A Month of It – Late April Politics, News & Stuff
'A Month Of It' – Late April Politics, News And Stuff
By Kevin List
It’s back, Scoop's 'A Week Of It' column, not by any popular demand but just for the sheer flippin' heck of it. Due to the sheer soporific nature of the Parliamentary year this irregular Scoop column went away. It’s hard to type a column when one has fallen asleep at the keyboard. After this soporific slumber Investigate head honcho, Ian Wishart set off a veritable sky-rocket in the Parliamentary firework factory by putting Mr Tamihere’s conversation onto glossy paper. Now that the ship of state has returned to an even keel it is once again time to provide the written equivalent of twice recycled and possibly toxic - good oil on Parliament…
The Green Party members have rewarded years of faithful and occasionally barefoot service from Dr Russell Norman by giving him a placing in the top ten of their party list. Dr Norman, an Ocker by birth, looks to have a good chance of getting ‘a suck of the parliamentary sav’ come Election Day. And if Dr Norman fails to make it into Parliament he can console himself with a stern tongue-lashing whilst looking in the mirror, he is the Green Party's campaign manager after all.
Though some worry-worts have pointed out the Greens have slipped beneath the magical 5% they need to remain in Parliament, Molesworth and Featherston's more reliable rolling polls show the Greens consistently polling in the ‘safe zone’. Also. in both the 1999 and 2002 elections the Greens attracted a decent swag of Kiwi’s who lived outside New Zealand and are not at home to answer telephone polls, much like half of Takaka.
British actor Jon Pertwee, in his most famous role, Doctor Who, a fictionalised TV series portraying the real life exploits of current Green MP Mike Ward (who is not actually a Doctor). Here Mr Pertwee is seen inventing an ecologically ‘right on’ shopping bag.
A couple of weeks ago, intrepid foreign correspondent type chappie, Jon Stephenson was awarded the Bruce Jesson Foundation's Critical Writing Award, for his sterling work providing the Sunday Star-Times with coverage from Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Stephenson’s sterling work was mentioned by the Sunday Star-Times a couple of days after the announcement, however it was noted in the Sunday Star-Times article that Mr Stephenson’s continuing coverage would be appearing in Metro Magazine.
Perhaps the overseas journo budget for the Sunday Star-Times was blown late last year chasing 'spies' all over Asia?
More Media matters – Sports Journo gives Mayor medium-rare grilling
After the Wellington V8 fiasco became even more of a fiasco, hard hitting sports journalist Tony Veitch wearing his Newstalk ZB hat showed just why he is the host of Game of Two Halves – that is because he asks the hard questions!
Collaring bespectacled but still attractive, in a 40 something kinda way, Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast, Mr Veitch demanded to know ‘What sort of numbers’? This demand from Veitch was related to how many people submitted on the proposed V8 race. After hearing that lots of people made submissions, and most of these submissions wanted the race, Mr Veitch then demanded to know what sort of money the race would bring to Wellington.
‘The economic impact study - what sort of numbers in terms of millions would this [race] generate for Wellington, because those are the sort of numbers people want to know about – the pros and cons off the deal?' asked Mr Veitch.
Amazingly unperturbed by Veitch’s hard out approach the Mayor gushed about the McDermott Miller report and then gave the figure of $23 million dollars per annum. The mayor then wrongly described the cost to Wellington ratepayers as being only $2.5 million per year.
As anyone who read Martin Lally’s economic critique of the McDermott Miller survey would know both figures mentioned by the Mayor are, to put it mildly, misleading
"The cost of the V8 street race to Wellington ratepayers is $3.3m per year, not the $2.5m repeatedly claimed in the Council’s Proposal. Second, the economic benefits to Wellington will be substantially less than $8.6m per year rather than the $22.9m repeatedly claimed in the Council‘s Proposal, both because of inappropriate definitions of benefits and through failure to allow for capacity constraints," wrote Martin Lally in his detailed critique of Mcdermott Millers questionable numbers.
Like most sports journalists it seems, Mr Veitch didn’t seem at all interested in wanting to hear any cons regarding the race.
Mr Veitch instead found it interesting that 73% of Wellingtonian' submissions were behind the race: “Which means Kerry, that I suggest the councillors would have some pressure on them because in the wonderful democracy we live in most people want this race to go ahead!”, he veritably shouted at Ms Prendergast over the airwaves.
Perhaps if MrVeitch had listened to the adverts supporting the V8 race, running throughout his sporting breakfast radio show for the past few weeks – "Show Auckland how it's done, vote yes for the V8s" - and pointing out where to make submissions he wouldn’t have been quite so surprised.
This week John Tamihere may have bought some groceries.
Whilst allegedly purchasing condiments Mr Tamihere’s conversation was recorded by the checkout operator and his image was also snapped by the security cameras. Scoop understands that this weekend Agenda will devote most of its show to discussing just what happened at the Westfield Supervalue on April 20 at 15:33 hours (EST). Meanwhile Mr Tamihere's former Press Secretary, and current Political Editor for the Sunday Star-Times Helen Bain is likely to give her opinion on past shopping trips undertaken by Mr Tamihere and his forthright views on vegetables.
Later on Saturday morning, during Eye to Eye Willie Jackson will attempt to defend Tamihere’s macho handling of his shopping trolley. Mr Jackson will face strongly minded opposition from at least three of the other panellists who also happen to be Maori Party candidates. The Herald, Herald on Sunday and Sunday Star Times will provide detailed and informative comment and opinion on Mr Tamihere’s ill-fated shopping voyage throughout the weekend.
After a month long undercover operation ‘A month of it’ is able to reveal that some 111 calls have been put through correctly. We understand (from sources close to the Beehive) that many calls are actually answered within seconds and most within a minute.
National MP Tony Ryall is understood to be furious at these startling revelations and after discussions with a friend of a friend we believe that Mr Ryall may be calling for a Parliamentary inquiry into just how a 111 call was answered correctly. Sources three streets away from the National Party understand that Mr Ryall’s alleged call for an inquiry will only go ahead if the correctly answered 111 call keeps getting positive media coverage.