreme’ ?
Surely that means you are completely invaliding your own argument FOG. Frankly it’s all abit of a convenient self-serving mess .

Mate it’s nonsense.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by booji boy »

Eugenius wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:58 am Yet your argument is that this ‘the centre’ is more sophisticated than either ‘extreme’ ?
Surely that means you are completely invaliding your own argument FOG. Frankly it’s all abit of a convenient self-serving mess .

Mate it’s nonsense.
Got to assume you mean 'invalidating'.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Fat Old Git »

Eugenius wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:58 am Yet your argument is that this ‘the centre’ is more sophisticated than either ‘extreme’ ?
Surely that means you are completely invaliding your own argument FOG. Frankly it’s all abit of a convenient self-serving mess .

Mate it’s nonsense.
You haven't understood it either by the looks of it. And are again trying to fit things into neat little boxes.

An extreme would be people should always be allowed to roam free. But I'm sure it wouldn't take long to find some situations where you wouldn't want to adhere to that extreme, and may think it's a good idea to impose some restrictions on that freedom.

Is that a more sophisticated (your wording not mine) view than just adhering to the extreme? It certainly recognizes that the issue is more complicated than the extreme view might allow for.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Eugenius »

I understand your premise , but the message is awfully confused . Also I don’t think your definitions or example work .

If the definitions of ‘extremes’ are over simplified and weak then so is your definition of the ‘centre’. Let alone you then contradict your own definitions for an arguments sake.

I’m afraid no I don’t think your ‘centralist’ ideology / opinion is in anyway more sophisticated than my ‘extreme’ social Democratic equivalent.

For that matter I don’t believe the more conservative recognise the complications and implications of a matter in the real world any better . Rather they feel far more at ease with the status quo , resisting change and often for quite selfish reasons .
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Eugenius »

https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/08-06 ... nBkJgeu3Yk


More relevantly ... this ain’t completely silly .
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Fat Old Git »

You understand the premise, despite the message being confused and the definitions and example not working...

I'd like to think that is probably because you are once again trying to put everyone into nicely defined boxes of your choosing. But I strongly suspect it's because you can't actually make a proper argument against the points. So need to find another way to dismiss them.

As for people feeling "more at ease with the status quo , resisting change and often for quite selfish reasons", there are people like that across the entire political spectrum.

One extreme social view (Note, not mine by any stretch of the imagination) is that everyone on a benefit should be made to work for it. I'd wager that a fair few people who you would label as being left and therefore not conservative would resist that change, and for many it would be for quite selfish reasons.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Eugenius »

Not a load of that makes much sense .

Should I have said that ‘ I think ‘ I get your premise ?

I’ll guess I’ll just have to say that I don’t believe the centre more considered or more sophisticated in real world solutions at all , more often it’s simply the default position and one that is more comfortable.

You can’t really use the terms extreme and centrist then complain about ‘boxes’ too loudly .

I’d also argue that a progressive by nature should embrace change , a conservative far less so .
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Fat Old Git »

It makes perfect sense. You probably even understand it. But it's easier to say it doesn't than argue against it.

I can use the terms extreme and centrist and still complain about you trying to fit everyone into a neatly defined set of boxes because I am not using those terms to define particular positions on particular positions, but not to put anyone holding those views in a nicely labelled box. Someone could have an extreme left wing view on some topics, extreme right wing views on others, and be somewhere in between on others.

Go back and read the discussion around how trying to categorize people as either left or right is often unhelpful and misleading. I'm not going to repeat that discussion.

Perhaps also note that my main point in response to Muttons post about centrist governments being the worst, the one that triggered this discussion, was mostly around competency, and that was more important than in terms of getting things done than where they supposedly fell on the political spectrum.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Eugenius »

That for me is the ideological problem however , because sometimes simply ‘getting things done’ is injurious to greater society. Simply because it is calculated to advantage a particular power group that had disproportionate resources anyway .

Lange’s government certainly ‘got things done ‘ and I think exploded any pretence of egalitarianism in New Zealand , they were followed with serious intent by the next National government.

I left Labour not because they couldn’t get things done , on the contrary they got heaps done , but because what they did do was I believe damaging to the greater population.

I believe John Key didn’t activate many progressive future orientated policies not because he was centralist by inclination but because he desired popularity and power above all else .

He knew full well that the status quo with abit of skilful and quiet financial tinkering would suffice for his financial class .

I’d argue that his government actually didn’t do all that much , because of this . Not because they considered all the relevant factors and acted in what was best for great society . Ok perhaps ideologically some in the party were conscious of this but I think them mostly in the minority. I think they actually believe that they policy ( or lack of it ) was better for the country .

By your definition then they weren’t a competent government ? But I bet you voted for them anyway , for ‘whatever works’.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Muttonbirds »

"Most colonised people don't feel that colonisation works well for them. I certainly think the Irish don't and nor do many Indians."
- Judith Collins

:?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... ation.html
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Enzedder »

Fat Old Git wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:47 pm
One extreme social view (Note, not mine by any stretch of the imagination) is that everyone on a benefit should be made to work for it. I'd wager that a fair few people who you would label as being left and therefore not conservative would resist that change, and for many it would be for quite selfish reasons.
I would say that the extreme view is that there is no unemployment benefit and you just have to go out and get any job you can.

Also, there would be no minimum wage - if you want more, pay tens of thousands for a student loan and get a degree and then you can earn more like me (or my dad).

I don't think centrist would have a work for the dole scheme
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Dark »

Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:09 am
"Most colonised people don't feel that colonisation works well for them. I certainly think the Irish don't and nor do many Indians."
- Judith Collins

:?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... ation.html
Not sure what you are having a go at. Ardern and half her caucus agree with her
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Fat Old Git »

Eugenius wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:47 am That for me is the ideological problem however , because sometimes simply ‘getting things done’ is injurious to greater society. Simply because it is calculated to advantage a particular power group that had disproportionate resources anyway .

Lange’s government certainly ‘got things done ‘ and I think exploded any pretence of egalitarianism in New Zealand , they were followed with serious intent by the next National government.

I left Labour not because they couldn’t get things done , on the contrary they got heaps done , but because what they did do was I believe damaging to the greater population.

I believe John Key didn’t activate many progressive future orientated policies not because he was centralist by inclination but because he desired popularity and power above all else .

He knew full well that the status quo with abit of skilful and quiet financial tinkering would suffice for his financial class .

I’d argue that his government actually didn’t do all that much , because of this . Not because they considered all the relevant factors and acted in what was best for great society . Ok perhaps ideologically some in the party were conscious of this but I think them mostly in the minority. I think they actually believe that they policy ( or lack of it ) was better for the country .

By your definition then they weren’t a competent government ? But I bet you voted for them anyway , for ‘whatever works’.
I haven't given a definition of what a competent government looks like, nor have commented on the merits of what respective governments, competent or otherwise may have achieve. This is what I wrote.
They get as much done as any other competent government when competent, and as little done as any incompetent government when incompetent. It's just that their solutions are likely to factor in that life and society is more complicated that those at the extremes of the political spectrum might have us believe.
I've made a comment about them (the centrist governments Mutton referred) to being more likely to factor in that life is complicated, but that is not the same as saying the always will.

As for who I've voted for and why, I've often less that I usually end up voting for who I think will do the least damage. I was concerned about labor initially not because I didn't like the things they were claiming they would do, or that I was ideologically opposed to them, but because they failed to sell how they would achieve it. As a result it often came across as empty "unicorns and rainbows for all". And prior to Covid, the failure to deliver on policies such as Kiwibuild did suggest that concern had some validity.

Sometimes there are no good choices, I'll give you analogy, although I suspect you will probably dismiss it as irrelevant.

We're all on a flight from Auckland to Christchurch. Unfortunately the pilots both had the fish. SO now are options are as follows.

- Sharon, who has some flight experience and is learning to be a pilot, and can probably return us to Auckland.

- Phillip, who is a complete twat, but has his pilots license and many hours experience. He can continue to fly us south, but would rather land in Timaru than Christchurch.

- And Kevin. A lovely bloke of high moral character, who has always wanted to be a pilot and is happy to give flying us down to Christchurch and landing the plane a go.

Who are you going to pick?
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Fat Old Git »

Enzedder wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:34 am
Fat Old Git wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:47 pm
One extreme social view (Note, not mine by any stretch of the imagination) is that everyone on a benefit should be made to work for it. I'd wager that a fair few people who you would label as being left and therefore not conservative would resist that change, and for many it would be for quite selfish reasons.
I would say that the extreme view is that there is no unemployment benefit and you just have to go out and get any job you can.

Also, there would be no minimum wage - if you want more, pay tens of thousands for a student loan and get a degree and then you can earn more like me (or my dad).

I don't think centrist would have a work for the dole scheme
I agree those are extreme views ENZ. We're not limited to only one example!
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Ted. »

The following Taranaki specific article on Waka Kotahi touches on something some of us have been talking about for a while now and has implication for all of us.

The lack of knowledge and skills within Waka Kotahi is hampering their understanding of what the job is is, what there role should be and how to do it, let alone being able to direct others to implement the 'plan'.

They've damn near outsourced everything to the extent that they are only doing clerical work.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily- ... you-can-do
A Tibit wrote: The outsourcing of Waka Kotahi’s core planning capabilities to service providers means there is nobody at the level of seniority required to command appropriate funding with a genuine feel for the state of the assets at a regional level and the vast variations in quality that are apparent across regions.

The lack of an independently administered quality assurance programme to ensure Waka Kotahi’s service providers are working to standards and the lack of any independent oversight of NZTA’s asset management maturity, expenditure plans or network quality should ring alarm bells for all Kiwis.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Eugenius »

I do understand you , I simply don’t agree .
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Eugenius »

booji boy wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:17 pm
Eugenius wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:58 am Yet your argument is that this ‘the centre’ is more sophisticated than either ‘extreme’ ?
Surely that means you are completely invaliding your own argument FOG. Frankly it’s all abit of a convenient self-serving mess .

Mate it’s nonsense.
Got to assume you mean 'invalidating'.

You assume correctly, I’m a terrible speller .
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by guy smiley »

Ted. wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:30 am The following Taranaki specific article on Waka Kotahi touches on something some of us have been talking about for a while now and has implication for all of us.

The lack of knowledge and skills within Waka Kotahi is hampering their understanding of what the job is is, what there role should be and how to do it, let alone being able to direct others to implement the 'plan'.

They've damn near outsourced everything to the extent that they are only doing clerical work.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily- ... you-can-do
A Tibit wrote: The outsourcing of Waka Kotahi’s core planning capabilities to service providers means there is nobody at the level of seniority required to command appropriate funding with a genuine feel for the state of the assets at a regional level and the vast variations in quality that are apparent across regions.

The lack of an independently administered quality assurance programme to ensure Waka Kotahi’s service providers are working to standards and the lack of any independent oversight of NZTA’s asset management maturity, expenditure plans or network quality should ring alarm bells for all Kiwis.
There you go. The logical culmination of neo liberal philosophy.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Muttonbirds »

guy smiley wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:00 am
Ted. wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:30 am The following Taranaki specific article on Waka Kotahi touches on something some of us have been talking about for a while now and has implication for all of us.

The lack of knowledge and skills within Waka Kotahi is hampering their understanding of what the job is is, what there role should be and how to do it, let alone being able to direct others to implement the 'plan'.

They've damn near outsourced everything to the extent that they are only doing clerical work.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily- ... you-can-do
A Tibit wrote: The outsourcing of Waka Kotahi’s core planning capabilities to service providers means there is nobody at the level of seniority required to command appropriate funding with a genuine feel for the state of the assets at a regional level and the vast variations in quality that are apparent across regions.

The lack of an independently administered quality assurance programme to ensure Waka Kotahi’s service providers are working to standards and the lack of any independent oversight of NZTA’s asset management maturity, expenditure plans or network quality should ring alarm bells for all Kiwis.
There you go. The logical culmination of neo liberal philosophy.
Agree. Take the Auckland light rail project. No-one in charge fostering a planned vision with consensus. It's left to competing private sector interests to design and tender for an outcome which will shape the city for decades and decades to come. The winning bid gets to shape the city rather than the city itself, with government, planning its own future. :thumbdown:
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Muttonbirds »

Dark wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:43 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:09 am
"Most colonised people don't feel that colonisation works well for them. I certainly think the Irish don't and nor do many Indians."
- Judith Collins

:?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... ation.html
Not sure what you are having a go at. Ardern and half her caucus agree with her
Are the Irish still colonised? I was under the impression they are an independent country. And what "Indians" does she speak of? From India, or from a John Wayne movie?
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by JB1981 »

Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:54 am
Dark wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:43 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:09 am
"Most colonised people don't feel that colonisation works well for them. I certainly think the Irish don't and nor do many Indians."
- Judith Collins

:?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... ation.html
Not sure what you are having a go at. Ardern and half her caucus agree with her
Are the Irish still colonised? I was under the impression they are an independent country. And what "Indians" does she speak of? From India, or from a John Wayne movie?
We gained independence in 1947. Are you suggesting that 1947 removed any impact of colonisation and/or that people here can no longer feel colonised? I’m not sure I follow your logic on Ireland.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Ted. »

Eugenius wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:34 am I do understand you , I simply don’t agree .
WWWHHHAAaaaAAAAAAaaaaaT t!

You Daaare disagree with ME? :x
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Ted. »

JB1981 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:14 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:54 am
Dark wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:43 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:09 am
"Most colonised people don't feel that colonisation works well for them. I certainly think the Irish don't and nor do many Indians."
- Judith Collins

:?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... ation.html
Not sure what you are having a go at. Ardern and half her caucus agree with her
Are the Irish still colonised? I was under the impression they are an independent country. And what "Indians" does she speak of? From India, or from a John Wayne movie?
We gained independence in 1947. Are you suggesting that 1947 removed any impact of colonisation and/or that people here can no longer feel colonised? I’m not sure I follow your logic on Ireland.
We didn't have legal independence until the Constitution Act was passed in 1986. In reality, we gained effective independence once we were voting for our own members of parliament and not relying on the British Foreign Office, or Colonial Affairs, or whatever to make decisions and wipe our noses. Some time around the period when the EEC was formed....
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Muttonbirds »

JB1981 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:14 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:54 am
Dark wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:43 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:09 am
"Most colonised people don't feel that colonisation works well for them. I certainly think the Irish don't and nor do many Indians."
- Judith Collins

:?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... ation.html
Not sure what you are having a go at. Ardern and half her caucus agree with her
Are the Irish still colonised? I was under the impression they are an independent country. And what "Indians" does she speak of? From India, or from a John Wayne movie?
We gained independence in 1947. Are you suggesting that 1947 removed any impact of colonisation and/or that people here can no longer feel colonised? I’m not sure I follow your logic on Ireland.
With Irish independence they ejected the coloniser. With our independence the coloniser remained in charge.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Dark »

Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:40 am
JB1981 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:14 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:54 am
Dark wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:43 am
Muttonbirds wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:09 am - Judith Collins

:?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... ation.html
Not sure what you are having a go at. Ardern and half her caucus agree with her
Are the Irish still colonised? I was under the impression they are an independent country. And what "Indians" does she speak of? From India, or from a John Wayne movie?
We gained independence in 1947. Are you suggesting that 1947 removed any impact of colonisation and/or that people here can no longer feel colonised? I’m not sure I follow your logic on Ireland.
With Irish independence they ejected the coloniser. With our independence the coloniser remained in charge.
Are all the Maori MPs figments of your imagination?
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Dark »

Hey Muttonbird.

You a bit bummed the arrests today for the Waikato Mongrel Mob bosses for drug dealing and money laundering, might mean Ardern's Ministers may not get to have parties with them anymore?
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Eugenius »

Ted. wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:20 am
Eugenius wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:34 am I do understand you , I simply don’t agree .
WWWHHHAAaaaAAAAAAaaaaaT t!

You Daaare disagree with ME? :x

FOG !!
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Dark »

Eugenius wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:38 pm
Ted. wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:20 am
Eugenius wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:34 am I do understand you , I simply don’t agree .
WWWHHHAAaaaAAAAAAaaaaaT t!

You Daaare disagree with ME? :x

FOG !!
At the end of the day I am thinking the fight against gangs and drugs may have won a battke today, even f it goes against Labour govt policy
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Mr Mike »

Fat Old Git wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:49 amThey get as much done as any other competent government when competent, and as little done as any incompetent government when incompetent. It's just that their solutions are likely to factor in that life and society is more complicated that those at the extremes of the political spectrum might have us believe.
MMP was designed to temper the dramatic ideological swings that we saw under FPP and has been unquestionably successful in delivering stable centralist governance. We are now seeing some of the limitations with that model as Governments are reluctant to step out of the mainstream to address systemic issues through necessary but politically risky innovation.

That said, I think you may be over complicating the centralist decision process and oversimplifying the policy formation and execution process when straying further from the centre. Centralist positions can be formulated largely through polling to understand consequence and can be relatively short term. Pursuit of more ideological positions can require more analysis to be fully informed about consequences and philosophic consistency and require far more effort and leadership to bring people along.

If you look back at a couple of “ideological positions”, divestment of public assets and creating a more equitable tax system, both demonstrate the pragmatic mindset which has been the single defining value of all recent Governments.

National’s sales processes were an example of policy positions more closely aligned with right of center. The dilution of the sales process to manage electoral impacts demonstrated the realism MMP demands while still pursuing outcomes that meets some of the ideological imperatives.

The capitulation on Capital Gains Tax is another example of centralism, but is perhaps even more pronounced. The generational opportunity to create a more equitable tax system through adoption of a broad based and comprehensive CGT would excite progressive but the potential electoral consequences drove more conventional conservative decision making. Fiddling on the margins through pushing out the duration of the brightline test is a similar, but safer, tactical decision as restricting sales to minority interests.

Staking out a position out of the centre takes a lot more work and means risk. It takes a lot of careful and developed policy formation and explanation and takes inspirational strategic leadership. Our system isn’t really set up to deliver that, it rewards short term popular tactical behaviors. That won’t really change while we continue to have strong party identification and cyclical marginal alienation as a proxy for proper policy debates and a more competitive ideas marketplace.
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Enzedder »

Dark wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:51 am Hey Muttonbird.

You a bit bummed the arrests today for the Waikato Mongrel Mob bosses for drug dealing and money laundering, might mean Ardern's Ministers may not get to have parties with them anymore?
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... -same.html

Meet the hypocrite!!
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Dark »

Enzedder wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:46 pm
Dark wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:51 am Hey Muttonbird.

You a bit bummed the arrests today for the Waikato Mongrel Mob bosses for drug dealing and money laundering, might mean Ardern's Ministers may not get to have parties with them anymore?
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics ... -same.html

Meet the hypocrite!!
Never voted for ACT in my life

:?
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Enzedder »

I'm talking about her - not you. I know you're Maori Party :P
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Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Dark »

Interesting piece from one of NZ most respected journalists

Personally think it's a bit harsh, but hey, I don't have such an indepth and knowledgeable understanding of how bad it is to deal with the current government, or how secretive and manipulative they apparently are,

Obviously I don't want to go all Godwin's Law, as I find it distasteful, but we all know what other leader had similar traits
This Government promised to be open and transparent, but it is an artfully-crafted mirage

OPINION: From the moment she took office in 2017, Jacinda Ardern promised her government would be the most open and transparent New Zealand has seen.

In her first formal speech to Parliament she pledged: “This government will foster a more open and democratic society. It will strengthen transparency around official information.”

Since then the number of faceless communications specialists has skyrocketed. The Government’s iron grip on the control of information has tightened.

And it is now harder than ever to get information.

This year, I have made more complaints to the Ombudsman than in any previous year. So far, every one has been upheld.

In my 20-year plus time as a journalist, this Government is one of the most thin-skinned and secretive I have experienced. Many of my colleagues say the same.

Even squeezing basic facts out of an agency is a frustrating, torturous and often futile exercise.

Take the last week. Two senior Stuff journalists attempted to interview Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, at a time when the China-Australia-New-Zealand relationship is under intense international scrutiny.

It didn’t happen. Not because of any geo-political sensitivities. Nor something as trivial as a diary clash. The paranoid and hyper-sensitive minister objected to taking questions from two journalists at once.

In the same week, Mahuta released detailed reports on the country’s creaking drinking, waste and stormwater infrastructure. They paint a dire picture and the issue needs urgent public debate.

Yet Mahuta refused to answer detailed questions about proposed changes. She opted to give just one interview – cherry-picking a reporter from TVNZ. A coup for the statebroadcaster, but a serious blow to accountability.

I fought my own battle. In early February I requested information about Le Lapérouse, a cruise ship refused entry to New Zealand.

I wanted to understand more about a decision which cost the country millions of dollars, particularly as the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) had previously refused to answer my questions.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi opted instead to call a short-notice press conference – to which I was deliberately not invited. They didn’t like the questions, and wanted to get ahead of Stuff’s story, to shape the narrative.

This cynical and obstructive behaviour was made all the worse because Faafoi himself is a former journalist.

My OIA request – which by law should be answered within 20 working days – was delayed, and eventually took five times that length.

The Ombudsman agreed the hold-up was unacceptable, and I got an apology. It made no difference – MBIE still delivered the information on Wednesday, the date it had originally chosen.

I understand why it was obstructive. Hundreds of pages of emails reveal muddled, confused and dogmatic officials under pressure to justify a controversial decision. But much of the crucial information still appears to be redacted.

It’s now very difficult for journalists to get to the heart and the truth of a story. We are up against an army of well-paid spin doctors.

Since the current Government took office, the number of communications specialists has ballooned. Each minister has at least two press secretaries. (Ardern has four).

In the year Labour took office, the Ministry for the Environment had 10 PR staff. It now has 18. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade more than doubled its staff – up to 25.

MBIE blew out from 48 staff to 64. None of those five dozen specialists could give me those figures for many weeks – and again I was forced to ask the Ombudsman to intervene.

The super ministry – and its colleagues uptown at the Health Ministry – are notorious for stymieing even the simplest requests. Health’s information gatekeepers are so allergic to journalists they refuse to take phone calls, responding only (and sporadically) to emails.

But it is the New Zealand Transport Agency that take the cake: employing a staggering 72 staff to keep its message, if not its road-building, on track – up from 26 over five years.

At every level, the Government manipulates the flow of information. It has not delivered on promises to fix the broken, and politically influenced OIA system.

It also keeps journalists distracted and over-burdened with a rolling maul of press conferences and announcements, which are often meaningless or repetitive and prevent sustained or detailed questioning.

In this age of live-streaming and blogging, organisations often feel obliged to cover every stage-managed utterance for fear of missing out.

And the prime minister’s office makes sure its audience is captured, starting the week and cementing the agenda with a conference call with political editors.

Perhaps the trials and tribulations of the nation’s journalists do not concern you. Why should you care?

Because the public’s impression of this government is the very opposite.

They see a prime minister that has captivated the world with her ‘authentic’ communication style, intimate social media postings, daily Covid briefings and proactive releases of Cabinet papers.

It is an artfully-crafted mirage, because the reality is very different. This is a Government that is only generous with the information that it chooses to share.


User avatar
terangi48
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:18 pm

Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by terangi48 »

.....and of course there is the case for the other side.........

On the weekend Andrea Vance gave the Government a bit of a serve about its openness and transparency. She said this:

In my 20-year plus time as a journalist, this Government is one of the most thin-skinned and secretive I have experienced. Many of my colleagues say the same.

Even squeezing basic facts out of an agency is a frustrating, torturous and often futile exercise.

She also said this:

Take the last week. Two senior Stuff journalists attempted to interview Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, at a time when the China-Australia-New-Zealand relationship is under intense international scrutiny.

It didn’t happen. Not because of any geo-political sensitivities. Nor something as trivial as a diary clash. The paranoid and hyper-sensitive minister objected to taking questions from two journalists at once.

In the same week, Mahuta released detailed reports on the country’s creaking drinking, waste and stormwater infrastructure. They paint a dire picture and the issue needs urgent public debate.

She did not seem to comprehend that the same week that Mahuta was planning to release reports on the future of the Country’s drinking water may not have been a great time to seek time for an interview about China.

I suspect it was not planned. It was just that Mahuta did not have enough hours in the day to contemplate an interview.

Vance then complained that the Government wanted to shape the narrative about developing stories. Well blow me down but can anyone think of an instance in the past 100 years when this was not the case?

She then said this:

My OIA request – which by law should be answered within 20 working days – was delayed, and eventually took five times that length.

The Ombudsman agreed the hold-up was unacceptable, and I got an apology. It made no difference – MBIE still delivered the information on Wednesday, the date it had originally chosen.

I understand why it was obstructive. Hundreds of pages of emails reveal muddled, confused and dogmatic officials under pressure to justify a controversial decision. But much of the crucial information still appears to be redacted.

It’s now very difficult for journalists to get to the heart and the truth of a story. We are up against an army of well-paid spin doctors.

And this:

Since the current Government took office, the number of communications specialists has ballooned. Each minister has at least two press secretaries. (Ardern has four).

In the year Labour took office, the Ministry for the Environment had 10 PR staff. It now has 18. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade more than doubled its staff – up to 25.

MBIE blew out from 48 staff to 64. None of those five dozen specialists could give me those figures for many weeks – and again I was forced to ask the Ombudsman to intervene.

Vance does not mention the fact that Labour has proactively put a whole lot of information into the public domain. Like Ministers diaries. Previously this information had to be eeked out by way of LGOIMA.

She also does not acknowledge the huge stress on Ministers offices that has been caused by multiple questions.

The number of written questions put to Ministers from the opposition over the past few years have looked like this:

2021 so far – 23376
2020 – 19732
2019 – 45626
2018 – 40203
2017 – 20563
2016 – 15680
2015 – 16180
Anyone notice a pattern? See what happened when National was relegated to the opposition benches?

These are not simple questions to answer. A quick check through Chris Bishop’s 1,482 questions made so far this year include the following:

Who paid for the afternoon tea at Government House for Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha, and how much did it cost?
How many COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in New Zealand to date, broken down by day?
Has the COVID Immunisation Register gone “offline” since it has been operational; if so, for how long in total?
What was the coding error in the software used in a local Canterbury medical appointment system for COVID-19 vaccines?
What risk assurance process, if any, was used for the software used in a local Canterbury medical appointment system for COVID-19 vaccines?
Turnaround for these questions is meant to be five days. No wonder the OIA system is under pressure or that extra staff are being hired.

Gerard Otto has an interesting take on Vance’s claims:

Did you know that by the 2nd half of 2018 – 95% of all Official Information Act requests were completed on time, compared with only 91% in 2015/2016?

Me neither.

Who would know that sort of statistic – unless you dug into the numbers and searched around for the overall context – about open and transparent government – and just exactly what Andrea Vance was complaining about in her article titled ” This Government promised to be open and transparent, but it is an artfully-crafted mirage.”

I have not been able to confirm his futures but Otto is normally a very accurate and careful commentator.

His conclusion is pretty scathing:

Vance’s article did not provide statistics – about all the state sector departments and how they are responding, nor what was redacted nor the reasons why information was redacted. She did not detail all the complaints made under this government – nor the answers to those complaints made by Peter Boshier.

In other words – it was Vance who was spinning an artfully created mirage in her article based on a few anecdotal experiences she had over the past year.

Some people say she made excellent points and it was a good read – while others said – it was not Jacinda’s fault – it was those idiots in the public service. Truth is – Vance wrote a lazy article for lazy minds who do not think critically and who are easily mislead by any old opinion from a bitter, twisted and vengeful media.

The overall facts were missing – but some readers formed a view without them.

The situation has been going on for a while. As noted by Radio New Zealand in 2018:

Auckland University Emeritus Professor Barry Gustafson said the exercise appeared to be more of a fishing expedition than anything to do with policy.

“They cast a hundred or thousand hooks into the sea and hope that they’ll pull up one fish.”

The opposition was searching for inconsistencies in ministers’ answers or something they could develop to embarrass the government.

“It’s getting well away, when you do that, from the original intention of written questions – which was to hold the government accountable on major policy matters and actions.”

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said his office had requested additional staffing to deal with the high volume of written questions and official information requests.

“This was unavailable so the office restructured to employ a staff member to coordinate responses,” he said in a statement.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the KiwiBuild unit in the new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development had to hire someone with the primary job of answering opposition questions.

Mr Twyford said he was committed to answering questions properly as they were an important part of the parliamentary process.

But he said “there’s no doubt that the volume and the trivial nature of some of the questions is a deliberate tactic by the opposition to tie up government staff resources.”

If we are going to have a discussion on performance then more detail is required. And attacks on the Government without providing very important context is not something an independent media engages in.
User avatar
Dark
Posts: 6962
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 2:38 am
Location: NZ

Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Dark »

terangi48 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:59 am .....and of course there is the case for the other side.........

On the weekend Andrea Vance gave the Government a bit of a serve about its openness and transparency. She said this:

In my 20-year plus time as a journalist, this Government is one of the most thin-skinned and secretive I have experienced. Many of my colleagues say the same.

Even squeezing basic facts out of an agency is a frustrating, torturous and often futile exercise.

She also said this:

Take the last week. Two senior Stuff journalists attempted to interview Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, at a time when the China-Australia-New-Zealand relationship is under intense international scrutiny.

It didn’t happen. Not because of any geo-political sensitivities. Nor something as trivial as a diary clash. The paranoid and hyper-sensitive minister objected to taking questions from two journalists at once.

In the same week, Mahuta released detailed reports on the country’s creaking drinking, waste and stormwater infrastructure. They paint a dire picture and the issue needs urgent public debate.

She did not seem to comprehend that the same week that Mahuta was planning to release reports on the future of the Country’s drinking water may not have been a great time to seek time for an interview about China.

I suspect it was not planned. It was just that Mahuta did not have enough hours in the day to contemplate an interview.

Vance then complained that the Government wanted to shape the narrative about developing stories. Well blow me down but can anyone think of an instance in the past 100 years when this was not the case?

She then said this:

My OIA request – which by law should be answered within 20 working days – was delayed, and eventually took five times that length.

The Ombudsman agreed the hold-up was unacceptable, and I got an apology. It made no difference – MBIE still delivered the information on Wednesday, the date it had originally chosen.

I understand why it was obstructive. Hundreds of pages of emails reveal muddled, confused and dogmatic officials under pressure to justify a controversial decision. But much of the crucial information still appears to be redacted.

It’s now very difficult for journalists to get to the heart and the truth of a story. We are up against an army of well-paid spin doctors.

And this:

Since the current Government took office, the number of communications specialists has ballooned. Each minister has at least two press secretaries. (Ardern has four).

In the year Labour took office, the Ministry for the Environment had 10 PR staff. It now has 18. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade more than doubled its staff – up to 25.

MBIE blew out from 48 staff to 64. None of those five dozen specialists could give me those figures for many weeks – and again I was forced to ask the Ombudsman to intervene.

Vance does not mention the fact that Labour has proactively put a whole lot of information into the public domain. Like Ministers diaries. Previously this information had to be eeked out by way of LGOIMA.

She also does not acknowledge the huge stress on Ministers offices that has been caused by multiple questions.

The number of written questions put to Ministers from the opposition over the past few years have looked like this:

2021 so far – 23376
2020 – 19732
2019 – 45626
2018 – 40203
2017 – 20563
2016 – 15680
2015 – 16180
Anyone notice a pattern? See what happened when National was relegated to the opposition benches?

These are not simple questions to answer. A quick check through Chris Bishop’s 1,482 questions made so far this year include the following:

Who paid for the afternoon tea at Government House for Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha, and how much did it cost?
How many COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in New Zealand to date, broken down by day?
Has the COVID Immunisation Register gone “offline” since it has been operational; if so, for how long in total?
What was the coding error in the software used in a local Canterbury medical appointment system for COVID-19 vaccines?
What risk assurance process, if any, was used for the software used in a local Canterbury medical appointment system for COVID-19 vaccines?
Turnaround for these questions is meant to be five days. No wonder the OIA system is under pressure or that extra staff are being hired.

Gerard Otto has an interesting take on Vance’s claims:

Did you know that by the 2nd half of 2018 – 95% of all Official Information Act requests were completed on time, compared with only 91% in 2015/2016?

Me neither.

Who would know that sort of statistic – unless you dug into the numbers and searched around for the overall context – about open and transparent government – and just exactly what Andrea Vance was complaining about in her article titled ” This Government promised to be open and transparent, but it is an artfully-crafted mirage.”

I have not been able to confirm his futures but Otto is normally a very accurate and careful commentator.

His conclusion is pretty scathing:

Vance’s article did not provide statistics – about all the state sector departments and how they are responding, nor what was redacted nor the reasons why information was redacted. She did not detail all the complaints made under this government – nor the answers to those complaints made by Peter Boshier.

In other words – it was Vance who was spinning an artfully created mirage in her article based on a few anecdotal experiences she had over the past year.

Some people say she made excellent points and it was a good read – while others said – it was not Jacinda’s fault – it was those idiots in the public service. Truth is – Vance wrote a lazy article for lazy minds who do not think critically and who are easily mislead by any old opinion from a bitter, twisted and vengeful media.

The overall facts were missing – but some readers formed a view without them.

The situation has been going on for a while. As noted by Radio New Zealand in 2018:

Auckland University Emeritus Professor Barry Gustafson said the exercise appeared to be more of a fishing expedition than anything to do with policy.

“They cast a hundred or thousand hooks into the sea and hope that they’ll pull up one fish.”

The opposition was searching for inconsistencies in ministers’ answers or something they could develop to embarrass the government.

“It’s getting well away, when you do that, from the original intention of written questions – which was to hold the government accountable on major policy matters and actions.”

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said his office had requested additional staffing to deal with the high volume of written questions and official information requests.

“This was unavailable so the office restructured to employ a staff member to coordinate responses,” he said in a statement.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the KiwiBuild unit in the new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development had to hire someone with the primary job of answering opposition questions.

Mr Twyford said he was committed to answering questions properly as they were an important part of the parliamentary process.

But he said “there’s no doubt that the volume and the trivial nature of some of the questions is a deliberate tactic by the opposition to tie up government staff resources.”

If we are going to have a discussion on performance then more detail is required. And attacks on the Government without providing very important context is not something an independent media engages in.
I don't mean to state the obvious, but you do realise the the reason people are forced to have to put in written question is that the govt don't answer any?

You know. Vance's point.

And the joke that was Kiwibuild probably took up the majority of those.

Because the govt is shit.
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Muttonbirds
Posts: 2746
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Location: Aotearoa

Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Muttonbirds »

Vance = British tabloid hack upset because she can't use British tabloid techniques in New Zealand.

:yawn:
User avatar
terangi48
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:18 pm

Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by terangi48 »

............ngunguru.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...................
User avatar
Muttonbirds
Posts: 2746
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:22 am
Location: Aotearoa

Re: NZ Politics Thread

Post by Muttonbirds »

Dark wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:42 amI don't mean to state the obvious, but you do realise the the reason people are forced to have to put in written question is that the govt don't answer any?
Pretty sure this is not even slightly true.
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