Home' The Wellingtonian : October 13th 2011 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, OCTOBER 13, 2011
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Don Brash: unlikely friend of the Left
Single-handedly, Don Brash
seems to have done more in
his career to damage the
cause of the centre-right than any
number of left-wing protest
In 2005, when the tide was
already going out on the Clark
Government, it was the fear of
Brash and his likely agenda that
tipped the balance, and prevented
the centre-right from winning the
Put out of harm's way in charge
of the 2025 Task Force on bridg-
ing the income gap with Australia,
Brash came up with findings so
extreme that both his reports
were quickly tucked away in the
bottom drawer by the Govern-
ment, lest once again Brash's
agenda should spoil every-
thing and jolt the public out of
its remarkable romance with
This year, Brash is a factor in
election calculations once again
and the news is again calamitous
for the centre-right.
In the most abrasive fashion
imaginable, Brash toppled the
ACT Party leader Rodney Hide
and -- arguably -- has now put
ACT's lifeline to Parliament in
even graver jeopardy than it was
with Hide at the helm.
Rather than unite the party,
Brash has overseen the departure
of ACT's entire parliamentary
To top it off, Brash recently
decided to publicly ponder the
logic of decriminalising the pri-
vate use of cannabis, evidently
without consulting his new col-
league in Epsom, John Banks.
The likely electoral impact of
this comedy of errors was spot-
lighted in a poll last week in
Epsom in which Banks, on 18.9
per cent, lagged well behind his
National Party rival and one-time
biographer Paul Goldsmith, on
32.9 per cent.
True, this situation is not
necessarily terminal given that
there was a nearly 5 per cent mar-
gin of error in the poll, and a
whopping 41 per cent of the
respondents were still undecided.
Once the Rugby World Cup is
out of the way, those undecideds
could well heed the urgings of the
National Party leadership and
vote for Banks.
What the poll suggests is that if
they do so, it will be without any
great enthusiasm for ACT's candi-
date, party leader, or policies.
To be fair to Brash, there prob-
ably wouldn't be much enthusi-
asm right now in Epsom for Hide
either, if the leadership coup
However, Brash didn't market
his coup on the basis that he
would be no better, or no worse,
than the man he sought to
He promised more, much more.
Currently, ACT is garnering
only 5.7 per cent of the party vote
in Epsom -- which is far less even
than the unpopular Labour
Party's 9.7 per cent (National is
on 67.6 per cent, among those
Epsomites currently expressing a
In that respect, not much has
At the height of the public's dis-
enchantment with the centre-left,
in 2008, Hide managed to attract
fewer party votes for ACT in
Epsom than Keith Locke won for
Clearly, there is still time for
Banks to sound the alarm among
centre-right voters that unless
they vote tactically for him, the
Key Government will lose
its most reliable coalition partner,
and would therefore need to
achieve a large enough majority
nationwide to enable it to govern
alone, if it is to continue to govern
Fear, it seems, is the main
motivator when it comes to the
ACT Party, for friends and foes
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My environmental backup theme
has always been the planet will
win'' -- perhaps Celia's success
with a Basin to Taranaki tunnel
means that in the not-too-distant
future 21st century politics will
win out too.
John Morrison will no doubt
find much of the future
disconcerting''. STEVE COSGROVE
In ancient times kings and princes
built fantastic monuments that
are beautiful and have lasted for
Do our city fathers and mothers
really want to leave behind as
their legacy an ugly and intrusive
monument to the motor vehicle?
Where is the vision?
I travel the route from Seatoun
to the city and beyond almost
Apart from one and a half hours
in the early morning and the same
in the late afternoon, traffic flows
freely and there is no congestion
to speak of. During school
holidays the peak-hour back-up
The mayor and city councillors
of Wellington have the power to
decide what is best for Wellington
and whether to accept the
Government's offer to fund the
construction of an eyesore.
There are alternative solutions
for dealing with transport issues
in Wellington and my challenge to
the council is to say no to this ill-
conceived roading project.
Options A and B of the New
Zealand Transport Agency shows
how limited its thinking is. Why
not put all, or part, underground?
The old saying: They know the
cost of everything, but the value of
nothing'' comes to mind.
The Basin is a wonderful asset
for Wellington and its people. We
need to protect it, not ruin it with
flyovers. BRENT STEVEN PIERSON
New Zealand First candidate
The article on the new waka in
Wellington (October 6) was right
to feature the carvers who have
worked so hard on them.
However, it failed to mention
the master waka builder, Hector
Busby, who shaped the hull and
did the design of the two waka
and took over responsibility for
getting them produced.
The waka Taua and waka
Teraukura are the responsibility
of the Wharewaka o Poneke
Charitable Trust and since their
arrival in Wellington have been
on display in the lagoon and the
harbour on Sunday mornings.
The waka have been open to the
public every weekend and many
visitors to the Rugby World Cup
have viewed them.
They have been paddled by a
large team of volunteers who have
trained hard to have these waka
on display, not as museum pieces,
but in the harbour.
MORRIS TE WHITI LOVE
I was not surprised to read about
the taxi drivers' illegal behaviour
(October 6), as I recently had a
similar experience to those
On the night of September 24, I
had a Wellington Combined taxi
called to take me from Strathmore
to Lyall Bay. When the driver was
told where I was going, he simply
turned and drove off, having
taken more than half an hour to
arrive. I laid a complaint through
Wellington Combined's website,
and have yet to receive a reply.
Spin -- gotta love it.
In response to Stavros Michael's
reply to my criticism of his
beloved parking wardens (Sept
29), it would help if he and those
at the Wellington City Council did
not treat fellow Wellingtonians as
My encounter occurred on a
street where there were no
driveways, no resident only''
parking spaces and no-one was
parked illegally. It was at a time
of the morning at the weekend
when most people were probably
asleep, and the warden walked
along the roadside, deliberately
checking for expired regos and
I have encountered wardens at
work at the weekends previously.
Like most Wellingtonians, I take
exception to acts of sheer revenue
As for stating that Parkwise
overlooks anyone who has a rego
or warrant that is expired by a
week or so, most Wellingtonians
know this statement to be almost
laughable. As for the police
overlooking such matters, they
are not that negligent, but they do
show restraint before prosecuting.
Parkwise does not.PETER KENNEDY
As a submitter to Wellington
Towards 2040 -- Smart Green
Capital, the suggestion (editorial,
October 6) that the word green''
has political connotations is
Tell that to the members of the
public last weekend who were
sitting, lying and playing on
should I dare say the green''
grass introduced to Civic Square
for the Rugby World Cup. Ditto to
those families watching the sheep
races on green'' grass at Waitangi
Park and the wood choppers
entertaining the public on, dare I
say, green'' Frank Kitts Park,
none of whom I might add looked
uncomfortable'' or disconcerted''.
Why did councillors who suddenly
found the word uncomfortable''
and disconcerting'' not speak up
before the document went out for
consultation. PAULINE SWANN
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