MY policy manifesto for 2017

Every party that comes to Parliament gets in on two things. One is that the individuals h have earned enough votes from the voting public to have justified making the prestigious claim that they have a vision for this country. The second is that  the party has met a whole lot of written and unwritten criteria. Meeting and bettering that criteria is critical to ones performance in politics.

With that in mind my policy manifesto has been released for 2017. I hope that it leads to a better performance by New Zealand.

Please read this link and comment on what you see. It is not a perfect or full length presentation, but rather a good taster.

Does this make me a leftie, a rightist or a centrist?

My manifesto for 2017

Kia Ora

This is a simple heads up to let you know in terms of voting by policies how I might be persuaded to vote in the 23 September 2017 General Election. I am not so much giving you this by a website or other means. This is something that I can see devolving quite rapidly.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.


T.P.P.A.???? No way!!! T.P.P.A.???? No way!!!

Today, scrolling through my Facebook feed I stumbled on something disturbing, but not terribly surprising: National are still trying to get the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement through in some form.

One should not be surprised. To many this is like the crown jewel in National’s economic and trade policies. It is something that they have spent huge diplomatic effort trying to shore up overseas – Prime Minister John Key, former Minister of Trade Tim Groser, current Minister of Trade Todd McClay in particular have gone to huge lengths in the course of their time in their respective roles talking to diplomats, trying to reassure the public in those few instances where the media has been brave enough to investigate.

I first became aware of the T.P.P.A. in about 2011. Someone in the course of a conversation over human rights told me about it and mentioned that human rights would be affected. I initially did not think too much about it, until when assisting New Zealand First in the 2011 election campaign it became a topic of debate. Still the media were not – and are still not really all that interested to this day – in why it is such a controversial subject.

It wasn’t until 2012 that I realized what a danger this was, when listening to members of the New Zealand First caucus talk about it at the party convention in Palmerston North. At that point I started investigating. What I could deduce was nothing more than what was already known – that 12 nations including New Zealand wanted to conclude an all Pacific Rim trade agreement. The problem was that the negotiations were being conducted behind closed doors, were not being scrutinized by the media and most New Zealanders were indifferent to it. I began to be involved in the protests that were organized by Its Our Future and prior to that Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa.

But it is the same T.P.P.A. that rallied the left wing spectrum all those years ago. It is the T.P.P.A. that I am hearing is turning some National Party supporters away from their party. It is the same T.P.P.A. that New Zealand First and the Green Party have consistently opposed from day one and refuse to have a bar of now or in the future. It is the same T.P.P.A. that prompted New Zealand First list M.P. Fletcher Tabuteau to draft his Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill, which was sadly shot down by National, A.C.T. and United Future in March 2017.

Basically it is the same ugly old trojan horse dressed as something New Zealand and New Zealanders should accept. It still has the hugely dangerous Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses that would take the T.P.P.A. beyond New Zealand’s court system and into the hands of a secret kangaroo court controlled by corporate interests.

I have said much that is harsh about United States President Donald Trump and have plenty more still to be said, but one thing I cannot be at all harsh on him about is the T.P.P.A. His point blank refusal to accept the agreement is something New Zealand should have done. It is the one action of his that I totally and unapologetically identify with. It is something that for New Zealand to do likewise, will require a change of Government to one that involves New Zealand First and preferably Labour.

So, if we cut a long story short, the rallying cry of the left in Parliament on this should still be: T.P.P.A.???? No way!!! T.P.P.A.???? No way!!!

The disgraceful conduct of Julie Bishop

A big nation or person should pick on someone their own size. Or so I was told at home and at school, but also that one should do unto others as they would have done by them.

Australia is much bigger than New Zealand in every respect, and for over 100 years the relationship New Zealand and Australia have had could almost be described as beautiful. Few other pairs of countries from their inception can claim to have had had such a close relationship as these two. We fought alongside each other in two World Wars, and A.N.Z.A.C. Day is the most solemn of all times on the New Zealand and Australian calendar.

Except that yesterday, the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop attacked the New Zealand Labour Party in the most disgusting way over two questions asked by Chris Hipkins in Parliament. The two questions related whether or not Australian Deputy Prime Minister had New Zealand dual citizenship – turns out he did. The questions themselves landed Mr Hipkins in hot water with his boss, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, Jacinda Ardern who fronted the media yesterday and told journalists what had happened, that she expects better from her caucus and not to ask such questions in future.

What made Ms Bishop’s comments so disgusting was that they were:

  • Considerably excessive given the nature of what caused them and the fact that New Zealand Labour Party made contact to say sorry, reiterate how much it values the Goverment of Australia
  • So inflammatory – Australia’s problem with migrants might be real and it is, but attacking a nation that has been Australia’s nearest and dearest since Gallipoli
  • Ignoring the fact that it was not of New Zealand Labour’s making – sure Mr Hipkins should not have asked those questions, but having assured Ms Ardern of the circumstances he was not demoted

I want to maintain as best as possible a relationship with Australia. New Zealand needs Australia for many obvious reasons, but also some not so obvious ones such as only it and New Zealand have the influence and resources to deal with a South Pacific emergency without calling on international help. New Zealand and Australia have a common interest in each others well being.

I do not want to see New Zealand having to take measures that would affect ordinary Australians living and working in New Zealand as Australia could hit back many times harder. That said, if Australia is going to continue making policy announcements that further erode the viability of New Zealanders living in Australia then perhaps it is time review the visa rules for Australians coming to New Zealand.

Something Julie Bishop and her boss Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would do really well to note.

How an Australian politicians dual citizenship nearly crashed the Australian Government

This is the story of how an Australian Deputy Prime Minister nearly lost his job (and the Australian Government)because he held dual citizenship by virtue of also being a New Zealand citizen. It is also the story of how those findings caused the worst diplomatic storm between N.Z and Australia in decades.

On Monday 14 August 2017, the New Zealand Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dunne received advice that Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen. Mr Joyce’s father appears to have been or became a New Zealand citizen and got his then young son citizenship at the same time.

Mr Joyce is just the latest in a series of Australian politicians to have been found to hold dual citizenship. Two others have also been forced to quit, after finding out that they hold dual citizenship with another country, thereby rendering them ineligible to be an elected representative in Australia. Mr Joyce has refused to stand down after renouncing his citizenship of New Zealand yesterday, but not before being subject to a barrage of questions from the Australian opposition parties that gave his Government an appearance of being desperate.

And it was. If Mr Joyce had been made to resign, the entire Australian Government would have been in immediate danger of collapsing. As it is, one of its key allies Bob Katter has withdrawn from his Confidence and Supply agreement with the Australian Government, thereby meaning all Liberal representatives would have to be present to pass legislation or carry out any other Government business requiring a vote.

Mr Joyce and his Government colleagues were not the only ones in the gun. On this side of the Tasman Sea, it emerged that a New Zealand Labour M.P. had been contacted by Australian Labor Leader Bill Shorten. Mr Shorten asked New Zealand Labour Member of Parliament Chris Hipkins if he would ask two question in the New Zealand House of Representatives. The purpose of this was to determine one way of the other whether Mr Joyce is actually holding dual citizenship in both New Zealand and Australia.

The response was one of fury from Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop. Ms Bishop accused New Zealand Labour and Australian Labor of conspiring to topple the Liberal Government of Malcolm Turnbull. But Ms Bishop went one step further and effectively suggested how New Zealand and Australia work in the future could depend on who is elected on 23 September 2017.

To be honest, I have never heard an Australian Government Minister, let alone of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s seniority lay into New Zealand so overtly. It is one thing for the Australian Government to call out New Zealand politicians, but to go so far as to say that her Government would find it very difficult to work with a New Zealand Labour-led Government is unprecedented.

New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern addressed New Zealand media shortly before 1800 hours N.Z. time yesteday regarding Labours involvement. Some of them gave the appearance of being keen for blood to spill or for Ms Ardern to say something silly. Every question following her press briefing seemed to get asked in about four different ways and each time the answer was the same. Ms Ardern made it clear that she only found out Mr Joyce’s citizenship issue when it appeared in the media; that Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is most welcome to have a talk to her with regards to what was said about finding it hard to work with Labour should it be elected.

Mr Joyce might no longer be a New Zealand citizen, but this is has caused further possibly irreparable damage to the Australian Government of Malcolm Turnbull. It does not yet seem to have dented either the Australian Labor Party, which consistently polls better than the incumbent Government. And although it has tested Ms Ardern, she seems to have gotten away as well – much to Ms Bishop’s probable chagrin.