Ruth Dyson


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 »

Electoral Amendment Bill missing one important change

The Electoral Amendment Bill has …?passed its first reading with unanimous support, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

The Bill implements recommendations made by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee Inquiry into the 2014 General Election that require a law change, and can be implemented in time for the 2017 General Election.

“The proposed changes in the Bill focus on improving services to voters, candidates and parties by making the law and voting process more user-friendly and adapting to changing voter behaviours,” says Ms Adams.

Key features of the legislation include:

– allowing electoral officials in voting places on election day to be able check a voter?s enrolment status by looking up and marking them off electronically, rather than having to rely on paper-based rolls

– permitting the counting of advance votes earlier on Election Day to ensure preliminary results can be announced in a timely manner

– allowing the Electoral Commission to use new methods of providing information to electors via email, in addition to post

– banning campaigning and the display of campaign material inside and within 10 metres of Advance Voting Places.

The Bill will now go to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee for further review.

Ms Adams says that the vast majority of the changes in the Bill have already been carefully considered by the Committee and unanimously recommended.

Rather unremarkably, there is no unanimous support to have all electoral breaches prosecuted. ?The Electoral Commission hands all complaints to police. ?Police then put them in a drawer and when all the heat has gone out of the issue, announce that they will not prosecute. Read more »

An idea for a TV show

George commented on the General Debate about his idea for a reality TV show:

I’m embarrassed to confess, I have watch one episode of “The Bachelor”, my first and last. I was gobsmacked at the depth our quest for entertainment has plummeted. One bloke and a haggle of panting females strutting their emotional garbage in a quest to be loved by another. There will be only one winner, the bloke, providing he has no access to dignity. The women? There are no winners by virtue of the fact they have to stoop to such desperation in order to convince a bloke they are the one. But it got me thinking. I wonder how a programme “The Prime Minister” would fare with a similar format? ? Read more »

Audrey Young on Labour’s petty politicking

Audrey Young has an unusually robust column on Labour’s petty politicking in parliament.

The committee often known as the “powerful” privileges committee has an unusually full agenda owing to some blatant breaches of parliamentary standards by the Labour Party.

Labour leader Andrew Little has led a mini-revolt against the established protocol of showing respect to the Speaker, or at least not demonstrating disrespect.

The problem with the leader instigating such a revolt is that it leaves no place for the party’s wiser heads to go.

Little has dragged Chris Hipkins, chief whip, and Grant Robertson, shadow leader of the House, into the fray with him.

They must back up Little publicly or leave the leader out on a limb. There is really no choice. Instinctively they back him.

With all three on the case of the Speaker, it leaves Labour looking petty, always arguing the toss, not concentrating on the issues that matter, blaming the referee.

They may have convinced themselves their attacks on the Speaker define them as fighters to the core, but they often come across as bullies.

And they seem oblivious or unmoved by the extent to which they have lowered standards.

Read more »

The Media Party run another campaign – part 1


This time, against the Government, assisting Labour in making National look like they don’t care about people.

Labour concerned about Lake Waikeremoana[SIC] bridge failure

Labour’s concerned about the failure of a swing bridge near Lake Waikeremoana[SIC].

It collapsed as four tourists walked across it, dropping them eight metres into a river below.

An investigation’s been launched, and Conservation spokeswoman Ruth Dyson hopes it’s thorough.

“This was a very lucky escape, and I am so relieved that nobody was injured. But it could have been quite different.”

Conservation workers had checked the bridge just three months ago.


That’s all of it.

No attempt at balance. ? And of course it’s only Labour that’s concerned. ?? Read more »


Trotter comes back from his ‘mare with a ripper

Chris Trotter had a nightmare of a post about the wogs going broke in Greece.

But he has recovered his composure with a great post about how much distress Labour is in.

IF EVERYONE who voted for their Labour candidate in last year?s election had also given Labour their Party Vote, National would have lost. The discrepancy between the two vote tallies is startling. Everybody?s heard about Labour?s woeful 2014 Party Vote. At just 25 percent, it was Labour?s worst electoral performance since 1922. Nowhere near as well known, however, is the number of votes cast for Labour Party candidates across the country?s 71 electorates. That number, at 801,287, is 196,752 larger than the 604,535 Party Votes Labour received. If every Electorate Vote for Labour had been matched by a Party Vote, the percentage figure alongside Labour?s name on election night would not have been a derisory 25, but a much more respectable 34 ? almost certainly enough to have changed the government.

Such a huge discrepancy between the Party and Electorate Votes indicates a political party in serious trouble. What it reveals is that where voters are either well acquainted with, or have been introduced effectively to their Labour Party candidate, they are much more likely to place a tick beside his or her name. When it comes to Labour as an entity in its own right, however, the inclination to give the party a tick is nowhere near as strong.

What this says is that people like some of their local Labour MPs but think the party as a whole are unfit to govern.

In the Christchurch electorate of Port Hills, for example, the long-serving Labour candidate, Ruth Dyson, received 18,161 electorate votes. The Labour Party on its own, however, mustered just 9,514 Party Votes ? a whopping 9,205 less than National?s 18,719 Party Votes. Small wonder, then, that 27 of the 32 MPs in Labour?s caucus are electorate MPs, with only 5 coming in off the Party List.

Unless this situation is turned around ? and quickly ? Labour?s electoral performance can only deteriorate. As the party?s well-known and affectionately regarded electorate MPs retire, the assumption that Labour people will replace Labour people is being called into question. Once again, Christchurch supplies the example. The parliamentary seat of Christchurch Central was for decades regarded as one of the safest of Labour?s ?safe? seats. True to form, in the 2005 General Election Labour?s majority was 7,836. In 2008, however, with a new candidate, it?s majority shrank to just 935. Three years later, National?s Nicky Wagner took the seat with a majority of 47 votes. In last year?s election National increased its majority to 2,420. Significantly, National?s share of the Party Vote over those four general elections rose from 30.5 to 44.6 percent. Labour will have to work very hard to recover Christchurch Central in 2017.

Read more »

Why don’t National Use Scott Simpson Properly?

My oldest friend in caucus, Scott Simpson, is the best dark arts practitioner I know.

He is an absolute genius at ratf***ing opponents, and makes even people like Murray McCully look second rate.

So why don?t National use Scott properly?

He is wasting away on the back benches while National try silly plays that get them nowhere.

The usual dumb play is to start implausible rumours about opponents that will never happen or are easily debunked. National have been trying to promote the ?Rats jumping off the sinking ship? meme, claiming that multiple Labour MPs are looking to run for local government and resign their seats. ? Read more »

Michael Bassett on Dirty Politics


Michael Bassett is one of the smartest men in New Zealand politics.

This is what he has to say on ‘Dirty Politics.

Reading the New Zealand Herald and watching Parliament this week, one could be forgiven for thinking that the 2014 election hadn?t yet taken place. Left-leaning editorial writers and opposition parliamentarians have been busy re-hashing stories that grabbed them during the election campaign as though the voters hadn?t yet passed judgment. It?s worth reminding these people; an election occurred on 20 September, and they lost. The people have spoken. Voters told them that they had weighed up Nicky Hager?s ?Dirty Politics? amongst other things and decided his book was either irrelevant to the current state of things, or was a pile of crap. ?Dirty Politics? is a corpse, and there?s little sense now trying to resurrect it.
Why would these journalists and lefties, too many of whom are one and the same, want to revive Hager? A few, I guess, want something to keep bashing National with. They are angry at the election outcome. I keep being surprised at how many people believed until the numbers went up that a left coalition was still on the cards. Others possibly believe in St Nicky, and admire his chutzpah in using stolen emails for pecuniary gain. That, they seem to think, is ?investigative journalism? at its finest.

It wasn’t and it will eventually be revealed for the large criminal political conspiracy that it was. Then the media will have a choice to make, and watching them make that choice will be delicious.

There will be others again, many of them young or na?ve in the extreme, who actually believe Hager?s story. They have so little understanding of political processes in New Zealand or anywhere else that they think there was something new and especially sordid about Jason Ede acting as a conduit to bloggers, passing information, and discussing tactics designed to put National in a good light. Some won?t know about the methods used by the Labour government while Helen Clark was in office 1999-2008, when press releases and exaggerated criticism of opponents were filtered to ?The Standard?, Labour?s electronic broadsheet. Nor will they know about the priming done by cabinet minister Ruth Dyson each morning of her email tree with sleaze that the government wanted to be widely disseminated. The Prime Minister knew all about it. I found out about it: some of Dyson?s stuff was inadvertently sent to me! Some journalists won?t know that throughout her career Helen Clark had a list of journalists she?d ring to exchange gossip. Sometimes she would only hint, other times she?d tell the person on the other end of the phone about what she planned to do to some on her own side who had incurred her wrath. Occasionally she?d plant an idea that the journalist would be encouraged to follow up, hopefully with devastating consequences. A few people in today?s press gallery were involved and are currently keeping their heads down. If John Key rang Cameron Slater in any capacity, what?s the difference? The Herald?s editor might like to tell us?

Read more »

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Labour is in trouble, they are out of money, out of time and out of luck.

Recycling signs from 2000 with an electorate that doesn’t exist any longer is just too funny.

The local Nat candidate made sure he got some fun in too.


Photo/ Facebook

Campaigning sure has come a long way over the years.

Ex Labour MP wants to commence asset sales – “Don’t!”, says Labour MP

I thought asset sales were something the left could never actually permit to happen?

Opposition parties are urging Christchurch City Council not to sell assets to solve its funding shortfall.

A Cameron Partners report, released yesterday, says it may need to find an extra $783 million to $883m by 2019.

The authors put up four options for closing the gap: increase rates, borrow more, get money from insurance payments and sell assets.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the council can’t borrow any more money and will look at the other options.

That article would have been so much better had it said “ex-Labour MP Lianne Dalziel…”, and also a lot more honest.

Labour’s Canterbury recovery spokeswoman, Ruth Dyson, says her party will vigorously oppose short-term solutions.

“Asset sales would leave the city worse off financially and strategically in the long term,” she said.

Lianne Dalziel has discovered that once you actually sit there in the seat of power and you don’t have the luxury of chanting thoughtless pre-prepared protest slogans but actually have to solve a problem using practical means, asset sales aren’t of the devil after all.

They never were, of course. ?We all sell assets in our private lives and think nothing of it.


– NZN via 3 News