With the right approasch sensible RMA reform should be easy

One of National’s few election pledges last year was to reform the Resource Management Act to reduce roadblocks to development. This was a major issue in the this month’s by-election with National claiming a less restrictive RMA was essential to promote development in Northland.

A number of parties recognise the problems that have evolved with ridiculous application of the RMA by some councils but wish to retain the fundamental environmental protections that the Act is based on.

Labour ‘happy to look at’ sensible RMA changes:

Labour is offering to look at “sensible changes” to the Resource Management Act as the Government takes its proposed amendments back to the drawing board.

Labour’s environment spokeswoman, Megan Woods, says the Government never had broad political support for its proposed changes.

“Labour is happy to look at any sensible changes that do not water down our environmental protections,” she said.

And three parties outlined their positions to Radio NZ in Govt to ‘rip up’ RMA plans.

Labour’s environment spokesperson Megan Woods:

“We’ve said all along that we’ll look at sensible changes to the RMA.”

She said cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine consultation with all political parties in Parliament.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox:

“We don’t want to hold up economic progress in this country. We don’t want to be seen as the ones who are stopping that from happening but, in the same breath, we will not put our environment at risk for our future generations in doing so,” she said.

“So, yes, we need economic benefit for the country and the development of some of these things but not at all costs.”

United Future leader Peter Dunne:

“I’ve always said that, while I am not in the favour of any changes to the principles of the RMA, that I think there are process changes that can be made and we should be talking about them but, to date, those talks haven’t been held.”

There’s a common theme – retain the bedrock environmental protection but sort out the processes.

As is typical Winston Peters is all over the place on the RMA and can’t be relied on:

Mr Peters said New Zealand First was seeking to work with the Government on legislation that would change the lives of those in the regions – and he said that was not the RMA.

Mr Key said…

…it was still possible some process changes could be made to the act with the support of Mr Dunne or the Maori Party or both.

The Green Party is more hardcore environment over development for example: Failings in the Resource Management Act need to be addressed:

“The RMA is supposed to balance the short term needs of landholders with long term care of our environment. Clearly, the balance has tipped in favour of landholders.

“While the public have been able to protest this particular case and have been able to halt the felling of this tree, the RMA still favours developer profits over our environment, and this battle will have to be fought again and again to safeguard what we hold most precious.

“That the legislation failed to protect this kauri is astonishing. Minister for the Environment Nick Smith is planning a further brutal attack on the RMA this year, to tip the balance further in favour of his developer mates.

Despite this National should give all parties the opportunity to have input into possible changes – especially Labour, but also the Greens.

The Resource Management Act should be given every chance of wide cross-party consensus on reform.

Winston Peters apologises, pledges to work constructively

A very sober looking Winston Peters made several apologies last night and pledged to work constructively, first for the people of Northland who voted for him, second for the good of Parliament and of the country, and third to restore his credibility as a politician (Winston third).

Press Release
Winston Peters (NZ First Party)
31 March 2015

First I want to apologise to the people of Northland for using them as a means of carrying out political utu. I pledge to put their interests first and to work hard and diligently for the betterment of Northland.

Second I apologise the the Speaker David Carter for acting like a petulant child in Parliament and disrespecting the Chair and the House. I am sorry I acted like as bad a winner as Brad Haddin.

Third I apologise to John Key for calling him ‘a spolt brat’ and ‘lad’. I was the one who acted like a childish brat. I respect Key as the Prime Minister and work with him as best I can in a constructive manner for the benefit of Northland and the country.

Fourth I apologise to Andrew Little, who I ran all over after he threw Willow-Jean Prime under my campaign bus. He clapped me as loudly as anyone in the Labour caucus when I first rose in Parliament after my win. I thank him for what he’s done for me and humbly recognise him as the rightful Leader of the Opposition. I will go and talk to him about what I can do for Labour as soon as he summons me.

Now the euphoria of my grand triumph has worn off a bit I pledge to put the interests of the Northland electorate first and foremost, as I promised in the campaign.

I also pledge to start respecting the sanctity of Parliament and authority of the Speaker and act in accordance with positive and constructive politics.

And only my third priority I am determined to restore my dignity and credibility to the highest level it was at over the last forty years of my career.

A senior journalist, who wishes to remain anonymous, remarked “I’m shattered. If Winston reforms and becomes sensible, co-operative and constructive I’ll never get any headlines off him. Which politician will we laud over and promote now?”

Open Forum – Wednesday

32 March 2015

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is to encourage you to raise topics that interest you. 

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some basic ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised.

Peters – kingmaker or King Cranky?

I had a brief hope that his win in Northland would give Winston Peters a new challenge in his old stomping ground, where he could work out his swan song for the good of his own people.

But it doesn’t appear that his focus was on one electorate. His reaction over the last couple of days is a confusion of king-maker and King.

He seems to think an electorate win in Northland means he can now call all the shots in Wellington.

And he seems to despise Johnny-come-lately Key holding the reins of power…

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Prime Minister John Key is “acting like a spoilt brat” by saying he doubted Mr Peters would work constructively with National.

“I’m not going to have Mr Key roaring when his toys have been taken out of the cot, as they were last Saturday, making these sort of protestations. What you’re getting now is protestations of innocence and good faith which don’t exist. The National Party has not come to us.”

…along with anyone who might compete as king-maker.

Mr Peters’ win has meant National can no longer rely on only Act to pass legislation, giving increased influence to United Future’s Peter Dunne and the Maori Party.

However, Mr Peters said he had no intention of letting those parties flex their muscle. “I’ve made it very clear that we didn’t slog it out up north to have them in any way think they are going to be the beneficiaries of it. No way will Peter Dunne, the Act Party or Maori Party be allowed to behave in this way.”

NZ Herald

He’s going to somehow make Key work with him (by abusing him) and exclude the three parties with a proven willingness to work constructively with National?

Key isn’t going to roll over for Peters like Little did – talking about that, Labour seeks closer relationship with NZ First:

Little told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report on Tuesday that it had been weeks since he had met with Peters, but he intended to do so this week.

“As leader of the Opposition, it’s my job to forge as best a relationship as possible with all the parties,” he said.

“I’ve been working with the Greens and will work more closely with NZ First now the by-election is out of the way.”

Little got sucked in and spat out by Peters in Northland, and his response was to roll over thinking it would somehow benefit Labour. Peters will barely waste time sneering at that naivety.

He seems to think he’s not just Leader of the Opposition but also the newly anointed King (Cranky).

Of a very childish variety. His performance in Parliament today was farcical from his first word, which was “Boo!”

Key understands Peters far better than Little. Just after the by-election: Winston won’t play ball: Key

“For the most part, if we are in favour of something, he is opposed,” Mr Key said from Melbourne last night.

“We’re always more than happy to talk to him and we’ve tried in the past and we’re certainly happy to try in the future.”

But Mr Key was not hopeful.

He said Mr Peters had made a lot of commitments to the people of Northland during the by-election campaign.

“He has told them he is going to change their lives, so what I am telling him is that if he is really genuine about that, that it won’t happen through rhetoric, it will happen through action.

“If he wants to be part of that, then we are happy to work with him, but history tells you that that is not his strong suit.”

It’s not just history tells you that. Today in Parliament:

I’m not sure that’s the sort of message Northland meant. Peters acts like he’s too big for Parliament let alone one wee electorate in the far north.

It looks like just a game to him, and if today is any indication of his approach to his new responsibilities then he doesn’t want anyone else with the ball – except for a compliant media lobbing lollipop microphones in his direction.

Northland may have been sucked in as much as Little and Labour. How soon voters’ remorse?

Lefty blogs – Standard, Daily Blog, Whale Oil

I think No Minister may be a fairly right leaning blog. They too seem to have noticed how anti-National and anti-John Key that Whale Oil has become.

LeftyBlogs

While Chris Trotter at Bowalley is prepared to debate, and Red Alert (the Labour Party blog) is defunct, there’s something in common with a number of the other lefty blogs – they all seem to have an intolerance of views different to their own. That’s not just a lefty blogroll, it’s also a list that contains all the blogs who have banned me (but not No Right Turn bans where all comment except from it’s author is blocked).

Whale Oil, The Standard, The Daily Blog, Dim-Post and Public Address have all had hissy fits at being challenged or having alternatives to their controlled message being expressed.

I’ve never tried commenting on No Minister so don’t know whether their ‘moderation’ is Goebbels inspired or not.

Damien O’Connor – 1080 idiot

One News reports Labour’s Damien O’Connor – Why haven’t police found 1080 ‘idiot’?, asks Labour.

The person threatening to poison baby milk formula isn’t necessarily an idiot, they are extremely irresponsible criminals.

O’Connor is the idiot.

Labour’s primary industries spokesman Damien O’Connor says police should by now “absolutely” have found the “idiot who did this”.

“I cannot understand why the police don’t have more leads in this area,” he says.

What does O’Connor suggest the police do, get the GCSB to spy on every New Zealander to try and track them down?

I don’t understand why O’Connor doesn’t have more clues in this area.

Mr O’Connor says that security will have to stay in place indefinitely, unless an arrest is made.

“I think the reality is that our food system has to be guaranteed,” he says.

The police can’t guarantee any system. There’s no way they can stop every nutter in the country from making threats or doing stupid things.

It might be inaccurate calling O’Connor a 1080 idiot, but on this he’s close to a 100% idiot.

The 1080 threats are serious, far more so than for a half baked politician to bollocks the police for no apparent reason that makes any sense..

What’s up with Freed?

Very little apparently.

Freed was announced as an online revolution in new media in the middle of last year (July). Cameron Slater at Whale Oil promoted it frequently and loudly. Initially. An imminent launch was intimated on NBR and Whale Oil – Cameron Slater’s next media venture:

[Cameron Slater] will start a news website before this year’s general election.

Mr Slater will not confirm Mr Lentino’s involvement but says one private investor has contributed a six-figure sum for the site.

Last October Slater quoted Martyn Bradbury…

With Slater about to launch next year a new weaponised news media ‘Freed.co.nz’ complete with a drone operator, he will bend and push the boundaries of attack blogs into a whole new realm of horror. How will the left blogosphere compete with a $600,000 right wing attack blog is yet to be seen.

…and responded:

$600,000? That isn’t even 7 figures…WRONG again.

But things have gradually gone quiet. The Freed website was last updated in January:

FreedWebsiteThey’re not live yet. On Facebook they had a flurry of activity in late January:

FreedFacebook

Nothing since February 2. Twitter is very similar with the same content as Facebook.

FreedTwitterAgain nothing since 2 February.

Cameron Slater frequently promoted Freed, and this was often associated with criticism of old media, especially his nemisis NZ Herald. In this slam of the Herald on March 22 –  WHO ARE THE HERALD WRITING FOR, EXACTLY? - he didn’t mentioned Freed but was asked about it in comments.

I am waiting to be Freed. How much longer do I have to wait?

  • Avatar

    We will launch when we are ready, not a minute earlier.

On March 15 ‘Spanish Bride (Slater’s wife) made a comment about “Freed on the horizon”:

The interview was about his charity work and he spent ages talking about that ( none of which was used ) I believe their intention all along was to get a sound bite about the word Scum. They had no intention of promoting Kidscan. 
We have always know that with Freed on the horizon things would get hostile but it is a pity when they couldn’t at least mention Kidscan in the T.V interview as after all it was the only reason he allowed the ‘ Scum ‘ LOL to interview him.

The last Slater post to mention Freed was over a month ago (February 24) with a passing mention at the end of DID ALISTAIR THOMPSON RIP OFF SELWYN PELLETT TO THE TUNE OF $250K:

As tempting as it is to gloat over their misfortune, we all want online news to be a success. But if Scoop’s old model sucked and was a failure, does that suggest a better way is out there, with people waiting to be Freed from the appalling tactics of established paper based press and unethical people such as Alistair Thompson?

There’s been occasional comments from the fan club in comments included queries about when Freed will be launched but  they usually go unanswered.

A search back to December 6 reveals a bit more from Slater in DOMINION POST POLITICAL EDITOR TRACY WATKINS FLAILS ABOUT WILDLY FOR RELEVANCE

 My brand is so repugnant that I continue to build an ever-increasing audience.  But hey, don’t let facts get in thew way of trying to damage Freed by association.

The Dominion Post reaches nearly half of Wellingtonians aged 15 years and over and has an average daily readership of 234,000 people aged over 15.

I just have a little old repugnant blog with a similar following Tracy.  Wait until we start Freed!

I have something on most people Tracy.  The thing is, your colleagues used to quite enjoy it when they phoned me to ask what the ‘latest’ was, and were quite happy to use my “repugnant brand” for their own purposes.  Now that Freed is on the way, I am a threat to media and must be dealt to.

That’s nearly four months ago. And he last post that seems designed to be a promotion of Freed was October 24 – 5 THINGS ABOUT THE US MEDIA THAT THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW AND NZ MEDIA ARE SIMILARLY IN TROUBLE:

I think in New Zealand this number probably isn’t quite that bad.  But the trend is there.  Time for Freed.

Those are fascinating numbers.  It means that the news media are disconnected from their audience.  Time for Freed.

Journalists have been speculating about Freed being New Zealand’s “Fox News” in a pejorative sense.  The problem for them is that the public don’t share the joke.   Time for Freed.

People are begging for reporting.  Real reporting.  And they still want opinion too.  They just don’t want it mixed up.  They don’t want journos that are bigger than the story.  They don’t want the opinion to be more important than the facts.   They want to be Freed.

Blogs like Whaleoil fill a gap.  But what is still missing is a place where people can get the news.  They don’t actually feel they can get the news.   They want to be Freed.

Those links all point to the now stagnant FREED.NZ website (see above).

So promotion of and comments about Freed seem to be fizzling out. Time will tell whether the project is fizzling or they are keeping things under wraps until a big launch. Sometime. Maybe.

Slater’s main project so far this year seems to have been his boxing “journey” which ended up flat on the canvas.

Is that where Freed is headed, before even making it into the media ring?

For more details further back see my January post Freed from what?

Open Forum – Tuesday

31 March 2015

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is to encourage you to raise topics that interest you. 

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some basic ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised.

Slater’s new-found respect for boxing

Cameron Slater seems to have changed his view substantially on participating in and losing a boxing bout.

In January:

SLATER: LOSING IS LIKE KISSING NANA AND SHE SLIPS THE TONGUE IN

I still find it amusing that Jesse Ryder has never heard of me.

When I heard he said that, I thought great it seems I’m up against a deaf and blind guy…shouldn’t be too hard.

Training has commenced…I have some weight to shed, and aerobic fitness to improve, along with my punching power.

He has just written up My Boxing Journey: From Fat to Fit where he now states admiration for those who get in the ring.

How hard could it be I thought to myself.

Well it turns out that boxing is very hard. It is technically difficult, and requires a significant effort just to get to the ring.

I have learned a great deal from this experience, but mostly I have learned that fighters deserve an awful lot of respect.

No one should ever diss a fighter who has gone through those ropes and stood in the loneliest of places…a ring 20 feet x 20 feet with nowhere to hide.

Tiberius asks in comments:

Cam, having now been in a charity boxing event, do you have any more respect for Bill English?

This was alluded to by David Farrar when it was announced that Slater was going to try boxing in January:

Good to see Cameron following his political hero, Bill English, into the celebrity boxing arena!

Slater on English in January 2009:

All Bill English has managed to do with his life is father 6 children, lose a boxing match and get the lowest ever party vote for the National party ever.

Today:

And I tell you what…sitting in the dressing room at a tournament like the Super 8 and seeing the winners and the losers come back after their bouts is an incredible thing to witness. Those guys are tough,  win or lose they are tough.

I have learned a great deal from this experience, but mostly I have learned that fighters deserve an awful lot of respect. I feel privileged to have shared a changing room, the despair of losing and the ecstasy of winning with a bunch of guys who gave it their all.

Slater on English in October 2011:

Bill English’s shockingly bad campaign in 2002 included 72 policies on all sorts of stuff that no one cared about, no real leadership with anyone who wanted to releasing policy and Bill doing some stupid photo ops like getting the shit beaten out of him in a boxing ring.

Today:

And I tell you what…sitting in the dressing room at a tournament like the Super 8 and seeing the winners and the losers come back after their bouts is an incredible thing to witness. Those guys are tough,  win or lose they are tough.

I have learned a great deal from this experience, but mostly I have learned that fighters deserve an awful lot of respect. I feel privileged to have shared a changing room, the despair of losing and the ecstasy of winning with a bunch of guys who gave it their all.

Which includes “some stupid photo ops like getting the shit beaten out of him in a boxing ring”

OnTheCanvas

Here’s English’s bout in 2002, perhaps Slater will now respect him for it:

English looked much fitter then than Slater was on Saturday and managed to last the distance (three rounds) but was also outclassed.

The New Zealand electorate didn’t respect English for it though, National led by him was thrashed in the general election that year.

The Whale Oil agenda

I’ll use the name ‘Whale Oil’ at times here because it’s difficult (or maybe not) to know who has written posts under the name ‘Cameron Slater’.

Since the publication of Dirty Politics, the demotion of Judith Collins and the isolation of Slater from John Key and most of the National caucus Whale Oil has adjusted it’s main agenda.

A number of times Whale Oil has pointed out that Prime Minister’s come and go but Whale Oil is in politics for the long game.

Now it looks like Whale Oil and it’s preferred MPs don’t have much influence or future under Key the best way of shortening the long game is to shorten Key’s tenure.

This could be achieved by helping force Key to resign. Otherwise it means accepting a Labour led government for a term and getting National back in with the right (and further right) MPs in positions of power, preferably as PM.

Over the past few months there have been many posts at Whale Oil that have criticised and tried to discredit the Key Government and anyone deemed loyal to Key, including Bill English and Steven Joyce.

The agenda seems to have kicked into another gear spinning off the Northland by-election debacle.

Whale Oil often tries the mass and persistent post approach like this cluster so far today:

The Queensland Premier is going to expel the wife-beating MP, even though that will threaten her razor-thin majority.

A totally different approach to the “Allegations? What allegations? I can’t heeeeaarrr you lalalalala” Key strategy on Sabin.

Northland was a disaster, one which Joyce, de Joux and Bennett have to own, and unfortunately some of that dung flying is going to splatter on the front of John Key’s shirt…he is the boss after all.

Note not just current enemies Key and Joyce but future competition Bennett.

But National will not gain another list MP to compensate for the loss following the shock resignation of Northland’s former MP Mike Sabin.

This is the result of Steve Joyce’s brilliant Northland strategy…and for some reason he is being protected.

MPs and Ministers have been sacked for less.

Caucus tomorrow will either be a slug-fest or Silence of the Lambs…if MPs sit there and take the excuses and don;t say anything then they have resigned themselves to a loss in 2017 and the demoralisation and rot really will have set in.

A party in good heart will have a big donnybrook, and some claret will get spilled and a solution found for the way forward. Anything else will show that National’s caucus are more like Pavlov’s dogs than anything else.

Trying to talk up “a slug-fest” and “a big donnybrook”, ironic after the weekend’s very one-sided and brief boxing bout.

This is the most significant political defeat Mr Key has ever faced. He’d warned his politicians last year not to succumb to third-term arrogance.

But that is what this looks like. National assumed it would have Northland in the bag so it put up a novice candidate.

It’s a tough lesson for the Government. It’ll be rubbed in on Tuesday when Parliament sits again.

Quite a theme developing, even on posts not immediately obviously on the same agenda..

John Key and Steve Joyce need to start showing something other than arrogance…or things are going to go from bad to worse really fast.

Like in a slug-fest in caucus tomorrow?

But this sort of complacency is bred by arrogance…and if they haven’t learned from the shellacking Winston Peters handed out to them on the weekend then there is more pain to come.

John Key is a fool if he thinks that he can be “philosophical” over the result. He can’t.

I share some of these views – but I’m not promoting a faction of National.

A “reader”? I wonder which reader.

Following Mike Sabin’s resignation for “personal reasons” an astute opposition would be asking John Key is he protecting any other MPs or Party office holders who have suppression orders over criminal acts?

There is no excuse for covering up criminal acts or even unconscionable ratbag behaviour, and John Key would have a huge problem if he has covered up any other offenders.

It’s not clear if this is promoting some new dirt or if it’s part of a long-running campaign against a certain party official that has clashed with the Slater dynasty.

Expect a barrage like this to continue, possibly for days, or weeks. Whale Oil tends more towards persisent than subtle.

Is this opportunist off the by-election debacle?

That’s where things get interesting. One of a number of National’s mistakes in the by-election was their choice of candidate. Many of asked how on earth they selected such an ill-suited person as Mark Osborne.

It almost looks like self-sabotage.

There was a sub-agenda running on Whale Oil during the selection process – a dirty personal campaign against one of the favoured candidates. Personal and very dirty in what is usually a no-go area in politics, involving the person’s family. The target ended up not being selected.

Curiously despite those pre-selection attacks Whale Oil chose to wait until after the by-election to dump on Osborne.

NOW THAT IT’S OVER, LET’S SPEAK THE TRUTH ABOUT MARK OSBORNE

Mark Orborne was, is and remains seriously out of his depth.

Sadly, you’re not up to it.   You’ll go down in history as the man who took a 9300 majority and lost.  Your political career lasted four weeks.  As you’ve discovered, politics is brutal, and you are like a baby playing on the motorway

(That sounds like Slater talking). Why has he waited until afterwards to criticise an obviously ill-fated candidate? Maybe because he was happy to see Osborne stand?

Just after Osborne was selected he got a passing mention in SOME THOUGHTS ON WINSTON AND NORTHLAND:

TV3 commissioned this poll literally just hours after Mark Osborne had been selected for National. He is an unknown to the wider electorate.

Most of the post was talking down Winston’s chances, like “So will Winston win? Personally I don’t think so” and “Frankly Winston is past it.” But also:

Can Winston win? Of course he can…then watch the political blackmail start…and it won’t be for the benefit of Northlanders.

I presume Winston was the one suggested as a political blackmailer.

But perhaps that’s how Whale thinks about politics. And not necessarily be for the benefit of National.

And while I was putting together this post there’s another post at Whale Oil.

What is interesting is that there are complaints from inside caucus that they had to fund the campaign but they were not given any information about the polls.   

They picked up information through back channels and this blog, but the campaign team decided against sharing them with the people who paid for them.

Having a centralised campaign team that taxes electorates to fund their campaign is ok as long as you keep winning.

When you lose a race you should have won, and lose it through making stupid, unforced errors, your supporters start looking at you pretty hard.

And they want answers to how you are using their money, and why you keep taxing them without sharing information.

Factional agendas played out on public forums can be interesting. Factionalism was a major factor in keeping Labour out in the political wilderness.

It can also be a sign of a failing Government as self-interest and survival kicks in.

Publicly stoking factionalism can also be a way of speeding up failure.

Who knows if this is the Whale Oil agenda?

UPDATE: they’re coming thick and fast today:

The teflon has worn off the Key frying pan and now stuff is starting to stick…it might have taken 8 years or so, but it is happening. To deny it is foolhardy.

That’s ten posts (at least) on a common theme today.

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