Ardern carries Covid-19 into Election 2023 for her Labour Party

A plan so obvious you could pin a tail on it and call it a donkey but it wasn’t worth the time making the point over the Christmas break when unbeknown to most of the country Ardern’s team were planning her resignation.

The government confirmed in December last year that groups of frontline workers would receive a COVID-19 Response Recognition Award. “

A specific acknowledgement of the service given by so many to New Zealand during the pandemic.” Said, Jacinda Ardern who was prime minister of NZ at that time.

It was a re-announcement of a previous announcement made by a prime minister knowing she was about to drop her resignation on the table.

“Earlier this year I announced this award to recognise particular people who contributed to New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, with MIQ workers the first confirmed recipients.”

Jacinda Ardern

The award has been designed to be in keeping with the likes of military service, and takes the form of a lapel pin with up to 80,000 pins to be given to individuals in the workforce groups identified.  

They stepped up, often at great personal risk and sacrifice, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for carrying that burden on behalf of us all.”

When these awards starting turning up in Anzac week not everyone was impressed and understanbly so, not only from the obvious comparisons to military sacrifice but as a government expenditure at a time of high inflation when the original award had been so obviously tokenised to provide Labour with an election tool.

The “award” had already been trivalised to the extent that business could apply for it as a participation award through the Ministry of Business and Innovation.

Lee Smith DNZ Taranaki-King Country

“Maybe the government had some covid-19 response money left and decided to hand out participation awards?”

When I approached Smith for comment she was already aware of the angst caused having been contacted by members of her own community.

If this award is legitimate then it’s an absolute waste, and shows the disrespect of tax payers hard earned cash.

Lee Smith – DNZ

The transition of the award from combat decoration to participation award to essentially political trivia distributed by the Labour Party is becoming increasingly obvious and coming from a government that is determined to justify its covid response in the face of damning evidence that suggests the response was a political tragedy.

Current Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who was Ardern’s Covid Response Minister may now be left to answer some difficult questions about whether this is nothing more than the embarrassing equivalent of Helen Clark’s Pledge Card.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Labour Party had played this silly game but this time the relatives of covid casualties are likely to be as offended as the families of military veterans.

That’s likely to create another conflict as to whether the lapel badge is universally welcome throughout the country.

The answer is quite obviously, “No” many people will find this award an offensive reminder of Jacinda Ardern’s tenure as New Zealand’s Covid Prime minister.


The Contenders of Election 2023

The Contender is the debut novel by American author and sports journalist Robert Lipsyte. It was published in 1967. The book’s plot centers on a black seventeen-year-old man named Alfred Brooks, a high school dropout living with Aunt Pearl and her three daughters in Harlem, New York City.

This post is about the 2023 election in New Zealand however watching this upfold took me back to my high school days, an English teacher, and a book study we did as a class around Lipsyte’s book.

The grace of independence and achievement in life in an environment that required more determination and effort than perhaps was required of others to achieve the same outcome but it is still possible – you’ll just have to work a little harder wasn’t an unfamiliar saying in my youth.

When I look at the rising stars of the 2023 election, the contenders, I see not one but many in the newly registered DemocracyNZ. All from different backgrounds and various degrees of success but with a common goal – to bring New Zealand back to its lost state of DemocracyNZ – some dispute the loss and suggest we are in a better state of governance.

Some of The Contenders

Kirsten Murfitt: Tauranga Lawyer

Martin Langford: Napier Dentist

Lee Smith: Te Awamutu Businesswoman

Matt King: Northland farmer and Party Leader

And that’s just a few of the diverse and talented personalities from the North Island.

While the South Island is growing its representation too, New Zealand hasn’t seen a political redevelopment of this nature since the advent of MMP last century. Many voters this election will have no living memories of how that unfolded.

If successful though, in their quest for parliamentary representation, DNZ would not be popular if they took until Christmas to negotiate a coalition agreement as Winston Peters did with NZ First, leaving the country for many weeks with no effective government and a clown show on the 6 o’clock news.

Perhaps this time we’ll see the mischief coming from the National Party. We’re barely in to the campaign and already seeing bad form in Napier.

DemocracyNZ team, helping to clean up the Rubbish in Napier.

No Respect for Democracy from National and Nimon in Napier

Public Journalism Fund places the integrity of the electoral process at risk

I’ve never supported what Hager did releasing his Dirty Politics book in an election but now the bug has crept into the media. Mafia media courtesy of the Public Journalism Fund, a dysfunctional editor and from the National Party and their Napier Candidate, Katie Nimon.

Katie Nimon with National Party Deputy Leader Nicola Willis.

If there is one person Katie Nimon doesn’t want to connect with it’s DemocracyNZ candidate for Napier Martin Langford.

Langford who has been regularly campaigning in Napier was surprised to see an article saying Nimon had, “No Serious Opponent” and contacted the contributing editor, Andrew Austin asking for a right of reply.

Langford has received no response from Austin who given his claim of experience would without doubt be aware of Langford and if he wasn’t would certainly want to find out if there was in fact at least one other candidate in the election.

Labour has yet to announce a replacement candidate following Stuart Nash abandoning his nomination as the Labour candidate for Napier for the 2023 election after his rolling scandals as a sloppy minister and ensuing resignation.

Katie Nimon with National’s Chris Bishop.

There is no doubt Nimon is keen to win the election having launched her campaign before Christmas. However Nimon holds herself up to be a campaigner with integrity and respect for other candidates.

“It’s a normal part of campaigning, but I think that a really good candidate would be someone that would debate the issues and debate the policies, and I really look forward to that. It’s refreshing because it gives people a clear option, who do they want to vote for? What policies matter to them? What positions are they there to support? And they have a really clear choice.”

Hawkes Bay Age

DemocracyNZ Napier Candidate Martin Langford with his campaign vehicle for the 2023 General Election.

There could be little doubt that Nimon was aware of the existence of DemocracyNZ given the party’s leader Matt King abandoned National over its mandate policy and the collective refusal of mps to engage with the protestors during the parliamentary protest which came to a violent end on March 2nd last year, resulting in the formation of DemocracyNZ.

Barbara Kuriger and Matt King with former National Leader, Judith Collins.

When it comes to dirty politics this is close to a conspiracy to injure paid for by the public purse through the public journalism fund.

Let’s see who, if anyone, is going to apologise for their aberrant behavior in the silly games we have going on here.

Dirty Politics Hasn’t Gone Away

Oddly though, former National Party blogger Cameron Slater and the subject of Hager’s Dirty Politics book pops up in a controversy over candidate selection in neighouring Tukituki electronic, with candidate Catherine Wedd pictured above but that’s another story.

There’s no shortage of scandal this morning with … featuring a breaking story about a Health Department whistle blower.

TOP grow their Team

TOP has been slow out of the starting gates this election with a minimal quantity of political activity up to the beginning of May – similar to NZ First who have produced little more than Winston’s opinion. TOP has added two more candidates to their growing list while NZ First has announced one in Northland.

Natalia is a former public servant and currently pursuing a PhD focused on government policies that enhance social cohesion in New Zealand’s diverse population, and has over ten years of experience in this field.

She recently completed a Master’s degree focusing on diversifying leadership in the Public Service.

Natalia is also a social entrepreneur and a producer/director for a series of gender-focused events in Wellington, including the first TEDxWomen event in New Zealand in 2014.

TOP Biography

Ben is a physicist who has made a name for himself in the world of Research and Development, having worked with world-leading technology companies overseas.

He returned home in 2017 and currently works as a science and technology developer for some of New Zealand’s most innovative companies.

Ben has a unique talent for simplifying complex concepts and devising practical solutions that work.

TOP Biography

Neither Party is showing significant success in current polls.

NZ First is languishing under the 3% mark which cost the party its parliamentary status in 2020.

TOP is now under 1% and sitting behind the rising DemocracyNZ Party.

Party leaders Raf Manji in Ilam, Matt King and Shane both in Northland are all working towards electorate wins which opens the door to political deals nearer polling days if it’s a tight race.

Courting The Loveless

I’m not sure whether it’s anger or despair I’m feeling, one day beyond this year’s Anzac Day.

First was ACT Party Deputy Leader Brooke VanVelden closely followed by NZ First Leader Winston Peters who by age and seniority as a politician should know better by now, who are the source of my angst.

ACT Party deputy leader Brooke van Velden says police should be allowed to issue instant penalty tickets to young criminals to crack down on crime.

ACT Election 2023

Sure let’s give the Boys in Blue a naughty boys ticket book – without discussing the ridiculousness of the situation and how that would progress into Labour’s current policy of Hug-a-Thug as it has become known for older criminals, it’s a mild mannered dog-whistle to a perceived group of voters without having to justify the sense of the policy.

Will these little criminals get their mothers to, pay the ticket or deduct it from their pocket money at a dollar a week?

Nonsensical solutions are neither holding juvenile offenders to account nor a solution to the offending they have (through someone else’s hard work) just been apprehended for.

The number of offenders will not be great but dealing with those offenders effectively is the best deterent to those who would follow in their footsteps.

An incident occurred yesterday on Auckland roads that involved hundreds of ferals on dirt bikes taking over the streets, intimidating the public, causing mayhem and attacking cars with knives.

Winston Peters

This has the immaturity of a Labour Minister referring to protestors as “Ferals in a River of Filth.”

I’m surprised Winston didn’t manage some glorious quip like a ” River of Recklessness” nevertheless it’s a little less mannered in an appeal to voters that lacks a solution.

This is the same man who said in 2017,

And his Deputy who said, “We’ll get the nephews off the couch and get them planting trees.”

Some how the current renegades didn’t do the hard yards that NZ First promised but still manage to afford motorcycles and fuel and commit this, “crime that wasn’t going to pay.”

Both ACT and NZ First are tired excuses for politicians that have had their opportunity and have not delivered.

It’s time to look elsewhere to sharper minds who understand the the nature and personality of the ANZAC soldiers, and the reasons they fought with the utter determination to win.

The future and freedom they wanted to be a legacy for their descendants to thrive in should they not return home to see that.

Our obligation is to make sure these wayward youth are gainfully employed productive members of society and not aspiring criminals funded by an irresponsible state.

DemocracyNZ Candidate for Taranaki-King Country, Lee Smith, responded by saying such comments were,

Not really very practical solutions and the breakdown of the family unit needs to be addressed as well.

Lee Smith – DNZ

“We need our youth to have the ability to be engaged in both learning and hands on courses that enable them to learn skills for future success.

Penalties will determine outcomes for young criminals and not addressing root causes of the drivers of crime in the first place is not a good start.

Better education around personal responsibility, private property rights, educating children on respect for authority and doing what’s right but giving our children better opportunities by getting back to the basics of learning … reading, writing, math and how to become productive members of society is what we urgently need to achieve.” Said, Smith.

To Kill a Country

Now that Anzac Day is over it is time to face our own reality, that we are at war with tyrants who have a view of democracy that is an insult to our forebears.

We have a Prime minister who is still a school boy politician. The Executive of this country is not a playground for the inexperienced to practise their politics or for Hipkins to behave like a girl and support that incompetence hoping for a better outcome.

We’ve lost sight of gender distinctions and the roles they play in society.

Standing in support of ministers promoted beyond their level of competence may be a luxury of the political elite but it is not one that gains (or should if it ever does) any traction in the commercial world like it is managing to in our government departments – incompetence breeds incompetence.

[If I insulted Brooke VanVelden this morning – good- she skipped the class on the realities of life and somehow made it to Deputy Leader of the ACT Party.]

What must be discussed beyond incompetence is malice – when dealing with matters of state always consider incompetence before malice and I have done so with regard to Kieran McAnulty and what he has publically stated.

McAnulty is “Minister of Too Much”.

Minister of Local Bodies, Minister for Emergencies, Minister for Auckland, Minister for what’s not happening in Napier and if we let his silly little game continue he’ll be Minister for dead bodies and disasters.

As the accidental MP for the Wairarapa (and too many of the current Labour majority were covid mps, not democratically qualified mps) McAnulty has no place holding this level of responsibility under the incompetent direction of Hipkins.

Now … if this bald headed bumpkin can’t do his job as Leader of the Opposition and point this out we don’t need him as a prime minister either

Countries don’t run on incompetence and those that try have a history of failure.

To be clear, when I say malice in this case I’m not taking about, Ill-will … I’m talking about legal malice … and that is to knowingly increase the damage already done.

Napier and The Chilly Thought of Winter

Martin Langford, Napier Candidate for DemocracyNZ stepped into the political traffic last week when he highlighted the lack of action in the emergency response for Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Progress is happening slowly in Napier, despite those supposedly in control being unwilling to make definite decisions – so slow progress on most fronts” Langford said, in an early morning interview before heading off to a Dawn Parade for Anzac Day.

Local councils waiting on govt decisions, etc. etc.

Charities hanging on to funds and saying they don’t want to make bad decisions resulting in wasted donations.

We had a “cold snap” through yesterday, a reminder that – Winter is fast approaching and people need more than an accomodation supplement to get them through the cold months of this year.

It’s unacceptable that we are seeing a spike in suicides but to do nothing now only to have people dying of exposure will be unforgivable.

Langford is not alone in raising concerns. Some locals have become full time charities and are struggling to cope with what they have been left to deal with.

“At the very least we’re needing to focus weatherproof temp accomodation NOW! Some Caravans have been delivered, but more are needed, and quickly.”

Martin Langford – Napier Anzac Day 2023

Information in the associated link for DemocracyNZ

Red Cross asking for applications?

Joining the community cleanup

Anzac Day 2023

Each year there are more veterans.

Veterans are veterans dead or alive and as long as wars continue their numbers grow.

For us in New Zealand we are generally remote from war zones and have known no greater conflict than the world wars.

As small a nation as we were then NZ made a significant contribution to the global war effort – despised by some as war is, the fight was necessary and not a choice: a fight for freedom and we played our part in often forgotten stories.

And as a small expeditionary force from the other end of the world we are seldom written about in terms of our individual contribution to the Allied Campaign.

Writer of Sorts

Our role in the liberation of the Northern Italy death camp is seldom mentioned. This was a place for editors, journalists, writers, cartoonists, photographers, professionals and political figures who took a holiday and never came home.

One of the smallest camps but one with a history of extreme torture and death that only a lucky few survived.

What is also not realised by many is that the NZ war effort didn’t end on the much celebrated VE Day (Victory in Europe) but continued for years after in the Pacific.

For those of you that have visited the church above the Stone Cottage in Kerikeri you may have seen the stained glass window that commentes our role in the release of 180,000 prisoners from Asian work camps.

Twenty thousand Jews were held in one ghetto in occupied China – we don’t say too much about that one.

These stories exist if you want to look for them and as always your perspective on history changes when you find yourself saying, “I never knew that.”

A plague of political incompetence is killing Napier

Ten weeks after Cyclone Gabrielle, with suspicions of missing money, frustrations over immediate assistance, ongoing political incompetence, the uneventful outcome has become a plague following a cyclone for Napier.

The negative outcome started with denials of lawlessness and looting, and dishonesty from the Eastern District Police Commander.

The eventual apology was little compensation to a community feeling abandoned, with many of its residents living in fear.

By comparison the appointment of former Police Commissioner, Mike Bush to evaluate Auckland City Council’s response to its weather damage is insult to injury to a provincial community struggling with greater degrees of significant damage.

Scandal has bought about the resignation of sitting MP Stuart Nash who will not contest the next election but remain Napier’s MP until the election.

[Unlike former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who has walked away from her electorate responsibilities to become a special envoy to the current Prime Minister Chris Hipkins until the end of this year. Ardern’s Mt Albert electorate will not have an mp until after the election]

Allegations of missing in action are also pursuing Nash despite his assurances he remains committed to helping Napier with the cyclone recovery.

Reports from the Zeb Jackson Live Platform have followed the frustrations of the community – Jackson was interviewed recently by Leao Tildsley from the Daily Examiner, (covered in that previous post)

This week DemocracyNZ candidate, Martin Langford also raised concerns about the lack of progress and support from Wellington.

Justice Minister and East Coast MP Kiri Allan, like her fellow MP Stuart Nash is now embroiled in controversy too but previously had distanced the government from responsibility for Napier saying that those communities needed to lead their own recovery.

At the very least Langford raising concerns about the number of recent suicides in Napier has prompted a response from the NZ Secretary General of Red Cross, Sarah Stuart-Black who told 1News

As a support agency, its tasks in the immediate response to a disaster are set by the lead agency – in this case, Civil Defence.

Red Cross

Red Cross NZ acknowledges that it has collected more than $21 million in the aftermath of February’s storm when Kiwis rallied together to donate their hard-earned cash to get money to those who were in desperate need of assistance.

However just $3.18 million has actually been spent on supporting organisations on the ground.

The charity is not accepting individual applications and … is abiding by the restrictions placed on it by a government minister.

Good on Langford for saying something it’s the very least we expect from an MP but if Napier is expected to survive on the voices of candidates Labour will no doubt suffer the consequences at this election.

THAT is a long time to suffer political incompetence … and that’s what this is …

When people are dying unnecessarily while politicians are not performing in their roles, that is political incompetence, and that is unacceptable.

Writer of Sorts

Another MP, Kieran McAnulty, Minister for Emergencies (including civil defense which he inherited from Kiri Allan) Minister for Auckland following its storm damage, Minister for Local Government and Mr Fix-it for Chris Hipkins, has been busy elsewhere trying to sell the unpopular 3-Waters Reforms.

It is the neighbouring Wairarapa MP in his ministerial capacity for the civil-defence response that is frustrating if not stonewalling Napier’s recovery and the release of donated money to those it was intended to help.

The callousness of that uncertainty needs to be questioned beyond the obvious incompetence as to whether it is the consequence of malice within the Labour Party itself.

Police failed the people at parliament – DNZ

Our Police were given an impossible job and there were ultimately failures on their part.

Steve Cranston is the DemocracyNZ candidate for the Waikato electorate.

The Lincoln trained scientist and rural advisor generally focuses on groundswell and climate issues impacting the rural sector. He’s a critical thinker though, and not shy about having an opinion on other issues.

Following the release of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into the police handling of the parliamentary protest in Wellington in early 2022 Cranston posted a statement on his Facebook page pointing the finger at the police administration rather than frontline staff who conflicted with the protestors.

On the whole frontline police provide a tremendous service to this country while often being under resourced and undermined by poor leadership.

Steve Cranston DNZ

Another post following the release of the inquiry saw similar comments from party leader, Matt King who was also critical of the role the police commissioner played in what ended in a violent clash between police and public outside parliament buildings.

The overall theme of comments coming from the DemocracyNZ team centres on the parliamentary agreement not to respond to protestors.

The real catalyst of the Parliament Grounds protest which bought so many desperate and disenfranchised people together was the outright refusal of politicians from all parties to listen to the people and take their concerns seriously

Steve Cranston – DNZ

Former NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern with Trevor Mallard

Disgraced former Speaker (and oddly you might note, the current Ambassador to Ireland) Trevor Mallard played an aggressive and aggravating role in the 22 day occupation of parliament grounds.

“That is not democracy, and that is why DemocracyNZ was created.” Said, Cranston.

A number of former politicans who did speak to protestors at parliament, including former National MP Matt King and former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters were issued trespass notices by Mallard acting in his capacity as Speaker.

Current Speaker, Andrian Rurawhe has since issued an apology on behalf of Parliament for his predecessor’s behaviour.

[Rurawhe will not contest his electorate seat this election and will stand as a list only candidate for the Labour Party]