web analytics

A week of sideshows

Written By: - Date published: 5:34 pm, August 21st, 2022 - 64 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, feminism, jacinda ardern, labour, national, Politics, polls - Tags:

The most important recent political news in my opinion are two opinion poll results.  The first the Kantar poll from last week suggested that 65% of kiwis opposed National’s plan to reverse Labour’s tax on those earning over $180,000.  National needs to proceed with this policy with a great deal of caution.  Make it election policy and they risk losing support.  Back away from it and they look weak and their base will not be pleased.

The second poll result was the recent Curia poll result.  The Government has faced a perfect storm recently, high inflation, Covid biting, major pressure on businesses and a cold, wet winter.

Despite this Labour and National are level pegging.  And perhaps most importantly Jacinda Ardern’s support is double that of Christopher Luxon’s and Luxon’s support is in decline, having dropped 2.9% in a month.  And the commentary is that Ardern’s support declined but it has actually strengthened over the past few months.

No doubt this is why Luxon has been so quiet lately.  He and National’s brains trust are trying to work out what to do.

But the past week has been a week of sideshows.

One international example involves Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.  She is a young woman comparable to Jacinda Ardern who is also in the receiving end of some pretty misogynist  comments and attacks based on the fact she is a young woman in charge.

What did Marin do?  Was she caught out misleading the electorate?  Did she appoint herself to multiple ministries without telling anyone or enrich herself through her position?  Did she breach local laws and then lie to Parliament about what happened?

Nope.  Her sin was to go to a nightclub and be filmed dancing.  The video was obtained by right wing social media and then splashed out with allegations she had taken drugs.  She has since taken a drug test to disprove the allegation.  The whole incident has a stench about it.  Why shouldn’t Prime Ministers be able to let their hair down occasionally.

And the other sideshow clearly is the never ending episode involving Gaurav Sharma.  I sense his credibility with media is in decline.  They are now asking him to come up with proof to back up his allegations.

I have covered his situation previously.  My basic conclusion is that I would not like to work for him and his relationships with staff was appalling.  And his hyped up claims of being bullied, something that he reflected on twice in his maiden speech, suggests a hyper sensitivity that is not healthy.

I agree in part with what Tracy Watkins said this morning in Stuff particularly this:

Like many new MPs, Sharma seems to have been unprepared and unsuited for a life in politics. Many come from careers where they are relatively senior and largely respected. They discover when they arrive at Parliament that they are neither of these things.

Few of them will shine bright in their time on the back benches; most will lead short and largely anonymous political careers before disappearing back into private life.

Problems like Sharma occur because some of them also happen to be hugely ambitious, and entered politics believing they were destined for higher things – i.e. a ministerial limo, Beehive office and a Government department or two to boss around.

Few of them will ever achieve such heights.

The job of the whip is to keep these competing forces in check to make sure overly ambitious backbenchers don’t do or say anything stupid to derail the party. There’s a fairly big clue as to how they achieve this in their name – they are whips not just in name, but by nature.

As for the claim that the outcome of the caucus meeting was predetermined – of course it was.

Publicly bad-mouthing the leader and party hierarchy was only ever going to have one outcome and it didn’t need a secret caucus meeting to decide that. There’s no walking back from calling the leader a liar.

I would disagree with Watkins about the decision to suspend Sharma being premeditated nor am I surprised that Caucus met without him.  The suspension, given the circumstances and the extraordinary amount of shitfuckery shown by Sharma, the absolute least that he could have expected.

And if he is right there is a second Labour MP who may be feeling uncomfortable right now.

The extent of the change in media attitude is shown by Newshub deleting a reference to Neale Jones and tweeting “[t]his interview has been edited to remove an unsubstantiated statement about Neale Jones”.  The defamation threshold involving someone who is not an MP is much lower than that involving an MP.

As speculated by Watkins the whole incident appears to be one involving unrequited ambition.  Hence Sharma’s fixation with Kieran McNulty and repeated references to his being promoted into Cabinet.

Caucus is due to review the matter on Tuesday.  Given Sharma’s repeated accusations against Ardern and Labour I am very, very confident what the result will be.

And there will be some thought given to the Waka Jumping law if matters continue to deteriorate although as pointed out by Andrew Geddis use of this power would have considerable implications.

64 comments on “A week of sideshows ”

  1. Ad 1

    Well qualified Labour MPs who suck it up and will likely leave in 2023 because Ardern is so shit at Cabinet renewals:

    – Dr Deborah Russel, tax expert

    – Dr Duncan Webb, legislative expert

    – Vanushi Walters, human rights specialist

    – Marija Lubeck, lawyer and labour relations expert

    – Dr Liz Craig, professional epidemiologist

    – Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, Oranga Tamariki senior manager

    – Rachel Brooking, environmental and local government expert

    – Helen White, employment law specialist

    – Dr Tracey McLellan, psychology and nursing specialist

    – Dan Rosewarne, only Labour MP with substantive military service and knowledge

    – Dr Emily Henderson, expert in criminal law reform

    – Greg O'Connor, 20+ veteran policing expert

    So if Dr Sharma has a promotion issue, one might expect a whole bunch of others would as well. Dr Sharma's outburst is on Ardern.

    Of course the rest of them will do the Omerta, such it up and waste their lives as cannon fodder on select committees. And sure, power is an 'up=or=out' game. Problem is when you consistently fail to deliver on policy promises, you need a strong bench to refresh.

    Ardern is a pretty poor political manager of her own team.

    • observer 1.1

      will likely leave in 2023 because Ardern is so shit at Cabinet renewals

      Do you mean choose to leave? The vast majority won't, and you've simply plucked that prediction out of nowhere, with Sharma-like levels of evidence.

      If you mean "be voted out because of the swing" then after 50% of the vote it was always inevitable that some MPs would. I expect Dan Rosewarne is a good guy but he was so low on the list it's amazing he became an MP at all.

      If you're judging MPs by their CV then 2 weeks ago then Gaurav Sharma would have been at the top. Impressive CV – but it turns out, a really hopeless, self-destructive, dishonest politician. Ardern didn't make him that.

      • barry 1.1.1

        …and we can expect a cabinet reshuffle next year along with list rankings to protect the talent that might otherwise be at risk. Expect the most promising of this terms' new crop to get a nod.

      • Patricia Bremner 1.1.2

        Observer Sharma-like levels of evidence

        I could not agree more. yes

      • Ad 1.1.3

        It's too late.

        At 32-33% the Cabinet reshuffle is the 2023 election.

        Ardern won't care who makes it, whether she's in or out: it will be mere survival.

        • observer

          So you didn't mean "choose to leave".

          You've simply predicted a percentage vote, and then allocated places on a party list that nobody will know for another year.

          After retirements, then even with 32-33% most of those MPs you name will stay in Parliament, unless they are leapfrogged by brand new candidates, which is the opposite of the claim you make.

          Take the top 40 on the 2020 list, then remove retirements (Wall, Mallard, others) and check the names.


          • Ad

            Leave. Push. Fired. Deselected. Shunted. Shifted. Sunk. Swiped. Knifed. Redeployed. "Family reasons".

            You could do a post on who is likely to go at 30-31%.

            It's not too hard to go through the electorates one by one, then the list.

            It makes for grim reading, and MPs can generally count.

        • Incognito

          Interesting and thought provoking views, Ad. Will the current lot of sitting MPs be motivated (hungry) and energised enough to campaign hard for their existence (as if their political lives depend on it) or will they be(come) disenfranchised and disengage? List rankings could be the deciding factor, so do you know when these are decided and announced in 2023?

          • Ad

            The Labour list conferences are now close to meaningless.

            If you've ever been to one, the sweet smell of desperation and rapid-fire betrayals is exhausting.

            When the next one happens with polls heading for 30% the level of fictional projection will resemble a pentecostal church service.

            • Incognito

              If the morale below deck is that low then the officers should have a Ruby to map a course to safe harbour for repairs and restocking.

              • Ad

                Yes exactly.

                A nice open Conference with some actual remits. Or even a whole-caucus retreat for a few days.

                The whole team have to decide if they want to win power again.

            • Mike the Lefty

              I'm sorry to have to say it Ad but you are starting to sound like Martin Bradbury on The Daily Blog.

              Please don't go that way!

              • Incognito

                Fat chance! Ad hasn’t even mentioned the dreaded w-word yet! What happened to having robust debate here on TS?? Many here seem to be too scared to let go of old habits & beliefs (BTW, all NZ parties suffer from this to a more or lesser degree – it correlates with how progressive they are).

                If he’s even a little correct, then the internal structure of the LP could be weakened and ready to fold like a house of cards. So far, Sharma-gate has not made the Party implode and it has shown remarkable unity under pressure and a very constraint (public) response, which would argue against internal hairline fractures cracking further.

                I find it ironic, if true, that the LP is advocating for Co-Governance (whatever that might mean in practice) and apparently reluctant to re-arrange its own deckchairs, of which there are plenty good ones. Is it timidity, fear, or something else? The arrangement with the Green Party seems to be symptomatic of the state of the LP.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Love or hate her, if JA had declined the opportunity to lead Lab in 2017 then the Gnats would now be exploiting an unprecedented 5th consecutive term in Govt.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          Ardern won't care who makes it, whether she's in or out: it will be mere survival.

          We are doomed ! Ha, bullshit. IMO You have white-anted Jacinda for ..a long time.

          Jacinda…is THE best PM for NZ. End of.

    • Peter 1.2

      So many so qualified.

      What is the solution to them simply being select committee cannon fodder? Not have so many to start with?

      Make them all ministers or associates?

      Or have them all as drones, happy to simply be there as fodder?

      Or do you suggest we radically reorganise things so there are less MPs so none will feel they're down the back, ignored, just making up the numbers?

    • newsense 1.3

      You assume that:

      a) they’re not contributing a lot already

      b) increased prominence and power is always a motive ahead of service

      c) coming from a skilled profession outside politics always provides transferable skills or all of the necessary transferable skills. It’s obvious that the MP for Hamilton West has some definite knowledge and skills well ahead of the general populace, but not all of those required to succeed in this parliament.

      d) people are able to work for the party in a number of ways outside of parliament, including formulating policy or advocating strongly for causes they are passionate about.

      e) as observer observes your language is a bit loose and your maths doesn’t entirely add up

      f) the main opposition party has promoted and demoted a lot of people in the last few years. If you promote someone you have to move someone else on and then the accusation becomes instability.

      g) you have a valid point to make about renewal. But in my opinion have overegged it. I suspect the attack on Kieran McAnulty may be motivated by his role with local government and the vigor he’s shown in getting around the country in that role. He’s an engaging new talent emerging in key roles and this seems like an attempt to attack him as he’s establishing himself.

  2. Patricia Bremner 2

    After 5 years, there is one disaffected bump in the road, who became unhappy with his staff and the assistance he received 6 months after being elected.

    People who were elected, some on the PM's coat tails in 2020 with the swing are in shaky seats. and that is her poor team management?

    This is a unified caucus, and yes, we were never going to get 65 elected in 2023, for a third term, and some fine people will go.

    She has demoted or moved Ministers who did not cope, and has the backing of the majority of her 65 members. The realisation of political dreams happens to few.

    You are on record as not personally valuing her, and your charge of mismanagement by the PM is on thin ice. The selections for 2023 are not finite, and yes there may be further murmurs, but generally "the greater good" will decide the course.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.2

      Open mike 10/06/2022

      number 8 Ardern "tanking". Well, to some….

    • Ad 2.3

      The performance of this government is most certainly on Ardern.

      The performance of the caucus and of Cabinet is also on Ardern.

      It's on the label.

      Labour has now gone from 50% of seats to a likely 30% of seats within 2 years.

      From enormous political capital and 50% of Parliament she has delivered:

      Housing crisis continues. Education system collapsing. Health system in crisis. Gang crime exploding. No economic direction. Nothing “transformed”. A climate mitigation system based on carbon trading. Weaker in Defence. Local government gutted. Huge government debt.

      You may well see that as doing a good job, but you are in an increasingly small group.

      • Jimmy 2.3.1

        Thanks for listing the achievements.

      • roblogic 2.3.2

        Labour's shortcomings are nothing compared to National's calculated malevolence

      • Barfly 2.3.3

        Housing crisis continues.

        WORLDWIDE housing crisis continues

        Education system collapsing.

        Eh? I guess I missed that one.

        Health system in crisis.

        WORLDWIDE health systems crisis

        Gang crime exploding.

        Yeah Thanks Aussie for all those 501's you created and exported.

        No economic direction.

        What like tax cuts and roads? There are many initiatives out there but there isn't a simple slogan for you to see a 'direction'.

        Nothing “transformed”

        Alchemy has been getting a bad rap since the middle ages.cheeky

        A climate mitigation system based on carbon trading.

        I'm not a fan of it do you have any constructive ideas? Maybe Three Waters should be Four Waters and give them responsibility for flooding and drought mitigation?

        Weaker in Defence.

        Where do you suggest the money is taken from to have stronger defence? How much do you want to spend? I think NZ's defence is primarily it's standing in the international community – to have any real military strength? I don't know if 10 times the military budget could achieve it.

        Local government gutted.

        Are you talking about three waters? To paraphrase the great Jack Nicholson "They can't handle it"

        Huge government debt.

        Jeez mate did you you hear about the one in a hundred year pandemic that humped lots of countries economies – go have a look at the debt increases in places like the UK, USA Australia et cetera

        Often very clever and usually reasonable people make an emotional decision – such as a dislike of a certain individual and then sadly use their intelligence and reasoning to construct attacks against that person. Is this the case here?

        • Patricia Bremner

          I think Ad is acting as "Devil's advocate". He has blamed the PM for all the problems.

          He does not count the over all management of the evolving pandemic, and ongoing general implementation of other plans.

          Low covid deaths per million, compared with other countries. High Vaccination and booster take up, as well as mask wearing compliance.

          Trade opportunities increased in spite of the Pandemic.

          Standardisation of polytechnic experiences underway with a huge increase in trades training.

          Low unemployment, rising wages and high adaptation through tech.

          Comparatively low "pandemic inflation" compared with USA and UK, near double ours, and similar to Australia's.

          Debt levels also low by world standards.

          This Government has put climate squarely on the radar, and has provided Councils with a clear picture of where their housing stock could be at risk from sea level rise and land subsidence. Rivers in the sky causing floods which makes our soils likely to slip is now bringing the future changes home to more people.

          Every problem which has arisen has been managed well, with the exception of the protest at Parliament. Sadly Mallard showed his petty side. He was in charge of that under our system.

          We have more social housing, improved material supplies and more co-operation among the building fraternity. Fletcher's were playing "We are too big to worry" game, until Megan Wood and her Committee demanded some assistance. Changing laws so Maori build on their own land is a huge plus.

          Infrastructure funding has been put in place to give security of forward planning.

          The RMA has been made more responsive to housing needs, and all Council's are finding land for Social housing, and making some areas available for density planning. Plus Three Waters removes their liability for water quality, which in some cases was 3rd world. Management of water stops the rorts of buying up businesses with water rights for exploitation of water.

          Health deficits from DHB's have been cleared, funding put in place for new Hospitals and wage claims. Health has been streamlined, as much as possible during an ongoing crisis of 10 or 11 people dying daily from covid. As in every country, elective surgery has been impacted, staff are tired and catching the current virulent type. It is not over. Rules are being relaxed to help with staffing.

          Three years of covid has stretched every world system, and the Russian attacks on Ukraine has added to the uncertainties of supply chains.

          When a Government is faced with ongoing major problems, keeping the Wellbeing of people becomes even more important.

          If National win, it will be "Individual action and every person for themselves" literally.

          Closer to the election, people will make their call. What may cloud the issue is endless carping and a failure to really examine the offerings by the Press.

          However, Ad I understand you see me as a "blind' follower of Ardern. Ardern at her worst is better than Luxon at his best, and comparing their teams… well even 34% of the 65 would be superior to National’s offering.. (and they come with Act attached.) imo.

          • Quite right Patricia.

            A Natz government full of fascist fundies (Victorian attitudes on women's rights) and immoral adventurers (I'm looking at Bishop here!) would be a disaster for this country.

            We have little enough time to stave of climate disaster as it is, but Natz full of climate deniers, (like Stuart Smith) would retard any efforts we have made.

            God knows, this Labour government is far from perfect (speaking as a socialist) but light years better than a re-run of the Key years!

  3. I know it's a long shot but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Sharma isn't being manipulated by National with a promise of a seat in 2023.

    Bearing in mind that he took a safe National seat to get in

    • Stuart Munro 3.1

      Surely those enthusiastic players of dirty politics, having neither credible policies nor a shred of charisma to thaw their poikilothermic personalities would never stoop so low /sarc.

      I can hear their theme music now: Limbo song – YouTube

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.1

        poikilothermic personalities

        laugh love it.

        poikilotherm (noun) Zoology

        An organism that cannot regulate its body temperature except by behavioural means such as basking or burrowing.

        • Stuart Munro

          It's cute in axolotls – but I cannot help wishing the Opposition were a little more evolved.

      • lprent 3.1.2

        Why would National want him?

        It doesn't sound like he'd ever be competent as a MP after his short career as one so far. Nor does it sound like he has gained any personal support within the electorate. Certainly the LEC support appears underwhelming. I haven't seen any signs of voter support in the Ham West electorate.

        Doesn't even look viable as a publicity stunt. He would be such an easy target as a National candidate.

        • Stuart Munro

          Why would National want him?

          I think National is aware of their lack of intellectual heft, and Finlayson's recent effort evidently belabours the point for any of his hard-of-thinking former colleagues that may have missed it.

          Sharma's shortcomings – a tenuous grasp of reality and a Copernican weltanschauung centred on himself are pretty standard fare for the party of Judithulhu and The Egg Man – they struggle to perceive extreme egocentrism as a character flaw.

          They'll take anyone about now, and anyone that can score on Ardern, or appear to score sufficiently for an uncritical press, will do.

    • Blazer 3.2

      Wondered about that myself.With Woodhouse on his shoulder!

    • Janet 3.3

      That has crossed my mind too… Also I have had first hand experience of a young Indian who, while claiming to be christian, knew very well he was from the Brahmin caste. He was extremely arrogant and condescending about others intellectual capacities ( but otherwise he was fine ! )

    • Really this is reaching.

      Why would they bother?

      Hamilton West will be a National seat at the next election on current polling – unless there is a massive and so-far-unpredicted swing to the Left.

      Sharma may have won it in 2020 – but, just like all of the other 'safe' National seats which swung to Labour, it was entirely a vote of confidence on Ardern's handling of the Covid crisis to date. It had nothing to do with either the local candidate or the party policies (which were pretty much a non-event in any campaigning). Most will drift back to National in 2023 – although some with a really strong local candidate might stay Labour.

      And, National have sufficient experience over the last little while, of 'flaky' candidates – to shy away from anyone self-destructing as spectacularly as Sharma is.

  4. Peter 4

    The attack on the Finnish Prime Minister is insane. She's not allowed to be happy and young and be an ordinary person having a good time.

    So you accuse her of being on drugs. If having a good time and dancing is to be the marker of taking drugs I guess a lot of people every week in Finland (and here) are in line to be accused of being on something.

    When accusations happen here to someone like the PM dancing at her wedding, I hope she doesn't do what Sanna Martin did and have a drug test. I hope she says to anyone making the charge, "Get fucked."

    • Roy Cartland 4.1

      It seems like the most desperate of moves by the Finnish Right. If they're not careful, her constituency will demand she prove she's tripping out like they would. They elected her, FFS.

  5. Matiri 5

    Bryan Gould on the Sharma Saga.


    Made me wonder how much Ayesha Verrall and her path straight into Cabinet would have rankled with Sharma. Same intake as him, not even a surgeon! or a Fulbright scholar!, female etc etc

    • Mac1 5.1

      Dr Ayesha Verrall- a physician, student association president, senior lecturer at Otago Uni, gained a PhD and also was a member of the Capital and Coast Health Board. Impressive.

      • Matiri 5.1.1

        Absolutely – Dr Verrall is an impressive physician with impressive public health credentials.

        As for Sharma, and maybe others of the same 2020 intake, Bryan Gould says (linked in my comment above):

        And, given that politicians are often high achievers in their previous life, and accordingly have a high conceit of themselves, it is inevitable that, from time to time, an individual will feel that he or she is given inadequate respect and consideration by other team members.

        In such circumstances, the individual will sometimes lose sight of the team’s interests, and might even focus on harming the team’s prospects, as a form of revenge for what is perceived as a lack of respect from other team members.

      • Jimmy 5.1.2

        Yes she is a lot more qualified than Andrew Little and should be health minister.

        • Mac1

          Jimmy, are the essential skills required for a health minister medical skills or are they other, such as political, administrative, advocacy, leadership?

          She is impressive, though. I have heard her address a Grey Power meetings as the Minister for Seniors.

          • Christopher Randal

            "such as political, administrative, advocacy, leadership"

            Little has none of those – although arguably some could say that he has (minimal) personal skills

          • alwyn

            You seem to be suggesting that the required skills are "political, administrative, advocacy, leadership".

            After doing a quick check of these against Little's display in the job I would suggest that none of these skills are required. After all Andrew Little gets a fail in every one of them and they still gave him the job.

            • Mac1

              Against the two ready reckoners above, I reply with a few facts extracted from Wikipedia regarding leadership. political, administrative and advocacy skills.

              Andrew Little is Minister of Health, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Minister for the GCSB and NZSIS.

              He was the national secretary of the EPMU, New Zealand's largest trade union, and President of the Labour Party from 2009 to 2011. He was leader of the NZLP, resigning in favour of Ms Ardern.

              At Victoria Uni he was active in the campaign against the student scheme, and president of Vic's Student Association and later of NZUSA.

              After graduating Little was a lawyer with the Engineers' Union becoming the union's general counsel. He then was elected national secretary.

              In 2007 Little was ranked at number 40 on the NZ Listener Power list, becoming a list MP in 2011.

              An important extra-parliamentary figure within the Labour Party and one of the main advisors from the trade unions, he was elected unopposed as President of the NZLP.

              All evidence of the four skills I listed.

              • alwyn


                Leadership? Did he quit as leader of the Labour Party because he was successful at the job?

                Political? He ran as a candidate in New Plymouth. It had been predominately a Labour held seat for years by Harry Duynhoven and he managed to collapse the Labour vote. Was that showing political nouse?

                " EPMU, New Zealand's largest trade union,". Really? I can think of one that was twice the size.

                Health? Are you seriously suggesting that the public health sector has got better under his reign?

  6. Hunter Thompson II 6

    The Sharma debacle will soon fade away and be dumped with the rest of the week's fish and chip wrappers. Sharma is following the path of MPs like John Tamihere.

    The more interesting issue is who will win the 2023 election, My pick is a National/ACT coalition (even though both the main parties seem intent on self-destruction).

    Labour built up political capital with its handling of the COVID crisis, but threw that away. Inflation, floods and losses by the ABs haven't helped.

    • Anne 6.1

      The Sharma debacle will soon fade away and be dumped with the rest of the week's fish and chip wrappers…

      Not so sure. I think Sanctuary on today's OM @ 3 is a lot more plausible than some might think. An excerpt:

      My piece of wild (but devastatingly shrewd and marginally informed, even if I do say so myself) speculation for the day is once he is kicked out of Labour he is going to form an Indian NZ party and try and tap into the not inconsiderable resentment in the local expat Indian community…

      Sounds plausible to me. He doesn't come across as someone who is losing much sleep over the stoush. In fact, he looks like he's relishing all the publicity which would come in handy if that is his goal.

      In the event it is:

      after tomorrow's expulsion there will be more thunder and lightening. Then in a few week's time (or sooner) he will announce he has been pressured by many people to start a new party. He has agreed to be its leader.

    • Louis 6.2

      High inflation is a global phenomenon, due to Covid19, the Ukrainian war. NZ's rate is lower than what some other countries are experiencing and how is Labour responsible for the weather and the AB's?

  7. newsense 7

    Do we need an inquiry into whether Corin Dann shags goats? We know there are goats, so we need a full inquiry!

    • roblogic 7.1

      The media want to drag out Sharma's bullcrap as long as possible.

      National's secrecy and contempt of Uffindell's victims is not questioned.

    • Has anyone in a position to know accused him of doing so?
      No. Thought not.

      Not exactly analogy of the week, here….

      • newsense 7.2.1

        Can you categorically say he isn’t shagging goats? You’re obviously a goat shagger apologist. If there’s no inquiry how will we ever know? The drums are beating as interest in Dann’s goat history ramps up and into Belladonna’s protection of goat shagging. Why don’t you want an inquiry? Would you be willing to give evidence at the inquiry?

  8. JA sounded rather ticked off to get an idiotic series of questions about Sharma when she was in Nelson taking an interview about the flood destruction.

    A sideshow indeed. She rightly pointed out that we need to focus on helping the flood victims not beltway gossip.

    Labour MP Gaurav Sharma's fate: Jacinda Ardern says time to get on with meeting | RNZ News

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 55-hectares of Buller land purchased to protect native species
    Two blocks of Buller land rich in native species have been purchased by the Crown to be protected in perpetuity as public conservation land, Minister of Conservation Poto Williams announced today. Acquired via the Nature Heritage Fund, one block is in the Punakaiki River valley adjoining the Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Strengthening the relationship with India
    The Foreign Minister says an historic visit to Aotearoa New Zealand by the Indian Foreign Minister provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship in areas like people to people exchanges and climate action. Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed Minister of External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar with a mihi whakatau ceremony and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Construction starts on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project
    Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by Ngāti Tama, local councillors and board members, project representatives, and community to mark the official start of construction on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project, Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass. “The work started today will make sure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Hundreds to benefit from additional maternal health support
    The Government’s Budget 2022 investment of $10.1 million over four years in maternal mental health will result in better and more widely available care for new and expectant mothers around the country. The funding will be invested to fill gaps in care identified by last year’s maternal mental health stocktake ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Planting forests that are good for nature, climate, and the economy
    Public consultation opens on how forests are managed through the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF), including: Giving local councils more control over where forests are planted   Managing the effects of exotic carbon forestry on nature Improving wildfire management in all forests. Addressing the key findings of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Trade Minister heads to CPTPP Commission Meeting
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor will travel to Singapore this week for the Sixth Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission Meeting. “Continuing to build on our export growth is a key part of the Government’s economic plan. Our two way trade with the CPTPP bloc accounts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Government books leave New Zealand well placed amid global challenges
      Deficit half of forecast at $9.7 billion; Deficits as a percentage of GDP running better than during GFC Net debt at 17.2 percent of GDP lower than Australia, UK, US and Canada. Core expenses $2.8 billion lower than forecast. Increased expenditure during year due to COVID-related expenses through unprecedented ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers outline next phase of Milford Opportunities Project
    The Milford Opportunities Project is entering its next phase following a productive visit to Piopiotahi to hear directly from tourism operators, iwi and the unit undertaking feasibility planning, says Conservation Minister Poto Williams. In June 2021 Cabinet approved $15 million to fund the next stage of the Milford Opportunities Project, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Digital tools to make family violence support widely available
    Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan has officially launched a suite of new digital tools to support people affected by family violence. “Family violence is a scourge on our society and violent behaviour of any kind is absolutely unacceptable. We are taking the important steps to modernise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan for big boost in GP training numbers
    More support is being given to New Zealand medical graduates training to be GPs, as the Government continues its push to get more doctors into communities. “Growing the number of GPs is vital so we can fill today’s gaps and make sure we’ve got the doctors we need in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 142,000 Kiwis helped by Healthy Homes Initiative
    Hospitalisations reduced by 19.8 percent School attendance increased by 3 percent Employment increased by 4 percent 100,000 interventions delivered, including insulation, heaters, curtains and repairs Nationwide rollout expected to be complete by the end of the year More than 31,000 children, pregnant people and 111,000 of their family members are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence departs for Middle East
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare has today departed for the Middle East where he will visit New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed within the region, including in Operation Gallant Phoenix in Jordan and the Multinational Force and Observers mission on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. The Minister will also undertake ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government funds work to clean up six contaminated sites
    The Government has announced funding to clean up six contaminated sites to reduce the risk to public health and protect the environment.    “These six projects will help protect the public from health risks associated with hazardous materials, so New Zealanders can live in a cleaner, safer environment.” Environment Minister David Parker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government partners with industry to reduce agricultural emissions
    New Zealand’s effort to reduce agricultural emissions has taken a step forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Government with agribusiness leaders, in a joint venture as part of the new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced. The Ministry for Primary Industries signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Vosa Vakaviti sustains generations of Fijians
    The enduring strength and sustainability of Vosa Vakaviti is being celebrated by the Fijian community in Aotearoa New Zealand during Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti – Fijian Language Week, which gets underway today. “This year’s theme, ‘Me vakabulabulataki, vakamareqeti, ka vakaqaqacotaki na vosa Vakaviti’, which translates as ‘Nurture, Preserve and Sustain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Russia’s annexation attempts
    New Zealand condemns unequivocally Russia’s attempts to illegally annex Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “We do not recognise these illegal attempts to change Ukraine’s borders or territorial sovereignty,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Russia’s sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are illegitimate, and have no legal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government provides confidence to those seeking an adventure
    With our borders opened and tourists returning, those seeking out adventurous activities can do so more safely due to the steps we’ve taken to improve the health and safety regulatory regime for adventure activities, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has announced.  “We are seeing international visitor numbers begin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New hospital opens for Wellington children
    A new children’s hospital that officially opened in Wellington this morning offers the region’s children top-quality health care in one place, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Te Wao Nui has been built with a $53 million contribution from benefactors Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood, with the Government contributing another $53 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More single-use plastics banned from tomorrow
    Single-use plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and most plastic meat trays are among single use plastics banned from sale or manufacture from tomorrow. “This is the first group of the most problematic plastic products to be banned in a progressive phase out over the next three years,” Environment Minister David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to NZDF Command and Staff College
    It’s a pleasure to join you today – and I extend a particular welcome to Marty Donoghue (a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control) and Athena Li-Watts (interning with me this week) who are also joining me today. On the face of it, some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Milestone of half a million mental health sessions delivered
    The Government’s flagship primary mental health and addiction programme Access and Choice has hit the milestone of delivering more than 500,000 sessions to New Zealanders needing mental health support. Health Minister Andrew Little made the announcement at ADL – Thrive Pae Ora in Cromwell which provides mental wellbeing support services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government continues to future-proof arts, culture and heritage sector
    The Government has announced further support for the recovery and resilience of the arts, culture and heritage sector as part of its COVID Recovery Programme’s Innovation Fund. “We’re continuing to secure the recovery of our arts, culture and heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand by supporting transformational initiatives across the motu,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government steps up kauri protection
    The Government is delivering on an election commitment to protect kauri in our northern forests through the new National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) for the forest giant and the allocation of $32 million of funding to back the coordinated effort, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister (Biodiversity) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Russia’s Ukraine referenda a sham
    Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognise the results of the sham referenda in Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.  “These so-called referenda were not free or fair, and they very clearly were not held in accordance with democratic principles,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Instead, they were hastily organised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt invests in New Zealand’s wine future
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has officially opened New Zealand Wine Centre–Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa in Blenheim today, saying that investments like these give us cause for optimism for the future. Funding of $3.79 million for the Marlborough Research Centre to build a national wine centre was announced in 2020, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Colonel Craig Ruane, Commander Robyn Loversidge, and James Wilding KC as Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The Court Martial Appeal Court is a senior court of record established under the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953. It is summoned by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens measures to combat migrant worker exploitation
    Offence and penalty regime significantly strengthened New infringement offences for non-compliance Public register of individuals and businesses that are found guilty of migrant exploitation New community-led pilot to educate migrants workers and employers of employment rights Implemented reporting tools successfully brings exploitation out of the shadows Take-up of protective visa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Livestock exports by sea to cease
    The passing of a Bill today to end the export of livestock by sea will protect New Zealand’s reputation for world-leading animal welfare standards, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. “The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill future-proofs our economic security amid increasing consumer scrutiny across the board on production practices," Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra measures to increase census turnout in 2023
    3500 census workers on the ground, twice as many as last census More forms to be delivered – 44% compared to 3% in 2018 Prioritisation of Māori and other groups and regions with lower response rates in 2018 Major work to ensure the delivery of a successful census in 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Shining the light on screen workers
    Improved working conditions for workers in the screen industry is now a reality with the Screen Industry Workers Bill passing its third reading today, announced Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood. “It’s fantastic to see the Screen Industry Workers Bill progress through Parliament. The new Act will strengthen protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mental health resources for young people and schools launched
    Associate Minister of Education (School Operations) Jan Tinetti and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis have today launched two new resources to support wellbeing, and the teaching and learning of mental health education in schools and kura. “Students who are happy and healthy learn better. These resources ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress continues on future-proofing Auckland’s transport infrastructure
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the latest progress on Auckland’s two most transformational transport projects in a generation – Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections. Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have named preferred bidders to move each project to their next phase, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports local innovation in homelessness prevention
    Ten successful applicants in round two of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund (LIPF) Close to $6 million allocated as part of the Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) Māori, Pasefika and rangatahi a strong focus Round three opening later this year with up to $6.8 million available. Government is stepping up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More medicines for New Zealanders, thanks to Govt’s Budget boost
    Health Minister Andrew Little is welcoming news that two more important medicines are set to be funded, thanks to the Government’s big boost to the country’s medicines budget. “Since coming into Government in 2017, the Labour Government has increased Pharmac’s funding by 43 per cent, including a $71 million boost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers ACC change to support 28,000 parents
    The Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters Bill passes Third Reading – the first amendment to ACC legislation of its kind From 1 October 2022, new ACC cover to benefit approximately 28,000 birthing parents Additional maternal birth injuries added alongside new review provision to ensure cover remains comprehensive Greater clarity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further cuts for East Coast tarakihi limits to rebuild numbers faster
    Commercial catch limits for East Coast tarakihi will be reduced further to help the stock rebuild faster. “Tarakihi is a popular fish, and this has led to declining levels over time. Many adjustments have been made and the stock is recovering. I have decided on further commercial catch reductions of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to Colombia announced
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of diplomat Nicci Stilwell as the next Ambassador to Colombia. “Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with Colombia is fast growing with strong links across education, climate change and indigenous co-operation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “Trade is a key part of our relationship with Colombia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 3000 more RSE workers to ease workforce pressures
    The Government continues to respond to global workforce shortages by announcing the largest increase in over a decade to the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE), providing 3000 additional places, Immigration Minister Michael Wood and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have announced. The new RSE cap will allow access to 19,000 workers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite
    Further sanctions are being imposed on members of President Putin’s inner circle and other representatives of the Russian political elite, as part of the Governments ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “Ukraine has been clear that the most important action we can take to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago