I wouldn't wax too lyrical on David Seymour's opposition to a social housing development in his electorate. He is by no means the only MP in Parliament to have objected to social housing developments over the years. It's a multi-partisan point of view when it affects electorate MPs. Some might be more or less visible about it than others but they will mostly respond to what they perceive as community concerns.
"Particularly obstructive" How so? He has been defending an organisation, RNZ, for which he was a long herm employee, political editor and under whom, as Chairman, it has been going through a particularly successful and creative period in which it has also deftly made a generational change to its on air staff, all while increasing ist audience size. And then along comes Clare Curran and a senior employee who lies to their CE and Chair causing the Chair and CE to mislead a Select Committee..............It ain't Richard Griffin who is being "particularly obstructive".
"A lot of people feel that the machinations of Tuku Morgan et al have damaged the mana of the Kingitanga in particular."
That may be and would add to the tottering pile of things he and others acting in the King's name have done to damage the Kingitanga, but I doubt enough of the voters were aware of them to have had a material impact on the results in any of those seats.
I think Nick Russell is right, that there have been positive Waitangi Days in the past and they often coincide with the beginning of a government's term. Well done to Labour for managing this one particularly well. Having lots of Ngapuhi in the government undoubtedly made a difference and was critical in the move away from Te Tii , the single largest factor, I think, in the changing atmospherics. The progress of the Ngapuhi settlement will have a big impact on how future Waitangi Days turn out.
It was also effective of Labour to paint the Iwi Chairs Forum as the big bad business people and link them to the previous government. It plays to Labour's old time religion, is a convenient fairy tale and was accepted largely uncritically by commentators. The way they have painted this relationship is of course largely a fiction. The previous government had good relations with the ICF but this did not mean there was meeting of the minds between National and iwi. Both recognised the other was important and that following the settlement process a working relationship between the two is a fundamental fact of NZ's evolving constitutional arrangements, something Labour in opposition and in government appear to slight, possibly because of their embarrassment about their and National's respective records on settling treaty grievances. The connection between the ICF and the government - any government - is not about agreement or aligned political or commercial ideologies but a recognition that the Iwi Chairs' head the iwi organisations that are mandated by their members to speak on their behalf.
And the previous government's relationship with Maori was also much wider than its connection with the ICF, extending across the Maori world. Nor should the Iwi Chairs be portrayed as the Maori version of the top hatted capitalist grinding the faces of the poor into the dust. The Chairs represent the wider political, social and cultural nature of iwi and, as I noted above, are mandated by their members. They receive finding for their work from the wholly owned commercial entities that are almost always chaired and run by independent directors and managers. It would be as inaccurate to call the Chairs social or health workers because iwi organisations deliver a wide range of social and health services
Well done to Labour for their effective spin, but as we all know, while spin and reality may often overlap they are not usually identical. We should always test the connection between the two, and never be too gullible about the spin that represents one's own side in an argument.
"Unlike Barclay, she didn’t brazenly lie to journalists."
So misrepresenting the truth is not lying?
Perhaps it is more accurately behaviour identified by of the head of the UK civil service in the Spycatcher case - She was economical with the truth
"Unlike Todd Barclay, Metiria Turei never treated those around her badly. Unlike Barclay, she didn’t brazenly lie to journalists."
You might consider checking this out with people who work in Parliament who are not Greens.
Media bloodlust is apolitical
After a Moore press conference in his office - when he was leader of the Opposition, - John Campbell said that it was like listening to a reading from Finnegan's Wake.
This also caused difficulties for radio journalists. An RNZ reporter complained after another press conference that it was very, very difficult to get a usable piece of audio from Moore because he never finished a thought but would simply leap from part thought to part thought in an almost unstoppable stream of consciousness.
In the RNZ interview he is lot more coherent but still has a tendency to leap from part thought to part thought without an effective segue..
Well civilian control is about the parameters civilians place around their overall operations rather than operation by operation micro-management. I wouldn't expect any civilian involvement in the details of an operation like that. Certainly the politicians are going to end up being accountable for the results but being involved in the implementation of an operation is well outside their capacity. Smart ones will recognise that.
Telling the truth is a generic issue applicable to any job, in the military or elsewhere and all organisations face similar difficulties in finding out what happens or happened at lower levels.
I'd be interested to know, for example, if any of the sources for the book were on the operation itself. Military people can - internally - be extremely harsh in their judgements about their colleagues, and not always right.
Dany's review is very well written as ever but is also typical of him in certain frames of mind where he sets the terms of debate that can really only result in one conclusion. He seems to be particularly prone to this approach when the subject matter is the military or the secret world.
I think the use of the SAS is less because they have colonised the armed forces than because with limited capability we have a small range of things to offer in joint work with other nations. They are by far the easiest to deploy because they can respond quickly and operate on a small scale. The logistics of supporting them are far easier than if we sent the limited range of other options. The Navy is not much use in a land locked nation, using any part of the airforce would reduce local capability too much and the conventional army is very vulnerable in the extreme conditions. The SAS is a lower risk option and its positive impact is potentially disproportionate to its size.
Kevin, it is interesting you have such a strong reaction to the warrior culture. Until recently in very affluent countries like NZ this was extremely strong, remains so in countries that do a lot of fighting like the US and is utterly common place in much of the rest of the world. I think that our warriors - men and women - need to have more of a warrior culture than not, just as I would prefer our doctors to have a doctor culture and electricians to have an electrician culture, ballet dancers to have......etc As long as warriors remain under civilian control they need to be what they are otherwise they are flying under false colours and not much use to the rest of us.