Home' The Wellingtonian : November 10th 2011 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, NOVEMBER 10, 2011
The best Labour can hope for
At the same stage of the
2002 election campaign,
the Clark Government was
on track to win an absolute
majority, which would have
enabled it to rule without the help
of the small parties to the left,
right or centre.
Government s domination, the
election outcome rarely seemed in
The only real question was
whether Labour would achieve
that absolute majority, and
ultimately it fell short.
During the last 10 days of the
campaign, the Clark Government
shed a significant number of
votes, though none of the fleeing
voters went to National -- which
slid to the worst defeat in its his-
tory, with only 21 per cent of the
At times, this year s campaign
has seemed the mirror image of
that 2002 campaign.
One obvious difference is that --
Government s position being sud-
denly eroded by a scandal like
strategists still blame for costing
them their absolute majority in
After the first week of this 2011
campaign, the Key Government
remained solidly on track for
50-plus per cent of the vote, while
Labour was spinning its wheels
right back where it started, at
about 30 per cent.
Any gains made by Labour in
the first television debate were
wiped out by Goff s inept defence
of Labour s economic policy during
a free-form public debate in
Labour ended the first week on
the back foot, defending the elec-
tion costings it had finally
managed to produce. The cam-
paign momentum was all with the
The other main difference from
This time, there is no sign of
voters fleeing to the parties in the
centre -- UnitedFuture and New
Zealand First -- as happened in
Instead, the opposition vote is
eroding further to the left, to the
Greens and -- possibly -- the Mana
So far, the Green Party is ben-
efiting from Labour s decline in
ways that completely eluded the
ACT Party in 2002, when it
received no boost at all from
National s collapsing vote.
Ultimately, Phil Goff s ability to
avoid the humiliation experienced
by opposition leader Bill English
in 2002 will depend on whether
the fabled Labour Party machine
is still intact in its metropolitan
strongholds, especially in south
If Labour can put enough
activists on the ground in the 10
days before polling, it may yet
avoid the bloodbath being
In the circumstances, if Labour
can hang on to about 30 to 32 per
cent on election day, it would
count as an honourable defeat.
Seen in that light, the failure of
Labour s policies to inspire the
wider public may be a bit beside
Currently, shoring up the
spirits of the party rank and file
may well be a better survival
tactic for Labour than trying to
woo the electorate at large.
After all, taking GST off fruit
and vegetables and comprehens-
ively taxing the wealth from capi-
tal gains were never going to be
wildly popular policies with the
public, or with the media
However, they may succeed in
motivating the core Labour vote,
and the party activists.
If so, and coupled with a
surging vote for the Greens, this
could prove to be just enough to
deny the Key Government its
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CONTINUED
The Wellingtonian welcomes
letters. Please supply name,
address and day phone number.
No pseudonyms. Preferred
maximum length 200 words.
Letters may be edited. Preference
is given to letters responding to
issues raised in The Wellingtonian.
Send your letters to P O Box 3740,
Goodbye to a
I wish to thank David Colquhoun
for his splendid articles relating to
the Turnbull Library collections.
I m sad the series had ended
because the articles had a popular
following and provided an
educational and historical aspect
of our city s history.
Editor's note: Readers who
enjoyed the series should get hold
of Wellingtonians, a collection of
the photos (and stories relating to
them) that were published in The
Wellingtonian over the past year.
The book, which has just been
published, costs $29.99.
This is prompted by the November
3 letter from Harry , headed
Rongotai s issues . Just passing
over Harry s error in writing
who s instead of the correct . . .
whose consultation process...
(and no, it s not optional), I
proceed to the main point, which
isn t his fault.
I refer to the present silly PC
euphemism of issues substituted
for the proper words, problems ,
faults , vices , annoyances etc.
This misuse of an old word,
which already had several
accepted meanings, was foisted on
us by the do-gooders and
bleedingheart liberals 20-plus
See such examples as
drunkenness (alcoholism) and
illicit drug-addiction: these were
once called vices, but from about
1955, had to be called problems .
This also applied to general
antisocial or offensive behaviour,
especially among children and
teenagers ( He/she is just a poor,
crazy, mixed-up kid , of the sort
acted by James Dean!).
But even problems is now too
harsh; so instead, people must
have issues .
Labour s superannuation policy
has been called courageous .
It is a cowardly attack on the
working people of New Zealand in
an effort to divert attention away
from its tax and spending
And, for those working people
who are unable to work when they
turn 65 Labour will have a
transition payment until 67.
Imagine the advocacy industry
of medics and lawyers that will
grow around that. Worse than the
ACC one. Have Labour included
that in their costings? Thought
Those in their 30s and 40s
should be particularly concerned
because it will affect us directly.
I m not happy that my wife and
I will have to work longer, and
have less time to enjoy
grandchildren, travel, bowls or
whatever. Why should politicians
and bureaucrats decide when we
pay their way
The article encouraging people to
Fix that bike (November 3) gave
me pause for thought.
Given bicycles are ridden on
public roads and footpaths, I feel
they should have certificates of
fitness, much like the warrant a
Cyclists should also pay a
licensing fee for their bicycle to
cover the cost of providing cycle
lanes, as well as providing a
means for collecting ACC levies to
cover the injuries bicycle users
receive and cause.
A warrant and licensing system
is really the only fair way to make
cyclists pay their way, and
prevent them from continuing to
get a free ride. RONALD R SMYTHE
FROM THE WEB
Laura: How could the Wellington
City Council allow such a
dominant, ugly building to
depreciate the whole area
financially, and destroy the
surrounding residents quality of
life? Oh, because they own 34 per
cent of the airport.
Milarky: How dare the airport
build a hangar on their land,
almost in your backyard too!
Cheeky buggers. However, I bet
when you paint your fence the
first people you will consult on
the colour will be Wellington
Airport, because that is what good
Zane: The hanger is necessary,
but it lacks the creative image
that the terminal has. Perhaps a
paint job to make it more
transparent could make it look
Jasper: Wasn t this thing built
for World Cup millionaires
private jets? The World Cup is
now over, so now you can pull it
down since you no longer need it
and it is an eyesore. Think about
the people who have to live in its
Heldon: It s a hangar, for
goodness sake. How beautiful can
you make it? It has only been
finished for a few weeks so maybe
it will be painted. It can t cut out
too much sun from houses -- there
are hardly any around it.
Tristin Davis:You groaners are
the same people who stop our
airport being a world-class airport
by ensuring there s a noise
restriction on it during parts of
the night. Get over it. The airport
was here before many of you, if
not all of you.
This should be a 24-hour a day
operational airport, which
includes freight and passenger
flights through the 12am till 6am
period. If you don t like it, move to
Kapiti next to the main trunk
railway line. Trains can t be
stopped by noise, so why should
Samm: It s always bemusing to
see people choose to live next to
something like an airport and
then complain about its activities.
The airport in its current
incarnation has been there since
1959. Anyone who moved to its
vicinity after that date should
have known where they where
As for the building itself, it is a
hangar so was never going to be
that pretty anyway, and it is not
out of keeping with the semi-
industrial area it is in. The retail
complex immediately south of it is
much uglier in my opinion. And
given that it is to the south and
east of any houses on its borders,
I would be interested to see just
how much sunlight it cuts out.
Chris M: Don t complain about
the building being ugly folks or
the airport company will probably
want to beautify it by painting
Wellywood on the top and sides.
Quit while you are still ahead.
FC---Shaza: Since when has
Wellington Airport cared about
anyone else. Some looser decided
to build a stupid sign, so it must
happen despite great opposition.
Another looser has decided to
build this, despite the residents.
Hil: Get Wellywood emblazoned
on the side of it to brighten up
Paws for excitement
Milena: So happy to hear about
this. I can t wait!
Finally, my dog will be able to
run off-lead safely.
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