Home' The Wellingtonian : December 1st 2011 Contents 9
THE WELLINGTONIAN, DECEMBER 1, 2011
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Labour's problems only beginning
Any map of the political
landscape will now be
showing rural and provin-
cial New Zealand (plus all of Ham-
ilton) entirely blue, apart from
Palmerston North and a red strip
on the West Coast.
Otherwise, Labour s enclaves
are restricted to just the metro-
politan centres of Auckland, Wel-
lington, Christchurch and Dune-
Although Labour leader Phil
Goff made the requisite bloodied
but not defeated noises on elec-
tion night, the task facing Labour
to rebuild from here looks a very
Problem being, even where
Labour managed to win electorate
races, their candidates in former
Labour strongholds such as West
Auckland, Dunedin and Christ-
church failed to deliver the party
National won the party vote
handily in those regions, even in
Jim Anderton s former fortress in
Somehow, Labour s rebuild will
have to staunch the flow of young
voters to the Greens on one hand,
while bringing the older, more
conservative Labour voters back
from NZ First on the other.
The Epsom teapot saga may
have earned Winston Peters some
headlines, but Labour s plan to
raise the retirement age was prob-
ably more politically advan-
tageous to NZ First in the long
To no discernible advantage to
its own cause, Labour s policy
enhanced Peters standing as a
staunch defender of the few
privileges that older New Zea-
landers currently enjoy.
Clearly, National realised how
potent the retirement issue could
be for Peters.
Therefore, it flatly refused to
endanger its own older voting bloc
by endorsing a hike in the retire-
This subject will need to be
revisited. Yet for now, National is
gambling that it can afford to wait
until Peters is no longer on the
scene before it tackles the retire-
ment age or meddles with Gold
On election night, successful
Epsom candidate John Banks
claimed that the outcome had
proved how necessary the cuppa
tea event with John Key had
been. That s a dubious claim.
Given the extent of tactical
voting in Epsom, Banks probably
didn t need the photo opportunity
with Key to achieve victory.
Beyond Epsom, the tea party and
its aftermath did nothing to help
ACT s pitch for the party vote.
Arguably, it might have been
better for ACT if it had lost Epsom
and faced the need to rebuild -- as
Peters had done -- entirely afresh.
As things stand, ACT has now
saddled itself with a totally uncon-
vincing champion for the party s
ACT s dismal night was
mirrored on the far left by the
Mana Party, which failed to get off
Clearly, the big winners last
Saturday were the National Party
and the Greens.
There are 240,000 special votes
this year -- 10 per cent of the total
vote -- and these regularly treat
the Greens kindly. Kindly enough
this time, perhaps, to deliver them
In the interests of consensus
politics and a third-term strategy
of splitting the centre left vote, the
Key Government could well offer
the Greens an environmental role.
They may be tempted. It is only
by continuing on its current cen-
trist course that the Greens can
hope to reap votes from National
supporters in future, and cease
their dependence on Labour as an
avenue to real power.
Otherwise, this year s results
have shown just how long the
avenue back to government will
be for the centre left.
The Wellingtonian welcomes
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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,
Thanks to Helen Clark, many
beneficiaries who were once
institutionalised now live in the
However, under National s
plans, the physically disabled, the
infirm, and the mentally
challenged are now to be labelled
job-seekers, and will be required
to find a job.
Too bad if they lack the
prerequisite skills to survive. If
they have a head, a heart and a
brain, then they are job ready .
What a fiasco the whole
Wellywood saga has been.
We ve ended up with a
ridiculous sign on a prominent
hilltop proclaiming how windy
Nearly 20 years of Absolutely
Positively Wellington , and now
FROM THE WEB
Dominic: Dunne was gifted this
seat by John Key. Peter, this
wasn t a win for you at all. What
a shameful deal done by a man
who claims to be Mr Decent.
Jville: Dunne says what he s
going to do is to get the Matangi
trains running on the J ville line
and to get the J ville shopping
mall going. He sounds like he s
only just got into power to make
those things happen. I ve been
living in J ville for eight years and
when I shifted here there was talk
about the J ville mall...eight
years! Wasted vote to all those
people who voted for him.
Barry: Dunne is on record as
stating that it will be a condition
of his party s support for a new
government that the use of 1080
in NZ will be immediately banned.
The National Party has no such
plans and 1080 use will continue.
Is Dunne a man of his word or will
he be just another hollow man
seeking the baubles of power?
Baza: As a medical cannabis
user, I m glad Peter wants to
learn more, to try to reduce the
harm on children of prohibition.
Simon Power was not even
prepared to learn why a
terminally ill cancer patient
should be able to continue to use
medical cannabis. Peter has seen
many of the damages to society,
especially among the elderly and
kids. I hope he will continue to be
associate health minister and not
let politics escalate suffering. If he
can improve things just a bit, that
would be welcome.
David: Always been a safe Labour
seat. However, the party vote for
National was almost the same as
John Free: Hard to believe that
the Labour MP King was voted in
yet again. The locals must be
Born&Bred: There were no
concerns about any of
Wellington s other fire stations.
Ha, what a joke! Look at the
WWII-era shed that Newlands
has. This is a disgrace and the fire
service should sort this ASAP. In
the event of a major quake hitting
Wellington, the CBD will be
decimated. All central city fire
stations will be useless and we
will have to rely on the outer
suburbs for assistance.
Muppie: I hope they sort it.
Wellington Central is a grand old
place with a lot of history.
Fireho: It s past its day and
Wellington needs a new fire
station that will be there when
most needed. I have been in two
cities when the fire service was
needed in big earthquakes. It s
time Wellington got a new one to
meet tomorrow s needs.
Lewis: Isn t the fire service one
of the most essential during a
time of crisis? What happens to
the city if the main fire station
collapses during an earthquake?
RC: What a positively fantastic
article. Ahmed, you re an
inspiration. Good luck to you and
Jack M: Andy Boreham, you were
part of the process, and you lost.
Apparently you didn t have
majority support. It turns out you
were just a noisy minority. Let the
democratic process work -- it s
time to shut up about it now.
Personally I would have preferred
a Wellywood sign, for many
reasons, but that ship has sailed.
As a Wellington tour guide, I ll be
taking people past the sign every
day, and they ll photograph it.
Ian Curtis wall
Laura: The city council needs to
commission a mural to go over
this wall. It s not appropriate to
have this memorial in a public
place, particularly when it costs
ratepayers to remove it.
Been Benuane: Is this really
worth removing? It s not obscene
or some eyesore tag or anything.
Simon: To anyone who doesn t
know anything about the
awesomeness of the band Joy
Division, I understand how you
may react badly to such a tribute.
To Joy Division fans, it is a fitting
tribute to an amazing talent. In
the words of another music legend
and philosopher, John Lennon:
Let it be.
Sad sack: Wellington does not
have much in the way of iconic
art. Leave it alone. If the council
wants to get rid of rubbish, start
by getting rid of that eyesore it
spent millions on in Pigeon Park.
I nearly break my neck every time
I walk on the rubbish tiles.
Macho Man: Old punks never
H: Who cares? Long gone...
impact done and dusted.
fmacskasy: Leave it be. Far
from being graffiti, it is an aspect
of cultural expression. Some may
not appreciate it, but others do.
Removing or painting over it is
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