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September 23, 2005

Comments no longer emailed to me


As I will be heading overseas next week and want to minimise my e-mail, I've turned off the function where comments get e-mailed to me. This means that while I will still browse and reply to them on the blog itself, I am far less likely to read them all, so e-mail me directly if you need to contact me.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In Dunedin

New Zealand

I'm down in Dunedin for InternetNZ meetings. Likely to have some spare time late this afternoon and on Saturday. Any suggestions from locals as to good places to have a drink or two? My intentions are my old local the Captain Cook, but it may have gone downhill recently?

Will also have a look around campus, as I normally do when visiting, and maybe grab some photos of my old hostel, Carrington Hall.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:12 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

Critic's drug date rape article


As I'm in Dunedin today, and going to visit my old university this afternoon, I should offer a view on the near annual outcry against a student newspaper article - this year being a Critic article on drug date rape. Warning the article is truly offensive.

I don't have an issue with the article. I think it does more good in wanring people about how it can be done, than any harm it may do by telling would be rapists how to do it. They can find that out from the Internet (quick ban that also) anyway.

I do have an issue that students are forced to fund Critic through compulsory fees, but that is a seperate debate.

You can also see TV cameras being set up to interview the Critiic editor here.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:05 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack (0)

Dog becomes elector

Politics in NZ (General)

A Queenstown man managed to enrol his Jack Russell dog, Toby, on the electoral roll listing his occupation as "rodent exterminator" and including a paw print on the form.

In my view New Zealand has possible the most lax regime in the developed world when it comes to ensuring only people entitled to vote, can enrol and vote. This is not the fault of the electoral agencies, but of the law.

There is no requirement to provide proof of identity when enrolling, or even when voting. There are no cross-checks against the births register, or a register of migrants who have permanent residency.

Personally I believe voting should be restricted to citizens, not just permanent residents (we are one of the very few countries where in law there is almost no difference between a citizen and a permanent resident) and that there should be a register of all citizens that the electoral roll is checked against.

Our current electoral enrolment system has so many flaws in it, that fraud is trivially easy to commit and never be detected.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:42 AM | Comments (43) | TrackBack (0)

Free speech in Helen's way

Politics in NZ (General)

The Dominion Post editorial strongly attacks Helen Clark's request for Parliament to review third party advertising in campaigns.

They conclude that "She was implying, of course, that, because the religious sect had not backed Labour or the Greens, it should not be allowed to support anyone else. What about freedom of speech?"

The editorial also mentions the Bill of Rights, namely "Section 14 of the Bill of Rights Act – a Labour initiative – specifically says that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form." and then asks "What part of that does Miss Clark not understand?"

Finally noting that Clark "was more than happy to accept third-party endorsements of the Greens by a big group of named New Zealanders, and of her Government by the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union." that one has to ask "Are New Zealanders now to be allowed to speak up only if they champion Labour's cause?"

Not the first time the PM has made clear she regards criticism of her Government as somehow disloyal to NZ or wrong.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:32 AM | Comments (43) | TrackBack (0)

Well done Jim

New Zealand

A big thumbs up to Jim and Carole Anderton who helped save the life of a man who had serious wounds and was in danger of bleeding to death. Very good work.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:25 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Confused Green thinking

Politics in NZ (General)

I feel sorry for the Greens when they have conflicting urges.

One the one hand they love high petrol prices as it backs up their claims oil is running out and people need to look at alterative fuel sources.

On the other hand they hate oil companies as they are nasty multi-nationals.

Yesterday the second feeling overcame the first, and Jeanette called for oil companies to absorb the next price spike.

Rather daft if you ask me, because it is through high prices that research into alternative fuel sources becomes economic.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:19 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

September 22, 2005

Christian Heritage still have a problem

Politics in NZ (General)

I was glad that only 0.12% of NZers voted for Christian Heritage this election. However that is still 2,495 people too many from what I have recently learned.

Now I've been of the view that the actions of Graham Capill were so bad they stained the party forever. Others have argued you can't judge them off one bad apple.

However what do you do when you end up with an e-mail which shows a current Christian Heritage board member has been effectively minimising what Capill did. Well in the interest of public disclosure, I enclose below the e-mail which came from a yahoogroups list. The sender of the e-mail is the policy director for Christian Heritage.

My comments are in italics with no > > in front of them.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mark Munroe" [mark.munroe@address deleted]
> To: [name deleted]
> Cc: [name deleted]
> Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 10:17 PM
> Subject: Graham Capill
>> Hi [name deleted]
>> Hope you and the family are going well.
>> I noted the other day that you consider Graham Capill deserves the death
>> penalty. I am not sure how you came to this conclusion except by
>> ,
>> offending which stopped more than three years ago. The offences were not
>> rape as understood from what I understand the Bible to mean, which is why
>> Graham had such a concern about how to plea (as mentioned in the email
>> that
>> was leaked to the media).

So firstly he claims that what happened wasn't rape, because the biblical definition of rape is different.

>> Rape of a married woman carried the death
>> penalty. Multiple convictions of any offence could merit the death
>> penalty.
>> But neither of these cases apply to Graham

Now he is claiming that if the rape is not of a married woman, it is somehow deserving of a lesser penalty. Well I don't know about you, but I regard rape of an eight to twelve year old as far worse than of an adult. Not that either are anything but heinous.

>> As you know, I am a strong advocate for the death penalty, but only where
>> the Bible prescribes it. The "eye for an eye...." is a wonderful point
>> of
>> justice - the penalty must balance the magnitude to the offence, not more
>> and not less.

So they should die if they rape a married woman, but not if they rape little girls!

>> Please note that these is still a media ban from publishing material that
>> would reveal the identify of the victims.

Which did not stop Mr Monroe from doing so in his e-mail.

>> I was speaking to [name deleted] tonight who is aware of your site and
>> concerned about it. I hope that now that you know more information that
>> you
>> would remove the point about the death penalty applying to Graham.
>> Kind regards
>> Mark

I do not know Mr Monroe from a bar of soap. I hold no animosity against him. However I am very very concerned that people in senior leadership positions in a political party continue to minimise what Graham Capill did, on the basis it was not against a married woman, but against children. Christian Heritage needs to state whether they share their policy director's views that Capill's offending is somehow lessened because it was not against a married woman.

Incidentally I am informed by those more well read on the bible, he is also wrong on his interpretation of the bible.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:11 PM | Comments (48) | TrackBack (0)

Press retraction


The Press have done a retraction/clarification in relation to Colin Espiner's blog.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 01:45 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

Peter Davis


This is one of those issues I was inclined to not even comment on this, but there are posts appearing on other blogs, so I figured it was better to add some balance, rather than do an ostrich.

Some people are already getting excited about the rumour that Holmes tonight (830 pm on Prime) will show footage or stills of a kiss between Peter Davis and a man on election night.

From what I understand it is pretty obvious that Peter Davis was taken by surprise, and it is all relatively harmless. In fact from the photo I have seen, it may just be a kiss on the cheek.

I don't think a public party with every media in the country in attendance is the sort of place where you act indiscreetly, if there is anything to act indiscreetly about. Seriously, think about it. If you had a secret boyfriend, would you be kissing him in front of 30 journalists and several TV cameras.

Also I imagine everyone there was pretty pissed and in a celebratory mood, and photos afterwards often take things out of context. If my partner had just been re-elected PM for a third time, I'd be pretty happy and doing stupid things.

To use an example of the last one, a couple of years ago an organisation I am involved with had a major league piss-up to celebrate a very successful sale. Myself and others drank a lot of ouzo that night. The next day I didn't recall much of the previous night, but was amused to hear there were photos of me dancing with a staff member. I assumed it was the incredibly gorgeous female staff member, but instead the photo was of me dancing with the not so gorgeous male staff member :-(

And no that is not a sign of repressed anything, just signs of too much alcohol!

So watch Prime tonight and have a wee laugh. But please lay off the conspiracy theories.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:38 PM | Comments (49) | TrackBack (0)

Thank you very much for your kind taxation

Politics in NZ (General)

Treasury has just posted the financial statements for the year to 30 June 2005 and the OBERAC surplus has grown even larger - it made $8.9 billion.

But according to Dr Cullen, there can be no reduction in taxes at all. Tax revenue increased 9.6% last year alone, or over $4 billion.

Government Revenue now makes up 45% of GDP. National had it down to under 38%.

I shudder to think of the bizarre spending projects Labour will now come up with to get rid of the surplus.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:08 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)

Will it last three years?

Politics in NZ (General)

Outgoing United Future MP Marc Alexander predicts "My own thoughts are that whatever the shape of the next government, it is unlikely to last three years".

Marc also advises Don Brash to be relieved that he won't have to form a Government which needs five parties voting for it to survive. The Dominion Post Editorial says the same.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:09 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

Scoop's Specials Calculator

Election 2005

Sccop has a nifty specials calculator done by Douglas Bagnall.

Heh if 100% of the specials are valid, and National wins 100% of them (where are Diebold voting machines when you need them) then National has 58 seats :-)

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:07 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

The Whig returns


Welcome back to The Whig. Blair has been joined by AUSA legend Graham Watson and Willie Seabrook.

So far only one photo of the (ex?) Whigette.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Electoral Map

Election 2005

No Right Turn has a useful map of red and bue electorates. Unlike the US though blue here signifies the good guys.

It shows quite starkly how Labour has been reduced to an urban based party, apart from the geothermal region and the West Coast.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:55 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

It's Rubber Bush!

Fun Things

Readers will recall the amazing rubber woman. Lot's of fun. Now onw or two people were shocked that it involved a woman in a bikini and thought it encouraged violence towards women. They really need a life, but just to keep them happy I present the rubber George W Bush. I have no doubts they they will not complain about this one.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Give up all your money


NZ has just posted its second highest current account deficit - $11.9b or 8% of GDP.

And somehow this is not Dr Cullen's fault, but a reason not to reduce tax, even though this has happened under Labour's high tax policies.

Now let's debunk Dr Cullen's logic. If one actually gives NZers some of their own money back to them, this will allow people to save more!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:35 AM | Comments (26) | TrackBack (0)

Looking like a Claytons Inquiry


The inquiry into Labour Minister Taito Phillip Field is looking like a claytons one with the QC being given only nine days to do it.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:26 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Byebye Sideswipe


How annoying. The sideswipe column in the NZ Herald has been deemed premium content and now costs $3 per day to access.

Public notice to the NZ Herald. Taking anything off my blog now costs $3 a day.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:19 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

September 21, 2005

Death of a hero


Simon Wiesenthal, the veteran Nazi hunter who helped bring over 1,100 Nazi war criminals to trial, has died in Vienna at the age of 96.

If one has to devote your entire life to one thing, can't think of anything better than hunting down Nazi war criminals.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:58 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)

Citing Wikipedia

Internet in NZ

Dean Knight has an interesting and amusing post on the views of Victoria Law Faculty staff on whether students should be able to cite Wikipedia in essays.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:03 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Electoral Reform

Politics in NZ (General)

Philip Temple, a highly respected commentator on electoral issues, has called for two changes to be made to MMP.

The first is to raise the threshold for qualifying for List MPs from one electorate seat to two electoraate seats. In Germany it is three.

The second is to remove the Maori seats, as recommended by the Royal Commission.

If both these changes applied to this election, the results would be:

Labour 53
National 52
NZ First 8
Green 7
United 1
Progressive 1

Total 122

Nat/NZF/Uni 61
Lab/Gre/Pro 61

This is assuming ACT won Epsom for tactical voting reasons, while Dunne and Anderton win even without the tactical advantage.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:52 AM | Comments (34) | TrackBack (0)

Who does Tauranga Mayor think he is?

Politics in NZ (General)

The Tauranga Mayor, Stuart Crosby, has said he "will not tolerate behaviour by controversial new MP Bob Clarkson that harms the city's image".

Excuse me Mr Mayor, but when did a local body politician become the person an MP reports to? It hasn't.

The fact that I agree that Clarkson needs to think before he speaks, is beside the point. The arrogance of the Mayor in thinking it is his role to lecture an MP is somewhat staggering.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:36 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (1)

September 20, 2005

Kiwibank Spin

Politics in NZ (General)

the media are buying the spin that Kiwibank has made a $7.2 million profit.

As previously mentioned, a large proportion of the income and profit of Kiwibank comes from their agency services such as bill payments which were provided by NZ Post before Kiwibank was set up. So using pre-existing income streams to justify the $100 million or so taxpayers put into the bank is highly misleading.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:11 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

National's new Caucus



A nice photo of the new super-sized Caucus of 49. Now I think I can identify all of them, so here goes. Apologies if any are wrong.

Front Row (l to r): Pansy Wong, Bill English, Tony Ryall, Gerry Brownlee, Don Brash, Simon Power, Nick Smith, Katherine Rich, Lockwood Smith, John Carter

Second Row: Maurice Williamson, Lindsay Tisch, David Carter, Judith Collins, Chris Tremain, Mark Blumsky, Nicky Wagner

Third Row: Shane Ardern, Richard Worth, Paula Bennett, Chris Finlayson, Paul Hutchison, Tim Groser, David Bennett

Fourth Rpw: Colin King, Wayne Mapp, Allan Peachey, Tau Henare, Nathan Guy, Anne Tolley, Chester Borrows, Georgina te Heuheu

Fifth Row: Bob Clarkson, Jo Goodhew, Kate Wilkinson, Jonathan Coleman, Jackie Blue, Sandra Goudie, Craig Foss, Katrina Shanks, John Key, Brian Connell

Back Row: Eric Roy, Chris Auchinvole, Jacqui Dean, John Hayes, Clem Simich, Phil Heatley, Murray McCully

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:55 PM | Comments (38) | TrackBack (0)


Election 2005

Rodney Hide makes the point that the four basically centre right parties won 1,015,689 votes - which is 14,535 more than the four leftwing parties who got 1,001,154.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:02 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0)

International Issues

International Politics

Firstly Kiwi Pundit has a nice provocative blog on how Bush backers have won almost all recent elections.

Secondly you have what is the huge news (Hat Tip: PC) that the UK Government has basically admitted Kyoto is worthless and not a single country will actually adhere to it.

Also you have even Bill Clinton saying the BBC coverage of Hurricane Katrina aftermath has grossly unfair to Bush.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 03:51 PM | Comments (31) | TrackBack (0)

A nice thought

Politics in NZ (General)

If/Once Labour form a Government, there will be six parties supporting a third term Government, and only two parties oppossing it. WIll be fun to be in one of those two parties, who should both be set to do well.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:33 AM | Comments (30) | TrackBack (0)

What I would do if I was ....

Politics in NZ (General)

[Note these are what I would do if I was them, not what I actually want them to do]

Helen - have no-one but Anderton in coalition, and play off the four supporting parties against each other, with different groupings on different issues. Don't let yourself be seen too closely linked with any one group as the others will sulk.

Don - Get re-elected Leader today (required by the rules) and make clear you intend to stay on for the next election as you led Natioanl to its biggest vote increase ever. Concede the election within an hour or so of the final count, if the left-wing parties do not lose any seats. Work out areas of maximum friction between the five parties propping up the Government, and be ruthless in applying pressure so that the Government falls apart.

Winston - take out an electoral petition in Tauranga. You will lose it, but the publicity will keep you in the media for months. Position yourself as the foes of the extremism of the Maori Party, being a mainstream voice for Maori. Support the Government while it is popular, but pull the plug once it drops significantly in the polls. Whatever you do, don't go into the election propping up a third term Government as your party will be wiped out if you do, with no electorate seat.

Jeanette/Rod - in exchange for agreeing not to be in Cabinet, make sure you get much better policy and funding commitments than previously. Also a second select committee chair. Concentrate on green issues to maintain your brand, not socialism where you competer for votes.

Tariana/Pita - keep pretending to consider National so you can get a better deal from Labour. Don't be pussies and accept platitudes but if they want your support demand something such as extending the deadline for filing treaty claims, or scrapping the deadline. Remember you can piss off 85% of the country as much as you like, as long as you gain votes from the 15% you are targetting.

Peter - ask for something actually useful and tangible, not just a quango which is the laughing stock of NZ. Rejoice in losing most of the religious nutters and seek to position yourself as the foes of the Greens (as Winston should do with Maori Party). This is your best chance to grow the vote - convince people that your party is the one which stops the Greens from making Government.

Rodney - first item is to have a purge of the party which would make Stalin proud, just with less blood. ACT officials have to accept that you are the Leader and without you ACT would no longer exist. The ACT infighting is what has driven so many activists to National, and it has to stop. Make Heather Deputy Leader and brand the two of yourself almost as a team - near co-leaders. Also give Heather some spinach or something so she develops a more vicious streak. Do not attack National, but differentiate on policies. Now people know ACT is safe, concentrate on rebuilding core support.

Jim - Join the Labour Party.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:24 AM | Comments (39) | TrackBack (0)

Your tax dollars at work


The Young Nats blog have a photo of a Young Labour table at Auckland University and you can see there the big red Labour banner with the parliamentary crest on it, which means it was paid for by taxpayers. This is the same one that Jordan jumped in front of at Victoria University to stop me taking a photo of it.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:45 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Parliamentary Staff

Politics in NZ (General)

As we wait to find out the shape of a Government, spare a thought for all the parliamentary staff who work for MPs, because a couple of weeks ago they were all sacked!

All staff who work directly for an MP or Minister have their jobs end a month after the election, even if their MPs get re-elected.

Very tough in a party which has lost MPs, as the staff numbers get slashed almost in proportion to the number of MPs. A lot of good ACT, NZ First and United Future staff will be looking for jobs. I imagine quite a few will be picked up by National, but even existing National staff are not guaranteed to stay on.

I think I got sacked seven times while working at Parliament. Luckily I was rehired seven times also. My record for sackings has probably been beaten by OIA Girl though who holds the all-time survivor record!

It really can be a miserable time though. No-one takes on a job at Parliament expecting stability but when the decisions come on who is not staying on, it hits you really hard as you form some great friendships with colleagues. The survivors almost feel worse than those not kept on. I was actually in tears after the last staff reshuffle when Don took over as leader from Bill. It was truly a miserable day as so many mates were not kept on. The nice thing is that almost without exception all the ex-staff end up in better jobs with more pay and fewer hours before too long. Or pregnant eh Megs :-)

The Herald has a useful story on the boost to the Leader's Office National gets by having an extra 22 MPs - being a whopping $1.7 million. That is going to make a huge difference, as long as they don't spend it all on bus shelter ads :-)

Other resources come with new MPs. Each new MP gains a secretary and one or two electorate agents (one for list MPs, two for electorate MPs). So ten new electorate MPs and twelve new list MPs is 54 extra staff. And List MPs get around a $45,000 budget and electorate MPs around $65,000 so around $1.2 million extra funding for electorate based activities.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:15 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Is it all over?

Politics in NZ (General)

If specials do not change the result, then I certainly think we have a Labour-led Government. It is just a matter of its form.

Prebble has claimed that even if the Greens fall below 5%, Labour would form the Government. Let's look at that scenario. The Parliament would then be (if no other votes change in proportion to each other):

Labour 52
National 51
NZ First 7
Maori 4 (one overhang)
United 3
Progressive 2

Total 121

You need 61 seats to govern, and blocs are:

Lab/Prog/Maori 58
Nat/ACT 53
Uni/NZF 10

So if the centre parties failed to agree on terms with Labour you could get a centre right government with 63/121 seats. If the Greens do stay in then the best the CR can do is 61/122.

As I have said previously though (including on National Radio yesterday) I regard it as most unlikely the Greens would drop below 5%. But one should wait for the final acount, rather than make assumptions.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:57 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

One degree of seperation

Politics in NZ (General)

Found amusing reading this story about coalition negotiations, that I can claim some linkage to every chief of staff.

Labour's Chief of Staff, Heather Simpson, taught me economics at Otago University.

The Green Chief of Staff, Deb Moran, was the women's affairs private secretary in Jenny Shipley's prime ministerial office, where I also worked.

The United Future Chief of Staff, Rob Eaddy, was Jim Bolger's Chief of Staff when I worked for Ministerial Services.

The Maori Party 'Adviser" Ken Mair I met at Moutua Gardens when we drove up there to invite him to attend a Young Nationals conference and speak on why he was occupying the gardens.

NZ really is a very small country with lots of party hopping amongst staff also! :-)

Also in the story the Maori Party says it is looking at a range of options for support. Spanner takes a guess at what that might be.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:46 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

About Time


Finally Helen Clark has backed away from her stance that Taito Field had done nothing wrong. She has now ordered a review of the Minister's role.

However not exactly an independent review, but one from fellow Ministers. Ha - they probably just want to compares notes about how to get $1.20/hour labouring :-)

Meanwhile the Minister himself still thinks there is nothing wrong with paying someone $1.20 an hour while asking their mate the Minister to get him a work visa. Taito Field has said:

"If anything [inaccurate] comes in the paper you can expect a defamation suit to be laid against the paper and you will probably be talking about millions," he said.

"I don't know why these people feel I'm their enemy. All I have done is try and help people."

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:37 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Cheer-up tonic for the right

International Politics

If you're feeling down about the NZ result, just go and read the latest from Mark Latham on Australian Labor. It is wonderful stuff with Latham now labelling himself a "whistle-blower".

He has labelled current Labour Leader Kim Beazley as "indecent, duplicitous and unfit to clean toilets in Parliament House". Now that's a smear campaign.

He has also revealed how the trade unions almost blackmail Labor MPs to vote for things or risk deselection.

You know how bad it is when John Howard has to come out and say that the Labour MPs are not as bad as their former Leader paints them.

Yesterday they had the Labor Party President on saying you can't take what Latham says as credible, as he is obviously a demented, vengeful hate filled man. The interviewer then commented along the lines of "And this is the man your party tried to make Prime Minister, don't you owe the public an apology?"

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:01 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

September 19, 2005



The only thing better than not having to work until past midnight last night, was not having the alarm go off at 4.30 am this morning! :-)

I have a life back. Now just have to find something useful to do with it!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 11:28 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Gay MPs

Election 2005

Someone asked if I would also cover the number of gay MPs, as I had done women, Maori and Muslims. Why not.

First of all this is just the list of openly gay or lesbian (or transgender) MPs. I do not want, and indeed will ban anyone who posts speculation about who they think is secretly gay. I know every rumour there is, and if they were all true 45% of Parliament would be gay it seems.

The numbers have increased from three to five. Joining Chris Carter, Georgina Beyer and Tim Barnett are Maryan Street (L) and Chris Finlayson (N).

Maryan Street is NZ's first openly Lesbian MP. Marilyn Waring was outed as an MP, but was not widely known.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:38 PM | Comments (51) | TrackBack (0)

Votes per MP

Election 2005

I've done a quick analysis of how many votes each party needed to get an MP. In descending order they are:

Progressive 24,624
United 18,535
Green 17,270
NZ First 17,048
Labour 16,649
National 16,524
ACT 15,537
Maori 10,122

Could almost call it a Maori Party gerrymander as the overhang means their votes count almost twice as much as the other parties.

Now you could claim that is far enough won the electorate vote in four electorates. Well yes they did, but the number of votes cast in each Maori seat is only 16,000 - less than half the average in general seats.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:00 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

Muslim MPs

Election 2005

Technically Parliament now has two Muslim MPs.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 05:51 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

What would you do if you were Helen?

Politics in NZ (General)

Even if Greens pick up one more seat and Labour could form a 62-60 seat Government with the Greens, with Maori Party support, look at what the two options may be:

1) Labour/Progressive/Greens with 58 seats and four seats on confidence and supply from Maori Party.

2) Labour/Progressive with 51 seats and 17 seats on confidence and supply from Greens, NZ First and United Future (plus likely support on most issues from Maori Party)

The more I think about it, the worst it looks for the Greens. They face being merely one of four parties outside Government, yet supporting the Government.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 05:03 PM | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)

Mike Williams' predictions


Labour Party President made a number of predictions about marginal seats. Let's see how they went:

Invercargill was a "reasonably safe" seat, Mr Williams said.

- National wins by 1,953

Mr Parker was in born Roxburgh which was in the middle of the Otago seat. "That whole area is absolutely booming under Labour."

- National wins by 1,931

"It's hard to see any good reason why Hamilton East would go back to National."

- National wins by 5,223

Mr Williams said he would get back into Parliament as the MP for Aoraki.

"I think he's got the numbers and so does he."

- National wins by 6,616

Labour had conducted polling in Northcote and believed there was solid support for sitting MP Mrs Hartley.

- National wins by 2,359

Labour believes it could take two marginal seats off National.

One was Piako, which National MP Lindsay Tisch won over Sue Moroney in 2002 by 1621 votes.

- National wins by 7,788

The second was East Coast Bays which senior National MP and strategist Murray McCully defeated Labour candidate Hamish McCracken by 1534 votes to win.

"He now lives in Wellington. That's well-known now (journalist) Jane Clifton admitted publicly that that's the situation.

"Murray McCully is almost never seen in the electorate and he could be in with a very nasty surprise there."

- National wins by 6,821

The only prediction Mr Williams seems to have got right was (sadly) Wellington Central.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 04:29 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

Getting it so wrong in Epsom

Election 2005

Looking in NZ has a useful summary of all the incorrect predictions in Epsom.

This was not a minor issue as certainly it is logical that ACT would have got more list votes if the media had not universally claimed Hide could not win Epsom.

Considering how volatile the electorate is, I am very surprised that no public polls were done in Epsom in the last week.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 04:21 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

The Naked MP

Politics in NZ (General)

Keith Locke has confirmed he will run naked through Epsom, as he promised to do if Rodney won the seat.

Now the media will film and photograph it but they will pixellate or blur certain areas I am sure.

However bloggers have no such need to not offend people. So I think we should have a photo competion amongst the right wing blogs. All blogs who can send someone along to take photos and compete for best full frontal photo. We can then have people vote on which blog got the best photo!

And then send the left over photos to the Exclusive Brethren for their next pamphlet :-)

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:38 AM | Comments (29) | TrackBack (0)

The Green problem

Election 2005

I am surprised that so few media [I am told in fact the NZ Herald has focused on this quite a bit, and National Radio also] have focused on explicit statements from Unite Future and NZ First that they will not support a Government which has the Greens in them. Dunne repeated that yesterday, which got publicity but the NZ First statement has been so unreported that I wondered if I was dreaming it.

But no here on Scoop is the Greens' response to it on the 7th of September. In words they may regret they said "We're grateful with Winston Peters for laying down a bottom line that he would not support Labour if in coalition with the Greens".

The four parties of the left have only 61 out of 122 seats. Unless one of those parties picks up a seat on specials, Labour will not be able to do a coalition with the Greens.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:27 AM | Comments (31) | TrackBack (0)

September 18, 2005

Dunne on Greens

Politics in NZ (General)

Hard to see United Future supporting a Government with the Greens in it. This is what Peter Dunne had today to say on them:

"I think they're Luddite in terms of their transport and energy policies. I think their foreign policy verges on being in favour of terrorism and they have never yet found a drug they're not in favour of."

Posted by David P. Farrar at 04:47 PM | Comments (69) | TrackBack (1)

Maori MPs

Election 2005

Only increased 20 MPs to 21 MPs as NZ First lost so many MPs, many Maori.

21/122 MPs is 17.2% of Parliament, which compares to 12% of the adult population.

The breakdown by party is:

MAP 4/4 100%
NZF 3/7 43%
LAB 10/50 20%
GRE 1/6 17%
NAT 3/49 6%
ACT 0/2 0%
UNF 0/3 0%
JAP 0/1 0%

Georgina te Heuheu is joined in National by Tau Henare and Paula Bennett.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 03:20 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

Female MPs

Election 2005

I just spent half an hour counting up the number of female MPs, and find that Parliamentary Service are right on the ball and have the stats already done here.

There are 40 female MPs out of 122, or 32.8%. The 2002 Parliament had 34/120 or 28% so that is a good increase.

Broken down by party, the percentages are:

GRE 4/6 67%
ACT 1/2 50%
LAB 19/50 38%
UNF 1/3 33%
NAT 13/49 27%
MAP 1/4 25%
NZF 1/7 14%
JAP 0/1 0%

National currently has only six out of 27 MPs female or 22% so it is a significant boost with eight new female MPs, and Lynda Scott retiring.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 03:13 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)


Election 2005

Aoraki - Jo Goodhew has taken a 6,500 majority to Sutton and not only wiped it out, but turned it into an even bigger one for herself. This is a massacre. Well done the Goodhews.

Bay of Plenty - Ryall takes his 5,600 majority and more than doubles it to 12,600. Very nice work.

Clevedon - Judith Collins has gone from 3,100 to 11,700. Reflects the fact she is one of the most effective new MPs.

Clutha-Southland - Bill doubles his majority also. No surprise.

Coromandel - Sandra Goudie has taken the former Green seat and made a 10,000 majority for herself.

East Coast - a great result for Anne Tolley who has overcme a 5,300 majority for Janet Mackey to get a 1,300 one for Tolley over daughter Moana Mackey. Glad to see Moana has made it back on the list though - she is a thorougly nice person with a great future in politics.

East Coast Bays - the left were claiming they would knock McCully out. To be fair Murray always claims the seat is on a knife egde, but his 6,800 majority speaks for itself.

Epsom - A tough time for Richard Worth who lost his seat as people voted tactically. A 3,200 majority for Rodney must be beyond his best hopes, and he is understandably delighted. Once the voters have forgiven Rodney for the sight of a naked Keith Locke, his job is to lift the party vote for ACT now they are guaranteed not to be wasted votes in future. Also he needs to have a purge of a few people in the party!

Hamilton East - the thoroughly nice David Bennett has beaten the not at all nice Di Yates by 5,200 - huge.

Hamilton West - bad luck to Tim Macindoe who missed out by 688 votes.

Helensville - no surprise that John Key now has an 11,800 majority - reflecting his stature. Shit, if he lived in the electorate it might be 16,000 :-)

Invercargill - nice to have Eric Roy back with a 1,900 majority. Harpur proved a good candidate to keep it that cloase.

Kaikoura - Colin King held off the PM's propoganda man Brendan Burns by 4,000 votes. Pretty safe.

Napier - Chris Tremain has run a terrific campaign to grab Napier by 3,500 votes. It is very very rare for National to hold Napier.

Nelson - Nick Smith is back to his normal 10,000 majority

New Plymouth - good effort from Moira Irving to take Harry D from 15,000 to a 5,000 majority. Perhaps people don't like MPs who get their mates to pass a special law to re-elect him to Parliament without an election.

Northcote - now everything north of Auckland Harbour is blue. Jonathan Coleman gets a respectable 2,500 or so majority against a former Mayor.

Otago - a close result with a 1,900 majority to Jacqui Dean.

Otaki - an amazing result. Darren Hughes has had his 7,700 majority reduced to 226 and he could lose it on specials. Nathan Guy is widely regarded as having run a brilliant campaign and even if he does not win it this time, he is well set up to take it in 2008 (depending on boundary changes). If Darren wants to spend his life in Parliament as he told Salient, he needs to move to Palmerston North :-)

Piako - Lindsay Tishc turns a small 1,600 majority into a large 7,800 one.

Rangitikei - Simon Power keeps increasing the majority in the seat he initially won by 100 votes or so. Now at 9,000 and growing.

Rotorua - Steve Chadwick is down to a 532 majority. Should retain on specials, but a fright.

Tauranga - Clarkson wins by 568. Hard to see it losing on specials, but you will be closely watched. The key thing is will Winston go for an electoral petition on spending or cut his losses and concentrate on keeping his party over 5%.

Tukituki - Craig Foss has a hugely deserved victory over Rick Barker and wins by 2,300. A great guy who will do well in Parliament.

Wairarapa - Labour must be regretting not selecting Bob Francis. A grateful John Hayes beats Denise McKenzie by 2,500. Now the entire East Coast from Aucland to Wellington is blue.

Wellington Central - National got thrashed in both the party and electorate vote. It may be the worst result for a seat, compared to 2002, for National. And no it is not at all a nice feeling. We'll have a look at what were the factors we could control, what were the factors we couldn't control, and I am sure will be aiming for a much improved vote in 2008 (or earlier if Govt falls apart). The nice thing is Mark is there as a List MP and I am confident his natural personality and skills will shine as an MP.

West Coast-Tasman. O'Connor holds on by 1,900 but Labour loses the party vote there.

Whanganui - third time lucky for hard working Chester Borrows. You'd have to travel a long way to find a nicer more decent guy. He will love being the local MP.

Maori Seats - As predicted four for Maori Party with Sharples having a 1,700 majority over Tamihere who is out of Parliament. The others are back on the list.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:48 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

Forming a Government

Election 2005

Okay, on the results to date we have an interesting situation, where the Greens may be the big losers if they don't gain a 7th seat..

Helen does get first dibs to form a Government. Add on Jim Il Song and they have 51 seats - and need an extra 11 votes. Now the Greens have six and Maori Party four so with them you make 61/122. Can not pass a budget.

Also worth noting that the Greens will support Labour no matter what, but Maori Party is going to require some bargaining.

Now you have NZ First and United Future. Both have said they will initially offer support to the largest party (Peters may be backtracking on that though as I think he has said this is effectively a tie). However both have said that they can not support a Government which has the Greens in it. Therefore Helen has to crap on the Greens, to get a majority.

So the most likely Government is a minority Labour/Progressive one with 51/122 seats. Now comes the hard part for them. To pass any legislation they generally will need three out of the other four parties (Maori, Green, United Future and NZ First) to vote for it - now getting five parties in total to all agree on a bill will be damn difficult.

The other thing to look out for, if they do form a Government, is select committees. A Labour-led Government may get bills changed against their will at select committee level often.

Now can National form a Government? They have 49 seats and with ACT are a solid bloc of 51 - the same as Labour/Progressive. If NZ First and United Future come on board (and I suspect both are very nervous about propping up a third term Labour Government which has to pander to both the Greens and the Maori Party) you have 61 seats. One short of a majority.

However there is the Maori Party. Now I quipped last night that if they allow National to abolish the Maori seats, then National will allow them to keep powhiris :-), but more seriously it is hard to see that agreement could be reached on the key areas of Maori/Treaty policy. There is much commonality in other areas, but this one is a show-stopper. However in 1996 I never thought Winston would go with National, so nothing is impossible - and Tariana does not at all like Helen and will remember the last cab off the rank put-down, which is different to Don Brash who was always careful just to say that the policies seem incompatible.

Could National and Maori Party do an agree to disagree? National would not be able to abolish the Maori Seats because simply most of Parliament won't vote for it. So could they say well status quo rules, because we don't have a majority for these changes, but we will work with Maori Party to further common goals in other areas?

I don't regard it as at all a likely option, but I suspect the prospect will be kept alive for a while, to maximise negotiating positions.

The final note is to stress again that specials may change things. If the Greens pick up a seat then they can join the Government in coalition. If the Maori Party pick up a seat off Labour (but due to overhang won't gain a seat, Labour just loses one) then the CR could form a 61/121 narrow majority.

I doubt anyone will announce a Government before specials are counted.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:25 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)

How did each party go?

Election 2005

Labour - from 41.3% to 40.7%. Pretty good for a second term Government. However don't think this means they held all their own vote. Many 2002 Labour voters voted National I am sure - the loss of electorate seats reflects this also. Labour replaced those voters with voters from the Greens and NZ First and to a degree United Future.

National - from 20.9% to 39.6%. A remarkable result, despite the agony of not quite being enough. Once upon a time increasing your vote by 5% was seen as a landslide gain. And the ten extra electorate seats will make a huge difference.

NZ First - almost destroyed themselves with the smears against Clarkson, and ran an awful campaign. For a while looked to be getting 12% to 15% but in the end lost their only electorate seat and vote fell from 10.4% to 5.8%. Unless Peters wins Tauranga on specials or an electoral petition triggered by-election, they will have to be very careful about how they behave or it is outski in 2008.

Greens - vote dropped from 7.0% to 5.1%. Did nothing wrong, but nothing too great either. They will be gutted at loss of Nandor and hoping he makes it on specials.

Maori Party - got 2.0% which must be a disappointment for them as it represents less than 20% of Maori voters. Howevr they will feel pleased to have won a majority of the Maori seats, and may be in a position of considerable influence.

United Future - common sense says going from 6.7% to 2.7% is a bad result, however they will be relieved at least they got higher than the 1% some polls had them at. Worth noting Outdoor Recreation got 1.3% last time and thet merged with UFNZ.

ACT - no-one can claim going from 7.1% to 1.5% is anything other than an awful result, but full kudos to Rodney for keeping ACT in Parliament. And I am delighted Heather Roy stays on also. Commisserations to the other MPs who are out, especially Stephen Franks whose abilities will be missed by Parliament.

Jim Anderton's Progressive - have to firstly note it was hilarious their abbreviation was JAP, and John Campbell and others had to ask who the Japs are :-), anyway they went from 1.7% to 1.2%, and will be disappointed to lose Matt Robson as it means the party has no purpose now other than to save Jim from attending Labour Caucus meetings. However they have a chance to get Matt back on specials and will have a big celebration if they do.

Destiny - 0.6%. Piss off Brian.

Legalise Cannabis - down from 0.6% to 0.2%. I think all the pot smokers now vote Green.

Christian Heritage - down from 1.35% to 0.12% which is great. Still concerned 2,495 people had God tell them to vote for CHP. Hopefully this means they will now give it up.

Alliance - down from 1.27% to 0.07%. Sorry Spanner but game over.

Libertarianz - 0.05% and 926 votes. Almost enough for a breakaway island :-)

And finally need to note that you need 500 members to get registered, yet the OneNZ Party and Republic of NZ Party only got 465 votes and 449 votes respectively. Makes those memberships look rather dodgy!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:37 PM | Comments (33) | TrackBack (0)

What might specials do?

Election 2005

The ability for Labour to put together a Government could change considerably, depending on special votes. And while only a fool would predict what specials may do, we can look at how close each party is to gaining or losing a seat.

Our friend the Sainte-Laguë formula, comes into play. Basically each party's result is divided by 1, 3, 5 etc to get quotients and the highest 120 quotients allocate the total number of MPs (plus overhangs).

So for each party what is its bottom sucessful quotient, and the next one down - to give an idea of whether their result may change.

ACT - their second seat has a quotient of 10,358, and a rank of 98. Very unlikely to lose that seat. Their third quotient is 6,215 and ranked 162 so also very unlikely to gain a third.

National - their 38th seat has a quotient of 8,347 and a rank of 120. This means it is the most vulnerable seat. Their next quotient is 8,179 and a rank of 123. Would need to do 10% better on specials to grab a seat off Labour. Can't see it. However to move into rank 119, which means they do not lose a seat if another party lifits its vote they need to take vote from 39.63% to 39.81%. That requires around 1.8% better result on specials than preliminary vote which is possible.

United Future - their third seat has a quotient of 11,121, and a rank of 90. Very unlikely to lose that seat. Their fourth quotient is 7,944 and ranked 129 and could possibly pick up a seat if vote lists to 2.86% from 2.72%. But again unlikely as if specials are 10% of preliminary vote, you then need to get 1.4% higher on specials to lift total vote by 0.14%.

NZ First - their seventh seat has a quotient of 9,180, and a rank of 110. Very unlikely to lose that seat. Their eighth quotient is 7,915 and ranked 128 so could possibly pick up a seat if vote lists to 6.11% from 5.84%

Labour - their 50th seat has a quotient of 8,408, and a rank of 119. If their vote drops to 40.16% from 40.74% then they lose a seat, but probably to the Progressives. Their 51st quotient is 8,242 and ranked 121. To pick up place 120 off National they need to lift vote to 41.05%.

Maori - their second seat has a quotient of 13,496, and a rank of 75. Very unlikely to lose that seat. Their third quotient is 8,098 and ranked 124 so could win a third allocated seat. But irony is that is they hold four electorates they stay with four MPs and Parliament goes from 122 to 121 as there is one less overhang MP. So the MP they knock out would simply not be replaced. They need to go from 1.98% to 2.04% to do this which means doing 0.6% better on specials than preliminary vote. And most likely effect would be to knock a National MP out and shrink Parliament to 121.

Progressive - their only seat has a quotient of 24,624 and a rank of 41. As safe as a North Korean dictator. Their second quotient is 8,208 and ranked 122 so could well gain a second. They need to lift vote from 1.21% to 1.23% which is not a huge call. Means they need to get around 1.4% of the specials.

Green - their sixth seat has a quotient of 9,420, and a rank of 107. If their vote drop from 5.07% to 4.99% then they are out of Parliament and National is Government. This means their specials would have to be down to around 4.3% and not overly likely as normally they do well on specials. Their seventh quotient (Nandor) is 7,971 and ranked 127 so may pick a seat up if they lift vote to 5.30%. This means getting around 7.3% of the specials (if they are 10% in total of the preliminary vote). Not impossible.

Overall the situation favours the centre left parties. However it is not a simple Party A vs Party B issue. While National is most likely to lose a seat to a centre left party, you could see National move into spot 119 and then say NZ First gain an MP off Labour. It all comes down to how well each party does compared to election night. My only prediciton is no change to ACT!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 11:52 AM | Comments (40) | TrackBack (1)



Well the result may not be impressive, but the hangover is. I have decided to rename my head Hurricane Katrina.

After the vodka and rum ran out, we headed into town. At some bar whose name I honestly can't recall we decided shots were called for. To our great disappointment after eight or nine rounds they refused to serve us anymore. We were actually very well behaved, but I suppose the fact we were ordering new rounds every three minutes was a factor :-)

Anyway my inclination is to amputate from the neck up, but alas the requests for analysis have already started so I will do my best in an impaired state. All errors can be blamed on Steven Heath :-)

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:57 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

September 17, 2005

New National MPs

Election 2005

National now has 22 more MPs. On the results tonight there are now 14/49 MPs who are women, three Maori MPs, and one Asian MP. A lot more diverse.

New MPs are:

FINLAYSON, Christopher
BORROWS, Chester
COLEMAN, Jonathan
ROY, Eric
GUY, Nathan
DEAN, Jacqui
BLUE, Jackie
KING, Colin
FOSS, Craig
SHANKS, Katrina May

Posted by David P. Farrar at 11:35 PM | Comments (48) | TrackBack (0)

MPs who are out

Election 2005

This is based on election night results.

National - none

Labour - John Tamihere, Lesley Soper

ACT - Muriel Newman, Stephen Franks, Ken Shirley, Kenneth Wang, Gerry Eckhoff

Greens - Nandor Tancoiz, Mike Ward

Maori - none

NZ First - Jim Peters, Dail Jones, Craig McNair, Edwin Perry, Bill Gudgeon, Brent Catchpole

United Future - Marc Alexander, Larry Baldock, Murray Smith, Dr Bernie Ogilvy

Progressive - Matt Robson

Posted by David P. Farrar at 11:26 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

Plane Crash

New Zealand

A person took off a plane from Radmore and threatened to fly it into the Sky Tower. It has crashed on or near a beach though.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:04 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

Plane Crash

New Zealand

A person took off a plane from Radmore and threatened to fly it into the Sky Tower. It has crashed on or near a beach though.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wellington Central

Wellington Central

Mark and I have just returned from the Loaded Hog where Mark conceded to Marian. Congratulations to Marian, Jordan and her team for a very clear victory.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Electorate Results

Election 2005

At 9.33 pm the following are the projections:

Aoraki (6,000 margin so far overturning 6.500)
East Coast
Epsom to ACT
Hamilton East
Hamilton West
Napier (great one Chris)
Rotorua (amazing)
Tauranga (yay)
Tuktituki (well done Craig)
plus four Maori seats to Maori Party

I'm only going to cover those which have or may swap hands.

At 7.42 pm the following look possible:

Aoraki, Banks Peninsula, East Coast, Ham East, Ham West, Invercargill, Napier, Northcote, Otago, Tukituki, Wairarapa, Whanganui.

Plus Epsom, Tauranga and four Maori seats.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:41 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack (0)


Election 2005

Heh heh. Keith Locke has to run naked down Queen Street.

Rodney is 2,000 votes ahead. ACT will be in the next Parliament.

Okay I think Rodney is going to win Epsom as the electorate is quite homogenous.

Rodney now ahead by 147 on 4,333 votes.

Rodney is ahead by 96 votes with 3,745 counted. Looks like it will be very tight.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:34 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)


Election 2005

Clarkson has won - a 1,110 majority with 87% of booths in.

10% counted and Clarkson ahead by 541. Looking good.

Only 5% counted but Clarkson ahead 1,254 to 831. I think Clarkson will win by over 2,000 votes based on gut instinct over what Peters did this week.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Party Vote Results

Election 2005

And Labour is in the lead. Unless specials change things, it's another three years of Helengrad. But Labour need five parties supporting it to govern which may not be that stable.

And the gap keeps shrinking. It is possible Labour may get more votes than National which means they will hold onto office. But it may need to wait for specials.

I've looked at St Lague formula and National is in danger of losing a seat to Labour which would tie it. However Progressive may lose a seat also. Other factor is Greens normally pick up a lot on specials.

And still shrinking. CR has 62 seats and CL 60 seats. This could be hung. If Labour get more votes they have won. If they do not, then they may still win, but may be hung.

As I said the lead will shrink, and is down to 5.5%. What will it stop at?

Okay things are looking better, even with only 200,000 votes counted as National is now 9.7% ahead. This definitely will shirnk but it is a useful lead to have at this stage.

145,000 votes counted and National ahead 47.3% to 37.3%. This doesn't give me a lot of confidence as based on past elections that may shrink to only a 1% or so lead which isn't enough. But still too early to speculate, even though I am!!

Okay with 6,000 votes in so far the results are:

National 50.5%
Labour 33.5%

Only 2,994,000 votes to go

I do warn people not to take much from party vote results until after 8.00 pm as the early booths are small rural ones and are not representative. Sometimes not even until 8.30 pm does it start to give a good impression.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:01 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack (0)


Election 2005

I will be providing some commentary from 7 pm onwards. It won't be non stop as I have several official duties to do tonight also, but will cover major highlights. Most of you know where to get official results from.

I'll probably set up a number of threads and keep updating them, rather than make 100 posts. I'm thinking of the following threads/posts:

* Party Vote Results
* Electorate Results
* Tauranga
* Epsom
* Possible Governments

Any suggestions for others or should that cover it?

Posted by David P. Farrar at 03:40 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

Elections are good for blogs


Well elections are good for blogs. These graphs show number of unique daily visits up until midnight.


This shows the number of daily visits, over the last 31 days on a rolling sum. So in the month up to the election we had over 160,000 visits. A year ago it was a bit over 20,000.


The weekly (last seven days) graph has gone up around 60% in the last two months. The temporary blip a couple of months ago was a ton of searches for the identities of the celebrity drug case names.


The daily stats can be harder to follow because they vary so much. Generally weekend days are 30% lower than weekdays. We had over 7,500 visits on Thursday which was a record.

Thanks to Scoop who remain our number one source of referrals, followed by NBR. A true bipartisan effort :-)

Posted by David P. Farrar at 01:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Billboard still up

Election 2005

Hey Kermit someone left a billboard up at Ngaio Gorge.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:08 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

I've voted


I voted at Thorndon School ay 9.37 am. Not busy yet. Under electoral law I can not reveal who I voted for with either vote, so people will have to guess :-)

Good to see one particular unnamed party was the only one there with a scrutineer for each booth.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:01 AM | Comments (37) | TrackBack (0)

September 16, 2005

No political comments


I can't turn off all comments, so instead I just ask people to respect the electoral law and refrain from making any political comments at all between midnight and 7 pm Saturday. Reports on turnout etc are okay but nothing on who may win, who you want to win, or even policy debates. Just talk about rugby or something. Or girls. Or boys if you are a girl.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:21 PM | Comments (30) | TrackBack (0)

Regime Change Time!

Election 2005

this weekend.jpg

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ten reasons to vote to change the Government

Election 2005

1) Vision

Labour have shown themselves to be a Government with no vision other than to stop Don Brash. There are no plans for the future, no way ahead.

Brash has created almost all of the agenda, and Labour have been in catchup mode. On treaty issues, on taxation, on welfare reform, on student loans National has led and Labour have followed.

2) A once in a generation chance to lower tax

If a centre right Government is not elected in 2005, the opportunity to significantly lower taxes may never occur again. The reason is that a re-elected Labour Government would vow to never ever let the surplus get so big again. They would make sure that within minutes of a surplus appearing they had invented new ways to spend it. They'll buy everyone a pet cow if necessary, just so long as they don't have a surplus and can then claim no room for tax cuts.

And the reason tax cuts are good is not personal gain. Hell my annual saving I could probably make in a day or two if I got off my arse. It's about having a faster growing economy.

3) Education

Labour have seriously screwed up the education system. Not in a minor way, but major league stuff here. Just read the reports on NCEA.

Trevor Mallard is not the person to fix the mess he created. And neither is David Benson-Pope. Bill English is. He will be an outstanding Minister of Education who has a passion for excellence for the school sector

4) Integrity

Helen Clark's endorsement of the behaviour of Taito Phillip Field in paying an illegal over-stayer $1.20 an hour to work for him in Samoa, while getting a work permit for him off his colleague is appalling. At the very very minimum she should have got a QC to investigate, Or even reprimanded him. But no she has praised him.

5) Under 20% tax for 85% of taxpayers

The signal it will send to people entering the workforce, saving for their mortgage, paying off their loan is immense. Trust me that marginal rates do affect incentives, and it would be great to be in a country where no New Zealander will pay more than 19 cents in the dollar tax on their income up to $50,000.

6) Ideology

Labour really has bent over backwards to stick it to the private sector in any area where it may compete with state unions. They even discriminated against three year olds, until they backed down. In every sector from hospitals, to schools, to tertiary education to prisons they put ideology ahead of common sense. Patients have died because Labour refused to allow private hospitals with capacity to gain contracts for publicly funded operations.

A vibrant private sector improves the public sector. A lack of competition through monopoly provision has never ever produced quality outcomes.

7) Tertiary Education

The amount of money wasted on scam tertiary courses is somewhere between the hundreds of millions and billions if you count all non completed sub-degree courses. We used to get outraged over $20,000 coffee machines for Treasury. Ministers should have been sacked for the tertiary education fiascoes. Especially as the warnings had been there for years. Scandal after scandal was exposed and nothing was done until it all got too much.

How can a Minister see an institution go from $5 million a year to $246 million in just five years and not put a stop to it, and ensure quality. Maharey presided over the biggest waste of money any Government has ever seen in NZ's history.

And I am a fan of investing more into tertiary education. One could have got close to universal allowances maybe, if Maharey was allowing money to be wasted away because it was politically incorrect to interfere and stop it.

8) John Key as Minister of Finance

Need more be said!

9) Their student loan bribe

If you want to invest $300 million a year more into tertiary education, then there are some great ways you could do that. Lower fees or better allowances. But interest free loans is the stupidest way to do it. As we now know, it will actually increase long-term student debt by $5 billion or so. It provides all the wrong incentives, and its only redeeming feature is that is sounds appealing on the surface.

Promising $300 million a year in lower fees may not have got the same headline, but it would be a much better way of helping students that this idiotic policy.

10) Don Brash as Prime Minister

I'm not just saying this, but I think Brash will make an outstanding Prime Minister. I've worked with and for him and he is genuinely nice guy with a good sense of humour. He is very seriously intelligent and generally knowledgeable in every policy area. Yes there have been bloopers on the campaign trail, but it has been obvious how much he has grown over the five week period.

He is a skilled CEO, and a good team leader. He has also shown at Orewa and beyond an ability to communicate directly to New Zealanders. This may be our only chance to experience Don Brash as Prime Minister, and it one which I think would be very good for New Zealand.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Play this song!

Election 2005

It will be illegal to play this song on election day (well maybe okay in your own home) so listen to it again now.

So one last time let's listen to this song about no more being bossed around by Helen.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

A very very bitter man

International Politics

Mark Latham always struck me as somewhat unstable and volatile. He has now descended into a fit of vitriol and bitterness against his former Labour colleagues that makes Mike Moore look dignified in comparison.

I think Latham has just killed off Kim Beazley's chances of ever being Prime Minister.

He has not just published a book, but is doing media interviews where he rips into all his former colleagues. I can't wait to get a copy.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:34 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

Election Drinking Game


A couple of people have sent me this election drinking game, which I've converted from the pdf.


I'll be having my own guide for the night, as follows:

Each seat National wins off Labour - 1 nip

If Winston loses Tauranga - 4 nips

If NZ First gets wiped out - 5 nips

If NZ First gets wiped out, and Helen stays in power because of that - 2 nips

If Progressive get reduced to one MP (which will force Jim to retire next election) - 2 nips

If Jim Anderton loses Wigram to Labour - 3 nips

If the Greens don't make 5% - 4 nips (nothing personal, just means Helen is goneburger then)

If Mark wins Wellington Central - 10 shots, one after another.

If Mark makes it as a List MP - 2 nips

If the Lower North Island Region (Napier and Whanganui down) gets nine National MPs - 3 nips

If LNI gets ten National MPs - 5 nips

If Helen has to try and negotiate a deal with both the Greens and the Maori Party - 2 nips

If National wins the most seats - 4 nips

If National ends up clearly able to form a Government - 15 shots in a row

If the Libertarianz win a seat or make 5% - stop drinking due to hallucinations

If Helen loses and blames it all on Michael Cullen - 4 nips

Suggestions for others welcome.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:26 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)



Well it has been a fun election campaign. The only thing better than seeing democracy in progress, is participating in it. Has been a mad five weeks. I doubt I've ever been busier in my life, but adrenaline is a wonderful thing to keep you going.

A long list of thanks to various people, in no particular order.

To Don, thanks for taking National from the 20s to the 40s. You've made this election the most competitive in recent history and you currently are leading the odds at Centrebet to become Prime Minister in a couple of weeks.

To Mark, has been the best getting to know you and your family. Your unfailing loyalty has been appreciated, and I can't wait for you to be an MP. And damn it, we are going to have a hell of a lot of fun the next three years. Hopefully even in the next three days :-)

To Steven, Greg, Jo and the team at HQ, congratulations on the best run campaign I can recall. And John - you are a legend for the billboards.

To all the people who have helped out in Wellington Central, thank you for your work and efforts. I am amazed at the number of people who will give up every spare hour for months on end to help out.

To Jordan, it has been surreal working together at InternetNZ, while helping run opposing campaigns as evidenced by our discussions yesterday about how we need to meet on Monday to plan for the half dozen meetings we need to manage next week. I'm glad it's stayed friendly for almost all of the campaign, and that we are still on speaking terms. Looking forward to having a drink with you on Saturday, regardless of location.

To all the Wellington Central candidates, well done on your contributions to the election. I think it's been a top class field of candidates ranging from experienced MPs like Stephen Franks to Bernard from the Libertarianz. I've immensely enjoyed the meet the candidate meetings.

To all the staff at Curia, thanks for your work over the last few months. Huge thanks especially to Katrina and Anna who took over much of the day to day management to free me up for the politics.

To my flatmate/squatter, big thanks for keeping me sane and actually making sure I didn't exist solely off microwave meals.

To family and friends, thanks for understanding that when I don't return your phone calls four times in a row, it isn't because I now hate you, just that I'm busy.

To all the National Candidates I've met and worked with - full of admiration for your willingness to put it all on the line. And can't wait for Caucus to hopefully double in size or so.

To the National MPs, thanks for not fucking anything up too badly :-)

[Heh, in case my sense of humour offends anyone, I will elaborate. During a campaign MPs only get significant publicity (unless they are on the front bench) if they stuff up so to some degree, so the challenge is to stick to the script, work your butt off and just work 80+ hours a week supporting the team, for little publicity. A thankless task often]

To all the people who have sent me material, tip-offs, jokes, files - thanks. Keep it up!

And oh yeah to the people who are stupid enough to read this blog, and the even more stupid ones who post comments, thanks for visiting so often.

To Frog Blog, thanks for being such a good sport as we bait each other. It is great that whenever I am bored I can take a swipe at the Greens, and be guaranteed a response within a short period of time.

Oh and big cheers to the Young Nats and Young ACT guys and gals for their willingness to spoil photo opportunities for the Prime Minister. Great stuff.

Anyway that's enough from me. Only a couple more posts today as I am actually gaining a social life back and going to see a Gilbert and Sullivan musical tonight.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 01:45 PM | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)

A voting guide based on who you vote

Election 2005

Nick Enyon has put together a "hate and vote" card. Scurrilous but amusing!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Hooters Staff Manual

United States

A diligent member of the press gallery has alerted me to the fact that The Smoking Gun has obtained a copy of the Hooters Staff Manual. Very amusing at how controlled it is.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Attacking the messengers


Clark and Cullen really don't like public servants who tell the truth.

Insolent Prick has highlighted this veiled threat to the Ombudsmen:

"Cullen said he held serious concerns about the precedent created, and would take the matter up with his office after the election. "

Outrageous. He gets caught trying to suppress vital information, and his response is to blame the Ombudsmen. Read the fucking Official Information Act - all information should be made public unless there is a very sound reason not to. And helping Labour win the election is not a sound reason.

With Clark endorsing the ethics of Taito Field, and Cullen attacking the Ombudsmen, these (hopefully) last days in office are starting to stink badly.

And we also have Clark jumping in accusing Treasury of incompetence. This from the Government which had Michael Cullen write a letter instructing Treasury to assume that there will be *no* change to the rate of voluntary repayments if there is no interest on loans.

Not a single economist in NZ could or would try and defend that assumption. It is to be blunt a lie. One can argue all you want about changes to the rate of borrowing, but no-one at all can argue that abolishing interest would not affect the rate of voluntary repayments. This is like saying if there was no interest charged on credit cards, everyone would still pay them off on time. It almost qualifies for fraud, to instruct Treasury to make such an assumption, and then release costings based on that instruction while suppressing the original costings.

On behalf of Dr Cullen I apologise to all the staff at Treasury for making you produce such a bogus costing.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:46 AM | Comments (41) | TrackBack (0)

Helen does a jug scull

Politics in NZ (General)

No not that Helen, but Helen Simpson standing for ACT in Auckland Central.

The 'petite' Simpson took up the AUSA challenge and whipped the arse off the Maori Party candidate.

Well done Helen!

And how does ACT get all the spunky candidates? There should be some quota to share them out equally. They are already over quota with Heather Roy.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:16 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

NZ Herald gets it wrong

Politics in NZ (General)

This is a common, but serious, mistake. The NZ Herald has written about the alleged over-spending in Tauranga and refers to the Creech-Boorman electoral petition where Creech replaced Boorman in Wairarapa in 1988.

The Herald states that Creech was declared elected because Boorman had broken the spending limits. This is incorrect. Creech was declared elected because the electoral court found he got more votes than Boorman. Yes Boorman was also found guilty of over spending which invalidated his own personal vote for himself, but that would merely have seen a by-election if it were not for the fact that the Court also found that Creech won more votes after it ruled on some disputed ones.

So (and I have checked this out) if Clarkson wins and is found to have over-spent (something strongly denied, and as far as I am aware verified by lawyers), then this does not elect Peters, but merely voids the election and a by-election would be held.

And if NZ First did not make 5% and had dropped out of Parliament, but Peters won the subsequent by-election, this would not qualify them for any List MPs.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:57 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Clark refuses to act on Field


Everyday as more information comes out on the actions of Taito Phliip Field, his actions appear more and more indefensible. However the PM has no problems at all with a Minister of the Crown acting in such an unethical way. It really is proof that her standards are non existant. I mean she hasn't even called for any sort of inquiry.

The Minister's wife has contradicted her husband on whether he was employed. And it is estimated that Field got $20,000 worth of work in exchange for paying $54 a week.

We also have comment that it is almost unheard of for a declined refugee application to then be given a work permit.

Tony Ryall sums it up by saying "You simply can't have ministers arranging work permits for people who work for them".

You can't, except when Helen Clark says so it seems.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:30 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

NZ Herald Poll


Somewhat bizarrely the NZ Herald Poll shows Labour 7% ahead and able to form a sole party majority Government. With all due respect, but if anyone believes that is a possible outcome, then I have a bridge for sale.

Both this poll and the TV3 poll cover a period of around a week, starting late last week. The only poll just done this week is TV One. This is not to say TV One is necessairly the likely outcome as the electorate is volatile, but that as so much has happened in the last week, it is dangerous to compare polls taken over different time periods.

Dr Dekel, owner of Digipoll, himself says "To get a correct picture when people are shifting their views so quickly, you need a high-speed camera".

Anyway you have TV One and Fairfax putting National ahead both by 6%. TV3 says Labour by 2% and NZ Herald Labour by 7%. Unlike 2002 when most polling companies got the result pretty spot on, this election is going to be fulfilling or embarrassing for some of the polling companies.

Just like in the United States, results may come down to which set of voters are most motivated to vote!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:06 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

VUWSA Election Results

Politics in NZ (General)

Nick Kelly won the Presidency.

The Vice-Presidencies went to current General Executive members, Miri Duffield (education) and Maddy Drew (welfare).

The Treasurer is Hu Jia.

The Women's Rights Officer is Caroline Prendergast.

The University Council Representative is current General Exec member Cordelia Black.

The General Executive compromises of Melissa Barnard, Kate McEachen, Joeleo Cosgrove, Christopher (CJ) Hunt, and Delia Timms.

Publications Committee was won by Nicholas O'Kane

The bio on the new President includes:

Nick Kelly's background includes being kicked out of the Labour Party in 2002 for opposing sending troops to Afghanistan and interjecting Helen Clark's conference speech. He is a current member of the Anti-Capitalist Alliance. He is a 23 year old BA graduate. He has been arrested, but not charged, three times for burning the flag, occupying Star Mart and for the incident at the Labour conference.

Should be a fun year in 2006.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:17 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

September 15, 2005

Epsom Poll


Roy Morgan, who publish the well known Australian Morgan Polls, have published a poll of Epsom and on their website state the poll of 475 electors had Hide on 39%, Worth on 32% and Nash on 11%. The 11% undecided are leaning towards Worth by 10:1 though which suggest Worth narrowly ahead after probing.

Roy Morgan is a reputable firm, and I wouldn't dismiss their poll results as they are willing to put them on their site. However they have not published the actual question they asked, and what questions if any preceded it, so I am not quite sure how to analyse it, except that there may be a backlash to Clark telling Labour to vote Worth.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 11:24 PM | Comments (34) | TrackBack (0)