In the last few days we’ve seen MMP being kicked around like the political football it should never be. Electoral systems shouldn’t be politicised or swayed by particular situations or political parties. But that’s exactly what’s happened with MMP since the announcement of the Internet Mana Party deal. Last election, the public voted to keep […]
Yesterday’s editorial in the Northern Advocate offers some intriguing observations about the launch of the political (ie. election) year.
Politics has been around for thousands of years but new technologies are changing the climate of politics and helping make it a better place. As a young MP, I’ve embraced digital tools as part of my work and I‘m privileged to have a front-row seat in how it’s affecting politics.
Yesterday Gareth Hughes and I visited the Contact Energy geothermal power complex at Wairakei. It was a chance to see how the power stations work including how the energy is managed and how water and waste is treated It was a fascinating opportunity to go inside the older facility at Wairakei built in the 1950’s […]
Rt Hon David Carter Speaker of the House of Representatives Parliament Buildings Wellington 20 March 2013 Dear David After sitting through another chaotic question time I feel compelled to write this open letter to you as Speaker. I strongly urge you to revert to the set of rules that Lockwood Smith had developed over the […]
Has John Key’s brain joined the exodus to Australia? Who or what is actually running the country? If John Key’s brain was sunning itself in Queensland it would explain a few things starting with how the Prime Minister can’t remember anything that it doesn’t suit him to remember. The latest lapse, over how he voted […]
Women’s Futures Month was inspired by this year’s International Women’s Day theme ‘connecting girls, inspiring futures.’ While Women’s Futures Month events are Christchurch based, Zo and Erin hope to generate widespread discussion on their Facebook page. The panel discussion held last week at Canterbury University featured the Minister of Women’s Affairs Hon Jo Goodhew, Local […]
On Thursday, Keith Locke and I spent a good part of the day in the House going to bat against the government’s ‘secret squirrel’ bill to amend the Police Act that Frog blogged on earlier . Our objections to the bill were matters both of process and substance. I want to comment here just on the process, which was appalling, […]
I almost feel sorry for ordinary members and supporters of the Act party. Most of them base their support on a shared belief in laissez faire free market capitalism; a preference for a small, ‘non-interventionist’ state; and a form of social liberalism that gives primacy to the rights of the individual. That’s not a worldview […]
Politics has a huge impact on everyone’s lives. So why don’t more of us actually get involved? Is it apathy? Are people too stupid, selfish or lazy? Dave Meslin says no. He identifies seven barriers that keep us from taking part in politics, even when we truly care. Fortunately the last barrier he mentions doesn’t […]
I’m sure there are a lot of ways to answer that question. We’ve had some heated debate on religion vs science around here recently, so it is with some trepidation that I offer this controversy within the Republican Party in the US on Ayn Rand’s views on religion. The GOP currently has two very strong […]
While some others were focused on political events elsewhere in the country, I was in Blackball for the annual Mayday celebrations and for the launch of a memorial wheel for those who have lost their lives in West Coast mines in recent years, most notably the Pike River 29. Families had made tiles with the […]
It’s a bit of a hobby of mine – trying to infer the content of the advice they have received from Crosby-Textor from the behaviour of the Government. Of course it may not be that it’s just Crosby-Textor’s advice: some might come from Stephen Joyce himself, but you get the idea. Some of it’s obvious, […]
Just grabbing a few days’ rest after a full-on three weeks in Parliament, including yet another week of pointless urgency. The weekends have kept me busy too, but much more constructively. I’m not only talking about the great Invercargill march against the Government’s mining plans, but also a whole series of important environmental conferences. The […]
Metiria Turei grills the Prime Minister on his government’s confused and contradictory statements about the mining of protected Schedule 4 lands on the conservation estate. Her question was: Does he stand by his statement “Notwithstanding the public consultation process, it is my expectation that the Government will act on at least some of these recommendations […]
On Friday last I hosted a meeting about the effects of mining at the Karangahake Hall near Paeroa. The hall is close to a major historical and recreational area including many artefacts and remnants from the early gold mining days. It is also close to the newest gold mining permit issued for the Coromandel area. […]
A funny thing happened on the way to the Climate Change Forum. Fate allowed me to serve Her Majesty’s Government, once again. In a phantom role, it is true. But it was a privilege, nonetheless.
The first week of the Copenhagen Conference has not been without its drama. This will of course be nothing compared to Week 2, but the preliminaries have been fast and furious. The best-known drama has been the leaked ‘Danish draft’. This has been reported as infuriating the developing world, especially the major emerging economies – […]
Saturday was our first day at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Jeanette Fitzsimons and I, along with staff member Rick Leckinger, are attending. It is a remarkable event in itself, as well as being critical in substance. Two quick things to clear up. First, yes we expended carbon getting here, along with the other participants. […]
I’m using Nick Smith’s own words from last year because they are so suitable. This Government’s ETS legislation is so flawed and so rushed that it will require significant amendments after the election to make it workable. In the meantime, the rushed consultation period is coming to a close, hot on the heels of the […]
Now here’s a great idea for economic development. Extract lignite, the lowest quality coal, very wet and of low calorific value. Add copious water pollution, coal seam methane and land disturbance from open cast mining.
Some stupidity is just too good not to share. You only need half a second with this new US television advert to guess who’s behind it. The Guardian has a great article on the video, who’s behind it and why it is so ripe for a spoof. I’m tempted to do one myself! In a […]
As greens, it seems pretty intuitive that runaway population growth is unsustainable. That argument rages in back rooms, but rarely gets much air in the media because it is such a controversial topic.
Last night’s briefing on the ETS finally revealed the two missing columns from the curious page of numbers tabled in the House on Tuesday by Nick Smith. That table, to the extent it was comprehensible at all, showed there would be a $415m cost to the taxpayer from now to 2013; a saving between 2013 […]
It is clear from the minister’s briefing last night that the main purpose of National’s changes to the ETS is to make us effectively the seventh state of Australia. The bill mimics exactly the bill the Rudd government has been trying (unsuccessfully) to get through the Australian senate. So a bill that has been twice […]
The Geographic Board has spoken. Unanimously. Whanganui should get its ‘H’ back, as the original settlers intended.
The Maori Party seems to be having difficulty getting the National Party to agree to raising the core benefit to compensate for higher electricity and transport fuel prices under the ETS.
I am deeply disappointed you are letting Nick Smith’s electioneering define the Labour party, and apologising for that definition. It is hard to see how Labour will ever have an independent identity if it leaps to deny sensible policy whenever National attacks it. Even using their term, “nanny state” fails politics 101 – never repeat your opponent’s terms of abuse.
The really interesting question now is, where is National going to get a majority for its amendments to the ETS in the House? Peter Dunne on his own hasn’t got the votes. They need one more party. The Maori Party’s minority report makes it clear they do not support an ETS at all, and if there is going to be one they do not support intensity based allocation. They have a simple principle: the polluter should pay. So National can count them out. And their good will is at a low ebb anyway after being shafted on the Maori seats on the Auckland super council.
The long awaited report of the special select committee to review the ETS – yes, that one with the terms of reference that didn’t even mention reviewing the ETS – you know, the one forced on the government by a coalition partner who then mostly didn’t even turn up to occupy their place on it – yes, THAT one – has finally reported.
Everyone agrees that we’re in a crisis. Officials and politicians point everywhere and say – Hey look! Green shoots! The worst is over. Others urge us to ignore the green shoots, the worst is yet to come.
It’s a very serious question which I don’t take lightly, but I am beginning to wonder why the media aren’t asking this question when it comes to the Minister’s handling of the Climate Change portfolio. Probably the most vexing issue is the Minister’s cynical use of a flawed NZIER/Infometrics report, which he commissioned, in order […]
The pressure is coming on in Brazil for the former environment minister, Marina Silva, to stand as the Green Party candidate for President of Brazil. It’s a wonderful debate, with some coming out with unconditional support and others more guarded, worrying about her Christian beliefs. All signs point towards a political shift in Brazil if […]
There was a stark contrast between the Napier consultation meeting on our climate change target, and those in the major cities. We’re now reaping the consequences of several years of misinformation being fed to the farming community about climate science and it is driving the deepest town-country divide I have seen in my lifetime. Auckland […]
It is hardly surprising Fitch has signalled a credit watch on account of our current account deficit. The Greens have been pointing out the seriousness of our overseas deficit for many years. There is not much compassion in international circles for people who have been living beyond their means for many years and expecting others […]
Reuters reports that Scotland has pushed Germany into second place with the world’s most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target: Scottish lawmakers Wednesday backed a binding goal to cut greenhouse gases by 42 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, edging Germany into second place in a ranking of the most ambitious developed world targets. “At least […]
Thank goodness for climate change denier Senator Fielding of Australia. Didn’t think you’d ever hear me say that, did you? Senator Fielding is the one vote Rudd didn’t have yesterday to pass their “Carbon Reduction Plan” – or Emissions Trading Scheme in our language. And that is a good thing, because the proposal was so […]
It is the primary cry of the deniers and the false sceptics – “There is no definitive link between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature.” (I leave the genuine, scientific sceptics out – those who play a constructive role in challenging the science.) Last Friday, the new edition of Nature contained an article on just […]
There was a recurring riff behind National’s opposition to two very different Bills on Members’ Day Wednesday. One commonality was that both Bills were voted down by National, Act and United Future, and supported by Greens, Labour, Progressives and Maori Parties. But the riff I want to highlight is the idea that the problem is […]
That is not a trick question, nor an economics one. The National-led government has decided that a biofuel subsidy is preferable to a sales obligation, no doubt on ideological grounds rather than economic grounds. We now have the Biodiesel Subsidy Scheme, which pays biodiesel producers in New Zealand up to 42.5 cents per litre to […]