Archive

Archive for 10 December 2011

Post mortem #5: Election results, coalition deals, and other matters…

10 December 2011 5 comments

.

.

Electoral Commission official results;

.

Source

.

Source

Other results, including Electorate Seats

.

At 61 seats out of 121, the National+Dunne+Banks Government has a bare one seat majority. My money is on this majority disappearing when the first by-election takes place. (Last term, there were four by-elections.)

The Maori Party, more than ever, finds itself in a position of considerable strength – and precarious vulnerability.

Odds are that this National Government will be far more right wing than the previous Administration, if policies announced thus far are any indication.  Does the Maori Party wish to be tarred with the same right-wing brush?

If so, it will suffer total electoral annihilation in 2014.

Because with a one seat majority, National can still push through asset sales; welfare “reforms”; semi-privatisation of schools; etc. The Maori Party will not be able to stop these  policies from being implemented, even if they vote against it.

So being a part of said National government, as a coalition partner will put them on a path for a hiding to nowhere.

Electoral annihilation. 2014. Guaranteed.

But by sitting on the cross-benches, a-la Greens and NZ First, the Maori Party will still be able to vote for policies they support and against policies they oppose – for precisely the same gain – but none of the side-effect of tarred-with-the-same-brush.

Then, when National loses it’s first seat in a by-election (or defection of an MP) – thereby reducing it’s numbers from 61 to 60 – the Maori Party will be well-placed to support a Labour-led Coalition.  It may then regain some of the electoral support it lost in November.

If the Maori Party is getting anything resembling decent political advice, it should arrive at precisely the same conclusions I have.

If not… Hāere ra, Maori Party, 2014.

.

+++ Updates +++

.

Full Story

.

Prime Minister John Key says that “National does not need the Maori Party’s support but its three votes will be a big help“.

Oh, I’m sure it will be, Dear Leader.

As for the Maori Party, I guess they will be consigned to History’s rubbish bin, following Mauri Pacific and Mana Motuhake.

It beggers belief, that the Maori Party’s constituency is happy with this unholy alliance.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the party only agreed to the deal after consulting its members.

He says it conducted over 40 meetings which were attended by more than 1000 people.

It was unanimous that we should continue to be at the table in the capacity that we were last time and that’s not just confidence and supply, it’s really a relationship accord with confidence and supply.”

Unanimous“?! More than 1,000 people were “unanimous” in supporting a coalition arrangement with National???

I find that somewhat hard to believe.

.

Full Story

.

The Maori Party has agreed to support the National Party on confidence and supply votes but is free to oppose it on all other matters, including partial asset sales.”

If  Sharples and Turia think that they will not be tainted with the same  brush of scorn that with be liberally applied to National (as well as Peter Dunne), then they are truly more naive than I thought possible.  Just because Sharples and Pita are ” free to oppose it on all other matters, including partial asset sales  ” will not absolve the Maori Party from the same oppobrium that will grow over the following three years, as it becomes apparent that this government implements right wing policies.

When John Key says that the Maori Party  “will not make any difference to the passage of the legislation because the 61 votes it has without the party’s support is still a majority” – he is showing his usual optimistic facade . He knows full well that his “majority” is one by-election or defection away from being utterly dependent to the Maori Party.

Listen to John Key on Radio NZ Morning Report

.

Full Story

.

A “Committee on Poverty” will be led by Deputy PM, Bill English, “and will issue progress reports on poverty twice a year”.

Well, excuse my scepticism, by I can really see a committee achieving a lot.

At the very least, I guess a committee will give jobs to those sitting on said committee.

This is a sop. Like committees and reports before it, this committee will achieve very little – if anything.

There have been countless reports, committees, Commissions, etc, in the past. Here is a list of some of them.

They have all come and gone and been forgotten. Meanwhile, joblessness; lack of good, affordable housing; the growing gap between poor and rich; etc, remain as indictments of a society that has gone seriously off the rails since the rogernomic-“reforms” of the late 1980s.

The “trickle down” theory not only has not worked, but the “trickle” has been a tsunami upwards.

If the Maori Party think that National has policies that will address growing poverty in this country, then then are more gullible  than I thought.

National is a right wing party, and as such right wing governments are not concerned with poverty. Their focus is purely on implementing “free market” policies;  minimal government; reducing social policies; selling state assets into private ownership;   “business-friendly”;  and lower taxes – especially for higher income earners.

This government will be a re-run of the last three years of the Bolger/Shipley administration in the late 1990s. That National government cut taxes; reduced social services; and csaw a widening disparity in incomes.

We are witnessing a reliving of recent history, which most folk seem to have forgotten.

The next three years will not be happy ones.

The flow of New Zealanders to Australia will become a flood.

And 1,058,638 voters may be sorry for voting for John Key.

.

Additional

Chris Ford: An open letter to Labour’s new leadership team

.

.

How To Lose Skilled Staff To Australia Made Stupidly Easy

10 December 2011 4 comments

.

.

How do we go about making sure that we lose more skilled workers to Australia? Obviously losing 35,000 (net) New Zealanders to Australia isn’t enough. We must do better.

In an effort to help the National government (which 1,058,638 voters kindly helped re-elect) de-populate this country and boost Australia’s economy, MidCentral District Health Board took the contract to provide specialist medical testing from Canterbury Health Laboratories in Christchurch, and instead gave it to Auckland-based, LabPlus,

.

Source

.

Oh, jolly well done!

This achieves three strikes against workers in this country;

  • It removes job security. Obviously if your job can be taken away at the stroke of a pen, via a “contract”, and given to someone else in Auckland (or Sydney, or Mumbai, or Tashkent), then you can no longer plan for your future. Buying a house is out – you don’t know if you’ll be able to service a mortgage in a years’ time. Planning a family? Forget it – how will you  pay for Little Johnny or Jenny’s music lessons/soccer lessons/food/clothing/medical bills/education/orthodontic braces if your job is contracted to someone else? No home, no children, and probably no job in New Zealand?  Australia beckons.
  • Lower wages? Most likely. Service contracts are usually awarded to alternative providers because of lower costs – and wages constitute a hefty portion of business costs. So by driving down wages (as CMP Rangitikei/ANZCO meat processing company is trying to do to it’s workers, by cutting their wages by up to 20%), MidCentral District Health Board is assisting central government to drive down wages in New Zealand. (see details below) That will ‘motivate’ skilled workers to reconsider their “living arrangements.” Australia beckons.
  • Gutting Christchurch’s infra-structure? What two major earthquakes started, National intends to finish. For starters, the Nats have canned 167 full-time-equivalent teaching positions in Christchurch, effective next year. Next, the re-build is being slowed to a crawl by a lack of enrollments for trade training courses in  Christchurch. Of course, even if we train new tradespeople, Bill Englishl will ensure that wages are kept screwed down – therefore ensuring that builders, electricians, plumbers, glaziers, etc, heed the call to migrate to Australia.  Australia… beckons.

In case anyone is in doubt that taking away jobs from skilled workers won’t motivate them to give this country the ‘Big Flick‘, and leave for Australia – the following comparison of salaries for skilled Medical Laboratory Technicians and Scientists should remove that doubt,

.

New Zealand – Medical Laboratory Technician

.

Source

.

Australia – Medical Laboratory Technician

.

Source

.

New Zealand – Medical Laboratory Scientist

.

Source

.

Australia – Medical Laboratory Scientist

.

Source

.

Medical Laboratory Workers Union president, Stewart Smith, says “staff are already leaving the sector because they are disheartened by the fickle way in which contracts are awarded“.

Of course.

It’s all part of the grand, “master plan” from neo-liberals to transfer the entire working-population of New Zealand to Australia. This should be quite apparent to anyone trying to figure out just WTF this country is doing to it’s workforce. (If anyone still believes in the fairy tale that National is actually trying to raise wages – they haven’t been paying attention.)

Does National really have a “master plan” to de-populate New Zealand?

Of course they do.

They just don’t know it.

.

Additional Report

.

Source

.

Just what the  local  economy – hit hard by two major quakes – needs right now. More redunancies; more uncertainty; more upheavals in peoples’ lives.

And notice a lack of a certain Prime Minister who is nowhere to be seen on the ground, during this time?

Not many photo-ops when people are losing their jobs and having their lives turned upside down, I guess.

Workers at Hillside Railways Engineering, in South Dunedin, must know what it feels like,

.

.

Australia beckons.

.

.

Dunne’s Double Talk?

10 December 2011 3 comments

.

.

As a part of coalition negotiations with John Key, quasi-National MP,  Peter Dunne, says there is no conflict between his new  role as Associate Conservation Minister and being an opponent of the use of 1080 poison. In a Radio NZ report he stated that,

[I] would like to see 1080 banned altogether but only when there are effective alternatives, for example better trapping methods.” – Source

Really? Are you quite certain of that, Mr Dunne?

Because his United Future website states a quite different position,

““UnitedFuture is generally opposed to the aerial application of 1080 unless it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that the terrain in the treatment area is such that it would be impossible to carry out a successful ground baiting operation and it is far enough from population centres to present no danger to the public,” said Mr Dunne.” – Source

And,

UnitedFuture believes that all New Zealanders have a birthright to enjoy our unique, diverse landscape. Our strong outdoor heritage is central to what it means to be a Kiwi.

Our key policies to achieve this are

…Curtailing the application of 1080 poison and replacing it with new and more environmentally friendly forms of pest-control.” – Source

 

Mr Dunne seems to be having a “bob each way” on this issue, depending on who his audience happens to be.  He appears to be attempting to pander to anti-1080 opponants (many of whom appear borderline hysterical or maniacal on this issue), whilst presenting himself as “moderate” to the general public.

The reality is that there is no real alternative to 1080 that is both economic to use and easy to disperse. Without 1080, this country’s bush would be quickly over-run with possum and rats,

.

Possums eat a huge amount of vegetation and are also known to eat chicks and eggs.

.

Peter Dunne most likely understands this – but is also looking over his shoulder at votes from the anti-1080 lobby group.  A classic case of a politician attempting to send different messages to different audiences.

This works… until the media puts a spotlight on such conflicting messages.

The hunters dislike 1080 as it impacts on their game-species (and hence why the hunting fraternity are so heavily involved in the anti-1080 lobby-group).

The real issue here is our choice,

.

.

Perhaps Peter Dunne should be more concerned with our endangered wildlife, rather than scoring votes from fringe lobby groups.

 

Additional Reading

DoC: 1080 questions and answers

.

.

 

ACT woefully behind the times?

10 December 2011 9 comments

ACT appears to be somewhat behind the times,  if their website is any indication,

.

Source

.

The above screenshot was taken this morning (Saturday, 10 December 2011).

Now, I’ve been known to be wrong in the past. Last time I think it was 22 November 1996.

But I think I’m on fairly firm ground when I recall that we had a General Election two weeks ago.

I also think it’s safe to say that ACT no longer has five MPs. And that none of the five pictured above (and ringed in lovely socialist red) are MPs any more.

And shouldn’t John Banks picture be listed under MP(s)?

Yup, I think I’m right here.

It’s ironic that ACT – the party of entrepreneurial uber-efficiency is still showing individuals as Members of Parliament who either resigned or were not re-elected, two weeks ago.

No wonder John Banks got it horribly wrong when he mistakenly claimed that Onehunga High School was a “Charter School”, when in reality it is not. (More here.)

ACT – the party of efficiency in business, society, hospitals, schools, etc – needs to get their act together. They don’t seem to know how many MPs they have.

Hopeless.

.

Additional

ACTresses & Air-Heads

.

.