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Why the Right is worried 2: Key

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, October 19th, 2010 - 54 comments
Categories: brand key - Tags: ,

Key’s tarnished brand – While the economy burns, Key is fiddling with spiders. He is the good times PM, all about getting himself in front of a camera and having a grin – as if he’s on a 3 year project in collecting pictures for his photo album, rather than Prime Minister and leader of the country. The way Key responded to Paul Henry’s  racist outburst against the Governor-General by just sitting there grinning and making a joke was a very public exposure of the fact that the man is not a leader and has no principles.

David Farrar has admitted that Key’s personal brand is all that National has; as it loses lustre, the party is stuffed. People want a government that they think is working for their interests, not what one National MP calls ‘The John Key Show‘. We want someone who does the job they were chosen to do, not a circus clown who tries to make us feel like everything is OK when it isn’t.

Key got away with failures of leadership in the past, but the Henry incident marked a turning point. Now, Key is being embarrassed for refusing to congratulate the Nobel Peace Prize winner for fear of annoying China and looking cold-hearted for not stepping in to prevent the deportation of three Kiwi kids to the Indian slums. The Teflon is flaking off and we’re seeing there’s nothing underneath.

So, expect to see more and more the Right go from leading hero worship of Key to attacking Goff and Labour. They know there’s a fight on now, and they’ll go hammer and tongs. The first tactic will be a mantra of ‘Goff can’t win’. As the poll numbers continue to sour, it’ll get more personal. They won’t try to fight on policy (they never do), instead they’ll try to frame every policy as hypocrisy by comparing it to something in the past. But none of these are offensive tactics, they’re all attempts to slow down the loss of votes to the Left.

Next – Part 3: Policy. Full series here.

54 comments on “Why the Right is worried 2: Key”

  1. comedy 1

    One of the most ironic posts ever.

    Oh what joy, a presidential type campaign from both sets of drongos with two of the nicest yet most uninspiring, boring and vapid candidates for PM since…… well since last election.. and the time before that…….. and the time before that.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      vote on policy then, not personality. That’s what I’ll be doing.

      It’s the drongos who vote for Key because they think he’s funny that worry me… and that National depends on to win.

      • comedy 1.1.1

        Are those the same drongos who voted for Helen in 2005 because they were scared of the religious bogeymen ?

        And as for policy all well and good but I trust you remember the old Whittakers chocolate ad ?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          Labour won the 2005 election because of the late-breaking interest-free-student-loans bribe. The fact that it is also bloody sensible policy doesn’t hurt, either.

          • bbfloyd 1.1.1.1.1

            L…if it was “bloody sensible policy”, then why would you need to call it a bribe?

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Because it was a bribe. Just because it’s sensible, doesn’t mean it isn’t also a bribe.

              If they’d announced it, say, 4-5 months before the election, as opposed to a few days before, then it wouldn’t be as obviously a bribe.

        • Irascible 1.1.1.2

          More than likely the same persons who think that Paul Henry, Paul Holmes, Michael Laws and Key are deep thinking individuals with rational analysis based on informed evidence. Even the mis-managers at TVNZ have realised that the Henry-Key exercise in informed debate was beyond the pale…

        • Vicky32 1.1.1.3

          “Are those the same drongos who voted for Helen in 2005 because they were scared of the religious bogeymen ?”
          You are editing history, comedy. As you well know, the issue was not the EBs, it was the Nats’ dishonesty. The “last straw”, that was…

          • comedy 1.1.1.3.1

            Vicky

            I think you’ll find that a number of drongos did vote against the Nats purely because of the EB bogeymen, that does not however discount Lathanide and yourself making the point that some also voted due to the student loan bribe and the Nats dishonesty.

            Just like the last election some voted due to the tax bribe, some voted against Labour dishonesty and some voted due to the nanny state bogeyman and a proportion, of course, just vote for the team they’ve always voted for

            • bbfloyd 1.1.1.3.1.1

              C… if you keep going round in ever decreasing circles like that, you are in danger of disappearing up your own arse..

            • Vicky32 1.1.1.3.1.2

              I think you’ll find, comedy, that I know a tad more about why people voted *against* National than you do! Perhaps the only person who would have voted against the Nats specifically on religious grounds would have been Leighton Smith – if he voted which he doesn’t because he wishes he was American and so won’t get NZ citizenship…
              I shouldn’t ask, but er – what Labour dishonesty?
              Deb

              • Bill

                The right to vote isn’t reliant upon having citizenship.

                • Vicky32

                  Ah, I didn’t know that – and it seems neither did Leighton Smith back in the days I used to listen to him! (He specifically said he didn’t want NZ citizenship because he wanted to go (back) to the USA, having been there when he was 2 years old.) 😀
                  Deb

  2. deemac 2

    the local election results have certainly got the right worried hence the move from belittling Goff as ineffective to attacking him as dangerous. Shows Labour is on the right track! We need policies to help NZ not image manipulation and spin, and as more voters feel the pain in their wallets, the smile and wave approach will wear thin.

  3. Sweetd 3

    deemac

    While the local elections are interesting, I wouldn’t see this as the start of a trend. Brown ran and was elected as an independent, and while I know people that voted for him, these same people have not and will not vote labour in the national election.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      That’s why Brown spoke at the Labour conference, right? And why the media have called him “the Labour candidate for Auckland”?

      All of the major centres went left in the local elections, except for CHCH where Parker’s no-campaign campaign after the quake got him over the line, although he clearly doesn’t deserve it for simply doing his job as any other responsible mayor would have.

      • Rob 3.1.1

        I think the point is that voting Brown in the local may not be the same as voting Labour in the national election. There was a general apathy to the local thing, lots of people did not vote. They are unsure on how it is all going to work and a still a little naive to how big it is all going to be , the super city et al.

        Also I think you need to be careful labelling JK as a good time prime minister – he inherited a shit sandwich as a result of a whole lot of things. He did not ride the previous good environment, where a lot of things could have been actioned that wern’t. Be careful, people that are looking to cast their vote in a discerned manner do have memories.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          I think the point is that voting Brown in the local may not be the same as voting Labour in the national election. There was a general apathy to the local thing, lots of people did not vote.

          Yes there was a lot of apathy. Amongst Banks’ National leaning supporters.

          Len’s Labour leading supporters did just fine with their turn out however, as you may have noticed.

          By the way we are not saying that JK is a Prime Minister for good times. We are saying that the reason he is Prime Minister is because he wants to have a good time.

          • Rob 3.1.1.1.1

            Exactly the point, so what happens when the same degree of apathy is not there, and they are committed to vote. Remember the memories of the previous years was carter, tizard, king et al having a fuken great time.

        • Irascible 3.1.1.2

          Key made his own sandwich at the Double Dipton Cafe. He selected his own fillings.

      • Sweetd 3.1.2

        So the way to get a labour candidate elected is to have them all stand as independents and not under the labour brand? For all the trend of going left in local elections, it is not reflected to any great degree in the national scene. Therefore, I think local and national elections are comparing apples and oranges. People vote for different things at different government levels.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          People vote for different things at different government levels.

          Yeah at a local level we really like public transport.

          Too bad National backed the roading horse then,

          Out they go!

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Conference showed what Goff is made of. As well as sticking it to Guyon, an interviewer who simply and obviously overplayed his hand at every turn.

    NATs will be nervous now the whole party has swung in hard behind the Goff-Father in readiness for the battle of 2011.

  5. Carol 5

    They won’t try to fight on policy (they never do), instead they’ll try to frame every policy as hypocrisy by comparing it to something in the past.

    I think this is a big danger, so there needs to be a concerted effort to show what is new about Labour/left policies. Rod Oram made some good points on Nat Rad this morning. Firstly he said that National spent the 9 years in opposition working on how to get re-elected, rather than working on policies. So they’ve scrambled while in office to cobble together some policies.

    IMO, they’ve done the country no good by falling back on neoliberal policies, and loads of PR and spin. I recall on one of the Sunday shows (Qu & A or the Nation), someone said that, while cutting workers in parliamentary services, National has increased the workers in the finance dept, as well as significantly increasing the people working on PR. But, IMO, that sort of approach can only fool people for so long.

    Key (plus a load of spin, and whispering smear campaigns) got National elected, and kept them high in the polls, but he has little else to offer as a PM. And National is the party just recycling old neoliberal policies that are now shown to have caused global disaster and dissarray.

    Oram also highlighted the fact that Labour needs to work with all interested people (business people, scientists, unions etc) to develop a NEW way forward, in fleshing out the broad approach they’ve oultined.

    I’m glad that Labour has returned to its traditional principles. But I think it needs to show how they have learned something from the last two decades, and have policies that are suited to the 21st century.

    Key’s approach of spin and a hollow man with no principles, are fast becoming an anachronism, especially since the GFC. Relying on “celebrity culture”, PR and spin, is so 80s/90s, and has little to offer the majority of people that are now struggling with the very real uncertainties and insecurity of work, the economy and resources that have been exposed in the 21st century.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      I think you are on to it Carol. This is not simply a cross-disciplinary approach that Labour needs to build but a cross-societal approach. One which will involve of a lot of different groups.

      But this is also not time for feel good talk fests. 2011 is a battle and Labour must provide the political leadership within the process to ensure that strong cohesion and strong direction ensues.

    • National spent the 9 years in opposition working on how to get re-elected, rather than working on policies

      Good point Carol. They sure did. In contrast Labour has spent two years thinking about things and they are in the process of developing a coherent plan.

      You know that when people such as Hickey, Pellett, Ganesh Wana and Walleycome out and advocate radical change you know something is happening. These guys are not cloth cap wearing trade unionists from the North of England, these are some of business’s elite.

      We live in interesting times …

  6. the sprout 6

    Key’s inability to handle Paul Henry like a real leader put a deep scratch in his Teflon. The brand is fading.

    exactly.
    of course there have been numerous demonstrable failures of leadership from Key,
    but that one really cemented in the perception across a broad base of constituencies.

    the problem is compounded for Key by Henry having to resign (something probably avoidable had Key acted like a leader at the time and nipped it in the bud then and there), because that’s just pissed-off his ‘PC-gone-mad’ redneck voters.

    Key’s leadership failure over Henry has been a lose-lose for him, costing him the respect of civilised and redneck voters alike.

    no wonder Key’s minders don’t let him front up to the media if he can botch even patsy interviews so badly.

  7. freedom 7

    a small issue but this has got to be one of the more honest photos of the PM we have ever seen in the media

    no smiling facade just a very natural portait,

    • BLiP 7.1

      Looks tired out.

      • Maynard J 7.1.1

        Disagree – I reckon he just looks normal, if not determined. Like someone who could get things done, and not to be messed with. Yes all he tries to do is smile, and wave, and look a bit silly.

  8. tc 8

    Gonna be interesting how the nat friendly MSM whores go about their business as the facade crumbles, the lack of plan/vision comes to focus and sideshow/blinglish’s continued harping on about ‘9 yrs of economic mis management under labour’ cuts both ways as the numbers don’t lie despite their best efforts to smudge and deceive.

    Yes the economy was already in recession (drought) but cullen/clark had prepared us for it by paying off debt and maintaining near full employment (as noted by world commentators)……you can only spin so far but when GST/gerry’s electricity meddling/cuts to frontline/beating up education and welfare continue to gnaw away the tide will turn and those tax cuts for the rich could be the straw that breaks this PR fixated camel in 2.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      “tax cuts for the rich could be the straw that breaks this PR fixated camel in 2”

      Interesting point. Had National actually passed the tax-cuts (which were still unaffordable) that it had campaigned on and then “postponed indefinitely” instead of the tax-cuts-for-the-rich they ended up delivering, they certainly wouldn’t have had the potential downside that this move has given them. A top rate of 37% is much preferable than a top rate of 33% as we now have.

  9. Carol 9

    Key doesn’t even sound like a competent politician in parliament. When he answers questions in parliament, he always makes me wonder what sort of a lunch he has had. He slurs his words, sticks out his chest, and looks very satisfied with his own jokes – like a drunken after dinner speaker:

    eg, answering questions from his own team he starts, ‘What an exshellent queshtion…”

    • come get some 9.1

      he then almost falls back into his seat and slumps down into slouch mode, never looks like he’s having a good day.

      eg, answering questions from his own team he starts, ‘What an exshellent queshtion…”

      Reminds you of “it dshodsent give my oppsonshents smuch times eisha”

    • Blue 9.2

      Key’s on the good juice. In his world, wages are rising, he single-handedly slew the inflation beast, and NZ is a land of foreign-owned milk and honey.

      He’s showing impressive control just being able to stand up in Parliament when his name is called.

  10. ak 10

    It’s the Big Picture that swings moods. And changes governments.

    Lange’s “Big, Inclusive smile” swept the 81 gore and division out, and Spud’s “Decent Society” put the nails in their traitorous, infighting coffin.

    “Helen and the Optomilleniumism” swept the 90s misery behind us, and the heavily-promoted fantasy “Grinny Me-too” mesmerised with its “financial wizard” optimism in the shadow of the looming GFC.

    Now showing (in glorious new Lenslide multi-media): “Keynute”: the tragi-comic odyssey of one ordinary salesman flailing against history while hilariously assailed by his own petards.

    For early release next year, the epic docu-drama: “Out of the Cuckoos Nest: Progression Reboot”.

  11. Tanz 11

    Key is loved by millions still, and the Left find that hard to stomach. Key is anoher Lange, but for the right.

    • Bright Red 11.1

      Lange? the man who smiled and waved and made people laugh while his Cabinet betrayed the public, broke every promise they made, and sold the country down the river?

      Hey, they do sound a lot alike.

      Funnily, enough Lange was also a sprinter – PM after only two terms like Key – and it turned out to be a disaster.

    • Bright Red 11.2

      Tanz. another few questions. Is ‘loving’ Key enough? Don’t you want a good government?

      Or is all you want from a government just a PM that you ‘love’?

      When you think about your ‘love’ for Key does it excite you?

    • lprent 11.3

      I’d have to say that I was never particularly impressed with Lange either, and for much the same reasons as for Key.

      Both of them were/are far better on the smile’n’wave and simple rhetoric than they are at running a government.

      Both of them were/are incapable of getting their cabinet (or caucus) heading in a coherent common direction.

      Both of them look like bloody useless managers of the country, and pretty damn spineless at controlling rogue ministers.

      I suspect that the end of Keys reign will be the same catastrophic mess that we were left with when Lange stepped down – for most of the same underlying reasons.

      I’m uninterested in having a entertainer in charge of the country. I’d prefer having someone capable of actually managing to move the place in a coherent and clear manner. John Key isn’t that person. About the only thing he is competent at appears to be sprouting what he thinks is a good idea every few months that he is incapable of following through on, hanging around waiting for a camera to focus on him, and being charming in social occasions.

      Not prime ministerial material in my opinion…

      • comedy 11.3.1

        One thing I will say for Lange is that he was a very capable orator, especially in his later years post politics. I attended some excellent dinners where he was the after dinner speaker and he leaves the current lot that you see debating in parliament for dead.

      • Rob 11.3.2

        But hey, if you load the cabinet up with whole lot of Cater’s , Tizards, Benson Popes and the like , I am sure you can have a very co-ordinated a peaceful cabinet. Not much gets acheived and you have the collective wisdom of a light bulb , but I am sure it is lovely place to have a cup of tea.

  12. Tanz 12

    You keep going on about Key’s lack of leadership re the Paul Henry affair, but if it’s such a big deal, how come the MSM arn’t interested and have only focussed on Henry and not Key? They must love him, too, I’d say he’;ll get another two terms at least, barring an absolute disaster happening. The public are gaga over Key, for whatever reasons.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    “MSM arn’t interested and have only focussed on Henry and not Key”

    That’s not even close to true. There was plenty of comment about Key’s response.

  14. Chills 14

    The “smile and wave” brand of Key definitely has it’s limitations, but we musn’t forget that next year we have the World Cup, which Key will no doubt use as a vehicle for copius smiling and waving. If the cup goes well both on and off the field Key will be able to ride it for all it’s worth all the way back to office.

    I for one am a massive rugby and ABs supporter but success that arena next year doesn’t bode well for next year’s elections…

  15. markus 15

    “The first tactic will be a mantra of ‘Goff can’t win’.”

    This is what has me a little concerned about the Mana by-election (as a Labour supporter and Mana voter). The Nats, the Tory blogosphere and the MSM have all greatly exaggerated the strength of Labour’s hold on Mana (much emphasis on it supposedly being one of the great Labour strongholds of all time / conflation of old staunchly-Labour Porirua seat of pre-1996 FPP days with greatly expanded and much more marginal Mana / National as enormous underdog fighting impossible odds…).

    Result: Very high benchmark / enormously raised expectations for Labour’s Fa’afoi. Much emphasis in MSM and Tory blogosphere on the idea that anything other than a significant Fa’afoi majority (some suggesting at least 6000) would constitute disaster for Labour and Goff / vote of confidence in National.

    Problem is: Mana is not quite the stronghold portrayed.
    – Two-thirds of all current Electorate MPs have majorities larger than Laban’s 6155.
    – Of Laban’s 6155 majority, 4452 votes came from people who split their vote (casting their Party- Vote for parties other than Lab in 2008). Without the luxury of two votes, it’s not entirely beyond reason that these 4452 could return to their preferred Party in the (one-vote) by-election (for example the 1757 Greens who in 2008 split their vote between the Greens (Party-Vote) and Labour’s Laban (Candidate-Vote), simply voting for the Green candidate this time rather than Fa’afoi). Arguably, then, the Party-Vote may be a better reflection of Mana’s political complexion than Laban’s Candidate-Vote. And Lab’s majority over the Nats in the Party-Vote in Mana in 2008 was just 2508. Relatively marginal.
    – On top of this, by-elections almost always involve a much lower turnout. And, more often than not, those staying at home are lower-income Labour voters (South Aucklanders at recent local election excepted, of course).

    Hence, Labour may be being set-up for a fall in Mana. Given the above, it’s more than possible that Fa’afoi will win with a reduced majority (quite possibly despite a genuine swing in sentiment towards Labour). Result: the Nats, the Tory blogosphere and,most importantly, the MSM (certainly the DomPost’s Tracy Watkins) will attempt to make mincemeat of the Party.

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    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
    Crosspost from Punakaiki Fund. New Investment: Populate One of our core motivations at Punakaiki Fund is being able to help and watch companies create a large number of sustainable new jobs. And one of the best people around at hiring… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    2 days ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
    by Denis Godard The movement of occupation of squares in France is [over] two weeks old. [1] Its evolution is difficult to predict, because it is open to many unforeseen events, even though its roots are deep. At this point… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
    This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.Filed under: Uncategorized ...
    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
    Your right to swipe for threesomes is under threat.    Some clean-cut millennials enjoying the 3nder afterglow. 1232RF Those for whom three is the magic sex-number should know that one's right to swipe one's way into a six-limb circus is… ...
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    2 days ago
  • Some big news, for me
    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    16 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    18 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    7 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    7 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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