Dunne to stand again

Peter Dunne has confirmed his intention to stand in Ohariu again this year.

NZ Herald: Peter Dunne will contest 2017 election

Dunne today confirmed his intention to stand again in the Ohariu electorate in Wellington in this year’s general election.

“It is certainly my intention to stand again based on the many strong messages of encouragement and support I have been receiving from my constituents over recent months,” he told the Herald.

It will be interesting to see how this is dealt with by other parties:

  • Will National contest the seat or effectively support Dunne’s re-election? This term (since National lost the Northland by-election) Dunne’s support has maintained a government majority along with ACT as an alternative to the Maori Party.
  • Will Greens stand aside in a deal to help Labour try to win the seat?
  • Who will stand for Labour?

Labour’s Ohariu candidate at the 2014 election, Virginia Andersen, lost to Dunne by 710 votes and has since been confirmed as the party’s Hutt South candidate for 2017.

After coming close in 2014 this was a curious shift for Anderson to what may be a more winnable seat, but she is by no means assured of success against Chris Bishop.

Former Police Association president Greg O’Connor is rumoured to be interested in becoming Labour’s Ohariu candidate. Nominations close on February 3.

O’Connor did not respond to a request for comment today.

O’Connor has a public profile so would have to stand a reasonable chance against Dunne, especially if Greens don’t stand a candidate.

However they are both older white dudes – O’Connor is 58, Dunne is 62 – so lack in contrast in some respects.

O’Connor stood down as head of the Police Association last year and a year ago said he had ‘no plan’ for politics: Outgoing Police Association president Greg O’Connor has ‘no plan’ for politics:

Perfect grooming, one might speculate, for a 57-year-old former cop to embark upon a political career – given all that time spent making contacts and grabbing headlines in the shadow of the Beehive.

“It is a reasonably political job that I’m in, but I can give an absolute guarantee that there is no plan.”

O’Connor bats away the very thought of it: “A lot of people don’t believe me – they think there’s a masterplan. But there’s not.”

So if politics isn’t a goer, might his next move be to lend his voice to another section of society?

“Never say never. There is a workforce out there that work with disabled people who work for very little remuneration [out of] absolute devotion. That is just humbling. That is a group of people that are very special.”

But that was a year ago. O’Connor stepped down from the Police Association in October.

Whether O’Connor stands for Labour or not the outcome in Ohariu is likely to depend a lot on what other parties do. The Labour party vote was poor there in 2014, below their low total vote.

ohariu2014

National got better than their country-wide party vote and Labour got less than their’s, but Greens were well above theirs. Many of those who party voted Green tactically voted for the Labour candidate.

If Greens don’t stand a candidate at all they risk  losing party vote. Same for National.

Dunne is the longest serving MP in Parliament. He first became a Labour MP in 1984 so this is his 33rd year as an MP, his eleventh term. He helped set up the United New Zealand Party in 1995 and has retained his seat for what became United Future since then, although the party is now very poorly supported.

He has been a Minister since 2005, first for a Labour led government and since 2008 with a National government.

Dunne’s last term was difficult for him. After some controversy when he refused to hand over emails with a journalist in relation to allegations he had leaked a GCSB report he stood down as a Minister, but was later reinstated. His party was de-registered until it could prove it had sufficient members. This will have impacted on his reduced majority in the election.

This term has been fairly uneventful for Dunne. He is strongly criticised by pro-cannabis activists but has no chance of changing drug laws under a National government. He has been criticised for not allowing easier access to medicinal cannabinoids but he has encouraged applications for use under existing laws and procedures.

He is also strongly criticised by left wingers who don’t like his electorate arrangements with National because it helps keep Labour out of government (and because he deserted Labour).

He is also not liked by some on the right who want one party rule.

As the incumbent MP who does a lot of work in his electorate another Dunne win can’t be ruled out, but it is also far from assured.  Much may depend on what other parties do as much as who ends up standing for Labour.

Dunne on cannabis products

Peter Dunne has given a summary of the slow progress on medicinal cannabis, saying that there has been a lack of proven products available but hopes that will change next year as New Zealand benefits from what is happening in Australia.

Stuff’s Prime Minister Bill English needs a ‘clear stamp’ on his leadership.

With his health hat on Dunne says not a lot of medicinal cannabis products have come onto the market this year, which makes progress more difficult.

“I think the reality is between the wishful thinking and the actuality there is quite a gap. The fundamental problem remains a lack of reputable product.”

“The problem with trials in New Zealand is the perception from the pharmaceutical companies that the market isn’t big enough.”

New Zealand would be a good trial market for new products but the lack of Government will to lead on this probably rules us out as much as market size.

Dunne is working closely with the Australian Health Minister and hopes they’ll approve a couple of new products next year that Kiwis can piggy-back off.

That sounds like slow progress at best.

So far it’s been done on a case-by-case basis, which will continue, and while the “numbers are not large, everyone that has come through has been approved,” he said.

You still have to find a medical specialist who will make your case to the Ministry or Health.

While recreational cannabis remains a “political no-no”, he says, the “willingness to keep looking at medicinal cannabis” won’t stop under English.

“Political no-no” means that National won’t consider going there, and Dunne can’t do anything about that except cop the flak. A convenient cop out for National.

I haven’t seen Peter Dunne state whether he will stand again or not but he implies that he will contest Ohariu again next year:

…he’s well aware that he’s got to win his Ohariu seat to survive next year’s election.

If he survives, and if National stays in government, and if he is appointed Associate Minister of Health (with responsibility for diverting attention from National’s intransigence on cannabis law reform, then progress on medicinal cannabis is likely to remain slow.

If Labour lead the next Government then Dunne is unlikely to be in the mix, so it will be up to Labour and Greens and possibly NZ First to push things along, but cannabis is unlikely to be a priority.

Time for a meaningful discussion about Super?

A meaningful discussion about the future of universal superannuation in New Zealand is long overdue, but the National Party is adamant that kicking the Super can down the road is the best way of avoiding it.

Stuff: David v Jacinda: Super changes a poison pill that must be swallowed

David Seymour:

“A political hot potato that no party wants to handle.” That’s how The Nation’s Lisa Owen last week described rising superannuation costs, and she’s almost right. Since Andrew Little last year abandoned Labour’s policy of raising the age of eligibility, ACT is the one party campaigning on sustainable super.

Now perhaps that may be sort of correct. In past terms of the current Government Peter Dunne campaigned for changes to Super, promoting ‘flex-super’ which is still a United Future policy.

Politicians across the spectrum, including the Prime Minister, treat changes to super like a poison pill for how it polls with older voters. But if this Government doesn’t make changes, a future one will. By denying this, politicians deny younger Kiwis the chance to even discuss the issue. They are showing contempt for younger voters.

It is often framed as an ‘appeasing older voters’ versus addressing issues that younger peeople will face in the future.

No-one wants to punish today’s retirees or near-retirees. The question is how super should work in the decades ahead. In the long term, policy change appears inevitable – we’re healthier, working and living longer, resulting in a rapidly aging population. This trend won’t stop – half of babies born today are expected to live until the age of 100, and in my lifetime we’ll go from five taxpayers per superannuitant to two taxpayers per superannuitant.

The effects of this huge demographic shift can’t be overstated, with its effect on super alone costing an extra billion dollars each year. It’s reasonable to assume taxpayers won’t tolerate this forever, and fair enough.

When asked about the problem, politicians gloss over the real scale of the cost and instead pivot onto smaller issues. A typical tactic is to focus on immigrants, who can receive the pension after just 10 years of residency. This period should be extended, but that would be just a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of super for the existing ageing population.

Another idea mentioned is flexi-super – letting some people take it earlier at a lower rate, or later at a higher rate. It’s a good idea, but ultimately doesn’t affect the policy’s cost. It needs to come with more substantial reform.

Some suggest means-testing – taking super away from retirees with high earnings. But it’s surely both unwise and unfair to punish those who choose to continue working and pay taxes.

So that brings us back to raising the age.

That’s something that National won’t consider, and I presume NZ First won’t either.

Jacinda Ardern:

I agree with you David, on most counts.

Where I disagree is with David’s interpretation of other parties position on this question – namely ours. Labour knows we have a problem and we knew it when Michael Cullen set up the Super fund. We knew it when we campaigned to raise the age of superannuation, not just one election, but two. That may have been rejected by voters, but we can’t give up on the conversation on how to guarantee universal super for everyone. That has to be our bottom line.

So yes, you’re right. The National Government has rejected taking action in this area, and they are wrong.

But Seymour points out:

The Prime Minister promised in 2008 not to make changes under his leadership.

Not only that, Key and Bill English refuse to consider planning for the future affordability of Super.

If they get back in for another term that’s another three years of inaction, unless ACT and/or Dunne hold the deciding votes and force National to do something.

If NZ First hold the balance of power then no change will be locked in, whether Labour or National lead the next government.

Ardern:

Perhaps the courage we are now asking for needs to come from us, but also from voters – we need them to start banging down a few doors too.

It doesn’t seem to be an issue that voters will decide elections on.

A meaningful discussion about the future of universal superannuation is needed but is unlikely to happen in this decade.

Dunne: “the decidedly inferior Mr Little”

In his weekly blog post Peter Dunne has made it clear that he doesn’t rate Andrew Little highly.

Dunne is obviously not angling for a memorandum or any sort of understanding with Labour. He may not care, it’s unknown whether he will stand again next year. He may also not care for an alliance involving Greens and NZ First along with Labour.

Dunne’s post takes a historic look at why he thinks Little’s spurning of the centre is likely to be unsuccessful, interspersed with some fairly pointed remarks about Little.

While the Leader of the Opposition is right to talk of “coalitions of interests” he is wrong to assume he alone can put them together without the glue of the centre ground. Fraser, Holyoake, and more latterly Clark and Key fully understood that point.

Mr Little, who is nowhere near their league, appears not to.

Not very complimentary.

So, the Leader of the Opposition thinks elections should not be about who wins the centre ground. He is right, up to a point, especially about bringing together “coalitions of interests” in his bid to win office.

Where he is wrong, however, is that no New Zealand Government – single or multi party, pre or post MMP – has ever been elected without winning over the centre ground of politics. Moreover, for at least one hundred years, New Zealand has had moderately conservative governments, led since the 1930s by either National or Labour.

But Dunne also opines that Little is nowhere near the quality or popularity of Labour’s successful leaders, like Norm Kirk, David Lange and Helen Clark.

It is no coincidence that along the way, Kirk, Lange and Clark had all moderated their message to win the public confidence, and that Labour only won office when they did so.

Yet the far less impressive Mr Little apparently believes he can eschew those lessons.

And again:

But again, the decidedly inferior Mr Little knows better.  

Dunne is yet another ex-Labourite who is not on good terms with the current Labour leadership.

 

 

Thinking more broadly on housing

There has been a lot of attempted political point scoring on housing , often on quite narrow issues that try to ignore the complexities of the situation.

The melee has looked messy, especially for National and Labour.

The Government (National) look like they are in reactive, almost panic mode announcing what appears to be policy on the fly, and they have also looked disjointed amongst themselves.

Labour’s double barrelled attack is to claim that we are now in crisis, but announcing policy that won’t even be considered in Government for over a year at least, and that is dependent on them forming the next government and going by current support indicators, will need agreement by both Greens and NZ First.

Peter Dunne has proposed a national conference on housing involving all affected parties – not political parties, local bodies in particular are a vital part of any possible solutions.

Lawrence Yule, President of Local Government New Zealand, via Stuff, says that Thinking more broadly on housing the only way to make a difference and agrees with Dunne:

LGNZ has long advocated for a ‘joined up’ approach to addressing housing provision and affordability. UnitedFuture leader Hon Peter Dunne recently called for a national conference with all affected parties. We agree. Such an approach could be a springboard for developing a shared national strategy to address housing supply.

We advocate that a shared plan should address the many complex factors driving the housing shortage – and that needs to be agreed between central and local government and key players in the construction industry as a matter of urgency.

He says “it is clear we need to think more broadly to make a difference” and suggests six things in particular that need to be focussed on:

  1. Funding and financing of infrastructure;
  2. Addressing land-banking;
  3. Allowing for Urban Development Authorities controlled by local government to speed up development;
  4. Putting in place tax regimes that de-incentivise speculation in residential property;
  5. Addressing a skills shortage in the construction industry; and finally
  6. Addressing an uncompetitive market for building supplies.

Funding

One of the most important priorities for local government is to address the question of why residential-zoned, serviced land is not being released to market at the rate sufficient to meet market demand.

There are two main reasons for this:

  • first the challenge of financing and so providing the essential trunk infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewerage, to ensure that land is ‘ready to go’;
  • and second the practice of so-called ‘land banking’.

Mayors whose districts are experiencing high growth have said publicly they are already doing what the proposed National Policy Statement will require them to do and it is not just a land supply problem.

LGNZ’s funding review highlighted the need for funding options that will incentivise councils and communities to invest in infrastructure to enable more growth.

One way of achieving this would be to allow councils to retain a share of any value uplift arising from a change in economic activity, including a change of zoning from rural to residential – the value uplift potentially being used to fund new infrastructure.

Currently, that gain goes directly to landholders (hence the incentive to landbank).

Land banking

Land banking occurs where developers hold onto land, releasing it only gradually in response to increases in land prices. The problem is acute in some fast-growing areas and councils currently lack the tools to incentivise land-bankers to release land for housing development.

We need tools that act as incentives to release the land. We should look to the overseas jurisdictions that have the same issues as New Zealand to consider what other powers might be needed.

The most obvious is to change the law to allow a targeted rate to be applied to land in these circumstances, currently not allowed by law. The approach taken by this Government is to require additional supply of serviced land with the intention of creating a competitive land and development market.

Development and zoning of ‘brownfield’ commercial sites, well suited to infill housing, is also often hampered by land being in small titles, with multiple owners. The United Kingdom is addressing this problem through Urban Development Authorities.

Both National and Labour have proposed something similar to the Urban Development Authorities. Now would be a good time to have one.

UDAs have the power to compulsorily purchase land, particularly useful when an area is under many small titles (often found in commercial or inner city areas) in order to offer developers a consolidated area where economies of scale can be achieved.

We will want to work with the Government on what the powers and governance arrangements for UDAs in New Zealand could be. 

Future tense is not a good sign, the Government should have already been working with local government on this.

While National insists there is no crisis and Labour insists there is and they keep hitting each other with political handbags the housing market burns.

If there was ever a time that our Members of parliament should be working together – in this case with local governments – it is now.

Rapidly escalating prices are a major problem, and if the bubble bursts and prices collapse it will get worse.

An urgent realistic and cooperative approach is needed.

In depth reporting during Parliamentary recess?

Some response to Tracy Watkins’ suggestion for opposition parties as posted here:   A recess challenge for Labour.

Fox is the hard working Maori Party list MP.

Ditto, and I reckon most of us will be. Kind of a strange column. Must invite Tracey to spend a recess week with me.
My reading of it is not so much MPs not working, but MPs not keeping media attention.

I think this is a very good point from Robertson.

Instead of journalists writing columns about what they think politicians and parties should be doing perhaps that time would be better spent investigating and reporting on what Members of Parliament are actually doing.

Most MPs work very hard. Some seek and get media attention, and that is not necessarily the hard workers, and it is not necessarily the meritorious work being reported on.

Take this column from Claire Trevett yesterday in Small parties under pump as polls loom:

There is precious little oxygen in the rarefied atmosphere inhabited by Government support parties. If evidence was needed it came this week when Dunne tried to remind people of his existence by issuing a press statement setting out the three policy themes he would be focusing on in the lead-up to the 2017 election.

The themes were: an economy that provides fairness, choice and opportunity; establishing core environmental bottom lines; and embracing and celebrating a modern, multi-cultural New ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.

It was effectively a campaign launch. It fell with the impact of a feather.

Dunne didn’t defame an opponent, he didn’t stoke up racial or ethnic intolerance, he didn’t say something quietly to a reporter who told another reporter who made it into a major story about a Minister.

MPs who quietly and diligently do their jobs without providing sound bites and click bait for media don’t only get ignored most of the time, they get criticised for being boring.

Going back to what Watkins wrote, it seems she wants opposition parties to provide political media with some headlines during a quiet time, a Parliamentary recess.

I agree with Robertson, more in depth would help a lot, but journalists seem averse to doing the boring hard work that is required to inform the public of what is really going on.

Hard hearted Bill vetos parental leave bill vetoed

Bill English has followed through with threats to veto the Paid Parental Leave Bill that would have increased paid parental leave from the current 18 weeks to 26 weeks.

The bill was supported by a majority in Parliament, the Bill was not.

I’m disappointed by this. The Paid Parental Leave Bill was introduced to Parliament via the Members’ ballot and passed through all it’s stages under our democratic process, but was discarded by English under his power of ‘certificate of financial veto’.

There would have been a cost with a fiscal impact but not a significant one in the whole scheme of things.

There is overwhelming evidence that the first months and years of a child’s life are of fundamental importance to their well being, so if any stage of their lives deserves Government support it is the first six months.

It is also important that mothers in particular (and fathers as well) are supported during the most difficult, the most time consuming and the most important stage of parenthood.

Yes there would have been an added cost but the benefits are likely to have paid this back.

This makes English look petty, penny pinching and mean. Ditto the National Party.

Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party, NZ First and UnitedFuture all supported the bill.

Labour MP Sue Moroney introduced and strongly promoted the bill:

…said she was “frustrated and disappointed” by the veto.

“It’s a difficult thing to command parliamentary majority from opposition…and it’s the right thing to do.

Peter Dunne…

… said the veto was “unfortunate”, given the Government’s previous claims about its focus on children.

“I think it’s a delicious irony in that yesterday [the] Government was saying that putting children at the centre of policy was a priority – today they ban a bill on paid parental leave.”

Labour leader Andrew Little…

…said it was “deeply disappointing”.

Parliament clearly supports it … the Government does have the right of veto and in the end they’ll be accountable to New Zealander’s for that”.

Spokeswoman for the coalition 26 for Babies…

…said the “unaffordability” argument didn’t stack up.

“This decision is about this Governments priorities,” Rebecca Matthews-Heron said.

It is hard work to get a sensible Opposition bill with majority support for it. It is hard work being a parent, particularly in the first 6 months of a child’s life.

It was easy for English to veto this bill, but it was hard nosed, hard hearted and contrary to Government claims about putting a priority on early childhood.

Parliament speaks on Orlando shooting

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): I seek leave to move a motion without notice to express sympathy with the victims of the Orlando shooting.

Mr SPEAKER: Is there any objection to that course of action being followed? There is none.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY:

I move, That the House express sympathy with the victims of the Orlando shooting. This is a shocking atrocity, and on behalf of all New Zealanders, I would like to express our country’s sincere condolences to those affected by it.

As I said yesterday, no innocent person should have to worry about such violence when going about their daily lives or be persecuted for their beliefs or because of who they are.

The evening vigils that took place in Auckland, Wellington, and elsewhere were a tangible demonstration of the depth of people’s very real feelings at the scale of this atrocity.

Over the days and weeks ahead, we will learn more about the motivations behind this senseless tragedy, but right now there are many people grieving: the victims’ families and friends, and the gay and lesbian community in Florida and around the world.

All too often we see these hateful attacks and mass shootings taking the lives of innocent victims. New Zealand stands with the United States and other countries in the fight against violent extremism.

Yesterday I wrote to President Obama to express condolences on behalf of all New Zealanders.

Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends, and with those who responded to this tragic attack, and we wish those injured a speedy recovery.

ANDREW LITTLE (Leader of the Opposition):

The Labour Party joins with the Government in expressing its horror at this atrocity and its love and sympathy with the victims and their families. Our thoughts are with the people of Orlando and the United States, as well as their representatives here in New Zealand.

This was an atrocious and hateful act. It was an act of terror. It was also an act of hate. It was a targeted attack at the LGBTI community. It was the deliberate mass-murder of LGBTI people because of who they were and whom they loved.

These young people were attacked and murdered in a place that was meant to be safe for them. It was meant to be a haven where they could go to dance and have fun and be themselves. This was a place where they would not be subject to homophobia or violence or hatred. And in that place, in that sanctuary, they were murdered in cold blood.

Like millions of people around the word, we have all seen the heart-breaking details of what emerged about this shooting. The stories of first responders arriving at the scene to a chorus of ringing cellphones, as the families of those hurt and killed desperately tried to contact their loved ones.

The story of Eddie Justice, who was able to hide in the bathroom of the nightclub long enough to send his mother a text telling her that he loved her and whose mother then had to read the horrifying words: “He’s coming. I’m going to die.”

This attack has broken hearts around the world, but while we mourn and grieve, we must also rededicate ourselves to the great universal values of humanity, which attacks like this seek to deny and destroy: inclusion, openness, respect, love.

We must reaffirm our commitment to a society where everyone is free to love whom they choose, worship how they choose, and to be themselves without fear of violence or repression.

We must reaffirm our commitment to ending bigotry and intolerance and hatred wherever we find it, because that is what the path of true freedom demands.

While we grieve and we mourn, we remind ourselves that love is love and that love is stronger than hate, and that together we will not let hate win.

KEVIN HAGUE (Green):

I rise to support the Prime Minister’s motion and to thank him for it. The Green Party wishes to express its profound shock and sorrow at what has occurred, and its sympathies to the victims themselves, to their families, to their friends, and to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities in Orlando and around the world.

An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us. I want to name this as an act of homophobic violence.

For those of us who are in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities, we know that just below the level of taunts and name-calling and subtle prejudice, there is an undercurrent of violence.

In this particular case, in Orlando, America’s absurd gun laws have been a unique enabler for the mass murder that has occurred. But New Zealand also has a history of homophobic violence; one thinks, for example, of Jeff Whittington , who just over 17 years ago was murdered in this town.

It should not be that when I and my partner or any from our communities are out in public, we should have to check who is around before we kiss or hold hands, and yet it is so.

At this time I want to ask everyone in this House and everyone listening to this debate now to pay particular attention to the needs of young and vulnerable members of our communities.

For older members of the gay community, for example, like me, we have the privilege of being able to choose whom we associate with. We have the relative privilege of being able to make ourselves as safe as we can be.

But a younger person does not have that privilege. They are particularly vulnerable; they need our support and they need our love, right now.

I also want to extend a hand of friendship and of love to Muslim communities around the world. We understand that what this man did is not representative of your communities, and we seek relationships that are based on peace and mutual respect.

A belief that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people are not entitled to what we call universal human rights, or, worse, a belief that we deserve death for being who we are, cannot be allowed to stand in the world.

In closing, we in the Green Party and, I hope, this House commit ourselves to act against homophobia and homophobic violence and, indeed, transphobic violence, wherever it occurs in the world, and we seek to be a constant voice in the world for universal respect for basic human rights. Thank you.

Peters:

Peters’ speech was widely regarded as highly inappropriate and disgraceful,  so the transcript won’t be posted.

He devoted most of his speech ignoring Orlando and trying to score political points on New Zealand immigration. About two MPs slow clapped his speech, it looks like he stunned or embarrassed even the NZ First MPs.

Hon TE URUROA FLAVELL (Co-Leader—Māori Party):

No transcript has been supplied by Parliament for Flavell’s speech.

Hon PETER DUNNE (Leader—United Future):

No words, no spin, and no gloss can carry over the events that occurred in Orlando yesterday. The slaughter of nearly 50 innocent people is unacceptable by any moral or ethical standard.

Equally unacceptable, I think, is the sort of intolerance and the bigotry—because that is what it is—that gets paraded at a time like this as people start to attempt to explain these unacceptable actions.

I believe that bigotry begets bigotry, and that in turn begets the type of extremism that we saw exemplified in Orlando yesterday.

This is not an issue where one makes a moral judgment about anybody. The fact is that these young gay and lesbian people were out socialising, something they should have been able to do in perfect freedom, in perfect security, and in perfect confidence.

A madman—because that is the one thing that is certain about the perpetrator—cruelly ended that, and the questions will go on for some time as to why and how.

There will be questions about the United States’ attitude to the possession of handguns. There will be questions about the motivation of the individual. None of those actually remove the tragedy of what happened. None of those restore any of those lives, rebuild any of those families or those friendships, or rebuild those shattered communities.

We are a long way away, and I am sure that the people of the United States are not sitting by their televisions now hanging on our every words, but our expression of sympathy and solidarity with them at this time of grief counts in that it shows that as members of the world community we actually share some basic values about integrity, we share some basic values about freedom, and we share some basic values about people being able to live their lives and express their personalities to the fullest extent.

Every time we see an event like this it is a challenge to all of those values that we hold dear, even if we may not be immediately near the scene of the crime.

So I share with others the sense of outrage and the expression of condolence and sympathy to the people of the United States, and Orlando in particular, on this horrific occasion. But to start to go beyond that to draw spurious conclusions at this early stage I simply think starts to light the fuse for the next horrible outrage, and that is unacceptable.

DAVID SEYMOUR (Leader—ACT):

I would like to add the ACT Party’s sympathy and condolences to those messages from other leaders who have made dignified and factual contributions to this debate.

It is a great tragedy, and our thoughts are with the victims, with their families, with their communities, and particularly with the LGBTI communities of Orlando, who appear to have been deliberately targeted.

Let us remain strong in the knowledge that free and open societies have the resilience to sustain these tragedies to support each other and to grow stronger again together. Thank you.

A broad global consensus on drugs

NZ Drug Foundation @nzdrug tweeted:

A brilliant video from @IDPCnet on the ‪#‎ungass2016‬“consensus”. @PeterDunneMP makes a cameo. ‪#‎supportdontpunish‬

A broad consensus? It’s time for change. #SupportDontPunish

Published on Jun 7, 2016

Join the movement at http://supportdontpunish.org/

For over half a century there has been a global consensus that drugs should be eliminated through punishment and repression. But this “consensus” has been ripped apart at the seams. Progressively more countries realise repression and punishment have failed. It’s time for change.

Video by Leo Kiss.
Footage from UNTV and Rights Reporter Foundation.

Empathy in electorate offices

This sort of arrogant ‘Labour good, National bad’ claim continues to repel common sense people from Labour.

Te Reo Putake

It’s important to remember that local MP’s have a job to do in their communities and if you want an empathetic hearing in your local electorate office, that’ll only come from a Labour MP.

Or, if you live in the north, from your NZF MP, who I’m told has revitalised the electorate offices up there.

This not only disses David Seymour, Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell, it could be seen as a swipe at any Green ambitions of going for electorate seats

This was commenting on his own post Stick a Fork in Him, He’s Dunne in which he said:

The biggest loser is obviously Peter Dunne who is going to be an ex MP if the Green Party don’t stand a candidate in Ohariu.

…long time reliable sycophant Peter Dunne twist in the wind.

Dunne’s history is one of disloyalty and self serving behaviour.

If Labour need to talk to Dunne to get the last seat needed to form a coalition this sort of long standing abuse won’t help their case.

So how rattled is National? I reckon they’re shitting bricks myself. Not just because they are going to lose the ever reliable doormat Dunne, but because there’s every chance the Maori party will cease to be as well.

That’s not because of the Greens/Labour pact, but because interwebs/mana are no longer a credible party. Annette Sykes may well stand again in Wairiki, but she won’t get 5000 votes this time around and Te Ururoa  Flavell’s majority will suffer as a result.

No Flavell, no maori Tories.

Another coalition option burnt off. Do Labour Greens really think they won’t need anyone else?

And what’s to say the Greens won’t get the same treatment if Labour only need them and they are desperate – will Labour through them a few crumbs? It would be more than they’ve done before I suppose.

But back to “if you want an empathetic hearing in your local electorate office, that’ll only come from a Labour MP”.

On Paul Henry this morning  – Greens-Labour deal ‘nothing new’ – King – Nikki Kay said:

…as the MP for Auckland Central through my electorate office I’ve done quite a lot in terms of people being homeless in central Auckland.

I’ve gone down and visited Wynard Quarter people who have been in sort of caravans and things down there and it’s really complex, people have many different situations.

…I’ve literally had people in my office and they’ve said for various reasons that’s where they want to be. And sometimes there might be mental health issues, sometimes there might be a range of other reasons why the temporarily want to be somewhere.

Not good enough for TRP.

On that same Paul Henry segment Annette King also dissed ‘bland Peter Dunne”.

She’s deputy to Andrew Little. In contrast they must be as colourful as cooked cabbage who think they only need some Greens to go with them.

On the same Standard thread Colonial Viper:

Dunne ain’t ever supporting a Labour coalition government again. Not after the vitriol Labour has poured on Dunne for years now.

As if they can afford to be that selective. They seem to have thought dumping on Dunne and getting him out of parliament by any means was a pathway to power.

What does Dunne think about it?

Now has jumped on the bandwagon. She says is “bland”. Time to prove us wrong Peter.

Ha! Hardly worth replying to a wet bus ticket slap from someone of so little substance or consequence

I think it’s time hung up his bow tie..Your now just an angry little man with pretty good hair

 I happen to be one of calmest & relaxed people you could meet – I just have an intolerance of idiocy and stupidity

TRP is not stupid, he knows that you can burn off all sorts of potentially useful people and the voters will still think you deserve to be in power on your own. So much empathy.

Or something.