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According to National budget slashing is a man’s job

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, April 23rd, 2022 - 91 comments
Categories: bill english, Christopher Luxon, national, nicola willis, same old national - Tags:

National leader Chris Luxon has publicly declared full confidence in National Finance Spokesperson Nicola Willis by proposing that former PM Bill English, not currently an MP, and Willis, who is an MP would be jointly directing the Ministers of every department to find savings.

I did a double take when Twitter started to comment on this.  Surely this could not be true.  Surely it was a joke.

But no here is the evidence.

So an unelected individual accountable to no one would have a role in directing Ministers on what cuts to make.  Or are they planning on bringing back English via the list?

And what does this say about Willis’s role and Luxton’s confidence in her?  There is a deep sense here that big jobs such as cost cutting should be left up to the men to do and Willis is not up to the job.

National should come clean and say what role English will play if National is elected to Government.  And they should also say what cuts they are planning.  And how they can afford tax cuts at the same time.  And what they are going to do to address child poverty, the housing crisis and climate change.

And why Luxton has that little confidence in his Finance Spokesperson that he has to bring back English.  Because this is what it looks like.

91 comments on “According to National budget slashing is a man’s job ”

  1. mac1 1

    Luxon is just being facetious, again, obviously. He actually meant that Willis would use English as the language medium in her instructions to civil servants.

  2. Anne 2

    Looks like everyone slept in this morning. Most unusual. 😮

    Where to start. I'm a Labour woman. I don't support Nicola Willis' politics but bloody hell! What an insult! Mind you I doubt she sees it that way.

    But what really leaves me breathless: the Luxons of this world are drowning in money. Many millions in the case of Luxon. He's got seven houses whereas half the population don't even have one house. They spend and spend in their personal lives like its going out of fashion. The rest of us scrimp and scrape to make a decent living. We have mortgages, loans, and we go without luxurious holidays and often without personal transport.

    What they plan to do is cut the living standards of the average working Kiwi. Whatever they do, that is going to be the utimate outcome. We, the so-called underclass (and don't doubt for one moment that is how Luxon sees most of us) are going to pay for our spendthrift ways.

    And the rich are going to get a massive tax cut!

  3. Patricia Bremner 3

    Well we now know who the puppet master is. sad Two evangelical men, reminding women they are there because of “grace and favour”. So very old fashioned and their token woman will be there as decoration. Misogyny!!

  4. pat 4

    Ruth Richardson may have something to say about this.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    The idea of an American style of an unelected cabinet coming from a Evangelical prosperity chrisitian who looks to the USA for all his cultural markers? Colour me surprised! What next, giving a ministerial warrant to Steven Joyce?

    Luxon really is a dollar store John Key tribute act, with disturbing overtones of reactionary government and a desire to throw out long term conventions simple to breing in unaccountable hatchetmen.

    • aj 5.1

      Evangelical prosperity christian who looks to the USA for all his cultural markers

      Worth the watch, but Part 1 is a grind.

      The Family: It's Not About Faith, It's About Power | Official Trailer | Netflix

      • Blazer 5.1.1

        Luxon made an interesting comment on why he avoided going to his church-the 'Upper Room'-he was too worried that members would harangue him for cheap or free Air NZ flights!

        What sort of people…are they?

      • JO 5.1.2

        This might interest you aj, if you aren't already aware of it. The inspiration for this film was Jeff Sharlet's 2008 book The Family – The secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power.

        The Family is about the other half of American fundamentalist power – not its angry masses, but its sophisticated elites. Sharlet follows the story back to Abraham Vereide, an immigrant preacher who in 1935 organized a small group of businessmen sympathetic to European fascism, fusing the far right with his own polite but authoritarian faith. From that core, Vereide built an international network of fundamentalists who spoke the language of establishment power, a 'family' that thrives to this day. In public they hold prayer breakfasts; in private they preach a gospel of 'biblical capitalism', military might and American empire.

        Barbara Ehrenreich is quoted on the front: 'Sharlet's book is one of the most compelling and brilliantly researched exposés you'll ever read – just don't read it alone at night.' I bought a copy years ago. It's dense and for the perpetually curious, shockingly unsurprising. I need to boldly go and read the rest of it.

        • aj

          My early reaction was it's a bit of a beat-up, but the further on it went shows how entrenched christian fundamentalism is in politics, and not just in the USAQ.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.3

        Yes aj, not what most would expect.

    • newsense 5.2

      So tell us again about the purpose of the London financial industry, the London Kiwi with Chelsea season tickets, the NZ trusts that are opaque as f, and current events… or is that something nobody across the political spectrum talks about?

  6. Reality 6

    Luxon and his ilk who want to make these budget cuts will never personally be affected by them. Their health needs, education, maintenance of properties, replacement of vehicles, holidays, groceries, household help, clothing, will not be cut back in any way.

    Luxon seems to have a rather zealous desire to make life tougher for those who he no doubt never mixes with. In his view they are not 'successful' so don't quite cut it with him. On his list so far- make public transport really expensive, and do away with a public holiday. Any others?

    Public holidays are often when people visit family elsewhere, or do some household maintenance which someone like him can pay to have done for him.

    His zealousness does of course include giving the highest earners a tax break.

  7. barry 7

    National haven't had a numerate finance spokesperson since Bill English handed over to Joyce. Luxon is just assuming that no-one in his caucus can add (he hasn't shown it himself) and so bringing back English seems natural.

    It does show the depth of talent among National MPs.

    • aj 7.1

      Goldsmith must be pissed


      • mac1 7.1.1

        Very good, aj. 🙂 Since very few seem to have got Mickysavage's slashing joke, I will quote a Spike Milligan limerick.

        A man called Percival Lee

        Got up one night for a pee.

        When he got to the loo

        It was quarter to two,

        And when he got back it was three.

  8. Bazza64 8

    Bill English “an unelected individual accountable to no one”

    Sounds suspiciously like 3 waters to me. Maybe Jacinda’s slippery underhand way of trying to change our democracy is catching on.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.1

      Jacinda's underhand slippery way of doing things…

      What a joke. Three waters is being discussed by all Councils. You draw a long bow there. The old game of "accuse others of what you are doing!!angry

      • alwyn 8.1.1

        "Three waters is being discussed by all Councils".

        That is certainly close to the truth. The problem for the current Government is that the Councils almost unanimously rejected the whole idea and then got told by Nanaia Mahutu that she didn't give a stuff what they thought. Regardless of the statement that they could opt out it was going to be compulsory for all of them.

        That is what is known as consultation by this Government.


        • aj

          I'm still waiting for a single alternative to be presented. I don't recall anything at all.

          • alwyn

            " I don't recall anything at all"

            There, there. I suggest you have a lie down after partaking of a cup of tea.

            As far as Three Waters go an alternative I remember was the simple one proposed by a lot of Councils. We don't want to have anything to do with it would have summed it up.


            • lprent

              Sure it involved the government giving tax payer money to correct mistakes by the same short-sighted idiots who made them.

              That isn't a alternative.

              Because you know that the local councils will mismanage the water systems exactly what they did previously – run the water systems down to reduce rates, and do sweetheart deals for crony local interests.

              The water systems in NZ are a overwhelming National disgrace.

            • mickysavage

              I’m with WMBAD on this. Here is the perfect explanation and justification.

              • pat

                Interesting…the Gov has lied and misrepresented, withheld pertinent information and all round made an absolute hash of convincing anyone of the benefits of their proposal….and thats all ok.

                The inmates are truely running the asylum

                • Patricia Bremner

                  That is silly. Shit running down streets in Wellington, Shit running into bays round Auckland, people having to boil their water.

                  Councils have not had a Water Authority to test our drinking water.

                  Councils not adding fluoride as agreed. (and not telling)

                  Councils not doing infrastructure. Too many, the few good ones are rare!!

                  • pat

                    You may find a govt that lies, misleads, withholds pertinent information acceptable, I sure as hell dont.

                    You may also wish to read the water quality report undertaken for 3 Waters

              • Patricia Bremner

                devilOh Yeah!!

            • Kiwijoker

              Alwyn, councils have been required since around 2000 to rate for depreciation of capital assets and for eventual replacement or maintenance so there should be a shit load of money lurking in the councils coffers, so what’s happened to that money? Is 3 Waters a government response to the infrastructure issues of some councils even though they should have the funds to address those issues? Just asking for a friend.

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 8.2

      '3 waters template' was created by National in 2010 supercity legislation which created Watercare.

      8 councils assets owned by them were 'stolen' by putting an appointed board in complete control, shutting out councillors

      • DukeEll 8.2.1

        So it’s right to continue with the model then?

      • Foreign waka 8.2.2

        So if I understand the video content correctly, than local government is being corporatized and hence democracy on that part effectively disestablished. A board will not replace what the general populace voted for. Is this actually legal?

        12 – Status and powers

        (6) – Subsections (4) and (5) do not—

        (b)prevent a transfer of responsibility from one local authority to another in accordance with this Act; or

        (c)restrict the activities of a council-controlled organisation; or


        If this is railroaded in – and I have no doubt about that since democracy is now just a word like gender – and another body is established does this mean that the council does not need so many people? The public will have to pay twice for the administration of a water and sewer network the good folks have assumingly paid for but were cheated and got instead cobblestones and sculptures, a "Hollywood" sign for Wellington, a playground and many more? Meanwhile the pipes underground nearing 100 years and need replacement. This becomes on some days obvious due to the s*** effectively comes to the surface.

        And what has the Government come up with? Replacing the elected council with a board. Hallelujah! Nothing will change other than rates will increase substantially and the gravy train just got a couple more wagons.

        Why have any election at all?

    • Stuart Munro 8.3

      Yeah – the trolling might work better if you concentrated on Bill's achievements – Two years out of nine without a deficit, and a hundred billion in debt. There are better finance ministers than that unemployed and living on the streets.

      • alwyn 8.3.1

        Where do these numbers come from Stuart.

        When, in particular does this "a hundred billion in debt" come from?

        • Stuart Munro

          It's recalled from news reports of the period.

          The media spinelessly bought the "English is competent" rhetoric while debt ballooned and he persistently failed to achieve surpluses.

          There were a few excuses – the GFC. But you play the game in the conditions of the day – if you're making excuses, it's because you're making mistakes.

          Sans migration and housing inflation, English's results were crap.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 8.3.2

        There was only 1 year , 2017 the last without a deficit. Thats was with accrual accounting , on a cash basis they still needed to borrow $ 5 bill in the 2017 budget to cover all spending

        • Stuart Munro

          only 1 year

          Sorry, my bad.

          His wrecking of Solid Energy would have sufficed to establish his reputation as a non-performer had his finance portfolio met with a plausible minimum success.

          • Kiwijoker

            Not to mention SC Finance

            • Ghostwhowalksnz

              The eligibility of finance institutions for the government guarantee had to be approved each and every year by the Minister of Finance. from when Clark- Cullen set it up in late 2008.

              For some reason for South Canterbury Finance who entered the scheme on 19 November 2008 and failed on 31 August 2010 the renewal in Dec 2009 was delegated by the Minister of Finance, Bill English to a Treasury official to sign off.

              They must sign things all the time but this one he didnt want his name on it.

  9. Foreign waka 9

    Regardless of the politics in terms of economic performance, reality is that plans need to be made for all kiwis. Any 2 class society for people earning an average income or on a benefit should be avoided. Thus far nothing has been shown by either party of a way ahead, what priorities are being put in place and how we will get out of this billion dollar debt mountain. In fact the current government is creating a wedge by implementing policies no one has voted on, no one was consulted (democracy much huh?). The only thing they know is how to spend and perhaps the last 2 years have left them bereft of ideas other then to control, control and more control. Mind you, National is not much better with their back to "normal" routine. Nothing can go back to where we were.

    I honestly don't care what party, but I do care what future todays kids will have. The poorer a nation the less environmental issues can be taken into consideration. The division and fanning of discontent – and I do not exclude Maoris as they proof less concerned about their really poor then more about opportunistic posturing – will just slide NZ further down the ranks. Once there are many of those not having anything violence increases. We see already the signs. Survival is an aggressive notion.


    • Tricledrown 9.1

      Tax cuts for the well off austerity or maybe a few crumbs off the table for the bottom 60% of the population cuts to police ,defence,deeper cuts to health education. Then welfare cuts to the homeless who don't have an residential address like Bill English did for 9 yrs , screwing ChCh by making a 5 billion surplus out of the Canterbury Earthquakes. Bill English cut the health budget by 20% the Police budget by 25%.The only people to benefit out of Nationals 9 years were the top 20% the well off.Then the tax cuts came only 6 months prior to the elections inflation destroyed the majority of those who got tax cuts. Luxon has to tell us when people are going to receive their block of cheese tax cuts April 2025 if National get elected going by Nationals history the only other time National gave tax cuts outside election year was 1998 when Winston demanded National follow through on their promises which lead to Shipley taking Jim Bolgers job.Then these tax cuts will put to much money into a highly inflationary economy.

  10. Patricia Bremner 10

    angrycontrol control control. Foreign Waka.

    That was necessary in a Pandemic. Those "Controls" are nearly all lifted, so that is emotive rather than factual.

    "Implementing policies no one voted on."

    In a pandemic that happens, in a rapidly changing world our economy could be seriously disrupted by key industries shedding large numbers of unemployed at once. The six month support frame is to avoid that.

    As you point out economic pain is not shared equally. So for Luxon to be calling some people bottom feeders, talking of not supporting Public Transport, you can add Public Hospitals Public Housing Public Education……. scary, as these are needed by the less well off, but that is not the last of it. No he wants to give us $2 a week and all his rich mates $200 a week in tax cuts… taken from services.

    You may not like what this Government has done, but it has been aimed at helping people, the planet, and the world at large.

    • Foreign waka 10.1

      Control the media more than ever, control peoples behavior with careful released statements…. these are well known mechanisms of governments everywhere.

      The pandemic is now being used as an excuse for everything. And I don't overstate this, 9 out of 10 people I listen to are of the same opinion. The benchmarks of poverty, housing, health are as bad if not worse. But hurray! The consultants make a killing.

      The protest at the parliament – this could have been ended within days if someone from the government would have bothered to show some humility. Obviously pride gets them all.

      The economic pain is about to get worse. Imports that were delayed are far more expensive than goods still in stock in NZ. Interest rates will go up and bite big time, the people most affected will be the ones with an income of about 80k per household and below. Rents will reflect this too. Paying 5k to people who can afford a car that for some families amounts to what they earn in a year is just tone deaf. This can only come from those who earn so much that it becomes inconceivable what it is like for the 30% at the bottom of the heap. Its just political correctness gone mad.

      The best part is that NETT GST income, which is 40% of taxes are mostly paid for by middle and low income earners. That money is then given to the ones who can afford a 60-80k car. What can possible be wrong with that picture? I mean if I can figure this out surely the finance minister can too.

      And whilst remedial action at the start of the pandemic was needed the naivete with which the billions were spend leaves me gob smacked. There were multinationals who had enough reserves and we gave them mega bucks whilst housing the poor in Rotorua. Really? Planning? Knowing your constituencies? To make things worse, to this day these large companies refuse to refund the money the middle class and poor had paid for infrastructure and their future. And the government let them get away with it. Uneven distribution? You bet!

      Helping people is one thing, but a government is elected to keep a country save, secured, solvent and lawful – for all (emphasis). The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      National will not be any better as all they seek is just a bigger slice of the pie.

      It will be interesting when the elections come up. The party with the best sensible plan gets my vote.

      • Bearded Git 10.1.1

        Foreign Waka: 'The pandemic is now being used as an excuse for everything. And I don't overstate this, 9 out of 10 people I listen to are of the same opinion.'

        This is not true, so you must be mixing with the wrong people FW.

        For instance the health reforms and 3 Waters are not pandemic driven.

        • Incognito


        • Foreign waka

          Perhaps, but an opportunistic move nonetheless to introduce to a dazed and overwhelmed, scared to smithereens population new policies that will "help" being healthier. Property rights being diminished and a precedent set by the water reforms. This just might re set the interpretation of any property law in the courts.
          I referred to health as in cancer treatments are being delayed and people dying because of it, housing as in social housing – ref Rotorua. There are now advertisements like in the 3rd world to sponsor a NZ child! So much for setting policies to feed all children. The list goes on and so are the excuses. Not just labor ministers. But they are the ones in charge for quite some years now.

          I am one of those who have no real voice, you know not earning enough and just covering the basics, not on the lowest tier to get any handouts. Not that I am keen on it. Wrong color too. So, yes I must be mixing with the wrong people. Those who are constantly paying but get nothing in return. There are surprisingly many many of us.

          • Bearded Git

            "So, yes I must be mixing with the wrong people. Those who are constantly paying but get nothing in return. There are surprisingly many many of us."

            Agree entirely on this FW. I have made many posts on the Standard supporting the Wealth Tax that was in the Green's last election manifesto (or something similar). This is the only way to redistribute wealth for a fairer NZ.

            Increasing the wages of the poorer members of NZ helps a little, but does little to shift the chronic wealth inequity we have in NZ.

          • Incognito

            I referred to health as in cancer treatments are being delayed and people dying because of it …

            You made that up. AFAIK, there are no data showing that there’s been an increase in people dying from cancer because of delayed treatment due to Covid measures. There have been some disruptions to cancer registrations and diagnostic tests, for example, and it is too early to tell whether they’ve recovered yet, but the impact on patient outcomes are not known yet.

            • Foreign waka

              If you are personally confronted by it: You know the outcome. Theorizing for party appeasement counts for zero for ordinary folks that have to cope. But I challenge you to find comprehensive stats on cancer cases and deaths in NZ to date. Its like the philosophers stone. If the job is done right at the time of registration than the data is be available. It can be collected by case study not by name to get some sort of understanding of type and location.

              There is a plan but how can this be delivered without proper data monitoring? If data is not available on what grounds is any plan executed?

              Page 22:

              "Develop a detailed cancer data and information plan that identifies priority areas for investment to support the delivery of this plan"


              There is also a mention of "equitable" outcomes. What a load…. the outcome has to be for each and everyone to get the best result and not have the person dying because they cant get treatment.

              I wont be talking about this anymore, it is upsetting. I had a friend dying by sheer neglect. Seriously.

              • Incognito

                Indeed, dealing with cancer is confronting and upsetting, which is why it is even more important not to spread fake news, as this only leads to more upset.

                All the things you mention do actually exist in NZ, which is why I challenged you to find and provide it, yet you threw it back at me. Go figure.

                COVID-19 and Cancer Services Monitoring Reports 2021-22

                Te Aho o Te Kahu restarted monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on cancer services in August 2021 when the Delta variant of COVID-19 began to circulate in the community. These reports use available DHB data to rapidly measure the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on cancer care. The ongoing reports enable recovery tracking and DHB support.


  11. Patricia Bremner 11

    We need to fight the following memes

    Labour is sneaky

    Labour is spending carelessly

    Jacinda's partner is a druggy according to Todd MacLaine on her Facebook page. The lies are out there . He is Antivax and has photos that appear to indicate he was at the protest.

    All of these ideas are being promoted.

    • Anne 11.1

      And plenty more. Like:

      the real reason their marriage was postponed is because Clarke Gayford was charged by the police for trafficking drugs. Cocaine I think. The police squashed the claim and yet many people still believe it.

      This despite all the much publicised evidence to the contrary.

      • alwyn 11.1.1

        Why, for God's sake, do you repeat it then?

        All you do is open up attacks like "But I read it from a Labour supporter so it must be true". That is of course assuming you are a Labour supporter. If you aren't I suppose I have opened a similar line of complaint the "Anne is a Labour supporter. I saw it on a blog". Screeeeeaaaam.

        If you can just laugh at anyone who says these things to your face. If you can't just ignore them.

        • lprent

          Nope as a Labour supporter, I'd just assume that those are being invented and spread by the National party dirty politics brigade.

          Because they usually are.

          So that is the latest wisdom from Chris Luxton eh? Fits right into the National misogyny that mickey is pointing to in this post.

        • Patricia Bremner

          No Alwyn, we confront it. Refute it. Disprove it. and out those who practice lies.

          That is the way to stop it. He, Todd MacLaine should be up for libel, as that is a written falsehood damaging to Gayford and the PM.

          It is not a joke to be laughed off.

          • alwyn

            The problem is that it is almost never worth suing someone for Libel if you are a politician. All it does is spread the defamation further and there are always the idiots who will mutter things like "If there's smoke .. etc". Those same idiots will also believe almost anything about their "enemies" as they see them.

            I think that you, if you are a politician, are probably are better to laugh at them.

          • Sacha

            we confront it. Refute it. Disprove it. and out those who practice lies. That is the way to stop it.

            Not how things actually work though. Don't think of an elephant.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Sacha, that woman who tracked and confronted those misogynist liars outed them. They lost face big time. So you think Nicky Hager wasted his time?

              Evil grows where good people do nothing.

              • Sacha

                Evil grows where good people broadcast it.

                And boy did he sort out people like Slater and Farrar and Ede and Key, eh.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 11.1.2

        yes Really speaks to the 'character' of the rumour-mongers. Good on you Anne (and Patricia) for calling out this nonsense, which is simply flinging more rotten fruit from the Dirty Politics tree, planted and tended still by Nats at the highest level.

        No evidence of any change in behaviour (quite the contrary), and why would there be – Dirty Politics is as successful as it is poisonous – witness attempts to intimidate Hager.

        These entitled, bile-filled Nats are slaves to money and power; blight and blighted.


        • Anne

          I think Patricia and I (probably a few others as well) are of an age when we don't care what others might say. Call a spade a spade is my MO. None of this 'receptacle for sweeping up dirt' any more. 😉

  12. Ad 12

    Sir Brian Roche is far worse and had been operating within Ardern's government since she started: After being partner at PWC for 20 years, he Gutted NZPost, NZTA Chair where he's controlled and gutted most of local government, Health Reform Chair and author where he guts local health democracy and most of its institutions, Three Waters Chair where he's gutting the other half of all local government, Transmission Gully PPP apologist, and hasn't finished yet.

    You can take it as read he has the confidence of Ardern.

    Let's not ever state that Labour doesn't have budget hit-men.

    • alwyn 12.1

      They don't just rely on men of course.

      Until about a year ago the Labour Party relied on an pair of long time party figures for the bulk of their intellectual nous. Not having any talent of any kind in the Parliamentary ranks they relied on a couple of relics from the Clark years.

      Michael Cullen and Heather Simpson seemed to be running everything. One hadn't been in Parliament since 2009 and the other had never even made it into the House at all. They certainly seemed to have far more clout than the senior Cabinet Ministers though.

      • Anne 12.1.1

        What a load of bullshit! Every prime minister has their advisers from outside parliament. They also have at least one political adviser from outside their parliamentary ranks. Every leader of the Opposition also has their personal advisers both within and beyond parliament.

        The Nats attacked Heather Simpson big time because she was… a woman, and she was working for a woman prime minister who they were trying to denigrate every which way possible. Just like they're doing to Jacinda Ardern.

        They call it misogyny alwyn – something you have been showing signs of possessing in neon lights for some time now.

        • alwyn

          "Every prime minister has their advisers".

          Of course they do. Now why do you object if one of the best qualified people in New Zealand should possibly be involved in sorting out the problems in the State sector should National become the Government.

          Surely it isn't because he is a man? You can't really be a misandrist can you.

          And why do you interpret this as an attack by me on Heather Simpson, I am merely pointing out that she, and Michael Cullen, were doing exactly the same sort of thing that it appears Bill English may be.

          I did point out that she was never an MP. It was of course Micky Savage who insisted on pointing out that "So an unelected individual accountable to no one" seemed to be unacceptable. Well why not ask him why they have to be elected?

          • lprent

            I am merely pointing out that she, and Michael Cullen, were doing exactly the same sort of thing that it appears Bill English may be.

            Because it doesn't read like Bill English will be involved in making the decisions via doing reports on health systems or capital gains tax as Simpson and Cullen did. Many of those findings were rejected by the elected MPs.

            Nor does it sound like Bill English would be a subordinate of an elected official – he will be making the decisions. Basically if she is lucky Nicola Wills may be able to have some input into those decisions.

            Reading the Luxton comments, it reads like Bill English will be making the decisions and using Nicola Wills as a sock-puppet.

            I did point out that she was never an MP. It was of course Micky Savage who insisted on pointing out that "So an unelected individual accountable to no one" seemed to be unacceptable. Well why not ask him why they have to be elected?

            Because as Bill English would be making decisions for the crown that are unaccountable to the crown. Perhaps you should look at how our constitutional system works rather than living in some fantasy land you made up?.

            Now why do you object if one of the best qualified people in New Zealand should possibly be involved in sorting out the problems in the State sector should National become the Government.

            Basically he isn't. The fiscal and economic mess that he made after the Asian flu in 1997/8 and the appalling economic damage that he did between 2009 and 2013 indicate that he has no real conception of basic economics.

            In both periods he ran a fiscal entrenchment policy that was worthy of the coalition governments in NZ between 1929 and 1935, with the same effect. It harmed the businesses in the country and harmed the infrastructure required to assist in a recovery.

            The fiscal stimulus that he released with tax cuts almost entirely for the wealthy did nothing economically except to continue a unproductive boom in speculation and housing. One that didn't build virtually any new housing for most of a decade. Nor did it provide infrastructure for future economic growth.

            Fortunately even a economic moron like Bill English was capable of realising this, which is why the next round of tax cuts didn't happen. Quite simply there was none of the expected rise in fiscal returns. There wasn't even signs of it doing anything productive.

            Instead the government of which he was part of started importing migrants wholesale – without providing the required investment in infrastructure to support high immigration rates. Instead they spent infrastructure money in places where migrants didn’t settle in significant numbers. That continues to act like a dragging anchor on developing our economy.

            Basically Bill English has proven that he is useless in any economic or fiscal role when dealing with anything except plain sailing. His only skills appear to be as a bureaucrat or a technically dimwitted politician.

            • Anne

              "Basically if she is lucky Nicola Wills may be able to have some input into those decisions"

              Like signing on the dotted line at the bottom?

  13. Patricia Bremner 13

    Personally I always felt Bill English was the "friendly face" of the real power behind the throne, however there is bad historical blood between Bill and Adrian Orr.

    When Orr was paid a million a year for his success with the Superannuation Fund, Bill English fought that.

    Interesting he will be advising National when Adrian Orr is now Reserve Bank Governor. Popcorn anyone.???

    • Poission 13.1

      The RBNZ is independent of the government,it sets monetary policy (how much money is in the economy and the ability to transfer money ) it also regulates the banks and other markets.

      It's primary focus is to maintain financial stability by liquidity and interest rates to maintain employment and control inflation including the wealth assets (the later being in both the real such as property and the imaginary such as stock indices etc)

      Globally the consensus is that inflation is forced by both external and internal factors,and some fiscal constraint is also necessary.

      A significant proportion of inflation is driven by wealth expectations due to asset appreciation such as your property,or shares pension fund etc.

      The messaging is significant from the reserve banks,asset appreciation is excessive (too much money too few assets) 1/4 % rise was too low,try a half now with 3/4 on the next move.Wealth expectations are being lowered by monetary decree,the era of free money is over and fiscal responsibility is a requirement, not an optional extra.

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Well said.

        Interesting graph.

        So if we can't get money, and we can't get builders, and we can't get building materials, how are we going to build more houses? You can't invent them.

        It's an impressive array of negative signals that our government can do little about.

        • Poission

          The building boom is the main cost of underlying inflation (6%) the excess demand has fueled instability,with extended credit growth,which in turn will reduce the ability to spend as mortgages renew.

          Building beyond the capacity of production (material and skilled labour) is unsustainable.

          CoreLogic chief economist Kelvin Davidson said the price increases were occurring as the demand for materials outstripped supply.

          He said a record number of dwellings were consented in the year ended February at nearly 49,800, but there was now a sense emerging within the industry that it might only have the capacity to support 30,000 to 35,000 properties per year.

          The shift towards building more townhouses, which accounted for nearly half of all consents and require fewer materials, offered no respite because of the sheer volume of new builds.


          Moving from a destroy and replace mode is an available option,without reducing the available labour force,enforcing the RMA for short term accommodation will also make available a lot of rental accommodation very fast.

          Large scale projects,need to be kept on the drawing board,and moving to enhanced maintenance is a better option.

        • Stuart Munro

          It's easy if your object is actually livable homes, not infinitely increasing book value. 2 containers – not a lot of materials or craftsmanship required.

      • pat 13.1.2

        Gotta love the Feds confidence in its ability to engineer a soft landing…..it would be a first.

        • Poission

          The fed had a little leeway in that the increased savings (cash) by households over Covid allows a backstop,as is households with 30yr fixed mortgages.

  14. Mike the Lefty 14

    So National is interested in slashing budgets eh?

    Does that include the new roads and prisons that they always want to build?

    Probably not.

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    Do we need to start watching Baldrick’s eyebrows to discern what he really means?

    An obvious slight to Ms Willis certainly, but you could view women participating in the Natzos as an automatic insult to other women anyway.

  16. Peter 16

    Why not bring back Steven Joyce too? I mean now he's a columnist he is even more and expert that ever.

    Let's be honest though, if you want expertise about housing problems and poverty surely getting two architects of such problems in is a good idea.

    • Luckily Joyce and Pullya Benefit are "Premium content" in the Herald smileysmiley and so can't be accessed by people (like me) who refuse to donate to the entity that owns the Herald, Newstalk ZB etc.

      • Patricia Bremner 16.1.1

        smiley Yes Bearded Git, also the inclusion of that crook Damien Grant would tell the intent of their Editorial line.

  17. Muttonbird 17

    The Nats have a clear strategy for the budget. They are setting up the idea that any spending is bad spending. They are promoting the fallacy that government spending is the main cause of inflation. They want Grant Robertson to go shy and cut back on plans so the budget is a flop, voters get nothing and are left depressed into the winter.

    • Anne 18.1

      Did he ever!! It was embarrassing to watch. He repeatedly contradicted himself and couldn't or wouldn't answer Tane's questions. When asked to specify where government's over- spending was occurring, all he could come up with was a handful of smallish expenditure which didn't amount to much more than 2% of the over-all spend.

      Then to top it all off. he agreed he was going to be $18,000 per annum better off under their tax-cut scheme while your average Joe Bloggs would get around $800.

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