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ACT Party candidate David Seymour – revealed

13 June 2014 1 comment

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the nation_logo

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On TV3’s  ‘The Nation‘, host Lisa Owen set about discussing the Epsom-ACT-John Banks issue with Green candidate, Julie-Anne Genter; Labour candidate Michael Wood; ACT’s David Seymour, and a bag of flour standing in for National’s, Paul Goldsmith (the actual difference between the bag of flour and Goldsmith is still a matter for debate).

At first glance, Lisa Owen seemed hopelessly unable to extract straight answers from ACT’s David Seymour.

My mistake. She was allowing Seymour plenty of rope by which to hang himself, as he burbled on and on and on and… about how fricken marvelous he was, going from door to door. Evidently Seymour has knocked on 7,000 doors thus far? (Doesn’t he have a regular day job?)

The most illuminating aspect of the panel-discussion was that we gained insight into the three candidates.

Michael Wood – Labour

Never heard of him.

Even his Wikipedia entry has less content than a list of ingredients for vegemite.

Julie-Anne Genter – Greens

This woman oozes class, intellect, wit, and confidence. She ran rings around Seymour, giving Lisa Owen flanking support to handle the young ‘up-myself’ whippersnapper.

Ms Genter is the kind of politician New Zealand desperately needs – but doesn’t deserve.

Paul Goldsmith/Flour – National

Goldsmith refused to take part in the debate because, evidently, he was “out campaigning for the Party vote”.

Really? So appearing on a current affairs programme to promote your Party’s policies is not considered “campaigning”? Never mind. His stand-in – a bag of flour – made more sense than Goldsmith himself.

David Seymour – ACT

Arrogant.

Unwilling/unable to answer a direct question.

Yelled over others who happened to be speaking.

Did not listen.

In short, a perfect Tory politician.

If this is what he’s like now – outside Parliament - what the devil will he be like as an actual MP?! Another Aaron Gilmore?

Listen to the panel yourself;

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david seymour - 7 june 2014 - TV3 - The Nation - ACT

David Seymour – avoiding answering questions on behalf of his electorate.

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Listen at 3:01 into the interview. The big *sigh* you can hear, as Seymour drones onnnn and onnnn and onnnn,  is probably Lisa Owen. If she’s thinking “My brain-cells are dying. God almighty, I don’t get paid enough to listen to this self-indulgent verbal diarrhea” – then I wholly sympathise. It was like listening to a blander, vanilla-version of Winston Peters. But at least Peters is entertaining. And often has a point to make.

Seymour could win Epsom outright by  anaesthetising the entire electorate with one of his interminable, monotone speeches, and then winning with just one vote cast. His own. Cunning bunch, these Tories.

At 6:30, Seymour attempted to deflect attention from ACT and John Banks by referring to Green Party co-leader, Russell Norman’s meeting with Kim Dotcom. It was a pathetic attempt, and he was shot down when  Julie Anne Genter pointed out the vain attempt at distraction. As she quite rightly pointed out, there is nothing illegal or untoward about elected representatives talking to New Zealand residents.

In fact, it is what MPs are paid to do.

Does Seymour plan not to talk with anyone should he be elected to Parliament? What kind of elected representative would that make him?

That attempt at evading the issue made Seymour look… dodgy. And god knows ACT has had plenty of dodgy characters within it’s ranks over the years.

At 7:50. Michael Wood refered to the dirty deal being done between National and ACT. At which point Wood brought out the bag of flour.

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goldsmith - flour - The Nation - Epsom

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A bit tacky.

John Campbell did it with much more style last year when he used a cardboard cutout of Hekia Parata when the Minister (often) refused interviews;

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Campbell Live - 5 February 2013 - Hekia Parata - No show - novopay

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But note Julie Anne Genter at 8:28. She all but took over as the host of the show by pointing out  some salient facts about Paul Goldsmith’s strange absence.

Poor Seymour. His response was to try to “stay on message”as he burbled on about “low taxes and stable centre-right government”. He was hopelessly outclassed by a Green MP who has been battle-hardened in Parliament’s debating chamber since 2011.

His inexperience showed when he made a major faux pas at 8:55, stating,

“And they do not want their neighbourhoods intensified with eight story towers next to their homes…”

That was almost too easy, and again, Genter jumped in, highlighting the policy contradiction between Seymour’s ranting against  “neighbourhoods intensified with eight story towers next to their homes” – and ACT’s new leader, Jamie Whyte, railing against the Resource Management Act;

There are far too many powers currently being given to various times of groups and bureaucrats around the country to interfere with people and the use of their property.” – Jamie Whyte, 28 February 2014

So we want to repeal the RMA and replace it with a law that addresses only real market failures, not fantastical injuries to Gaia or the sensitivities of people with no real interest in your land. It will be a very small law.” – Jamie Whyte, 1 March 2014

Perhaps Seymour hasn’t looked close enough at his own party’s policies – but allowing neighbourhoods to be intensified with multi-storey dwellings is precisely what would be allowed under ACT Party policy to do away with the RMA.

This ill-considered remark may come back to haunt him in the next three months of the election campaign. Epsom residents may be very interested to learn if ACT supports or rejects property rights when it comes to developing established urban land and neighbourhoods.

At 9:49, Lisa Owen asked the NZ$64,000 question;

I’m wondering if National and ACT are going to buddy up, why don’t you guys [Labour and Greens] buddy up.”

Wood replied;

We’re running a principled campaign [shouted interuption by Seymour]… We’re running a principled campaign. We want this to be a straight out contest of ideas and of parties. But we have a situation in which the National Party and the ACT Party are manipulating the system. And of course Labour voters and Green voters in the electorate will think about their options as the campaign goes on [shouted interuption by Seymour]…”

Seymour attempted to deflect focus from the National-ACT Epsom deal by demanding to know from both Genter and Wood if they would be encouraging their supporters to vote for Paul Goldsmith, to lock out ACT from winning Epsom.

Genter attempted to remind Seymour that since 2002, the Green Party has always only campaigned for  the Party Vote, not Electorate Votes. But Seymour was obviously not interested in listening and instead was more focused on deflecting focus from his own “arrangement” with National.

Wood responded with something less clear.

Several  interesting points emerged from the panel discussion;

  1. Seymour is nowhere as clever as he thinks he is and Julie Anne Genter ran rings around the baby-faced Tory Toff.
  2. Who is Michael Wood?!
  3. Who makes better pancakes – an absent Paul Goldsmith or a bag of flour?
  4. No matter how much Labour tries to rise above “dirty deals” and  “want this to be a straight out contest of ideas and of parties” – National/ACT will persist in tarring them with the same brush that has tarred Right as “dirty deal makers”.

With regards to #4 – it serves National/ACT’s purpose to throw as much mud around as possible – thereby increasing public cynicism and de-motivating voters to consider voting for a Left alternative. After all, what is the point of voters considering a Labour-led alternative if Labour, et al, are no different to the National-led bloc?

National does deal-making (whether one sees it as “dirty” or not) very well.

National wants to prevent similar deal-making between  Labour; the Greens; and Mana-Internet.

National therefore has engaged in a  covert strategy to paint all deal-making as dirty – even though they have no hesitation in doing it themselves in Epsom, Ohariu, and soon with the Conservatives. If the media questions this – they will deflect to Labour Greens, Mana, and the Internet Party doing the same thing. (Even though thus far only Mana-Internet have done any deals – two parties barely registering 2% between them in any given poll.)

National wants Labour to play by FPP rules –  which certain Labour MPs have obliged (see:  The secret of National’s success – revealed).

Meanwhile, National builds and supports deals with other parties as coalition partners for a post-2014 Third Term National-led government.

Meanwhile, the media focuses on perceived “dirty deals” by the Left, including Mana-Internet.

No wonder David Seymour kept banging on about alleged deal-making between the Greens and Labour in Epsom. That is the script he has been handed to read and speak.

The media dutifully oblige by repeating.

Just ask Patrick Gower.

 

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References

Wikipedia: Michael Wood

TV3: The Nation

NZ Herald: Act wants Resource Management Act dumped

ACT: Leader’s Speech to ACT New Zealand Conference – Saturday 1st March 2014

Previous related blogpost

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

The secret of National’s success – revealed.

 

 

 

 


 

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Key Banks - party anyone

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 8 June 2014.

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Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 30 May 2014 – the Mana Internet Party Alliance

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- Focus on Politics -

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- Friday 30 May 2014  -

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- Demelza Leslie -

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A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

Friday after 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:10pm

The contest for votes on the left is heating up with the announcement this week of an alliance between the Mana and Internet parties and the reappearance of former Alliance Party MP Laila Harre.

 

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Radio NZ logo - Focus on Politics

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Click to listen: Focus on Politics for 30 May 2014 ( 16′  57″ )

  • Mana Party, Internet Party, Laila Harre
  • MMP, “coat-tailing” rule
  • Sue Bradford
  • Kelvin Davis
  • Hone Harawira
  • David Cunliffe
  • John Key, Epsom, Ohariu
  • Winston Peters
  • Gerry Brownlee

John Key;

@ 10.49

“If you look at those places like Epsom and Ohariu, those people actually won their seats outright, in their own right…”

@ 12.28

“He can go on and on and on all he likes that there isn’t some deal and there isn’t something going on. But you just take a step back and you say well what sort of person puts up three or four million dollars, has absolutely nothing in common with the party that’s there, has actually no interest in politics, lives in a twentyfive million dollar house and is arguing he’s there for the poorest New Zealanders which is what, you know, Hone Harawira talks about and Laila Harre talk about. It’s not really a plausible or believable story…”

 
Additional

Power Play, by Chris Bramwell

Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

 

 

 

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Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 27 May 2014

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- Politics on Nine To Noon -

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- Monday 27 May 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams -

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Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

Our political commentators speak about the recent boost in National’s polling, the strengthening New Zealand economy, and the upcoming elections.

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Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (21′ 30″ )

  • Budget 2014, Family Package
  • Polls
  • Election 2014, voting, Labour-Green Bloc, “Missing Million” voters
  • David Shearer
  • Environment, rivers, genetic engineering, nitrate pollution, Ruataniwha Dam
  • Resource Management Act reforms, Amy Adams, Peter Dunne
  • Mana Party, Internet Party
  • Green Party list
  • Winston Peters, Parliament

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A Very Short Collection of John Key’s Lies

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lying politician

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This is doing the rounds on the internet…

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… and if anything, this short video has under-stated Key’s track record in mis-information, half-truths, and outright lies.

Watch and share.

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Campbell Live on the GCSB – latest revelations – TV3 – 20 May 2014

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Campbell Live - GCSB - John Key

 

 

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Letter to Radio NZ: $3000 offer to the Unemployed is a joke – and not a very funny one (v.2)

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: National's cunning $3000 plan for the unemployed
DATE:    Wed, 07 May 2014 10:02:39 +1200
TO:      Kathryn Ryan  <ninetonoon@radionz.co.nz>

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Kathryn Ryan
Nine to Noon Show, Radio NZ

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After three years the best that the Nats can come up with is
Bennett's plan to pay unemployed $3,000 to relocate to
Christchurch to find work.

The only problem is;

1. There is no guaranteed work, as Select Recruitment
managing director Karen Bardwell has stated "the rebuild had
yet to kick into high gear and the demand for low to medium
skilled workers simply wasn't there".

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/243602/agency-questions-jobless-incentive

2. There is a critical housing shortage with astronomical
rents being demanded/paid. Where will 1,000 workers find a
place to live? Bennett doesn't say.

3. The $3,000 grant is predicated on;

3A. The job being for 30 hours per week or more,

3B. The job lasting 91 days or more

htt
p://beehive.govt.nz/release/budget-2014-%E2%80%983k-christchurch%E2%80%99-help-job-se
ekers

Item 3A and 3B are the fish-hooks. If an employer decides to
cut back a worker's hours or, initiates the 90 Trial Period
law - the workers has to repay the $3,000.

The implications of this are obvious. 

Not only is a worker in a precarious position to keep
his/her job - but has a potential $3,000 debt hanging over
their head.

The potential for abuse by manipulative, exploitative
employers is obvious.

The risk is all on the unemployed, and very few people would
be willing to put themselves into such a vulnerable
situation.

Pity. It was the 'germ' of a fairly good idea. But as usual,
National hasn't thought it through.

Or was it designed to fail by making it so unattractive that
no one in their right mind would take it up, and Bennett
could once again bang on about "lazy benes"?

It wouldn't be the first time.



-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number supplied]

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References

Beehive.govt.nz:  Budget 2014: ‘$3k to Christchurch’ to help job seekers

Radio NZ: Agency questions jobless incentive


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Radio NZ: Nine To Noon – Election year interviews – Jamie Whyte

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- Radio NZ, Nine To Noon -

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- Wednesday 26 March 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan -

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On  Nine To Noon, Kathyrn Ryan interviewed ACT leader Jamie Whyte, and asked him about coalition negotiations, policies, polls, and other issues…

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Radio NZ logo -  nine to noon

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Click to Listen: Election year interviews  ( 22′ 24″ )

 

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Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 24 March 2014

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- Politics on Nine To Noon -

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- Monday 24 March 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams -

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Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

Will The Mana party and The Internet party form an alliance?

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radio-nz-logo-politics-on-nine-to-noon

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Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (25′ 54″ )

  • Mana Party
  • Internet Party
  • Hone Harawira
  • Kim Dotcom
  • The Alliance
  • Sue Bradford
  • Roy Morgan Poll
  • Shane Jones, Winston Peters, NZ First, The Green Parrot Restaurant
  • Hekia Parata, Kohanga Reo National Trust, performance pay for teachers
  • Ernst Young, Serious Fraud Office, PISA Education Ratings
  • Judith Collins, Oravida
  • John Key, China, Fran O’Sullivan, Rod Oram
  • Labour Party, Forestry policy, Red Stag Timber, government procurement

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Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 21 March 2014

23 March 2014 2 comments

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- Focus on Politics -

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- Friday 21 March 2014  -

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- Jane Patterson -

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A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

Friday after 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:10pm

The Education Minister has once again found herself at the centre of a political storm, after allegations relating to the Kohanga Trust Board’s commercial arm, have ended up with the Serious Fraud Office.

The question is; when does public money cease to be public?

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Radio NZ logo - Focus on Politics

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Click to listen: Focus on Politics for 21 March 2014 ( 17′  28″ )

  • Hekia Parata, Pita Sharples
  • Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board, Te Pataka Ohanga
  • Ernst & Young report
  • Serious Fraud Office
  • Derek Fox

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Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

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Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 17 March 2014

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- Politics on Nine To Noon -

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- Monday 17 March 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams -

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Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

Winston Peters and the possible make-up of the next government. Moves to link school funding to performance.

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radio-nz-logo-politics-on-nine-to-noon

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Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (23′ 51″ )

  • Winston Peters, NZ First
  • Judith Collins, Orivida,
  • Helen Clark
  • Green Party transport policy
  • Hekia Parata, education policy, school fundsing system

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Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 14 March 2014

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- Focus on Politics -

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- Friday 14 March 2014  -

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- Brent Edwards -

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A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

Friday after 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:10pm

This week the Prime Minister announced the election date and his plan for a referendum on the New Zealand flag. Meanwhile, Judith Collins got a roasting in the media over perceptions of conflict of interest, and from the Prime Minister in withholding information from him.

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Radio NZ logo - Focus on Politics

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Click to listen: Focus on Politics for 7 March 2014 ( 15′  30″ )

  • NZ flag
  • Judith Collins
  • Oravida
  • Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson
  • Cabinet Office
  • conflicts of interest
  • David Cunliffe
  • trusts

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Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

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Radio NZ: Nine To Noon – Election year interviews – Winston Peters

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- Radio NZ, Nine To Noon -

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- Wednesday 12 March 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan -

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On  Nine To Noon, Kathyrn Ryan interviewed NZ First’s leader, Winston Peters, and asked him about coalition negotiations, policies, polls, and other issues…

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Radio NZ logo -  nine to noon

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Winston Peters is the leader of NZ First, which is polling at around the 5% threshold for getting MPs into parliament without winning an electorate seat, meaning it could yet hold the balance of power after voters go to the polls on September 20.

Click to Listen: Election year interviews  ( 35′ 17″ )

 

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Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 10 March 2014

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- Politics on Nine To Noon -

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- Monday 10 March 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams -

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Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

Party machinations, intrigue and trust in politics are among the topics for exploration.

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radio-nz-logo-politics-on-nine-to-noon

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Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (23′ 13″ )

  • David Cunliffe, trusts, State-funding political parties
  • Antoines, Tony Astle
  • Winston Peters, Owen Glenn
  • Judith Collins, Oravida, next National Party leader
  • polls

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Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 7 March 2014

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- Focus on Politics -

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- Friday 7 March 2014  -

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- Demelza Leslie -

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A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

Friday after 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:10pm

After being officially appointed as the new ACT leader, Jamie Whyte is now being heralded as the saviour of the party that’s struggling to even register in political polls.

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Radio NZ logo - Focus on Politics

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Click to listen: Focus on Politics for 7 March 2014 ( 16′  37″ )

  • ACT,
  • Jamie Whyte,
  • RMA,
  • Three Strikes Law,
  • Epsom,
  • John Banks

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Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

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Radio NZ: Nine To Noon – Election year interviews – Russell Norman

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- Radio NZ, Nine To Noon -

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- Wednesday 4 March 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan -

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On  Nine To Noon, Kathyrn Ryan interviewed Green Party co-leader,  Russell Norman, and asked him about coalition negotiations, policies, polls, and other issues…

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Radio NZ logo -  nine to noon

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Click to Listen: Election year interviews  ( 30′ 55″ )

 

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Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 3 March 2014

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- Politics on Nine To Noon -

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- Monday 3 March 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams -

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Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams discuss the recent political polls.

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radio-nz-logo-politics-on-nine-to-noon

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Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (22′ 38″ )

  • ACT, ACT’s conference, Jamie Whyte,
  • Labour Party, 2014 election, Matt McCarten,
  • David Cunliffe, secret trust,
  • Tony Ryall, health portfolio,
  • Labour candidate-selection,
  • Paid Parental Leave,
  • John Key-Helen Clark

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Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 28 February 2014

28 February 2014 Leave a comment

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- Focus on Politics -

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- Friday 28 February 2014  -

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- Brent Edwards -

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A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

Friday after 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:10pm

It’s election year and political parties have already begun rolling out policies to win the support of voters. But what role will leadership play in the election? National’s John Key is determined to hold on to the Prime Ministership and Labour leader David Cunliffe is equally determined to prise it off him. Our political editor Brent Edwards talks to both leaders.

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Radio NZ logo - Focus on Politics

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Click to listen: Focus on Politics for 28 February 2014 ( 17′ 11″ )

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Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

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Letter to the Editor: Cunliffe’s plan for jobs – Big Tick!

26 February 2014 1 comment

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:22:52 +1300
TO:      Otago Daily Times <odt.editor@alliedpress.co.nz>

 

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The editor
Otago Daily Times

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In an interview on Radio NZ on 25 February, David Cunliffe
announced;

“We will create incentives for private employers to be
certified living wage employers, who pay the living wage  to
all their employees, by giving them a preference in  Crown
contracts.”

This simple, common-sense policy will achieve more than
raise wages - something that John  Key's lame-duck
administration has failed spectacularly to accomplish - but
will be a much-needed boost for local business.

We have lost thousands of jobs to overseas countries with
pitifully-low wages. The contracts awarded to Chinese
manufacturers to build rail stock resulted in over a hundred
jobs lost in Dunedin; most of the Hillside rail engineering
plant closing; and an opportunity lost to inject millions
into the Otago economy. 

This country will never overcome high unemployment if we
continually opt for cheaper (and often lower-quality)
products from low-wage economies. Not unless we want to pay
ourselves similar low wages.

Cunliffe's committment to a living wage and a procurement
preference for local businesses  is the kind of proactive
policy which we have long lost, and desperately need again.

"Muddling through" is simply not good enough.

-Frank Macskasy
(address & phone number supplied)

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References

Radio NZ: Election year interviews – David Cunliffe (27′ 50″ )

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John Key is really hoping that dudes like me don't vote

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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Radio NZ: Nine To Noon – Election year interviews – David Cunliffe

26 February 2014 Leave a comment

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- Radio NZ, Nine To Noon -

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- Wednesday 25 February 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan -

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On  Nine To Noon, Kathyrn Ryan interviewed Labour’s leader, David Cunliffe, and asked him about coalition negotiations, policies, polls, and other issues…

 

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Radio NZ logo -  nine to noon

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Click to Listen: Election year interviews (27′ 50″ )

A major policy statement by David Cunliffe;

@ 22.00:  “We will create incentives for private employers to be certified living wage employers, who pay the living wage  to all their employees, by giving them a preference in  Crown contracts.”

This will not only support firms that pay their staff properly – but will de facto give preference to local businesses to supply goods and services!

If this doesn’t motivate Small-Medium Enterprises to switch their allegiances from the Nats to Labour, I don’t know what will!

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Radio NZ: Nine To Noon – Election year interviews – John Key

25 February 2014 Leave a comment

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- Radio NZ, Nine To Noon -

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- Wednesday 19 February 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan -

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On  Nine To Noon, Kathyrn Ryan interviewed John Key – a rare occasion, as Key has always avoided fronting on Radio NZ like it was political kryptonite. It must be election year.

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Radio NZ logo -  nine to noon

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Click to Listen: Election year interviews (29′ 50″ )

Blogger’s Commentary

Key began by focusing on his government’s track record (Key’s interview statements in bold blue),

“… [Our] track record’s a good one. Government’s often don’t want to necessarily point to what they’ve done over the course  of the time they’ve been in office…

We’re now one of the very few OECD countries that’s back in surplus this year. Unemployment rate’s falling. We’re growing rapidly.

It’s not just the economy, I mean you got a crime rate that’s on a 30 year low…”

Only a minute and 15 seconds into the interview, and Key was already claiming credit for “successes” that his government had very little to do with, or was mis-representing (as is his style);

1. “We’re now one of the very few OECD countries that’s back in surplus this year.”

National may well be back in “surplus” this year. But they still have accumulated a debt of  $61 billion (net). That debt has been  rising at $27 million per day, since John  Key was elected into office in November 2008. Part of that debt was fueled by generous tax cuts, in 2009 and 2010, for the top 10% wealthiest people in this country.

2. “Unemployment rate’s falling.”

A dubious claim for success. Under-employment is rising according to Roy Morgan, as well as the Household Labour Force Survey, and the Jobless rate is still 257,100.

3. “We’re growing rapidly.”

Much of which is due to the Chjristchurch re-build and  global recovery – not because of any proactive policy from National.

4. “I mean you got a crime rate that’s on a 30 year low”

Correct. Literally.  The rate of recorded offences has been steady or  trending downward since 1996 (except for a short ‘spike’ post-2008, when unemployment skyrocketed,

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Even right-wing blogger and National Party apparatchik, David Farrar on  Kiwiblog,  made a similar analysis.

So can Key really claim credit for a pattern that has either held steady or trended down? In which case, will he also claim credit for those areas where crime has been rising?

“…A lot of good gains in education…”

Really?! One and a half minutes into the interview, and Key is beginning to bullshit the audience already. In fact, New Zealand has dropped down in the OECD PISA rankings, as Sathya Mithra Ashok  wrote last December,

OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey for 2012 has moved New Zealand’s performance downwards in maths, reading and science.

The country continues to score above OECD average in mean PISA scores across mathematics, reading and science (at 500, 512 and 516 respectively), even though the annualised score points have dropped by 2.5 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 2.5 per cent for each of the subject areas.

In the global rankings, New Zealand currently stands 18th in science, and 23rd in maths, a drop from previous 7th and 12th placements. Countries like Singapore, Poland and Germany rank above New Zealand and have positively increased their position since the last survey. Australia, Ireland and Denmark, despite also moving backwards, still outrank New Zealand.

Key continued,

“The second thing is, any incumbent government or any political party that wants to become the government gets elected on what they’re going to do, not always what they have done…”

That’s convenient. And yet, at every opportunity, Key, English, and other National Ministers continue to lie about Labour’s “poor economic track record”…

“And I think the last thing is just to continue to demonstrate that you’re in touch with people…”

Key certainly demonstrated how “in touch with people” he was when he arrogantly dismissed the anti-asset sales petition last year,

“Well, the numbers don’t look like they’re that significant. I mean at the moment it’s sitting at around about 40 per cent. That’s not absolutely amazing, it’s not overwhelmingly opposed. But the people who are motivated to vote will be those who are going to vote against.”

Yeah. That’s showing the peasants just who’s in charge – I mean, in touch!

“…It is always a challenge when you’re there in the Beehive and life is a little easier than for people on “struggle street”. It’s easy to get divorced from that.”

Very easy.

For example, giving $30 million to an aluminium smelter  as  a taxpayer handout – whilst denying the lowest paid workers (paid $14.61 an hour) in rest-homes a wage increase because, according to Key, the money isn’t there;

“Travel is one of those areas where we are looking at what we can do,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast programme.

However, the Government could not afford to give DHBs the $140 million required to enable rest homes to pay their staff more.

It’s one of those things we’d love to do if we had the cash. As the country moves back to surplus it’s one of the areas we can look at but I think most people would accept this isn’t the time we have lots of extra cash.”

Other taxpayer-funded subsidies;

$1 Rugby$200 million to subsidise the Rugby World Cup.

$2 Movies – $67 million paid to Warner Bros to keep “ The Hobbit” in New Zealand and $300 million in subsidies for “ Lord of the Rings

$3 Consultants - After sacking almost 3,000  public sector workers,  National seemed unphased at clocking up a mind-boggling $1 billion paid to “consultants”.

Indeed, one can see how easily a Prime Minister can get divorced from those living on “struggle street”…

Kathryn Ryan then moved the interview on to potential “governing arrangements”. Key offered his assessment that he did not believe that Peters would support National and that “at best he is likely to abstain”.  Key said it was “time to move on” from events six years ago.

Yet, it was only three years ago that Key was quite adamant,

“I don’t see a place for a Winston Peters-led New Zealand First in a government that I lead.”

It is unclear what has changed with Key’s ‘principles’ that a man not fit to be one of his ministers only three years ago would suddenly be welcomed  as a potential coalition partner. Does “moving on” entail a 180 degree change in principles? That’s more than “moving on” – that’s a quantum paradigm shift. Not bad for 36 months.

When Key stated that “I am less convinced than others [that] he’ll [Peters] get back…”  to Parliament later this year, it was hard to tell if that was a shrewd guess on his part; wishful thinking; or a “coded instruction” to National  voters not to vote for Peters as a potential coalition partner for the Nats. Key was quite specific,

“…Nearer the time I am actually personally  keener to be a little more transparent. Now in the past we’ve been effectively transparent. I think we’ve been fairly clear about what we wanted voters to do with their electorate vote in Epsom, in Ohariu. Um, we haven’t faced the sort of Conservative issue. But my sense is, you know, we’ll be quite clear.”

Indeed, though Key seemed emphatic that there would be a “zero chance” of Peters entering a formal coalition with National, he did not close off the possibility, with this invitation for the NZ First leader,

We’ll have those discussions with him, but, you know, we’ll wait and see.”

Kathryn Ryan then broached the subject of a co-Prime Ministerial role between Key and Peters. She asked if Key “could rule out” the idea, and Key replied emphatically,

“Yeah, I can rule that out now.”

Key referred to the proposal as “mickey mouse”, and though he has flip-flopped on other issues in the past, he gave sound reasons why he seemed sincerely  dismissive of what he referred to as a “barking idea“.

Key did, however admit that  “a decent slug of the population, probably 80%” of voters supported  National or  Labour(/Greens), that a further 20% were the voting bloc that actually decided the election. As Key said,

“It’s very difficult on polling to date to predict what might happen in nine months time.”

It seems that Dear Leader is not quite so confident of winning the election as some might believe.

Key revealed that he has had no conversations with Conservative Party leader, Colin Craig.

On the issue of MMP reform and eliminating the “coat tailing provision”, Key waffled and then lamely gave his excuse why the Electoral Commission’s reform recommendations were not passed,

“In the end, there was no real concensus.”

Kathryn Ryan immediatly jumped on Key called him on that BS,

“The concensus wasn’t there because National didn’t want it! It was darn close to a concensus apart from  your Party, which is most advantaged by it!”

Key tried to weasel out of it, but he was clearly shown up as self-serving on that issue. He was defensive.

Kathryn Ryan followed up by pressing other recent issues with Key; his willingness to over-look scandals surrounding John Banks and Peter Dunne.

Kathryn Ryan asked why Key had not read the police report surrounding John Banks.

Key attempted to excuse his over-looking of the  report  by referring to the Local Body Act as being “extremely vague”. Though why he would refuse to read a report simply because a law is supposedly “vague” is a bizarre excuse. It simply makes no sense.

After all, Key called the GCSB Act “not fit for purpose”. Does that mean he did not read the Kitteridge Report that flowed from  illegal surveillance by the Bureau – because the GCSB Act was “vague”? That makes no sense.

It was a weak excuse and not one that will wash if he tries to repeat it at up-coming public election meetings. Key will be laughed at if that is the best he can come up with.

The issue of “Working for Families” was raised – and Key made a startling admission as to why it was necessary for this country to have a system that he once referred to as “communism by stealth”.

The admission he made should give all thinking New Zealanders pause for thought.

But you can bet it won’t be picked up by the msm.

Overall, it is little wonder that Key has shied away from Radio NZ. This was a serious interview and one suspects that he gave away more than he had planned.

This was not “The Edge” – but edgy it certainly was.

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References

NZ Treasury: Debt 2013

Fairfax media: Public debt climbs by $27m a day

Roy Morgan:  New Zealand real unemployment steady at 8.5% and a further 11.3% (up 2.7%) of workforce are under-employed

Statistics NZ: Household Labour Force Survey: December 2013 quarter

Statistics NZ: The numbers of justice

Kiwiblog: 2012 Crime stats

Computerworld:  OECD’s PISA survey moves NZ’s performance downwards

Fairfax media: Two-thirds of voters oppose asset sales

Fairfax media: PM: No money for aged care workers

NZ Herald: Blowouts push public Rugby World Cup spending well over $200m

NZ Herald: The Hobbit: should we have paid?

Fairfax media: Hobbit ‘better deal than Lord of the Rings’ – Key

Fairfax media: 555 jobs gone from public sector

NZ Herald: Govt depts clock up $1bn in consultant fees

NZ Herald: PM rules out any NZ First deal

Previous related blogpost

Letter to the Editor: Key responds to the asset referendum voter turnout

“It’s one of those things we’d love to do if we had the cash”

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Coming up on Radio NZ: Party Leader interview with David Cunliffe

24 February 2014 Leave a comment

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Radio NZ logo -  nine to noon

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9:05am Tuesday 25 February

David Cunliffe

Labour leader David Cunliffe is in the hot seat in the second of Nine to Noon’s election year, scene-setter interviews. Kathryn Ryan asks Mr Cunliffe what Labour needs to do to gain traction in the polls to prevent National from gaining a third term in office and his policy priorities.

On Nine To Noon, Radio NZ.

 

 

 

 

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Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 24 February 2014

24 February 2014 Leave a comment

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- Politics on Nine To Noon -

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- Monday 24 February 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams -

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Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams discuss the recent political polls.

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radio-nz-logo-politics-on-nine-to-noon

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Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (21′ 58″ )

  • TV1-Colmar Brunton Poll, Roy Morgan poll
  • Election campaigns
  • David Parker
  • Labour Party, NZ Power, “Best Start”, Auckland Rail Loop early start
  • Russell Norman, Kim Dotcom
  • David Cunliffe
  • Shane Taurima, TVNZ
  • Winston Peters
  • Greens, David Hay, Leaders’ Debates
  • ACT, Richard Prebble, Jamie Whyte, flat tax
  • Conservative Party, Colin Craig
  • and an early election in September?

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Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 21 February 2014

23 February 2014 Leave a comment

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- Focus on Politics -

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- Friday 21 February 2014  -

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- Brent Edwards -

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A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

Friday after 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:10pm

Disagreement about how to reduce poverty and inequality is looming as one of the big debates of election year.

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Radio NZ logo - Focus on Politics

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Click to listen: Focus on Politics for 21 February 2014 ( 16′ 38″ )

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Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

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Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 17 February 2014

17 February 2014 Leave a comment

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- Politics on Nine To Noon -

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- Monday 17 February 2014 -

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- Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams -

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Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

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radio-nz-logo-politics-on-nine-to-noon

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Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (24′ 09″ )

  • Kim Dotcom/Russel Norman
  • Green Party in government
  • GCSB/surveillance
  • David Cunliffe
  • Fairfax/Ipsos Poll
  • Shane Jones/Countdown supermarkets
  • Labour’s “Best Start” Policy/Taxation
  • Passports/Syria/Al Qaida
  • Green Party Home Solar Policy

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Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 14 February 2014

16 February 2014 1 comment

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- Focus on Politics -

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- Friday 14 February 2014  -

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- Chris Bramwell -

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A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

Friday after 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:10pm

Legislation to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products passed its first reading in Parliament this week with almost unanimous support.

Listen to John Banks’ prioritising the right of Big Tobacco company’s “intellectual property rights” over the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

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Radio NZ logo - Focus on Politics

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Click to listen: Focus on Politics for 14 February 2014 ( 16′ 07″ )

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Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

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