Thursday, June 30, 2005

Polls give parties whiff of a battle

Unlike some folk in the blogosphere who are confidently predicting a National victory on the basis of one poll, MP's and candidates from both major Parties in East Auckland are taking nothing for granted this election...

Todays H & P Times:


“POLLS are like perfume – they’re delicious to smell, dangerous to swallow”.

Manukau East Labour MP Ross Robertson’s comment follows National leading the polls with 40.1 per cent support this week.

“Only one poll counts and that is election day,” Mr Robertson said. “However there is a trend there and that is of concern. We will work hard and I’m confident we can pull it back.”

Mr Robertson said people are judging performance.

“I still believe Helen Clark is a more commanding leader than others on offer. She’s articulate, smart and savvy.”

Pakuranga National MP Maurice Williamson is excited by recent polls, but cautious.

“It is a slight lead [Labour on 36.2 per cent] and our biggest enemies are arrogance and complacency. We have to keep up the momentum and put our case to the public.”

He said it’s a vast improvement to three years ago when National plummeted to 21 per cent.

“Last time we weren’t even on the same paddock. We didn’t even know when the game was on.”

Colleague, Clevedon MP Judith Collins shared the same view.“Polls look good but you can’t get too cocky.”

Pakuranga Labour candidate Michael Wood suggested this year’s election will be close.

“This returns New Zealand to a more normal state of affairs after the historic weakness of National in recent years. It also reminds political parties that no voter should be taken for granted.”

In light of polls, Mr Wood said his campaign team is working harder.

“Our door knocking team has already covered as many houses as we reached during the entire 2002 campaign and we are escalating a programme of stalls, community group contact and cottage meetings.”


Too Right said...

Whatever Michael - We can confidently predict that you won't make it. You need a massive swing to Labour - Momentum and sentiment are against you. Your leadership have betrayed your sterling efforts.

spooks said...

On the other hand, I couln't agree more with Mr Mikey. It is a long, long way from being a foregone conclusion, and much work is needed from both sides. Unfortunately though for Mikey, we will not see enough work done on his side to correct the very thing they need to work on most, the very thing that will be Labour's downfall this time (and not for the first time). What is that one thing that will bring this government down?
Honesty. Too many lies.

span said...

which is it spooksy? Honesty or too many lies :-P

i don't think Michael is under any illusions that he is heading to Wellington come September TR, really you take everything so seriously! chill out!

Anonymous said...

A "massive" swing?

Lets take the average results of the last five polls (TV1 TV3 SSTimes Fairfax
Digipoll - last NBR a month old, a bit long in the tooth)

Labour 39
Greens 5
Maori 2 (and I'll think they'll get a seat to get in, and they might get overhangs)
This adds to 46%, and the Progressives might get 1% or at the very least Anderton will get one overhang seat

On the other side

National 39
NZ First 10
Act 2 (misses threshold, a wasted vote)
This adds to an effective 49%

So 46-49 (out of the 97% of votes that count),with UF either choosing the biggest party or if it doesn't have the balance of power, probably swinging to where the majority already is.

How far are Labour, the Greens,the Progressive and the Maori away from stopping National, given the anticipated overhang seat or two or three? A distance somewhat shorter than the National manifesto is deep, and that's saying something....mind you, the sight of National being dependent on the Maori to enter government would be a site to behold....

...and who says Winston would carry National in?

Anonymous said...

Maurice of all people warning against complacency! Now that is a laugh....

Too Right said...

Anon - you never read carefully. I said Mikey needs a massive swing - I stand by my post. He is wasting his time trying the greasy pole of national politics.

Anonymous said...

Not just one poll as of this morning Mikey...

spooks said...

Thanks for the q, spanner. to clarify -

On the topic of "honesty", Labour have told just a few too many lies, too much spin, too many shady investigations, to many doctored statistics.

And the voters are finally saying - "Hey, Labour, we just don't believe you any more". All these surpluses, Dr Cullen that you have stolen from us, and we can't afford tax cuts, well we don't believe you any more. You have told so many lies already, this one is just far too obvious, and one too many.

Best internationally and climatically economic times handed to us on a platter probably ever, and every cent of the gain has been confiscated by the Labour government. Individuals all worse off than when Labour came to power. After allowing for inflation, every single dollar gained over the last six years, has been taken in tax. That's every extra dollar earned by workers, EVERY extra dollar gained from the best ever economic windfall, has been confiscated. EVERY extra dollar.

EVERY extra dollar!

spooks said...

And not one extra hospital operation to show for it!

span said...

the only thing you are proving spooksy is that you have no sense of humour ;-)

Anonymous said...

Statistics New Zealand's latest Household Economic Survey has shown a 5.3% increase in the incomes of the middle 60% of hosueholds after tax and inflation between 2001 and 2004.
In addition National Super has been secured for the future, tertiary fees kept steady and access to student allowances widened, doctor's fees widely lowered, etc, etc....and unions given a half decent chance to negotiate pay increases, pay increases rather more important than tax cuts of course

Too Right said...

You should be pissed off too spanner in the works - being robbed blind.By a silent robber - Dr Cullen. I am with Spooks. Doesn't any of this make you wonder? One minute Dr Cullen is trumpeting surpluses as evidence of his great stewardship; then when people start saying the government is taking too much of my hard earned cash , the surpluses disappear and Dr Cullen becomes the best (and only) person to be entrusted with spending tax dollars. Finally, there is a clamour for tax cuts. "Tax cuts" get traction with all parties bar Cullen, who has said the cupboard is bare...; Cullen changes tack again and "finds" a $500Million windfall one month after delivering his budget. That is why the electorate wants change - they are sick of the dissembling, sophistry and mendaciousness of Dr Cullen and Steve Maharey.

Anonymous said...

Too Right is with spooks on tax cuts. What a surprise.

spooks said...

Well Holy Surpluses Batman, Too Right and Spooks agree on tax cuts. How fricken observant of the nameless one.

Too Right and Spooks might agree, but so does every party in New Zealand other than the dopey Labour one, and virtually every country in the OECD, and our competitors, and our trading partners, and most economists and commentators.

But forget all the experts because the important thing is that Spooks and Too Right agree. Stop the presses.

Anonymous said...

This sort of frustration often arises when somebody wants an election they think their side could win held tomorrow, and then realises the bloody thing is still about two and a half months away!
So much water still to flow.....

michael wood said...

Spooks, you do realise that most OECD countries have a higher overall tax burden that NZ, and at a more basic level, higher rates of personal taxation???

Australia for instance has marginal rates of 42% and 49% (well above our 39%), and a host of other taxes such as stamp duty, medicare levy, and capital gains on top of that - none of which we have.

If you want to talk about honesty, actually put forward the facts on tax, not vague assertions.

spooks said...

You want facts. This is not a vague assertion.

600 Kiwis a week leaving the country for those so-called "high tax" countries, because they will be so much better off. The equation is not simply income tax rates. The fact is that Australia is reducing taxation rates. That is a fact, not a vague assertion. That is what I said, and that is a fact, not a vague assertion.

And who is leaving New Zealand? The better educated, the wealthy, the experts, the workers, the earners, the producers.

600 per week leaving with their savings, with their talent, with their skills, and with their capital.

Because this country is falling behinder and behinder. Labour is making us do it with one hand tied behind our backs.

Yes, Mikey you have just generalised too, in the same post in which you asked me to give facts.

600 New Zealanders leaving every week for greener pastures. To take their talents away from the Clark/ Cullen tax theft.

Listen Mikey, not to me, listen to your own constituents. Two-thirds of your own voters want tax cuts. Remember you work for us, not us for you. We are not asking you for tax cuts, we are TELLING you. We, the people are telling you, our servants, that we want tax cuts. Every party is listening to our orders, except Labour. Labour says - get stuffed - you are only a nobody, and what you want doesn't count. Labour says WE are the politicians and WE POLITICIANS say what goes. Well Labour politicians, that is why you are going down. Because WE people are in charge, not you. And YOU work for US. And you deserve to be sacked because you have usurped that.

This year you get the sack. For not following your employers orders. Now change your ways, listen to what your employer is telling you, or pack your bags.

Anonymous said...

Spooks, what would you think of a tax cut in the shape of having no tax payable on say, the first $3 000 of income?
It is of greatest help to low-income earners. It is Green, United and, according to the Herald this morning, Maori Party policy....

spooks said...

Thanks for asking. I have a personal opinion on this, which unfortunately does not coincide with any of the parties. And I have no way of costing my option. I favour precisely what you suggest, but I think the $3,000 is way too small a number. When ACT were formulating their position a few months ago, Rodney asked people on his blog for suggestions. I suggested that the first 10,000 should be tax free. If the sums stack up, that's still my line of thinking.

But any reduction is a good reduction.

spooks said...

Would our host like to comment on the same question?

Oliver said...

"600 Kiwis a week leaving the country for those so-called "high tax" countries, because they will be so much better off. "

'So called' high tax countries ? Spooks, are you saying that the OECD economic research department is wrong?

spooks said...


michael wood said...

A couple of comments:

1) If people are leaving for overseas in a sustained way for a better standard of living (which I'm not convinced of, but anyway...), and we have established that places like Australia actually have higher tax, then what is providing that higher standard of living? Well in Australia it's more centralised wage bargaining, higher union membership, better statutory minimum conditions, and a system of family support more generous than working for families... good policies I agree.

2) If there was the fiscal room for tax cuts, and there were not dozens of pressing needs for investment in health, education, transport... then I agree with anon, the best place to have a tax cut would be on the first $X000 earned. It's obviously the best way to target assistance to the lower paid through tax cuts, albeit far less effective than a package like Working for Families which will give the average working family with kids around $100 a week more.

spooks said...

Then why Mikey, have your lot not followed the Australian lead, and done the same here. What has your beloved party been doing for six years? What they have been doing is thinking up ways of   blowing taxpayer money.

spooks said...

One way of course, that Labour has mastered the art of spending taxpayer money, is the feathering of the nests of your Trade Unions, Mikey. The coffers must be at an all-time high, Mikey, thanks to direct taxpayer-funded grants to the unions, and blatantly discriminatory work conditions requiring union members to be paid more than non-members. That's called dishonest, cheating corruption and graft. How do you feel being the recipient of this graft and discrimination-based dirty money, Mikey?

Anonymous said...

You're referring to provisions preventing 'free-loading' - where the improved wages and conditions negotiated by unions at their members' expense, improvements which would not have been made had the union not been around, are then passed by the employer on to non-union members. It is a tactic engaged in by employers to weaken the unions over the long term by making it look as if workers don't need unions to get improvements, when in fact they do. Unionised workforces on the whole are higher paid - and higher pay beats tax cuts any day.

It is fair. If a worker wants the improvements only the collective action of the unions could have brought them, they should pay for the upkeep of the union.

spooks said...

You arrogant prick. Why should there be a presumption that only unionists can negotiate a good faith agreement. how is it good faith to say that? How far up yourselves are you union officials? And you want to run our country, when you can't even lie straight in bed. Spin, spin, and more spin.

It is straight out featherbedding the unions who in turn will be spending millions on promoting the Labour government.

Straight out corruption. Straight out theft. Straight out graft. And theft of taxpayer money to fund the corruption. We voters don't believe your lies and spin anymore. You are going down, because of one reason. You have told one too many lies.

spooks said...

We voters KNOW which of the world's governments tell lies, which are corrupt, which are gold-diggers. We do not want New Zealand to become one of those countries. We do not want a government that depends on lies, spin, corruption and graft to get back in -- a government that rigs elections. A New Zealand Labour government is becoming more and more dishonest, more corrupt, more rigged. You are going down for your lies and corruption. Count down your days.

Anonymous said...

The evidence is irrefutable that unionised workforces are more highly paid than non-unionised workforces. That's a completely non-arrogant statement of fact.

No-one's been forced to join a union here - they just can't free-ride on the back of the union.

I didn't make any comment about good faith bargaining - though individual employees are more vulnerable to a lack of it, there's no doubt about that.

spooks said...

Then I put it that the provisions of the Employment Relations Act (haven't actually looked it up, so admit to generalising) on (a) good faith bargaining, and (b) "they just can't free-ride on the back of the union" --- are incompatible.

(Sorry about that clumsy sentence construction -- hope you get my drift)

How can it be "good faith" bargaining, if the "bargaining" has an artificial draconian ceiling?

Hmmm, work is needed here.

spooks said...

And I think from reading something way back when, that there are actually several new imaginative, creative-accounting ways that Labour are corruptly feathering the union nests (often at taxpayer expense), so that the union nest eggs can in turn feather the Labour Party nest. Some of those ways -

a) non unionists must be paid less than unionists. Again, how is that good faith negotiating?

b) unionists get their union fees reimbursed, and extra bonuses in the Public Service.

c) unionists get union leave time off work

d) the Labour government has found ways to make direct "hip-hop"-type grants straight into the union coffers. As in "here, here's a cheque, a taxpayer funded cheque, just because you are a union, and we here in the Labour Party, we like unions, and if we give you this taxpayer funded money, perhaps you could spend some of it on advertising your support for us come election time, to the tune of millions of dollars of advertising, all outside of the Electoral Act, which limits the amount of electoral advertising, but we, snigger snigger, we know how to get round that, ho ho, he he." Silly bastards, those taxpayers, they won't even notice we've done it, they won't even miss this money we've ripped off them.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing stopping an individual negotiating a higher salary, etc... than the collective - it will just be highly unusual because workers on their own are weaker than workers united.

You obviously wouldn't mind two individuals negotiating different wages and conditions for themselves in the same firm - why do you mind such differences across collective and individual contracts? What's the difference? No-one's forced to join the union -they just can't free-ride off its work.

If you paid an employment lawyer or bargaining agent to use their expertise to negotiate a better deal for you and then found the employer gave a colleague the same deal without them having to so pay, how would you feel? They - the colleague - would be free-riding.

spooks said...

I'm stumped. You actually believe this is good faith.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you do appear to be stumped, don't you......

spooks said...

Yep, you guys wrote the book, but you have no idea of what good faith is. Something like Mugabe doing his peasants a favour - in good faith - by saving them from having to do housework.

Anonymous said...


Mellie said...


a) non unionists must be paid less than unionists.

Bullshit. That's not an argument and not a fact. That's an ill-informed presumption, based on what is probably an outsider's view of a union.

b) unionists get their union fees reimbursed, and extra bonuses in the Public Service.

Bullshit again. I don't get my union fees reimbursed.

c) unionists get union leave time off work.

True. Sorry, this is bad? Ah, that's right. You don't actually know what the fuck they do when on 'union leave', do you? Provision of leadership skills, negotiating skills, bargaining skills, communication skills, the last of which comes in very handy when dealing with people not unlike yourself.

d) ~

I assume your point there is something to do with the advertising decisions of the CTU and other unions. Whoopee. I hear that Don Brash was(is?) to speak at a gathering of the EMA in Auckland recently(shortly). Oooh, those slimy capitalists. I always knew they were in with the National Party.

Wow, it seems to happen on both sides of the spectrum? I'd never have thought...

I put it to you spooks, that you comment on unions having never been a member of one. I also allege that you are prone to regurgitating the same old boring fantasies about unions, and that when presented with facts to the contrary, you try to deny that any of it is true.

Oh and, 'WE voters are onto you'?? You're as deluded as you are ignorant.

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