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Showing posts from August, 2017

Paddy Gower makes stuff up again.

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John Campbell was a thorn in the side of right wing politics, many of his stories revolved around ordinary New Zealanders and their struggles. His continuous interviews with poorly treated home owners and school communities after the Christchurch earthquakes exposed huge gaps and issues with the recovery processes. His stories have since been validated by both the Ombudsman and Treasury. Campbell was duly removed and his slot was replaced by lighter shows. While he is still inflicting damage to the National Government with his stories on our failing health system (from his new Radio New Zealand home), he does not have the same reach (most RNZ listeners probably vote Labour/Green).

With Campbell gone three opinionated men, with clear right wing bias, now dominate the political narratives coming out of Media Works' NewsHub and TV 1 during peak viewing times. While more measured commentary and interviews exist through the weekend early morning shows (The Nation and Q+A),  it is Dun…

Secrecy, Conflict and Corruption in New Zealand Elections

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Green Party leader James Shaw is advocating for greater transparency around political donations and wanting to expose potential conflicts of interest. Some years ago Metiria Turei managed to open MP expenses to public scrutiny and it is likely that this has saved the country millions when the spotlight was shifted to the use of public funds by our elected representatives. The Sunday Times has revealed that the two major parties manage to keep the names of around 80% of their major donors secret and New Zealand First refuses to reveal any of theirs.

It is generally understood that the United States political system has been corrupted by money. Few candidates for any elected position can run a successful campaign without significant funding and major donors generally expect a return on their investment. The influence of big donors and corporate funds enables legislation that often impacts negatively on the wider population. This system has led to processed tomato sauce being regarded a…

Metiria Turei, the price of boldness

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I have been a bit stunned and emotional since Metiria's resignation. I was surprised at the extent of the impact it has had on me and I think many other Green Party members feel the same.

It was hard enough reading and listening to all false narratives about Metiria's motivations and integrity and her resignation had a similar affect on me as if I had received the news that a close family member had terminal cancer. Metiria obviously isn't suffering from a terminal illness but her political persona has had to endure some pretty heavy hits until the impacts on her family could no longer be endured. This is the end of her political life as a Green MP and I am really upset that this is how it had to happen.

Some commentators will say that Metiria brought it upon herself, she put herself forward to lead the Party and she was the one who openly admitted benefit fraud. Of course an element of this is true, but the level of scrutiny and political attack she has had to endure has…

The Green Party and the consequences of boldness

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The resignations of MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon were unfortunately timed and they managed their announcement badly, disregarding party protocols. Although I regard both as friends, I believe our caucus, our party and the campaign will actually be stronger because of their decision.

For some time the Green Party has been drifting into a more centrist space and we had become very risk-averse. There was a general acceptance that the party needed to be in government to really make a difference and the pathway chosen to achieve this became a more moderate one. I believe that this was a mistake and the Party just became absorbed into the centrist swamp of poll driven caution. For many the Budget Responsibility Rules and James' immigration announcements were a step too far and we were beginning to look no different from Labour and National.

The Green Party is a values based party and we desperately need a more values based approach to deal with current issues than the largely f…

Turei slaps Pakeha privilege in the face!

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Metiria Turei's AGM admission has exposed the inequality, racism and meanness that thrives in New Zealand society.

There are few people who can look back at themselves as young adults (18-24 years) without remembering past decisions and actions that we wish could be replayed with our current knowledge and experience. Times when we badly mismanaged relationships; broke the law and got away with it (or not); impulsively squandered money or said or did something stupid while intoxicated.

We also know now that no matter how intelligent or educated a young adult is, their brain isn't yet fully developed until the age of 25. Until then impulsiveness and risk taking are common features of any early adults' behaviour. The internationally respected Dunedin Study revealed that more than 90% of young males will break the law in some way. Most stop their criminal behaviour, settle down and become responsible citizens who contribute positively to society and the economy.

However, this…