web analytics
The Standard

Confidence in Key govt falls off a cliff

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 am, April 12th, 2010 - 18 comments
Categories: john key, labour, national, phil goff, polls - Tags:

Everyone’s been saying that 2010 is the year that Key has to make something of his turn in the big seat. Smile and wave is easy enough in the first year, people are willing to give you a chance. But at some point, the public expects a government to get to work tackling the big problems.

Unfortunately for National it displays no ability to do so.

The problems keep mounting: higher than expected unemployment and rising, falling wages, rising crime to name a few. And the government’s reaction is the same glib remarks that they got away with last year. Well, it looks like the public is tiring of it.

Then there’s the policy agenda. National’s making a real hash of it. It’s centre-piece policies – mining, national standards, Whanau Ora, health cuts, the foreshore and seabed, the supercity and the wealth transfer to the rich tax reforms, are all ticking time bombs and the ministers responsible seem both blithely unaware of the issues and unwilling to engage in genuine consultation.

On top of that, the stench of secrecy and corruption is tainting this government at a startling rate. It seems like the majority of ministers have been in the line for some breach of rules or ethics, and more are uncovered nearly every week. Far from being open and upfront as promised, Key’s reaction is shifty and slippery. We still don’t know why Richard Worth was fired/sacked or what was really behind the Phil Heatley resignation.

All these issues existing in the first year, what has changed is that the voters are withdrawing the free pass they gave Key last year. We can see the results.

Roy Morgan asks respondents to its fortnightly survey whether they believe New Zealand is heading in the right direction or not. This question is used widely around the world and is seen as measuring the public’s confidence in the government.

I’ve included the rough margin of error around the results. As you can see, 2009 was basically flat, averaging 45% net positive (ie people who thought the country was heading in the right direction outnumbered people who thought it was heading in the wrong direction by 45%).

Look what’s happened in the last two months: 51%, 39%, 40.5%, 37.5%, 25.5%. This is no freak result, it’s a pattern of steep decline. That’s basically one in eight voters changing from a positive view of the country’s direction under Key’s National Government to a negative one in just two months.

Where confidence in government goes, party support follows.

The challenge to Phil Goff and Labour is to make the most of this. Goff has to be prepared to take the fight to Key directly, especially when evidence of rorting or other misbehaviour by his ministers is discovered. The other side of the coin is to keep refining and articulating those simple core messages.

18 comments on “Confidence in Key govt falls off a cliff”

  1. peterthepeasant 1

    Methinks a tad too early to make any serious moves.
    Nats always said they would be gentle in first term.

    ACC bs would not have registered too high with average punter, …how many of us know or care about “fully funded” or “pay as you go”. Plays well to nat supporters.

    National standards seem to be objected to by school teachers. “Teachers” is usually used in a pejorative by nats. Plays well to nat supporters.

    Closing down night classes was never going to affect nat supporters.

    The nats are playing to their own supporters, this time around.

    Will be very intersting tos ee what is inn budget.

    This first term is all about keeping faith with nat supporters and not upsetting the rest of us.

    Just wait and see what the nats reveal after budget and next election.

    • You seem to think that they will be back after the next election. This is looking more and more unlikely. They are now under 50%, ACT looks terminal and the Maori party is two significant policy decisions away from either a walkout or a meltdown.

      If their current proposals are not “serious moves” and there is worse to come then all that I can say is God (or whatever supreme entity may or may not be in existence) help us.

  2. Irascible 2

    Disillusionment usually takes at least a full term of a Government to set in the New Zealand political scene. Smile & Wave, Double Dipton and Hide bound have certainly caused the disillusionment curve to dip early in the cycle.

    It was revealing to note that the Herald on-line filed the Whanau Ora lead under crime rather than politics. One wonders whether the Herald might sniff another rort in the offing and has jumped the gun with this story filing?

  3. Jenny 3

    Despite the the sharp drop in the polls (long may it continue) All the right need to win a resounding victory next year is a good old red scare. (Just replace the word red with Maori Terrorist).

  4. Anne 4

    Muldoon did it before every election he won. Remember the dancing Cossacks? 1975
    Remember the Reds under the beds scare and the list of supposed communist activists? 1978
    Remember sporting contacts with Sth Africa – a communist inspired uprising in NZ? 1981.

    • coolas 4.1

      I remember well Anne – left NZ in 1981 disgusted by the politics, returning when Labour elected in 1999, and now look back on their term as ‘golden years’ compared to corporatist Nact thugs in power now.

      The Muldoon style fascism is moderated under Key but again we have a Government of plotters, smear merchants, and bullies.

      Maori are being set up. And I agree that it’s planned to unfold for the 2011 election.

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        What we’re seeing now is dissent being crushed (Key’s first response to some hippies shredding a giant plastic bag getting acquitted in court is to change the law to ensure that this type of action is quashed forevermore). And when dissent is crushed it tends to fester, grow and explode. I suspect we’ll see some 1981 type of ongoing riotous action hitting the streets before too long – maybe mining, maybe disaffected Maori and their supporters, maybe beneficiaries, but it’s coming…

  5. Santi 5

    What does Key do? Other than smile and wave, the answer is ABSOLUTELY nothing.
    We couldn’t have chosen a worse Prime Minister.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Surely the phrase so often parroted here about Key “doing nothing” should be amended to read “doing nothing we like”. This is based on the significant number of articles here that complain about the things that National are actually doing.

    • Bright Red 6.1

      “do nothing” has a more of a ring to it, don’t you think?

      Rodney Hide certainly thought so when he said it.

      Of course, ‘do nothing’ is a short-hand for ‘not doing anything good about the issues that matter’ but I think we all get that.

  7. Puddleglum 7

    I agree, tsmithfield. It’s been clear since prior to the last election that the incoming government would be keen to advance very significant engineering of the New Zealand economy (and hence society) under the cover (and hence under the ‘radar’ of public opinion) of the appearance of ‘doing nothing’. Key’s role, primarily, has been to continue the impression that nothing really significant is being done (and certainly nothing that ordinary Kiwis wouldn’t see as eminently sensible). In that sense, his role of appearing to do nothing is actually a very significant action in it’s own right (and so is definitely, ‘doing something’).

    I disagree, however, that the best replacement phrase is “doing nothing we like”. I think a better one would be “doing nothing that is in the interests of the vast majority of New Zealanders”, or words to that effect. Here, I’m thinking about formulation of policies and plans to shift wealth ‘upwards’ and to embark upon a quite obvious resource ‘grab’ (the Supercity, overriding democratic decision making over the bulk of New Zealand’s water resource, opening up schedule 4 land for mining, etc.).

    Note that I don’t say “doing nothing that the vast majority of New Zealanders like”. There is a very clear definition of what anything’s ‘interests’ amount to: Essentially, ‘wellbeing and further flourishing”. In this sense, empirical findings on human decision making – and the evolutiion of human psychological processes – support the conclusion that individuals very often don’t act in their own interests. Also, as William Clark (Anthony Eden’s press adviser) once put it, as regards government’s use of propaganda in relation to the Suez crisis:

    “The power of government to deceive is so immense that fooling all of the people some of the time can successfully and easily lead to fooling them all of the time.”

  8. tc 8

    If we had a half decent msm that took pride in intelligent factual objective reporting of issues rather than fawning over the gov’t and retyping press releases the issue would be how on earth is this gov’t going to reinvigorate their agenda rather than ‘how far and for how long can the wool stay over the eyes’.

    education/environment/welfare/crime have all gone in directions that will take years to rectify but the msm report them as areas good progress is being made in……..oh deary me.

  9. Luxated 9

    Interesting, the image on the front page as been cropped (automatically I imagine) and it now appears to someone skimming through that confidence is actually undergoing a strong up tick.

  10. Gazza 10

    Looks like they have just stuffed up the pensions, they have reduced instead of increased.

  11. Lizzy 11

    They are the same as Labour – no change has been made to this scandalous human experiment by MoT in cahoots with the World Bank “to develop and refine a resource allocation model for road safety revenue” that has killed 500 NZers above and beyond what standard policy would, over the last 10 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RoadPol#The_need_for_RoadPol

  12. jules 12

    unfortunately they will get in next election ,they really are screwing our country ..privatise prisons ,the eye on insurance for welfare ,minining in our nat parks ,and more short sighted policies designed to ass lick big business and the rich!
    boot them out!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    3 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    4 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    4 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    4 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    6 days ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere