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National’s successes

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 72 comments
Categories: john key, national/act government, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

grey cardiganNational’s 2008 election victory was undoubtedly a great success for the Party. Just two terms after humiliating defeat under the leadership of Bill English, National rose from the ashes to claim a convincing win. Forming a broad coalition that brought the Maori Party into the fold, thus simultaneously broadening National’s coalition options and lessening the necessity to be beholden to any one coalition partner, was also a success. Some might say National gave away too much for too little in the coalition negotiation process and ACT in particular out-flanked them, but it was probably worth it. After this initial flush of success, however, one wonders what successes can be attributed to National since?

Set pieces like the Jobs Summit have been an abysmal failure: no jobs in any worthwhile numbers have come of it, Key’s pet National Cycleway is set to descend into farce, the 9 Day Fortnight suffered the ignominy of minuscule uptake. Other outcomes of the Summit have long since been forgotten altogether. The Budget’s biggest success, to those stupid enough to not realise the enormity of what canceling superannuation pre-funding means, was to be seen as ‘not as bad as it could have been’.

Caucus unity and credibility have yet to be established and are beginning to look like a forlorn hope. Contradictory statements from Key and his ministers and Key and his Deputy haven’t helped the perception that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing. The woefully misnamed ‘Supercity’ is rapidly converting otherwise ambivalent Aucklanders into fervent anti-National voters and National’s Auckland electorate MPs are understandably nervous, in turn threatening to further undermine caucus unity.  The Mt Albert by-election, supposed to be a strong showing from National with Key taking a personal interest in the project and hand-picking the star candidate, was clearly such an abject failure of political judgement that it tarnished the broader party’s perceived credibility.

The tax cuts that propelled National’s polling throughout the lead up to last year’s election, and which for many ill-informed voters provided the significant point of difference between Labour and National’s ‘Labour-Lite’ image, have evaporated never to be seen again in the next decade or so, leaving many wondering if ‘Labour-Lite’ without tax cuts was really worth the risk – especially when it seems the ‘Lite’ pertains primarily to political experience and competence.

The spin-based leadership strategy that served Key so well during the election has already unravelled, leaving the inevitable wake of a twice-as-septic, hostile and cynical Press Gallery – a dangerous state of affairs for any government but exceptionally hazardous for one only 8 months old.

Obviously the exceptional economic conditions offer unique challenges for even the most competent of governments, and it’s likely voters won’t initially blame National for much of the ongoing bad news we’ve seen since National’s election. But it really does seem, both from a political enthusiast’s point of view, and from an everyday, largely disinterested observer’s perspective, that National’s bad news heavily outweighs its good news. National will need to come up with a rich diet of good news before too long if they want to stem the flow of declining plausibility and, given the media’s growing disaffection for this Government, the news will need to be reality based because National have already exhausted their allocation spin-based reasons to be perceived as credible.

So I ask you, gentle readers, what have been National’s successes since forming a government?

72 comments on “National’s successes”

  1. IrishBill 1

    I think they are still successfully pandering to the law’n’order crowd (although the child bashers that make up a large part of that crowd’s activists will be feeling like suckers).

    I don’t think that’s sustainable though as the car crushing/shipping container spin will eventually hit fiscal and social reality. And they’ve already started cutting the police force.

    Other than that I can’t see much in the way of wins for National. Or at least not voter-orientated wins. They’ve got quite a few “policy to enrich our wealthy mates” marks up on the board including the private school funding and the infrastructure group that’s likely to come back with an asset stripping (but not outright sale) recommendation and they will probably get away with ditching a whole lot of very important but low-profile work rights once they get their ERA review underway later this year.

    I’m actually glad they are still polling quite well in that respect as I’d hate for them to think at this early stage that they had no chance of a second term. If they did we’d see a much faster and more aggressive wealth grab as they made the most of their limited time.

  2. lprent 2

    Great summary. They haven’t exactly been covering themselves in glory.

    Maybe you can’t get Crosby-Textor to help with actually running a government. They just help in slipping into government.

    This government does remind me of the ineffectual years of a Howard government across the Tasman. Lots of spin and noise – no substance.

  3. MikeG 3

    Success: keeping their opinion poll ratings up – but as lprent says above, through spin, not substance.

  4. calltoaccount 4

    Be interesting to hear why the wider public are ignoring all of this, as shown by the latest early-mid June poll I have seen: The Roy Morgan poll had National unchanged on 52 percent support despite a bleak budget in May, the Richard Worth affair and a disastrous by-election in Mt Albert.

    Tax was an issue on the doorstep before the election, now what are those people saying? The run up to the Mt Albert hammering was given plenty of MSM coverage, but isn’t showing up, why? I guess voting trends are trends and take a lot of aggregated mistakes before they start to move…

  5. Lew 5

    The big one, if it can be so called, is avoiding a credit rating downgrade. This is a big deal, if a) you accept the counterfactual that it would have happened anyway and b) you accept that the consequences of a downgrade would have been worse than the alternatives (say: the tax cuts).

    Still, a highly technical issue, not the sort of compelling stuff most parties would like to nail to their trophy wall. That ‘no downgrade’ is being spun into ‘effective upgrade’ shows that, as far as National and its supporters are concerned, a lack of regress is as good as progress.

    L

    • Anita 5.1

      How often does our credit rating get reviewed? Does this mean it’ll be spun as a success every time we don’t get downgraded?

      Not to mention what’ll happen if we were to get downgraded, National must be desperate to prevent that now.

      • Lew 5.1.1

        Anita,

        S&P put NZ’s credit rating on negative outlook (which is a signal that, unless something doesn’t give, they might downgrade the rating) in January because of the large current account deficit, and the fact that the budget (including tax cuts) looked likely to lock in operating deficits as well. The only reason National can legitimately claim they avoided the downgrade in this case is because they heeded that warning signal and scrapped the tax cuts – a discrete and specific action which, on its own, seemed to mollify S&P. In other cases they’d have a tough time drawing such a clear link between a policy decision and the rating.

        L

  6. Tom Semmens 6

    Their success so far? not being Labour. Having an politically incompetent, amiable millionaire in charge who nice, middle class people can aspirationally project onto instead of a disciplined, focussed workaholic intellectual woman who needed to be brought down a peg or two seems to work for them just now as well.

    I almost got puched by a girl I know, who made a song and dance about telling me how she was going to “vote for change”, who has been laid off in a SOE when I asked her how the change felt now (Suffice to say politics is off our conversational agenda for the time being).

    But she isn’t supporting Labour yet, she is just “angry National,” and looking to blame someone else. There seem to be a lot of people like her out there. They are excessively touchy and defensive when you ask them how they feel now about voting National. They are like a wife who has been told her husband is a no-good philander and reacts by blaming the messenger. They BELIEVED the culture war nanny state & Helengrad bullshit. They are slowly realising that they have complacently come to believe after nine years that brilliant leadership and sheer competence was the norm, not an exception in NZ politics. They were duped by the “time for a change” media meme.

    But telling voters “we told you so nah na na na na” won’t win Labour any of these voters back just yet.

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      Amen, Tom.

      In Logic-land, a vote is choosing the best match between our views (interests) and a party’s. But in the real world, a vote is a personal statement, about oneself. It’s not hard to say “Party X is wrong”. It’s much harder to say “I was wrong.”

      There is no easy protest party now (or “centre party”), so for swing voters, expressing disaffection with National means being prepared to switch (back, mostly) to Labour. But there is a huge psychological barrier in the way, and it is not at all clear that Labour have grasped this yet. Shearer struck the right note after Mt Albert, conciliatory and “listening”. It’s about tone as much as policy, and Labour really need to work on this.

      As for National’s successes, they have been very good at kicking for touch. Most decisions have been deferred. But sooner or later, they have to do something about foreshore & seabed, climate change, Afghanistan, public spending, Super-City … the list goes on.

      They might live to regret having a first-five who loves the boot.

    • So Bored 6.2

      Some resonance here….as the boss in the office last year prior to the election the “workers” were all saying to me National are getting our vote. Bloody bizarre from the viewpoint of a pile of proletarians who “aspired” to be “better”. One’s origins are easily put aside so my workmates voted against their class lines and voila, Jonkey and crew.

      Last month I made one of these aspirational types redundant as a result of the economic downturn. I doubt that he will make the connection between his current situation and his position in relation to capital and class. Class memories and allegiances get panned by the status quo ( I wonder who benefirts) and now seem far too long forgotten,

    • Galeandra 6.3

      I can’t help but agree with you. I still hear bitterness from people I talk to, especially middle-aged males who resented liberal changes such as the revocation of the smacking defence. Frequent comments about “her” (either Helen or Sue) and “nanny state”.

  7. Ianmac 7

    Only one (S&P), out of three indicated a concern at the risk for NZ. The other two were unconcerned weren’t they?

    • Lew 7.1

      Ian,

      Yeah. But rating agencies (and the lenders who consult them) are like reef fish.

      L

      • Phil (not Goff) 7.1.1

        … and despite what those who have an axe to grind might say, S&P is still the most highly respected of the agencies. Where the Standard (original, accept no imitations) goes, Moodys and Fitch will surely follow.

        Cap: ‘onlooker undertaxing’
        Erm…..

  8. In times of recession avoiding a downgrade is something of an achievement, even if a modest one.

    The achievements of the Nats have been underwhelming to date. But, to be fair, it’s early days.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Yep, it is only early days. I estimate that they’ve only marked out their own grave so far and haven’t yet started digging it.

  9. r0b 9

    So I ask you, gentle readers, what have been National’s successes since forming a government?

    Well that’s obvious! Tax cuts! Oh no – wait. OK, well, there’s . .. then … oh ummm. Didn’t they? No – no that was Labour. Perhaps….

    Hang on – I’ll get back to you on this one.

  10. Pete 10

    I guess you could say that the National government successfully pushed their agenda (and the agenda of their ACT party brethren – if you’ll excuse the pun) through the house without the public at large really connecting the dots to understand what it meant for them, their families and communities. Of course the MSM was asleep at the wheel most of the time, and opposition MPs did a poor job of really informing the public of what was going on – short of some some filibusting in the later stages (which was successfully poo-pooed by the government boys and their blog/media pals.

    That and the ‘nice Mr Key’ still appears nice to many.

    I might add that I am not one of the many.

  11. OhPlease 11

    Labour is in grave danger when it says that the jobs lost is National’s fault. When elections come around we will be getting out of recession and Nats will be saying the upturn is due to them. Labour should not pin its long term election strategy on the business cycle. It needs to connect with the sense of community that is at the heart of NZers. It is not doing that IMHO. So – your claim that National did nothing makes no difference when Labour has done even less.

    • Lew 11.1

      OhPlease,

      It’s about building mythology at this stage. Things which are arguably or demonstrably true now and are repeated enough and by the right people become home truths for the sharp end of the electoral cycle. So Labour doesn’t need to do anything at this stage, except highlight how National is failing, and work feverishly behind the scenes that they’re ready to move when the opportunities present themselves later.

      L

  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    Its easy for National at the moment because people have low expectations. They are not expecting their lives to be made better since they hear gloom and doom and are happy just to be treading water. I suspect it will get a lot harder for the govt if the aspirational classes see prosperity all around especially in Australia and they feel they are missing out on the pie.
    In this way English and Co are smart to dampen down expectations of economic progress over the next few years. Surveys continually show that economic growth does not bring improvements in levels of personal happiness, its the eveness of the distribution of wealth that counts.

  13. Ed 13

    I don’t understand the comment:
    “The tax cuts that propelled National’s polling throughout the lead up to last year’s election, and which for many ill-informed voters provided the significant point of difference between Labour and National’s ‘Labour-Lite’ image, have evaporated never to be seen again ”

    I think National see the tax cuts that _did_ happen as a real achievement for their supporters, and they have in my view been very successful in hiding the reality that a majority of individual taxpayers got nothing or very little from tax cuts – many really believe that all tax cuts were stopped; others think that they did get a tax cut even if they didn’t.

    Spending $35 billion on a small group of the population and conning the majority about how little they got may be spin, but it has been successful spin by National – and their unwillingness to pay for maintaining services is being seen as arising from ‘the poor state Cullen left government accounts’ rather than paying for the cuts they did make.

  14. Jenny2 14

    “Set pieces like the Jobs Summit have been an abysmal failure: no jobs in any worthwhile numbers have come of it, Key’s pet National Cycleway is set to descend into farce, the 9 Day Fortnight suffered the ignominy of minuscule uptake.”

    Is there any wonder that the nine day fortnight has not been taken up in any numbers?

    After all the nine day fortnight was not a National party inniative, it came from the union movement.

    The unions wrung this concession from the Nats as a condition for taking part in the jobs summit.

    Winning official backing from the government is not enough, unions will need to follow through on the ground to get reluctant employers to agree to it in practice.

    It was never going to be any other way.

    Without union insistance of this policy, employers will naturally take the easy option.

    But the good news is that as a ‘government sanctioned policy’ it will weaken employers resistance to union pressure to enforce it.

    Further it would expose the Nats as hypocrits if they dared criticise unions who took whatever actions they thought necessary to compel employers to take up this option, as they would be just enforcing government policy.

    • Pete 14.1

      OK jenny2, so are you arguing that the only idea the government came up with (sans union influence) that has continued beyond the discussion phase is the cycleway idea (still uncosted, unplanned and unassigned I might add)?

  15. Paul Robeson 15

    Once the assets are sold, the apprenticeship schemes cancelled, the regulation taken off the building industry, the CYFs offices closed, the payments not made into the superanuation scheme the damage is done.

    Ask anyone who is in a leaky home or who paid for a builder or electrician in the 2000s, or who paid an electricity bill, or wanted to catch a train recently, or even anyone who compared their non-award wages to Australia.

    The hurt lasts. Bad decisions now hold us back for a long time, and we are still suffering from the last time around.

    If they get ACC and the RMA, well.

  16. Jenny2 16

    It is no wonder that the 9 day fortnight has not been taken up by employers.

    As it was not a National government innitiative in the first place.

    It came out of the union movement.

    The unions wrung this concession out of Key as condition for their attending the Jobs Summit.

    To win government ‘official support’ is a good thing but in itself was never going to be enough to get reluctant employers to take up this option rather than lay workers off.

    Unions will need to use their influence in the workplace to pressure reluctant employers to take up this scheme.

    It was never going be any other way.

    The Nats as an employers government will never do it.

    But the good news is that because it is now government policy, employers will have lost the high ground when they refuse to consider it.

    Further the government will look like hypocrits if they dared to oppose any union that decides to take whatever action they deem necasary to compel employers to take up this policy instead of laying off workers.

  17. ak 17

    A rolling maul treading water. Brilliant.

  18. Used Napkin 18

    My entire rugby team will be making WINZ appointments this week Fuck the useless union.Things are going to real nasty and greed will be the winner on the day.

  19. What is the point of National?
    I ‘get’ Labour, but National?
    ‘I always wanted to be Prime Minister of NewZild’ does’nt cut it.
    And whats with the slurping noise The Jonkey makes when finishing one of his witticisms ? An incompetent bumbling barely coherent dopey mugged millionaire…., What are we? the Italy of the South Pacific?

  20. Steve 20

    The point of National is to oppose Labour – the two right wing parties were mortified after the 1935 election and decided it was better to join forces to try and defeat Labour rather than going it alone..

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      That’s pretty much about it and that’s why there’s so much fracturing in National – it’s a conundrum of conflicting ideologies.

  21. sonic 21

    The polls mean nothing at the moment, any election is two years away and people are not focussed on the subject.

    I like Tom’s point about “angry National voters’ and there are going to be lots more of them as unemployment rises. However I would not assume they would drift back to Labour as labour really has no solution to the economic crisis either (just a commitment to manage it better and ameliorate it’s worst effects)

    Lots of pissed off unemployed people can be pulled to the right just as easily as to the left.

  22. Zaphod Beeblebrox 22

    Labour does need to recognise that they were lots of failures in their time. In areas like corrections, climate change policy, education policy, health policy, public transport and social policy good ideas was ditched for the sake of political expediency. Until they acknowldge this and come up with new ideas and arguments in these areas, National will easily be able to deflect criticism by pointing to the lack of action previously seen in these areas.
    People will not vote for an alternative unless they can show how they will be better.

    • Akldnut 22.1

      “Labour does need to recognise that they were lots of failures ……………….. National will easily be able to deflect criticism by pointing to the lack of action previously seen in these areas.”

      Totally agree with that BUT,

      “People will not vote for an alternative unless they can show how they will be better.”

      It appears to me that people will and do vote for an alternative without needing to be shown anything better as I sure haven’t seen it yet.

      Captcha: helmeted all-cotton

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 22.1.1

        Agreed, national adapted John Howard’s small target policy- not producing a lot of detail, creating foreign and economic policy bipartisanship and accentuating the social differences between the parties.
        But they did provide an alternative- emphasizing social conservatism and supposedly being strong on law and order (without providing any idea of how to pay for it). Whilst it was an alternative divorced from reality that didn’t matter to the voters who bought the narrative(which they will find impossible to live up to, but it was an alternative).
        BTW- John Howard won THREE elections using this narrative. What did the ALP do to help him do this- they adopted the same small target policy, minimal detail, nearly as conservative as Howard proclaiming that the Keating ear was great.
        My advice to NZ labour- be bold, be creative, look at the ideas that we will need for the future. I know they have the MPs that are up to it, its just a matter of convincing the old hands.

  23. RedLogix 23

    People will not vote for an alternative unless they can show how they will be better.

    Sounds reasonable on the surface; but then how come a National Party whose only substantive alternative offering was ‘tax cuts’ (now postponed into the indefinite future), managed to get so many folk voting for it last November?

    Maybe this the real lesson Labour has learnt.

  24. Swampy 24

    Beating Labour handsomely in the polls and will still be doing in three years when they’ve won the 2011 election.

    I think the reality and reliability of opinion polling is a good dose of reality here.

    • craig 24.1

      Thinking your success in winning the election equates to being a successful government. Yep those National supporters they truly are geniuses!

  25. Swampy 25

    The biggest success is that someone at The Standard can publish a thread titled “National’s successes” instead of “National’s blunders” or whatever.

    You see, now you understand why National won the election !

    • Akldnut 25.1

      It’s obviously a play on words, I take it you haven’t read past the title of the post or you would never have taken this line or even posted.

  26. Swampy 26

    I don’t need to, everyone knows what this blog stands for. It’s good to see a post titled “National’s successes” instead of all the other titles attacking them.

    • r0b 26.1

      So what are they then Swampy? National’s successes? What are they in your opinion, or what have all the Nat voters listed as National’s successes in this thread? Could you summarise?

  27. vto 27

    it is a good question, but its not definitive. their general mind track is the thing

    • r0b 27.1

      Ummm – what?

      Come on – at least try. Here you go – they avoided a credit downgrade! Yes folks, National managed their pre budget spin so well that it was a “success story” when something that wasn’t very likely didn’t happen! Hurrah?

      What else? Or is “general mind track thing” the best we can do here?

  28. vto 28

    see 11.10pm comment. thanks.

  29. deemac 29

    surely one big success was convincing 77% of taxpayers that they got a tax cut on 1st April?
    As long as so many voters know so little about politics/the economy/what makes crime rates change, the chances of the ignorant party (copyright JS Mill I believe) winning are always good

  30. CM 30

    I find it quite telling that the usual national/act apologists that pop up on this site are so quick to reply with misdirection and mudraking shit on most things;

    But when asked to provide concrete examples of national’s successes thus far, are deafeningly quiet….

    ..Well, i can’t think of a good one either. So don’t feel too bad.

    • felix 30.1

      Yeah it’s weird.

      No Little Timmy Ellis. No tsmithfield/tknorris. No Baron. No ginger. No DPF sockpuppets.

      I guess actual policy successes just aren’t that important then.

  31. gingercrush 31

    I haven’t answered because the site went down and I wasn’t online at the time this was posted. I also wouldn’t answer this post because what is the point when you’re just likely to be attacked for answering it.

    • CM 31.1

      I’m sorry, I must admit i’m a fairly casual reader of political blogs,

      and an even more casual poster (today i double my total post tally for all time on this one blog: …must be a slow day at work… recession, you know…)

      But judging from what i have read in previous posts where your name arises your not afraid of being attacked if you think you have a point.

      I promise no personal attacks, generally it seems personal attacks start as a means to change the subject, and i don’t want to do that.

    • felix 31.2

      ginge, I doubt you could point to a single incidence of you being attacked for giving a straight answer to a straight question.

      I’ll even buy you a beer if you can prove otherwise. Rheineck isn’t it?

  32. the sprout 32

    When I posted this I expected a cascade of responses from National supporters.

    The proportion of comments outlining National’s successes (which makes site outages immaterial) is very telling of their supporters’ perceptions.

  33. Pat 33

    I’ll make a small contribution:

    1. Settled the future of Whenuapai Airbase.
    2. Fully funded Herceptin.
    3. Raised the minimum wage.
    4. Got rid of the Electoral Finance Act.
    5. Brought back titular honours.
    6. Increasing the numbers of frontline police.
    7. Prime-minister returned to Waitangi.

    • the sprout 33.1

      excellent :)
      thanks Pat

    • Zetetic 33.2

      That’s it?

      1. Whenuapai? Who gives a crap. And you’re congratulating them merely for making a decision, not making a good one. A retarded monkey can make a decision.
      2. Herceptin. Overrode the medics for politics.
      3. Wanted to give nothing. Pressured into smallest minimum wage raise in years.
      4. Retained the important part of the EFA – donations tranparency
      5. Titular honours – that makes the top 7?
      6. All police currently employed are funded under the Budget passed in 2008… under Labour
      7. Wow, PM went to a different marae! Pack up guys, politics is finished. All problems solved

      • Pat 33.2.1

        These aren’t a top 7, and far from a complete list. It’s just my small contribution to the original post, and things that I personally like.

        Oh, and for 9 years, Labour couldn’t find a retarded monkey to make a decision about Whenuapai.

        • Pat 33.2.1.1

          gingercrush wrote: “I also wouldn’t answer this post because what is the point when you’re just likely to be attacked for answering it.”

          And Zeletic’s reply to my post reminds me of the “What have the Romans ever done for us” scene in The Life of Brian.

        • Zetetic 33.2.1.2

          So what? They were making good decisions about things that matter. Not decisions even you don’t think are good about something no-one gives a damn about.

      • Swampy 33.2.2

        That’s democracy at work. Would you rather live in a communist one party state.

  34. jarbury 34

    I really think that your average New Zealand gives far less of a crap about politics than we think they do. They got sick of the same faces on the TV year after year, they wanted some new faces. The new faces have only been around for a few months so why the heck would they want the old faces back?

    Note for Labour – as much as I liked the last government, Labour has to be different if it wants to win back support. Show some new faces: Twyford, Arden etc. and a few less of the older ones.

  35. gingercrush 35

    1. Provided stimulus to the economy that doesn’t involve billions of borrowing. Most of the borrowing that this government is having to do is simply to keep current services going. The left would love for New Zealand to borrow and splurge in a belief that will save jobs. But high government debt combined with New Zealand’s awful current account deficit will only see more and more jobs loss in this country.
    2. Producing a budget that sets a path to surpluses. The left should really see this as a victory. This is exactly what National did during the nineties and we all know how much Cullen loved those surpluses.
    3. Implementation of an infrastructure plan. I see it as a real success that we have a Minister of infrastructure. I also think its important that we have a government that outlines a 20 year plan.
    4. Working towards RMA changes. Very important in speeding up the process and make it easier for things to get through.
    5. Worker relief package. A clear winner because it forced Labour to come out with their own as well.
    6. National standards in literacy and numeracy. Its a real pity this wasn’t brought in before. As someone that struggles to write coherently. Such a policy would have helped.
    7. Passed tax cuts. Yes they postponed the 2010 and 2011 tax cuts. But the substantial parts of National’s tax cut strategy have been implemented.
    8. Law and order policies that make it tougher for people to get parole. Also private prisons.
    9. National’s continual work on their broadband strategy which will lead to greater gains in productivity.
    10. Bonding of nurses, doctors and vets.

    Those are real successes.

    • r0b 35.1

      Now before “you people” (you know who you are!) tear GC’s list apart (love to myself but I must away) – just remember – at least s/he had a go. Scanning up it looks like Pat was the only other one to try it.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 35.2

      Thanks GC quite a long list.
      The theme of these seems to be consistent with Conservative ideology, at least there’s some consistency there, though Points 1. and 7. d seem to contradict.
      I would argue that so far, the actions taken have been remarkably moderate given that a lot of what you mention is a continuation of existing policy (with a few refinements), have a long way to go before being implemented or basically ineffectual. Even the fiscal restrictions have not been major yet, compared to previous governments (especially 1990).

      Here would be my list of achievements-
      1. Getting rid of EFA. Even labour were happy to get rid of this one.
      2. Attempts at water reform, thank goodness someone is interesting at regulating our most important resource
      3.Admitted they were wrong and stopped the tax cuts.
      4.Home insulation. labour did have a scheme but at least energy conservation was recognised.
      5. RMA changes. Not sure what will happen after the select committee but at least they are thinking about how it might work better.
      6.Recognising that they were heading for the cliff with Auckland Local Government reform. The biggest problem with the bill seemed to be a fixation with cheap rather than better. There is still alot of work needed however to salvage themeselves from this one however.

    • Pascal's bookie 35.3

      Good comment gc. Thanks.

      As Zaph says, given that you are a rightie, it’s a good list of accomplishments.

      I’ll focus on the first.

      1. Provided stimulus to the economy that doesn’t involve billions of borrowing. Most of the borrowing that this government is having to do is simply to keep current services going.

      Stimulus can obviously be defined as any government spending that creates demand. In that sense then sure, they are stimulating, but if the need for stimulus is due to a drop in demand from the private sector then just keeping current services going won’t do the trick. Because that demand was already there. If you are going to say that the government is stimulating then it has to be new demand.

      So it seems, (at least to me), that the accomplishment here is not ‘stimulating’ so much as ‘keeping debt under control’. If they are borrowing to keep spending the same then they are not stimulating, and if they are stimulating and borrowing, then they are borrowing to stimulate.

      But that’s a nitpicky thing. I’ll grant you that that debt is not as bad as it could be.

      The left would love for New Zealand to borrow and splurge in a belief that will save jobs.

      That may well be what you think the left is saying, but it’s not quite right for many on the left. I think the phrasing suggests that the left is completely unconcerned about debt, and in favour of any old spending. Which is unfair.

      Obviously, the less debt the better, but it’s a tradeoff. Saving the jobs is important, for many reasons. But the point IMO of doing so at the moment is that having people productively employed is a very good way of keeping the economy afloat. The costs of unemployment cascade, and are long lasting. Just as you think we ignore debt, I don’t think you pay enough attention to the left’s arguments about this. The market, during this recession, which still has along long way to run, will not be providing job growth. If the government doesn’t do what it can here, nothing will get done. That will have huge costs. ‘Saving jobs’ isn’t just an end, but a means.

      But high government debt combined with New Zealand’s awful current account deficit will only see more and more jobs loss in this country.

      NZ’s govt debt isn’t that high for one thing. We have a lot of private debt though, and that is going to have to be paid off. There is not much that the govt can directly do about that, (or the Balance of Trade for that matter). While that private debt is being paid off, that is money that is not circulating. As people and businesses slowly pay off their debt, that is less money that they are spending. Which means less money that other people and businesses are earning. This is what is known as the ‘paradox of thrift’. If everyone is saving or paying off debt, then economic activity declines, causing less ability to pay off debt and so on.

      That is the problem that stimulus spending is designed to ameliorate. Not fix, just help. That debt has to be paid, to do so we need economic activity to keep ticking over. We need people to be confident enough to spend and invest. That comes from demand.

      So. Demand in the economy comes from three places; exports, domestic private consumption, and the government. If the first two are retrenching, that just leaves the govt to pick up the slack. If people and business get the feeling that the govt is more worried about it’s own debt than in keeping the economy ticking over, then that just feeds that cycle of retrenchment mentioned above.

    • r0b 35.4

      1. Provided stimulus to the economy that doesn’t involve billions of borrowing.

      Almost no new “stimulus” – most of it is just spin and re-announcing stuff Labour had already budgeted for.

      2. Producing a budget that sets a path to surpluses.

      In what – 12 years was it? That isn’t budgeting, it’s astrology.

      3. Implementation of an infrastructure plan. I see it as a real success that we have a Minister of infrastructure.

      What has said minister actually done? Apart from cut funding for public transport – which has to be the stupidest infrastructure move ever?

      4. Working towards RMA changes. Very important in speeding up the process and make it easier for things to get through.

      Gutting the RMA isn’t a success, it’s shitting in your own nest.

      5. Worker relief package.

      huh?

      6. National standards in literacy and numeracy.

      Stupid and un-necessary.

      7. Passed tax cuts. Yes they postponed the 2010 and 2011 tax cuts. But the substantial parts of National’s tax cut strategy have been implemented.

      Ah no, massive “personally guaranteed” fail.

      8. Law and order policies that make it tougher for people to get parole. Also private prisons.

      Make up your mind – Paula Bennet thinks this is a bad thing.

      9. National’s continual work on their broadband strategy which will lead to greater gains in productivity.

      Well short of initial promises and nothing concrete yet. Same productivity gain as pixie dust to date.

      10. Bonding of nurses, doctors and vets

      What about individual responsibility and freedom from government regulation and interference?

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    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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