Bryce Edwards


I was just digging through some old posts and thought these would be fun to look back on, given that we are roughly in the same stage of the election cycle three years on.

Not even $5m was enough to get people to betray their country and fellow Kiwis to help out Kim. ? Read more »

The future of unions is the slow painful demise they deserve

Unions are no longer relevant to NZ society

Unions are no longer relevant to NZ society

Bryce Edwards writes a big long whinge about the future of unions at the NZ Herald.

It is a bit forlorn, but he tries to fill it with hope and promise. The bottom line though is unions are no longer relevant for modern workers. The numbers show that.

Many of the tributes paid to Helen Kelly in the last week acknowledged her success in raising the profile and positive perception of the union movement. More than ever before, unions are less reliant on industrial muscle and more on winning the public relations battle – getting consumers and voters on side with their campaigns and political interventions.

Kelly was a talented leader but the hard reality of union health remains grim. The movement she led has been barely holding its own after a catastrophic collapse in the 1990s.

The public isn’t necessarily convinced about unions. According to UMR’s 2016 Mood of the Nation report, unions are the second least trusted institution – with only 30 per cent of those surveyed having confidence. This is more than the media (26%), but less than big business (31%), churches (33%), and banks (44%).

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So we don’t have a housing crisis then?

Bryce Edwards says we should be increasing our refugee quota to 60,000. I’m not kidding. He says so in his email and in his Herald column.

New Zealand could increase the refugee quota from 750 per year to about 60,000. That would put us in line with Sweden’s efforts.

We could even just increase it to about 56,000 to put us in line with how many refugees Germany took last year. But as Murdoch Stephens, spokesperson for the Doing Our Bit campaign, says, “No-one argues we should match the Swedes and increase our quota 80-fold”, and he just wants the quota doubled to 1500 – see his opinion piece, Refugee quota boost ‘less than bare minimum.

Instead of an increase to 60,000, or even just 1500, the Government has decided this week on a figure of 1000 per year. Why not more? In Stephens’ article, he suggests that National Government politicians are too removed from the realities of the refugee crisis, and he challenges them to visit a refugee camp where they would see the lives that could be saved and improved if New Zealand increased the quota.

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Bryce Edwards writes an obituary for the New Zealand Mainstream media


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Effwit of the Week

I was going to use Idiot, but somehow it just isn’t enough.

James Dann tweeted this yesterday, and the independent political commentator used by NZ Herald, Bryce Edwards re-tweeted it.

effwit-of-the-week Read more »

Police Commissioner Mike Bush slaps “politically neutral” Bryce Edwards up the head

Bryce Edwards tore a strip off New Zealand Police last week. ?Mike Bush gets his sledges in early.

I challenge Dr Bryce Edwards to get out from behind his desk and see first-hand the outstanding work 12,000 New Zealand Police staff do every day.

I have no doubt this would give him a better-informed picture of modern policing, rather than re-visiting a selective handful of high-profile issues dating back over the past 50 years

Academics, journalists and bloggers that don’t get out from behind their desks are constantly being embarrassed by the facts. ? But you’d expect academics, especially the “politically neutral” variety to take specific effort to go and get real data rather than form an opinion based on media reports. ? Read more »

Guest Post: Bryce Edwards has an agenda


via ODT


I’m not usually one to call out political commentators, but the disingenuous line run over the weekend?by Otago University Political Professor Bryce Edwards regarding electoral finance is disgraceful and should be corrected.

On the front page of Saturday’s Weekend Herald, under a story headlined ?Loophole: Nat Donors Stay Secret? Mr Edwards uses the term “laundering” to describe the process of the National Party giving large donations from the central party coffers to particular candidates just before the election. ? Read more »

NZ Herald Crowdsourcing: We found nothing, but let’s smear National anyway

The NZ Herald launched a “crowdsourcing” initiative to go digging into political donations after the returns were released by they Electoral Commission.

It is the sort of panty sniffing behaviour we’ve come to expect from the Herald.

Basically they are trying to find ?donors and then single them out for this donation or that donation and try to pass some sort of moral judgment on that.

Little wonder then that donors try to remain as anonymous as they can.

Essentially though the Herald has found nothing, but after touting their great initiative with much fanfare they had to write something. David Fisher was obviously busy making up something else so they pulled in Matt Nippert to write the hit job.

An analysis of electoral finance declarations shows more than 80 per cent of donations to National Party candidates were channelled through party headquarters in a loophole described as akin to legal “laundering”.

National’s heavy reliance on funding candidates with donations from the party – shown in a Herald study to account for more than $1m out of $1.2m raised by their candidates for the 2014 general election – was a “striking use of electoral law that appears to be laundering the money”, said Otago University political science lecturer Bryce Edwards.

Electoral law requires candidates to reveal the identity of donors who contribute $1,500 or more, but political parties can keep donors secret even if they give up to $15,000.

Dr Edwards said the channelling of candidate donations through parties had “become a way around” having to disclose more information about the source of campaign funds.

“It’s not illegal and it’s up to different interpretations whether it’s ethical or not, but there should now be heat on politicians to explain what’s going on and to tighten up this loophole,” he said.

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“Independent” political commentator Bryce Edwards has no clue

Labour leader Andrew Little and Prime Minister John Key are both due to give their State of the Nation speeches tomorrow.

So, after last year’s lively election campaign and the ensuing Labour leadership race, what can we expect from this year in politics? And why are both of them giving their speeches on the same day?

Otago University politics lecturer Bryce Edwards says Mr Key is probably trying to “stamp out” Mr Little by giving him as little oxygen as possible.

But Dr Edwards says that might be difficult, with much of the media’s attention likely to be on his attempt to rebuild the Labour Party following the disastrous election result last year.

“John Key will be trying to snooker him at every turn, and stop him from getting publicity.”

Nice try framing this Bryce, but as you well know, the opposite is happening. ?There is going to be relentless attention on Andrew Little from National to balance up the “independent” fluffery that you and your good leftie media mates are planning. Read more »

I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

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