OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance

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  • tussock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm always amused/appalled by those people who declare that they registered a protest against the system by refusing to vote. No you didn't, dude. Everyone just ignored you.

    Well, no. The people who get the biggest share of the voters worked to discourage them from voting for anyone else. Spent a lot of time on it, really. The people who had very little votes worked to encourage them to vote, on the grounds it couldn't possibly be any worse.


    But when you look at the history of New Zealand voting, when our main parties move together to chase the same centre voters, we get low turnounts. When they diversify and present genuinely conflicting options, we get high turnouts. The trend for low turnouts since MMP is simply a trend for the main parties to chase the centre voter rather than work their geographically isolated bases into a fever by being different.


    The left loses votes this way because the centre voter in NZ is moderately conservative and very right wing, mostly because of our hourglass age profile and all the 30-somethings living overseas.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    If he was employed by Parliamentary Services, then is the Speaker is ultimately responsible for his conduct? This issue of Parliamentary Services staff not understanding which branch of government they work for, Parliament or the executive, was made very apparent during the Kitteridge report leak.

    If he was employed on the government dime, it would have been by Ministerial Services rather than Parliamentary Services, which is part of DIA. There is some doubt as to who actually was paying his wages.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2934 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The whole bloody lot need to address it at least. The Ombudsman seems interested finally, but yes scrutiny in the Public Service , FMA, SFO, etc

    The Ombudsman's Office is in no way at fault. They are completely under-resourced. I've had a lot of dealings with them over the last 5 years fighting the Kapiti Expressway and I have complete respect and sympathy for those that work there. Their legislation makes it difficult to act proactively (and that would be impossible anyway) as they are the last resort if a department has not dealt fairly with an inquiry.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2934 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    The only way I could have written about it sooner was if I was prescient. Unfortunately that is a talent I am yet to develop.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    It may be that people who don’t vote, don’t enrol, and aren’t able to enrol would be overwhelmingly opposed to national and vote for left-wing parties.

    Gah I can't find it now but someone has done the analysis and that is exactly the case. National has maintained about a million voters for ever. What has changed when Labour has won elections is the number of voters, most of whom appear to either not vote or vote Labour depending on how they feel.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to nzlemming,

    Because "the media" (with damn few exceptions) didn't cover Dirty Politics as much as National's dismissal of Dirty Politics.

    You know, there was almost no one on the Dirty Politics side. The Greens put in a complaint to the police about the illegal bits. Labour said there should be an inquiry into the book and went back to being positive. Winston probably couldn't talk too much about how leaks get to the press, in case the press called him on all his leaks.

    So, you've got Nicky Hager asking people to read the book, because he needs sales for rent money rather than people just talking at it. And you've got National saying they haven't read it and don't need to because it's all ... message varies by the day, but "mistaken about our intent" is an approximation.

    The media can't just read a book on air. It's copyright. So they put the accusations to the accused, and those accusations were ... skirted. When Rawshark gave out the original emails, the media did more questioning with them. But it's questioning. The accused, including the Prime Minister, bloody well get to answer. That's really important.


    The fact that most people didn't care at the end of the day, even though we here in the great echo chamber totally got it and saw the problems and told each other everyone else would see things the same way, that's not really the media's fault. National lied and spun, they changed their stories, and the press pointed that out in great detail just before the election: but most people simply don't care about this stuff.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Felix Marwick,

    News talk Zb , you are just the news.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Stickering newpapers, buying the whole border of a an online newspaper, and sponsoring the news with your political party is a game of money, not fairness.

    News is supposed to be clean.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Gah I can’t find it now but someone has done the analysis and that is exactly the case. National has maintained about a million voters for ever.

    That would be a fascinating piece of analysis, because "forever" is... well, since 2008. Then again, if a week is a long time in politics six years is an eon. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Felix Marwick,

    Felix, as an aside, I do hope when Dame Beverley undertakes her investigation about allegations of Ministerial directives regarding OIA content/releases, that journalists will be better served in future as a result. And I got really queasy when I read your comment about the IGIS appearance;

    ” I did find it mysterious that all the email correspondence I’d saved on my computer regarding my IGIS hearing mysteriously went missing while I was out of the office covering the election campaign. ”

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/opinion/felix-marwick-sis-slater-25-sept-2014

    Enjoy your time off.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to izogi,

    It just seems strange to me that there’s apparently no effective type of authority holding the PM and Cabinet to account when it comes to actually following the law and the documented rules, except themselves.

    Us. We. The public. The voters. The ballot. We officially did not give a shit and just put them back in office. Majority of people who cared enough to vote. The minority opinion representatives get to ask them questions about stuff which they have to answer, in public, for the next three years. Maybe they'll do that, maybe they won't.

    Edit: Parliament holds the PM to account, see. We basically told them not to worry.

    It works much better than the Mullahs in Iran. Those guys are terrible.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Felix Marwick,

    I'm not asking you to start sprouting superpowers. But just in case I wasn't clear enough earlier: I first read about Oravida in Chinese a long, long time before Oravida appeared in NZ's mainstream English-language media. And more than once I've read about the visit of some NZ official (mayor, MP, minister, party official) to China in the Chinese media and been unable to find anything in the NZ media.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to nzlemming,

    There is some doubt as to who actually was paying his wages.

    I thought he changed over to the National Party when the campaign started with Joyce at the helm but had his Beehive pass after, when he should have forfeited it. Until then Ede was in the PM’s office, which is why it is said that we ,the taxpayer paid his wages. I figured the National Party paid him after he went to ground.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Tinakori,

    Nope - 2002 National disaster 20 something per cent of the popular vote and a shower of media shit for the party and its leaders before and after the election. Perhaps you were overseas or too young or had yet to immigrate

    Too young? you flatter me. I remember it all too well, the Corngate affair, I watched in Horror as John Campbell lambasted Helen Clark over the GE seed nonsense, even Hager said it was quite probable that Clark knew nothing about it but Hey I don't recall anyone on the right complaining about the ambush. The election was called early, can't remember the date, can't be fucked looking it up, landslide I think the term is.
    Bill English may be the best National has to offer, other than the smiley wavey sock puppet but he was no match for Helen Clark.
    So it would seem that all you have to do to win an election by any sort of convincing majority is to get Hager to expose something too complex for simple people to get their tiny heads around and you're home and hosed.
    So don't bother me with your veiled insults and imagined facts, its a waste of everybodies time.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    re: OIA:
    I heard talk last year that the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment was getting help from some sections of the media in writing OIA's - because the Ministry for the Environment was refusing to give her office information requested. By law, they are required to give it to her, but she has had to resort to OIA's. Not sure how well that's going either.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to nzlemming,

    The Ombudsman’s Office is in no way at fault. They are completely under-resourced.

    I'm saying they finally are the ones doing anything. I applaud them, just wish they weren't what appears to be, alone. I think your "under-resourced" is telling of itself. Cut funding and a Department gets stifled or bogged down. They then would have to be selective as to how much work they can do. Would be interesting to see how many departments in the last 6 years have been squeezed or suppressed by legislation.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    Stickering newpapers, buying the whole border of a an online newspaper, and sponsoring the news with your political party is a game of money, not fairness.

    Also politics, and elections are supposed to be a competition of ideas, even a "marketplace of ideas" if you will - the party that's supposed to win is the one with the best ideas, not the one with the most money - to buy an election with money is as much dirty politics as anything else is

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    Stickering a newspaper is very expensive.I know this through a discussion with a company who wanted to sell the process, and very controversial. A chain of supermarkets pulled a newspaper for this. The ad was for their grocery rivals ,and the newspapers were and still are displayed prominently at the point of purchase. Advertising rate cards are also very variable, many times bent by a rep and their manager for the promise of further business.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    From Parliament Website

    Spending limits also apply to individuals or groups who are not contesting the election directly but who wish to influence the outcome. These individuals or groups can spend up to $12,300 on election advertising during the regulated period without having to register with the Electoral Commission.

    Does this mean that if the Herald paid Armstrong, O'Dullivan, Trevet, Roughan et al more than $12,300 between Friday 20 June and midnight Friday 19 September they broke the rules?.
    (not holding breath)
    And would payments to Slater & co. be included in the $1.091 million expenditure cap?.
    All these questions and much more need answering...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Ad prices are variable, sometimes obscenely so, better to have a ad space sold than to have it vacant. Budget. Election ads are lovely earners, like clients out of nowhere.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "These people are scum."

    And they're back/still in power.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    Nixon had to resign because of the cover-up, not the crime. Key's genius is he never had to cover anything up – he fully admits to people in his administration dealing with people who hacked into the Labour website, even comparing it to something the All Blacks would do to the Wallabies. That's the difference.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Political scum: Purposely wrecking character in order to taint a decision.

    Character: Some poor bastard whose life is so publicly mauled that they quit out of protection and frustration.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to cindy baxter,

    I heard talk last year that the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment was getting help from some sections of the media in writing OIA's - because the Ministry for the Environment was refusing to give her office information requested. By law, they are required to give it to her, but she has had to resort to OIA's. Not sure how well that's going either.

    That would be a criminal offence under s24 Environment Act 1986. If public servants are doing this, then they should be prosecuted pour encourager les autres.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to tussock,

    So, you’ve got Nicky Hager asking people to read the book, because he needs sales for rent money rather than people just talking at it.

    Ah, no, Nicky owns his own house (built it himself) and is mortgage free. He has other paying gigs. This book has been unexpectedly successful for him (based on sales of his other books) and he has said so (I think in Russell's interview). If he wrote books to "pay the rent", he'd write a hell of a lot more books and wouldn't spend nearly as much time on the research, but that's not how he works.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2934 posts Report Reply

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