Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Spring Timing

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  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    state politics is irrelevant

    when each state is roughly the population of NZ, not so much.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to BenWilson,

    …or natives to deal with.

    Perhaps these folks might find it of passing interest to be told that they don't exist, but it's a sadly common assumption.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Doesn’t really sound like staying out of it.

    Sounds like a minister of the Crown doing her job in an entirely appropriate and upfront manner unless I've totally missed something in the linked story.

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

  • WH,

    Thanks for the beginnings of the defeatism Brigade. I would have thought now would be a good time to believe your vote does actually count and that we are worth something other than a smile as he waves.

    Thanks for your views on the power of positivity, I'll ceRtainly beAr them in miNd.

    I read that Cunliffe has "stormed" into the preferred Prime Minister stakes, at 12%. Cunliffe was quoted as telling reporters that "we may be pale, we may be male, but I promise you, we are not going to be stale".

    I get all tingly when people make themselves sound like some kind of gendered biscuit. That's the Labour leader, alright: 50% good for you, but 100% delicious. Like kale, on sale.

    Actually, I had a look at Labour's website. The housing and electricity policies look good as far as they go. Let's talk again when the Greens introduce a bill to abolish families three weeks out from election day.

    And the thought of white flag over a blag flag? Are we Pirates or just surrendering ?

    Quite right, Sophie. My comment was actually a subtle dig at the Japanese and English flags. You know how the white flag peoples get about surrenderring.

    Wikipedia has compiled this helpful list of countries that are pirates and countries that are prone to giving up at sea.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I am interested in the various comments here that the Greens can attract votes from National. I assumed that's why they've selected candidates like James Shaw at the last election to replace Sue Kedgley.

    Especially in the absence of a British LibDems-style movement.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Stephen R,

    Judith Collins will have to crush her own ministerial limousine if she mucks up again. Fortunately John Key has slapped her with a wet bus ticket and so she can use that.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/9820693/One-more-strike-for-Collins

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    but it’s a sadly common assumption

    Sad all right. I don't want to get into it, really, it's so off topic, and worse, it's so depressing. The political differences are very stark between NZ and Tas.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    conflicts with claims to be staying out of the broader process.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I really don't see how the Adams thing isn't orders of magnitude more serious than Collins and Oravida but that's probably just example 372 of me not getting political media scandal...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    I really don’t see how the Adams thing isn’t orders of magnitude more serious than Collins and Oravida

    This. Has anyone in the MSM picked up the story?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Wallington, in reply to BenWilson,

    I am "a wonk" because I have raised some inconvenient facts of which you were ignorant. You were also ignorant about the continuing existence of Tasmanian Aborigines. The fact is in Tasmania, Labour and Greens have been engaged in several disastrous political coalition governments. The political systems of both countries are broadly similar, the platforms of Labor and Greens are also largely aligned. Australians and kiwis share a common heritage which defines politics and social issue. I might value your opinions more if you lay off the name callingand

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Wallington,

    Gave a few facts to back up you views...

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Phil Wallington,

    You were also ignorant about the continuing existence of Tasmanian Aborigines

    No, I really wasn’t. I was being glib because I didn’t want to lay out the really sorry history, which is starkly different to that of NZ. It would send this discussion south in no time at all.

    I might value your opinions more if you lay off the name calling

    If you’re offended by being called a wonk, I apologize. It’s a label that I’ve never encountered any offence before at, wonks are usually proud of it. It’s their hobby and they compete to be more wonky. But they can often make the mistake of thinking other people think like them.

    Gave a few facts to back up you views

    I’ve pointed out two massive points of difference between the government of NZ and the government of Tasmania.
    1. NZ is a sovereign state. It’s parliament has near total control over NZers. This is totally not the case for Tasmania, which is subject to Australian laws, the Australian constitution, Federal taxes and is protected by the Australian Armed Forces
    2. NZ has an extremely different history of interaction with the indigenous peoples, such that the demographic and political makeup of the country is very different. The politics work very, very differently. This seems to be very hard for a lot of Australians to understand.

    I’ve also pointed out that mining plays a much larger (like much, much larger) part in the Australian economy than it does in NZ.

    If you want to make strong statements about the incompatibility of the NZ Greens with NZ Labour, then Tasmanian state government wrangling is not a particularly powerful example.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • NBH, in reply to BenWilson,

    If you’re offended by being called a wonk, I apologize. It’s a label that I’ve never encountered any offence before at, wonks are usually proud of it.

    As someone who's occasionally had the term applied to me, I can say I find it intensely annoying. But then I also can't stand use of the term 'Beltway' instead of the much more apposite 'Thorndon Bubble'. Wellington doesn't *have* a Beltway, and hearing it always makes me think the user is just fantasising they're a character in The West Wing.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Ben, it's not hugely material to this discussion, but you're not correct on the relative powers of states and the feds or on their respective budget responsibilities or, for that matter, on the level of interest.

    Tasmanian state laws govern Tasmanians as do federal laws, however they cover different activities. Its only when they cover the same or similar issues that federal law prevails (the High Court recently determined a conflict between the laws with respect to same sex marriages).

    And yes, I'm a wonk having worked in state and federal governments in Australian for quite a while.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to NBH,

    Wellington doesn’t *have* a Beltway, and hearing it always makes me think the user is just fantasising they’re a character in The West Wing.

    I've thought that too. Who first said or penned it in NZ? Yes, yes , why am I googling you ?......I'll go 'av a look.

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    And another one: citizenships for National party donors.

    (I've noticed Fairfux often bury the contentious stuff, like Chalkie's fisking of the Electricity Authority in the business pages).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Wellington doesn’t *have* a Beltway

    You wait. Brownlee's got a plan in his office. Six lanes through Eastbourne, tunnel under the harbour entrance, down past the airport, big causeway through Island Bay and back through the former sites of Brooklyn and Aro Valley.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    As both a backbencher and Minister of the Environment, Amy Adams may have derived substantial benefit from the eCan takeover and what followed.

    If that’s the case and she didn’t comprehensively declare any conflicts of interest, she must resign, reckons Rob Salmond.

    As I said on Facebook, Adams being the minister who announced the continuation of the "ECan Democracy-Free Zone" (with the additional fluffy bits about the irrigation scheme's continued stability) absolutely stinks of a conflict of interest. There are associate ministers of portfolios precisely so that a conflicted minister can recuse themselves and avoid actual or perceived conflicts with decisions that are made.

    If Adams stepped aside from all the discussions but it still came down this way (as doubtless it would), well, I'm not happy that she's getting a lot wealthier on the back of a National Party decision but at least the proper form has been followed. That she's fronting the decision certainly makes it look like there was a conflict that wasn't managed, though, and that's rather close to the letter of the definition of something perceived. According to the bits in the Cabinet Manual that have been put front-and-centre with Collins' indiscretions, that perceived conflict is a big problem. It's not like Cantabrians are overly thrilled about the EDFZ's continued existence, either.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    It’s not like Cantabrians are overly thrilled about the EDFZ’s continued existence, either.

    So I hope they are complaining to someone like... Cosgrove, Dyson, Cunliffe, Robertson, Jones, Sage, Norman etc, etc. I've mentioned it. A barrage (geddit ;) could help.

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

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    According to the bits in the Cabinet Manual that have been put front-and-centre with Collins' indiscretions, that perceived conflict is a big problem.

    Yes, it is.

    And the Cabinet manual is online; you can read the sections on conduct and conflicts of interest here.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to NBH,

    Fine, I'll drop using wonk. But point still stands, just because the head of News is really interested in the state politics doesn't make the average person interested.

    Paul, I'm not seeing where you're pointing out any factual errors in what I've said, except for perhaps the relative level of interest (and I'd like to hear some evidence on that if this is going to be a point of contention - so far I haven't). I did not at any point say that Tasmanians aren't subject to Tasmanian laws. But NZers are not subject to laws from any higher source than our own Parliament and that is a major point of difference to a state government. The buck stops with Parliament, here.

    you’re not correct on the relative powers of states and the feds or on their respective budget responsibilities

    Do you want to be specific about what claims I made that you're disputing? The Commonwealth government collects more than 5 times as much tax as the State government. This is what I meant by it's comparative importance to people. This cascades down to far more massive influence over all aspects of major government expenditure. The health budget alone is more than all of the taxation collected by all of the states for all purposes. Education is also massive. Social security/welfare is 3 times the size of all state expenditures together.

    Furthermore, Auckland holds a third of the population of NZ. As an administrative proportion of NZ, it is bigger than any state of Australia. It administers a gigantic chunk of NZ's infrastructure. But collective interest in the politics is way lower. I don't know why exactly, but it is. It seemed much the same to me in Australia, but by all means give me some evidence beyond the voter turnout (which tells us nothing, since it's compulsory in Australia) that they care about their state politics more than we care about the Auckland City Council. What evidence is there? Column inches?

    My point was anecdotal. I didn't really want to make a big deal out of it, other than to say that comparing the behaviour of a national political organization to regional one is suspect, because people don't think about them in the same way at all. They aren't held accountable in the same way, they're not in the public consciousness in the same way, they don't have anywhere near as much power when they are in government. It's even MORE suspect when the comparison is across different countries, and involves the Greens in a country where MINING, the absolute anathema to environmentalists, is such an enormous part of the economy. I'm not surprised that a state government Green Party would find working with Labour extremely difficult. But NZ is not like that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to BenWilson,

    If you want to make strong statements about the incompatibility of the NZ Greens with NZ Labour, then Tasmanian state government wrangling is not a particularly powerful example.

    That seems unnecessarily high-handed. While there are obvious differences between the Tasmanian and NZ situation, the experience of the first real power-sharing by Green politicians in this part of the world has to be of some relevance. Tasmania happens to be where Bob Brown, arguably the most significant and successful Green politician in Australasia, made his political career. Also Brown and other Australian Greens have visited NZ in the past as advisors to the local party.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to BenWilson,

    My point was anecdotal. I didn’t really want to make a big deal out of it,

    Ha! You think that works aroun' here? ;)

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

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