ACT: bought by the Nats for a song

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, April 29th, 2011 - 123 comments
Categories: act, national - Tags: , ,

The Left are rubbing our hands with glee at the prospect of taking on BrashKey, but make no mistake, Key wanted this coup too. Think about it: former Nat Leader Don Brash, former Nat Minister John Banks, Nat money man Alan Gibbs, former Nat President Michelle Boag – and it goes down while John Key is far away playing smile and wave in Europe.

I’m not saying that something new on the Right wouldn’t have emerged anyway but clearly there were people behind the scenes pulling Brash’s strings in this coup (he’s actually looking increasingly like a worn-out puppet). And they were National people with National’s interests at heart.

Key’s guarantee to Hide that he could keep the salary and perks of a lameduck minister was obviously important in getting him to step aside relatively quietly. Just as Key’s indication last week that National wouldn’t run a candidate vote campaign in Epsom was an invitation to ACT that said ‘if you run someone half way decent, you’re saved, but we all know that’s not Hide’.

The way this all suddenly exploded just after Key left the country, with Brash looking more befuddled by anyone, was telling.

Ok, yes, Roger Douglas was strongly supportive of Brash’s coup and so was Heather Roy and, yes, Key has ruled Douglas out of cabinet and let Roy be deposed last year. But ruling out Douglas was always just election campaign positioning from Key that reassured New Zealand and letting Roy go may have seemed like the sensible thing last year when it was still thought Hide could win Epsom. Things change and when the interests of Key in having a coalition partner to the right combined with Douglas and Roy’s interest in getting rid of Hide of course they work towards the same end.

National’s Key faction thinks this will work well for National (the English faction doesn’t, because Brash will scare too many vote to the Left, witness Farrar’s fumbling of this issue). Indeed, the Key-ists think it vital. No-one seriously believes that National will poll over 50% in November. They’re on 51% in the latest Roy Morgan. In 2002, Labour was polling mid-50s well into the campaign but finally came in at 41%. People don’t want to trust one party as a majority government. If National doesn’t get 50% it needs partners. Dependency on the 2-3 MP rump that will be left of the Maori Party once Labour and Mana smash it is not acceptable. Don’t forget, the Maori Party still votes against National more often than not. Needing the Maori Party for the occasional vote is one thing. Needing them every time is another.

So, by this thinking, a rightwing partner is needed that can give a National-led government a majority it can govern with. A new party could have been established but what a hassle! Far easier to buy an existing one. Which is what they did. It wasn’t Brash’s ‘brand’ that ACT saw as a voter winner (‘vote for me, I’m that old, aloof, philandering, lying, racist son of a bitch who used to raise your mortgage payments and just royally screwed over a mate in public then took his job’). No, it was the money that came with him that ACT saw as its lifesaver.

National gets a guaranteed rightwing support partner (providing Banks, not Brash, runs in Epsom) and, in return, ACT gets to not face oblivion. Problem solved.

Except. Brash has a tendency to say what he’s thinking. And what he’s thinking is batshit crazy stuff that most New Zealanders want nothing to do with. This creates an opportunity for the Greens and Labour (‘a vote for Key is a vote for Brash’). It gives a great opportunity to New Zealand First and the Mana Party too. Even Peter Dunne sees the chance to reprise his role as the ‘common sense’ counter to a radical party, as he did with the Greens in 2002.

With a new Left party launching tomorrow, a three-way fight looming in the Maori seats, a new look ACT, the centrist parties smelling opportunity, Winston now even more likely to run in Epsom, confidence in government plummeting, National+ACT polling just 52%, and the spectre of Brash looming to send moderates back to Labour – this election just got a whole lot harder to predict.

And all it took was the destruction of Rodney Hide’s career… unless he makes a tilt for Epsom as an independent.

123 comments on “ACT: bought by the Nats for a song ”

  1. M 1

    ‘And all it took was the destruction of Rodney Hide’s career… unless he makes a tilt for Epsom as an independent.’

    Yeah, don’t like the guy but if he ran as an independent it would be understandable. He could treat Don as nicely as he’s been treated: pretend to be supportive and pull the rug out from under Donny.

    Actually, apart from the left getting in, that would make my political year – treachery rewarded with treachery.

    • rosy 1.1

      It looks like Brash is making sure Hide has no momentum Total takeover – Heather Roy, Minister for Local Government?

      He indicated he would ask Mr Key to give Mr Hide’s portfolios to another MP, citing as a precedent Mr Hide’s decision to strip Heather Roy of her portfolios because of her coup attempt.

  2. higherstandard 2

    I quite like the idea of a very left and very right party saying what they’re thinking rather than lying to try and get votes.

    Who knows there might be meritorious ideas raised from both sides of the spectrum which could be latched onto and implemented by the lying, boring, do nothing, troughing dross at the centre of NZ politics.

  3. Luva 3

    It’s a funny old day when the left and right are rubbing their hands with glee as a result of changes in a minor fringe party.

    For many on the right Brash is still seen as the saviour. He saved the National party frOm the doom days of 2002 and brought the party within a whisker of beating a very popular Labour and Clark in 2005. Since Orewa one the nats have never looked back.

    Can he reinvigorate ACT like he did so successfully with National

    • PeteG 3.1

      I think Brash’s ressurection abilities are being overstated, especially by Brash.

      National were always likely to bounce back from 2002. Act voters switched to National – the Act vote in 2005 dropped from 7% to 1.5%. Labour were very beatable. And Brash/National came up short.

      Since then Brash has accumulated further baggage, and isn’t any better as far as charisma goes.

  4. Lazy Susan 4

    Absolutely agree Eddie I think the Key Corporation is in on all this.

    Also possibly part of a longer game plan. If, and it’s a big if, National govern the next term with Act as their only coalition partner they can blame Act for all the shitty stuff the business elite want shoved through (as per Hide and the Super City). This will not only get the job done but will also discredit MMP – the old “tail wagging the dog” arguement will be played.

    • higherstandard 4.1

      So this is all an evil plan by that Machiavellian genius John Key.

      After his latest musings in the UK….

      “Key confessed yesterday he has succumbed to royal fever and bought some shortbread. Wife Bronagh got him a souvenir mug.

      He said he’d bought the shortbread “and some other bits and pieces. But no tea-towels.”

      ….. I just can’t see it.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        You’re quite right, Key is over there to have a good time, and let his ideas people back home sort out the complications for him. He will however do what they suggest and rubber stamp stuff to his satisfaction. But be Machiavelli on his own? Agree with you, don’t think so.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        So this is all an evil plan by that Machiavellian genius John Key.

        He’s neither the one pulling the strings nor is he the one putting together the political strategy and tactics. He’s just the puppet waved in front of us.

        • higherstandard

          DTB frankly what the fuck do you know about anything apart from stinking up the internet with ” they are psychopaths” comments every couple of days.

          • McFlock

            Well, the proposition that Key orchestrated the purchase of Act requires he be able to manipulate the leader he rolled as well as the party’s major donors. Then trust in his own brilliance enough to leave the country while the coup d’etat took place (which is a bit of a contradiction – a micro-manipulator who will leave his main strategic preparation battle to his subordinates, with no / limited oversight).

            Oh, and I seriously think some of them ARE psychopaths. There’s only so much dissonance you can take and still be socially functional.

            • higherstandard

              You have no idea what a psychopath is.

              • McFlock

                Thanks for telling me what I do or do not know.

                YOU have no idea whether the term “psychopath” is being used in its popular sense, its (I believe largely obsolete) medical sense, or to what degree.

                So to be slightly more precise:

                I seriously believe that some of our current government MPs and ministers fully realise the harm and the suffering they are causing to individuals without any internal need to rationalise or minimise their impact. I seriously believe that they know people will and/or die because of government actions, and that these deaths serve only people in a ministerial tax bracket rather than being for “the greater good”. I believe that some of these ministers have first-hand experience of the suffering and difficulty such policies cause, yet have no guilt, regret or self-recrimination about the suffering they know they cause. I also believe that some government MPs can and probably have looked into the eyes of those who do and will suffer as a result of government policies, held their hands and consoled or reassured them in front of the media, yet this experience never touched their heart.

                Maybe that’s not your definition of “psychopath”, but it’s certainly fucked up and puts the “anti” in “antisocial”.

              • higherstandard


                Read up – most politicians are turds of the highest order and many may have some sociopathic traits but to describe them as psychopaths is as fatuous as the Communist and Nazi name calling that goes about in the political blogs.

                • McFlock

                  Well, they look like they score through the roof in the aggressive narcissistic questions, seem to have planning and behavioural issues, and looking at Act both Brash and Hide are on multiple marriages.

                  Not based on a psychological interview, and data on some of the more intimate questions are quite rightly not available, but it’s damned closer than a Godwin would be.

                • Deadly_NZ

                  And of that list you could say that 13 fit our oh so esteemed Prime minister. Take out the sex and crime stuff and the marital stuff and yep the rest is pure key or brash or english or …. Oh Hell

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You know, I’d love to see our pollies (sitting MPs and hopefuls) put through that test. I think NZ would be surprised/horrified at how many of them are psychopathic.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Apparently, more than you.

      • Puddleglum 4.1.3

        To be in the loop on something (and desire it to happen) is not the same as orchestrating something.

        John Key tends towards the personal strategy of positioning himself to take advantage of others’ machinations and, as a consequence, to facilitate in his own little way – and nod ascent – if it suits his ambitions. As Colin James noted in one of his columns, Key’s life as a trader predisposes him to playing the game rather than being a game-changer. But, if he sees others looking like they will be successful in changing the game I presume he will do his best to position himself favourably in that game.

        He knew for at least a couple of weeks, by his own admission, that Brash was thinking of making this move. (Personally, I think it would have been much longer – hence the vague ‘Oh, I’ve sort of known about it for a week or two, I think.’). I imagine a quick smile and a humorous comment to the effect of ‘at least leave it till I go off to the wedding, Don!’ would be his style.

        Then again, perhaps John Key has never had a remotely strategic or tactical thought in his life. Maybe his success in the trading game was, therefore, pure luck. What was it he said about ‘pattern recognition’ and how good he was at it? Yet, can’t see some pretty obvious patterns within his own political circles?

  5. Bill 5

    Last time National positioned themselves as ‘Labour lite’ moderates.

    This time they can position themselves as moderates by differentiating themselves from the ‘rabid Brashite brigade’…and get mileage from Labour’s strategy of compromise and accommodation with National policies.

    Meanwhile, Peter’s just lost his Hide platform. And that means that Key also avoids ‘flak by association’.

  6. PeteG 6

    With a new Left party launching tomorrow, a three-way fight looming in the Maori seats, a new look ACT, the centrist parties smelling opportunity, Winston now even more likely to run in Epsom, confidence in government plummeting, National+ACT polling just 52%, and the spectre of Brash looming to send moderates back to Labour – this election just got a whole lot harder to predict.

    I agree totally on the difficulties in predicting.

    Brash is as likely to shore up National votes to keep the Act influence at a modest level as he is to send voters back to Labour.

    There is a lot going on – where does this leave Labour? There are at least as many dangers now as for National, possibly more because they are out of the limelight. With all the action going on around them they will have to be careful they aren’t lost in action. Maybe they need to stake out their own ground a bit more and not add to the publicity of other parties so much.

  7. ASA 7

    The hollow men are back (including the exclusive bethrens?) Time to get the book and re-read it.Where are you, Nicky? I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Key was not directly involved with organising this and he, and English, had a metaphorical gun held to their heads by the power brokers behind this incredible series of events. Think about it – a person, who is not a member of a political party, organises a coup from outside the party. That would equate to someone coming in from the street to roll Key or Goff. Would that ever happen?

    My reasoning – in comparison with Brash, Joyce and like, Key and English are relatively moderate. Having Brash added to the mix will present a far more difficult management situation for Key, whereas Hide was, well, Hide. I can’t see that Key would have willingly planned for Brash to be on board, and I note that he’s been pretty quick to rule out senior cabinet roles for him.This really does suggest that there’s a bigger game going on than we realise.

    • handle 7.1

      Moderate? Think again. Key was one of the hollow men. And bought his way into parliament with a seven figure donation to the National Party’s bagmen.

    • ianmac 7.2

      Nicky was on Morning Report this morning in the last hour I think. Was very scathing on Brash resurrection.

      • Matthew Hooton 7.2.1

        Does Nicky not like Brash? Wow.

        • Tigger

          Yes, Matthew, it’s all about personal like since the left is full of bitchy types who take personal dislikes to people. Fuck mate, your spin lines are more noticeable than Brash’s liver spots.

        • gobsmacked

          Hi Matthew.

          Could you please explain your latest lie on “Nine to Noon” this week, saying Labour were at 22% in “private polling”?

          So why are Labour at 32% in the latest public poll?

          Do you really think that Radio NZ listeners are stupid?

        • Sean

          Firstly, Barry Gustafson, who shared that interview, and credited Brash not with just missing on the 2005 election, but losing it because he scared centre voters, has supported the National Party since he wrote “The First 50 Years: A History of the New Zealand National Party ” back in 1986. He sees Brash as having a toxic and tarnished image.

          Secondly, Hager is critical of Brash because some people in the National party office leaked to him papers and emails of Brash’s that discussed his relationship with his anonymous backers and what he actually wanted to do as Prime Minister, rather than what he pretended he wanted to do once he got into power.

          Hager is critical only because he knows Brash’s motivations quite a bit better than the voting public did in 2005. You should read the book Hager wrote Matthew, there is a bit where Don Brash mentioned you by name as one of his supporters.

          Of course, Nicky Hager mentioned you as one of his current backers in this interview, are you?

    • Anne 7.3

      I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Key was not directly involved with organising this and he, and English, had a metaphorical gun held to their heads by the power brokers behind this incredible series of events.

      Spot on ASA. I witnessed those power brokers in action back in the mid-Nineties. They began to set the scene for a new political party to the right of National as early as 1993 – three years before the start of MMP. The money thrown at the formation of the ACT Party was astronomical – far more than was ever declared. And the commensurate wastage of resources was enormous. It makes a mockery of their so-called policy of “reductions in spending” and “living within our means”. This is the original ACT that Brash says he wants to resurrect!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      My reasoning – in comparison with Brash, Joyce and like, Key and English are relatively moderate.

      Nope, Key’s as radical as Brash and Rodders. He had to promise to be Labour Lite to get National elected to the Treasury benches but that was the only reason he put on the moderate persona mask.

  8. PeteG 8

    This really does suggest that there’s a bigger game going on than we realise.

    There always is.

    The big money power brokers have always struggled to go the full distance when it comes to power politics. They are not one single entity, there are many competing factions, like everywhere else in the spectrum. Far more complex than thinking it’s just X doing Y to achieve Z.

  9. MikeG 9

    If Brash is so good for ACT why doesn’t he stand in Epsom?

  10. Sanctuary 10

    Frankly, I think the electoral appeal of the geriatric Brash is being wildly over-estimated by the generally equally geriatric media commentariat.

    Brash, Banks, Douglas – these men are a grotesque assembly of the day before yesterday’s men. We are not seeing the future here – we are seeing the last death throes of the neo-liberal, 1980’s right.

    • ak 10.1

      ….we are seeing the last death throes of the neo-liberal, 1980′s right

      Tend to agree, sanc. We forget that the 2002 Nat corpse was only dragged from the crypt by the filth of Orewa One and has been primped and tarted along since, solely by expensive cosmetic artistry on its single star and support from ACT or the Maori Party. A tenuous situation at best – and with the MP forced irretrievably left, the retention of ACT’s gaggle of demented clowns was essential and pressing.

      That the race card and the demonstrably failed policies of Big Money greed via the withered Brash was the only option remaining is encouraging: it’s the toxic sludge of a barrel that Joanna Public has no wish to revisit, and its stench will permeate and cling to all and sundry – including the nice Mr Key.

      Dementia Don’s recent ruthlessness (and the election night 2008 ACT act) will leave no one in any doubt that this mangy dog’s tail would wag us back to the nasty nineties in a shake. NACT just lost its Nice mask: the left now has its stark target, and needs to unite firmly in fury.

      A vote for Key is indeed a vote for Brash. A dirty black cloud just shrouded that synthetic brighter future: time for a blaze from the Left.

  11. ianmac 11

    Perhaps Winston could stand in the same electorate as Don? Don’s pondering mind would be interesting against Winston’s wit. Or will Don not dare to stand in an electorate and be given No 1. on the List as a free run into Parliament. Great for MMP?

    • MikeG 11.1

      Am I right in saying that there is a high correlation between opponents of MMP and supporters of Brash?

      Brash isn’t prepared to stand in the most likely ACT seat, but would rather use the system his supporters are opposed to, to get a seat in Parliament.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      Actually that would be a sensible move by Don, to put himself at list position #1 and rely on Banks at #2 to win Epsom. Shows that he has faith in Banks, while at the same time not facing a defeat. Lets see how arrogant he is.

      • rosy 11.2.1

        I think he’s already shown how arrogant he is.

        • the pink postman

          Arrogance is to mild for this Guy.He has allready told us that he want’s to be the Minister of Finance and he’s not even elected . This take over is beyond belief ,but there is no doubt it has been very well planned even to making sure Key’s hands are not dirtied by having him eating muffins or is it crumpets in the UK. I smell the stench of Crosby -Textor . I’m not sure how this will workout but one thing is certain the money will flow into the coffers of Act/Nat.The no Brash no cash policy of the BRT and other rich groups will be reversed.Im still waiting to hear from Tariana Turia on how she can work with Iwi /Kiwi Brash.

  12. Lanthanide 12

    “and it goes down while John Key is far away playing smile and wave in Europe.”

    Note that this is Key’s now twice-postponed trip. Is it possible that this coup was specifically engineered for when he was out of the country in Europe? Could this coup have taken place last year in Sept-Oct when the first earthquake cancelled the first trip, and again in February when the second earthquake cancelled the second trip? As it turned out, going over Easter weekend maximised the impact of the media coverage, but it’s plausible that this could have been planned from as early as the middle of last year (basically after Banks lost the supercity and Garrett was done for stealing an infant’s identity).

    Also, Nicky Hagar and a political scientist were on Morning Report this morning after 8, talking about the Hollow Men and how Brash is just a re-tread of the previous failed policies. The pol scientist said that in 2005 Brash ‘almost won’, and that if it had been anyone else, such as English, they probably would have.

  13. 13

    To throw a bit more sauce into the mix … NZ Labour swiftly and consensually changes its leadership so that a fresh, bright, energetic, young and street-smart leadership contrasts with Brash Banks & Key.

    Yeah, I’m just dreaming.

    I’m supposed to be looking for a job.

    Sorry Paula, I’ll get back into it.

    • Sam 13.1

      perhaps Labour should engineer a similar take-over of the Greens or Maori Party?
      It has already rolled the “progressive party”. Maybe try “United Future ” as well.
      Oh yes, these things cannot happen as the party is broke, both in money terms and smart people.

  14. ianmac 14

    Perhaps this whole program is a master-plan by Stephen Joyce and rich men to highlight the revival/saving of Act as the right wing of the National party.
    Why else would the take-over be so public? A sympathetic MSM has given Brash all the airtime he would wish for. Backtrack the time line and what a coup for National Act. Insurance for Key. Either a majority National Govt, or if necessary another NAct compromise.

    Hope this revitalises the Left and even the Maori Left. Will they want to be coalition with NAct? Now Brash and Key both want to abolish the Maori seats.

  15. Rich 15

    Ah, but the rules have changed, thanks to CERA.

    As a minimum, all Key needs is one confidence and supply vote after November. Then he can rule by edict for three years. CERA doesn’t exclude finance legislation (removing the check on kings and governments that’s been around since Magna Carta), so he can just levy taxes by Order in Council.A confidence vote could remove the government, but by not summoning parliament (what for – it’s not needed to pass edicts) he could dodge even that.

    Of course he won’t do this unless he has to (it’s a bit of a one shot). But it’s a fair bet that there’ll be some sort of global financial crisis in the next three years, and they’ve got the precedent. Flick Turia, Sharples and Dunne a few more baubles, pass an emergency measure under urgency and suddenly, they’ve got five years of powers to do anything (unlike an earthquake, you can argue that anything government does is dealing with economic issues at some level).

    • nadis 15.1


      I think we all appreciate eternal vigilance is the price of democracy etc etc, but seriously? This is bordering on the paranoid.

      What you’re suggesting is that Key is looking for an opportunity to abrogate parliament and elections? Seriously?

      • Rich 15.1.1

        Well, the Canadian government prorogued parliament in order to avoid an election.

        And why would a government pass laws that it can’t conceive of using? Seriously, are we really going to get to 2014 and then suddenly realise that the RMA needs to be relaxed *immediately* to allow for rebuilding of Christchurch. So why do they need 5 years of the power to override any law beyond a minimal kernel of constitutional legislation?

        The kind of changes that the National right wing (which is, as we have seen, interchangeable with the ACT party) want could never be honestly approved by the NZ electorate. So to get them and deliver what the Gibbs and Velas want is going to need some sort of alternative form of “democracy”. Key is just paving the way.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.2

        What you’re suggesting is that Key is looking for an opportunity to abrogate parliament and elections? Seriously?

        Seen the elected Ecan board around lately?

  16. ASA 16

    @ Handle: Key is moderate not because of his political beliefs, but because of his overwhelming need is to be liked by as many people as possible – hence his need to keep closer to the centre. He looked liked the cat with the cream when he went in to meet the Queen. Key is a puppet, a distractor, put in place to draw attention away from the real agenda and to keep the Nats ahead in the polls. The heavy lifting is behind the scenes. Brash also, while more vocal and upfront with his views, is also another puppet, put up by the same forces, to attract a different segment of voters – the conservative bigots and racists. Don’t be fooled – he’s not the originator of this event. I repeat – there’s a much bigger game on here than we realise, and its not just limited to New Zealand.

    • Sam 16.1

      Of course there is – the NWO, international bankers (to which Key and Brash are aligned) and Bilderbergers and then there is the UN (soon to have Auntie Helen in charge) and the IMF, who will tell NZ, especially with Goff (or another Labour person) as PM, what to do and will demand that the “welfare state” be dismantled.
      These forces will wait till there is a Labour (left wing) PM, so that in this process the political left wing will be utterly destroyed and they, who are repeating this process worldwide, will have free reign.

      • ASA 16.1.1

        Thanks – hadn’t heard of the Bilderbergers. Having done a quick bit of research, there’s enough smoke to suggest influences from them. Guess the Heritage Foundation could be added as well. Naturally the IMF will be involved as well, and then there’s the influence of the corporates, as spelled out in John Ralston Saul’s book, “The Unconscious Civilization”.
        This leaves then, the big question – how do we fight this?

      • voldemort 16.1.2

        You forgot to mention Harry Potter.

        But many of these people do exist. Have a look at

        ‘Cracking Codes & Cryptograms For Dummies’ (google it).

        Gerry Mateparae may be of assistance.

    • Puddleglum 16.2

      I agree that Key is motivated by a concern with his own ‘popularity’. But that works on at least two levels.

      Yes, he wants to be one of the most popular PMs in New Zealand’s history. And he wants that even after his time as PM ends (i.e., the legacy of a popular PM). But he also wants status amongst those with whom he circulates (‘peer recognition and approval’, if you like). Given who those people are, it is not hard to guess what achievements they might admire: Key as the man who delivered for them what they wanted (and may even think is ‘good for the country’).

      Key will be aiming for both and backing himself that he can pull it off. My guess is that his ambition is only partly external; he also wants to think he is the kind of person who can achieve such an unlikely quinella. That would really set him apart.

  17. It’s been in the wind for a while.

    “Brash and Banks hatched their plans for a comeback about four months ago but the decision to make a run for ACT was not finalised till last month, when Hide offered Brash the co-leadership, which he rejected.

    Brash and Banks confirmed yesterday there had been talks with people within the wider National Party, but would not say who. But there had been no talks with Key or his inner circle.”

    Interesting that they (B&B) specifically distanced Key from it – what naughty thoughts in the public mind were they trying to pre-empt (why would they mention that Key had nothing to do with it?).

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      But there had been no talks with Key or his inner circle

      Key doesn’t read those sort of emails anyway, just forwards them.

  18. Blighty 18


    “Hide Questions If Brash Had Numbers To Roll Him

    By Political Correspondent Marie McNicholas at 5:46 pm, 28 Apr 2011

    Departing ACT leader Rodney Hide questions if Don Brash ever had the numbers to roll him and says the only vote in caucus that shifted was his own

    After seven years at the helm of the party, Mr Hide is standing down and is also reviewing whether to stay in politics after Dr Brash pulled off a brazen leadership challenge in which Mr Hide blinked before the top job was put to a vote.

    Mr Hide says he would never have let it get that far, determining that the spectacle of a drawn out public leadership contest would be damaging to the party and a distraction for the National-led Government.

    Dr Brash said he could not recall telling Mr Hide he did not have the numbers to win a leadership vote.

    “I may have said ‘I don’t know’, but I wouldn’t have said ‘I haven’t got the numbers’ because in fact by that stage I thought I had the numbers,” Dr Brash said.
    “Certainly my impression by the end of yesterday was that I probably had a majority.”

    Mr Hide said he never thought he would lose his job when he approached Dr Brash to join the party and stand for ACT, and it had never occurred to him that anyone would try to be leader without joining the party first.”

    • felix 18.1

      “I may have said ‘I don’t know’, but I wouldn’t have said ‘I haven’t got the numbers’ because in fact by that stage I thought I had the numbers,” Dr Brash said.
      “Certainly my impression by the end of yesterday was that I probably had a majority.”

      Classic Brashism. Love it. Get this clown gibbering in front of the cameras at every opportunity and half the job is done.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Brash’s coup is excellent news for the opposition, because it reinforces the Right’s belief in their version of “shock doctrine”.

    Brash & co will now be saying “See? Boldness works! Action man wins! No pussy footing around, bull by the horns, tiger by his tail, er, some more animal cliches …!”

    Psychology 101: it worked before, let’s do it again.

    Let’s push on, they will say. Let’s demand more from Key. Let’s get Hide out of caucus, Ministerial posts, the lot. Let’s call for Bill English’s head. Let’s get Douglas in (OK, that one may be crazy, but then they ARE crazy, so … why not?).

    They don’t want to play nicely. They won’t be controlled by National. They are the equivalent of the Americans arming the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan. You need them to be armed and dangerous, but then you lose control over the danger. The guns are turned on the suppliers.

    Brash-ACT are sufficiently deluded to think that this can be done without harming National’s safe lead in the polls. They’re wrong.

  20. William Joyce 20

    It’s not about ACT, it’s about getting National a second term!

    This has all the marks of strategic and tactical planning in some smoke filled room. Most of the planners would not have been the people who fronted to the lazy, ambulance-chasing, ambushing Calvert MSM.

    This has all the beauty of a well planned and executed chess move and not the passionate whim of some old guy who got up one morning and had a thought while sitting on the commode. This was probably a joint venture by interested parties on the right who saw how the games was progressing and needed to sacrifice a prominent piece to progress the game.

    Despite the gloating on the right, National was facing an election without any easy coalition partner.
    – ACT was toast because there was a real prospect that Rodney was not going to take Epsom. No Rodney, no other ACT candidates riding on his coat tails.
    – The Maori party are going to take a pasting with Hone splitting the vote and/or some returning to Labour with the prospect that Hone could make a supply and agreement partner for Labour

    The prospect of left leaning house with so many coalition options would have scared the proverbial out of the right. The prospect was that Labour (provided they polled high enough) could have formed a minority coalition in the absence of National being able to cobble one together.

    The boffins on the right have realised that MMP is all about the king makers.To that end they deliberately set out to remove Winston Peters and NZ First in the last election. The timing had to be just before the election so that Winston would take a hit and would have no to time to recover.

    Rodney Hide was their man on point for this and he sat in those hearings in the front row as he watched it all play out. I guess he thought that if he pleased his masters in this way they would look after him. I guess he’s learned something about the loyalty of his “friends” now in a karmic sort of way.

    This superb move puts Brash as #1 on the list, Banks in as member for Epsom and drags in the also rans, thus securing a strong natural coalition partner for National – which they desperately needed.

    So now, what is the pay off? Key is positioning himself in the centre right by saying, over the last few days, non-threatening, Mr Nice guy, things that moderate and swing voters want to hear – hoping to secure their votes. Mr Smile and Wave at work again to placate the masses. Meanwhile ACT can be seen to be the nasty radicals that that nice Mr key is protecting us from. But eventually he will plead that he was forced against his will into doing some nasty things because of a coalition agreement with ACT – when in fact it’s what National have wanted to do all along but didn’t because they didn’t want to scare the horses.

    In 2008, National had to get there foot in door after so long in opposition and they could only do that by following the focus groups, trotting out the Smiling Assassin and giving the electorate what it things it wants and not mentioning any of the things that would frighten them. The plan hinges on getting a second term so they can implement what they have always wanted.

    This week has not been about ACT but all about getting that second term for National.

    I bet there was a lot of champagne corks popping last night!

    • gobsmacked 20.1

      Yes, we get all that William.

      But this move makes a second term less likely. Not more.

      Both Brash/ACT and some on the left (like yourself) seem to think that National will not suffer any collateral damage. I strongly disagree.

      Key’s high numbers in the polls are thanks to people who did NOT vote National in 2008. He has not only got the swing voters, but also a section of Labour voters who National (i.e. Key) don’t scare.

      Until now.

      A hypothetical second term wasn’t scary enough. Don Brash changes that, from hypothetical to real. It has a face. That makes all the difference.

      Shouting “Look out! Hidden agenda!” hasn’t worked. But it’s not hidden any more. Thank God (or Don) for that.

      • William Joyce 20.1.1

        Yes, I agree – National will take a hit. The size of that hit will depend upon how well he can portray himself as safe and centrist, how credible Labour appears as a potential government, how much pain people are feeling and who they blame for it, etc.
        I guess I was trying to see it from a RW strategy POV. If the status quo was maintained then National could well have been toast. The move by Brash gives them greater security. This was a rescue mission.
        All the what-if scenarios of two weeks ago now have to re-evaluated (which is what we are doing by bouncing our ideas off each other).
        It is now up to the players to decide how they are going to respond.
        In once instance, as you point out evil now has a face – Can Labour capitalise on that and link asset sales, lowered wages, cuts in government services to THAT face and then link that face to National?
        If, as you state, “Key’s high numbers in the polls are thanks to people who did NOT vote National in 2008.” then there is scope to scare the shit out of people voting National.

      • Puddleglum 20.1.2

        I think you’re right about what Brash has done – he’s made people start to think about what another term of a National-led government would involve. That was the last thing that the ‘smile and wave’ strategy needs, a reflective electorate. Key has always been our spoonful of sugar for the good Doctor’s medicine.

        I think, though, that all of that ‘damage’ comes into the calculation (for the right in general). As you point out, Key has, apparently, increased his popularity from election night, 2008. That’s ‘capital’ they’re happy to spend to get a coalition partner in Parliament since they no doubt understand that it’s pretty ‘soft’ (unsecured) capital anyway.

        Say National is, actually, on about 52% support. Say it loses 5% to a resurgent ACT (=47%). I think the calculation is that Key can keep most of what remains, leaving them with, say, 45% (the optimistic scenario – for ‘them’ – would be my nightmare scenario of Key being seen to need shoring up to dilute ACT and getting even more support than he bleeds to ACT).

        So, National 45%, ACT 6-7% and Dunne (who knows he might even get some ‘common sensical’ current National voters who are a bit iffy with A Brash/Banks ACT). In addition, Key might back himself to get some limited support from the MP (on the same basis as last time – that ‘we’ have a majority anyway so why not come inside the tent and get a few crumbs?).

        The pre-Brash putsch position was dependent on National pretty much staying at 50+% – not the kind of thing you hang your once in a generation hopes upon (if you are on the right).

        My hope is your hope – that people see the second-term potential, vividly, now that they can put a face on it. But that won’t happen by the left simply thanking it’s lucky stars for Brash doing what he did. After all, others have put thought into that move and, I assume, into the coming months. Hooton and co’s minds will have been doing little else than ‘running the scenarios’ for some time now.

        Edit: And that running of scenarios would be from the current state of play – not what existed a couple of weeks ago. That’s the advantage of making the play.

      • ak 20.1.3

        Spot on Will; its the Hollow/Shallow combo of greed. And you too Gob – a last desperate gamble and they know it – as evidenced by lots of distancing by the Shallow man already, “It’s their party, not mine, nothing to do with me, I wasn’t even there Miss, was at the wedding Miss, not my party Miss, I can’t help it if those bad boys do stuff, not me Miss, I love mowrees Miss, dog licked my hand Miss…”

    • Brokenback 20.2

      Very succinct post by William Joyce :
      much as I read the situation , but John Banks in Epsom??? .
      Epsom’s not Whangarei and its not Deep Blue with Jackboots.
      What about the “made in china party”?

      I agree with some of the other posters , what we have here is the day before yesterdays man and a strategy dreamed up the same hacks who have been feeding in his trough since the first sequel of Jurassic Park

      • William Joyce 20.2.1

        I haven’t been to Epsom since I grew up there and at that time it was whiter than a very whitey white thing. What is it’s current demographic spread?

  21. outofbed 21

    If only Labour could grow some balls.
    What a prefect opportunity to seize the moment and headlines
    Still time to get rid of Goff Please do it Labour
    We are heading for a right wing nightmare if you don’t

    • KJT 21.1

      Maybe Labour has decided we are so fucked that they do not want to be in a position of responsibility.

      • voldemort 21.1.1

        Have you looked at Portugal, Greece, Spain, Iceland and the UK recently ? I’d bet that Cameron has something planned before the warm inner glow of the wedding wears off .. if not soon afterwards.

        Who is over there at the moment – our Premier Ministre – first among equals, if not spending power, Msr. Clef.

        Which country has some of the highest *private* debts levels in the world ? Yup, Aotearoa (New Zealand).

        Get the picture ? In a world where many international banks still have huge (if not unquantifiable) credit default swap losses on (and perhaps more significantly, off) their balance sheets they will start to call in their debts at some point and the comprador class in this country faces ending up like Iceland or Argentina.

        Actually, it would be good for private enterprise. Iceland took the hit with a scandinavian stoicism bred from Beowulf, ate humble pie, and – from what I read – is getting back on its feet again under a centre-left government led by an unashamedly lesbian PM.

        It is people who avoid reality by wallowing in unsustainable lifestyles who are most threatened – such as people who have benefited from brash banking practices during the recent boom and housing bubble.

        Hence the coup. They wish to preserve their old-school anglophile business models, clubs, networks, understandings, sweetheart deals, and patronage.

        In short, they wish to put the burden on the state. But the state in this country has been trashed by razor gangs from Remuera as long as living memory allows, the opposition intimidated, co-opted, or fled overseas. Many are living in conditions which can only be described as medieval, helots to the local cocky or case manager.

        Yet we have seen symbols of medievalism collapse in Christchurch, and reports of staff turnover at The Hobbit suggest that all is not well in Middle Earth. We have also become intensely aware of the perils of life in a geologically active area, and the imperative for decentralised structures for resilience and recovery, aided by an internet designed for a post-nuclear scenario.

        We have to rebuild Ōtautahi (Chch) with structures and planning consistent with our knowledge of its underlying geology – a chance to do something interesting and new. We also have to rebuild our politics based on social justice, inclusiveness, and growth.

  22. (Just posted this on Kiwiblog as well – FYI)

    How cute is this?

    The potential coalition of ‘shonky’ John Key – who borrows billions and puts NZ further into debt, with ‘Dictator Don Bra$h – (possible Finance Minister?) – who will get NZ out of the debt that ‘shonky’ John Key helped to create – by selling of public assets (which National/ACTs rich business backers can then buy), and by declaring ‘war on the poor’?


    ‘Shonky’ John Key helps to cause the economic problem (debt) – which ‘Dictator Don’ will then help fix?

    Nice work!

    (Funnily enough – they both share the same solution – asset sale$
    WHAT a coincidence!
    This couldn’t possibly be the reason why ‘corporate raider shonky’ John Key is actually so busy borrowing all this money and getting NZ so much into debt – errrr……….could it?)

    Just a little ‘commonsense’ thought ……….. if Don Bra$h is genuinely opposed to all this profligate John Key-led Government borrowing – then why would he want to go into coalition with someone with whose actions on this ‘key’ issue he is supposed to be completely opposed?


    Sounds slightly flawed on a number of fronts – particularly the basic ‘logic’ one?

    PS: If Don Bra$h now SO agrees with ACT policies – why wasn’t he previously an ACT member?

    Or could this mean that there isn’t any real difference between National and ACT – when their policies and personnel are so readily interchangeable?

    Doesn’t this prove in practice that any ‘differences’ between National and ACT are really in the spin-doctored ‘perception’ deception?

    Just how ‘hollow’ / ‘shallow’ are these ‘men’?

    And how profoundly stupid do they think are the voting public?

    Remind me where Nicky Hager got it wrong?

    Perhaps people should have (another?) good, long read of ‘The Hollow Men’ ……………

    Penny Bright

    • Peter 22.1

      Forget National and Act, we now have NACT.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.2

      Or could this mean that there isn’t any real difference between National and ACT – when their policies and personnel are so readily interchangeable?

      Hasn’t been any difference between National and Act since Brash was Nationals leader.

  23. randal 23

    don brash.
    you are back.
    terminator III.

    wodney is gone and knew and johnny boy are in the drivers seat.
    the final solution perhaps.

  24. Alistair 24

    Interesting hearing Nicky Hagar on RNZ this morning.

    “hooten” – when Hagar says that name it suddenly rings with context. Time to re-read The Hollow Men kind of like a cheat-sheet for what will be said on telly leading up to election by and on behalf of brash.

    I wonder if Kathryn Ryan will now feel shamed promoting her friend hooten as a ‘political commentator’ on her show? Probably not.

  25. ASA 25

    The big unanswered question, raised by William Joyce above, and which no one has been able to answer, is who was behind the well planned and executed hatchet job on Peters before the last election? That, btw, doesn’t excuse his clangers; however it would be really interesting to know who did this. Any bets on it being similar/same people to those behind the Brash coup against Hide?

    • voldemort 25.1

      Their modus operandi seems very similar from where I sit.

      Is anyone in a position to devote time and energy into a thorough piece of investigative journalism which compares the deep structure of both episodes ?

      • higherstandard 25.1.1

        “…..who was behind the well planned and executed hatchet job on Peters before the last election?”

        Winston Peters….. he’s been baiting the meeeeeedia for years and they wanted Utu big time as did many a politician he’s crossed in the house.

  26. Draco T Bastard 26

    This is a bit of a laugh if you haven’t already seen it.

  27. Vicky32 27

    And now, in breaking news – I heard John Banks on Nine to Noon this morning, talking about *his* ACT ambitions!
    Ryan tried to pin him down to specifics, but talk about slippery Sam!

  28. Treetop 28

    I am not sure if anyone has raised that Hide was probably paid off. Some chap who has been very involved in severance payments on news talk zb last night thinks that a big pay off is why Hide was smiling yesterday instead of gritting his teeth.

    If Hide was paid off:
    Who paid him off?
    How much was he paid?

    • PeteG 28.1

      Did he get a job in New York or something?

    • William Joyce 28.2

      He’s going to run an all-you-can-eat corned beef sandwich franchise at Don’s Amazing World of Crap.

      They have rides that are both fun and educational.
      There’s the Trickle Down – which is a water slide where at the top is lots of gushing warm water but as you go down the water runs out and you get gravel rash until you fall into a sewer and loud speakers tell you that you are unproductive, living beyond your means, and a drag on the economy.

      Then there’s the Textor Crosby Hall of Mirrors where reality get all distorted and you cease to know what the truth is or even recognise yourself.

      You can have a go on the Neo-liberal Bungy Jump. If you’re a wage earner with a family you may find that you don’t meet the minimum social economic height level for the deluxe ride but rest assured the free fall ride is the same. For the deluxe version your fall will be slowed by the patented Tax Haven Family Trust bungy cord developed right here in NZ, in Dipton, Otago. Should the bungy cord not quite be enough, your fall will be broken by a soft bed of taxpayers.
      If you can’t ride the deluxe ride then you may be interested in buying health insurance from the private providers that will be on hand.

      You can try your hand at the Sham Democracy Sideshow –
      – There’s the game of skill where you have a row of clown heads that all look the same with open mouths. You are given a thing called a vote, you pick a clown and shove it down it’s throat.
      – You could try the Main Stream Media Maze where you try to find your way to the truth through this maze. Occasionally a reporter appears and yells, “Down this way!” – warning this game is frustrating, pointless and could end in tears.

      If you’re hungry then, apart from Rodney’s delicious sandwiches, there is also the Washington Consensus Candy Floss – It looks good and looks substantial but in reality is finely spun shit that disappears when you bite into it – this will not satisfy your hunger but you’d be amazed how many people can’t get enough of Finely Spun Shit.

      • Treetop 28.2.2


        Seriously Key no doubt already has a speech for Hide to take up a post some where, (not fair ground director, even though this would suit Hide, in particular in the lions den). The speech will go like this. Hide has contributed to parliament for 15 years and due to the unprecendented change of leader in the Act Party this left Hide in a position where he remained part of the coalition until the 2011 election as an independent MP.

        I am sending Hide to Timbuckto which is as far away as I can send him. I have already sweetened the rug being pulled from beneath his feet by keeping him on as a minister until the 2011 election to avoid a by election.

  29. RodneysOrc 29

    I still favour High Commissioner to Bougainville.

    His pugnacious good looks will be appreciated by the locals.

    He might even incite another uprising ..

  30. beancounter 30

    Given the attention this has generated I have to ask – is anyone out there running the economy ?

    • Treetop 30.1

      Yeah the tooth fairy, check under your pillow in the morning.

    • Draco T Bastard 30.2

      We have a bunch of neo-liberal ideologues in power whose sole policy platform revolves around the idea that the economy doesn’t need “running”.

      • FredD 30.2.1

        Merae fabulae sunt, et eas esse tales scis!

        [ That’s a load of bull, and you know it! ]

        • Draco T Bastard

          Scroll down to cartoon 6.

        • jimmy

          Bullshit? As they believe that ONLY private enterprise can deliver progress their entire belief system is based on politicians being incompetent and corrupt, a job they excel at as you will have noticed.

          Perk buster getting caught with his snout in the trough?…. No worries, hes just acting in a natural self interested way according to NACT philosophy.

  31. Frank Macskasy 31

    With Don Brash as the leader, I think we can anticipate a re-invigorated ACT Party. Back on the agenda – as if high on ‘P’ – will be,

    * full privatisation of state assets

    * state cutbacks on a scale unseen in any OECD country

    * market rents for state housing, as well as a return to sell-off of units to “tenants”

    * and an attack on Maori, Treaty, and Tribunal processes.

    If is the last which, I believe, has been under-estimated.

    If we recall, soon after National came to power, a newly-appointed Paula Bennett launched an attack on social welfare. Programmes such as the Training Incentive Allowance were cut back. Beneficiaries who dared disagree with Ms Bennett had their personal details released to the public, and were publicly humiliated. Beneficiaries were demonised with a hate campaign that was nasty and frightening.

    That demonisation, which was spawned from Ms Bennett’s words and actions, may not have been of her direct making – but her public statements gave credence and permission to the vile redneck element in our society which luxuriates in crass ignorance, misogyny, racism, and other discrimination.

    Toward the end, as the hate-campaign in the media, internet chat-rooms and blogs, and elsewhere became palpably more threatening, even Ms Bennett had to jump in and call “enough”.

    Brash’s so-called “one-law-for-all” policy will, I believe, provoke a similar response from New Zealand’s darker under-belly. Brash does not need to launch all out attacks on the Treaty; the Waitangi Tribunal; and Maori – he has “shock troops” in the form of red-necks who will do the job quite nicely for him.

    And when, eventually, he calls for tolerance, he will appear to be the “moderate” as he reigns in his racist dogs.

    But of course, the damage will have been done and the strands of New Zealand society will have unravelled a fraction more.

  32. CommonGood 32

    Even Key might balk at some of the policy objectives you outline above – until he sees which way the wind blows.

    I certainly agree that it mobilises the bigots, rednecks, and conservative shock jocks out there. Having come back from overseas I’m not inclined to run.

    The question, as always, is “what is to be done ?”

  33. Jan 33

    Agree with the assessment of a back room orchestration of a deal has a lot going for it – right down to the timing and the memes. “He’s an extremist. I’ll work with him. He won’t be the finance minister” – all as spun as a silk hanky!

    If the leadership of a party was dedicated to its policies and believed that they were the best for New Zealand why would that leadership give another party – with acknowledged extreme policies – a trouble free ability to move members between parties and a free ride into parliament (both time after time it has to be said) unless the intent was to allow that extreme party to have influence on your party’s abilities to act in government.

    If members of your party were in the process of taking over another party , and discussing with members of that other party how it should work and offering themselves as leaders and MPS for the other party (while still known in the public arena as members of your party) would you as the party leader not seek to initiate the process to have them thrown out of your party. Oh – or perhaps you might forget even to make the required lame protestations on this score if its the outcome your side was planning and orchestrating behind the scenes all along!

  34. MrSmith 34

    Yes Eddie I think the left should be rubbing there hands together with glee.

    Brash may pick up a few voters but they can only come from National surely, seeing Brash and National together will only make the moderate National swing voters look left, so National lose both ways.

    • felix 34.1

      You might be right there. After all, the right wingers can shuffle from one party to the other but they’re all already voting.

      On the left however, a new party has a chance of picking up the disenfranchised who haven’t been voting at all and grow the left block.

      Interesting times.

  35. jingyang 35

    Don Brash: the day before yesterday’s man.

  36. Frank Macskasy 36

    Re-reading your opening post, Eddie, and looking back at the last few days…

    The whole idea that a 70+ year old man, who is not even an ACT member, could dump Rodney Hide and take over as Leader is patently ridiculous. It is a fantasy to believe that Brash could have achieved such an extraordinary feat all by his lonesome.

    No, you’re quite right, Eddie, there was much more to this than meets the eye.

    And more to the point, something clearly rattled Hilary Calvert – changing her one day from a staunch Hide-loyalist, to a co-conspirator that Cassius would be proud of.

    And lastly, that Hide buckled and resigned so quiescently.

    I’m under no illusion that there were powerful “movers and shakers” behind this coup d’état – people whom Rodney Hide could not, would not, stand against.

    We’ve always known that ACT was the party for business, but I think we never quite understood how much. ACT is so beholden to business interests that when their servant, the Member for Epsom, seemed to be failing them – they took ruthless action.

    The faceless men (and women) who own ACT have installed a new manager.

    • FredD 36.1

      .. or perhaps there is an international or economic event coming down the tubes which has scared them witless ?

      Same effect.

      BTW, I am not referring to the royal wedding.

      • Campbell Larsen 36.1.1

        Hmmm, some other commentators here also suggested that a new ‘crisis’ may be manufactured in order to lend further impetus to unpalatable austerity….

        There are certainly international ‘contingency plans’ afoot that would be considered unacceptable by most of the people in the participant countries – look no further than the Aussie response to refugees and the “Police of the Pacific” initiatives. The lack of transparency in regard to these plans is shameful – the public should not be kept in the dark about how our Government intends to deal with any kind of crisis.

        One thing is sure however – no one is ‘scared witless’ – as a rule we should avoid the emotive lexicon of disaster/ emergency politics wherever possible.

  37. Edge 37

    This might have something to do with the sense of urgency felt by the people behind Brash’s coup.

    “To date, much of the media focus of the recovery has been on the Earthquake Commission and the insurance companies, and on the families and firms hanging on their calculations. In coming weeks, that spotlight will be shifting to the role of the banks. By the end of May, the wage subsidies to employees and sole traders ( either phased out for workers or cut off more abruptly for sole traders ) will have ended. Further afield, the accommodation supplements will hit their expiry deadlines not so long afterwards – some in September, and some by February next year. Even optimists would concede that the currently available forms of assistance will be running out well before anything like normal business activity returns to Christchurch.

    Unless pre-emptive action is taken, many families and firms in Christchurch can therefore expect to come under severe pressure from the banks. Home mortgages and business loans still pitched at pre-earthquake rates will have to be met from post-earthquake incomes, especially if people are going to be to hold onto their homes – the asset into which many have poured their life savings. Since the earthquakes, the value of that asset will have drastically reduced in value but the mortgage payments essentially haven’t – and soon, the same people will be facing the full cost of rent for living somewhere else, while their homes are unlivable.

    Clearly, this situation is intolerable, socially and economically. It is such a large problem for the banking system’s customers that it will quickly become a problem for the banks as well – one of such magnitude that it cannot be resolved competitively, by the banks vying with each other for business. If Christchurch families and firms are to make it through 2011 and the first half of 2012, it will require a collective response from the banks working together, in tandem with the government. Tricky thing is, the main banks are foreign owned – and they will be feeling gunshy about offering any relief to the residents of Christchurch that they’re not offering to the flood victims in Queensland.


    • Treetop 37.1

      Do you think the solution is for the government to pour a lot of money into Kiwibank?

      Does anyone know if Brash is anti Kiwibank?

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    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    19 hours ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 day ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 day ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    2 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    4 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    5 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know! 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    6 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    13 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    3 weeks ago
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    3 weeks ago

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