Labour: ‘Say no to the TPPA’

Has Labour been convinced enough by Jane Kelsey and Lori Wallach that the US will not ratify the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement to swing to all out opposition to it, punting on it not going ahead anyway? If so what if the US pulls out but the rest of the countries go ahead?

Labour have now jumped on the petition bandwagon. Political petitions are not designed to achieve change, they can’t.

They are aimed at proving a level of support for a stance.

And they are a means of email address harvesting.

There’s at least one other anti-TPPA petition running. Splitting them will split the numbers to an extent, and due to the possibility (and probability) that some people will sign both petitions the number of signatures added together will be meaningless.

But this cements Labour’s definitive opposition to the TPPA.

Sign the petition: Say no to the TPPA

The TPPA undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty and is a threat to our democracy. National has overestimated the benefits to New Zealand and negotiated it in secrecy.

Under the TPPA:

  • Our Parliament would not be allowed to ban overseas speculators from buying up Kiwi homes. Other countries, including Australia, negotiated an exemption from this clause but National failed to do so for New Zealand.

  • Foreign corporations could sue the government over policy changes seen as affecting their businesses.

  • New Zealanders’ access to life-saving drugs could be restricted as our laws are tilted in favour of US pharmaceutical companies.

Labour cannot support the TPPA as it stands and will seek to renegotiate it in government to get a better deal for New Zealanders — one that doesn’t undermine our sovereignty.

Are you with us? Add your name.

The petition:

To John Key and Cabinet:

Protect the democratic rights of New Zealand citizens. The TPPA is an attack of New Zealand’s sovereignty and democracy. That’s something that should never be traded away.

Claiming “the TPPA is an attack of New Zealand’s sovereignty and democracy” is both strongly claimed and strongly disputed.

Current number of signatures: 15,786

 

TPPA petitions

There are two separate petitions trying to stop the New Zealand Government from signing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, an online petition and a more traditional paper petition.

As reported yesterday by Radio NZ: TPPA petition gets thousands of signatures

A petition against New Zealand signing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement has gathered over 11,000 signatures in just two days.

Barry Coates from the ‘It’s Our Future Coalition’ set up the petition and said he expected more people to sign it.

“If we continue at that rate we’ll be in the hundreds of thousands of signatures. This petition particularly says to the Government ‘don’t sign the TPPA’. It’s a crucial point when our government signs it and we don’t think that they have a mandate to sign the agreement and this petition gives people a chance to say no.”

Barry Coates said the deal was designed to serve the interests of large corporations rather than those of people or the planet.

The petition doesn’t actually say to the Government ‘don’t sign the TPPA’. It says:

We, the undersigned, do not consent to the Government of New Zealand signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

It currently has 15,000 ‘signatures’.  It will probably get a lot more signatures over the next week or two.

Online petitions have been used to campaign against a number of things but they have generally been ineffective.

It’s confusing who is behind the petition. Here Barry Coates is named as having set it up.

But on the It’s Our Future website (that Coates is involved with) it states:

Our friends at ActionStation are hosting a petition opposing the signing.

Perhaps that’s because Action Station has the facilities to run the petition – and collect email addresses.

TPPAPetition

Action Station have been active in a number of social media campaigns.

ActionStation is here to enable the large community of Kiwis with shared progressive values to take powerful, coordinated action on urgent issues we care about.

They claim to be independent:

Independent and member-led, we are affiliated with no political party, and answer only to our members.

But people involved in establishing Action Station were also involved with the Green Party.

And Coates is also closely associated with the Greens. He was placed at 17 on the Green list in 2014 which was a position thought to have had a good chance of making it into Parliament. Should another Green seat become vacant Coates is next in line to become an MP.

Coates was a candidate for the Mt Roskill electorate and is still listed as a Green candidate on their website.

The paper petition was launched last month:

TPPA Free and Action groups petition the Governor General – “Save our Democracy”

TPP Free Wellington today launched a petition calling the Governor General to Command the government to put the question of proceeding with the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to a binding referendum.

This petition press release was posted on the It’s Our Future website. Signed paper petitions take a long time and a lot of effort, so it’s possible Coates and It’s Our Future and Action Station decided to try the much simpler and faster online approach.

The online source for this petition seems to be here:  No Mandate Do Not Sign TPPA – GG Petition

We’ve launched a petition calling the Governor General to Command the government to put the question of proceeding with the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to a binding referendum.

We have produced a number of resources to support the No Mandate – Do Not Sign TPPA campaign. 

The petition available here:

https://www.facebook.com/download/1643735472546615/Petition%20of%20the%20People%20of%20Aotearoa%20-%20Copy.pdf

I think there’s no chance of this petition getting sufficient signatures before the signing which is in early February (possibly February 4).

Petitioning the Governor General is a novel approach but it would be a major change in how we do democracy if the Governor General became involved in Government processes due to a petition.

Here’s the explanation of why we take this approach.  

The Governor General is the appointed Guardian of our representative democracy.

The petition asserts that the Government has no democratic mandate for TPPA. The Government kept the text secret from voters at the last election.1 Without information, we have not mandated our elected representatives.2
Treaty negotiations Minister Tim Groser in July 2012 stated: “trade agreements involve concessions over the sovereign rights of countries”3
The enormous and unprecedented scale of TPPA requires a democratic mandate.4
Once in force, withdrawal might be impossible in practice, so the deal could not be undone.5
The petition states as follows:
We, the UNDERSIGNED citizens and residents of Aotearoa New Zealand, PETITION Your Excellency:
  1. to COMMAND the Government to put the question of proceeding with, or withdrawal from TPPA to a BINDING REFERENDUM; and
  2. to PROHIBIT the Government from signing any final agreement, or taking any binding treaty action UNLESS the People vote in favour; and
  3. to REFUSE Assent to any enabling legislation UNLESS the People vote in favour.

Our petition requires that the Governor General use his Reserve Powers6 to protect the democracy.

 That looks bizarre as far as democratic process goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another call for bridge flag comparison

Today’s Herald editorial adds a call for the fern flag to fly alongside the current flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Let’s see fern flag on harbour bridge

This is a serious and urgent request of whomever is running the Government in the Prime Minister’s absence. Please fly the proposed new flag from the Auckland Harbour Bridge, either on one pole alongside the existing flag, or on both poles.

We will be voting on them in just two months and it is vital to see the proposed alternative in action before we can decide.

Until we see how it looks fluttering in a breeze, lying limp and performing in various conditions, we cannot know whether its design really “works”.

We also need to give it a test of time. A design that is striking at first sight, and even at subsequent sightings for a week or two, can lose its appeal later. A new national flag would need to hold our affection for a lifetime. We need to test it for as long as possible before we face the decision. That’s why this request is urgent.

They say that the Government has sent “samples of the alternative flags to individuals and organisations that had two flagpoles and undertook to fly both of them as directed” – has anyone seen both flags flying together?

People cannot be expected to go looking for them. On the harbour bridge, the Government’s transport agency has the most visible poles in the country. Why are they not being used for this important exercise?

Surely a decision need not await John Key’s return. Better that he not be involved. Put the flag up there, please.

There’s a petition running asking the Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges, to Fly the Silver Fern Flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

We the, people of New Zealand who support the Silver Fern Flag, ask that the “alternative” flag flown from the Auckland Harbour bridge. Starting immediately and flown until the end of the second flag referendum.

I support that but I think they have made a mistake (as well as the misplaced comma) referring to “people of New Zealand who support the Silver Fern Flag” – anyone who supports a good democratic contest in the referendum should consider supporting having both flag options flying together wherever possible.

 

PM, radio jokers, petitioners “all need to reflect”

I didn’t see this commentary by Claire Trevett until after writing Political pressure petitions.

She says there are Lessons in John Key stunt wash-up.

PM and his advisers, radio jokers and petitioners all need to reflect on their roles.

Somehow the story has morphed into calls for John Key to be stripped of his ambassadorship for the White Ribbon anti-domestic violence organisation for failing to speak out against sexual violence because he had not stopped a radio stunt that referenced prison rape in jokey terms.

It has since emerged that the reason Key did not do this was that he had not realised the “joke” was a reference to prison rape, but that has not stopped the baying for his head.

The baying for his head began before White Ribbon or Key had responded. Conviction by petition before evidence had been heard.

Whatever his detractors think of his politics, even the Prime Minister is entitled to a bit of natural justice. Without evidence to the contrary, Key has effectively been declared guilty for a joke he did not make and did not even know was a joke. And there is no evidence to the contrary.

There was nothing in his reaction to the soap that indicated he detected such overtones, just bafflement as to why there was soap there at all. There is no reason to doubt his denial to White Ribbon, no matter what his detractors say.

There was also a Deliverance quote that most people probably didn’t know anything about. I didn’t, and I’ve seen the movie (when it came out in the seventies).

Things got so ridiculous that one person even suggested if Key did not know it was a prison rape reference, he was not qualified to be a White Ribbon ambassador – as if one of the qualifications was knowing jokes and obscure references to sexual violence.

Unfortunately the rush of ridiculousness quickly overshadows valid issues.

But Key’s own silence on this cake-of-soap issue hasn’t helped. The only comment to come from his office in the aftermath of the stunt was some tripe about the degree of joking involved in the Christmas round-up of radio networks.

If it were not for the White Ribbon campaign asking for an explanation, we still would not know whether Key had realised what “pick up the soap” alluded to. Nor has he condemned it or expressed a view on the appropriateness of it once it was pointed out to him.

I’m disappointed that Key hasn’t spoken up to deal with what happened. His lack of appropriate response has given the anti-Key brigade – and some of the media – a free shot.

It is doubtful the Prime Minister will give up that valuable air time on commercial radio on the back of last week. But of one thing we can be sure – his advisers will now be checking what stunts he’s in line for in advance.

I hope so.

It beggars belief they did not do that already, given journalists interviewing him on more serious matters like, oh, running the country, are asked what topics they intend to cover.

It was a very odd situation that the Prime Minister allowed himself to be exposed to, and his muted response hasn’t helped him.

But the over the top claims and campaigns against him do end up helping him. Perhaps he understands this and that’s why he remains silent.

A big question for me – why have the complainers and petitioners only been targeting Key? What about those who set up and carried out the stunt?

The political focus makes it look like political activist opportunism.

As Trevett says there are lessons in all of this but I suspect Key has already learnt what works for him and his attackers never will.

Changing work hours for World Cup

A campaign including a petition has been started to change work hours to better suit the Rugby World Cup.

NZ Herald is promoting this – Push for Rugby World Cup-friendly working hours.

A petition advocating a later start to the standard work day during the Rugby World Cup has kicked off – will you Push Back For Black?

The Push Back For Black petition calls for employers to change their standard working hours to 10am-6pm from 9am-5pm to allow employees to catch early morning Cup matches before heading to work.

NZME radio brands Hauraki, Radio Sport and ZM together with the Herald were among the first to support the petition.

Why is a petition needed? Any business can choose to retain or change their work hours as they see fit.

But I’m not sure whether the Herald is going to change it’s printing or delivery schedule. Delivering newspapers a few hours later may annoy quite a few of their customers.

Herald managing editor Shayne Currie urged other employers to follow suit. “To allow New Zealanders the opportunity to stay up during the night to watch the All Blacks play – or enjoy a full game at home from 7am or 8am – seems the patriotic thing to do.”

Good grief.

Mr Currie may not be aware but with modern media it’s possible to watch games of rugby via recordings, streaming and replays at a wide variety of times.

Then bizarrely:

The campaign comes as an Oxford University researcher claimed that forcing staff to start work before 10am was tantamount to torture and was making employees ill, exhausted and stressed.

Dr Paul Kelley said there was a need for a huge societal change to move work and school starting times to fit with the natural body clock of humans. Before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults were completely out of sync with normal nine-to-five working hours, posing a “serious threat” to performance, mood and mental health.

“Staff are usually sleep deprived. We’ve got a sleep-deprived society,” Dr Kelly said.

“It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body.Your liver and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to.”

Sleep deprivation has been shown to have significant effects on health. A week with less than six hours’ sleep a night led to 711 changes in how genes function, one study discovered.

Does that mean Kelley and the Herald would recommend that New Zealanders shouldn’t allow themselves to become sleep deprived during the World Cup? That would mean not watching games live but watching replays after 10 am. So then they would have to delay their work until noon.

The Herald and NZME can change work hours for their staff however they like – I’m not sure how that will work with Radio Hauraki – but this campaign seems to be poorly thought through.

It almost seems like a September Fools joke of some sort.

But there really does seem to be a petition – http://www.pushbackforblack.co.nz/

Work starts when play ends.

Sign-up to our petition to push back the start of the working day to 10am for the duration of the cup.

The battle for rugby’s greatest prize is nearly upon us. But the time difference with England means that majority of games will be shown early in the morning back here in NZ.

Many of us will be preparing for our working day or will already be at work at the very moment our team need our support.

We say this cannot happen. Let the nation gather in their homes and public spaces to cheer on our boys.

Good grief. Someone must be taking the piss. But this part seems to be true – Sleep expert Dr Paul Kelley wants the business and school day to begin at 10am.

Health select committee agrees to euthanasia inquiry

In response to a petition presented to Parliament by the Voluntary Euthanasia  the Health Select Committee has agreed to investigate matters raised by the petition.

NZ Herald reports: Parliament to hold euthanasia inquiry following Lecretia Seales’ death

An inquiry into voluntary euthanasia is to be carried out by Parliament – a process supporters hope will be an important step towards a law change.

Today’s announcement comes after a petition from the Voluntary Euthanasia Society was presented to Parliament by supporters including Matt Vickers, the husband of the late Lecretia Seales.

The petition, signed by former Labour MP Maryan Street and 8,974 others, asked that Parliament’s health and select committee “investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable”.

It will set-up an inquiry to “fully investigate the matters raised by the petition”, health committee chair Simon O’Connor said.

The terms of reference will be drafted over the next few weeks, which will form the outline of that investigation.

“This is an important subject and the committee needs to think carefully about the best way to examine it,” Mr O’Connor said.

“I would like to see a thorough investigation that covers as many aspects of this topic as possible in a responsible and robust manner.”

It’s impossible to know where this may lead, if anywhere, but i think it’s time Parliament properly and comprehensively looked at the pros and cons of voluntary euthanasia, the right to choose how we die etc.

Petition against going to Iraq

Andrea Vance is promoting a petition against sending troops to Iraq – Petition against sending NZ troops to Iraq gets support.

More than 9000 people have signed up to a “not in my name” campaign in response to the Government’s decision to send troops to Iraq.

Action Station director Marianne Elliott – a former human rights advisor at the UN Mission to Afghanistan – said the online petition had attracted support in its first 24 hours.

She said the Government has not made a case for sending 143 personnel to train Iraqi forces to battle Islamic State.

“Other options must be considered…the Government must consult Parliament and listen to the voices of New Zealand,” she said.

John Key has been speaking about this and listening (hopefuly) for the last six months.

That’s a sizable number but not huge. Action Station has had close links with Greens so the peition is likely to be well supported from that demographic.

She said international military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have previously failed “at very high cost.”

“If we have learned anything from recent military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan it must surely be, firstly, that we cannot ignore the broader political realities of the region in which we are acting. And, secondly, our military intervention have so far failed to eliminate the threat of terrorism.”

But another side of the story is included:

Elliott was speaking at panel discussion event at Parliament tonight. Also on the panel was British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair. Sinclair disputed her claim on Twitter, writing: “coalition air strikes stopped ISIL from threatening Baghdad in 2014.”

And another, this one representing Iraq.

Iraqi ambassador Mouayed Saleh, based in Canberra, addressed the Diplosphere panel, gathered in Parliament’s Grand Hall. He welcomed New Zealand’s contribution to the international coalition of 62 countries.

“We are obviously very happy to see New Zealand,” he said. The Government did not need ground forces, but wanted training, intelligence and technology.

Which makes this quite different from the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

There would be opposition to involvement in war (and probably a petition) no matter what the circumstances.

But this canpaign is likely to be too little, too late.

Petition site: NZ Troops Going To War? #NotInMyName

In a recent Colmar Brunton survey, almost half of New Zealanders polled did not support sending Kiwi troops in a non-combat training role to Iraq, and yet today the Prime Minister announced that 100 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) staff would be sent to help Australia train Iraqi soldiers to combat Islamic State fighters.

Many New Zealanders do not believe the case has been made for military intervention. The risks, including the likelihood of ‘scope creep’, and benefits of sending troops have not been debated in Parliament and alternative forms of intervention have not been properly discussed – alternatives like providing humanitarian assistance, using sanctions to cut off the flow of funds to the Islamic State or providing support to Kurdish groups already successfully fighting them.

The bottom line right now is that the New Zealand Government does not have a mandate to send our troops in support of US military action. Public opinion in New Zealand is divided, our parliament has not been consulted, and the Iraqi parliament has not ratified a ‘status of forces’ agreement, which would offer official protection to our forces.

The situation in Iraq is complex and tragic, but the Government must consult Parliament, and listen to the voices of New Zealanders.

Tell John Key that he may be deciding to send troops to Iraq on your behalf, but he is not acting in your name. #NOTINMYNAME

Click here to read our National Director’s take on events.

“Dear Prime Minister John Key,

The decision to send New Zealand troops into Iraq may have been made on behalf of NZ, but it was made without a debate or vote in Parliament, without adequate discussion of the alternatives and without a clear public mandate.

If you choose to send New Zealand troops to Iraq now, in whatever capacity, you send them without my support and not in my name. The situation in Iraq is complex and tragic, but the bottom line right now is that you must consult Parliament, and listen to the voices of New Zealanders.

NB: Some people have reported trouble using our site. We are working on identifying and resolving the problem, but in the meantime, it seems to be only affecting people who have signed a petition with us before. If you find you can’t sign the petition and it just says “Saving” for a long time, simply sign out of your account (at the bottom of the page) and then you’ll be able to add your name. Hopefully we’ll have a permanent fix to this problem soon!

Will you sign?

Labour and Greens harvesting emails

Labour and Green Parties harvesting petition email addresses for wider political purposes is raised in a Standard post, where activists  from both parties try to defend it – Muppets.

Did Mike Williams just suggest (about 19 minutes in) that the Greens and Labour Parties utilise the email addresses they gathered from the petition against asset sales in their election campaigns?! I sincerely hope he wasn’t channeling an idea that has any traction within the Labour Party machine.

Just to be absolutely clear on this. I did a lot of political activism in the past. And sometimes that involved gathering people’s email addresses or whatever on petitions and so on. Any thought of using those contact details to canvas on other matters, or even associated matters, was rightly so off the cards as to be unthinkable. If there is a desire to use collected contact details, then the simple inclusion of a tick box for permission to contact should be included on any form. Otherwise…no. Don’t do it. It’s that simple.

The only surprise is this is a surprise to some. It’s been talked about since early this year – Asset petition a data source for political spam? and also on Whale Oil yesterday – The Green Party Data scammers: Look at their Guidelines where it was pointed out:

We want to stay in touch with supporters about the campaign and other Green Party activities. That’s why we ask for email, address and phone. Contact info is optional, email is best.

Amongst the comments is some good advice:

Idiot/Savant

I encourage everyone who believes their information has been misused in this way to lodge a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner.

Also remember to tell the world you’ve done so. Bad publicity is an effective weapon against politicians; make sure you use it.

Apart from it possibly being illegal as it is contrary to the Privacy Act this would be deceitful use of the asset sales petition.

However a Labour Party activist claims a very extravagant interpretation:

Te Reo Putake

Hate to inject some reality into this discussion, but the petition form asks signers to provide their phone and email address if they want to “keep up to date with the campaign”. A phone call from Labour, the Greens or Grey Power during election year for that purpose would obviously be lawful.

An obvious update would be either party announcing they intended to buy back the assets or some similar measure.

So, no privacy breach as long as it’s relevant to the campaign.

http://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/KOA_CIR_PETITION_FORM_L_27_04_2012.pdf

That opens up the possibility of weaselly workarounds of the law. “The campaign” was the campaign to gather signatures for the petition. Unless Te reo Putake is suggesting it was always intended as a long running political campaign using the petition and referendum for taxpayer funding.

And a Green Party activist also tries to make excuses:

toad

What’s more, all emails a person receives from the Greens in response to signing a petition have the following options:

Unsubscribe from this email list

Change subscriptions and update your details – subscribe to email newsletters and more

Unsubscribe from all emails

So at any time a person who opts to go onto the Green database through signing a petition can unsubscribe from receiving all emails, or particular types of emails from the Greens (or can add particular additional types of emails they want to receive if they wish).

Harvesting and then providing an opt-out option after spamming is not acceptable, as a Green supporter says:

framu

“So at any time a person who opts to go onto the Green database through signing a petition”

but unless that situation was stated up front all they did was sign a petition – thats the problem

Im a solid green voter but i detest ANYTHING turning up in my email that i didnt ask for. Even from those i support

like others have said – all it needs is an opt in check box – “do you want to receive further communications from the green party”.

It shouldnt be an opt out later situation

Bill

Toad. If I sign a petition, it means that I’m signing a petition. And that’s it. The signing isnot a license for the holder of the petition to contact me on either that or other mattersunless they have explicitly sought and received my permission to do so.

As I said in the post, I’ve collected signatures and details on a number of occasions. Usually the petition was simply to give people the feeling they were doing something in support of whatever the cause was…ie, it wasn’t really of any consequence or help.

Anyway, I can say with absolute confidence that most people who sign a petition want the signing to be the beginning and end of their involvement. (This from the %age of ‘buy in’ when a ‘buy in’ option was put on forms and pointed out to people)

But sure, feel entitled to pester people as you seem to indicate is your ‘right’ having gained contact details. It’ll blow up in your face.

Idiot/Savant

The petition form’s only nod to the Privacy Act was a note saying “To keep up to date with the campaign please provide your email and phone number”. Which suggests strongly that use of the information collected should be limited to the actual referendum campaign, not the wider political campaigning of the petitioner or political parties doing the collection.

Responses are very concerning:

Te Reo Putake

Nope, it’s all part of the same campaign, Bill. One of the ‘other strings’ you have forgotten is the just completed referendum. The next string is the election campaign. If you signed the petition and gave your details, you have consented to be contacted about asset sales. That’s the fact of the matter.

Te Reo Putake

Referring to I/S’s narrow understanding of what the word campaign means doesn’t help. The anti asset sales campaign continues unabated and the use of the contact details for the purpose for which they were provided is not only sensible, it’s vital.

The would mean parties could call it an endless campaign and endlessly abuse the intent of the Privacy Act. That will annoy a lot of people.

No Right Turn has also blogged on this calling it (correctly) Grossly unethical:

To point out the obvious: this is a screaming violation of Privacy Principle 10, and possibly Privacy Principle 11 if you take the collecting agency as Roy Reid, the formal petitioner, rather than the parties who provided the footsoldiers. And it is grossly unethical. Quite apart from that, its also stupid, burning both potential supporters and their activist base (who may not be too keen on having their hard work perverted to violate people’s privacy).

As for what to do about it, firstly people have a right of access to information held about them by agencies – so if you gave the petition campaign your email address, you can always check with Labour to see if it has somehow migrated its way into their fundraising and supporter’s databases. And if the information is used, then I recommend lodging a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner.

You should also publicise that complaint over social media (or, if you feel like it, by emailing a press release to Scoop – but social media is probably enough, because people like me will retweet it if we see it, and journalists will pick up an easy story like this).

Political parties are (sensibly) afraid of bad publicity, and this is the best stick we have to enforce ethical behaviour on them. Sadly, it looks like we may have to use it.

Not a good look if this is the official Labour view on it:

Te Reo Putake

Yep, you’re starting to get it! As long as they are contacted about the asset sales, then its not an issue at all. And given how big a deal asset sales is to most kiwis, just about every phone call and email from the left is going to mention it.

 

Women’s suffrage petition – Keziah Norton

There’s an online database of those who signed the women’s suffrage petition in 1893.

I found my great-great-grandmother.

Surname: Norton
Given Names: Keziah
Address: Woodend
Sheet No: 253
Town/Suburb: Woodend
City/Region: Canterbury

She was 61 when she signed, died in 1902 aged 70 and was buried at Woodend. She had arrived in Lyttleton on the Canterbury in 1851.

There are several other relations from Woodend also on the database, Nortons and Gibbs.

This is kinda cool.

Time to end asset petition farce

As a supposed Citizen Initiated Referendum the asset sales petition was always a politicised farce. It was known from the start that if a referendum was held it would be ignored by Government, as past Governments have done with past referenda.

But the Greens poured considerable resources into using the referendum as a between elections campaign tool. And as seems to be common practice these days Labour followed along.

As far as political PR stunts go Greens and Labour have been majorly embarrassed by failing to get the required number of signatures.

They are initially putting on brave faces, albeit considerably egg covered. Russel Norman and David Shearer are vowing to get back to gathering signatures again to get the additional signatures required.

I wonder how many of the Green and Labour troops are groaning with trepidation. A year long signature gathering campaign was a major slog. Now they are being asked to psych themselves again for another burst of pleading to the public.

For what?

If they get the signatures a referendum will be held, perhaps later this year – well after Mighty River Power shares go on NZX (this Friday), and quite possibly after Meridian as well some time in the next few months. Too toothless, too late.

A referendum would be a multi million dollar exercise in futility.

Greens thought they were onto a winning strategy where they could use taxpayer money to fund a long running party campaign leading in to the next election.

They have now lost face, big time.

And if they continue on with the petition they stand to gain little if anything more, and could lose more egg covered face.

If Greens and Labour can’t organise a successful petition together, how would the look organising a government coalition?

A referendum will have zero effect on the asset share sale programme. It will keep reminding voters of the ongoing CIR farce.

If Greens and Labour had any sense they would cut their losses and move on to something more positive.

But by the sound of Russel Norman’s response to the news yesterday the Green petition machine is likely to continue.

And Labour sound like they will continue – Anti-asset sales campaign not over yet – Labour

Talk about flogging long dead horses. I think it’s time to end the farce.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,145 other followers