ACT Party conference

The ACT Party will have their annual conference tomorrow in Auckland.

Bumper Conference
ACT is on the march and looking forward to our election year conference this Saturday at Orakei Bay. If you have been putting it off, it is not too late to register here. Not only will you be showing your support for ACT’s revival, but the program is filled with excellent speakers, entertainment, and don’t forget food.

ACT need a revival to get their party vote up to get more MPs to join a lobe David Seymour if he wins the Epsom electorate again.

Past results since MMP:

  • 1996 – 10.10% (13 seats)
  • 1999 – 7.04% (9 seats)
  • 2002 – 7.14% (9 seats)
  • 2005 – 1.51% (2 seats)
  • 2008 – 3.65% (5 seats)
  • 2011 – 1.07% (1 seat)
  • 2014 – 0.69% (1 seat)

Jamie Whyte didn’t appeal as leader in 2014, and 2011 was when Don Brash hijacked the party and ousted Rodney Hide, leaving only the odd choice of John Banks to win Epsom.

The Program
See full details here, but speakers include Leonie Freeman of Goodman Properties on the housing market, Former Labour Party President Mike Williams speaking for the Howard League on how to get smart on crime, and the New Zealand Initiative’s Eric Crampton on the truth about inequality. We expect David Seymour’s keynote speech to be his best yet.

The conference is likely to get some but not much media coverage. It is more to rally and encourage the troops.

I think Seymour has a good chance of retaining Epsom, but how the party vote goes will depend on whether ACT can come up with some more appealing candidates.

NZ Herald: David Seymour’s quest to rebuild Act

“We have to get some momentum behind Act and resurrect it as a party vote party, and that means getting to, at minimum, 1.3, 1.4 per cent to get a second MP,” Seymour said.

“I gave a speech a few weeks ago where I said the reason there has been no action on the housing crisis is because the average National MP owns 2.2 houses and doesn’t care. I don’t know if that’s enough, but it’s reasonably bold stuff I would have thought,” he said.

Polling indicates New Zealand First leader Winston Peters could be king-maker later this year. On the prospect of being in Government with Peters, Seymour said he would be prepared to “take one for the team”.

“If you have to choose between having him in Government with us, or him going with Labour and the Greens, then I guess I’d probably take one for the team. But I don’t think that’s a desirable outcome. The best you can say for the guy he is a charismatic crook.”

He spoke to the Herald from Dunedin, before heading to the Captain Cook pub for an O Week meet and greet with students.

“A lot of it is not what most people would regard as work – you spend a lot of time in transit, meeting people or going to functions … but it is still stuff you have to do, and it ends up being easily 80 hours a week. It is certainly pretty full on.

“We are lucky we have a pretty friendly, cooperative democracy. You look at all these people that are rude on Twitter, you wonder where they are in real life. They don’t seem to exist.”

Last year’s conference used precious exposure on an environmental policy to sell Landcorp to fund native wildlife sanctuaries. Has Act gone soft?

“I think it is something old, something new,” Seymour said of recent policies. “Act has always been a liberal party and a party of new ideas. That goes back the founding of the party. It was founded on a manifesto that had been audited by five different accounting firms. It has always been a policy-heavy party.”

I think Seymour has a good chance of retaining Epsom, but how the party vote goes will depend on whether ACT can come up with some additional appealing candidates.

Hobson’s Pledge membership drive

Don Brash’s “We are now one people” Hobson’s Pledge is advertising for members:

From their web page:

What we plan to do:

Now is the time to arrest a decline into irreversible separatism. This may be achieved by speaking out wherever local authorities propose race-based structures and where the current government proposes co-governance.

This may also be achieved in this year’s election by supporting and voting for any party that would vote against all laws, regulations and policies that provide for any entitlement based on ancestry or ethnicity.

Ideally, this political party would commit to:

  • remove all reference to consultation with any ethnic group from the proposed changes to the Resource Management Act
  • hold a referendum on scrapping separate Maori electorates
  • drop the proposal to grant tribal trusts special powers to control the allocation of water – something previously regarded as the exclusive province of local government

Brash has tried and failed with National and ACT, now he is looking for an ‘ideal political party’. I don’t like his chances, unless perhaps NZ First want to step up.

Why?

1. We can find nothing in the Treaty of Waitangi justifying any racial preference under the law.

2. Legal equality between citizens is the foundation stone of democracy. It is fair, reasonable and totally inclusive.

3. True democracy has proven to be the most enduring and successful system of government. It makes for united and prosperous nations.

4. Race-based privilege creates opportunities for corruption, resentment, and unrest.

Now is the time to stop an undemocratic slide into New Zealand style apartheid.

Please Note: We are not in any sense anti-Maori. Indeed, some of us are Maori. We recognise that Maori are too often among the poorest and most incarcerated citizens in the land. But having a constitutional preference has done little or nothing for the well being of most Maori. On the contrary: by leading some Maori to believe that their economic prosperity will be assured by a Treaty settlement, or by being able to clip the ticket on the productive activity of others, the constitutional preference may well be harming most Maori.

 

 

Keep your head above water

Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced clean water policy that has been widely derided, with some justification.

Not only is the 90% clean target not until 2040, Smith has changed the ‘swimmable’ standard to a significantly lower standard.

So it may pay to keep your head above water, while Smith’s political career drowns.

90% of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040

The Government today announced a target of 90 per cent of New Zealand’s lakes and rivers meeting swimmable water quality standards by 2040, alongside releasing new policy, regulations, information maps and funding to help achieve the new goal.

So I might be able to go in my zimmer frame and swim 90% safely about mid-century. Underwhelming and open to ridicule, and that is coming in buckets.

“This ambitious plan to improve the water quality in our lakes and rivers recognises that New Zealanders expect to be able to take a dip in their local river or lake without getting a nasty bug,” Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“The plan is backed up by national regulations requiring stock to be fenced out of waterways, new national policy requirements on regional councils to strengthen their plan rules on issues such as sewage discharges and planting riparian margins, a new Freshwater Improvement Fund and new maps that clearly identify where improvements are needed.

“This 90 per cent goal by 2040 is challenging and is estimated to cost the Government, farmers and councils $2 billion over the next 23 years. It will make us a world leader in water quality standards for swimming, and that’s important for New Zealand’s growing tourism industry. It will return our rivers and lakes to a standard not seen in 50 years while recognising that our frequent major rainfalls mean a 100 per cent standard is not realistic.”

The target covers the length of rivers over 0.4m deep and the perimeters of lakes greater than 1.5km, which total 54,000km. The plan is about improving the frequency that we can swim in our lakes and rivers, noting that even our cleanest rivers breach swimming water quality standards during storms.

The swimmable target is based on meeting the water quality standard at least 80 per cent of the time, in line with European and US definitions. Currently 72 per cent by length meet this definition, and the target is to increase that to 90 per cent by 2040. This means an additional 10,000km of swimmable rivers and lakes by 2040, or 400km per year.

Put like that it doesn’t sound so bad, but this policy has been delivered poorly by Smith.

“The maps I am releasing today provide the most comprehensive and consistent information on water quality for swimming of New Zealand’s rivers and lakes ever published. These will help focus councils and communities on improving their local water quality, as well as help people make decisions about where they can safely swim. The maps are connected to the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa website that provides real-time information on water quality, which is particularly relevant for the fair and intermittent categories.

“The challenge of improving water quality varies significantly across New Zealand. This plan requires improvements in water quality across all regions and all categories. The target not only requires an improvement in areas that are swimmable, ie into the fair category, but also rivers and lakes being moved from fair to good, and good to excellent. Regional targets to achieve the national goals are to be worked through with regional councils by March 2018. Some regional targets will need to be greater than the 90 per cent and others, where it is more difficult to achieve, will be less.

The National Policy Statement (NPS) for Freshwater Management is being strengthened to support the new 90 per cent by 2040 swimmability target, as well as changes to address the issues of ecological health and nutrients by:

  • replacing “wadeable” with “swimmable”
  • adding macroinvertebrate monitoring for ecological health
  • strengthening references to “Te Mana o te Wai”
  • clarifying the consideration of economic opportunities
  • requiring instream limits for nitrogen and phosphorus
  • clarifying inclusion of coastal lakes and lagoons
  • clarifying the policy on exceptions
  • strengthening the requirement for monitoring and improving quality.

“The new regulations on excluding stock from waterways are an important part of this plan to improve water quality. The rules progressively apply to dairy, pig, dairy support, beef and deer farms from this year to 2030 relative to the steepness of the country, at an expected cost of $367 million,” Dr Smith says.

“We are today opening bids for the new $100m Freshwater Improvement Fund and announcing the eligibility and assessment criteria, which closes on 13 April. This comes on top of the $350m already committed by the government, of which more than $140m has been spent on specific river and lake clean-ups.

“This is the third phase of the Government’s work programme to improve New Zealand freshwater management and builds on the NPS introduced in 2011 and the National Objectives Framework in 2014. I commend and acknowledge the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group and the Land and Water Forum, who have worked tirelessly in assisting with these policy developments.”

The Greens effectively make a fair point.

It’s

Labour/Maori MoU

In contrast to the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Greens all Labour seems to have for the Maori Party and MANA Movement is Memories of Utu

Ever since Maori MPs split from Labour and created the Maori Party in 2004 Labour seem have wanted revenge, or at least nothing to do with a party competing for the Maori seats in Parliament.

Leading in to the 2005 election:

SAINSBURY: If you had to, could you deal with the Maori Party in terms of forming a coalition? Yes or no.

HELEN CLARK: They would be the last cab off the rank, because I’ve got other options.

Twelve years later Andrew Little’s Labour seems antagonistic towards both the Maori and MANA cabs, wanting to slash their tyres and smash their windows. Little has all but ruled out trying to work with either party in government.

But does this make any sense apart from exacting utu on the party that split from Labour?

Labour are in a weak position and may all the potential coalition partners it can get, if not to form a government with but at least to strengthen their negotiating position.

It would probably be much easier to get Green and Maori parties working together in coalition than the Greens and NZ First.

Last month Bryce Edwards wrote in Labour’s balancing act with Mana-Maori:

Of course Andrew Little has no choice but to support his Maori MPs, and it may be politically astute to distance Labour from the Maori Party and Harawira before the election. But a ruthless examination of Labour’s path to government would suggest that losing the Maori seats would not necessarily be a disaster.

While Little’s comments have been interpreted as “all but” ruling out working with the Maori party, it would be foolish to damage the relationship and re-kindle the bitterness that existed when Tariana Turia was leader.

It’s a delicate MMP balancing act that requires party leaders to look beyond the individual and factional interests of their MPs in order to secure the treasury benches.

Labour seem to think differently, having ramped up their attacks and antagonism towards the Maori Party and since they have joined forces also MANA.

At The Standard in Kaupapa Pākehā Weka wrote yesterday:

I understand why Labour need to be pragmatic around the Māori seats. Not only is this traditional Labour territory, it will be important to the Māori MPs in the party. There’s mana at stake. But technically Labour don’t need to win the Māori seats to govern. They could lose the six of the seven seats they hold and it wouldn’t affect the number of Labour MPs in parliament, because Labour get their MP total off the list vote.

It would affect the balance of MPs across the house (in part to do with the overhang issue), and I’m sure Labour have been crunching the numbers, but there are other ways that this could play out. Labour don’t need the Māori seats, but they do need coalition partners.

This raises an interesting point.

Of course Labour would like to have all the Maori seats, but that’s not what will get them into government. They need to improve their all important party vote.

Stirring up and dividing the Maori vote may work against Labour’s overall interests.

There is a jarring contrast between Labour and the Greens trying to show how well they can get on and work together.

NZ Herald: Greens’ Julie Anne Genter and Labour’s Jacinda Ardern strike up friendship in Mt Albert

The least bitter rivalry in New Zealand politics has broken out in the Mt Albert by-election, with the two leading candidates striking up a new friendship.

The Greens’ Julie Anne Genter and Labour’s Jacinda Ardern have been car-pooling to events together and handing out leaflets side by side.

Genter, who is the Greens’ health and transport spokeswoman, said she had built up a close relationship with Ardern on the campaign trail.

“It’s been really fun being on the campaign with her. We get on really well and I’ve really appreciated it.

Genter and Ardern have made a point of not attacking each other to show their parties can work together under their Memorandum of Understanding.

In contrast Little has been vigorously attacking the Maori parties over the last few weeks, with things escalating this week.

Bitter battles seem to be overriding common sense.

If Labour want to increase their party vote, which is what they need more than any Maori seats if they want to get back into government, then they should be showing they can work with any other party, including Maori and MANA.

If not they are both limiting their chances of maximising their party vote, limiting their coalition negotiating strength and limiting their coalition options.

I’m not the only one baffled at Labour’s approach.

Memories of Utu seem to dominate their thinking, which puts their party vote and their coalition options at risk.

New ACT on crime and punishment

One of the best known ACT Party policies is the three strikes law which aims to lock up the worst offenders for longer. There is some merit to this, and there are risks of unintended consequences. It’s too soon to tell whether it is an overall success or not.

What three strikes doesn’t seem to be reducing is reoffending rates. Our prisons are full and there are plans to expand them.

ACT MP David Seymour has had a look at this and is proposing a different approach to dealing with increasing incarceration (while retaining three strikes).

NZ Herald: Act’s new approach to crime and punishment

The Act Party will “turn over a new leaf” and launch policy to support prisoners after leader David Seymour witnessed work being done by the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Seymour told the Herald a new policy would be revealed at the party’s annual conference on Saturday.

“We have done tough on crime and continue to promote those policies – extending three-strikes to burglary … but we are also going to turn over a new leaf and start talking about being smart on crime.”

This sounds similar to Bill English’s data based smart targeting approach to a range of issues.

A keynote speaker at the Act conference in Auckland’s Orakei is former Labour Party president Mike Williams.

Interesting to see Williams speaking at an ACT conference.

Williams is now the chief executive of the New Zealand Howard League for Penal Reform, which runs literacy programmes that aim to get prisoners to a competent reading level, enabling them to read books to their children, take driver tests and have a better chance of finding work when they are released.

Almost 65 per cent of the men and women in prison fall below NCEA level one literacy and numeracy.

That’s an awful statistic. Poor education is closely linked to crime.

Corrections formalised a partnership with the Howard League in June 2014, signing a three-way agreement with the Ministry of Education, and has allocated about $100,000 to expand the driver licence and literacy programme.

A very good idea with a bugger all budget.

Last year Seymour joined Williams and Bill English at a prizegiving ceremony at Rimutaka Prison, where inmates who had completed the league’s literacy programme and learnt to read spoke about what it meant to them. Tutors who volunteered in the programme also spoke.

“What they [the league] are doing is very Act,” Seymour said. “They have got a private initiative with volunteers … they have had an extraordinary impact on people who have never had a piece of paper with their name and face on it before, have never been able to open a bank account.

“I went there because I was already thinking about the issue … I still think that people that commit three violent crimes should get the maximum sentence. But I think we can do a bit better on the first two strikes.”

Three strikes on it’s own was populist but inadequate.

Williams – praised as “legendary” in an Act press release promoting his conference speech – told the Herald that he felt very positively about Seymour’s interest in reoffending programmes.

“I am on a completely different side of the fence to David Seymour. However, I am impressed with the guy. He is open-minded about the problem of incarceration in New Zealand, and I have found him intelligent and forward-looking.”

Perhaps Williams could talk to some in Labour too then, if they are prepared to listen. It’s good to see him prepared to promote his cause with any party willing to learn and act.

In October, the Government announced plans to cope with a booming prisoner population including a 1500-bed prison on the current Waikeria Prison site in Waikato.

Those changes will hit the Government’s books by an extra $2.5 billion over about five years.

That’s nuts. A decent dollop of that budget should be diverted to rehabilitation and prevention, that would make a much more beneficial difference to the lives and families of individuals and to the country as a whole.

Williams has previously said that although successive Corrections ministers have supported measures to reduce reoffending, the prison population was growing because of harder bail and parole rules, an influx of deportees from Australia and the three-strikes legislation.

So it makes sense that much more effort and money should go towards reducing  reoffending – and addressing the factors that lead to offending in the first place.

ACT will be announcing policy on crime this weekend.

I expect (or at least hope) the Government will act on this soon, like in May’s budget.

Andrew Little versus kaupapa Maori

Andrew Little stirred up Maori politics yesterday with comments on RNZ that slammed the Maori Party. There was a significant reaction via media and on Twitter.

RNZ: Māori Party ‘not kaupapa Māori’ – Andrew Little

Labour leader Andrew Little claims the Māori Party is not kaupapa Māori after hitching its wagon to National, as a new deal between the Māori parties is signed.

Speaking to Morning Report today, Mr Little said the Māori Party hitched its wagon to National, but nothing had changed in terms of Māori over-representation in prisons and unemployment – so it had no influence over National.

He said they had conceded on every important issue.

“In the end, what it comes down to is – how do Māori have the strongest voice? Not just in Parliament, but in government. At the moment it comes through the Māori Party, which is two MPs tacked on to a National Party that doesn’t need to listen to them on anything if it doesn’t wish to. It’s all grace and favour stuff.”

He said Mana’s Hone Harawira was all over the show, and in and out of different waka all the time.

That’s a bit ironic. Harawira responded on RNZ:

Mr Harawira said the Labour leader’s comments about his deal with the Māori Party were inappropriate and quite nasty.

He told Morning Report he found it quite astounding how arrogant Labour leaders could be when talking about what Māori needed.

“I think what Māori really need is to not have white guys like Andrew Little telling us what to do, and what our aspirations should be. Mana has always been clearly its own independent organisation.”

A Maori Party founder and ex leader Pita Sharples later also responded – RNZ Labour leader ‘should be ashamed’- Sir Pita:

Sir Pita  said the Māori Party’s focus was solely a Māori one, and said he was “totally insulted” by Mr Little’s comments.

“It’s that kind of using made-up phrases like that to denigrate the authenticity of Māori that really does the damage in race relations. He should be ashamed of himself.”

Sir Pita co-led the Māori Party from 2004 through to 2013, and said he was baffled by Mr Little’s claims.

“We champion and build kura kaupapa Māori schools highschools, wharekura run reo Māori language programmes and work by hui in marae and always have mihimihi, (greetings) so I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

More from Stuff:  Political attacks are in full swing as Labour and the Maori Party go head-to-head for the Maori seats

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox says…

“He is the worst example of someone who understands Maori and relationship agreements and how to work with other parties for that matter.”

She said the party is divided over Little’s decision to bring high-profile broadcaster Willie Jackson into the party and he’s been dishonest about whether Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare was asked to stand aside in his electorate.

“What’s obvious is there’s disquiet amongst the Maori MPs,” says Fox.

Little:

Little went on to say the Maori MPs in Labour were “fearful” of a high spot on the party list because “they don’t want to give the impression they’re being held up by belts and braces”.

He said Labour’s Maori MPs were advocating for low-list places – it’s widely speculated Jackson, who is running on the list, will receive a high placing.

Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, who will have a fight against Mana leader Hone Harawira for the seat after an agreement between Mana and the Maori Party to give Harawira a clear run, said Little was right and it was about getting more Maori in Parliament.

He said sitting Maori MPs were prepared to sacrifice a high list place in order to get more MPs, such as former TV presenter Tamati Coffey and Northland candidate Willow-Jean Prime, in to Parliament.

“It’s the risk we’re prepared to take,’ he said.

Unless Labour improves it’s support then list placings will be of little use. Winning an electorate is all important for Labour MPs.

It’s not just politicians who have piled into Little for his comments.


Sparrowhawk/KāreareaAndrew Little and the Māori lightbulb moment

It was a great question from Morning Report’s Susie Ferguson to the leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little.

Ok…the Labour vote is high in those Māori seats, but isn’t there a hunger from the voters in those seats for an electorate MP who is from a kaupapa Māori party?

It was a great question for two reasons (in my mind)..firstly, the fact that Susie knew what a kaupapa Māori party was, and was comfortable with the nomenclature. Props. Secondly, the answer to that question showed Little lacks a useful understanding of Māori thinking. It was a kind of lightbulb moment in reverse: he showed us he had no idea where the switch is, let alone the bulb, that could illuminate Māori politics for any of us.

[Little] Well, the Māori Party is not kaupapa Māori. We know that, it has conceded on every important issue affecting Māori in the last nine years.

[Ferguson]: They would probably take issue with that!

[Little] Well in the end, what it comes down to is: how do Māori have the strongest voice, not just in Parliament but in government. At the moment it comes through the Māori Party which is two MPs tacked on to the National Party that doesn’t need to listen to them on anything if it doesn’t wish to.

Oh boy. we have the Leader of the Opposition telling us what is and isn’t kaupapa Māori. I don’t really mind any Pākehā person voicing an opinion about things Māori. So the fact that Little is Pākehā doesn’t gall me. What galls me is that he has pronounced grandly upon something he doesn’t understand. As can be seen above he has given us a definition of kaupapa Māori.

Extrapolating from his words above we now know that a political party can only be kaupapa Māori if it wins battles in Parliament on every important issue affecting Māori.

And then he seems to contradict his own statement by saying the Māori Party provides the strongest Māori voice in Parliament (albeit from the beat up Vauxhall being towed behind the big blue bus).

Way to build up your own Māori MPs, Andrew, by conceding they don’t have the strongest voice already.

I’ll leave it to others to defend the Māori Party’s own record. That is not my focus; my focus is instead Little’s apparent ignorance of Māori and Māori modes of thought and action.

So what do we now know of kaupapa Māori in the wake of the Little interview?

  1. No Māori affiliated with the National Party can ever claim to come from a base of Kaupapa Māori
  2. Kaupapa Māori can only ever be measured in terms of policy victories
  3. Kaupapa Māori can only ever be measured in the strength of the loudest voice proclaiming it.
  4. Kaupapa Māori can only be exercised in regards to issues directly affecting Māori.

On this definition, neither the Māori Party nor the Mana Party nor Sir Āpirana Ngata could ever be accused of employing kaupapa Māori.

Little has provided a handy rallying cry for those who would seek to undermine the Labour Māori vote. I am sure his own Māori candidates, MPS and membership will not thank him for disparaging the Māori Party in this way when they find themselves having to defend a leader who has commandeered the Māori language and insulted Māori politicians and voters in such a cavalier way.


Little seems to be struggling with dealing with Maori issues, as well as going on the attack in trying to protect Labour’s Maori seats.

He has indicated he has no interest in talking to the Maori Party about coalition arrangements.

RNZ poll of polls

‘Poll of polls’ average out poll results but with the small number of polls in New Zealand they can fluctuate nearly as much as the two polls being done, Colmar Brunton and Roy Morgan. CB is polling every three months, RM monthly.

RNZ: Poll of Polls: Labour regains support, National strong

RNZ’s latest Poll of Polls up to mid-February gave Labour an average of 28.5% through January and the first half of February, with just seven months to run until the election. This was 2 points up on its late-2016 average of 26.4%.

But it is well below its 32.5% average at this time in the 2014 election year, from which it dropped to 25.1% in the election.

Any rise will be welcomed by Labour (and Greens) but Labour are still in poor shape…

The Greens latest average is 11.5%. That gives a combined Labour and Greens score of 40%.

…and Greens appear to have hit a support ceiling.

Set that against National’s latest average of 46.7%, close to where it was in November before a 2-point boost after the smooth changeover in December from John Key to Bill English – and very close to its 2014 election score.

The switch to English has had a negligible effect on polls so far.

The trends give an overall picture.

eight_col_nat_v_lab_green_17feb22

It’s still seven months until the election in September and a lot can and no doubt will happen.

Roy Morgan should be due to release their February poll which will add a bit more to the poll picture.

Maori Party-Mana Movement

Here is the agreement signed by the Maori party and the Mana Movement today.


The Executive of the MANA Movement and the National Executive for Maori Party have the power and authority to act on behalf of their respective parties in entering into this agreement.

Any and all contravening clauses/rules contained within existing party rules / constitutions / ture will be suspended for the duration of this agreement and replaced with the terms contained within this Kawenata and will conclude on September 23, 2017.

PRINCIPLES:

  1. The MANA Movement and the Maori Party recognise the importance of showing unity through diversity and the strength that this arrangement provides for the betterment of the people we serve.
  2. Through mutual respect and a commitment to build on the strengths each party possess, we sign this Kawenata to help us achieve the aspirations of both parties and more importantly Maori.

TERMS:

1. MANA confirm the decision made at its 2016 AGM, to focus on Te Tai Tokerau at the 2017 General Election, and to not stand candidates in the other 6 Maori seats (Tamaki Makaurau, Hauraki-Waikato, Waiariki, Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Te Tai Hauauru, Te Tai Tonga).

2. The Maori Party confirm their determination to stand candidates in those 6 Maori seats (Tamaki Makaurau, Hauraki-Waikato, Waiariki, Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Te Tai Hauauru, Te Tai Tonga) at the 2017 General Election, while agreeing to not stand a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau.

3. Both MANA and the Maori Party also agree to allow each party:
a) to develop, present and promote the policies they think most appropriate;
b) to campaign for the party vote;
c) to criticise policies, without attacking candidates.

4. This Kawenata will take effect on signing and remain in force until 5pm Sat 23 Sep 2017.


Meaning of Kawenata from the Maori Dictionary:

1. (loan) (noun) covenant, testament, charter, contract, agreement, treaty – any undertaking that binds the parties in a permanent and morally irrevocable relationship.

The Maori/MANA Kawenata is not permanent as it has a termination date – election day.

Whale Oil slump

Whale Oil has been trying to trash Bill English since he became Prime Minister and they have been trying to trash National since New Zealand along with all other countries in the security voted in December to censure Israel, except the US who abstained.

This morning ‘Cameron Slater’ tries to connect the poll result to their anti-English and anti-National agenda: First poll of year sees Nats slump 4 points, thanks Murray

National has slumped 4 points int he latest 1News/Colmar Brunton poll.

Winston Peters is in the box seat, but Bill English must be regretting letting Murray McCully run rogue at the UN Security Council. This is the cost.

National has started the slide to a number starting with 3.

Bill English better get well acquainted with Winston Peters…and he better sort out Murray McCully or this drop will be just the start.

That’s nonsensical analysis, it’s just trying to justify WO’s doom and gloom predictions with what is actually a fairly consistent poll result. National results since October 2015: 47, 47, 50, 48, 48, 50, 46 so 46% is nothing like a slump.

In fact National have been polling consistently within a fairly narrow band since 2012 with low points 4-5 years ago.

Slater is demonstrating again that he uses Whale Oil for political activism rather than as credible media alternative.

Notably Slater’s slant is largely unsupported in comments so far.

Wilson: Some in the media were saying the first poll will have a 3 in front of it. So 46% is great.

Curly1952: I believe the drop to 46% for National was to be expected as JK was the glue to the party.

As far as the McCully factor goes I would suggest that large swathes of the electorate won’t even consider the UN resolution as part of the political barometer in NZ.

Most of the electorate are unlikely to be aware of the UN vote, or won’t care about it.

Omlete:I think the broad electorate have enough native smarts to not want the wreckers/ haters and unionist thugs on the treasury benches. It will be a National led government.

Ross:On what evidence exactly do you blame Murray?

Korerorero: I don’t thinks it’s that bad. National was on 50% in the last colmar poll.
So this is probably a correction to be in line with the other polls which had Nats around 46%. I think you’ll see nats stay around this number (or possible rise again) after their budget surprise that will leave labour shell shocked and the voters happy.

The only one supporting Slater’s agenda was ‘Positan’:

It’s not a correction. Within my many circles there was utter disbelief at the Christmas Eve announcement of NZ’s position on Res:2334 – and then anger bordering on outrage at English’s failure to front during the holidays and explain. The anger grew with the continued failure of any senior Nat to front – especially, with the empty silly letters issued by pressured Nat MPs.

Next, there were the circulating stories as to how English & Co had believed the whole matter would be blown over by the end of the holidays – the reason for the deafening silence – which has wrought the real damage of “my party vote will go elsewhere,” and “sorry, no extra donation this year.”

If National’s members are saying those sorts of things out loud now – that’s why the 46% figure has happened. English has completely misread his party’s membership’s feelings and he’s blown it. I think National’s poll figures could get very much worse.

That sounds very similar to some of the anti-National posts over the last two months.

Of course National’s poll figures could get worse, but there is no discernible effect on them from the UN vote against Israel, and this poll result is only being called a slump by Slater and some desperadoes at The Standard.

The only slump shown here is in Whale Oil credibility as a political analyst.

First Colmar Brunton poll of 2017

The major parties will be happy-ish with the first  News Colmar Brunton poll of the year, especially NZ First, but Labour have a way to go to where they need to be.

  • National 46% (down from 50 in November 2016)
  • Labour 30% (up from 28)
  • Greens 11% (no change)
  • NZ First 11% (up from 10)
  • Maori Party 1% (no change)
  • ACT Party 1% (up  from 0)
  • Mana Party 1% (up from 0)

Labour and Greens combined are 41% so would need NZ First support to form a government.

Labour are trending upwards slowly again – results since October 2015:

  • 31, 32, 28, 29, 26, 28, 30

Greens may be a bit concerned as they often do worse in elections than they poll – results since October 2015:

  • 12, 8, 10, 12, 13, 11, 11

They are not making any gains since James Shaw took over co-leadership from Russel Norman and the Memorandum of Understanding with Labour hasn’t had any significant poll benefit.

National results since October 2015:

  • 47, 47, 50, 48, 48, 50, 46

That’s remarkable considering they are nearing the end of their third term and John Key has stepped down from leading them.

National are within  margin of error to forming a similar arrangement they have now, depending on whether ACT and Peter Dunne survive. They will be reasonably happy with this result, the first Colmar Brunton poll with English as Prime Minister.

With rounding it’s hard to take much from the minor party movements.

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • Bill English 31% (John Key was 36 in November)
  • Winston Peters 8% (no change)
  • Andrew Little 7% (down from 8)
  • Jacinda Ardern 4% (up from 1)

English should be pleased enough with this. Peters will be very pleased to be ahead of Little, who should be worried about his continued lack of appeal.

Ardern remains adamant she doesn’t want to be Prime Minister.

1 News:  Labour and Greens close gap on National following John Key’s departure

The poll of just over 1000 eligible voters was taken between February 11 and 15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent.