Gander sauce all over Winstons’ face

Winston Peters, like Russel Norman, is suggesting the police raid John Key’s house. 3 News reports Winston, Norman: Raid Key’s house over hacker claim

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman think police should raid Mr Key’s house and office if he claims to know who the hacker is.

“[Mr Key] says he’s not actually certain – another brain-fade. If you do know conclusively, you should say so, but he says he doesn’t know,” Mr Peters says.

Peters should be wary of bringing brain fades into the discussion, he’s not exactly as sharp as he once was.

It’s nothing like a brain fade to say that you are not certain whether something you have been told is correct or not.

Peters may think that rumours he’s told are sufficient to try and wreck political careers but many of his attacks are far from conclusive. Most seem to be little more than hot air.

Asked if police should search Mr Key’s property he replied: “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, isn’t it?”.

If the police searched a politician’s property every time they made a hearsay claim they would virtually have to live with Peters.

He’s probably made more unsubstantiated claims – trying to discredit and destroy careers – than all other current MPs put together.

There is gander sauce all over Winston’ face.

Is Norman too close to the hacking, to the hacker and to Hager?

Russel Norman’s persistence in trying to hammer John Key over “Dirty Politics” seems to be adversely affecting his judgement.

Norman has suggested that the police should raid John Key’s house because Key has admitted being provided with a possible identity of the hacker ‘Rawshark’. NZ Herald report in John Key won’t reveal Rawshark’s name:

‘If this is the Prime Minister now saying that he thinks he knows who Rawshark is the question for the police is why aren’t they raiding his house?

“The police spent 10 hours going through Nicky Hager’s house because Nicky Hager supposedly knows who Rawshark is, well the Prime Minister is now on the public record saying he knows who Rawshark is. I would expect the police to be consistent and even handed and to raid the Prime Minister’s house and his office to find out who Mr Key thinks Rawshark is.”

This is a bizarre suggestion. What if Norman knew the hacker’s identity – should his house be raided?

I would expect the police to be consistent and even handed and to raid the Prime Minister’s house and his office” – if a Green MP’s home or office was raided by the police I suspect Norman would have a very different attitude.

Apart from the political implications it’s absurd to think that Key would have evidence of the identity in his home or office.

Key said ““Someone phoned and told me who the hacker was” – so if the police wanted to investigate that they would presumably look for phone records from telecommunication companies. It would be very unlikely there would be evidence in Key’s home or any of his offices.

Norman has also made some erroneous assertions.

“The police spent 10 hours going through Nicky Hager’s house” – this is a common claim. As far as I’m aware ten hours elapsed between the police arriving at Hager’s house and them leaving. Some of the time in between was spent talking with Hager, lawyers and superiors by phone, and waiting for responses. I don’t know of any facts about how long the searching took.

“Nicky Hager supposedly knows who Rawshark is” – because he has described in some detail his contact with the hacker, as reported by David Fisher at NZ Herald in August:

Hager says he spent weeks talking the person into letting him see the material and use it to build the narrative which became Dirty Politics. The hacker, says Hager, gave him everything. “I’ve seen everything. I’m 100 per cent sure.” The hacker then expressed a desire to keep back some material for himself. “We kind of negotiated how much,” he says. “I said ‘can I have all the political stuff’.” Hager got what he asked for and so, the book was written.

That’s a lot more involved than being told a name.

Ok, I presume Norman doesn’t seriously think that the police should raid Key over this.

But Norman has been increasingly looking obsessed over nailing John Key over “Dirty Politics”. His frustration at not scoring any significant hits seems to be affecting his judgement.

This abnormal Norman nonsense adversely affects the credibility of Green Party leadership and of the campaign Hager and his associates is trying to wage against Key.

How close is Norman to the hacking, to the hacker and to Hager?

That’s not for the police to investigate, but perhaps some journalists should be curious. Norman’s abnormal nonsense raises suspicions.

It may be nothing more than hope there is something in it to finally knock Key of his Prime Ministerial perch, but it seems to be clouding Norman’s judgement.

More on Key and ‘Rawshark’

It was revealed yesterday in the release of a new chapter in John Key’s biography that John Key had been told of the identity of the hacker “Rawshark’. NZ Herald reported John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’

In a new chapter in John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, devoted to this year’s election campaign, Mr Key is quoted as saying: “Someone phoned and told me who the hacker was, but other than having a look at this person, I thought, ‘Oh well … nothing will come of it. Life goes on’.”

Mr Key did not divulge the name of the person to the biography’s author, senior Herald editorial writer John Roughan. Asked yesterday whether the PM had referred the name to the police investigation into the stolen emails, a spokeswoman for Mr Key said that though he believed he knew who the hacker was, “he cannot be certain”.

Key has been asked if he will reveal the identity. He won’t. A follow up Herald report – John Key won’t reveal Rawshark’s name

The Prime Minister John Key says he won’t reveal the name given to him as the identity of the hacker known as Rawshark, and won’t pass it on to police.

“In the end if the individual who told me wants to tell the police they are welcome to do that,” Mr Key said at a media conference today.

“I could spend my life worrying about people who undertake activities to try to discredit the government but at the end of the day it doesn’t take you anywhere.”

Asked whether he thought the police should be focused on investigating potential identities of Rawshark rather than investigating journalist behind the “Dirty Politics” book, Nicky Hager, Mr Key said: “That’s a matter for them…they run their own inquiries.”

There are quite a few people who have been closer to the action than Key who could probably help the police identify Rawshark. There have been rumours since before the election that they know who it is.

Whoever revealed the identity to Key should have also advised the police to help them with their inquiries.

As Key acknowledged, he “can’t be certain”, there is no guarantee that the person identified to Key was the hacker.

Nanaia Mahuta – Standard Q & A

Yesterday Labour leadership contender Nanaia Mahuta had a Q & A at The Standard. Her introduction:

Greetings Standarnistas!

I am proud of our country and the Labour Party and I know that it can be better.

We are a progressive movement for change and we are at an important juncture. We must take stock to assess the challenges we face in a political landscape where we must earn back the confidence of New Zealanders.

Hard-working Labour members and supporters campaigned for the types of policies that could lift our desire to become a smart, innovative and caring nation in the 21st Century. The election outcome told us that we just didn’t get cut through, the missing million didn’t mobilize, the prospect of Dotcom raised more concern than support and ‘Dirty Politics’ may have turned punters off altogether. We must keep confidence with the base of support we do have as we work out our way forward.

We need to be prepared to do things differently. The Party has started its programme to modernise the way we do things and that must continue. The Parliamentary wing needs to modernise its approach and represent the aspirations of New Zealanders who despite their working class roots may see their needs better responded to by other political parties. We need to reclaim this space.

My upbringing and my world-view are different. Leading a life of service, contributing to the collective aspirations of community and working amongst diverse groups are just some of the experiences that have shaped my approach.

Being involved in change programmes has given me insight. The Organisational Review for the Party and the Governance and Representation Review for my tribe have tackled challenges of structural, cultural, organisational and leadership change.

When I entered Parliament the caucus culture was that one must ‘do their time – look, listen and breathe through your nose’. Mentoring was a myth and it wasn’t until the 2004 foreshore and seabed issue, I took my place in the caucus as an elected equal with my colleagues. I used the process to effect change for my electorate where they have never been prejudicially affected by any subsequent piece of legislation.

Where you stand in the hard times are a good test of character. After 5 elections I have retained the confidence of Hauraki-Waikato people whom I have never taken for granted.

New Zealand is now more diverse as a nation. The challenges of modern society require a collaborative and sustainable approach. Communities, Business, Local Government our academic institutions are already moving in this direction.

We can uphold our values of a fair and decent society. We can promote economic prosperity and environmental responsibility as mutually inclusive aspirations.

We can ensure that our children and old people are cared for at the most vulnerable times of their life cycle.

We can affirm to working people, and those who share our aspirations in the productive sector that there is everything to gain when we have thriving communities and regions.

We can explore the rich contribution of diversity.

We can be stronger when we work together.

Mauriora!

Nanaia Mahuta

Edited questions with full answers.

Will you work collaboratively with other parties on the Left?

In opposition I think that building a strong relationship with potential coalition partners is important and I would take a constructive approach across the parliamentary and party levels of leadership over the next 3 years.

Do you consider a strategy for the LP to get MPs on the ground over the next 2.8 years working on a nationwide education programme with Unions, utlising their extensive infrastructure to educate NZ workers about the value of union membership as a way to improve their wages, working conditions, security of job and family a worthwhile strategy? If yes, how would you instigate it. If no, why not.

I would tend to agree with the approach you have imied and would work in partnership with unions to achieve that objective. Our effort in Parliament would amplify to hard working New Zealanders that a productive economy and the protection of worker rights have mutual advantage to regional growth and productivity.

Very general answers to begin with.

I am interested in caucus dynamics. I am not breaking any confidences by saying that the dynamics within Caucus are not ideal.

What changes do you think should be made to improve things?

It appears to me that this decision will again be one where the membership will express a preference and Caucus will need to act in a more disciplined way or risk further perception that the party and parliamentary wing are not in sync. We must be disciplined in the next phase to rebuild confidence that we will get our house in order.

Very good. Thank you Nanaia for that gracious and thoughtful, in depth, reply.

“Thoughtful, in depth” seems out of sync with her answer.

More specifically are you able and/or willing to face down the Right Wing ABC faction to give David Cunliffe a senior role in your shadow cabinet?

All members will be treated without fear or favor based on their aspiration to work towards a united team, a focussed opposition, a strong voice for working people and able to build credibility around a credible Labour alternative to Create a vision for NZ where all peoples can live, work and thrive.

I believe that DC has a huge contribution to make as do other members of our caucus. Our commitment to the team will determine how talent will be recognised.

Mahuta has been a supporter of Cunliffe and only stood for leadership when he withdrew.

If at the next election Mana were the make or break for the formation of a left wing government, would you choose to take their support on confidence and supply or would you choose to remain in opposition? (note, I am not asking if you would go into coalition with Mana, just if you would accept their support on C and S). If you would accept their support, how will you communicate this to the electorate pre-election?

It seems to me that it will be very hard to regroup with no presence in Parliament. I remain open to conversations to opposition parties represented in Parliament as a first step to build the campaign to change the Government.

Do you intend for Labour to develop policy specific to Work and Income beneficiaries, esp those who are not in a position to enter the workforce? (as opposed to policy directed towards low income people in general). Will you support Labour rolling back the worst of the Paula Bennett welfare reforms?

How do you intend for Labour to address the cultural and structural problems within Work and Income? How do you intend for Labour to address the wider society cultural issues regarding welfare eg the bludger memes?

The team I lead will be highy motivated to present an alternative economic vision where regional development will provide tangible opportunities for the productive sector to grow jobs and transition to a low carbon economy, we will further establish credibility and support for education and training investment and ensure that our public health and education system become a hallmark of a caring society and where opportunity is available to all.

There doesn’t seem to be anything original or informative in that answer.

What policies will you bring forward to address and eradicate poverty in NZ?

We will emphasise policies that promote a high value productive sector to grow good quality jobs, we will push for targets on child poverty in order to keep the Government accountable to its responsibility, and we will further advocate for the rights and interests of the most vulnerable.

For those modest hardworking families we will ensure that there is a coherent policy package that addresses their needs so they can see that we support them. Housing, Working for Families, the cost of child care and cost of living pressure are the range of issues that would need to be factored into this approach.

Interesting to see her emphasis on “we”.

[1] Have any of the Pākehā caucus members (non Maori, non PI) indicated their first preference vote for you? If yes, is that number at least two?

No

[2] Please describe briefly what your approach will be to reduce the ever increasing wealth and income gap in our country.

Please see previous comments above. In addition to that I would take the approach that Labour would need to lead an inquiry on the changing nature of work to better understand sector by sector the extent of the challenge to reduce the wealth and income gap and to better inform where our ‘investment’ approach might best be focussed. As we move from a high volume to high value economy we need to transition the current and future labour market towards that goal.

[3] Do you have enough confidence that you can take on and fight Key for the Prime ministerial position during the next election campaign?

With a United and Focussed Team Labour is formidable. I will certainly change the landscape on which that fight will take place.

[4] Will you be able to be a fair and effective leader for all New Zealanders?

That can only be assessed over time.

That’s right – until anyone becomes a leader and is seen in action over time it is difficult to assess how they will perform. Some rise to the challenge, some don’t.

During your 18 years in parliament what 3 achievements would you consider your greatest triumphs?

1. Being an effective advocate for my Electorate where I was unafraid to test my mandate on the hardest of issues (Foreshore and Seabed) where Labour suffered huge electoral damage. I continue to serve my electorate and hold their confidence.

2. I have always put my name to comments to the media and have not brought the Party into disrepute.

3. As Minister of Youth Affairs I initiated exactly the types of projects that grew participation of young people in decision-making, that fostered mentoring, that tackled issues of their time mental, sexual and reproductive health initiatives and teen pregnancy.

There are other things but these particular three speak to the values that I hold as a person.

Mahuta’s lack of apparent impact and visibility over 18 years in Parliament is a common criticism. Maori MPs often seem to have a lower public profile, I’ve wondered if that’s due to lower effort or if the Maori way of representing is just more discrete, or regarded as not newsworthy.

Would you consider overseeing the establishment of an independent commission against corruption for NZ, tasked with cleaning up all relevant areas?

In the first instance I support greater transparency in the political system as we unravel issues raised in ‘dirty politics’ there may well be greater impetus to pursue your suggestion.

If you are elected leader of the LP do you accept that the right both directly and through their channels will seek to undermine you with fact and fiction? If you do accept this what strategy do you and your advisors have to get beyond that to ensure the LP messages are heard?

Connect with more New Zealanders and enter into a broader range of relationships with stakeholder groups and communities that tend not to have affinity with Labour. It will take effort to earn the confidence of more New Zealanders they need to know how and why we think the way we do and what motivates us to build a New Zealand that works for everyone.

Do you think that there are enough activists in the Labour Party who you can work with to further the interests of the country and the people on the lower to middle-income strata? Do you agree what is needed is more supportive and effective welfare and creation of jobs through work schemes, small loans and business and government service initiatives?

I agree that there needs to be a strong emphasis on work that is genuine and sustainable. I also recognize that by ensuring the most vulnerable are cared for we create a fair society. Work and better paying jobs has to be a core motivation. But we can’t stop there as people should aspire to achieve more no matter where their starting point.

Will you consider measures to stop the sale of NZ land and assets to foreign interests?

Our policy on the first issue proposed to do just that stop further asset sales and raise the bar for foreign ownership.

That didn’t answer the question, she says what was Labour policy, not what she would consider.

Do you like Bob Marley?

Yes.

Do you think liberalism as an economic theory works for Maori?

No.

Your husband is awesome, does he look after the tamariki [children]?

Yes with whanau help.

Is it ok to call you kaitiaki?
[kaitiaki: trustee, minder, guard, custodian, guardian, keeper.
Kaitiaki is a term used for the Māori concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land.]

Mmm not sure about that one.

How do you propose to deal with National’s lack of aroha [love]?

That’s not for me to do we as a Labour team need to practice the values of aroha through a fair and decent society.

It’s wise to avoid a loaded question like that but not useful to end with a “fair and decent society” generality.

There were a handful of mixed responses to Mahuta’s Q & A. It wasn’t very illuminating and unlikely to have won or lost any support.

I haven’t seen Mahuta reveal much about herself in any of her engagements apart from her ability to memorise well worn phrases, something she shares with many bland politicians.

Open Forum – Friday

Friday 31 October 2014

This is open to anyone with any topic. It’s a mostly political 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.

‘Labour West’ promoting Little and Mahuta leadership

An apparently authorised Labour group (Labour West) is promoting a ‘Meet Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta’ event in West Auckland that currently appears to exclude the other two leadership contenders. The group has strong connections with ex leader David Cunliffe.

‘Labour West’ on Facebook states:

This is the page for the New Zealand Labour Party in West Auckland. Have a look at our posts, check out what our leaders are up to, and visit events.

It has a photo of Labour MPs including David Cunliffe (MP for New Lynn) – the Facebook page seems to have mainly been a promotion for Cunliffe’s leadership and Labour’s election campaign.

LabourWest

Note also the promotion of an event this Saturday – an opportunity to meet leadership contenders Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta. Despite the photo including all four contenders it seems that Grant Robertson and David Parker are not included. This seems very odd for a Labour Party promoted event.

The Facebook page ‘Description':

This is a page for West Auckland Labour members and supporters. No parliamentary services money has been used in the construction of this website and if it needs authorisation (which is denied) it is authorised by Greg Presland of 512 South Titirangi Road, Titirangi. Go Labour!

Authorised by Greg Presland, a well known supporter and associate of Cunliffe.

There is also an event page on Facebook promoting this meet half the candidates event – Meet Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta:

An invite for westies to meet with Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta and chat with them about their aspirations for the Labour Party and what they want to achieve if they become leader.

“If they become leader” is an interesting phrase.

Labour West leaders edit

It’s easy to guess who might be behind this promotion.

There have been obvious signs of some angling towards favouring a Little/Mahuta leadership team at The Standard, where Presland happens to be an author and sometimes posts under the pseudonym ‘mickysavage’.

Although it is under the generic name of ‘Notices and Features’ this event is also being promoted at The Standard.

Meet Nanaia and Andrew in West Auckland this weekend

By: Date published: 11:44 pm, October 29th, 2014 – 5 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour, Nanaia Mahuta – Tags: , ,

Labour West are hosting an event this weekend where you can meet two of the Labour leadership candidates:

Meet Nanaia Mahuta and Andrew Little

5pm to 7pm Saturday 1 November

Ghazal restaurant, Glen Eden

An invite for westies to meet with Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta and chat with them about their aspirations for the Labour Party and what they want to achieve if they become leader.

Facebook event details here.

The West Auckland husting is a week and a half later, on 10 November at the Massey High School Performing Arts Centre. Facebook event here.

One can presume who is responsible for that post.

While it is not unusual for The Standard to be taking sides in leadership contests or attempted coups it seems odd that an apparently authorised Labour organisation is promoting two contenders – and excluding the other two from an event that is obviously leadership contest related.

John Key on ‘Rawshark’

The biography John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister has been updated with a new chapter. In it Key claims to know the identity of ‘Rawshark’, the hacker who illegally obtained data from Cameron Slater.

John Armstrong at NZ Herald reports John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’.

The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published biography of John Key.

In a new chapter in John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister devoted to this year’s election campaign, Mr Key is quoted as saying: “Someone phoned and told me who the hacker was, but other than having a look at this person, I thought, ‘Oh well … nothing will come of it. Life goes on’.”

Mr Key did not divulge the name of the person to the biography’s author, senior Herald editorial writer John Roughan.

Asked yesterday whether the PM had referred the name to the police investigation into the stolen emails, a spokeswoman for Mr Key said that though he believed he knew who the hacker was, “he cannot be certain”.

The spokeswoman said the PM had had no involvement in the police inquiry, which has included a lengthy search of Hager’s Wellington home.

If Key has been advised of the identity of “Rawshark’ it would be surprising if the police haven’t been given the same information.

“Someone phoned and told me” is sure to raise questions and accusations about who phoned Key, with Cameron Slater being an obvious candidate.

However a lot of people will have some sort of contact with Key so it could be any of many.

And with an apparent identity in circulation it seems likely the police will know about it, there have been rumours for weeks that they know who it was.

Open forum – Thursday

Thursday 30 October 2014

This is open to anyone with any topic. It’s a mostly political 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.

Chris Hipkins on the election result and Labour’s future

Chris Hipkins, MP for Rimutaka and Labour’s Chief Whip, gave a speech in today’s Address In Reply – he congratulated National on an election win that gave them a clear mandate, he acknowledged Labour’s poor result and some of their poor efforts over the past few years, and he detailed what he thought Labour needed to be and needed to do do.

Speech – CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka)

Draft transcript – Wednesday, 29 October 2014 – Address in Reply debate

CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka): Thank you very much, Mr Assistant Speaker Mallard. Can I congratulate you on your elevation to your new role, and can I congratulate the National Party members on their re-election as the Government. It is not the election result that I was out there campaigning for, but I do want to acknowledge that it was a clear election result and congratulate them on that.

I would also like to thank the people of Rimutaka for once again investing their trust and confidence in me to be their elected representative in Parliament. It is a tremendous privilege and an honour to represent the people of my home town, and I look forward to doing so again over the next 3 years.

As I mentioned, it was a disappointing election result for the Labour Party, and I want to acknowledge that, and I say to the New Zealand public “message received”.

Clearly, the Labour Party in recent times has not been speaking to the hopes and aspirations of a wide enough section of New Zealand society, and that is a challenge that we need to take on board as we head through the rest of this parliamentary term.

New Zealanders want to hear us talking about the issues that matter to them, but New Zealanders also want to know that if they work hard they will be able to get ahead, and that there is a Government in place that rewards the hard work and effort of all New Zealanders, not just those at the top.

New Zealanders want to see the Labour Party being a voice for the people who are struggling at the moment and working hard but not able to get ahead to create a better life for themselves and their families.

That is what the Labour Party has always stood for, and that is one of the challenges that we face in this Parliament—to return back to some of those basic principles upon which the Labour Party was founded, and to speak to the hopes and aspirations of a much broader range of New Zealanders.

I said that we should be celebrating success and we should be ensuring that those who work hard are able to get ahead. I want to quote, rather unusually perhaps, or rather controversially, Frank Underwood, the chief whip in the American television series House of Cards.

Hon Maggie Barry: Now you’ve got our attention.

CHRIS HIPKINS: That is right—he is a great role model. Frank Underwood said that those of us who have done well in life have a responsibility to send the elevator back down. I think that that summarises a lot about what the Labour Party does stand for and what we should stand for.

Yes, we should be celebrating the success of those who have done well in life, but having done well in life we then have responsibilities to others around us to ensure that they have those same opportunities that we have enjoyed.

I have little time for people who boast about being born in a State house and then seek to sell off State houses and remove those vital social services from future generations.

I have little time for people who talk about how they dragged themselves up by their bootstraps, raised themselves, and relied on the State support that was available to them, and then seek to limit those same State supports to future generations of New Zealanders. That is pulling up the ladder behind them and it is blatantly unfair.

There is nothing wrong with them being proud of their success—they have every right to be. My challenge to them and my challenge to everybody else is to ask what they are doing to share opportunity around so that others have that same opportunity. That is the challenge for this Government.

I similarly congratulate people who have done well in business. I think that creating a business, building a business, and being successful in business is a fantastic thing, and it is something we should encourage and reward New Zealanders for doing. But we should also recognise that businesses exist within communities.

Yes, it is great that somebody has built a business and has made him or herself into a successful business person, but we should never forget the fact that they are using a workforce that was educated by the rest of us. The education of their workforce was paid for by the New Zealand taxpayer. They transport their goods on roads paid for by everybody. They have their property rights protected by law enforcement agencies paid for by all of us.

So, yes, it is great that we celebrate the success of businesses, but businesses exist within communities and businesses and those who create them and run them have responsibilities back to those communities as well. We should be looking at both sides of that equation.

It is great to celebrate success and we should do that more often, and I have no hesitation in saying so, but we should also talk about the reciprocal responsibilities that come with that. We should do that as well. There is no doubt that New Zealand faces some big challenges, and we are going to have to address some of those over the life of this Parliament and beyond.

We have a significant change in the demographics of our population, as our population gets older. Our older New Zealanders have the right to security in retirement, and dignity in retirement, but we also have a responsibility to ensure that our settings around that are sustainable into the future.

As we have more and more New Zealanders leaving the workforce and into retirement, and as we have more and more New Zealanders living longer, with the pressure that brings on the health care system , we need to make sure we can continue to pay for that, so that it is not a hollow promise.

And yes, it might be politically convenient to push those debates aside in the short term , but in the longer term we are going to have to address those, and it is better to have an honest and open discussion about that now rather than pushing that away for future generations to have to confront.

We do need to talk about how we lift New Zealand’s economy up the value chain so that we are creating higher-value jobs.

I have lost count of the number of people whom I have spoken to in my electorate who say: “We are willing to do the heavy lifting. We do not mind getting out there and working hard, because we want a better life for ourselves and our families, but no matter how hard we work at the moment we cannot get ahead. We cannot get a foot on the property ladder. We cannot provide all of the things that we want to be able to provide for our kids.”

Those are ordinary, everyday New Zealanders who are happy to do the hard work, they are happy to get out there. They just want a Government that makes sure they have the opportunities. And that is what the Labour Party stands for. We want to say to those New Zealanders: “We stand beside you.”

In the Labour Party we want to make sure that the opportunities are there so that those who work hard can be rewarded and can get ahead.

In the Public Service we have a challenge here with a Government that is overly focused on measurement and is only focusing on the things that can be easily measured, rather than on many of the things that are important. In education, for example, it is easy to focus on what can be measured.

So we can have a measurement that says that every child has to achieve national standards and get National Certificate of Educational Achievement level 2 . What happens if they leave school and still end up going on the unemployment benefit at the end of it? Surely the thing that we should be focused on is the outcomes, and the outcomes are more difficult to measure, and therefore manage, than the outputs, if you like, in the form of qualifications.

These are the honest and real debates that we should be having. We in the Labour Party will be holding the Government to account in this term of Parliament.

We recognise the election result that has delivered the National Party a clear mandate to be the Government, but we have a responsibility to hold the Government to account, and we will do that.

We will hold it to account when it sells off State housing, as National has done in the past.

We will hold the Government to account when it tries to inflict employment law changes on the vast bulk of the working population that benefit the few and penalise the many.

We will certainly hold them to account on issues around foreign policy and stay fast and true to the principle of New Zealand being a proud independent country that makes its decisions on foreign policy independently.

We will hold the Government to account on issues around child poverty, because in a country that is as rich as New Zealand—and although we might not always feel it, we are a rich country—there is simply no excuse for children to be growing up in this country living in poverty. I want to acknowledge over the last few years that the Labour Party has not always put its best foot forward.

We have sometimes struggled with the challenges of balancing Opposition with proposition.

We have two roles here. One is to point out where the Government is going wrong and hold it to account, but the other is to be proposing alternatives, and we need to make sure that we do that in a positive way.

I also want to acknowledge that it has been difficult to provide space for robust internal democracy whilst also presenting a unified and coherent vision to New Zealanders, and I think we will need to redouble our efforts there.

We need to make sure we look outwards to the half a million New Zealanders who used to vote for the Labour Party and now vote for someone else.

My message to all of them is: the Labour Party is back, we want to talk to you, we want to engage with you, and we want to know, quite frankly, what it is going to take to get you to reinvest your vote in the Labour Party. I think that is the discussion that we will have over the next 3 years.

To conclude—it is a fantastic honour and a privilege to be back in the House representing the people of the Rimutaka electorate. I thank them once again for the opportunity to serve and represent them.

I would be dishonest if I said I was not disappointed with the election outcome. I would far rather be sitting on the Government side of the House than on this side of the House, but I have received, like all of my colleagues, the message that the voters of New Zealand have sent to us, and I can tell this Government that it is in for a tough 3 years.

We will be rigorous in holding it to account, and we are absolutely resolved and determined that in 3 years’ time we will be over there on the Government side, and they will be over here.

That is the challenge that is ahead of all of us. We will certainly be focused on that because I believe that New Zealanders deserve better. John Key has failed to deliver them the brighter future that he promised them, and the Labour Party will be holding him to account for that.

Air shot #3 – Peters versus Key

Winston Peters was the third in line to take a swipe at John Key over “Dirty Politics” yesterday and he was the third to miss the mark. He sounded more like Mr Cranky than the leader of the opposition he claims to be.

4. Government—Transparency

[Sitting date: 28 October 2014. Volume:701;Page:4. Text is subject to correction.]

4. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader – NZ First) to the Prime Minister : Is he committed to an open and transparent Government?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Consistent with an open and transparent Government, when will the Prime Minister assure the public that at no time did his staff provide inappropriate services to the National Party whilst employed at the public expense?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : That would be a matter for the party, but I do not have any advice or any evidence to support the idea that they have done anything other than act totally professionally.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am asking the Prime Minister about his staff. That is not a matter for the National Party. It is to do with his staff, for whom he is responsible.

Mr SPEAKER : The difficulty I have with the question that has been asked and the answer that has been given is that it is asking now for a level of specificity that cannot be expected to be given by the Prime Minister in light of the very open and general question that was asked in the first place.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My question asked whether, consistent with open and transparent Government—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! I have heard the question. [Interruption] Order! Resume your seat. I have already ruled, in respect of the first supplementary question, that in light of the generality of the primary question that the question has been addressed by the Prime Minister. The way forward is to continue to ask further supplementary questions but not to question the Speaker on the adequacy of the answer that has been given. I invite the member, if he wishes to, to ask further supplementary questions.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am not contesting your ruling on the adequacy—

Mr SPEAKER : Then I will hear the fresh point of order.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : My point was that the Prime Minister’s answer was that it was a National Party matter. In my supplementary question, if you look at it, I am asking for an assurance about his staff, so it cannot be a National Party matter—or is he condemned by his own statement?

Hon Gerry Brownlee : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. You would have to consider the entire answer, in which the Prime Minister said that he expected them to maintain professional standards at all times.

Mr SPEAKER : The way forward is the advice that I have given to the member. If he has further supplementary questions, he should ask them.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Consistent with an open and transparent Government, when will the Prime Minister advise the public of all the facts pertaining to Mr Jason Ede’s services to the National Party whilst employed at the public’s expense?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : When questions are appropriately asked, they will be appropriately answered.

Peters must know this sort of question is easily avoided.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Consistent with an open and transparent Government, when will the Prime Minister give the public all the facts about—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The difficulty I have is that it was only during about question No. 3 when a Government member again asked a supplementary question without leading with a question word. We cannot have one rule for Mr Peters—

Hon Gerry Brownlee : Yes, but he knows better. He’s been here a long time.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! I accept the right honourable gentleman should know better, but equally Mr David Bennett has been a member of this House for some time as well.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Consistent with an open and transparent Government, when will the Prime Minister give the public all the facts about his staff’s services to the National Party’s Jo de Joux whilst employed at the public’s expense?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : I have not seen any advice that would confirm that the National Party has done anything other than spend taxpayers’ money appropriately and legally.

Hon Dr Nick Smith : What did Brendan Horan say? Look at your own house.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Is it not a fact—well, actually, we were exonerated, turkey.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] Order! That is a good lesson to that quarter of the House of what happens when you get an interjection through a question. Would the right honourable gentleman simply ask his supplementary question?

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Is Jo de Joux, a National Party campaign manager, deeply implicated in improperly acquiring services from his office’s staff?

Mr SPEAKER : I invite the Prime Minister, if he wishes, to answer, but I cannot see any prime ministerial responsibility in that question. I will leave it for the Prime Minister to answer it.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : I have no authority for that, and I refute the proposition.

Maybe Peters is playing a longer game, or he is not as sharp as he once was, that didn’t seem to get anywhere.

He looks cantankerous and toothless. So far he has failed to step up into the opposition leadership vacuum.

Key had little difficulty batting away the third air shot at him of the day.

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