The tail wagging the dog and pup?

When comparing two bills currently in the news it looks like the NZ First tail is wagging the Labour dog and green pup.

Labour and the Greens say they are allowing NZ First to progress their waka jumping bill. The Greens in particular have compromised their principles significantly in order to allow the bill to pass with a unified majority.

See Waka jumping bill and integrity.

But NZ First seems to be responsible for neutering changes on Medical Cannabis, a bill that is important enough for Labour to include in their 100 day plan, and important enough to the Greens to keep a Member’s Bill that goes further (and for Labour to support leaving that bill in), indications are that NZ First, with 9 votes to Labour-Greens 54, seems to be getting away with crippling the bill.

It’s not just a clear majority in Government that NZ First are stuffing around.

A Curia poll in July shows strong public support:

• Growing and/or using cannabis for any medical reasons such as to alleviate pain
17% illegal
21% decriminalised
57% legal

• Growing and/or using cannabis for medical reasons if you have a terminal illness
15% illegal
22% decriminalised
59% legal

• Possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use
31% illegal
37% decriminalised
28% legal

• Growing a small amount of cannabis for personal use
41% illegal
32% decriminalised
23% legal

• Growing a small amount of cannabis for giving or selling to your friends
69% illegal
16% decriminalised
10% legal

• Selling cannabis from a store
57% illegal
11% decriminalised
23% legal

The poll was conducted from July 3-18, with 938 people participating. The margin of error is +/-3.1 per cent.

We will see what the bill looks like when it is introduced today, but Ardern, Shaw and Minister of Health David Clark have all talked down expectations in advance.

Stuff: Government downplays expectations on medicinal cannabis law reform

Clark would not comment on the details of the bill, before it was announced. But his comments suggested the Government could be preparing to widen access for medicinal cannabis products, while not necessarily allowing for the full legalisation of medicinal marijuana in its raw form.

“The bill itself, represents what we know the Parliament is willing to progress. There’s another member’s bill in the name of Chloe Swarbrick that will test if the Parliament has an appetite to go further,” he said.

Clark said the party “drew on the experience it had through the campaign” when drafting the policy. But admitted some would be left disappointed by the legislation.

“It won’t make all of the activists happy. There will be some who would wish that we would go further – we believe we have struck a balance, which represents good progress.

Referring to ‘activists’ has made a lot of people unhapy, especially those who are genuinely campaigning for wider and cheaper medical use of cannabis products.

“And the Parliament will get its chance with Chloe Swarbrick’s bill to decide whether it wants to go further,” Clark said.

A virtual admission that their own bill is crap.

“The Government has created its own piece of legislation to progress medicinal cannabis; it was part of our 100-day plan. We wanted to make sure that medicinal cannabis is more accessible to people with terminal illness or chronic conditions and the piece of legislation will make progress.”

Important enough to be included in their 100 day plan.

Not important enough to stand up to Winston Peters, despite Labour and the Greens compromising for NZ First’s pet bill.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said members would have options with the presence of both bills.

But the Government bill would “improve on the status quo”.

“We can guarantee with the bill we have got we can do that. We can’t guarantee that with the member’s bill. There are differences and you will see that when the bill is introduced.”

We will see, but the signs look ominous.

The tail appears to be wagging the dog and pup vigorously.


Leave a comment


  1. PDB

     /  20th December 2017

    When you sell out in order to be the govt like Labour/Greens did it’s no surprise – just about all the radical change they campaigned on has been delayed, backtracked upon or watered down.

    No wonder Labour wants to conceal what their agreement with Winston actually contains & no wonder Winston is happy for it to be aired publically.

  2. robertguyton

     /  20th December 2017

    National wanted Winston’s support, right? They also wanted the support of The Green Party. I really enjoyed reading the details of the deal National and NZFirst were discussing during the negotiations for Government; so impressed the National released those, un-redacted, without any fuss at all, early on in the piece. Bill English, thy name is Transparency!

    • PDB

       /  20th December 2017

      As far as I’m aware there isn’t a 30 odd page formal document between National and NZL First that Winston described as “”a document of precision on various areas of policy commitment and development”.

      Do you have proof of anything otherwise?

    • artcroft

       /  20th December 2017

      You’re sounding desperate Robert. Your argument is nothing but what-a-boutism with nothing to what about. Its going to be a long disappointing 3 years for you as the Greens keep selling out to Winston.

    • alloytoo

       /  20th December 2017

      Mr. English when asked about that indicated that he couldn’t publish any negotiation documents because they were subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

      Mr Peters on the other hand indicated that the 30 odd pages of “”a document of precision on various areas of policy commitment and development”. would be published in due course.

      Now I imagine Labour would have made the same claim about ”a document of precision on various areas of policy commitment and development”, had they thought to include a non-disclosure agreement.

      Mr Peters is probably pretty pleased they didn’t and will look to release the document when ever it suits him most (like he probably disclosed his super information).

  3. david in aus

     /  20th December 2017

    That’s MMP. MMP survived the referendum because up to that point, the major partner dominated. But this a new world, where the partner with the most choice determines the tune.
    Is this acceptable? It’s up to the public in the next election.

  4. MMP formed this government and it will, as sure as eggs, destroy it.

    When, not if!.

  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  20th December 2017

    You are not serious that spellcheck changed MMP to ‘my mother’. I have encountered some witless changes-thank goodness it’s possible to remove spellcheck-but that is the most witless.

    • Lol. Pete fixed it. It changed MMP to MOM

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  20th December 2017

        It drives me mad on OneDrive-it’s semi-literate and the suggestions it gives are ridiculous. MMP-doesn’t it think that that might be someone’s INITIALS, forsooth ?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  20th December 2017

          It’s such a damned busybody. What would it change USA and IRA to ? Or ANZ and TPPA ?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  20th December 2017

        OneDrive wanted to change it to MUMP.


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