A tumultuous year in NZ politics?

One News reviews the political year claiming it was tumultuous. Was it? There was a lot of journalist and political social media interest in certain issues but very few of them affected the running of the country.

A tumultuous year in NZ politics: Take a look back at 2015

Prime Minister John Key went from no response on the Syrian refugee crisis, to an extra 600 places.

He rejected a social media campaign on the Red Peak flag before passing an urgent law change allowing it on the flag referendum ballot.

Then the previous rejection of a captial gains tax became a budget announcement of a new tax on property gains.

Meanwhile Labour leader Andrew Little withdrew his party’s long-held opposition to 90-day work trials and quickly dumped its policy to raise the pension age.

He also apologised for calling Parliament’s Speaker David Carter biased.

The year started with plenty of drama with National MP Mike Sabin’s resignation sparking the Northland by-election which National lost to New Zealand First.

Sam Lotu-Iiga lost his Corrections portfolio in the fall-out over Serco’s Mt Eden Prison mismanagement and Serco lost their contract to run the prison.

But 2015 also had its share of winners with Judith Collins getting back her place in cabinet, taking over the police and corrections portfolios.
And Winston Peters won the Northland by-election.

The year rounded off with New Zealand signing up to a groundbreaking pact to reduce global warming.

Most of that will have little to no effect on ordinary New Zealanders.

There’s a video clip link and that features Judith Collins:

OneNews2015Collins

Collins had very influence on the political year. She was appointed back into Cabinet just recently and has had no time to make any impact.

What media and journalists thinks might portray as tumultuous is irrelevant to most of us.

Trying to make the mundane look dramatic is counter-productive. When there is something that should be of genuine interest it is likely to be just shrugged off or ignored or never noticed.

Media cry wolf far too often.

What happened in politics this year that you think significantly impacted on your life?

Leave a comment

22 Comments

  1. @ PG – “What happened in politics this year that you think significantly impacted on your life?”

    I reckon this is a truly excellent question to ask, especially “on your life”, because what impacted on me personally is not necessarily national political events or things that necessarily made it into the media much at all. For me, the key to it is mostly my level of active participation too.

    Of those “nationwide” things –
    – Northland by-election – for the first time in decades there was a chance for voters other than “true blue” and dissillusioned Nats to make their voices heard by voting strategically. For all his faults Peters offered a candidate that wouldn’t split the so-called ‘left vote’ and who even during the campaign clearly exerted some influence; leading to the inane “10 Bridges” election promise. (It’s hard to believe this happened this year, seems so long ago)

    – TPPA – the polarisation of opinion for and against at least brought into focus some of the underlying issues and perceptions in different cohorts of the population. I reckon some very useful debate was had and I enjoyed seeing and being part of some mobilisation and ‘activism’.

    – Flag Decision – say no more …

    Serco doesn’t really interest me and didn’t impact on me at all. I doubt Corrections runs prisons any better. Likewise goings-on in the House, insults and apologies, even Edgy radio appearances, media beat-ups and the like, except insomuch as they are symptomatic of a socio-economic-political paridigm which has largely lost its integrity and operates mostly without ethics; that is amorally or immorally. Where people play “surface tension” on the great ocean of our “Human Condition”.

    Isn’t it so typical of the media to show Judith Collins at gun target practice like that?

    Other things that have been important to me personally have been much more local –

    – My ongoing involvement at the “community” level of arts funding and arts provision.

    – Engagement with FNDC’s “Our Voices, Our Vision” future visioning process, in which I may have been instrumental in having the word “sustainable” included in the vision.

    – The resolution of the “School Zone Signs” issue in my local community, a designated Heritage Precinct, which involved carrying out a community self-generated consultation process.

    Far North, Northland (and possibly nationwide) citizens might be interested to know that if, perchance, your community doesn’t like the quantity, siting, placement, size or perhaps site-appropriateness of your (ubiquitous) school Zone signs – and you weren’t consulted about any of them in the first place – you can (maybe?) have them changed.

    In our case, we replaced 4 x large (open road) sized signs, incorrectly installed, with 2 x smaller signs, resited so as to extend the school zone by 200metres, include the ‘CBD’ where most of the school drop-off, pick-up and bus activity actually occurs, and simultaneously greatly ameliorate the visual impact on the heritage precinct, harbour foreshore and views; the visual environment.

    Reply
  2. kiwi guy

     /  26th December 2015

    ” She was appointed back into Cabinet just recently and has had no time to make any impact.”

    Hope she bins that feminist propaganda project – a commission producing a “report” on sexual violence which surprise surprise regurgitates feminist talking points.

    Reply
  3. Nothing they did directly changed my life, at least that I am aware of.

    What was of note for me was:

    >National raising certain benefits over and above the rate of inflation. No other government has done that for DECADES.

    >Harmful Digital Communications Act. Passed with virtually no dissent except by David Seymour, then belatedly by a handful of Green MP’s [including Rusty Norman, onya Rusty something you did I agreed with for once]. We have seen someone try and use this legislation to silence someone else already. IN 2016 when it comes fully into force I believe we will see more unintended consequences of a piece of legislation which was started as a ‘stopping cyber bullying’ bill and morphed into something else and something poorly framed

    >Labour thinking targeting Chinese names was a great way to raise its profile. Just horrible politics in my view. If foreign money is an issue then talk about foreign money in the residential market, don’t create a bogeyman to try to get traction

    >Winston trying to strongly position NZ First as New Zealands equivalent of the Australian National party – namely a party of the hinterland. Will be interesting if that takes, as that the regions have normally been strong National party territory

    >The absolutely rubbish reporting of Politics by the NZ Media. When Davis was rightly savaging Corrections over Mt Eden Remand, no NZ Media deep any in depth reviews of all the problems in the Corrections area showing all the deaths, suicides etc that are endemic across the system whether state or private run. That was pretty poor in my view as I firmly believe the system needs a real investigation and rethink. Segregation gangs members from general population, as well as having first timer only wings would be good places to start.

    Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  26th December 2015

    Northland by-election blocking RMA reform means I have to continue to avoid building or doing anything that requires a consent.

    Reply
    • @ Alan – Since people are still building and developing, I’m genuinely interested to know why you say “have to avoid … anything that requires a consent”? Does this mean the process is just too time consuming, difficult or expensive for you personally? Or do you have a project in mind for which RMA reform is necessary to obtain a consent? [Remember, I liked your “national standards” idea].

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  26th December 2015

        The process is not only very time consuming and expensive but also hugely uncertain and therefore risky. Basically, unless you build to sell immediately you simply give the local governments unfettered access to your wallet and assets for the foreseeable future. I’ve done that once and never again. I did have a big project in mind once but that is shelved. Now I only do things that are legitimately under the radar.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  26th December 2015

      build a …bridge….and get…over…it.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  26th December 2015

        There speaks someone who’s never built anything.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  26th December 2015

          and you know this???NFI!

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  26th December 2015

            Pretty easy to tell from your big mouth.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  26th December 2015

              ah resorting to personal abuse now….says alot about you of course.

            • Mike C

               /  26th December 2015

              @Blazer

              That “Build a Bridge” shit you wrote … is classic and regular Slater&Co lingo 🙂

              Stop trying to upset the balance in here.

            • Blazer

               /  26th December 2015

              well in the Northland by-election …bridges were prominent…didn’t you know that!

            • Mike C

               /  26th December 2015

              @Blazer

              Yes … I am very well aware of what you wrote about the Northland bridges in a post over on the Whale Oil Blog several months ago 🙂

            • Any balance here comes from allowing and encouraging a wide range of views.

            • kittycatkin

               /  26th December 2015

              Oh ! Mike’s back at last 🙂

            • Blazer

               /  26th December 2015

              sorry to disappoint you…I have not posted on ‘canvass kissing cams ‘ blog for way longer than that.Usual reason…how dare you ,I’m a V.I.P you are banished for upsetting me .

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  26th December 2015

              Welcome back Mike!

              I just knew you wouldn’t be able to resist having a crack 🙂

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  26th December 2015

              Not abuse, just an accurate observation and judgement.

            • kittycatkin

               /  26th December 2015

              I can only say that when I investigated buying a house for removal and moving it onto a section, the red tape and cost made it not worth it for the kind of house we had in mind. Maybe for a really special one, like a heritage villa….I realise that there have to be checks and safety inspections blah blah blah but the number of inspections and the questions (some of which seemed unanswerable) about the house’s previous history were a total turnoff.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  26th December 2015

              In 1994 I bought a just relocated house and restored it, kc. In those days it was no hassle. By 2005 the lunatics were in full control and the bureaucracy was intolerable. By 2008 it was way past my tolerance to the never again point.

  5. We seem to have lost track of Pete’s original question.

    The political event that hit closest to home (literally) for me was the first reading of the Building Act revision of the the pool fencing regulations which have, as in Alan’s observation, often been a source of ongoing hassle and illogical demands in the hands of the territorial authorities.

    The proposed law revision brought the (publically funded) do-good know-it-alls out of the woodwork with a vengeance.

    Reply

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