Parties arrange early Key/Cunliffe exits

National and Labour have worked together to arrange for the early exit of John Key and David Cunliffe from Parliament. They are both leaving just close enough to the election to avoid automatic by-elections, and with both leaving at about the same time the vote balance in parliament won’t be upset.

Too bad for their electorates that will be left unrepresented until after the election. Neither electorate has a current list MP standing so that leave no one to step in for them.

Stuff: Key, Cunliffe set date for final departures in move to preserve Parliament’s balance

Former Prime Minister John Key will quit Parliament on April 14 after delivering his farewell speech next week.

The timing will allow Parliament to avoid a by-election in his Helensville seat, which can be left vacant if he leaves within six months of the September 23 general election.

Meanwhile Labour’s David Cunliffe has also announced he is leaving early, with a final day of April 23 – ensuring the relative strengths of the Government and Opposition are preserved.

It is becoming more common for MPs and also for local body politicians to leave mid-term at their own convenience rather than fulfil their full term commitment.

Key will give his valedictory speech on March 22 and his resignation will take take effect on April 14.

Cunliffe’s valedictory speech will be on April 11 and his resignation will take effect on April 23.

Cunliffe quitting next year

David Cunliffe says he has been offered a job to good to turn down so he will leave Parliament next year. He is going to remain long enough to avoid a by election in his New Lynn electorate.

Significant factors are likely to be Cunliffe’s failure as Labour leader in the 2014 election – Labour slumped – and the jobs offered by his replacement leader Andrew leader were fairly insulting.

Cunliffe is currently ranked 27th out of Labour’s 31 MPs.

Little announced that Cunliffe would not be seeking re-election (RNZ):

“He is joining the leadership team of Auckland-based management consultancy Stakeholder Strategies Ltd, a leading strategy and organisation consulting firm that provides advice on commercial, economic and environmental issues,” Mr Little said.

He said Mr Cunliffe planned to step down sometime next year and wanted to avoid triggering a by-election.

He had made a “strong contribution” to Labour as the MP for New Lynn since 1999 and as a former leader and finance spokesperson.

“I’m not here to talk about things that happened a long time ago, David has made his decision, I have made the announcement today and so we know think about the next steps, but understand David continues to be well-respected and a good friend of mine.”

Cunliffe also played a part in Labour changing the way they elected their leader, which probably made the difference on whether Littler took over or not.

Cunliffe says he is choosing to go and wasn’t pushed – but the lack of prospects under Little must have played a part in his decision.

“A great opportunity has come my way. I’ve got options and I’m looking forward to taking them.

Opportunities and options for him in Parliament were not great.

Asked about his greatest challenge since entering Parliament in 1999, Mr Cunliffe said challenges “come and go”.

“Look, I’ve had a great run in politics, it’s a rollercoaster as we all know, but it’s an opportunity at the end of the day to make a difference for New Zealanders. It’s not about us, it’s about them and improving their lives and God knows they need help at the moment.”

Mr Cunliffe said one of his biggest regrets was the impact Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party had on the result of the 2014 election.

“A large German billionaire that came from nowhere and swung like a wrecking ball through New Zealand politics. We tried to stay well away from him, but undoubtedly he was a one-man turnout machine for marginal National voters.”

So he is blaming his and Labour’s failures on Dotcom. There was a lot more too the election than that. Cunliffe wasn’t seen as Prime Minister material by the voters.

Corbyn faces coup

The Guardian has details of an impending coup attempt in the British Labour Party following the EU referendum.

The claim “An overwhelming majority of the shadow cabinet now believes Corbyn should quit”.

Hilary Benn seeks shadow cabinet backing to oust Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn faces a coup this week by members of his shadow cabinet, led by Hilary Benn, the Observer can reveal.

It is understood that the shadow foreign secretary called fellow MPs over the weekend to suggest that he will ask Corbyn to stand down if there is significant support for a move against the leader. He has also asked shadow cabinet colleagues to join him in resigning if the Labour leader ignores that request. A spokesman for Benn declined to comment.

An overwhelming majority of the shadow cabinet now believes Corbyn should quit in the wake of millions of Labour voters ignoring their leader’s advice to vote in favour of Britain’s continued membership of the EU and amid the possibility of an early general election.

The development comes as leaked internal Labour party polling of people who voted for Labour in 2015 reveals that nearly a third (29%) would support a different party if a general election was held today.

A Labour source said: “MPs and members were worried about their prospects at the next election under Corbyn, but thought they had four years to turn things around. Now many fear they may have just four months if a snap election is called.”

The development looks likely to be the most serious threat to Corbyn’s leadership yet, with many MPs claiming that he must be unseated by the end of the week for Labour to remain an electoral force.

It surprised many that Corbyn was voted by party membership as leader, and he seems to have failed to transform from maverick backbencher to widely popular leader.

And David Cunliffe agrees that Labour has a Corbyn problem:

John Drinnan Retweeted David Cunliffe
Corbyn lack of leadership was dismal imo

has been virtually invisible I agree

So was the swing hard left a mistake? Or was Corbyn simply the wrong gamble?

The PM/lawyer/trust story

NZ Herald and One News are making a big thing of a story about John Key, his lawyer (who  is apparently is not a lawyer any more), the Antipodes trust company and lobbying.

One News: John Key’s lawyer’s involvement in lobbying government over tax laws revealed

John Key’s personal lawyer lobbied the Government not to change the controversial tax laws.

This is the latest twist in the Panama Papers saga – and it’s raising more questions for the Prime Minister and the role of his lawyer Ken Whitney.

Earlier this month Mr Key shrugged off the revelation that he had a cash deposit with Antipodes Trust, a company that specialises in foreign trusts. His office explained this away by saying the deposit was lodged with Mr Whitney, who had recently moved firms to the Antipodes Trust.

However, Companies House documents show that Mr Whitney has been involved with the firm since its inception more than 20 years ago.

And Official Information Act document also reveals that Mr Whitney and the Antipodes Trust were heavily involved in lobbying the Government not to change the controversial tax rules.

NZ Herald: The Antipodes email: The PM, his lawyer and foreign trusts

John Key’s personal lawyer cited a conversation with the Prime Minister when lobbying a Minister about a potential crackdown on the lucrative foreign trust industry.

Time and analysis will show whether there is anything significant or damaging to Key in this story.

There’s another interesting aspect to the story – it appears to have been provided to selected news outlets, One News, the Herald and Radio NZ, and not given to Newshub or Stuff, at least not initially.

Giving one or some media outlets news, in this case one print, one television and one radio outlet, is a technique used to get those outlets to give the news more prominence as an ‘exclusive’ .

The story came from the Greens, who clearly decided to share w tvnz, rnz & herald.

Clearly from Greens – are you saying that was shut out?

Anybody there from Greens – was shut out from story?

it seems fairly obviously it was provided first to Tvnz over tv3 like it was to Herald over stuff

So its just a queue waiting for a press release? Sad.

Cunliffe unclear, Key wrong on TPPA

David Cunliffe (like everyone else but especially politicians) should be more careful with how he words his tweets.

Toby Manhire ‏@toby_etc Feb 9
The cruellest cut of all: John Key seems to have forgotten that David Cunliffe used to be leader of the Labour Party

@toby_etc nope. He just lied about my position. I wasn’t on the March because I love the deal

This puzzled me, because Cunliffe took part in the anti-TPPA march in Auckland on February 4th, the day of the signing.

He also posted on his Facebook page with some loyal party lines:

Today, I joined thousands of Kiwis in protest against provisions in the TPPA that would undermine our sovereignty. Great to see people from all walks of life engaged and expressing their views peacefully and thoughtfully.

The New Zealand Labour Party has always stood for free trade and always will – just not at the expense of our sovereignty.


So while he hasn’t mentioned Pharmac nor intellectual property there he is continuing with the vague ‘sovereignty’ complaint.

The “John Key seems to have forgotten that David Cunliffe used to be leader of the Labour Party” presumably arose after Key’s Statement in Parliament in Tuesday.

So it had, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, significance for the Labour Party. Do any of us know why? Well, when we think “TPP”, we think Trans-Pacific Partnership; they think “two-position party”—that is what “TPP” says to them.

This is because when it comes to David Shearer, he rightfully said to the New Zealand Herald—before he got a good spanking from the leader—“I’ll be voting for it. There’s no change there. Nothing’s changed my mind and the international interest analysis—fantastic.”

Phil Goff, he is definitely voting for it, because it is, to quote Phil, the same as the China free-trade agreement taken under Labour.

Helen Clark, she is a tremendous supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

In fact, every Labour leader in the last 20 years supports the agreement except the current one. Well, that actually is a bit debatable. So when you look at Andrew Little’s positions—and I will grant you he has had more positions than the Labour Party has had leader in the last 5 years—he says he hates the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

So Cunliffe may be correct in saying “He just lied about my position”, or Key was at least mistaken.

Cunliffe has arrived at his current position after vague and non-commital stances in the past.

When he first became Labour leader in September 2013 3 News reported:

As one of his first acts as leader of the Opposition, David Cunliffe has called on the Government to make public the draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

In his first full press conference, Mr Cunliffe challenged the Government to “have the courage of its convictions” and put the negotiating draft into the public domain so it can make up its own mind.

Cunliffe should have known that it was ridiculous to expect a negotiating draft of an international agreement involving 12 countries should be put in the public doman.

While Mr Cunliffe says he still needs a “detailed briefing” on the negotiations and the party has not seen the draft, he understood the concept of what the partnership could bring.

“There are some real fish hooks with it.”

These include intellectual property issues and investor and state relations, he says.

While Labour’s leader in March 2014 Cunliffe spoke at a TPPA protest rally but was non-committal then:

Labour leader David Cunliffe spoke at the Auckland rally but would not state his party’s final position on the TPPA.

“I’m going to wait until I see the details.”

The TPPA was a “fundamentally important agreement” but the public did not know what was included in the text, he said.

“There’s a wide range of opinions, some people are absolutely opposed, some people think it’s a great deal and the fact is nobody really knows because there’s 300 pages of details in [trade minister] Tim Groser’s safe and he’s not showing anybody and that’s wrong,” Cunliffe said.

During the election campaign in August 2014 Cunliffe said:

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe said the party would act based on the merits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. He said it was not possible at present to assess the merits of the deal, because the Government was refusing to release the draft texts.

During Labour’s leadership contest in late 2014 Cunliffe  expressed concerns about the TPPA: (no longer waiting until he saw the details, which weren’t released until a year later):

I am concerned about the TPPA. We cannot trade-away our ability to set government regulation. I am worried that John Key and his Government will continue to keep us all in the dark about the text and its implications and I fear they will then present us with the final text some time near the end of this year and insist that we accept it otherwise we will harm our trading relationships.

This will leave us with little or no opportunity to consult with our communities about its potential implications.

We must protect Pharmac, ensure intellectual property provisions are suitable for New Zealand business, and we must not accept limits on our sovereign right to regulate. Any agreement must be in New Zealand’s best interest.

That was to a Labour audience as opposed to the voting public.

There is plenty of time for MPs to consult with their communities. Public submissions can now be made in Parliament on International treaty examination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Pharmac and intellectual property provisions have caused little real concern, and Labour’s fall back stance on ‘sovereign rights’ and ‘our ability to set government regulation’ seems quite lame.

But now Cunliffe knows the detail of the agreement, and there should be fewer concerns than he had previously expressed about it, he has become an active protester against the TPPA.

However Key may not have known about this strengthening of Cunliffe’s anti-TPPA stance.

This will probably be added to BliP’s list of John Key ‘lies’ but it’s debatable whether it was a deliberate false claim through omitting Cunliffe’s current TPPA stance, or he just got it wrong.

Labour, protest, trade

Labour mostly kept a distance from the TPPA protests in Auckland yesterday. They have also tried to keep a distance between anti-TPPA and anti-trade. But not everyone in Labour is on the same page.

Andrew Little and Labour dabbled with the TPPA signing and protests but from a distance. They tried to portray their anti-TPPA stance as a principled stand on sovereignty in the same league as New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance:

On this day in 1985 the then Labour Government stood up for the rights of New Zealanders. It refused entry to the USS Buchanan after the US Government would neither confirm nor deny the warship had nuclear capability. Fast forward 31 years and today the Labour Opposition is again standing up for New Zealand sovereignty which the TPPA undermines.


I’m not sure they are onto a winner with this approach, it’s just one of many mixed and muddled messages on the TPPA and is unlikely to get much traction with the TPPA protest movement, nor those who see trade agreements as a necessity.

Little also put out a media release: TPP signing highlights divisions in NZ

The stage-managed signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement at a casino in Auckland today highlights the divisions National’s handling of the deal has caused in New Zealand, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

“The Government’s whole management of the agreement has been botched, from the total secrecy to ramming it down people’s throats.

“This has caused a deep divide, and inviting international leaders to sign it just two days before Waitangi – our national day – has added salt to that wound.

“Labour is a pro-free trade party but the TPP goes further than other agreements in undermining our democracy. We shouldn’t need a permission slip from foreign corporations to pass our own laws. That’s why Labour cannot support the agreement in its current form.

“Other countries such as Australia and Malaysia are able to ban foreigners from buying their homes. New Zealand cannot under this deal. That’s just not right.

“Open and transparent debate is crucial to a healthy democracy but the TPP process and John Key’s handling of the deal after it was signed has damaged that.

“Today’s protests are a public sign of the deep discomfort many New Zealanders feel about what is happening in this country. The Government must now seek ways to heal that wound,” Andrew Little says.

This is odd from Little, in particular “John Key’s handling of the deal after it was signed”. The TPPA was only signed yesterday, about the same time this statement seems to have been posted, so dissing Key’s post-signing handling is unjustified.

Litle also did a live chat about the TPPA on Stuff.

If Labour opposes the TPPA why wasn’t the Labour Party more involved with the anti-TPPA protest today?

We’re opposed to the TPPA in its current form because compromises to New Zealand’s sovereignty are not justified by the meagre economic gains. A number of Labour people are involved in today’s protests, including MPs who’ve spoken at rallies around the country.

But Labour involvement with the protest was low profile, especially with Labour’s front bench MPs.

Grant Robertson was at the Wellington protest but wasn’t prominent in Stuff’s: Protesters in Wellington join calls against TPPA signing

Opposition politicians and union members were among those in attendance, with several sharing their concerns about the deal.

Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson said the TPPA was not a normal trade agreement and required New Zealand to sacrifice too much.

“This is an agreement [where] New Zealand is having to give away the right to make laws and policies in our interests, and that is wrong and we cannot accept that.”

Robertson said the issue was “far from over”, and Kiwis opposed to the deal needed to continue their protests.

“This is not over: as New Zealanders, we have to stand together [and] stand up for our rights to make laws in our own interests.”

Standard Labour talking points on the TPPA. Nothing from Robertson about it on his Facebook page.

Jacinda Ardern seems to have kept her distance from the Auckland protest, and obviously Phil Goff and David Shearer would not be seen supporting the protest.

Meka Whaitiri was there, interesting for Labour’s Associate Primary Industries Spokesperson to be against a trade agreement that will benefit primary industries.

Labour’s trade spokesperson David Clark doesn’t seem to have associated with any protests.

Phil Twyford was at the Auckland protest as this photo with Whaitiri on his Facebook page shows.


Note the US branded jacket with a Labour logo
– with a ‘Corporate Traitor’ sign in the background (hat tip Iceberg)

As Spokesperson for Auckland Issues and Associate Spokesperson for Transport (Auckland and Ports) Twyford could be out of step with Auckland business and export interests there.

Sue Moroney showed her and Labour’s presence via Facebook:


Duncan Garner spotted David Cunliffe:

Cunliffe also posted on his Facebook page with some loyal party lines:

Today, I joined thousands of Kiwis in protest against provisions in the TPPA that would undermine our sovereignty. Great to see people from all walks of life engaged and expressing their views peacefully and thoughtfully.

The New Zealand Labour Party has always stood for free trade and always will – just not at the expense of our sovereignty.


Miriam Bookman Hi David,

I am very disappointed in seeing Labour supporters marching alongside an anti semitic banner, and that you think it appropriate to re-post this image. This is not the Labour I wish to support.

It may be hard to choose your neighbours in a protest march but choice of publicity photos can be an issue.

‪#‎TPPANoWay‬ March down Queen Street Auckland .

Taranaki would presumably cover New Plymouth where Andrew Little has stood twice for Parliament (unsuccessfully, he’s a List MP).

Taranaki-King Country Labour flew a flag for their party:


The sign in the background appears to be welcoming, but it’s the opposite, as Taranaki-King Country Labour show in another shot.


That may not be a problem, the Trade Ministers of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, USA or Vietnam may never need to deal with Taranaki-King Country Labour.


Labour leader candidates on TPPA

It’s interesting to look back to Labour’s leadership contest in 2013 and what the candidates views were on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Question : What are your views on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement? Will you make the TPPA process transparent?

Of course no candidate will disagree with making the process more transparent. Their responses.

Note that these responses were targeting party members and unions in trying to get selected.

Grant Robertson

The TPPA is more than a normal trade agreement and needs to be treated as such, with caution.

I am a supporter of trade agreements that gain our exporters access to markets that will mean they can create jobs here in New Zealand. But we have to ensure that our rights to make laws, regulate and protect our people and environment is upheld.

In the case of the TPPA we must set clear bottom lines. No change to the PHARMAC model, protection of IP and copyright law, and ensuring our sovereign right to regulate and make policy is supported.

We do need more transparency in the way we deal with trade. I would set up an independent trade advisory group with representation from across the community to ensure there is public participation and understanding of our approach to trade agreements. We must be at the table for these sorts of negotiations, but it is vital that it is a Labour Government at the table.

David Cunliffe

I am concerned about the TPPA. We cannot trade-away our ability to set government regulation. I am worried that John Key and his Government will continue to keep us all in the dark about the text and its implications and I fear they will then present us with the final text some time near the end of this year and insist that we accept it otherwise we will harm our trading relationships.

This will leave us with little or no opportunity to consult with our communities about its potential implications.

We must protect Pharmac, ensure intellectual property provisions are suitable for New Zealand business, and we must not accept limits on our sovereign right to regulate. Any agreement must be in New Zealand’s best interest.

Shane Jones

A very challenging issue. It is vitally important we retain the capacity for our Parliament to regulate for public good.

It is essential that this deal does not hobble our technical industries through punitive patents. Ultimately however I do not want to see our Trade partners in a club without us.

NZ First is strongly against the TPPA. How would Jones fit with that?

Cunliffe to stand again

David Cunliffe says he’s ‘content to be the MP for New Lynn’ and intends to stand again in the election next year.

Cunliffe was demoted to 28th (of 32) in the Labour pecking order by Andrew Little last year and that was seen as a signal to Cunliffe to piss off, but he wants to hang in there.

NZ Herald reports: Cunliffe aiming for re-election

Labour MP David Cunliffe has had a bruising fall in politics but intends to run for Parliament again in 2017.

Since Labour’s disastrous election result under Mr Cunliffe’s leadership in 2014, he has lost the leadership and was demoted to the backbenches by leader Andrew Little in November, a clear hint he should reconsider his political future.

Yesterday, Mr Cunliffe said it was his intention to stand again despite the torrid 18 months he’d had. “That’s the plan. I’m happy to be the MP for New Lynn and I’ve got work to do there.”

He indicated he was hoping for redemption within caucus. “Politics is a rollercoaster. You know that and I’ve been around long enough to know that.”

I don’t think Cunliffe can ever get back to leadership level in Labour unless there’s a major influx of support into their caucus, and his prospects of rolling back up the coast under Little’s leadership look slim.

Mr Little had held out an olive branch of sorts, saying he would not rule out a move up the ranks for Mr Cunliffe. “When opportunities arise you see who’s the best fit for the job and you never rule anything out in that regard.”

“Never rule anything out” is not something Cunliffe should get excited about.

He said he had not discussed the 2017 selections with Mr Cunliffe or any other MP. “So, good on him. He’s got to make his decisions about what he does, it doesn’t surprise me at all.”

Little might have to be a bit pushier than that if he wants to clean out the other dead wood he shuffled down the Labour line up.

Little versus Cunliffe

One of the biggest talking points on the left  of the Labour reshuffle announced yesterday was the demotion of David Cunliffe from 14 to 28, and what looks to be a humiliating appointment by his leader Andrew Little.

Cunliffe led Labour in an embarrasing election defeat last year. He then sort of stood down but stood for the leadership again.

Little beat him in the leadership contest, and punished Cunliffe with a ranking of 14, appointing him to these spokesperson roles in 2014:

  • Regional Development
  • Tertiary Education
  •  Innovation
  •  Research & Development
  •  Science & Technology
  •  Associate Economic Development

Yesterday Little ranked at 28 (out of 32 MPs) with these roles:

  • Disarmament
  • Research and Development
  • Science and Innovation
  • Land Information
  • Associate Education (Tertiary) Spokesperson
  • Undersecretary to the Leader on Superannuation Issues.

Some similar roles but he has been dropped to Associate level on tertiary education. Chris Hipkins being given  Spokesperson for Tertiary Education may gall Cunliffe (which may be what was intended).

Claire Trevett comments on that last role of Undersecretary to the Leader in Andrew Little takes bull by the horns in Labour reshuffle:

After successive leaders tip toed around the issue of David Cunliffe, Little has finally been brave enough to take the bull by the horns and simply dump him down the rankings with little hope of any return flight.

The dumping has come with some glitter attached but all up, that simply makes it the proverbial polished turd.

Mr Cunliffe has effectively gone from being the leader to the ignominy of being an Under Secretary to the leader. It will mean Mr Cunliffe is charged with the “spade work” in developing options for the party’s policy on superannuation and reporting on those to Mr Little directly.

Mr Little insisted that under-secretary role was meaningful and a show of confidence in Mr Cunliffe. He managed to avoid answering the question of whether it was a signal Mr Cunliffe should call time.

In a comment by Northsider in Labour’s reshuffle announced today at The Standard it apears that Cunliffe supporters have also taken a hit.

Lees-Galloway supported Cunliffe and is getting punished.
Shearer? ABC
Parker? ABC
Wall supported Cunliffe and is getting punished.
Cosgrove? ABC
Nash? ABC and a owned by RWNJs.
Mahuta supported Cunliffe and is getting punished.

You may think that there is a pattern here, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

(ABC = the Anyone But Cunliffe club)

As leader Cunliffe struggled to get support in the Labour caucus but he had a strong niche of support amongst left wing activists.

It may not be helpful to Labour’s chances of rebuilding to have politically smacked them in the face along with Cunliffe.

And Chris Trotter also comments on Cunliffe’s enforced slide at The Daily Blog in Puppet On A String? Has Andrew Little become the plaything of Labour’s dominant factions?

Consigning David Cunliffe to the rear of the battlefield, and replacing Nanaia Mahuta with Kelvin Davis do not strike me as the decisions of a wise general. (Although they may be those of a panicky one.)

As a number of right-wing commentators have already pointed out, the treatment of Cunliffe is as wasteful of the man’s talent as it is self-indulgently vindictive.

It is interesting to speculate about how Cunliffe’s supporters in the broader Labour Party will respond to Little’s brutal treatment of him.

Some will recall the statespersonship of Helen Clark, who judiciously divided up the top jobs between her friends – and foes. Others will recall with some bitterness the assurances given to them by the Labour hierarchy at the party’s recent conference.

The bitter divisions of the past had been healed, they said. Caucus and party were now working together, they said.

Yeah, Right.

Cunliffe is down and seems to have been shown the way out of Labour’s caucus by Little.

Time will tell how that plays out with a small but very vocal pro-Cunliffe support base.



Fiasco in Parliament over Christmas Island

Most of the attention is on John Key over his remarks aimed at Kelvin Davis and Labour foir “backing rapists” – I think thaty was way out of line from key but more on that later – but there’s a number of aspects to this.

The ex criminals, including New Zealand citizens, awaiting deportation who sent to Christmas Island and held their by Australia doesn’t look flash, and it isn’t. Retained without any charges remote from any possible contact with family or lawyers looks crap, and with Australias convict past they should know better and treat people better, regardless of their background.

This was brewing here anyway, but it became much more volatile with the uprising over the last few days.

It’s worth noting this tweet exchange prior to Parliament sitting today.

The twinning erosion of democracy marches on unabated under National, as independent media voices take refuge at RNZ

Kevin Retweeted David Cunliffe

So what will MPS from T opposition do about it ? we have a biased speaker in T house &T opp let him get away with it

Leftwing needs to pull head out of arse, unite as block & file OUT OF CHAMBERS at every biased speaker ruling

10:31 am
David Cunliffe Retweeted ⒶctivistsⒶotearoa

Breach of standing orders to criticise Speaker. Which is why I don’t.

If the opposition parties walked en masses it would be heard loud and clear. Just need to do it.

11:40 am
David Cunliffe Retweeted jocey


For the first time in17 years I voluntarily left Question Time in protest. Key saying “Labour supports sex offenders” over 501s is outrage

Cunliffe appeared to be one of the first to leave the Chamber.

Prior to this, as John Key was walking to Parliament, Kelvin Davis approached him, got in his face and ‘yelled’ at him according to NZ Herald in John Key accuses Labour of ‘backing rapists’:

Labour MP Kelvin Davis shouted at Mr Key on the way into the House, accusing him of inaction in helping New Zealand detainees in Australia.

“Prime Minister, you’re gutless,” Mr Davis yelled as Mr Key walked past.

That wasn’t a good look from Davis. It can be assumed it was deliberate provocation just prior to Question Time in Parliament.

I don’t know what Davis expects Key or the New Zealand Government to do. The Austrlian Government is doing what it wants to do, and no matter how bad a look there is probably little more New Zealand can do about it.

Under questioning by Labour leader Andrew Little, Mr Key went on a furious offensive.

In an angry attack, he said: “Some of the [detainees] are rapists, some of them are child molesters, and some of them are murderers.

“These are the people that the Labour Party are saying are more important to support than New Zealanders who deserve protecting when they come back here.

“Mr Davis, if you want to put yourself on the side of sex offenders, go ahead my son, but we’ll defend New Zealanders.”

When Mr Little questioned why New Zealand did not demand more action from Australia, Mr Key launched another attack.

“You back the rapists,” the Prime Minister said, before being cut off by the Speaker.

Again, what does Little expect Key or the Government to do? They can’t force Australi into doing things differently. It would be like Samoa or Fiji trying to tell New Zealand what to do.

This all sparked a furore in Parliament and on social media. Labolur’s Chris Hipkins tried to pass a mition of no confidence against the speaker for not insisting that Key withdraw and apologise.

I think an apology would be appriopriate from Key but Hipkins didn’t follow correct procedure and that was rejected.

This is likely to rage for a while. More than a few people would do well to pause and consider the whole situation, and what in practical terms can be done about it here.

Key is probably calculating on public support for not doing more to get ex convicts to New Zealand more quickly. The Government only recently proposed how they would deal with New Zedalanders deported back here.

On 3 News in Distant riot causes unrest at home Patrick Gower caused more unrest at home (at least on Twitter):

The Kiwis are known as ‘501s’ after section 501, the hard-line law forcing them out of Australia because of previous criminal convictions.

Now they are trapped while they are processed.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised the detainees could get out and back to New Zealand “quickly”, though Mr Key today revealed quickly could actually mean weeks.

“What the Labour Party is saying is ‘to hell with the rest of New Zealanders – these people should be put on a commercial aircraft and dispatched to New Zealand’. Well you back the rapists and I’ll back New Zealand,” said Mr Key.

Gower used some fairly strong terms to describe detainees. He gave some details:

Crimes for which New Zealanders are awaiting deportation:

  • Child sex offences (including pornography) – 34
  • Murder (including manslaughter) – 22
  • Rape, sex offences – 16
  • Assault (including grievous bodily harm) – 121
  • Theft, robbery (including armed), breaking and entering – 83
  • Drug offences – 64

The accuracy of these numbers is being disputed on Twitter.

More than a few in New Zealand will be happy to see some of them staying on Christmas Island, something that Key isa probably banking on.

10.11.15 – Question 1 – Andrew Little to the Prime Minister

What action, if any, has he taken to follow up on his statement to Malcolm Turnbull regarding New Zealand-born Australian detainees on Christmas Island, “I think, in the spirit of mateship, there should be some compassion shown”?