Peters blames ‘alt-right’ and NZ First member bewilderment for criticism of UN compact on migration

Winston Peters goes into irony overdrive in a grumpy interview blaming others of dog whistle politics over the UN migration accord.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister has blamed “a campaign strategy by the alt-right” to discredit his and the Government’s support of the accord – see Government to sign controversial UN Migration Compact – and agrees (or doesn’t disagree) that NZ First party members are bewildered.

And he criticises anyone who doesn’t align with his views on the accord – including taking swipes at interviewer Mike Yardley and Australia.

Newstalk ZB: Peters blames ‘alt-right’ for UN migration pact criticism

Winston Peters says the UN Migration Compact has been misrepresented by people spouting nonsense who want to lie to the public.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister says uninformed people and the “alt-right” are intentionally misleading about the true nature of the agreement.

He says the legal advice is very clear that it’s not legally binding, and won’t override our immigration laws and he is entirely comfortable with adopting it.

Peters told Mike Yardley it’s an agreement in principle about how we reduce harmful, illegal migration and how to stop trafficking.

“We have decided as a matter of principal it wouldn’t be a bad idea to sign up to the agreement. Just because there have been people dog whistling false information on this, that doesn’t mean we will sway.”

Winston Peters says he is comfortable with the compact, despite the outcry from many people, especially NZ First members, who believe the agreement will sign away the country’s sovereignty.

He says the compact doesn’t blur the lines between legal and illegal migration, and they are not legally bound to the document.

“We are trying to stop the awful human trafficking of people, and the corruption of people. These are dreadful things which are happening around the world.

You have a campaign strategy by the alt-right to try and spread misinformation on this, it is just not true.”

There is audio of the interview at the Newstalk ZB link. It concludes:

Mike Yardley: Are you receiving lot’s of congratulatory messages from your party faithful?

Winston Peters: No.

Mike Yardley: Are you surprised?

Winston Peters: No.

Mike Yardley: Are they bewildered?

Winston Peters: (I think he says or meant to say) Well guess why? Because you’ve had a group of, a campaign strategy by the alt-right in particular, and it is the alt-right in this case…

Mike Yardley: Is Paul Spoonley alt-right Winston?

Winston Peters: Oh well actually Mr Spoonley is a sociologist from Massey University, and doesn’t understand the law, so he can opine all he likes…

Mike Yardley: Is Chris Trotter alt-right?

Winston Peters: No he’s not alt-right, and if Chris Trotter is talking about the political consequences of sometimes having to do something called principle.

There is a lot of criticism of Winston’s support of the accord on the NZ First Facebook page: Response to Winston Peters support of UN Migration Compact

He is also being slammed at Kiwiblog (in General Debate comments), and Whale Oil, in the absence of pro Winston activist Cameron Slater, has gone into anti-Winston overdrive:

That may be the closest thing to the alt-right in New Zealand.

Peters really doesn’t sound comfortable being on the receiving end of criticism from the demographic that in the past he has often appealed to for support.

Curran wants union and party member roles ‘reviewed’

Clare Curran wants the Labour party to review the role played by unions and party members in selecting party leader.

Jacinda Ardern was installed as leader by the caucus alone because of a rule that allows this within 3 months of an election.

ODT: Selection review urged

The powerful new role played by unions and party members in selecting Labour leaders needs to be reviewed, one of the party’s Dunedin MPs says.

The system has delivered two leaders, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little, who failed to connect with the general public.

Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said a discussion was needed about whether unions and party members should continue having a say in who leads.

”I think we do need to re-look at the way we select our leaders, but that’s a question for after the election,” Ms Curran said.

Unions get a 20% vote share under the system introduced in 2012. It took some power away from MPs, who get a 40% say in the decision.

New Labour leader Jacinda Ardern was appointed in a simple caucus vote because it was less than three months before the general election.

After affiliated unions piled in behind Mr Little, he squeaked ahead of rival Grant Robertson in the 2014 selection by just over 1%.

Unions won’t be keen on this changing.

Bill Newson, a top union official, defended the unions’ role in propelling the former union boss into the role after just three years in Parliament.

”We knew Andrew closely and stand by that assessment; a very high sense of integrity and responsibility, a team player.”

Mr Newson, Etu union’s national secretary, acknowledged that Mr Little ”didn’t work out in the public eye”.

Mr Newson said Mr Little’s decision would have ”weighed heavily” on the former national secretary of the EPMU.

In 2014, Mr Little got 75% of the union’s 20% vote share. In the final result, he got 50.52% to Mr Robertson’s 49.48%

University of Otago public law specialist Prof Andrew Geddis said it was a matter for the party, but the unions’ involvement was problematic.

”The problem … is it’s not the members of the unions who [vote], it’s the officials within the unions. It’s not a popular choice by union members.”

The E tu Union donated $120,000 to Labour on 20 June 2017 (which may or may not be a popular use of members’ money). If they can’t play a part in choosing leader the union leadership may not remain this generous.

The party stands by it’s current system.

Labour Party president Nigel Haworth defended the system. It selected leaders in a ”very clear way”.

”The effort that both our previous two leaders have put into campaigning has been exceptional. The fact that they haven’t necessarily won elections can’t be sheeted home solely to them.

”The members very much wanted a new system in 2012. They will no doubt look at its performance and if they want to make changes they will,” Prof Haworth said.

A lot will depend on how well Labour do in the election. If they do poorly the members and unions may not be very happy.

Small joins slamming of lost property bill

The scathing of Nuk Korako’s Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill continues, this time by Vernon Small

Korako’s inconsequential lost property bill reveals dark side of Govt tactic

None of the derision dumped on Nuk Korako’s Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill does it full justice.

It is not just a trivial piece of legislative whimsy, it is vanishingly inconsequential.

It’s not often you get to reproduce in full the business-end of a “bill”, but here goes:

In section 9(1)(ff) replace “the insertion of suitable advertisements in a newspaper circulating in the district where the airport is situated” with “publicising the sale in what the authority considers to be a fair and reasonable manner”.

That’s it. 

So let’s bust a few developing myths about the “bill” – and both law professor Andrew Geddis and legal frequenter of social media Graeme Edgeler have made similar points elsewhere.

What it deals with is the fate of stuff people leave in airports; the odd umbrella, a bag of mints, a jacket maybe. Perhaps an iPhone.

But it doesn’t help in any meaningful way to return even those goods to their rightful owners.

What that single limpid clause does is allow airport authorities NOT to advertise in a local newspaper when they decide to auction off the lost property accumulated in their back offices. That’s all.

It doesn’t remove a rule that restricts advertisements only to newspaper, as some have suggested. They can advertise as widely as they like now.

Nor does it require them to advertise the auction in an itemised way – so you could check if your umbrella, emblazoned with elephants, is included in the sale.

In short, it does nothing for travellers, nothing to help reunite people and possessions, nothing to bulwark us against an international tsunami of lost baggage.

What it does is make it easier for airport authorities, when they decide to sell lost property and pocket the proceeds. 

In the House on Tuesday, Korako, a National list MP, gave an amusing defence of the “bill”. Given the material he had to hand, it was valiant but it was also misleading, implying many of the bogus arguments rebutted above.

If Korako doesn’t want his parliamentary career defined by this nonsense he should be banging on the National whips’ door, begging them to can it before it arrives on the floor of the House.

Nobody would want to be in the Government’s, or Korako’s, shoes when the law change lands in the House, nor suffer the the media spray that will follow.

If it has any shame – or sense of self-preservation – it will dump the “bill” altogether and slip the change into the next available Statutes Amendment Bill, where such arcane trivia belongs.

So it looks like this bill is destined for an ongoing hammering if it continues to proceed in some way through Parliament.

See also Gerry Brownlee versus Andrew Geddis.

I don’t think I have seen any defending of this bill, except for Brownlee’s attack on Geddis.

 

Another UK Labour contender

Another Labour MP in the UK has put themselves forward for the leadership.

Guardian: Owen Smith to challenge Corbyn for Labour leadership

Owen Smith, the former shadow work and pensions secretary, is planning to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership on Wednesday.

The Labour MP has been trying to decide for days whether to join Angela Eagle, the former shadow business secretary, in the contest.

He is expected to throw his hat into the ring after Labour’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), said Corbyn would automatically be on the ballot without needing to collect nominations from MPs.

In a move apparently prompted by intimidation of MPs and Labour supporters, the NEC also decided to suspend local Labour party meetings for the duration of the contest. The move may be intended to calm tensions at a time when some MPs on both sides have claimed to suffer abuse and death threats.

Eagle had a brick thrown through her office window in Wallasey and had been facing a motion of no confidence by her local party because of her opposition to Corbyn.

Smith’s decision to stand could risk splitting the vote against Corbyn unless either he or Eagle pulls out at some stage, although there is an alternative voting system that counts second preferences.

Corbyn is strong favourite to hold on to his leadership after the NEC’s ruling that he did not have to collect support from his MPs, who have passed a no confidence vote in him.

So the will of the party is expected to overrule the will of the Labour MPs, who overwhelmingly voted no confidence in Corbyn.

But there are multiple issues embroiling the party in toil and trouble.

In a crunch meeting at Labour’s Westminster headquarters on Tuesday, NEC members, including Corbyn himself, voted 18 to 14 in a secret ballot that he was not subject to the rule that forces candidates to show they have the backing of 20% of the party’s MPs and MEPs.

And new member’s have been ruled ineligible to vote.

However, there is already a row brewing over the rules, as it emerged more than 100,000 new Labour members who have joined in the last six months will have to pay £25 to sign up as registered supporters to vote in the contest during a 48-hour window.

A bunch of self interested wallies self destructing.

Green belief in change of Government

After their annual AGM in the weekend the Green Party believes it has what is required to change the Government.

RNZ: Greens and Labour cement plan to oust National

The Green party believes it has the money, members and momentum to finally change the government at the next election.

They believed that in 2014 too.

But there are two or three vital things missing from that list.

Votes.

The Labour Party, an essential for Green success, appears to be short of money, members and momentum.

And probably, Winston. NZ First will probably be required to make up the numbers, and will also have to choose Labour over National despite Labour presumably having significantly lower support than National, and even if NZ First chooses Labour over National that could be on the condition that Greens are left out in the cold, as happened in 2005.

The Greens can’t change the Government on their own. Despite targeting 15% in 2014 they failed to increase their vote in 2o014 (it reduced slightly) and may have hit a Green ceiling.

By symbolically joining with Labour in an agreement (that expires before coalition negotiations begin) Greens may feel they have strengthened their position but it could just as easily play against them, or at least play against Labour as it makes them look weaker.

The Labour-Green alliance has accentuated the Winston elephant in the room.

It’s a bold move by the Greens to define fights against both National and NZ First at the same time.

Money – Greens do well with fund raising but money doesn’t buy success in politics, as Colin Craig and Kim Dotcom and Hone Harawira discovered in 2014.

Members – Greens say they have significantly increased their membership but also admit a high level of churn – they also lose many members.

Momentum – the Greens are trying to create a perception of momentum but herere there is a disconnect with reality. Momentum hasn’t been evident over the past few years, and there is no sign of it in anything other than their rhetoric at the moment.

Belief is one thing – and the Greens have had no shortage in belief in their ideals and their attractiveness to voters. In ways they are like a cult religion.

Getting enough people to share their beliefs – in their policies, in their abilities, and just as critically in their partner party or parties – is a big challenge for the ambitious and determined (and largely reliant on labour and probably NZ First) Greens.

The Greens may think the MoU now has them and Labour facing in the same direction in their campaign row boat, but no matter how frantically the Greens row if Labour continue to catch crabs and have slackers the Green boat may continue to circle in frustration.

Members’ Bills ballot

There was a Members’ Bill ballot today. The four drawn were:

  • Education (Restoration of Democracy to University Councils) Amendment Bill Hon David Cunliffe
  • Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill Dr Jian Yang
  • Electricity Transparency Bill David Shearer
  • Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) Andrew Little

There’s been issues raised with two of those Bills.

Graeme Edgeler has pointed out a flaw in the Name Change/Child Sex Offender Bill and the Speaker has ruled that the Healthy Homes Bill shouldn’t have been accepted due to similarity with a Bill that failed earlier this year and if it comes up for it’s first reading this year it will be rejected.

Under a law change proposed by National MP Jian Yang, every person convicted of robbery is deemed to be a “child sex offender”.

Edgeler backs up his claim with a link to the bill: Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill [PDF 114k]

And to a law it refers to: Parole Act 2002

And a Speakers ruling on the Healthy Homes Bill:

The Speaker David Carter has delivered a ruling on Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2), and its similarity to a previous bill before the House.

The ruling is as follows: “Honourable members, the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) was drawn from the member’s ballot today. The bill has the purpose of ensuring that every rental home meets the minimum standards of heating and insulation. It requires the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to set the standards, and requires the landlords to meet them.

On further study, the purpose and effect of the bill are the same in substance as the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill which was defeated at its first reading on 18 March 2015. Standing Order 264 provides that a bill that is the same in substance as a bill that received or was defeated on its first, second, or third reading may not be proposed. In my opinion, this bill should never have been accepted for the ballot.

Now that the bill has been drawn, I need to find a way forward. The point at which a bill is proposed to the House is when the member in charge moves its first reading. If the first reading of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) is reached in the current calendar year, I will then rule the bill out of order.

However, if it is reached later than that, it will not trigger the prohibition in Standing Order 264, and will be in order. I have asked the Clerk to ensure that bills proposed to go in the ballot are scrutinised more carefully for compliance with Standing Order 264. In future, bills that are the same in substance as ones read or defeated in the same calendar year, will not be permitted into the ballot”.

Civilian Party struggling for numbers

The Civilian Party is struggling to get the number of members needed to register as a party in time for the election. Newstalk ZB reports.

Civilian Party short of members for general election

In a Facebook post this morning, party leader Ben Uffindell confirmed his party is 55 members short of the 500 it needs to register with the Electoral Commission.

A political party must be registered by the 20th of August to be eligible for the election, and with processing time taking six to eight weeks, time is short.

The Civilian Party Facebook post:

ATTENTION FANS AND CONSTITUENTS: THIS IS A CALL TO ARMS (AND PEOPLE):

Good morning, nation. Over the last week, the Civilian Party has been hard at work putting together our final application for registration with the New Zealand Electoral Commission, a process that will allow us to contest the party vote nationally, and restore this country to its former sort-of-alrightness.

This has been a strenuous task, one that involved countless hours of sleep, and even more staring at the television while groaning and occasionally punching a few numbers into a spreadsheet. Indeed, after being pushed to such limits, we are now more than certain we are prepared for the colossal workload that will be entrusted to us as the future Government of this realm.

The bulk of our task these last couple of weeks has consisted of tallying and vetting every one of the hundreds of membership forms that we received from around the country. It is my wish that I could personally thank each and every one of you – from the elderly who braved the use of an electronics payment system, to the man who very generously sent us oral lubricant – and it is my hope that, when this workload has blown over, I will be able to.

But alas, there is also a downside to this story. The final tally of our membership has been significantly reduced by a large number of erroneous applications; perhaps quite a few more than expected.

Being a joke party makes them more of a target for joke applications.

While some membership applications seemed perfectly legitimate at first, as was the case with one Mr. Cock Balls, they began to show signs of difficulty upon further inspection. Mr. Balls, for example, claimed that he was born next year, which leads us to only one conclusion: he is too young to be eligible to join our party.

It is with a heavy heart that we decided we could not accept these applications, nor could we accept any of the 62 separate applications from Mr. Donghau Liu, with whom we have no relationship that we presently remember*.

Our final tally of paid-up members comes to 445, just 55 short of the 500 we need to register with the Commission. This is where you come in.

You will have to forgive our lack of eloquence on this Thursday morning, in part because we have a cold, but also in part because this message is urgent enough that we need to get it out there as quickly as possible.

We need any of you – any of you – who support the causes this movement represents, and who have not yet joined the party, to sign up today at www.thecivilianparty.org.nz/join-us/.

If we cannot secure the remaining 55 members we need, the future of our political movement is in serious jeopardy, and not the kind where we get to go on TV and give Alex Trebek fun answers in the form of questions.

But this isn’t merely a one-sided deal. As a political party thoroughly committed to your interests and ideals, we want to make you the following promises if we are successfully registered with the Commission.

If it reaches 500 financial members, the Civilian Party will:

– Stand in national elections, and field multiple candidates.

– Run advertisements on television, radio and small, obnoxious portable billboards.

– Hold an annual AGM, the first of which will take place in August, where members can attend and have their say on party finances, the party platform and candidates.

– Attend any and all televised minor party debates, whether invited or not.

– Ice cream.

Nation, we have come so far, and gotten so close. All that we need now is one final push; just a few more. This is your chance to make a real difference; your choice to become a member will literally help decide the political landscape going into this year’s election.

If you’ve already joined, we love you, but we ask you just one more thing: find just one person you know, and sign them up today. If a mere eighth of you did this, we would already be there.

To those of you who’ve sent us messages and inquiries, and haven’t yet received a response, hang in there. We’re getting to you, and once this application is over and done with, we intend to respond to everyone we can; which should, theoretically, be everyone.

The moment that we can verify that we have the numbers, we will inform you all immediately that New Zealand is moving confidently towards a brighter future, like a moth to a flame. Thank you once again for bringing us this far.

NewstalkZB followed up yesterday:

Civilian Party still a chance for Election 2014

The Electoral Commission says it’s still possible for the satirical Civilian Party to register for the election, should it get past 500 member threshold.

Despite there being fewer than eight weeks until the deadline – the upper end of the expected processing time – the commission’s not closing the doors just yet.

Civilian Party leader Ben Uffindell is confident they’ll make up the remaining numbers and successfully register.

There’s still time, but not much.

The Civilian satirical website was a big hit last year and this led to the launch of the party. Despite getting significant media attention and being a buzz on social media getting membership then obviously proved a battle. Satirical posts then dried up, as did attention.

They launched a membership drive again  last month with several posts, and they scored interviews on both The Nation and Q & A – attention any small start-up party would love to get, but most get ignored.

Despite this coverage they are obviously still struggling to attract enough members. The reality is that party administration can be a hard slog.

Actually joining a party may be a joke to far for many people.

In the meantime the satire has continued at a modest rate:

Internet Party warns that new leader Laila Harré
has gained ‘a lot of weight’ and is now German

 

Establishing the Internet Party

Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party has six months to get registered and established as a credible option. There is significant finance,  personnel and effort going into it. NZ Herald reports in Politicians of all stripes welcome at Kim’s place.

The money:

“The total figure for Internet Party expenses in the pre-regulated period is expected to be substantially less than $1m”. The party will then spend another $1m during the election campaign.

The people:

By tomorrow, the party will have seven staff: chief executive Vikram Kumar, party secretary Anna Sutherland, PR man John Mitchell, lawyer Graeme Edgeler, social media guru Callum Valentine, brand manager Andy Pickering, and policy and media adviser Jim Tucker.

The money again:

The seven salaries are a bigger expense. Kumar, 51, acknowledges he is on a “fair” six-figure salary (pundits guess at $200,000-plus.

What it needs:

It has no party president or executive committee, yet. It has no party leader. It has no candidates.

And it isn’t a party yet. First it needs members. Then it needs to get registered.

The work begins this week when, if all goes according to plan, the Internet Party will launch iPhone, Android and web apps enabling Kiwis to join the party. As soon as it has 500 members – it believes it could sign up that many on the first day – it will register with the Electoral Commission and it’s game on.

Dotcom is presumably banking on his popularity online, his large number of followers and likes. But being popular doesn’t necessarily translate into getting people to become party members – being a member of a political party is not a popular undertaking.

The Civilian launched a party last year after becoming an almost instant hit as a satire website. There is still no sign of it being registered.

Dotcom does have one advantage. Last year UnitedFuture was frustrated by delays in re-registering because the Electoral Commission insisted on signed membership verification on paper. Members had quickly joined online to save the party but it then took time to collect the papers.

But now electronic signatures are acceptable. The Electoral Commission on 500 ELIGIBLE MEMBERS.

What evidence is needed of 500 eligible members?

The applicant must submit membership evidence for at least 500 and no more than 550 eligible members.  The application should record the total number submitted.

The Electoral Commission requires:

  1. Membership evidence for each eligible member in the form of a signed declaration (usually the membership form), and
  2. An electronic spreadsheet of membership evidence.

Membership form

The membership form should include the following information completed by each member:

  1. The member’s name and residential street address.
  2. Confirmation by the person that they are eligible to enrol as an elector.
  3. The amount of the membership fee that has been paid to the party.
  4. The member’s signature.
  5. Authorisation for the party to record them as a financial member of the party.
  6. Authorisation for the party to release their membership details to the Electoral Commission for the purpose of the application to register the party under the Electoral Act.

The Electoral Commission will accept the following types of signatures captured electronically for party membership purposes:

  1. Images of signatures that are electronic replications of actual ‘pen-and-paper’ signatures, such as scanned or photographic images.
  2. Images of signatures that are produced and captured electronically using technologies such as signature pads, trackpads/touchpads or the mouse, light pens, or similar devices.

The Electoral Commission will accept original forms or signed forms that have been submitted to the party and provided to the Electoral Commission electronically.

This still involves getting people to pay for membership, to provide all the details, and to provide an electronic signature.

That takes a lot more effort and commitment than clicking a ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ button.

Dotcom’s marketing muscle may make a difference and get a rapid membership sign-up but like many Dotcom claims that’s yet to be seen.

Once he gets his 500 members they still have to be submitted to the Electoral Commission, who then have to verify them. This is going to take time, especially if they are working through new processes of electronic submissions.

There’s a very unusual aspect to this party formation. There’s two things that drive politics – policies and personalities. So far the Internet Party have neither apart from some vague indications on policies and one very large personality that cannot stand for Parliament.

They say they will be releasing policy this Thursday when they launch their membership drive.

But they say they will not announce candidates until June. That could be a significant drawback.

It could be a chicken and egg situation. Candidates may not be willing to commit until they know there is a registered party in place. But prospective members don’t know what candidates they would be promoting.

We’ll start to see soon whether Dotcom can deliver on his hype. He presumably has learnt lessons after his attempt to launch his party in January was aborted.

And prospective party members and candidates should remember a tweet from Dotcom on 11 February.

@KimDotcomIf #InternetParty won’t poll 5+% before ballot papers are printed we’ll self destruct & put our weight behind a party adopting our policies.

 

A party model of representative democracy

There is currently a unique opportunity in New Zealand to establish a modern party model of representative democracy.

Policies are important. The People are paramount.

It’s essential for a political party to have a good range of policies that reflect the character of the party and signal the intent of the party if they get in a position to implement any of their policies.

But the key component of a democracy, and of a democratic party, are the people.

In New Zealand, as in most of the democratic world, we have a form of representative democracy, where we elect representatives who make decisions for us. It is generally accepted that it is not practical to govern a country by referendum.

The people get to vote in an election every few years, and they usually get to express their opinion albeit on a very simple base via occasional referenda.

While in theory direct democracy is the best way to rule by the will of the people (usually via  referenda) it  can be too slow and cumbersome, and it can overrule fair treatment of minorities. The impracticalities of direct democracy are demonstrated by the limited adoption of direct rule by the (majority of) people.

Representative democracy is the common compromise, but it also has flaws. One of the biggest of these is the disconnect that develops between the government (and the parliament) and the people.

To feel included in a representative democracy the people need to be able to speak in a way they are listened to. And they need to be seen to be taken notice of.

The established parties in New Zealand have systems of interacting with the people (especially the party members) to varying degrees and with a variety of systems of communication. Most of this has developed in the old world of politics.

The modern world, with modern rapid communication systems, offers the opportunity for a revolutionary new approach to representing the people, being seen to represent the people – and enabling the people to feel like they are a party of the political process.

United Future is a party that has been through recent turmoil. But from those dark clouds there have been silver linings – a key one being a surge in new membership.

Another potential positive for United Future is that the party structures need to be rebuilt. This is an ideal opportunity to put in place a model of representative democracy that rewards the party members for their commitment.

The tools are already available to enable this. The Internet provides a rapid and extensive means of communicating within a party, between elected representatives, party management and the members.

If United Future establishes an effective modern system of communication with it’s members it will:

  • make members feel an integral and essential party of the party
  • encourage members to stay with the party
  • encourage members to become more active in the party
  • provide a bigger pool of prospective candidates
  • be more willing to promote the party
  • encourage more people to become members
  • be more willing to donate

I believe that if United Future sets itself up as a modern communicative and responsive party it will grow and thrive. It will better represent it’s members.

And New Zealand’s representative democracy will be better for it.

United Future has the opportunity to become a party model of representative democracy.  It’s sensible centrist reputation and a solid range of policies provides an ideal platform to represent ordinary New Zealanders effectively and inclusively.

United Future have the numbers, try to re-register

United Future have applied to register but the  Electoral Commission are making it difficult.

The EC is insisting they register as a new party. This is odd, the party remained in existence, it was simply honest enough to say it may have dropped below the required 500. The party now has well over 500 members.

United Future applies for re-registration

Party president Robin Gunston says there’s been a surge in renewals and new members and it now has more than 500, but the commission is treating it as a new party.

“They regard this as the registration of a brand new party, not one just deregistered 11 days ago that they had previous information about,” he said.

“For a new party they will only accept a signed paper copy of a member’s application… we offered a full electronic record of all membership details requested plus a log of traceable electronic payments from members but it seems this does not suffice.”

Perhaps the EC needs to modernise it’s thinking. Insisting on original paper records and refusing to accept electronic records is very archaic.

No existing party has to provide any records of membership, they simply have to sign a pledge that they have the required numbers.

If United Future have to get signed applications from all members despite many of them having applied electronically they will have had to prove membership to a degree that no other party in Parliament has had to do.